中国资本主义的发展和阶级斗争(中英文对照)

李民骐 2013-05-02 浏览:

   

   

中国资本主义的发展和阶级斗争  

   

   

CAPITALIST DEVELOPMENT AND CLASS STRUGGLES IN   CHINA    

   

清华大学留美学者 李民骐   

美国马萨诸塞大学经济学博士,  

   

曾任加拿大约克大学政治学系助教授,  

   

现任美国犹他大学经济系助教授  

   

   

沃勒斯坦和大卫科兹之中国弟子  

联系方法:http://www.econ.utah.edu/~mli/  

   

目录  

导言  

第一章 资本主义生产关系在中国的发展  

(一)什么是资本主义生产关系,它与(改革前)中国国有企业的生产关系有什么不同?  

(二)为什么要“改革”?  

(三)资本主义生产关系的发展  

(四)论产权问题  

第二章 社会主义,资本主义,和阶级斗争  

(一)文化大革命  

(二)官僚资产阶级和私人资产阶级  

(三)1989年革命  

(四)工人阶级反对“砸三铁”的斗争  

(五)中产阶级  

第三章 从合作化到小农经济  

(一)合作化时期  

(二)回到小农经济  

(三)小农经济和农业停滞  

(四)资本主义和小农经济  

第四章 资本主义经济发展  

(一)中国经济发展的物质基础  

(二)资本主义生产关系的确立  

(三)中国的新无产阶级  

(四)资本主义和人民贫困化  

(五)依附性发展  

(六)国家和中国的资本主义经济发展  

(七)跨国公司和中国的资本主义经济发展  

第五章 资本主义和民主  

(一)新权威主义还是民主主义  

(二)资本主义民主小史  

(三)依附性发展和民主  

(四)腐败问题和社会动乱  

第六章 中国革命的前途  

附:自由派知识分子论市场经济、民主和革命  

第七章 市场,计划,和社会主义革命  

(一)对市场社会主义的批判  

(二)信息问题、激励问题和社会主义社会关系  

(三)革命中国的经验  

(四)社会主义计划经济可行吗?  

(五)阿列克·诺夫对马克思主义的批判;对阿列克·诺夫的批判  

附录一 我怎样成为一个马克思主义者?  

附录二 大学生与革命  

参考文献  

注:〔1〕本书作者李民骐原系北京大学经济管理系87级学生,在1989年以后,在政治上与思想上开始与自由主义反对派分道扬镳,并逐步转变为一个马克思主义者。为了方便读者了解作者的思想形成过程和背景,书后附有作者的两篇文章-“我怎样成为一个马克思主义者”和“大学生与革命”。  

〔2〕各章的注解,起补充论证的作用,用〔数字〕标出,注解内容安排在各章正文后面。  

   

导言  

    按照现在流行的资产阶级自由主义意识形态,资本主义和民主总是并肩同步发展的。但是中国资本主义的胜利却正是建立在民主失败的基础上。1989年的革命,不仅是关系着民主和独裁之间的抉择,而且还关系着中国资本主义的命运。在1989年6月4日,不仅是中国的民主运动遭到了失败,而且也是中国的工人阶级遭到了失败。中国的工人阶级遭到了失败,是因为他们没有能够成为一支能够为他们自身的解放而战斗的独立的政治力量,而是在政治上追随自由派知识分子的领导,因而也就为自由派知识分子的政治利益而不是他们自己的政治利益而战。  

    1989年5月20日,反动政府派军队进入北京市执行臭名昭著的所谓“戒严令”,这就等于统治阶级公然向人民宣战。在这个时候,民主力量没有别的选择,或者向统治者投降,或者以公开的人民起义回答统治者的挑衅。工人阶级是准备响应起义的号召的。统治阶级一时间还处于惊惶失措之中,并且陷于严重的内部分裂。起义成功的可能性是存在的。但是,自由派知识分子拒绝利用这个机会。革命因而失败。  

    我是从1988年开始参加学生民主运动的。那个时候,象绝大多数的中国大学生一样,我也接受了资产阶级自由主义的意识形态。也就是说,一方面,我赞同西方式多党民主政治,另一方面,我拥护彻底的市场化和私有化和建立资本主义的经济制度。但是正是在1989年革命中,我的思想开始发生转变。在革命的最关键时刻,十分清楚,革命的成败取决于反对派是否愿意以及是否能够把城市工人阶级充分发动起来,投入争取民主的斗争。这里我们立即碰到了一个问题。任何头脑清醒的人都可以看出,自由主义反对派所持的意识形态与工人阶级的利益之间存在着尖锐的冲突和矛盾。那些象我这样拥护私有化和资本主义的人非常清楚,如果我们所主张的经济政策付诸实践的话,工人阶级是要蒙受惨重损失的。在“正常”时期,这个问题完全可以撇在一边,作为社会进步的不可避免的代价。但是,在革命进行过程中,那就完全是另一回事了。一方面,你要求工人阶级为了你自己夺取权力而流血牺牲,另一方面,如果你这一帮人上了台,作为对工人阶级的贡献的回报,你马上就要把工人阶级推到严重的社会经济灾难当中去。一个革命者,矢志致力于争取社会正义和人民大众的自由解放的斗争,在这种情况下,怎么能不对他所信奉的意识形态提出疑问呢?  

    1989年革命失败后不久,我开始抛弃资产阶级自由主义并转向马克思主义。正象今天世界上所有的马克思主义者一样,我也面临着一系列的问题:20世纪的社会主义革命为什么没有能够建立起真正的社会主义社会?社会主义革命的失败为什么最后导致了资本主义发展?一个没有剥削、没有压迫、没有异化的社会能不能存在?有没有这样一种经济制度-这种经济制度不仅在经济上是有效率的和有创造性的,而且也符合一个社会主义社会的要求?起初,我或者不能够回答这些问题,或者没有什么清楚的想法。我还没有从资产阶级自由主义的影响中完全解放出来。作为一个中产阶级知识分子,我对社会的认识还在很大程度上受着我从中而来的那个社会集团的狭隘眼界的限制。在很长一段时间里,象自由派知识分子一样,我把毛泽东时代的中国完全看作是一个“极权主义社会”,对中国的社会进步没有什么贡献。同样是在很长一段时间里,我试图从市场社会主义当中寻找解决社会主义经济问题的办法。但是随着时间的推移,随着我逐渐地超越中产阶级知识分子的狭隘眼界,超越资产阶级自由主义,我就能够比较明确、比较有把握的回答上述问题了。  

    这里,有一个革命的社会理论和科学的社会理论之间的关系的问题。在一个压迫社会中,社会分裂为压迫阶级和被压迫阶级,在这种情况下,如果我们从压迫阶级的立场或者其他不同程度上有特权的阶级和社会集团(比如,知识分子)的立场出发,是不可能达到对社会的客观的和科学的认识的。因为压迫阶级和其他特权阶级和社会集团在现存社会中是有既得利益的。在一个压迫社会中,只有从在现存社会中完全没有任何利益的被压迫人民的观点看问题,才可能达到对社会的科学的认识。所以,只要社会还分裂为压迫者和被压迫者,科学的社会理论就必须同时是从被压迫人民的立场看问题,也就是说,同时是革命的社会理论。  

    中国的社会主义革命(由于客观的和主观的原因)没有能够建立起一个真正的社会主义社会。但是,革命还是给劳动人民的物质的和精神的生活状况带来了重大的进步。在革命的中国,在这个按照自由派知识分子和资产阶级的思想辩护士的说法,人民没有任何自由和权利的“极权主义社会”,劳动人民享有广泛的社会权利(比如就业权-“铁饭碗”、公费医疗、廉价住房和其他基本需要的保障),这些权利是资本主义社会中的劳动者所无法想象的。  

    新的社会因而面临着一个基本的矛盾。一方面,由于推翻了旧的压迫制度和剥削制度,并且劳动人民赢得了广泛的社会权利,就不可能再按照与“正常的”压迫社会一样的方式去发展生产力了。另一方面,革命又没有能够建立起一个劳动人民掌握社会和经济权力的真正的社会主义社会。一个新的统治阶级逐渐形成了。如果这个矛盾解决不了,生产力的发展就没有保证,新的社会也就不能够存在下去。  

    这个矛盾既可以通过进一步发展革命,摧毁正在形成中的新的压迫阶级,使劳动人民掌握社会和经济权力来解决,也可以通过剥夺劳动人民在革命中赢得的广泛的社会权利,回到压迫社会的“正常”状态来解决。到底是用第一种方式还是用第二种方式来解决,取决于历史上各阶级之间的实际斗争。在中国,这一斗争集中表现为文化大革命。  

    在官方经济学中,这一矛盾则反映为“计划”和“市场”之争。官方经济学认为,市场是现代条件下唯一合理的和可行的经济体制,“市场导向改革”是解决毛泽东时代后期经济矛盾的唯一可行办法。但是,没有任何一种经济体制不是在一定的社会关系中运行的。所以,脱离开一定的社会关系来谈论一种经济体制的合理性和可行性是毫无意义的。例如,给定资本主义的社会关系,要使生产力发展,就必须允许资本家剥削工人,因而也只有允许资本家剥削工人的经济体制才是“合理的和可行的”。这当然不等于说对资本主义来说是“合理的和可行的”对其它任何社会也是“合理的和可行的”。正相反,资本主义剥削,由于压制了绝大多数劳动人民的创造力,是生产力发展的严重障碍。  

    只是在文化大革命失败以后,革命社会主义的政治力量和思想力量被打败,官僚统治阶级的统治得以巩固,“市场导向改革”才在政治上和社会上成为解决中国经济问题的唯一“可行的”办法。官方经济学在社会关系的问题上保持沉默,却在实际上把现存的社会关系当作他们研究问题的既定的出发点,也就是把压迫阶级对被压迫人民的统治当作他们既定的出发点。  

    但是,统治阶级和被压迫人民之间的斗争并没有因为文化大革命的失败而停止。正相反,统治阶级要把资本主义的压迫和剥削制度强加到劳动人民头上,不经过严重的斗争是不可能的。这些斗争在1989年革命中达到了高潮。  

    1989年革命的失败证明,由自由派知识分子来充当中国民主运动的领导是完全不合格的。跟随他们,中国的劳动人民是什么也得不到的。中国劳动人民必须从统治阶级和自由派知识分子的思想统治下解放出来,并成为一支独立的政治力量,也就是说,革命社会主义的力量。在这个意义上,在中国争取民主的斗争必须同时是争取社会主义的斗争。  

    另一方面,1989年革命的失败为中国资本主义的发展扫清了道路。1989年以后,中国资本主义进入了一个新的扩张阶段,伴随着外国资本的大量流入。毫无疑问,统治阶级的统治又一次得到了巩固,中国资本主义目前仍然处在新兴的和上升的阶段。但是,这决不等于说,现存社会的矛盾已经消失,或者不会进一步发展和激化了。资本主义制度,无论在社会上还是在经济上都是不合理的、充满了矛盾的制度。正是资本主义发展的成功准备了它走向失败和没落的条件。  

    就中国来说,资本主义发展采取了出口导向型依附性发展的特殊形式。也就是说,一方面,中国的资本主义经济越来越依赖于外国的技术和先进设备,另一方面,为了有外汇用于进口这些技术和设备,中国经济严重依赖于靠廉价劳动力在世界市场是竞争的出口部门。中国资本主义的发展因而是建立在残酷剥削亿万“廉价劳动力”的基础上的,或者说,建立在绝大多数人民苦难和贫困化的基础上的。但是,任何社会制度要能够长期存在下去,它必须至少能得到绝大多数人的默许。中国资本主义因而面临着不可解脱的矛盾:它要维持自己的经济合理性,就不得不破坏自己的社会合法性;而要维持自己的社会合法性,就不能维持自己的经济合理性。不能够同时维持自己的经济合理性和社会合法性,中国资本主义就使自己的存在成了问题。  

    另一方面,中国的劳动人民,是进行过伟大的社会主义革命的,是曾经亲眼看到被压迫人民一旦起来,就能够打倒压迫者和剥削者,就能够使世界发生翻天覆地的变化的。中国的劳动人民,所以是决不会长期忍受现存的压迫秩序而无所作为的。或迟或早,中国的劳动人民必然起来,夺回他们失去的权利,并且在新的起点上开始建设一个崭新的社会。  

    1990年6月15日,我因为一次反政府演说而被逮捕,后来被当局以“反革命宣传煽动罪”判处有期徒刑两年。我从1992年6月出狱后一直致力于革命社会主义活动。我起初是在北京和西安的由自由派知识分子主导的反对派圈子中做宣传工作,其中一些人后来成了我的同志。在与自由派知识分子的论战中,越来越有必要对统治阶级和自由派知识分子的意识形态做一个系统的、全面的批判。  

    我是在1993年,在我对深圳工人状况做个人调查时开始创作这本书的。后来我移到北京以便查阅北京图书馆的文献,但不久又转移到西安以避免警察机关的骚扰(1992年6月以后,我又曾三次被捕)。所以,本书的中文部分大部分是在西安完成的。后来在译成英文时,我又用英文添加和修改了一些章节。这样,在本书的最后定稿中,第一、第二、第五章,第三、第四和第六章的一部分是先用中文完成又译成英文的,而第七章和第三、第四和第六章的其余部分则是直接用英文写成的。  

    在第一章中,我试图回答下面的问题:中国是不是走上了资本主义的发展道路?如果是,为什么?我首先通过比较中国的国有企业和资本主义企业,分析了革命后的中国的生产关系的矛盾。我认为这种矛盾既可以通过进一步发展社会主义革命来克服,也可以通过恢复资本主义的压迫、剥削制度来克服。由于中国的具体的历史条件,资本主义发展成了这一矛盾的实际的历史的解决办法。  

    在第一章说明了资本主义发展成为革命后社会经济矛盾的实际的历史的解决办法以后,第二章则探讨这一解决办法是怎样由历史上实际的阶级斗争来决定的。我集中讨论了文化大革命和1989年革命。另外各有一节论述官僚和私人资本家阶级以及中产阶级。  

    第三章讨论中华人民共和国建立以后农业生产关系的演变。虽然农业合作化没有能够给中国农村带来真正的社会主义改造,在合作化时期,中国还是在农业生产力发展方面取得了巨大的进步。虽然中国农业在“改革”初期曾经一度高速增长,但是由于“改革”中国农业回到了小农经济的状态,并从此进入了长期停滞。  

    在第四章中,我试图分析中国资本主义的经济发展成功的条件。一方面,毛泽东时期为后来的经济发展奠定了物质基础,另一方面,没有正常的和稳定的生产关系,无论是社会主义的还是资本主义的,快速的经济发展是不可能的。中国能够成功地完成向资本主义过渡,主要是由于中国有着(与前苏联和东欧相比)相对落后的经济结构,因而相对落后的阶级结构。由于有靠剥削来自农村的亿万“剩余劳动力”发展起来的资本主义经济部门,中国的统治阶级事实上得以绕过国有企业工人阶级的抵抗,从而保证了资本主义“改革”的胜利。在这一章中,我还指出,由于中国的特定环境,资本主义发展采取出口导向型依附性发展的形式,如果中国不能够摆脱依附性发展的状态,则中国资本主义发展在长期能否维持下去,存在着严重的问题。  

    第五章讨论资本主义发展和政治民主之间的关系。我对发达资本主义国家的政治民主的发展做了简单的介绍,指出资本主义发展决不会自动带来民主,现代民主只是由于工人阶级反对资本家阶级的斗争才得以确立的。然后我指出,在欠发达资本主义国家,由于社会矛盾和经济矛盾更加尖锐,资本主义和民主就更加难以相容。在这一章中,我还分析了八十年代后期在两派自由派知识分子-“新权威派”和“民主派”之间的论战,认为这次论战反映了资本主义发展和政治民主之间的内在矛盾。  

    在第六章中,我总结了1989年以来中国的社会政治形势,认为资本主义发展的内在矛盾或迟或早将要导致重大的社会经济危机,导致现存社会矛盾全面激化,为新的社会主义革命创造可能性。  

    第七章讨论当代世界社会主义运动的最重要的问题之一-能不能有一种经济制度,不仅在经济上是合理的和可行的,而且还能摆脱一切形式的压迫和剥削?我首先批判了形形色色的市场社会主义学说,指出市场社会主义解决不了其自身的悖论-既要在市场条件下发展生产力,又要防止向资本主义蜕变。然后我分析了资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者对社会主义计划经济的批判,他们认为计划经济解决不了信息问题和激励问题,因而不能够成为一个合理的经济制度。我指出,只要有了社会主义社会关系,没有理由认为社会主义计划经济解决不了信息问题和激励问题,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的论点是站不住脚的。另一方面,社会主义社会关系能否建立起来,则一方面,取决于一般的生产力发展水平,另一方面,取决于历史上的实际的阶级斗争。  

   

第一章 资本主义生产关系在中国的发展  

   

    马克思说,统治阶级的意识形态,也是一个社会占统治地位的意识形态。中国社会现在占统治地位的意识形态就是“改革”。  

    什么是改革?改革要达到什么目的?改革符合谁的利益?按照官方的说法,改革是要建立“社会主义市场经济”,是社会主义的自我完善,不是要改掉社会主义。“计划多一点,还是市场多一点,不是社会主义与资本主义的本质区别。计划经济不等于社会主义,资本主义也有计划;市场经济不等于资本主义,社会主义也有市场,计划和市场都是经济手段。”(邓小平,373)  

    什么是市场经济?市场经济不是专门为了发展生产力发明出来的什么“经济手段”,而是一整套社会关系。这一套社会关系决定了,贫者愈贫,富者愈富,两极分化。贫者最终沦为一无所有的无产者,被迫出卖劳动力为生;富者最终上升为靠剥削雇佣劳动发财致富的资本家,从而产生资本主义。这些都不是教条,甚至也不是理论,全是历史事实,是常识。所以,发展市场经济就是发展资本主义。世界上从来没有,也不可能有什么“社会主义市场经济”。〔1〕  

    那么,什么是资本主义呢?中国为什么要走资本主义的发展道路,又是由于什么样的历史条件才能够走上资本主义的发展道路呢?按照官方的说法,实行市场经济,是为了发展生产力。那就让我们先看看资本主义是怎样发展生产力的吧?  

   

(一)什么是资本主义生产关系?它与(改革前)中国国有企业的生产关系有什么不同?  

    资本主义的基本矛盾是,劳动者不占有生产资料,而生产资料占有者不劳动。所以,资本主义生产的前提条件是资本家向工人购买“劳动”。  

    马克思主义理论认为,工人卖给资本家的不是“劳动”而是“劳动力”,这是不是咬文嚼字呢?根本不是。早在十八世纪就有人指出:“你可以迫使一些人为了一定的工资劳动若干小时,但是你无法迫使他们认真工作。”美国最高法院在1898年侯顿诉哈丁一案的判决中指出:“企业主和劳动者的地位是不平等的,他们的利益在某种程度上是相冲突的。前者必然希望能从雇员那里获得尽可能多的劳动,而后者由于害怕解雇被迫服从(前者的)规章制度。这些规章制度,按照后者的正当意见,对后者不利。......也就是说,企业主制定规则,而劳动者实际上被迫遵守这些规则。”(Perelman,1991,59,98)  

    如果劳动可以被买卖,为什么还要制定规章制度以“获得尽可能多的劳动”呢?所以,买卖的不是劳动,而是劳动力,工人得到的不是劳动的报酬,而是劳动力的价格。如果工人不得不“尽可能多的劳动”,那么工人就会被剥削。但是,资本家是不是真的能剥削工人,剥削多少,这都不是在买卖“劳动”的过程中能决定的,而只有通过工人与资本家在生产领域的实际斗争才能决定。  

    马克思曾经指出:  

(资本家)必须亲眼看见工作进行的一切正常.井井有条,看见他想要的使用价值确实顺利地从生产过程中生产出来。在这个问题上,资本家的监督能力和执行纪律能力是决定性的。而且,他必须要保证生产过程连续不断.不受干扰,并且确实在特定劳动过程及其客观条件所允许的时间范围内把产品生产出来。”(Perelman,1991,60)  

    所以,资本家为了保证工人能高效率地劳动.负责地劳动.正确地劳动,必须建立一套强制性的管理制度。因为工人作为被雇佣者,也是被剥削者,不会自动按照资本家所期望的方式进行劳动。M.赖希指出:  

一旦接受了雇佣关系,工人就不仅向资本家放弃了怎样做工作的决定权,而且还放弃了几乎全部的作为国家公民的政治权利和公民权利。他们一走进工厂和办公室,就成了资本家的私人财产,权利法案所规定的人权保障就都不起作用了。言论和集会自由,无罪推定,法律面前人人平等,和其他保护公民免受国家侵犯的权利,统统不起作用了。(Perelman,1991,98)  

    资本家只有靠强制才能使工人接受剥削。但是强制本身并不能保证资本家能有效率地剥削工人。因为,资本家必须依靠工人才能完成生产过程,因此关于生产过程的信息很大部分就掌握在工人手里。资本家不了解生产过程呢关键信息,也就不可能有效地剥削工人。所以,随着资本主义生产关系的发展,资本家不断按照自己的需要改组生产过程,把生产过程的关键信息掌握在自己手里,使工人失去对生产过程的控制能力。  

这可以用数控机床自动切削金属以制造机器来加以说明。这些机床的运转不是由靠体力操纵的熟练机工来进行的,而是由磁带上的程序自动控制的。它们可以在不影响机工的控制和技术的发挥的条件下,提高他的效能。因为编制程序所需要的金属切削知识是机工所掌握的技术的一部分,......但是在资本主义关系中,这一过程为破坏熟练技术从而压低所分解成的许多小工序的劳动力价格提供了机会,而这正是资方梦寐以求的。(阿罗诺维奇,397〕  

    资本主义的技术发展过程,同时也是劳动者精神和智力退化的过程。劳动者越来越丧失关于生产过程的知识,越来越退化为只能从事简单的重复性劳动的机器体系的辅助人员。在资本主义的先进机器体系中凝聚了最现代的科学技术知识,但是绝大多数人民却被剥夺了智力发展的机会。但是,从长期来说,人的全面发展的生产力,人对世界的理解是比凝聚了先进技术的物质财富更重要的生产力。  

    资本主义生产关系因而实际上也就是资产阶级和无产阶级之间剥削和被剥削.统治和被统治.压迫和被压迫的关系,资本主义生产力的发展是建立在人的异化的基础上的。但是工人毕竟是人,是活生生的社会主体。“如果工人感到被剥削,他们就要想办法找回心理平衡。”据美国司法部统计,有三分之二以上的美国工人都参与过破坏生产的活动。在抽样调查中,有三分之一的被调查者承认曾盗窃过雇主的财物。“在小范围抽样中,通过深入交谈发现,工人这样做是因为他们感到被剥削,而不是由于紧迫的经济需要。”(Perelman,1991,114)  

    资本主义生产关系既然造成人的异化,就不得不寻求办法以缓解异化对于生产力的破坏作用。F.M.舍雷尔发现,大企业往往支付高工资,以弥补大企业工人较强烈的异化感。(Perelman,1991,113)但是,单纯靠高工资肯定不能抵销异化的破坏作用。要尽可能减少工人对生产的破坏,还必须依靠社会强制。  

    资本主义的社会强制制度有两种类型:(1)企业内强制。资本主义企业通过规定劳动纪律.设置监督人员和惩罚性措施直接强制工人按照资本家的要求劳动。比如,美国非农业领域监督工人与生产工人的比例从1948年的13.7%上升到1966年的20.0%,又上升到1979年的22.4%。(Perelman,1991,94)企业内强制有一定的限度,因为工人可以通过退出企业逃避资本家的统治。所以,企业内强制必须有企业外强制配合才能充分起作用。(2)企业外强制。首先,资本主义通过经常保持一支失业队伍为资本家提供劳动后备军,而工人因为害怕失业只有忍受资本家的压迫。其次,为了防止工人造反,资本主义国家建立了社会福利制度。但是社会福利并不能保证工人过上社会公认的正常生活水平,从而迫使工人为了过正常水平的生活必须出卖劳动力,为资本家干活。所以,资本主义生产关系的正常运转,离不开企业内外的社会强制制度。  

    现在我们来把(改革前)中国国有企业的生产关系  资本主义生产关系做一个比较。在中国国有企业中,工人占有生产资料吗?不占有。工人能支配自己的劳动成果吗?不能。如果没有惩罚和监督,工人会自觉努力生产吗?不会。所以,中国的国有企业与资本主义企业一样,也是一种压迫性.剥削性的生产关系。  

    但是,中国的国有企业并非就是资本主义生产关系的翻版。相反,国有企业是革命的产物,是被压迫人民起来反抗压迫者的斗争成果。从历史上看,国有企业是对资本主义的否定,是对工人阶级历史性胜利的承认。国有企业本身是与工人阶级因为革命胜利而赢得的社会经济权利联系在一起的。  

    首先,国有企业工人的就业权利是不可剥夺的。工人的劳动力不是卖给国有企业的,而是国有企业必须接受的。  

    第二,国有企业必须为工人提供低租金住房.公费医疗和退休金。因此,工人只要不违法乱纪,就有权享受社会公认的正常生活水平,不论企业盈亏状况如何,也不论劳动力供求状况如何。  

    第三,革命给被压迫人民带来了精神上的极大解放。官方学者抱怨说:“在我国流行的说法是:工人是企业的主人,干部是人民的公仆,现在工人对这句话产生很大的误解,有的工人说:哪有仆人管主人的?哪有主人做不了仆人主的?”(李强,178)国有企业不可能象资本主义企业那样轻易就使工人接受剥削和压迫。  

   

(二)为什么要“改革”?  

    统治阶级为什么要改革呢?改革能解决哪些问题呢?一方面,国有企业与资本主义企业一样,实质上是统治阶级与工人阶级之间剥削和被剥削.统治和被统治.压迫和被压迫的关系,从而造成人的异化。另一方面,国有企业又与资本主义企业不同。首先,中国的生产力水平不允许象发达资本主义国家那样用高工资来缓和工人阶级的不满,这就是说国有企业的正常运转比发达资本主义国家更加依赖于有效的社会强制制度。但是,由于承认工人阶级的充分就业权利,由于实行广泛的社会福利制度,根本不存在资本主义社会中的企业外强制。由于革命使劳动人民普遍觉醒,企业内强制也不能顺利实行。  

    官方学者认为:  

我国国有大中型企业的经营不善,主要是体制问题,......这突出地表现在所谓“三铁”的问题上。所谓三铁指:铁饭碗.铁工资.铁交椅。......表面看来,这种体制是使职工生活.就业得到保障的美好制度,担实际上,这种体制的实施将国有职工养懒了.养散了,养出了依赖性。(李强,150)  

他们主张建立“有限失业和就业竞争”的制度:  

有限失业和就业竞争为企业进行合理化经营提供了保障条件。企业可以解雇多余人员,提高生产效率,......失业的压力,迫使劳动者努力工作,......不至于成为企业的多余人员......”(赵效民和贾履让,330)  

    什么是“合理化经营”?历史上从来没有什么超越一切历史时代的.放之四海而皆准的“合理化”。在一种生产关系范围内是最合理,在另一种生产关系范围内可以是最不合理。如果说国有企业把职工“养懒了.养散了,养出了依赖性”,中国经济早就该停滞不前了。但是,中国的生产力不仅没有停滞,反而高速发展。1952-1978年,中国人均国民收入年平均增长3.9%。(PRC,1985)在世界资本主义长期繁荣阶段,1950-1973年,在全部85个人口超过100万的发展中国家中,只有12个能超过这个发展速度,其中4个是石油输出国(利比亚.沙特阿拉伯.伊朗.伊拉克),4个是世界上人均接受美援最多的国家???????(以色列.台湾.韩国.希腊),波多黎各是美国殖民地,没有任何一个国家人口超过3000万。(威尔伯,198)美国历史学家迈斯纳指出:“50年代初期,中国从比比利时还要弱小的工业起步,到毛泽东时代结束时,长期以来被耻笑为‘东亚病夫’的中国已经跻身于世界前6位最大的工业国家之列。”(Meisner,1986)  

    这不是不合逻辑吗?这不是违反经济科学的原理吗?怎么能依靠把人“养懒”.“养散”的制度发展经济呢?问题就在于,“三铁”也好,充分就业也好,社会福利也好,本身并不构成生产力发展的障碍,相反的,要使绝大多数人有机会发挥自己的创造性才能,这是最起码的条件。社会强制制度之所以成为资本主义生产关系正常运转必不可少的要素,是因为资本主义是一种异化的.压迫性的制度。那么,在一种没有异化或者异化大大减轻的社会中,失业.竞争.“监督”.“执行纪律”等资本主义繁荣的秘诀.资本主义生产力的源泉,就不仅仅是多余的,而且是社会进步的桎梏。  

    所以,充分就业.“三铁”能够相当长时期在中国行之有效,不是偶然的,而是决定于一定历史条件的。这个条件就是,在1927-1949年的中国革命中,被压迫人民终于能够打倒内外压迫者,终于第一次成为创造历史的主体,在精神上和物质上都获得极大解放。所以,从革命中诞生的中国是一个比资本主义更少异化.更加解放的社会,这就使中国工人阶级有条件享受比资本主义国家的工人阶级广泛得多的社会经济权利。〔2〕但是,这只是暂时的社会力量平衡的结果,这个平衡是决不可能持久的。或者,劳动人民能够发展他们已经争得的权利,真正把社会权力掌握在自己手里,使生产力的发展建立在普遍解放的基础上。或者,生产力的发展仍然以人的异化为前提,那么就必须与资本主义一样,建立压迫性的社会强制制度。  

    在下一章中,我们将详细讨论在1949年中国革命胜利以后,劳动人民和新兴的官僚统治阶级围绕着进一步发展革命.还是使革命流产,是彻底推翻.还是保存压迫制度所进行的斗争。  

    劳动人民没有能够推翻压迫制度,压迫制度成了一个既成事实;但是,这个压迫制度与资本主义比起来,缺少压迫手段,显得软弱无力。这就是“改革”的历史条件。所以,“改革”必然是发展资本主义生产关系,用资本主义的压迫手段来巩固现存的压迫秩序。  

   

(三)资本主义生产关系的发展  

    资本主义生产关系的发展首先表现在资本主义或半资本主义的经济部门的发展速度超过了国有企业部门的发展速度。首先,外国在华直接投资,将资本主义生产关系直接引进中国。其次,出现了一大批私营企业和个体企业,实际上是官方承认的资本主义经济成分。第三,也是最主要的,是乡镇企业的巨大发展。  

    按照官方统计,乡镇企业属于“集体所有制”。但是,据中国社会科学院调查,1990年登记在册的乡镇企业实质上50%是私营企业。(韩明希,97)另据世界银行估计,1985年乡镇企业工业总产值中的17%实际上是由私营企业提供的,1986年这个数字猛增到24%,在广东省是30%,四川省是43%。(Smith,1993,87)即使确实属于乡镇政府所有的企业,“典型的经营方式是把企业出租给经理,经理的报酬主要与企业效益联系在一起。”这与私营企业大同小异。(Lippit,1992)据世界银行估计,在“集体”所有的乡镇企业中,60%的工人不享受企业分配的住房或住房补贴,41%不享受公费医疗,52%没有就业保障,60%没有退休金,58%不能让子女顶替工作。(Smith,1993,88)显然,乡镇企业远比国有企业更象资本主义企业。  

    由表1.1可见,在“改革”时期,资本主义和半资本主义的经济部门的发展速度大大超过国有企业部门。到1991年,在生产领域,前者已经与后者势均力敌;在流通领域,前者压倒了后者。在资本主义和半资本主义经济部门中,资本主义成分又发展最快。  

表1.1   各类所有制占全国工业总产值和零售商业销售额的百分比  

                            1979年        1991年  

工业     全民所有制          78.5          52.9  

         集体所有制*         21.5          35.8  

         其他经济类型**       0            11.3  

商业     国营                54.6          40.2  

         集体                43.3          30.0  

         个体和私人           2.1          29.8  

*1990年集体所有制工业总产值中93%来自乡镇企业.  

**“其他经济类型”包括城乡私营.个体企业,"三资"企业和少量有全民所有制和集体所有制成分的股份制企业.  

资料来源:<中国经济问题>1993年第一期,3页.  

    资本主义生产关系的发展还表现在国有企业本身的资本主义化上。首先,“新增工人普遍实行劳动合同制。......劳动合同制最重要的一点就是打破了终身制和‘铁饭碗’,职工就业后依然存在着失业的危险,这就迫使工人各司其职,勤奋工作。”(赵效民和贾履让,330)  

    其次,推行住房.医疗.养老保险制度改革,“使职工福利货币化.使职工本人和子女服务社会化”。(李强,152)“福利货币化”.“服务社会化”实际上是把国有企业工人推向与乡镇企业.私营企业工人竞争的劳动力市场。竞争的结果,必然是国有企业工人劳动力价格大大下降,从而“福利”"服务"统统丧失殆尽。  

    第三,强化企业内强制,官方学者承认:“80年代以来,我国企业管理中奉行一种较为严格的带有惩罚性的管理体制,用罚款做为管理基本手段的现象比较普遍。”(李强,173)全国总工会在调查中发现:  

郑州一单位制定124条规定,其中有4条是奖励条例,其余120条均为罚款条例。该单位还规定车间干部.班长等每人每月必须逮住三至五起违纪事件。组长每人必须逮住一件,逮不住罚款,少逮了扣奖。......陕西一个织布车间对各岗位工人制定的罚款条文有三万多字。山西.丹东.上海.南昌.郑州.浙江等地一些企业的职工反映,厂里和规定看病扣钱,休病假.公伤扣钱,有病假未经领导批准就休病假算旷工,重罚。(李强,171)  

    官方学者认为:“80年代以来的较为严格.严厉的管理制度,确实对于恢复企业生产秩序起了重要作用。”(李强,173)按照资产阶级经济学的逻辑,劳动者是天生懒惰的,要让劳动者劳动,必须提供懒惰的成本,用失业.竞争.罚款强迫劳动者干活。但是,劳动者既然是活生生的人,他就不可能任人摆布,而要拼命显示自己作为人的存在:  

   

有的工人说:“你罚吧,别的权利我没有,消极怠工权.浪费权我有”,“你罚我五元,我让你十倍.百倍地偿还”。......工人情绪低落,积极性受到挫伤,工作没劲头,有的甚至消极怠工,给企业生产带来不利影响。山西阳泉煤矿原来出勤和生产状况很好,由于扣罚过多,曾造成该矿出勤下降,事故上升,产量下跌。(李强,174)  

    即使是资本主义生产关系,也不能不依赖于劳动者最低限度的参与。如果劳动者没有一点对工作的责任心,任何强制手段也不能使资本主义的生产力发展。但是,正是资本主义生产关系本身排斥了劳动者对生产资料的占有.对劳动成果的支配,把劳动过程变成了劳动者退化的过程。因此,在资本主义生产关系中,劳动者只是一个纯粹被动的被支配的“物”,只有在资本主义制度的强制下,他们才会干活。这必然导致阶级对抗,破坏生产力。  

    官方学者认为:“惩罚的方式在有些情况下是必要的,因为对于最低道德水平或无道德水平的人来说,其他方式均不起作用。”制造“最低道德水平”的正是资本主义生产关系。在这种生产关系中,人不算作人,而仅仅是商品,是在生产过程这要努力节约的成本。  

   

(四)论产权问题  

    1979年以前,中国社会的基本矛盾是:一方面,社会主义革命没有从根本上解决压迫社会固有的矛盾,没有消灭压迫社会本身,而不过是以一个新的压迫社会代替一个旧的压迫社会;另一方面,革命又没有简单地把权力从一个统治阶级手中转到另一个统治阶级手中,而是使相当一部分权力暂时落到人民手中。因此,一方面,这仍然是一个压迫社会,另一方面,它又丧失了维持压迫所必要的压迫手段。这个矛盾特别明显地表现在这样的事实上,这个压迫社会竟不得不用马克思主义-这个被压迫人民的解放学说,因而也是一个从根本上危害一切统治阶级命脉的学说-来充当自己的官方意识形态.居于统治地位的辩护理论。  

    这个观念上的矛盾,只有在现实本身的矛盾还被掩盖着的时候,只有在劳动人民还把这个社会看做自己的社会的时候,才不至于完全暴露出来,才不至于尖锐化,才不至于把自身碾得粉碎。但是,只要资本主义生产关系一经发展,只要现实本身的矛盾已经暴露,观念上的矛盾便不能不解决。怎么能一面发展剥削,一面又谴责剥削,又不得不论证剥削竟是为了被剥削者的利益呢?怎么能一面与资本主义调情,一面又宣布资本主义必然灭亡呢?或者是以观念否决现实,或者是以现实否决观念。资本主义生产关系的发展客观上要求有服从于他的辩护理论,要求科学地说明资本主义的永恒性.合理性.不可替代性,要求科学地说明与之相对立的一切社会经济制度都是荒谬的.不合理的,要求科学地说明任何企图推翻资本主义制度及其经济规律的尝试都是违反人类历史趋势的.违反人性的.短命的.注定要失败的。只有有了这样的科学,上述矛盾,从统治阶级的观点看,才算是有了彻底的解决。  

    官方学说的御用性表现在,它的理论总是落后于它为之服务的那个阶级的实践。只有当现实生产关系的对抗性.统治阶级和劳动人民的对抗性明白不可否认的时候,它才承认“社会主义”经济是商品经济,尽管这根本违反它所宣称依据的那种理论的逻辑;只是当这种对抗性已经尖锐化,因此不彻底剥夺劳动人民在革命中争得的权利就根本不可能解决的时候,它才宣布根本问题在于“产权问题”,尽管这就是从根本上推翻它所宣称依据的那种理论。无论如何,一经提出“产权问题”,官方经济学也就终于比较诚实地,虽然仍然披着最后一层遮羞布,宣布自己就是资产阶级经济学,同时宣布改革的目的就是发展“有中国特色的资本主义”。  

    官方学者认为,公有制的“根本性问题”是“产权虚置”:  

   

首先,企业的生产资料基本上是社会无偿赐给的,好象接受生日礼物那样不用付费,而社会对生产资料的所有权仅仅体现把它们分配给企业使用。其次,企业对生产资料只有支配权,无所有权,由于支配权来得容易,并且是与所有权相分离的,因此也就不珍惜它,也没有谁真正为它承担什么责任。工人在使用生产资料时好象这是他们自己的,但又并不爱护它,这又好象是别人的,造成财产界定模糊。......这些矛盾和问题是产权界定不清和责职不明的集中表现。“人人都是生产资料的主人,但谁也不对它负责。”便是这种矛盾的现实写照。企业行为扭曲的原因盖出于此。产权是微观经济运行的基础.企业行为合理化的必要条件,这个问题解决不妥,改革就难深化,企业行为的扭曲.经济的紊乱和低效便难以避免了。(宋源和龚金国,95)  

   

    官方学者根本无视.蓄意抹杀这样一个事实:“人人都是生产资料的主人”不过是官方法律语言,现实却是劳动者与生产资料相分离,生产资料不是被劳动者用来实现自己的目的,而是被“社会”用来充作压迫劳动者的手段。  

    所谓“所有权”,其实就是垄断排他权,即财产所有者有不允许他人为了社会的利益而使用其财产的权利。“所有权与支配权相结合”,也就是允许财产所有者为了私利而滥用社会财富。在发达资本主义社会,垄断资本家为了谋取超额利润,可以让很大一部分生产设备闲置,而不管社会上有多少人失业.社会损失多少生产力。(见表1.2)在拉丁美洲,“占有大部分可耕地的大地产并未得到有效耕种。......大农场的许多土地都任其闲置。1960年,哥伦比亚的一份研究报告表明,......拥有70%可耕地的大农场主,只耕种其土地的6%。据估计,整个拉丁美洲22亿英亩的可耕地中只有2.7亿英亩土地被充分利用。这种过时的土地所有制,再加上极高的人口增长率,导致人均农业产量下降。”(Stavrianos,1981)从这个意义上讲,只有在一个社会拆除了其内部所有的“所有权”藩篱以后,生产力才能得到最自由的发展。在这个意义上,“生产资料基本上是社会赐给的”,不是公有制的缺点.弱点,而是它的优越性所在。  

   

表1.2   美国垄断资本主义对生产力的浪费   

        制造业设备利用率(%) 失业率(%)  

1950-59     83.6              4.4  

1960-69     84.9              4.7  

1970-79     80.8              6.1  

1980-86     77.4              7.8  

资料来源:陈宝森,367.  

   

    “这些矛盾和问题是产权界定不清和责职不明的集中表现。”怎样才能做到“产权界定清楚”呢?现代社会化大生产,客观上要求许多劳动者共同使用生产资料。在这种情况下,能做到每一个劳动者使用的每一件生产资料都属于使用者本人吗?如果做不到这一点,又如何避免“责职不明”呢?  

    官方学者说“产权虚置”是公有制的“根本性问题”。官方学者大约以为资本主义私有制的产权是非常实在的,是“产权界定清楚”的。资本家当然很关心他的私人财产。但是,在现代社会化大生产条件下,他只有把生产资料交给很多工人共同使用才能使他的财产发挥作用.带来收益。问题在于,生产资料的实际使用者-工人又有什么理由关心资本家的私人财产呢?当然资本家可以实行监督。但是,监督者不也是雇佣劳动者吗,他们又有什么理由象资本家一样关心资本家的私人财产呢?  

    资本主义私有制虽然“产权界定模糊”,但是它的生产力比“产权界定清楚”的小私有制胜过千万倍。要是现代社会到处都满足了“企业行为合理化的必要条件”,早就没有什么现代生产了。在现代社会化大生产条件下,“产权”完全是个虚幻的概念。在我们进一步讨论这个问题之前,让我们先看看自由派知识分子的见解。  

    厉以宁教授的嫡传弟子金立扬在自由派知识分子的刊物上撰文说:  

   

公有产权当然有它的缺点。第一便是搭便车。公有制下形成大锅饭,人人都希望别人去努力,自己坐享其成,结果是大家都不努力。一个和尚跳水吃,三个和尚没水吃。要解决这个问题,就要大家达成一项协议,商定如何测量每个人的贡献,又如何按贡献分配收益。这是一项很费时间和精力的工作,做这项工作的人本身也要别人费时间和精力来监督,由此产生出来一大堆交易费用。第二是公有产权要对外交易的时候,内部先要统一意见,协调(短期和长期的利益〕费用相当高。第三,如威廉姆森所说,私人比较注意协调短期和长期的利益,念念不忘给子孙留下一份遗产,但公有产权中,这一代人往往不顾下一代人,造成短期行为。第四是资源枯竭,公家的东西不拿白不拿,不用白不用。海洋中的鱼,不捞白不捞,结果就是过度捕捞,渔业资源枯竭。(<边缘>,14-15)  

   

    现代社会化大生产,客观上要求许多劳动者联合起来共同劳动,只有这样才能驾驭规模巨大的现代生产资料,才能发挥集体的协作的生产力,才能充分发展和利用社会分工。既然现代生产是集体劳动.联合劳动,那么无论“私有产权”还是“公有产权”,不是都需要解决“如何测量每个人的贡献,又如何按贡献分配收益”的问题吗?不是都需要“费时间和精力来监督”吗?美国学者萨缪尔.波利斯通过研究发现,美国非农业领域监督工人与生产工人的比例,1948年是13.7%,1966年上升到20%,1979年又上升到22.4%。不仅如此,资本主义监督要起作用,还必须维持一支庞大的劳动后备军,从而对在业工人起威慑作用。五.六十年代,美国的失业率一般在4-5%,七十年代上升到6%,八十年代又上升到7-8%。仅此两项,就浪费社会劳动的四分之一!这还不是“一大堆交易费用”吗?  

    付出了这样一大堆交易费用,是不是就解决了“搭便车”的问题呢?R.克莱本在评论一部劳动经济学著作时说:  

   

(美国)工人从他们的切身经验中深知,如果发挥了他们在提高生产方面的创造力,这很可能意味着多做工作而报酬却依然如旧,或甚至更少些。三十五年之前,我曾在一家钢铁厂工作过,在那里工作的我所认识的大部分机工能操作得比资方的工序时间测定员所规定的时间快百分之十五到百分之三十。但是,他们不愿作傻瓜,他们保持这一秘密,他们不去增加军火生产,而是为自己在工作时间里安排了更多的空闲休息时间......在美国工人中蕴藏着巨大的智慧和创造力量,对此,私营企业的经理人员无法把这股力量挖掘出来。(<外国历史哲学经济摘译>总22期,“在漫长的劳动日中消磨一生”)  

   

经济学家们热衷于批评苏联式中央计划经济,说计划当局不可能收集到充分的.准确的信息。殊不知,资本主义企业面临的困境是一样的。资本家要靠工人进行生产,所以在有关生产的信息上也只好依赖工人。但是工人是被雇佣的,他有什么必要向资本家提供充分的.准确的信息呢?他为什么不努力歪曲真相使自己得到好处呢?既然如此,“私有产权”又怎么能解决“搭便车”问题呢?  

    “第二是公有产权要对外交易的时候,内部先要统一意见,协调费用相当高。”土地私有者如果要转卖土地,自然不需要与这块土地上的居民“协调”。如果把居民区改做商业区,致使这块土地上的居民流离失所,这些损失自然也不需要土地私有者花费分文。如果资本家开除工人,使之生计无着,自然也不需要任何“协调费用”。说到“公有产权”,那么今日中国在大炒特炒房地产的时候,又何需为当地居民付出任何“协调费用”呢?“私有产权”不必事先付出协调费用,就是说,这种费用要转嫁给别人,就是说,这种费用要采取社会冲突的形式。  

    “第三,......私人比较注意短期和长期的利益,念念不忘给子孙们留下一份遗产,但公有产权中,这一代人往往不顾下一代人,造成短期行为。”这一条是颇有些颠倒黑白了。为什么在资本主义高度发达的今天,各国的教育.科学.文化事业也往往要由国家来承办呢?还有道路.机场.港口.通信.水利.电力事业等周期长.利润薄的事业,不也有赖于国家投资吗?不就是因为私人企业唯利是图的“短期行为”吗?如果说私人充其量能给子孙保留一笔遗产,那么只有社会才能考虑给整个社会的后代留些什么,只有社会才能从不仅是下一代人.而且是下几代人的眼光考虑这个问题。  

    “第四是资源耗竭,公家的东西不拿白不拿,不用白不用。海洋中的鱼,不捞白不捞,结果就是过度捕捞,渔业资源耗竭。”这一条与“搭便车”实质上是同一个问题。归咎于“公有产权”却是有失公允的。“渔业资源耗竭”难道不正是私人生产者一味追逐利润的结果吗?  

    金立扬认为:  

   

有人把国有企业产权构造的缺陷视为产权不清晰,其实不对。国有企业的产权属于全体公民,产权主体不是很清晰嘛!关键的问题是委托-代理。  

   

金立扬要标榜一下他与一般官方学者不同的独到见解!  

   

共同拥有国有企业产权的全体公民,不可能人人事必躬亲,只能作为委托人,把企业交给具体的代理人去经营.管理和运作。......我看有必要认清我国国有企业存在三层委托-代理关系。第一层是由全体人民委托给政府,具体地讲,是委托给政府职员;第二层是政府委托给企业的厂长经理;第三层是厂长经理再把具体业务委托给工人。其中每一层都需要监督。例如第一层中,委托人本身就比较模糊。全国十二亿人,人人都是委托人,都是国有产权的主体,都有权分享国有产权的收益,人人都会存在搭便车的动机,暗中希望别人去为国有产权操心,自己来坐享其成。这也是公有产权的通病。......再则,以布坎南为首的公共选择学派指出,政府不是神,政府是由有血有肉的人组成的,政府的职员不会自觉地,全心全意地为人民服务,他们也是经济人,需要监督。在第二层委托-代理关系中,政府职员作为委托人,需要获知厂长经理经营行为的信息,以  次  为依据来奖惩。但委托人总不可能整天跟在厂长经理旁边,虎视眈眈,看代理人努力不努力。企业的经营业绩,比如销售额.利润率倒是看到见的,堪作为厂长经理努力程度的标准。但是,有时企业利润率下跌,并非厂长经理的过错,而是由于整个市场都不景气,或者政府横加干预的结果......第三层的委托-代理关系常被一些经济学家所忽略,以为只是个企业内部管理的问题。其实,在中国国有企业中,厂长经理本身不是产权的所有者,又没有得到有力的监督,大有与工人相串谋.坑害国家的可能。中国国有企业短期化行为泛滥,国有资产流失严重,便是明证。政府对此显得无能为力,一个政府要对付十一万家国有企业,太困难了。上有政策,下总有对策。  

   

“厂长经理”在阶级斗争中不得不与工人相妥协被官方学者和自由派知识分子谓为“与工人相串谋”。金立扬继续说:  

   

国有企业的委托-代理在今天的条件下,确实困难。结果是,国有企业的产权得不到切实的维护,效率低下,亏损严重,有人据此提出,国有企业的产权比重太高了。......高不高应该由市场来裁决。......应该让国有产权与私有产权在市场上公平的竞争,让各种形式的企业有相同的税负,相同的贷款条件,得到相同程度的法律保护。  

   

但是,一方面不敢侵犯工人的就业权,另一方面却可以随便侵犯这个权利;一方面必须负担工人的医疗.养老费用,另一方面根本无须负担这类费用;一方面实行八小时工作日.节假日休息,另一方面却总是把劳动时间延长到最大限度.从来没有什么节假日;一方面还不敢侵犯那些起码的劳动保护条件,另一方面却决不吝惜工人的生命和健康以谋取利润......所以,根据市场的标准,那   个制度更人道,哪个制度的劳动力成本就较高,因而效率较差。金立扬最后的结论是:“应当允许国有企业被私营或集体企业吞并”,就是说,私有化。(<边缘>,16-17)  

    金立扬说,“关键的问题是委托-代理”。但是,国有企业的厂长经理是因为工人委托才有权管理企业的吗?国家是因为十二亿人民的委托才成为国有企业的主人吗?什么时候发生过这样的事呢?“共同拥有国有企业产权的全体公民,不可能人人事必躬亲,只能作为委托人,把企业交给具体的代理人去经营.管理和运作。”这就是说,劳动者作为集体的资本家与自身相对立,作为集体的资本家任命“政府职员”做自己的总经理,又任命“厂长经理”做自己的部门经理或者分公司经理,为的是剥削作为雇佣劳动者的自己。“十二亿人”一方面是资本家,并且仅仅作为资本家,仅仅关心自己的股本.股票的价格;另一方面,又是雇佣劳动者,并且仅仅作为雇佣劳动者,一心想的就是多挣钱.少出力。只有那种满脑袋充斥了资产阶级民法观念的人才能想象出这种双重人格.精神分裂。这种人,由于想象力贫乏,除了现代资本主义的产权形式-生产资料所有者与劳动者相分离.相对抗的产权形式以外,再也想象不出其它的产权形式,似乎生产资料与劳动者必须永远处于分离状态,即使它们在法律上合一了,也必须在事实上分离开来。  

    或者,国家不过是本来意义上的国家,因而问题也根本不在于“人人都是委托人,都是国有产权的主体”,而在于绝大多数人民根本不是“国有产权的主体”。或者,国家就是社会,国家所有制就是社会所有制,因而委托人就是被委托人自己,因而也就根本不存在什么“委托-代理问题”。  

    官方学者和自由派知识分子总是从这样的逻辑出发:劳动者是注定要偷懒的,注定不爱惜财产的。要防止他们偷懒,防止他们滥用财产,只有实行监督。但是,只有有了充分的信息,才能有效地进行监督。而官僚机构发现自己总是得不到充分的信息。于是,官方学者和自由派知识分子就掉进了死胡同。  

    既然如此,那么把“公有产权”换成“私有产权”,把官僚机构换成资本家,就解决不了任何问题,而不过是改变问题的当事人罢了。“私有产权”,就是说根本没有解决“企业”和劳动者之间的对抗性关系,因而也就根本没有解决劳动者“搭便车”的问题;“私有产权”,就是说在社会范围内成万倍.成十万倍地复制国有企业与国家的关系。过去是十几万家企业共同向一个政府隐瞒信息,现在是十几万家企业相互隐瞒信息。过去企业“搭便车”是损害国家的利益,现在企业“搭便车”是损害其他企业的利益(在资产阶级经济学中,这就是所谓“外部性”问题)。  

    所以,问题根本不在于抽象意义上的“公有产权”或“私有产权”。问题仅仅在于.完全在于,一切生产活动的永恒主体-劳动者对生产.对生产资料的态度如何。如果生产关系是压迫性的生产关系,因而生产过程也就是工人受压迫的过程,生产资料也就是压迫工人的手段,那么,“少出力.多挣钱”不就是工人应当采取的最正常.最合乎情理的对于生产的态度吗?对于生产资料,工人又有什么必要“珍惜它”.“爱护它”.“为它承担责任”呢?如果生产过程只不过是工人实现自身目的的过程,生产资料只不过是工人实现自身目的的手段,工人对生产.对生产资料的态度就必然和压迫性生产关系中截然不同,这不是最顺理成章的事吗?  

    只有在这个基础上,才可能理解“搭便车”问题。在资本主义制度.官僚制度下,“搭便车”无非是劳动者保护自己免受剥削的一种合理行为罢了。离开了这个前提,“搭便车”就纯粹是个荒谬的问题.无法理解的问题。  

    首先,说“人人都希望别人去努力,自己坐享其成,结果是大家都不努力。”这完全是小生产者的逻辑。因为在现代社会化大生产条件下,大家都不努力的结果,便是都不能享其成。那么,与其都不能享其成,为什么人们不选择“大家都努力,都享受劳动成果”呢?“一个和尚挑水吃,三个和尚没水吃”毕竟只是个寓言故事。真到三个和尚没水吃的地步,难道他们直到渴死也想不出一个挑水的办法吗?经济学不是处处假设理性的人吗?“搭便车”的结果是都不能享其成,显然是非理性的。为什么唯独在这个地方,理性的人就不存在了呢?  

    其次,在资本主义制度.官僚制度下,不可能通过监督来解决“搭便车”的问题,因为没有充分的信息,就不可能实行有效的监督,而这些信息只能由被监督者来提供,所以监督者永远得不到充分的信息。但是,在劳动者自己掌握生产事业的情况下,被监督者就几乎没有什么可以向监督者隐瞒的,因为监督者就是被监督者本身。至少,每个劳动者绝对反对其他人坐享其成,因而尽一切努力使其他人受到有效监督;劳动者从他自己的切身经验中,不难知道别人“搭便车”的动机.“搭便车”的条件,因而不难发现监督的漏洞,不难制定有效的监督规则。在资本主义制度.官僚制度下,监督要“付出一大堆交易费用”;而在劳动者自己掌握生产事业的情况下,劳动者也就是监督者,劳动过程也就是监督过程,因而监督不需要专门的花费。  

    什么是“产权问题”呢?一方面,在现代社会化大生产条件下,生产资料必须交给许多劳动者共同使用,劳动者个人不能占有生产资料;另一方面,劳动者又没有共同占有生产资料,因而劳动者与生产资料相分离.为别人而不是为自己劳动,因而不可能对生产事业抱负责的态度。这就是让一切现代社会统治者为之烦恼的所谓“产权问题”。  

   

   

   

   

〔1〕官方学者认为:“价值规律的作用会使资源秉赋丰厚的人愈来愈富有.资源秉赋贫乏的人愈来愈贫困。但是,实践证明,只要做到:第一,注意初始分配的平等;第二,一方面采用累进所得税.高额遗产税等税收措施,另一方面采取对低收入阶层的福利措施,收入的两极分化是可以防止的。”(吴敬琏,172)官方学者认为,只要凭籍一些行政.法律手段,就能够消灭一种经济规律。但是,既然生产是私人生产,而“累进所得税.高额遗产税等税收措施”和“对低收入阶层的福利措施”无非是对私人占有制度的侵犯,那么,“税收措施”和“福利措施”就必然破坏生产力。而一个社会充其量只能在有限的范围内承受这种破坏。所谓“实践证明”,无非是指大萧条以来,西方发达国家的贫富悬殊状况有所缓和。但是,第一,整个世界的两极分化不仅没有缓和,反而愈演愈烈;并且,发达国家内部收入分配状况的改善某种程度上正是以整个世界的收入分配状况的恶化为前提的。第二,即使就发达国家而言,七十年代以来,“福利国家”也已经难以为继,以至于资产阶级经济学家不得不大谈“公平”与“效率”的悖论。  

〔2〕我在西安曾经多次和一些国有企业工人座谈。有不少老工人告诉我,五十年代工人的干劲和现在大不一样,不需要物质刺激,也不用上级督促,有困难工人自己会想办法克服。这是事实,不是官方宣传。现在的经济学家对此根本不能理解,他们认为这是由于什么“强有力的集体主义意识形态”,完全是偶然的,是不能持久的。但是,他们不能够解释,为什么这样一种“意识形态”在那个时候就能够起作用,而后来却不能够起作用了。实际上,工人决不会无缘无故地热情劳动。工人告诉我,五十年代的干部关心工人,真正是吃苦在前.享受在后,“党员就是党员”,这才是工人生产积极性高涨的真正原因。这些模糊的语言,当然缺乏资产阶级社会科学最   奖金   的“精确性”,但它是工人的真情实感,说明当时中国的的确确存在一种与现在根本不同的生产关系。  

   

第二章 社会主义,资本主义,和阶级斗争  

   

    要理解毛泽东时代的中国,必须充分认识到这是一个诞生于被压迫人民的伟大解放运动的时代,是一个深深打上了革命烙印的时代。  

    资产阶级的政治自由概念只承认个人作为“公民”的权利。但是,占个人活动时间绝大部分的生产活动却被视为个人的私事。正是在资本主义社会中,绝大多数人民由于不占有生产资料,不得不把自己生命的大部分时间交给少数有产者去支配。在这个时候,所谓“公民”的权利不过是有在饥饿与放弃自由之间选择的权利罢了。社会主义革命最伟大的功绩之一就是确认了充分就业是工人阶级在革命后的社会中不可剥夺的权利。充分就业的意义决不仅仅在于它使工人有了“铁饭碗”,更主要的,它使工人取得了对劳动过程的一部分控制权。也就是说,与资本家不同,国有企业的厂长经理不敢随意延长工人劳动时间.增加工人劳动强度。因为他无权解雇工人,他要完成生产任务比资本家更有赖于工人的合作。据1986年中国科技发展研究中心调查,中国国有企业职工每周有效工时为19.2-28.8小时,仅为制度工时的40-60%。(钟朋容,292)〔1〕这就是说,国有企业工人在很大程度上可以自己决定劳动时间.劳动强度和劳动报酬。这是资本主义社会的劳动人民永远无法比拟的自由!对于几千万城市工人阶级来说,劳动的自由远比言论.出版.集会.结社这些往往只有知识分子才能真正享受的自由要重要得多.实在得多。社会主义革命即使没有实现它的预定目标,但是从革命中诞生的社会,并不是一个没有丝毫自由可言的极权社会,而是压迫性与民主性并存,甚至可以说,对于绝大多数劳动人民来说,它是非常民主的社会。  

    另一方面,在旧的剥削者和压迫者丧失了生产资料所有权以后,劳动人民当时还没有力量把社会生产直接掌握在自己手中。对社会生产资料的控制于是落到了历史最悠久的压迫机关-国家手中。于是产生了一个新的统治阶级-国家官僚阶级。它代替了旧的统治阶级,成为新的压迫者和剥削者。  

    为什么社会总是分裂为统治阶级和被统治阶级?这是不是也和月亮绕地球旋转一样是不可更改的自然规律呢?在这个问题上,马克思主义是怎样看的呢?恩格斯说:  

   

社会分裂为剥削阶级和被剥削阶级.统治阶级和被压迫阶级,是以前生产不大发展的结果。当社会总劳动所提供的产品除了满足社会全体成员最起码的生活需要以外只有少量剩余,因而劳动还占去社会大多数成员的全部或几乎全部时间的时候,这个社会就必然划分为阶级。在这个完全委身于劳动的大多数人之旁,形成了一个脱离直接生产劳动的阶级,它从事于社会的共同事物:劳动管理.政务.司法.科学.艺术等等。因此,分工的规律就是阶级划分的基础。但是这并不妨碍阶级的这种划分曾经通过暴力和掠夺.狡诈和欺骗来实现,这也不妨碍统治阶级一旦掌握政权就牺牲劳动阶级来巩固自己的统治,并把对社会的领导变成对群众的剥削。但是,即使阶级的划分根据上面所说据有某种历史的理由,那么也只是对一定的时期.一定的社会条件才是这样。这种划分是以生产的不足为基础的,它将被现代生产力的充分发展所消灭。(Engels,1978,714)  

   

    所以,根据恩格斯的意见,只有在生产力充分发展的基础上,绝大多数人才可能基本上从直接生产劳动中解放出来,从而得以参与“社会的共同事务”,并消灭阶级差别。但是,当中国共产党夺取政权时,他们从国民党政权继承下来的是一个极端落后的.半封建半殖民地的.几乎没有任何现代工业的国民经济。在这种情况下,就存在着产生新的压迫阶级的客观条件。但是,这并不等于说中国的社会主义革命从一开始就注定是要失败的。与之相反,革命的成败归根到底要由实际的历史斗争来决定。  

    一方面,国家官僚阶级想要巩固其对社会的统治,建立一个比较象样的压迫社会。另一方面,被压迫人民则不能容忍压迫秩序稳定下来。不仅要捍卫革命的既得利益,而且还要发扬革命的光荣传统,革命到底,打倒一切压迫者!这是两种截然对立的要求。这两种要求,决不能和平共处,只能以战斗来决定谁胜谁负。文化大革命,就是毛泽东时代社会矛盾的总爆发.国家官僚阶级和被压迫人民之间的总决战!  

   

(一)文化大革命  

    历史向来是当代史。站在不同阶级的立场上,为了不同的政治目的服务,对历史的解释是截然不同的。按照官方的说法,文化大革命是十年浩劫,是全民族的灾难。自由派知识分子虽然与官方共同语言不多,但在两个根本问题上例外,一个是“改革”,一个就是“文化大革命”。自由派知识分子认为:  

   

“文化大革命”是一场为了错误的目的.用错误的方法发动的错误的运动。......“文化大革命”的发生,其根源深藏于“文化大革命”前中国所形成的经济政治体制以及中国的传统文化之中。  

   

对毛泽东个人来说,他之所以在晚年发动“文化大革命”,也同他不善于处理中国共产党党内的矛盾,同他个人专断作风的发展有密切关系......毛泽东把不赞成他的主张的好意见,一概当作“右倾”.“走资本主义道路”.“反党”来批斗,从而造成了中国历史上“史无前例”的十年大动乱。  

   

一九六五年,毛泽东(与埃德加.斯诺谈话时)认为,当时需要有更多的个人崇拜,也就是更多的对毛泽东本人的崇拜。......毛泽东说,......许多权力(各个省,各个地方党委内,特别是北京市党委内的宣传工作的权力)他都管不了了。......毛泽东决定,刘少奇必须下台。(高皋和严家其,序,1-2)  

   

    在自由派知识分子看来,文化大革命完全是毛泽东个人权力欲无限膨胀的结果。为了实现无限的独裁权力,毛泽东设计了一个大阴谋。这个阴谋所以能得逞,根子在“传统文化”,即独裁体制下人民群众普遍的忠君意识和盲从心理。  

    让我们先提两个问题。第一,如果毛泽东纯粹是为了个人权力,为什么要发动群众砸烂整个国家机器?没有国家机器,谈何权力,谈何独裁?  

    第二,自由派知识分子和官方学者都没有回答,是什么使几亿人民在一夜之间全部神经错乱.丧失理智?用全民大疯狂来解释历史上如此重要的事件,不是神话又是什么?  

    自由派知识分子认为,文化大革命是独裁者为了独裁的目的.用独裁的方法发动的法西斯主义运动,人民群众只不过是一群没有头脑.任人摆布的玩物。但是,如果群众是这样的没有头脑,这样的容易摆布,为什么统治集团,凭着整个党和国家官僚机器的帮助,都没有能够摆布他们呢?比如,那些党的官僚们完全可以说他们一向是紧跟毛主席革命路线的,而那些反对他们的人都是反对毛主席的。  

    当然,毛泽东凭着他的个人权力,或许可以不花什么力气就把几个党的高级干部赶下台。但是,如果不是客观上存在着人民大众和官僚阶级之间的矛盾,他怎么可能使整个统治阶级都受到打击呢?在当时那种情况下,每一个人都声称自己和毛主席站在一起,并且还要动用一切可以动用的物质的和精神的手段来说服别人或者强迫别人相信自己所声称的东西。在这种情况下,实际上是由人们自己来判断到底谁是“真正地”和毛主席站在一起,由人们自己来决定与谁一起战斗,和对谁进行战斗。所以,不管毛泽东个人的意图是怎样的,文化大革命是通过发动广大人民群众来进行的,这一事实本身,就决定了它必然要反映广大人民群众的思想感情,他们的愿望和要求,和他们的客观生活状况。  

    把“传统文化”扯进来是无补于事的。首先,从来没有一个皇帝对老百姓说:“造反有理!”其次,即使在古代,中国人民也决不是仅仅知道忠君和盲从的。中国人民是敢于造反的,他们起来造反,是有原因.有道理的。  

    自由派知识分子和官方学者所讳言的,他们极力想掩盖的是,在文化大革命前,一个脱离人民群众.凌驾于人民群众之上的官僚统治阶级已经形成。〔2〕这个统治阶级和历史上一切统治阶级一样,压迫人们。剥削人民是其不可更改的本性,这是中国社会一切矛盾的总根源。离开了这个根源,就根本无法理解当代中国的历史。在这个根本问题上噤若寒蝉,必然有意无意地歪曲历史。  

    毛泽东正确地指出:“官僚主义者阶级与工人阶级和贫下中农是两个尖锐对立的阶级。这些人是已经变成或者正在变成吸工人血的资产阶级分子。他们怎么会   认识  足呢?这些人是斗争对象.革命对象。”(Meisner,1986,271)毛泽东并且指出了斗争的方法-“无产阶级大民主”:  

   

现在再搞大民主,我也赞成。你们怕群众上街,我不怕,来他几十万也不怕。“舍得一身剐,敢把皇帝拉下马。”......无产阶级发动的大民主是对付阶级敌人的。......大民主也可以用来对付官僚主义者,......有些人活得不耐烦了,搞官僚主义,见了群众一句好话也没有,就是骂人,群众有问题不去解决,那就一定要被打倒。......如果脱离群众,不去解决群众的问题,农民就要打扁担,工人就要上街示威,学生就要闹事。凡是出了这类事,第一要说是好事,我就是这样看的。(Mao,1977a,344)  

    文化大革命一开始,就彻底打碎了旧的国家机器。上至国家主席.各省市自治区的封疆大吏,下至厂长.经理.基层党委,几乎官僚国家的全部权力机构,一概被革命群众打倒.推翻。迈斯纳在<毛泽东的中国及后毛泽东的中国-人民共和国史>一书中描述了上海的官僚政权是怎样被工人阶级推翻的:  

   

到1966年秋天,反对现存秩序的造反已经从学校蔓延到了工厂。无产阶级自己终于登上了无产阶级文化大革命的舞台。......文化大革命,使不满现状的工人和其他的社会阶层,在人民共和国的历史上第一次能够自由地表达他们对社会的不满,自由地建立他们自己的组织,而不必受到党在组织上和思想上所施加的种种约束的妨碍。于是就冒出了一大批多种多样的群众造反组织。所有这些组织,都宣称忠于毛主席和毛泽东思想,但是却根据他们自己的特殊利益来解释这些思想。十一月初,几个造反组织形成了一个松散的联盟,即上海工人革命造反总司令部(工总司)。它的领袖就是王洪文,一个纺织工人和党的中层干部。工总司是上海工人自己的创造,与来自北京的指示毫无关系......11月8日,工总司向上海市委提出要求,明确提出要以新的人民政权机关来代替旧的官僚机构......在工总司取得了十一月中旬的胜利以后,上海党和政府的权力迅速地分崩离析了。各造反组织自由地在市内串连,组织工人和其他市民。群众运动迅猛地向前发展着......(上海市委的)垮台,也就是后来所说的一月革命,则是新年以后头一个星期的事。1月5日,与工总司为首的十几个造反组织(在中央文革小组的支持和帮助下)发表了<告全市人民书>......号召工人.学生.知识分子和干部团结起来。这个号召在次日得到了热烈的响应。1月6日,上百万市民在市中心广场举行群众大会,数百万人观看了电视转播。曹市长和其他党的高级干部被批判.撤职,并被勒令当众坦白他们的政治罪行。在以后几天里,一些职位较低的官吏和干部也受到了类似的批判,并被迫挂牌子.戴高帽子游街。旧政权垮台了。(Meisner,1986,343)  

   

    人民群众亲眼目睹那些平日威风凛凛的官僚老爷们如今在人民革命面前被打得落花流水,怎能不心花怒放!这是多么伟大的精神解放啊!  

    文化大革命严重破坏了旧的生产关系:  

   

在文化革命中,原来的干部体系(当权派)基本上被群众运动摧垮了,群众处于一种放任自流的状态。工厂里,原有的规章.制度都被推翻了,......工人不服从干部管理的现象十分普遍。......生产失去控制,甚至走向瘫痪,......由于干部没有真正的权威,很多企业的生产和经营都处于放任自流的状态。(李强,162)  

   

    在旧的生产关系被破坏以后,必须及时建立起新的生产关系,否则就会严重破坏生产力的发展。事实上,在文化大革命当中,一些新生产关系的萌芽已经开始出现了。下面几个段落分别引自法国经济学家贝特兰在北京针织总厂的调查报告和北京市北郊木材厂“改革不合理规章制度”的调查报告。  

   

在文化大革命中,......(群众)要求遵照鞍山宪法参加管理。  

   

执行鞍山宪法,就是说永远政治挂帅,加强党的领导,大搞生动活泼的群众运动,逐步实行干部参加生产劳动和工人参加管理,改革不合理规章制度,实现工人.干部和技术人员的紧密结合,和积极开展技术革命。(Bettelheim,1974,17)  

   

    什么是不合理规章制度呢?不合理规章制度是“旧的管理阶层强加在工人头上的”“有关劳动组织.劳动纪律的规章制度”,“不信任工人的首创精神”,“有利于保留资本主义关系”。(Bettelheim,1974,22)  

   

过去的规章制度贯穿了“专家治厂”的路线,对工人群众实行管.卡.扣.罚......规定了这个权是这个长的,那个权是哪个主任的,就是没有什么权是工人的,工人有的只是被管的权。(<无产阶级文化大革命的伟大胜利万岁>,以下简作<万岁>,675)  

   

    怎样改革“不合理规章制度”呢?  

   

每一条款都交给群众讨论。......取消了一大批规定,这样就有可能大大减少工厂行政管理人员。(Bettelheim,1974,22)  

   

过去管理机构臃肿,人浮于事。......为了互相制约,把人与人.科与科的关系,用一大堆烦琐的规章制度规定下来。有一个科的规章制度里,这样写着:“科长因事外出,一切事务由副科长负责;如副科长外出,一切事务由正科长负责。”......革委会成立后,精简了机构,......没有闲人就没有那么多烦琐的规章制度,......人少,事多,但解决问题快。......过去许多繁杂的规章制度造成生产车间为科室服务,精兵简政后,生产组和行政服务人员经常到车间解决问题,深受工人群众欢迎。(<万岁>,677)  

   

过去的产品质量检验制度,对工人群众不信任。......强调依靠少数检验人员“监督工人”,造成生产工与检验工之间的矛盾。工人同志说:不依靠群众,就是一个工人后面跟上一个检验员,也提高不了质量。......现在,......建立了“无产阶级政治挂帅,人人负责,互相帮助,班长检查,小组讲评......”的新的检验制度,......保证了质量稳步提高。(<万岁>,679)  

   

(工人管理)小组负责的问题包括改进产品质量,......实行的是自我监督的制度,每个班组监督自己的工作。随便发生什么问题,工人都会尽力想办法解决。(Bettelheim,1974,25)  

   

以往是少数人订计划.管计划,脱离无产阶级政治.脱离群众.脱离实际,是形而上学的.机械的。......用计划指标去卡生产,严重限制了工人群众的生产积极性,造成窝工浪费。......现在,......生产任务交给全厂工人讨论,建立了依靠群众.上下结合订计划的制度。......计划比较符合实际,......领导和群众心往一处想,劲往一处使,到处出现了共产主义协作的好风尚,......工人同志说:“过去是上面说了算,工人只管干。现在是,计划大家订,措施大家找,生产一块干,任务提前完。(<万岁>,679)  

   

计划制定前反复征求工人意见。计划方案经过详细分析,使每个车间.每个班组都了解计划对自己的要求。为此,工人们分成小组,以便充分表达自己的意见,讨论计划的意义,计划对每一个工人的要求,在产量.质量.产品品种等方面可以有哪些改进,讨论结果在工人和管理部门之间反复交流,......因此,全面的计划经过了反复的审查,最后制定的计划是许多班组和车间共同努力的结果。(Bettelheim,1974,25)  

      

    迈斯纳认为:  

   

像70年代初许多外国访问者在报道中提出的那样,中国工厂的特点是集体主义精神和普通工人在一定程度上参加了工厂的管理。......经过了文化大革命的批判和羞辱的行政管理干部暂时地抛弃了独断专行的行为和官僚主义习气,......他们如今有事会更经常地与工人进行有实际意义的商量。(Meisner,1986,385)  

   

    正如迈斯纳所说:“群众民主已经成为这个时代的官方要求了。”这是新型的生产关系的萌芽。这是要从根本上解决过去一切生产关系都解决不了的矛盾-压迫者和被压迫者的矛盾。尽管这种新型的生产关系在文化大革命中从来没有超出过萌芽的阶段,它毕竟是为当时中国社会的矛盾提供了一个解决办法,一个劳动人民的解决办法,因而也是根本的解决办法,因而也是唯一真正的解决办法。  

    但是,要建设新的生产关系,并最终做到新的生产关系代替旧的生产关系,仅仅有广泛的自发的群众运动,还是不够的。只有在群众运动基础上,创建一个新的革命政党,从统治阶级手中夺取政治权力,生产关系的改造才有政治保障,才能够进行下去。没有这样一个新的革命政党,是文化大革命的一个致命的弱点。  

    由于没有一个新的革命政党,人民就不可能夺取政治权力,被打碎的国家机器就得以复原。而统治阶级一旦夺回了政治权力,必然就要利用这个权力来夺回自己在革命中失去的一切。  

   

在70年代初期,逐步恢复了许多在文化大革命中被废除了的工厂原有的规章制度,越来越强调专家管理和技术标准,......经历了动乱的工厂开始重建劳动纪律。......厂长依然还是厂长,他最终是对雇佣他的党和国家机构负责而不是对他所指挥的工人负责。(Meisner,1986,384)  

   

    但是,要想完全恢复文化大革命以前的状态,已经不可能了。  

   

象八十年代中国许多别的问题一样,工作效率低也是文化大革命的后果之一。十多年来,中国的工人不听工厂党委的指示,不照看他们的机器,而是花不少时间在打牌上面,或者溜出车间去打篮球。......甚至在华国锋掌权两年以后,在中国投资的西方公司仍然发现中国工人拒绝服从那些他们不喜欢的指令。......工作效率低的根本原因却在于管理人员缺乏权力。......国营企业要解雇一个工人几乎是不可能的。......一位中国官员相当为难地向记者解释:“你应当明白,我们不能够强迫他们干活。”(成都科技大学出版社,<巨龙复苏-改革前后备忘录>,69-70)  

   

    他们不能够强迫我们干活,这就是革命给被压迫人民带来的实实在在的好处。资产阶级学者在咒骂“工作效率低”时没有想到,这也是民主。选举议员,这是几年才轮到一次的事情。在报刊.广播.电视上发表言论,著书立说,都不是普通老百姓能做的。组织政党,更是精英分子的专利。劳动,却是绝大多数人每天都要参加的最重要的一项活动,能自由控制自己的劳动也是对于绝大多数人最重要的一项自由权利。革命给普通老百姓带来的好处是怎么估计也不过分的。  

    新的生产关系流产了,旧的生产关系越来越不起作用了。人民没有得到发号施令的权力,但是旧的权威却不敢发号施令了。统治阶级不能够照旧统治下去了,“改革”成了当务之急。  

   

(二)官僚资产阶级和私人资产阶级  

    资本主义生产关系的发展,既不是人民自由选择的产物,也不是对经济规律的科学认识的结果,而是统治阶级意志的体现。文化大革命的终结暂时给1949年以来被压迫人民反抗国家官僚阶级的斗争划上了一个句号。统治阶级取得了胜利,人民力量被打垮,这就为统治阶级按照自己的意志改组生产关系创造了条件。  

    统治阶级中的“改革派”认为:“‘客观经济规律’......要求根据赢利的标准来经营经济企业,按照先进的资本主义国家所产生的‘科学的’方法来加强管理的权威。”(Meisner,1986,466)离开了一定的历史条件,“客观经济规律”既不客观,也不科学。改革的历史条件就是,统治阶级有能力按照自己的意愿.为了自己的利益来改组生产关系,因而由压迫引起的矛盾只能通过加强压迫手段来解决。正是从压迫者的眼光看,资本主义的管理秩序比中国的国有企业要先进得多.科学得多。  

    随着资本主义生产关系的发展,统治阶级的统治越来越建立在以资本主义方式对劳动人民进行剥削和压迫的基础上。国家官僚阶级因而逐步地转变为官僚资产阶级。  

    由于中国的特定历史条件,统治阶级对生产资料的占有在法律上采取了国家所有制和“集体所有制”的形式。但是,中国的经验已经证明,单纯法律意义上的国家所有制和“集体所有制”是完全可以和资本主义生产关系的发展相容的。在这个问题上,要紧的不是所有权的法律形式,而是各个阶级之间,以及统治阶级内部不同集团之间的实际的社会关系。另一方面,虽然资本主义生产关系的发展并不必然要求将国家所有制和“集体所有制”转变为公开的私有制,这决不妨碍统治阶级的个人成员在资本主义发展过程中通过盗窃国库来积聚私人财富。  

    统治阶级盗窃国库的主要手段有:  

(1)“官倒”。据官方学者计算,全国每年由价差.利差.汇差和其他杂项形成的“租金”(即可以凭垄断权力攫取的非生产性利润)总额有4000多亿元,“其中的40%落入与权力有千丝万缕联系的寻租者手中。”(<新华文摘>1992年第二期,56)  

    (2)“官炒”。“官炒”炒的不是一般的商品,而是房地产和股票。股票是虚拟资本,它的价值可以超过它所代表的生产资料的价值几倍.几十倍。炒房地产主要是炒土地,土地本身无价,但其市场价值可以百万.亿万计。所以“官炒”积聚财富的速度和规模超过了“官倒”。  

张某是一位副市长的儿子,前几年顺应潮流,从经委机关跳入“海”中,办起了一个名为国营实为私营的贸易公司。其父主管建筑系统,他自然以做建材为主。不必他求人,也不必他父亲开口,“懂味”的建筑公司总是到他这里买建材,而且从不还价。仅仅两年多时间,就赚了近200万。1992年,这位张总在一个星期之内,就登记成立了一家房地产公司,然后,他向一家银行送去一辆进口轿车,三部“大哥大”电话,要求贷款800万元,......张用这800万元在海南买了25亩地,4个月后又以1900万卖出......”(<经济潮>总第三期,32)  

    1992年,全国批租土地总数220平方公里,总收入525亿元,中央财政只拿到26.25亿元。在北海市,最好的土地从政府转让出去仅9.7万元/亩,市面上最高炒到176万元/亩。“炒地远比开发赚钱,实业更比不上。”海口市最繁华地段,从政府转让出去是每平方米150元,建好的商品房卖到每平方米3000-4000元。有的城市每平方米只有5元,还有分文不取的。(<中国房地产导报>1993年第20期,18-20)  

    我们无从知道炒股票导致多少国有财产流失。但从几个具体的例子中业可见一斑:  

   

上海有个“杨百万”,专做股票生意。去年三月间,一次抛出6800股“电真空”股券,每股价差近50元,一下子就获利34万元。(<中国劳动科学>1992年第三期,15)  

   

某报记者的关系网四通八达,......搞到一批法人股后,他就找到迫切需要购买的单位,转手“批发”出去,“批发费”100%。自然,由于股票上市以后价格总要翻上几番,......100%的“批发费”虽然高得惊人,但还是有大利可图,......几次折腾下来,这位记者就成了一个“百万元户”了。(<经济潮>总第三期,54)  

   

    (3)官僚机构自办经济实体,攫取巨额垄断利润。1992年,全国新增公司22万户,公司总数比1991年增长88.9%。“这些新增的公司大多是机关办的经济实体。”“全国有60%以上的机关创办了经济实体。”(<经济潮>总第三期,25)“甚至中国人民解放军,......也开办了一批豪华饭店,军办工厂为市场生产电冰箱.钢琴.电视机和民用客机。有400个军办工厂在深圳经济特区设立了销售代理。”(Smith,1993,97)  

    官僚机构自办的经济实体,除了有条件搞“官倒”.“官炒”以外,凭籍官僚机构的垄断权力,可以得到远非正常利润可比的垄断利润。  

   

一家物资公司千辛万苦弄到一批钢材,急需1000万元贷款,找到某工商银行,行长说:“最近资金比较紧张,心有余而力不足。不过,我们行自办的实体昨天刚批去了1000万元贷款,目前还没有提走,我看你们可以和他们联系,合起来做。”于是,以物资公司名义要的贷款最后落到了银行自办的实体手中,银行的实体不费吹灰之力得了一半的利润。(<经济潮>总第三期,26)  

   

    (4)统治阶级上层直接与外国资本勾结,帮助外国资本剥削中国人民,再从外国资本取得的巨额利润中分一块赃。外国资本要通过剥削中国人民取得高额利润,需要逃避进出口管制,逃避中国政府对外资的种种限制,少交或不交利润税,尽量取得廉价或无价的土地......所有这些都需要身居高位的统治阶级成员帮助才行。所以,外国资本需要一部分统治阶级上层人物充当这样的买办资本家:  

   

大批革命领导人的子女在美国和欧洲的最大的银行和跨国公司(在华办事处)这充任职员。......其中绝大多数人当然会为他们的老板服务,......“买办”就是指这些人。(Hinton,1993,96)  

   

袁先生,45岁,共产党员,......一张名片上写着他是广东省东莞市(东莞是外国在广东投资的热点之一)副市长。另一张名片上写着他是香港Fook Man发展有限公司总经理,有几百万银行存款。袁还是另外三家香港公司的董事,是洛杉矶一家有500间客房的饭店的部分所有者,他还计划把自己的势力发展到新加坡和法兰克福。中国人把这种人叫做“假洋鬼子”。这是19世纪对从事鸦片贸易的中国买办的讠虐称。袁对此欣然接受。他说:“我们在赚钱......”(Smith,1993,98)  

   

    统治阶级大规模盗窃国库,巨额国家财产转化为统治阶级成员的个人财产,导致国家财政入不敷出,陷入财政危机。为了克服财政危机,就要开源节流。开源,主要是提高消费品价格;节流,主要是削减社会福利。  

    以“价格改革”为名,消费品价格连年大幅度上涨。(见表2.1)  

   

表2.1   中国的财政赤字和通货膨胀  

                        1981-85    1986-90  

年均财政赤字(亿元)        122        475  

财政赤字占国民收入比重(%)  1.8        3.5  

城镇消费品价格  

年平均增长率(%)           4.2       13.1*  

*系1986-89年  

资料来源:马宾;<经济社会体制比较>1992年第四期,21  

   

    官方经济学家说,通货膨胀不能归咎于改革,在改革以前,城市长期存在消费品短缺,短缺实际上是“隐蔽的通货膨胀”。资产阶级经济学家只有比一切社会现象都看做是资本主义道路社会现象,才能理解资本主义以外的社会。“短缺”经济和“通货膨胀”经济是两种本质上不同的社会关系。“短缺”意味着根据货币以外的标准分配社会财富。这种标准可以是政治权力.社会特权,也可以是基于社会平等,或者优先照顾弱者。而“通货膨胀”无非是这样一种社会的特有现象,在这种社会中,谁有钱谁就是老大。  

    贝特兰在70年代访问中国后曾经这样介绍当时中国的价格制度:  

   

消费品的销售价格取决于不同的政策。  

1.必需品贸易利润;必要的话国家还会给予补贴。比方说粮食,是国家专控物资,从农民收购的价格实际上等于零售价。也就是说国家要负担销售.运输等项成本。......总的来说,几种基本食品的销售价格近年来降低了,但是从人民公社收购的价格并没有下降。例如,每50公斤大米的销售价从1950年的17.63元下降到1970年的16.40元。同样,在不提高消费品销售价格的情况下,也可以提高从人民公社收购的价格......  

