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#15181922
JohnRawls wrote:He died in 1976. Deng came to power and started the reforms in around 80-81 and so on. It has a lot more to do with that. Famine can still happen in capitalist society but it is very very unlikely and most capitalist famines are man made in a sense. It is not a problem of production but a problem of distribution. In communist societies it is the other way around.


20,000,000 die each year from preventable nutritional deficiencies/malnutrition/starvation. We produce enough goods to feed everyone to their need.

A "problem of distribution" is a systemic failure of global capitalism. You can't handwave it away while critiquing socialist societies for the same issue.
#15181964
Fasces wrote:20,000,000 die each year from preventable nutritional deficiencies/malnutrition/starvation. We produce enough goods to feed everyone to their need.

A "problem of distribution" is a systemic failure of global capitalism. You can't handwave it away while critiquing socialist societies for the same issue.


It is not a "problem of distribution" because every country should in theory be capable of feeding its population. What is required however is an effective bureaucracy (i.e. state capacity) and more or less well-meaning political leadership. As economic systems, it's safe to say both socialism and capitalism can do the job, unless you have some extreme interpretation of them (as Mao had originally).
#15181972
Fasces wrote:20,000,000 die each year from preventable nutritional deficiencies/malnutrition/starvation. We produce enough goods to feed everyone to their need.

A "problem of distribution" is a systemic failure of global capitalism. You can't handwave it away while critiquing socialist societies for the same issue.


Not in Europe, US or the West in general. You are right now blaming the West for malnutrition deaths in other countries. With the same reasoning you can blame any other country but the question you should be asking what is wrong with those countries and why is that happening in their own countries?
#15181973
Fasces wrote:That's a radical view - is a country that isn't self-sufficient in food production by definition mismanaged, in your eyes? Is Singapore a failed state? Germany? Japan?


How is that radical? For starters, self-sufficiency is not even required. Food is relatively cheap, hence every country should be able to buy it with a half-way decent economy. But even if you assume self-sufficiency, with the exception of some city states maybe every country should in principle be able to produce enough calories. Japan is a net importer but it employs only 3.4% of its labor force in agriculture. If it wanted to become self-sufficient, it would probably have to adjust its eating habits but I seriously doubt anyone would starve.
#15181989
JohnRawls wrote:Not in Europe, US or the West in general. You are right now blaming the West for malnutrition deaths in other countries. With the same reasoning you can blame any other country but the question you should be asking what is wrong with those countries and why is that happening in their own countries?


One group leads a "world order" and engaged in "police actions" and has established international institutions of diplomacy and finance according to "their rules" that "they learned in WW2 and other conflicts". Why shouldn't I blame them? :roll:

All very easy to credit the West with all the good in the world, as you do, but you seem eager to cast aside any notion of responsibility or blame. If you want the world to be responsible for itself, then give it proper agency/sovereignty to do so. Be consistent.
#15181990
Fasces wrote:20,000,000 die each year from preventable nutritional deficiencies/malnutrition/starvation. We produce enough goods to feed everyone to their need.

A "problem of distribution" is a systemic failure of global capitalism. You can't handwave it away while critiquing socialist societies for the same issue.


No. In Africa a continent with large fertile soil rots the food due to lack of cooling and conserving so 70% of their food is waste. :(
#15181993
Fasces wrote:Agreed. It's impossible to imagine a world where a group of wealthy nations subsidizes and builds the necessary infrastructure in the Global South they colonized. And god forbid the Chinese do it, that's cheating and debt-trap diplomacy and blah blah blah.


Agreed, China builts infrastructure, whereas the west gives much more money to corrupt governments.
#15181996
Fasces wrote:Agreed. It's impossible to imagine a world where a group of wealthy nations subsidizes and builds the necessary infrastructure in the Global South they colonized. And god forbid the Chinese do it, that's cheating and debt-trap diplomacy and blah blah blah.


