Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

9

[...] Once the PRC was established, the first generation of CCP leaders and cadres were always mindful of rural society, though this did not mean they were socially protective of it. The countryside was systematically exploited for industrial development, and little serious thought was given to the challenges of turning China’s vast peasant population into an urban working class. Neither economic analysis of modern capitalism and its internal contradictions, nor the inescapably long and winding path from immediate social mobilization to an ultimate future of equality and abundance, featured highly among Mao’s concerns after the CCP took power. [...]

—p.9 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Once the PRC was established, the first generation of CCP leaders and cadres were always mindful of rural society, though this did not mean they were socially protective of it. The countryside was systematically exploited for industrial development, and little serious thought was given to the challenges of turning China’s vast peasant population into an urban working class. Neither economic analysis of modern capitalism and its internal contradictions, nor the inescapably long and winding path from immediate social mobilization to an ultimate future of equality and abundance, featured highly among Mao’s concerns after the CCP took power. [...]

—p.9 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
10

On the other hand, the two World Wars pushed both parties to recognize the appeal of nationalism. For the CCP, that meant adaptation to the social realities of local society, and protection of its own national independence within an internationally bonded alliance. For the CPSU, fighting Hitler under Stalin, it was time to disband the Comintern and rally Russian patriotism. This had broader implications than winning the war. When the Red Army’s victory over the Third Reich brought most of Eastern Europe into a socialist camp, these countries did not join the USSR as additional soviet socialist republics, but instead formed their own respective national states.

—p.10 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

On the other hand, the two World Wars pushed both parties to recognize the appeal of nationalism. For the CCP, that meant adaptation to the social realities of local society, and protection of its own national independence within an internationally bonded alliance. For the CPSU, fighting Hitler under Stalin, it was time to disband the Comintern and rally Russian patriotism. This had broader implications than winning the war. When the Red Army’s victory over the Third Reich brought most of Eastern Europe into a socialist camp, these countries did not join the USSR as additional soviet socialist republics, but instead formed their own respective national states.

—p.10 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
12

[...] Since the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, we have not seen any comparable movements of working-class political militancy. Labour protests have not disappeared, but their aims are usually limited: defending wage levels or social benefits, without any horizon of political transformation. The threat of a ‘workers’ state’, of any kind, no longer exists.

—p.12 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] Since the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, we have not seen any comparable movements of working-class political militancy. Labour protests have not disappeared, but their aims are usually limited: defending wage levels or social benefits, without any horizon of political transformation. The threat of a ‘workers’ state’, of any kind, no longer exists.

—p.12 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
19

We have seen that the primary force driving the changes after Mao’s death was a reaction against the Cultural Revolution. Yet this was never presented as a revolt against socialism. In both official discourse and popular understanding, the Cultural Revolution was treated as socialism gone wrong. Economically, the socialist revolution did not mean keeping people in poverty. Politically, it promised emancipation rather than the demagogic tyranny exercised by the ‘Gang of Four’. In a movement for the ‘liberation of thought’, calls for socialist democracy in the press both encouraged activists and benefited Deng in his struggles for power within the party. Since the international environment was no longer so hostile to China as in the fifties and sixties, while party cadres—not yet corrupted—were still capable of implementing directives, this should have been an ideal opportunity for the CCP to experiment with genuine socialism, with popular support and a whole generation of young people eager to participate in it.

unfortunately that didn't happen cus power corrupts etc

—p.19 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

We have seen that the primary force driving the changes after Mao’s death was a reaction against the Cultural Revolution. Yet this was never presented as a revolt against socialism. In both official discourse and popular understanding, the Cultural Revolution was treated as socialism gone wrong. Economically, the socialist revolution did not mean keeping people in poverty. Politically, it promised emancipation rather than the demagogic tyranny exercised by the ‘Gang of Four’. In a movement for the ‘liberation of thought’, calls for socialist democracy in the press both encouraged activists and benefited Deng in his struggles for power within the party. Since the international environment was no longer so hostile to China as in the fifties and sixties, while party cadres—not yet corrupted—were still capable of implementing directives, this should have been an ideal opportunity for the CCP to experiment with genuine socialism, with popular support and a whole generation of young people eager to participate in it.

unfortunately that didn't happen cus power corrupts etc

—p.19 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
27

Under the new leadership and its bureaucratically minimalist conception of ‘political reform’, a fast track was given to a bankruptcy law and a series of regulations to reduce the economic burden on SOEs by changing life-time job security in a planned economy to contract employment in a labour market. The ensuing sense of insecurity in urban population centres was then intensified by the abolition of price controls on a range of goods which, in an economy already overheating, pushed the rate of inflation to nearly twenty per cent, causing widespread panic and withdrawals from state banks. Zhao’s government wanted to convince the party and the public that the price adjustment of 1988 was urgently needed. But in looking at the benefits the changes would bring, it paid little attention to their costs or to where the burden would fall. Urban residents who bore the immediate brunt had every reason to feel they had been denied any political say in the reform process. The economic crisis of 1988 would become a major factor in popular sympathy for the Tiananmen protests a year later.

—p.27 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

Under the new leadership and its bureaucratically minimalist conception of ‘political reform’, a fast track was given to a bankruptcy law and a series of regulations to reduce the economic burden on SOEs by changing life-time job security in a planned economy to contract employment in a labour market. The ensuing sense of insecurity in urban population centres was then intensified by the abolition of price controls on a range of goods which, in an economy already overheating, pushed the rate of inflation to nearly twenty per cent, causing widespread panic and withdrawals from state banks. Zhao’s government wanted to convince the party and the public that the price adjustment of 1988 was urgently needed. But in looking at the benefits the changes would bring, it paid little attention to their costs or to where the burden would fall. Urban residents who bore the immediate brunt had every reason to feel they had been denied any political say in the reform process. The economic crisis of 1988 would become a major factor in popular sympathy for the Tiananmen protests a year later.

