WORLD REVIEW OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
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Engels’s Perspective and Enlightenment
Baoyi Wu and Shanlin Wu
Abstract: Engels discussed tariff and the related issues on many occasions in his writings. Using “tariff” as the keyword, we search all the 50 volumes of Marx and Engels Collected Works and find out two important stages in which Engels formulated intensively tariff and related issues. The first one is 1845–1853, when Engels mainly elaborated from the perspective of the impact of tariffs on the interests of various classes in the European nations, and the second one is 1879–1893, when he mainly elaborated from the perspective of the relation between tariff policies and the stage of economic development in the United States and the roles played by the tariff policies in the national competition. At the second stage, standing at the height of world history and starting from competition and evolution, Engels made a comprehensive and in-depth illustration of the changes in the US tariff policies and their roles; at this stage, he recognized to a certain extent some of List’s thoughts on tariff, which is not in conflict with his criticism of List at the first stage. The essence of Engels’s thoughts on tariffs is the multi-level investigation based on his profound historical insight and grand global vision. Engels’s thoughts of the political economy formulated on the development and evolution of the tariff policies and their roles and mechanisms after the US Civil War are still of great practical significance even for nowadays.
Key words: Engels; the United States; tariff policies; national competition; political economy
Abstract: This paper considers China’s economic development and place in the world economy. The People’s Republic of China is becoming the most powerful country in the world in terms of GDP. Nowadays, China is an important partner in world trade both as an exporter and importer. Thus far, the United States has been the leading force in managing and coordinating the global economic and especially financial system, but now the economically advancing socialist China is a challenge to the USA. The Chinese model, socialism with Chinese characteristics, is discussed and compared with earlier stages of socialist construction, e.g. the NEP experiment of Soviet Union. The paper ends with notes about environmental and ecological problems, stressing the importance of socialist answers to these challenges. In this regard there are encouraging aspects in the current political program of the Chinese leadership.
Key words: China; economic growth; international trade; models of socialism; ecological problems
Abstract: It was widely assumed in the West following the collapse of European socialism that China would undergo a similar process of counter-revolution. This article seeks to understand why, three decades later, this hasn’t happened, and whether it is likely to happen in the foreseeable future. The article contrasts China’s “reform and opening up” process, pursued since 1978, with the “perestroika” and “glasnost” policies taken up in the Soviet Union under the Gorbachev leadership. A close analysis of the available data makes it clear that China’s reform has been far more successful than the Soviet reform; that, in contrast to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, all the key quality of life indicators in China have undergone significant improvement in the last 40 years, and China is emerging as a global leader in science, technological innovation and environmental preservation. The article argues that the disparate outcomes in China and the Soviet Union are the result primarily of the far more effective economic strategy pursued by the Chinese government, along with the continued strengthening of the Communist Party of China’s leadership.
Key words: China; Soviet Union; socialism; reform
Xiaoqin Ding, Qiaoyan Chai, and Cheng Chen
Abstract: The China–Africa Community with Shared Benefits is the cornerstone of the China-Africa Community with Shared Future. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, through economic and trade cooperation, China and Africa have promoted the common economic and social development of both sides, and consolidated the material foundation of the China–Africa Community with Shared Benefits. The economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa has developed rapidly with remarkable achievements and great influence. This article fully affirms and reviews the great achievements of China–Africa trade and economic cooperation, points out that the China–Africa economic and trade cooperation still faces some challenges, but overall, the China–Africa economic and trade cooperation has an absolutely bright future and will become a persistence engine to build the Community with Shared Benefits. China’s investment will further promote economic and social development in Africa, and the China–Africa Community with Shared Benefits will have a huge demonstration effect internationally.
Key words: China–Africa relationship; the Community with Shared Benefits; China–Africa economic and trade cooperation
Abstract: In the political and academic debates on development aid in the post-Cold War years, there is often reference to a “new aid architecture.” This study explores what is new about this “new architecture of aid” and traces change and continuity by comparing the form and essence of aid architecture in the Cold War and the post-Cold War years. It discusses to what extent development aid can be interrogated within the inter-systemic competition during the Cold War period. After having located aid into a systemic framework, it seeks to understand the emergence of the “new aid architecture” in the post-Cold War years. To this end, it first analyses the relevance of aid to the hegemonic project that pursues the proletarianization of the world’s poor. It then focuses on aid’s role in transforming social and industrial relations to promote capitalist competitiveness at the global level. In this respect, it pays particular attention to “global value chains.” This study argues that “new aid architecture” is nothing more than an attempt to set a new framework for the role and contribution of aid in expanding and deepening the hegemony of capital over labor on a global scale in the absence of the Soviet factor.
Key words: development aid; OECD-DAC; aid architecture; the Marshall Plan; proletarianization; global value chains
Abstract: Under conditions of financialization, finance capital develops relatively independently from the real economy of the United States. As a result, the United States has to rely heavily on external markets to buy consumer goods. The huge trade deficit of the United States stems from its own economic structure rather than external reasons. The trade deficit does not mean that the United States is in a disadvantageous position. From the perspective of the goods trade, service trade, and finance capital investment, the United States is in a position of absolute dominance with its service sector and profit from foreign investment. The launching of the USA–China trade war was a manifestation of Trump’s protectionism. It has failed. It is hoped that the Biden administration will demonstrate learning from this mistake.
Key words: financialization; protectionism; trade deficit; real economy
Abstract: This book review presents and critically evaluates core issues raised in the recently published book titled: Classical Political Economics and Modern Capitalism: Theories of Value, Competition, Trade and Long Cycles coauthored by Lefteris Tsoulfidis and Persefoni Tsaliki. The book under review is one of the very few efforts to comprehensively cover major topics of the classical political economics approach. Among these topics included are the following: the theory of value, economic reproduction, and true competition in domestic and international markets as well as long economic cycles in the movement of key economic variables. A salient feature of the book is that the “laws of motion” of modern capitalism are derived and supported by empirical evidence based on refined economic data and appropriate input–output or econometric analysis. The overall evaluation is at the end of the present review along with a critical account for further research efforts.
Key words: political economics; theories of value; competition; long cycles