Wealthy countries have spent a small share of their GDP on foreign aid for ages.

If China uses local companies to build the infrastructure in the "Global South" I'm all for it.

If China uses its own companies however it's shitty development aid.
#15182007
Fasces wrote:One group leads a "world order" and engaged in "police actions" and has established international institutions of diplomacy and finance according to "their rules" that "they learned in WW2 and other conflicts". Why shouldn't I blame them? :roll:

All very easy to credit the West with all the good in the world, as you do, but you seem eager to cast aside any notion of responsibility or blame. If you want the world to be responsible for itself, then give it proper agency/sovereignty to do so. Be consistent.


The West has donated far more money to those countries and even more in form of aid than anybody else. What else do you want us to do? :eh:
#15182034
JohnRawls wrote:The West has donated far more money to those countries and even more in form of aid than anybody else. What else do you want us to do? :eh:


1. A fraction of a fraction of what was stolen from them in the imperialist period after 1492.

2. I was explicit: the agency/sovereignty to act independently. If you want the West to be absolved from any blame for issues in these regions, the West needs to stop interjection itself and interfering in these regions - no supporting this coup or that one. No warships off the coast. No putting developmental aid contingent on neocolonial concessions. Etc etc etc. Seems pretty simple. Otherwise, accepting our fair share of responsibility for the consequences of the world hegemonic order we perpetuate and, in your case, outright advocate for, seems like the bare minimum of intellectual honesty.
#15182036
Fasces wrote:1. A fraction of a fraction of what was stolen from them in the imperialist period after 1492.

2. I was explicit: the agency/sovereignty to act independently. If you want the West to be absolved from any blame for issues in these regions, the West needs to stop interjection itself and interfering in these regions - no supporting this coup or that one. No warships off the coast. No putting developmental aid contingent on neocolonial concessions. Etc etc etc. Seems pretty simple. Otherwise, accepting our fair share of responsibility for the consequences of the world hegemonic order we perpetuate and, in your case, outright advocate for, seems like the bare minimum of intellectual honesty.


1) It is 2021, all of the countries had enough time to get their shit together and make a functioning state.

2) You just said that the West doesn't help much so I told you that the West donated the most in the world and now you are saying that the West is interfering. The West gives aid and donations almost for free compared to China providing them in the form of loans which then Chinese companies use to build the infrastructure.

3) You are just shifting the bar further and further. The West is not responsible for what is going on in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia or South America etc with some exceptions like Lybia, Iraq and Afganistan. That is it. You can say cry imperialism here and there but reality is that we are in 2021 and not 1850.
#15182040
JohnRawls wrote:1) It is 2021, all of the countries had enough time to get their shit together and make a functioning state.

2) You just said that the West doesn't help much so I told you that the West donated the most in the world and now you are saying that the West is interfering. The West gives aid and donations almost for free compared to China providing them in the form of loans which then Chinese companies use to build the infrastructure.

3) You are just shifting the bar further and further. The West is not responsible for what is going on in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia or South America etc with some exceptions like Lybia, Iraq and Afganistan. That is it. You can say cry imperialism here and there but reality is that we are in 2021 and not 1850.


1) Europe and the US have yet to stop interfering.

2) This is a flat out falsehood - Western aid has significant strings attached, especially developmental loans through the World Bank or IMF. Furthermore, this entire discussion is within the context of 'is the Western system responsible for 20,000,000 preventable deaths from malnutrition alone'.

3) Stop ignoring the context of the criticism. I take specific issue with the idea that Mao is responsible for the systemic failures of the society he tried to create in China, while the West is absolved of the failures their own world order has produced.

Rugoz wrote:Silly. The West wasn't worse than any other empire in history. I don't remember the Russians, Ottomans or Chinese ever apologizing for their imperialism.


Again, this argument is within the context of: if we will say that communism as a system is a failure because of avoidable deaths during the administration of communists states, I can equally blame the West for the avoidable millions of deaths due to systemic failure annually under its global leadership, especially recognizing that globalization is central to the Western liberal democratic ideology.

