The Growing Discontent of Revisionist China by the Working Class


As a warning to my readers of this blog: Since writing this article, after many months of both strict Marxist analysis and self-criticism, I have come to change my position on the question of China, one of which no longer adheres to the misleading article that I had written below. This article was written during a time period where I was just starting to mature my Marxist-Leninist socio-economic outlook on world events. Which, as a result, I still relied on both ultra-leftist and reactionary, anti-communist sources to formulate an analysis on Socialist China.

Since then, all articles either written, or published, by me on this news blog has taken on the Marxist-Leninist outlook on Socialist China in both domestic and foreign affairs. For records purposes, I’ve decided to leave the article below unchanged, in the hopes that it may be of some use to those reading in understanding how easy it is to demonize a socialist country trying its best in dealing with the conditions in which surrounds them. Below (and just above the article) are a set of links which’ll take you to various important articles – mostly written by others – that should help others, as it helped me, to formulate a matured Marxist-Leninist understanding of today’s China and their ongoing road of socialist construction:

China & Market Socialism: A Question of State & Revolution

Looking back at Tiananmen Square, the defeat of counter-revolution in China

Part 1: The Relevance of Marx’s Das Kapital To the Contemporary Chinese Market Economy (and Part 2)

Liu’s Nobel Prize for Capitalism

Western bourgeois forces and their dupes can’t subvert Socialist China

Miraculous earthquake recovery proves superiority of socialist system

From China to Libya: A Critique to Kasama’s “Remembering the Rebels of Tiananmen”

China is the ultimate target of all the Empire’s wars

All other articles published in the Prison Gates news blog regarding Socialist China can be found here.

“A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.” ~Mao Zedong

by BJ Murphy

As oppression & exploitation of the peasantry & working class people of China have increased, unreported discontent within the Chinese people have grown against the revisionist Communist Party of China (CPC). Very little within the United States have a soft spot for China, & an even larger number than those against China today have shown opposition against them even during the leadership of Mao. This has come from a clear misconception of the CPC during Mao’s leadership & the CPC of today. Many do not realize the difference between China of the 1950-1970’s & the China in which people are suffering in today, &, again, many within those numbers fail to realize the advantages that the Chinese people thrived upon during Communist rule, in which none today are able to achieve.

Last year of May 31, 2009, a report was published called “The India Economy Review 2009”. The main outline of this report was to help clarify recently done studies within India & compared such to those countries that surround them. Much was said on China, in which important facts were helped clarified in such, stating that “In the 1940s, life expectancy in India was only around 32, and in China barely three years longer.” [1] Keep in mind that China was in the middle of a revolutionary war against the Red Army led by Mao Zedong in order to try & overthrow the ruling class of the Chinese government. It wasn’t until 1949 when Mao & his Red Army had gained victorious, bringing China a whole new future to flourish upon. In 1951, as compared to the study done within the 1940’s, a huge advance was shown:

While Indian life expectancy in 1951 was 32.1, virtually unchanged since independence, the rate in China rose to 40.3 by 1953, and such gains continued. [2]

As for the infant mortality rate, according to China’s Changing Population by Judith Banister, it was stated that:

It is probable that the pre-1949 crude death and infant mortality rate were approximately halved by 1957. [3]

Again, looking back at the 2009 report, by “..the mid-1970s, life expectancy in China reached 63.6 for men and 66.3 for women..” & that by “..1980-81, Chinese infant mortality fell to 56 per 1,000 live births.” It even brought our attention to the fact that “When literacy is added in, China in 1981 had a “physical quality of life index” of 67 out of 100”. [4] Of course, by 1976, Mao had died & Deng Xiaoping came in as ruler – which initially he started disbanding the work Mao fought for & replaced them with market reforms – what was created within the years of from 1950-1976 was never destroyed for many more years to come.

When it comes to the statistics on China’s industrial output, it was stated that it had “..increased at an annual rate of 11.2 percent between 1952 and Mao’s death in 1976 … industrial production grew at an annual average rate of 10 percent.” [5]

According to China: Revolution and Counterrevolution by the PSL (Party for Socialism & Liberation):

“..during the 1952-76 period Chinese peasants enjoyed huge advances in public health, free public education, affordable housing and social security as a result of collectivization and the commune system … Although the growth in agriculture lacked the tempestuous growth of the industrial sector, it is noteworthy that ‘China grew 30-40 percent more food than India on 14 percent less arable land than India’ during the same time period.” [6]

