Is China Socialist or Capitalist? How Marxism Breaks the Binary

In China, contrary to the usual sequence, the socialist revolution preceded, rather than followed, the democratic breakthrough. For China to progress beyond its current early socialist stage, massive political change will be needed, and this poses serious challenges for the Chinese Communist Party. This way of looking at China does not coincide with CCP official doctrines, of a “harmonious society,” “market socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and the “Chinese dream.” But it also rejects the very common facile Western notion that China’s society is “capitalist,” or has been since the death of Mao and the reform and opening-up policies were promulgated. Socialist ideology has sunk deep roots in the country’s political consciousness, and this is a real force – just as the classical philosophies of earlier Chinese social formations were a force exceeding their material foundations.