In this message, JohnRawls made the that famines/malnutrition in the Western led world is not due to systemic failure, but individual state failures.

This is incorrect. It absolutely is a systemic failure, and a failure which a 'rational self-interest is a virtue' liberal capitalist order, such as the one actively promoted by Western states, cannot ever address. This world view promotes the idea of a global, interconnected society of independent and rational self-interested actors, whether states or individuals. This world view is also hegemonic - it refuses to tolerate dissent and isolates or undermines societies which reject it.

The failure is systemic: it is not in the rational self-interest of Western powers to subsidize, freely, the development of societies in the Global South. They benefit from the disparity in a myriad of ways - environmentally (the entire world cannot sustainably survive at Western levels of consumption, and it wouldn't be in the self-interest of Western individuals or states to sacrifice their own quality of life); economically (consumer capitalism demands that there exist a permanent underclass of societies that can provide resources or manufacture goods as cheaply as possible); and politically (there are many more non-Westerners than Westerners; a equal world would see their political power/voice diminished). Because the system promotes the value of self-interest, and because resolving these avoidable deaths are both physically and economically possible - but not necessarily in the interest of the West - these failures are systemic. They are "baked into" the system itself.

The West is also hegemonic. Attempts by states or individuals to operate outside the system are met with outright hostility, to this day. The Western-led world order actively seeks to maintain the totality of its control, being unwilling to go back to a pre-1991 era of multipolarity, and in doing so, by actively perpetuating an unjust and unequal and totalitarian* system, it becomes morally responsible for the outcomes it creates on a global scale. As long as Western states continue to interfere (economically, politically, and on occasion militarily) in the Global South to promote this worldview - the concept of a global liberal and capitalist community led by a hegemony of the United States and other Western states - then they are, in part at least, morally responsible for these systemic failures.

*Totalitarianism (n) is a form of governing order that permits no individual freedom and seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life; in this example individual is referring to states rather than people, and the order referring the global hegemonic Western led order
#15182080
Rugoz wrote:Wealthy countries have spent a small share of their GDP on foreign aid for ages.

If China uses local companies to build the infrastructure in the "Global South" I'm all for it.

If China uses its own companies however it's shitty development aid.


The Chinese-built standard-gauge railway (SGR) linking Kenya's port city Mombasa to its capital Nairobi has witnessed 1,500+ days of safe operation, a milestone marking the achievements of joint development between China and African countries via the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway connects Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, with a total length of about 480 kilometers. It is a modern railway constructed with Chinese standards, Chinese technology, and Chinese equipment.

The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR, which replaced the meter-gauge railway that was constructed more than 100 years ago during British colonial rule, has been an important product that came out of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in late 2015.

The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is the first step in the grand plan to build an East Africa railway network that will eventually link Kenya with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Different from the way the British colonists operated railways in the early days, the railways that China helped Africa build will be operated by African countries themselves, and China will be responsible for providing technical and service training.

“It is better to teach how to fish, than to provide the fish.” -- This is a basic idea that China has always emphasized when cooperating with other developing countries. I don't think what China is doing is a kind of "charity" or "aid". What China is doing is creating a new economic model of sustainable development.

What many poor developing countries, especially some African countries, lack is infrastructure and the funds and capacity to build it, as well as the talents to operate it. China can provide funds and build capacity, but China's goal is not only to find overseas markets for its excess infrastructure capacity, but through this cooperation, African countries can participate in the global economic cycle, so that they can develop low and medium-end industries and become a market for high-end products.


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#15182086
ThingkingPanda wrote:

“It is better to teach how to fish, than to provide the fish.” -- This is a basic idea that China has always emphasized when cooperating with other developing countries.



Most foreign aid is intended to further the self interest of the country giving it. China is no exception. Most of these will be used by Chinese businesses, while at the same time you'll make money off the loans.