Of course, many misguided people will criticize China, especially during this time period of growth, by pointing blame to the CPC on the massive famine that had taken place from 1958-1961, which led to the deaths of millions of Chinese peasants. Though, they tend to outline a very black & white picture of what had taken place during this time period, & rather blames the CPC as being the sole reason behind such a travesty. What they seemed to leave out was the fact that, by 1959, the CPC & Soviet Union began emerging differences between one another. To make a long story short, when the Soviet Union came under leadership of Khrushchev, he began “de-stalinization” programs & began redefining the Marxist outline of how to achieve Socialism – which, from violent revolution as pointed out through Marxism, was replaced with peaceful negotiations. Mao had seen this as a revisionist blasphemy against Marxism, & made sure Khrushchev was aware of this:

On July 16, 1960, the Soviet government sent a letter informing the Chinese government that it was withdrawing all Soviet technicians and canceling more than 600 technical aid and scientific contracts and projects. Blueprints and plans were taken as well.

This unilateral act was a devastating blow to China’s economy. It came at a time of natural disasters, which China’s national radio said were ‘without parallel in the past century,’ and included plagues of locusts, extreme flooding and widespread drought.[7]

When it comes to healthcare in China during Communist rule, as pointed out by a great independent documentary “The Barefoot Doctors of Rural China”, it was stated that around 90% of peasants within the rural lands of China received free health services by those called the “Barefoot Doctors”, in which were assigned through each commune in order to provide the best care to each & every peasant. [8] Though, as reforms started emerging in China by Deng Xiaoping, both the barefoot doctors & the commune system of agricultural cooperatives were abolished by 1981. This was then escalated to the privatization of the medical system in China. [9] Where 90% health services were provided during the times of the barefoot doctors, after the privatization of the medical system, health coverage dropped from 90% to 4.8%. It eventually increased to 10% [10], but never has health coverage reached the numbers that was achieved during Communist rule within China:

The situation is not much better for urban residents, with 36 percent of the population also finding medical treatment prohibitively expensive. Historically, the majority of urban workers received free healthcare coverage through employment by SOEs, the Chinese government or universities. However, in the face of fierce competition, many SOEs have gone out of business. Workers who lose their jobs also lose any insurance coverage and so far, there are no other mechanisms to resolve this issue.

..In 2003, almost 45 percent of the urban population and 79 percent of the rural population had to pay for medical services out of-pocket.[11]

As of today, China’s healthcare, ranged through each country, is ranked at 144 out of 190. [12] A sad sight for the Chinese people suffering to this day because of the privatization of the medical system.

According to the latest statistics on China’s unemployment rate, from 2004-2010, unemployment has decreased from 10.10% to 4.3%. [13] Though I’ll admit this is an incredible achievement, whether or not this is truly the case is what needs to be put into question. C. Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, was questioned on what he thinks is the reasoning behind how China’s unemployment drastically decreased in such a short time frame, in which he states:

The case is very straight forward. China intervenes in the currency markets to the tune of about $1 billion everyday. They buy dollars & sell Chinese REM to keep their currency weak against the dollar, and against all other currencies. That gives them a very strong competitive advantage in world trade. It’s the same as an export subsidy, a tariff on imports. We calculate the currency is undervalued by somewhere between 25-40%. So it’s a huge protection of step that substantially distorts world trade & finance & is a big reason why China continues to run these unprecedented global surpluses. [14]

According to a report on China by the National University of Singapore, “In recent years, more than 30% of college graduates fail to secure a job upon graduation each year. The real unemployment rate could be higher than this official number. Many have to lower their expectations to take jobs that high school graduates would qualify.” [15]

When it comes to the wages & salaries that is due to the Chinese working class, according to Zhang Jianguo, chief of Collective Contracts Department with the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), “the proportion of the country’s GDP that makes up wages and salaries peaked at 56.5 percent in 1983 and dropped to 36.7 percent in 2005..” & that the “..proportion hasn’t changed too much since 2005.”

