The laissez-faire myth in China

From "brian turner" <>
Date Wed, 17 Nov 2004 05:00:06 +0000

>From: Jonathan Lassen <>
>Subject: Re: CASS scholars warn about neo-liberalism
>Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 16:37:34 -0500

>Here's what I gather neo-liberalism is understood as (from the interview 
>and web articles, I haven't seen the book):
>Liberal economic policies, marketization, privatization, abolishment of 
>state-owned assets, refutation of socialism and state intervention, 

If this is neoliberalism it is both inaccurate and part of class struggle 
itself to say it exists in China

Neoliberalism, as defined, has existed in Hong Kong and other parts of 
imperial China, Switzerland, certain brief interludes of the UK, and a few 
other spots here and there (and not totally in any of those places).  The 
model only develops the country in special situations (e.g. island trade hub 
city-state smack in the middle of a prospering region).  It's an absurd 
fantasy that can't exist in most places, and would cause chaos and collapse 
if it were tried, which is why big business is not REALLY for it (talk 
aside).  Chinese intellectuals with an ahistorical bent who push this stuff 
genuinely are deluded, big business is not.

What is happening in China is what always happens, massive state 
intervention on behalf of the rich.

It is preposterous for the beneficiaries of said intervention to pretend 
they are practicing laissez-faire.  Corporate state capitalism -- both the 
cleaner and more corrupt versions -- couldn't survive without this 
intervention.  To deny the existence of massive plutocratic interventions is 
a tool in class struggle against ordinary people.  If the state SHOULD and 
DOES in fact do little, there is (or they hope there will be) less talk then 
of using the state for social justice purposes ... which is Marxism 
incidentally -- capture the state through a labor party (democratically 
unless prevented by force), then use its tools to achieve social justice 
through parliamentary reforms and creating new ownership forms.

So the left needs to quit going along with this big lie that China's 
reforms, and the IMF/WB model forced on Latin America includes a rejection 
of state intervention.  The state is a tool, they have it and they don't 
want to give it up, so they pretend it doesn't exist or should never be 
used, and then go on using it.