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Communism, Post-Communism and the Good Society

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1 Communism, Post-Communism and the Good Society
Chapter Eleven Pearson Publishing 2011

2 Communism & Post-Communism
In 1987 the communist Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe...By 1992 there were only five communist regimes left in the world: China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Communist regimes are distinguished from other authoritarian regimes by two features: Communist Party rule and centrally- planned economies. Post-communist regimes have faced the challenge of restructuring these institutional features. In this chapter we will examine the institutional features of communist and post-communist regimes in the 20th Century using two cases studies: Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia One-Party Rule in China Communism & Post-Communism Pearson Publishing 2011

3 Communism Communist Party Rule
Led by small elite of party leaders whose goal is to lead workers in overthrowing capitalism and building a communist society Parties organized hierarchically based on democratic centralism - while party leaders are in theory elected by lower party members, power is centralized and elections are elite-controlled The party and the state are separate, but the party controls the state. Overlap of personnel Nomenklatura - lists of positions that can only be filled by party committee approval Most government officials are party members All societal organizations are controlled by the party (unions, youth groups, women’s associations, media, etc.) Communist Party Rule Communism Pearson Publishing 2011

4 Communism Centrally Planned Economies
State-owned enterprises are managed through central planning in which economic planners determine price and quantity rather than market principles of supply and demand. Economies are isolated from world markets. Flaws of centrally-planned economies: Adept at achieving extensive growth (mobilizing labor, material, etc.) but not intensive growth (producing efficiently) Create few incentives for innovation or increasing productivity Centrally Planned Economies Communism Pearson Publishing 2011

5 Rise of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union
Communist regimes were first established in the Soviet Union, led by Vladimir Lenin in the 1917 revolution In the 1930s Joseph Stalin oversaw the creation of a state- owned, centrally-planned economy with collectivized agriculture. These institutions spread to other regimes through conquest and revolution: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and East Germany China’s and Vietnam’s communist parties came to power through social revolutions and adopted Soviet institutions The post-World War II world was defined by the bipolar struggle between Soviet communism and American democracy. Rise of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union Pearson Publishing 2011

6 Fall of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union
By 1980 all of these communist countries faced severe economic problems and fell further behind the democratic West. In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and began reforms aimed to renew economic growth: Glasnost - “openness” to encourage freer expression of opinion Perestroika - “restructuring” to loosen state control of the economy Demokratizatsiia - introduced a limited version of democracy Improving relations with the United States and West These reforms eventually led to the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union Fall of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union Pearson Publishing 2011

7 Fall of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union
Communist regimes imposed by the Soviet Union never achieved legitimacy with many citizens. Uprisings were crushed by Soviet troops. As these citizens realized that Soviet troops would no longer intervene against challenges to communism they began to push for democratic reforms. Without Soviet backing these communist regimes fell like dominos. High point was the fall of the Berlin wall dividing East and West Germany Still, few expected the Soviet Union’s communist regime to collapse. Fall of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe & the Soviet Union Pearson Publishing 2011

8 The Fall of the Soviet Union
Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Gorbachev’s ambitious reforms divided the party. A failed 1991 coup discredited Gorbachev and cast weakness on the party’s unity. When Boris Yeltsin won the Presidency in 1991 he finally defeated Gorbachev by encouraging the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party. The USSR finally fell in December The Fall of the Soviet Union Pearson Publishing 2011

9 Post-Communist Regimes
After the fall of the Soviet Union its fifteen republics formed independent countries. Most have made relatively smooth transitions to democracy and market economies. Russia and others have maintained weak and unstable democracies or some form of personal rule or electoral authoritarianism. Communist regimes did not collapse everywhere - China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam maintain communist institutions. Why? They had greater legitimacy than the Eastern European regimes. They were more independent of Soviet control and not as affected by Gorbachev’s reforms. They avoided internal divisions. Post-Communist Regimes Pearson Publishing 2011

10 Case Studies Russia China Example of a current communist system
Example of a post- communist system No longer ruled by a communist party Still, contemporary politics and economics are heavily shaped by past communist party rule. Example of a current communist system Has adapted its communist institutions Allows more individual freedom than in the past Much economic activity is privatized Economy is dependent on international trade and is a WTO member Case Studies Pearson Publishing 2011

