Week 2: The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening

Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening

Week 2: The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening

“Two Singularities … Dependence & Independence … Historical Roots: Some Political Experience … Historical Roots: Peasantry … Historical Roots: The State … The Great Transformation … Dialogue Between Insiders”
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  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Two Singularities > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Dependence & Independence > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: Some Political Experience > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: Peasantry > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: The State > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > The Great Transformation > Lecture Video
  • Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Dialogue Between Insiders > Lecture Video

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Two Singularities > Lecture Video

  • Hello everyone, welcome back In last sections, we discussed economic emergence of China and implications for the rest of the world.
  • Now we do need an historical perspective on this issue In order for us to better understand the long-term trend of the China’s economic and social development.
  • I am very happy that I have a wonderful personal friend And he is a leading expert in China’s modern history and philosophy Professor Wang Hui of Tsinghua University He will discuss with us the historical perspective on China’s emergence Please, Professor Wang Hui Thank you very much Thank you for all of you.
  • This is the first time for me to talk to students from the business school I used to talk to students from humanities.
  • It’s really different I’m looking forward to communicate with all of you in the whole lecture If you have anything that you want me to clarify.
  • Why 60 years? The establishment of People’s Republic of China The main stream focus on the 30 years.
  • In 1909, there was a Turkish revolution And in 1911, Chinese revolution.
  • This is a quite long history When we talk about the 20th century, I would like to suggest the term so-called ‘short twentieth century’ Do you know the well-known British historian Eric Hobsbawn? Anybody knows about him and his writing? He published his masterpiece, four-volume work about the World History It broadly writes here and there about history He used the term of ‘short twentieth century’.
  • Why the 20th century was short? He say, because the beginning of 20th century backed to the First World War in 1914 down to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991 or the early 1992 which is the whole collapse of the Eastern Bloc.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Dependence & Independence > Lecture Video

  • The part 2 will focus on the dependence and independence Last week Professor Li also mentioned that in the global negotiation And on the issues of human rights and so on so forth China argued that we reject any foreign intervention.
  • He tried to explain the reason Because he explained even months earlier, East Germany looked not that bad Why suddenly collapsed? Because some decision made by somebody else Of course Gorbachov and so on so forth.
  • His argument is like that At the same time, his counterpart in the west in the negotiation Western Germany politician said that you followed the so-call doctrine of Brezhnev or Brezhnev doctrine what is the Brezhnev doctrine? Which meant in complete sovereignty Which meant that in the whole eastern bloc, only Soviet Union had the full sovereignty All other states in the ally.
  • They do not enjoy the full sovereignty at all So that’s why because of these something happened there, then sequences here So this is his explanation for these And in his memoir after the collapse of East Germany He said that actually after World War II Many people said that after World War II It was the formalization of the establishment of the sovereign systems in the global scale However, during the cold war period The cold war divide into two extremity.
  • October Revolution in Russia Or the French Revolution some event happened so the people argued that was the Russian Revolution, French Revolution marked by these events But Chinese Revolution is a long process It is difficult to use a single event to define that process.
  • The whole mobilization of the society was in the whole long process So in that sense, much more self-determined than any other countries by nature It is not only in a formal level Substantively speaking, that the Communism Party in China, compared to Eastern European Communist Parties Was much more independent from any superpower Neither America nor Soviet Union This is why at time China was an ally of Soviet Union However, by mid 1950s.
  • This year, it was the sixtieth anniversary of Bandung conference Do you remember that? Started from the non-ally movements for the third world countries Not necessarily, there may be anti-colonial, anti-imperialist movements, but not the socialist countries China actually actively involing in that movements especially Premier Zhou Enlai The five principles of the peaceful coexistence and then developed into the ten principles of peaceful coexistence in Bandung Conference was started from that time So that was the decisive moment for China For its performance and basic position in the cold war time Which meant that China tried to keep distance from both American sides and the Soviet Union sides Try to be much more independent than any other country.
  • He used the classical Marxist’ concept But actually a lot of people argue that the connotation of this categories erratically different from those concepts in the western context I will give further explanation for this.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: Some Political Experience > Lecture Video

