Money overtakes Communism in China!

March 01, 2013 15:40
Money overtakes Communism in China!

Three decades of economic liberalisation have drastically changed the face of China. With raid increasing in the number of Chinese billionaires which is now on par with the US and is closing in on the top spot, as a result the communist ideals of the past seem to have faded beyond recognition.

According to Li Chao, one can never have enough money and that money helps him fulfill his dreams for whom expensive hobbies like motor racing are no longer out of reach. He thinks nothing of wasting out hundreds of thousands of dollars on glamorous super cars and is regretful about his growing wealth while he says he has earned it.

Moreover, Li represents a new generation of pioneering 'red capitalists', many of them the children of Communist Party officials. Strikingly bold and brilliant, accustomed to success and able to spend more money in one luxury evening in Shanghai or Beijing than others can earn in a year, they are fast becoming the avatar of the modern Chinese dream. Among others are like the real estate developer Wang Dafu, were born into poverty, but have been equally able to build vast fortunes in a country with growth rates that other nations can only dream of.

He expresses when he started working he sometimes couldn't afford a beer and a bowl of noodles and now with his personal wealth estimated at two-thirds of a billion dollars, he could spend the equivalent of 10,000 bowls of noodles on the interior design of his yacht and barely dent his bank account.

It is not surprising that with more and more people lavishing spending the cash, the Chinese auto market is now the largest in the world having its luxury goods market which is huge and its art market is booming which is life albeit for a privileged minority in the new China and it is one focused on what many observers now see as an increasingly hollow slogan: "Socialism with Chinese characteristics".

Having the fact that those who run the country clearly do not appreciate the irony. Take the incomes of the members of the People's Congress, the official parliament, which meets once a year. The 70 richest members collectively have assets worth over $85bn which compares favourably to the relatively meagre $5.5bn available to the 70 richest members of Congress in Washington DC.

Yet Wu Renbao, the former party boss of Huaxi, sees no contradiction and says that whatever the ideology the main thing is that we become rich together which in other words everyone having an equal opportunity to benefit and that all they have to do is work hard.

But the fact remains that not everyone is happy. Economist Zhang Hongliang is an unreconstructed leftist, who warns that China's leadership may come to rue its love affair with profit.

Zhang says that Directors of companies shouldn't be party secretaries and that it should be the proletariat providing the secretaries and the directors representing the capitalists. Moreover, when a person takes on those two roles, one thing is clear that the Communist Party is nothing but a capitalist party through and through. In fact, this revealing film from Jorg Winter and ORF looks at some of the possible consequences of China's growing love affair with money and wonders what has happened to the Marxist principles that the nation once paid homage to.

There can be no doubt in saying that the amount of joy money and luxury brings to our life can't be overtaken by any other aspects such politics, even though it is also a fact that money alone can't buy happiness!

(AW:Samrat Biswas)

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