Communist manifestos diverge due to concerns that China is losing its way over GINI coefficients and capitalism
Apr. 9 – The Communist Party of India (CPI) which has for decades followed policies issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) is for the first time taking a critical stance on contemporary Chinese communism, including the decision to admit capitalists into the party and a widening income gap.
The CPI, currently holding its 20th Party Congress, has heard a draft ideological document, presented by CPI politburo member Sitaram Yechury which states that “negative tendencies” such as economic inequality, unemployment, corruption and nepotism have surfaced in China.
Singling out a 13-fold increase in the urban-rural income gap between Chinese nationals over the past two decades, the draft said China has more billionaires today than any other country other than the United States. In China, the draft says, thousands of corruption cases are uncovered every year. Several Chinese communist party members have been jailed or punished for breaching administrative or party discipline in the last few years.
The CPI notes “very seriously” the current stand of the CPC, “which has dropped the concept of imperialism from its understanding. In the absence of anti-imperialist direction, there are signs that nationalism is becoming the main sentiment among Chinese youth.”
The CPI also “cannot understand” the CPC’s decision in 2002 to admit capitalists into the party and feels that with the entry of entrepreneurs and businessmen, the party’s ideological and political orientation could come under new pressures.
Though China has made tremendous strides in its development of productive forces and economic growth, the very process has clearly brought out the adverse changes in social relations in that country, the draft says, adding that the future of the country would depend on how successfully these contradictions are dealt with.
China’s income gap between rich and poor has been a cause of great concern within the CPC itself. The GINI index is used to define this, and it measures the extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A GINI Index of 0 represents perfect equality, while 100 represents total inequality. In China in 1978, when reforms effectively began, the nation’s GINI index ranked 16. Today, it is thought to rank 46, although the CPC has not issued any GINI data since 2000.
Comments earlier this year by Bo Xilai reported on Bloomberg suggested the country was running into serious issues and Bo’s troubles began shortly after these comments were made. India’s GINI index ranking is 36.8.
The current leadership selection process in China appears to be shrouded in ambiguity with the National People’s Congress set to name a new Chinese politburo this coming Fall. However, in the wake of Bo Xilai’s recent demotion, the procedure does not appear to be going smoothly. This could in part be due to concerns over the GINI Index and the national income disparity. A GINI ranking in excess of 40 is believed to lead to social unrest. Should China have reached beyond that, as Bo commented, a withdrawal from pursuing capitalist style policies may be required.
Other personnel in the CPC hierarchy advocate more reform and the introduction of levels of democracy as a solution. The strange ambiance surrounding the Chinese leadership at this time is thought to be a struggle between opposing factions at the very top of the party, with the concerns about China’s direction according to Marxist theory being spelled out quite clearly by India’s own communists.