2.对人民健康必需的商品按成本价销售,也就是销售中不得利润。比如,药品价格随着成本下降而下降。20万单位盘尼西林的价格,从1953年的2.10元降到1970年的1.23元......  

3.日常必需品价格也是便宜的,但要加上一定的利润。例如,每50公斤煤块的价格,从1950年到1970年,由2.80元下降到2.50元。  

4.至于非必需品(半导体收音机.照相机等),一般固定在“历史形成的价格”上。这些产品成本价格的任何下降,都用来增加社会积累基金。  

主要是要理解,中国的价格体制不仅关系到政策,而且体现着政治-取决于政治和社会的考虑。(Bettelheim,1974,64)  

   

    所以,通货膨胀.物价上涨,决不仅仅是一般地由于社会总供求之间的不平衡,它实际上是国家既定政策的产物。在“价格改革”的旗号下,把一大部分产品的价格交给自由市场支配,实际上是牺牲广大下层劳动人民的利益。到1991年,绝大多数社会产品都由市场自由调节,这就为物价飞涨扫清了障碍。〔3〕  

    削减社会福利:据全国总工会测算,各地实行的养老保险.医疗保险.住房三项改革,职工须承受部分占其生活费支出的6-7.5%。  

    通过掠夺国库,而归根结底是通过掠夺广大人民群众,在少数人手中积聚起了巨额财富。“大陆人口的3%(约合三千万人),属于富有者阶层。他们的私人存款占全国居民储蓄存款的40%,即人均1.5万元左右。”(<北京青年报>1993年12月28日)1992年,中国居民金融资产总额达到了18000亿元,照那“40%”推算,“富有者阶层”拥有的个人金融资产总额应在7000亿元以上。这7000亿元从哪里来呢?  

    如果我们假设,从1986年到1993年每年有1000亿元国家财产被转化为统治阶级成员的个人财产,那么,在这期间他们便一共积聚了8000亿元财富。显然,所谓“富有者阶层”绝大多数都是统治阶级的成员。  

    在资本主义生产关系的发展过程中,中国也出现了一个小小的私人资产阶级。私人资产阶级不是统治阶级,它不依靠政治垄断权力,而依靠剥削雇佣劳动发财。私人资产阶级与官僚资产阶级的矛盾会不会使它成为一支民主力量?它能不能领导未来中国的民主运动?  

    在一份官方学术刊物上居然出现了这样一段奇文:  

   

一个社会的主体,不只决定于某阶级人数是否最众,同时还决定于该阶级的财产数量,即须用财产加权......从无产阶级中“先富起来”而脱胎形成的有产阶级,正以其日益增多的人数和日益积累的资本,成为社会成份的主流,成为社会主体,这是一个好的变化......经济利益的增长,必然促使有产阶级寻求政治发言权,并力求通过各种立法途径,干预政府决策。它意味着原有宪法的过时,意味着政治结构的改组......有产阶级不会再从中国历史上消失,它将影响未来一千年,主宰未来一百年。(孤闻)  

   

    谁说中国没有言论自由呢?资产阶级民主.资产阶级专政呼之欲出啦!作者拐弯抹角地发明了一个“有产阶级”的概念。谁是有产阶级呢?是官僚资产阶级吗?官僚资产阶级本身就是统治阶级,还何须“寻求政治发言权”?所谓“有产阶级”无非是指私人资产阶级。那么,私人资产阶级能不能“影响未来一千年,主宰未来一百年”呢?纯属幻想。  

    首先,私人资产阶级实力非常弱小。根据官方统计,1990年中国私营企业共有98000万户,注册资金总计45亿元,平均每户不到5万元。(韩明希,前言)即使考虑到官方统计有低估的成分,私人资产阶级的实力也决不到官僚资产阶级的一个零头,竟想“以其日益增多的人数和日益积累的资本,成为社会成份的主流,成为社会主体,”正无异痴人说梦。  

    无疑,官僚资产阶级有其寄生性的一面,对私人资本主义的发展有妨碍的一面。从这个角度说,私人资产阶级也有争取民主的要求。但是,与专制政权带给私人资产阶级的利益比起来,专制政权的祸害只能算是一点回扣。私人资产阶级和官僚资产阶级一样,都是剥削阶级,都靠压迫.剥削劳动人民发财。对于资本家来说,工人的工资越低越好,福利越少越好。工人越是缺乏斗争力量,资本家的这些愿望就越容易实现。而工人越是没有政治权利,工人就越是缺乏斗争力量。私人资产阶级自己当然也渴望得到政治权利。但是,如果为了自身得到政治权利,必须让工人阶级也得到政治权利的话,这个买卖未必划得来。私人资产阶级关心的是,如果实现了民主,我能得到比目前更高的利润率吗?如果不能,私人资产阶级当然对民主不感兴趣。如果实现民主以后情况与现在差不多,或者极不确定,那又何必为此折腾上十来年.闹个天翻地覆,甚至冒革命的风险呢?  

   

(三)1989年革命  

    任何一个压迫社会,要把它的压迫强加到绝大多数人头上,都不能不经过多次重大的斗争,都必须付出流血的代价。资本主义也不例外。  

    中国的劳动人民在文化大革命中遭到了历史性的失败,因而当时也就不再有用革命社会主义方式来解决中国社会矛盾的历史可能性。但是,这并不等于说资本主义“改革”可以一帆风顺地进行下去了。恰恰相反,中国的劳动人民决不会不经过严重的战斗就放弃他们在社会主义革命中争得的广泛的社会经济权利、就听任统治阶级把一个“正常”的压迫制度强加在他们头上。随着资本主义“改革”的发展,在整个八十年代,统治阶级和劳动人民之间的矛盾,特别是统治阶级和城市工人阶级之间的矛盾,越来越增长,越来越激化了。  

    这个矛盾因为即将来临的资本主义经济危机而进一步尖锐化了。根据官方统计,1988年职工货币平均工资比上年增长19.7%,而全国职工生活费用价格指数上升了20.7%。(<中国经济年鉴>1988年卷)就是说,即使根据官方统计,职工实际平均工资也下降了。这是在“改革”时期,劳动人民生活水平第一次绝对下降。中国已经到了革命的边缘。  

    一个成功的革命,必须有一个科学的和成熟的革命理论,和一套清晰明确的、前后一贯的革命纲领。这个理论和这套纲领,必须能够反映绝大多数人民的利益和愿望,必须能够充分地动员绝大多数人民参加革命斗争。而1989年革命恰恰没有这样一个理论和这样一套纲领。  

    1989年,在意识形态领域几乎是自由派知识分子的一统天下,所以,自由派知识分子理所当然地掌握了革命的领导权。为什么在1989年没有出现一支由革命社会主义知识分子领导的左翼民主力量呢?  

    1979年,北京发生了“西单民主墙”运动。当时,几乎所有的持不同政见者都不反对社会主义。他们认为,中国社会的根本问题不在于社会主义,而在于没有民主,在于没有真正的社会主义。这次运动最后被镇压下去了。1982年,理论界发生了关于“人道主义和异化问题”的论战。一些知识分子从马克思主义观点出发,影射和批判现实的中国社会仍然是一个异化社会。官方宣布这种观点是“资产阶级自由化”,实际上就是宣布这种观点非法。  

    一个自称为社会主义的国家竟然宣布马克思主义观点非法,似乎不可思议,却又是很合乎逻辑的。资本主义生产关系的发展要求统治阶级树立新的意识形态、新的辩护理论。这种辩护理论不应该帮助人民看清压迫社会的本来面目,更不许煽动人民造反,它必须能证明压迫有理、剥削有功。只有西方资产阶级社会才有这样一整套现成的辩护学说。所以,统治阶级起初是默许,后来是鼓励,再后来就积极参与用西方资产阶级的社会科学篡改、伪造马克思主义,或者干脆取而代之。  

    统治阶级一方面把马克思主义观点说成是“资产阶级自由化”,另一方面在官方理论中却大搞资产阶级自由化。当然,统治阶级并不想“全盘西化”,而是“取其精华,去其糟粕”,是有选择的,根据的是“中国国情”。经济学在“自由化”方面迈得步子最大,因为这个领域直接关系到生产关系,却并不直接威胁统治阶级的统治地位。政治学、法学相形之下就比较“保守”。这两个领域进展慢一些,并不妨碍资本主义生产关系的发展,而进展得太快,倒是有引进西方民主思想、危害一党专政的危险。但是,原地踏步是绝对不行的,也没有必要。如果说,在经济学领域不存在“阶级”概念了,在政治学、法学上又哪里来的“阶级专政”呢?另一方面,统治阶级也发现,资产阶级理论既然能证明“剥削有理”,未尝不能用来证明“独裁有理”,新权威主义即是一例。在统治阶级的纵容、怂恿下,中国形成了一批资产阶级社会科学家,即自由派知识分子。他们当中的绝大部分人都是官方学者,有不少人还在统治阶级的咨询机构中充任要职,扮演所谓“智囊”的角色。  

    另一方面,七十年代末、八十年代初左翼民主力量在政治上和学术上先后被镇压。要重新组织革命社会主义知识分子的队伍,就要发展新的革命理论,要反思以往社会主义革命的经验,又要迎接自由派知识分子的新的挑战。新的革命力量还需要新的革命战略和战术。要完成这些工作,需要一段比较长的时间。当1989年革命来临时,新的革命社会主义力量还没有能够形成。  

    自由派知识分子吹嘘说,1989年革命是他们的“十年思想启蒙”的结果。所谓“十年思想启蒙”,就是把西方资产阶级社会科学五花八门的货色成批地贩卖到中国来。事实上,他们的所谓思想启蒙运动,其影响从来没有越出大学校墙之外。确有一大批大学生在思想上和政治上追随自由派知识分子。在1989年以前,在各主要大学曾多次爆发学潮。但是,1989年以前的历次学潮都没有得到工人阶级的响应。而1989年的运动却超越了狭隘的学生运动而上升为有广大劳动人民参加的人民革命。这个事实,当然不能用什么思想启蒙运动来解释,而必须用客观上日趋激化的社会矛盾来解释。  

    1989年4月,学潮爆发了。在整个八十年代,大学生都是一个激进的社会集团。资本主义发展到这个时候为止还没有给中产阶级(知识分子,技术管理人员等)带来多少物质利益,也没有为中产阶级的成员增加多少上升为统治阶级成员的机会。大学生是中产阶级的一部分。那些在社会竞争中失败的大学生,与上流社会无缘,又不甘心回到劳动人民中去,感到前途暗淡无光,强烈地渴望发泄对社会的不满。这些人是学潮的基本主体。  

    学潮得到了城市各界人民群众的拥护,但是,在一个月的时间内,始终没有发展为普遍的群众性革命运动。学潮起起伏伏。直到5月17日,北京市百万群众示威声援绝食学生,才掀起了革命的高潮,超越了学生运动,发展  我  包括工人、市民、学生等各界群众的人民革命。〔4〕工人阶级参加了革命,但仅仅是自发地和本能地参加了革命。在既没有明确的政治目的,也没有工人阶级自己的政治领导力量的情况下,工人阶级还不能够成为一个有组织的、独立的政治力量,因而也就不能够追求自己的独立的政治利益。  

    与前苏联和东欧不同,中国的绝大多数人口不是城市工人阶级,而是农民。农民就其潜在可能性来说,必然成为一个革命的阶级。但是,在1989年,在那个具体的历史时刻,它偏偏不是一个革命的阶级。  

    1979年,邓小平统治集团刚刚上台,为了巩固自己的社会基础,一方面推行农业改革,一方面大幅度提高农产品收购价格。1979-1984年,农产品收购平均提价24.8%,包括18类180个品种。(詹宏松,119)实际上,这就是中国历代统治者惯用的所谓“轻徭薄赋”的让步政策。由于提高农产品收购价格,加上农业产量增加,农民收入大幅度增长。城乡消费水平之比由1978年的2.9:1降到1985年的2.2:1。(李强,113)我们知道,在资本主义发展条件下,在长期,城乡差距是趋于扩大而不是趋于缩小的。事实上,在1985年以后,城乡消费差距就开始重新扩大了,但是直到1989年仍然没有恢复到1978年的水平。这说明,在当时,资本主义发展的矛盾在农村还没有充分表现出来。因此,在1989年革命的关键时刻,农民被中立化了,不能发挥一支革命力量的作用。  

    没有农民的支持,城市工人阶级就成了革命可以依靠的唯一一支力量。革命要成功,就必须充分地和彻底地把城市工人阶级动员起来。当时在北京、上海等大城市出现了少数工人组织的“工自联”。但是,这些“工自联”在工人中没有多少群众基础,而且很快被自由派知识分子控制,甚至成为他们争权夺利的筹码,因而并不能真正地代表工人和把工人发动起来。  

    但是,在工人阶级中的确蕴藏着巨大的革命潜力。  

    国有企业的“改革”,不仅没有消除压迫制度,反而是用更严厉的压迫手段来加强压迫制度,是要剥夺工人阶级在革命中争得的广泛的社会经济权利。所以,“改革”不仅解决不了旧的矛盾,而且,还会激化旧的矛盾,并不断产生新的矛盾。1986年,全国总工会在一次对45万工人的调查中发现,有38.56%的工人认为“改革以来工人和干部的关系”比以前坏,31.58%认为没有变化,只有26.37%认为比以前好。在这次调查中,有的工人说:“毛泽东时代的干部实行终身制,干部还能以身作则、大公无私、严于律己、为民办事,现在实行干部聘任制,结果干部上台就急于捞。”还有的工人说:“干活挣的钱,都让当官的拿去了。现在官是官,民是民,搞不到一起了。”(李强,161,165,167)这说明,“改革”以来,统治阶级和工人阶级的关系已经恶化了,在工人阶级中蓄积着对现存社会秩序的巨大的不满。要把这种不满转化成巨大的革命能量是完全可能的。这就必须形成一套完整的、明确的革命纲领,把工人阶级的愿望有力地表达出来,从而在最广大的工人群众中引起共鸣。  

    但是,这样做与自由派知识分子的立场是根本不相容的。在这个问题上,自由派知识分子实际上与统治阶级站在一个立场上。很多自由派知识分子直接参与了统治阶级策划“改革”的过程,可以说,自由派知识分子为整个“经济改革”奠定了理论基础。自由派知识分子既不会主张“改革”不得侵犯工人阶级的利益,更不会主张否定“改革”,相反,他们最主张把“改革”进行到底。  

    1989年,自由派知识分子中的绝大部分人已经接受了“私有化”的主张。当时在《世界经济导报》上连篇累牍地发表了大量讨论经济改革的文章。总的结论是:国有制也好,公有制也好,全都不可救药,只有实行私有化。分歧仅仅在于私有化的步骤和方法。有的主张通过股份制逐步实现私有化,有的主张“一跳过河实现民营化”。这种主张即使不马上引起工人阶级的怀疑和警惕,也决不可能得到工人阶级的积极响应。  

    自由派知识分子没有能力把工人阶级发动起来,可以说他们甚至害怕这么做。自由派知识分子实际上一直不想推翻政府。从革命发生前一些著名反对派人士的言论来看,他们欣赏“台湾模式”,即利用学生运动向政府施加压力,要求政府开放言论、出版自由,下一步再开放“党禁”,最后逐步过渡到多党自由选举。他们得不到农民的支持,又不敢发动工人阶级,所以他们全力依靠统治阶级的“改革派”。在他们看来,只要“改革派”战胜“保守派”,独揽大权,革命的任务就算完成了。  

    所谓“改革派”和“保守派”,并没有进步和落后之分,不过是统治阶级中争权夺利的两个集团罢了。实际上,“改革派”很可能与官僚资产阶级中带有寄生性、买办性的那一部分有比较密切的关系。他们通过盗窃国库而发财致富,是资本主义“改革”的最大受益者。由于这个原因,“改革派”更坚决地主张推行“改革”,并且在一定条件下,愿意与自由派知识分子达成某种妥协,以共同对付工人阶级。  

    “改革派”的力量本来比“保守派”强大。但是“改革派”自身在如何对付革命这个问题上又发生分歧。赵紫阳集团在汹涌澎湃的革命浪潮面前被吓倒,准备与自由派知识分子达成妥协。而“改革派”的领袖邓小平却更清醒地看到,革命有让统治阶级彻底覆灭的危险。特别是人民群众已经明确提出“打倒官倒”的口号,直接威胁到了统治阶级“改革派”的根本利益。邓小平很清楚,镇压革命决不会导致统治阶级与中产阶级和自由派知识分子联盟的破裂。在教训了中产阶级和自由派知识分子以后,他们只会更紧密地依附于统治阶级。事实证明,邓小平是正确的。1992年春,邓小平“南巡”以后,自由派知识分子立刻出版《历史的潮流》、《防“左”备忘录》、《中国“左”祸》等书,摇旗呐喊,擂鼓助威,积极响应。  

    当革命到了千钧一发的紧要关头,正是统治阶级中的“改革派”把自由派知识分子出卖了。赵紫阳集团没有进行任何抵抗就交出了权力。在这样的关键时刻,双方都再无退路可言,只有你死我活、一决雌雄。但是,到了这种最后关头,自由派知识分子仍然对改革派抱有幻想。他们始终坚持所谓“和平、理性、非暴力”的原则,这就是说,不许人民群众造反,只能对政府“施加压力”,把希望完全寄托在“改革派”身上。五·二零戒严以后,反对派把主要口号调整为“打倒李鹏”,始终不曾攻击邓小平。在那样的革命与反革命决战的时刻,他们不去组织革命力量,不准备殊死的决战,反而热衷于发动人大常委签名,要求召开什么人大紧急会议,简直形同儿戏!〔5〕自由派知识分子的懦弱和愚蠢在这次革命中暴露无疑。  

    1989年革命的失败证明,资本主义,作为一种压迫性的社会制度,就其本性而言,是与民主不相容的。只有用暴力的手段,经过残酷的、流血的斗争,才能把资本主义压迫秩序强加在劳动人民头上,才能为资本主义发展扫清道路。  

   

(四)工人阶级反对“砸三铁”的斗争  

    在1989年革命失败后,统治阶级在对城市工人阶级的斗争中还没有取得完全的、彻底的胜利,资本主义生产关系也还没有在国有企业中完全确立起来。1992年,统治阶级企图通过所谓“砸三铁”一举完成国有企业的资本主义改造,结果遭到工人阶级的顽强抵抗,以彻底失败而告终。  

1992年初,这种要求“砸三铁”的呼声得到了中国大陆报界、新闻界的支持。一时间,全国上下一片破三铁、改体制的宣传。然而,未隔多久,一系列棘手的问题便层出不穷。最激烈的反应来自被解雇的工人群体。国有工厂工人由于长期以来形成了靠工厂、依赖于工厂、隶属于工厂的心理和观念,因此当突然宣布他们被解雇时,他们惊呆了。一些工人做出了激进的反应。例如,1992年3月,天津某厂因亏损严重,被迫解雇了上千员工,结果该厂的二千余名工人及家属集结在天津一座立体交叉桥上,迫使天津环线分路陷入瘫痪。1992年春,中国东北地区国有大中型企业大力推行“砸三铁”,大批工人面临失业的危机,不少工人因不适应辞退、待聘、减薪、救济的状况而爆发严重不满情绪,有些工人甚至采取极端的暴力行为报复工厂的领导人。此外,在锦州市、秦皇岛市、合肥市等也相继发生了工人因被砸了铁饭碗而报复厂长、领导的事件。在这种形势的压力下,破三铁的活动终于偃旗息鼓、不了了之。(李强,150)  

工人阶级赢得了反对“砸三铁”斗争的胜利。但是,正如1989年革命的经验所表明的,没有一个由科学的革命理论所指导的成熟的革命社会主义政党,工人阶级仅凭自己是不能成为一支独立的政治力量、不能赢得争取解放的斗争的胜利的。由于没有这样一个革命政党,工人阶级在反对资本主义压迫和剥削的斗争中只能处于防御的和被动的地位。而统治阶级,由于始终掌握着斗争的主动权,就能够缓慢地,但是不断地推进资本主义“改革”,逐步地蚕食工人阶级的社会主义权利。要扭转这种趋势,要把目前这种分散的和单纯被动防御的斗争转变为统一有组织的、积极主动的革命运动,就必须尽快形成一个有正确理论指导的革命社会主义政党。  

   

(五)中产阶级  

    中产阶级中国政治生活中一支重要的力量。  

   马克思说:“一个统治阶级越能把被统治阶级中的最杰出的人物吸收进来,它的统治就越巩固、越险恶。”(Marx,1967,101)任何历史时代的统治阶级都不免被它自身的生活方式腐化。如果仅从本阶级的后代中选拔统治阶级的接班人,统治阶级的统治能力就不可避免地会趋于退化。只有经常从被压迫阶级中选拔优秀分子来补充自己的队伍,统治阶级才能保持生命力。  

    现代学校教育使现代的统治阶级能够以系统的方式从被压迫阶级中选拔杰出人物,这些选拔出来的杰出人物,组成为现代社会的中产阶级。他们通过参加现代社会的管理,培养统治社会的能力。所以,中产阶级既是下层社会向上进入上层社会的阶梯,又是统治阶级的后备军。据官方统计,1990年中国有“一般干部”1091万人。如按大学文化程度计算,1987年,中国有知识分子659万人。(李强,279)中国中产阶级的实际规模当在两者之间。  

    中产阶级不同于城市小资产阶级。小资产阶级有自己的生产资料,主要靠家庭劳动力或雇佣少量工人谋生或谋取薄利。城市小资产阶级也就是小业主,通称为个体户。1990年,城镇个体经营者总数为671万人。(李强,322)中产阶级没有生产资料,属于所谓“工薪阶层”,靠出卖劳动力获得收入。与无产阶级不同。中产阶级出卖的不是一般的劳动力,而是凝结了科学技术和知识的劳动力。这种特殊地位,使中产阶级能够脱离绝大多数劳动人民,而进入特权阶级的行列。小资产阶级的个别成员也许会上升为私人资产阶级,但是小资产阶级不可能成为统治阶级的后备军。现代社会的管理需要专门的科学知识,只有经过正规学校教育的中产阶级成员才能胜任。  

    官方学者不承认中产阶级是一个享有特权的阶级。八十年代,所谓“脑体倒挂”的问题曾经喧嚣一时。即使根据官方学者计算,1988年,“脑力劳动者”平均工资收入也仅比“体力劳动者”低5.8%。这是北京市的数字,不包括农民,也不考虑中产阶级的各种物质特权(如较大面积的住房、出国机会等)。官方学者公然抛弃了恩格斯的观点,即“在按社会主义原则组织起来的社会里,这种费用(训练有学识的劳动者的费用)是由社会来负担的,所以复杂劳动所创造的成果,即比较大的价值也归社会所有。”他们盗用劳动价值论,说什么“知识劳动或复杂劳动可以创造出比简单劳动更大的价值,因而知识劳动力的价格应由它所创造出的价值决定。”(李强,266)  

    官方学者不懂得,没有什么抽象存在的价值,只有与一定社会关系、一定历史条件联系在一起的价值。离开了价值由以产生的历史条件,劳动价值论对社会的说明力就等于0。在资产阶级社会,劳动力价格是  与  供求决定的。而中产阶级的劳动力,如前所述,是凝聚了科学技术和知识的劳动力,是特殊的劳动力。它不象其它劳动力那样只要在普通劳动人民的家庭中就能生产出来,它必须经过正规学校教育才能生产出来。而在资产阶级社会,能够受高等教育,是一项社会特权。中产阶级由于有了这项特权,就在很大程度上垄断了社会的科学、艺术和文化,垄断了“知识劳动力”这种特殊劳动力的供给。就象地主凭着私人土地所有权能索取地租一样,中产阶级凭着私人占有的知识也能获取垄断收入。但是,所有这一切只不过是和资产阶级社会联系在一起的,丝毫没有什么科学的“合理性”。  

    实际上,在“改革”时期,由于资本主义生产关系的发展,不可能发动全体劳动群众共同参加管理和推动技术进步,统治阶级越来越依赖于中产阶级来完成专门的管理和技术职能。所以,中产阶级不仅享有社会特权,而且在收入上也逐渐向上层社会靠拢,到九十年代初,所谓“脑体倒挂”已经颠倒过来了。(见表2.2)  

   

表2.2   1992年7月中国国有企业职工月收入(元)  

服务人员                    193.5  

辅助生产工人                224.5  

直接生产工人                226.3  

一般管理干部                237.3  

中层管理干部                237.3  

高级管理干部                278.0  

技术人员                    281.0  

资料来源:李强,262.    

   

    中产阶级虽然不是统治阶级,但是作为统治阶级的后备军,却常常以未来的统治阶级、候选的统治阶级的眼光看问题。自由派知识分子在理论上和政治上代表了中产阶级的这种眼光。另一方面,在资本主义社会中,中产阶级的地位又是矛盾的、动荡不定的,它摆脱不了社会竞争,而竞争就不免产生失败者。有一个在深圳打工的朋友有一次给笔者来信说:  

昨天有一个来我这里登记住房的客人,他毕业于华南理工大学管理系,是西威厂的主管,他和我一谈就是几个小时。他说,有时候真想到死,死是最好的解脱方式。他管理100多人,工资是令人羡慕的三千多块钱一个月,然而一年三百六十五天从来没有星期天,每天上班12小时,下了班也没有知心朋友。他的同学都发达了,他也不想去找他们,会感到自惭形秽。他说,感觉早已麻木。深圳人都是在戴着假面具生活。比如,为了公司,他不得不陪人唱卡拉OK,逢场作戏,为了管好工人,不得不严肃......  

资本主义永远无法做到让所有的中产阶级成员都实现自己的人生价值(在一个压迫社会中,人生价值是用能否进入统治阶级来衡量的)。  

   

〔1〕官方经济学家追随西方资产阶级经济学家杜撰了一个“隐性失业”的概念,说国有企业中所有未得到充分利用的工时都可以折算为“隐性失业”。这里充满了资产阶级的偏见。从资产阶级的观点看,工人自由的增加纯属一种浪费。从工人的观点看,“隐性失业”根本不是失业。否则为什么前社会主义国家都不敢索性把“隐性失业”都变成“显性失业”呢?  

〔2〕陕西省的老爷们为了满足个人享乐......不惜花费国家大量的人力、物力,特别是国家困难时期,大肆挥霍劳动人民的血汗......丈八沟高干招待所......名为疗养院,实际是省级干部的休息、游玩、享乐的地方,占地数百亩,有高级洋房、亭台、楼阁,富丽堂皇,还设有游船、树木、假山、餐厅、舞厅、礼堂、名贵树木、奇花异草等,......在西安地区,夏天才能游泳,可是,我们的老爷们有改天换地精神,冬天也游泳,在他们的创造发明下,动员工人同志在丈八沟这个“安乐窝”里修筑了个“暖水游泳池”。......这个游泳池烧一次水,光用煤就一、二十吨,价值几百元,有时个别领导干部星期天带着老婆孩子来游泳,工人同志就得专门烧一次水。......记得我们西北工业大学同学去年在宝鸡参加农村社教时,......有一户贫农一家几口人,可全家的家当就连五元钱都不值,这就是我们贫下中农的生活呀!然而这般老爷游泳一次就花几百元!......这个“暖水游泳池”里装的真是水吗?我看不是,完全不是,而是装了一池劳动人民的血汗呀!(《炮轰陕西省委、火烧西北局,誓死保卫党中央、誓死保卫毛主席材料汇编(第一集)》,7-9)  

〔3〕1991年各类产品国家定价的比重,农副产品是22%,全社会商品零售总额是21%,生产资料销售总额是36.6%。(《中国经济问题》1993年第一期,5)  

〔4〕据我的个人意见,在学运领导和自由派知识分子决定发动绝食时,并没有预料到后来的事态发展。他们当时恐怕至多是想通过绝食对政府施加一点“道德上的”压力。所以,当人民真的走上街头,民主运动真的发展为一场革命时,他们完全不知道该怎么办(如果不是被吓倒了的话)。他们不知道怎样,或者根本不想去利用群众所表现出来的巨大的革命能量。  

〔5〕天晓得这样一次“人大紧急会议”,即便召开了,能解决什么问题。不必说人大在中国的政治体制内没有任何实际权力,就是在人大里面,即使在革命最高潮时,反对派恐怕连简单多数也凑不到。  

   

第三章 从合作化到小农经济  

   

    在这一章中我们讨论中华人民共和国建立以后农业部门生产关系的演变。革命后的中国经济仍然是二元经济,由一个现代部门和一个前现代的农业部门组成。但是,由于完成了土地改革,由于消灭了前资本主义的剥削阶级,在中国就已经具备了现代经济发展的条件,因而现代部门就开始在中国经济中越来越起主导的作用。另一方面,农业的生产力和生产关系的任何进一步发展都有赖于现代部门所提供的物质条件。所以,从这个时候起,现代经济部门,以及从阶级斗争上来讲,现代经济部门中统治阶级和工人阶级的斗争就开始对中国社会发展起决定性的作用。我们正是在这个背景下来分析和认识中国农业生产关系的演变。  

   

(一)合作化时期  

(1)为什么要搞合作化?  

    早在1943年毛泽东就指出:  

   

在农民群众方面,几千年来都是个体经济,一家一户就是一个生产单位,这种分散的个体生产,就是封建统治的经济基础,而使农民自己陷于永远的穷苦。克服这种状况的唯一办法,就是逐渐地集体化,而达到集体化的唯一道路,依据列宁所说,就是经过合作社。(Selden,1993,71)  

   

所以,毛泽东认为,只要中国农业基本上仍然是小农经济,农民群众就不可能摆脱“永远的穷苦”和各种形式的压迫、统治。  

    五十年代中期,在关于农业合作化的论战中,毛泽东提出了下列论点。首先,毛泽东指出,只有通过合作化,才能使中国农业摆脱一家一户的个体生产,才能有效地与自然灾害做斗争,才能充分利用现代农业技术,才能使生产力水平发生质的飞跃。  

   

这些同志不知道社会主义工业化是不能离开农业合作化而孤立地进行的。首先,大家知道,我国的商品粮食和工业原料的生产水平,现在是很低的,而国家对于这些物资的需要却是一年一年地增大,这是一个尖锐的矛盾。如果我们不能在大约三个五年计划的时期内基本上   阶级  农业合作化的问题,即农业由使用畜力农具的小规模的经营跃进到使用机器的大规模的经营......我们就不能解决年年增长的商品粮食和工业原料的需要同现时主要农作物一般产量很低之间的矛盾,我们的社会主义工业化事业就会遇到绝大的困难,我们就不可能完成社会主义工业化。(Mao,1977a,196)  

   

    其次,毛泽东指出:  

   

现在农村中存在的是富农的资本主义所有制和象汪洋大海一样的个体农民的所有制。大家已经看见,在最近几年中间,农村中的资本主义自发势力一天一天地在发展,新富农已经到处出现,许多富裕中农力求把自己变为富农。许多贫农,则因为生产资料不足,仍然处于贫困地位,有些人欠了债,有些人出卖土地,或者出租土地。这种情况如果让它发展下去,农村中向两极分化的现象必然一天一天地严重起来。......这个问题,只有在新的基础之上才能获得解决。这就是在逐步地实现社会主义工业化和逐步地实现对于手工业、对于资本主义工商业的社会主义改造的同时,逐步地实现对于整个农业的社会主义的改造,即实行合作化,在农村中消灭富农经济制度和个体经济制度,使全体农村人民共同富裕起来。(Mao,1977a,201)  

   

    所以,在土地改革以后,在农村中又产生了新的矛盾。一方面,社会主义工业化要求农业提供越来越多的农产品,但是在传统的小农经济范围内农业生产已经不可能再有任何质的进步了。另一方面,资本主义社会关系和社会两极分化也开始在农村发展起来。要同时解决这两个矛盾,农业合作化是唯一的办法。问题是,当时是不是存在成功地进行社会主义农业合作化的历史条件呢?  

   

(2)合作化的失败  

    在官方学者看来,合作农业根本上就是荒谬的,是违反人性的,是不符合经济科学的原理的,所以必须完全否定:  

   

生产队经营的特点是:“出工一窝蜂,干活大呼隆,分配全拉平。”这种劳动和分配的形式,天然地鼓励劳动者偷懒。......人是异质的,每个人的时间偏好并不一样,对劳动的态度也不可能一样,即使依靠某种信念或因一时之需,建立起同舟共济的合作关系,也不能长久。因此,集体劳动需要监督,而监督又是需要费用的。监督的费用如果过于昂贵,监督便成为一种奢侈,就需要放弃监督,采取一种模糊产权的方式以节约这种费用,而放弃监督又会产生劳动积极性下降、“免费搭车”行为竞生的现象,同样也会造成生产的损失。农业是一种分散在广阔地域上进行劳动的产业,其对劳动的监督是很困难的,或者说监督费用高昂......即使有规模经济的潜在可能,也被激励的不足所抵销。(蔡日方,14,97)  

   

    是啊,人是异质的。但是问题根本不在这里。问题在于,现代农业生产客观上要求许多劳动者,不管他们是“异质的”还是“同质的”,在一起以集体的和合作的方式劳动。在资本主义农业中,工人和资本家的关系不仅是“异质的”,而且是对抗性的。资本主义农业当然需要监督,并且由于工人是被压迫、被剥削的,决不会为资本家积极地和负责地劳动,“监督费用”当然是“高昂”的,但是尽管如此,尽管“农业是一种分散在广阔地域上进行劳动的产业”,资本主义农业仍然是无可争辩地优越于小农经济。  

    这就提出了一个问题:如果说,在社会主义合作农业中,劳动者通过组成集体把生产控制在自己手中,因而为了自己的利益而劳动,而不是在资本家的剥削下劳动,那么,他们自然会比资本主义农业中的工人更加积极、更加负责地劳动,那么,社会主义合作农业自然需要比资本主义农业少得多的“监督费用”,那么,既然资本主义农业,尽管它的“监督费用高昂”,仍然从根本上优越于小农经济,为什么社会主义合作农业就不可行、不是大大地优越于小农经济呢?  

    这说明,社会主义合作农业的成功有赖于两个条件:第一,合作农业必须建立在真正的社会主义生产关系的基础上,也就是,劳动人民把生产控制在自己手中。第二,合作农业必须建立在现代农业技术和装备的基础上,这是合作农业优越于小农经济的物质基础。  

    关于第一个条件,我们知道,在五十年代中国还不具备消灭脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工的条件,因而还不具备确立社会主义社会关系所需要的物质基础。因此,一个新的官僚统治阶级逐渐产生了。在这种情况下,农业合作化,虽然对于防止农村的资本主义发展和社会两极分化是必要的,只能按照官僚主义的方式自上而下地进行,而不是农民群众自己的主动性和创造性。  

    另一方面,尽管由于农业合作化,中国的农业生产力的确取得了质的进步,这些进步在传统的小农经济条件下是根本不可能的,到毛泽东时代结束时,中国还没有完成农业的现代化,中国的农业部门在很大程度上仍然是一个前现代的经济部门。  

    在这种情况下,农业合作化和中国农村的社会主义改造的命运就不取决于农村本身的政治、经济和社会状况,而是取决于整个社会的生产关系演变和阶级斗争的总趋势,而这个总趋势,又是由中国的现代经济部门,即比较先进的和逐步占统治地位的经济部门中的生产关系演变和阶级斗争的趋势来决定的。只是在文化大革命失败之后,官僚主义者阶级的统治得以巩固,而以革命社会主义方式来解决中国社会的矛盾已经不可能了,只是在这时,建设真正的社会主义合作农业的可能性才完全不存在了。  

   

(3)合作化的遗产  

    按照官方学者和资产阶级经济学家的意见,中国的合作农业是彻头彻尾的失败,作为一种农业发展战略必须完全抛弃。“在最基本的粮食消费中,二十五年的集体农业并没有任何进步。”“直到七十年代中期,人均粮食生产才达到集体化之前的水平;直到一九八零年,人均营养才稍微超过五十年代中期的水平。”(Selden,1993,16)  

    他们说合作化没有能够提高人均粮食产量,但是他们没有提到在这期间,中国人口增加了三亿,而耕地却减少了一半还多。在这种情况下,中国能够以世界上7%的耕地养活了世界上22%的人口,这一事实本身,就是一个了不起的成就。1976年,中国的粮食单产是491斤,同一年,美国是417斤,加拿大是303斤,法国是452斤,意大利是434斤,都比中国低。日本粮食单产788.6斤,是世界第一。但是,中国15亿亩耕地中,11亿亩种粮食,其中有5亿亩都是在别的国家没人种的低产田,包括5000万亩盐碱地、8000万亩涝洼地和3亿亩山坡薄地。日本的粮食单产788。6斤是在4440万亩耕地面积上获得的,而当年中国有197个县在6858。4万亩大面积上粮食单产超千斤。七十年代来中国访问的美国农学家诺曼·布劳格也说:“中国人民创造了世界上已知的最惊人的变革之一。”(方原,52)  

    合作化时代,并非如官方学者所说,是一团漆黑。  

    评价一种生产关系是不是先进,不仅要看它能不能在短期内提高生产力的量,而且要看它能不能创造一种本质上完全不同的崭新的生产力。官僚主义的农业合作化,虽然造成了莫大的牺牲,付出了重大的代价,但是它毕竟超越了小农经济的狭隘界限,从而使中国农业的生产力发展水平发生了质的革命。  

    孟繁琪(少数同情农业合作化的官方学者之一)认为,正是在1958-1978年,中国农业进入了“向现代农业转换阶段”,在这个时期,农业资本积累和基本建设有了空前绝后的大发展:(1)机械化有了长足进步。1958-1978年,农机总动力平均每年增加24.34%。(2)治理了大江大河,兴建大型灌区,发展井灌、机电排灌。1952-1971年,灌溉面积从占全部耕地的20%增加到78%,复种指数从130增加到185。(3)培育和大面积推广优良品种,建立了庞大、完整的农业科学技术推广体系。一些西方专家在亲身实地到中国考察以后发现:“农民坚定不移的看法是,如果没有这种大面积耕作的新形式(公社),他们将永远对付不了发生自然灾害时的紧急情况。”(Stavrianos,  

1981,607)“今日,中国农业受气候所左右的影响比过去少得多,这并不是中央政府对大型水利工程进行大量投资的结果,而是公社在生产淡季通过动员剩余的劳动力进行许多小型水利工程所累积的作用。”(威尔伯,332)如果没有合作化时期在农业领域积累的巨额投资,那么在“改革”时期,就根本不会有什么“农业奇迹”。  

    到七十年代末,在一些合作化搞得比较成功的地方,农业的现代化已经初露端倪了。1978年,韩丁回到他非常熟悉的山西省长治市的张村时发现:  

   

张村的老百姓已经开始在近200亩粮田上实现机械化,他们的设备,有的是重新修缮的,有的是自制的。翻耕撒肥、播种、除草、收割、烘干和脱粒,所有这些活都用机器。由十二人组成的机械队是劳动生产率提高到过去的十五倍,粮食生产成本减少了一半。(Hinton,1990,15)  

   

   

   

   

(二)回到小农经济  

    在前苏联和东欧,集体农业已经基本上建立在现代农业技术的基础上了。所以,在这些国家,农业私有化遭到农民和农业工人的坚决抵制。另一方面,当邓小平政权开始“经济改革”时,中国农业基本上仍然是一个前现代的经济部门。由于这种前现代的技术条件,又由于官僚主义者阶级的统治,因而劳动人民没有控制生产的权力,(事实上的)私有化成为解决中国农业问题的唯一办法。  

    与前苏联和东欧不同,在中国,农业私有化在一定程度上得到了农民的欢迎(尽管在一些合作化搞得比较好的地方也受到了抵制)。但是这并不能改变整个“改革”的性质。由于“改革”,中国农业回到了小农经济的状态。小农经济,作为一种前现代的生产方式,它的发展方向,是要由中国的现代经济部门的发展方向来决定的。所以,决定整个“改革”的性质的,和对农民群众的长期生活状况(区别于“农业改革”的眼前的、直接的效果)起决定性影响的,是城市“改革”或工业“改革”,而不是农业“改革”。  

   

   

   

   

(三)小农经济和农业停滞  

    “农业改革”在最初几年确实取得了骄人的成绩。1978-1984年,中国农业总产值年平均增长7.62%,粮食产量年平均增长4.95%,特别是1984年人均粮食产量达到390公斤,第一次接近世界平均水平,长期粮食紧张的状况缓和了。  

    官方学者认为,中国农业的“超常规增长”主要归功于“改革”。“农业改革对1978-1984年的产出增长有显著贡献,各项改革所致的生产率变化构成产出增长的48.64%(林毅夫,95)。”在官方学者看来,“农业改革”的成功证明:  

   

家庭经营是最适合于农业这种规模经济不显著的产业的经营形式......以农户的劳动力为主,土地、资本在家庭内部作基本的微观配置,直接生产者与决策者合而为一这样一种资产运作层次,在农业中是典型的。在这一资产运作层次上,农业经济可以发挥出极大的经济效率。  

   

在官方学者看来,“家庭经营”可以说是“产权明晰”的完美典型,所以,他们对“家庭经营”的迷信简直到了无以复加的地步,不承认农业中存在规模经济:  

   

在农业中......土地是可分的,各种流动的投入物如化肥、农药、种子是可分的,就连拖拉机也可以通过制造较小的型号、匹配较小的马力而实现其可分性......所以农业中生产要素具有假不可分性的特点,规模经济不显著。(蔡方,97,101,108)  

   

但是,化肥、农药、良种要发挥作用,往往要求有良好的灌溉,这就要求进行农田水利基本建设,而这是在“家庭经营”这一“资产运作层次”上办不到的。至于使拖拉机“实现其可分性”,官方学者忘了说明,这样做,(相对于作业能力)的生产成本肯定是要大大增加的。  

    官方学者举出日本和台湾为例,作为在家庭经营基础上也可以取得农业现代化的证明。实际上,日本和台湾的经验,与其说是证明了家庭经营的成功,倒不如说是证明了家庭经营的失败。日本和台湾的农业效率极其低下,没有政府的巨额补贴根本不能生存。1970年以前台湾95%的农产品可以自给,1970年以后自给率下降到90%;日本政府每年花1万亿日元(折合800亿元人民币)补贴水稻生产,尽管如此,农产品自给率还是从1955年的87%下降到1980年的72%。(孟繁琪)  

    孟繁琪认为,在苏南稻麦两熟耕作区,土地经营的最小经济规模是500亩;在华北小麦玉米两熟耕作区,土地经营的最小经济规模是1000亩。他指出:  

   

若农业经营主体选择不当,即使经济发展水平相当高,由于受过小经营规模容纳生产技术要素能力的局限,很难采用较高性能的劳动资料实现生产要素的优化组合,难以获得相应的技术效益和规模报酬。在活劳动机会成本一定的条件下......亩均作业总成本随经营规模的扩大而下降,呈显著的负相关,实质是劳动资料性能的不断提高和生产要素组合结构比例不断优化的过程。(孟繁琪,57)  

   

所以,农业也和其它产业部门一样,存在显著的规模经济。小农经济不是象官方学者所说的那样,“在资产运作层次上,农业经济可以发挥出极大的经济效率”,而是有很大的局限性,“难以获得相应的技术效益和规模报酬。”  

    我们有必要仔细分析一下1978-1984年农业“超常规增长”的原因,看看“改革”到底发挥了怎样的功效。这方面缺乏全面的资料,但是通过分析几个具体的案例,还是能看出一些问题的。安徽省凤阳县是最早搞“包产到户”的县之一。这个县1977年粮食产量18.29万吨,这是“改革”前粮食产量最高的一年。19  89  年搞包产到组,粮食产量增加到22.35万吨,1980年搞包产到户,又增加到25.5万吨。当地农民说:“在合作化的时候,我们整天干活,天天干,一年到头地干,但是我们实际上什么也没干。干一会儿,歇一会儿,再干一会儿,再歇一会儿,大伙儿都觉得没劲,生产搞不好,表面上我们在干活,实际上是敷衍了事。现在,我们一分钟都不浪费,多劳多得,我们的生活好起来了,时间掌握在自己手里,我们有的是时间。”这说明,在合作农业搞得不好的地方,承包制确实激发了农民的生产积极性〔1〕  

。但是,农业生产和其它生产部门一样,只有生产积极性还不行,要把生产搞好,还必须具备一定的物质生产条件。凤阳县以种植水稻为主,所以需要大量的灌溉用水。有一半的水来自当地的一个大水库,这个水库是五十年代发动群众建起来的。如果没有这个水库,稻田得不到灌溉,也就不能应用良种,生产技术与合作化以前比没有什么发展,农民生产积极性再高,生产水平也不会比合作化前有很大提高。  

(Hinton,1990,53,58)  

    凤阳县的情况是有普遍意义的。现在全国绝大多数水利工程都是在合作化时代搞起来的。正是合作化时代进行的大规模资本积累和基本建设,才使“改革”初期农业有可能“超常规增长”。“改革”的功劳,只不过是由于发挥了农民的积极性,把这些基本建设的生产潜力充分发挥出来了。从这个意义上说,“超常规增长”不仅不说明“家庭经营”优越,反而证明了集体经济的优越性。既然“超常规增长”是合作化时代大规模资本积累和基本建设的结果,那么要把农业发展的势头保持下去,就必须进行新的资本积累和基本建设。但是,“改革”使中国回到了小农经济汪洋大海的状态,不仅不能积累和发展生产力,反而导致生产力退化。(见表3.1)  

   

表3.1   "改革"时期中国农业生产力的退化  

                    1979        1987  

(百万公顷)  

有效灌溉面积       45.003      44.403  

机灌面积           25.321      24.825  

机耕面积           42.219      38.393  

资料来源:Liu,1988,38.  

   

    合作社解散以后,农田水利基本建设几乎停止;农业技术推广部门面对数量极多、规模极小、户自为战的“经营主体”,很难有所作为,加上小农经济自给性强,吸收新技术愿望低,农业技术推广陷入“网破、线断、人散”的瘫痪状态。(孟繁琪,57)  

    另一方面,“改革”使农业机械化受到了严重挫折。在山西省长治市的张村,在合作农业下,曾经在农业机械化方面取得显著成就。  

   

但是现在改革了,所有村民都分到一份口粮田,余下的土地承包给农民,土地被分成数不清的小地块,机械化变得毫无意义,只好让位于分散耕种。农民别无选择,只好放弃大部分先进设备,重新捡起耙子。银行要张村还贷款,村长告诉银行:“把机器拿走吧。”但是银行一直找不到买主。所以直到现在,那些施肥机、碎土机、喷雾器、机灌设备、收割机和烘干机还扔在机器场上,任凭日晒雨淋,无声地诉说着一个已经过去的时代......(Hinton,1990,15)  

   

黑龙江省的一万个村庄中,只有181个保留了对农机的集体所有和集体  和  管理。有20%的村庄把机器承包给个人,另外80%则干脆按牺牲价格把机器卖给了有内线的人,比如队干部,他们的亲友等。平均来说,卖价只相当于机器原价的三分之一,或者假设这些机器已经折旧了三分之一,那么这些机器就是按半价卖掉的。无论怎样计算,都是集体财产的重大流失。那些买到机器的人,因为得来的便宜,也就不愿意花钱做大的修理。他们的机器,主要是拖拉机、犁和少量的收割机,都是用到需要修理时为止,然后就扔掉了。  

   

改革以后,大部分机器都不能象原来那样发挥其全部功能。机器卖了以后,破坏了各种设备之间的配套关系,新的所有人不能用机器完成任何完整的工作,也不能进行农田连续作业,(我所到之处)差不多都是这样。(Hinton,1990,103-104)  

   

    土地家庭承包以后,由于农村人口持续增长,出现了土地无限细分的趋势。1986年全国农户户均耕地9.2亩,每户地块平均8.49块,平均每块耕地只有1.02亩,与1960年部分亚非国家农户平均土地规模相比,中国只有后者的14.23%。(蔡方,99,102)1991年,全国农户户均耕地比1986年又减少了13%。(《中国农村经济》1993年第5期,6)耕地如此细分,不要说不能满足现代化农业的规模经营要求,就是传统的劳动密集型精耕细作都无法实现合理经营。  

    小农经济在本质上是一种原始的、落后的生产方式,它不能进行大规模资本积累和基本建设,也不能容纳现代生产力。在短期,小农经济在一定程度上有助于克服官僚主义集体农业的一些问题,能在量上提高生产力,但是这种量的提高是建立在集体经济所创造的本质上更高的生产力的基础上的。在长期,小农经济不仅不能进一步发展生产力,而且不能再生产合作化时代遗留下来的本质上比较优越的生产力,在把合作化时代遗留下来的生产能力消耗完以后,中国农业只能无可挽回地衰落下去。  

    1985年,中国粮食减产3000万吨。1984-1993年,中国粮食产量的年平均增长率只有1.3%,人均粮食产量则从390公斤减少到380公斤。(《中国农业经济统计资料1991》,32-33;《北京日报》1994年2月7日)“超常规增长”一去不复返了,中国农业进入了长期停滞。  

   

   

   

   

(四)资本主义和小农经济  

    与资本主义对工人阶级的剥削不同,资本主义对农民的剥削,主要不是在生产领域,而是在流通领域。  

    在资本主义生产关系占统治地位的社会中,如果小农经济在农业中占统治地位,那么就会存在工农产品剪刀差,也就是说,工农产品交换,总是工业得益,农业吃亏。这是因为,工业品是由资本主义部门生产的,是按价值出售的,而农业品是由小农生产的,只能按劳动力价值出售。如果小农的收入高于劳动力价值,劳动力就会由资本主义部门向农业部门倒流,直到把小农的收入压低到与劳动力价值相等为止。所以,农民出售农产品,总是得不到自己产品的全部价值。通过工农产品剪刀差,资本家阶级就不仅能剥削自己直接雇佣的不占有生产资料的无产阶级,而且还能剥削表面上占有生产资料的农民。  

    但是,资本主义对农民的这种剥削方式,与资本主义经济发展的需要之间存在着矛盾。首先,资本主义经济发展要求农业劳动生产率不断提高,这与小农经济妨碍农业劳动生产率的提高之间存在着矛盾。  

    我们用下面两个公式来分别代表资本主义部门和小农经济的农业部门:  

   

    P=PK+P"K"+L  

    P"=WL"  

   

P是一单位资本主义产品的价格,K是由资本主义部门生产的生产一单位资本主义产品所需要的生产资料,K"是由农业部门生产的生产一单位资本主义产品所需要的生产资料,L是生产一单位资本主义产品所要投入的劳动力,P"是一单位农产品的价格,W是一单位劳动力的工资,L"是生产一单位农产品所要投入的劳动力。为了简单起见,我们假设农业生产不需要任何生产资料。  

    如果我们用R来表示资本主义部门的利润率,则:  

   

            P  

    1+R=----------  

        PK+P"K"+WL  

              WL"K"+L  

              -------  

                1-K  

       =-------------------  

        (WL"K"+L)K  

        ----------+WL"K"+WL  

           1-K   

             WK"+L/L"  

             -------  

               1-K  

       =------------------  

         WK" K+W(1-K)  

        ---+--------(L/L")  

        1-K    1-K  

   

    如果我们假设W不变,即假设剩余价值率不变,并且如果K、K"是常数,那么由于资本主义部门的劳动生产率增加得比小农经济的农业部门快,在长期,随着L趋近于0,L/L"也趋近于0,从而1+R趋近于1,也就是说,R趋近于0。  

    所以,在长期,如果农业部门的劳动生产率增长得比资本主义部门慢,资本主义部门的利润率就会逐渐下降,这就会严重地妨碍资本主义积累。  

    其次,资本主义经济发展对农产品的绝对需要量不断增加与中国农业长期供给能力有限之间存在着矛盾。  

    小农经济作为一种个体生产方式,无力进行大规模资本积累。另一方面,在小农经济占统治地位的情况下,劳动力价值规定着农产品价格的上限,农业投资无利可图,导致国家和“集体”投资“向非农产业倾斜”。1979年农业基本建设投资占国家基本建设投资总额的11.1%,1993年下降到2.8%。1990年农业固定资产投资占农村集体固定资产投资总额的17%,1993年下降到6.9%。“据有关资料测算,中国各个时期的农业基础投资份额和农业基建资金再投入的比重均低于理想值。因此,可以说中国农业资金供给不足几乎贯穿着农业发展的全过程。”(《绿皮书》,234)  

    另一方面,资本主义经济发展要求无限地增加对自然资源的消费,而资本主义生产本身却不能再生产自然资源。由于农业是高度依赖自然资源的经济部门,因此,资本主义经济发展本身就会破坏农业生产的基础。这突出地表现在耕地不断减少和环境污染的问题上:  

   

全国乡镇企业在吸纳九千多万劳动力的同时,也占去耕地一亿亩。......在比较发达的地区,乡镇企业正不惜占用着大量的优质农田。(厉以宁等,164)  

   

(1992年)仅各地兴建、扩建各种开发区,即占去耕地2400多万亩,几乎相当于中国现有耕地面积的2%。(《参考消息》1993年1月7日)  

   

另外,据有关部门估计,八十年代后期,全国受工矿企业排放“三废”污染的农田多达1亿亩,每年减产粮食50-100亿公斤。  

    一方面,投资长期不足,另一方面,耕地又不断减少,这就从根本上限制了中国农业的长期生产能力。  

    在小农经济范围内,显然是无法解决上述问题的。在现存社会制度范围内,唯一的出路是在尽可能短的时间内把中国农业改造为资本主义农业。但是,第一,虽然八十年代初的“农业改革”,使中国农业回到了小农经济的状态,确立了事实上的土地私有制,但是法律上的土地私有制还没有建立起来,中国也还不具备彻底实现土地私有化的社会条件。第二,即使完全实现了土地私有化,在小农经济条件下,土地仍不能完全具备可以自由买卖的商品性质,因为对于农民,土地还起着储蓄和保险的功能。即使农民外出务工,在多数情况下他们还是保留土地而不是把它卖掉。在这种情况下,土地的流通和集中只能十分缓慢地进行,对资本主义农业的发展构成严重的障碍。  

   

   

   

   

〔1〕不是在所有的地方,在合作农业下,农民都没有生产积极性。比如山西省有个王公庄村,学习张村的榜样,搞了机械化。“改革”开始时,大家都不愿意分田。每次县领导来到这个村子,村干部就躲起来。这样过了一两年,等承包风过去了,合作社也就留下来了。在王公庄村,农业生产坚持“四个统一”,即“统一计划、统一核算、统一经营、统一耕作”。农民把所有的小麦、豆子种在一起,由村里统一负责采购种子、化肥,由集体所有的机械队统一犁地、耙地、施肥、播种和灌溉。1984年,小麦单产比1978年提高了160%。(Hinton,1990,99)  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

第四章 资本主义经济发展  

   

(一)中国经济发展的物质基础  

    1979-1993年,中国经济年平均增长9.3%(PRC,1994)。中国现在是世界上经济增长最快的国家之一。世界银行也预测,到下个世纪初,中国经济的总产值将成为世界第一(The Economist,October 1994,4)。官方学者认为,中国的高速经济增长显示了“社会主义市场经济体制”的巨大威力:  

   

新中国成立初期建立高度集中的、以行政指令为主的计划经济体制......这种体制自始就排斥社会主义商品经济的发展,愈来愈把适合生产社会化的要求......大大延缓了生产建设、综合国力和人民生活提高的进程,妨碍了社会主义制度优越性的有效、充分发挥。党的十一界三中全会以后,邓小平同志系统地提出了建设有中国特色的社会主义的理论,在这个科学理论指导下,我国经济体制改革逐步走上了建立社会主义市场经济体制的正确轨道。......在经济体制改革推动下,1979年以来,我国的生产建设、综合国力和人民生活都上了一个新台阶。......1979-1991年年平均增长速度为8.6%,显著高于1953-1978年6.1%的速度......初步显示了正在建立过程中的社会主义市场经济体制的巨大威力。(汪海波,220-223)  

   

    在官方学者的论述中包含着局部真理。首先,发展生产力是资本主义的天然的历史使命,是资产阶级在历史上存在的根据。正是在这一点上,资本主义胜过以往一起压迫社会。但是,这并不能改变以下的事实:资本主义生产力的发展永远要以牺牲绝大多数人民的基本利益为代价;在资本主义条件下,只有摧残最根本的生产力-人的生产力,才能发展物质的生产力。  

    其次,官方学者的观点割裂了历史。从统计上看,1979-1993年的经济增长速度比1953-1978年高三个百分点。但是,仅仅这个数据本身并不能说明任何问题。钱纳里根据世界银行的数据发现,随着发展中国家的经济发展水平逐步提高,经济发展也渐趋加速,只是到了相当的经济发展水平以后,经济发展速度才有所放慢。(见表4.1)这是因为,经济发展不仅引起国民收入的量的增加,而且同时还引起国民经济的质的进步,因而改善经济发展的一般条件。所以,较后阶段的经济发展通常在各方面都具有比较前阶段更为有利的发展条件,经济发展速度也就相应比较快。1980年,中国人均国民生产总值304美元(《中国统计年鉴》1991年卷)。大体上处于钱纳里“标准模式”中280-560美元这一阶段。因为七十年代末中国的人均国民生产总值接近五十年代初的三倍,五十年代初中国大约处于钱纳里“标准模式”中的100-140美元这一阶段。照此看来,1979年以后的平均经济增长速度超过1979以前三个百分点,本不足为奇。  

   

表4.1   钱纳里的经济发展"标准模式"  

人均国民生产总值    经济增长率(%)    人均经济增长率(%)  

100-140                3.81                1.26  

140-280                4.80                2.02  

280-560                5.67                3.17  

560-1120               6.30                4.10  

1120-2100              6.58                4.58  

2100-3360              6.21                4.71  

3360-5040              5.60                4.60  

资料来源:刘世锦和江小娟.  

   

    正是新中国前三十年的经济建设为1979年以后的经济发展奠定了物质基础:  

    (1)首先,从经济发展的一般物质条件看,八十年代远远胜过五十年代。例如,1949年,中国只有铁路2.17万公里,公路约8万公里。到1980年,铁路增加到了5.2万公里,公路增加到了87.6万公里,分别是1949年的2.4倍和11倍。(《世界经济年鉴》1981年卷)  

    (2)中国作为一个经济、技术落后的发展中国家,农业生产的好坏直接制约着整个经济发展的好坏。由表4.2可以看出八十年代末以前农业的增长速度直接关系着整个中国经济的增长速度。1979年以后中国经济的高速增长,首先是由于农业的高速增长。如果不是因为农业生产已经达到了远远高于五十年代的水平,因而能够为城市提供充足的剩余产品,1979年以后的高速经济增长是不可能的。  

   

表4.2   中国农业总产值和国民收入年平均增长率(%)  

            农业总产值    国民收入  

1952-1958      4.19        10.57  

1958-1965      1.01         0.08  

1965-1978      3.05         6.61  

1978-1988      6.63         9.23  

资料来源:PRC 1985;冯海发,115.  

   

    那么,为什么八十年代的中国农业能达到远远高于五十年代的水平呢?从生产关系看,八十年代初的改革不过使中国农业回到了小农经济的状态,与五十年代并无根本不同。但是,八十年代的小农经济并非就是五十年代的小农经济的简单重复。经过合作化时代二十多年的建设,中国农民已经在全新的生产条件下进行农业生产了。(见表4.3)如果没有合作化时代积累起来的巨大生产能力,中国农业只能停留在五十年代那种原始的农业生产水平上。很难想象,在这样的农业基础上能够创造出八十年代的经济奇迹。  

   

表4.3   中国农业生产力的发展  

                            1952    1979  

农机总动力(万马力)           25    18191  

每公顷耕地化肥施用量(公斤)   0.7   109.2  

农村用电量(亿度)             0.5   284.1  

灌溉面积(万公顷)           1995.9  4500.3  

资料来源:《世界经济年鉴》1981年卷,56。  

   

    (3)1949-1979年,中国始终奉行优先发展重工业的经济发展战略。这一战略尽管现在遭到非议,但是毕竟,到七十年代末,“中国工业已经改变了历史遗留下来的技术落后和畸形发展的状况,建立起门类比较齐全、布局趋向合理的生产体系。”(《世界经济年鉴》1981年卷,54)1979年以后的经济高速增长与新中国前三十年形成的重工业基础同样是分不开的。  

    以乡镇企业为例,“乡镇企业的装备基本上是城市工业提供的”,“1987年仅乡村两级企业净增固定资产总值达280亿元......而其所消耗的国营工业产品就占到70%。”(厉以宁等,166)如果1979年以前中国没有形成相当的重工业基础,这些工业设备就必须进口。1988年,乡镇企业累计固定资产原值约3600亿元。假设这3600亿元在1980-1988年平均分配,分别依当年汇率计算,那么累计需外汇1500多亿美元。如果用增加出口的办法来换取这笔外汇,同期中国出口收入就必须增加60%;如果用借外债的办法来筹集这笔外汇,八十年代中国借入的长期外债就得增加三倍以上。显然,这两种办法,或者完全不现实,或者实现起来有很大困难。因此,如果没有本国的重工业基础,乡镇企业恐怕就不能实现八十年代的飞速发展了。  

    (4)但是,中国革命最伟大、最深远的成就却在于绝大多数人的发展,在于形成了巨大的人的生产力。  

    这表现在绝大多数人民的体力和智力的发展上。  

    体力:人均预期寿命从解放前的35岁提高到七十年代末的68岁。  

    智力:在旧中国,全国80%以上的人口是文盲,学龄儿童入学率只有20%。到七十年代末,学龄儿童入学率达到93%。(《世界经济年鉴》1981年卷,73)据1982年全国人口普查,男女成人识字率分别达到81%和55%。  

    中国人民在身体上和精神上发生的巨变是长期经济发展中真正有决定性的因素,其作用是不可估量的。  

    有必要指出,所有这些条件,大多是在市场经济或资本主义条件下办不到的。如果不是在合作化时期,大搞农田水利基本建设,推广农业新技术,发展农业机械化,怎么能够在八十年代奠定农业起飞的物质基础呢?如果不是实行计划经济,推行重工业优先的经济发展战略,又怎么能够为后来的工业高速增长创造条件?特别是,只有经历了社会主义革命的国家,才能为绝大多数人的发展创造最有利的条件。将中国与另外几个人口一亿以上的发展中大国相比较,中国的人均国民生产总值仅超过印度,不如印度尼西亚,仅相当于巴西的六分之一。但是,中国的人均预期寿命是这几个国家中最高的,成人识字率与印度尼西亚相当,与巴西相比差距也不大。(见表4.4)  

   

表4.4   人口一亿以上的发展中大国社会发展水平比较  

                        中国    印度    印度尼西亚    巴西  

人均预期寿命(岁)*  

                    男   66      50         46         60  

                    女   69      49         49         64  

成人识字率(%)**  

                    男   81      51         77         76  

                    女   55      28         57         73  

人均国民生产总值(美元)***  

                        304     183        369        1793  

*中国是1981年数据,其它国家是1975-1980年数据.  

**中国是1982年数据,其它国家是1980年数据.  

***中国是1980年数据,印度、巴西是1979年数据,印度尼西亚是1978年数据.  

资料来源:<国际经济和社会统计提要(一九八五年)>,12,211;<世界经济年鉴>1981年卷.  

   

    因此,新中国前三十年的经济建设从物质方面为1979年以后的经济高速增长准备了条件。有了这些条件,只要有了适当的生产关系,生产力便能够迅猛发展。这种生产关系既可以是压迫性的生产关系,也可以是解放性的生产关系,区别只不过在于,在前一种情况下,生产力的发展总是以牺牲人的发展(就绝大多数人而言),而在后一种情况下,生产力的发展成为人的发展的条件,并且以人的发展为前提。  

   

(二)资本主义生产关系的确立  

    中国到底选择哪一种生产关系,不取决于经济学家的计算和推理,而是取决于阶级斗争的实际进程,取决于统治阶级和被压迫人民之间的力量对比。一方面,在八十年代,中国劳动人民尚并具备必要的物质力量和理论力量以按照自身的意志决定社会发展的方向。另一方面,前苏联和东欧的经验证明,统治阶级要完全征服被压迫人民的意志,完全按照自己的意愿决定社会发展的方向并非轻而易举,甚至可能遇到无法逾越的障碍。  

    劳动人民不经过严重的斗争,决不会放弃他们在革命中争得的社会主义权利,听任资本主义压迫秩序的摆布,这是资本主义生产关系发展过程中最大的、起决定性作用的障碍。在这一点上,中国与前苏联和东欧并无不同。但是,前苏联和东欧在所谓“改革”过程中陷入了空前可怕的经济危机,事实上,资本主义复辟在前苏联能否成功到现在还是个问题,而中国却显然已经成功地完成了向资本主义过渡。从马克思主义观点看,这必须用中国与前苏联和东欧不同的阶级结构,因而不同的阶级斗争条件来解释。  

    在中国,就象在前苏联和东欧一样,有一个城市工人阶级,也就是国有企业工人阶级,这个阶级在反对资本主义“改革”的斗争中起着主要的作用。但是与前苏联和东欧不同,中国的城市工人阶级并不占劳动人民的大多数。当中国开始向资本主义过渡时,中国农业仍然基本上建立在前现代的技术条件上,并且仍然有一个占人口绝大多数的农民阶级。这里我们不来讨论毛泽东时期城市和农村之间的不平衡发展,我们只须指出,一方面,在农业私有化之后,农业部门回到了小农经济的状态,农民因而也成为“自由”的劳动力;另一方面,工业和农业之间的不平等交换不仅继续存在而且在1984年以后出现了对农民越来越不利的局面。于是,一个庞大的、总数在一亿以上的“剩余劳动力”队伍在中国农村出现了。这些“剩余劳动力”准备按照资本主义的标准来出卖他们的劳动力,成为中国的新无产阶级。我把他们称之为中国的“新无产阶级”是因为,这些人与国有企业的工人阶级不同,他们不受“铁饭碗”等社会主义权利的保护,而是不得不在纯粹自由市场资本主义的条件下听任资本家的剥削。由于存在着新无产阶级,就可以在国有企业部门旁边,另外发展起一个庞大的资本主义的或半资本主义的经济部门(在中国,这个部门包括乡镇企业、各式各样的“集体企业”、私营企业和“三资”企业),并在其中建立起基本上正常的资本主义生产关系。通过这种方式,中国的统治阶级就在实际上绕过了国有企业工人阶级的抵抗,在新无产阶级的基础上直接建立起资本主义生产关系。资本主义“改革”的胜利由此就确定了。  

   

(三)中国的新无产阶级  

    直到1978年,农业劳动力占中国社会劳动力的比重仍然高达71.4%,官方学者认为,其中三分之一到二分之一是“剩余劳动力”。(厉以宁等,151)1979年以后,农业劳动力开始大量向工业、商业和服务业转移,到1988年,农业劳动力比重下降到57.9%。(厉以宁等,155)这些离开农业的劳动力绝大多数被乡镇企业、私营企业和三资企业吸收。到1989年,全国乡镇企业职工总数达到9366.3万人,全国个体、私营企业雇工约700-800万人,另外全国离土离乡的民工约2000万人,其中仅广东省就有400万人,三资企业工人主要来自这部分民工。(李强,98)这样,到1989年,以上三部分人加起来有大约12000万人。这些离开农业的劳动力的共同特点是,没有生产资料,靠出卖劳动力为生,他们是中国的新无产阶级。  

    下面是在深圳打工的一个普通工人创作的一首诗,生动地描述了中国新无产阶级的生活状况:  

   

    隆隆的机声已经响起,  

    时间又逼我起了早床。  

   

    坐在机器面前,  

    老板似乎又来到身边。  

    那威逼的眼神,  

    就象绿色的钞票在闪耀。  

   

    于是  

    我们又低下了头,  

    圆满着自己的未来。  

   

    即使因一时的激动,  

            丢了手脚。  

    但在金钱面前  

    我们却露出了笑脸。  

    ......  

   

    当领去薪资的时候,  

    身后传来的却是  

    神秘的微笑。  

        因为  

    我们得到的  

    仅仅是遗弃的  

          面包。  

   

    中国的新无产阶级生活在极其悲惨的状况中,但是从资本主义的观点看,这是好得不能再好的、极有效率的经济制度。在“改革”时期,正是靠吸收农业转移劳动力发展起来的乡镇企业、私营企业和三资企业发展最快。1979-1990年,这三类企业占了中国工业产值增长额的51.9%(郭克莎,178)。更重要的是,这三类企业又特别集中在对中国经济发展有决定性意义的出口部门。1993年,乡镇企业出口商品交货额占全国外贸出口商品收购总额的45%,外资企业出口占全国出口的27%(《人民日报》1993年12月14日)。所以,乡镇企业、私营企业和三资企业是中国经济增长主要的动力和源泉。  

    现在让我们来看看资本家是用什么魔法把生产力从地下呼唤出来的吧。  

   

(1)延长劳动时间。据中国社会科学院搞的百家私营企业调查,有53家私营企业工人每天劳动8小时以上,其中18家工人每天劳动超过10小时,66家在节假日、星期天从来不让工人休息。(韩明希,94)广东省的三资企业、私营企业工人每天劳动普遍在10小时以上。广东省惠州市惠城区总工会对27家企业调查发现,有26家每月加班超过48小时,有的超过近一倍,很多情况下要昼夜加班,星期天和节假日都被占用。(安子,152)  

   

(2)增加劳动强度。在这方面没有直接的统计资料,但是可以用间接估计的办法了解一些情况。1987年城市工业企业人均固定资产原值约1.88万元,是1988年乡镇企业人均固定资产原值的5倍。(厉以宁等,157)但是,前者的劳动生产率只有后者的3倍多。为什么城市工业企业的技术装备水平是乡镇企业的5倍,但是劳动生产率只有乡镇企业的3倍多呢?官方的“劳动生产率”是按职工人数统计的。所以,如果乡镇企业工人劳动时间长,虽然实际上劳动效率没有提高,但是在官方统计中,就表现为较高的“劳动生产率”。但是,仅仅是劳动时间较长还解释不了全部差距,余下的差距只能解释为乡镇企业工人劳动强度较大。比如,山西原平县7家乡镇煤矿,1985年每工产煤2.2吨,而1984年全国重点煤矿每工产煤只有0.903吨(社科院经济所)。乡镇煤矿的装备水平远远比不上全国重点煤矿,每工产煤竟然多出一倍多,说明劳动强度非常大。深圳市的国有企业、合资企业、外商独资企业生产技术水平没有很大差距,但是1987年国有企业劳动生产率31999元,合资企业是87787元,而外商独资企业是94141元(刘志庚,40)。这说明,三资企业工人的劳动强度远远大于国有企业工人。  

   

(3)压低劳动力价格。压低、克扣工资是资本家发财致富的惯用伎俩。在这方面,深圳可谓是最善于学习资本主义的“先进经验”,走在时代的前面。仅在1990年下半年,深圳市宝安区就有19家工厂拖欠工人工资总计72万元。(安子,151)有一个手袋厂,原加工一打手袋给0.25元,已属偏低,工人加班加点拼命干,月工资超过标准工资后,老板反而说单价定高了,将单价降到0.085元。深圳市平湖镇某盐制品厂,其包装部的34名工人,月工资在200元至300元之间的仅5人,其余29人均不到200元,最低只有119.73元。(《深圳人》总3期,25)  

   

(4)雇佣女工、童工。在深圳的工业区,经常可以看到厂房上披挂着巨大横幅:“本厂急需几百名女工。”资本家为什么喜欢雇佣女工、童工呢?据说,一是因为他们听话、不闹事,二是因为工资低廉,很多在私营企业做工的女工、童工月工资只有40-60元(韩明希,94)。据美国《商业周刊》报道,香港最大的玩具制造商-卡德尔有限公司,在深圳蛇口的工厂有12000名工人,这些工人每天劳动14小时,没有星期天,月工资约合21美元。工人中大多数是17-25岁的女青年,还有很多是童工,最小的只有12岁。卡德尔公司的经理说:“我们可以让这些女孩子一天到晚不停地干活,在香港就不行。即使我们愿意接受香港的工资水平,我们也得不到这样的劳动力。”香港报纸报道说,在珠江流域的14000家企业中,广泛使用童工,每周工作96小时都是司空见惯的。有的调查者在深圳发现,在所调查的200家企业中,有40家雇佣童工,她们是10-12的女孩,每天劳动15小时,月工资折合10美元,厂方为了节省宿舍,让她们两三个人挤在一张床上休息。(Smith,1993,95)  

   

(5)敲诈勒索。广东省的三资企业流行一种押金制度,工人新进厂,必须交100元至500元不等的押金,说是合同期满后还给工人。但是,厂方往往找借口开除工人,或者百般欺侮工人,逼工人“自动”离职,厂方自然把押金吞没。比如海南必远鞋业公司,两年中炒掉2000多工人,侵吞押金20多万元(《工人日报》1993年12月10日)。  

    资本家还有一个高招叫罚款。深圳海特制衣厂工人在厂里上厕所要交费,每人每次1角,厕所每堵塞一次,全厂200多人,不论男女,每人罚款5元。有时厕所一天堵两次,工人苦不堪言。(安子,13)深圳市南头添利厂规定,上班时间工人如讲话罚款5元,有一次连续工作了12小时的工人已经完成当日任务,提前10分钟出来排队打卡,被管理人员发现,18个临时工每人被罚款50港币。深圳市平湖镇一家工厂,1990年4月,全厂227人,有74人受罚,6月全厂215人,有124人受罚,最高罚款78元。(《深圳人》总3期,25)  

   

(6)节约工人的生命。资本家关心的不仅是剩余价值的绝对量,而且还关心剩余价值与资本的比例,即利润率。通过节约生产资料,可以提高利润率。在发达资本主义国家,节约生产资料主要是靠技术进步。但是中国的乡镇企业、私营企业和三资企业设备陈旧、技术落后,对于它们,节约对于维护工人生命和健康必不可少的设备和材料是节约生产资料的一个重要方法。  

    《工人日报》(1993年12月11日)发表的一封读者来信披露:“一些县乡企业片面追求经济效益,忽视了劳动保护设施建设及职工的身体健康......丰润县一家水泥厂的破碎车间粉尘超过标准四百二十七倍。职工的身体健康在那里根本无法保障。”  

    深圳市宝安区仅1989-1992年,三资企业就发生重大工伤事故30起,死亡25人。有一个工程师因超时加班、身体疲劳,检查机器时无名指、小指被打掉,中指被打断,食指被打至指背裂开8厘米。事故发生后,经理竟不屑一顾,说什么:“残废算什么,死人也不算什么,你可以告去,我不怕。”(《深圳人》总4期,20)陕西省长安县有一个服装厂女工,被机器轧断右手,厂方只给她500元就把她辞退了。(韩明希,327)笔者在深圳也听说过类似的事件,不同的是厂方只给20多元就把伤残工人打发了。  

    陕西省韩城市1986年有212家小煤矿,其中私营66家,占31.1%。当年发生事故39起,死44人,伤22人,其中私营煤矿发生事故23起,死23人,伤22人,分别占59%、52.3%和100%。1987年1-7月,私营煤矿发生事故16起,死17人,分别占全部小煤矿事故次数和死亡人数的84%和87%。(韩明希,327)  

    1991年5月30日夜,位于广东省东莞市境内的兴亚雨衣厂发生火灾,80名青年女工被烧死,40人重伤。R·史密斯评论说:“令人遗憾的是,这一类悲剧在华南出口加工工业中太常见了。在那里,资本家享受广泛的权力和自由,而中国政府却不许工人有权力和自由。”广东省消防局的报告说,仅在珠江流域,1990年就发生了1700起工业火灾和爆炸。(Smith,1993,95)在这种情况下,1993年深圳大爆炸和11·19火灾烧死82个打工妹的惨剧,也就不足为奇了。〔1〕《人民日报》(1993年12月15日)也不得不发表评论:“悲剧何以一演再演?......主要是企业主忽视防火和安全生产,没有把职工的人身安全放在心上......”  