11 Russia Largest land area of any country
Second largest oil-producer after Saudi Arabia 80% of the population is ethnically Russian Maintains an electoral authoritarian regime and a mixed economy Adult literacy rates are high and infant mortality rates low, but life expectancy is still lower than many less developed countries Russia Pearson Publishing 2011

12 Russia’s Timeline 1917.............October Revolution
Collapse of the Czarist regime Government of Lenin and the Bolsheviks Government of Joseph Stalin Communist Party rule Cold War runs from post-World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union Collapse of the Soviet Union 1991-Present....Electoral authoritarian regime Russia’s Timeline Pearson Publishing 2011

13 Comparing Lenin & Stalin
Vladimir Lenin Joseph Stalin Suppressed other political parties Created internal security force to collect intelligence and arrest opponents Nationalized banks and major businesses Allowed farmers to keep land and recognized private property Sought a gradual transition to a command economy Pursued a 3-part economic revolution 1) agricultural collectivization and the abolishment of private farms 2) creation of a state-owned, centrally-planned economy 3) invested in capital goods (i.e.: power plants, railroads, military equipment) at the expense of consumer goods Used terror to annihilate party opponents Comparing Lenin & Stalin Pearson Publishing 2011

14 Figure 11.1 Pearson Publishing 2011

15 Russia’s Government President Appointment powers
Controls foreign affairs and the military Popularly elected to four-year terms 2-term limit Yeltsin: Putin: Medvedev: 2008-present Prime Minister Appointed by President and approved by Duma Manages day-to-day government business Focus on economic and social issues Legislature-Upper House Federation Council is relatively weak 2 members from each regional governments Legislature-Lower House State Duma Popularly elected to 4-year terms based on proportionality Primary legislative body Ability to check executive has continually weakened Court System Constitutional Court Supreme Court with lower courts Reputation for corruption Russia’s Government Pearson Publishing 2011

16 Figure 11.2 Pearson Publishing 2011

17 Highly centralized - the central government continues to exert significant control over regional governments Ex: President appoints governors who are confirmed by regional legislatures Still, the state remains relatively weak The World Bank rates Russia’s government effectiveness well below that of China and Brazil The state lacks professionalized civil servants and corruption is rampant 2009 Transparency International ranked Russia the 146th most corrupt country in the world The Russian State Pearson Publishing 2011

18 Russia - State & Society
The main theme of state-society relations in Russia since has been a decline in political competition and political accountability, and a corresponding increase in control of political parties, interest groups, and media by central state authorities. Ex: tight control over party financing, complicated laws, increasing the percentage of seats a party must win to get into the Duma, election fraud The United Russia Party is the dominant party, or “party of power,” and is catered to by the media. Still, smaller parties are allowed to exist to continue the facade of democracy Russia - State & Society Pearson Publishing 2011

19 Russia - State & Society
The state has also increased control over interest groups. The most powerful interest groups relate to business, but are still unwilling to challenge the state for abuses. Small businesses are most vulnerable to corrupt police officers, organized crime, and government inspectors. Putin sought to break up powerful Russian oligarchs and prevent them from influencing politics. The largest union in Russia represents 95% of unionized workers, but has little political influence. The state controls the three television stations through which 90% of Russians get their news. Alternatives do exist, but are rarely used. Russia - State & Society Pearson Publishing 2011

20 Russia - Political Culture
Most Russians are not committed to democratic values. When the Russian standard of living fell in the 1990s most blamed democracy for the failure. The Russian political ideal is that of a paternalistic state that projects power abroad. Domestically, Russians want a government that provides for them. Most Russians are highly nationalistic. 83% were polled as “willing to fight for their country” in 2006 There is little support for self-expression values. Still, some suggest that the Russian authoritarian regime is stable because it fits with political cultural expectations. Russia - Political Culture Pearson Publishing 2011

