Communism and Socialism are NOT the SAME

October 26, 2012

There would not be many choices for someone that wanted to move to a socialist country. There are only four in the world: PRC (mainland China), Republic of Cuba, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These countries once had Communist governments but that isn’t entirely true anymore.

However, there are 189 countries (of the 193 that are members of the United Nations) that are not socialist but do have socialist programs/policies.

Socialism and communism are ideological doctrines that have many similarities as well as many differences. One point that is frequently raised to distinguish socialism from communism is that socialism generally refers to an economic system, and communism generally refers to both an economic system and a political system.

The fall of communism in the Soviet Union does not mean socialism failed. It means that the autocratic one-party system that defines communism failed.

Russia, for example, still has Social Security policies that fund health and pension programs.  With at last five years of coverage, men age 60 and women age 55 are covered for old-age pensions. Russia also offers a disability pension and a survivor pension.

To discover the details of Russia’s socialist policies, I suggest you visit this site at the U.S. Social Security Administration. In fact, the SSA has information on its site for Social Security programs/policies around the world


The GOP and Mitt Romney may want to return to industrial capitalism. Pay attention to the video to discover what that means. You may be shocked and decide that some socialist policies are necessary to protect the quality of life for most people that do not have the benefit of achieving great wealth.

As an economic system, socialism seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control. Communism, however, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively and that control over the distribution of resources is centralized to achieve both classlessness and statelessness. Under communism, all people are considered equal and are provided for equally, regardless of their contributions to the economy or to society.

Having Socialist policies does not mean a country is socialist or communist. For example, the United States is not a socialist country just because it has socialist policies such as Medicare, Obamacare or Social Security–the United States still has private ownership of property and businesses and has a multi-party political system.

In addition. although China’s Communist government adopted capitalist policies in the early 1980s and joined the World Trade Organization, a substantial part of the economy is still state-run, although there are not as many social programs as there once were and universal healthcare has been eliminated but China still has a Socialist-type foreign policy, for the most part, due to decisions made within the CCP based on consensus (majority opinion). There are eighty million members in China’s Communist Party and they vote.

To learn about China’s Socialist Policies, here’s the link at US SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy

In addition, in China no one in the private sector may own land (yet).  Instead, private citizens may lease land in urban areas while land in most rural areas is still owned by village collectives in conjunction with the central government and cannot be bought or sold because no one holds the title to most rural land.

Discover Dictatorship or One Party Republic

NOTE: The reason for this post is a conservative site at Right Punditry.wordpress.com where I left a comment. The response to my comment was an ignorant unreasoned emotional rant, and then I had trouble leaving reasoned comments with cited evidence and sources in response to that trollish rant. In reality, my voice was censored—a common practice among American far-right neoconservatives and fundamentalist evangelical Christians (FECs) that attempt to control the conversation with bully insults and logical fallacies. This is the second time I’ve run into this sort of conservative, political site. The first time was a Tea Party loyalist site that censored (removed) a comment I wrote that did not meet the American Tea Party’s rigid beliefs. You may not know this but 40% of the Tea Party membership are FECs. Both American neoconservatives and FECs practice the use of the noble lie to achieve political and/or religious goals as evidenced by Mitt Romney and his VP running mate during the Presidential and VP debates of the 2012 election in the US. I’ve written a number of posts focused on the debates at Lloyd Lofthouse.org and the last post in this series will appear Saturday, October 27, 2012.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


Demanding Censorship

December 22, 2010

The Huffington Post reported this month (December 2010) that a collection of Grimm Brothers’ classic fairy tales was pulled from bookstores in China.

Since we hear so often about censorship in China, doesn’t that sound as if this children’s book was censored.

However, China’s government was not involved.

In China, even in the state-run media, reporters that write the stories or editors do most of the censorship.  Being Chinese, these people know what is culturally acceptable by the people and politically sensitive to the Party.

In fact, people that work for China’s state run media are often proud of their self-censorship.

Agence France-Presse (AFP), which is one of the three largest and the oldest (founded in 1835 and reborn in 1944) news agency, broke this story about the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales.

There are more facts to this than I shared with you in the lead paragraph, which is what the Western media often does when writing about China.

To be fair, both the AFP and Huffington Post did say in their leads the reason for the censorship of this book.

“An X-rated collection of Grimm Brothers’ classic fairy tales – including one in which the heroine engages in sexual relations with both her father and seven dwarves -– has been pulled from children’s bookstores in China.”

“Readers called us to say they did not think the book was healthy for children,” said Li Yong, the deputy chairman of the publisher, as quoted by the Telegraph saying. “After that, we pulled all the copies off shelves across the country….”

It turns out that the book was a Japanese pornographic reinterpretation of the fairy tales.

Learn more about the China Daily, which is part of the state-run media giant in the PRC.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Censorship Perception

November 13, 2010

I read Don’t Call China’s Internet “Censored”, at Good Magazine.  It’s rather brief and biased, which is usual from a Western media source that judges China from a Western cultural perspective.

However, what I found interesting were two comments to the post.

Shaun Pen’s comment was, “Chinese people in China don’t consider it censorship, much the same way we Americans don’t consider anti-child pornography laws “censorship.”

Nathan Heath says, “But Shaun is also missing a few things.  The average Chinese internet user uses the internet completely differently than Americans do.  In fact, I honestly think it would take a long time for Chinese internet usage to change in China even if the “Great Firewall” were lifted tomorrow.  The vast population just doesn’t care. (Except Facebook. We want FB back.) THAT is the cultural difference between China and the West.”

Then there is The Economist, which had opinion pieces about China’s censorship in two recent issues.

