Why aren't y'all reading reports from the living movement, anons?China’s Health and Health Care in the “New Era” by Wei Zhang<Wei Zhang is an associate professor at the School of Marxism of Tsinghua University in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. This work was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China under Grant no. 20BKS076.
Although China’s health system has functioned efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic with timely and free deliveries of tests, vaccines, and treatments, outside of the pandemic, the system has not always performed optimally. Despite growing government spending on health, the household burden of out-of-pocket health care costs has increased. Self-rated health scores among the population have decreased and chronic disease prevalence has increased, especially for young people. Unnecessary medical care remains widespread, and the patient-physician relationship has not yet achieved a satisfactory level. While China’s health and health care in the “New Era” have seen significant improvements, they face deep-seated problems and challenges.https://monthlyreview.org/2023/10/01/chinas-health-and-health-care-in-the-new-era/Relative Pauperization and Involution in Contemporary China: A Survey of Jingzhou City by Alex Witherspoon, Amir Khan and Yu Zhou<Alex Witherspoon is a graduate student at Yangtze University’s School of Economics and Management in Jingzhou, China. Amir Khan is an associate professor of English in the Foreign Studies College at Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China. Yu Zhou is a graduate student in the School of Foreign Languages at China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China.
Involution, an obscure term once known only to scholars in the social sciences, has perhaps now been spoken in every Chinese university and high school. In casual Chinese discourse, the term involution refers to the subjective feeling that increased investment of effort and other resources into personal development is yielding diminished returns.1 A college graduate performing work that does not require any educational background might be called a victim of involution, while the increased investment of time and money into education for middle and high school students is almost universally understood to be an example of involution. Thirty years ago, a poor peasant or worker could hope that their child’s participation in public education or civil service could allow them to secure a relatively high-paying job and superior social status. Today, the situation is quite different. China is currently undergoing some of the most widespread youth unemployment in its recent history.2 Intense competition for education and civil service opportunities has put considerable emotional and financial strain on working-class families. The poor personal economic outcomes of such competition have left many young Chinese adults deeply dissatisfied with the present labor market and education system.https://monthlyreview.org/2023/10/01/relative-pauperization-and-involution-in-contemporary-china/Degrowing China—By Collapse, Redistribution, or Planning? by Minqi Li<Minqi Li is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. Li can be reached at [email protected].
Despite their socialist orientation, many degrowth theorists have not advocated social ownership of the means of production in material production sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction (as supposed to public-service sectors such as health care, education, or transportation). When degrowth theorists talk about “planning,” they often use the term to refer to a coordinated and organized process of transition to degrowth, rather than as a society-wide mechanism in a future mode of production. In some cases, degrowth theorists seem to use the term “planning” simply to mean regulation of capitalist enterprises, rather than socially determined allocation of productive resources. In a recent paper, the authors argue that the influence of neoclassical steady-state economics or post-Keynesian postgrowth economics, reliance on market mechanisms and instruments, as well as a possible bias toward localism, may have prevented degrowth theorists from approaching planning in a substantial and effective manner.
China is currently the world’s largest economy measured by purchasing power parity, as well as the world’s largest energy consumer and carbon dioxide emitter. Thus, any discussion about degrowth and global sustainability would be largely fruitless without serious consideration of how China can be “de-grown.” This article discusses the possibility of “degrowing” China and considers what policies and institutional changes would be required for such a possibility to materialize.https://monthlyreview.org/2023/07/01/degrowing-china-by-collapse-redistribution-or-planning/The Ideology of Late Imperialism by Zhun Xu<Zhun Xu is an associate professor of economics at John Jay College, City University of New York, and Howard University. To get in touch, you can e-mail zxu [at] jjay.cuny.edu. The author would like to thank Minqi Li, Yaozu Zhang, Ying Chen, Zhongjin Li, Barbara Foley, Corinna Mullin, Anthony O’Brien, Immanuel Ness, Dan Wang, Stuart Davis, Hairong Yan, Han Cheng, and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro.
In 1990, when renowned Indian Marxian economist Prabhat Patnaik asked “Whatever Happened to Imperialism?,” once vibrant and influential schools of theories on imperialism were at a postwar historic low. When he left the West to return to India in 1974, imperialism was at the center of all Marxist discussions. But when he came back to the West merely fifteen years later, imperialism already seemed out of fashion. After all, the end of the Soviet Union and liberals’ declaration of the end of history were near.
Patnaik suggested that this waning might be because of the very strengthening and consolidation of imperialism after the Vietnam War.3 This was evident from the tyranny of the global division of labor as well as the destructive functions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Besides these, there was also a more direct development among Western liberal and leftist intellectuals, which aimed politically to diminish anti-imperialist writings. Since the 1970s, well-known leftist writers such as Bill Warren, Robert Brenner, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and David Harvey have contributed to this kind of intellectual counterrevolution.
Aside from a change in research interests among scholars, the retreat from the question of imperialism has above all facilitated the rise of conservative ideology framed as leftist discourse. There has been a return of what we can call Second International politics, which essentially break from the Marxist traditions exemplified by Lenin and Mao Zedong, and severely limit revolutionary potential in the imperialist core.https://monthlyreview.org/2021/03/01/the-ideology-of-late-imperialism/