  • It is about the practice It shows that no existing model for Chinese reform But if you are familiar with the documents in the 20th century Chinese revolution You will find that this slogan came from Mao On Practice during the wartime He said that no existing model for the revolution So we need only from practice to practice This was the basic doctrine for the communist revolution in China at that time So these were practice as a mechanism to correct some doctrines we followed earlier.
  • It is a kind of experimentalism You can argue that it is a kind of pragmatism Second, I think it is not only the practice but theoretical debates Is very much important because lining struggle always happened in the theoretical ways to some extend The debate between Chinese communist party and Soviet Union at the beginning it was a theoretical debate basically you know that in the Chinese reform, the basic theories, the law of value argued by very famous economist Sun Yefang, another famous, he was thought as a thinker of Chinese reform in the early years it was Gu Zhun.
  • He talked about the value, the issue of value Commodity and value and law of value and so on so forth There is a classical category from the classical political economy But most of people forget this issue was not raised in the beginning of Chinese reform At the beginning, it was in the 1950s.
  • So this was at the end of 1950s So in the mid 1970s revived when Deng Xiaoping took power And then the second revival after Deng Xiaoping came back again After 1979, that became the starting point of the Chinese reforms So theoretical debate paved way for Chinese reform But this was not sudden incident.
  • You can find some roots in the early stages So most of people forget these issues and Cultural Revolution A lot of people know that the Cultural Revolution a lot of tragedies happened But you know that in Eastern European countries There was no such a thing as a Cultural Revolution And during the Cultural Revolution, together with Deng Xiaoping, top leaders and different levels all those caters were sent to countryside factories and so on so forth.
  • They suffered a lot And when after the Cultural Revolution when they went back to their positions They actually were able to make the responses to the demands of the lower social status Wen know that a lot of explanations about the collapse of Eastern European countries Is about the bureaucratization, the so stubborn the officers They were not able to make response to the demands of the social status Because of the long process So it is not necessarily mean that you are mean when we explain that historically Not necessarily mean that we are for Cultural Revolution It is the sequence or the consequence.
  • Otherwise it is very difficult So without Cultural Revolution and its negation, it is difficult to imagine There would not be a Chinese reform in such scale.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: Peasantry > Lecture Video

  • SO now I move to the Part IV, historical roots again.
  • By focusing on the first is the state, the sovereignty issue, independent issue.
  • Now I move to the Peasantry, also a very important historical condition.
  • The first I think that the Chinese Revolution was carried out in the context of a traditional agrarian society.
  • The peasantry was the main subject and agent of the revolution.
  • Peasants paid huge sacrifices and huge contribution both to the Chinese Revolution and the Reform.
  • Basically, before 1989 Chinese Reform can be divided into two stages.
  • Usually we describe the first stage as what kind of reform? Agriculture reform, rural reform.
  • Basically, redistribution of the land, family household system Basically the collapse of people’s communes and edistribution of the land to the family.
  • It is based on the collective ownership so how is that possible, the collective ownership or redistribution of land equally? I think that was the most equal reform, redistributed the land You know, after 1985, that was the second stage of the reform.
  • So a lot of the contradictions, conflicts accumulated in the whole process of the urban reform.
  • Most of the observers believed that was a big success was the rural reform of China Basically, the legitimation of Chinese reform was based on rural reform.
  • So without the rural reform it is very difficult to understand why in the 1980s the whole nation became so enthusiastic for the whole reform and opening policy.
  • That was the period of when we talk about this because obviously people blame people’s commune, the Great Leap Forward and so on so forth A lot of the sacrifices happened at that time.
  • If the land, after the collapse of people’s commune, the land could be redistributed.
  • Divide between urban and rural continues and the social inequality happen in here, and even last to this day the two sections One of the issues of unequal distribution is still about the suffering of the migrant workers So this is a big crisis But on the other hand, we need to remember the contributions of all the peasants in the whole process in Chinese reform.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Historical Roots: The State > Lecture Video

  • Here I cited the Giovanni Arrighi’s arguements in his recent works.
  • He said that ‘National markets are no more a Western invention than national states and interstate systems.
  • Through the 18th century by far the largest national market was to be found not in Europe but in China’.
  • Basically, he was based on the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty Agriculture Studies because he found during that long period, certain kind of market economy already took shape.
  • It was not the first time for China to encounter the market because there were long kind of process.
  • At the same time, “Contrary to widespread belief, the main attraction of the PRC for foreign capital has not been its huge and low-priced reserves of labor as such’.
  • Basically, he talked about the quality of labors, so these were the issues.
  • Some other economists argue that the role of state in a early reform is about, for example Professor Yao Yang from Peking Uninversity argued that ‘the role of neutrality of governments were very important in the early state of Chinese reform’.
  • My arguement is that it is very difficult to use the term ‘neutrality’ to discribe the nature of Chinese government.
  • Not only in the 20th century, even by now it is difficult to talk about the ‘neutrality’ because the socialist country they argue quiet ideologically, tried to represent the interest of the working class.
  • Because of these, the serious moments including the Cultural Revolution The whole state, the government especially the officials.
  • There were moments kept them detached from the economic interest to some extent.
  • So in that period, it was very difficult to find these years’ large scale of corruption.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > The Great Transformation > Lecture Video

