- Excerpts from Slate (By Christopher Beam Posted Monday, July 26, 2010, at 6:57 PM ET):
General Motors sold more cars in China than in the United States in the first half of 2010, and China now accounts for one-quarter of the company’s global sales. That seems like a lot of capitalism for a country that calls itself communist. How communist is China, really?
Not very. Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, China has all but abandoned the tenets of classical marxism, including collective ownership of the means of production. Nowadays, just about everything is at least partly privatized. Whereas the Chinese Communist Party under Chairman Mao owned every factory and farm in the nation, the economy is now a patchwork of public and private businesses. Schools can also be state-run or private. Entitlements have also been cut way back since the days of true communism, with minimal state-provided health care and social security programs. We associate socialist countries with confiscatory tax rates, but taxes aren’t especially high in China. (Chinese corporations pay 25 percent and individuals between 5 and 45 percent—numbers roughly comparable to those in the United States.)
Definition of Communism: A social system in which all property is owned and shared by society as a whole, with none belonging to individual citizens. An economic and political system based on the principle “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. …
This ideology was common in central and eastern Europe up until the end of the 1980s.