Tycoons spark discussion on realization of communism

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/21 23:48:40

Government should help public better understand communist theories: experts


A discussion about the future path and nature of communism sparked by some of China's leading tech entrepreneurs could encourage the public to know more about communism and create an opportunity for China to further analyze and realize a communist society, analysts said.

Liu Qiangdong, founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, triggered an online debate recently after he suggested in an interview that with technological advances, China can fully realize a communist society, with neither poor nor rich people and all companies being nationalized.

In the past, many people believed that communism is idealistic, "but with the technologies we have laid out in the last two or three years, I have come to recognize that communism can indeed be achieved in our generation," Liu said in an interview that was recorded in November 2016 and aired by online business news site Yicai over the weekend.

Liu added that robots now can handle all the work and the government can equally distribute wealth to all people, so "there will be no more poor or rich people and all companies will be nationalized."

JD.com on August 14 reported a 43.6 percent increase in second-quarter revenue to 93.2 billion yuan ($13.98 billion).

Besides Liu, Jack Ma, founder and chairman of the Alibaba Group, said in May that the planned economy will become larger, and that "with access to all kinds of data, we may be able to find the invisible hand of the market."

"It is common sense that private capital, like Liu and Ma's businesses, and communism are incompatible, but Liu and Ma's discussion on communism is important and should be seriously considered," Wu Bo, a research fellow at the Academy for Social Sciences Evaluation under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the Global Times on Monday.

They have both noticed the deep change to human society brought by rapid development of science and technology … therefore, regardless of their identities, their comments suit Marx's theoretical logic on the social formation change, Wu said.

"In general, Liu and Ma's remarks indicate that changes and development in human society prove the Marxist theories about what a future society could be," he noted.

Creating wealth 

However, on Sunday Liu explained on his Sina Weibo account that the interview with TV personality Qin Shuo was actually focused on how artificial intelligence and other technologies could help create wealth for people and society.

"The deduction and supposition [in the context of 2016's interview] has deviated from my original meaning," Liu said, urging people to stop reading too much and circulating "the erroneous reports."

"Liu's explanation on Sunday shows that communism is a complicated and sensitive topic in China," Wu said.

Communism is the target of the country and the Communist Party of China (CPC), but some people believe talking about communism is improper … some of them even joked about Liu's speech, Wu said.

Actually, it shows that the public, as well as Liu and Ma, have a limited understanding of communism, a topic many people have been avoiding talking about for years, Wu said.

Strengthening education 

"The Party has been strengthening the ideal faith education on communism, and Liu's discussion could encourage the public to know about communism and the pursuit of realizing communism," said Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee.

The process of understanding communism in China is still ongoing, and how to combine the ideal of communism with reality still needs to be explored in the long-term, Wu said. 

"However, the concept of communism should be scientific. Liu's statement on 'communism' is not the same as theoretical communism," Su said, noting that flippant discussion of communism should also be avoided.

"Actually, Liu and Ma's statements on communism, compared with those who curtly conclude communism is a thing of the past, are much more meaningful and reasonable, especially on the active discourse of communism," Wu said.

"Nowadays, discussions on communism should be positive. China should further enhance people's education to better understand and acknowledge the basic theory of communism," Wu said.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, met with Chinese entrepreneurs in June 2015 to solicit their opinions on the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).

Yu stressed that entrepreneurs should integrate "ideological and political attainment" into their entrepreneurship.



Posted in: POLITICS

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