The West is even more predatory, fishing doesn't have much to do with this.
#15182088
Fasces wrote:Again, this argument is within the context of: if we will say that communism as a system is a failure because of avoidable deaths during the administration of communists states, I can equally blame the West for the avoidable millions of deaths due to systemic failure annually under its global leadership, especially recognizing that globalization is central to the Western liberal democratic ideology.


That comparison is plain idiotic.

Mao controlled a huge bureaucracy that allowed him to impose his idealistic (and ultimately catastrophic) economic policies throughout China.

The West controls jack shit. It doesn't govern the "Global South". It has neither the will nor the power. The US spent $45bn a year on "nation building" in Afghanistan and achieved nothing. It cannot even prevent a third rate power like Iran from acquiring nukes or meddling in Iraq. A tiny country called Cuba has defied the US for ages.

The only period in history where the West was really dominant was the 19th century.
#15182089
ThingkingPanda wrote:The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway connects Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, with a total length of about 480 kilometers. It is a modern railway constructed with Chinese standards, Chinese technology, and Chinese equipment.


Well thanks for that example, it's even worse than I thought.

Kenya took a $3.2bn loan from China to pay the China Road and Bridge Corporation to build the railway. The railway operates at a loss so the government is forcing businesses to move cargo to the railway to generate cash for loan repayments.

https://www.reuters.com/article/kenya-r ... SL5N2GL3T7

Wtf China, how can it get any more predatory.

:lol:
#15182563
Hong Kong (CNN)In January 2013, months after taking the helm of China's ruling party, Xi Jinping gathered the country's top politicians and asked them why the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had collapsed.

Xi, of course, already had the answer.
"It completely denied Soviet history, the history of the Soviet Communist Party, denied Lenin, denied Stalin," he said. "Party organizations at all levels had almost no effect, and the army was not there."
Nine years later, none of the above apply to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
As general secretary, Xi has returned the CCP to the center of Chinese life. Citizens celebrate the party's much-edited history en masse at packed Red tourism sites, its founder Mao Zedong enjoys a new reverence, and once-dormant grassroots party cells have been revitalized. Since 2015, Xi has embarked on a widespread program of military reforms and modernization.
But as Xi moved to consolidated the party's power, he took great lengths to guarantee his own.
He has axed the two-term limit on the Chinese presidency, introduced in 1982 to prevent the rise of a dictatorship, accumulated more titles than any CCP leader in recent decades, and created his own eponymous ideology, instilled in the party constitution.
Now experts in elite Chinese politics are warning that in trying to revitalize the CCP, Xi conflated himself with the party so totally he created another threat to its existence: himself.
Cai Xia, a former professor at the top training school for CCP officials, who now lives abroad and is a staunch party critic, said by concentrating power Xi had "killed the party as an organization." Its 95 million members, she said, are "slaves of his will."

