Monday, December 21, 2015

China’s view of capital

China’s view of capital

The East did not produce Karl Marx to inscrutably dissect capital, beginning in the exchange of goods, to generate profit only to create untold human sufferings.  Unlike the Western philosophical thought which is obsessed on how capital should rule the individual, the State and society, the Chinese applied instead the polarity of the opposite of the ying and the yang to create harmony. They delved on how to tame capital to allow mankind to make the most out of it. They believe they could give capital a universal application that is geared towards the betterment of society.

To the West, capital is the means to an end.   However, to ancient Chinese, profit marks the turnaround of the evolutionary cycle of growth of capital.   There is no justification why the growth generated by profit would have to hurdle the doomsday situation of monopoly capitalism that by necessity, must wage war to repeat the cycle of renewed competition.   Eastern philosophers believe the anticipated cataclysm could be avoided if the growth of capital is not interpreted as a form of offense, but one that could equally be converted to a defense to avoid conflict brought about by intensified competition.  Put it differently, capital and profit both have their positive and negative aspects, and it is for man to examine and direct capital and profit to attain their positive ends. 
To make ourselves clear, the Western concept of profit has to be sustained because it is the shortest way to accumulate capital.  The problem however is that the insatiable appetite for more profit is their only knowledge to accumulate capital, unmindful that it has its own plateau.  Capital accumulation creates its own contradiction: first, the demand of labor for wage increase in the rightful belief that they too should have a share in the fruits for their services; second, if the products they produce become costly, it that could create their own market limitation, and third, people always tend to favor new products which reason why capitalists have to innovate and introduce new ones.  
Once that plateau is reached, there is no way the company will go, but to go down. That downhill slide only tends to highlight the contradictions much that the Western mind has been conditioned to the idea that profit is the ultimate goal to their endeavor.  In that, one could see how capital accumulation and the demand for more profit has become a rat race.    The vortex of the contradiction tends to intensify at every phase and at every level in the economic order.  They concede of it as built-in and instead of finding a way to resolve that contradiction, they take it as inevitable. 
Of course, there are contradictions in all human interaction.  But instead of contradicting the flow of the current, Eastern economic philosophers rather go alone with the flow firmly believing that observing the natural flow, they could draw their lesson and harness it to their own advantage. For instance, although China, for a brief period, embraced the regimented version of Marxism centered on class struggle, Deng Xiao Ping’s revisionism simply resolved the internal contradiction by applying the serene oscillation of the ying and the yang to achieve harmony and to elevate capitalism to a higher level which his predecessor sought to eradicate.
 Those who have their deeper grasps of the Eastern economic philosophy view the economic policy of Deng as a revival of the old and forgotten Chinese economic philosophy “where to every offense, there is an  equivalent  defense” they  could  utilize to create harmony in the system of polarity in society.  In fact, the old Chinese philosophy interprets class struggle as social turbulence to control capital.   That cannot be denied much that the victory of the workers, even if they constitute the majority, is motivated to satisfying their own class at the expense of the capitalists.  The idea of justice and fairness to the oppressed is a mere cover to destroy the prevailing system.
Instead of sacrificing the other, they sought to rectify the contradiction by re-coordinating the two opposite poles.   The Chinese ardently believe that the system can operate and could even be improved.   They even believe that the two are inseparable, and only in providing the direction towards harmony could the economy reached its higher goals.   That is exactly what China did; that capitalism could be integrated into the socialist system; that by using the mechanics of socialism, they could guide the growth of capital to improve the lives of the people and modernize their economy.
What is not helpful to the people will not be good to their business.  With that perspective, one could see the difference of the Oriental philosophy from that of the West.   More profit makes them vulnerable to contradiction, but neither of it could led to stagnation and poverty.  The Chinese treat the relations of the capitalists and the workers as partners.   It was different from the socialist who were committed to destroying that partnership.  Their vision is beyond seeing the negative side of profit.  Profit becomes a hindrance to growth if it is allowed to diminish the affordability of the people. Lesser profit means more buyers, and their success is not in the success of their business but on how they could satisfy the people and the society in general because it is in the apex that could peacefully eliminate contradiction and bring about prosperity to all.
It is this postulate that made wonders why in such a short span of time China has grown to become an economic giant without it destroying the system of other countries.  Deng Xiao Ping revived the old meaning of profit by extolling the people (not the businessmen) to get rich, and there is nothing wrong with it, he says.    In that, he means money should always be in the people.  For as long as more people have money to buy, the cycle of evolutionary prosperity will continue because it is in the continued circulation of wealth (money) that permits everybody  to advance. 
As they say it, what is the use of profit when that would mean people with less money to buy?  Capital, like water that flows from the spring, needs to be directed and allowed to continually flow to irrigate the fields for the wheat to grow.  It should not be hindered like hiking the prices of goods.  This explains why China continues to sell their products at the cheapest possible cost because it is in the circulation of money characterized by the fast turn over of goods that made that country the wealthiest nation on earth.
If the West cannot understand that philosophy, it is because their orientation is focused on profit for which the price of goods is indivisible and essential.   Thus, as their business flounder one-by-one, China continues to improve the quality of its products, but always making sure their price remains within the reach of the people.  Their philosophy teaches them that it is not who owns the capital that will dictate the fate of human destiny, but on how that capital could be fruitfully directed to serve the ends of humanity.

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