  • Chinese economy slows down Partly because of the reasons in China, partly because of the global context There is no way, to get rid of the whole process Several years ago, I remember that Niall Ferguson, our guest professor in Tsinghua SEM He put forward a new term ‘Chimerica’.
  • Then he said it may be too exaggerate But on the other hand, if not the Chimerica, but we talked about the interrelated, interdependent economy already emerged here That was totally different from before In this case, when I talk about the old tradition, I am not arguing that we need to go back to the old forms We are in the new context New context needs a new idea of autonomy but not against opening That is a big challenge On one hand you need a certain kind of autonomy, but that autonomy not necessarily means you will close the door, you are not linked to others We are interrelated In that sense autonomy also means the way of cooperation How to do that? So this is one of the big issues I am not an economist, as you know.
  • I hope you can give me more advice on this issue At the same time I will give you some other because we talk about Chinese crisis or challenge that China is facing The first is the transformation of sovereignty It is not only because of China itself, but also the global transformation The traditional idea of sovereignty is undergoing great transformation What kind of the new form? We are not so clear.
  • Now is a big issue Of course it is not only an issue for China, what kind of the nature of the political parties in other social systems and other kind of the political regimes are big issues too The right wing, the left wing, social democrats or the neoliberal.
  • These term became more and more ambiguous China faces same challenges Under the conditions of market society, the state apparatuses have a direct hand in economic activity Such that different branches of the state are mutually entangled with special interests The notion prevalent at the beginning of the reform period of the ‘neutral state’ is now being transformed.

Week 2 The Dialectics of Autonomy and Opening > Dialogue Between Insiders > Lecture Video

  • Big Brother there So everything is ‘liberated’.
  • This is the first Second, only communist party, because of its long revolution, had the experience of the state Even during the revolutionary period, you know The first soviet state was established in 1931 Mao was the first Chairman of that Jiangxi Soviet State So the state needed to re-organize the society and responsible for everything Mao said we need to be responsible for agricultural production, trade and birth rate and even the family affairs between husbands and wives and how to train their children Everything about management So these were part of the people’s war Very interesting.
  • Even the communist party in as early as 1931 issued their own currency Central bank was done.
  • First central banker was a graduate student of Tsinghua University Economic department, he did not finish the degree.
  • Only one year training in Tsinghua University then he became Central banker of communist party And also you know that during the early reform period, one of the high rank officials for the Chinese reform who paid visit to Chicago He was a communist during the Civil war And actually the resistant war against Japan You know that he was responsible for the financial policy So that at that period already familiar with the markets during the revolutionary era So because certain kind of the structure of the government, already shaped during the war time So this is a long revolution Very good.
  • May I also add the issue of the Vietnamese communist party How do you compare Mao Zedong’s communist party with Ho Chi Minh’s communist party in Vietnam and implications for reforms in these two countries? Actually, you know that Ho Chi Minh spent a lot of time in China and they worked together So the Vietnamese War there was similar to Chinese revolution.
  • Huge impact on that Certain kind of the land revolution, the mobilization of peasants and directly took the idea of People’s War from China.
  • They use that Vietnamese war at that time was very different from others.
  • Almost a full colony at that time So Chinese situation is a little bit different because China, of course, so-called semi-colonized but never been fully colonized So always maintain certain kind of political subjectivity at that context Hypercritically, if Zhou Enlai had been the leader of communist party for many years Maybe the communist party of China would be like Vietnamese communist party.
  • He was from France and Germany, he studied there and also from background Not like Mao, from inland and peasants family.
  • This is one issue Second, that process also reduced the level of the bureaucratization That made the whole Chinese political system more flexible, much more open for the different opinions at the beginning At the end of the Cultural Revolution and the beginning of the reform they opened the whole system, party system that launched the campaign for the liberation of thinking So that will give the possibilities of different opinions.
  • Highly emphasize the importance of practice Mao himself emphasize the importance of practice but on the other hand sometimes he seemed to emphasize the importance of value, his political position and value and so on so forth.
  • Ideology Then was much more pragmatic in the sense It also came from the results of his thinking about Cultural Revolution Do you think you Cultural Revolution helped Deng Xiaoping created the consensus that is ‘without reform, communist party, China will be doomed?’ Yes.
  • It is also Deng Xiaoping’s idea When he said that the reform is a revolution which meant that substantially speaking Reform transformed everything But not took the form of radical, bloody revolution I think up till now I’m confident for this to some extend confident Confident that China will not go through anotherFrench Revolution Style, bloody movements? I think that time already passed for China Or the 1989 style of movement? In different scale still possible I think the lower scale.
  • In the social scale it could be big You know that in 1989, if you want to understand 1989 1989 of course there were a lot of economic and social issues Mainly because of the internal conflicts of the political structure Without the power struggle within the system, it is very difficult to understand Within the Party itself Obviously, without that it is not possible to have a national mobilization For example, how can the party use the CCTV, People’s Daily, Guangming Daily to mobilize the whole society against itself? So it will not possible without the internal forces These were the issue how can maintain political stability in that sense was very important I think Thank you very much.

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