   

    有人恐怕要问:工人的权益受到侵犯,他们为什么不寻求法律的保护呢?深圳是中国资本主义最发达的地方,也是为现代资本主义服务的各种官方法律最完备的地方。1993年5月28日,深圳市人大常委会通过了《深圳经济特区劳务工条例》。《条例》模仿发达资本主义国家的劳动法规,规定了一些保护劳动者免受资本家过度剥削的条款:用人单位招用劳务工,应与劳务工订立劳动合同;劳务工有权参加和组织工会;严禁招用未满16周岁的童工;用人单位招用劳务工,不得收取报名费及押金;如劳务工患病或因工负伤,医疗期间用人单位不得解除劳务合同,医疗期满未痊愈者,用人单位如解除劳动合同须提前一个月通知对方,并付与劳务工相当于一个月工资的补助费;每周正常工作时间不得超过48小时,每人每月加班时间不得超过48小时,加班须按正常工资的150-200%发加班工资。  

    但是,《深圳经济特区劳务工条例》也和现代资本主义法律一样,到处标榜自由、平等,实际上浸透着阶级偏见。《条例》一方面企图约束资本家的过度剥削,另一方面,却本着维护资本家特权的立场,不许工人反抗。《条例》规定:劳务工如果辞职须提前一个月通知用人单位,否则要向用人单位支付相当于一个月工资的补偿金;如果劳务工经常迟到、早退、旷工、消极怠工,或者故意损坏设备、工具、浪费原材料、能源,用人单位有权无条件将其辞退。这实际上使资本家可以随便找借口开除那些敢于斗争的工人。  

    如果说,《条例》还不得不在纸面上标榜一点平等,那么官僚执法机构就完全没有必要标榜任何东西。笔者曾跟随6个打工妹打过一场官司。这6个打工妹是深圳市华侨城盛隆服装公司的工人。这个公司的工人每天要劳动14小时以上,经常通宵加班,从来没有节假日,甚至大年初一还要工人通宵加班,厂方从来不给加班费。这6个打工妹不堪忍受这样恶劣的劳动条件,决意辞工,并且提前一个月通知公司方面。但是,一个月后,公司方面扣住她们的押金不还,还不发给最后一个月的工资(该公司向来要拖欠一个月才发给工人上月工资)。工人告到劳动局,劳动局官员一开始不分青红皂白,就说工人无理取闹,要工人回去。这6个打工妹坚持不走,反复申辩,劳动局官员才开了一纸公文,让厂方调查处理。厂方当然不予理睬。工人又到劳动局告状。这次劳动局官员有了些耐心,教导工人不要只从单方面着想,要想到她们辞工给厂方带来损失,说什么:“如果都说走就走,工厂还开不开?”然后他又恐吓工人:“你们都是三无人员(无身份证、无边境证、无暂住证),属深圳市清理对象。”又说什么即使资本家违反《条例》,也不许工人违反劳动纪律,工人只有反映问题的权利。在6个打工妹反复要求以后,劳动局官员才同意处理此事。他把厂方代表找来协商,但是厂方代表矢口否认工人曾提前一个月提出辞工,要工人拿出书面证据,工人当然没有什么书面证据。这样纠缠当然解决不了任何问题。最后一次,有一个劳动局的科长,算是对工人比较有同情心,听了双方陈述以后,要求厂方把押金、最后一个月工资都退还给工人。公司方面口头上答应照办,回去以后对工人说,最后一个月工资可以给她们,但是她们的产品质量差,还旷工,所以要罚款,还要赔偿厂方损失,七扣八扣,最后每个工人只拿到几块钱。这官司还能打吗?要说明的是,盛隆公司在华侨城,距离深圳市区有一个多小时的路程。从华侨城到劳动局往返车费大约是每人8块钱。到了劳动局要排队,要介绍情况,与厂方代表对质,所以实际上一去就是一整天。每人每天损失工资10-20元。再加上到市区吃饭,每人每顿至少10块钱(如在工厂附近只要两、三块钱)。这6个打工妹为了打这场公司去市劳动局5次,仍然没有解决问题。从这里我们可以看出,普通劳动者要按照资产阶级的法律打一场官司,要耗费多少他们耗费不起的东西,他们想讨得一点公正有多么困难!  

    这个事例说明,千万不要迷信法律!很多知识分子呼吁要实行“法治”,认为只要在法律上写上“人权”,就可以消灭丑恶的社会现象。但是,实际上根本没有什么离开“人治”的“法治”,  “法治”无非是有钱人的“人治”罢了。在深圳,有上百万打工者,上万家企业,劳动局处理日常纠纷的只有十来个人,怎么可能管理得过来呢?其结果,就是凡是《条例》上对资本家有利的条款,都能得到执行,凡是对工人有利的条款都得不到执行。  

    从来就没有什么救世主,也不靠神仙皇帝。要创造人类的幸福,全靠我们自己。事实证明,中国的新无产阶级只有自己起来斗争,才能捍卫自己的权益,除次以外别无他法。据统计,1990年仅在深圳市就发生停工、罢工69起,有9677名工人参加(安子,151)。但是,由于大批劳动力不断从农村外出谋生,形成了一支巨大的劳动后备军。所以,资本家有恃无恐。听说有一次,深圳莲塘工业区一家工厂,一条生产线上全部女工都停工,结果资本家把她们全部炒掉。有时候,资本家通过对工人稍作让步,然后把领头的开除的办法,既平息了罢工,又清除了工人的领导力量。所以,新无产阶级为改善自身处境而斗争的条件是非常恶劣的。他们是从极困难的起点开始自己的斗争的,在最不利的情况下,往往只能采取盗窃、破坏、怠工等原始的反抗方式。另一方面,统治阶级也不遗余力地毒化无产阶级的思想。有一个打工妹曾对我谈起这样一件事。一个技术工人因对资本家不满,故意搞了一个错误设计,然后逃走了,资本家因此损失了几万元。这个打工妹认为,这个技术工人素质太差,“老板对工人不好有时也是以外工人素质不高。”“打工者的权利要维护,老板的权利也要维护。”又说,“打工者不受尊重主要是厂方不会管理,其实老板还不错,主要是管理人员不讲道理。”象“素质”、“权利”、“管理”这些时髦词汇当然都是电视、广播、报纸每天在灌输的。  

    但是,绝大多数工人从朴素的经验出发,深深感觉到自己是受剥削的,所以他们本能地要反抗这种剥削。不管这种“反抗”素质如何,当工人要反抗的时候,资本家就不再是温文尔雅、知书达礼的了,而是象疯狗一样地乱咬起来。  

    福州市台商永骐鞋业有限公司,有一个女工拿了该厂两双鞋,被发现后,两个台湾人伙同大陆保安人员把她捆住毒打,然后把鞋子挂在她脖子上示众。示众以后,又把她关进狗笼子,与两只狼狗“同笼”两小时之久。台湾经理公然对女工说:“我把你们当狗看!”该厂女工一上班,大门就紧锁,停电也不让女工出厂。晚上下班时,女工要排成队,一个个接受搜身。(《报刊文摘》1993年12月9日)自由派知识分子说什么“资本主义的天然逻辑导致政治民主”。(《边缘》,5)中国的新无产阶级不要说公民权利,连人身权利都无从保障,还侈谈什么“政治民主”。实际上,直接的暴力压迫向来都是资本家一个重要的“管理方法”。广州海丰鞋业有限公司,有一个男工钉鞋钉得不规范,被厂长打得遍体鳞伤,这还不算完,厂长又命令这个男工所在的整条流水线近百名工人站在中午的烈日下曝晒一小时之久,有的工人因中暑当场晕倒。  

    这才是资本家最欢迎的。资本家最讲实际,不象知识分子那样喜欢讲一些漂亮的抽象原则。资本家只关心利润。在庞大的劳动后备军的压力下,新无产阶级不得不接受极其低廉的工资、非人的生活待遇和劳动条件,而且无力组织起来进行捍卫自己的斗争,只有听凭资本家任意驱使、奴役,因而创造出巨大的剩余价值。资本主义的积累机器就这样被发动起来了,中国资本主义的“经济奇迹”就这样用亿万打工者的血泪铸成了。  

   

(四)资本主义和人民贫困化  

    资本主义发展必然导致社会两极分化,绝大多数人民相对和绝对贫困化。  

    资本主义竞争迫使资本家最大限度地以资本代替劳动,提高资本有机构成(不变资本与可变资本之比,或生产资料价值与劳动力价值之比),以提高劳动生产率,这是资本主义积累的绝对规律。一方面,资本有机构成提高直接减少了一定量资本所需雇佣的工人人数。另一方面,由于资本有机构成提高,一部分在业工人变为失业工人,重建了劳动后备军,从而使资本与劳动之间的力量对比发生有利于资本的变化,进而压低社会平均工资。这两方面作用,共同导致工人阶级在国民收入中占有的份额下降,即导致绝大多数人民相对贫困化。  

    以乡镇企业为例,1984-1987年,乡镇企业人均固定资产原值年平均增长4.8%,1988-1992年,猛增到25%,其中1992年竟达到56%。1984-1987年,乡镇企业每增加产值6700元,即可吸纳一人就业,1988-1992年,则须增加产值73000元,才能吸纳一人就业。(马宾和孙尚清,29)  

    一方面,社会劳动力总数趋于自然增长,另一方面,社会资本吸收劳动力的能力却逐渐缩小,其结果,便是社会剩余劳动力的增长。在现有农业生产力水平下,一个农业劳动力可以耕种农田10亩以上。中国现有农业劳动力约3.4亿人,劳均耕地约5亩。(马宾和孙尚清,28)据此计算,中国农村剩余劳动力约有1.7亿人。  

    庞大的剩余劳动力队伍,一方面使新无产阶级在资本剥削面前软弱无力,另一方面在社会对农产品的需求趋于相对下降的情况下,使农业劳动力不能转化为工业或其它产业的劳动力。通过这两个方面的作用,便促成了构成中国人口绝大多数的两个阶级-新无产阶级和农民阶级的贫困化。  

    有必要指出,社会剩余劳动力的增长决不是经济发展本身的必然结果。在社会主义条件下,社会劳动生产率的提高可以一部分转化为人民物质生活水平的提高,一部分转化为人民群众可支配的自由时间的增长,从而使普通群众都能够自由地发展他们在体力和智力上的潜能、表现他们丰富的个性。只是在资本主义发展中,社会生产力的进步才导致大规模失业和绝大多数人民贫困化。  

    在中国,大体上可以用“农民人均纯收入”这个指标来说明新无产阶级和农民阶级的生活状况。在官方统计中,“农民”指农村户口的居民,大体上相当于新无产阶级和农民阶级的总和。如果我们把城镇居民人均生活费收入作为100,那么“农民人均纯收入”的指数从1984年的58.9下降到了1993年的39.4。如果我们把1985年时的“农民人均纯收入”与人均国民收入之比当作100,那么1992年这个比例下降到了69.7。(马宾和孙尚清,26)  

    资本主义积累不仅必然导致绝大多数人民相对贫困化,在一定条件下,还导致绝大多数人民绝对贫困化。1989年,在整个经济增长4%的情况下,“农民人均纯收入”竟然下降了7.4%。1993年,在经济增长速度高达13.4%的情况下,农民人均生活消费支出却下降了0.9%。(马宾和孙尚清,26,266)  

    所以,资本主义经济发展必然牺牲绝大多数人的利益,必然要建立在绝大多数人民相对和绝对贫困化的基础上。但是,如果经济发展不是为了绝大多数人的利益,这种发展又有什么意义呢?  

   

(五)依附性发展  

    由于确立了正常的资本主义生产关系,中国就开始走上了资本主义经济发展的道路。1979-1993年,中国经济年平均增长9.3%。1994年和1995年中国经济继续以10%以上的奇迹般地速度增长,使中国成为世界上经济增长最快的资本主义国家。  

    怎样来解释中国的“经济奇迹”呢?一方面,在官僚资产阶级独裁政治的压迫下,在没有有组织的革命社会主义力量的情况下,劳动人民不能有效地进行反抗资本主义压迫和剥削的斗争,数以亿计的劳动者为了谋取生计因而不得不按照极其低廉的价格出卖他们的劳动力。另一方面,作为一个新兴的发展中国家,中国可以通过从发达资本主义国家进口的办法直接采用先进的技术设备。一方面剥削廉价劳动力,一方面采用先进技术,或者用马克思主义的术语说,通过同时剥削绝对剩余价值和相对剩余价值,资本家就能够赚取超额剩余价值和超额利润,这就为资本主义积累提供了强大的推动力。  

    但是要进口外国的技术设备,就要有一个在世界市场上有竞争力的出口部门,通过出口来赚取外汇。在“改革”时期,中国的出口增长超过了整个经济的增长。1980-1994年,中国的商品贸易额从181亿美元增加到1210亿美元,或者说增加了6倍。(PRC 1994;《人民日报》1995年3月2日)与此同时,大量外资涌入中国,到1995年底中国总计实际利用外资1334亿美元。(《人民日报》1996年2月1日)  

    所以,可以说,中国经济已经和世界资本主义经济紧密地结合在一起了。中国的商品贸易额现在占国民生产总值的40%左右。与此同时,中国经济也按照资本主义国际分工的需要在结构上进行了改组。一方面,劳动密集型产业和低档机电工业,也就是那些中国在世界市场上凭廉价劳动力有“比较优势”的产业,发展十分迅速。另一方面,中国经济也越来越依赖于外国的技术设备。这反映在中国机电产品对外贸易的模式中:  

   

中国机电产品的对外贸易存在着下列问题:第一,进多出少,贸易逆差迅速扩大。1980年机电产品贸易逆差42.6亿美元,1993年增加到了267.6亿美元,其中机械产品贸易逆差占90%,电子产品贸易逆差占10%。第二,高进低出,多数主要工业设备和关键产品依靠进口。1993年有12种产品进口值超过10亿美元。另一方面,中国出口的机电产品主要是低附加价值的消费品。第三,在市场竞争中,中国机电产品的国内市场份额逐年下降。例如,1980年中国的机床工业占有国内市场的95%,1990年下降到了70%,1993年进一步下降到了44%。(《世界日报》1995年11月14日,转引自北京出版的《金融时报》引用中国机械工业部有关部门透露的信息所做的报道,这里是根据英译转译,非原文)  

   

    对私人资本(在中国,外资企业、私营企业、乡镇企业和国有企业都是私人资本的具体形式)来说,在那些中国在世界市场上有“比较优势”的产业投资可以得到很高的利润率,并且销售市场也在迅速扩大。另一方面,如果是在先进的资本品工业或其它高技术产业投资,他们无力与发达资本主义国家的资本竞争,或者根本就没有力量在这些产业投资和承担相应的风险。在这种情况下,私人资本,为了追逐最大的利润,为什么要在高技术产业投资而不是在那些在世界市场上前景良好的产业投资呢?所以,按照私人资本的逻辑,中国不可避免地要走上一方面片面发展劳动密集型产业和低档机电工业,另一方面严重依赖外国的技术设备的道路。在这种情况下,中国的资本主义经济发展实际上就是依附性发展。  

    依附性发展的模式还可以通过中国计算机工业的发展状况来说明:  

   

中国的目标......是要成为国内和世界市场上低档个人电脑和附件,比如打印机、终端和接线板等。通过大规模出口这些产品,中国可以挣得外汇以进口支持计算机工业发展所需要的高档产品和技术。  

   

中国的集成电路生产能力十分低下,并且仅限于生产消费品,如电视机、电冰箱等所用集成电路。因此,中国不得不进口发展计算机工业所需的几乎全部集成电路。(Hui and Mcknown,1995,17)  

   

    中国政府官员承认,在技术方面,中国的集成电路工业比国际水平落后15年。虽然估计到2000年中国的集成电路产量可以达到10亿块,国内需求预计届时将达到20-30亿块,因而有10-20亿块需依靠进口。  

    在资本主义国际分工中中国经济目前还处于相对有利的位置。但是,从长远来说,中国的资本主义经济发展要成功,就必须有能力实行独立的经济政策,特别是有效地保护国内工业免受世界市场竞争的压力。作为一个欠发达国家,中国如果采用自由贸易的体制,使本国经济完全暴露在国际竞争的压力下,那么绝大多数中国企业在与发达资本主义国家的竞争中都是无法生存下来的。但是,随着中国经济越来越依赖于外国的技术设备,中国的经济增长也就越来越依赖于发达资本主义国家所提供的出口市场。发达资本主义国家因而就可以通过贸易保护等手段迫使中国奉行与发达资本主义国家利益相一致的经济政策。在这种情况下,中国就越来越难以采取独立的经济政策了。事实上,在关于中国加入世界贸易组织的谈判中,中国已经受到发达资本主义国家要中国开放国内市场和做出其它重大让步的强大压力了。  

    另一方面,资本主义技术进步的历史趋势是以资本代替劳动,以资本和技术密集型的产业和产品代替劳动密集型的产业和产品。所以,从长期来看,资本主义技术进步倾向于削弱乃至完全消除廉价劳动力在资本主义生产中的重要性。如果中国不能发展本国的高技术产业,那么在长期,中国的出口部门将会在世界市场上逐渐丧失竞争力,而依附性发展也就很难再维持下去了。  

   

   

   

   

(六)国家和中国的资本主义经济发展  

    我们已经看到,按照私人资本主义的逻辑,中国是不能够发展本国的高技术产业的。在资本主义条件下,只有国家才有可能超越私人资本的狭隘眼界,推行反映民族发展长远利益的经济战略和政策。但是,在资本主义社会,国家通常并不在资本积累中起主导的作用。只是在特殊的历史条件下,在私人资本相对于国家十分弱小的情况下,国家才在一段时间内,在资本积累中发挥重要作用。  

    在“改革”初期,中国的统治阶级曾经从毛泽东时期继承下来一个庞大的国有经济部门。但是,一方面,资本主义“改革”在国有企业中遭到了工人阶级的顽强抵抗,使得国有企业无法进行正常的资本主义积累;另一方面,乡镇企业、私营企业和外资企业等组成的资本主义经济部门却靠剥削新无产阶级而迅速发展起来。到九十年代初,资本主义经济部门已经占中国工业产值的50%以上。  

    资本主义经济部门的崛起一方面使统治阶级能够顺利地完成向资本主义的过渡,另一方面也从根本上改变了统治阶级内部不同集团之间的力量对比。由于资本主义经济部门的兴起,社会积累主要不再是由国家,而是由私人资本来进行了。社会资源的分配因而也按照统治阶级内部新的力量对比关系而发生了变化。国家财政收入占国民生产总值的比重,从1978年的31.2%下降到1993年的16.3。在同一时期,中央政府财政收入占国家财政收入的份额从60%下降到34%。在全社会固定资产投资中,“不仅国家直接投资的比重已很小,而且可有效控制的部分也不大,社会总投资中绝大多数已经转变为中央不能直接调控或难以调控的自筹投资。”(郭克莎,173-174)表4.5说明,到九十年代初,中国的国家所掌握的社会资源,按占国民生产总值的比重来说,不仅低于大多数发达资本主义国家,而且低于很多欠发达的资本主义国家。  

   

表4.5   中央政府财政收入占国内生产总值的比重  

            年份        百分比  

中国*       1992        17.27  

美国        1990        19.63  

日本        1990        14.38  

德国        1991        30.80  

英国        1991        37.05  

法国        1992        40.63  

加拿大      1989        20.12  

澳大利亚    1991        27.11  

印度        1991        14.74  

印度尼西亚  1991        18.16  

泰国        1990        20.41  

马来西亚    1991        28.53  

新加坡      1991        32.80  

缅甸        1990        10.70  

韩国        1992        18.45  

埃及        1990        18.58  

墨西哥      1990        14.05  

巴西        1991        25.92  

阿根廷      1989        9.85  

*国家财政收入占国民生产总值比重.  

资料来源:PRC 1994.  

   

    在这种情况下,国家只能在社会积累中起次要的作用,私人资本的逻辑就不可避免地要占主导地位。表4.6显示,中国用于研究开发的经费无论在绝对数量上还是在占国民生产总值的比例上都远远落后于发达资本主义国家,甚至低于一些资本主义发展中国家。这说明,私人资本,为了追求最大的私人利润,不愿意投资于研究开发活动和无利可图、风险大、需要巨额投资的高技术产业。另一方面,这也说明,国家由于没有足够的财政资源,无力为高技术产业的发展提供必要的帮助。  

   

表4.6   中国和若干其它国家的研究开发支出  

         年份  研究开发支出(亿美元)  占国民生产总值的百分比  

中国     1993            34                   0.6  

美国     1988          1400                   2.9  

日本     1986           417                   2.8  

联邦德国 1987           228                   2.8  

英国     1986           157                   2.4  

法国     1987           164                   2.4  

印度     1988            缺                   0.9  

新加坡   1987            缺                   0.9  

土耳其   1985            缺                   0.7  

韩国     1988            缺                   1.9  

资料来源:PRC 1994;Economic Report of President 1990,113.  

   

(七)跨国公司和中国的资本主义经济发展  

    尽管私人资本不愿意投资于高技术产业,而国家又无力在财政上提供帮助,中国政府最近还是宣布了一个雄心勃勃的发展“高新技术产业”的计划。按照这个计划,到2005年,“高新技术产业”占国民生产总值的比重要从1993年的10%增加到15%,占全部工业附加值的比重要增加到20-25%,占工业制成品出口的比重要从1994年的6.3%增加到15%。我们不知道所谓“高新技术产业”是怎样定义的。不过,据说,如果中国能够实现上述计划,那么到下个世纪初,中国就可以达到与东亚新兴工业化国家九十年代初同样的发展水平。(《人民日报》1995年8月10日)所以,即使上述计划能够实现,中国仍然还落后东亚新兴工业化国家大约10年,就更不必说发达资本主义国家了。  

    为了实现上述计划,中国政府把绝大部分希望寄托在跨国公司的投资上。在北京、上海、天津、山东、江苏和陕西等地建起了一个又一个“高新技术产业开发区”,给予外资种种优惠,希望跨国公司能够投资于中国的高技术产业。  

    1979年以来已有大量外资涌入中国。但是其中绝大部分是来自东亚新兴工业化国家和地区,特别是香港、澳门和台湾,而不是来自发达资本主义国家(见表4.7)。为了应付他们本国、本地区日益上升的劳动成本和日益深化的经济危机,东亚新兴工业化国家和地区的资本家企图靠把劳动密集型产业转移到中国、剥削中国的廉价劳动力的办法渡过危机。这种外商直接投资当然对中国的高技术产业的发展没有什么帮助。  

   

表4.7    按国家、地区区分的外商直接投资(亿美元)  

           1992      1993      1994  

总计        113       278       338  

其中:  

港澳         79       180       202  

台湾         11        31        33  

日本          7        14        21  

美国          5        21        25  

新加坡        1         5        12  

韩国          1         4         7  

资料来源:PRC 1994.  

   

    但是,1992年以来,以发达资本主义国家为基地的跨国公司对中国的投资开始迅速增加。来自发达资本主义国家的跨国公司的投资有以下特点:第一,投资规模大。在中国的外商直接投资的项目平均规模是100-200万美元,而来自发达资本主义国家的跨国公司的投资项目平均规模大约为2000万美元。第二,它们主要是投资于高技术产业和资本密集型产业而不是劳动密集型产业,并且使用的是最新一代的技术而不是过时技术。(《人民日报》1995年10月18日;Shaw and Meier,1994)  

    跨国公司为什么要在中国投资,特别是投资于高技术产业呢?中国的基础设施和科技水平落后,廉价劳动力在高技术产业中相对又不重要,所以,这些跨国公司在中国投资不是因为中国是从事高技术产业的最有效率的地点,而主要是为了占领正在迅速扩大的中国国内市场。(Shaw and Meier,1994)这一类型的外国直接投资不同于东亚新兴工业化国家和东南亚国家那种为了剥削廉价劳动力和追求出口导向型发展的外国直接投资,倒是很类似于拉丁美洲国家追求进口替代工业化时外国资本在拉丁美洲所做的直接投资。在后一种情况下,外国直接投资看中的不是廉价劳动力,而是拉丁美洲国家的国内市场。鲍恩歇尔和奇思-杜恩认为,在这种情况下,虽然在短期外资有助于加速经济增长,但是在长期妨碍了本地的资本主义发展,加剧了社会不平等,导致国内市场萎缩和经济停滞。(Bornschier and Chase-Dunn,  

1985)  

    中国政府的策略是用国内市场来换取外国投资和技术。中国政府希望靠这种方式来发展中国的高技术产业。这个策略要成功,就必须在有关工业设置有效的贸易壁垒,从而使跨国公司不在中国投资就不能进入中国的市场。但是,虽然贸易壁垒对在中国投资的跨国公司有利,它与发达资本主义国家资本家的总的利益是相违背的。由于中国越来越与世界资本主义体系结合在一起,并且日益在技术、资本和出口市场上依赖于发达资本主义国家,中国不得不在贸易政策和体制方面对发达资本主义国家做出越来越多的让步。最近,中国政府在贸易自由化方面又采取了一个重大步骤,将关税水平平均降低30%。但是这仍然没有能够使中国加入世界贸易组织,而加入这个组织对于中国出口的进一步增长是至关重要的。在这种情况下,中国至多只能在高技术产业“进口替代”方面取得有限的成功,并且仍然要严重依赖进口的技术设备。  

    在短期,迅速扩大的中国市场仍然可以吸收大量的跨国公司的投资,这会进一步增强中国经济的增长势头。但是在长期,由于跨国公司有较高的生产率和技术水平,它们将在若干产业中成为中国市场上的主要生产者。在它们在中国市场上确立了垄断地位以后,它们就可以通过设定垄断价格的办法来谋求垄断利润。在这种情况下,如果市场需求增加,它们只需采取提高价格的办法,而不必进一步增加投资。另一方面,中国的企业由于无力与跨国公司竞争,则没有能力进行积累。不仅如此,由于跨国公司多采用资本密集型技术,导致失业增长和社会不平等扩大,从而缩小了劳动人民的购买力,导致国内市场萎缩,这就使资本家更加不愿意增加投资了。所以,正如鲍恩歇尔和奇思-杜恩所说,在长期,这一类型的外国直接投资在大量吸收这类投资的国家造成投资不振、经济停滞。  

   

〔1〕1993年11月19日,深圳市龙岗区葵涌镇港商致丽工艺玩具厂发生特大火灾,烧死82人,烧伤41人。事后调查发现,该厂为了防盗,竟然把4扇供人出入的大门锁闭了3扇,出事时根本无法逃生。工厂附近   美元   消防龙头,连水池都没有。(《工人日报》1993年12月4日)  

   

第五章 资本主义和民主  

   

(一)新权威主义还是民主主义  

    1989年初,在自由派知识分子的队伍中爆发了一场论战,论战双方分别是新权威派和所谓“民主派”。新权威派认为:“在目前条件下由一些强有力的领导人物强制性地推进现代化,比马上实行彻底的民主更为可行。......当务之急是使社会生活两重化,即经济上实行自由企业制,政治上实行集权制。”民主派则认为:“中国目前根本不具备‘新权威主义’赖以存在和发挥对经济自由化的促进作用的社会条件,......盲目地加强政治集权和政治对经济的干预,只能导致政治的腐败和经济的萎缩。”“经过经济改革的锻炼和近几年的民主启蒙,......要求政治改革的呼声日益高涨。”“社会民主化已经成为当代不可阻挡的社会潮流。”(《新华文摘》1989年第4期,1-8)  

    为什么在这个时候会爆发这么一场论战呢?1989年,“改革”发展到了所谓“危机”阶段,很大一部分劳动群众对于现状已经到了忍耐的极限。自由派知识分子认识到:“改革的风险日积愈重。”在这种背景下,一部分自由派知识分子提出:中国需要“具有一定现代化意识及行为导向的政治、军事强人,采取强有力的铁腕手段,自上而下地推行其权威政治,从而稳定社会秩序。”在自由派知识分子看来,“历史的进步是要付出代价的,从农业社会走向工业社会的进程,必定会伴随着一个霉变、腐烂、死亡、新生的过程,不符合现代化要求的一切旧的社会存在,终将被抛弃。”(《新华文摘》1989年第4期,6)自由派知识分子俨然站在历史进步的立场上,热烈地呼唤朝气蓬勃的“现代化”力量,无情地扫荡一切腐朽龌龊的旧势力。  

    所谓“现代化”,无非是“资本主义化”,也就是向资本主义生产关系过渡。在英国,是靠了专制君主的血腥法令,才迫使英国的下层劳动人民逐渐屈服于资本主义的“现代化要求”。在中国,正如R·史密斯所说:  

   

资本主义社会财产关系今天要在中国取得统治地位,就必须剥夺工人的就业保障权、子女顶替权、住房权、医疗保险权,还必须取消维持工人生活必不可少的补贴-一句话,打破“铁饭碗”。只有打破“铁饭碗”,才能使工人听从资本主义剥削的摆布。(Smith,1993,99)  

   

所以,资本主义生产关系的发展必然地、不可避免地要遇到一亿城市工人阶级的坚决抵制,只有经过重大的和残酷的斗争,直至斗争的一方被完全打垮,才能决定到底是谁“终将被抛弃”。所谓“议会民主制”显然难以完成如此重大的斗争任务。新权威派指出:“掌握在软弱无能者手中的民主制度,在维持秩序、维持正常生活和经济繁荣方面,往往缺乏能力。”(《新华文摘》1989年第4期,2)英国的资产阶级只有借助“血腥法令”才能使无产阶级听从资本主义剥削的摆布。任何一个国家,在向资本主义生产关系过渡的过程中,都只有用暴力摧毁无产阶级和其他劳动人民的抵抗,才能扫清资本主义发展的障碍。哈耶克说,市场经济是自发形成的,而计划经济是人为设计的。事实恰恰相反,“现代市场经济”在它诞生的每一个地方都是靠人为的力量创造出来的,而且每次都是借助于暴力无情地践踏绝大多数人的基本权利。自由派知识分子为之心潮澎湃的所谓“霉变、腐烂、死亡、新生的过程”,无非是一个以暴力践踏绝大多数人基本权利的过程。这就是这帮知识分子老爷们所谓的“进步”、所谓的“自由”。  

    自由派知识分子一方面认识到,在所谓“现代化早期阶段”,“中产阶级力量脆弱”、“民主意识贫乏”,“现代化发展不得不求助于强大的国家力量:通过强人政治的有效统治,来维持整个社会发展的发育、壮大,创造一个比较稳定的社会环境。”(这里,“中产阶级”应读作“资产阶级”)另一方面,又顾虑重重,唯恐新权威主义“退回到更为保守落后的传统主义”:  

   

在意识形态上,新权威主义往往借助传统的价值体系,以作为凝聚社会精神的支撑点。而传统的价值体系,在思维及心理上具有强烈的专制导向的暗示性,它暗示着权力的集中与个人崇拜。其次,新权威主义强调强权政治,追求权力的个人化而又缺乏有力的监督,由此产生的便是权力与政治的腐化。(《新华文摘》1989年第4期,2-3)  

   

    对于中产阶级来说,向资本主义生产关系过渡,对它意味着直接的、重大的物质利益(知识升值)。所以它倾向于支持有利于资本主义发展的一切政治制度,包括“强人政治”。但是,中产阶级作为统治阶级的后备军,又要求统治阶级在选拔自己的接班人时能实行一种比较“公平”的竞争制度,为中产阶级创造更多的进入统治阶级的机会。所以,他们又非常害怕“权力的个人化”会把自己排斥在政治权力之外,“强人政治对知识分子有一种本能的反感与冷淡”。新权威派与民主派的论战,正是反映了在中国社会向资本主义过渡导致社会矛盾全面激化这一重大危机关头,中产阶级及其在政治上的代表-自由派知识分子进退维谷、无所适从的尴尬处境。  

   

(二)资本主义民主小史  

    资产阶级学者经常向人们灌输一个神话:资本主义和民主是天生的一对双胞胎。“资本主义的天然逻辑导致政治民主,因为没有政治自由的经济自由从本质上讲是不巩固的。经济上获得自由的公民很快就要求有政治自由和政治民主。”(《边缘》,5)  

    如果说,“经济自由”导致“政治自由”,那么如果社会财富集中在少数人手中,合乎逻辑的结论便是,只有这少数人才有“经济自由”,因而才有“政治自由”,而大多数人只能是既没有“经济自由”也没有“政治自由”。  

    所以,早在启蒙时代,当时的资产阶级思想家就认识到,民主制度决不是资本主义理想的政治制度。孟德斯鸠认为,共和政体容易导致“极端平等”,甚至会形成许多造反的“小暴君”,权力主要应由贵族和资产阶级来掌握,社会地位低微的人不应享有选举权,因为“人民是完全不适宜于讨论事情的”。美国联邦党人汉密尔顿认为,人民群众是“没有判断力的”,“强横的和反复无常的”,终日受人欺骗,常犯错误,是不可信、不可靠的;而富人和出自名门的人,虽然是少数,却富有知识才能,只有这些人在政治上享受特殊的永久地位,才能“遏制民主政治的轻举妄动”。(何汝璧和伊承哲,207,231)  

    1787年美国宪法完全是根据联邦党人的思想制定的,查尔斯·A·比尔德在分析这部宪法时认为:  

   

他们的主要思想就是要从根基上,也就是在政府各部门的政治权力的来源上,分散侵犯的力量......借以抗衡麦迪逊所谓的“利益一致的压倒的多数”......在政府各主要部门里,没有两个部门是出自同一来源的。众议院是从各州认为可以享有公民权的人民大众产生的。参议院则由各州的议会选举-在1787年,各州议会几乎一律定有财产的限制,惟参众两院议员的限制有所区别。总统由依照选举议员的方法产生出来的总统选举人选举,并不由一般的选民直接选举。法官由总统和参议院委任......政府各部门的任期截然不同,因而不能一举而完全改组政府。众议院任期两年;参议院任期六年,但每两年要改选三分之一。总统任期四年,最高法院的法官终身任职。因而十八世纪的法学家所谓的“人民的猖狂”不但受到了限制,不能够凭直接选举为所欲为,而且就算他们能够冲破总统和参院的间接选举的障碍,......他们也得经过六年的期间。最后,这里还有一种司法的钳制,这种力量只有凭借需要时间的委任权力或经过麻烦的修正制度的手续,才能够加以操纵。实际上,整个结构的关键就在于司法的钳制制度-这可说是美国人的政治天才对于政治学所提供的最卓越的贡献。......授予最高法院裁定国会立法是否符合宪法的权力,......《联邦党人文集》的作者无疑是持有这种主张,而且认为这是一个高超的原则......(Beard,1960,161)〔1〕  

   

自由派知识分子一说起民主,似乎就是美国式的民主,三权分立、两院制等似乎都是民主必不可少的组成部分。实际上,美国宪法之所以规定三权分立、两院制,根本不是为了民主,恰恰是为了限制民主。比尔德指出:“这种制度的经济意义是:有产者利益集团凭其卓越的力量和知识,可以在必要时获得有利的立法,同时又可不受国会里的多数的控制。”如果承认一切权力属于人民,那么为什么由人民代表组成的议会,还要受其它权力的制约呢?有必要指出,1787年在美国,有四个占人口绝大多数的社会集团被剥夺了公民权:(1)奴隶;(2)契约仆役;(3)根据州宪法和法律规定的财产标准而无投票资格的多数男子;(4)被剥夺公民权而遭受法律歧视的妇女。据比尔德估计,当时只有不到六分之一的成年男子投票赞成宪法,美国宪法根本不象资产阶级学者所说的是什么“全民的创造”。(Beard,1960,24,  

161,250)  

    资本主义的天然逻辑决不是导致民主。作为一种少数人压迫多数人的社会制度,压迫者怎么能不害怕被压迫者起来造反呢?,又怎么能不镇压被压迫者的造反呢?如果没有其它力量的妨碍,如果听凭资本主义的逻辑不受限制地自由发展,只能导致少数上层精英对绝大多数人民的专政。  

    英国资产阶级革命给英国资本主义的发展开辟了道路,但是却没有给绝大多数人民带来民主权力。在这次革命中,代表广大人民群众利益的平等派主张废除由贵族组成的上议院,建立由人民普选产生的、没有财产资格限制的一院制议会共和国。结果,克伦威尔镇压了平等派,建立了个人独裁政权。1688年光荣革命后,直到1885年实行男子普选权,在长达200年的时间里,英国始终是少数上层精英专政,广大人民群众根本没有民主权力。1832年议会改革以前,有选举权的公民只占总人口的三十二分之一。1832年议会改革使选民人数由50万人增加到87.3万人,也只占总人口的二十二分之一。  

    英国广大人民群众从来没有停止过争取民主的斗争。工业革命以后,工人阶级的队伍不断壮大。工人阶级参加民主斗争以后,民主力量才得以不断发展。1819年,曼彻斯特工人集会,要求政治改革,政府派兵镇压,打死打伤数百人。1838年5月,英国工人阶级宪章运动开始,各地工人群众纷纷集会、游行,要求普选权。1839年5月,宪章派向国会递交有125万人签名的请愿书。7月,国会否决了请愿书,政府下令禁止群众集会,逮捕宪章派领袖。1841年5月,宪章派再次向国会递交有330万人签名的请愿书,又被否决。全国工人举行大罢工,政府大举镇压,逮捕1500人。1848年5月,宪章派在伦敦召开全国代表大会,向国会递交有500多万人签名的请愿书。国会以“许多签名系伪造”为由否决了请愿书,政府逮捕了宪章派领袖。在工人阶级长期斗争的压力下,1867年英国实行第二次议会改革,选民人数由135.9万人增加到245.5万人,当时英国有成年居民1600万人,仍有1300多万人被剥夺了选举权。直到1885年,才实行男子普选权,又过了60多年,到1948年英国妇女才获得选举权。(刘宗绪,218-219,299,333-334)  

    英国的政治史说明,资本主义决不可能自动带来民主,相反,资本主义恰恰要求压制绝大多数人民的民主要求,维护少数上层精英的专政。只有经过无产阶级和其他被压迫人民持久的、顽强的斗争之后,资本主义才不得不接受现代意义上的民主制度。其它西方国家的政治史也完全能证明这一点。法国在1793年大革命时期就宣布了普选权的原则。拿破仑上台以后实行军事专制,废除了议会民主制度。1815年波旁王朝复辟,实行金融贵族专政,整个法国只有三十万人有选举权。1848年二月革命以后,在工人阶级的压力下,第二共和国实行普选制。1850年5月,制宪议会为防止工人阶级和小资产阶级执政,取消普选权。直到第三共和国时期,法国才确立了男子普选权。直到1944年,法国妇女才得到选举权。意大利1870年实行君主立宪制,1919年才实行男子普选权,1945年妇女才得到选举权。瑞典1814年就有了第一部宪法,到本世纪初才实行男子普选权。(杨祖功和顾俊礼,58,66-67)  

    西方资本主义国家的政治史说明,在历史上,现代民主根本不是资本主义发展的内在要求,而是无产阶级和其他被压迫人民与资本主义压迫势力长期斗争赢得的成果。因此,民主本身就是阶级斗争的产物。民主能不能存在,能不能巩固,因而也只能取决于阶级斗争的客观形势。现代资本主义民主,不过是以往阶级力量对比的反映,它不是,也不可能是民主发展的顶峰,而只能是如列宁所说的,“残缺不全的民主”。〔2〕  

   

   

   

   

(三)依附性发展和民主  

    资本主义既然是一种压迫制度,那么在资本主义条件下,民主就只能在十分狭窄的范围内存在。一方面,被压迫人民的力量要足够强大,使统治阶级不得不接受某种形式的民主;另一方面,被压迫人民的力量又不能太强大,以至于超出了资本主义可以容纳的界限。那么,在依附性资本主义条件下,民主存在的界限就更狭窄,民主存在的基础也更脆弱。  

    依附性资本主义的发展建立在向世界资本主义提供充足的廉价劳动力的基础上。但是,单纯凭自由市场的自发作用,显然不能长期把劳动力价格压低到依附性资本主义积累所必要的水平。只有借助政治暴力,系统地摧毁工人阶级的战斗力,才能持久地压低劳动力价格,维持一支数量充足、价格低廉的劳动力队伍,依附性资本主义才可能发展。托马斯·韦斯科普夫指出:  

   

外国资本家和本国资本家都往往把强大的独裁政权视为今天外围地区政治和经济稳定的最大希望所在。第三世界许多地区的工人战斗性不断加强,公众对于扩大分配经济利益的要求与日俱增,以及革命运动开始形成和活跃起来。在这种背景下,政治镇压看来往往是保证劳动力愿意在保障投资获得高额利润的工资水平下驯服地干活的最可靠手段。在资本主义中心国家,资产阶级民主可以起重要的合法作用而对资本主义的经济利益并无严重威胁。但是,在资本主义外围国家,民主往往阻碍资本积累的过程。(韦斯科普夫,“帝国主义和第三世界的经济发展”,见威尔伯)  

   

    八十年代,在第三世界一些国家,出现了所谓“民主化”浪潮。一些自由派知识分子据此认为:“搞强权政治、新权威主义是行不通的。......时代不同了,现在不是30年代,也不是50年代,现在的趋势是民主。”(《经济学动态》1993年第7期,45)自由派知识分子认为,资本主义的发展,必然导致资产阶级和知识分子的力量发展壮大,他们在经济上取得统治地位以后,必然不满足于政治上的无权状态,从而要求政治上有相应的统治地位,从而最终走上民主化的道路。  

    在依附性资本主义社会,一方面,中产阶级(有时还有私人资产阶级)作为政治上无权的特权阶级,必然要求有与其社会经济地位相称的政治权力,要求与统治阶级分享统治权,在这个意义上,他们可以成为一支民主力量。但是,中产阶级和私人资产阶级,作为依附性资本主义的特权阶级、既得利益者,又必然要求维护依附性资本主义的压迫秩序,因而必然要求镇压被压迫人民的反抗。在这个意义上,中产阶级和私人资产阶级就是反民主力量。所以,资本主义的发展,决不是象自由派知识分子想象的那样,只须经过一番简单推导,就得出民主化的结论。实际情况要复杂得多,,取决于统治阶级、中产阶级、被压迫人民三者之间错综复杂的关系。(见表5.1)  

   

表5.1 依附性资本主义社会的阶级力量对比和政治类型的关系示意表  

    被压迫人民*  中产阶级*  统治阶级*  政治类型  

I       强          强         弱          ?  

案例:"人民联盟"政府时期的智利;现在的前苏联、东欧.  

II      强          弱         强      资本主义独裁  

案例:八十年代中期以前的韩国、拉丁美洲;1979年以来的中国  

III     强          弱         强      社会主义革命  

案例:俄国、中国、古巴革命.  

IV      弱          强         强          ?  

案例:1911-1924年的中国.  

V       弱          强         弱      资本主义民主  

案例:八十年代中期以来的台湾、韩国和拉丁美洲.  

VI      弱          弱         强      资本主义独裁  

案例:八十年代中期以前的台湾.  

*被压迫人民,一般是无产阶级和农民;中产阶级,有时也可以是中产阶级和私人资产阶级的联盟;统治阶级,一般是官僚资产阶级,有时也有私人资产阶级参加.  

   

    如果被压迫人民的力量强大到依附性资本主义的积累无法进行的地步,那么社会的发展方向,就首先取决于统治阶级和被压迫人民之间的力量对比,依二者力量对比之不同,分别出现情形II或情形III。也就是说,在这种情况下,或者统治阶级以独裁统治打垮被压迫人民的反抗力量,或者被压迫人民以革命打倒统治阶级,没有别的出路。情形I必然是过渡性的。如果被压迫人民的力量  以及  强大到依附性资本主义积累无法正常进行的地步,却没有强大到足以按照自己的意志决定社会发展的方向,而统治阶级又无力恢复“秩序”,这时就出现情形I,而中产阶级也就成了一支举足轻重的力量〔3〕,社会发展的前途捉摸不定,取决于阶级斗争的最后结局。  

    如果被压迫人民的力量不足以对依附性资本主义积累构成威胁,那么社会的政治类型就取决于统治阶级和中产阶级之间的力量对比,依这一对比的变化分别出现情形IV-VI。当中产阶级占优势的时候,统治阶级又无法照旧统治下去了,就具备了“资本主义民主”的条件。八十年代第三世界一些国家的“民主化”便属于这种情况。其中,台湾的资本主义长期顺利发展,因而私人资产阶级和中产阶级的实力日益壮大,最终迫使统治阶级不得不实行“民主”,让出一部分统治权。这是经典的资产阶级革命的模式,也正是自由派知识分子所设想的那种“民主化”道路。但是,这条道路对于情形V中的大多数国家,特别是拉丁美洲并不适用(韩国介于拉丁美洲和台湾之间)。拉丁美洲的“民主化”并不是建立在资本主义顺利发展的基础上,而是由于依附性资本主义积累陷入了严重危机,统治阶级在政治上几乎完全破产,严重丧失合法性,被迫改变统治形式。  

    但是,拉丁美洲为什么没有走向情形III或情形I,而是走向情形V呢?显然,如果没有过去二十多年的军事独裁统治,就不能严重地削弱被压迫人民的力量,而如果不是严重地削弱了被压迫人民的力量,依附性资本主义就克服不了如此深刻的危机,在资本主义范围内也就谈不上什么民主化了。〔4〕可以毫不夸张地说,没有过去的独裁统治,就没有今天拉丁美洲的“民主化”,今天的“民主化”正是独裁的产物。因此,这种“民主化”必然是极其脆弱的,它没有内在的生命力,自己不能保障自己的生存。既然它现在的生存条件是独裁统治创造的,那么一旦这种条件失去的时候,它除了重新求助于独裁统治以外,还有什么别的办法可想呢?  

    综上所述,“民主”并非如自由派知识分子所说是依附性资本主义发展的一种“趋势”,而充其量不过是六种可能情形中之一种罢了。最主要的是要看到,片面的政治“民主”解决不了依附性资本主义社会任何一个根本问题,尤其解决不了依靠廉价劳动力发展资本积累这个根本问题。各个依附性资本主义国家在世界市场上竞争的结果,必然导致争相压低劳动力价格,如前所述,这就必须借助政治暴力。否则,坐等市场调节,只能在竞争中被动挨打。既然依附性资本主义的一般规律没有因“民主化”而发生任何变化,那么“民主化”赖以存在的条件显然只能是偶然的、暂时的。所以,“民主化”没有、也不可能消灭新的独裁统治的危险。相反,这种“民主化”,由于它坚持依附性资本主义的压迫秩序,也就为新的独裁统治准备了条件,同时也就为新的革命准备了条件。  

   

(四)腐败问题和社会动乱  

    有些自由派知识分子认为,没有政治民主,中国就不能发展资本主义。他们说:“政治体制改革应当与经济体制改革同步进行......当经济体制改革进展到一定阶段时,政治体制改革必须跟上,否则将成为经济体制改革的障碍......”(《经济学动态》1993年第7期,45)  

   

有人以所谓的“四小龙”为范例,认为单纯的经济改革是可行的,殊不知“四小龙”本来就是私有制和市场经济,经济起飞并无体制方面的阻力。而中国大陆首先碰到的是经济体制改革问题。在经济体制转型的过程中,如果没有政治上的民主,政权和官员受不到广大人民和独立舆论的监督,必然“官倒”猖獗,腐败成风,社会矛盾必然日益激化,以致不可收拾。英国历史学家阿克顿,早在100多年前就说过:“权力趋向腐败,绝对权力绝对腐败。”这是历史的铁律,谁也逃脱不了。不受人民监督的政权,必然腐败;而腐败和官倒是人民无法容忍的,它们是社会动乱的根源和催化剂。”(许良英)  

   

    消灭腐败,并不等于铲除压迫。腐败,在一个压迫社会中,只不过是说它违反了压迫社会本身的压迫规则。对于广大被压迫人民来说,一个没有腐败的压迫社会决不比一个腐败的压迫社会更人道。但是,难道能够设想,一个置绝大多数人民于被压迫地位的社会,能让它的官僚机器受到广大人民的有效监督吗?难道能够设想,一个允许少数人依法掠夺多数人的社会,竟能有效地防止某些人不按法律程序进行掠夺吗?  

    自由派知识分子的可爱之处,在于他们既想要资本主义,又不想要与资本主义联系在一起的祸害。一个压迫社会,不论它采取怎样的政治形式,都不可能真正解决腐败问题,专制政体如此,民主政体也如此。1993年意大利的政治丑闻可以充分说明这一点。实际上,意大利的政治腐败,早已是妇孺皆知,时至今日才曝光,而且牵涉整个统治集团,足见“民主”解决腐败问题的功效了。  

    新权威派抨击民主派浪漫天真,认为过早实行民主会导致腐败泛滥、经济停滞;民主派又抨击新权威派富于幻想,认为搞新权威主义“只能导致政治的腐败和经济的萎缩”。实际上,通观世界上的依附性资本主义国家,无论实行专制政体还是民主政体,有哪个比较好地解决了腐败问题,或者哪怕是发现了一条行之有效的解决办法呢?  

    有没有解决腐败问题的办法呢?有的,那就是自由派知识分子最害怕的“多数暴政”。只有靠“多数”,才能够解决问题。只有通过人民大革命,打倒压迫阶级的统治,才能使人民群众的政治积极性真正地高涨起来,才谈得上对政府进行有效的监督。  

    照自由派知识分子的逻辑,只要压迫者按照规则进行压迫,实行Fair Play,被压迫人民就会安然接受压迫,“经济体制改革”就可以顺利进行,“社会矛盾”也就不会激化、不会“不可收拾”,压迫社会也就平安无事了。有腐败也罢,没有腐败也罢,资本主义的发展客观上要求在短时期内在少数人手中积聚巨额财富,这就必然要求少数人掠夺多数人。独立战争以后,杰弗逊目睹多数少数人发财致富、大批小生产者破产失业的社会状况,遣责资本主义是“把社会上大多数人变成贫穷的自动机器”。(何汝璧和伊承哲,207)为了反抗资本主义原始积累,在美国,有杰弗逊为首的民主派和汉密尔顿为首的反民主派(联邦党人)之间的斗争;在英国,有平等派和长老派、独立派之间的斗争,民主派、平等派都是代表大多数人民群众的利益,奋起反抗资本主义的压迫势力。资本主义要发展,要掠夺多数人,就必须粉碎这些反抗力量,这只有靠暴力、靠专制,而不是靠民主。中国要发展资本主义,也不可能回避这个问题,既要掠夺人民大众,又要人民大众自由地、民主地接受掠夺,这可能吗?  

    “六四”事件,镇压了人民的反抗力量,从政治上为中国走上依附性资本主义的发展道路准备了条件。但是,依附性资本主义建立在残酷剥削、压榨中国的新无产阶级的基础上,又建立在广大农民贫困化的基础上,因而就建立在绝大多数中国人民贫困化的基础上。然而,在一个曾经进行了社会主义革命的国家,在一个人人平等的观念、剥削压迫可耻的观念深入人心的国家,人民就更加无法容忍被压迫的命运,就更加敢于起来与一切形式的压迫做斗争。这才是真正的“社会动乱的根源和催化剂”。  

    新权威主义认识到,中国要发展资本主义,特别是依附性资本主义,决不可能一帆风顺,必然遭到绝大多数人民的反抗,只有用政治暴力才能给资本主义的发展开辟道路。从这点来说,新权威派比民主派更高明,也更诚实。值得注意的是,向来标榜与新权威主义势不两立的杜钢建先生〔5〕最近也撰文宣称:“中国的政治改革只能一步一步走。一个连法治局面都未实现的国家当然不能对之寄予过高的希求。”杜钢建先生认为,要注意“区别自由和民主”,不要“将自由问题混同于民主问题对待”。在他看来,新权威主义的过错不是“不要民主”,而是“不仅不要民主,而且不要自由”。有意思的是,“不要民主”的“自由”是什么样的“自由”呢?杜钢建先生认为,自由派知识分子的困境在于“在理论上只看到民治和专制,在现实中又必须面对立宪需要”,结果,“要末选择民主政治,要末选择集权专制。”然而,“民治”,“不能对之寄予过高的希求”;“专制”,“结果是经济落后,文化贫困,国民素质下降,出路只能是‘第三种选择’:变换一个角度,抓住自由人权不放,将自由人权作为宪政的核心任务。”(《边缘》,10-12)“不要民主”的“宪政”,“不要民主”的“自由人权”,这不是新权威主义的“开明专制”又是什么?  

    “不能对之寄予过高的希求”的当然不是中国人民,而是资本主义。一个国家要发展,归根到底,靠的是人民群众的积极性、主动性和首创精神。所以,一个民主的社会,一个绝大多数人民掌握了自己命运的社会,可以唤起人民群众几乎无穷的智慧和能量。民主,只要不是那种专门用来掩饰压迫社会疮疤的“民主”,就决不是发展的障碍,而是发展最有力的推动力。  

   

   

   

   

〔1〕“司法钳制”的原则如何“高超”可以用一些案例来说明。比如,美国国会曾经通过《反托拉斯法》以遏制垄断势力发展。有一个垄断公司控制了一种产品市场的95%,最高法院裁定这不算“垄断”。首次应用《反托拉斯法》是针对工会,最高法院裁定工人组织工会是“垄断”行为,违反了《反托拉斯法》。另一个重要案例是罗斯福实行新政期间,最高法院裁定有关新政的法律违宪,导致罗斯福第一次“百日新政”失败。  

〔2〕这种“残缺不全的民主”尤其表现在以下几个方面:(1)立法机关是唯一一个由人民选举产生的政府部门,行政部门、司法部门都是按照官僚制方式自上而下委任的。(2)政府官员、议员、法官按照职位高低享受程度不等的物质特权。(3)现代世界著名的法学家凯尔森曾经指出:“议会在法律上相对独立于人民意味着,民主原则在某种程度上被分工原则所取代。为了隐匿这个从一种原则向另一种原则的转换,于是就利用了议会‘代表’人民这一虚构。......假若在经济和文化都比较发达的大国不可能实现直接民主,那末就需要努力确立公意和必要的人民代表制之间最和谐最密切的联系。......运用一个......立法机构系统取代一个单一的议会,这些立法机构互相监督、互相制约,......它们必须不仅限于制定法律......而且必须对法律的实施负责,......因而公民将成为行政的主体,而不是行政的客体。(Della Volpe,1979,54)  

〔3〕比如,1973年在智利,正是由于中产阶级的默许,皮诺切特才得以发动政变,建立法西斯统治。  

〔4〕1973年9月智利军政府上台后,”智利工人首当其冲。工会要么被取缔,要么被严密控制起来。工人政党被取缔,工人领袖被杀害。实际工资锐减,工人无能为力。(据不同统计,实际工资在1972年到1975年下降了44%到60%,以后又进一步下降,如以1975年1月的指数为100,那么1976年3月就是77.5。1977年以后,实际工资多少稳定了一段时间,直到1982年经济大衰退。)(Johnson,1985,187)  

〔5〕中国人民大学法律系副教授。  

   

第六章 中国革命的前途  

   

    从1989年革命的失败中可以得出什么教训呢?  

第一,由自由派知识分子来充当中国民主运动的领导是完全不合格的。在自由派知识分子的领导下,中国劳动人民是什么也得不到的。  

    第二,资本主义,作为一种压迫性的社会经济制度,是违背绝大多数人民利益的,因而就其本性而言,就民主意味着人民大众的权力而言,是与民主不相容的。在1989年革命时,即当向资本主义过渡遭到了工人阶级的顽强抵抗时是这样;而今天,当中国资本主义经济不得不依赖于廉价劳动力在世界市场上竞争,而只有靠一个极端压迫性的政治制度才能维持一支廉价、驯服的劳动力队伍时,也是这样。因此,争取中国民主的斗争,如果按照其自身逻辑所要求的发展下去,就必须同时是争取社会主义的斗争。  

    第三,劳动人民,由于他们被剥削、被压迫的状况,难以超越他们个人生活经验的狭隘视野,达到对于社会的科学的和整体的认识,因而仅仅凭他们自己,也就不能够成为一支独立的政治力量和赢得争取解放的斗争。在这种情况下,建设一支由科学的革命理论所指导的、能够和劳动人民一起为反抗压迫和剥削而斗争的革命社会主义的知识分子队伍,就是新的社会主义革命的首要条件。  

    1989年革命的失败从政治上为资本主义发展扫清了障碍。统治阶级渡过了风雨飘摇的阶段,巩固了它的统治地位,重新得到了国际资本的支持,并恢复了和主要资本主义国家的关系。正常的资本主义生产关系在中国得以确立,资本主义经济进入了一个新的高涨阶段。  

    另一方面,1989年以后,自由派知识分子在政治上一蹶不振。他们在国外的流亡政党濒于瓦解,在国内也不再有有组织的政治力量。在没有任何比较广泛的群众基础的情况下,要不是凭着在中美两国统治阶级的外交斗争中充当一枚筹码,他们在政治上还能否存在下去恐怕都成问题。  

    但是,所有的社会矛盾都不仅存在着,而且还在不断发展着。资本主义作为一种社会制度,需要得到绝大多数人民的拥护,至少是默许,才可能存在下去。但是,在依附性发展的条件下,中国的资本主义经济只有凭剥削亿万廉价劳动力才能在世界市场上占有一席之地,也就是说,中国的资本主义经济发展必须建立在绝大多数人民贫困化的基础上,这就必然招致绝大多数人民的反抗。要维持资本积累,中国资本主义就不能不破坏自己的社会基础;而要维持自己的社会基础,中国资本主义就不能不破坏资本积累的条件。要维持自己的经济合理性,它就不能不破坏自己的社会合法性;而要维持自己的社会合法性,它就不能不破坏自己的经济合理性。中国资本主义不能够同时维持自己的社会合法性和经济合理性,因而陷入不可解脱的矛盾之中。  

    的确,从表面上看来,中国资本主义现在好象是很有力量、很有前途。资本主义积累从来没有象现在这样强劲,一派蓬勃发展的气象。中国经济的高速增长已经持续了十多年了,并且看起来再持续一个十年也没有什么问题。这在世界上大多数资本主义国家陷于经济停滞、社会矛盾重重而难于自拔的情况下,不能不说是一个显著的例外。统治阶级在面向未来时充满着自信,百年以来的富强之梦似乎就要变为现实了。但是,所有这一切,决不是说资本主义已经摆脱了它的一切内在矛盾,决不是说资本主义经济从此可以一帆风顺地发展下去了。正相反,要在资本主义条件下实现持续、稳定的经济增长,根本就是术语的矛盾。  

    从马克思主义观点看,资本主义经济从根本上是不合理的和充满矛盾的。在资本主义积累的高涨中就准备了它日后崩溃的条件。这里,我们不能够详细讨论马克思主义关于资本主义积累的理论,只须指出,根据马克思主义理论,资本主义积累包含着下面的矛盾:  

    首先,在激烈竞争的压力下,资本家不得不不断追求技术进步,以资本(机器设备)代替劳动,以提高劳动生产率。按照马克思主义理论,这就导致资本有机构成(不变资本对可变资本之比,或者生产资料价值对劳动力价值之比)上升。这样,如果剩余价值率(剩余价值对劳动力价值之比)不变,资本有机构成上升就会导致利润率(剩余价值对全部资本-即不变资本与可变资本之和-之比)下降。〔1〕用马克思的话说,如果利润率下降到了一定点以下:  

   

生产的炽烈的火焰就会熄灭。生产就会陷入到睡眠状态中。利润率是资本主义生产的推动力;只有那种在生产上有利润可得并且实际会提供利润的东西方才会被生产出来。......使李嘉图不安的事是:利润率,资本主义生产的刺激,积累的条件和推动力,将会由生产自身的发展受到危险。(Marx,1967,259)  

   

    要扭转利润率下降的趋势,资本家阶级就必须努力提高剩余价值率。但是,正是在资本主义经济迅速发展的阶段,工人阶级的力量不仅在数量上而且也在质量上加强了。由于资本主义积累在快速扩张过程中要吸收越来越多的劳动力,这就逐渐缩小了由失业人口组成的产业后备军。产业后备军的缩小加剧了资本家之间的相互竞争而减轻了工人之间相互竞争的压力。这就改变了资本家阶级和工人阶级之间的力量对比,使之有利于工人阶级而不利于资本家阶级。与此同时,资本主义发展导致资本日趋集中,因而也就便利了工人的集中和组织,促进了工人的阶级觉悟和斗争精神的发展。工人阶级力量的增强有效地防止了剩余价值率的上升。  

    正是由于资本主义制度决没有办法摆脱这些矛盾,任何一次资本主义经济的长期扩张或迟或早要被长期衰退所代替。在历史上,每隔几十年世界资本主义经济就要陷入一次长期衰退。在长期衰退中,资本主义经济的一切经济矛盾和社会矛盾都会严重激化,从而为重大社会变革提供了可能性。根据比利时马克思主义者厄内斯特·曼德尔的观点,仅仅依靠单纯的经济调节,资本主义经济是无法走出长期衰退的。因为要摆脱长期衰退,就要大幅度地提高利润率,而这又要求大幅度地提高剩余价值率。但是,资本家阶级想要大幅度提高剩余价值率,就必须与工人阶级进行一场重大的政治斗争和社会斗争,没有什么东西能够事先保证资本家阶级能够赢得斗争的胜利。(Mandel,1995)〔2〕  

    这对中国资本主义的发展意味着什么呢?从马克思主义观点看,目前中国资本主义经济的迅速增长只有用不同寻常的高利润率来解释。这种不同寻常的高利润率,一方面来自对亿万“廉价劳动力”的残酷剥削,另一方面,则建立在进口外国先进技术、设备的基础上。但是,正如我们已经看到的,资本主义积累,按照其自身的内在逻辑,必然导致利润率下降。或迟或早,利润率会下降到资本主义积累无法正常进行的地步。  

    除了一切资本主义经济所共有的一般矛盾以外,中国资本主义经济还有其自身的特殊矛盾。首先,在第四章中我们已经指出,中国的资本主义经济发展在本质上是依附性发展,是建立在进口外国技术、设备的基础上的。中国能够进口这些技术、设备,是因为中国的出口部门能够凭着廉价劳动力在世界市场上竞争。但是,资本主义技术进步的历史趋势是以资本代替劳动,也就是趋于不断削弱乃至完全消除廉价劳动力的竞争优势,因而从长期来说,将从根本上动摇依附性发展的基础。  

    其次,资本主义积累要进行下去,就不仅要能够生产剩余价值,而且还必须能够在市场上实现剩余价值。但是,资本主义依附性发展建立在对亿万“廉价劳动力”残酷剥削的基础上,因而也就是建立在绝大多数人民贫困化的基础上。绝大多数人民购买力的增长因而赶不上生产的增长。当然,只要中国还能够在世界市场上迅速扩大出口,一个相对狭窄的国内市场就不会对资本主义积累构成严重障碍。但是,在整个世界经济缓慢增长的情况下,中国出口的高速增长迟早要不能持续下去,而中国的资本主义经济也就要面临着一个越来越严重的“实现”问题(一个日益相对萎缩的国内市场),从而使资本主义积累面临着难以逾越的障碍。  

    所有这些矛盾共同构成了中国资本主义发展的不可逾越的障碍。虽然我们不能够精确地预测中国资本主义在什么时候会陷入重大的危机,根据世界资本主义的历史经验,可以比较有把握地说,从资本主义积累开始进入扩张阶段到长期衰退阶段开始,一般需要二、三十年的时间。所以,大约经过这样一段时间,中国的资本主义经济也不可避免地要进入一个长期衰退阶段。到时候,所有现存的社会矛盾和经济矛盾都会严重激化。中国资本主义能不能从长期衰退中走出来,将取决于一系列重大的社会斗争和政治斗争的结果。  

    在这方面,下列因素将对斗争的结果起着决定性的影响:  

    首先,与发达资本主义国家不同,中国资本主义实行的是公开独裁的政治制度。因此,中国的统治阶级在政治合法性方面远远不如西方发达资本主义国家的统治阶级,因而在遇到重大政治社会危机的情况下,在政治上就处于极端脆弱的地位。  

    其次,与发达资本主义国家不同,中国资本主义是建立在对亿万“廉价劳动力”残酷剥削的基础上,没有通过阶级妥协,比如,通过建立“福利国家”,来缓和阶级矛盾的余地。在这种情况下,统治阶级和被压迫人民的矛盾只有完全地、彻底地表现出来,因而也就必须完全地、彻底地予以解决。改良主义的办法是行不通的。  

    第三,与大多数欠发达的资本主义国家不同,中国的劳动人民是经历过社会主义革命的,是曾经打倒过压迫者、掌握过自己命运的,是在此以后又受到过多次革命洗礼的。中国劳动人民的思想觉悟、精神状态是那些没有经历过这样一场革命的国家的劳动人民所无法比拟的。对中国劳动人民来说,剥削、压迫、统治再也不是天经地义的事了。他们在革命中争得的权利,统治阶级不经过殊死的斗争是决不能夺去的;他们既然经历过革命,就决不害怕再以新的革命夺回自己的权利、捍卫自己的权利、扩大和发展自己的权利。  

    对于中国革命的前途,我们是没有任何理由悲观的。资本主义制度是建立在对绝大多数人民剥削和压迫的基础上的,是从根本上不合理和充满了矛盾的。正是资本主义发展本身,按照其自身的逻辑,为社会危机和社会革命铺平了道路。另一方面,曾经以一场伟大的社会主义革命对人类进步做出了伟大贡献的中国劳动人民,也决不会长期忍受现在的压迫秩序而无所作为的。我们有理由相信,下一次的中国社会主义革命将不是发生在遥远不可及的未来,进行这场即将来临的伟大斗争的责任将落到我们这一代人身上。这里,不妨借用马克思在1848年革命失败后评论当时法国的革命形势时所做的预言:“新的革命,只有在新的危机之后才有可能。但是新的革命的来临,象新的危机的来临一样,是不可避免的。”(Marx,1977,297)  

   

附:自由派知识分子论市场经济、民主和革命  

    谁有资格提出解决中国社会矛盾的方案呢?第一个看起来有资格提出解决矛盾的方案的,是自由派知识分子。自由派知识分子是正式的反对派、唯一的反对派、民主的象征、王位觊觎者。所以,它不仅承认我们这个社会存在着矛盾,而且认为那是在现存社会范围内不可解决的矛盾,并因而提出了它的社会改造方案。  

    自由派知识分子认为:  

   

对私产与经济自由的剥夺则封闭了市场,保护了特权,偏袒了懒惰,禁锢了创造力,从而带来了普遍的贫困和落后,使富国发穷,穷国更穷。而出路只有一条:市场经济,加上民主政治。(《边缘》,5)  

   

    人民为什么贫困?自由派知识分子说,这不是阶级压迫的结果,而是革命的结果,是革命剥夺了“私产与经济自由”,才带来了“普遍的贫困和落后”。解决这个矛盾的方案便是“市场经济,加上民主政治”。  

    在自由派知识分子看来,问题不在于“市场经济”(资本主义)本身,而在于没有“民主政治”。只要有了“民主政治”,资本主义社会的矛盾即使不能迎刃而解,也决不至于发展到不可收拾的地步。民主政治能不能解决资本主义社会的矛盾呢?如果民主政治能够成为被压迫人民手中的武器,用以从根本上推翻资本主义社会秩序,那么就可以成为解决资本主义社会矛盾的手段。这显然并非自由派知识分子的本意。  

    “市场经济”为什么要加上“民主政治”呢?自由派知识分子认为:  

   

资本主义的天然逻辑导致政治民主,因为没有政治自由的经济自由从本质上讲是不稳固的。......财产权和自由市场还必须有政治上的保障,否则就会被统治者的滥权所践踏。(《边缘》,4-5)  

   

所以,在自由派知识分子看来,“民主政治”就是保障“财产权和自由市场”。但是,统治阶级的“财产权”难道不正是建立在绝大多数人民贫困化的基础上吗?所以,保障“财产权”不就是对绝大多数人民实行政治压迫吗?  

    自由派知识分子意识到了这个矛盾,意识到了民主政治的充分发展必然意味着侵犯财产。所以,他们才担心“民主政治会释放暴民心理,蜕变成无政府状态,最终又以专制告终。所以,民主政治在战胜个人专制后又面临着一种新的专制的威胁,即多数的专制,特别是道德多数的专制。”(《边缘》,6)什么是“多数专制”?抽象地谈论“多数专制”是没有意义的。只有理解了“多数”是什么,“少数”是什么,“多数”和“少数”的关系是怎样的,才可能理解“多数专制”本身的性质。当“少数”压迫着“多数”,因而实行着“少数专制”的时候,“多数专制”无非是指被压迫人民奋起反抗压迫者的统治。说它是“专制”,就是说它违背一切压迫者的意愿;说它是“多数专制”,就是说它符合一切被压迫人民的意愿。  

    所以,说民主政治面临着多数专制的威胁,就是说资本主义制度面临着民主政治的威胁。民主,就它的本性而言,就它把权力交给绝大多数人民因而也是被压迫的人民而言,是与资本主义不相容的。只有在这点上,自由派知识分子才有了一点老实和科学的态度。  

    “市场经济,加上民主政治”,在实践上这就是向人民许诺资产阶级公民权利。确有一些自由派知识分子,他们被新兴资本主义赤裸裸的剥削、劳动者的悲惨状况所震惊。抱着良好的愿望,他们希望这不是出于资本主义的本性,不是资本主义的固有现象,他们希望“使竞争人道化”,他们要为劳动争得在资产阶级社会范围内尽可能好的交易条件。但是,这些“好心人”没有看到,劳动和资本的交易条件已经越来越不取决于一国无产阶级和资本的力量对比,而越来越取决于世界无产阶级和世界资本的力量对比。一方面,世界资本已经联合起来了;另一方面,世界无产阶级仍然是各自为战,因而各个击破。现在,欧洲的工人已经发现,要保证他们的“福利国家”已经越来越困难了。最近东南亚各国与美国的人权之争尤其能说明问题:依附性资本主义国家凭着它在人权上的“成本优势”,竟能部分地抵销发达资本主义国家的技术优势,而使后者的人权成为问题。当然,我们应当争取、必须争取颁布有利于劳动者的法律。但是,这些法律的意义并不在于它能“使竞争人道化”,而在于它有助于揭露以下事实:第一,如果这些法律没有得到贯彻,这些法律就是一堆废纸;第二,如果这些法律得到了贯彻,那么中国在世界市场上就难以立足,资本就要外逃,资本积累的源泉就要枯竭,资本主义就要出问题。  

    具体的解决问题的办法只有在具体的历史条件中寻找。那种凭空杜撰出来的社会改造方案是一文不值的。但是,对于城市工人阶级来说,要保全他们在社会主义革命中赢得的权利,难道不是只有不满足于这些权利本身,只有不再依靠统治阶级恩赐这些权利吗?那么,如果不把国有制-即统治阶级所有制变为工人阶级所有制,这又怎么可能呢?对于新无产阶级来说,哪怕是要实现八小时工作日,要实现节假日休息的权利,要避免以牺牲他们的生命为代价来谋取利润,不也要把资本吓跑吗?那么,哪怕是为了实现这些起码的资产阶级权利,不触犯资本主义所有权又怎么可能呢?对于农民阶级来说,他们的收入要有任何根本的改善,都会对资本积累构成威胁,那么,如果不把积累的权力从资本那里转到劳动人民那里,改善农民状况又怎么可能呢?对于最贫困阶层来说,不剥夺100万个百万富翁,又怎么能解决一亿赤贫的问题呢?所以,被压迫人民解决问题的方案就是-革命。  

    自由派知识分子说,革命剥夺了“私产与经济自由”。自由派知识分子忘记了,在革命前绝大多数人民根本没有什么“私产与经济自由”。自由派知识分子说,革命“带来了普遍的贫困和落后”。自由派知识分子又忘记了,如果不是因为“普遍的贫困和落后”就根本不会发生革命。自由派知识分子说,革命“禁锢了创造力”,“使富国发穷,穷国更穷”。事实如何呢?  

    世界著名的统计学家和研究经济增长的专家麦迪逊在他的最近一部著作中,按照购买力平价法,计算了全世界199个国家从1820年到1992年一百七十二年间的主要经济指标。这本著作里所提供的有关国际经济发展比较的数据,可以说是目前为止最完备、最可靠的。尽管在麦迪逊的这本著作中,有些社会主义国家的经济增长速度被大大调低了,现有数据仍然表明前社会主义国家,尽管有种种的社会的和经济的弊病,确实在经济发展方面取得了显著的成就。  

   

表6.1   人均国内生产总值指数,1950-1989  

                    1950  1960  1970  1980  1989  

资本主义国家         100   128   174   208   227  

欠发达的资本主义国家  100   127   172   222   240  

南欧和拉丁美洲       100   128   178   235   233  

苏联和东欧           100   141   198   238   256  

中国*               100   143   178   238    /  

*中国的国内生产总值是按1980年价格计算的.  

资料来源:Maddison,1995.  

   

    表6.1说明,无论是与整个资本主义世界的平均水平相比,还是与所有欠发达的资本主义国家的平均水平相比,苏联、中国、和东欧的人均国内生产总值的增长速度都是比较快的。就是拿苏联和东欧与南欧和拉丁美洲相比,这两组国家在战后初期经济发展水平是相当的,也是苏联和东欧的增长速度比较高。  

    在压迫社会中,绝大多数人民在物质上和精神上处于被压迫的状态,被剥夺了发挥自己的创造力和享受自己的创造成果的权利,这是社会的创造力被禁锢、被扼杀的最主要、最根本的原因。这当然是资产阶级御用学者永远无法理解的。革命,即使不能完成被压迫人民争取解放的全部事业,但是,它使“扶犁黑手翻持笏”,它使“大地象陶轮一样翻转过来”,它使绝大多数人民有了自己掌握自己命运的机会。仅凭这一点,就足以消除在压迫社会中弥漫于人民群众当中的那种麻木不仁、萎靡不振、无所作为的状态。这样的社会,它的生命力、它的创造力当然远远胜过那些没有经过革命洗礼的社会,胜过压迫社会的正常状态。  

    正如阿赞·玛吉贾尼所指出的:  

   

有一些社会主义成功的原因,是人们向来不理解的。......有充分证据证明,社会主义实行的(财富)再分配是社会主义经济发展的源泉之一。......再分配使在贫困煎熬下的亿万人民有了过上好日子的希望,在旧社会中,他们想改善生活的愿望,想在社会产品中多得一点的愿望,一向被压制。再分配使贫苦人民精神振奋、干劲冲天,这是生产和基本消费增长的重要源泉。(Makhijani,1992,64)  

   

所以,单单革命本身,就可以成为最伟大的生产力。  

    但是,生产力的发展本身并没有告诉我们这种发展是不是,以及在多大程度上,是为了绝大多数人民的利益,并没有告诉我们这种发展是建立在牺牲广大劳动群众的利益的基础上,还是为广大劳动群众的体力和智力的发展创造条件。正是在这一方面,社会主义发展从根本上优越于资本主义发展。正如阿赞·玛吉贾尼所说,如果我们考察的是绝大多数人民的体力和智力的发展,比如考察婴儿死亡率、人均预期寿命、食品供应、饮用水供应等指标,那么在资本主义和社会主义之间,社会主义是无可争辩的胜利者。(见表6.2)  

   

表6.2   资本主义和社会主义经济比较(1975年)  

                         资 本 主 义             社 会 主 义  

                    发达国家* 第三世界平均      东欧   中国  

人均预期寿命(岁)       70        55     60        70     65  

婴儿死亡率(千分之)     25       130    100        30     60  

人均每日卡路里摄取量  3100      2100   2400      3200   2200  

饮用水人口覆盖率(%)    90        50     65      80-90   不详  

*指经济合作与发展组织国家.  

资料来源:Makhijani,1992,75.  

   

    的确,革命向人民许诺解放,结果却是以一种形式的压迫代替另一种形式的压迫。在自由派知识分子看来,革命就是骗局,是一场恶梦,是用千百万人的性命和信仰去换取少数人的功名利禄的肮脏游戏。所以,被压迫人民之所以被压迫,就是因为他们反抗压迫,这就是自由派知识分子的逻辑,这就是被压迫人民应该安于被压迫命运的理由。在我们看来,革命被革命自身所玷污,这一事实不过证明,革命决不应满足于它已经取得的成果,它必须超越自身,必须上升到更高的阶段,否则就不能保住它已有的成就。正如英国历史学家E.H.卡尔所指出的:  

   

危险并不在于我们去掩盖革命历史中的巨大污点,去掩盖革命带给人们的痛苦的代价,去掩盖在革命的名义下犯下的罪行。危险在于我们企图完全忘却并在沉默中无视革命所取得的巨大成就。(Meisner,1986,440)  

   

被压迫人民决没有理由为曾经进行革命而后悔,更没有理由害怕革命。  

    的确,被压迫人民一而再、再而三地起来反抗,又一而再、再而三的被压迫者打败,这就是以往一切时代的历史。这个历史现象被有些人拿来做为压迫永恒、压迫天然合理的证据。这些人忘记了,历史上一切实际的斗争,其胜负都不是在书房里论证出来的,而是由实际斗争本身来决定的。压迫社会的矛盾在于,它永远不能避免产生自己的对立面,永远不能避免绝大多数人反抗自己,永远要使自己成为问题,因而也就永远证明不了自己的永恒性、天然合理性。  

   

〔1〕马克思主义的利润率下降趋势的规律是建立在资本有机构成在长期趋于上升的假设的基础上的,或者在资产阶级统计中,则表现为资本-产出率,即固定资本(机器设备、厂房等)对于产出的比率在长期趋于上升。根据麦迪逊的最新研究,资本-产出率上升确实是世界各国资本主义经济发展过程中的一个长期趋势。就几个主要资本主义国家来说,它们的非住房资本存量对国内生产总值的比率,英国从1820年的0.68上升到1913年的0.84,又上升到1992年的1.82;美国从1820年的0.95上升到1913年的3.30,到1973年下降到2.12,此后又开始趋于上升,到1992年为2.43;日本从1890年的0.71上升到1950年的1.77,又上升到1992年的3.02。法国、德国、荷兰没有第二次世界大战以前的数据,但是这些国家在战后都表现出明显的资本-产出率上升的趋势。(Maddison,1995,36)所以,资本-产出率上升确实是资本主义技术进步的一个长期趋势。问题是,怎样从理论上来说明这一趋势呢?从技术上说,生产资料和活劳动共同构成生产过程的要素。因此,技术进步既可以是以节约生产资料为目的,也可以是以节约活劳动为目的。以节约生产资料为目的的技术进步通常导致资本-产出率上升,而以节约活劳动为目的的技术进步,通常则要求以比较复杂的机器设备代替比较简单的机器设备,因而导致资本-产出率上升。问题是,哪一种技术进步是资本主义技术进步的主要趋势呢?很显然,由于技术进步,单位生产资料的价值(不是价格)必然随着时间推移不断下降。如果生产消费品的部门与生产生产资料的部门的技术进步的速度一样,那么单位消费品的价值将与单位生产资料的价值按同一速度下降。另一方面,一单位劳动力的价值等于维持一单位劳动力的再生产所需的消费品价值之和。由于在资本主义社会中,一方面,社会劳动生产率不断提高,因而劳动力价值所包含的“历史的、道德的”内容不断增加;另一方面,随着资本主义经济发展,工人阶级在量上和质上也不断发展壮大,因而与资本家阶级斗争的力量不断增强,伴随着资本主义发展,工人的实际工资有不断增长的趋势,也就是维持一单位劳动力所需要的消费品趋于不断增加。这样,单位劳动力的价值相对于单位生产资料的价值必然趋于不断增加。因此,在其它一切条件相等的情况下,在全部生产要素价值中,生产资料所占比例越小,活劳动所占比例越大,资本家的实际生产成本增加得就越快,对资本家就越不利。反之反是。这就要求资本家在技术进步过程中尽可能地以(物化在生产资料中的)死劳动来代替活劳动,以减少活劳动在全部生产要素价值中所占的比重。以节约活劳动为目的的技术进步显然比以节约生产资料为目的的技术进步更符合资本家的这一要求。因此,资本主义技术进步的主流必然是以节约活劳动为目的的技术进步,进而决定了资本-产出率上升是资本主义技术进步的一个内在趋势。  

〔2〕根据曼德尔的意见,1873-1893年的大萧条是由于1893年以后利润率显著上升才得以结束的,而19世纪末帝国主义对世界的征服在这次利润率上升中起着决定性作用。由于非洲、中东、东亚和中国被纳入了(帝国主义国家的)殖民帝国或势力范围,(帝国主义国家)对不发达国家的资本输出出现了质的飞跃,同时原材料价格也大大下降,从而使(帝国主义国家)的利润率得以显著回升。但是,各帝国主义国家之间的对抗最终导致了第一次世界大战和俄国革命的胜利。三十年代的大萧条则是以法西斯主义的兴起和第二次世界大战而告终的,并最终导致了中国革命的胜利和在东欧一些国家建立了社会主义政权。但是,由于在战后利润率大幅度上升,世界资本主义体系得以进入一个新的长期扩张阶段。曼德尔认为,这次利润率上升,主要是由于发达资本主义国家的工人阶级在法西斯主义和冷战体制统治下遭到了历史性的失败。在西欧和日本,剩余价值率从100%增加到300%,在美国,剩余价值率也有比较显著的增加。(Mandel,1995,17-18)七十年代以来,世界资本主义经济又一次进入了长期衰退。这次长期衰退已经给各资本主义国家的劳动人民带来了巨大的痛苦。美国的非农产业私人部门每周平均工资从1969年的300美元下降到了1990年的264.22美元(1982年美元)。(Monthly Review,December 1994,5)西欧劳动人民则面临着持久的大规模失业。在拉丁美洲一些国家,工业工人的实际工资在八十年代下降了20-60%。(Mandel,1995,159)  

   

第七章 市场,计划,和社会主义革命  

   

    社会主义计划经济可行吗?这对于马克思主义是一个至关重要的问题。我们知道,对马克思来说,一个社会主义社会必须建立在计划经济以及为使用价值而生产而不是为交换价值而生产的基础上。这是因为,在现代社会化大生产条件下,只有通过计划经济,人才能够自觉地控制生产力,控制社会关系,因而自觉地控制自己的生活,才能从一切形式的压迫、剥削和异化中解放出来。  

    这个问题表面上是一个技术问题。也就是说,对这个问题的回答取决于我们是否能够设计出一种技术模型,来说明社会主义计划经济具有解决现代经济问题的能力,并且还有一定的经济效率。事实上,无论是资产阶级经济学家,还是市场社会主义者,甚至还有不少马克思主义者,正是认为这个问题无非是一个技术问题。  

    另一方面,如果我们接受了资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的观点,即市场经济是现代社会条件下唯一可行的经济制度,那么,我们就不得不同意,某种形式的压迫和剥削也是人类文明所不可避免的,不仅仅是在一定的历史阶段,而是在人类文明存在的整个时期。而由于市场,按照其自身的逻辑,必然要发展为资本主义,这就无异于说,现行的资本主义制度,尽管有着种种的不合理和不公正,仍然是一切可能的制度中最好的制度。  

    但是,既然是这样,既然“社会主义计划经济可行吗”这个问题包含着如此重大的社会和政治含义,它也就不仅仅是一个技术问题。就它的本质来说,与其说这是一个技术问题,不如说这是一个社会-历史问题。所以,要真正地回答这个问题,也就不能仅仅从技术上来回答,而必须首先从社会上、从历史上来回答。  

    与这个问题相联系的一个问题,是社会主义革命为什么在前苏联、中国和东欧遭到了失败。据说,20世纪的这些社会主义革命失败了,是因为它们的经济失败了,而这一失败说明,社会主义计划经济不可行。的确,这些前社会主义国家的经济制度没有能够保存下来;的确,这些国家的经济制度或多或少带有社会主义计划经济的特点。但是,这一事实本身并没有告诉我们这些国家的革命为什么失败、这些国家的经济制度为什么没有能够保存下来。我们更不能由此就得出结论,说社会主义计划经济不可行。事实上,说前社会主义国家在经济上完全是一个失败,根本就不符合历史事实。根据麦迪逊对国际收入和财富比较所做的最新研究(这项研究只会低估前社会主义国家的经济成就),1950-1980年,东欧(包括前苏联)的人均国内生产总值增长了138%。在同一时期,中国的人均国内生产总值也以同样的幅度增加。按照这个速度,前社会主义国家的人均收入每隔四分之一个世纪就翻一番。这当然不是一个奇迹般的速度,但这也决不是什么经济失败。相比之下,在同一时期,世界上所有其它国家的人均国内生产总值增长了108%。其中,与东欧在1950年时发展水平相当的南欧和拉丁美洲的人均国内生产总值增长了135%,而与中国在1950年时发展水平相当的亚洲、非洲和大洋洲的发展中国家的人均国内生产总值增长了112%。(见表7.1)所以,前社会主义国家在经济发展方面至少不比资本主义国家差。那么,我们怎么能够一边说资本主义制度是世界上最合理、最有效率的经济制度,一边又说前社会主义国家的经济制度不可行呢?  