21 Russia - Political Economy
Early 1990s Russian economy was based on “shock therapy” - making a transition to a market economy as rapidly as possible. Letting the market set prices instead of government planners Selling state-owned firms to private investors Slashing state spending to reduce budget-deficits Encouraging foreign investment For most of the 1990s shock therapy did not work as planned. This led to an intense debate over the role of the Russian state in the economy Communist supporters wanted a larger role for the state Others supported continued market policies Russia - Political Economy Pearson Publishing 2011

22 Russia - Political Economy
President Putin adopted continued market strategies, excepting key economic sectors - oil and gas in particular. Domestically profits from these sectors have allowed the government to subsidize favored industries. Internationally they have allowed the government to threaten other countries with cutting off their access to oil. In response to the recent international economic crisis, President Medvedev has been unable to achieve further progress due to continued reliance on current political systems. Russia - Political Economy Pearson Publishing 2011v

23 China Largest population of any country (1.3 billion people)
Averaged 10% economic growth annually since 1980 Second largest world economy (PPP) Faces increasing inequality and extensive environmental damage Maintains a communist regime 92% are ethnically Chinese China Pearson Publishing 2011

24 Pre-1911......China weakened by foreign powers and wars
China’s dynastic history dates back to 221 B.C. Collapse of dynasty and Republic of China Competition between political parties Nationalist/Guomindang Party led by Chiang Kai-shek Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong Communists gained support by rallying against the Japanese during World War II October People’s Republic of China is founded Nationalists are driven to the island of Taiwan and claim their legitimacy as the true China The Great Leap Forward Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution 1980s Deng Xiaoping and the opening of China China’s Timeline Pearson Publishing 2011

25 China Mao Zedong’s Policies
Early years relied on the Soviet model of socialism - collectivization and nationalization Great Leap Forward represented Mao’s attempt to change the failing Soviet model based on mass mobilization of peasants and workers Considered a vast failure resulting in a famine that killed 30 million between 1959 and 1962 Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution sought to purge the party of “class enemies” and old customs Charged Red Guards and students with rooting out any capitalist influences A period of significant violence Only after Mao’s death in 1976 did stable party leadership emerge Mao Zedong’s Policies China Pearson Publishing 2011

26 China Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms
Sought to gain legitimacy for the Communist Party based on rapid economic growth and stability Gave a greater role to markets through reform and opening: Ended collective farming, but did not restore property rights Opened China to world markets Permitted privately-owned businesses Reforms did not benefit all, leading to protests such as the student protests in Tiananmen Square resulting in violent suppression by Chinese soldiers Economic opening and growth has created a complex society with new cleavages and interests that may potentially threaten party rule. Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms China Pearson Publishing 2011

27 China’s Government Politburo Premier Makes all major policy decisions
9 members make up the standing committee Secretariat Led by the General Secretary Oversees implementation of Politburo decisions and controls personnel In theory elected by the Central Committee (in reality it is the other way around) National Party Congress Hierarchical structure with provincial institutions as well Little legislative power Premier Heads China’s State Council (cabinet) Oversees the government President Ceremonial position Meets and negotiates with foreign leaders National People’s Congress Indirectly elected Little power, but is becoming more outspoken Supreme People’s Court Subordinate to the Communist Party China’s Government Pearson Publishing 2011

28 The Chinese Communist Party understands that it must walk a fine line between preventing democratic experiments (e.g.: what led to the fall of the Soviet Union) and surviving only on coercion (e.g.: what led to Tiananmen Square). Has developed a number of strategies: Be more ideologically flexible Co-opt social elites instead of repressing them Support market oriented economic development But has failed to adapt to the needs of ethnic minorities in border territories (e.g.: Tibet) The one-child policy is an example of attempts at control social behavior Strictly controls information through the media and internet China - State & Society Pearson Publishing 2011

29 Problem Methods & Hypotheses Most authoritarian regimes give citizens little opportunity to participate. Kellee Tsai asks: Will emerging capitalists classes lead demands for democracy against such regimes? Hypothesis - Chinese capitalists have created “adaptive informal institutions” resulting in changes to the national institutions favorable to capitalists. Interviews with private entrepreneurs. Comparative Political Analysis: Will Chinese Capitalists Lead the Way to Democracy? Pearson Publishing 2011

