Image credit: @abe-bin.
The official journal of the Communist Party of China, Qiushi, which was calling for continued reform and opening last October, is taking something of a different tack in a recent editorial, in which it claims the world has “Marxist fever”.
In an op-ed entitled “The Decline of Western Market Fundamentalism“, Qiushi makes some perfectly accurate and much needed critiques of the modern neo-liberal market based theoretical hegemony, before veering off into claiming that this affirms marxism (emphasis added).
The crisis itself has ruthlessly laid bare many of the illusions about Capitalism. The “U.S. model” that many elites worshiped has lost its appeal and been discredited. Sharan Burrow, Secretary-General of the International Trade Union Confederation, believes that the Capitalism of the 20th century is out of date and does not fit the 21st century. World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab raised the issue of “outdated and crumbling models.” He said that Capitalism, in its current form, is no longer suitable for the world around us. IMF Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff cited many problems with modern Capitalism and pointed out that the current Capitalism is, in essence, transitory in nature. The U.S.-U.K. model that leads the world will be replaced by other models.
The world economic crisis led to the decay of Neo-liberalism and to the ideology crisis in the West. Given these circumstances, the West has been paying more attention to Marx’s writings and theories after its previous chilly political reception. Now “Marxism fever” in the West can no longer be ignored. One can see a strong contrast between the decay of Neo-liberalism and the popularity of Marxism. Today, Marxism has become a main character in Western political life.
The emergence of “Marxist fever” has not been organized but, rather, has been a purely spontaneous development. Had there been no global recession and had Neo-liberalism not decayed, “Marxist fever” would not have spread so quickly in the West. The revival of Marxist thought shows the inevitable trend of the development of world history. However, we must also be clear: the emergence of “Marxist fever” does not mean that Neo-liberalism and its leading scholars will give up their position. The struggle [between Marxism and Neo-liberalism and other Capitalist theories] will be long-term, with many ups and downs.
Qiushi is misreading a general and gradual move to centrist or left-of-centre economic theory following the failure of laissez faire fundamentalism, either cynically or wilfully, as a move towards Marxism. This is patently ridiculously given that even respected economists considered (in the west) as “left wing” are fairly standard free market Keynesians.