   

表7.1   人均国内生产总值指数,1950-1989  

                1950  1960  1970  1980  1989  年平均增长率(%)  

                                              1950-80 1950-89  

1950=100:  

东欧             100   141   198   238   256    2.93    2.44  

中国             100   143   178   238    /     2.93      /  

世界上其它国家    100   128   174   208   227    2.47    2.13  

南欧和拉丁美洲    100   128   178   235   233    2.88    2.19  

亚洲.非洲和  

大洋洲*          100   125   166   212   248    2.53    2.35  

南欧和拉丁美洲=100:  

东欧             112   123   124   114   123  

亚洲.非洲和大洋洲=100:  

中国              80    91    85    90    /  

*不包括中国.日本.澳大利亚和新西兰.  

资料来源:Maddison,1995,表A-3(a),A-3(e),B-10(a),B-10(e),F-5,F-6,F-7.  

   

    如果说前社会主义国家的经济制度确实是可行的,并且其经济成就不亚于资本主义制度,那么,“社会主义计划经济是否可行”这一问题立刻就有了不同的性质。看来,问题并不是真的在于我们缺少一套在现实世界中可行的技术模型。历史已经提供了一个,就是前社会主义国家的经济模型,虽然这决不是一个完美无缺的模型。另一方面,整个的经院经济学界,按照其目前的思维方式,看来根本就不能够理解和解释前社会主义经济在早期的相对成功,因而也就不能够真正理解它们后来的失败。如果我们用一点马克思主义的直觉,就不难看出,这个问题同样不能单纯从技术上和经济上来解决。只有对前社会主义国家的社会关系的演变做一番历史的分析,我们才能够真正认识这个问题。  

   

(一)对市场社会主义的批判  

    在马克思看来,市场本身并不等于就是资本主义,但是,只是在资本主义社会中市场关系才成为占统治地位的经济关系。马克思认为,在最纯粹的市场经济-简单商品生产中,就已经包含着资本主义异化的一切要素的萌芽。在市场经济中,社会的生产力在人们看来“不是他们自身的联合力量,而是某种异己的、在他们之外的权力。关于这种权力的起源和发展趋向,他们一点也不了解;因而他们就不再能驾驭这种力量,相反地,这种力量现在却经历着一系列独特的、不仅不以人们的意志和行为为转移,反而支配着人们的意志和行为的发展阶段。”(Marx,1978a,161)这一事实本身,就已经包含着从“劳动的分工”演变为“劳动和资本的分工”,即劳动者与生产资料相分离的可能性。所以,怎样才能够一方面消除或至少是有效地遏制市场经济内在的向资本主义发展的倾向,另一方面又不严重破坏那些在市场经济条件下生产力赖以发展的经济机制,是市场社会主义所面临的一个关键的矛盾。要防止市场社会主义蜕变为资本主义,主要有三种办法:(1)禁止买卖资本和劳动;(2)对收入和财富征收累进税以限制社会不平等的发展;(3)全部或大部分生产资料归国家所有。  

   

(1)禁止买卖资本和劳动  

    任何现代经济制度要正常运转,都必须根据供求变化经常地调节社会劳动(活劳动和物化劳动,或者用资本主义的术语说,劳动和资本)在各生产部门之间的分配。但是在市场经济中,除非生产资料归国家所有,要将社会劳动从一个生产部门转移到另一个生产部门,唯一的办法就是通过买卖资本和劳动。既然这样,如果禁止买卖资本和劳动,市场经济还怎么运转呢?  

   

(2)对收入和财富征收累进税以限制社会不平等的发展  

    在这种情况下,资本和劳动倒是可以自由买卖了。但是,在市场经济中,人们投资是为了谋取利润,而人们能够出卖自己的劳动力是因为这些劳动力能为他人带来利润。所以,在市场经济中,买卖资本和劳动的机制要发挥作用,其条件与资本主义经济中没什么两样。也就是,必须保证一定的利润率,以鼓励人们投资;同时,社会福利制度也不能给予失业人口过多的保障,要不然就没有人愿意按照允许投资者获取相当利润的工资水平来出卖自己的劳动力了。在这种情况下,看不出在市场社会主义条件下累进税所能够起的作用与资本主义条件下有什么不同。如果没有什么不同,累进税又怎么能够有效地防止市场社会主义蜕变为资本主义呢?  

   

(3)全部或大部分生产资料归国家所有  

    如果全部或大部分生产资料归国家所有,在各生产部门中分配社会劳动的任务就可以通过国家投资来完成,这就避免了买卖资本和劳动的问题。在国家所有制下,企业可以由国家任命的经理来经营,也可以由工人集体来经营。无论是采用哪种方式,正如布鲁斯和拉斯基所指出的,都面临着委托-代理问题:国家把企业委托给国家任命的经理或工人集体来经营,但是如果企业经营不善,谁来承担国家财产的损失呢?有一个解决这个问题的办法。如果说,在社会主义条件下,社会的利益不再与劳动人民的共同利益相背离,那么为什么劳动者不以负责的态度使用国家财产呢?这样做不是能够增进他们自己的共同利益吗?关于这一点,下面还要详细讨论。这里,我们只是指出,要让人们以负责的态度对待社会财产,前提是为了社会而生产。怎么能够设想,在人们为了私人占有而生产,在生产以私人生产者之间的相互竞争为基础的情况下,人们能够以负责的态度对待社会所有的生产资料呢?  

    约翰·E·罗默也提出了解决市场社会主义矛盾的办法。他的办法就是使市场社会主义更象资本主义。在他的“股票社会主义”中,每一个公民都可以得到一定数量的股票。股票价值的总和等于全社会生产资料价值的总和。人们可以用他们的股票来购买企业股份,但股票不得买卖。股票持有者死后,股票由社会收回,然后在全体公民中平均分配。“股票社会主义”的企业据说是与资本主义企业同样有效率,因为它们与资本主义企业在经营上没什么两样,也是以雇佣劳动为基础,以利润最大化为目的。(Roemer,1994)“股票社会主义”企图通过禁止股票买卖来防止社会两极分化。但是,在竞争中,总有一些企业要破产的。如果有些企业破产了,那么那些用他们的股票购买了这些企业股份的人们就会失去他们的股票。这些破产企业会被另外一些企业兼并,而那些购买了后一类企业的股份的人们就会有更多的股票。所以,光凭禁止买卖股票本身,即使真能禁止得了,也是防止不了两极分化的。让我们看看“股票社会主义”的另一个防止两极分化的办法-股票不得继承,在股票持有者死后必须归还社会,并由社会在全体公民中平均分配。首先,资本主义的经济效率是靠将资本主义纪律强加在工人头上来维持的。资本主义企业能够强迫工人接受这套纪律,是因为工人没有任何生产资料,不得不出卖劳动力为生。一方面,“股票社会主义”在经营上与资本主义别无二致。另一方面,在“股票社会主义”中,工人有可能拥有一些生产资料。比如,失业工人可以用他们所有的股票购买一家企业来雇佣他们自己。既然是这样,“股票社会主义”怎能迫使工人接受资本主义纪律呢?如果不能的话,它在经济上又如何运转?其次,如果唯一能够防止“股票社会主义”蜕变为资本主义的不过是禁止继承股票的一条法律,那么那些拥有大多数股票的少数富有者为什么不能够利用他们所拥有的经济力量来影响立法机关,把这条法律废除掉呢?而且,如果股票不能继承的话,股票持有者到了晚年又何必在用股票投资时认真负责呢?如何防止他们将股票用于不合理的、风险过高的投资呢?“股票社会主义”同样没有逃脱市场社会主义的困境,尽管它已经和资本主义没有什么差别了。  

   

(二)信息问题,激励问题,和社会主义社会关系  

    资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者认为,社会主义计划经济不可行,因为它解决不了信息问题。什么是信息问题?任何现代经济要运行,都必须能够收集和处理数量庞大的信息。在市场经济中,这些数量庞大的信息是由几百万个私人生产者同时处理的。资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者认为,如果要以计划经济来代替市场经济,中央计划当局就必须有能力收集和处理原来是由几百万个私人生产者收集和处理的巨大数量的信息。问题不仅在于中央计划当局的计算能力。更主要的是,很大一部分经济信息是以零碎的和分散的形式存在的。这些信息只有由数以百万计的人同时处理才能够加以收集和利用。由于中央计划当局不能够收集和利用这样很大一部分经济信息,它也就无法进行理性的经济计算,计划经济也就无法合理运行了。〔1〕  

    在我们分析信息问题以前,让我们先说明一下什么是计划经济。计划经济并不等于说每一件事情都纳入计划或者每一件事情都由中央计划当局来决定。在计划经济中,全部(或大部分)生产资料都由社会所有,全部(或大部分)社会产品都直接为了社会需要而生产,而不是为了私人占有或谋取交换价值而生产。由于实行了社会所有制和为直接为社会需要而生产,在计划经济中,生产者就有可能相互积极合作,并利用一切的现有技术,通过不同层次的经济计划,来协调他们相互之间的经济活动。  

    如果是这样的话,计划经济为什么解决不了信息问题呢?如果中央计划当局,或者说,最高的生产者联合体,不能够处理所有有用的经济信息,它只须处理它能够收集和处理的信息就可以了,然后把其余信息交给下级生产者联合体去处理。不过在这样做时,要与降低协调层次所造成的不利的方面相权衡。至于下级生产者联合体,他们可以根据他们所掌握的信息来做出相应层次上的经济决策,而把他们处理不了的问题交给更下级的生产者联合体或基层生产者-劳动者集体。数以百万计的下级生产者联合体和劳动者集体,就象市场经济中数以百万计的企业一样,可以处理数量庞大的零碎的和分散的信息。这样,计划经济至少可以收集和处理与市场经济同样多的经济信息。  

    不仅如此,在计划经济条件下,有可能以更优越的方式利用经济信息。现代社会化大生产客观上要求许多生产者之间相互合作、相互协调。但是在市场经济中,各个私人生产者各自独立地、分散地作出经济决策,不能够事先对经济活动进行协调,经济均衡只能在事后以经济危机的形式,通过对生产力的巨大破坏来实现。〔2〕另一方面,在计划经济中,只要能够掌握相应的经济信息,就有可能通过统一的经济计划来协调许多生产者的经济活动,因而避免或减少由于没有事先协调而造成的对经济资源的浪费。这当然不是说,在计划经济中,中央计划当局可以把每一件事情都纳入计划,而是说,在计划经济条件下,社会可以利用一切可以利用的技术手段来尽可能地协调各种经济活动,只要这种协调的收益大于收集和处理相应信息所需要的成本。这就为极大地提高整个经济的合理化水平提供了可能。而这个可能是市场经济条件下根本没有的。所以,计划经济不仅能够收集和处理与市场经济同样多的经济信息,而且还可以以比市场经济更合理的方式来利用这些信息。  

    但是,问题还没有解决呢。资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者问道:那些下级生产者联合体和劳动者集体为什么要积极地收集经济信息并且按照经济上合理的方式来利用这些信息呢?这就是所谓“激励问题”。显然,如果我们不能够解决激励问题,信息问题是不能够真正解决的。  

    在社会主义计划经济中,所有生产者都直接为社会生产,社会总产品则按照民主决定的原则分配以满足人们的物质和精神需要。这就提出了一个问题:如果在社会主义社会中,社会利益-社会总产品-是一切个人的物质利益和精神利益的源泉,为什么不能用社会利益本身来有效地激励人们,为了他们自己的物质利益和精神利益,来追求经济合理性呢,也就是说,积极地收集和合理地利用经济信息呢?  

    为什么社会主义计划经济要建立在为社会利益而生产的基础上呢?现代社会化大生产客观上要求许多生产者之间相互合作、相互协调。但是,在市场经济中,每一个生产者都追求自己的私利。他们有足够的激励在彼此之间相互竞争、倾轧,却没有什么东西激励他们相互合作。市场所给予的激励因而是与现代社会化大生产的逻辑相违背的。这个矛盾只有通过生产者直接为社会利益而不是为私人占有而生产来解决。所以,在现代社会化大生产条件下,就帮助人们追求和实现一定的物质利益和精神利益而言,为社会利益而生产(与为私人占有和交换价值而生产相比)是在经济上合理得多的一种方式。在这个意义上,社会利益本身就是一种实际的物质利益。正如马克思所说:“这种共同的利益不是仅仅作为一种‘普遍的东西’存在于观念之中,而且首先是作为彼此分工的个人之间的相互关系存在于现实之中。”(Marx,1978a,160)在《政治经济学批判大纲》中,马克思又说,在现代社会化大生产条件下,“私人利益本身已经是社会地决定了的利益。这个利益,只有根据社会所确立的条件、通过社会所提供的手段才能得以实现。”(Marx,1971,65)  

    如果说,在现代社会化大生产条件下,社会利益本身就是实际的物质利益,并且是实现一切个人利益的前提,那么人们为什么不可以为了追求社会利益而生产和劳动呢?为什么不可以用社会利益来有效地激励人们追求经济合理性呢?  

    当然,这并不能说服资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者。他们认为,为社会利益而生产是行不通的,因为它解决不了搭便车问题。就是说,在任何建立在社会所有制或集体所有制基础上的生产制度中,劳动者的个人收益不直接取决于他本人的努力程度,而是取决于整个集体或全社会所有工人共同的努力,因而,按照资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的意见,也就没有什么东西能够激励每一个劳动者有效地工作和合理地工作。但是,搭便车的逻辑是站不住脚的。正是由于劳动者的收益不取决于他本人的努力,而是取决于整个集体或全社会所有劳动者共同的努力,对于每一个劳动者来说,要增进其个人利益,合理的策略就不应当建立在个人抉择的基础上,而应当建立在集体抉择的基础上。问题不在于对于每一个个人来说,什么是他增进其个人利益的最好策略,而在于对于整个集体或全社会的所有劳动者来说,什么是他们增进他们的共同利益的最好策略。显然,如果每一个劳动者都采用搭便车的策略,据认为是最优的个人策略,每一个人都会蒙受损失。因此,搭便车的策略实际上是与增进个人利益的目的相违背的。既然是这样,并且人据说是有理性的,是追求个人利益的,那么为什么人们要采用搭便车的策略而不去采用对于集体来说或对于社会来说是最优的策略呢?  

    在资本主义市场制度下据说是不存在搭便车问题的。当然,资本主义制度在激励资本家追求私人利润方面是很有效的。但是,资本主义制度能够给受资本家压迫和剥削的广大工人什么激励呢?实际从事生产过程的是工人,不是资本家,可是资本主义制度用什么激励来使工人积极地收集经济信息并加以合理的利用呢?没有有效的激励,在资本主义制度下,所有的工人都是潜在的搭便车者。资本主义经济要运转,就必须花费一大笔交易费用来对付搭便车问题。比如,很大一部分社会劳动力必须处于失业状态,以对在业工人施加竞争压力,否则后者就会变得非常“懒惰”。而在在业工人当中,又必须要有很大一部分工人充当监督工人,帮助资本家执行劳动纪律而不能参加生产。  

    这说明,搭便车问题,与其说是产生于集体所有制或社会所有制,倒不如说是产生于压迫性的和剥削性的社会关系。在被压迫和被剥削的状况下,劳动者对于追求经济合理性没有任何兴趣,而搭便车却是他们争取改善自身状况的一种合理的策略。如果是这样,社会主义制度,通过消灭一切形式的压迫和剥削,当然能够比资本主义制度更好地解决搭便车的问题。  

    同样的,人们是否愿意为社会利益而劳动呢?要正确地回答这个问题,我们就必须首先搞清楚我们是以什么样的社会关系为前提。在压迫性社会中,所谓社会利益无非就是压迫者阶级的利益。在这种情况下,劳动人民当然没有任何理由去为所谓社会利益而劳动。另一方面,在社会主义社会中,劳动人民掌握了社会权力和经济权力,社会的利益也就无非是全体劳动人民的共同利益,那么,劳动人民为什么不可以为了社会利益,也就是为了他们自己的利益而劳动呢?  

    所有的争辩都可以归结为这样一个问题:在社会主义社会中,为社会利益而劳动,是不是符合劳动人民自己的利益?如果是的话,那么在社会主义社会中,为什么劳动人民不可以为了社会利益而劳动呢,为什么不可以用社会利益来有效地激励劳动者追求经济合理性呢?答案是不言而喻的。  

    这就提出了一个问题:社会主义计划经济能不能有效地激励人们追求经济合理性-这一问题怎么会成为一个问题呢?在现代社会化大生产条件下,人们要实现自己的物质利益和精神利益,最合理的办法就是直接为社会而生产,这不是一个明显的事实吗?在社会主义社会关系中,社会的利益不再与劳动人民的利益相背离,这不也是一个明显的事实吗?  

    在这个问题上,马克思主义的观点是从一个不言而喻的事实出发的:即人们的一定的物质和精神需要是人类一切生产活动和促使人们不断追求经济合理性的最终的原动力。社会主义社会关系的建立当然没有废除这个根本的原动力。正相反,由于废除了一切形式的压迫和剥削,社会主义社会使绝大多数人民能够为了他们自己的利益,而不是压迫者和剥削者的利益而生产和劳动。从这个观点看,就调动绝大多数人追求经济合理性的积极性而言,社会主义经济制度所提供的激励要比资本主义制度或其它任何压迫制度所能提供的强大得多,因而关于社会主义经济能不能有效地激励人们追求经济合理性的问题就完全不成其为一个问题。  

    另一方面,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者从下面的假设出发:人们只有在为私人利益而生产和劳动的时候才追求经济合理性。正是从这个假设出发,才产生了下面的问题-一个社会,如果是建立在社会而生产,而不是为私人占有而生产的基础上,怎么能够有效地激励人们追求经济合理性呢?但是,如果人们追求经济合理性是为了实现一定的物质利益和精神利益,那么至于这些利益是采取社会利益的形式还是采取私人利益的形式又有什么关系呢?-只要这些利益确实是他们自己的利益。同样一件产品,它所能给予人们的在物质上和精神上的满足,当然不会因为它现在是直接为了社会生产出来的而不是为了私人占有而生产出来的而有所减低。所以,与马克思主义的出发点不同,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的出发点不是一个不言而喻的事实,而是一个未经证实的假设,这个假设不经过证明是站不住脚的。但是,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者并没有为他们的这个基本假设提供一个科学的证明,而是把它当作理所当然的,似乎它就是一个不言而喻的事实,并且自以为是地从这个假设推导出他们的所有论点,包括社会主义计划经济不能够提供有效的经济激励因而不可行的论点。  

    有必要指出,有不少的马克思主义者不敢在这个问题上向资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者挑战。因此,他们捍卫社会主义计划经济的努力(主要是设计一些五花八门的技术模型)总是难免归于徒劳。因为,如果我们接受了资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的出发点,并且同意只有用私人利益才能调动人的积极性,那么,解决“激励问题”的唯一办法就只有设计一些“监督机制”。但是,计划当局要进行有效的监督,就必须掌握足够的有关信息,而问题恰恰在于计划当局没有能力收集和处理足够的信息。在这种情况下,激励问题根本就是没有办法解决的。  

    另一方面,如果我们跳出资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的狭隘眼界,我们就会立刻发现,激励问题之所以成为一个问题,无非是由于下面这个事实:由于废除了私有制和市场制度,社会主义社会也就废除了建立在私人占有制度基础上的经济激励机制。但是,正是由于废除了这些东西,社会主义社会也就废除了对绝大多数人民的压迫和剥削,因而绝大多数人也就有了比在压迫制度下大得多的积极性来追求经济合理性。不仅如此,由于把生产交给社会来管理,并且由于直接为社会利益而生产,在社会主义制度下,生产者就能够积极地相互合作,把增进全社会的利益作为自己的目标,从而最充分地利用现代社会化大生产的巨大生产潜力。所以,一方面,由于建立了社会主义社会关系,激励问题就不可能按照资本主义的或者任何其它一种压迫制度的方式来解决了。另一方面,也正是由于建立了社会主义社会关系,这就使问题有可能按照社会主义的方式来解决,按照与绝大多数人民的解放和自由发展相一致的方式来解决。激励问题就这样解决了。在激励问题解决以后,信息问题就没有理由不能解决了。在信息问题和激励问题都解决了以后,就没有理由说社会主义计划经济行不通了。  

    于是,在逻辑上,问题就已经解决了。但是,这个逻辑要成立,社会主义社会关系必须首先建立起来,而社会主义社会关系能不能建立起来,要取决于实际的社会斗争。正是在实际的社会斗争中,而不是在经院式的争辩中,才能找到对于“社会主义计划经济是否可行”这一问题的实际的历史的解决办法。  

   

(三)革命中国的经验  

    人们愿意为社会利益而劳动吗?社会主义计划经济可行吗?在这一节中,我们将集中讨论革命中国的经验,看一看中国的革命社会主义者和中国劳动人民是怎样为了建设社会主义社会关系和社会主义计划经济而斗争的。他们在斗争中取得了哪些成就?他们的斗争为什么最后失败了?我们从他们的失败中可以汲取哪些教训?  

   

(1)官僚主义,革命政权,和经济计划  

    当中国共产党在1949年夺取政权的时候,他们从国民党政权那里继承下来的是一个半殖民地半封建的、几乎没有现代工业的极端落后的经济。新生的革命政权因而立刻就面临着恢复和发展生产力的任务。问题是以什么样的方式来发展生产力呢?由于废除了资本主义生产资料所有制,由于大多数现代的生产资料都集中在了国家手中,革命政权就有可能通过统一的经济计划在全社会范围内合理配置生产资源。  

    社会主义经济计划,按照马克思的意见,必须是建立在“生产者自治”的基础上。这就要求劳动人民能够广泛地参与各级经济管理,而这又以消灭了脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工为前提。但是当时的中国还不具备这方面的条件。据估计,在当时中国最发达的工业城市-上海,1949年时,有46%的职工是文盲,而在蓝领工人中文盲率高达80%。(Andors,1977,48)这就带来了一系列严重的后果。首先,在没有“生产者自治”的情况下,为了适应计划经济发展的需要,就建立起了庞大、复杂的官僚机构,党和国家的机关因而迅速地官僚化了。其次,为了管理这些官僚机构,大批来自资产阶级和知识分子家庭的人被吸收入党,因为他们拥有必要的经济管理知识和专业技能。其中很多人加入共产党不是出于革命理想,而是把党看做是获取权力的阶梯。第三,官僚主义计划依靠物质刺激来调动干部和工人的积极性。在1956年工资改革以后,在革命战争年代实行的平等主义的供给制被取消了,代之以等级制的工资和奖金制度。所以,到五十年代末,一个拥有一定物质特权的官僚主义者阶级已经初步形成了。(Meisner,1986,125-130)  

    另一方面,如果认为中国这一时期的经济计划就是官僚主义计划,那也是非常错误的。一方面,官僚主义者阶级正在形成,另一方面,仍然有数以百万计的革命干部在党和国家机关中工作。〔3〕只要很大一部分政权还掌握在这些革命干部手中,这个政权在很大程度上就仍然是革命社会主义政权。这对于中国的经济计划搞得怎么样,不能不是一个起决定性作用的因素。从1953-1957年,也就是在第一个五年计划时期,中国的国民收入年平均增长8.9%,工业年平均增长18%,农业年平均增长4.5%。如果按照西方的估计,柏格森估计中国这一时期的国内生产总值年平均增长率是8.3%(Riskin,1987,58),赵康(音)估计中国这一时期的工业年平均增长率是14.4%。(Chao,1960)即使按照赵康的估计,中国也是这一时期世界上工业增长最快的国家之一。  

    政权是不是革命的性质为什么会影响经济计划的好坏呢?我们知道,计划经济要合理运行,就必须要解决信息问题和激励问题。如果劳动者自觉地为社会利益而劳动,这两个问题就都可以得到解决。如果政治权力在很大程度上掌握在革命社会主义者手中,社会的利益也就在很大程度上与劳动人民的利益相一致,这就为劳动者为社会利益而劳动提供了客观基础。另一方面,如果有数以百万计的革命干部和工人能够“忠实地执行党的政策,同时还善于独立思考和富于首创精神(Meisner,1986,129)”,很多需要发挥基层的积极性和主动性的问题就可以及时得到解决。这些革命干部和工人,同时又是有力的榜样,鼓舞着许多其他人为社会利益而劳动。所有这些条件,只有在很大一部分政治权力仍然掌握在革命社会主义者手中的情况下,才能够存在。而革命政权能不能制止住官僚化的趋势,保持其革命的性质,则是要在实际的斗争中来决定的。  

   

(2)毛泽东主义政治经济学和大跃进  

    从五十年代后期开始,毛泽东逐渐注意到了官僚主义计划的矛盾。在批评斯大林主义政治经济学时,毛泽东指出:  

   

书中说对劳动的物质刺激“促使生产增加”,“是促使生产发展的决定因素之一”。但是物质刺激不一定每年都变化。人不一定天天、月月、年年都需要物质刺激。在困难的时候,减少一些物质刺激,人们也要干,而且干得很好。教科书把物质刺激片面化,绝对化,不把提高觉悟放在重要地位,他们不能解释同级工资中为什么人们的劳动有几种不同的情况。比如说,都是五级工,可是有一部分人干得很好,有一部分人干得很不好,还有一部分人干得大体上还好。物质刺激都是一样,为什么有这样不同呢?照他们的道理是解释不通的。即使承认物质刺激是一个重要的原则,但总不是唯一的原则,总还要有另一个原则,在政治思想方面的精神鼓励的原则。同时,物质刺激不能单讲个人利益,还应该讲集体利益,应该讲个人利益服从集体利益,暂时利益服从长远利益,局部利益服从全局利益。(Mao,1977b,83)  

   

    在毛泽东看来,官僚主义计划片面地依赖物质刺激调动人的积极性-这行不通。只有靠提高人们的觉悟,从而使人们愿意自觉地为社会利益而不是狭隘的个人利益而劳动,才能够充分发挥社会主义计划经济的生产潜力。毛泽东在这一点上是非常正确的。但是,官僚主义计划为什么不能够提高人们的觉悟呢?毛泽东说:  

   

我们的经验-如果干部不放下架子,不同工人打成一片,工人就往往不把工厂看成是自己的,而看成是干部的。干部的老爷态度使工人不愿意自觉地遵守劳动纪律......既然体力劳动者和企业领导人员是统一的生产集体的成员,“为什么社会主义企业必须实行一长制而不能实行集体领导下的首长制”......?政治弱,就只好讲物质刺激了......(Mao,1977b,86)  

   

    毛泽东说:“政治弱,就只好讲物质刺激了......”这是很对的。但是,“政治”的毛病在哪里呢?毛泽东认识到,要劳动者为社会利益而劳动,就必须有平等的社会关系,工人还必须参加社会、经济管理。另一方面,毛泽东仍然认为,只要在党内提倡发扬革命精神,以及依靠党委来监督技术官僚就可以解决问题了(党委领导下的厂长负责制)。共产党,在他看来,仍然是一个革命政党。  

    毛泽东的政治经济学思想在大跃进中被付诸实践。为了解决官僚化的问题,对计划制度进行了改造,很多权力下放到了地方和企业;在一些工厂进行了工人参加管理的试验;物质刺激受到批判,很多工厂废除了计件工资和奖金。(Andors,1977,68-96)  

    行政分权本身无助于解决官僚化问题。在没有建立起新的社会关系和相应的激励机制的情况下,过多的权力下放只会破坏官僚主义制度原有的协调和监督机制,从而导致经济混乱。至于工人参加管理,在大跃进中还只是限于班组一级,不触及整个的社会经济关系。  

    大跃进的尝试中是有一些合理成份的。比如,在官僚主义计划中,据说靠物质刺激就可以鼓励人们为社会利益劳动。实际上,根本没有什么“完美的”或“科学的”刺激机制。于是,单纯的物质刺激不但不能激励人们为社会利益而劳动,还往往鼓励人们做违背社会利益的事。比如说,如果计划是根据实物产量制定的,这就鼓励人们用牺牲质量的办法来增加产量。显然,这个问题只有靠人们自觉地追求社会利益才能够解决。比如,即使没有计件工资,劳动者也可以努力增加产量,同时自觉地维持一定的质量标准。但是,这只有在社会的利益与劳动人民利益相一致的情况下才是可能的。所以,物质刺激不是问题的原因,而是一定社会条件的产物。这个社会条件就是,有相当一部分社会权力已经不是在革命者手中,而是在新生的官僚主义者阶级手中了。大跃进并没有触及问题的根本-官僚主义者阶级的社会权力,而是想靠人为地消除问题所起的一些后果来解决问题本身,这当然行不通。  

   

(3)文化大革命及其教训  

    在大跃进失败以后,毛泽东开始认识到问题是不能够在现存权力结构范围内得到解决的。到1965年,毛泽东认为,在革命后的中国已经出现了一个官僚主义者阶级:“官僚主义者阶级与工人阶级和贫下中农是两个尖锐对立的阶级。这些人是已经变成或者正在变成吸工人血的资产阶级分子。他们怎么会  认识  足呢?这些人是斗争对象、革命对象。”后来,毛泽东从这里后退了一步,将革命对象定义为“党内走资本主义道路的当权派”。但是很清楚,对于毛泽东来说,问题已经是只有靠向现存权力挑战才可能得到解决了。1966年,毛泽东亲手发动了文化大革命。  

    按照毛泽东和他的同志们的意见,文化大革命的主要目的就是要打倒“党内走资本主义道路的当权派”。也就是说,很大一部分社会权力已经不在革命者手中,而是在“走资派”手中。革命力量因此必须与“走资派”做斗争,把权力夺回来。毛泽东和他的同志们还正确地指出:“无产阶级文化大革命,只能是群众自己解放自己,不能采用任何包办代替的办法。”(CPC,1968,398)所以,文化大革命不仅是要推翻旧的官僚主义权力,而且要代之以新式的人民政权:  

   

文化革命小组、文化革命委员会和文化革命代表大会......是无产阶级文化革命的权力机构。......文化革命小组、文化革命委员会的成员和文化革命代表大会的代表的产生,要象巴黎公社那样,必须实行全面的选举制。候选名单,要由革命群众充分酝酿提出来,再经过群众反复讨论后,进行选举。当选的文化革命小组、文化革命委员会的成员和文化革命代表大会的代表,可以由群众随时提出批评,如果不称职,经过群众讨论,可以改选、撤换。(CPC,1968,401)  

   

    另一方面,文化大革命在理论上和实践上都存在着严重的缺点。理论上,毛泽东和他的同志们没有能够对革命后的中国社会做出一个科学的分析。首先,按照毛泽东和他的同志们的意见,文化大革命的打击对象不是官僚主义者阶级本身,而只是一小撮“走资派”,而“百分之九十五的干部”仍然被认为是“好的和比较好的”。其次,在毛泽东和他的同志们看来,文化大革命之所以必要,是因为:  

   

资产阶级虽然已经被推翻,但是,他们企图用剥削阶级的旧思想,旧文化,旧风俗,旧习惯,来腐蚀群众,征服人心,力求达到他们复辟的目的。无产阶级恰恰相反,必须迎头痛击资产阶级在意识形态领域里的一切挑战,用无产阶级的新思想,新文化,新风俗,新习惯,来改变整个社会的精神面貌。(CPC,1968,395)  

   

毛泽东和他的同志们把党内出现“走资派”简单地归结为是由于资产阶级思想的影响,这就完全没有能够用历史唯物主义观点来科学地解释官僚主义者阶级产生的原因,因而也就不能够找到正确的解决问题的办法。  

    另一方面,尽管革命的正确方法“只能是群众自己解放自己”,正如列宁所指出的,劳动人民由于处于被压迫、被剥削的状况,被剥夺了从事科学探索的权利,完全凭他们自己是不能够达到对社会的科学认识的。即使在革命后的社会中,只要还存在脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工,这种情况仍然是不能避免的。所以,如果没有一个由革命知识分子组成的、能够科学地认识社会发展进程的革命政党做领导,劳动人民,仅凭他们自己,是不能够成功地进行反对官僚主义者阶级的革命的。在旧的共产党已经蜕变为一架官僚主义机器的情况下,要成功地进行文化大革命,就必须有一个新的革命政党。没有这样一个党,文化大革命就不能带来任何建设性的成果,而只有毁于一片混乱之中。  

   

(四)社会主义计划经济可行吗?  

    资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者认为,社会主义计划经济解决不了信息问题和激励问题,所以是行不通的。但是,即使是按照资产阶级统计,前社会主义国家在按人口平均的经济发展速度上也并不比资本主义国家慢。(见表7.1)而且,有那么一个时期,这些国家在经济发展方面还曾经明显优越于资本主义国家。如果说社会主义计划经济解决不了信息问题和激励问题,那么前社会主义国家在经济发展上一度取得的成就又怎么解释呢?  

    对于这个问题,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者有这样几种解释。首先,他们说,在经济发展的早期阶段,经济结构相对简单,比较容易管理。但是在经历了早期阶段以后,经济结构变得越来越复杂,计划经济要合理运行也就越来越困难了。然而,这个说法与经验事实不相符合。七十年代末的中国经济恐怕还比不上五十年代的东德经济复杂。但是五十年代的东德经济成就卓著,而中国的计划经济到七十年代末已经难以为继了。另一方面,所谓经济结构越来越复杂,基本上是说,劳动分工越分越细,产品种类越来越多,生产单位之间的相互联系因而越来越多。也就是说,这基本上是一个怎样求解“几百万个方程”的问题。这个问题本身,靠着现代计算机的帮助,是并不难解决的。苏联式中央计划经济的真正的问题在于,中央计划当局无法收集和处理大量的分散的、零碎的信息。只有身在现场的生产者才能够了解和处理这些信息,比如,对某种产品的质量和技术性能的详细描述。这个问题在经济发展的早期阶段实际上与在后来的阶段是一样复杂的。  

    资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者又说,前社会主义国家的经济增长是“粗放式增长”而不是“集约式增长”,靠  得  是大量投入资源而不是技术进步,因此在长期是行不通的。充分利用过去未经利用的资源的确对社会主义国家早期的经济发展起了不小的作用。但是,这当然不是社会主义经济不合理和没有效率的证据。只靠投入资源本身是变不出经济增长来的。即使是“粗放式增长”,也要按照经济上合理的方式来配置和使用生产资源,工人也要知道生产什么,怎样生产,生产多少。而所有这些,只有在工人或多或少按照预期的要求去做的情况下才能转化为经济增长。就是说,即使是“粗放式增长”,也要解决信息问题和激励问题。所以,问题仍然是,如果计划经济解决不了信息问题和激励问题,又怎么能实现哪怕是“粗放式”的增长呢?其次,资产阶级经济学家和市场社会主义者的说法也不符合经验事实。表7.2表明,1950-1973年,17个资本主义国家(包括7个主要的发达资本主义国家和10个“中等收入国家”)的劳动生产率的算术平均数是4.4%,其中10个“中等收入国家”的算术平均数是4.2%。在同一时期,6个社会主义国家的劳动生产率的算术平均数是4.5%。这些数字当然不表示社会主义经济在技术进步方面比资本主义经济差。〔4〕  

   

表7.2 若干国家劳动生产率(每工时国内生产总值)增长率,1950-73年  

资本主义国家           %     社会主义国家             %  

阿根廷                2.4    保加利亚                6.1  

巴西                  3.7    捷克斯洛伐克            3.4  

加拿大                3.0    匈牙利                  3.9  

智利                  2.9    波兰                   3.8  

哥伦比亚              3.3    罗马尼亚                6.2  

法国                  5.1    苏联                   3.4  

德国                  6.0    算术平均数              4.5  

希腊                  6.4  

意大利                5.8  

日本                  7.7  

墨西哥                4.0  

秘鲁                  3.4  

葡萄牙                6.0  

西班牙                6.4  

英国                  3.1  

美国                  2.7  

委内瑞拉              3.4  

算术平均数            4.4  

"中等收入国家"算术平均数     4.2  

资料来源:Maddison,1995,79-80.  

   

    我们知道,社会主义计划经济要合理运行,就必须要解决信息问题和激励问题。而要解决这两个问题,就必须建立起社会主义的社会关系。所以,如果不对前社会主义国家的社会关系的历史演变做一番分析,我们是无法真正理解这些国家一度所取得的经济成就的。一方面,在前苏联、中国和东欧,在革命以后,直接掌握政治权力和社会权力的不是劳动人民自己,而是劳动人民利益在形式上的代表-一个革命先锋队政党。就此而言,这些国家革命后的社会还不是真正意义上的社会主义社会。另一方面,我们也不能否认,这些政党,在它们的早期阶段,确实曾经是真正的革命者的党,曾经真诚地为社会主义和劳动人民的解放事业进行过奋斗。既然是这样,那么毫不奇怪,这些国家在革命后所产生的政权,在早期必然或多或少是带有革命性质的政权,因而能够推行与劳动人民的利益基本一致的政治、经济和社会政策。所以,在这些社会的早期,社会的利益与劳动人民的利益在很大程度上是一致的,这就为劳动人民为社会利益而劳动提供了一定的客观基础。  

    在那个年代,曾经有千千万万的人不是为了他们个人的私利,而是为了劳动人民的共同利益,为了革命和社会主义,为了无产阶级国际主义,为了建设共产主义而劳动,这是一个历史事实。这个历史事实怎么能不对生产力的发展产生重大的影响呢?正是这一历史上特定的社会关系才能正确地解释前社会主义国家一度所取得的经济成就。    如果我们对革命中国整个的历史时期做一个考察,那么大致可以将其分为两个阶段。第一个阶段是1949-1957年。在这个阶段,旧的压迫秩序和剥削秩序已经被推翻,劳动人民的政治地位和经济地位都有了极大的改善,而新的官僚主义者阶级尚在形成过程中。在这个阶段,社会主义中国的经济高速地向前发展,对资本主义经济表现出明显的优越性。第二个阶段是从1957年(“百花齐放、百家争鸣”,反右,大跃进)到七十年代末。这个阶段的特点是官僚主义者阶级全面兴起和阶级斗争全面激化,在文化大革命中达到了高潮。在这个阶段,尽管有巨大的社会动荡,由于革命社会主义力量仍然掌握一部分社会权力,因而劳动人民的社会主义觉悟仍然在经济发展中发挥着一定的作用。因此,在这个阶段,中国经济仍然能够以一定的速度(不低于世界中等水平)向前发展。只是在文化大革命失败以后,官僚主义者阶级的统治得以巩固,社会主义计划经济才在政治的和社会的意义上完全不可行了,资本主义市场化因而也就成了解决中国经济问题的唯一“可行”的办法(官僚主义者阶级当然不可能靠动员劳动人民的社会主义觉悟来解决信息问题和激励问题)。        

    我们从革命中国的经验中可以汲取哪些经验教训呢?第一,在革命社会主义政权的领导下,计划经济是完全行得通的,并且其经济成就是完全有可能超过资本主义的。如果是这样,那么在社会主义社会关系完全建立起来以后,情况会是怎样呢?答案是不言而喻的:社会主义计划经济不仅可行,而且无论在经济上还是在社会上都将比资本主义合理得多、有效率得多。第二,社会主义计划经济是不是可行,首先不是一个理论问题,而是一个实践问题,其结论要取决于历史上的实际的争取社会主义的斗争。在革命社会主义力量夺取政权以后,争取社会主义的斗争还没有结束。革命社会主义力量在夺取政权以后,必须努力用正确的革命理论教育和组织劳动群众,采用象巴黎公社那样的适当的政治组织形式,通过积极的斗争来遏制官僚化的发展和保障新生政权的革命性质。另一方面,在具备了必要的生产力条件以后,革命社会主义政权应当立即着手对资本主义遗留下来的不合理的经济结构进行彻底的改造,以便伴随着社会劳动生产率的不断提高,逐步地缩短劳动人民的一般的劳动时间,从而使所有社会成员都能够自由地发展他们在体力和智力方面的潜能,都能够参与社会管理和经济管理,也就是说,消灭脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工,因而消灭阶级统治和阶级压迫的物质基础。只有到了这个时候,我们才能说争取社会主义的斗争已经取得了完全的、彻底的胜利。〔5〕〔6〕  

   

(五)阿列克·诺夫对马克思主义的批判;对阿列克·诺夫的批判  

    照阿列克·诺夫的意见,即使建立起了社会主义社会关系,问题也没有什么根本的不同。社会分裂为统治者和被统治者,这是在一切历史时代中都不可避免的。在社会主义社会,人们还是要为他们的私人利益而不是为社会利益而劳动,与资本主义社会没有什么根本不同。  

   

马克思主义“原教旨主义者”争辩说,(苏联式计划)的根本问题在于异化,在于劳动者、管理者和中央之间的利益冲突;如果他们都认同一个共同利益,那么一切就都会变得很好。......但是,这样一种思想方法包含着几重错误......这些人没有认识到,没有市场的计划模式必然是集中式的(一个纯粹地方的机关怎么能决定社会的需要并很好地满足它呢?),而中央计划经济的庞大的和复杂的活动恰恰是造成异化的一个主要原因。巴兰指出:“除非我们认识到,要对相互联系的生产活动进行调节,调节的系统在客观上只能是等级制的,否则关于社会主义民主的一切讨论都不过是煽动人心罢了。”可惜,巴兰没有由此得出应该得出的结论。最后,(马克思主义“原教旨主义者”)以为,世界上可以有这样一个社会,在这个社会中,各个部门之间,部门与中央之间,更不必说个人之间,将不会因为资源分配而发生冲突。马克思主义传统中这一基本上是乌托邦的部分,是建立在,只能建立在一种极大丰裕的基础上。任何唯物主义者都得承认,(关于资源分配的)冲突是不可避免的,除非有足够的东西来满足所有的人,也就是说,当机会成本的概念,即在相互排斥的各种要求之间做出选择,不再有任何意义的时候。(Nove,1980)  

   

    首先,的确,经济计划,并且事实上任何公共事务的管理,“必然是集中式的”。并且,就这些事务是“公共的”来说,也就是说,就它们超越了狭隘的个人和地方的界限来说,可以说它们“客观上只能是等级制的”。但是,这些怎么会与“异化”,与社会分裂为统治阶级和被压迫阶级联系在一起呢?任何社会都要有一些人来管理它的公共事务。这件事本身并没有告诉我们为什么社会会分裂为阶级。要使社会上的一部分人成为统治阶级,这些人就不仅必须是公共事务的管理者,而且还必须独占公共事务的管理。只有这样,他们才可能系统地利用他们的权位为他们的私人利益而不是公共利益服务。正如马克思主义者所知道的,只要还存在脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工,因而绝大多数人还不能够参与科学的和艺术的活动,还不能够参与公共事务的管理,,这种情况(一小部分人独占公共事务的管理)就有可能发生。另一方面,社会主义社会,通过合理地利用现代社会的生产力,逐步地消灭脑力劳动和体力劳动的分工,就可以消灭阶级压迫的物质基础。  

    其次,诺夫说:“中央计划经济的庞大的和复杂的活动恰恰是造成异化的一个主要原因。”但是,“庞大的和复杂的活动”本身并没有告诉我们社会是怎样管理这些活动的。在阶级社会里,广大人民群众被排斥在公共事务的管理之外,所以,必须要组织一个庞大的和复杂的官僚机构来管理“庞大的和复杂的活动”。另一方面,在社会主义社会中,不需要把人民群众排斥在公共事务的管理之外。正相反,社会主义的公共事务的管理正是要建立在人民群众广泛参与的基础上。因而,也就没有必要去建立一个庞大的和复杂的官僚机构。社会主义社会怎样才能管理“庞大的和复杂的活动”呢?在社会主义社会,公共事务的管理是由马克思所说的“自由人联合体”来进行的。在《法兰西内战》中,马克思具体说明了“自由人联合体”是怎样工作的:  

   

巴黎公社自然应当作为法国一切大工业中心的榜样。只要公社制度在巴黎和各个次要的中心确立起来,旧的中央集权政府就得也在外省让位给生产者的自治机关。在公社还没有来得及进一步加以发挥的全国组织纲要上说得十分清楚,公社应该成为甚至最小村落的政治组织形式......设在专区首府里的代表会议,应当本专区所有一切农村公社的公共事务,而这些专区的代表会议则应派代表参加巴黎的全国代表会议;代表必须严格遵守选民的mandat imperatif(确切训令),并且随时可以撤换。那时还会留给中央政府的为数不多然而非常重要的职能,则不应该象有人故意捏造的那样予以废除,而应该交给公社的官吏,即交给那些严格负责的官吏。(Marx,1978b,632)  

   

所以,在社会主义社会里,依靠人民群众的广泛参与,就可以通过在各级“生产者的自治机关”之间合理地分工来有效地管理所谓“庞大的和复杂的活动”。通过这种分工,每一级“生产者的自治机关”都只须负责“为数不多然而非常重要的职能”,因而便于群众或下级的“生产者的自治机关”对它们进行监督和控制,因而所谓“造成异化的一个主要原因”也就无从谈起了。  

    但是,诺夫说,即使在社会主义社会中,普通人民群众能够参与和控制社会的公共事务,人们还是不愿意为社会利益而劳动,因为人们的个人利益总是相互冲突的,“除非有足够的东西来满足所有的人,也就是说,当机会成本的概念,即在相互排斥的各种要求之间做出选择,不再有任何意义的时候。”这样一种“极大丰裕”被诺夫说成是“马克思主义传统中这一基本上是乌托邦的部分”。没有比这更加庸俗的对马克思主义的歪曲了。社会主义必须建立在高度发达的生产力的基础上(这个基础主要是由资本主义发展来准备的)。只有有了高度发达的生产力,才能够大幅度地减少一般的劳动时间,从而使绝大多数劳动人民有可能自由地发展他们在体力和智力方面的潜能,有可能参与公共事务的管理。但是,这与什么“当机会成本的概念......不再有任何意义的时候”或者诺夫所说的那种“极大丰裕”毫无关系。抽象地说,人们的个人利益总是相互冲突的。已经被一个人所消费的东西就不再能被另一个人消费。但是,首先,说人们的个人利益总是相互冲突的,不等于说人们就没有共同利益,并且这些共同利益当然也是人们的个人利益。如果是这样,那么,人们的个人利益之间存在着冲突这件事本身为什么会妨碍人们去追求也是他们的个人利益的共同利益呢?其次,在任何东西能被消费以前,这些东西必须先被生产出来。如果说,在现代社会化大生产条件下,任何东西的生产都或多或少有赖于生产者之间的相互合作,因而只有在生产者彼此之间积极合作而不是相互竞争的情况下,现代生产的潜力才能充分发挥出来-如果是这样,那么人们的个人利益不是只有在他们相互合作为社会利益而生产而不是为了他们的私人利益而相互倾轧、竞争的情况下才能得到最好的实现吗?如果情况是这样,那么,作为理性的存在,人们为什么不愿意为了社会利益而劳动,从而最大程度地实现他们的个人利益呢?  

   

〔1〕罗默认为,前社会主义经济的失败主要是因为它们技术进步的速度比资本主义经济慢,而技术进步问题或创新问题是独立于信息问题(罗默称之为委托-代理问题)的一个问题。但是笔者认为,创新问题不过是信息问题的一个具体表现形式罢了。如果中央计划当局知道所有的有关信息,它当然可以命令生产单位用正确的投入、在正确的时间范围内完成所需要的创新。另一方面,由于创新包含着大量的风险和不确定性,并且需要更多的灵活性,中央计划当局要收集有关创新活动的信息并做出合理的决策,有可能是非常困难的,因而创新问题可以说是信息问题的一个最突出的例子。(Roemer,1994,44)  

〔2〕在现代资本主义经济中,为了减少由于私人生产者缺乏协调所引起的不确定性,私人资本主义公司把越来越多的经济资源投入到各种非生产性的活动中,比如市场营销、广告、与市场调查和推销有关的研究开发活动等。在现代资本主义社会中,这恐怕是重要性不亚于公开的经济危机的一种经济不合理性。据赛克和图纳克估计,美国非生产性工人占全部工人的比重,从1948年的43%增加到了1987年的64%。说明有很大一部分社会劳动被浪费掉了。(Shaikh and Tonak, 1994,110)  

〔3〕迈斯纳在他的著作中曾经这样描述毛泽东主义的革命干部:“在理想情况下,干部应当是毫不利己的,是用革命的价值观武装起来的,愿意为了实现革命的目标而献身的......他能够忠实地执行党的政策,同时还善于独立思考和富于首创精神;他遵守党组织的纪律,同时还密切地联系群众......共产党的革命能够成功,很大程度上是由于确实有很多党的干部或多或少符合毛泽东主义的这种革命干部的标准。”(Meisner,1986,129)  

〔4〕有必要指出,前苏联和其它前社会主义国家不得不把他们的大部分研究和开发能力用于与帝国主义大国的军备竞赛,这使他们承受了不成比例的沉重负担,因为他们的绝对经济规模要比帝国主义大国小得多。他们还受到主要帝国主义国家的技术封锁和限制,因而不能够象资本主义的发展中国家那样充分利用经济发展的“后来者”的便利。如果不是因为这些因素,那么前社会主义国家的技术进步速度本来是可以快得多的。  

〔5〕道森和福斯特估计,1988年“经济剩余”占美国国民生产总值的55%,其中绝大部分是通过各种形式的浪费“吸收”掉的,比如市场营销、广告、金融活动、军火生产等。此外,很大一部分被浪费掉的社会劳动并不直接表现为“经济剩余”,而是成为生产成本的一部分,比如,华丽的包装,频繁的更换产品形式,人为地造成产品过时等。(Dawson and Foster,1992)在欠发达的资本主义国家,最主要的浪费是大量的失业和半失业人口,这部分人口经常占劳动力总数的三分之一。这就意味着,在革命社会主义力量夺取政权以后,只要立即着手消除资本主义对社会劳动的巨大浪费,就可以在比较短的时间内为大幅度地缩短一般劳动时间准备好条件。  

〔6〕拉坦西认为,只要有“稀缺性”存在,要普遍减少劳动时间就是不可能的,而要消灭“稀缺性”又是不可能的,因为“生产力的发展不断产生新的需要。所以,虽然有些稀缺性被消除了,别的稀缺性又不断产生了......除非一切技术创新和经济增长都停止,很难看出怎么样能消灭稀缺性本身。考虑到世界自然资源的潜在危机,这种可能性就更加渺茫了。”(Rattansi,1982,185)拉坦西忘掉了一件事,“新的需要”不仅包括对物质产品的需要,也包括对人自身的发展的需要。在社会主义社会中,完全可以想象,社会劳动生产率的增长可以一部分转化为人民物质消费的改善,一部分转化为人们的自由时间的增长(通过缩短劳动时间)。如果社会劳动生产率不断增长,那么人们的自由时间就可以不断增加。事实上,假设相反的情形,即在社会主义社会中,人们将要求把全部社会劳动生产率的增长都转化为物质消费的改善,倒是极不合乎情理的。  

   

附录一 我怎样成为一个马克思主义者  

   

    我的父母都是高级知识分子。我的青少年时代从家庭获得的认识是极其狭隘的。但是,象所有的知识分子家庭一样,我的家庭也自认为属于一个比体力劳动者更高贵的社会阶层。我的父母希望我明白,我必须进入名牌中学和名牌大学,只有在升学竞争中把别人挤掉,我才能保住自己的高贵身份,或许还有希望在社会地位和名望上超过父母。  

    我自幼好读历史。历史故事倾力描绘的英雄人物成了我最早的模仿对象和个人理想。我发现,社会中有一些人,他们生来与众不同,他们高贵的形象淹没了无知的芸芸众生,历史仅仅是由他们写的并且仅仅记住了他们。我强烈地希望自己成为“伟人”、“超人”。主宰历史命运的领袖,其他的生存方式似乎都是毫无意义、不值一提的。  

    历史也教会了我另外一些东西。在历史中,我看到了人民群众为了摆脱压迫的枷锁所进行的不屈不挠的斗争,我从中看到了一种理想,一种真正有价值的东西。我开始有了追求社会正义的愿望,并且开始把这种追求当作自己生活的目的。  

    我带着这两种矛盾的心态开始了我的大学时代。一种心态是英雄史观、精英统治论和个人奋斗,我幻想成为一个名垂青史的开明政治领袖。另一种心态是人道主义以及对真理和社会正义的追求,当时我自称是共产主义者。入学不久,现实就给了我一个沉痛的教训。我幻想能够通过官僚政治的渠道爬到上流社会中去。但是,我对官僚政治的技巧显然一窍不通,我没有来得及学会这些技巧,我的“领袖梦”很快被击得粉碎。在官僚政治中出人头地的幻想一旦破灭,我的共产主义者的假面也就戳穿了。我真正渴望的是爬入上流社会,而不是为理想献身。社会正义、追求真理现在对我毫无价值,被挤出官场在我看来似乎就是失去了一切。人生从此不再有任何意义。极度灰心中,我百无聊赖,每日到图书馆偷书填补空虚的生活。  

    一九八八年六月,北京大学学生在校园内展开了要求民主的斗争。一些学生组织了“行动委员会”,准备发起政治性示威游行。在最后几天,我参加了游行的准备工作。我参加学运的思想基础是非常复杂的。这里决不能排除个人失意、生活空虚、喜欢出风头的因素。但是,也决不仅仅是这些,而且主要不是这些。一些学运活动家的勇气和胆识(当时给我深刻印象的有刘刚、萧旭)唤起了我原有的良知和热忱,我从中又找到了生活的目的和意义,不能够再无动于衷了。无论如何,从此我从颓废萎靡中爬了起来。  

    这期间我的政治信仰急剧转变,我不再自称为共产主义者。参加学运以后,我在思想上和政治上日益成为自由主义者。八十年代后期,资产阶级新古典经济学事实上已经在中国经济学界占统治地位。我所在的北京大学经济管理系由主张激进的市场导向经济改革的厉以宁教授领导,事实上是当时中国传播资产阶级经济学的中心。资产阶级经济学在中国的迅速普及反映了知识分子在意识形态上与统治阶级相一致的方面。当时,集权计划经济日益暴露出自己不再是合适的统治方式,官僚统治阶级迫切需要新的更加强有力的统治手段。象所有同学一样,我刚入学时无形中已经接受了统治阶级的如下观念:生产率、经济增长是社会发展的唯一目标和衡量标准,劳动者不是被看做人而只是被视为应该尽量削减的一项成本要素,虽然自己有强烈的精神生活要求却有意无意的认为劳动者生活的意义仅仅是物质消费的增长,国民福利似乎仅仅是更多的彩电、冰箱、汽车......这些观念是通过无数的广播节目、电视节目、文学作品、学术著作和家庭教育灌输进来的。按照这种灌输好的观念,我站在与劳动者对立的立场上,把劳动者视为天生是懒惰的、唯利是图的。既然资本主义早已被经验证明是制服劳动者的行之有效的手段,我就把私有化看做中国经济的唯一出路,主张全面拍卖国有资产。这一时期是我系统研究并接受资产阶级经济学的时期。一九八八年和一九八九年初,中国知识界的自由思想运动达到高峰,北京大学在运动中处于中心和领袖的地位,我个人的批判意识也进入了一个新的阶段。我写了一篇论文,驳斥专制政府和国有制可以与市场经济相容的理论观点(即所谓“硬政府、软经济”)。这是概括我当时思想状况的代表作,可惜现已遗失(这篇论文曾与萧旭、王丹交流过)。  

    一九八九年四月中旬,全国性民主革命运动爆发。在运动期间,我始终与核心学生领袖保持密切来往。我对运动的认识最初也十分模糊,将它限定为单纯的学生运动,对它的意义估计不足。五月中旬以前,我一直倾向于选择适当时机收尾。后来事实证明,这个判断是过于保守了。在自由思想运动的高潮时期,波及的也仅仅是少数知识分子和大学生这样一个极其狭隘的范围。表面的思想活跃掩盖了反对派对人民群众的极端无知。没有人了解劳动人民的社会心理状况,对社会革命的成熟程度没有什么科学估计,斗争行动往往带有赌博的性质。但是,天安门广场的绝食斗争是一次中了巨奖的赌博。在实际斗争中,人民群众比反对派领袖们要先进得多、英明得多。五月十八日至二十日,斗争进入了全新阶段。一方面,运动已经超出了狭隘的学生运动范围,一举上升为全民性的民主革命运动;另一方面,以发布戒严令为标志。官僚统治集团悍然向人民宣战。斗争进入决战阶段,革命和反革命都再无退路可言。但是,并不是每一个反对派分子都认识到这一点。当时的反对派领导集团或者幻想与统治集团取得妥协,或者寄希望于上层宫廷政变。五月中旬以后,我对运动的认识一天天明确起来,坚决主张采取断然的革命手段反击反革命的进攻,争取决定性的胜利。但是,我的主张没有形成居于领导地位的意见。由于我对运动的认识和判断始终与当时的学生运动领袖们相左,至运动最后失败时,我始终没有正式加入反对派组织和承担起领导责任。  

    对一九八九年民主革命运动的反思促成了我的思想的第二次重大转变。首先,反对派没有任何成熟的革命理论。他们迷恋民主,却不懂得民主为什么能够战胜独裁;他们认为自己受到人民拥护,却找不到自己可以依靠的力量。在刺刀临头的时候,“和平、理性、非暴力”的口号除了剥夺人民反抗的权利还有什么其他作用呢?(有些患了革命恐惧症的反对派迄今不敢提“革命”二字)其次,反对派严重脱离广大劳动群众。在民主革命运动的高潮阶段,人民群众用他们的集体的伟大力量废除了统治秩序平时加于他们的束缚,首都的警察和官僚机构完全瘫痪,人民在当时实际上争得了言论、出版、集会、结社、游行示威的自由权利。但是,反对派由于对群众的无知和不信任,看不到群众的伟大历史创造力,在关键时刻不敢发动群众。  

    这种对群众的恐惧和不信任心理,这种革命理论的贫乏,是不能在自由主义政治思想范围内解决的。因为它表面上以全民代表自居,实际上排斥了对革命动力源泉的分析。这种排斥,是为了掩盖它事实上把知识分子精英看做特殊公民的实质。我的疑问恰恰在马克思主义当中获得了回答。社会分裂为统治者和被统治者,被统治者要获得解放只有以革命推翻统治者,这是我们社会的真实情况。真正的革命者从反对一切压迫和统治出发,只有完全站在被压迫者的立场上,而决不能以高人一等的领袖自居,认为民主不过是用开明的统治代替暴政,更不能认为人民大众只是自己实现“民主”的工具。开明的统治还是统治,凡统治未有不以暴政告终的。而民主如果只是少数知识分子精英垄断政治的一种形式又哪里是什么民主?(有的反对派分子认为,人民大众的民主权利仅限于投票挑选由哪些精英来代表他们。殊不知,如果精英总是高高在上,他就只能代表他自己。)  

    在民主运动发展过程中,发生了革命领导机关的迅速官僚化。革命领导机关一产生,马上就脱离了基本的革命群众,领导成员成为某种难以接近的特殊人物。另一方面,争权夺利消耗了领导机关的大部分精力,在后期,相当一部分领导成员追求个人的物质生活特权。表面上,这是由于运动中一些投机分子窃据了领导地位,革命组织成份复杂所致。但是,某种“领袖欲”、个人投机心理难道不是每一个反对派活动家或多或少沾染的问题吗?归根到底,这与实现人人自由平等的革命理想如何相容呢?既然自认为是自己是特殊的高级人物,又怎么能建设平等的新社会呢?“六·四”之后,我隐约感觉到了这些问题,但是当时并没有深入地思考下去。  

    为了建立新的革命理论,我的学习重点从资产阶级经济学转到了马克思主义经济学。在原来是均衡的、合理的、自由平等的地方,现在我看到了矛盾、不合理、专制和压迫。我刚刚开始产生一种前所未有的认识社会的方法,一次突发事件就打断了我的学习,也结束了我的大学生涯。一九九零年六月三日夜,北京大学学生在校园内自发集会纪念一九八九年民主革命运动。反动学校当局公然对集会学生威胁恫吓。集会者由于群龙无首,有自行瓦解的可能。在紧要关头,我在十分仓促的情况下挺身而出,发表反政府演说。演说本身并不精彩,可以说拙劣,但它客观上表现了革命者不屈服于反动派高压统治的大无畏斗争意志。另一方面,这次斗争是全国革命低潮中的一次孤立行动,没有引起任何反响。六月十五日,我被学校开除学籍,同日入狱。  

    中国的刑事司法制度与一切压迫社会的刑事司法制度一样,建立在惩罚和报复原则的基础上。犯人一入狱,立即就失去了全部人的尊严。看守人员对犯人任意打骂,预审人员经常滥用逼供、诱供手段。管理制度禁止犯人阅读书刊,要求犯人全天静坐反省,实际是变相体罚。另一方面,刑法强调使用重刑、死刑,认为法律的主要作用在于威慑。但是,我与犯人的实际接触让我看到这种刑事司法制度不是在消灭犯罪而是在不断再生产着犯罪。那种认为人天生就有邪恶心理,只是由于对刑罚的害怕才不去犯罪的说法纯属一派谎言。我们的社会既然到处是不公正和压抑,就难免有些人产生病态的心理结构,因而随时可能产生破坏性行为。但是,社会不是把这种破坏性行为看做由它自己造成的病态去医治,而是采取把破坏者排斥在社会之外的做法。很多初次犯罪的人仍然有不少天真善良纯朴的品质,在监狱的环境中生活几年以后心理彻底扭曲,成为恶性犯罪分子。至于死刑,不过是社会无力解决自身问题的标志。随着越来越多的犯罪适用死刑,恶性犯罪也有愈演愈烈之势。  

    在监狱中,依靠牢头管理监号。牢头是犯人中的统治者和压迫者。他们在监号中占据最宽敞的床位(想象一下,在人均只有半平方米的监号中,一个人睡两三米宽的地方是怎样一种特权)、掌管食物分配、支使他人为自己劳动(捶背、洗衣等),还可以打骂其他犯人、从中取乐,有的还占有同性恋伙伴。所有的革命者都会承认,牢头现象是一种必须根除的压迫现象。在监号中,牢头们散布这样一些言论:“人到哪里都分三六九等”;“在什么地方都有柳爷(特权阶层),也有鼠蔑(奴隶阶层)”;“牢头也是从擦地擦板儿一点点熬上来的”。每一个革命者都清楚,这无非是说压迫有理、被压迫活该。但是,这些话难道不是压迫社会(包括“民主”社会)中流行观念的表现吗?比如:任何社会都有上中下之分;国家只能交给精英、优秀人物来管理;管理者和被管理者的对立是永恒的;资本家也是从洗盘子开始辛辛苦苦奋斗起家的......为什么大多数反对派分子遇到这些问题就失去了批判性呢?反对派的绝大多数本身就是知识分子精英,或者接受了知识分子精英灌输的观念,认为只有自己才代表社会价值,而劳动者大众实际上没有社会价值。在监狱中,被牢头压迫的人也往往认为这种压迫结构既然约定俗成就没有什么不合理,他一旦当上牢头又反过来压迫别人。在社会中,压迫结构看起来似乎也是天经地义的,以至于被压迫者都认为它是正常的,似乎自己天生该受别人支配,公共管理永远是少数人的事。但是,社会中的压迫与监狱中的压迫一样不合理,也一样可以根绝。任何社会关系,都是人自己创造出来的,因而也是人自己可以改变的。到底是根据哪条生物学原理,一些人要奴役另一些人,压迫和被压迫、奴役和被奴役要支配人与人之间的关系?  

    在监狱中,我常常意识到,在那样特殊的环境中,随时可以以自我生存为借口,在道德上堕落下去。如果你介入了牢头压迫、奴役他人的行为,如果你对此习以为常,如果你自己管理监号的时候沿袭牢头那一套做法、克扣他人饭菜、对别人肆意凌辱打骂,你还算什么革命者!(有许多“政治犯”在监狱中正是如此表现的)铁窗生涯没有挫折我的良心和意志,反而使我在思想上和道德上都进入了一个新层次。  

    刚刚入狱时,我为海外传媒有关我的报道沾沾自喜。随着时间推移,我才有了一些较为清醒的认识。是什么在支配我的行为?是个人名利还是争取被压迫者解放的理想?如果是后者,我有什么可以引为骄傲的呢?这种学生自发集会和反政府演说难道不是众多的脱离群众的孤立反抗行动之一吗?我这才发现自己远不是真正的彻底的革命者,除非我把这个肮脏社会加于我心灵上的一切污垢都剔除干净。  

    革命者离不开对全部现存社会结构的彻底批判,这种批判也必须深入自己的心灵。革命者的心灵必须完全浸沐在对人、对被压迫者的普遍的爱中。既然是真诚的爱,就不是高人一等,不是特殊的优秀人物,不是主宰历史的英雄。只有这样,才能认识群众,进入群众,与群众一起而不是利用群众去战斗,与群众一起争取自己的解放而不是替他们争取解放。我是一个马克思主义者,仅仅因为马克思主义是彻底解放、彻底人道的革命学说。  

   

                                      1992年12月于北京  

   

附录二 大学生与革命  

   

    “六四”失败以后,一个突出的现象就是革命的主观和客观方面的不平衡发展。在革命的客观方面,由于邓氏南巡,官方意识形态已经完全破产了,资本主义的发展要求同时强化原始积累和资本主义积累,因此,“六四”以后当局举行了向城市工人阶级和劳动农民全面进攻的“改革”战略,社会对抗程度超过了“改革”以来的任何时期。但是,在革命的主观方面,不仅不存在一个比较完整、有力的革命党,而且反对派在组织上被打垮,数量上在减少,精神状态上陷于普遍动摇。革命主观方面的无能,决定了在目前社会危机进一步深化的条件下,现存秩序尚能保持其相对稳定。  

    如何理解革命的主观方面这种落后状态呢?首先,我们必须明确一点,即当我们谈论主观方面时,并不是抽象地、一般地谈论社会一起方面的主观方面。我们必须了解,现在的革命的主观方面,首先是,甚至完全是一九八九年人民民主运动的遗产。因此,它也就不可避免地带有那次革命的一切弱点。  

    一九八九年人民民主运动,尽管冠以“人民”、冠以“民主”,但决非象有些人所迷信的那样是“全民性”的。它的特点,也是其不可克服的局限性,恰恰在于绝大多数人民仅仅是自发的,因而也是无意识的,因而也是比较被动的参加了运动。唯一有意识地、自觉地参加运动并因而领导运动的社会集团是自由派知识分子。所以,那次革命深深打上了这个集团的烙印。  

    自由派知识分子所以被传呼为自由派,正是因为他们用“自由”这个词作为“平等”的对立面,正是因为他们决不相信社会除了精英统治还能有其他任何形式。所以,他们自命为精英,并且认为自己理所当然的是一般人民利益的代表。基于这样的前提,自由派知识分子决不可能有认真在政治上发动广大人民群众这样的要求。他们不相信人民能普遍觉悟,而宁愿相信群众是天生愚昧的,因此宁愿以少数精英的特殊觉悟代替绝大多数人民的普遍觉悟,甚至为此断送了自身的政治前途。  

    因此,自由派知识分子的真实社会基础,由这样的自由派知识分子为未来革命所准备的主观条件,从来没有越出大学校墙之外。所谓革命的主观方面,现在无非是指有革命倾向的大学生的主观方面。  

    所以不理解大学生,不理解大学生在现代社会中的特殊功能,也就不能理解目前阶段革命的主观方面发展的特殊规律。大学,不是一个一般的教育机关,也不是专门未来学术自由开辟的伊甸园,而是特殊的社会关系和阶级关系综合作用的产物。在现代社会中,大学既是把被统治阶级中的优秀分子选拔到统治阶级中来的高级教育机关,又是各种野心勃勃的下层人士进入上流社会的捷径。最形象地说明这一点的,是八十年代在大学生中流行的所谓“红道”、“黄道”、“黑道”三条人生道路。所谓“红道”,就是争取进入上层官僚统治集团;所谓“黄道”,就是争取成为正在兴起的资产阶级新贵;所谓“黑道”,就是争取成为上层知识分子或者技术官僚。每个大学生为考大学而奋斗,都是为了摆脱劳动人民的身份,至少能永远逃避体力劳动。在考大学的竞争中,他们为了自身的胜利而狂喜,为自身的失败而垂头丧气;对别人的成功耿耿于怀,对别人的失败幸灾乐祸。在他们看来,成功仅仅归功于自己,别人的失败也完全由他们自己负责,生活无非是一切人对一切人的战争。现代大学从一开始,从每个人入学的时候,就把他们变成了真正彻底的、最狭隘的个人主义者。  

    为什么统治阶级要从被统治阶级中选拔优秀分子来变成自己的队伍呢?这固然是因为,使被统治阶级在思想、意志、体力等方面的优秀分子同被统治阶级隔离开来,就使后者失去了自己的领袖,从而大大增加了他们觉醒和反抗的难度。但是,更主要的,是因为统治阶级本身是一个寄生阶级,一个脱离生产劳动的阶级。这种寄生性使它智力退化、道德堕落,如果不经常从外面补充优秀分子,它的生机很快就要丧尽。所以,统治阶级必须尽可能地从被统治阶级中网罗一切优秀分子。但是,统治阶级的内部矛盾又使它不能接纳一切从被统治阶级中隔离出来的优秀分子。这正是现代大学自身的矛盾。  

    大学生考入大学是为了能进入统治阶级。但是,考入大学并不等于自动地成为统治阶级的一员,毋宁说真正残酷的个人竞争刚刚开始。有限的人口仅向其中一小部分人敞开。这种矛盾由于现代统治阶级承担的现代化使命而进一步加剧。现代化,要求大学成为一个特殊的工业部门,生产中下级专门技术人才的工业部门。因此,大学生面临着两种前途,或者是上升为统治阶级,或者是充当现代化所必需的中下级专门技术人才,后者不得不接受被统治阶级的社会经济地位。这两种前途的存在,导致现代大学内部矛盾尖锐化,其结果就是使大学校园中充斥了各种各样的竞争失败者。这些失败者,对现实强烈地怨恨不满。在这种不满的基础上,他们成为各种批判思想的接受者。  

    但是,正是因为他们对现状的不满的真正的心理根源,既不是抽象的信仰,也不是对社会结构的科学认识,恰恰是个人野心的破产。他们对现状的批判也就不可能是真正科学的、真正革命的,实际上仅仅是表达他们在竞争中被淘汰的满腔怨恨。他们特别害怕回到劳动人民中去,他们对此越是恐惧就越要标榜自己蔑视世俗,越要千方百计证明精神贵族之优越。所谓有革命倾向的大学生,他们的社会基础,他们的个人出身,无非是这批在竞争中被淘汰了的大学生。  

    由此,决定了目前革命的主观方面的落后性。它有两个致命的弱点:(1)脱离劳动人民。大学生在思想上、心理上、生活方式上都不同于劳动人民并且以高于劳动人民自居。现代大学既然以培养统治阶级后备军为己任,它也就努力灌输精英意识和脑力劳动优越于体力劳动的迷信。在这种大学中教育出来的大学生,即使是革命者,也不能摆脱无视劳动人民伟大历史创造作用的偏见。这些有革命倾向的大学生,奉行英雄史观,赋予自己特殊的历史使命,群众仅仅是听候领袖的召唤并在关键时刻为领袖增添光彩的配角。  

    (2)投机性。大学生参加革命,既然是为竞争失败所迫,那么,他并没有放弃个人的野心,并没有忘记自己日夜梦想的衣锦还乡。由于革命意味着改天换地,今天的革命者明天可能就是统治者。所以,大学生参加革命,往往带有强烈的投机性。这种赌徒心理说明了在一九八九年人民民主运动中,学生领袖们在个人意志上为什么如此脆弱而在个人品质上为什么如此败坏。  

    “六四”以后,最初流行的主要斗争形式是秘密小组织、秘密煽动性刊物。当时,几乎所有“六四”以后幸存的有革命倾向的大学生都投入了这种形式的斗争。但是,这些秘密组织、秘密刊物大多不能存活一年以上,这种形式本身也很快走向失败。为什么呢?因为这些革命者并不把自己的斗争建立在坚实的群众基础上,并不致力于解决现实生活中群众自身的问题从而启发群众自己的觉悟,而是把群众当作被动的听从召唤的人,幻想自己登高一呼,群众就群起响应。他们建立秘密组织,发行秘密刊物,都是从这种冒险的心理出发,结果在国家警察机器的进攻面前不堪一击。  

    革命者们付出了惨重的代价,才放弃了这种自杀式的斗争策略。但是,由于他们无视广大劳动人民的存在,因而反倒找不到任何策略。邓氏南巡以后,自由派知识分子与当局在理论上几乎已经是统一战线了。在这种情况下,自由派的革命理论完全破产。自由派既不能解释一九八九年人民民主运动的起源,也不懂得它为什么失败,更不能指出未来革命的前途。这种理论困境,导致自由派知识分子影响下的革命者陷入不能思考的境地。  

    正是在这种思想上异常空虚的情况下,这些有革命倾向的大学生并不明白自己过去为什么失败。秘密组织的失败,在他们看来,只是一种投机形式的失败,而不是一切投机的失败。由于他们找不到真正的群众基础,他们不知道除了投机以外还有别的什么斗争手段。思想上的空虚,使他们更加不能冷静下来,而急于以任何可以采取的行动显示自己的存在。他们知道,由于自己没有群众基础,只有不断暴露自己,才能存在下去,才能生存下去。销声匿迹就等于自甘灭亡。  

    于是,“运动就是一切,目的是无关紧要的”成了新的格言,革命者们寻找一切机会表明自己的存在。利用一切纪念日来调动幻想中的心理激情。这种斗争形式运用到了荒谬的地步,以至于不惜为了不符合本身利益的政治目的而活动(如对日索赔)。  

    但是,这样就充分把自己暴露在国家警察机器面前。于是,当局便以革命者们个人的学业和前途相威胁。这时,革命者们的投机性就暴露出来了。他们为此惶恐不安、手足无措。他们决定让自己收敛一些,希望能保住学籍,希望能不让父母知道。于是,颇有讽刺意味的是,革命者们越是要显示自己的存在,他们的存在就越不可靠,就越是时时处在风雨飘摇之中。  

    没有绝大多数人民的支持,不扎根于劳动人民,不依靠群众自己的主动性,少数大学生的所谓革命活动,就是毫无意义的冒险和自杀。但是,由自由派知识分子提供的革命理论是不能完成革命者与劳动人民相结合的任务的。因为那种理论是建立在承认精英、承认压迫、承认统治的基础上的,是从统治者的眼光看问题,不是从劳动人民的眼光看问题。从这种理论出发,决不可能真正与劳动人民团结在一起,充其量是蛊惑于一时,也决不可能长久。这一切说明,自由派知识分子在主观上对革命的统治已经到了应当终结的时候了。  

   

                                    1993年5月于西安  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

参考文献  

   

中文参考文献  

   

阿罗诺维奇,萨姆,等。《英国资本主义政治经济学》  

安子编。《青春寻梦-广东打工潮追击》  

《边缘》。由北京大学的一个学生社团-读书社编辑和发行的非正式刊物,撰稿人主要是一些著名的自由派知识分子。  

蔡方。《十字路口的抉择:深化农业经济改革的思考》(注:作者姓名的名字部分实际上应为“日”字旁加一个“方”字。)  

陈宝森。《美国经济与政府政策:从罗斯福到里根》  

邓小平。《邓小平文选》第三卷  

社科院经济所。中国社会科学院经济研究所编。《中国乡镇企业的经济发展与经济体制》  

方原。《倒悬的金字塔-中国农业现代化的几个问题》  

冯海发。《中国农业的效率评估-理论·方法·实践》  

高皋和严家其。《文化大革命十年史》  

孤闻。“有产阶级的崛起-兼论国有企业的衰落”。《当代世界社会主义问题》1993年第二期。  

郭克莎。《中国:改革中的经济增长与结构变动》  

韩明希编。《中国当代私营经济的现状和发展》  

何汝璧和伊承哲。《西方政治思想史》  

李强。《当代中国社会分层与流动》  

厉以宁等。厉以宁、孟晓苏、李源潮、李克强。《走向繁荣的战略选择》  

林毅夫。《制度、技术与中国农业发展》  

刘世锦和江小娟。《后来居上-中国工业发展新时期展望》  

刘志庚编。《深圳经济发展探秘》  

刘宗绪编。《世界近代史》  

《绿皮书》。中国社会科学院农村发展研究所农村经济年度分析课题组。《1993年中国农村经济发展年度报告-兼析1994年发展趋势》  

马宾。《发展、改革的两个关键-高技术产业与反腐败》  

马宾和孙尚清。《中国经济形势与展望(一九九三-一九九四)》  

孟繁琪。《现代化农业的模式选择》  

宋源和龚金国。《比较经济体制》  

汪海波。《发展的效益型和改革的市场型》  

威尔伯,查里斯 K. 编。《发达与不发达问题的政治经济学》  

吴敬琏。《计划经济还是市场经济》  

许良英。“没有政治民主,改革不可能成功”。《未来与发展》1993年第1期  

杨祖功和顾俊礼。《西方政治制度比较》  

詹宏松。《社会主义价格问题研究》  

赵效民和贾履让。《社会主义市场模式研究》  

钟朋容。《十年经济改革-历程·现状·出路》  

   

   

   

   

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Beard, Charles Austin. 1960. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the   United States  .   New York  : The Macmillan Company.  

Bettelheim, Charles. 1974. Cultural Revolution and Industrial Organization in   China  .   New York  : Monthly Review Press.  

Bornschier, Volker, and Christopher K. Chase-Dunn. 1985. Transnational Corporations and Underdevelopment.   New York  : Praeger.  

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Dawson, Michael, and John Bellamy Foster. 1992. "The Tendency of the Surplus to Rise, 1963-1988." In John Bryan Davis, ed., The Economic Surplus in Advanced Economies. Aldershot, Hants,  England ;   Brookfield ,  Vermont ,  U.S.A.  : E. Elgar.     

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____. 1993. "Can the Chinese Dragon Match Pearls with the Dragon God of the Sea?: a Response to Zongli Tang." Monthly Review, 45:3 (July-August), 87-104.  

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Mao, Tse-tung. 1977a. Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, volume 5.  Peking : Foreign Languages Press.   