30 Operationalizing Concepts
Results “Adaptive informal institutions” - patterns of interaction between entrepreneurs and local officials that emerge in reaction to constraints and opportunities created by official rules and regulations Changes in institutions at the national level (official institutions) Finds that the informal coping strategies developed by entrepreneurs became institutionalized as regular business practices. These practices were so productive that national leaders changed formal rules to be more supportive of private businesses. The overall result has been considerable change in formal rules in China to favor capitalists. Comparative Political Analysis: Will Chinese Capitalists Lead the Way to Democracy? Pearson Publishing 2011

31 China - Political Culture
Most Chinese assume China should be a regional and world power, taking great national pride in its economic development and cultural accomplishments. This is coupled with resentment over the way Western powers humiliated China in the 19th and early-20th centuries. China maintains a high level of regime support (94.4%). Moreover, most Chinese are satisfied with the level of democracy in their country. Many credit the regime’s ability to increase the standard of living for most Chinese with this high level of support Chinese also enjoy more personal freedoms than in the past. China - Political Culture Pearson Publishing 2011

32 Table 11.1 Pearson Publishing 2011

33 China - Political Economy
“Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Four Principles: Markets set prices in most sectors and there is a large role for privately- owned firms. Small and medium-sized state-owned enterprises that perform badly will be shut down or sold. China will compete in world markets. China will remain socialist by keeping a large state-owned enterprise sector and retaining collective ownership of farm land. China - Political Economy Pearson Publishing 2011

34 Economic Inequality in China
At the top is a small capitalist class of highly successful business people. Next is a middle class of small entrepreneurs, white collar employees of large companies, and professionals Together these two groups account for 13% of the urban population and 5% of the total population 40-50 million people make up the new class of urban poor. The Gini Index measures income inequality (100 = perfect inequality).... China’s score has risen from 33 in the 1970s to 49 in 2005. 45% of China’s wealth is owned by 10% of the population, while the poorest 10% own only 1.4% of China’s wealth. Economic Inequality in China Pearson Publishing 2011

35 The gap between average incomes of urban and rural residents in 2005 was 3:1.
These inequalities extend to education and healthcare. New policies have focused on addressing these social problems, especially in rural areas Unemployment benefits Living subsidies Food subsidies Urban-Rural Divide Pearson Publishing 2011

36 Environmental Challenges
Twenty of the world’s most polluted cities are in China, and China has surpassed the US as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide. Water supplies are threatened by pollution and depletion due to irrigation Air pollution causes as many as 750,000 premature deaths a year. Efforts are being made to address these challenges: Using alternative energies to reduce dependence on oil and coal Production of wind turbines and solar electric panels Still, primary focus is on economic growth, not environmental sustainability. Environmental Challenges Pearson Publishing 2011

37 Comparing Capabilities
How do each of our case studies perform in our criteria for a Good Society? Evaluating performance will provide clues as to which type of regime best meets the needs of its citizens Consider: Infant Mortality Literacy Rates Crime Rates Voice and Accountability Comparing Capabilities Pearson Publishing 2011

38 Table 11.2 Pearson Publishing 2011

39 Table 11.3 Pearson Publishing 2011

40 Table 11.4 Pearson Publishing 2011

41 Table 11.5 Pearson Publishing 2011

42 Critical Thinking Questions
Vladimir Putin received job approval ratings of over 70% for most of his term in office and was chosen as president by overwhelming margins by voters. If the great majority of Russians approved of him and his policies what does it matter that Russia has an electoral authoritarian regime rather than a democratic one? Evidence from surveys in Russia and China finds that their authoritarian regimes fit their countries’ political culture. If this is the case isn’t it inappropriate for citizens from a very different political culture such as that of the United States to criticize these regimes? Critical Thinking Questions Pearson Publishing 2011

43 Critical Thinking Questions
Why has China’s communist party-state been able to survive the kind of political upheavals that toppled communist party-states in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union? The collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union caused leaders of the CCP to undertake one of the biggest comparative studies in recent history. What was their dependent variable? What were their main independent variables? Why have leaders of China’s communist party supported market oriented economic policies even though they have led to growing income inequality and favoring business people over workers? Critical Thinking Questions Pearson Publishing 2011

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