Goodbye Marx

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 July, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 July, 2001, 12:00am

Simon Pritchard (article headlined 'For sale: one slightly used ideology, South China Morning Post, July 4) is right.


Jiang Zemin's recent speech at the Chinese Communist Party's 80th-anniversary celebration is a clear renunciation of classic Marxism and an admission that capitalism is an acceptable politico-economic model for China. The party has discovered it cannot solve the enormous problems of the poor, uneducated and disparate peasant mass which forms the vast majority of China's population by adhering to Marxist principles, and so it has virtually given up on those principles.


'With Chinese characteristics' means, as in any authoritarian state, 'whatever is necessary to keep the ruling elite in power'.


Pritchard is also right to point to the evolutionary process happening in Chinese politics as interesting in itself.


Contingent upon the West's leaving China alone to find its own capitalist way and China itself finding capitalist ways appealing, China might still come up with a completely new way of governing. It will not be Marxist.


MICHAEL McCAFFREY


North Point