Another incredible fact is that “..almost one fourth of Chinese employees had not seen a salary rise in the past five years..” & that “..low pay, long working hours and poor working conditions were partly to blame for the shortage..” [16]

The leading cause for this unemployment & lack of wages to the workers is essentially the privatization of once state-owned industries. [17]

Though, of course, here in the United States, the vast majority of American’s are completely unaware of these statistics, nor on the recent events of worker strikes against the privatization of industries. What the US likes promoting is anything that happens to paint the CPC as the “bad communist government”, not the bad capitalist government, & then at times they tend to glorify the CPC by painting a picture of them putting their lives on the line in order to protect the suffering Chinese working class people. [18]

The safety of the working class in China has been completely taken advantage of, all thanks to the capitalist restoration within China’s economy, in which have put the people’s lives at risk, & for many have led to unnecessary death with the thousands. [19] Because of these deaths, & the growing discontent by the working class against the capitalist restoration by the revisionist CPC, strikes have been emerging against the oppression & exploitation against them, stating their demands of better worker rights, greater worker control, & the end of the privatization of industries. [20][21]

So one has to ask themselves, is this the movement that we’ve been waiting for since the revisionist ruling of Deng Xiaoping? I would say this is a necessary step in the right direction. Though, in order for capitalism to be overthrown, along with the bourgeois state of China led by the CPC, there needs to emerge a People’s War by the working class & peasantry. Since late 2008, it has been confirmed that an underground Maoist rebel party, called the Maoist Communist Party of China (MCPC), have formed up & are now gathering up members & supporters, in a unconfirmed status, ranging in the thousands within the rural lands of China. [22]

Just a year before the formation of the MCPC, 17 members of the CPC – ranging from retired officials, military officers & academics – issued a public letter to the CPC urging the end of the Dengist reforms that is being supported by the CPC & to return to “Mao Zedong Thought”. [23] This became a significant upheaval to the minds of the Chinese working class, for it showed that the growing discontent of the CPC was not just by those on the streets & rural lands of China, but by those that have worked closely with those of the CPC as well.

Where this growing anger will lead to is solely up to the working class & peasantry of China. Will they allow the revisionist CPC to continue on their path of “market-socialism” in order to restore capitalism in China once again, or will they rise up like Mao & the Red Army did in 1949, & bring China back to the hands of the working class people? Time will only tell.

Red Love & Salutes!


[1] “The India Economy Review 2009” (PDF), May 31, 2009.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Judith Banister, China’s Changing Population, 63, in Robert Weil, Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of “Market Socialism,” New York: Monthly Review Press, 1996, 236
[4] “The India Economy Review 2009” (PDF), May 31, 2009.
[5] Maurice Meisner, The Deng Xiaoping Era: An Inquiry into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994 (New York, Hill and Wang, 1996), 189; Mobo C.F. Gao, Debating the Cultural Revolution – Do We Only Know What We Believe (Critical Asian Studies 34, no. 3, September 2002), 424-5.
[6] “What Do Socialists Defend In China Today.” China: Revolution and Counterrevolution. Ed. Andy Mclnerney. San Francisco: PSL Publications, 2008. 14-15. Print.
[7] “Revolutionary Potential To Tragic Consequences.” China: Revolution and Counterrevolution. Ed. Andy Mclnerney. San Francisco: PSL Publications, 2008. 136. Print.
[8] The Barefoot Doctors of Rural China. Dir. Diane Li. National Archives and Records Administration, 2008. Youtube. Web. .
[9] McConnell, John (1993). “Barefoot No More”. The Lancet 341 (8855): 1275.
[10] Carrin, Guy; et al. (1999). “The Reform of the Rural Cooperative Medical System in the People’s Republic of China: Interim Experience in 14 Pilot Countries”. Social Science & Medicine 48 (7): 961–967.
[11] “Healthcare in China”, IBM.
[12] “The World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems”, Geographic.
[13] “China Unemployment rate”, Index Mundi.
[14] “Is China exporting its unemployment?”, BBC News, March 25, 2010.
[15] “Unemployment Problem of China’s Youth” (PDF), April 28, 2010.
[16] “Wage proportion of China’s GDP decreasing over years”, Xin Hua News, May 12, 2010.
[17] “Workers Challenge ‘Privatization for the Elite'”, China Labor News Translations, May 9, 2010.
[18] “127 Dead, 1,300 Missing in China Landslides”, Voice of America, August 8, 2010.
[19] “Mine explosion kills 15 in China”, Press TV, July 31, 2010.
[20] Tania Branigan, “Wave of strikes bring Chinese workers a step nearer new rights”, The Guardian, August 1, 2010.
[21] John Chan, “More strikes erupt in China’s auto industry”, WSWS, June 21, 2010.
[22] Iseul, “The Ten Declarations of the Maoist Communist Party of China (MCPC)”, RevLeft, August 9, 2010.
[23] Ma Bin, “Our Views on the Black Brick Kiln and Other Incidents and Recommendations for the 17th Party Congress”, Monthly Review, July 8, 2007.

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