Whatever happened to Maoism? It has lost steam. It has become redundant. It has been jettisoned by China lock, stock & barrel. The China ruling party has decided to opt for market economy. Till yesterday the Maoists used to despise even a passing mention of market economy as the preferred economic religion of modern nations. It is like sudden reforming labour camps by liberal democracy with universal franchise. People will feel cheated once more, not only in China but across the globe. India has a very special problem called Maoist Extremism or the Left Wing Extremism. The group derives its inspiration from Mao and hates both market economy as well as liberal democracy. It is soaked in the Maoist philosophy (cult?), uses Maoist jargon & rhetoric to market its political thought, uses armed struggle as the legitimate mode of capturing political power (from the barrel of the gun and not vote, as Mao seems to have driven in to their head) and dreams of a government chiseled in to a perfect Maoist model, oblivious that Mao stands replaced with market in Mao land!
The question is: what is the compulsion for China to shift to market economy? Is it corruption? The Maoist structure of government and party both stand corroded with time, being out of sync with human beings. Human beings by nature are free people who can’t be kept chained for long. These chains could be religious, political, social, economic, moral, cultural or any other kind. But sudden movement from one extreme to another is dangerous, like going from 40 degree Celsius to minus 40 degree Celsius temperature without getting adequately acclimatized. In such hurried processes only the economically empowered stand to benefit but the ordinary people stand to lose once again, as they had suffered earlier at the advent of Maoism. Market economy should not be used as a therapy to cure a decadent system suffering from ubiquitous corruption. Such violent change (radical/revolutionary?) robs people of their meager savings as the value of money stealthily goes down in market economy because the purchasing power parity mismatches due to high inflation & price rise. While such market economy displays growth in statistics, the life of the ordinary people becomes miserable. The market economy thrives on ordinary people’s money, like the leech sucking blood. The market economy sucks all the money from ordinary people and drives them to mortgage even their future earnings. The Indian experience of the more than 80% people below the rich category explains it: no ordinary Indian can buy a 1200 sq ft flat after putting in 40 years of service as a fixed wage earner; can’t defray medical expenses on treatment of life threatening illnesses due to the market price of medical care and drugs; is perennially in debt which he continues to service even after ceasing to work after reaching 60 or 65 years of age; can’t pay heavy rent for accommodation if doesn’t own a house. Will it be any different in China after the so called economic reforms, which are so alluring that Maoism is courting marketism? To manage public discontent in future the government will devise subsidy of various kinds, which will only fuel corruption further.
What should nations do in such a scenario? Human socialism; yes, nations must practice human socialism. It is apolitical idea of ethical distribution of gross domestic production in a manner that provides even to the educationally, politically, economically, socially, culturally less advantaged than others. It promotes entrepreneurship by creating a fully growth oriented environment. It is a system which promotes development by creating healthy governing practices rather than corrupt governments seeking rents or impeding economic development, research or knowledge and its application. In the name of modernity, economic greed has eroded values completely. The market today is not stirred if pharmaceutical manufacturing companies keep pushing unnecessary drugs or their prices in collusion with ethically challenged doctors or prices of essential food grains, vegetables & fruits, cooking oils are manipulated by the market. Energy, transport, communication, education, policing, administration of law & order, civil administration, administration of justice, money, banking, finance- take anything and it is bound to throw up instance after instance of rigging, manipulation and trafficking of economic kind! Even as China will find it difficult to contain for long the onset of the market economy what if its middle class has already arrived in hordes, it will need to guard against the wind chill the ordinary Chinese will suffer while the privileged will make windfall gains!