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 英文版 

 

INTRODUCTION  

   

   

       According to the prevailing bourgeois liberal ideology, capitalism and democracy always go hand in hand. But the triumph of Chinese capitalism is exactly based on the failure of democracy. In the 1989 revolution, it was not only the democracy or dictatorship that was at stake, but also the fate of Chinese capitalism that was at stake. On 4 June 1989, not only was the democratic movement defeated, but also was the Chinese working class defeated. The Chinese working class was defeated because they had failed to make of themselves an independent political force capable of fighting for their own liberation. Instead, they followed the political leadership of the liberal intellectuals and thus served the political interest of the liberal intellectuals rather than that of their own.   

       On 20 May 1989 when the ruling class declared its war against people by sending army into   Beijing   city to enforce the notorious “martial law,” the democratic force was left no choice but either surrender or an open call for people’s uprising. A call for uprising would be responded by the working class. On the other hand, the ruling class was deeply divided, caught up in panic. The chance of success was pretty large. But the liberal intellectuals refused to take this chance. The revolution thus failed.   

   

       I began to participate in the democratic movement in 1988. At that time, like most Chinese university students, I embraced bourgeois liberal ideology. That is, on the one hand, I agreed with western-style multi-party democracy, and on the other hand, I was in favor of full-scale marketization and privatization, and the establishment of the capitalist economic system. But I began to change my mind in the 1989 revolution. At the critical time of the revolution, it was very clear that whether the revolution would end with victory or failure depended on whether the opposition would and was able to fully mobilize the entire urban working class to fight for democracy. Here we were immediately met with a problem. Anyone who had a clear mind could not fail to see that the ideology that the liberal opposition held was in sharp conflict with the interest of the working class. People like me who were in favor of privatization and capitalism knew very well that the working class would suffer a lot if the economic policy that we upheld was put into practice. In the “normal” time, this could simply be left aside as the unavoidable cost of social progress. But at the time of revolution, it was completely a different matter. On the one hand, you were to ask the working class to fight for your ascendancy to power with blood and life. On the other hand, if you and your kind of people were in power, in return to what the working class had done for you, you would impose the social and economic policies that would be nothing short of a disaster for the working class. How could a revolutionary who thought himself or herself to be someone struggling for social justice, freedom and the liberation of ordinary people, not to put a question mark on the ideology that he or she held in this case?  

       Shortly after the failure of the 1989 revolution, I began to reject bourgeois liberalism and convert to Marxism. Like all Marxists in today’s world, I was faced with a series of questions. Why did the socialist revolutions in the 20th century fail to establish a genuine socialist society? How do we evaluate the historical merit of these revolutions? Why did the failure of the socialist revolutions lead to capitalist development? Is it possible for us to have a society without any exploitation, oppression, and alienation? Is there such an economic system which is not only economically productive and efficient, but also satisfies the requirement of a socialist society? At the beginning, I either failed to answer these questions or did not have clear ideas on them. I was not yet completely freed from the influence of bourgeois liberalism. And as a member of the middle class intellectuals, my perception of society was still to a large extent limited by the narrow scope of the social group from which I came. For a long time, like the liberal intellectuals, I viewed Maoist China as no more than a “totalitarian society” with little contribution to   China  ’s social progress. Also for a long time, I had tried to find a market socialist solution to the economic problems of a socialist society. But overtime, as I gradually went beyond the narrow scope of the middle class intellectuals and bourgeois liberalism, I was able to answer the above questions much more clearly and confidently.  

       Here we have a problem of the relationship between the revolutionary social theory and the scientific social theory. In an oppressive society which is divided into the oppressor class and the oppressed class, it is impossible to make an objective, scientific analysis of society if we perceive society from the standing point of the oppressor class and other more or less privileged classes and social groups (for example, the intellectuals). For the oppressor class and other privileged classes and social groups have established interest in the existing society. In an oppressive society, only from the perspective of the oppressed people who do not have any interest in the existing society, can we reach a scientific understanding of the society. Thus, as long as the society is divided into the oppressors and the oppressed, a scientific social theory must be at the same time a theory that perceives society from the standing point of the oppressed people. That is, it must be at the same time a revolutionary social theory.   

   

       While the Chinese socialist revolution failed to establish a genuine socialist society (for objective as well as subjective reasons), the revolution did bring about tremendous improvement of the material and spiritual conditions of life of Chinese working people. In revolutionary China, which, in the opinion of the liberal intellectuals and bourgeois ideologues, was a “totalitarian society” in which people did not have any freedom and rights, working people were guaranteed extensive social rights (such as the right to employment-- “iron rice bowl,” to free health care, to cheap housing, and to other basic needs) that are unimaginable for the workers in capitalist societies.  

       The new society was thus faced with a fundamental contradiction. On the one hand, since the revolution had overthrown the old oppressive and exploitative system, and guaranteed working people extensive social rights, it was no longer possible to develop productive forces in the way in which productive forces were developed in “normal” oppressive societies. On the other hand, the revolution failed to establish a genuine socialist society in which working people had control over society and economy. Instead, a new ruling class gradually took shape. If this contradiction could not be solved, there was no way to secure the development of productive forces, and consequently, the survival of the new society.  

       This contradiction could be solved either by further developing the revolution, that is, by destroying the emerging new oppressor class and establishing working people’s control over society and economy, or by returning to the “normal” status of the oppressive society and depriving the working people of their extensive social rights that they won in the revolution. Whether the contradiction was solved in the first way or the second way, depended upon real historical struggles between different classes. In   China  , the struggle was concentratedly expressed by the Cultural Revolution.   

       In the official economics, this contradiction was reflected in the controversy on “planning” and “market.” According to the official economics, market is the only rational and viable economic system under the modern conditions and the “market-oriented reform” provides the only solution to the economic contradictions of late Maoism. However, there is not an economic system that operates without being under any social relations. Thus, it makes no sense if we talk about the rationality and viability of an economic system without considering the context of social relations. For example, given the capitalist social relations, productive forces can be developed only if the capitalists are allowed to exploit the workers, and consequently only the economic system that allows the capitalists to exploit the workers can be “rational and viable.” This certainly does not suggest that what is “rational and viable” for capitalism is also “rational and viable” for any other society. On the contrary, capitalist exploitation, by repressing the creativity of working people, is a great obstacle to the development of productive forces.  

       It was only after the failure of the Cultural Revolution, with the revolutionary socialist political and intellectual force defeated, and the rule of the bureaucratic ruling class consolidated, that the “market-oriented reform” became the only politically and socially viable solution to   China  ’s economic problems. While the official economics keeps silence on the issue of social relations, they have implicitly taken for granted the existing social relations, that is, taken for granted the rule of the oppressor class over the oppressed people.  

       Nonetheless, the class struggle between the ruling class and the oppressed people did not end with the failure of the Cultural Revolution. Instead, it was impossible for the ruling class to impose the capitalist oppressive and exploitative system on working people without serious struggles. These struggles reached one climax in the 1989 revolution.  

       The failure of the 1989 revolution has proved that the liberal intellectuals are unqualified for the leadership of the Chinese democratic movement. By following them, Chinese working people can achieve only their own expropriation. The Chinese working people must free themselves from the ideological dominance of both the ruling class and the liberal intellectuals, and make of themselves an independent political force, that is, a socialist revolutionary force. In this sense, the fate of Chinese democracy is the same as the fate of Chinese socialism.  

       On the other hand, the failure of the 1989 revolution paved the way to capitalist development in   China  .  After 1989 Chinese capitalism has entered a new stage of rapid expansion, accompanied by massive inflow of foreign capital.  There is no question that the rule of the ruling class has been consolidated and Chinese capitalism is now in very good shape.  But these by no means suggest that the contradictions of the existing society have disappeared or will not be developed and intensified.  The capitalist system, is a socially as well as economically irrational system, and a system full of contradictions.  The very success of capitalist development prepares the conditions for its failure and demise.  

       In the context of   China  , capitalist development has taken the particular form of export-oriented dependent development.  That is, on the one hand, the Chinese capitalist economy has become increasingly dependent upon foreign technologies and advanced capital goods, and on the other hand, to finance imported technologies and capital goods,   China   depends heavily upon the exporting industries which are competitive in the world market only by taking advantage of cheap labor.  Chinese capitalist development is thus based on the cruel exploitation of hundreds of millions of “cheap labor,” or in other words, based on the suffering and the pauperization of the majority people.  But for any social system to be sustained in the long run, it must be accepted or at least tolerated by the majority people.  Chinese capitalism is thus faced with an insolvable contradiction: to maintain its economic rationality, it must undermine its social legitimacy; to preserve its social legitimacy, it cannot maintain its economic rationality.  Unable to maintain both its economic rationality and social legitimacy, Chinese capitalism puts its own survival into question.    

       On the other hand, Chinese working people who had made a great socialist revolution, and seen with their own eyes how the world could be changed if the oppressed people would rise up, overthrowing the rule of the oppressors and exploiters, will by no means stand the present oppressive system for a long time.  Sooner or later they will rise up again, not only taking back what they have lost, but starting with a new point of departure, which will lead to the establishment of a brandly new society.  

   

       I was arrested on 15 June 1990 for an anti-government speech and was later sentenced to a two-year imprisonment for “anti-revolutionary propaganda and instigation.” I was set free in June 1992 and have since then committed myself to the revolutionary socialist activities. I began with my work by making propaganda in the oppositionist groups dominated by the liberal intellectuals in   Beijing   and Xian. Some of them later became my comrades. In the debate with the liberal intellectuals, it became increasingly necessary to make a systematic critique of the ideologies of the ruling class and the liberal intellectuals.   

       I began to write this book when I was making a personal investigation of workers’ conditions in Shenzhen in 1993. Later I went to   Beijing   to collect reference materials from Beijing Library (The National Library of China) and The Library of Beijing University, but then had to move to Xian to avoid being disturbed by the police (I had been arrested three times since June 1992). Thus, most of the Chinese part of the book was written in Xian. In the final version, Chapter I, II, V, and part of Chapter III, IV and VI were first written in Chinese and then translated into English by myself, Chapter VII and part of Chapter III, IV and VI were directly written in English..  

       In Chapter I, I try to answer the following questions. Has   China   embarked on the way of capitalist development? If yes, why? I begin with an analysis of the contradictions of the post-revolutionary relations of production in   China  , by comparing the Chinese state-owned enterprises with the capitalist enterprises. I argue that this contradiction could be solved either by the further development of the socialist revolution or by restoring the capitalist oppressive and exploitative system. Given   China  ’s concrete historical conditions, capitalist development became the real historical solution to the contradiction.   

       While in Chapter I I argue that capitalist development became the real historical solution to the contradiction of teh post-revolutionary relations of production, Chapter II discusses how this solution was determined by real class struggles. I focus on the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 revolution. Besides there is a section on the the bureaucratic and private capialist class and a section on the Chinese middle class.   

       Chapter III discusses the evolution of the relations of production in agriculture since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Although the agricultural cooperatization failed to bring about genuine socialist transformation in China’s countryside, under the cooperative agriculture, China did have made great progress in building the agricultural productive forces. While the Chinese agriculture had grown rapidly in the initial stage of the rural “reform,” as a result of the “reform,” the Chinese agriculture was back to the status of petty peasant economy and has since then entered long-term stagnation.   

       In Chapter IV, I try to analyze the conditions for successful capitalist economic development in China.  While the Maoist period had laid down the material foundation for further rapid economic development, rapid economic development is impossible without normal and stable relation of production, either the capitalist or the socialist.  China is able to make a successful transition to capitalism mainly due to China’s relatively backward economic structure, and hence relativly backward class structure.  By developing the capitalist economic sector based on the exploitation of hundreds of millions of the so called “surplus labor force” in the countryside, the Chinese ruling class has actually circumvented the resistance of the working class in the state-owned enterprises and the triumph of the capitalist “reform” is thus guaranteed.  In this chapter, I also argue that given China’s particular context, capitalist development takes the form of export-oriented dependent development and if Chinese capitalism is not able to overcome the status of dependent development, the long-term sustainability of Chinese capitalist development is put into question.  

       Chapter V discusses the relationship between capitalist development and political democracy. I make a brief introduction of the development of political democracy in developed capitalist countries, arguing that capitalist development will by no means automatically bring about democracy, and instead modern democracy was established only as a result of the struggle by the working class against the capitalist class. Then I argue that in less developed capitalist countries, due to more intensified social and economic contradictions, capitalism and democracy are even more incompatible.  In this chapter, I also make an analysis of the controversy between two groups of the liberal intellectuals--”new authoritarians” and “democrats”, which happened in late 1980s.  I try to show how this controversy reflected the inherent tension between capitalist development and political democracy.  

       In Chapter VI, I make a summary of the political and social conditions in China after 1989.  I argue that the inherent contradictions of capitalist development sooner or later will lead to great economic and social crisis in which all of the existing social contradictions will be greatly intensified, opening the possibility for a new socialist revolution.    

       Chapter VII discusses one of the most important questions for the contemporary world socialist movement--can we have an economic system which is not only economically rational and viable, but also free from all forms of oppression and exploitation? I begin with a critique of various market socialist theories, arguing that market socialism is not able to solve its inherent dilemma--to develop productive forces in a market context as well as prevent the evolution into capitalism. Then I make an analysis of the critiques of the socialist planned economy by bourgeois economists and market socialists, who argue that the planned economy is unable to solve the information problem, the motivation problem, and the innovation problem, and thus cannot become a rational economic system under the modern conditions. I argue that given the socialist social relations, there is no reason why the socialist planned economy cannot solve the information problem, the motivation problem, and the innovation problem, and the arguments of bourgeois economists and market socialists cannot hold water. On the other hand, whether the socialist social relations can be established depends on, on the one hand, the general development of productive forces, and on the other hand, the real historical struggles between different social classes.  

CHAPTER I   

THE DEVELOPMENT OF  

 THE CAPITALIST RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION IN CHINA  

   

   

       Marx (1978a, 172) said: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” The idea of “reform” is exactly the ruling idea of the contemporary Chinese society.   

       What is the “reform?” Why do we have the “reform?” And whose interest does the “reform” serve? According to the official explanation, the “reform” is to build the “socialist market economy,” to be the self-perfection of socialism, rather than the rejection of socialism. According to Deng Xiaoping:   

   

Having more plan, or more market, is not the essential distinction between socialism and capitalism. The planned economy is not the equivalent of socialism, capitalism also has plan; and the market economy is not the equivalent of capitalism, socialism also has market. Both plan and market are economic instruments (Deng Xiaoping, 373).  

   

And in the official opinion, the “reform” is to replace the planned economy with the market economy which is a more advanced economic instrument, so that the development of productive forces can be promoted.  

       An instrument is what human beings can use to act upon certain objects so that certain purposes can be realized. But what objects does the market economy act upon? Unlike common technical instruments, market acts upon not things but human beings. Thus, market is not simply a kind of  “economic instrument,” but also a set of relations between people, that is, a set of social relations.  

       If market is no less than a set of social relations, then (1) for any class or social group, whether it is for or against the market economy, depends not only on whether or not the market economy is an advanced “economic instrument,” or the market economy helps to develop productive forces, but also on whether the market economy is in or against its own interest; (2) only under certain social relations it is right to say that the market economy is a proper instrument for promoting the development of productive forces.   

      If market is a set of social relations, then what kind of social relations is it? Briefly speaking, in a market economy, on the one hand, every producer objectively produces for social needs (his or her product can be sold only if the product satisfies certain social needs), and on the other hand, every producer is a private producer, that is, the means of production are his or her private property, the production is his or her private business, and the products are his or her private products. The socialized production is thus in conflict with the system of private production and appropriation. This conflict leads to the following results:  

       (1) As a result of the conflict, there is the conflict and competition between private producers, and as a result of the conflict and competition between private producers, the poor becomes poorer, while the rich becomes richer, leading to ever-increasing polarization of society. The rich ascends to the capitalist who makes fortune by exploiting other people’s labor, while the poor declines to the proletarian who has to sell labor power to make a living. Thus, the market economy has an inherent tendency to evolve into capitalism.[1]  

       (2) The socialized production objectively requires the free movement of labor force and means of production. But under the market economy, the movement of labor force can happen only if there is buying and selling of labor power, and the movement of means of production can happen only if there is investment of “capital.” Thus, under the socialized production, a market economy must be a capitalist market economy. There is not and will never be a “socialist market economy.”  

       Thus, to say that the “reform” is to build “the market economy,” is the same as to say that the “reform” is to develop capitalism.  

   

   

What Is the “Capitalist Relations of Production,” and How Is It Different from the Relations of Production in the Chinese State-Owned Enterprises?  

       What is the “capitalist relations of production?” Under capitalism, those people who work do not own means of production, and those people who own means of production do not work. This is the fundamental dilemma of capitalism. Thus, it is the primary condition for capitalist production that the capitalists buy “labor” from the workers.  

       According to Marxist theory, what the workers sell to the capitalists is not “labor,” but “labor power.” Is it simply playing with words? It is not. As early as in the 18th century, a student of labor relations pointed out: “you may oblige persons to labour certain hours for certain wage, you cannot oblige them to work properly (see Perelman, 1991, 59).” In the decision on the Holden vs. Harding case, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded:   

   

That the proprietors of . . . establishments and their operatives do not stand upon an equality, and their interests are, to a certain extent, conflicting. The former naturally desire to obtain as much as labour as possible from their employees, while the latter are often induced by the fear of discharge to conform to the regulations which their judgement, fairly exercised, would pronounce to be detrimental. . . . In other words, the proprietors lay down the rules and the labourers are practically constrained to obey them (see Perelman, 1991, 98).  

   

       If it is “labor” that can be bought and sold, why do the capitalists lay down the rules to “obtain as much labour as possible?” Thus, what is bought and sold is not “labor,” but “labor power.” What the workers earn is not the equivalent of their “labor,” but the price of their “labor power.” If the workers have to do “as much labour as possible,” then they are exploited by the capitalists. However, whether the capitalists are really able to exploit the workers, and how much they exploit the workers, are determined not only by the buying and selling of “labor,” but also by the practical struggles between the workers and the capitalists in the production process. As Marx said:  

   

He [the capitalist] must see to it that the work is performed in an orderly and methodical fashion and that the use-value he has in mind actually emerges successfully at the end of the process. At this point too the capitalist’s ability to supervise and enforce discipline is vital. Lastly, he must also make sure that the process of production is not interrupted or disturbed and that it really does proceed to the creation of the product within the time allowed by the particular labour process and its objective requirements (see Perelman, 1991, 60).  

   

       Thus, for the capitalists, to make sure that the workers work efficiently, responsibly, and properly, they must rely upon a coercive management system. For the workers who are wage laborers exploited by the capitalists will not voluntarily work as expected by the capitalists. As Michael Reich said:  

   

By entering into the employment relation, workers surrender to capitalist not only authority over the tasks they will perform, but also most of the political and civil rights they enjoy as citizens of the state. When they walk into the factory or office, they are on the private property of the capitalists, where the guarantees provided by the Bill of Rights do not apply. Freedom of speech and assembly, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, due process, equality before the law, and other rights protect citizens from action by the state (see Perelman, 1991, 98).  

   

       Only by coercion can the capitalists have the workers be exploited. But coercion by itself cannot guarantee that the capitalists can effectively exploit the workers. For it is the workers rather than the capitalists who really participate in the production process, and consequently the relevant information (about the production process) is largely held by the workers rather than the capitalists. Without the relevant information, the capitalists are not able to effectively exploit the workers.  Therefore, with the development of the capitalist relations of production, the production process has been constantly reorganized to reflect the needs of the capitalists.  In this way, the capitalists have managed to get more control over the critical information of production, and thus weaken the workers’ control over the production process.  

   

This can be illustrated by the numerical-control machine-tools which are used in the metal-cutting process in the machine-building industry.  The operation of these machine-tools are not manipulated manually by skilled machinists, but are automatically controlled by the program on the tape.  The program can be designed to improve the efficiency without preventing the machinists from exercising their control over the production and practicing their techniques.  For metal-cutting knowledge which is needed for designing the program is a part of the techniques that the machinists hold . . . But under capitalist relations, it provides the opportunity to depress the price of labor power by dividing the work into many simple procedures that require no skills and techniques.  This is exactly what capitalists dream of (Aaronovitch, 397).   

   

       The process of capitalist technological development is thus at the same time a process in which the workers suffer from spiritual and intelligent degeneration.  The workers who have lost control over the production process, have increasingly become mere auxiliaries of the machine system, performing simple and repetitive work.  While the most advanced scientific and technological knowledge has been embodied in the capitalist machine system, the majority people are deprived of the possibility of mental development.  But in the long run, individuals’ comprehensively developed productive power and their understanding of the world are more important a productive force than the physical wealth in which the advanced technologies have been embodied.  

      Therefore, the capitalist relations of production are the relations of exploiting and being exploited, dominating and being dominated, and oppressing and being oppressed between the capitalist class and the working class.  The development of productive forces under capitalism is thus based on the alienation of human beings.  But since the workers are human beings, and are living social subjects, when they “feel exploited, they take measures to try to get even.”  According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, more than two thirds of American workers engage in counterproductive behavior.  In a sample investigation, one third of the investigated workers admitted stealing from their employers.  “In-depth interviews with a small sample revealed that the workers were responding to a feeling of being exploited rather than direct economic necessity (Perelman, 1991, 114).”   

       The capitalist relations of production result in the alienation of the workers, and thus have to try to find ways that can help to alleviate the destructive impact of workers’ alienation on production.  F. M. Scherer found that large plants usually paid the workers higher wage as payment for the higher alienation that workers experience in such environments (Perelman, 1991, 113).  But higher wage alone cannot completely offset the destructive impact of alienation.  To reduce workers’ counterproductive activities, there must a system of coercion.  

       Under capitalism, there are mainly two types of coercion system.  First there is the internal coercion, meaning the coercion inside the capitalist enterprises.  By imposing labor disciplines, providing relevant punishments, and placing supervisory workers at production site, the capitalists directly force the workers to work in accordance with capitalists’ requirements.  In the U. S. the ratio of supervisory workers to production workers in the non-agricultural workforce rose from 13.7 percent in 1948 to 20.0 percent in 1966, and rose again to 22.4 percent in 1979 (Perelman, 1991, 94).  But there is a limit to the internal coercion.  For the workers can avoid the capitalist coercion by leaving the enterprises where they work.  Therefore, for the internal coercion to work, it must be facilitated by the external coercion.       

       What is the external coercion?  First, in a capitalist society there is always a large unemployed population that provides a reserve army of labor for the capitalists.  The workers, fearing unemployment, have to tolerate capitalists’ oppression.  On the other hand, while modern capitalist societies have established social welfare institutions to prevent workers’ rebellion, social welfare must not guarantee the workers a socially recognized normal standard of living, otherwise the workers will not be forced to sell their labor power to the capitalists to earn a normal standard of living.  Thus, both the internal and the external coercion are indispensable for the normal operation of the capitalist relations of production.  

       Now let us make a comparison between the capitalist relations of production and the relations of production of the (pre-reform) Chinese state-owned enterprises.  In the Chinese state-owned enterprises, did the workers own the means of production?  No.  Did the workers have control over their labor products?  No.  Without punishment and supervision, would the workers self-consciously work efficiently, responsibly, and properly?  No.  Had the Chinese state-owned enterprises developed the technical processes that are qualitatively different from the capitalist technological processes, providing the workers the conditions for free spiritual and intelligent development?  No.  Therefore, like the capitalist enterprises, the Chinese state-owned enterprises were the institutions with oppressive and exploitative relations of production.[2]  

       But the Chinese state-owned enterprises were not simply the replicate of the capitalist enterprises.  Instead, the Chinese state-owned enterprises were the product of the revolution, born of the struggle of the oppressed people against the oppressors.  Historically, the Chinese state-owned enterprises were on the one hand the negation of capitalism, and on the other hand the affirmation of the historic victory of the working class.  The Chinese state-owned enterprises were thus closely associated with the social and economic rights that the working class won as a result of the victory of the socialist revolution.  

       First, in the state-owned enterprises, the workers enjoyed inalienable right to employment.  The workers’ labor power was not sold to the state-owned enterprises, but had to be accepted by the state-owned enterprises.  

       Secondly, the state-owned enterprises must provide the workers cheap housing, free health care, and guarantee their living after retirement.  As long as a worker did not break the law, he or she had the right to enjoy a socially recognized normal standard of living, no matter whether the enterprise where he or she worked made money or not, and no matter how the demand of labor force was compared to the supply.  

       Thirdly, the revolution had brought about tremendous spiritual liberation to the oppressed people.  The official scholars complained: “In this country it is popular to say: workers are the masters of enterprises, and cadres are the servants of people.  Now there is much misunderstanding of this saying among the workers.  Workers say: how can it be the case that masters are ruled by the servants, and how can it be the case that masters cannot control their servants (Li Qiang, 178)?” It was not so easy for the Chinese state-owned enterprises to have the workers accept exploitation and oppression as the capitalist enterprises.      

   

   

   

Why the “Reform?”  

       Why does the ruling class want the “reform?”  What are the problems that can be solved by the “reform?”  On the one hand, like the capitalist enterprises, the Chinese state-owned enterprises were essentially the institutions that expressed the relations of exploiting and being exploited, dominating and being dominated, and oppressing and being oppressed between the ruling class and the working class, and the institutions in which workers suffered from alienation.  On the other hand, the Chinese state-owned enterprises were very different from the capitalist enterprises.  Given China’s level of economic development, it was impossible for the ruling class to alleviate the resentment of the working class by paying them high wage as in the developed capitalist countries.  In this case, the normal operation of the state-owned enterprises relied even more upon effective coercion than the capitalist enterprises in the developed capitalist countries.  However, given workers’ inalienable right to employment, and given the extensive guarantees to workers’ basic needs, in pre-reform China there was virtually no external coercion as is in capitalist society.  On the other hand, the revolution had brought about great change in the spiritual conditions of working people.  As a result, the internal coercion could not be easily carried out either.       

       According to the official scholars:  

   

Our large and medium state-owned enterprises do not run well.  This is mainly a problem of the system . . . This is most obviously reflected by the problem of the “three-irons,” namely, the iron rice bowl, the iron wages, and the iron chairs[3] . . . Apparently, this is a wonderful system which guarantees the living and the employment of staff and workers.  But in fact, under this system, the staff and workers in the state-owned enterprises, being fed by the state, become lazy and sluggish, and depend upon the state for every thing  (Li Qiang, 150).  

   

They suggested a system of “limited unemployment and competitive employment” be established:  

   

Limited unemployment and competitive employment guarantee the rational operation of enterprises.  The enterprise can dismiss superfluous persons, and improve production efficiency . . . Under the pressure of unemployment, the laborers have to work hard . . . otherwise they will be regarded as superfluous persons (Zhao Xiaomin and Jia Lurang, 330).     

   

       What is the “rational operation?”  There has never being an universally “rational operation” which is “rational” everywhere and in every historical era.  What is the most rational within one type of relations of production, can be the least rational within another type of relations of production.  If as the official scholars told us, in the state-owned enterprises, the workers, “being fed by the state, had become lazy and sluggish, and depended upon the state for everything,” the Chinese economy should have stagnated long ago.  But the Chinese economy did not stagnate, and had actually developed rapidly.  From 1952-1978, the per capita national income grew at an average annual rate of 3.9 percent (PRC, 1985).  By comparison, from 1950-1973 when world capitalism was in its expansionary stage, among 85 developing countries with a population more than one million, only 12 countries had a growth rate higher than China.  Four of them ( Libya, Saudi Arab, Iran, and Iraq) were oil exporters, the other four (Israel, Taiwan, Korea, and Greece) were the countries that had received the most U. S. assistance on per capita basis, and Puerto Rico was the U. S. colony.  None of the 12 countries had a population more than thirty million (Wilber, 198).  As American historian Maurice Meisner said: “Beginning with an industrial plant smaller than that of Belgium in the early 1950s, the China that was so long scorned as the ‘sick man of Asia’ emerged at the end of the Mao period among the world’s half-dozen largest industrial producers (Meisner, 1986, 438).”  

       Is it illogical?  Is it against the principle of economic science?  How can the economy be developed with a system in which people “being fed by the state, become lazy and sluggish?”  Either the “three-irons,” or the guarantee of employment, or the guarantee of basic needs, do not by themselves constitute an obstacle to the development of productive forces.  On the contrary, to make it possible for every one to fully release his or her creative potential, these are the necessary conditions.  The internal and the external coercion are indispensable for the normal operation of the capitalist relations of production, for capitalism is an alienating and oppressive social system.  If this is the case, then in a society without or with much less alienation, such things as unemployment, competition, “supervision,” and “disciplines” which are considered indispensable for the capitalist prosperity and to be the source of the capitalist development of productive forces, are not only unnecessary, but actually fetterings of social progress.  

       It is not for no reason that the guarantee to employment and the “three-irons” could work effectively in China for a fairly long period.  This was possible only under certain historical conditions.  That is, with the victory of the Chinese revolution, the oppressed people, by overthrowing the domestic and foreign oppressors, for the first time became active historical creators, and were greatly liberated in physical as well as spiritual terms.  Consequently, the Chinese society which was born of the revolution was a more liberating and less alienating society than the capitalist society.  The Chinese working class enjoyed much more extensive social and economic rights than the working class in the capitalist countries.[4]  However, these rights were conditioned by temporary social balance of power that could not sustain in the long run.  Either the working people were able to further expand their social and economic rights, to such an extent that society was really under their control and the development of productive forces was really based on the universal liberation of human beings.  Or the development of productive forces continued to be based on the alienation of human beings, and consequently, like in the capitalist society, the corresponding coercion systems that are indispensable for the development of productive forces in an oppressive context must be established.     The historical condition for the “reform” is as follows: the working people failed to destroy the emerging oppressive system, the oppressive system thus became a fait accompli; on the other hand, compared to the capitalist system, this oppressive system lacked the necessary oppressive mechanisms and could not effectively oppress and exploit working people.  Thus, the “reform” would necessarily lead to the development of the capitalist relations of production.  Only by establishing the capitalist-style oppressive mechanisms, could the existing oppressive system be consolidated and sustained.  

   

   

The Development of the Capitalist Relations of Production  

       The development of the capitalist relations of production is first indicated by the fact that the capitalist and semi-capitalist economic sectors have developed more rapidly than the state economic sector.   First, foreign direct investment directly brings the capitalist relations of production into China.  Secondly, a large number of private and individual enterprises have emerged.  These are also the officially admitted capitalist economic components.  Thirdly, there is the rapid expansion of the so-called rural enterprises.     

       Officially the rural enterprises are classified as “collective enterprises.”  But according to one investigation made by the Chinese Academy of Social Science in 1990, half of the registered rural enterprises were virtually private enterprises (Han Mingxi, 97).  Even for those enterprises that are actually owned by the rural town and village governments, “the characteristic method of management is to lease the firm to a director whose compensation is tied primarily to enterprise results (Lippit, 1992, 133).”  This is not really different from the private enterprises.  According to one study of the World Bank, in the rural enterprises investigated, 60 percent of the workers were not entitled to housing and subsidies from the enterprise, 41 percent did not receive financial aid for medical care, 52 percent were not covered by insurance on the job, 60 percent did not get pensions on retirement (see Smith, 1993, 88).  Apparently, the rural enterprises are much more like the capitalist enterprises than the state-owned enterprises.  As is shown by TABLE 1.1, in the “reform” period the capitalist and the semi-capitalist economic sectors have developed much more rapidly than the state economic sector.  By 1991 about half of the total industrial production and three-fifths of the retail trade were contributed by the capitalist and the semi-capitalist economic sectors, in which the capitalist economic sector had developed even more rapidly.  

   


 

   

TABLE 1.1  

The Composition of China’s Total Industrial Product and Retail Trade by Ownership  

(percent)  

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                                          1979                            1991  

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Industry:        State                     78.5                      52.9  

                     Collective*             21.5                      35.8  

                     Other**            0                       11.3  

Retail Trade:          State                     54.6                      40.2  

                     Collective              43.3                      30.0  

                     Individual and Private   2.1                       29.8  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

*In 1990, 93 percent of the “collective” industrial product came from the rural enterprises.  

** “Other” includes the private enterprises, the individual enterprises, and the foreign-owned enterprises.  

Source: ZGJJWT, number 1 1993, p.3.  

   

       The development of the capitalist relations of production is also indicated by the capitalistization of the state-owned enterprises.  First, “New workers are usually employed according to the contract system . . . The key of the contract system is to break the system of permanent employment and the ‘iron rice bowl.’  After being employed, staff and workers are still faced with the possibility of unemployment.  Thus, every one is forced to do his or her job and work hard (Zhao Xiaomin and Jia Lurang, 323).”  By September 1991, there were 14.06 million contract staff and workers in the state sector, accounting for about 20 percent of the total staff and workers in the state sector (ZGLDKX, number 1 1992, p.13).  

       Secondly, there are the “reforms” of the housing system, the medical care system, and the pension system, so that “welfare is to be monetarized and service is to be socialized (Li Qiang, 152).”  The “monetarization of welfare” and the “socialization of service”[5] are actually intended to push the workers in the state-owned enterprises into the labor market to compete with the workers in the rural enterprises and the private enterprises.  If this turns out to be the case, then the workers in the state-owned enterprises will find their price of labor power falling sharply, with their “welfare” and “service” being taken away.    

       Thirdly, efforts have been made to intensify the internal coercion.  The official scholars admitted: “Since 1980s our enterprise management has followed a rigorous and punitive system.  Fining is usually considered to be the primary method of management (Li Qiang, 173).”  According to one investigation of the All China Federation of Trade Unions:   

   

In a factory at Zhengzhou, there are 124 regulations (made by the management), in which only 4 are about rewards, while all the others are on fining.  This factory also requires that in every month, every shop and team chief find three to five events, and every group chief find at least one event, in which the workers break the regulations.  If they cannot find any such events, they will be fined.  If they find less than required, their bonus will be reduced.  In a weaving shop in a factory in Shaanxi, the regulations on fining for all working procedures adds up to more than thirty thousand words (Chinese characters).  According to the staff and workers in some enterprises in Shanxi, Dandong, Shanghai, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, and Zhejiang, their pay will be cut if they take a leave to see doctors, or (if they take a long-term leave) for illness or injuries.  If they take a leave for illness without the approval of the superior, it will be considered to be absence which shall be fined heavily (see Li Qiang, 171).  

   

       According to the official scholars: “the more strict and rigorous management system that has been established since early 1980s did play an important role in restoring the normal order of production (Li Qiang, 171).”  According to the logic of bourgeois economics, workers are born to be lazy.  Workers will not work unless they are threatened by unemployment and punishment, which are said to be able to increase the “cost of laziness.”  However, workers are living human beings.  Consequently, they will not allow others to abuse them at will and will in every possible way manifest their existence as living human beings.   

   

Some workers say: “you fine me, all right.  I do not have other rights, but I have the right to hold a slow down, and the right to waste . . . you fine me five bugs, I will make you pay me back by ten times, a hundred times.” . . . The workers are depressed and frustrated, working with low spirit.  Some even hold a slow down.  These have adverse impacts on the production.  At a coal mine in the Yangquan city, Shanxi province, the workers’ turn out and the production had always been very well.  But because there was too much fining, for a time, the workers’ turn out fell, more accidents happened, and the output also fell (see Li Qiang, 174).  

   

       Even under the capitalist relations of production, it is still necessary for the workers to have some minimum commitment to production.  If workers do not want to be responsible for their work at all, then no coercive means can have productive forces be developed under capitalism.  However, it is exactly the capitalist relations of production that deny the workers the appropriation of means of production and the products of their labor, and turn the labor process into a process in which labor degenerates.  Under the capitalist relations of production, a worker is simply a passive “thing,” who will not work unless being coerced. In this case, class conflicts are inevitable, and these conflicts certainly have negative impacts on the development of productive forces.       

       In the opinion of the official scholars: “sometimes punishment is necessary, because for those people with the lowest moral level or without morality at all, other methods do not work (Li Qiang, 174).  It is the capitalist relations of production that turn people into someone “with the lowest moral level.”  For under this kind of relations of production, human beings are not regarded as human beings, but simply “commodities,” and an item of cost in production that has to be saved as much as possible.    

   

   

On the Problem of Property  

       The fundamental contradiction of the Chinese society from 1949-1979 was as follows: on the one hand, the socialist revolution failed to abolish all forms of oppression, and instead replaced the old oppressive society with a new oppressive society; on the other hand, the revolution did not simply passed power from one ruling class to another ruling class, but as a result of the revolution, a part of social power temporarily fell into the hands of working people.  Thus, on the one hand, the new society remained an oppressive society, and on the other hand, it lacked the necessary oppressive means for maintaining an oppressive society.  This contradiction is most obviously reflected by the fact that this society had to treat Marxism--the theory for the liberation of the oppressed people, and a theory that endangers the survival of any ruling class--as its official ideology, which was expected to play an apologist role.        

       The contradiction of idea would not be fully exposed, be fully intensified, and thus be smashed into pieces, as along as the contradiction of reality had not yet been fully developed.  However, as soon as the capitalist relations of production began to develop, and the contradiction of reality thus began to be exposed, the contradiction of idea could no longer be left unsolved.  How can one on the one hand encourage the development of exploitation, and on the other hand denounce exploitation, while trying to prove exploitation is in the interest of the exploited?  How can one on the one hand flirt with capitalism and on the other hand claim that capitalism is doomed to perish?  Either the reality must deny the idea, or the idea must deny the reality.  The development of the capitalist relations of production objectively demands the apologist theory that serves its interest, demands the “scientific” explanation of the eternity, the rationality, and the indispensability of capitalism, demands “scientifically” explaining that all the social and economic systems opposed to it are ridiculous and irrational systems, and demands “scientifically” explaining that any attempt to overthrow the capitalist system and to go beyond the capitalist economic laws is against human nature and historical trend, and thus must be ephemeral and is doomed to fail.  From the ruling class’s point of view, only with such a “scientific” theory, can the above contradiction be solved.  

       The development of the official theory is thus always one step behind the development of the practice of the ruling class.  Not until the antagonistic nature of the existing relations of production and the relations between the ruling class and working people had become obvious and undeniable, did the official theory conceded that the “socialist” economy was actually a commodity economy, although this was completely against the logic of the theory to which it claims to adhere.  Not until the antagonism had become so intensified that the contradiction could not be solved if the social and economic rights won by working people in the revolution were not to be completely taken away, did the official theory declared that “the problem of property” was the fundamental problem, although this meant totally rejecting the theory on which it was said to be based.  Nevertheless, with “the problem of property” being put forward, the official economics has finally admitted, more or less honestly, though covered by the last piece of fig leaf, that it is nothing else but bourgeois economics, and the objective of the “reform” is nothing else but developing “the capitalism with Chinese characteristics.”    

       According to the official scholars, “the fundamental problem” of public ownership is “the absence of property right.”  

   

First, means of production are given by society to enterprises free of charge.  The enterprise thus treats the means of production as birthday gifts for which it pays nothing.  Society, on the other hand, exercises its property right by doing nothing more than distributing means of production to enterprises for them to use.  Secondly, while the enterprise has the right to use the means of production, it does not have the property right.  But since it is easy to get access to the use right, which is, moreover, separated from the property right, the enterprise has no reason to cherish its use right, nor does it really bear any responsibility for the exercising of its use right.  When workers use the means of production, they use the means of production as if these were their own property.  But on the other hand they do not take care of the means of production, as if these were others’ property.  Thus, there is a problem of ambiguous boundaries of property . . . These dilemmas and problems have concentratedly expressed the problem of ambiguous property right and responsibility.  “Every one is the master of the means of production, but no one is responsible for them.”  This saying gives us a live picture of the problem.  The reason for which the enterprise does not behave properly lies exactly in this problem.  Property right is the foundation of microeconomic operations and thus is a necessary condition for the enterprise to behave rationally.  If this problem is not solved, it is difficult to make further reforms, the enterprise will not behave properly, and economic disorder and inefficiency are thus inevitable (Song Yuan and Gong Jinguo, 95).      

   

       The official scholars fail to see or have intentionally ignored the fact that the so-called “every one is the master of the means of production” is not more than the official legal language, and in reality workers are separated from the means of production.  Means of production are not used by the workers to realize their own purposes, but used by “society” to oppress the workers.  

       The “property right” is actually an exclusive right.  That is, the owner of the property has the right to exclude others from using the property for the interest of society. “The property right and the use right must not be separated.”  That is, the owner of the property is allowed to abuse social wealth for his or her private interest.  In the developed capitalist societies, to pursue super profit, monopoly capitalists let a large part of production capacity lying idle, no matter how many people are unemployed and how much social productive forces have been wasted (see TABLE 1.2).   

   


 

   

TABLE 1.2  

The Waste of Productive Forces under American Monopoly Capitalism  

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                                   1950-1959      1960-1969      1970-1979      1980-1986  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Capacity Utilization Rate of   

Manufacture (%)                                    83.6                 84.9                80.8                77.4  

Unemployment Rate (%)                          4.4                   4.7                  6.1                  7.8  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Source: Chen Baosen, 367.  

   

[In Latin America, the] large estates, which encompass most of the arable land, are not farmed efficiently . . . Further more, much of the large estate acreage is allowed to stand idle.  A 1960 study of Colombia showed that . . . the largest farmers, who own 70 percent of the arable land, cultivate only 6 percent of their holdings.  In Latin America as a whole, it is estimated that only 270 million of the 2.2 billion acres of arable land are worked full-time.  This obsolete landholding system together with the extremely high rate of population growth has resulted in declining per-capita agricultural output (Stavrianos, 1981, 681).  

   

In this sense, productive forces can only be freely developed in a society where all the bars of “property right” have been removed.  In this sense, the fact that “means of production are given by society free of charge,” is not a defect, but a virtue of public ownership.  

       “These dilemmas and problems have concentratedly expressed the problem of ambiguous property right and responsibility.”  How can the “unambiguous property right” be established?  The modern socialized production objectively requires the means of production be used collectively by many workers.  In this case, can we establish a system in which every piece of means of production is used only by its owner, and is owned only by its user?  If not, how can we avoid “ambiguous property right and responsibility?”  

       According to the official scholars, “the fundamental problem” of public ownership is “the absence of property right.”  The official scholars may think that capitalist private property is very reliable and “unambiguous.”  The capitalist certainly cares much about his or her private property.  However, under the modern socialized production, to make effective and profitable use of his property, he must allow the means of production to be collectively used by many worker.  The question is--why do the workers, who are the actual users of the means of production, care about the private property of the capitalist? Of course, the capitalist can try to supervise the workers.  But are the supervisors also employed workers?  Then why do they care about the private property of the capitalist as much as the capitalist himself or herself?  

       Capitalist private property is “ambiguous,” but the productive forces that it has released are infinitely greater than that under small private property which is certainly “unambiguous.”  If the modern society satisfies everywhere “the necessary condition for enterprises to behave rationally,” then modern production must have disappeared long ago.  In this sense, under the modern socialized production, “property right” is not much more than a imaginary idea.   

   

       Jin Liyang, who is a disciple of Li Yining (a leading official economist, and a member of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, who is famous for his suggestion of the “corporatization” of the state-owned enterprise, which will allow individuals and foreigners to buy and own the assets of the state-owned enterprises) made following arguments in his contribution to a liberal intellectual publication.   

   

Public property certainly has problems.  First, there is the problem of free rider.  Under public ownership every one eats out of one big pot (Da Guo Fan).  Every one wants others to work, allowing himself or herself to enjoy the fruits without working.  The result is that nobody works.  “One monk carries water to drink.  Three monks have no water to drink.”  To solve the problem, people must try to make an agreement, deciding how to measure every one’s contribution and how to make distribution according to their contribution.  This is a job that costs much time and energy.  And those people who do this job must be supervised by some other people who must spend some more time and energy.  A lot of transaction cost thus arises.  Secondly, under public property, before any external transaction can be made, the internal opinions must be coordinated, involving high cost of coordination (of the short-term and long-term interests).  Thirdly, as Williamson said, private persons pay more attention to the coordination of the short-term and the long-term interests, and never forget to leave some heritage for their descendants.  But under public property, this generation often does not care about the next generation, without long-term horizon.  Fourthly, it results in the exhaustion of resources.  If you do not take publicly-owned goods, others will take them.  If you do not take advantage of public resources, others will do it.  There are fishes in the sea. You do not catch them, others will catch them.  The result is overfishing , with fishery resources exhausted (BIANYUAN, 14).    

   

       The modern socialized production objectively requires associated labor by many workers.  Only with associated labor, can we have the large-scale modern means of production serve our purposes, can the collective and associated productive forces be fully released, and can the division of social labor be taken of full advantage.  If the modern production is based on collective labor and associated labor, then is it true that no matter it is under “private property” or “public property,” the problem of “how to measure every one’s contribution and how to make distribution according to their contribution” must be solved anyway, and thus some “time and energy” must be spent on supervision anyway?  American economist Samuel Bowles found that the ratio of supervisory workers to productive workers in American non-agriculture sectors was 13.7 percent in 1948, and rose to 20 percent in 1966, and reached 22.4 percent by 1979.  Moreover, under the capitalist system, for supervision to work, there must be a large reserve army of labor, effectively threatening the workers being employed.  In 1950s and 1960s, the unemployment rate in the U. S. was between 4-5 percent.  In 1970s it rose to 6 percent and in 1980s it was between 7-8 percent.  If we only take into account the unemployed labor force and the labor force that is employed as supervisory workers, then one-fourth of the total social labor force is wasted!  Is this “a lot of transaction cost?”  

       With so much transaction cost paid, has the problem of free rider been solved by capitalism?  An American scholar on labor research told the following story:  

   

From their personal experience workers know that if they show their creativity in raising productivity, it is very likely that they will end up with more work with the same pay, or even less pay.  Thirty five years ago, I once worked in a steel plant.  Most of the machinists there that I knew personally could operate 15-30 percent faster than the speed required by the management.  But they were no fool.  They kept the secret.  They did not help to increase the armament production, but left themselves more leisure time . . . Great intelligence and creativity have been stored in American workers.  But the management of private corporations have no way to exploit this potential ( “Zai Man Chang De Lao Dong Ri Zhong Xiao Mo Yi Sheng (Spend the Life in Endless Working Days),” ZHAIYI, number 22).    

       Economists like to criticize the soviet-style centrally planning, arguing that the planning authority is unable to collect adequate and correct information.  But they fail to realize that the capitalist enterprises are faced with exactly the same problem.  The capitalist needs the workers to run production. Thus, to acquire the information on production, the capitalist depends a lot on the workers.  But why do the workers, who are employed by the capitalist, provide adequate and correct information to the capitalist?  Why do not they take advantage of distorted information?  If this is the case, then how can “private property” help to solve the problem of free rider?   

       “Secondly, under public property, before any external transaction can be made, the internal opinions must be coordinated, involving high cost of coordination.”  If a private land owner sells his or her land, he or she certainly does not need to “coordinate” with the residents on the land.  If the former residential area is to be rebuilt as business area, and the former residents are forced to leave home and wander about, their losses certainly cost the land owner nothing.  If a capitalist fire some workers, making the life very difficult for them, the capitalist certainly does not need to pay any “cost of coordination.”  By the way, in today’s China, in the craze of estate speculation, who has paid anything to “coordinate” with the local residents?  To say that under private property there is no “cost of coordination” beforehand, is to say that the cost is to be transferred to other people.  That is, the cost appears as social conflicts.       

       “Thirdly . . . private persons pay more attention to the coordination of the short-term and the long-term interests, and never forget to leave some heritage for their descendants.  But under public property, this generation often does not care about the next generation, without long-term horizon.”  This really stands facts on their heads.  Why in all capitalist countries, such activities as education, science, and culture must be undertaken by the state?  Besides such enterprises as road, airport, port, communication, water conservancy, and electrical power, the investment of which usually takes a long time, with low rate of return, depends much on the investment by the state.  Is this exactly because of the “short-term horizon” of private enterprises?  While the private property owner may want to leave some heritage to his or her descendants, only society considers what to be left to the decendants of the whole society, taking into account not only the next generation, but also the next several generations.   

       “Fourthly, it results in the exhaustion of resources.  If you do not take publicly-owned goods, others will take them.  If you do not take advantage of public resources, others will do it.  There are fishes in the sea. You do not catch them, others will catch them.  This results in overfishing , with fishery resources exhausted.”  This is actually the same problem as that of free rider.  It is unfair to attribute the problem to public property.  Is the exhaustion of “fishery resources” exactly a result of the profit-pursuing activities of the private producers?  

       In the opinion of Jin Liyang, the Chinese state-owned enterprises did not run well because they failed to solve the principal-agent problem.  

   

Some people think that the defects of the state-owned enterprises are rooted in ambiguous property.  This is not really the case.  The property of the state-owned enterprises belongs to the whole people. Is not the property holder very clear?  The key problem, instead, is the principal-agent problem . . . While all citizens commonly own the state-owned enterprises, they cannot do everything by themselves.  Instead, they can only act as the principals, and entrust the state-owned enterprises to some agents who will actually run these enterprises . . . I think that it is necessary to identify the triple-level principal-agent relations of the state-owned enterprises.  At the first level, the whole people entrust the enterprises to the government, actually, to the government officials.  At the second level, the government entrusts the enterprises to the directors and the managers of the enterprises.  At the third level, the directors and the managers entrust detail works to the workers.  Supervision is required at each level.  For example, at the first level, it is really not clear who is the principal.  There are 1.2 billion people in this country.  Every one of them is a principal, and a holder of the state property.  Thus all of them are entitled to share what is earned on the state property.  Every one of them has the motive to be free rider, expecting others to take care of the state property, so that he himself or she herself can enjoy the fruits without working.  This is actually the common problem of public property . . . Moreover as Buchanan and his “public choice” school point out, the government is not the god.  The government is made up of common people with flesh and blood.  The government officials will not self-consciously and whole-heartedly work for the interest of people.  They are economic men too, and thus must be supervised by some one else.  At the second level of the principal-agent relations, the government officials as principals need to acquire the information about the behavior of the directors and the managers, and make rewards and punishments based on the information that they have acquired.  But the government officials cannot stand besides the directors and the managers all the time, staring at them like a tiger eyeing its prey, to see whether they work hard or not.  There are some obvious criteria of business performance, such as sales value, profitability, that can be used to evaluate the work of the directors and the managers.  But some times falling profitability may be not the fault of the directors and the managers, but due to slumming market condition, or a result of the arbitrary intervention by the government . . . The third level of the principal-agent relations is usually overlooked by some economists, who think it is not more than the internal affairs of the enterprises.  In fact, in the Chinese state-owned enterprises, the directors and the managers are not property owners, and are not subject to effective supervision.  In this case, it is very likely for the directors and the manages to collude with the workers at the expense of the interest of the state.  This is evidenced by the widespread short-sighted behaviors of the state-owned enterprises and the severe loss and erosion of the state property.  The government appears to be very incompetent.  It is too difficult for one government to deal with about one hundred and ten thousand state-owned enterprises.  Whatever the policy the superior has, the inferior always has the countermeasure.  

   

The directors and the managers have to make compromise with the workers in the class struggle.  In the language of the official scholars this is called “to collude with the workers.”  Jin Liyang continued:         

   

Under the present conditions it is really too difficult to solve the principal-agent problem of the state-owned enterprises.  As a result, the property right of the state-owned enterprises is not effectively protected.  The state-owned enterprises suffer from inefficiency and make enormous losses.  For this reason some people suggest that the share of the state property in the whole economy is too high . . . Whether it is high or not should be judged by market . . . Let the state-owned enterprises and the private enterprises make fair competition in market.  Let all types of enterprises have the same tax burden, the same conditions for loan, and are subject to the same degree of legal protection.  

   

On the one hand, in the state-owned enterprises the workers are still more or less guaranteed the right to employment; on the other hand, in the private enterprises, the workers can be denied their right to employment at any time for any reason.  On the one hand, the state-owned enterprises must take care of the workers’ health care and pay pensions to the retired workers; on the other hand, the private enterprises do not have this kind of “cost” at all.  On the one hand, the state-owned enterprises must practice eight-hour working day and allow the workers to have rest on holidays and Sundays; on the other hand, the private enterprises can extend the working time to the maximum limit and the workers in the private enterprises never have holidays.  On the one hand, the state-owned enterprises must provide the necessary labor protection; on the other hand, the private enterprises have no problem to make profit at the cost of the workers’ life and health . . . Therefore, if judged by market, the system which is more humanitarian, must be the system that has the higher “labor cost,” and consequently the system which is less efficient.  Jin Liyang concluded:        

   

   

We should allow the state-owned enterprises to be taken over by the private or the collective enterprises (BIANYUAN, 16-17).  

   

That is, privatization.  

       According to Jin Liyang, “the key problem is the principal-agent problem.”  However, do the directors and the managers of the state-owned enterprises have the right to run the enterprises because they are entrusted by the workers?  Does the government become the owner of the state-owned enterprises because it is entrusted by the 1.2 billion people?  “While all citizens commonly own the state-owned enterprises, they cannot do everything by themselves.  Instead, they can only act as the principals, and entrust the state-owned enterprises to some agents who will actually run these enterprises.”  That is, the workers, who also act as the collective capitalist, are opposed to themselves.  As the collective capitalist, the workers first appoint “government officials” as their general manager, and then appoint “the directors and the managers” as their department or subsidiary managers, only to exploit the employed workers who are exactly themselves.  On the one hand, the “1.2 billion people” are all capitalists, and only act as capitalists, caring only about their capital and profit.  On the other hand, they are all wage laborers, and only act as wage laboreres, thinking only about working less and earning more money.  Only those people who are filled with too much bourgeois legal ideas to understand the real social relations can imagine this kind of double personality and mental split.  These people, with their poor imagination, cannot think of any type of property other than modern capitalist property, the property under which the people who own means of production and the workers are separated from and opposed to each other, as if the workers must always be alienated from means of production, and even if they were combined in the legal term, they must be separated in reality.   

       Either the state is the state as what it has always been, and consequently the problem does not lie in that “every one is a principal, and a holder of the state property,” but lies in that the majority people are not “the holders of the state property” at all.  Or the state is society itself, and the state property is thus the social property, and consequently the principals are also those people to whom the property is entrusted, and thus there is no need for the agents.  

       Under social property, all workers as a whole actually control and thus “actually run” the means of production that they use.  Of course, when an individual worker is concerned, he or she can only directly control and use a very small part of society’s means of production, and can not have direct control over all of society’s means of production.  This is not more than the “free rider” problem.  Under the modern socialized production, the final result of production depends not on the effort of any individual worker, but on the collective efforts of many workers.  On the other hand, under the small production, the individual worker owns the means of production he or she uses, and the result of production completely depends on his or her own effort.  In this case, the “free rider” problem certainly does not exist.  

       The official scholars and the liberal intellectuals always follow the following logic.  Workers are necessarily lazy and will by no means take care of the property that they use.  Thus, to prevent the workers from being lazy and abusing the property that they use, there must be supervision.  However, to have effective supervision, there must be adequate information.  But the bureaucracy always find it cannot acquire adquate information.  The official scholars and the liberal intellectuals have thus entered a dead end.  

       If this is the case, then to replace “publich property” with “private property,” and the bureaucracy with the capitalist, will do no help to solve the problem, although the players of the game are changed.  It is exactly because the “private property” is private, it can by no means solve the antagonistic contradiction between the “enterprise” and the workers, and thus can by no means solve the problem of free rider.  On the other hand, while under the bureaucratic system, one government is deceived by one hundred thousand more enterprises, under the “private property” the one hundred thousand more enterprises will be deceived by one another (motivated by private profit and compelled by market competition).  

      Therefore, the question is not whether “public property” or “private property” in the abstract, legal term.   Instead, the real point, the whole point is what attitudes that the workers--the eternal subjects of all production activities--have towards production.  If the relations of production are oppressive relations of production, the production process is thus the process in which workers are oppressed and exploited, and the means of production are thus the means of oppression over the workers,  then why is not “working less and earning more money” the most natural and reasonable attitude that the workers should have towards production?  And in this case, why do the workers “cherish,” “take care of,” and make responsible use of the means of production?  If, on the other hand, the production process is not more than the process for the workers to realize their own purposes, and the means of production are thus not more than the means by which the workers can realize their own purposes, the attitudes of the workers towards production and the means of the production will certainly be qualitatively different.  Is this a very logical conclusion?  

       Only in this way can we understand the “free rider” problem.  Under the capitalist system or the bureaucratic system, acting as the “free rider” is the workers’ completely rational behavior by which they try to protect themselves from being exploited.  Otherwise the “free rider” problem simply does not make sense.     

       “Every one wants others to work, allowing himself or herself to enjoy the fruits without working.  The result is that nobody works.”  But if nobody works then nobody enjoys the fruits.  If this is the case, then why do not people “all work hard, and thus all enjoy the fruits?”  “One monk carries water to drink.  Three monks have no water to drink.”  This is, anyway, a parable story.  If the three monks really have no water to drink, they certainly will not fail to find a solution before they are thirsty to death.  Does economics always assume the “rational man?”  The result of acting as the “free rider” is that nobody enjoys the fruits.  This is apparently irrational, why do people fail to behave rationally on this point?  

       Secondly, under the capitalist system and the bureaucratic system, it is impossible to solve the “free rider” problem, even if the capitalist and the bureaucracy try to solve the problem by exercising supervision.  For without adequate information, there will not be effective supervision.  But a large part of the information has to be offered by the supervised people who certainly do not have the incentive to offer adequate and correct information to their supervisors.  The supervisor thus will never acquire adequate information.  On the other hand, in the case where workers themselves have control over production, the supervised can do little to deceive the supervisor.  For in this case the supervisor is also the supervised.  Every worker has an incentive to oppose others to act as the “free riders,” and thus every worker is also a supervisor.  These supervisors, who have direct access to the information about the protection process, and thus know very well why and how some people act as the “free riders,” will not have much difficulty to establish an effective supervision system.    

       What is “the problem of property?”  On the one hand, under the modern socialized production, means of production must be collectively used by many workers, and thus it is no longer possible for a worker to individually own the means of production that he or she uses.  On the other hand, the workers do not collectively own the means of production and thus are alienated from the means of production, and consequently they work for the interest of the oppressors and the exploiters rather than that of their own and thus certainly will not behave properly and responsibly in production.  This is “the problem of property” that makes much trouble for every ruling class of the modern society.  

   

CHAPTER II  

 SOCIALISM, CAPITALISM, AND CLASS STRUGGLES  

   

   

   

   

   

       To understand Maoist China, we must fully realize that it was a society born of a great people"s revolution in which the broad masses of the oppressed people rose up to fight for their own liberation, and thus bore deeply the mark of the revolution.  

       While under bourgeois liberty individuals are guaranteed a set of formal civil rights, the production activities on which people spend most of their disposable time are regarded as people’s “private” affairs.  Without means of production, the majority people have to allow most of their living activities to be dictated by the minority of property owners.  At this point, civil right is not more than the right to choose between failing to make a living or giving up freedom.  It was one of the greatest achievements of the socialist revolution that as a result of the revolution, the right to employment became an inalienable right of working people.  The right to employment was important not only because it guaranteed workers the “iron rice bowl,” but more importantly it allowed workers to have some control over the labor process.  It was much more difficult for the managers of the Chinese state-owned enterprises than their capitalist counterparts to extend working time and increase working intensity without the cooperation of the workers.  For they could not threaten the workers with firing.  According to one investigation made by the Chinese Center for the Scientific-Technological Research and Development in 1986, the average effective weekly working time of the staff and workers in the state-owned enterprises was only 19.2-28.8 hours, which was only 40-60 percent of the required working time (see Zhong Pengrong, 292).  That is, the workers in the Chinese state-owned enterprises could to a large extent decide by themselves the length and intensity of their work.  This is a kind of freedom which is unimaginable for the working people in capitalist societies.  For working people, the freedom over labor process is much more important and much more practical an freedom than bourgeois civil freedom, such as the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of association, which in capitalist societies only the ruling class and the intellectuals who serve their interest can fully enjoy.  While the socialist revolution failed to realize its original goal, the society born of the revolution was not, as bourgeois scholars said, a totalitarian society without any freedom.  Instead, it had both the oppressive side and the democratic side.  In fact, from working people’s point of view, it was a much more democratic society than the most democratic capitalist society..   

       On the other hand, while the former exploiters and oppressors had been deprived of their ownership of means of production, working people were not yet prepared for the direct control over social production.  The control over society"s means of production thus fell into the hands of the state, the long-standing oppressive institution in human history.  A new ruling class--the state bureaucratic class--thus came into being.  It replaced the old ruling class as the oppressors and the exploiters of working people  

      Why is society always divided into the ruling class and the ruled class?  Is it a natural law as inalterable as the moon revolving around the earth?  What is the Marxist viewpoint on this question?  Engels said:  

   

The separation of society into an exploiting and an exploited class, a ruling and an oppressed class, was the necessary consequence of the deficient and restricted development of production in former times.  So long as the total social labour only yields a product which but slightly exceeds that barely necessary for the existence of all; so long, therefore, as labour engages all or almost all the time of the great majority of the members of society--so long, of necessity, this society is divided into classes.  Side by side with the great majority, exclusively bond slaves to labour, arises a class freed from directly productive labour, which looks after the general affairs of society: the direction of labour, state business, law, science, art, etc.  It is, therefore, the law of division of labour that lies at the basis of the division into classes . . . It was based upon the insufficiency of production.  It will be swept away by the complete development of modern productive forces (Engels, 1978, 714).  

   

       Thus, according to Engels, only with highly developed productive forces (as a result of capitalist development), can the great majority of people be largely freed from directly productive labor, allowing them to participate in the general affairs of society, and thus abolishing the division of classes.  However, when the Chinese Communist Party came to power, they inherited from the Kuomintang regime an extremely backward semi-feudal, semi-colonial economy with little modern industry.  In this case, there was the objective foundation for the new oppressor class to emerge.  But this by no means suggests that the Chinese socialist revolution was doomed from the very beginning.  Instead, the final fate of the revolution must be decided by real historical struggles.  

       On the one hand, the state bureaucratic class wanted to consolidate its rule over society, and establish a “normal” oppressive society.  On the other hand, the oppressed people would not allow the oppressive order to be consolidated.  They would not only defend their interest that they had won in the revolution, but also further develop the revolution, overthrowing the new oppressor class.  These two sides were sharply against one another, and could by no means co-exist peacefully.  Their contradiction thus must be solved by real struggles and it was in the Cultural Revolution, the contradiction reached the stage of total explosion, and the struggle between the state bureaucratic class and the oppressed people reached the stage of decisive battle.  

   

   

The Cultural Revolution  

       History is always written by contemporary people.  From the perspectives of different classes, and to serve different political purposes, people can reach totally different explanations of history.  According to the official viewpoint, the Cultural Revolution was “ten years of havoc,” in which the state and people had experienced terrible sufferings.  For the liberal intellectuals, they do not have much common language with the ruling class except on two fundamental issues, one is the “reform,” and the other is the Cultural Revolution.   

       According to the liberal intellectuals:  

   

The Cultural Revolution was a wrong movement which had been started for wrong purposes and undertaken with wrong methods . . . The Cultural Revolution could have occurred for it was rooted on the one hand, in the economic and political system that had been established in China before the Cultural Revolution, and on the other hand, in the traditional Chinese culture.  

As for Mao Zedong himself, why did he initiate the Cultural Revolution in his late years?  This reflects on the one hand, his failure to properly deal with the internal contradictions of the Chinese Communist Party, and on the other hand, his increasingly arbitrary personal style . . . All of those good opinions which were not in the favor of Mao Zedong, were considered by him to be “rightist,” “capitalist roaders,” “anti-party,” and were put under attack, leading to historically unprecedented ten years of havoc.  

   

   

When Mao Zedong met with Edgar Snow in 1965, he acknowledged that there was personal cult in China, and said that China needed more personal cult, that is, the cult of Mao Zedong himself . . . When Snow met with Mao Zedong again in 1970, Mao said that when they had their last talk in 1965, he had lost control of much of the power--the provincial and local party organizations, and especially the propaganda work under the Party committee of the Beijing city . . . Mao Zedong decided that Liu Shaoqi must be driven out of office (Gao Gao and Yan Jiaqi, preface, 1-2).  

   

In the opinion of the liberal intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution resulted first of all from Mao’s pursuit of unlimited personal power.  To acquire unlimited despotic power, Mao conceived a great conspiracy.  This conspiracy could be realized for under the despotic system and traditional culture, the prevailing popular psychology were blind loyalty and blind obedience.  

       Let me first ask two questions.  First, if Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution simply to pursue personal power, why did he mobilize the masses of people to destroy the entire state apparatus?  Without state apparatus, how can we talk about power, and about personal dictatorship?  

       Second, both the liberal intellectuals and the official historians fail to explain why hundreds of millions of people simply be turned crazy overnight.  Did such a greatly important historical event as the Cultural Revolution occur simply because all people over the country went mad?  

       In the opinion of the liberal intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution was a tyrannous movement which had been started for tyrannous purposes and undertaken with tyrannous methods, and the masses were simply some ignorant and mindless people that could be made use of by anyone at will.  But if the masses were so ignorant and mindless, why did the ruling elite with the help of the entire state and party bureaucracy fail to make use of them?  For example, there is certainly no difficulty for the party bureaucrats to claim that they are exactly following Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line and all those people against them are against Chairman Mao.   

       Of course, Mao, with his personal power, might have no difficulty to remove several high-ranking party cadres from their positions.  But if there had not been any objectively existing contradiction between ordinary people and the bureaucratic class, how could he put the entire ruling class under attack?  For in a world where everyone claims he or she is on the side of Chairman Mao and use all the material and spiritual means at his or her disposal to convince or to force others to believe his or her claim, it is up to people themselves to decide who is “really” on the side of Chairman Mao, who they will fight with, and who they will fight against.  Thus, no matter what Mao’s personal intention was, the very fact that the Cultural Revolution was carried out by mobilizing the broad masses of people, means that it had to reflect the feeling, the desire, and the objective conditions of life of ordinary people.  

       Referring to traditional culture gives no help to the liberal intellectuals.  First, there was certainly not a single emperor who would tell his subjects “it is right to rebel.”  Secondly, in traditional China people were by no means always blindly loyal and obedient.  They did rebel, and when they rebelled they had good reason to do so.     

       What the liberal intellectuals and the official historians declined to say is that on the eve of the Cultural Revolution, a ruling class which was separated from and stood over the masses of people had already taken shape.  This ruling class, like all other ruling classes, was by nature an oppressor class and exploiter class.  All the contradictions in the Chinese society, in the last analysis, derives from this.  Otherwise we would not be able to understand the contemporary Chinese history.  If we keep silence on this fundamental problem, it is inevitable that we would consciously or unconsciously distort the actual history.  

       In 1965, Mao said:  

   

The bureaucratic class is a class in sharp opposition to the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants.  How can these people who have become or are in the process of becoming bourgeois elements sucking the blood of the workers be properly recognized?  These people are the objectives of the struggle, the objectives of the revolution (see Meisner, 1986, 271).  

   

When Mao said this, he was not happening to have some fantastic idea, and he was not simply looking for excuses to get rid of dissidents.  There was indeed a “bureaucratic class,” who is indeed “bourgeois elements sucking the blood of the workers.”  Let us see some facts:  

   

[In July 1961,] Liu Shaoqi visited the Jing Bo Lake[6] and squandered four million Yuan only for his personal pleasure . . . Whenever his meal was made, the rice had to be selected piece by piece, the Man Tou[7] had to be even in size, each had a weight of about one liang[8], and the top of the Man Tou must be cut into cross-like flower after it was cooked . . . Fat pigs had to be carried over everyday from Mu Dan River which is two hundred and forty li[9] away [to the Jing Bo Lake], and were immediately killed and cooked.  In every meal, there must be fresh fishes, two or three year old young chickens, camel humps, bear palms, scallops, sea cucumbers, and Mao Tai wine (ZDJS, 15).  

   

To meet their personal desire for pleasure, the bureaucratic gentlemen in the Shaanxi province had spared no human and material resources, especially in the difficult period of our country, squandering a great deal of working people’s blood and sweat . . . The Zhang Ba Gou high-ranking cadre guest house, which is supposed to be a sanatorium, is actually a place for the provincial cadres to have amusement and pleasure.  It has an area of hundreds of mu[10], with western-style houses, kiosks, and pavilions, looking magnificent.  There are also pleasure boats, woods, rockery, restaurants, dance halls, theaters, rare plants, and precious flowers . . . We know that in the Xian area, people can only swim in summer.  But our gentlemen had the spirit to remake nature.  They wanted to swim in winter.  To realize their invention, comrade workers built a “warm water swimming pool” at Zhang Ba Gou.  It uses up ten to twenty tons of coal, costing hundreds of Yuan, every time to heat the water for the swimming pool.  Sometimes even if only one leading cadre came with his wife and children on Sunday, comrade workers would have to heat water specially for his family . . . Last year we students in the Northwest Industrial University took part in the Socialist Education Movement.  There was a poor peasant family, whose total belongings might be less than five Yuan.  This is the life of our poor and lower middle peasants!  But our bureaucratic gentlemen spend hundreds of Yuan just to have a swim!  Is it really water that is in the swimming pool?  I do not think so.  It is not water, not at all.  It is a pool of blood and sweat of working people ! (CLHB, 7-9)     

   

       If it were in other oppressive societies where people took oppression and exploitation more or less for granted, given the same level of social contradictions, the rulers might be able to continue to rule as they used to and the people might continue to live as they used to.  But for Chinese people, with the victory of the people’s revolution in 1949, the anti-oppression, anti-exploitation, anti-privilege ideas had become popular ideas deeply rooted in their hearts.  The privileges of the ruling class were no longer considered to be society’s normal phenomena, and social inequality could no longer be justified.  People had seen with their own eyes that revolution could change everything.  All of those once “sacred and inviolable” things had been struck to the ground and the heaven did not collapse.  Now the state bureaucratic class, following the steps of the old oppressor classes, again wanted to stand over people, how could people allow them to do so?  People had overthrown an oppressor class, why could not they overthrow another?  Mao (1977,  344) correctly pointed out:  

   

If great democracy is now to be practised again, I am for it . . . the great democracy set in motion by the proletariat is directed against class enemies . . . Great democracy can be directed against bureaucrats too . . . If some people grow tired of life and so become bureaucratic, if, when meeting the masses, they have not a single kind word for them but only take them to task, and if they don’t bother to solve any of the problems the masses may have, they are destined to be overthrown.  Now this danger does exist.  If you alienate yourself from the masses and fail to solve their problems, the peasants will wield their carry-poles, the workers will demonstrate in the streets and the students will create disturbances.  Whenever such things happen, they must in the first place be taken as good things, and that is how I look at the matter.  

   

       The old state apparatus was smashed as soon as the Cultural Revolution began.  From the state president, provincial chiefs, to factory directors, managers, and different levels of party committees, in one word, the entire bureaucratic state institutions were overthrown by the revolutionary masses.  The masses of people saw with their own eyes those once majestic-looking bureaucratic gentlemen now lost all of their power and prestige, how could they not burst with joy?  What a great spiritual liberation it is!  

   

       Meisner (1986, 343) described how the Shanghai party and state bureaucracy was overthrown by the revolutionary masses:  

   

By mid-autumn of 1966 the rebellion against established authority had spread from the schools to the factories, thus making the appearance of the actual proletariat in the drama of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” . . . The Cultural Revolution, for the first time in the history of the People’s Republic, brought discontented workers and others the freedom to voice their grievances and the freedom to establish their own organizations, unhampered by the organizational and ideological restraints hitherto imposed by the Communist Party.  The result was the spontaneous emergence of a bewildering variety of popular rebel organizations, all proclaiming fidelity to Mao and Maoist principles but interpreting those principles to suit their own particular interests.  At the beginning of November several of the rebel groups formed a loose alliance under the name Headquarters of the Revolutionary Revolt of Shanghai Workers, which came under the leadership of Wang Hung-wen, a young textile worker and mid-level party functionary.  The Workers’ Headquarter was the self-creation of the Shanghai workers, owing nothing to instructions from Peking . . . On November 8 the Workers’ Headquarters presented its demands to the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, and they clearly portended the replacement of the old bureaucratic administration by new popular organs of government . . . With the victory of the Workers’ Headquarters in mid-November, the power of the Shanghai party and government apparatus rapidly disintegrated as rebel groups freely roamed the city to organize workers and others.  The mass movement grew at a frenetic pace and on a vast scale . . . The overthrow, which would be celebrated as the “January Revolution,” was accomplished during the first week of the new year.  On January 5 a dozen rebel organizations loosely allied with the Workers’ Headquarters (and with the encouragement and assistance of members of the Cultural Revolution Group in Capital) published a “Message to All the People of Shanghai” . . . and called for the unity of workers, students, intellectuals and cadres.  That call for unity received dramatic expression in the next day, January 6, when more than a million citizens gathered to hold a mass meeting in the central city square, with the proceedings observed by millions of others.  Mayor Ts’ao and other high party officials were denounced, removed from their positions, and forced to make public confessions of their political sins.  Over the next few days lesser officials and cadres were similarly humiliated at other public meetings and paraded through the street wearing placards and dunce caps.  The old regime had fallen.  

   

       Who are scared?  The ruling class is scared, and the liberal intellectuals are also scared.  The liberal intellectuals worry about the social order to no less an extent than the ruling class.  They are afraid of the proletarian great democracy.  They keep silence on the abuses that the oppressors had done to people in the entire “normal time,” but cry loudly when they see the violence that people did to the oppressors at the moment of revolution: “the party and state leaders suffered from wrongs, persecutions, and abuses . . . Liu Shaoqi, the President of the Republic, was not protected by the Constitution and laws, was framed as ‘traitor,’ ‘enemy agent,’ and ‘scab,’ and had lost any right to defend himself (Gao Gao and Yan Jiaqi, preface).”  But as was said by the Red Guards, “these bourgeois gentlemen, when seeking their own pleasure, care nothing about the party’s policies, care nothing about the government’s laws, and care nothing about people’s life or death!”  When people want to settle their accounts, what do they want to defend of themselves?  

       The Cultural Revolution had almost completely destroyed the old relations of production:  

   

In the Cultural Revolution the old cadre system (people who were in authority) had been largely destroyed by the mass movement.  The masses were out of control.  In factories, old regulations and institutions had been overthrown . . . and workers often disobeyed cadres . . . production had gone out of hand, or was even paralyzed.  Since cadres did not have real authority, in many enterprises production and management were out of control (Li Qiang, 162).  

   

       With the old relations of production destroyed, the new relations of production must be established in time, otherwise the development of productive forces would be paralyzed.  In fact, some elements of the new relations of production did begin to emerge in the Cultural Revolution.  Following are some excerpts from an investigation report on the Beijing General Knitwear Factory made by Charles Bettelheim and an investigation report on the Beijing Northern-Suburban Timber Mill included in a then official collection of propaganda materials.  

       In the Cultural Revolution, workers “demanded participation in management, in keeping with the Anshan Constitution (Bettelheim, 1974, 21).”  

   

Implementing the Anshan Constitution means always to put politics in command, strengthen party leadership, launch vigorous mass movements, systematically promote the participation of cadres in productive labor and of workers in management, reform any unreasonable rules, assure close cooperation among workers, cadres, and technicians, and energetically promote the technical revolution (Bettelheim, 1974, 17).  

   

       What are the unreasonable rules?  The unreasonable rules were “imposed by the old management--regulations concerning work organization, discipline, etc., which reflected a lack of confidence in workers’ initiative and thus tended to preserve capitalist relations (Bettelheim, 1974, 22).”  

   

The old regulations and institutions followed the line of “experts in charge of factory,” and were established to control and to impose restrictions on the workers, providing (many ways to) deduct workers’ pays or to impose fines on workers.  They provided for this right to this principal, and that right to that chief, but not a single right to the workers.  The workers only have the right to be controlled (WANSUI, 675)  

   

       How to reform the unreasonable rules?  

   

Each regulation was subjected to mass discussion . . . a great number of rules have already been abolished, making it possible to effect a substantial reduction in factory administrative personnel (Bettelheim, 1974, 22).  

   

In the past the administrative structure was overexpanded and overstaffed . . . To regulate the interpersonal and interdepartment relations, there were a great number of overelaborated rules and regulations, to have different people and different departments check against each other.  In one department, the rules wrote: “if the chief is absent for business, the vice chief is in charge of all the work; if the vice chief is absent for business, the chief is in charge of all the work.”  Since the revolutionary committee was established, the administrative structure has been simplified . . . If there were not idle staff, there would be no overelaborated rules and regulations.  Now there are fewer people, more work, but problems have been solved faster.  Under the old rules and regulations, workshops served (rather than being served by) administrative departments.  After simplifying the administrative structure, administrative cadres often come to workshops to solve practical problems.  This is deeply welcomed by the masses of workers (WANSUI, 677).  

   

The old quality control system did not trust the masses of workers.  It relied upon a small number of inspection workers to “supervise workers,” resulting in tensions between production workers and inspection workers.  Comrade workers said: “if you do not rely upon the masses, you have no way to improve product quality, even if behind every worker you place an inspector.”  Now the new quality control system has been established.  Under the new system, proletarian politics is in command, every one takes responsibility, and is to help each other, the team chief is to examine (workers’ work), and the group is to evaluate (workers’ work).  The new system guarantees the steady improvement of product quality (WANSUI, 679).  

   

At the General Knitwear Factory, the (workers’ management) teams deal with problems involving the upgrading of product quality.  The system is one of self-control and each work team controls its own work.  The workers make every effort to find collective solutions to whatever problems come up (Bettelheim, 1974, 25).  

   

In the past, plans were made and directed by a handful of people.  These plans were separated from proletarian politics, from the masses, and from reality.  They are metaphysical and mechanistic.  Under these plans, production had to fit quotas and norms, the productive initiatives of the masses of workers were seriously restrained, there were a lot of idleness due to poor organization and a great deal of waste . . . Now production tasks are to be discussed by workers.  A planning system which relies upon the masses and combines the top and the base has been established.  (Under the new system,) plans correspond to reality.  Leaders and the masses have one common goal in their mind, and work together towards that common goal.  The new custom of communist cooperation is emerging everywhere.  Comrade workers say: “in the past everything was determined by the top and workers were only to do their work.  Now planning is everybody’s business, everybody is to find solutions to problems, and production is also everybody’s business.  Thus we can always finish production tasks ahead of time (WANSUI, 679).”  

   

The workers’ management teams are also involved in planning factory output.  The workers are repeatedly consulted before a plan is formally adopted.  The planning project is scrutinized concretely in terms of how it will affect each shop and each work team.  The workers divide into small groups for this purpose, which enables them to express themselves fully on the plan’s significance, it implications for each worker, and on possible improvements in terms of production, quality, product diversification, etc.  This results in numerous exchanges between workers and managerial bodies, with the workers’ management teams acting as go-betweens.  The overall plan is thus scrutinized repeatedly, and its final adoption is the outcome of a common effort by the various work teams and shops (Bettelheim, 1974, 25).  

   

       In his comments on the impact of the Cultural Revolution on the conditions of the Chinese working class, Meisner (1986, 385) said:  

   

Possibly, as the reports of many foreign visitors suggested in the early 1970s, a collectivistic spirit and a degree of workers’ participation in management were characteristic of Chinese factory life . . . administrative and managerial cadres, having gone through the trials and humiliations of the Cultural Revolution, temporarily abandoned their more autocratic practices and bureaucratic habits, and were disposed to consult workers in more meaningful fashion than in the years before the great upheaval.  

   

As Meisner said, in the Cultural Revolution, “mass democracy was the official order of the day.”  This is the germ of the new relations of production.  This is to solve fundamentally the contradiction that all the former relations of production have failed to solve--the contradiction between the oppressors and the oppressed.  While the new relations of production had never moved beyond its embryonic stage, it provided a concrete solution to the contradictions of the Chinese society at that time, the solution which was a working people’s solution, a fundamental solution, and therefore, the only real solution.  

       However, to build up the new relations of production and to replace the old relations of production with the new relations of production, it was not only necessary to have widespread autonomous mass movements, which were far less than sufficient.  On the basis of mass movements, a new revolutionary party must be established.  This party would take power from the ruling class and thus provide political safeguard for the transformation of the relations of production.  It is the fatal weakness of the Cultural Revolution that there was not a new revolutionary party.  Making revolution without a revolutionary party is just like a man without brain, and revolution is reduced to little more than destruction.  

       Without a new revolutionary party, working people could not take political power, and the old state apparatus which had been destroyed was soon restored.  After the ruling class took back political power, they immediately made use of this power to take back everything they had lost in the revolution.  

   

Moreover, the drive to reestablish labor discipline in the factories after the disruptions of the Cultural Revolution (particularly aimed at younger workers who had been the most politically radical) was followed in the early 1970s by the gradual revival of many of the old factory rules and regulations previously abolished and by a growing emphasis on specialist administrators and technical criteria . . . The factory director . . . still remained the director.  In the end he was less responsible to the workers he directed than to the state and party apparatus that employed him (Meisner, 1986, 384).  

   

       On the other hand, it was impossible for the ruling class to simply go back to the conditions before the Cultural Revolution.  

