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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Globalisation et socialisme

Globalisation and Socialism

Translated Monday 29 October 2007, by Jonathan Pierrel

By Zeng Zhisheng, professor at Renmin University of China, Beijing.

Globalisation is the result of capitalism. This is an inescapable historical fact. You can fight against globalisation, but you can’t annihilate it. On the other hand, according to Marxist dialectics, you can study globalisation, and learn to understand it and to control it. We are far from being pessimistic. We think it is in our power to adjust the tendencies of the movement to obtain better results. Globalisation is the result of the development of capitalism. At first glance, capitalist production appears flourishing. In reality, its contradictions are still not resolved. Quite to the contrary: there are more and more contradictions and, as these contradictions become bigger, social revolution approaches. What is China’s attitude facing globalisation?

We have a realistic attitude with respect to the economical aspects of globalisation. Not panicked, nor blinded by optimism, we must be careful in this situation and analyse what has happened in the past. Socialism has been carried into the wave of capitalist globalisation. But we must be active participants in this wave, not passive observers. Our aim is to take advantage of globalisation in order to develop our country: the capitalist economy is more advanced. Its production techniques and management methods are better than the socialist ones. There is no reason to reject them. To the contrary, we have, in all modesty, to learn from capitalist experts. As Lenin said, we build socialism with a capitalist hand.

It is important to understand that theoretically, the difference between capitalism and socialism is not a matter of planning or markets. In a socialist society, there is a market economy; in a capitalist society, planning is also present. It is wrong to believe that, because we engage in a market economy, we are on the path of capitalism. We need planning and markets. Though China has developed itself very quickly over the last years, the country still has a low per capita production. Our level of scientific research is still lagging, so we are not a “great economic power,” not even a “moderately developed country.”

Through a market economy, we open the doors of the country and use the economical, scientific and technical method that globalisation offers.

This does not mean that we kneel down before capitalism. We understand that market economy is not perfect – it is rather a chopping block. If we take a nonchalant attitude, we will be crushed and ground to pieces.

(1) Excerpts of one of Zeng Zhishen contributions, available at http://netx.u-paris10.fr/actuelmarx/ , contributions to the Marxist International Congress.

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