On Marx’s 200th birthday, Xi Jinping encourages senior officials to “grasp the power of the truth of Marxism”
China is set to replace the USA as the dominant world superpower this century. It possesses the world’s largest economy (by certain measurements) and the largest population. The ‘rise of China’ is the top news story of the 21st Century according to the Global Language Monitor. China’s political development over this and subsequent decades have immense implications for all nations.
Jinping, who recently eliminated his own term limit, appears to be pushing Marxism on his citizens far more strongly than China’s last few rulers. state broadcaster has recently been airing a special five-part program called “Marx is Correct”, where scholars of the Communist Party lecture about traditional socialist doctrine.
China has enjoyed rising agricultural output and productivity thanks to economic reforms as the previous regimes since Mao had rejected Soviet idealism in favour of “opening the country up”.
Now Jinping has revealed himself as much more of a Marxist-Leninist than his predecessors, seeking to consolidate both ideological and economic power under the Communist Party.
Jinping has moved to raise the profile and importance of Communist Party committees in private and even foreign-owned companies. He has been pushing for the party to have a direct stake and management role in some of the country’s major tech firms. These are China’s most successful companies, and Jinping’s government is setting up a ‘citizen rating system’ which would likely be made much more effective under a Big Government-Big Data marriage.
Jinping is a “closet Maoist”, according to veteran observer of Chinese politics Willy Lam. “Most ordinary Chinese have zero interest in Marxism or Leninism. But Marx and Lenin are useful for Xi Jinping because their teachings justify what he is doing — namely, concentrating all powers in the Communist Party and concentrating all powers in the top leader himself.”
“The Communist Party doesn’t have ballot box legitimacy, so it has to hinge its legitimacy on doctrine”, Professor Lam said.
Pop and Locke is a libertarian-traditionalist popular culture and politics blog bringing you news, opinions, analysis and reviews that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for Western political and philosophical tradition and a fascination with our increasingly wacky popular culture.