—p.27 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
28

[...] The pivotal significance of Tiananmen, I would argue, lay in this: it relieved the burden of debt that Deng had owed to popular support since 1976. He could now proceed with a programme of reform that would pose no challenge to the party’s authority—especially not on the terrain of socialist principles. Tiananmen thus paved the way for China’s integration into the global capitalist system.

—p.28 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] The pivotal significance of Tiananmen, I would argue, lay in this: it relieved the burden of debt that Deng had owed to popular support since 1976. He could now proceed with a programme of reform that would pose no challenge to the party’s authority—especially not on the terrain of socialist principles. Tiananmen thus paved the way for China’s integration into the global capitalist system.

—p.28 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
31

By contrast, in putting economic reform first (and last), the Chinese leadership focused on reducing the burdens of the state, breaking without any compunction the moral-political promises of the People’s Republic to its labouring classes and to society as a whole. Well before the inflation of 1988, at a time when Deng was cooperating amicably with Zhao, the central government was already drafting bankruptcy legislation, and schemes to marketize labour and housing, without worrying about popular opinion.

contrasting to the USSR--even after it collapsed, some social welfare programs remained

—p.31 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

By contrast, in putting economic reform first (and last), the Chinese leadership focused on reducing the burdens of the state, breaking without any compunction the moral-political promises of the People’s Republic to its labouring classes and to society as a whole. Well before the inflation of 1988, at a time when Deng was cooperating amicably with Zhao, the central government was already drafting bankruptcy legislation, and schemes to marketize labour and housing, without worrying about popular opinion.

contrasting to the USSR--even after it collapsed, some social welfare programs remained

—p.31 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
31

Faced with continuous difficulties in urban and industrial reform after 1989, the country’s official media spent virtually a whole decade denouncing the ‘iron rice bowl’—secure employment and a steady wage—of workers in state-owned enterprises as an insurmountable obstacle to improvements in productivity. Under Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji, lifetime employment was wiped out by mass dismissals and limited-term contracts, with no compensating pensions, in one sector after another—manufacturing, energy, construction—leaving only party cadres and government personnel (whose ranks multiplied) untouched. Huge numbers in the urban population lost their jobs and wages, without the state so much as starting to think about—let alone deliver—a minimal safety net of social security for them. Layoffs amounted to more than 20 million in the 1990s. Over thirty years, an entire generation—or two—of China’s industrial working class was made victim to the reform process. For them, the net effect was no better than that of ‘shock therapy’ in Russia.

—p.31 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

Faced with continuous difficulties in urban and industrial reform after 1989, the country’s official media spent virtually a whole decade denouncing the ‘iron rice bowl’—secure employment and a steady wage—of workers in state-owned enterprises as an insurmountable obstacle to improvements in productivity. Under Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji, lifetime employment was wiped out by mass dismissals and limited-term contracts, with no compensating pensions, in one sector after another—manufacturing, energy, construction—leaving only party cadres and government personnel (whose ranks multiplied) untouched. Huge numbers in the urban population lost their jobs and wages, without the state so much as starting to think about—let alone deliver—a minimal safety net of social security for them. Layoffs amounted to more than 20 million in the 1990s. Over thirty years, an entire generation—or two—of China’s industrial working class was made victim to the reform process. For them, the net effect was no better than that of ‘shock therapy’ in Russia.

—p.31 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
32

What of the state-owned enterprises themselves? [...] Theoretically they belonged to the abstract collective of all citizens of the People’s Republic, and the state only ran them on behalf of the people. Nowadays they are known simply as firms owned by the state. Any link to the people, however nominal, has been severed. Many of the resultant SOEs have been sold at a vast discount to their managers or speculators [...]

—p.32 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago

What of the state-owned enterprises themselves? [...] Theoretically they belonged to the abstract collective of all citizens of the People’s Republic, and the state only ran them on behalf of the people. Nowadays they are known simply as firms owned by the state. Any link to the people, however nominal, has been severed. Many of the resultant SOEs have been sold at a vast discount to their managers or speculators [...]

—p.32 The CCP's Success Story? (5) by Chaohua Wang 1 year, 3 months ago
53

[...] certain aspects of digital technologies are conducive to social mobilization, and others to suppression of mobilization—which of these tendencies predominates largely depends on the political dynamics in a country. I also wanted to make clear that popular discourse about these technologies was completely disconnected from three realities: that they are operated by private companies interested, above all else, in making money; that slogans like ‘Internet freedom’ have not made old-style foreign policy considerations suddenly disappear (American fascination with them has its roots in the Cold War); and that their utopian appeal cannot be squared with most of the things (cyber-attacks, surveillance, spin) the US government itself was doing online.

—p.53 Socialize the Data Centres! (45) by Evgeny Morozov 1 year, 3 months ago

[...] certain aspects of digital technologies are conducive to social mobilization, and others to suppression of mobilization—which of these tendencies predominates largely depends on the political dynamics in a country. I also wanted to make clear that popular discourse about these technologies was completely disconnected from three realities: that they are operated by private companies interested, above all else, in making money; that slogans like ‘Internet freedom’ have not made old-style foreign policy considerations suddenly disappear (American fascination with them has its roots in the Cold War); and that their utopian appeal cannot be squared with most of the things (cyber-attacks, surveillance, spin) the US government itself was doing online.

—p.53 Socialize the Data Centres! (45) by Evgeny Morozov 1 year, 3 months ago