Fuwa Tetsuzo, director of the Japanese Communist Party's Social Sciences Institute, gave a lecture entitled "Marxism and the 21st century world" to 120 theoretical researchers at the Communist Party of China's Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing on May 25.
Fuwa's lecture was preceded by an introduction by Leng Rong, president of the Research Academy on Marxism of the CPC Social Sciences Institute.
Taking into consideration the tasks facing China today as it takes the road of a socialist market economy, Fuwa explicated what position Marxism has in the present-day world. In today's China, western economics, including neo-liberalism, is increasing its influence not only in society in general but also in the academic world. As a reflection of this situation, polemics are taking place between Marxist researchers and researchers under the influence of trends in western economics.
Fuwa described the diversity of the contemporary world by classifying it into four groups. He said that only Marxist economics has the power to make a socially relevant economic analysis of the changing world.
Citing Marx's criticism of bourgeois economics that its biggest weakness is that it knows nothing but capitalist society and believes in capitalist law to be the everlasting law of development of society, Fuwa said that this criticism can be applied to contemporary western economics.
Stressing that this point has a bearing on how to view China's socialist market economy, Fuwa pointed out that China's market economy is one that is based on the system committed to socialism. "It shares characteristics common to a market economy in general, but at the same time it has mechanisms and roles that are different from those under a capitalist market economy. It is therefore governed by a different theory and law," he said. He pointed out that western economics cannot understand this point because they know nothing but the capitalist system. Fuwa said that only Marxist economics is capable of discovering the logics and law of the market economy as a possible approach to socialism.
Fuwa then went on to the question how the 21st century world should be viewed from a Marxist viewpoint, pointing out that the present century is an era in which the major question is whether the capitalist system will survive or not. He said that concerning contemporary capitalism it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that its contradictions take on a new form that can directly threaten the very survival of the capitalist system, expounding on two points: (1) the future of developing countries and (2) the global environment. In relation to the global environment, Fuwa emphasized the issue of global warming. He said that if capitalism is incapable of stopping the greenhouse effect when the earth's life-support system is about to collapse, we must conclude that capitalism is no longer capable of controlling the earth. Fuwa said that these circumstances of contemporary capitalism are in themselves "the strongest reason for us to think that this century will be one for social systems to change."
Fuwa added that not only the capitalist system but also would-be socialist countries face the test of global environmental sustainability and other universal tasks in that the question is whether socialism can be an effective form of social progress to replace capitalism. He stressed that this is a major characteristic of the 21st century.
Referring to China's efforts to get rid of contradictions such as the social gap and the environmental pollution, Fuwa said that China's success in resolving these questions would have great international significance, along with domestic significance, as an example of the successful coexistence of the two socio-economic systems.
Fuwa concluded his lecture by stating, "I wish that China achieves success in its undertaking of nation building by taking advantage of a would-be socialist country and that it in turn will encourage the world to further develop in the 21st century."
- Akahata, May 27, 2006