Most of the left has written off China as nothing but another big capitalist country, really little different then the United States. On the right, they see China as some sort of strange communist dictatorship which smashes human rights and cheats the market.
I think the situation in China and especially the future of China is much more complex. About a year ago, I wrote a couple of short and simple notes on some of my thoughts about China. The first read:
Is it possible that no revolution has yet produced a communist society because none have happened in a country where the working class was the leading class, in an advanced capitalist society (as Marx expected)? Is it possible that what the CP of China is doing is creating an advanced proletariat as the leading class now, as well as advanced productive forces in a former peasant country? Is it possible that when this is accomplished and with a communist party already in power the result will finally be...communism?
I know many of you won't buy this, but the idea which needs to be fleshed out would answer questions about why so many so called communist revolutions ended well short of communism. It would also provide a never, to my mind, discussed way of getting from a peasant revolution led by a communist party in non advanced capitalist country to communism.
Communism isn't easy and a revolution isn't a tea party.
The second read:
Speaking as a Marxist: If as I believe the whole notion of a vanguard Party is screwed up and leads nowhere. If the working class must emancipate itself. Then, don't you need a sizable (majority?) working class (something we didn't have in the Russian or Chinese, etc. revolutions) for a true communist revolution to succeed. Thus, perhaps, China is the likely candidate for this to occur (first in a big country) considering current developments and its likely future path.
I am sure many of you would find it strange for me now to add the following. I think this is much more likely to happen sooner and with less difficulty with the CPC in power and following a course similar to that which it is on. It is after all, only with the "reforms" that a huge working class (with a better consciousness of itself then any in the West) has begun to develop. When/if the working class revolution occurs the CPC can decide to go along or not. It shouldn't, in the end, matter though.
Is the Communist Party of China conscious of any of this. Who knows? Probably some, but certainly not all. But then again, who cares?
Keep in mind that I am anti-vanguard party. I don't think a Party of petite bourgeois and bourgeois intellectuals who think they know what is best for the working class, for working people in general can ever build the sort of communism that is worth building. Only the class can do that. There is a place for a Marxist group, organization, even party, but it is NOT leading, and it is not acting on behalf of, or in place of the working class, before, during, or after a revolution.
Anyway, think about some of this as you read the two articles below. The first is from OffBeat China and the second from Asia Times.
Qidong NIMBY protest that occupied the local government and stripped a mayor may mark a new era of grassroots activism in China
Qidong, Jiangsu province, July 28, hundreds of local students and residents took to the street to protest against the construction of a Japanese sewage treatment plant that was said to dump tens of thousands of tons of waste water into the sea via a 100-kilometer-long pipeline. In the same day, local government promised to permanently cancel the project.