   

Like many other problems in China in the 1980s, low efficiency is one of the consequences of the Cultural Revolution.  For more than ten years, Chinese workers have refused to follow the direction of the party committees in factories, refused to take care of machines.  Instead they spend much of time to play cards or leave workshops to play basketball . . . Even two years after Hua Guofeng took power, western companies that have made investment in China find that Chinese workers refuse to follow the directions that they do not like . . . In the last analysis, low efficiency results from the management’s lack of power.  It is almost impossible for a state-owned enterprise to fire a worker . . . A Chinese official, feeling somehow awkward, explained to a journalist: “you must understand that we cannot force workers to work (JLFS, 69-70).”  

   

       They cannot force us to work!  This is the concrete and actual benefit that revolution has brought about to the oppressed people.  When bourgeois scholars denounced “low efficiency,” they did not understand that this is also democracy.  What rights do bourgeois democracy provide to people?  Parliamentary election?  It happens only once for every few years.  Freedom of speech, freedom of press?  To deliver opinion in press, on radio, or on television, or to publish essays and books, are not considered to be the business of ordinary people.  Freedom of association, of organizing political party?  This has always remained a privilege of the elitists.  But labor, is the most important activity that the majority people have to participate everyday.  To be able to control their own labor, is thus the most important freedom and right for the majority people.  The benefit that a revolution can bring about to working people will by no means be overestimated.  

       The new relations of production failed to be established, but the old one no longer worked.  People did not acquire power, but the old power could no longer rule as it used to.  For the ruling class the only way out was the “reform.”  

   

   

Bureaucratic and Private Capitalist Class  

       The development of the capitalist relations of production is neither a result of people’s free choice, nor a result of the improved scientific understanding of economic laws, but the expression of the will of the ruling class.  The struggle of the oppressed people against the state bureaucratic class was temporarily brought to a close by the end of the Cultural Revolution.  The ruling class had won and people had been defeated.  This result of the struggle allowed the ruling class to transform the relations of production according to its own will.  

       According to the “reformers” in the ruling class:   

   

“Objective economic laws,” at least as the reformers divined their meaning, also demanded the operation of economic enterprises on the basis of profit-making criteria; strengthened managerial authority in accordance with the “scientific” methods developed in the advanced capitalist countries (Meisner, 1986, 466).  

   

Without certain historical conditions, the so called “objective economic laws” can be neither “objective” nor “scientific.”  The historical condition for the “reform” was that the ruling class was able to transform the relations of production according to its own will and in accordance with its own interest, and consequently the contradictions of an oppressive system could only be solved by strengthening the oppressive mechanisms.  It is from the oppressors’ perspective, that the capitalist economic management is a more advanced and scientific one than that of the Chinese state-owned enterprises.  

       With the development of the capitalist relations of production, the rule of the ruling class has been increasingly based on the capitalist type of oppression and exploitation of working people.  Consequently, the state bureaucratic class has been gradually transformed into the bureaucratic capitalist class.  

   

       Due to China’s particular historical conditions, the ruling class’s control over means of production takes the legal form of state property and “collective property.”  As has been suggested by the Chinese experience, state property or collective property in the legal term is by no means incompatible with the development of the capitalist relations of production.  For what really matters is not the legal form of property but the real social relations between different classes on the one hand, and between different groups or individual members of the ruling class on the other hand.  While the development of the capitalist relations of production does not necessarily require the transformation of state property or collective property into explicit private property, this by no means prevents the members of the ruling class from accumulating their private wealth by embezzling state property in the process of capitalist development.  

       Following are the major methods with which the members of the ruling class have accumulated their private wealth by embezzling state property in the “reform” period:  

   

(1)Bureaucratic Buying and Selling (Guan Dao)  

       According to the calculation of official scholars, the total “rent” (the non-production profit that can be acquired by monopolistic power) including “price differences,” “interest differences,” “exchange rate differences,” (meaning differences between official and market prices, interest rates, exchange rates) and other items amounts to over 400 billion Yuan every year, “forty percent of which falls into the hands of the rent-seekers who have various relations with power (XHWZ No.2 1992, 56).”  

   

(2)Bureaucratic Speculation (Guan Chao)  

       In “bureaucratic speculation,” what is bought and sold is not ordinary goods and services, but real estate and stock.  Stock is fictitious capital, the value of which can be several times or even dozens of times higher than the value of the means of production that it represents.  As for the speculation on land, while land does not have value in itself, its market value can be of millions or billions of Yuan.  Thus, the speed and scale of wealth accumulation with bureaucratic speculation are far beyond that with bureaucratic buying and selling.  

   

Mr. Zhang is a son of a deputy mayor.  A few years ago, following the trend at that time, he left the economic committee (a government institution) and “jumped into the sea,” setting up a trade company which was nominally state owned but actually privately owned.  His father was in charge of the construction industry, he, naturally, focused on selling construction materials.  He did not have to tell others, nor did his father.  Those construction companies who “knew the smell” always came to him to buy construction materials and never bargained the prices.  Within two more years, he made almost two million Yuan.  In 1992 “General Manager Zhang” registered a real estate company within one week.  Then he gave (the local branch) of a bank an imported car, asking for a loan of eight million Yuan . . . Mr. Zhang used the eight million Yuan to buy 25 mu of land in the Hainan province and sold it at 19 million Yuan four months later (JJC No. 3, 32).  

   

       In 1992 the total amount of land leased by the government was 220 square kilometers, with a total income of 52.5 billion Yuan, in which the central government had got only 2.6 billion Yuan.  Thus, about 50 billion Yuan had fallen into private hands.  In the Beihai city, even for the best land, the government charged only 97 thousand Yuan per mu, while the highest price in the market was 1.76 million Yuan per mu.  It is said: “buying and selling land is far more profitable than land development, let alone real business.”  In the Haikou city, the government charged 150 Yuan per square meter for the most prosperous area.  But buildings built at the area were sold at 3000-4000 Yuan per square meter.  In some cities, land can be leased with 5 Yuan per square meter, and in some cities the government charges nothing (ZWFDCDB No. 20 1993, 18-20).  

       We do not know how much of state property has been lost in the speculation on stock, but following examples can tell us something:  

   

In Shanghai there is a Millionaire Yang, who specializes in stock business.  In last March, he once threw out 6800 shares of an electronic factory.  He earned 50 Yuan on every share and gained a total of 340 thousand Yuan (ZGLDKX, No. 2 1992, 15).  

   

A newspaper journalist who knew many useful friends, managed to get some “legal person” shares.  He immediately found a buyer and made a “wholesale” deal, making profit at a rate of 100 percent.  For the buyer, although he had paid a high “wholesale” price, since after the shares entered market, the price would always become several times higher, it was still a very profitable business . . . Doing business like this for several times, the journalist soon became a millionaire (JJC No.3, 54).  

   

(3)Business Run by Bureaucratic Institutions  

       In 1992 the number of companies in the whole country increased by 220 thousand, or a 88.9 percent increase to that in 1991.  “Most of the new companies are run by state institutions.” “More than 60 percent of state institutions run their own business (JJC No. 3, 25).”  

   

Even China’s People’s Liberation Army . . . has opened up a string of luxury hotels, and PLA-owned factories churn out refrigerators, pianos, TV sets and passenger aircraft for the market.  Some 400 army-run factories have sales offices in Shenzhen SEZ (special economic zone) (Smith, 1993, 97).”  

   

       The business run by bureaucratic institutions, with the help of monopolistic power, is able to acquire monopolistic profit far more than normal profit.  

   

A company managed to get some (quota of) rolled steel, and urgently needed 10 million Yuan (to pay for the rolled steel).  It asked for the help of the local branch of the state bank.  The director of the branch said: “recently we are short of capital.  We really want to help you but we have difficulty.  Nevertheless, we just made a loan of 10 million Yuan to the company run by this branch yesterday.  They have not yet taken the money.  I suggest you make contact with them and make this deal together.”  Thus the loan finally goes to the company run by the bank branch itself.  The band branch thus easily got half of the profit (JJC No. 3, 26).  

   

(4)Comprador Capital  

       Some members of the ruling class directly collude with foreign capital, help foreign capital to exploit Chinese people, and then share part of the super profit acquired by foreign capital.  For foreign capitalists, who want to escape China’s trade control and various restrictions on investment, want to find ways of tax evasion, and want to get cheap or free land or other benefits, they need the help of some members of the ruling class who have access to power, and thus would like to see some members of the ruling class acting as comprador capitalists:  

   

Most shocking are the number of leading revolutionaries’ sons and daughters who have taken positions with the biggest American and European banks and multinational corporations and now represent them in China . . . Some of them may, in spite of all temptation, still serve China’s best interests, but the majority will serve the interests of those who hire them, and unless one is naive enough to believe that there is no conflict of interest here, “comprador” is the word that describes them (Hinton, 1993, 96).  

Mr. Yuan, a 48-year-old Communist Party member with, according to the AP, a penchant for cellular phones and stock market deals, walks a tight rope between capitalism and communism with business cards for both.  One card introduces him as deputy mayor of Dongguan City, Guangdong Province (Dongguan is one of the hottest centres of foreign investment in Guangdong).  Another says he’s the managing director of Fook Man Development Co., a Hong Kong-based firm with millions in bank.  Yuan also sits on the board of three other companies based in Hong Kong, is part-owner of a 500-room hotel in Los Angeles and has plans to expand his empire to Singapore and Frankfurt.  Chinese call such officials ‘fake foreign devils’ after the 19th-century sobriquet for the Chinese compradors in the opium trade.  Yuan doesn’t object to the appellation.  ‘We’re making money,’ he answers, slapping his thigh and slipping off his loafers (Smith, 1993, 98).  

   

       The large-scale embezzlement of state property by the ruling class has resulted in a great loss of state income and wealth which is in turn one of the major reasons for the state financial crisis (see TABLE 2.1).  To overcome the financial crisis, income must be increased and expenditure must be cut.  How to increase income? By increasing consumer good prices.  How to cut expenditure? By cutting social welfare.   

       Under the name of  the “price reform,” consumer prices have risen at an increasingly rapid rate over the past few years (see TABLE 2.1).  According to the official economists, the "reform" is not to be blamed for inflation.  They argue that before the "reform," people suffered from persistent shortage of consumer goods and “shortage” was in fact a kind of “implicit inflation.”  Bourgeois economists are not able to understand any non-capitalist social phenomena unless they treat these phenomena as if they were capitalist phenomena.  A “shortage” economy and an inflationary economy represent two quite different types of social relations.  “Shortage” means that social wealth is distributed according to criterion other than money.  The criterion could be political power, could be social privilege, but could also be social equality, or priority to the disprivileged.  Inflation, on the other hand, is a distinct social phenomenon that can be found in a society where exchange value dominates everything.  

   

TABLE 2.1  

China’s Financial Deficits and Inflation, 1981-1990  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                    1981-1985               1986-1990  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Average Annual Financial Deficits (billions of Yuan)                 12.2                          47.5  

Financial Deficits as Percentage of National Income                    1.8                            3.5  

Average Annual Growth Rates of Urban Consumer Prices (%)   4.2                           13.1*  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

*1986-1989  

Source: Ma Bin; JJSHTZBJ No. 4 1992, 21.   

       After his visit to China in 1970s Bettelheim (1974, 64) made the following introduction of China’s price system at that time:  

   

The selling price to the consumers is fixed according to a variety of policies.  

       1.  There is no profit on essential goods; if necessary they are subsidized by the state.  In the case of cereals, for instance, which are under state monopoly, the purchase price from the peasants practically equals the retail price.  This means that the state assumes the cost of marketing, transportation, etc. . . . On the whole, the price  to the consumers of certain essential foods has in recent years been lowered without a decrease in the purchase price from the people’s communes.  The selling price of 50 kg. of rice, for instance, decreased from 17.63 yuan in 1950 to 16.40 yuan in 1970.  Similarly, the purchase price from the people’s communes may be increased without an increase in the selling price to the consumers . . .  

       2.  Products essential to the health of the people are sold at cost price, which means that no profit is made on their sale.  The price of medicine, for instance, has decreased in keeping with reduced cost price.  Thus the price of 200,000 units of penicillin decreased from 2.10 yuan in 1953 to 1.23 yuan in 1970.  When a social need is given priority, price gives way to free distribution, as in the case of birth-control devices.  

       3.  Everyday necessities are cheap, although a profit margin is maintained.  The price of 50 kg. of lump coal, for instance, decreased from 2.80 yuan to 2.50 yuan between 1958 and 1970.  

       4.  In the case of nonessential products (transistor radios, cameras, etc.), the “historically given price” is generally maintained.  Any eventual drop in the cost price of these products serves to increase the social accumulation fund.  

       The main thing is to understand that China’s approach to prices involve not merely policies, but politics--it rests on political and social choices.  

   

       Therefore, inflation is not simply a result of unbalanced aggregate supply and aggregate demand, but the product of certain state policies.  Under the name of the “price reform,” the prices of more and more goods and services are to be determined by the free market.  By 1991 state regulated prices covered only 22 percent of the total sale of agricultural goods, 21 percent of the total retail transaction, and 36.6 percent of the total sale of means of production (ZGJJWT No. 1 1993, 3).  Thus the prices of most goods and services are now regulated by the free market.  This opens the way to more rapid increase of consumer prices, at the expense of the interest of the masses of the lower classes.    

       Cutting social welfare: according to the calculation of the All China Federation of Trade Unions, with the retirement and pension "reform," the health care "reform," and the housing "reform" put into practice, the workers in the state-owned enterprises have to make additional expenditures which amount to 6-7.5 percent of their living expenses (ZGLDKX No. 3 1992, 13).  

       By embezzling state property, that is, in the last analysis, by plundering the broad masses of working people, a small number people have accumulated enormous amount of wealth.  “About 3 percent of China’s population (or 30 million people) belongs to the rich stratum.  Their private savings account for 40 percent of China’s total residential savings, or they have 150 thousand Yuan of saving per head (BJQNB 28 December 1993).”  In 1992 the total financial assets held by the residents in the whole country was 1,800 billion Yuan.  If the “rich stratum” has the same proportion of the total resident-held financial assets as it has that of the total residential savings, that is 40 percent of the total resident-held financial assets, then their private financial assets should amount to 700 billion Yuan.  If we assume that for every year between 1986 and 1993 100 billion Yuan of state property was turned into the private property of the members of the ruling class (this may well be a conservative estimation, recall how much state income has been lost due to Guan Dao--bureaucratic buying and selling, see the above text), then from 1986-1993 they would have accumulated 800 billion Yuan of private wealth.  Apparently the so-called “rich stratum” is mostly composed of the members of the bureaucratic capitalist class.  

       With the development of the capitalist relations of production in China, a small private capitalist class began to emerge in China.  The private capitalist class is not a part of the ruling class.  It does not have political power.  It makes its fortune by exploiting employed labor.  Given the contradiction between the bureaucratic capitalist class and the private capitalist class, can the private capitalist class emerge as a democratic social force?  Can it provide leadership for China’s democratic movement?  

       The following wonderful text appeared in an official academic journal:  

   

The dominant force of a society is not necessarily the class which has the largest number of people.  It is not only the number of people, but also the amount of property that matters.  That is, the number of people must be counted with a weight of property . . . The propertied class who “gets rich first” out of the propertyless class, with its increasing number of people and accumulation of capital, is becoming the main stream of society, the dominant force of society.  This is a good change . . . With the growth of its economic interest, the propertied class will inevitably seek to express its political opinion, to participate in government decision-making through various legislature institutions.  This suggests that the existing constitution is becoming outmoded and the current political structure is to be transformed . . . The propertied class will not disappear again in the Chinese history.  It will influence the coming one thousand years and dominate the coming one hundred years (Gu Wen).  

   

       There is no freedom of speech in China?  Bourgeois democracy--bourgeois dictatorship, is on the author’s lips.  The author is smart enough to invent a conception of “propertied class.”  Who is the “propertied class?”  Is it the bureaucratic capitalist class?  The bureaucratic capitalist class is itself the ruling class, why does it need to “seek to express political opinion?”  The “propertied class,” apparently, refers to the private capitalist class.  Will the private capitalist class “influence the coming one thousand years, and dominate the coming one hundred years?”  This is completely a wishful thinking!  

       First, the private capitalist class is very weak and small.  According to official statistics, in 1990 there were 98,000 private enterprises in China, whose total registered capital amounted to 4.5 billion Yuan (Han Mingxi, preface).  While the official statistics may have substantially underestimated the economic strength of the private capitalist class, given the fact that the bureaucratic capitalist class, which has accumulated hundreds of billions of Yuan of private wealth and controls all the state property, there is no question the economic power of the private capitalist class can hardly match even an odd part of that of the bureaucratic capitalist class.  A class so weak and small as the private capitalist class, wants to become “the main stream of society,” “the dominant force of society?”  What a nonsense it is!  

       True, there is some contradiction between the bureaucratic capitalist class and private capitalist class in the sense that the bureaucratic capitalist class uses political power to pursue monopolistic profit and thus hurts the interest of the private capitalist class.  In this sense, the private capitalist class may have some demand for democracy.  However, compared to the benefit that political dictatorship brings to the private capitalist class, the harm it does to the private capitalist class is not more than a little discount.  Both the private capitalist class and bureaucratic capitalist class are exploiter classes and both make their fortune by oppressing working people.  The lower workers’ wages and benefits, and the longer and more intensify is their work, the better for the capitalists.  And the less power the workers have, the less strength they have in their struggle against the capitalists, the lower their wages and benefits, and the longer and more intensify is their work.  The private capitalist class certainly wants to have political power.  However, if for it to acquire political power, it must allow the working class to have political power too.  This is not a good deal.  The private capitalist class thinks: with democracy, can I get a higher profit rate?  If with democracy, there is not any certainty that the situation will be better, and it may well be much worse, why does the private capitalist class bother itself with such a great upheaval, even rendering the risk of a revolution?  

   

   

The 1989 Revolution  

       Without many times of serious struggles, without cruel and bloody fights, no oppressive society is able to impose its oppression upon the majority people.  The capitalist system is no exception to the rule.  

       While Chinese working people had suffered from a historic defeat in the Cultural Revolution, and the revolutionary socialist solution to China’s social contradictions became an historical impossibility at the time, this by no means suggests that the capitalist “reform” would proceed peacefully and smoothly.  On the contrary, Chinese working people would by no means give up their extensive social and economic rights won by the socialist revolution and allow the ruling class to impose upon them a “normal” oppressive system without serious struggles.  With the progress of the capitalist “reform,” the decade of 1980s saw the continuously growing contradiction between the ruling class and working people, especially, the contradiction between the ruling class and the urban working class, the major beneficiary of the socialist revolution.  

       This contradiction was further intensified by the approaching capitalist economic crisis.  According to official statistics, in 1988, while the average nominal wage of the staff and workers in the whole country increased by 19.7 percent,  the index of the living expenses for the staff and workers in the whole country increased by 20.7 percent (ZGJJNJ 1988).  That is, for the first time in the “reform” period, there was absolute decline of the living standard of working people.  China was on the verge of revolution.  

       To make a successful revolution, there must be a correct and mature revolutionary theory and a clear and coherent revolutionary program, which reflect the interest and desire of the majority people, and thus can effectively mobilize the majority people in the revolutionary struggle.  A revolutionary theory and a revolutionary program like this, were exactly what the 1989 revolution did not have.  

       At the time, the field of ideology was almost completely dominated by the liberal intellectuals.  The leadership of the revolution naturally fell into the hands of the liberal intellectuals.  Why was there not a leftist democratic force composed of revolutionary socialist intellectuals in 1989?  

       In the “democratic wall” movement in Beijing in 1979, most dissident activists were more or less in favor of socialism.  They believed that the problem did not lie in socialism but in the lack of democracy and the lack of genuine socialism.  This movement was soon repressed.  In 1982, among the social science intellectuals there was a controversy on “the problem of humanitarianism and alienation.”  Some intellectuals, based on Marxist ideas, argued that the contemporary Chinese society remained an alienated society.  This point of view was officially declared a variant of “bourgeois liberalization,” that is, declared illegal.  

       A country which claims itself to be a socialist country declares Marxist ideas illegal.  While this sounds ununderstandable, it is quite logical.  The development of the capitalist relations of production requires the ruling class establish new dominant ideology and new apologist theory.  The new apologist theory shall not help people to realize the nature of the oppressive society, let alone inspire people to rebel.  Instead, it must be able to prove that it is right to oppress and it is virtue to exploit.  Only the western capitalist society has a ready-made apologist theory that can serve this purpose.  Thus, the ruling class at first approves tacitly, then encourages, and then actively participates in using western bourgeois social sciences to falsify and fabricate Marxism, and then simply replaces Marxism with western bourgeois social sciences.  

       On the one hand, Marxist ideas are said to be “bourgeois liberalization.”  On the other hand, the official scholars explicitly introduce and advocate bourgeois ideology.  Of course, the ruling class will not accept “total westernization,” but will “discard the dross and select the essence,” based on the consideration of China’s “national circumstances.”  For example, economics is virtually given free hand on its way towards “liberalization.”  For economics directly concerns the relations of production, that is, it is a field where the interest of the ruling class is most incompatible with the existence of Marxism, even the existence of not more than paying lip service.  By comparison, political science and jurist study appear to be more “conservative.”  The slower progress of “liberalization” in political science and jurist study does not prevent the development of the capitalist relations of production.  On the other hand, if the progress is too fast, it may compromise the system of one-party dictatorship.  However, even political science and jurist study must carry out some “reform.”  If in the field of economics there is no longer the conception of “class,” how can you advocate the conception of “class dictatorship” in political science and jurist study?  On the other hand, if bourgeois social sciences can prove that it is right to oppress and exploit, why cannot it be used to prove that it is right to practicing political dictatorship?  For example, new authoritarianism serves this purpose.  With the encouragement and support of the ruling class, a large number of bourgeois social scientists have emerged in China.  The word of “the liberal intellectuals” refers to these people.  Most of them are also official scholars, occupying key positions in academic institutions and various “thinking tanks,” playing important roles in government decision-making.       

       In late 1970s and early 1980s the leftist democratic forces were repressed politically and academically.  To rebuild the revolutionary socialist intellectual force, new revolutionary theories must be developed to reflect the experience of the previous socialist revolutions and to meet the challenge of the liberal intellectuals.  The new revolutionary force also needs new strategies and tactics.  It will take a long time before the new revolutionary socialist force is able to finish these works and to re-emerge as a viable political force.  For China’s revolutionary socialist force, the 1989 revolution came too early, when it was not able to make even the weakest voice.  

       The liberal intellectuals boast that the 1989 revolution was a result of their “enlightenment” movement, that is, their efforts to introduce various western bourgeois liberal theories into China.  In fact, the so called “enlightenment” movement had never had an impact beyond university campus.  A large part of university students did follow the liberal intellectuals and convert to bourgeois liberalism and student movements had repetitively broken out in China’s major universities since mid-1980s.  However, before 1989 these student movements were never responded by the urban workers.  Thus, the fact that in 1989 the event went beyond the narrow limit of student movement and developed into a popular revolution involving the broad masses of working people, certainly cannot be explained by the so called “enlightenment” movement, but has to be explained by the objective intensification of social contradictions.  

       The event began with the student demonstration in April 1989.  Through 1980s university students made up a radical social group.  Capitalist development had by far brought about only limited material benefits to the middle class (the intellectuals, technicians, and managerial workers, etc.).  Nor had it opened as many opportunities as expected for the members of the middle class to rise to the ruling class.  The university students were a part of the middle class.  For those students who had failed in social competition, their way towards the upper society had been blocked, nor would they like to go back to the rank of working people.  Seeing no future, these students had accumulated strong resentments against the existing society and later became the main body of the student movement.  

       In cities, the student movement was immediately supported by the working masses.  But for almost a month it did not become a mass revolutionary movement.  In fact, at a time, it seemed the student movement was coming to an end.  The hunger-strike turned out to be the turning point.  On May 17 millions of people in Beijing came to streets, demonstrating in support of the students in the hunger-strike.  It was by this point the event went beyond the narrow limit of student movement and became a popular revolution involving the broad masses of working people.[11]  While workers had joined the revolution, they did so instinctively and spontaneously, without clear political objectives, without the political leadership of their own, and thus without acting as an unified, organized, and independent political force capable of pursuing their own political interest.  

       Unlike the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the majority of the Chinese population is not composed of the urban working class, but peasants.  While the peasant class is potentially a revolutionary class, it was nonetheless not a revolutionary class in 1989.  

       When the Deng Xiaoping regime came to power in 1979, to consolidate its social base, it took the strategy of making some temporary concessions to the peasants.  The Deng Xiaoping regime carried out the agricultural reform and substantially raised the purchasing prices for agricultural goods.  From 1979-1984, the average purchasing prices for 180 agricultural products had been increased by 24.8 percent (Zhan Hongsong, 119).  In this period, peasants’ income had been increased substantially.  The ratio of the per capita consumption of the urban population to that of the rural population decreased from 2.9:1 in 1978 to 2.2:1 in 1985 (Li Qiang, 113).  We know that under capitalist development, in the long run, the discrepancy between the urban area and the rural area tends to be widened rather than narrowed.  And actually the ratio just mentioned did begin to increase after 1985.  However, by 1989 the contradictions of capitalist development, as far as peasants’ conditions are concerned, had been far from fully developed.  Despite the increasing inequality after mid-1980s, the living conditions of the peasants had definitely improved in 1980s in absolute as well as relative terms.  Thus the peasants were neutralized and could not act as a revolutionary force at the critical time of the 1989 revolution.        

       Without the support of the peasants, the only force on which the revolution could count was the urban working class.  Only the most extensive and most complete mobilization of the urban working class could save the revolution.    

       In some big cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, some workers organized “Workers’ Autonomous Associations (Gong Zi Lian).”  But these associations never gained substantial mass support among workers.  To make things even worse, many so called “Workers’ Autonomous Associations” were soon under the control of the liberal intellectuals, and reduced to bargaining counters in the power struggle in the so called “democratic movement (Min Yun).”  

       But among the workers there was indeed great revolutionary potential.   

       Since the so called “reform” is by nature not more than an effort by the ruling class to consolidate and intensify the oppression and exploitation against the working class by depriving the working class of the extensive social and economic rights it had enjoyed since the victory of the socialist revolution and by establishing “normal” oppressive mechanisms, the “reform” can by no means eliminate the existing social contradictions.  On the contrary it not only intensifies the existing contradictions but also brings about new contradictions.  According to one investigation by the All China Federation of Trade Unions in 1986, with a sample of 450,000 workers, when being asked “how the relationship between the workers and the cadres have changed since the beginning of the reform,” 38.56 percent of the investigated answered “it has become worse,”  31.58 percent answered “there has been no change,” and only 26.37 percent answered “it has become better.”  Some workers said: “what we earn in our work is all taken away by the bureaucrats.  Nowadays the cadre is the cadre and worker is the worker, they are no longer together.”  In a later investigation, some workers said: “in the Maoist era,  the cadres were not to be removed from office (unless they made serious mistakes).  Nevertheless,  they were mostly selfless, were strict with themselves, set themselves as examples, and tried to serve the people.  Nowadays the cadres have a definite term of office and they begin to get money for themselves as soon as they take office.” (Li Qiang, 161, 165, 167)  Thus, the relations between the ruling class and the working class had substantially deteriorated since the beginning of the “reform” and the workers had accumulated enormous resentments against the existing social order.  These resentments could have been translated into great revolutionary energies if there had been a well-prepared political program which was able to express the desire of the working class clearly and powerfully and thus arise extensive and active responses among the masses of workers.          

       However, to do so would be against the logic of the liberal intellectuals.  In fact, the liberal intellectuals shared the same standpoint with the ruling class on the question of “reform.”  Many liberal intellectuals had directly participated in making the “reform” strategies and it was the liberal intellectuals who had laid down the theoretical foundation for the “economic reform.”  What the liberal intellectuals wanted was not to deny the “reform,” nor prevent the “reform” from hurting the working class.  Instead, what they wanted was to carry out the “reform” to the very end.  

       In 1989 most of the liberal intellectuals were explicitly in favor of privatization.  Shi Jie Jing Ji Dao Bao (The World Economic Herald) published many articles advocating thoroughgoing market-oriented reform and privatization.  Some argued for gradual privatization by transforming the state-owned enterprises into “modern” corporations.  Some argued for privatizing the entire state sector at one stroke-- “go over the river at one jump (Yi Tiao Guo He Shi Xian Min Ying Hua).”  Even if these ideas did not immediately arise the suspect and alertness of the working class, they would certainly not be responded by them enthusiastically.  

       The liberal intellectuals were not only unable to mobilize the working class, but actually afraid of doing so.  While the liberal intellectuals never forgot to boost themselves as “democratic fighters,”  nor did they forget even for an minute to claim that they were not at all intended to overthrow the government.  They admired the “Taiwan model,” hoping that the government would make concessions under the pressure of student demonstrations, first allowing free speech, free press, then allowing organizing the opposition party, and gradually moving towards free election of government.  Most of the liberal intellectuals believed that they must rely upon the existing government to carry out the “reform,” whether it was the “economic reform” or the “political reform.”  Without the support of the peasants, nor would they want to mobilize the working class, the liberal intellectuals had no choice but to rely upon the “reformers” in the ruling class.  In fact, for the liberal intellectuals, if the “reformers” could prevail over the “conservatives” in the intra-party power struggle, there would be no need for any more revolutionary movement.        

       In fact none of the “reformist” group or the “conservative” group was more progressive or reactionary than the other.  They were both a part of the ruling class, struggling against each other for power.  Rather than being a progressive group, the “reformers” had closer ties with the parasitic part of the bureaucratic capitalist class, who were the biggest beneficiaries of the capitalist “reform,” enriching themselves by embezzling state property.  Probably for this reason, the “reformers” were more committed to the “reform,” and under some conditions more willing to make compromise with the liberal intellectuals with the expectation of a political alliance with the middle class against the urban working class.   

       In the ruling class, the “reformers” were actually stronger than the “conservatives.”  But the “reformers” themselves were divided on the issue of how to deal with the revolution.  The Zhao Ziyang clique, terrified by the turbulent revolutionary waves, prepared to make compromise with the liberal intellectuals.  But Deng Xiaoping, as the leader of the “reformers,” understood that under the revolutionary situation at the time, any concession might undermine the entire existing system.  Moreover, the revolutionary masses had raised the slogan of “down with Guan Dao (bureaucratic buying and selling--a kind of rent-seeking activity),” directly threatening the fundamental interest of the “reformers.”  Deng Xiaoping also knew that repressing the revolution would not break the political alliance of the ruling class and the middle class.  After teaching the liberal intellectuals and the middle class a lesson, they would rely upon the ruling class even more closely.  The subsequent events proved that Deng Xiaoping was correct on this point.  Only two more years later, after Deng’s visit to southern China in spring 1992,  the liberal intellectuals immediately wrote essays and books, such as Li Shi De Chao Liu (The Trend of History), Fang Zuo Bei Wang Lu (A Memorandum against Leftism), Zhong Guo Zuo Huo (China’s Leftist Disasters), cheering enthusiastically for Deng’s attack on “leftism” and insistence on “reform,” forgetting everything in 1989.  

       At the critical moment of the revolution, it was exactly the “reformers” who sold out the liberal intellectuals.  The Zhao Ziyang clique handed out power without making any resistance.  At this moment, both the revolutionary side and the counter-revolutionary side had no room to retreat and must determine their destiny with a decisive battle.  However, even at this moment, the liberal intellectuals still had illusions of the “reformers.”  They insisted on the principle of “peace, rationality, and non-violence,” forbidding the masses of people to rebel.  They only wanted to exercise some “pressure” on the government, throwing all of their hope on the “reformers.”  After May 20, when the Martial Law was declared, the opposition raised the slogan of “down with Li Peng!” but never attacked  Deng Xiaoping.   At the moment when the revolution and the counter-revolution were in a decisive battle, they did not go out to organize the revolutionary force, preparing for the life-and-death struggle, but spent all of their time and energy in collecting the signatures of the members of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, asking for calling an emergency meeting  


 

 of the National People’s Congress,[12] as if they were playing children’s games.  The political cowardice and foolishness of the liberal intellectuals were completely exposed in the 1989 revolution.  

       The 1989 revolution and the repression of the revolution proved that capitalism, as an oppressive social system, is by nature against democracy.  Only with violence and force, after cruel and bloody struggles, could the capitalist oppressive order be imposed upon working people, and was the way towards capitalist development paved.  

   

   

The Struggle against “Breaking the Three-Irons”  

       In the 1989 revolution, the working class was defeated politically.  However, the ruling class had not yet won a complete victory as far as the capitalist “reform” was concerned and the capitalist relations of production had not yet been completely established in the state-owned enterprises.  In 1992 the ruling class tried to complete the capitalist transformation of the state-owned enterprises once-for-all by “breaking the three-irons (the iron rice bowl, the iron wage, and the iron chair of the cadre).”  This effort, nevertheless, was met with the strong resistance of the working class and ended with failure.  

In early 1992 the idea of “breaking the three-irons” was unanimously supported by the press in this country.  For a time the cry of “breaking the three-irons” and “reforming the system” was heard all over the country.  However, a series of troublesome problems soon emerged.  The most radical reactions came from the fired workers.  The workers in the state-owned factories had got the idea and psychology that they were entitled to rely and depend upon the factories (where they worked), and they were not to be separated from the factories, the idea and psychology that had been established for a long time.  Thus, when they suddenly knew they were fired, they were really shocked.  Some of them made radical reactions.  For instance, in March 1992, a factory in Tianjin, which had suffered heavy losses, dismissed more than one thousand workers.  In response, more than two thousand workers of the factory and their relatives rallied at a highway intersection bridge, and a branch of the round-Tianjin-city highway was totally paralyzed.  In spring 1992, many big and medium-sized state-owned enterprises in Northeast China tried to carry out the policy of “breaking the three-irons.”  Many workers were faced with unemployment.  Many of them were not accustomed to the conditions of being fired, being unemployed, having payment reduced, and living on relieves and had got a great deal of resentments.  Some resorted to extreme and violent measures to retaliate the factory leaders.  In Jinzhou city, Qinhuangdao city, and Hefei city accidents happened one after another, in which workers whose “iron rice bowls” were broken retaliated against the factory directors or managers.  In this case, the movement of “breaking the three-irons” had to end up silently (Li Qiang, 150).                

   

       The ruling class’s effort of “breaking the three-irons” was thus defeated by the working class.  However, as the experience of the 1989 revolution has suggested, without a mature revolutionary socialist party directed by a scientific revolutionary theory, the working class by itself is not able to act as an independent political force and win the struggle for liberation.  Without such a revolutionary party, the working class has so far only been able to make their struggles against capitalist oppression and exploitation defensively and passively.  Consequently, the ruling class, with all the initiatives in its hand, has been able to keep making progress in the project of the capitalist “reform” and of depriving the working class of the extensive social and economic rights brought about by the socialist revolution, though at a pace much slower than the “reformers” have expected.  To reverse this trend, and to turn the current passive, scattered struggles into an active, unified revolutionary movement with a real positive prospect, a revolutionary socialist party with the direction of a scientific revolutionary theory must be developed as soon as possible.    

   

The Middle Class  

       The middle class is an important force in Chinese politics.  

       Marx (1967, 601) said: “The more a ruling class is able to assimilate the foremost minds of a ruled class, the more stable and dangerous becomes its rule.”  No ruling class in any historical era can be freed from being corrupted by its own way of living.  If the ruling class only recruits its successors from its own descendants, it will not be long before it loses the ability to rule.   For a ruling class to sustain its own rule, it must often recruit the outstanding figures of the oppressed classes into its own rank.  

       The development of modern education allows the ruling class to systematically select the outstanding figures of the oppressed classes, who make up the modern middle class.  The members of the middle class participate in social administration and are prepared to join the rank of the ruling class. On the one hand, the middle class is a middle step for those from the lower classes who want to get up into the upper class.  On the other hand, it acts as the reserve army of the ruling class.  According to official statistics, in 1990 China had “ordinary cadres” 10.91 million, and in 1987 China had “intellectuals,” referring to the people who had had higher education, 6.59 million (Li Qiang, 231, 279).  The actual scale of the Chinese middle class in late 1980s and early 1990s should be between the two numbers.  

      The middle class is distinguished from the urban petty bourgeoisie.  The petty bourgeois has his or her own means of production, relying mainly upon family labor or only employing very few workers to make a living or earn a meager profit.  In China the urban petty bourgeoisie is mainly made up of Ge Ti Hu (Individual business or self-employed laborers).  In 1990 there were 6.71 million urban self-employed laborers (Li Qiang, 322).  By comparison, the middle class members do not have means of production.  They belong to the so-called “wage and salary stratum” and make their living by selling their labor power.  However, unlike the working class, the middle class sells a special kind of labor power, the labor power which embodies scientific and technological knowledge.  With their special labor power, the middle class is thus separated from ordinary working people and become a part of the privileged classes.  Some individual members of the petty bourgeoisie may rise to the private capitalist class.  But the petty bourgeoisie as whole cannot act as the reserve army of the ruling class.  For the administration of the modern society requires specialized scientific knowledge which only the members of the middle class who have had regular modern education are equipped with.   

       The official scholars do not admit that the middle class is a privileged class.  In 1980s Nao Ti Dao Gua (low pay for mental labor, high pay for physical labor) was once a quite popular topic among the official scholars.  But even according to their calculation, in 1988 in Beijing, the average income of the “mental laborers” was only 5.8 percent lower than that of the “physical laborers (Li Qiang, 261).”  This calculation did not include the peasants, nor did it take into account the various material privileges of the middle class, such as better housing provided by the government and more chances to go abroad and thus earn higher income in foreign countries.  

       The official scholars explicitly reject Engels’s point of view-- “In a society organized on socialist principles, the expenses that have been spent on training knowledgeable workers are afforded by society.  Thus, the result of the more complicated labor, that is, the larger value created also belongs to society.”[13]  They misrepresent the labor theory of value, saying: “The knowledgeable labor or the complicated labor can create more value than the simple labor.  Therefore, the price of the knowledgeable labor power shall be determined by the (larger) value it creates (Li Qiang, 266).”  

       The official scholars do not understand that “value” is not something that exists in an abstract world, but always exists in certain concrete social relations and historical conditions.  Without the historical conditions in which “value” arises, the labor theory of value can tell us nothing of the really existing society.  In a capitalist society, the price of labor power is determined by market supply and market demand.  As we have known, the labor power of the members of the middle class, is a special kind of labor power, the labor power that embodies scientific and technological knowledge.  This kind of labor power cannot be produced and reproduced by the families of ordinary working people, but has to be produced by regular educational institutions.  But in a capitalist society, it is actually a social privilege to have higher education.  With this privilege the members of the middle class actually have monopolistic control over society’s science, arts, and culture, and consequently the supply of the special “knowledgeable labor power.”  As the private land owners can charge rent for their land property, the members of the middle class can earn monopolistic income by selling their special labor power.  But all of these depend upon the capitalist social relations, and are by no means naturally “rational and just” arrangements.  

       In fact, in the “reform” period, with the development of the capitalist relations of production, rather than exploiting the great creative potential of the working masses, the ruling class has increasingly relied upon the middle class to perform specialized administration and promote technological progress.  Consequently, the economic conditions of the members of the middle class have been substantially improved.  By the early 1990s the so-called Nao Ti Dao Gua has been clearly reversed (see TABLE 2.2).  

   

TABLE 2.2  

Month Income of the Staff and Workers of the State-Owned Enterprises, July 1992 (Yuan)  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Service Personnel                                                                                    193.5  

Auxiliary Production Workers                                                                 224.5  

Direct Production Workers                                                                      226.3  

Ordinary Administrative Cadres                                                               237.3  

Middle Administrative Cadres                                                                  237.3  

Higher Administrative Cadres                                                                  278.0  

Technical Personnel                                                                                 281.0  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Source: Li Qiang, 262  

   

       The middle class is not a part of the ruling class.  However, as the reserve army of the ruling class, the middle class often sees the world as if it were the ruling class of the future, the ruling class in reserve.  This perspective of the world is represented theoretically and politically by the liberal intellectuals.  On the other hand, in a capitalist society, the positions of the members of the middle class are very contradictory and far from being stable.  They can never escape social competition and in competition there must be losers.  Capitalism can never allow all or most of the members of the middle class to realize their “personal value.”  The following paragraph is from a letter written to me by one of my friends in Shenzhen:  

   

Yesterday I met a man who was going to stay in the hotel where I work.  He graduated from the Economic Management Department of the Southern China Scientific and Technological University.  He is now the workshop manager of the Xiwei factory . . . We talked for a couple hours.  He said sometimes he thought of death.  Death is the best way to be released.  He administers over 1,000 workers, with an admirable pay of more than three thousand Yuan a month.   However, he works day after day throughout a year.  He is never allowed to leave work on Sundays.  He works 12 hours a day and after work he has no reliable friends to talk to.  Many of his classmates have got rich.  He does not want to contact them for he will feel embarrassed.  He said he had become apathetic to everything . . . In Shenzhen everyone wears a mask in life.  For example, for business, he has to accompany some people to have Kala OK, so that those people can have fun; and in front of workers, he has to appear to be tough . . .     

   

      

   

CHAPTER III   

FROM THE COOPERATIVE   

AGRICULTURE TO THE PETTY PEASANT ECONOMY  

   

   

       In this chapter we will discuss the evolution of the relations of production in the agricultural sector after the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  The post-revolutionary Chinese economy remained a dualistic economy, that is, an economy divided into a modern economic sector and a pre-modern agricultural sector.  Nevertheless, with the accomplishment of the land reform and the elimination of the pre-capitalist exploiter classes, the preconditions for modern economic development in China were prepared and consequently the modern economic sector began to play an increasingly dominant role in the Chinese economy.  On the other hand, any further advance of the agricultural productive forces and relations of production would have to depend upon the material conditions which were to be provided by the modern economic sector.  Thus from then on it is the development of the modern economic sector, and in the term of class struggle, the struggle between the ruling class and the working class in the modern economic sector, that would have a decisive impact on China’s social development.  It is within this context that the evolution of the relations of production in the agricultural sector is to be analyzed and understood.  

   

   

The Cooperative Agriculture  

Why the Cooperative Agriculture?  

       As early as in 1943 Mao pointed out:  

   

Among the peasant masses for several thousand years the individual economy has prevailed with one family, one household, as the economic unit.  This kind of dispersed individual economy is the basis for feudal control and causes the peasants themselves to succumb to permanent impoverishment.  The only method to overcome such a situation is to gradually collectivize, and the only road to achieve collectivization, as Lenin said, is through cooperatives ( see Selden, 1993, 71).   

   

       Therefore, in Mao’s opinion, as long as the Chinese agriculture is dominated by the petty peasant economy, there is no way for the peasants to be freed from “permanent impoverishment” and to be really liberated form “feudal control” or other forms of class oppression.  

       In mid-1950s, in the debate on agricultural cooperatization, Mao made following arguments.  First, Mao argued that only with the cooperative agriculture, could the Chinese agriculture go beyond the small-scale individual farming, effectively fight natural calamities, make full use of modern agricultural technologies, and thus reach a qualitatively higher level of productive forces.  

   

These comrades fail to understand that socialist industrialization cannot be carried out in isolation from the co-operative transformation of agriculture . . . as every one knows, China’s current level of production of commodity grain and raw materials for industry is low, whereas the state’s need for them is growing year by year, and this presents a sharp contradiction.  If we cannot basically solve the problem of agricultural co-operation within roughly three five-year plans, that is to say, if our agriculture cannot make a leap from small-scale farming with animal-drawn farm implements to large-scale mechanized farming, along with extensive state-organized reclamation by settlers using machinery . . . then we shall fail to resolve the contradiction between the ever-increasing need for commodity grain and industrial raw materials and the present generally low output of staple crops, and we shall run into formidable difficulties in our socialist industrialization and be unable to complete it (Mao, 1977a, 196).  

   

       Secondly, Mao argued:  

   

What exists in the countryside today is capitalist ownership by the rich peasants and a vast sea of ownership by individual peasants.  As is clear to everyone, the spontaneous forces of capitalism have been steadily growing in the countryside in recent years, with new peasants springing up everywhere and many well-to-do middle peasants striving to become rich peasants.  On the other hand, many poor peasants are still living in poverty for shortage of the means of production, with some getting into debt and others selling or renting out their land.  If this tendency goes unchecked, it is inevitable that polarization in the countryside will get worse day by day . . . There is no solution to this problem except on a new basis.  And that means to bring about, step by step, the socialist transformation of the whole of agriculture together with socialist industrialization and the socialist transformation of handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce; in other words, it means to carry out co-operation and eliminate the rich peasant economy and the individual economy in the countryside so that all the rural people will become increasingly well off together (Mao, 1977a, 201).  

   

       Therefore, after the land reform, new contradictions began to arose.  On the one hand, while the socialist industrialization needed more and more agricultural products, any qualitative advance of agricultural production was no longer possible within the limit of the petty peasant economy under its traditional conditions.  On the other hand, the capitalist social relations and social polarization began to develop in the countryside, and these tendencies were inherent in the petty peasant economy.  In this case, agricultural cooperatization became inevitable for it provided the only possible solution to both contradictions.  The question is while agriculture cooperatization was inevitable, whether the historical conditions for the successful development of the socialist cooperative agriculture had been prepared in China at that time.   

   

The Failure of the Cooperative Agriculture  

       In the opinion of the official scholars, the cooperative agriculture is a ridiculous system which is against human nature as well as economic science, and thus must be rejected altogether.  

   

“Go to work like a swarm of bees, work together like a tumultuous crowd, and everyone gets the same points.”  This the way in which the production team (of the people’s commune) works.  This way of work and distribution naturally encourages people to be lazy.  

   

Human beings are heterogeneous.  Everyone has a different schedule of time preference and different attitudes towards work.  Even if with some common belief, or in response to some temporary need, people can set up some kind of on-the-same-boat cooperative relations.  This kind of relations will in no way last for a long time.  For collective work requires supervision, and supervision is not costless.  If supervision is too expensive, it becomes a kind of luxury that people cannot afford and some ambiguity of property right has to be allowed to save the cost of supervision.  But giving up supervision will lead to lower incentives of work and the “free rider” behaviors will become a common problem.  This will also lead to less production.  Agricultural work is dispersed in wide-spread area.  The supervision of agricultural work is thus very difficult or very expensive . . . even if there is the potential of economy of scale, it is more than offset by the inadequate incentives (Cai Fang, 14, 97).  

       True, human beings are “heterogeneous.”  But this is not the point.  The point is that the modern agricultural production objectively requires collective and cooperative work of many workers, whether they are “homogeneous” or “heterogeneous.”  Under the capitalist agriculture, the relations between the workers and the capitalist are not only “heterogeneous” but actually antagonistic.  The capitalist agriculture certainly needs supervision, and the supervision is certainly very expensive, given the fact that the workers, being oppressed and exploited, will by no means self-consciously work for the capitalist enthusiastically and responsibly.  Despite this, and despite the fact that “agricultural work is dispersed in wide-spread area,” there is no question that the capitalist agriculture is qualitatively superior to the petty peasant economy.  

       A question is thus raised: if under the socialist cooperative agriculture, where the workers have collective control over production, and work for their own collective interest rather than be exploited by the capitalist, and consequently they will certainly work more enthusiastically and responsibly than the workers under the capitalist agriculture, and consequently for the socialist cooperative agriculture to work, it certainly need much less cost of supervision than the capitalist agriculture, and if the capitalist agriculture, despite its very expensive supervision, is qualitatively superior to the petty peasant economy, why cannot the socialist cooperative agriculture work, and work much better than the petty peasant economy?  

       On the other hand, this suggests that the success of the socialist cooperative agriculture depends on two important conditions.  First, the cooperative agriculture must based on the genuine socialist relations of production, that is, working people’s control over production.  Secondly, it must be based on modern agricultural technologies and equipments, which are the material foundation of the superiority of the cooperative agriculture over the petty peasant economy.  

       As for the first condition, as we have known, in 1950s China did not yet have the material conditions for the elimination of the division of mental labor and physical labor, and consequently, the material conditions for the establishment of the socialist social relations.  As a result, a new bureaucratic ruling class took shape overtime.  In this case, the agricultural cooperatization, while indispensable for preventing capitalist development and social polarization in the countryside, had to be carried out from up to down, in a largely bureaucratic way, rather than relying upon the initiatives and creativity of the masses of peasants.  

       On the other hand, while the agricultural cooperatization did open the possibility for qualitative progress of China’s agricultural productive forces, the progress that would never have been achieved under the traditional petty peasant economy, by the end of the Maoist era China did not yet have the material conditions to complete the modernization of the agriculture and the Chinese agriculture remained by and large a pre-modern sector.  

       In this case, the fate of the cooperative agriculture and the socialist transformation of China’s countryside was not to be determined by the political, economic, and social conditions in the countryside itself, but was to be determined by the general trend of class struggle and the evolution of the relations of production in the entire society, which were in turn determined by the trend of class struggle and the evolution of the relations of production in China’s modern economic sector, the more advanced and increasingly dominant economic sector.  It was not until the failure of the Cultural Revolution, with the rule of the bureaucratic class consolidated and the revolutionary socialist solution to China’s social contradictions excluded, that the possibility of building the genuine socialist cooperative agriculture was completely eliminated.  

   

   

The Heritage of the Cooperative Agriculture  

       In the opinion of the official scholars and bourgeois economists, China’s agriculture cooperative agriculture was a sheer failure and must be completely denied as a strategy of agricultural development.  According to Selden (1993,16):  

   

One vital indicator of the kind of fundamental problem that deepened through the period of collective mobilization is given by aggregate information about foodgrain output and consumption . . . per capita foodgrain production and nutrient availability peaked in 1955-1956, then dropped sharply after 1958 . . . Despite substantial famine-induced deaths, beginning in 1959 and continuing for three years, per capita food production did not regain precollectivization levels until the mid-1970s, and it was not until 1980 that nutrient availability slightly surpassed mid-1950s’ levels . . . at the most basic level of food consumption, twenty-five years of collective agriculture brought no gain.  

   

       While the cooperative agriculture failed to bring about higher per capita food production, it should be pointed out that from 1958-1978 the Chinese population had increased by 300 million, while the arable land decreased by 8 million mu[14] every year.  In this case the very fact that China had managed to feed 22 percent of world’s population with only 7 percent of world’s arable land is a great achievement.  In 1976, China’s food production per mu was 491 jin[15], while the U.S.’s was 417 jin, Canada’s was 303 jin, France’s was 452 jin, Italy’s was 434 jin.  They were all lower than China’s, which was only lower than Japan’s, which was 788.6 jin, No.1 in the world.  

       Among China’s 1.5 billion mu of arable land, 1.1 billion mu grew food crops, and among the 1.1 billion mu, 500 million mu were marginal land that would not have been cultivated in other countries, including 50 million mu of salinized land, 80 million mu of waterlogged lowland, and 300 million mu of hillside lean land.  Japan’s 788.6 jin was achieved on 44.4 million mu of arable land.  In the same year in China, there were 197 counties, with a total of 68.6 million mu of arable land, that had achieved more than 1,000 jin of food production per mu.  In this respect, China’s cooperative agriculture was not inferior to the agriculture of any other country (Fang Yuan, 52).     

       To know whether a kind of relations of production is more advanced or not, we must see not only whether it has brought about quantitative growth of production in the short-period, but more importantly whether it allows the development of qualitatively more advanced productive forces.  Despite the great cost and excesses of the bureaucratic agricultural collectivization, it nonetheless went beyond the narrow limit of the petty peasant economy and brought about fundamental transformation of the Chinese agriculture.   

       According to Meng Fanqi (one of the few official agricultural economists who have some sympathy towards the cooperative agriculture), it was in the period between 1958 and 1978 that the Chinese agriculture “entered the stage of being transformed into the modern agriculture.”  It was in this period that the infrastructure and the technological conditions of the Chinese agriculture had experienced unprecedented development:  

   

(1)Substantial progress had been made in agricultural mechanization.  From 1958-1978 the total power of agricultural machinery equipments had increased at an average annual rate of 24.34 percent.  (2)The major rivers were brought under control.  Large-area irrigation networks, well irrigation, machine irrigation, and electronic irrigation were developed.  From 1952-1971 irrigated area increased form 20 percent to 78 percent of the total area of arable land.  And as a result, multiple crop index increased from 130 to 185.  

(3)Many good varieties of crops were bred and propagated in large area.  A large and complete system to propagate agriculture science and technologies had been established.  

   

According to some western experts who visited China at that time:  

   

[I]t was the firm view of peasants that without this new form of extensive farming [communes] they could never have dealt with the exigencies of the natural disasters (Stavrianos, 607).  

   

Today the Chinese agriculture is much less influenced by the climate than in the past.  This is not because the central government has made large investment in large-scale water conservancy projects and irrigation works, but a result of the many small works built by communes by mobilizing surplus labor force in the idle season of agricultural production (Wilber, 332).       

   

       Without the construction of infrastructure and the great progress of agricultural technologies under the cooperative agriculture, there would never have been the “agricultural miracle” in the “reform” period.  

       By late 1970s some successful cooperatives began to embark on the way of agricultural modernization.  When Hinton went back to Long Bow village in Shanxi province in 1978, he found:  

   

In 1978, Long Bow villagers had begun the mechanization of almost 200 acres of corn with a collection of scrounged, tinkered, and homemade equipment that did everything from spreading manure to tilling land, planting seed, killing weeds, picking ears, drying kernels, and augering the kernels into storage.  The twelve members of the machinery team multiplied labor productivity by a factor of fifteen while cutting the cost of raising grain almost in half (Hinton, 1990, 15).  

   

   

   

Back to the Petty Peasant Economy  

       In the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the collective agriculture was largely built upon modern agricultural technologies and was apparently superior to the petty peasant economy.  Therefore, in these countries, the agricultural privatization was firmly opposed by the peasants and agricultural workers.  

       On the other hand, when the Deng Xiaoping regime began the economic “reform,” the Chinese agriculture remained by and large a pre-modern sector.  Given the prevailing pre-modern agricultural technological conditions, and given the consolidation of the rule of the bureaucratic class and the impossibility for working people to exercise control over production, de facto privatization became the only solution to China’s agricultural problems.    

       Unlike in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, in China the agricultural privatization was to some extent welcomed by the peasants.  But this fact would not change the fundamental nature of the entire “reform.”  For as a result of the “reform,” the Chinese agriculture was back to the petty peasant economy, the nature and the tendency of development of which, being a backward, pre-modern economic sector, were not determined by itself, but subject to the nature and the tendency of development of the modern economic sector.  In this case, it was the urban “reform” or the industrial “reform” that would determine the fundamental nature of the entire “reform” and consequently the long-term conditions of life (distinguished from the initial and immediate results of the agricultural “reform”) of the peasants.  

   

   

The Petty Peasant Economy and Agricultural Stagnation  

       The performance of the Chinese agriculture was indeed great in the first few years of the agricultural “reform.”  From 1978-1984, China’s total agricultural product increased at an average annual rate of 7.6 percent, and the food production increased at an average annual rate of 5.0 percent.  By 1984 per capita food production reached the record level of 390 kilograms, approaching the world average level, and the long-term food shortage was substantially alleviated (Feng Haifa, 115, 119).   In the opinion of the official scholars, the “unusual growth” of the Chinese agriculture was mainly a result of the “reform.”  “The agricultural reform had made substantial contribution to the growth of (agricultural) output from 1978-1984.  The change of productivity due to various kinds of reform contributed to 48.64 percent of the growth of output (Lin Yifu, 95).”  

       According to the official scholars, the initial success of the agricultural “reform” demonstrates:  

   

Family farming is the most appropriate form of operation in agriculture which does not have significant economy of scale . . . (Under family farming,) the labor force is mainly composed of the members of a family, land and capital are allocated within the scope of a family, and direct producers are also operators.  This is the typical level of property operation in agriculture.  At this level of property operation, great economic efficiency can be achieved in agriculture.  

   

For the official scholars, “family farming” appears to be the perfect example of “unambiguous property.”  Their worship of “family farming” has become so absolute and blind, that they simply deny there is economy of scale in agriculture:  

   

   

In agriculture, land is divisible, various flowing inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds are divisible, and even tractors are divisible in the sense that we can produce tractors with small-size and smaller horse power . . . Therefore, in agriculture, the factors of production are not really indivisible, and there is not significant economy of scale (Cai Fang, 97, 101, 108).   

   

The official scholars forget to mention that to make tractors more “divisible,” the cost of production (relative to productive capability) has to be increased.  

       The official scholars refer to the experience of Japan and Taiwan where agricultural modernization is said to have been achieved on the basis of family farming.  But in fact, the experience of Japan and Taiwan is more an evidence of the failure of family farming, despite using some modern technologies, than that of  its success.  The Japanese and Taiwanese agriculture are so inefficient that they cannot survive without enormous government subsidies.  In Taiwan, before 1970 95 percent of agricultural products were self-sufficient.  After 1970 the self-sufficient ratio dropped to 90 percent.  The Japanese government spends 1,000 billion Yen to subsidize the rice production every year.  However, this cannot prevent the self-sufficiency ratio of agricultural products from dropping from 87 percent in 1955 to 72 percent in 1980 (Fang Yuan, 68; Meng Fanqi, 69)   

       According to Meng Fanqi (57):  

   

If we fail to choose the proper form of operation in agriculture, given the ability of the small-scale operation to accommodate certain factors of production and technologies, even with very high level of economic development, it is very difficult to adopt advanced means of production to realize the optimized composition of factors of production, and to achieve the corresponding technical efficiency and economy of scale.  Given the opportunity cost of live labor . . . the total cost of operation per mu decreases with the growth of the scale of operation.  The two are significantly negatively correlated.  In essence it reflects the increasing optimization of the composition of factors of production as a result of the constant upgrading of the means of production.  

   

Therefore, there is significant economy of scale in agriculture, like in other economic sectors.  The petty peasant economy, rather than being “a level of property operation” where “great economic efficiency can be achieved in agriculture,” is subject to great limitations, and unable to “realize the optimal composition of factors of production, and achieve the corresponding technical efficiency and economy of scale.”  

       We need to make some detail analysis of the reasons for the “unusual growth” of agriculture between 1978-1984, to see whether and to what extent the “reform” had contributed to the agricultural growth in these years.  Without nation-wide materials, we will mainly rely upon some case studies.  

       Fengyang county, Anhui province, is among the counties that first adopted the family contract system (Bao Chan Dao Hu).  In 1977 the total food production of Fengyang county was 182.9 thousand tons, the highest in the pre-reform years.  In 1979 Fengyang county adopted the group contract system (Bao Chan Dao Zu), and the food production in that year was 223.5 thousand tons.  In 1980 Fengyang county adopted the family contract system and the food production was increased to 255 thousand tons.     

   

During each crop season after 1979 the peasants got up earlier, worked harder, stayed longer in the fields than before and they accomplished each day much more than they ever had since pooling their land in 1956 . . . “In our cooperative days,” said Yang Chiangli, “we used to work all day, every day, year-in and year-out, but we got almost nothing done--work a little, take a break, work a little more, take another break.  We felt harassed and we produced very little.  What we were doing look like work but in fact we were stalling around.  Now we make every minute count.  Our labor produces results.  We earn a good living and we have time on our hands, lots of time (Hinton, 1990, 53).”  

   

Thus, the family contract system did have released the productive initiatives of peasants.  But to achieve a high level of production, it requires not only certain level of initiatives of producers, but also certain material conditions.  The most important crop of Fengyang county was rice.  Rice requires water.  About half of the water came from the large-scale irrigation works built by the mass movement of 1950s.  If there had not been these irrigation works, the rice field would not have been irrigated, nor could the new hybrid seed, which had played a crucial role in the increase of the food production, have been used (Hinton, 1990, 58).  

       The case of Fengyang county represents to a large extent the general conditions in the country.  Most of the water conservancy works in the country were built under the cooperative agriculture.  Without the large-scale capital accumulation and the construction of infrastructure under the cooperative agriculture, it is absolutely impossible for the Chinese agriculture in the initial years of the “reform” to have anything like the “unusual growth.”  As a result of the “reform,” peasants were better motivated for production, and the productive potential of the infrastructure built under the cooperative agriculture could be fully released.  In this sense, the “unusual growth,” rather than being the evidence of the efficiency of family farming, was indeed a proof of the superiority of the cooperative agriculture.  If the “unusual growth” was actually a result of the large-scale capital accumulation and the construction of infrastructure under the cooperative agriculture, for the momentum of agricultural growth to be sustained, there must be new large-scale capital accumulation and construction of infrastructure.  However, as a result of the “reform,” the Chinese agriculture was back to the petty peasant economy, which not only cannot make any further large-scale capital accumulation and construction of infrastructure, but actually leads to regression of China’s agricultural productive forces (see TABLE 3.1).       

   


 

   

TABLE 3.1  

Regression of China’s Agricultural Productive Forces in the “Reform” Period  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

                                          1979                            1987  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

1,000,000 hectare  

Areas Under Irrigation                                 45.003                                    44.403                           Areas Under Mechanized Irrigation             25.321                                    24.825           

Areas Under Mechanized Ploughing            42.219                                    38.393  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Source: Liu, 1988, 38.  

   

       Since the liquidation of the cooperatives, construction of water conservancy works has almost ceased completely.  The agricultural technology-propagating system has no way to deal with the millions of small-scale, individually operating family farms.  And the petty peasant economy, with its tendency of self-sufficiency, does not have a strong demand for new technologies.  In this case, the agricultural technology-propagating system is paralyzed, the propagation networks have been broken, and the technicians and workers are left idle (Meng Fanqi, 57).  

       On the other hand, according to William Hinton, “The reforms dealt mechanization a staggering blow.”  In Long Bow village, Shanxi province, under the cooperative agriculture, the villagers had made substantial progress in agricultural mechanization in the late 1970s.  

But when the reform, offering subsistence plots to all and contract parcels to the land hungry, broke the fields into myriad small pieces, comprehensive mechanization gave way perforce to intermittent plowing and planting.  This left the peasants no alternative but to abandon most of their advanced equipment and reactivate their hoes.  When the bank asked for its loan money back the village head said “take the machinery.”  But the bank never found a buyer, so to this day the manure spreaders, the smoothing harrows, the sprayers, the sprinkle irrigation sets, the corn pickers, and the grain dryers lie rusting in the machinery yard, mute testimony to a bygone--or is it a bypassed?--era (Hinton, 1990, 15).  

   

Of the 10,000 villages in Heilongjiang, only 181 retained collective control over machinery, that is, collective ownership and management.  Twenty percent contracted their machinery to private operators and the rest, over 80 percent sold the machinery outright at sacrifice prices to those with an inside track--such as brigade leaders, their relatives, and friends.  On the average the machinery brought only about one-third of its original price.  If one assumes that depreciation had already exhausted a third of the value then the machinery sold at half price.  However you figure it, it was a great rip-off of collective wealth, a major giveaway, and those who bought the machinery, having got it at such cheap prices, were often unprepared to pay for major repairs when the time came for that.  They used the machinery, mainly tractors, plows, and a few combines, until the time came for repairs, then they abandoned it.  

   

After reform most machinery did only a portion of the work it had done before.  In almost every case the sales broke up implement sets so that the new owners could not contract any whole job, any whole crop sequence.  One operator could plow for a peasant producer, another could harrow or plant, still a third might harvest, but no operator brought a complete set of crop production equipment.  Thus utilization fell off sharply (Hinton, 1990, 103-104).  

   

   

       On the other hand, with land contracted to families, and with continuous growth of the rural population, the arable land tends to be unlimitedly divided into increasingly smaller pieces.  In 1986 the arable land per rural family in the country was 9.2 mu, and in average every family had 8.49 pieces of land.  That means in average every piece of land was only 1.02 mu, or 14.23 percent of the arable land per rural family of some selected Asian and African countries in 1960 (Cai Fang, 99, 102).  And in 1991 the arable land per rural family in the country was 13 percent less than in 1986 (ZGNCJJ No.5 1993, 6).  The arable land has been divided into so small pieces, that even the rational operation of the traditional small-scale farming is impossible, not say anything about the large-scale operation of the modern agriculture.  

       The petty peasant economy is by nature a primitive, backward mode of production.  It can neither carry out large-scale capital accumulation and construction of infrastructure, not accommodate modern productive forces.  In the short run, by providing better motivations than the bureaucratic collective agriculture, it could bring about quantitative increase of agricultural production.  But the quantitative increase was based on the qualitatively more advanced productive forces created under the cooperative agriculture.  In the long run, the petty peasant economy will not only fail to create more advanced productive forces, but be unable to preserve the productive forces left over by the cooperative agriculture.  After the productive capability left over by the cooperative agriculture is exhausted, the Chinese agriculture will be irretrievably on the decline.   

        In 1985, China’s food production was 30 million tons less than in the last year.  From 1984-1993 the total food production increased at an average annual rate of only 1.3 percent, and per capita food production dropped from 390 kilograms to 380 kilograms (ZGNYJJTJZL 1991, 32-33; BJRB 7 February 1994).  The “unusual growth” is bygone, and the Chinese agriculture has entered long-term stagnation.  

   

   

Capitalism and the Petty Peasant Economy  

       Unlike the capitalist exploitation of the working class, the capitalist exploitation of peasants, happens not in production but in circulation.  

       In a society where the capitalist relations of production dominate, but the petty peasant economy prevails in agriculture, there will be the price scissors between agricultural and industrial products.  That is, whenever there is exchange between agricultural and industrial products, the industrial sectors gains at the expense of the agricultural sector.  This is because the industrial products are produced by the capitalist sector and thus sold at prices reflecting their labor value and the agricultural products are produced by the petty peasants and thus can only sold at prices that cover the value of labor power rather than the labor value.  If the petty peasants’ income is higher  than their value of labor power, the labor force will flow from the capitalist sector into the agricultural sector, until the income of the petty peasants is lower than the value of labor power.  Thus, the peasants can never get the full labor value of their products.  Through the price scissors, the capitalist class can not only directly exploit the working class who does not own means of production, but also indirectly exploit the peasants who apparently own some means of production.   

       But this mode of exploitation is in contradiction with the requirements of capitalist economic development.  First, capitalist economic development requires constant increase of agricultural labor productivity, which is in contradiction with the petty peasant economy which prevents the adoption of modern agricultural technologies and thus prevents the increase of agricultural labor productivity.  

       We use the following two formulas to represent the capitalist sector and the petty peasant agricultural sector:  

   

       p = pk + pk" +l  

       p" = wl"  

   

where p is the price for a unit of capitalist product, k is the means of production produced by the capitalist sector and consumed to produce a unit of capitalist product, k" is the means of production produced by the agricultural sector and consumed to produce a unit of capitalist product, l is the amount of labor consumed to produce a unit of capitalist product, p" is the price for a unit of agricultural product, w is the nominal wage for a unit of labor, and l" is the amount of labor consumed to produce a unit of agricultural product.  Here for simplicity we assume that the production of agricultural goods does not consume any means of production.  

       If we use r to represent the profit rate of the capitalist sector, and u to represent one, then we have:  

   

                        p  

       u + r = -----------------  

                   pk + pk" + wl  

   


 

   

                                    wl"k" + l  

                                    -----------  

                                         u-k  

                    = -------------------------------  

                        (wl"k" + l)k  

                       --------------- + wl"k" + wl  

                              u-k  

   

                                       wk" + l / l"  

                                       ------------  

   

                                            u - k  

                   = -------------------------------------  

                       wk"     k + w(u - k)  

                      ------ + --------------(l / l") + wk"  

                      u - k          u - k  

   

       If we assume w is constant, that is, constant rate of surplus value, since the labor productivity of the capitalist sector tends to grow much faster than that of the petty peasant agricultural sector, in the long run, with l approaching 0, l / l" will approach 0, and consequently u + r will approach one, that is, r will approach 0.  

       Therefore, in the long run, if the labor productivity of the agricultural sector grows much slower than the labor productivity of the capitalist sector, the profit rate of the capitalist sector will tend to decrease overtime.   This will seriously undermine the foundation of capitalist accumulation.  

       Secondly, the constant growth of the absolute need of capitalist economic development for agricultural products is in contradiction with the limited long-term supplying ability of the Chinese agriculture.  

       The petty peasant economy is a mode of production based on individual family and thus unable to carry out large-scale capital accumulation.  On the other hand, since the value of labor power determines the upper limit of the prices of agricultural products, the investment in agriculture is not profitable for capitalists.  Consequently “the state and collective investment . . . lean towards non-agricultural sectors.”  In 1979 the investment in agricultural capital construction accounted for 11.1 percent of the total state investment in capital construction.  In 1993 it dropped to 2.8 percent.  In 1990, the agricultural fixed investment accounted for 17 percent of the total fixed investment of “rural collectivities.”  In 1993 it accounted for only 6.9 percent.   

   

According to the calculation based on relevant materials, the share of the investment in agricultural infrastructure (in the total investment) has been lower than the optimal level for all previous periods.  The inadequate supply of capital has been a problem throughout the process of Chinese agricultural development (LUPISHU, 234).  

   

       While capitalist economic development requires unlimited growth of the consumption of natural resources, the capitalist economy cannot produce and reproduce natural resources.  Since the agricultural sector relies heavily upon natural conditions, capitalist economic development, by unlimitedly increasing the consumption of natural resources without reproducing these resources, undermines the foundation of agricultural production.  For example, as a result of the rapid growth of the capitalist economy, China suffers from continuous decrease of arable land.  

   

While the rural enterprises have absorbed more than 90 million of surplus labor, they have occupied 100 million mu of arable land . . . In some more developed areas, the rural enterprises do not care about occupying large area of good arable land (Li Yining, etc., 164).  

   

In the year of 1992 . . . more than 24 million mu of arable land, or about 2 percent of China’s total arable land, had been occupied to build or expand various “developing zone (CKXX 7 January 1993).  

   

      Thus, on the one hand, the agricultural investment has been for a long time and continue to be short of need, and on the other hand, the productive resources for agriculture, such as arable land, are constantly decreasing.  The long-term supplying ability of the Chinese agriculture is thus subject to insurmountable limits.  

       These contradictions certainly cannot be solved within the limit of the petty peasant economy.  Within the existing social system, the only solution to these contradictions is to transform the Chinese agriculture into a capitalist agriculture within an as short as possible period.  However, first, although as a result of the “reform,” the Chinese agriculture is back to the petty peasant economy and de facto private ownership of land has been established, the legal private ownership of land has not yet been established, nor does China now have the social conditions for the complete legal private ownership of land.  Secondly, even if the complete private ownership of land has been established, as the experience of Japan and Taiwan has shown, under the conditions of petty peasant economy, land will not be completely treated as capital that can be freely bought and sold, but for peasants, will also play the function of saving and insurance.  Even for those peasants who try to find a non-agricultural job, in most cases they prefer to leave the land idle rather than sell it.  In this case, the transfer and concentration of land can only proceed very slowly, constituting a serious obstacle to the development of the capitalist agriculture.  

CHAPTER IV  

   

CAPITALIST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  

   

   

   

   

The Material Conditions for China"s Economic Development  

   

             From 1979-1993 the Chinese economy had grown at an average annual rate of 9.3 percent (PRC 1994). China is now one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world. The World Bank even predicted that China would become the biggest economy in the world by the early 21st century (The Economist October 1994, 4). For the official scholars, China"s rapid economic growth demonstrates the great productive force contained by "the system of socialist market economy."  

   

   

Immediately after the founding of the People"s Republic a highly centralized planned economic system directed mainly by administrative commands was established .. . The system had prevented the development of socialist commodity economy and had become increasingly in conflict with the ever growing socialization of production ... It prevented the rapid growth of economic construction, the comprehensive state power, and people"s living standard, and the superiority of the socialist system thus could not manifest fully and effectively. Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, comrade Deng Xiaoping has systematically developed the theory of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. Under the direction of this scientific theory, the economic reform of our country has gradually taken the correct path of building the system of socialist market economy... Under the economic reform the economic construction, the comprehensive state power, and people"s living standard of our country have been raised to a new level since 1979... From 1979-1991 the average annual economic growth rate was 8.6 percent, substantially higher than the 6.1 percent for 1953-1978... This preliminarily demonstrates the great productive force contained by the system of socialist market economy (Wang Haibo, 220-223).  

   

   

             The argument of the official scholars contains some partial truth. Above all to develop productive forces is the historical raison d"etre of capitalism. It is on this point that capitalism is superior to all previous oppressive societies. On the other hand it must not be denied that the capitalist development of productive forces is always at the expense of the basic interests of the majority people, and under capitalism the material productive forces can be developed only by devastating the most fundamental productive force—the productive force of human beings.  

   

             Moreover. the official scholars have ignored the history. Statistically the economic growth rate between 1979-1993 is three percent higher than that between 1953-1978. But statistics by themselves tell us nothing. According to Hollis Bunnley Chenery, the economic development of the developing countries tends to accelerate as their economies become more developed and begins to slow down only after they have reached a fairly high level of economic development. For economic development brings about not only quantitative increase of national income, but also qualitative progresses including the improvement of the general conditions for economic development. The later stage usually has better conditions for economic development than the previous stage. The economy of the later stage thus can develop more rapidly than that of the previous stage (see Liu Shijing and Jiang Xiaojuan). In 1980 China"s GNP per capita was $304 (ZGTJNJ 1991). In Chenery"s “normal pattern” this corresponds to the stage of $280-560 (see TABLE 4.1). Since China"s GNP per capita in early 1980s was near three times of that in early 1950s, in early 1950s China could be placed in the stage of$100-140 in Chenery"s "normal pattern." It is thus not surprising for the economic growth rate after 1979 to be three percent higher than that before 1979.  

   

TABLE 4.1  

   

The "Normal Pattern" of Economic Development  

            GNP per capita              Growth Rate of GNP                    Growth Rate of GNP per capita  

              (1970 U.S. $)                           (percent)                                              (percent)  

                          100-140                         3.81                                                    1.26  

                           140-280                         4.80                                                    2.02  

                           280-560                         5.67                                                    3.17  

                           560-1120                       6.30                                                    4.10  

                         1120-2100                       6.58                                                    4.58  

                         2100-3360                       6.21                                                    4.71  

                         3360-5040                       5.60                                                    4.60  

   

Source:  Liu Shijin and Jiang Xiaojuan, 74. This table was probably cited from Hollis Burnley Chenery (1975). Patterns of Development, 1950-1970.  

   

             It was the three decades of economic construction under the New China that had laid down the material conditions for the economic development after 1979.  

             (i) First, as far as the general infrastructure is considered, the 1980s had much better conditions than the 1950s. For example, in 1949 China had only 21,700 kilometers of railways and about 80,000 kilometers of road. By 1980 the total length of railways was increased to 52,00(0 kilometers, or 2.4 times of that ID 1949 and the total length of road was increased to 876,000 kilometers. or 11 times of that in 1949 (SJJJNJ 1981).  

             (ii)China is a backward developing country where the performance of the whole economy depends a lot on the performance of the agricultural production. TABLE 4.2 shows that before late 1980s China"s economic growth had been closely related to the growth of the agricultural production. The rapid economic growth rate after 1979 was first of all a result of the rapid agricultural growth. If the agricultural production had not reached a level much higher than that in 1950s and thus was able to provide adequate surplus products for industry and cities, it was impossible for the economy to grow as rapidly as it did in 1980s.  

   

TABLE 4.2  

   

Average Annual Growth Rates of China"s Total Agricultural Product and National Income  

   

(percent)  

                                                Total Agricultural Product                                      National Income  

          1952- 1958                                        4.19                                                         10.97  

          1958-1965                                         1.01                                                           0.08  

          1965- 1978                                        3.05                                                           6.61  

          1978- 1988                                        6.63                                                           9.23  

   

Source:  PRC 1985; Feng Haifai, 115.  

   

The Chinese agriculture in 1980s had reached a much higher level than that in 1950s. But if we consider the relations of production, as a result of the agricultural reform in early 1980s the Chinese agriculture returned to the status of petty peasant economy and in this sense was not really different from the agriculture in 1950s. Nevertheless the petty peasant economy in 1980s was not simply the replicate of the petty peasant economy in 1950s. After two decades of construction under the cooperative agriculture, in 1980s Chinese peasants were undertaking agricultural production under completely new conditions (see TABLE 4.3). If there had not been the great productive capacity accumulated under the cooperative agriculture, the Chinese agriculture could only remain at the primitive level of 1950s. With that primitive agricultural conditions it is difficult to imagine how the economic miracle in 1980s could be built up.  

   

TABLE 4.3  

   

China"s Agricultural Productive Forces  

   

                                                                                       1952                                      1979  

   

                                                                                

   

Total Horse Power of Agricultural Machinery  

(thousand horse power)                                                  250                                       181910  

   

Consumption of Chemical Fertilizer per  

   

Hectare of Sown Area (kg)                                                  0.7                                  109.2   

Consumption of Electricity in Rural Area  

(million kwh)                                                                     50                                  28410   

Irrigated Area  

(Thousand Hectare)                                                       19959                                        45003  

   

Source:  SJJJNJ 1981, 56  

               

            (iii) Before 1979 China had taken a strategy of economic development with great emphasis on the development of heavy industry. While this strategy is now under heavy criticisms, it must not be denied that by late 1970s "the Chinese industry is no longer burdened with the backward and lopsided conditions left over by the history, and an industrial system with a relatively complete range of divisions and an increasingly rational pattern of distribution has been established (SJJJNJ 198 I. 54)." The heavy industry base built in the three decades of New China is indispensable for the rapid economic development after 1979  

             For example, "the equipments of the rural enterprises are mostly provided by the urban industry." In 1987 the purchase of the products of the state-owned industry accounted for 70 percent of the total investment by the town and village enterprises (Li Yining, etc.. 166). If China had not built up a strong heavy industrial base before 1979, these industrial equipments would have to be imported. In 1988 the total gross fixed assets of the rural enterprises was 360 billion Yuan. Suppose the 360 billion Yuan is distributed evenly between 1980 and 1988, calculated according to the exchange rate in the respective year, then 360 billion Yuan is the equivalent of about 150 billion U.S. dollars. If this amount of foreign exchange is to be financed by additional exports. China"s exports in this period must be 60 percent more than the actual value. If it is to be financed by foreign debt, then China"s long-term debt would have to be increased by three times. These two ways are either unrealistic or very difficult to be realized. Thus if there had not been the heavy industry base built before 1979, it is difficult to imagine that the rural enterprises could have developed so rapidly as it did in 1980s.  

(iv) But the greatest and most profound achievement of the Chinese revolution was the physical and mental development of the majority people and thus the great development of the productive force of human beings. Life expectancy was increased from 35 before the liberation 68 in late 1970s. Before the liberation more than 80 percent of the population were illiterate and the ratio of the students enrolled in primary schools to the children of the corresponding age group was only 20 percent. By late 1970s the student enrolling ratio for primary schools had reached 93 percent (SJJJNJ l98l, 73) and according to the population census in 1982, the adult literacy rate for male was 81 percent and for female was 55 percent.  

            The great transformation of the physical and mental conditions of Chinese working people would definitely play a decisive role in the long-term economic development. Its significance was beyond any usual measure.  

             It is very unlikely that under capitalist development China could have made the same achievements. If there had not been the construction of agricultural infrastructure, the dissemination of agricultural technologies, and the advance of agricultural mechanization under the cooperative agriculture, then how could the material conditions for the agricultural take-off in 1980s be prepared? If there had not been the planned economy which gave the heavy industry the priority of development, then how could the conditions for the subsequent rapid industrial development be prepared?  

             Moreover, only a country that had experienced a socialist revolution could provide the most favorable conditions for the physical and mental development of the majority people. If we corn pare China with other big developing countries with a population of over 100 million, we find that while China"s GNP per capita was not much more than India"s, but less than Indonesia"s, and was only one­ sixth of Brazil"s, China had the highest life expectancy, while its adult literacy rate was comparable to that of Brazil and Indonesia (see TABLE 4.4).  

   

TABLE 4.4  

   

Comparative Social Development of Major Developing Countries  

                         Life Expectancy (Year)*               Adult Literacy Rate (%)**           GNP per capita***  

                         Male                 Female                Male                 Female               (U.S. dollars)  

China                     66                       69                       81                        55                           304  

India                      50                     49                                               51                           28       183  

Indonesia               46                     49                                               77                           57       369  

Brazil                     60                     64                                               76                           73       1793  

*China"s figure is for 1981, and the figures of other countries are for 1975-80.  

**China"s figure is for 1982, and the figures of other countries are for 1980.  

***China"s figure is for 1980, Indonesia"s figure is for 1978, and the figures of India and Brazil are for 1979.  

Source:  TJTY 1985; SJJJNJ 1981.  

   

Therefore the three decades of economic construction under the New China had prepared the material conditions for the rapid economic development after 1979. Given these conditions. if there were appropriate relations of production, there would be rapid development of productive forces. Productive forces can be rapidly developed under either the oppressive relations of production or the liberating relations of production. But there is difference between the two ways of development. While in the former case the development of productive forces is always at the expense of the development of human beings (as far as the majority people are concerned), in the latter case the development of productive forces prepare the conditions for the development of human beings and is always conditioned by the development of human beings.  

