CHINA AND MARKET SOCIALISM
Monday, June 17, 2019
The "Chinese Model" and us Tony Andréani L'Harmattan, 208 pages, 21.50 euros.
In a book that goes off the beaten track, Tony Andréani analyses the current situation.
To those who claim that China has converted to capitalism, Tony Andréani replies in this book that Chinese successes are due to "a draft of market socialism". According to precise criteria defining such socialism (prevalence of collective choices, planning, etc.), he shows that China meets them. The term "draft" means that, for some of these criteria (e.g. social security or labour law), however, it has a long way to go. It would only be at a "primary phase of socialism", as the Chinese themselves call it - which is already much more than "left-wing Keynesianism". The author thus rejects the traditional expression of "state capitalism", in particular because state enterprises are not there to pay dividends to the state owner or to value its securities, are otherwise managed through meaningful management participation of their employees and occupy all key sectors of the economy by "serving as the armed arm of the state" for the achievement of its objectives.
He argues that in China the state controls capitalist oligopolies in many ways (control of capital, credit by large public banks, joint ventures, presence in the capital and board of directors of large private companies) and that it stimulates effective demand through public investment, which is the driving force behind each stimulus. Tony Andréani insists that state-owned enterprises are not focused on capitalist profitability. According to him, it is the low prices of the various inputs they provide to other companies in the domestic economy that make Chinese exports more successful commercially than low wages. Moreover, a significant part of the Chinese economy is not strictly speaking capitalist (number of small businesses, crafts, so-called "collective" economy) and cannot therefore practice capitalist prices. In addition, the Chinese government is trying to control the capital markets, particularly the financial markets, by continuing to favour (and regulate) the credit market and banking intermediation. Exciting and original developments are devoted to the political and social system in this courageous, relevant, informed and useful book.
Rémy Herrera Economist-- via my feedly newsfeed