As to this topic of China and attitudes vis-à-vis China, I think it is worth mentioning that nowadays China's ruling class - be it "communist mandarinate", “nomenklatura”, "new bourgeoisie" or whatever else you want to call it -, and quite unlike its Western correlates, clearly seems to pass both the "Marxian" and the "Rawlsian" tests for what is supposed to be a “just”, or “fair” form of social inequality.
Indeed, we must recognize that Chinese inequalities have grown a lot in the last twenty years, that’s true, but that fact is all too obviously accompanied by such an epic economic growth that the life chances of even the least well-off in Chinese society have very much been improved, be it intra-gerational and/or in inter-gerational terms. Also, the growth of the economic importance of China at the world level is such that, expansion of inequalities in China notwithstanding, that fact alone constitutes the single most important contribution for the reduction of inequalities at the global scale. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for China, global inequalities would have grown even much more scandalously than they have.
So, is that ruling group - or the social configuration to which it corresponds - an “obstacle to the development of productive forces”? Of course not! Hence, we must conclude that the “Marxian” test is passed with brilliancy, unlike what is happening these days for instance in Western Europe, where the elite became openly and grotesquely predatory of the masses from an economic point of view, and so turns to propagandistic systematic intoxication and promotion of imperial mass feelings as a kind of ultima ratio of its own survival.
But is there a general “rule of law” in China, are there legal and also objective, real chances (both de jure and de facto) of social ascension for the individuals of lower classes? Yes, there are; much more there than here, in the West. And does the least well-off group in toto benefit from the general evolution, that is to say, is the Rawlsian “maximin” principle respected? Yes, in China, and unlike the West, the “maximin” is clearly respected.
In the meantime, of course, the “western left”, once infamous for its alleged filo-totalitarianism, nowadays proclaims once and again to be an official fan of John Rawls, supposedly an author “liberal” enough to be able to redeem even the utmost awful crimes and sins of the repented Magdalena…
If that is the case, though, shouldn’t Magdalena take a little time out to at least consider the above mentioned aspects of factuality?
Lisboa, 30 de Setembro de 2011
João Carlos Graça