   

   

   

The Establishment of the Capitalist Relations of Production  

   

            Whether China would adopt the oppressive relations of production or the socialist non­-oppressive relations of production. is determined not by academic arguments and debates, but by real class struggles. On the one hand, in 1980s Chinese working people had not the necessary material and theoretical force to determine the direction of social development according to their own will. On the other hand, as the experience of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe has suggested. it was not so easy for the ruling class to conquer the resistance of the oppressed people and to make the social development in accordance with its own will either.  

            Working people would never give up their socialist rights won by the revolution and surrender to the capitalist oppressive system without serious struggles. This is the greatest and decisive obstacle to the development of the capitalist relations of production. On this point China is not really different from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Yet while the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have fallen into terrible economic crisis, and indeed whether capitalist restoration can succeed in the former Soviet Union is still open to question, China has apparently made a successful transition to capitalism. From Marxist point of view. this must be explained by the different class structures and thus different conditions of class struggles in China on the one hand, and in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe on the other hand.  

In China, like in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, there is an urban working class, that is, the working class in the state-owned enterprises, which has played a major role in the struggle against capitalist "reform." But unlike Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, in China the urban working class does not account for the majority of the working people. When China began its transition to capitalism, the Chinese agriculture continued to be based on pre-modern technologies. and there was still a distinguished peasant class accounting for most of the country"s population. Mere we will not discuss the uneven development of the urban and rural areas in the Maoist period. Let us simply notice that on the one hand, with the privatization of the agriculture, the agricultural economy returned to the status of petty-peasant economy and the peasants thus became "free," and on the other hand, the unequal exchange between industry and agriculture not only continued in the Dengist period but became increasingly unfavorable for the peasants after l984. Given all of these conditions, a large "surplus" labor force of over 100 million emerged in the countryside. These "surplus" people were prepared to sell their labor power according to the capitalist standards, and was going to become China"s new proletariat. I call them the "new proletariat" because unlike the working class in the state-owned enterprises, the new proletariat is not protected by such socialist rights as the "iron rice bowl", and instead has to accept the capitalist exploitation in a typically free market capitalist context. The existence of the new proletariat allows the capitalist and semi-capitalist economic sectors (in China, they are made up of the rural enterprises, various "-collective" enterprises. the private enterprises, the Chinese-foreign joint-ventures, and the foreign capitalist enterprises) where the normal capitalist relations of production have been more or less established to develop on a Large scale along side the state-owned enterprises. In this way the Chinese ruling class has virtually circumvented the resistance by the working class in the state-owned enterprises and the capitalist relations of production have been directly established on the basis of the new proletariat. The triumph of the “reform” is thus guaranteed.  

   

   

China"s New Proletariat  

   

             In 1978, the agricultural labor force accounted for 71.4 percent of the total Chinese labor force. According to the official scholars, one-third to one-half of the total agricultural labor force was "surplus labor force (Li Yining, etc., 151)." Since 1979, a significant part of the agricultural labor force has moved into manufacturing and service industries. By 1988, the share of the agricultural labor force dropped to 57,9 percent (Li Yining, etc., 155). The labor force that has moved out of agricultural has been mainly absorbed by the rural enterprises, the private enterprises, and the foreign owned enterprises. In 1989, the employees and workers in the rural enterprises amounted to 93.7 million, and those employed by the individual and private enterprises amounted to 7-8 million. Besides. there were about 20 million people working outside their hometown. Among the 20 million. 4 million worked in Cuangdong province. Many of them worked in the foreign-owned enterprises (Li Yining, etc., 98). In 1989, all of these people put together added up to about 120 million. If it is increased by 10 million each year, at present it should have reached about 160 million. These people who have left their land and do not own any means of production, have to sell their labor power to make a living. They are China"s new proletariat.  

            Following is a short poem written by a worker in Shenzhen, which gives us a living picture of the living and working conditions of China"s new proletarians.[16]  

   

The machines sound again,   

which forces me to get up earlier.   

While sitting in front of the machine,   

I knew my boss is by me.  

His vicious gaze, just like the brightness of green bills (money),   

we lower our head thinking about our own future.  

Even breaking our hands and feet, we have to smile   

in front of money.  

When we go to get our paycheck,   

what we face is a disdainful smile,   

because what we got only are the crumbs.  

   

While the new proletarians live in terrible and miserable conditions, from capitalist point of view, it is a wonderful and "efficient" economic system. In the "reform" period, the rural enterprises. the private enterprises, and the foreign-owned enterprises whose development has been largely based on absorbing the labor force transferred from the agricultural sector have developed most rapidly. From 1979-1990, the rural enterprises, the private enterprises, and the foreign-owned enterprises had accounted for 51.9 percent of China"s total growth of industrial production (Guo Kesha, 187). Moreover, these enterprises are particularly concentrated in the exporting sector which plays a crucial role in Chinese economic development. In 1993, the delivery of exporting commodities by the rural enterprises accounted for 45 percent of the total purchase of exporting commodities by China’s foreign trade institutions. In the same year, the foreign-owned enterprises contributed to 27 percent of China"s total exports (RMRB 14 December 1993). Thus, the rural enterprises, the private enterprises, and the foreign-owned enterprises have become the major driving force of China"s economic growth.  

            Now let us see what wizardry capitalists have used to summon the great productive forces from the underground.  

   

(1)  Prolonging Working Time  

   

             According to an investigation of one hundred private enterprises by the Chinese Academy of Social Science, of the 100 investigated enterprises, in 53 enterprises workers worked more than eight hours a day, and of the 53 enterprises, in 1~ enterprises workers worked more than ten hours a day. In 66 enterprises, the bosses never allowed workers to take holidays (Han Mingxi, 94). In Cuangdong province it is usual for the workers in the foreign-owned enterprises and the private enterprises to work more than ten hours a day. According to an investigation of 27 enterprises by the Federation of Trade Unions of Huicheng district. Huizhou city, Guangdong province. in 26 enterprises the extra working time was more than 48 hours a month. In some enterprises, it was more than 96 hours. In many cases, workers had to work day and night and were unable to have rest on Sundays and holidays (An Zi, 152).[17]  

   

(2)  Increasing Working Intensity  

   

            In this respect there are not direct statistics. However, some indirect methods may give us some help. The gross fixed assets per worker in the urban industrial enterprises in 1987 was about l8800 Yuan, which was five times as that in the rural enterprises in l988 (Li Yining. etc.. 157). The labor productivity in the urban industrial enterprises was three times as that in the rural enterprises. If the urban industrial enterprises were equipped technologically five times as good as the rural enterprises, why was their gap in labor productivity only three times rather than five times? In the official statistics. “labor productivity” is calculated on the total number of employees and workers. Thus, if the workers in the rural enterprises work longer, it appears to be higher “labor productivity” in the official statistics, though actually the labor efficiency has not been improved. But the longer working time of the rural enterprises cannot explain all of the gap. The remaining gap has to be explained by the higher working intensity in the rural enterprises. For example, the average coal production of a worker of the seven rural coal-mines in the Yuanping county, Shanxi province in l985 was 2.2 tons. while that of the major state coal-mines in l984 was only ().903 ton. The major state coal-mines were equipped much better than the rural coal-mines, but the average production of a worker of the rural coal-mines was more than one time higher than that of the major state coal-mines. suggesting that the working intensity of the rural coal-mines was much higher (EICASS). In Shenzhen, the state-owned enterprises, the Chinese-foreign joint-ventures. and the wholly foreign-­owned enterprises were at roughly the same technological level. However, in l987 the labor productivity of the state-owned enterprises was only 31999 Yuan, while that of the joint-ventures was 87787 Yuan. and that of the wholly foreign-owned enterprises was 9414l Yuan (Liu Zhigeng, 4)). This suggests that the working intensity in the foreign-owned enterprises is much higher than that in the state-owned enterprises.       

   

(3)  Depressing the Price of Labor Power  

   

            Depressing and embezzling wage have always been capitalists" beloved ways to make their fortunes. In this respect, Shenzhen turns out to be the best in learning the “advanced experience” of capitalism, going in ahead of the age. In Baoan district, Shenzhen City, in the second half year of 1990, there were 19 factories that did not pay workers on time. The total wage that workers did n~)t receive amounted to 720, 000 Yuan (An Zi, 151). In a handbag factory, making one handbag was paid by 0.25 Yuan which was too low for the workers. The workers worked hard and did much extra work, and their average month wage exceeded the standard wage. But the boss thought this suggested that the unit pay was too high and reduced it to 0.085 Yuan. In a salt products factory in the Pinghu town, Shenzhen city, there were thirty four workers working in the package department. Among the thirty four workers, only five had a month wage between 200 and 300 Yuan, none of the other twenty nine workers had a month wage higher or equal to 200 Yuan, and the lowest month wage was only 119.73 Yuan (SZR 3, 25).[18]  

   

(4)  Exploiting Female Workers and Child Workers  

   

            In the industrial campuses of Shenzhen. sometimes you can see huge streamers hung on the factory building saying that “this factory urgently needs hundreds of female workers.” Why do capitalists like employing female workers and child workers. For one thing. it is said that female workers and child workers are obedient and do not make troubles. For another thing, it is cheap to employ female workers and child workers. Many female workers and child workers working in the private enterprises have a month wage of only 40-60 Yuan (Han Mingxi, 94). Business Week reports that in the Shekou district, Shenzhen city, there are 12, 000 workers working for the Kader enterprises Ltd. These workers work fourteen hours everyday, having no rest on Sunday. Most of the workers are young women aged from 17-25. There are also many child workers, the youngest of whom are only 12. The Kader executive says: “we can work these girls all day and all night, while in Hong Kong it would be impossible. We couldn"t get these kind of labor, even if we were willing to meet Hong Kong wage levels (see Smith, 1993, 95).” The newspapers in Hong Kong report that child workers are widely used in the 14, 000 factories in the Pearl River valley. It is common to find that workers work ninety six hours a week. According to one investigation, in the investigated 200 enterprises in Shenzhen, 40 enterprises employ child workers who are girls from 10-12. These girls work fifteen hours a day, earning a wage which is equal to only ten US dollars a month. To save the expenditure in dormitory, the management require that two or three girls share one bed (Smith, 1993, 95).  

   

(5)  Extorting and Racketeering  

   

            in the foreign-owned enterprises in Guangdong province, new workers must pay 100 to 500 Yuan to the management as “deposit.” While it is claimed that the “deposit” will be returned to the workers after they have finished the contracts, the management can find any excuse to dismiss the workers, or bully the workers in many ways so that the workers will give up the job "voluntarily." and in both cases the "deposit" is seized by the capitalists. For example, the Biyuan Shoe-Making Corporation Ltd. in Hainan province fired more than two thousand workers in two years, and had peculated more than 20,000 Yuan of workers" "deposit (CRRB 10 December 1993)."  

            Imposing fines or fees is another wise way for capitalists to exploit workers. In the Shenzhen Haite clothes-making factory, the workers must pay fee for using the bathroom, 0.1 Yuan for one person one time. For every time the sewer in the bathroom was blocked, every one of the more than 200 workers must pay a fine of 5 Yuan. For the workers sometimes it was so awful that the sewer was blocked twice in a day (An Zi, 153). The Tianli factory in the Nantou town, Shenzhen city. provided a fine of 5 Yuan for workers who talked to fellow workers in the working time. Once a worker who had continuously worked twelve hours and had finished the daily quota left the factory ten minutes before the required time. This was discovered by the management, and as a result, I ~ workers were each fined with 50 Hong Kong dollars. There is a factory in the Pinghu town, Shenzhen city. h April 1990 this factory had 227 employees and workers, among whom 74 were fined in this month. In June of the same year this factory had 215 employees and workers, among whom 124 were fined in the month, and among them the person with the worst luck got fines amounted to 78 Yuan in the month (SZR 3, 25).  

   

(6)  "Saving" Workers" Lives  

   

            Capitalists care about not only the absolute amount of surplus value, but also the ratio of surplus value to capital, that is, the profit rate. The profit rate can be increased by saving means of production. In the developed capitalist countries, technological progress plays a major role in saving means of production. However, for the rural enterprises, the private enterprises, and the foreign owned enterprises in China, with their obsolete equipments and backward technologies, saving those equipments and materials indispensable for workers" security and health plays a important role in their “saving” of means of production.  

            A reader of Gong Ren Ri Bao (Workers" Daily) wrote to the newspaper: “some rural enterprises pursue economic benefit one-sidedly, overlooking workers" healthy conditions and failing to provide labor protection facilities...In the crushing workshop in a cement plant in the Fengrun county, Hebei province, the dust in the air is four hundred and twenty seven times more than the required level. In this case, the workers" health cannot be guaranteed at all (GRRB 11 December 1993)."  

            In Baoan district, Shenzhen city, there had been 30 major accidents in the foreign-owned enterprises from 1989-1992, resulting in 25 deaths. An engineer, who was exhausted by extra work. lost his ring finger and little finger when he was checking a machine. Besides, his middle finger was broken, and between his fore finger and middle finger was a crevice of 8 centimeters (more than three inches). But the manager did not bother to care about it and said; "crippling does not count, even death does not count You can sue me in the law-court, I do not care (SZR 4, 20)." In a clothes-making factory in the Changan county, Shaanxi province, the management dismissed a female worker whose right hand was broken by the machine, giving her only 500 Yuan (Han Mingxi, 327). When I was in Shenzhen I heard of a similar incident, the only difference was that the management got rid of the hurt worker with only 20 Yuan.  

            In 19~6 in Hancheng city, Shaanxi province, there were 212 small coal-mines, in which 66. or 3 1.1 percent of the total number. were private coal-mines. In that year there were 39 accidents. causing 44 deaths and hurting 22 people. For the private coal-mines, there were 23 accidents, causing 23 deaths and hurting 22 people, accounting for 59 percent, 52.3 percent, and 100 percent of the total respectively. From January to July, 1987, there were 16 accidents in the private coal-mines. causing 17 deaths, accounting for 84 percent of the total accidents and 87 percent of the total deaths (Han Mingxi, 327).  

            On the night of 30 May 199 1, there was a fire accident in the Xingya raincoat factory in Dongguan city, Guangdong province, burning 80 young female workers to death and heavily hurt 40 people. Richard Smith made following comments; “this kind of tragedy is. regrettably, all too common in the export-processing industries of southern China where the capitalists now enjoy extensive power and freedoms--and the Chinese government protects them from the workers.” The fire control bureau of (Guangdong province reported that only in the Pearl River valley, there were 1700 industrial fire accidents and explosions in 1990 (Smith, 1993, 95). In this case it is not surprising at all when Shenzhen was hit heavily by an explosion in 1993 and when on 19 November 1993 the tragedy of burning 82 young female workers to death happened.[19] Even Ren Mm Ri Bao (People"s Daily) commented: “why did the tragedies happen again and again?...this is mainly because some factory owners overlook fire control and the security of production and do not care about the personal security of workers (RMRB 15 December 1993).”  

            Some people may ask: if workers" rights are violated. why do not workers resort to the protection of law? In China, Shenzhen is a place with the most developed capitalist relations of production. It is also a place with the most complete official laws serving capitalist development. On 28 May 1993 the standing committee of the People"s Congress of Shenzhen city passed the "Regulation on the Labor Services in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone." The Regulation. following the model of the labor law in developed capitalist countries. provides some articles against the excess exploitation of workers by capitalists. According to the Regulation. employers must make contracts with workers before they employ workers; workers have right to participate and to organize trade union; it is forbidden to employ workers younger than 16; employers are not allowed to charge application fee or pledge when they employ workers; if workers are ill or hurt in work, employers are not allowed to cancel the labor contract medication period; after the medication period, if the worker is not recovered and the employer wants to cancel the labor contract, the employer must inform the worker one month before and must pay the worker with subsidy which is equivalent to the wage of a month; the normal working time shall not exceed 48 hours a week, and the extra working time shall not exceed 48 hours a month; the extra work shall be paid with special wage which shall be 150-200 percent of normal wage.  

            On the other hand, like all modem capitalist laws, the Regulation which flaunts freedom and equality everywhere, is actually imbued with class prejudice. On the one hand, the Regulation tries to prevent the excess exploitation of workers by capitalists. On the other hand, it safeguards capitalists" privileges and forbids workers" rebellion. According to the Regulation, the worker who wants to resign from the job must inform the employer one month before, otherwise the worker make compensation to the employer with the wage of a month; if the worker is frequently late for work. or frequently leaves early, or misses work. or saboteurs, or deliberately spoils equipments ~)r instruments, or wastes raw materials or energy, it is proper for the employer to dismiss the worker without preconditions. This actually allows capitalists to find any possible excuse to dismiss those workers who dare to make struggles.  

            If the Regulation at least wants to flaunt some equality on paper, the bureaucratic institution does not need to flaunt anything. I knew six young female workers who worked at the Shenglong Clothes-Making Corporation Ltd. in the Huaqiao town, Shenzhen city. The workers in this enterprise worked fourteen hour every day, often did extra work throughout the night, never had holidays. having no rest even on the most important traditional Chinese festival--Spring Festival, and had never received special wage for their extra work. The six young female workers could no longer stand these conditions and had determined to leave. They informed the management one month before their planned date of leaving. However, after the one month, the management refused to return their pledge and their wage of last month (this enterprise always paid workers one month later than the supposed time). The six workers went to the labor bureau. At first, the bureau official simply did not want to listen to the workers, saying that the workers were making trouble without any justifiable reasons. and demanded them be back. The workers explained and requested repetitively, and only then the bureau official agreed to send a official document to the corporation, asking them to deal with the problem properly. The management of course saw it as nothing. The workers went to the labor bureau again. This time the bureau official was more patient and told workers that they should not think only from their own standing point. Instead, he suggested that the workers should think what kind of loss their quit might bring about to the enterprise, "if every worker quits the job whenever he t)r she wants to, how can the boss run a factory?" Then he scared the workers: "you are all three­ “no”s-people (no civil identity no border region pass, and no temporary resident identity in Shenzhen), and it is proper to get you out of Shenzhen city." He then said that even if the boss had violated the Regulation, workers had no right to violate the labor discipline and their only right was to ask the labor bureau to deal with the problem. The six workers made repetitive requests. The bureau official finally agreed to deal with the problem. He asked the management to send a representative to discuss the problem. The representative came but denied that the workers had informed the management their intention to leave one month ago. The bureau official then asked the workers to provide relevant paper work showing that they did inform the management one month ago. The workers certainly did not have any paper work. No problem was solved again. The six workers went to the labor bureau one more time a few days later. This time they met an office head who was somehow sympathetic to them. After listening to the statement of both sides, the office head demanded the management return the pledge to the workers and pay them their wage of last month.. The management agreed. However, later the management told the workers that it was all right to give them their wage of last month, however, since they had made products of poor quality and they had missed some shifts, they must make compensation to the loss of the enterprise. In the end, every worker got only a few Yuan for their wage of last month. No one went to the labor bureau any more. The Shenglong corporation was located at Huaqiao town, from which it took about one and half hours" ride to get to the center of Shenzhen city. The traffic costed 8 Yuan every one for a round trip. Every worker lost 10-20 Yuan for missing a working day. The six workers went to the labor bureau for five times but had got nothing. This case tells us for ordinary working people to make a lawsuit according to bourgeois laws, how much it costs them that they cannot afford, and how difficult it is for them to get a little justice.  

            The case also tells us how wrong it is with the blind belief in the “rule of law". Many intellectuals ask for the “rule of law,” thinking that the ugly social phenomena will be eliminated if various “human rights” have been written on laws. In fact, there is no such “rule of law” which is independent of the “rule of people.” and bourgeois “rule of law” is not more than the “rule of rich people." In Shenzhen, there are over one million workers and more than ten thousand enterprises. But in the labor bureau, there are only about a dozen of people dealing with daily labor disputes. As a result, in reality, all those provisions in the Regulation that are in favor of capitalists will be enforced properly, while all those provisions in favor of workers almost have no way to be enforced.  

             There have never been saviors. nor can we rely on either Caesars or gods. Only we ourselves can bring happiness to this world. There is no way for the Chinese new proletariat to secure their own interest other than to make struggle by themselves. It was estimated that in 1990 only in Shenzhen city, there was 69 strikes, involving 9677 workers (An Zi, 151). However, since there are large numbers of labor force leaving countryside to find a living. and making a large industrial reserve army of labor, capitalists are at upper hand when confronted with labor. I heard that in a factory in the Liantang district, Shenzhen city, all female workers on an assembly line went on strike, and the capitalist fired all of them immediately. Sometimes, capitalists may make some small concession to workers, and dismiss the workers" leaders after workers go back to work. In this way, capitalists not only avoid troubles but also eliminate the organizers of workers" resistance. Therefore, the new proletariat are making their struggles under very unfavorable conditions. They begin with an extremely difficult situation. [n many cases, individual workers have to make their rebellions in such primitive ways as stealing products or destroying means of production. On the other hand, the ruling class spare no energy in poisoning the thinking of ordinary workers. A young female worker once told me that she knew a technician who felt resentment against her boss intentionally made a wrong designing then run away, costing the capitalist tens of thousands of Yuan. The young female worker thought that the technician lacked proper education. She said, “sometimes the boss treats the workers badly because the workers lack proper education...workers" rights shall be secured, but so shall bosses" rights." She also said, "workers are not given proper treatment. This is mainly due to bad management. Actually, we have a good boss, only the managers are unreasonable." Words such as proper “education", "good management", and the idea that "both workers" rights and bosses" rights shall be secured" are daily propagated by televisions, radios, and newspapers.  

             However, most workers learn from their dally experience of life and do feel that they are terribly exploited. Their autonomous rebellion against the exploitation, no matter the rebellion is “proper" or not. When workers rebel. capitalists are no longer the people with “proper education,” but bite people like mad dogs.  

             In the Taiwanese-owned Yongqi Shoe-Making Corporation Ltd. in Fuzhou, a female worker stole two pairs of shoes and was discovered. Two Taiwanese, with the help of local security guards. brutally beat her, and then put up the shoes on her neck, showing her before the public. After the Show, she was locked in a doghouse, sharing the "house" with two wolf dogs for two hours. The Taiwanese manager told the workers: "I treat you as dogs." The factory gate was locked immediately after the workers began to work. The workers were not allowed to leave workshop even when electricity run out. Before the workers (most of whom were female) left, they had to accept body search (BKWZ 9 December 1993). The liberal intellectuals say, "capitalism, according to its natural logic, leads to political democracy (BIANYUAN, 5)." The Chinese new proletariat does not have an", civil rights, and even cannot be guaranteed their personal safety, let alone “political democracy.” In fact, direct violence has always been an important capitalist "method of management." In the Haifeng Shoe-Making Corporation. Ltd. in Guangzhou, a male worker, who failed to make qualified shoes. was beaten hard, with bruises all over the body. And this was not the end. The director of the factory ordered the nearly one hundred workers on the assembly line where the male worker worked stood under the noon sun for one hour. Some workers fell in a faint due to sunstroke (An Zi, 153).  

             This is what capitalists welcome. Capitalists are realistic people. Unlike intellectuals. capitalists do not care so much about those beautiful abstract principles as about profits. With a large industrial reserve army of labor, the new proletariat has to accept terribly low wages and inhuman living and working conditions, and is unable to organize effective struggles to secure Its own interest. allowing themselves to be exploited by capitalists to the utmost. Enormous surplus value is thus created, the machine of capitalist accumulation thus starts to work, and the “economic miracle” of Chinese capitalism is thus made out of the sweat and blood of hundreds of millions of the new proletarians.  

   

   

Capitalism and the Pauperization of the Masses of People  

   

             Capitalist development inevitably leads to social polarization and the relative and absolute pauperization of the masses of people.  

             Under capitalist competition, capitalists are forced to constantly replace labor with capital. raising organical composition of capital (the ratio of constant capital to variable capital, or the ratio of the value of means of production to the value of labor power), to increase labor productivity. This is the absolute law of capitalist accumulation. On the one hand, as a result of the rising organical composition of capital, employed workers are turned into unemployed workers. the industrial reserve army is rebuilt, and the balance of power between capital and labor is changed in favor of capital, and this change helps to depress the society-wide average wage. On the other hand, with increased organical composition of capital, a certain amount of capital needs to employ less workers. Both have the effect to reduce working people"s share of national income. that is, lead to the relative polarization of the majority people.  

             Take the rural enterprises for example. From 1984-1987, the gross fixed assets per employed person of the rural enterprises increased at an average annual rate of 4.8 percent. From 1988-1992 it grew at an average annual rate of 25 percent. Between 1984 and 1987 to create one job in the rural enterprises, there must be an increase of total output of 6,700 Yuan. Between 1988 and 1992 to create one job in the rural enterprises. there must be an increase of total output of 73,000 Yuan (Ma Bin and Sun Shangqing, 29).  

             On the one hand, the total social labor force naturally increases year by year. On the other hand, the ability of social capital to absorb the social labor force decreases year by year. The result is the steady growth of the social surplus labor force. Under the current level of productivity, every agricultural laborer can cultivate more than ten mu of arable land. China now has a agricultural labor force of 340 million. and the arable land per agricultural laborer is five mu (Ma Bin and Sun Shangqing, 28). This implies that China has a rural surplus labor force of 170 million.  

             Under the pressure of the large surplus labor force, the new proletarians are unable to make effective resistance against capitalist exploitation. On the other hand, while in the process of economic development, the relative demand for agricultural goods decreases overtime. as a result of the rising organical composition of capital, the surplus labor force cannot be transferred from the agricultural sector to the industrial or other economic sectors. Both lead to the relative and absolute pauperization of the new proletariat and the peasants, that is, the majority of the Chinese population.  

             It should be pointed out that the steady growth of the social surplus labor force is by no means an inevitable result of economic development as such. Under socialist conditions, the increase of social productivity of labor will be translated into on the one hand, the increase of people"s material conditions of life, and on the other hand, the increase of people"s disposable time in which ordinary people can freely develop their physical and mental potential and display their all-rounded creativities. It is only under capitalist development that the progress of social productive forces is turned into large-scale unemployment and sufferings of the majority people.  

             In China, we can use “peasants" per capita net income,” an official statistical item, to roughly represent the conditions of life of the new proletariat and the peasants. In the official statistics, "peasants" refer to all the residents in the countryside, who are roughly composed of the new proletariat and the peasant class. If we take the per capita income of the urban residents as 100. the index of "peasants" per capita net income" dropped from 58.9 in 1984 to 39.4 in 1993. If we take the ratio of "peasants" per capita net income" to per capita national income in 1985 as 100, this ratio dropped to 69.7 in 1992 (Ma Bin and Sun Shangqing, 26).  

             Capitalist accumulation not only leads to the relative pauperization of the majority people, but under certain conditions also leads to the absolute pauperization of the majority people. In 1989. while the Chinese economy grew by 4 percent, "peasants" per capita net income" decreased by 7.4 percent. In 1993, while the whole economy grew at a miraculous rate of 13.4 percent, peasants" per capita actual consumption expenditure was reduced by 0.9 percent (Ma Bin and Sun Shangqing. 26. 266).  

             Therefore, capitalist economic development is inevitably at the expense of the interest of the majority people and based on the relative and absolute pauperization of the majority people. But if this kind of economic development is not in the interest of the majority people, why do the majority people need this kind of economic development?  

   

   

Dependent Development  

   

             The establishment of the normal capitalist relations of production paves the way to capitalist economic development. From 1979-1993 the Chinese economy had grown at an average annual rate of 9.3 percent. In 1994 and 1995 the Chinese economy continued to grow at a miraculous rate of over 10 percent a year, making China the most rapidly growing capitalist economy in the world.  

             How can the “Chinese economic miracle” be explained? On the one hand, under political dictatorship, and without organized revolutionary socialist political force, working people are not able to make effective struggle against capitalist exploitation and oppression. In this case, to make a living, hundreds of millions of working people have to sell their labor power to capitalists at a terribly low price. On the other hand, as a late industrializing country, China can directly adopt advanced technologies and capital goods by importing them from the developed capitalist countries. By taking advantage of both advanced technologies and cheap labor, or in Marxist terms. by exploitation both the relative surplus value and the absolute surplus value capitalists are guaranteed super surplus value and thus super profit. This provides a very powerful motive force for capitalist accumulation.  

             But to import foreign technologies and capital goods, there must be an exporting sector competitive in the world market, which is able to provide the necessary foreign exchange. Indeed. in the "reform" period China"s exports have grown more rapidly than the whole economy. From l980-1994 China"s merchandise trade increased from $18.1 billion to $121 billion, or an increase by sixfold (PRC 1994; RMRB 2 March 1995). At the same time foreign capital has flown into China on a massive scale. By the end of 1995 a total of $133.4 billion of foreign capital has been actually invested in China (RMRB 1 February 1996).  

             Thus the Chinese economy has been closely integrated into the world capitalist economy. The ratio of China"s merchandise trade to GNP now stands at about 40 percent. At the same time the Chinese economy has been reorganized in accordance with the capitalist international division of labor. On the one hand, the labor-intensive industries and some low-end machinery and electronics industries, where China with its cheap labor, has comparative advantages" in the world market, have expanded rapidly. On the other hand, the Chinese economy has become increasingly dependent upon foreign technologies and capital goods. This pattern of development is reflected by China"s foreign trade in machinery and electronics products. Jin Rong Shi Bao (The Finance Times) which is published in Beijing reported by citing information from the relevant offices of the Chinese Department of Machinery Industry:  

   

The Chinese foreign trade in machinery and electronics products suffers from following problems: First, more imports than exports, so that the trade deficit has increased substantially overtime. In 1980 the trade deficit in machinery and electronics products was $ 4.26 billion. In 1993 it was increased to $ 26.76 billion, in which the trade deficit for machinery products accounted for 90 percent and that for electronics products accounted for 10 percent. Second, high-end imports, low-end exports, and most of the major industrial equipments and key products have to be imported. In 1993 there were twelve products each of which was imported with more than .$ I billion. On the other hand, the Chinese exporting machinery and electronics products were mainly composed of low value-added consumer goods. Third, in market competition, the domestic market share of the Chinese machinery and electronics industries has declined year by year. For example, in 1980 the Chinese machine-tool industry held 95 percent of the domestic market. By 1990 it dropped to 70 percent arid in 1993 further dropped to 44 percent (Shih Chieh Jih Pao--World Daily 14 November 1995).  

               

             For private capital (in China, the foreign-owned enterprises, the private enterprises, the rural enterprises, and the state-owned enterprises are all concrete forms of private capital), the investment in these industries where China has “comparative advantages" in the world market is paid with high profit rate and the sales market is expanding rapidly. On the other hand, if they make investment in advanced capital-good industries or other high-tech industries, they are unable to compete with the capital of the developed capitalist countries, and many of them simply do not have the ability to invest in these industries and to afford the corresponding risks. In this case. why does private capital who always pursues maximum private profit make investment in high-tech industries rather than those industries with a good prospect in the world market? Thus, according to the logic of private capital. it 15 inevitable that China will on the one hand, specialize in labor-intensive industries and low-end machinery and electronics industries, and on the other hand, be highly dependent upon the developed capitalist countries in advanced capital-goods and technologies. In this sense Chinese capitalist economic development is actually dependent development.  

             The pattern of dependent development can also be illustrated in the case of the computer industry.  

China"s goal  . . is to become a major supplier to the domestic and world markets of low-end PCS and peripherals, including printers, monitors, and circuit boards. Through mass exports of such products, China will be able to earn foreign exchange to import the higher end systems arid technology needed to sustain the growth of the computer industry.  

   

This low-end production is itself dependent on imported chips:  

   

China"s integrated circuit ("IC") production ability is extremely low and limited to ICs used in consumer goods, such as televisions and refrigerators. As a result, China must import almost all the ICs needed for computer production. Although China is trying to build up its domestic IC production base, international restrictions imposed by the Coordination Committee for Multinational Export Controls (COCONI) prohibit China from gaining the technology needed to produce more complex ICs (Hui and Mckown, 1995, 17).  

   

             Chinese government officials acknowledge that in the technological term, the Chinese integrated circuits industry has fallen fifteen years behind the international level. While it is expected that Chinese integrated circuit production will reach 1 billion pieces in the year 2000, the domestic demand will then rise to 2 or 3 billion pieces. leaving 1 or 2 billion pieces to be imported.  

             While the Chinese capitalist economy does take much advantage of its current favorable position in the capitalist international division of labor, for China to have successful capitalist economic development, it is no less important for China to be able to undertake independent economic policy, especially effectively protecting the domestic industries that are not quite competitive in the world market. For as an underdeveloped country. if China follows the regime of free trade, allowing its economy completely exposed to international competition. then most Chinese enterprises will simply not be able to survive the competition against developed capitalist countries. This will have devastating impact on the Chinese economy. However, with the Chinese economy being increasingly dependent upon foreign technologies and capital goods, China becomes more and more dependent on the markets of developed capitalist countries for its exports. The developed capitalist countries consequently can use trade protection as an effective weapon to force China to follow the economic policies consistent with the interest of developed capitalist countries. In this case, it will be more and more difficult for China to pursue independent economic policy. In fact, in the negotiation for China"s entry into World Trade Organization, China has been pressured hard by the developed capitalist countries to open its market and has been forced to make some major concessions.  

             Moreover, the historical tendency of capitalist technological progress is to replace labor with capital, and labor-intensive industries and products with technology and capital intensive industries and products. Therefore in the long run capitalist technological progress tends to increasingly weaken and even eliminate altogether the importance of cheap labor in capitalist production. If China is unable to develop indigenous high-tech industries which can compete effectively with the developed capitalist countries, in the long run the Chinese exporting industries will become increasingly less competitive in the world market. In the case of dependent development, this will put the long-term sustainability of Chinese capitalist economic development into serious questions.[20]  

   

              

   

State and Chinese Capitalist Economic Development  

   

             As we have seen it is impossible for China to develop its indigenous high-tech industry under the logic of private capitalism. Under capitalist conditions only the state has the potential to go beyond the narrow scope of private capital and undertake economic strategies that reflect the long-­term interest of national development. However, in capitalist societies, the state usually does not play a decisive role in social accumulation which is mainly carried out by private capital. Only under special historical conditions, given unusual balance of power in favor of the state vis-a-vis private capital, the state may play a major role in capitalist accumulation within a certain period.  

             Thus, to know whether in China the state can play a major role in social accumulation or not. we need to analyze the concrete historical context. At the beginning of the "reform", the ruling class had inherited from revolutionary China a large state economic sector which played a central role in social accumulation. However, the capitalist "reform" was met with strong resistance by the working class in the state-owned enterprises which consequently were not able to make normal capitalist accumulation. On the other hand, the rural enterprises, the private enterprises, and the foreign-owned enterprises (we refer to these enterprises as "the capitalist economic sector") began to prosper by exploiting the "new proletariat" who was composed of the surplus labor force in the countryside and was prepared to be exploited under conditions most favorable to capital. By early 1990s the capitalist economic sector was contributing 50 percent of China"s industrial production.  

             While the rise of the capitalist economic sector helps the Chinese ruling class to make a successful transition to capitalism. it brings about fundamental change in the relations between different parts of the ruling class. With the development of the capitalist economic sector, the bulk of the social accumulation is no longer carried out by the state, but by various private capitals. The distribution of social resources has in turn been adjusted to reflect the new balance of power in the ruling class. The state income, as a share of GNP, dropped from 31.2 percent in 1978 to 16,3 percent in 1993. In the same period the income of the central government, as a share of the state income, dropped from over 60 percent to 34 percent. TABLE 4.5 shows that by early 1990s the social resources at the disposal of the Chinese state, as a share of GDP, was not only lower than those of the developed capitalist countries, but also lower than those of the less developed capitalist countries. In the gross domestic investment, only a very small part comes from the state direct investment, and the part that the state can effectively control is not large either. The total social investment is mainly composed of the self-financed investment that the central government cannot regulate directly or is very difficult to regulate (Guo Kesha. l73-l74)."[21]  

             In this case the state cannot play more than a minor role in social accumulation. The logic of private capital thus prevails. TABLE 4.6 shows that China"s R & D expenditure fall far behind developed capitalist countries in the terms of share in GNP as well as absolute amount. As far as the share of R & D expenditure in GNP is concerned, China even fails behind some less developed capitalist countries. This suggests that private capital who pursues maximum private profit is not willing to make investment in the R & D activities and the high-tech industries which are unprofitable. highly risky, and require large capital investment. On the other hand, it tells us that the state, without adequate financial resources, is unable to provide the support indispensable for the development of high-tech industries.  

   

   


 

TABLE 4.5  

   

Central Government Revenue as Percentage of Gross Domestic Product  

   

                                                                          Year                                         Percent                                  

China*                                                             1992                                         17.27  

United States                                                  1990                                        19.63  

Japan                                                              1990                                        14.38  

Germany                                                        1991                                        30.80  

United Kingdom                                            1991                                        37.05  

France                                                           1992                                        40.63  

Canada                                                          1989                                        20.12  

Australia                                                        1991                                        27.11  

India                                                              1991                                        14.74  

Indonesia                                                       1991                                        18.16  

Thailand                                                        1990                                        20.41  

Malaysia                                                        1991                                        28.53  

Singapore                                                      1991                                        32.80  

Myanmar                                                      1990                                         10.70  

Korea, Rep.                                                   1992                                        18.45  

Egypt                                                            1990                                        18.58  

Mexico                                                         1990                                        14.05  

Brazil                                                            1991                                        25.92  

Argentina                                                      1989                                          9.85  

*the state income as percentage of GNP.   

Source: PRC 1994.  


 

TABLE 4.6  

   

Expenditures on Research & Development for Selected Countries  

   

                                                                                

                                                 Year                  R & D expenditures                        As a share of GNP  

                                                                         (billions of dollars)                                       (percent)  

   

                                                                                

China                                         1993                            3.4                                            0.6  

United States                              1988                            140.0                                          2.9  

Japan                                         1986                            41.7                                            2.8  

Germany, Fed.Rep.                     1987                            22.8                                            2.8  

United Kingdom                          1986                            15.7                                          2.4  

France                                       1987                            16.4                                          2.4*  

India                                          1988                            N.A.                                            0.9  

Singapore                                   1987                            N.A.                                            0.9  

Turkey                                      1985                            N.A.                                            0.7  

Korea, Rep.                                1988                            N.A.                                            1.9  

   

   

   

Source:  PRC 1994; Economic Report of the President 1990, 113.  

   

   

   

   

   

Transnational Corporations and Chinese Capitalist Economic Development  

            Despite the fact that the Chinese private capital is not willing to invest in the high-tech industries and the state does not have the financial ability to support the development of these industries. The Chinese government recently declared an ambitious plan to develop "high and new technology industries." It was projected that by about 2005 the share of the “high and new technology industries” in GNP would have risen from 10 percent in 1993 to 15 percent, the share in total industrial value-added would have risen to 20-25 percent, and the share in manufacturing exports would have risen from 6.3 percent in 1994 to more than 15 percent. It is not clear how the "hi~h and new industry technologies" are defined. But it was said if China could realize the above plan, by early 2000s China would have reached same level of development that East Asian newly industrializing countries had reached by early l990s (RMRB 10 August 1995). Therefore, even if China has realized the above plan, it will still fall behind East Asian newly industrializing countries by about 10 years, let alone developed capitalist countries.  

             To realize the above plan, the Chinese government has put most of the stake on the investment by transnational corporations. One after another the so-called "high and new technology industrial campuses" have been set up in Shanghai. Tianjin. Shandong, Jiangsu. and Shaanxi. granting foreign-owned enterprises various benefits, with the hope that transnational corporations will make investment in high-tech industries in China.  

             While enormous foreign capital has been poured into China since 1979, the bulk of the foreign direct investment in China is from East Asian newly industrializing countries, especially Hong Kong. Macau, and Taiwan. rather than from the developed capitalist countries (see TABLE 4.7). In response to the rising labor cost and deepening economic crisis in their own countries. the capitalists in East Asian newly industrializing countries try to survive the crisis by relocating some labor-intensive industries to China to exploit China"s cheap labor. This kind of foreign direct investment makes little contribution to the development of China"s high-tech industries.  

   

   

   

TABLE 4.7  

   

Foreign Direct Investment in China by Country  

   

(billions of dollars)  

                                                 1992                             1993                              1994  

Total                                        11.3                               27.8                               33.8  

In which:  

Hong Kong and Macao                7.9                               18.0                               20.2  

Taiwan                                      1.1                                3.1                                 3.3  

Japan                                         0.7                                1.4                                 2.1  

United States                              0.5                                2.1                                 2.5  

Singapore                                   0.1                                0.5                              1,2  

Korea. Rep.                                0.1                                0.4                                 0.7  

   

Source: PRC 1994  

             Nevertheless since 1992 the investment in China by major transnational corporations based on the developed capitalist countries has increased rapidly. The investment by the transnational corporations from the developed capitalist countries has following characteristics. First, their investment projects are large in scale. While the average scale of the projects of foreign direct investment in China is between $ 1-2 million, the average scale of the investment projects by the transnational corporations from the developed capitalist countries is about $ 20 million. Secondly, they make investment in the high-tech industries and the capital-intensive industries rather than the labor-intensive industries, using the current-generation rather than the obsolete technologies (RMRB 18 October 1995; Shaw and Meier, 1994).  

             Why do major transnational corporations make investment in China, and especially, in the high-tech industries? Given China"s underdeveloped infrastructure and inadequate scientific-technological ability, and that cheap labor provides little advantage in high-tech industries, the transnational corporations make investment in China not because China is an efficient Site of production in high-tech industries. Instead, they make investment to exploit China"s rapidly expanding domestic market (Shaw and Meier, 1994). This pattern of foreign direct investment is not the same type of foreign direct investment in East Asian newly industrializing countries and Southeast Asian countries where foreign capital makes investment to exploit cheap labor and to pursue export­-oriented development. instead, it resembles a lot the foreign direct investment in Latin America after WWII when Latin American countries pursued import-substitution industrialization. In the latter case. foreign direct investment was not targeted at cheap labor but the domestic market of Latin American countries. According to Bornschier and Chase-Dunn (1985), in this case, while in the short run foreign direct investment helped to accelerate economic growth, in the long run it blocked indigenous capitalist development, intensified social inequality. and led to the shrinking of the domestic market and economic stagnation.  

            The Chinese government has taken a strategy of exchanging the domestic market for foreign investment and technology. The Chinese government hopes that in this way China will be able to develop its high-tech industries. For this strategy to work, effective trade barriers must be established in relevant industries so that transnational corporations cannot get access to China"s domestic market unless they make investment in China. However, while trade barriers may benefit the interest of some transnational corporations which make investment in China, they are against the general interest of the Capitalists in developed capitalist countries. Since China has been increasingly integrated into the world capitalist system, and has become increasingly dependent upon the developed capitalist countries in technology, capital, and exporting market, China has to make more and more concession to developed capitalist countries in trade policy and regime. Recently the Chinese government took a major step in trade liberalization by declaring a reduction of trade tariffs by an average of 3() percent. This, however, has not yet made China qualified for World Trade Organization, the entry" of which is Considered very important for China"s further expansion of exports. In this case, at best China can make only limited success in the "import-substitution" in the high-tech industries and will continue to depend heavily on the import of capital-goods and technologies.  

            In the short run, the rapidly expanding Chinese market will attract large amount of capital from the transnational corporations, which will further boost China"s economic growth. But in the long run, due to their higher productivity and technological level, the transnational corporations will become dominant producers in the Chinese market in certain industries. Alter they have established monopolistic control in the Chinese market, the transnational corporations will be able to pursue monopolistic profit by setting monopolistic prices. In this case, they can try to meet the increase of demand by raising prices and do not need to make further investment. On the other hand, the Chinese enterprises which fail to compete with the transnational corporations will not be able to make accumulation either. Moreover, the transnational corporations tend to adopt capital-intensive technologies which will increase unemployment and social inequality, and thus reduce working people"s purchasing power. The shrinking domestic market, on the other hand, further discourages investment. Thus, as Bonischier and Chase-Dunn (1985) argued, in the long run, this type of foreign direct investment would lead to economic stagnation in the country where foreign capital had deeply penetrated.  

CHAPTER V  

CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY  

   

   

New Authoritarianism Vs. Democracy  

       In early 1989 a controversy took place between two groups of liberal intellectuals--the “new authoritarians” and the “democrats.”  In the opinion of the new authoritarians:  

   

Under current conditions it is more practicable to have some powerful leading figures coercively advance the project of modernization than immediately adopting democracy . . . What we immediately need to do is to build up a dual society.  That is, a society with a system of free enterprises in economics and a centralized system in politics.  

   

On the other hand, the democrats argued:  

   

In today’s China we simply do not have the social conditions under which new authoritarianism can work and promote economic liberalization . . . Blind political centralization and intervention will only lead to political corruption and economic decline.  

   

Having been tempered in the economic reform and after several years of democratic enlightenment . . . the cry for democracy is becoming stronger and stronger.  

Democratization is now an irresistible social trend of the contemporary world (XHWZ No. 4 1989, 1-8).  

   

       Why did the controversy happen at this time?  By 1989 the capitalist “reform” had entered the so called “crisis” stage and a large part of the working masses could hardly stand the situation any further.  The liberal intellectuals realized “the reform is becoming increasingly risky day by day.”  In this case, some liberal intellectuals suggested that what China needed was “a political and military strong man who has certain level of modern consciousness and is able to establish authoritarian politics and stabilize social order form top to bottom with iron hands (XHWZ No. 4 1989, 2).”  In the opinion of the liberal intellectuals:  

   

We must pay cost for historical progress.  In the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial society, something must perish, something must pass away, and something must be born again.  All of the old social elements that are inconsistent with the requirements of modernization ultimately must be thrown away (XHWZ No. 4 1989, 6).  

   

The liberal intellectuals speak as if they were on the side of historical progress, enthusiastically calling for the forces of “modernization” which are full of vigor and vitality and prepared to sweep relentlessly all of those rotting and filthy old influences.  

       The so called “modernization” is simply another word for “capitalistization,” that is, the transition to the capitalist relations of production.  Only with the “blood legislation” under absolute monarchy, were British working people forced to follow the “requirements of modernization.”  In today’s China, as Richard Smith (1993, 99) said, “[f]or capitalist social-property relations to conquer China today would require the expropriation of workers from their guaranteed jobs, their right to let their children inherit their jobs, their right to housing, medical care, and many subsidies essential to subsistence--in a word, breaking their ‘iron rice bowls’.  These have to be broken in order to be open them up to capitalist exploitation.”  Thus, the development of the capitalist relations of production will necessarily be met with the determined resistance by the working class.  Only with serious and cruel struggles, and only after one side has been completely defeated, is it decided that who is the one that is to be thrown away.    The so called “parliamentary democracy” certainly cannot handle this kind of struggles, as the new authoritarians said, “the democratic system, under the control of the weak and incompetent, is usually unable to guarantee social order, normal life, and economic prosperity (XHWZ No. 4 1989, 2).”  The British bourgeoisie was able to have the British proletariat be subordinated to capitalist exploitation only with the help of the “blood legislation.”  In any country, to make the transition to capitalism, it is necessary to destroy the resistance of the proletariat and other working people by force.  Only in this way can the obstacles to capitalist development be cleared away.  In the opinion of F. Hayek, while the market economy is autonomously created by people, the planned economy is an artificially made institution and thus unnatural.  But this is simply not the case.  The “modern market economy” is artificially established wherever it comes into being and for it to be established, it must always resort to force and violence, and must always tread underfoot the basic rights of the majority people.  The transition to capitalism in which “something must perish, something must pass away, ans something must be born again”, which excites the liberal intellectuals so much, is a historical process in which the majority people are abused and disfranchised.  These are exactly the “progress” and the “freedom” pursued by our gentlemen intellectuals.   

       On the one hand, the liberal intellectuals realize that in “the early stage of modernization,” when “the middle class is too weak (the ‘middle class’ should be read as bourgeoisie),” and when people “lack democratic consciousness,” “the progress of modernization must rely upon the forces of a strong state.  Only under the strong-man politics, can social development be sustained and consolidated, and can we have a relatively stable social order.”  On the other hand, the liberal intellectuals worry that new authoritarianism may lead “back to traditionalism which is even more conservative and more backward (compared to Maoist socialism?--added by this author).”   

   

In the respect of ideology, new authoritarianism usually relies upon the traditional value system, which is supposed to provide the spiritual base for social unity.  But the traditional value system has strong despotic implications, both logically and psychologically.  It implies concentration of power and personal cult.  Moreover, new authoritarianism emphasizes strong man politics.  Power is thus personalized and is not subject to effective supervision.  In this case, the corruption of power and politics is inevitable (XHWZ No.4 1989, 2-3).  

   

       The middle class has immediate material interests in the development of the capitalist relations of production, which will bring about “appreciation of knowledge.”  In this sense, the middle class tends to support any kind of political system that is necessary for capitalist development, including the “strong man politics.”  On the other hand, the middle class, as the “reserve army” of the ruling class, asks for more “fair” competition for the entry into the ruling class, giving the members of the middle class more opportunities to get into the ruling class.  They are afraid of “the personalization of power” which may exclude themselves from political power--“the strong man politics has an instinctive apathy and dislike to intellectuals.”  The controversy between the new authoritarians and the democrats reflected the political dilemma that the middle class and its political agent--the liberal intellectuals were faced with when the transition to capitalism had greatly intensified all of the existing social contradictions.  

   

   

A Short History of Capitalist Democracy  

       Bourgeois scholars often tell us that capitalism and democracy are a pair of twins.  “It is the natural logic of capitalism that leads to democracy.  For economic freedom cannot be consolidated without political freedom.  People who have acquired economic freedom soon want political freedom and democracy (BIANYUAN, 5).”  

       If “political freedom” derives from “economic freedom,” then if social wealth is concentrated in a group of minority people, it must be the logical conclusion that since only the minority have “economic freedom,” while the majority have not, only the minority should have “political freedom,”  while the majority should not.  

       In fact, as early as in the “enlightenment” era, many bourgeois thinkers had realized that democracy was not the ideal capitalist political system.  According to Montesquieu, the republic system leads to “extreme equality,” where one tyrant is replaced by many “small tyrants.”  In his opinion, political power must be held by aristocracy and bourgeoisie, and lower people should not have the right to vote, for “masses are not suited to discuss important affairs.”  According to American federalist A.  Hamilton, masses “are not able to make judgments,” they are “arbitrary and capricious,” and they are easy to be misled, to make mistakes, and thus unreliable.  On the other hand, in Hamilton’s opinion, the rich and the prestigious, though only a small part of the population, are intelligent and competent, and thus should enjoy permanent political privileges.  He thought that this was the only way to “prevent those rash actions of democracy (see He Rubi and Yi Chengzhe, 207, 231).”   

       The 1787 United States Constitution was drafted according to federalist ideas.  According to Charles A.  Beard:  

   

   

Their leading idea was to break up the attack forces at the starting point: the source of political authority for the several branches of the government . . . And the crowning counterweight to “an interested and over-bearing majority,” as Madison phrased it, was secured in the peculiar position assigned to the judiciary, and the use of the sanctity and mystery of the law as a foil to democratic attacks.  It will be seen on examination that no two of the leading branches of the government are derived from the same source.  The House of Representatives springs from the mass of the people whom the states may see fit to enfranchise.  The Senate is elected by the legislatures of the states, which were, in 1787, almost uniformly based on property qualifications, sometimes with a differentiation between the sources of the upper and lower houses.  The President is to be chosen by electors selected as the legislatures of the states may determine--at all events by and authority one degree removed from the voters at large.  The judiciary is to be chosen by the President and the Senate, both removed from direct popular control and holding for longer terms than the House.  A sharp differentiation is made in the terms of the several authorities, so that a complete renewal of the government at one stroke is impossible.  The House of Representatives is chosen for two years; the Senators for six, but not at one election, for one-third go out every two years.  The President is chosen for four years.  The Judges of the Supreme Court hold for life.  Thus “popular distempers,” as eighteenth century publicists called them, are not only restrained from working their havoc through direct elections, but they are further checked by the requirement that they must last six years in order to make their effects felt in the political department of the government, providing they can break through the barriers imposed by the indirect election of the Senate and the President.  Finally, there is the check of judicial control that can be overcome only through the manipulation of the appointing power which requires time, or through the operation of a cumbersome amending system.  The keystone of the whole structure is, in fact, the system provided for judicial control--the most unique contribution to the science of government which has been made by American political genius.  It is claimed by some recent writers that it was not the intention of the framers of the Constitution to confer upon the Supreme Court the power of passing upon the constitutionality of statutes enacted by Congress; but in view of the evidence on the other side, it is incumbent upon those who make this assertion to bring forward positive evidence to the effect that judicial control was not a part of the Philadelphia programme.  Certainly, the authors of The Federalist entertained no doubts on the point, and they conceived it to be such an excellent principle that they were careful to explain it to the electors to whom they addressed their arguments (Beard, 1960, 161).  

   

       Whenever the liberal intellectuals talk about “democracy,” they mean American-style democracy.  The division of power between three branches and the two-chamber system are considered to be indispensable principles of democracy.  But in fact, it is by no means for democracy that the United States Constitution provides these principles.  On the contrary these principles are provided exactly to paralyze democracy.  As Beard (1960, 161) said: “[t]he economic corollary of this system is as follows: Property interests may, through their superior weight in power and intelligence, secure advantageous legislation whenever necessary, and they may at the same time obtain immunity from control by parliamentary majorities.”  If all power belongs to people, why must the parliament which is composed of people’s representatives be controlled by other branches of power?  In fact, in 1787 in the United States, there were four major social groups who were disfranchised--”the slaves, the indented servants, the mass of men who could not qualify for voting under the property tests imposed by the state constitution and laws, and women (Beard, 1960, 24).”  And according to Beard (1960, 250), when the Constitution was put to popular vote, only “one in six of the adult males” voted in favor of the Constitution.  The United States Constitution was not at all “an expression of the clear and deliberate will of the whole people” as said by bourgeois scholars.  

       The natural logic of capitalism by no means leads to democracy.  Under a social system where the majority are oppressed by the minority, how can the oppressors not be scared by the possible rebellion of the oppressed, and if the oppressed do rebel, how can the oppressors not do anything possible to put down their rebellion?  If the logic of capitalism is allowed to be developed freely, without being prevented by any counteracting forces, it will only lead to the explicit dictatorship of  a small group of upper elites over the broad masses of people.  

       The British bourgeois revolution paved the way for British capitalist development.  But it did not bring democracy to the majority British people.  In the revolution, “egalitarians” who represented the interest of ordinary people, wanted to abolish the upper house which was composed of aristocrats, and establish a single-chamber parliamentary republic which was based on universal suffrage without property restrictions.  But Cromwell suppressed “egalitarians” and established personal dictatorship.  For the two hundred years after the “Glorious Revolution” in 1688, Britain had been a country where a small group of upper elites had monopoly over political power and there was no democracy at all for the majority people.  Before the 1832 parliamentary reform, only one in thirty two of the population had the right to vote.  As a result of the 1832 reform, the people who had the right to vote were increased from 500,000 to 873,000 which only accounted for one-twenty second of the population.  

       British people had never stopped the struggle for democracy.  In 1819 workers at Manchester held an assembly asking for political reform.  They were suppressed by the government army, with hundreds killed or hurt.  In May 1838 workers all over the country held assemblies and demonstrations, asking for universal suffrage.  This was the beginning of the Chartist Movement.  In July, the parliament rejected the petition of Chartists.  The government banned the assemblies and arrested Chartist leaders.  In May 1841 Chartists again handed in a petition with 3.3 signatures to the parliament and the petition was again rejected.  Workers all over the country were on strike.  The government suppressed the strikes and arrested more than 1,500 people.  In May 1848 Chartists held national assembly at London, and handed in a petition with more than 5 million signatures to the parliament.  The parliament rejected with the excuse that “many signatures are fabricated” and Chartist leaders were arrested by the government.  Only after many years of struggles by the working class, in 1867 Britain made the second parliamentary reform, in which the voters were increased from 1,395,000 to 2,455,000.  At that time there were 16 million adult residents in Britain.  Thus more than 13 million people continued to be disfranchised.  Male universal suffrage was not realized in Britain until 1885 and British women got the right to vote only after 62 more years (Liu Zongxu, 218-219, 299, 333-334).  

       The British political history shows that capitalism will by no means bring about democracy by itself.  On the contrary, capitalist development requires suppressing the democratic desires of the majority people and maintaining the dictatorship by a small group of upper elites.  Capitalism has to accept and tolerate the modern democratic system only after long-term sustaining struggles by the oppressed people, and especially, the modern working class.  This is also reflected by the political history of other western countries.  In France universal suffrage was declared as early as in 1793 in the peak of the French Revolution.  But after Napoleon came to power, he abolished parliamentary democracy and established military dictatorship.  After the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, political power was in the hands of “financial aristocrats.”  In the whole France only 300,000 people had the right to vote.  After the February Revolution in 1848, under the pressure of the working class, the Second Republic declared universal suffrage.  But in May 1850 to prevent the working class and the petty bourgeoisie from taking power, the constituent assembly abolished universal suffrage.  Male universal suffrage was established in France not until the Third Republic and French women gained the right to vote until 1944.  In Italy constituent monarchy was established in 1870.  But Male universal suffrage was not realized until 1919 and Italian women gained the right to vote in 1945.  Sweden had its first constitution as early as in 1814, but male universal suffrage did not come until the early 20th century (Yang Zugong and Gu Xinli, 58, 66-67).  

       The political history of western capitalist countries shows that historically modern democracy was not a natural result of capitalist development.  Instead it was achieved by the working class and other oppressed people only after long-term struggles against the capitalist oppressive system.  In this sense, modern democracy is itself a result of class struggles.  Thus, whether democracy can survive, and can be expanded and developed, must also depend on the concrete historical conditions of class struggles.  Modern capitalist democracy, which is not more than an expression of the balance of power between different classes under certain historical conditions, is by no means the highest stage in the progress of democracy that we cannot go beyond.  On the contrary, being the “democracy” which is more or less compatible with an oppressive social order, capitalist democracy can only be, in Lenin’s language, “incomplete and fragmentary democracy.”[22]
  

Dependent Development and Democracy  

       Under capitalism which is by nature an oppressive social system, democracy can only exist withing very narrow limits.  On the one hand, the political force of the oppressed people must be strong enough so that the ruling class has to accept some form of democracy.  On the other hand, it must not be so strong that it can no longer be accommodated within the limit of the capitalist system.  If this is the case, then under the conditions of dependent development, the limits within which democracy can exist are even narrower, and capitalist democracy is even more vulnerable.   

       We know that dependent development is based on the exploitation of hundreds of millions of cheap labor.  However, if we solely rely upon the autonomous adjustment of free market, it is difficult to keep the price of labor power low enough for dependent development for a long time.  Only with political dictatorship, using coercive forces to systematically destroy the working class’s resistance, is it possible to maintain for a long time a large cheap labor force necessary for dependent development.  As one American radical economist argued:  

   

Both foreign capitalists and domestic capitalists regard strong dictatorship regimes as the best safeguard of political and economic stability.  In many areas in the third world, workers become increasingly militant, and the public increasingly require better distribution of economic interests, and moreover revolutionary movements are taking shape or become more active.  In this case political repression is usually the best way to keep labor docile and willing to work under the wage level which allows high profit for investment.  In core capitalist countries bourgeois democracy plays an important role in legitimacy while does little harm to capitalist economic interests.  But in peripheral capitalist countries democracy usually prevents capitalist accumulation ( Thomas E. Weisskopf, “Di Guo Zhu Yi He Di San Shi Jie De Jing Ji Fa Zhan (Imperialism and Economic Development in the Third World),” in Wilber).  

   

       In late 1980s and early 1990s the wave of the so called “democratization” swept a number of third world countries.  Some liberal intellectuals take this as evidence, arguing: “the strong man politics or new authoritarianism cannot work . . . Time has changed.  Now it is no longer 1930s, nor 1950s.  Now the trend is democracy (JJXDT No.7 1993, 45).”  In their opinion, capitalist development will inevitably bring about to the development of the private capitalist class and the middle class, whose strength will be increased overtime.  After the private capitalist class and the middle class have acquired dominant economic positions, they must not be satisfied with their powerless political positions and will ask for corresponding dominant political positions, leading to democratization.  

       In a dependent capitalist society, the private capitalist class and the middle class are privileged classes without political power.  On the one hand, they want political positions corresponding to their social and economic positions, and want to share political power with the ruling class.  In this sense, they are democratic forces.  On the other hand, the two classes are privileged classes who have important interests in the existing social system, want to preserve the existing oppressive system, and thus are willing to support the ruling class when it represses the struggle of the oppressed people.  In this sense, they are anti-democratic forces.  Thus, whether capitalist development can lead to democratization depends on much more complicated conditions than the liberal intellectuals have imagined.  Between the private capitalist class and the middle class, apparently the private capitalist class, due to its economic interest, under the conditions of dependent development, has much more stake in political dictatorship than the middle class.  Nevertheless, since in China and in many third world countries, the private capitalist class is not a major political and social force, in the following analysis, we will only discuss how different relations between the ruling class, the middle class, and the oppressed people have different impacts on political conditions in third world countries (see TABLE 5.1).  


 

TABLE 5.1  

Political Conditions under Dependent Capitalist Development  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

        Oppressed People*      Middle Class**      Ruling Class*** Political Conditions                        Cases  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

I              Strong                         Strong                    Weak                      ?****                  Chile under Unidad Popular;  

                                                                                                                                             Former Soviet Union and                                                                                                                                                           Eastern Europe since late 1980s  

II            Strong                         Weak                      Strong         Capitalist Dictatorship   China since 1979;  

                                                                                                                                             Korea and Latin America before                                                                                                                                                mid 1980s  

III          Strong                          Weak                     Weak           Socialist Revolution       Russian revolution;  

                                                                                                                                             Chinese revolution   

IV         Weak                            Strong                    Strong                     ?****                  China between 1911-1924  

V          Weak                            Strong                    Weak           Capitalist Democracy     Turkey since 1917;  

                                                                                                                                              India since 1948;  

                                                                                                                                              Taiwan, Korea and Latin                                                                                                                                                            America after mid 1980s  

VI         Weak                            Weak                     Strong          Capitalist Dictatorship   Taiwan before mid 1980s;   

                                                                                                                                             Indonesia;  

                                                                                                                                             Africa(?)  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

*The working class and peasants.  

**Or the alliance of the middle class and the private capitalist class.  

***Usually the bureaucratic capitalist class, sometimes with the participation of the private capitalist class.  

****Extreme political instability and chaos.  

   

   

       If the forces of the oppressed people are so strong that they threaten the normal progress of dependent capitalist accumulation, then the direction of social development, is primarily determined by the balance of power between the oppressed people and the ruling class.  In this case, either the ruling class, with the aid of political dictatorship, destroys the resistance by the oppressed people (shown by case II in TABLE 5.1), or the oppressed people, by making revolution, overthrow the ruling class (shown by case III in TABLE 5.1).  On the other hand, case I (in TABLE 5.1) must be a transitory situation.  If the force of the oppressed people are so strong that normal capitalist accumulation is no longer possible, but they are not strong enough to determine the direction of social development by themselves, and on the other hand, the ruling class does not have the necessary ability to restore “order,” then we will have case I.  In this case, the middle class will play a decisive role and social development is open to all directions, depending on concrete historical struggles.  In former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the middle class support the transition to capitalism, but without rejecting democracy.  As a result, normal capitalist accumulation cannot be undertaken and the economy collapses.  This kind of situation certainly cannot sustain in the long run.  In Chile in 1973, it was with the acquiescence of the middle class, that Pinochet made the coup d’etat and set up fascist regime.  Thus, in case I, the attitude of the middle class is crucial.  Historically, in this case, it is not unusual for the middle class to reject democracy in order to preserve the capitalist system, or to choose fascism instead of socialism.  

       If the forces of the oppressed people are not strong enough to threaten dependent capitalist accumulation, the political conditions will be largely determined by the balance of power between the ruling class and the middle class.  When the middle class is relatively stronger, and when the ruling class is no longer able to continue its rule without changing the political system, we will see “democratization” under capitalist conditions (shown by case V in TABLE 5.1).  This is what we have seen in some third world countries in recent few years.  In Taiwan, there has been successful capitalist development for several decades.  The private capitalist class and the middle class become increasingly strong, and finally the ruling class has to accept “democracy,” giving up a part of political power.  This is the classical model of bourgeois political reform.  It is also the model of “democratization” desired by the liberal intellectuals.  But this model does not apply to most countries in case V.  In Latin America, “democratization” is not based on the success of capitalist development.  Instead, Latin American capitalism was caught up in deep crisis in 1980s.  The ruling class was on the verge of bankruptcy, losing much of legitimacy, and in this case, had to make some changes in the political system.    

       But why did the crisis in Latin America lead to case V rather than case I or III?  How did the forces of the oppressed people turn from “strong” to “weak”?  If there were not twenty more years of military dictatorship, the forces of the oppressed people would not be substantially weakened.  And if the forces of the oppressed people had not been substantially weakened, capitalism would not be able to overcome the crisis, and there would not be “democratization” within the limit of capitalism.[23]  It is safe to say that in Latin America without the past military dictatorship, there would not be today’s “democratization.”  If this is the case, the newly born “democracy” must be very vulnerable and unreliable.  Its conditions of survival are provided by the past military dictatorship and it cannot reproduce these conditions by itself.  If these conditions have been lost, then what else can be done besides again resorting to military dictatorship?    

       Therefore, “democracy” is not, as the liberal intellectuals said, an inherent “trend” of capitalist development.  At best it is one of the six possible “cases.”  Moreover, purely political “democracy” will help to solve none of the fundamental problems of the dependent capitalist society.  Dependent capitalist accumulation must be based on the exploitation of cheap labor.  With every dependent capitalist country competing with one another in the world market, each of them wants to depress the price of labor power in its own country as much as possible.  And political repression provides a much more powerful way than free market to repress the price of labor power.  Thus, “democratization” by itself has not eliminated and will not eliminate the danger of political repression.  Instead, since this kind of “democratization” tries to preserve the capitalist oppressive system, it prepares the conditions for the future political repression and military dictatorship, or by doing so, it prepares the conditions for the future revolution.  

   

The “Corruption” Problem and “Social Chaos”  

       Some liberal intellectuals believe that without political democracy, China cannot develop capitalism:  

   

The political reform must proceed at the same pace as the economic reform . . . After the economic reform has reached certain stage, the political reform must keep up, otherwise further economic reform will be met with obstacles (JJXDT No.7 1993, 45).  

   

Some people refer to the “four dragons” as examples, thinking that purely economic reform is possible.  But they fail to see that the “four dragons” have always been based on private property and market economy.  Their system does not prevent their economic take-off.  But the mainland China must first reform the economic system.  In the transformation of the economic system, if there is not political democracy, and the government and its officials are not supervised by people and independent opinion, Guan Dao (“official speculation”--meaning rent-seeking activities) will not be checked, corruption will prevail, and social contradictions must be increasingly intensified, until getting out of hands.  As British historian Acton said one hundred years ago: “power leads to corruption; absolute power leads to absolute corruption.”  This is the iron law of history from which nobody can escape.  The government without people’s supervision must be corrupted, and people will not tolerate corruption and Guan Dao.  These are the roots and catalysis of social chaos (Xu Liangying).  

   

       Eliminating corruption does not mean doing away with oppression.  In an oppressive society, corruption is not more than the violation of the rule of oppression.  For the broad masses of the oppressed people, an oppressive society without corruption is no less an oppressive society.  But can we imagine that in a society where the majority people are oppressed and exploited, the government can be effectively supervised by ordinary people?  Can we imagine that a society which allows a group of minority people “legally” plunder the majority people, can effectively prevent some people from plundering without following the “legal” process of plundering?  

      What makes our liberal intellectuals so lovely is that on the one hand, they want capitalism, and on the other hand, they do not want those evils necessarily associated with capitalism.  No matter what political forms it takes, an oppressive society has no way to really solve the corruption problem.  This is true not only under political dictatorship, but also under political democracy, as the Italian political scandals in 1993 suggest.  The corruption of Italian politics has been for a long time known to everyone.  But for it has never really hurt the ruling class.  Now we find that actually the whole ruling elite has been deeply corrupted.  We can see from the Italian case how effective “democracy” is in solving the corruption problem.  

       The new authoritarians criticize the democrats, saying that the democrats are too naive, and premature democracy will lead to unchecked corruption and economic stagnation.  The democrats criticize that the new authoritarians are caught up in illusions, and new authoritarianism will only lead to political corruption and economic decline.  But let us look around the less developed capitalist countries in the world, no matter they are under political dictatorship or democracy, how many of them have successfully solve the corruption problem?  

       Is there any way to solve the corruption problem?  Yes.  That is the “tyranny of majority” which makes the liberal intellectuals most scared.  Only by resorting to the “majority”, can we really have some hope to solve the problem.  And only by making revolution, overthrowing the oppressor class, and by greatly mobilizing the political enthusiasm of the broad masses of people, can we meaningfully talk about effective supervision of government.  

       In the opinion of the liberal intellectuals, if the oppressors do not violate the rules of oppression, practicing “fair play,” the oppressed people will peacefully accept oppression, the “reform” thus can proceed smoothly, the social contradictions thus will not be “increasingly intensified,” nor “getting out of hands,” and the oppressive society will have no troubles.  

       With corruption, or without corruption, capitalist development objectively requires the concentration of great amount of wealth in a small group of people who thus must plunder the majority.  After the Independence War, Thomas Jefferson, seeing that a small group of people made great fortunes, while many petty producers were bankrupted and unemployed, criticize capitalism being “an automatic machine that turns the majority people into the poor (He Rubi and Yi Chengzhe, 207).”  In response to capitalist primitive accumulation, in America there was the struggle between anti-federalists and federalists; and in Britain there was the struggle by “egalitarians” and “diggers” (Jue Di Pai).  Anti-federalists, “egalitarians” and “diggers,” all represented the interest of the majority people, making struggles against capitalist oppression.  For capitalism to develop, it must destroy these resistances.  To do this, it must rely upon force, violence, political dictatorship, rather than democracy.  For China to develop capitalism, it must follow the same logic.  On the one hand, you want to plunder the masses of people.  On the other hand, you want the masses of people to be plundered freely and democratically.  How is this possible?   

       The June 4 event, by repressing people’s resistance, prepared the political conditions for capitalist dependent development in China.  However, capitalist dependent development is based on on the one hand, the cruel exploitation of China’s new proletariat, and on the other hand, the pauperization of the peasants.  Thus, it is based on the pauperization of the majority Chinese people.  On the other hand, in a country like China, which had made a socialist revolution, and where egalitarian ideas have been deeply rooted in people’s hearts, and where people no longer believe that exploitation and oppression are something that can be justified, something that are natural, and something that cannot be challenged, there is even less reason why working people shall accept and tolerate their exploited and oppressed conditions, and there is even less reason why they will not make all possible forms of struggles to bring changes to their conditions.  These are the real “roots and catalysis of social chaos.”          

       The new authoritarians realize that capitalist development in China, and especially dependent capitalist development, will by no means be like a plain sailing.  Instead, it will inevitably be met with the opposition and resistance of the majority people, the opposition and resistance that have to overcome by force and political dictatorship.  On this point, the new authoritarians have deeper insight than the democrats and they are also more honest.  It is interesting to see that Mr. Du Gangjian,[24] who had always claimed that he had no common ground at all with the new authoritarians , recently wrote an essay arguing: “political reform in China must move forward step by step.  We cannot have too much expectation of a country where even rule of law has not yet been realized.”  In the opinion of Mr. Du Gangjian, it is necessary to “distinguish liberty and democracy,” “the liberty problem should not be confused with the democracy problem.”  In his opinion, new authoritarianism is wrong not because “it rejects democracy,” but because “it rejects not only democracy but also liberty.”  Freedom without democracy!--what kind of freedom is it?[25]  According to Mr. Du Gangjian, the liberal intellectuals are faced with a dilemma.  “Theoretically we have only two alternatives--democracy or dictatorship.  But in reality there is the need for constitutional politics.”  Consequently, “we must choose either democracy or dictatorship.”  However, of democracy, “we cannot have too much expectation;” if we choose dictatorship, “the result is economic backwardness, cultural poverty, and the degeneration of the people.”  “The only way out is the third choice . . . let’s turn to another perspective--the commitment to liberty and human right, and the safeguard for liberty and human right is the core of constitutional politics (BIANYUAN, 10-12).”  “Constitutional politics” without democracy?  “Freedom and human right” without democracy?  Is this anything but the new authoritarian “open-minded dictatorship?”  

       It is not of Chinese people, but of capitalism, that “we cannot have too much expectation.”  The development of a country, in the last analysis, depends on the enthusiasms and initiatives of the masses of people.  In this respect, only in a democratic society, where the majority people have control over their own fate, can the great creative potential reserved in the masses of people be fully released.  Democracy, as far as it is not used to cover up the contradictions of the oppressive societies, is by no means the obstacle to development, but the most powerful motive for development.  

   

   

   

   

CHAPTER VI    

THE FUTURE OF THE CHINESE REVOLUTION  

   

   

       What are the lessons that we can draw from the failure of the 1989 revolution?  First, the liberal intellectuals are completely unqualified for the leadership of the democratic struggle.  Following them, Chinese working people would only achieve their own appropriation.  

       Secondly, capitalism, as an oppressive social and economic system which is against the basic interest of the majority people, is by nature incompatible with democracy in the sense that democracy means the ordinary people’s power.  In the Chinese context, this was true at the time of the 1989 revolution when the transition to capitalism was met with the tenacious resistance by the working class.  This is also true today when the Chinese capitalist economy has to rely heavily on the “advantage” of cheap labor to compete in the world market, and a repressive political system is indispensable for keeping the labor cheap and docile.  In this case, the struggle for democracy in China, if it is to be carried out to its logical end, must be at the same time the struggle for socialism.  

       Thirdly, working people, who are oppressed and exploited, and thus cannot go beyond the narrow scope of their personal experience of life and reach a scientific and global view of society, cannot by themselves become an independent political force and win the struggle for liberation.  In this case, to build up a revolutionary socialist intellectual force which is directed by a correct revolutionary theory and is prepared to join the struggle of working people against oppression and exploitation, is the primary condition for the future socialist revolution.  

       The failure of the 1989 revolution cleared the political obstacle to capitalist development.  The ruling class has passed the crisis stage, consolidated its ruling position, gained the support of international capital, and restored relationship with the major capitalist countries.  The normal capitalist relations of production have been established in China and the economy has again entered a stage of rapid expansion.  

       On the other hand, the liberal intellectuals have lost most of their political influence that they had before 1989.  Their exiling party abroad has bankrupted and they do not have any organized political force in China.  Without any significant social base, the very existence (or extinguishment) of the liberal opposition now depends much on the diplomatic game between the Chinese and the American ruling class.    

       But all the social contradictions remain and are to be developed.  As a social system, capitalism can exist only if it is more or less accepted by the majority people.  However, under the  conditions of dependent development, the Chinese capitalist economy can compete in the world market only by exploiting hundreds of millions of “cheap labor.”  Thus, the Chinese capitalist economy can work only by pauperizing the majority people, that is, only by turning the majority people into the opposition of itself.  To maintain capitalist accumulation, Chinese capitalism must destroy its own social base; and to preserve its own social base, Chinese capitalism cannot make successful capitalist accumulation.  Chinese capitalism, which cannot maintain at the same time its economic rationality and social legitimacy, is thus faced with insolvable contradictions.          

       True, Chinese capitalism is now in quite good shape.  Capitalist accumulation has never been so strong, and the vigor of the rising Chinese capitalism may have no match in today’s world.  The economy has rapidly expanded for more than one decade and seems to have no difficulty to expand as rapidly for another decade.  The ruling class is looking forward to the future with confidence and it seems that the century old nationalist dream of “being rich and strong” is being realized.  But all of these by no means suggest that the capitalist system is freed from its inherent contradictions and the capitalist economy can move forward smoothly forever.  On the contrary, “stable economic growth” under capitalism is contradiction in term.  

       From Marxist point of view, the capitalist economy is by nature irrational and self-contradictory.  The very success of capitalist accumulation prepares the conditions for its collapse.  Here we cannot make detail discussion of the Marxist theory of capitalist accumulation.  Let us simply point out that according to Marxist theory, capitalist accumulation suffers from following inherent contradictions.    

       First, under relentless competition, capitalists have to constantly raise labor productivity by replacing labor with capital.  According to Marxist theory, this leads to the rising organic composition of capital (the ratio of constant capital to variable capital, or the ratio of the value of means of production to the value of labor power).  Since surplus value (profit) is created by variable capital rather than constant capital, the rising organic composition of capital sooner or later will lead to the falling profit rate.  In conventional statistics this is reflected by the long-term tendency of rising capital-output ratio (for detail discussions of the tendency of rising capital-output ratio under capitalist technological progress, see appendix of this chapter).[26]  In Marx’s words, if the profit rate falls below certain point, “the vital flame of production would be altogether extinguished.”  

   

   

It would die out.  The rate of profit is the motive power of capitalist production.  Things are produced only so long as they can be produced with a profit . . . What worries Ricardo is the fact that the rate of profit, the stimulating principle of capitalist production, the fundamental premise and driving force of accumulation, should be endangered by the development of production itself (Marx, 1967, 259).  

   

       To reverse the trend of falling rate of profit, the capitalist class must manage to substantially increase the rate of surplus value.  However, it is exactly as a result of the rapid expansion of the capitalist economy, the strength of the working class is increased not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.  By absorbing an increasingly large number of labor force, capitalist accumulation gradually exhausts the reserve army of labor composed of unemployed population.  The shrinking of the reserve army of labor intensifies the competition between the capitalists and reduce the pressure of competition on the workers.  The balance of power is thus changed in favor of the working class and against the capitalist class.  At the same time, capitalist development leads to increasing concentration of capital, and consequently, the workers become more concentrated and organized and their class consciousness and militancy are developed proportionately.  The increase of the strength of the working class effectively prevents the increase of the rate of surplus value.   

       It is exactly because the capitalist system has no way to free itself from these contradictions, any long-term expansion of the capitalist economy sooner or later will be replaced by long-term depressions.  The world capitalist economy has repetitively fallen into long-term depressions for every few decades.  In the long-term depression, all of the economic and social contradictions of the capitalist system are greatly intensified, opening the possibility of fundamental social changes.  According to Mandel (1995) there is no way for the capitalist economy, with its purely “economic” mechanisms, to move out of the long-term depression automatically.  For the capitalist system to survive the long-term depression, there must be a substantial increase of the profit rate, which requires a substantial increase of the rate of surplus value.  But a fundament change in the rate of surplus value involves major political and social struggles, and there is no ex ante guarantee whether the capitalist system can survive these struggles or not.[27]  

      What are the implications for Chinese capitalist development?  From Marxist point of view, the current rapid expansion of the Chinese capitalist economy must be explained by the exceptionally high profit rate which is based on the one hand on the exploitation of hundreds of millions of “cheap labor,” and on the other hand on the imports of advanced technologies and capital goods.  However, as we have seen, capitalist accumulation, under its own inherent logic, leads to the falling rate of profit.  Sooner or later the profit rate will fall to a level where capitalist accumulation can no longer be normally carried out.  

       Besides the contradictions from which all capitalist economies suffer, Chinese capitalism is also burdened with the contradictions which are particular to Chinese capitalism.  First, as what is argued in Chapter IV, Chinese capitalist economic development is by nature dependent development which is based on the imports of foreign technologies and capital goods.  China is able to finance these imports for China has a competitive exporting sector which is largely based on the advantage  of cheap labor.  Nevertheless, the historical tendency of capitalist technological progress is to replace labor with capital, and thus increasingly weakens and even eliminates the importance of cheap labor, put the long-term sustainability of dependent development into serious question.    

       Secondly, for capitalist accumulation to be undertaken, surplus value must not only be produced, but also be realized.  However, dependent capitalist development is based on the exploitation of hundred of millions of cheap labor, and is thus based on the pauperization of the majority people.  The increase of the purchasing power of the majority people thus cannot keep up with the expansion of the economy.  As long as China is able to rapidly expand its exports in the world market, a relatively narrow domestic market will not set a serious limit to capitalist accumulation.  But given a slowly growing world economy, China’s rapid growth of exports sooner or later will come to an end, and the Chinese capitalist economy will be faced with an increasingly serious “realization” problem which may become an insurmountable obstacle to further capitalist accumulation.   

       All of these contradictions set an absolute limit to Chinese capitalist development.  While we cannot predict accurately the date on which Chinese capitalism will fall into a major crisis, based on the historical experience of world capitalism, it is safe to say that it will not take more than two or three decades before the turning point comes.  After this point, Chinese capitalism will enter a stage of long-term decline, in which all of the social and economic contradictions will be greatly intensified.  Whether Chinese capitalism can survive the long-term decline depends on the concrete result of major political and social struggles.  

       In this respect following elements will have decisive impacts on the final outcome  of the struggles.  First, unlike the developed capitalist societies, Chinese capitalism is supported by an explicitly repressive political system.  In this case, the Chinese ruling class cannot claim as strong a legitimacy as the ruling classes in the developed capitalist countries, leaving itself extremely vulnerable when there are major political and social crises.  