Party structures
When Xi laid a wreath before a bronze statue of former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, in Shenzhen, weeks after assuming office in November 2012, to many the message was obvious.
The southern manufacturing powerhouse was where Deng had famously pioneered China's era of economic reform up in the late 1970s. Xi, pundits predicted, was offering a sign of things to come.
After all, his late father, Xi Zhongxun, had been a revolutionary veteran and liberal-minded leader. After being persecuted and jailed during the Cultural Revolution, Xi Zhongxun was handpicked by Deng to govern Guangdong province and oversee the creation of Shenzhen as a special economic zone. Many observers expected Xi to follow in his father's footsteps.
They were all wrong. It soon turned out Xi had a very different kind of reform in mind -- one that would put the party and country on a significantly different path from the one set out on by Deng.
When Xi took office, outwardly China seemed stronger than it had been for decades. It had joined the World Trade Organization, held the 2008 Beijing Olympics and overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy.
From the inside, Xi saw a party beset by weak leadership, intense infighting, rampant corruption, lax discipline and faltering faith. "Xi came to power in the face of fragmentation of power within the party," said Cai, a former professor at the Central Party School in Beijing.
Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao, was widely seen as a weak leader. That, combined with the collective leadership style installed after Mao, had allowed the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee -- the party's innermost circle -- to each cultivate their own turf of unrivaled power. The result was difficult decision-making processes and serious infighting, with factions vying for their own interests, Cai said.
Xi's solution was simple -- and radical. He opted for a return to one-man rule. "He used the wrong way to solve the original problem, and made things worse," Cai said.
Soon after he came into office, Xi unleashed a sweeping anti-corruption campaign, which not only targeted corrupt officials, but also his political enemies. He oversaw the spectacular downfall of powerful figures such as Zhou Yongkang, a former Politiburo Standing Committee member and security czar who was jailed for life, and Xu Caihou, a top army general who died of cancer after being expelled from the party. In less than nine years, 392 senior officials and millions of party cadres have been investigated. Those left knew total loyalty was required for survival.
To further concentrate power into his own hands, Xi set up more than a dozen "central leading groups" to oversee important policy areas, including military reform, cybersecurity, finance and foreign policy. A relic from the Mao era, these informal bodies are secretive, and almost never publicize full lists of their members. From what's been revealed in state media reports, Xi personally heads at least seven of them, and many of his loyalists hold important positions.

These groups not only made policy decisions, but also coordinated their implementation. "In reality, these leading groups have replaced the normal mechanisms through which the party and the government operate," Cai said.
In 2015, he silenced internal dissent. A revised version of the party's disciplinary regulations banned "groundless criticism of the party center's decisions and policies." A year later, Xi was anointed the title of "core" leader, putting him on par with past strongmen like Mao and Deng. "The party's collective leadership has become a concept in name only, and Xi has become the personification of the party center," Cai said.
Aleksandra Kubat, an elite China politics expert at the Lau China Institute at King's College London, said dismantling institutional processes and adopting a "personalistic leadership style" had created "a lot of resentment" in the party towards Xi. In the long term, that "may prove detrimental for its stability," she said.
Concentrating so much power around Xi comes with another problem -- it leaves little space in which to groom a successor.

'Succession crisis'
Xi's ascension to the top of the CCP wasn't a surprise. All the signs had been there for years.
He joined the Standing Committee in 2007 as the son of a former Communist Party leader, with governing experience in a major province. Most importantly, he was young enough to stay in power for two terms without turning 68, the loosely-enforced age of retirement for the party's top leaders.
Now, with one year to go before Xi would normally be expected to hand off power in 2022, there is no one on his Standing Committee similarly qualified -- all members are either too old or underprepared.
It is seen as the clearest sign yet that Xi, now age 68, intends to stay for three terms in office -- at least. Nis Grunberg, senior analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, said it was possible there would be hints at a successor to Xi at the 20th Party Congress in 2022, but nothing could be taken for granted.
"We don't know how power structures and alliances will develop over the next five years ... But I think it's fair to say that the succession problem is kind of building in pressure the longer he stays," said Grunberg.
Xi hasn't just failed to appoint a successor. Experts said Xi has almost completely dismantled the system of succession put in place after Mao's death to ensure the party's longevity.

