Socialism Is Alive and Well … in Vietnam

by Frank Joyce

Southeast Asian nations could offer a way for countries like ours to become more democratic and prosperous.

Vietnam is mentioned in the news quite often these days. But the references are almost always in relation to Iraq. What’s not being covered is what’s going on in Vietnam itself — which is unfortunate, because economically, politically and socially, it might just be the most interesting and inspiring nation on the planet.

Socialist art in Vietnam

In the interest of full disclosure, my affection for Vietnam goes way back. As an anti-war activist I met with Vietnamese liaisons to the anti-war movement on several occasions. In 1970 I visited Hanoi and was profoundly impressed with the character and resolve of the people, not to mention the beauty of the country itself. Even then, during wartime, the food was terrific, too. Continue reading

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The Road to Socialism in China

by Sitaram Yechury

The tremendous strides made by the Chinese economy during the last two decades have been recognised, even by its worst critics, as being incomparable in the 20th century.  The average annual rate of growth during the last two decades registered an amazing 9.8%. The Chinese economy continues to grow over and above this record at roughly 8% in the current year.  The IMF has predicted that by the year 2007, People’s Republic of China  will surpass the United States of America as the largest economy in the world (World Economic Outlook, IMF, 1997).

Pictures of Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Hu Jintao on parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of socialism in China.

How was such a remarkable development possible?  Particularly, in a period when the mighty Socialist Soviet Union was dismantled? When all pen-pushers of imperialism and the bourgeoisie were busy seeking to nail the coffin of socialism and claiming that “capitalism is eternal”, socialist China continued to register  such impressive  economic successes.  In a period when imperialist ideologues are churning out theories such as the `end of ideology’, socialist China continues to  speak of upholding Marxism-Leninism.  While the right-wing intellectuals and academicians are in a haste to state that China’s successes have nothing to do with either Marxism or socialism, some amongst the Left are also concerned whether these successes in China represent the restoration of capitalism?  Has Mao’s China been abandoned?  Have `capitalist roarders’ taken over China?  What are the consequences of the current economic reforms for the future of socialism in China? These are some of such questions that we seek to explore. Continue reading

Thoughts from China: Socialism, a Work in Progress

by Brad Janzen

Editor’s note: The author is teaching English in China.

BEIJING – I arrived in Beijing on June 25.  My first time in Asia. My first time outside of the Western hemisphere. Though I had studied some Chinese, I was a bit overwhelmed at the communication barrier as I walked into a restaurant to order my first meal here.  The menu was all in Chinese, with no pictures, and no pinyin. (Pinyin is the transcription of Chinese to the Latin alphabet, with accent marks denoting the tones).  Nevertheless, after being here for two and a half months, my Chinese is slowly improving.

china2

My initial impressions of Beijing and China were, and still are, complex. China has surpassed Japan and Germany to become the second largest economy in the world, and China’s GDP will likely pass that of the U.S. in a few years. China’s economy is a mixed economy, with the state controlling much of what Lenin called the “commanding heights” of the economy, but with a large capitalist sector, and with an enormous number of small businesses. While the state permits capitalist enterprises, including foreign companies, to operate here, the state retains the ownership of the land, and essentially is granting the company the privilege of using the land in the interest of development. Continue reading

CPP Denounces Docking of Another US Warship

Philippine Revolution Web Central

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned the scheduled docking of another US warship in Manila as another “arrogant display of contempt of Philippine sovereignty”.

The destroyer USS Milius

The USS Milius is scheduled to arrive today and dock at Manila Bay for a four-day port call. “The docking of the USS Milius highlights the increasingly frequent arrival of interventionist troops of the US in the Philippines as the imperialist US government aim to further increase its presence and power projection activities in the Asia-Pacific.” Continue reading

KCTU Stages Sit-in Strike in South Korea

Rodong Sinmun

The south Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) staged a sit-in strike for winning victory in the general strikes across south Korea on August 16.

Representatives of industrial trade unions under the KCTU held a press conference on the sit-in strike in Youido, Seoul.

Members of the KCTU on the march

Speakers expressed astonishment at the deplorable fact that gangsters are cracking down on workers in broad daylight at tacit connivance of police and with its help. Continue reading

Tour Through a South Korean Slum

Propaganda from the corporate media loves to depict South Korea as a miracle zone, where capitalism has triumphantly displayed its superiority over communism, especially vis a vis the DPRK.

This video shows a brief tour through a slum in South Korea. Many tourists who visit Seoul testify that the city is riddled with poverty, and it’s not contained to just a few districts. Some have even said that they would argue that the quality of life is far higher in the North in general, and in Pyongyang in particular.

Click “continue” to see the video. Continue reading

Communist Party of China Delegate Election Shows Improved Intra-Party Democracy

Xinhua/People’s Daily Online

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — After almost one year of campaigning, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has elected its delegates to the 18th National Congress, demonstrating both its understanding of democratic procedure and an optimized lineup with more younger, grassroots-level Party members.

Image from the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

Earlier this week, the CPC published a list of names for the 2,270 delegates for its 18th National Congress, which will be held in the second half of this year.

Improved election measures have shown that the Party does not regard the election as mere routine, but as an important demonstration of intra-Party democracy that will serve as a critical factor in establishing a substantial democracy in a socialist country. Continue reading