In a society moving towards socialism, it is necessary to consider the balance between the need to mobilize capital as a resource for development and the need for the workers to exercise control over the direction of that development. The Work Report's call to strengthen self-governing by community organizations and create innovations in social administration, can act as an important avenue for workers to become more actively involved in the supervision and control of local government and administration.
The Report also seeks to promote socialist core values to the youth. It is widely recognized that one-sided education and propaganda cannot produce socialist consciousness; only the living battle of opposing ideas can generate dynamic intellectual progress. The global crisis of capitalism has provided excellent terrain for such debate to flourish. Everything should be done to encourage progressive minded thinkers and social activists worldwide, to engage with debates taking place inside China and for Chinese youth to debate world affairs. The curriculum of socialist and Marxist education should be extended and reach out to revolutionary thought on a world scale.
The journal Social Sciences in China, produced by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and the meetings and publications of the World Association for Political Economy, are helping to stimulate such debate at an academic level. Likewise, last year's Vienna conference on "Labor Disputes in Globalised China" brought together activists and academics from inside and outside China, producing a unique exchange of ideas and experiences.
The weakness of socialism in Europe, the United States and Japan is primarily due to the long-term effects of the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe. The nature of China's development remains a sphere of considerable confusion for western leftists. An understanding of the dynamics of developmental socialism is impossible without seriously studying China's contemporary political economy. The huge pool of talented and creative minds who believe "another world is possible" should be offered every opportunity to participate in and contribute to China's socio-economic and cultural development.
Significant spheres of qualitative development can be radically improved by attracting dynamic and critical-minded people to participate in health, education and other cultural development projects. China's quality of growth can make huge leaps forward such as we have seen in the extraordinary flourishing of China's artistic talent in recent years. What may appear as strange modern art in a Beijing gallery today, can tomorrow lay the aesthetic foundations for architecture, product design and the beautification of social space. Similar progress is attainable in all the myriad worlds of human creativity and ingenuity.
After Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai traveled to France in 1919, they founded Communist cells and brought the experiences of the proletariat in the most advanced countries back to China. In a similar way, when the great Cambridge professor Joseph Needham prepared his masterpiece Science and Civilization in China, he bridged millennia of ideas across alien cultures. It is said that his guiding maxim was to "think in oceans".
The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/heikokhoo.htm
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