In 2018, the CCP removed all term limits on the country's presidency, allowing Xi to rule for life if he wanted to. The CCP said the move was necessary to bring the three most-powerful positions in China into alignment -- CCP general secretary and the chair of the Central Military Commission, also titles held by Xi, are not subject to term limits.
In a report for the Lowy Institute in April, China politics experts Richard McGregor and Jude Blanchette said Xi had built his own power "at the expense of the most important political reform of the last four decades: the regular and peaceful transfer of power."
"In doing so, he has pushed China towards a potential destabilizing succession crisis," the report said.
Two high-ranking politicians who had been once touted by multiple experts as potential successors to Xi have been quickly sidelined. Sun Zhengcai, former party secretary of Chongqing, was in 2018 convicted of bribery and imprisoned for life. Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, was not promoted into the Standing Committee of the Politburo in 2017, stalling his rise.
Some of the most high-profile leaders Xi has put in major positions of power are too old to succeed him, including Vice Premier Liu He, 69, and Vice President Wang Qishan, 73.
Carl Minzner, a professor in law at Fordham Law School in the United States, said if the criteria for promotion shifted from a focus on competence to an emphasis on personal loyalty to Xi, it could lead to a generation of weak, unprepared leaders.
"In the '80s or the '90s there was a degree of 'Show me what you can do,'" he said. "I worry that what's happening now is that the game starts to be 'Show me how loyal you are to me personally.'"

Internationally isolated
Xi's bullish policies aren't just weakening the party internally -- they are compromising its standing internationally.
Recent surveys from around the world have shown China's reputation is at its lowest point in decades.
A Pew survey published in October 2020 found negative attitudes towards China have soared over the past few years in multiple European, Asian and North American countries, partly due to its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time, Xi has called for China to retake its place as a major global power alongside the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.
A new generation of diplomats, nicknamed "wolf warriors" after a patriotic Chinese film series of the same name, are driving this foreign policy, fiercely responding to any perceived slight against the party and its leadership.
Xi himself has embraced that style. In his speech marking the 100th anniversary of the CCP this month, he warned any foreign countries who tried to bully China "will find their heads bashed bloody against a great wall of steel."
Mercator Institute's Grunberg said China had a view that the US and its global influence were in decline and this was Beijing's chance to assert itself more forcefully. "But, of course, the way that China tries to address this ... that's very much shaped by Xi Jinping and that's done in a way that received not well (internationally)," he said.
At the G7 meeting in June, the world's largest advanced economies issued their strongest denunciation of China in decades. A major investment deal between the European Union and China is at risk after sanctions imposed by Beijing on EU officials. Australia is calling for investigations into Beijing's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and India is banning Chinese apps over security concerns and sending troops to its shared border with China.
During four years of isolationist policies under former US President Donald Trump, the Chinese government failed to bring a single American ally closer into its orbit -- a sign of how poorly Beijing's Wolf Warrior diplomacy has been received internationally.
In a recent essay in Foreign Affairs, Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University, said Beijing deliberately rejected new military alliances to avoid being drawn accidentally into armed conflicts.
It is unclear who would be interested in signing such a treaty with Beijing in the current climate.

The future of the Party
The longer Xi stays in power, the harder it will be for him to stand down.
Richard McGregor, senior fellow at the Lowy Institute, wrote in his book "Xi Jinping: The Backlash" that if Xi stepped aside the enemies the Chinese leader made in his brutal anti-corruption campaign, and his subsequent power grab, would likely be waiting to pounce.
"In a virtuosic display of circular logic, (Xi's supporters) maintain that the appointment of a successor would therefore cause instability, rather than the other way around," McGregor wrote.
Given that risk, Xi might choose to stay in power for the foreseeable future, or alternatively choose to hand over some of his positions to a successor but remain the puppetmaster, in a similar fashion to Deng in the 1980s and '90s.
For now, the CCP might not be at immediate risk of collapsing or losing its grip on power, in the same way the Communist Party of the Soviet Union came crashing down in 1990. But experts said Xi's policies threatened to leave future leaders less prepared to tackle the rising problems facing China, such as slowing economic growth, a falling birth rate and strategic competition with the US.
And there is no question that whoever takes over will have the specter of Xi looming over them, said former CCP professor Cai.
"After he amassed so much power and made so many mistakes, he's embarking on a self-destructive path of no return," she said.



Good CNN article bringing up some of things that I brought up from page 1. I mean it has too much words for little substance but even if CNN sees it then I am not sure how most people can't: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/25/chin ... index.html
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