       Secondly, unlike the developed capitalist societies, Chinese capitalism which is based on the exploitation of hundred of millions of cheap labor, does not have much space to make class compromise and to alleviate class contradictions, for example, by introducing some kind of welfare state.  In this case, the contradictions between the ruling class and the oppressed people will be manifested at its full scale, and thus must be solved throughly and completely, leaving little space for the reformist solution.  

       Thirdly, different from most of the less developed capitalist countries, China is a country that has experienced a socialist revolution.  The consciousness and the spiritual conditions of Chinese working people are thus incomparable to those of the working people in the countries that have not experienced such a revolution.  For Chinese working people, exploitation, oppression, and domination are no longer unalterable principles.  Instead they have seen with their own eyes how the world could be changed if the oppressed people would rise up, making rebellion and striking the oppressors down to the ground.  The rights that working people have won by the revolution, must not be taken away by the ruling class without serious struggles.  If these rights have been lost, as soon as the working people have gained the necessary force, they will not hesitate at all before rising up and striking the ruling class again down to the ground, and will not hesitate at all to restore, expand, and develop these rights.      

       When we consider the future of the Chinese revolution, there is no reason for pessimism.  The capitalist social system which is based on the exploitation and oppression of the majority people, is by nature irrational and full of contradictions.  It is capitalist development itself, under its own inherent logic, that paves the way for social crisis and social revolution.  On the other hand, Chinese working people, who had made a great socialist revolution, will by no means stand the present oppressive system for a long time.  We have reason to believe that the next Chinese socialist revolution will not be a matter of distant future and it is the duty of our generation to make the coming great struggle.  We can confidently predict, as Marx predicted after the failure of the 1848 revolution, “[a] new revolution is possible only in consequence of a new crisis.  It is, however, just as certain as this crisis . . . (Marx, 1977, 297)”     

   

   

The Liberal Intellectuals on Market, Democracy, and Revolution  

       Who are qualified to solve the problems of the Chinese society? It seems that the liberal intellectuals are the first to be qualified. For they are the “official opposition (in the sense that it is recognized by all the western ruling classes),” the “only” opposition, the symbol of democracy, and the successor of the Crown. So what is the liberal intellectuals’ programme for social transformation?  

       The liberal intellectuals said:  

With the deprivation of private property and economic freedom, market is closed, privileges are established, laziness is protected, and creativity is suppressed, bringing about universal poverty and backwardness. The rich countries are turned into poor countries, and the poor countries are even poorer. There is only one way out: market economy, plus democratic politics (BIANYUAN, 5).  

   

       Why do people live in poverty? According to the liberal intellectuals, this is not a result of class oppression, but a result of the revolution. The revolution takes away “private property and economic freedom,” and thus brings about “universal poverty and backwardness.” The remedy to this problem is “market economy, plus democratic politics.”  

       For the liberal intellectuals, nothing is wrong with the “market economy” (capitalism) itself, and the problem lies in the lack of “democratic politics.” As long as there is “democratic politics,” even if not all the problems of a capitalist society can be easily solved, these problems in no case go out of hand. Can democratic politics help to solve the contradictions of a capitalist society? If democratic politics is turned into a weapon in the hands of the oppressed people, who in turn use this weapon to overthrow the entire capitalist social order, then democratic politics is certainly a solution to the contradictions of a capitalist society. But I guess this is not what is intended by the liberal intellectuals.  

       Why is “democratic politics” to be added to the “market economy?” The liberal intellectuals said: “it is the natural logic of capitalism that leads to political democracy, for economic freedom cannot be consolidated without political freedom . . . property right and free market needs political safeguards, otherwise they may be trodden underfoot by the rulers who abuse power (BIANYUAN, 4-5).” Thus, for the liberal intellectuals, “democratic politics” is not more than the “political safeguard” of “property right and free market.” But is not it true that the “property right” of the capitalist class is exactly based on the pauperization of the majority people? If this is the case, is not it true that to safeguard “property right” is no less than to exercise political oppression over the majority people?  

       This contradiction is sensed by the liberal intellectuals, who perceive that the complete development of democratic politics would inevitably endanger “property right.” For this reason, they worry that “democratic politics may set free the desire of mobs, degenerate into anarchy, and finally end with tyranny.  Therefore, after prevailing over the tyranny of single person, the democratic politics is faced with the threat of a new type of tyranny, the tyranny of the majority, especially the tyranny of the moral majority (BIANYUAN, 6).”  What is the “tyranny of the majority?”  It does not make any sense by abstractly talking about the “tyranny of the majority.” To understand the nature of the “tyranny of the majority,” we must understand who is the “majority,” who is the “minority,” and what is the relationship between the “majority” and the “minority.”  When the majority is being oppressed by the minority, and when the minority is exercising the “tyranny of the minority,” the “tyranny of the majority” could be nothing more than the rebellion of the oppressed people against the rule of the oppressors. To call it “tyranny,” is to say that it is against the will of the oppressors; to call it the “tyranny of the majority,” is to say that it is in the will of the oppressed people.  

       Thus, to say that democratic politics is faced with the threat of the tyranny of the majority, is to say that the capitalist system is faced with the threat of democratic politics. For democracy, when its essence is concerned, and when it means giving power to the majority people who are under oppression, is incompatible with capitalism. It is on this point that the liberal intellectuals have shown some honest and scientific attitudes.   

       “Market economy, plus democratic politics,” in practice, means promising people bourgeois civil rights.  There are some liberal intellectuals who are concerned with the undisguised exploitation of the rising capitalism and the miserable conditions of working people.  However, they cannot believe that this derives from the nature of the capitalist system and is indispensable for capitalist development. Instead, with good wishes, they want “humanization of competition,” and think that within the limit of a bourgeois society, workers can strive for a better term of bargaining.  However, these “kind people” fail to see that the term of bargaining between capital and labor is determined not only by the balance of power between the proletariat and the capital within a particular nation, but increasingly by the balance of power between the world proletariat and the world capital. On the one hand, capital all over the world has been united. On the other hand, the proletarians of different nations continue to fight for their interest separately and thus defeated separately.  Now European workers have found that it is increasingly difficult for them to preserve the “welfare state.”  The recent debate on the “human right” problem between Southeast Asian countries and the U.S. also tells us what is going on: less developed capitalist countries, by exploiting their “cost advantage” in poor labor right, are able to somehow offset the technological advantage of developed capitalist countries, and thus put the labor right in developed capitalist countries into question.  Of course we should and must struggle for establishing laws more favorable to working people.  We cannot hope that these laws can do much in the “humanization of competition.”  Nevertheless, these laws will help us to understand following facts.  First, if these laws are not implemented, then these laws are not more than a heap of waste paper.  Second, if these laws are really implemented, then China will be faced with great difficulty in the competition in the world market, capital will flow out, capitalist accumulation will stop, and the capitalist system will be faced with serious problems  

       The solution to concrete problems must be found in concrete, historical conditions. Those social programmes that simply come out of imagination serves no use.  For the urban working class, to preserve the social rights that they won by revolution, they must not be satisfied with these rights themselves.  They can no longer expect the ruling class to grant them these rights.  Consequently, they must grant themselves these rights by themselves.  If the state ownership, i.e. the ruling class ownership, is not turned into the working class ownership, how is this possible?  For the new proletariat, even the guarantee of eight-hour working day, the guarantee of the right to rest in holidays, and the guarantee that profit is no longer made at the cost of their lives, in the eyes of capital, are seen as terrible threats, and thus even these minimum bourgeois civil rights, cannot be achieved without endangering the capitalist property system.  For the peasant class, any fundamental improvement of their standard of living, threatens to paralyze capitalist accumulation which is based on the pauperization of the majority people.  Then if the power over social accumulation is not transferred from capital to working people, how can the condition of the peasants be fundamentally improved?  Finally, for the utterly destitute, if we do not expropriate the one million millionaires, how can we save the one hundred million people from the abject poverty?  Therefore, for the oppressed people there is only one solution to these problems. That is, revolution.   

       The liberal intellectuals say that the revolution deprived people of their “private property and economic freedom.”  The liberal intellectuals forget that before the revolution the majority people did not have any “private property and economic freedom.”  They also forget that if there had not been “universal poverty and backwardness,” then there would not have been any revolution.  The liberal intellectuals say that as a result of the revolution, “creativity is suppressed . . . The rich countries are turned into poor countries, and the poor countries are even poorer.”  But the fact is exactly the contrary.    

       In his most recent work which is considered to have provided “the most comprehensive database available for comparative, quantitative analysis of the economic performance of nations,” Maddison (1995) provided the latest measures of real gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity for 199 countries between 1820 and 1992. Although in Maddison’s book, the economic growth rates of some former socialist countries are substantially underestimated, his data provides strong proof that the former socialist countries, despite the many social and economic defects from which they suffered, did have made great achievements in economic development.  

   

TABLE 6.1  

Index of GDP per capita, 1950-1989  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

                            1950        1960        1970        1980        1989    Growth rates (%)*  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

All Capitalist Countries   100          128           174         208          227               2.13  

All Capitalist LDCs                 100          127           172         222          240               2.27  

Southern Europe and   

Latin America                          100          128           178         235          233               2.20  

Eastern Europe                        100          141           198         238          256               2.44  

China                                       100          143           178         238           ----              2.93  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

*Referring to average annual growth rates from 1950-1989, for China it is from 1950-1980.  

Source: Calculated on the data from Maddison (1985). “All Capitalist Countries” includes all 199 countries except “Eastern Europe” and “China.” “All Capitalist LDCs” includes all countries of “Southern Europe,” “Latin America,” “Asia & Oceania,” and “Africa” except China and Japan. “Eastern Europe” includes USSR.   

   

       TABLE 6.1 shows that even if we include the period of 1980-1989 when Eastern European socialism was in the stage of final collapse, both Eastern Europe and China had higher growth rates of GDP per capita than either the average of all capitalist countries or the average of all capitalist less developed countries. Moreover, Eastern Europe had higher growth rates than the average of Southern Europe and Latin America, the two regions that had a level of development similar to Eastern Europe in 1950.  

       In oppressive societies, the majority people are oppressed physically and spiritually, being deprived of the right to manifest their creative potential and to enjoy the fruits of their creation. This is the most important and most fundamental reason for which social creativity is suppressed.  Bourgeois scholars certainly cannot understand this.  Even when a revolution is not able to complete the entire cause of the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed people, it nonetheless makes “the black hands that used to hold a plough now holding a tablet,”[28] it turns “the earth up-side-down,” and it provides the majority people the chance to have control over their own fate. By doing this, it is enough to wipe out the dejected and apathetic mood that prevails among the people in oppressive societies.  Such a society will certainly have the vitality and creativity far greater than those societies that have not experienced revolution, and have remained “normal” oppressive societies.  

        As Arjun Makhijani argued:  

   

Thus, some of the reasons for the success of socialism were never appreciated. For example, there is considerable evidence that the economic development under socialism derived partly from their redistributive aspects . . . Redistribution gave that hope of better living conditions to hundreds of millions of people living in grinding poverty who were suppressed under prior regimes whenever they tried to get ahead or get a bigger share of society’s production. A substantial portion of the growth that occurred in production and consumption of essentials derived basically from the energy which redistribution gave to the poor and the investment of labor time which they made as a result (Makhijani, 1992, 64).  

   

Thus, the revolution alone could be turned into the greatest productive forces.   

       But the development of productive forces, by itself, does not tell us whether and to what extent it serves the interest of the majority people, whether the development of productive forces is at the expense of or provides conditions for the physical and mental development of the ordinary working people. It is in this respect that socialist development proves to be by nature superior to capitalist development. When the conditions of physical and mental development of the majority people are concerned, as Arjun Makhijani said, “on the basis of infant mortality, life expectancy, food supply and safer water the ‘winner’ between capitalism and socialism seems clear--socialism (Makhijani, 1992, 76).” See TABLE 6.2.  

   


 

TABLE 6.2  

A Comparison of Capitalist and Socialist Economies, 1975  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

                                   Capitalist                      Socialist  

                            -------------------------------------            -------------------------------  

                             OECD   Third World    Total                   Eastern Europe    China  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Life Expectancy  

(in Years)                                70                 55            60                                 70               65  

Infant Mortality  

(Deaths per 1,000)                  25               130           100                                30               60  

Daily Supply of   

Food Calories per Person   3,100            2,100        2,400                           3,200          2,200  

Safe Water Supply  

(Percent of People)                 90                 50             65                           80-90             N/A  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Source: Makhijani (1992, 75).  

   

       True, the revolution, which has promised people liberation, ends with the substitution of one form of oppression for another.  For the liberal intellectuals, the revolution is thus not more than a fraud, a nightmare, a dirty game in which the commitment and the lives of millions of people are sacrificed for the private power and glory of a few people.  Therefore, the oppressed people are oppressed because they rebel against the oppression.  This is the logic of the liberal intellectuals and this the reason for which the oppressed people must accept their fate of being oppressed.  But for us, the fact that the revolution is stained by the revolution itself, simply means that the revolution must not be satisfied with the achievements that have already been made, and must go beyond itself, to reach a higher a stage.  Otherwise it will not be able to preserve the achievements that it has already made.  As British historian E. H. Carl said:  

   

The danger is not that we shall draw a veil over the enormous blots on the record of the Revolution, over its cost in human suffering, over the crimes committed in its name. The danger is that we shall be tempted to forget altogether, and to pass over in silence, its immense achievement (taken from Meisner, 1986, 440).  

   

The oppressed people have no reason to regret for having made a revolution, and have even less reason to fear a revolution.   

       True, the oppressed people repetitively rise up, only to be repetitively repressed by the oppressors.  This is the history for all previous time.  This historical phenomena has been referred to by some people as evidence that oppression is naturally rational and will always exist.  These people have ignored that the result of all practical struggles, are determined not by academic debates and arguments, but by these struggles themselves.  The dilemma of the oppressive society is that it can never free itself from its opposite, from the rebellion of the majority people against itself, and thus has to always put itself into question, and consequently can never prove itself to be naturally rational and to be able to exist forever.   

CHAPTER VII  

MARKET, PLANNING, AND SOCIALIST REVOLUTION  

   

   

       Can a socialist planned economy work?  For Marxism there is too much stake in this question.  It is well known that for Marx a socialist society must be based on a planned economy with production for social use value rather than exchange value.  For under the modern socialized production, only with a planned economy, can human beings have conscious control over productive forces, social relations, and thus their own lives, and consequently can they be liberated from any form of oppression, exploitation, and alienation.   

       The question appears to be a technical problem.  That is, the answer to the question depends on whether we are able to conceive some kind of technical model which shows that the socialist planned economy has the technical ability to solve modern economic problems with a reasonable efficiency.  In fact, it has been treated as no more than a technical problem not only by bourgeois economists and market socialists but also by many Marxists who have involved in the controversy.  

       On the other hand, if we accept the conclusion of bourgeois economists and market socialists that a market economy is indispensable for any modern society, we would have to agree that some form of oppression and exploitation is indispensable for human civilization, not historically, but as long as human civilization exists.  In fact, in the sense that the market, according to its own inherent logic, leads to capitalist development, this is no less than saying that the prevailing capitalist system, with all of its illness and injustice, is the best of all possible worlds that we can have.  Thus, the question--can a socialist planned economy work--which has so much social and political implications, is certainly much more than a technical problem.  In its essence, it is more a “socio-historic” problem than a technical problem.  Therefore, if the question is to be answered, it must not be answered simply in a “technical” way, but has to be answered socially and historically.  

       Related to this question, is the question why the socialist revolutions failed in the former Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe.  We are told that the 20th century socialist revolutions failed because the socialist planned economies had failed.  And their failure suggests that the socialist planned economy cannot work.  It is true that the economic system of the former socialist countries failed to survive.  It is also true that their economies were more or less “socialist” planned economies.  But these facts by themselves do not tell us why the socialist revolutions failed and the former socialist economies failed to survive.  Nor can we draw any conclusion simply from these facts on whether the socialist planned economy can work or not.  Indeed to say that the economic performance of the former socialist countries was a sheer failure simply contradicts historical fact.  According to a latest study on the international comparison of income and wealth (Maddison, 1995), in which the economic performance of the former socialist countries could only be underestimated, from 1950-1980, the GDP per capita in Eastern Europe (including the Soviet Union) had increased by 138 percent.  In the same period it had increased in China by the same degree.  This means that per capita income in the former socialist countries had grown at a rate of doubling for every quarter of century.  While this is by no means a miraculous speed, it is anything but an economic failure.  By comparison, in the same period, the GDP per capita for all other countries in the world had increased by 108 percent.  Also in the same period, the GDP per capita of South European and Latin American countries which had roughly the same level of development as Eastern Europe in 1950 had in average increased by 135 percent, and that of Asian and African countries which had similar level of development to that of China in 1950 had in average increased by 112 percent (see TABLE 7.1).  How can we maintain that an economic system that had in average made at least no less rapid economic development than the capitalist system does not work while arguing that the capitalist system is the most efficient and rational economic system in this world?   

   


 

TABLE 7.1  

Index of GDP per Capita, 1950-1989  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

                            1950  1960  1970  1980  1989    Average Annual Growth Rates(%)  

                                                                                                     1950-1980           1950-1989  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

1950 = 100:  

Eastern Europe                       100    141    198    238    256              2.93                     2.44  

China                                      100    143    178    238      /                 2.93                        /  

All Other Countries  

in the World                           100    128    174    208    227              2.47                     2.13  

in which:  

Southern Europe and  

Latin America                         100    128    178    235    233              2.88                     2.19  

Asia, Africa, and Oceania*      100    125    166    212    248              2.53                     2.35  

Southern Europe and Latin America = 100:  

Eastern Europe                       112    123    124    114    123  

Asia, Africa, and Oceania* = 100:  

China                                        80      91      85      90      /  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

*Including all Asian, African, and Oceanian countries except China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.  

Source: Calculated on the data from Table A-3(a), A-3(e), B-10(a), B-10(e), F-5, F-6, F-7 in Maddison (1995).  

   

       If the economic system of the former socialist countries did work, and had made no less respectable economic performance than the capitalist system, the question whether the socialist planned economy can work has immediately got a different nature.  It seems that the problem does not really lie in the lack of a technical model that can work in the real world.  History has provided one as we have seen in the former socialist countries, though by no means a perfect one.  Moreover it seems that the entire academic economics world, according to its presently dominant way of thinking, simply cannot understand and explain the relative success of the former socialist economies.  Consequently nor can they really understand the subsequent failure of these economies.  On the other hand, if we use some Marxist intuition, it is not difficult to see that the problem cannot be solved simply in a “technical” or “economic” way, and it cannot be really understood without analyzing the historically changing social relations in the former socialist countries.       

   

A Critique of Market Socialism  

       While for Marx market is by no means identical with capitalism, he did maintain that market relations prevail only in capitalist society.[29] In fact, in Marx"s opinion, the embryo of all elements of capitalist alienation can be found in the most “pure” market economy--simple commodity production. The very fact that under the market system, social productive forces appear to people "not as their own united power, but as an alien force existing outside them, of the origin and goal of which they are ignorant, which they thus cannot control..." (Marx, 1978a, 161) implies the possibility for the "division of labor" to evolve into "the division of capital and labor", i.e., the separation of labor from means of production. Therefore, a crucial dilemma of market socialism is how one can remove or at least effectively check market"s inherent tendency to evolve into capitalism without substantially weakening the economic mechanism upon which the development of productive forces relies in the context of market system. To prevent a market socialist society from evolving into capitalism, there are mainly three methods: (1)forbidding the buying and selling of capital and labor; (2)levying progressive taxes on income and wealth to restrict social inequality within certain limit; and (3)state ownership of all or most means of production.   

   

Forbidding the Buying and Selling of Capital and Labor  

       Any modern economic system that is able to work must be capable of constantly reallocating social labor (live labor and materialized labor, i.e., in capitalist terms, labor and capital) so that supply and demand are kept in balance in each branch of production. Under the market system, however, except when means of production are owned by the state, as will be discussed below, the only way in which social labor can be transferred from one branch of production to another is by buying and selling capital and labor. Thus, how can a market economy work if buying and selling capital and labor has been forbidden?  

   

Levying Progressive Taxes on Income and Wealth to Restrict Social Inequality within Certain Limit  

       In this case, buying and selling capital and labor is allowed. In a market economy, however, one makes investment only to make profit, and one can sell his or her labor to others only when it produces profit for others. Thus, under a market economy, for buying and selling labor to work, the conditions are virtually the same as that in a capitalist society. That is, a certain level of profit rate must be secured to encourage investment, and the social welfare system must not give the unemployed population so much security that they are not willing to sell their labor power at a “reasonable” wage rate that allows investors to make profit. In this case, it is difficult to see how progressive taxes under market socialism can play a significantly different role than under capitalism. If it can not, then how can it effectively prevent market socialism from turning into capitalism?  

   

State Ownership of All or Most Means of Production  

       If all or most means of production are owned by the state, the problem of reallocating social labor can simply be solved by state investment, and thus the problem of buying and selling capital and labor is avoided. Under the state ownership, enterprises can be run by either state-appointed managers[30] or workers" collectivities.[31] In both cases, as Brus and Laski (1989) argued, this model is faced with the principal-agent problem--while state-appointed managers or workers" collectivities are entrusted by the state to run enterprises, if enterprises fail, who bears the responsibility for the loss of the state property? There is a solution to the problem. If under socialism, the interest of the society is no longer at odds with the common interest of working people, then why do not workers make responsible use of the state property if they know this will improve their common interest? We will make detail discussions on this point below. Here let us simply point out that for people to make responsible use of social property, it presupposes the production for society. How can people make responsible use of socially owned means of production when they produce for private appropriation and when the production is based on antagonistic competition between private producers?  

       John E.Roemer (1994), on the other hand, tried to solve the dilemma of market socialism by making it more like capitalism. In his "coupon socialism", every citizen is given a certain amount of coupons. The total value of coupons is equal to the total value of means of production in the society. People can use their coupons to buy corporation shares. But they are not allowed to exchange coupons for money, and after their death their coupons must be returned to the society to be equally distributed among all citizens. "Coupon socialist" enterprises are believed to be able to run efficiently for they run exactly like capitalist corporations, based on wage labor and pursuing maximum profit. It is supposed that social polarization could be prevented by forbidding people from exchanging money for coupons. However, the corporations, the shares of which people use their coupons to buy, may fail in competition. If some corporations fail, then some people would lose their coupons, while some others, who own the corporations that take over the failed corporations, would have more coupons. Thus, forbidding the exchange between money and coupons by itself cannot prevent social polarization, even if it would work. How about another check against the tendency of social polarization--coupons cannot be inherited and must be returned to society after the death of coupons" owners to be equally distributed among all social members? First, capitalist economic efficiency is based on its ability to impose capitalist work discipline on workers. Capitalist enterprises are able to impose this discipline only because workers who have lost any access to means of production have to sell their labor power. While "coupon socialist" enterprises run exactly like capitalist enterprises, workers in "coupon socialism" are guaranteed some access to means of production. For example, unemployed workers can use their coupons to buy a company to employ themselves. Then, how can "coupon socialist" enterprises impose capitalist-style work discipline on workers? If it cannot, how can it work? Second, if the only thing that prevents "coupon socialism" from evolving into capitalism is simply an article of law that denies the right to inherit coupons, why cannot the rich minority who have controlled the most of the coupons, use their economic power to influence the legislation process, abolishing this article. Furthermore, if coupons cannot be inherited, why do coupon owners make responsible use of their coupons in their late years? What prevent them from making over-risky and irrational investments? "Coupon socialism" cannot escape the dilemma of market socialism, though it is almost indistinguishable from capitalism.  

   

   

The Information Problem, the Motivation Problem, and the Socialist Social Relations  

       According to bourgeois economists and market socialists the socialist planned economy cannot work because it is not able to solve the information problem.  What is the information problem?  For any modern economy to work, it must be able to collect and process enormous amount of information.  In a market economy, this enormous amount of information is dealt with simultaneously by millions of individual producers.  It is argued that if a market economy is to be replaced by a planned economy, the central planning authority must have the ability to collect and process this enormous amount of information which is previously collected and processed by millions of individual producers.  The problem is not only with the “calculating” ability of the central planning authority.  More importantly a large part of economic information exists in a fragmented and disperse way and can be collected and utilized only if it is simultaneously dealt with by large number of individuals.  Unable to collect and utilize a large part of the economic information, the central planning authority cannot make rational economic calculations, and the planned economy thus cannot work.[32]  

       Before we analyze the information problem, let us first explain what is a planned economy.  A planned economy is not an economy where everything is planned or everything is determined by the central planning authority.  A planned economy is an economy in which all (or most) of the means of production are socially owned and all (or most) of the social products are directly produced for social needs rather than for exchange value and private appropriation.  Given social property and the direct production for social needs, in a planned economy, it is possible for the producers to actively cooperate with one another and make use of all available techniques to coordinate their economic activities with different levels of economic planning.  

       If this is the case, why cannot the planned economy solve the information problem?  If the central planning authority, or the highest level of producers’ association, is not able to handle all relevant economic information.  It can simply deal with the information that it is able to collect and process and let lower levels of producers’ associations to deal with other information, while balancing against the possible disadvantages of lowering the level of coordination.  For the lower levels of producers’ associations, they can make lower levels of economic decisions based on the information available to them, and leave the economic problems they are not able to handle to the producers’ associations at lower levels or to producers--workers’ collectivities.  And large number of lower levels of producers’ associations and workers’ collectivities, just like large number of enterprises in the market economy, are able to deal with enormous amount of fragmented and disperse economic information.  In this way, a planned economy is able to collect and process at least no less information than a market economy.  

       But the planned economy provides a superior way to utilize economic information.  The modern socialized production objectively requires cooperation and coordination between many different producers.  But in a market economy where private producers make economic decisions independently and separately, there is no ex ante coordination of economic activities and the coordination is realized afterwards through economic crises involving great losses of productive forces.[33]  On the other hand, in a planned economy, as far as the relevant information is available, it is possible to coordinate the economic activities of many different producers under unified economic planning, and thus avoid or reduce the waste of economic resources associated with the lack of ex ante coordination.  This certainly does not mean that under a planned economy, the central planning authority is able to plan everything.  But it does mean that with a planned economy, society will be able to make use of all available techniques to realize as much economic coordination as possible, while balancing against the cost of collecting and processing information.  This provides the potential to greatly improve the overall rationality of the economy, the potential that a market economy is unable to exploit.  Thus, a planned economy is able to not only handle as much information as a market economy, but also utilize the available information in a much more rational way than a market economy.  

       However, the problem is not yet solved.  Bourgeois economists and market socialists ask: why do the lower levels of producers’ associations and workers’ collectivities actively collect economic information and use it in a economically rational way, what is the motivation for them to do so?  This is the motivation problem.  Apparently, the information problem cannot be really solved if we are unable to solve the motivation problem.  

       Under a socialist planned economy, all producers directly produce for society, and the total social products are distributed to satisfy people’s material and spiritual needs according to democratically determined rules.  This raises a question: if in a socialist society, it is from the “social interest”--the total social products--that derive people’s individual material and spiritual interests, why cannot the social interest serve as an effective motivation for people, who pursue their individual material and spiritual interests, to pursue economic rationality, that is, to actively collect economic information and make rational use of it?  

       Why is the socialist planned economy based on the production for the social interest?  While the modern socialized production objectively requires cooperation and coordination between many different producers, in a market economy where every producer pursues his or her own interest, they are motivated to compete and struggle against rather than cooperate with one another.  The motivation provided by the market is thus against the logic of the modern socialized production.  This problem can be solved only if producers directly produce for the interest of society rather than private appropriation.  Thus, under the modern socialized production, the production for the social interest is an economically much more rational way for people to pursue their material and spiritual interests.  In this sense, the social interest is by itself a real material interest, as Marx (1978, 160) said: “this common interest does not exist merely in the imagination, as the ‘general interest,’ but first of all in reality, as the mutual interdependence of the individuals among whom the labour is divided.”  In Grundrisse Marx (1971, 65) also argued that under the modern socialized production, “private interest is itself already a socially determined interest, which can only be achieved within the conditions established by society and through the means that society affords.”  

       If under the modern socialized production, the social interest is by itself a real material interest, and is the precondition for the realization of all kinds of individual interests, why do not people work and produce for the social interest, and why cannot the social interest be an effective motivation for people to pursue economic rationality?  

       For bourgeois economists and market socialists this is certainly not the end of the debate.  In their opinion, the production for the social interest will fail due to the “free rider” problem.  That is, for any production based on social or collective property, since an individual’s well-being depends not directly on the particular effort of his or her own effort, but on the combined effort of all the workers in the collectivity or society, there is no incentive for any particular individual to work effectively and rationally.  But the logic of the “free rider” argument is self-defeating.  It is exactly because an individual’s well being depends not on his or her own effort, but on the combined effort of all the workers in the collectivity or society, for individuals to improve their well-being, the proper strategy is a strategy based not on individual choice, but on collective choice.  The question is not for any particular individual what is the best strategy for him or her to improve his or her own interest, for whether his or her strategy works depends on the behavior of other individuals, but for all the workers in the collectivity or society, what is the best strategy for them to improve their combined interest.  Apparently, if everyone adopts the “free rider” strategy, which is supposed to be the individually optimal strategy, everyone will suffer.  The “free rider” strategy is thus against the interest of individuals.  If this is the case, why do people who are supposed to be rational beings pursuing their individual interests, adopt the “free rider” strategy rather than a collectively or socially optimal strategy?  

       The capitalist market system is supposed to be freed from the “free rider” problem.  Of course, the capitalist system provides effective motivation for the capitalists to pursue their private profits.  But what motivation does the capitalist system provide to the workers who have no control over the production and are exploited and oppressed by the capitalists?  What is the motivation for the workers who actually carry out the production, to actively collect economic information and make rational use of it?  Without effective motivation, all the workers in the capitalist economy are potential “free riders” and for the capitalist economy to work, a great deal of “transaction cost” has to be paid to deal with the “free rider” problem.  For example, a significant part of the social labor force has to be unemployed to exercise competitive pressure on the employed workers who otherwise will be too “lazy.”  Moreover, a significant part of the employed workers must serve as supervisory workers to enforce labor discipline rather than participate in production.[34]  

       This suggests that the “free rider” problem, rather than being associated with collective or social property, is actually rooted in the oppressive and exploitative social relations.  Being oppressed and exploited, working people do not have incentive to pursue economic rationality and to be “free riders” provides a rational choice for them to improve their living conditions.  If this is the case, the socialist system, by abolishing all kinds of oppression and exploitation, certainly provides a much better way than the capitalist system to solve the “free rider” problem.  

       For the same reason, the question whether people will work for the social interest cannot be correctly answered unless we first consider what kind of social relations is under concern.  Under the oppressive society, the interest of the society is not more than the interest of the oppressor class.  In this case, working people certainly have no reason to work for the so called “social interest.”  On the other hand, in a socialist society where working people have control over social and economic power, and the interest of the society is not more than the common interest of working people, why do not working people work for the social interest, which is also their own interest?  

       The whole argument now boils down to the following points: is it true that in a socialist society, to work for the social interest is in the interest of working people?  If yes, why do not working people work for the social interest in a socialist society, and therefore, why cannot the social interest be an effective motivation for working people to pursue economic rationality?  The anwers to these questions are quite obvious.  

       A question is thus raised:  how can the question whether a socialist planned economy can provide effective motivation for people to pursue economic rationality become a question in the first place, given the obvious fact that under the modern socialized production the most rational way for people to realize their material and spiritual interests is to produce directly for society, and that under the socialist social relations, the interest of society is no longer at odds with the interest of working people?  

       On this question the Marxist point of view starts from a self-evident fact that people’s material and spiritual needs provide the ultimate motivation for productive activities and the pursuit of economic rationality throughout the entire human history.  The establishment of the socialist social relations certainly will not abolish this ultimate motivation.  On the contrary, by abolishing all kinds of oppression and exploitation, the socialist society opens the way for the majority people to work and produce for the interest of their own rather than that of the oppressors and exploiters.  From this point of view, the socialist economic system certainly provides a much stronger motivation for the majority people to pursue economic rationality than the capitalist system and any other oppressive systems, and whether a socialist economy can provide effective motivation for people to pursue economic rationality is simply out of question.  

       On the other hand, bourgeois economists and market socialists start from the assumption that people pursue economic rationality only when they work and produce for their private interests.  It is from this assumption that the question derives--how can a society which is based on the production for society rather than private appropriation provides effective motivation for people to pursue economic rationality?  But if people pursue economic rationality because they want to realize their material and spiritual interests, why does it matter that these interests take the form of the social interest or their private interests, as long as these interests are indeed their own interests?  The goods and services produced directly for society certainly provide no less satisfaction of people’s material and spirtitual needs than the goods and services produced for private appropriation.  Thus, unlike Marxist point of departure, the point of departure of bourgeois economists and market socialists is not a self-evident fact, but a problematic assumption that cannot hold water without being proved.  However, rather than providing scientific proofs for their assumption,  bourgeois economists and market socialists treat their assumption as if it were indeed a self-evident fact, take it for granted, and confidently draw all of their arguments from this assumption, including the argument that the socialist planned economy cannot provide effective economic motivation and thus cannot work.  

       It should be pointed out that not few Marxists have failed to challenge bourgeois economists and market socialists on this point.  Consequently their efforts to defend the socialist planned economy (usually by inventing various technical models) have always ended in vain.  For if we accept the point of departure of bourgeois economists and market socialists and agree that people can only be motivated by their private interests, the only way to solve the motivation problem is to set up various “supervisory mechnisms.”  But for the planning authority to be able to exercise effective supervision, it must be able to collect and process enough relevant information and as we know, the planning authority is not able to do this by itself, and instead, it has to rely upon producers and other institutions who are under its supervision to provide the necessary information, who certainly have an incentive to distort the information.  In this case, the motivation problem simply has no way to be solved.      

       On the other hand, if we go beyond the narrow scope of bourgeois economists and market socialists, we will immediately find that what makes the motivation problem a problem is not more than the following fact: by abolishing private property and the market system, the socialist system also abolishes the economic motivation based on the pursuit of private appropriation.  However, it is exactly by doing so, the socialist system also abolishes the oppression and exploitation of the majority people, and thus provides a much stronger motivation for the majority people to pursue economic rationality than the oppressive systems.  Moreover, by establishing society’s control over production, and by producing directly for the social interest, the socialist system opens the way for people to actively cooperate with each other and to pursue the social interest, allowing making full use of the great productive potential of the modern socialized production.  Thus, on the one hand, the establishment of the socialist social relations makes it impossible for the motivatin problem to be solved in a way compatible with the capitalist or any other forms of oppression and exploitation, and on the other hand, it is exactly for this reason that it opens the possibility for the problem to be solved in a socialist way, in a way consistent with the liberation and free development of the majority people.  The motivation problem is thus solved.  And with the motivation problem solved, there is no reason why the information problem cannot be solved.  With both the information problem and the motivation problem solved, there is no reason why the socialist planned economy cannot work.    

       Thus, the problem has been logically solved.  But for the logic to work, the socialist social relations must be established.  However, the establishment of the socialist social relations depends on real historical struggles.  It is these struggles rather than academic arguments that will provide the real historical solution to the question whether a socialist planned economy can work.  

   

   

A Note on Alec Nove’s Critique of the Socialist Planned Economy  

       In the opinion of Alec Nove, however, the establishment of the socialist social relations does not make much difference. The division between the rulers and the ruled is inevitable in every society. In socialist society, people will still work for their private interests rather than the social interest, not really different from that in capitalist society.   

It is sometimes argued by Marxist `fundamentalists" that the basic problem [of Soviet planning] lie in alienation, in the conflicts of interest between workers, management and centre; all would be well if they all identified with a common interest...Yet this line of thought contains or implies several fallacies...[It is not appreciated] that the marketless planning model is of necessity centralized (how can a purely local body decide what society needs and how best to provide it?), and it is precisely the vast and complex scale of operations of central planning which is a major cause of this very alienation. `Unless one is prepared to accept that the structure of regulation in interconnected production is objectively hierarchical, then the whole problem of socialist democracy can only be raised in an agitational way", wrote Baran, without, unfortunately, drawing from this the conclusions that suggest themselves. Finally, it is implied that a society can or could exist in which there would be no conflict between sectors, and between sectors and centre, not to mention individuals, over the allocation of resources. This essentially utopian part of the Marxist tradition rests, and can only rest, on a vision of abundance. There must surely be conflicts, as any materialist would here to admit, unless there is plenty for all, i.e. when the concept of opportunity-cost, of choice between mutually exclusive alternatives, loses its meaning (Nove, 1980).  

   

       First, it is true that economic planning, and in fact, any administration of public affairs, is "of necessity centralized. And in the sense that these affairs are "public", that is, they go beyond the narrow individual or local visions, they can be regarded as "objectively hierarchical". But how is this related to "alienation", to the division of society into the ruling class and the oppressed class? Any society must have some people managing its public affairs. This, by itself, tells us nothing why society is divided into classes. For a group of people to become a ruling class, it is not only necessary for the public affairs to be managed by them, but also necessary for the management of the public affairs to be exclusively controlled by them, allowing them to systematically make use of their positions to serve their private interests rather than the public interest. This is possible, as is well known by Marxists, as long as there is the division of mental labor and physical labor, which excludes the majority of the population from participating in scientific and artistic activities, and from participating in the management of public affairs. The socialist society, on the other hand, by rationally making use of modern productive forces, will be able to gradually abolish the division of mental labor and physical labor, eliminating the material foundation of the class oppression.   

       Second, Nove argued that "it is precisely the vast and complex scale of operations of central planning which is a major cause of this alienation." But the "vast and complex scale of operations", does not tell us how these operations are organized. In class societies, the administration of public affairs must be kept out of the control of people. As a result, it is organized as a large, complex bureaucratic structure that can make "vast and complex scale of operations" without involving people"s participation. In a socialist society, on the other hand, there is no need to keep the public affairs out of people"s control. Instead, the socialist management of public affairs is based on the extensive participation of ordinary people. Consequently, there is no need to set up a large, complex bureaucratic structure. How will "the vast and complex scale of operations" be organized in a socialist society? As Marx told us, they will be organized by "free association of individuals". In The Civil War in France, Marx, based on the experience of Paris Commune, made a concrete explanation of how the "free association of individuals" would work.  

   

The Paris Commune was, of course, to serve a model to all the great industrial centres of France. The communal regime once established in Paris and the secondary centres, the old centralized Government would in the provinces, too, have to give way to the self-government of the producers. In a rough sketch of national organization which the commune had no time to develop, it states clearly that the commune was to be the political form of even the smallest country hamlet...The rural communes of every district were to administer their common affairs by an assembly of delegates in the central town, and these district assemblies were again to send deputies to the National Delegation in Paris, each delegate to be at any time revocable and bound by the mandat imperatif (formal instructions) of his constituents. The few but important functions which still would remain for a central government were not to be suppressed...but were to be discharged by communal, and therefore strictly responsible agents (Marx, 1978b, 632).  

   

       Thus, socialist society will be based on the extensive participation of ordinary people in public affairs. As a result, the problem of "the vast and complex scale of operations" can simply be solved by a kind of division of labor. All local affairs will be subjected to the direct self-government of local people. A dozen of such localities will freely form an association in which an administration which is composed of delegates of these localities, who are subjected to the recall and formal instructions of their constituents, will be set up to administer their common affairs. A dozen of such associations of localities will in turn freely form a larger association organized in the same way to administer their common affairs at a higher level...so and so forth. As a result, every level of administration (including the central government) will be left with "few but important functions" corresponding to its level rather than "the vast and complex scale of operations" and thus every level of administration can be effectively controlled by the people whose common affairs it administers.   

       Nove, however, told us that even if in a socialist society, people could have effective control over their public affairs, it would still be impossible for people to work for the social interest. For people"s individual interests are always in conflict with one another "unless there is plenty for all, i.e. when the concept of opportunity-cost, of choice between mutually exclusive alternatives, loses its meaning." This "vision of abundance" was called by Nove as an "utopian part of the Marxist tradition". There can be no more vulgar distortion of Marxism. Socialism must be based on highly developed productive forces (which are prepared by capitalist development). Only with highly developed productive forces, is it possible to substantially reduce general working time, preparing the material condition for working people to freely develop their physical and mental potential and to participate in administering public affairs. But this has nothing to do with that "the concept of opportunity-cost...loses its meaning" or the so called "abundance" as understood by Nove.[35] Abstractly speaking, people"s individual interests are always in conflict with one another. What is consumed by one cannot be consumed by the other. However, before anything can be consumed, it must be produced. But under modern conditions, is it true that virtually everything has to be produced by more or less social cooperation? If this is the case, then is it true that modern production will be most productive when people actively cooperate with rather than compete against one another? If this is the case, is it true that people"s individual interests will be best satisfied if they cooperatively produce for the social interest rather than compete with one another for their private interests? If all of these are true, then why do not people who are supposed to be rational beings pursuing the maximization of their individual interests work for the social interest?  

   

   

On Innovation  

       While the innovation problem is in essence not more than the information problem and the motivation problem, it deserves particular consideration due to its importance. In fact, Roemer (1994, 37-45) argued that it was the innovation problem that had played a decisive role in the failure of centrally planned economies. Why cannot the planned economy make enough innovation? In the first place, there is the motivation problem--why do people innovate? In a capitalist society, how is the motivation problem solved? On the one hand, capitalists innovate in order to acquire super profit. On the other hand, under the pressure of competition, capitalists have to innovate to avoid failure. Thus, in a capitalist society, there are both "positive" and "negative" incentives for capitalist to innovate.  

       To say that in a capitalist society, capitalists have incentives to innovate in no way means that capitalism is a system that is most conducive to social innovation. First, due to the antagonistic nature of the capitalist production, capitalist technological progress, rather than bringing benefit to workers, usually intensifies their sufferings and alienation. Thus, while capitalists do have incentives to innovate, their projects of innovations are often met with the resistance of workers, and there is no way for capitalists to introduce innovation without first overcoming workers" resistance. Second, while capitalists do have incentives to innovate, it is exactly the same incentives that prevents the socially rational use of innovation. From society"s point of view, technological knowledge can be most rationally used only if all social members have free access to the knowledge. In the capitalist society, however, capitalists make innovation to serve their private interests. Thus, they have incentives to innovate exactly because other people do not have free access to their innovation which is regarded as their private property. Otherwise, how can capitalists make super profit? Third, to say that capitalists have incentives to innovate, tells nothing about what kind of innovation capitalists are interested in. Capitalists innovate for private profits rather than social interests. Capitalists do not have incentives to make socially useful innovation if it does not bring about profit, e.g. the innovation that improves ecological conditions, or the innovation that can make labor process less alienating and more interesting. On the other hand, capitalists do have incentives to make the innovation that is socially harmful but can bring about profit, e.g. the transportation system based on private cars, which is perhaps the most expensive as well as the most ecologically harmful modern transportation system, is one of the most important innovations of the 20th century capitalism. Fourth, for a society to make full use of its innovative potential, it must allow all social members to freely develop their mental potential and participate in all kinds of innovation. But in the capitalist society the majority of the population--working people have no chance to develop their mental potential and participate in innovation due to the capitalist exploitation and oppression. Instead, innovation is restricted to be the affairs of a small group of "entrepreneurs”. Thus, under capitalism, the greatest part of the society"s innovative potential is wasted.  

       How can a socialist planned economy solve the motivation problem? In Roemer"s opinion, "without the competition that is provided by markets--both domestic and international--no business enterprise is forced to innovate, and without the motivation of competition, innovation, at least at the rate that market economies engender, does not occur (Roemer, 1994, 44).” But does the society need innovation? If it does, why must it be forced to innovate? Why cannot this social need itself be a motivation for the society to innovate? Of course, by abolishing the capitalist economic system, the socialist planned economy also abolishes the capitalist motivation for innovation. But by abolishing the capitalist motivation for innovation--the pursuit of private profit, the socialist planned economy also abolishes capitalist motivation to exploit and oppress working people, liberating the greatest innovative potential in the society; by abolishing the capitalist motivation for innovation, the socialist planned economy also abolishes those innovations that, while bringing profit to capitalists, will not do any good to society, and  opens the way to all socially useful innovations; by abolishing the capitalist motivation for innovation, the socialist planned economy also abolishes the capitalist motivation to prevent the free access of all social members to all technological knowledge. While the socialist planned economy abolishes the capitalist motivation for innovation, by establishing the social ownership of means of production, and by abolishing the class oppression, it also provides the socialist motivation for innovation. If in a socialist society, people will self-consciously work for the social interest, and innovation does bring about social benefit, why do not people actively make innovation? Moreover, in a socialist society, it is not a small group of "entrepreneurs” but all working people who will actively innovate.  

       The motivation problem, however, is not the only problem that, in the opinion of bourgeois economists and market socialists, leads to the failure of the planned economy in the field of innovation. There is also the principal-agent problem (Brus and Laski, 1989, 132-149; Stiglitz, 1994). Innovation is by nature risky and associated with many uncertainties. In a planned economy, anyone who makes innovation does not risk his own property. On the other hand, it is exactly because there are many uncertainties associated with the innovation, it is virtually impossible for the planning authority to distinguish objectively unavoidable losses from those losses brought about by bad decision-making. Thus, it is not able to use punishment to effectively prevent bad mistakes. This argument presupposes that in the planned economy people will not self-consciously make responsible use of social resources invested for innovation for there is not their own property at stake. But if in a socialist society, the interest of the society is not more than the common interest of all individuals, and thus social property is not more than the material condition for people to promote their individual interests, why do not people make responsible use of social property?   

       Brus and Laski (1989, 142), however, argued that "even with the appropriate socialist motivation the problem of entrepreneurship may remain unresolvable without anchoring responsibility for losses in personal stakes...it is not so much the degree of personal competence, dedication, motivation, and taste for innovations, as the conditions forcing a principal to weigh the risks against responsibilities in a real world of uncertainty." Brus and Laski seemed to argue that "anchoring responsibility for losses in personal stakes", as the condition "forcing a principal to weigh the risks against responsibilities", is an indispensable condition for the rational decision-making on risky investment.   

       What does risky investment (innovation is a kind of risky investment) mean? While in all cases rational investment means making full use of available knowledge to make maximum output out of minimum input, "risk" or "uncertainty" means that certain knowledge is not available. How can one make rational decision if certain knowledge is not available? In this case, to make rational decision is not more than to make a good guess. Apparently, whether one can make a good guess does not depend at all on whether his or her personal property is at stake (this, on the contrary, will lead him to make decisions on "emotional" basis rather than rational basis), but on one"s experience, good intuition, the knowledge that one can make use of but cannot tell, etc. In this respect, a socialist planned economy is most likely to ensure that the responsibilities of decision-making on risky investment are entrusted to those who are most likely to make a good guess.  

       It is in the capitalist society where risky investment is made of private property, the ability of which to make risky investment, is limited by its scale, that investors have to weigh the risk against their property. This, rather than being indispensable for the rational decision-making on risky investment, set a limit to the possibility of applying economically rational principles in risky investment. The socialist planned economy, by abolishing capitalist private property, also abolishes this limit. Of course, in a socialist planned economy, some risky projects of great importance should still be subjected to society"s consideration which weighs the risks against possible losses of social property. In this case, the fact that these projects are of great importance itself means that it will not be difficult for the planning authority to evaluate the impact on society if these projects fail.   

   

   

The Experience of Revolutionary China  

       Will people work for the social interest? Can the socialist economy work? In this section, I will focus on the experience of revolutionary China to see how Chinese revolutionary socialists and the Chinese working people had made practical struggles to build socialist social relations and the socialist planned economy. What achievements had they made in their struggles? Why did their struggles fail in the end? What lessons can we draw from their failure?  

   

Bureaucratization, Revolutionary Politics, and Economic Planning  

       When Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, what they inherited from Kuomintang regime was an extremely backward, "semi-colonial, semi-feudal" economy with very limited modern industry. Thus, the new revolutionary regime was immediately faced with the task to restore and develop productive forces as soon as possible. The question is how to develop productive forces. By abolishing capitalist ownership of means of production, and by concentrating most modern means of production in the hands of the state, it was possible for the revolutionary regime to pursue the rational allocation of productive resources in the society-wide by undertaking economic planning.   

       Socialist economic planning, as we have seen, must be based on "the self-government of producers", which requires extensive participation of ordinary working people in economic management, and thus presupposes the elimination of the division of physical labor and mental labor. China, however, was not yet prepared in this respect for socialist economic planning. It was estimated that in Shanghai, the most advanced industrial city in China, immediately after it was taken over by communists, the illiteracy rate of all employees (including clerks and white collar workers) was 46 percent, and that of blue-collar workers was 80 percent (Andors, 1977, 48). This had some important consequences. First, without "the self-government of producers", large, complex bureaucratic structures were set up in response to the expansion of economic planning, and the state and party administration were quickly bureaucratized. Second, to administer these bureaucratic structures, many people who came from bourgeois or intellectual families but had the knowledge and expertise indispensable for economic management were recruited into the party. These people, however, joined the party not because they had revolutionary ideals, but because the party was an access to power. Third, bureaucratic planning relied upon material incentives to motivate cadres and workers. After the wage reform in 1956, the egalitarian "supply system" practiced in the era of revolutionary war was replaced by hierarchical wage and bonus system. Thus, in late 1950s, a bureaucratic class enjoying certain material privileges gradually took shape. [36]  

       On the other hand, it is very wrong to regard China"s economic planning in this period simply as bureaucratic planning. While the bureaucratic class was taking shape, there were still millions of revolutionary cadres working in the state and party administration.[37] As long as a large part of the regime"s power remained in the hands of these revolutionary cadres, the regime would remain largely a revolutionary socialist regime. This would inevitably have a decisive impact on the performance of economic planning. From 1953-1957, that is, in the period of first five-year plan, China"s national income grew at an average annual rate of 8.9 percent, with industry and agriculture growing annually at 18 percent and 4.5 percent accordingly. Western estimation gave a bit lower rates. Bergerson estimated that the growth rate of China"s GDP in this period was 8.3 percent, and Chao estimated that China"s industrial growth rate in this period was 14.4 percent, still placing China one of the countries that had the highest industrial growth rate in the world (Riskin, 1987, 58; Chao, 1960).  

       How could the revolutionary nature of the political power influence the performance of economic planning? As we have known, for a planned economy to work rationally, it must be able to solve the information problem and the motivation problem. Both problems can be solved if people will self-consciously work for the social interest. If the political power was to a large extent in the hands of revolutionary socialists, then the interest of the society would be in large measure consistent with the interest of working people, thus providing certain objective foundation for people to work for the social interest. On the other hand, if there were millions of revolutionary cadres and workers "who faithfully [carry] out party policy yet does so with independence and initiative" (see footnote 27), many practical problems in planned economy requiring decentralized initiatives could be easily solved. Moreover, these revolutionary cadres and workers would act as powerful models inspiring many other people to work for the social interest. All of these would remain the case only if the political power remained in large measure a revolutionary socialist power. This, however, as we have seen, was threatened by the rising bureaucratic class. Whether the revolutionary regime was able to resist the tendency of bureaucratization and retain its revolutionary nature would depend on practical struggles.  

   

Maoist Political Economy and the Great Leap Forward  

       In late 1950s, Mao began to pay attention to the contradictions of bureaucratic planning. In his critique of Stalinist political economy, he argued that:  

   

The book says that material incentive to labor "spurs increases in production" and "is one of the decisive factors in stimulating the development of production"...By making material incentive a onesided absolute the text fails to give due importance to raising consciousness, and can not explain why there are differences among the labor of people in the same pay scale. For example, in scale no.5, one group may carry on very well, another rather poorly, and a third tolerably well on the whole. Why, with similar material incentive, such differences occur is inexplicable according to their way of reasoning. Even if the importance of material incentive is recognized, it is never the sole principle. There is always another principle, namely, spiritual inspiration from political ideology. And, while we are on the subject, material incentive can not simply be discussed as individual interest. There is also the collective interest to which individual interest should be subordinated, long-term interests to which temporary interests should be subordinated, and the interests of the whole to which the partial interests should be subordinated (Mao, 1977b, 83).  

   

       In Mao"s opinion, bureaucratic planning onesidedly depends on material incentive to motivate people--it does not work. The potential of the socialist planned economy can be fully released only if we are able to raise people"s consciousness, and if people will self-consciously work for the social interest rather than their narrow individual interests. Mao was very correct on these points. Yet why does bureaucratic planning fail to raise people"s consciousness? Mao said:  

   

In our experience, if cadres do not set aside their pretensions and identify with the workers, the workers will never look on the factory as their own but as the cadres...If manual workers and enterprise leaders are both members of a unified production collective then "why do socialist enterprises have to put `single leadership" into effect rather than leadership under collective guidance" i.e., the system of factory head responsibility under party committee guidance? It is when politics is weakened that there is no choice but to talk about material incentive (Mao, 1977b, 86)  

   

       It was very correct for Mao to point out that "It is when politics is weakened that there is no choice but to talk about material incentive". But what was wrong with the "politics"? Mao recognized that for workers to work for the social interest, there must be egalitarian social relations and workers" participation in management. On the other hand, Mao still thought that the problem could be solved by reviving revolutionary spirit in the party and by putting technocrats under the supervision of the communist party which was still regarded as a revolutionary party.   

       The ideas of Maoist political economy were put into effect in the Great Leap Forward. First, to solve the problem of bureaucratization, the planning system was substantially decentralized. Second, material incentive was criticized and in many factories, piece-rate wage and bonuses were abolished. Third, workers were encouraged to participate in factory management (Andors, 1977, 68-96).  

       There were some merits in the efforts of the Great Leap Forward. For example, under bureaucratic planning, material incentive is supposed to encourage people to work for the social interest. In reality, however, there cannot be "perfect" or "scientific" incentive systems. As a result, rather than encouraging people to work for the social interest, material incentive often encourages people to act against the social interest. Say, a plan based on physical output encourages people to maximize cost to maximize output. Obviously, this problem can be solved only if material incentive itself has been abolished. To abolish material incentive, however, presupposes that people will self-consciously work for social interest. This, as has been argued, is possible only if the interest of the society is no longer at odds with the interest of working people. The existence of material incentive, thus, was not the cause of the problem, but the result of real social conditions. That is, a significant part of social power was not in the hands of revolutionaries but in the hands of newly shaped bureaucratic class. The Great Leap Forward, however, tried to solve the problem not by dealing with the cause of the problem--the social power of the bureaucratic class, but by abolishing the result of the problem. Of course, it could not work.[38]  

The Cultural Revolution and Its Lessons  

       After the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao recognized that the problem could no longer be solved within existing power structures. In 1965, he thought that a bureaucratic class had already taken shape in post-revolutionary China. "The bureaucratic class is a class in sharp opposition to the working class and the poor and lower-middle peasants. How can these people have become or in the process of becoming bourgeois elements sucking the blood of the workers be properly recognized? These people are the objectives of the struggle, the objectives of the revolution (taken from Meisner, 1986, 271)." While he later retreated from this point, arguing that the objective of the revolution was "those people in position of authority within the party who take the capitalist road", it is clear that for Mao at this time the problem could only be solved by a struggle over political power. In 1966, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution.   

       In the opinion of Mao and his comrades, the main target of the Cultural Revolution was "those within the party who are in authority and are taking the capitalist road (CCP, 1968, 395-405).” That is, a large part of social power was no longer in the hands of revolutionaries, but in the hands of "capitalist roaders". The revolutionary force, thus, must struggle with the "capitalist roaders", seizing back power. Mao and his comrades also correctly pointed out that "[i]n the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the only method is for the masses to liberate themselves, and any method of doing things in their stead must not be used (CCP, 1968, 398)." Moreover, the Cultural Revolution would not only overthrow the old bureaucratic power, but also replace it with a new people"s power.  

   

[The] cultural revolutionary groups, committees and congresses...are organs of power of the proletarian cultural revolution...It is necessary to institute a system of general elections, like that of the Paris Commune, for electing members to cultural revolutionary groups and committees and delegates to the cultural revolutionary congresses. The lists of candidates should be put forward by the revolutionary masses after full discussion, and the elections should be held after the masses have discussed the lists over and over again. The masses are entitled at any time to criticize members of the cultural revolutionary groups and committees and delegates elected to the cultural revolutionary congresses. If these members or delegates prove incompetence, they can be replaced through election or recalled by the masses after discussion (CCP, 1968, 401).  

   

       On the other hand, the Cultural Revolution suffered form serious theoretical and practical weaknesses. Theoretically, Mao and his comrades failed to make a scientific analysis of the post-revolutionary Chinese society. First, rather than pointing out that the whole bureaucratic class was the target of the revolution (though Mao once thought so on the eve of the Cultural Revolution), the Cultural Revolution was targeted at a small group of "capitalist roaders", while "95 percent of the cadres" were still regarded as good or comparatively good. Second, in Mao and his comrades" opinion, what made the Cultural Revolution necessary was that "[a]lthough the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds and endeavour to stage a come-back. The proletariat must do the exact opposite: it must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of the society (CCP, 1968, 395)." By attributing the emergence of "capitalist roaders" in the party to the influence of bourgeois ideas, Mao and his comrades totally failed to use historical materialism to scientifically explain the rise of the bureaucratic class, and thus were unable to find the correct solution to the problem. On the other hand, while the only correct method of revolution is "for the masses to liberate themselves", as Lenin argued, it is impossible for working people who are oppressed, exploited, and deprived of their right to participate in scientific activities, to reach a scientific understanding of the society completely by themselves. In the post-revolutionary society, this is still the case as long as the division of physical labor and mental labor remains. Thus, masses cannot by themselves make a successful revolution against the bureaucratic class without the leadership of a revolutionary party which is composed of revolutionary intellectuals who are able to provide the scientific analysis of the society. With the old communist party degenerating into bureaucratic apparatus, a new revolutionary party was indispensable for the success of the Cultural Revolution. Without such a party, the Cultural Revolution could not result in any constructive outcomes and could only end in chaos.  

   

   

   

Can the Socialist Planned Economy Work?  

       Bourgeois economists and market socialists argue that the socialist planned economy is not able to solve the information problem and the motivation problem and it is not going to work.  But even according to bourgeois statistics, the former socialist economies had, on per capita basis, developed no less rapid than the capitalist economies.  Moreover, TABLE 7.1 shows that in their early stage, the former socialist economies had clearly demonstrated some superiority over the capitalist economies.  If the socialist planned economy is unable to solve the information problem and the motivation problem, how can the early success of the former socialist economies be explained?  

  This kind of problem is virtually as "complex" in the early stage of economic development as in the later stage.   

       Secondly, it is argued that in the initial stage of the former socialist economies, economic growth rate was accelerated by mobilizing unutilized resources.  But in the long run, failing to solve the information problem, the motivation problem, and to make technological progress as rapidly as the capitalist economies, after unutilized resources had been used up, the former socialist economies would inevitably fall into economic stagnation.  It is true that making more effective use of unutilized resources contributed a lot to the early economic development of the former socialist economies.  But this is certainly not a proof that these economies were irrational or inefficient.  Moreover, unutilized resources by themselves cannot make economic growth.  To turn unutilized resources into productive resources, there must be other production inputs, and these inputs must be organized and used in a economically rational way.  The workers must know what to produce, how to produce, and how many to produce.  And all of these will be turned into economic growth only if the workers more or less do what they are expected to do.  Thus, to mobilize unutilized resources and to make rapid economic growth out of these resources require exactly the same thing as is required by making efficient use of the resources presently being utilized.  That is, the ability to solve the information problem and the motivation problem.  Thus, the question remains--if the planned economy is not able to solve the information problem and the motivation problem, how can the early economic success of the former socialist countries be explained?   

       Thirdly it is argued that the economic growth of the former socialist countries was based on “extensive growth” rather than “intensive growth.”  The “extensive growth” is supported by massive inputs of resources rather than technological progress and thus cannot sustain in the long run.  Is this argument supported by empirical evidence?  TABLE 7.2 shows that from 1950-1973, the arithmetic average of the growth rates of labor productivity for 17 capitalist countries (7 major developed capitalist countries and 10 “middle income” countries) is 4.4 percent, for 10 “middle income” countries is 4.2 percent, and for 6 socialist countries is 4.5 percent.  These figures certainly do not suggest the former socialist economies were inferior to the capitalist economies in the respect of technological progress.  


 

TABLE 7.2  

Growth Rates of Labor Productivity (GDP per Hour Worked), Selected Countries, 1950-1973     

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Capitalist Countries   Growth Rates (%)                Socialist Countries       Growth Rates (%)  

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Argentina                               2.4                                  Bulgaria                                6.1  

Brazil                                     3.7                                  Czechoslovakia                     3.4  

Canada                                   3.0                                  Hungary                                3.9                Chile                                      2.9                                  Poland                                   3.8  

Colombia                               3.3                                  Romania                                6.2  

France                                    5.1                                 USSR                                    3.4  

Germany                                6.0                                  Arithmetic Average               4.5  

Greece                                   6.4  

Italy                                       5.8  

Japan                                     7.7  

Mexico                                  4.0  

Peru                                       3.4  

Portugal                                 6.0  

Spain                                     6.4  

United Kingdom                    3.1  

United States                         2.7  

Venezuela                              3.4  

Arithmetic Average                4.4  

Arithmetic Average for  

“Middle Income” Countries    4.2  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Source: Maddison (1995, 79-80).  

   

       Moreover, the Soviet Union and other former socialist countries had to spend most of their R & D efforts in the military field to meet the military competition against major imperialist powers.  This threw an unproportionately heavy burden on their economies whose absolute scales were much smaller than those of the major imperialist powers.  They also suffered from technological blockade and restriction by major capitalist countries, and thus could not take the full advantage of “later comers” as some capitalist developing countries did.  If this had not been the case, the rate of technological progress in the former socialist countries would certainly have been much higher.  

       We know that for the socialist planned economy to work, it must be able to solve the information problem and the motivation problem and the two problems can be solved only if the socialist social relations have been established.  The early economic success of the former socialist countries thus cannot be really understood without an analysis of the historically changing social relations in these countries.  While it is true that the post-revolutionary societies in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe were not genuine socialist societies in the sense that the political and social power were not directly under the control of working people, but actually controlled by a vanguard revolutionary party which is supposed to represent the interest of working people.  Nevertheless, we must not deny that these revolutionary parties, in their early stage, were indeed largely composed of genuine revolutionaries who sincerely pursued socialism and the liberation of working people (this is especially true for pre-Stalinist Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Yugoslavia).  In this case, it is not surprising that the social regimes that appeared after the revolution must be more or less revolutionary regimes pursuing the political, economic, and social policies by and large in the interest of working people.  Thus, in the early stage of these societies, the interest of society was largely consistent with the interest of working people.  This provided the objective foundation for the working people in these countries to work for the social interest.  

       It was a historical fact that in those years we saw hundreds of millions of people working not for their private interests, but for the common interest of people, for revolution and socialism, for proletarian internationalism, and for building communism.  How could this important historical fact not have a significant impact on the development of productive forces?  It is this distinct set of social relations that can help to explain the early success of the former socialist economies.  

       If we consider the whole historical period of revolutionary China, then this period can be divided into two stages. In the first stage which was from 1949 to 1957, the old oppressive and exploitative social order had been overthrown, the political and economic status of working people had been greatly improved, and the new bureaucratic class was only beginning to take shape. In this stage, the socialist Chinese economy developed rapidly, demonstrating a clear superiority over capitalist economies. The second stage which was from 1957 (the year of the “hundreds of flowers” movement and a year before the Great Leap Forward) to late 1970s was characterized by the ascendancy of the bureaucratic class and intensified class struggles, that were climaxed in the Cultural Revolution. Despite the tremendous social turbulence in this stage, the revolutionary socialist force still held a large part of the social power, and consequently, the socialist consciousness of working people continued to play an important role in economic development. As a result, in this stage, the Chinese economy continued to grow at a respectable rate. It was only after the failure of the Cultural Revolution and the rule of the bureaucratic class was thus consolidated, that the socialist planned economy became politically and socially invalid and capitalist marketization became the only “viable” solution to China’s economic problems (the bureaucratic class certainly cannot solve the information problem and the motivation problem by mobilizing working people’s socialist consciousness).  

       What lessons can we learn from the experience of revolutionary China? First, under a revolutionary socialist regime, the Planned economy did work, and it worked better than most capitalist economies. Then what will be the case if socialist social relations have been fully built up? The answer is self-evident: a socialist planned economy will not only work, but will work much more rationally and efficiently than the capitalist market economy in both social and economic terms. Second, whether a socialist planned economy is viable or not, is first of all, not a theoretical question, but a practical question, depending on the real historical struggle for socialism. After the revolutionary socialist force takes over the political power, the struggle for socialism has not yet ended. Instead, the revolutionary socialist force must apply correct revolutionary theories to educate and mobilize working masses, and to organize them in proper political organizations, like that of Paris Commune, to make active struggle against the tendency of bureaucratization and to secure the revolutionary nature of the new regime.[39] In the long run, the revolutionary socialist regime must make a through transformation of the irrational economic structure left over by capitalism so that with the continuous improvement of social labor productivity, the general working time of working people will be gradually reduced to a level that allows all social members to freely develop their physical and mental potential.[40] As a result, the division of mental labor and physical labor will be eliminated, that is, the material foundation of class domination and oppression will be done away with. Only then can we say that the struggle for socialism has ended with victory.  

   

   

   

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[1]                         In the opinion of the official scholars, “Although due to the operation of the law of value, those people who have rich endowments tend to become richer, while those people who have poor endowments tend to become poorer, if we take the following steps: first, trying to make the primary distribution more equal; secondly, imposing progressive income tax and high-rate heritage tax, facilitated by other tax measures, and providing welfare to the low-income stratum, then the polarization of income can be prevented, as has been proved by practice (Wu Jinglian, 172).” According to the official scholars, economic laws can simply be abolished by taking some administrative or legislative measures. However, the market economy is based on the system of private production and appropriation, and both “imposing progressive income tax and high-rate heritage tax, facilitated by other tax measures” and “providing welfare to the low-income stratum” infringe upon private appropriation, the “tax measures” and “providing welfare” are therefore, in the context of a market economy, in conflict with the development of productive forces. A society cannot afford this kind of conflict beyond certain limit. The so called “as has been proved by practice,” is referring to the fact that since the Great Depression, the disparity between the rich and the poor in the western countries has been more or less moderated. But first, the polarization in the world-wide has not been moderated at all and has been worsened instead. In fact, the limited improvment of the income distribution in the developed countries is to some extent conditioned by the worsening of the income distribution in the entire world. Secondly, as for the developed countries, since 1970s it has become increasingly difficult for the so-called “welfare state” to be sustained. Consequently, bourgeois economists have to talk a lot about the “dilemma” between “efficiency” and “equality.”

[3]                         "The iron rice bowl” refers to that workers cannot be fired, “the iron wages” refers to that workers’ wages cannot be changed unless being raised, and “the iron chairs” refers to that the cadres cannot be removed from their positions unless being raised.

[4]                         When I was in Xian, I had some opportunity to talk to the workers in the state-owned enterprises.  Many old workers told me that in 1950s workers were really enthusiastic, very different from today.  At that time, they did not need material incentives, nor the supervision of the superior management.  When there were problems, the workers managed to overcome the problems  by themselves.  These were facts rather than official propaganda.  Today’s economists certainly cannot understand this.  In their opinion, at that time there was a mysterious “powerful collectivist ideology,” which was simply exceptional in history and could not sustain for a long time.  But how could such an “ideology” prevail in China for more than twenty years without any serious reason?  In fact, the workers certainly did not

work enthusiastically for no reason.  Instead, as the old workers told me, at that time, the cadres took care of the workers, being the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts.   “The party members are really like party members.”  This was  the real reason for which the workers work with enthusiasm.  What the old workers said suggested that at that time we did have a type of relations of production which was completely different from the present.

[5]                         This should not be confused with the “socialization” in the Marxist term.  Here the official scholar is arguing that social services should be provided by market on the basis of monetary transaction rather than directly provided by the state-owned enterprises to their own workers on the need basis.

[6]      A famous tourist spot in Manchuria.

   

[7]      A kind of Chinese food made of wheat, with a shape similar to round bread.

   

[8]      Chinese weight unit.  One liang is equal to 50 grams.

   

[9]      Chinese length unit.  One li is equal to 0.5 kilometer.

   

[10]     Chinese area unit.  One mu is equal to 666.6 square meters.

   

[11]                        In my opinion when the leaders of the student movement and the liberal intellectuals behind them made the decision of the hunger-strike, they did not expect the events that subsequently happened.  What they had in their mind was probably not more than exercising some “moral pressure” on the government.  When people did come to streets, and the democratic movement did become a revolution, they simply did not know how to handle it (if were not scare by it).  They did not know how, or actually did not want to exploit the great revolutionary potential contained in the masses.

   

[12]                        Who knows how such a meeting could help to solve any problem.  Not say anything about the fact that the National People’s Congress did not have any real power given China’s political context, the supporters of the opposition might well be short of the simple majority in the Congress even at the peak of the revolution.

   

[13]     Translated from the Chinese translation, without checking the corresponding English translation.

   

[14]     Chinese area  unit.  One mu is equal to 666.6 square meters.

[15]     Chinese weight unit.  One jin is equal to 0.5 kilogram.

[16] Translated by Jin Xiaochang and Richard Smith.

[17] “Extra working time” was the working time more than the normal working time which was considered to be 48 hours a week.

[18] The prevailing month wage in China in 1990 was about 300 Yuan. On the other hand, the price level in Shenzhen was one or two times higher than that of die average in China.

[19] On 19 November 1993 a very serious fire accident happened in the Zhili handicraft toy factory in the Kuiyong town, Shenzhen city, burning 82 people to death and hurting 41 people. The investigation afterwards found that to prevent the workers from stealing, the management locked three of the four gates in the working time. Consequently, when the fire began, the workers could not find way out. Nearby the factory there were no fire control facilities, even no water pool (GRRB 4 December 1993).

[20] While some economists argue that the advance of automation has not yet resulted in “relocation” of industries from less developed capitalist countries to developed capitalist countries (see Castells and Tyson, 1989), it does not mean that this will not happen given further development of automation. In the long run, there is no question that with the development of automation and other technological progress, general technological ability and developed industrial infrastructure will play an increasingly important role in economic development and the importance of cheap labor will be decreased overtime. This tendency is certainly in favor of developed capitalist countries rather than less developed capitalist countries.

   

[21] “Self-financed investment” refers to the investment self-financed by enterprises, individuals, or corporations.

[22]                        The “incomplete and fragmentary democracy” is to some extent reflected by the following facts.  First, under modern capitalist democracy, the legislature is the only government department which is elected by people, while the executive and the judiciary are by and large organized according to bureaucratic principles.  Secondly, under modern capitalist democracy, government officials, members of parliament, and judges usually enjoy different levels of material privilege.  In his critique of modern parliamentary democracy, della Volpe (1979,54) cited what he called “the greatest living bourgeois jurist” Kelsen: “Legal independence of parliament from the people means that the principle of democracy is, to a certain extent, replaced by that of the division of labour.  In order to conceal this shifting from one principle to the other, the fiction is used that parliament ‘represents’ the people.”  Kelsen also provided a solution to the problem, based on the experience of the 1924 Soviet constitution: “[g]iven the impracticability of direct democracy in the large economically and culturally evolved States, the effort required to establish the most regular and close contact between the popular will and the necessary representatives of the people, the tendency to down near to direct rule, does not lead at once to a removal, nor even to a reduction, but rather to a overdevelopment of parliamentarism.  The Soviet constitution . . . as against bourgeois representative democracy, shows this clearly.  It replaces a single parliament . . . by a system of innumerable parliaments, set over each other, those soviets or councils, which are nothing but representative assemblies.  But together with this extension of itself, parliamentarism is also intensified.  From simple ‘meeting of chatterers,’ parliaments must become in the view of modern communism, working assemblies.  This means they must not be limited to enacting laws . . . but must take responsibility for their enforcement, and direct the process of the creation of the juridical order right up to the realization of their rules.  Is this not simply an attempt to democratize the administration rather than the legislation?  The official appointed by the bureaucracy, that is autocratically, and who has the power, within the often very extensive area laid down by the law, of imposing his will on the citizens, would be replaced by the citizen himself, who thus would become subject, not object, of the administration.  On the other hand, this would be

accomplished not directly but through the mediation of elected representatives.  To democratise the administration is above all simply to parliamentarize it.”

[23]                        After the establishment of the military regime in September 1973, the Chilean working class immediately began to suffer from great hardship.  “With their political representation abolished, and their leadership decapitated, they had no means to resist a drastic reduction in real wages. (This has variously been estimated at between 44 percent and 60 percent from 1972 to 1975 with a further decrease from an index of 100 in January 1975 to 77.5 in March 1976.  From 1977 real wages more or less stabilized until the severe economic down turn of 1982.)  Unemployment soared to levels never before reached in the country . . . with an official unemployment rate around 20 percent

(Johnson, 1985, 187)

[24]                        Du Gangjian is a famous liberal intellectual, holding the position of associate professor in the law department of People’s University of China, one of China’s best universities in social science.

[25]     In Chinese “liberty” and “freedom” are translated into one word--Zi You.

[26]                        In Maddison’s most recent book on world economic history, he provided following empirical evidence which gave strong support to the Marxist theory of falling rate of profit.  If we look at the ratio of gross non-residential capital stock to GDP of major capitalist countries, in the United States, it rose from 0.95 in 1820 to 3.30 in 1913, then fell to 2.12 in 1973, then rose again to 2.43 in 1992; in

the United Kingdom, it rose from 0.68 in 1820 to 0.84 in 1913, and to 1.82 in 1992; in Japan, it rose from 0.71 in 1890 to 1.77 in 1950, and to 3.02 in 1992.  For France, Germany, and Netherlands, there is no pre WWII data, but for the postwar period all of the three countries show clear tendencies of rising capital-output ratio (Maddison, 1995, 36).  Why does capitalist technological progress tend to be labor-saving and capital-consuming technologies (labor-saving technologies are usually capital-consuming technologies, for to save the input of labor, more advanced and more sophisticated machines must be used)?  The following is a tentative explanation.  As a result of capitalist development real wage tends to inrease substantially in the long run.  If there is a long-term tendency for real wage to rise, capitalists who expect the increase of real wage, will have an incentive to reduce the share of labor cost in the total cost as much as possible (for the “real prices” of means of production never change).  Therefore, other things being equal, capitalists will favor labor-saving and capital-consuming technologies againt other technologies (e.g. capital-saving technologies), and in the long run capitalist technological progress tend to lead to rising capital-output ratio.

[27]                        According to Mandel, the great depression of 1873-1893 was ended by a sudden upsurge of the profit rate after 1893 which can be largely explained by the imperialist conquest in late 19th century.  With Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and China taken into colonial empires or semicolonial spheres of

influence, there were a qualitative growth of capital exports to underdeveloped countries and a substantial decline in the relative prices of raw materials.  Both helped to bring about the upsurge of the profit rate.  The competition between imperialist powers, however, finally led to the first world war and the victory of the Russian Revolution.  On the other hand, the great depression in 1930s ended up with the rise of fascism and the second world war after which there were the victory of the Chinese Revolution and the establishment of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe.  The world capitalist system, nevertheless, entered a new stage of long-term expansion based on a great upsurge of the profit rate after the war, the upsurge which in Mandel’s opinion, must be explained by the historic defeat of the working class in developed capitalist countries under fascism and the Cold War regime. In Western Europe and Japan, the rate of surplus value was increased from 100% to 300%, and in United States there was a more modest but no less significant increase (Mandel, 1995, 17-18).  After early 1970s the world capitalist economy has again fallen into long-term decline.  The latest long-term decline has already brought about great sufferings to the working people in most capitalist countries.  In United States, the average real weekly earnings in private nonagricultural industries fell from $300 in 1969 to $264.22 in 1990 (in 1982 dollars, Monthly Review, December 1994, 5).  In Western Europe, working people are suffering from permanent large scale unemployment.  In some Latin American countries real wage for industrial workers fell by 20-60 percent in 1980s (Mandel, 1995, 159).  However, the rise of East Asian capitalism, and especially that of Chinese capitalism which brings hundreds of millions of cheap labor into the world capitalist system, may have played an important role in stabilizing the world average profit rate by substantially raising the world average rate of surplus value.  

[28]                        This sentence is from an ancient Chinese poem referring to the situation when the peasant rebellion army conquered the capital of the Tang dynasty (now the Xian city) and established their own regime. Here “tablet” refers to the tablet held before the breast by officials when received in audience by the

emperor.

[29]                                         On Marx"s idea that commodity production prevails only when labor becomes free wage labor, see Cohen (1978,146-202).

[30]                   This is actually the present system of Chinese state-owned enterprises. In this case, it is not more than a state capitalist system.

[31]                   This is exactly Schweickart"s market socialist model--a combination of social ownership of means of production and workers" self management of independent enterprises in market. See Schweickart (1993).

[32]                                         Roemer (1994, 44) argued that the failure of the former socialist economies was primarily due to their failure to make as rapid technological progress as the capitalist economies, and this problem (or the innovation problem) was a problem independent of the information problem (what he called the principal-agent problem).  But to me, the innovation problem is not more than a particular form of the information problem.  If the central planning authority knows all the relevant information, it certainly can order the producer to make the right innovation with the right input and within the right period of time.  On the other hand, it may be true that since innovation involves more uncertainty and risk, and requires more flexibility, it is especially difficult for the central planning authority to collect the relevant information and to make rational decisions associated with innovation activities and the innovation problem provides one of the most striking examples of the information problem.

[33]                   In modern capitalist economies, to reduce the market uncertainty which reflects the lack of coordination between private producers, an increasingly large part of the economic resources have been invested by private capitalist companies into various non-productive activities, such as marketing, advertisement, and R & D activities associated with market research and sales promotion.  In modern capitalist societies, this may be no less important a form of economic irrationality than explicit economic crises.  According to Shaikh and Tonak (1994, 110) the rate of nonproduction labor to the total labor in the U.S. had increased from 0.43 in 1948 to 0.64 in 1987, suggesting a great waste of the social labor force.

[34]                   For example, the ratio of supervisory workers to production workers in the U.S. nonagricultural labor force increased from 13.7 percent in 1948 to 20.8 percent in 1973, and to 22.4 percent in 1979 (Bowles, Gordon, and Weisskopf, 1983, 130).

[35]                                         Rattansi (1982,185) argued that the substantial reduction of general working time was impossible as long as there was "scarcity" which, however, would not disappear so long as "technological innovation and economic growth" do not stop. "[T]he development of productive capacities generates new needs. Thus, while some scarcities are abolished, others are continually engendered...Nevertheless, unless all technological innovation and economic growth stop it is difficult to see how scarcity as such can be abolished, a possibility that appears even more remote in the context of a potential crisis in the world"s natural resources." Rattansi had forgotten one important thing, that "new needs" not only include the needs for the material products, but also include the needs for the development of men themselves. In a socialist society, it is completely imaginable that the increase of the productivity of social labor would be partly converted into the improvement of material life, and partly be converted into the increase of free time. If the productivity of social labor keeps growing, there will be a continuous increase of free time. In fact, it is very unreasonable to assume the contrary case, that people in socialist society would demand that all the increase of the productivity is converted into material improvements.

[36]                   On the development of bureaucratization in China"s first five-year plan, see Meisner (1986, 125-130).

[38]                   Workers" participation in management in the Great Leap Forward was largely limited at work team level. On the other hand, administrative decentralization could not by itself eliminate bureaucratic power. Instead, by doing away with the coordination mechanism indispensable for bureaucratic planning without at the same time constructing new coordination mechanism based on new social relations, it could only lead to economic chaos.

[39]                  In the rethinking of Marxism and the failure of the socialist revolutions in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe, many socialist scholars and activists have placed more and more emphasis on grassroots movement rather than taking over the political power. While this change of emphasis is in general justifiable, there is also the danger of underestimating the importance of taking over the political power. It is naive to think that grassroots people’s movement and participatory democracy can prosper when the political power is still in the hands of the oppressive class. While taking over the political power is by no means equivalent to the victory of socialism, it is nonetheless the primary necessary condition for any further fundamental social change.

[40]                   Dawson and Foster (1992) estimated that in 1988, “economic surplus” accounted for 55 percent of the U.S. GNP, most of which was absorbed by various social wastes, such as marketing, advertisement, financial activities, military production, etc. Besides, a large part of social labor wasted appeared not directly as “economic surplus”, but as production costs, e.g. elaborate packaging, frequent model changes, planned obsolescence, etc. On the other hand, in underdeveloped capitalist countries, the most important social waste appears to be the large-scale unemployed or underemployed population who usually accounts for one third of the total labor force. The enormous waste of social labor under capitalism implies that it will be possible for the revolutionary socialist regime to substantially reduce the general working time of working people within a relatively short period after it takes over the political power.

 

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李民骐
李民骐
美国尤他大学副教授
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