The Oct. 23 issue had Gagging to be free, which claimed if Marx lived in China today he wouldn’t have been able to publish the Communist Manifesto

Not true.

There is a thriving underground in China that translates and publishes censored books into Mandarin, and I’ve often found books in Beijing and Shanghai’s English language bookstores that are on China’s censorship list. If the books are in English, China doesn’t seem to care.

Considering that learning English is mandatory in China’s public schools, why bother to censor anything. If there is money to be made, there are Chinese that will figure a way to earn it.

The Oct. 30 issue of The Economist had another go at China’s Net Nanny with Breaching the great firewall. The complaint here focuses on Twitter being blocked and replaced with a popular copy-cat called weibo, which is heavily monitored for “subversive” content.

When you discover what the West is doing to monitor subversive content on the Internet, you’ll see the hypocrisy.

Wired says, “In the US, American spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.” 

In fact, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community is putting cash into software that specializes in monitoring social media.

If these agencies are developing and buying this software, you can be sure they are using it.

In addition, if most Chinese don’t consider the Net Nanny censorship, then it isn’t. There is software available in the US so parents may censor and monitor their children’s’ activity on the Internet. That’s how most Chinese see the so called “Great Firewall”.

Those in the West who complain the most are probably the same people who want to influence and subvert Chinese thought until the globe is filled with Western clones.

Discover why Internet Censorship May be Going Global

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


No Talking About White Elephants

June 12, 2010

Most Chinese do not like anarchy and chaos. They also do not like talking about the “white elephant” in the room. After suffering for more than a century starting with the Opium Wars in 1839, life in China improved after Deng Xiaoping opened a global market economy in China.

Deng Xiaoping Billboard in China

With that in mind, it should not surprise that when Google was complaining about being hacked by China’s government and refusing to censor their search engine in China, many Chinese turned to Baidu, which operates China’s most popular Internet search engine.

Chinese officials defended the government’s censorship and denied being involved in the cyber-attacks against Google. In fact, most Chinese don’t care what happened to Google.

On February 10, 2010, Simple Thoughts reported that Baidu’s 4th quarter earnings jumped 48%.  Then on June 4, Investor’s Daily Edge reported that Baidu’s stock price was up over 200% in the last year.

It would seem that Google became the “white elephant” in the room—a big mistake in China.

_____________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China


One Party Advantage

April 4, 2010

The West’s loudest criticisms of China are a one party system, limited religious freedom and government censorship. Is it possible that these same things are also China’s strengths?

President of China, Hu Jintao

Clean water, air and plentiful, healthy food are precious. China’s one-party system ruled by scientists and engineers excels at solving these challenges. Instead of becoming embroiled in partisanship battles over political and religious differences, as in the United States, China is moving ahead to clean up their environment with no “Tea Bag People” or opposition claiming global warming is not caused by carbon emissions.

China has already become the leader in solar power and wind turbine technology. Now, in the last few years, China has emerged as an early leader in adopting “clean coal” technologies. The next industry China is poised to dominate is high-speed rail with plans to add more at home while considering a line from Beijing to London.

The motivation behind this sudden awareness to the dangers of pollution is because China’s government, with a cultural foundation in Confucianism, must meet the needs of the people or be swept from power. Even if a few complain and suffer, the needs of the many must come first.

Discover Hitting Endless Homeruns

 

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Google Going Hong Kong

March 25, 2010

In Google’s China Play? Search me by Muhammad Cohen, author of Hong Kong On Air, Cohen writes a compelling post about his anger concerning Google’s flight and fight with mainland China’s  government. He says Google has no reasonable objective baiting Beijing and inviting Chinese authorities to crack down on Hong Kong’s freedoms. He says, Google’s longstanding corporate hypocrisy raises questions about its claims of mainland cyber attacks and hacking. I talked about this in Google Recycled (http://wp.me/pN4pY-2r).

Any freedom is a precious gift.  Americans believe they have freedom but what they have isn’t far from what the Chinese have. After all, Americans must pay income tax, sales tax, property tax, wear seat belts while driving or helmets on motor bikes, no smoking in public, no drinking booze or talking on cell phones while driving, and the list goes on. Now Americans have to pay for health insurance, which has given birth to protests across the United States—it’s a shame so many eligible Americans don’t vote.

Many of those freedom restrictions don’t exist in China. What does exist is the fact that Chinese are not allowed to challenge their government in public or in the media—a privilege that has never existed in China ever. However, Hong Kong has this freedom and doesn’t want to lose it.  When Google wanted to do business in China, they agreed to the censorship rules. Now they have broken that agreement.

See “When in Rome, Do as the Romans” http://wp.me/sN4pY-354

 


Sounds like China

March 24, 2010

“But everything I’ve experienced … and heard from journalists there, suggests control over the message has reached obsessive proportions. Even background (anonymous) interviews morph into ‘background with authorization,’ so that a quote from ‘an official’ must pass the review process lest ‘an official,’ should misspeak.”

The West often criticizes China for censoring the Chinese Internet and the media. What they don’t tell us—this is the way it has been for more than a thousand years.

“Chinese media have been tightly regulated since the presses started running some 1,200 years ago …. When Mao Zedong founded People’s Daily as the official mouthpiece of the CCP in 1948, he basically just followed in his predecessor’s imperial footsteps.” Source: Around The Block by Stephani Elizondo Griest

That quote at the top of this post sounded like a  criticism of China, didn’t it?  Wrong.  That quote came from an opinion piece in the New York Times and Roger Cohen was writing about Washington D.C.

You may also want to read American Hypocrisy http://wp.me/pN4pY-6