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How did China reach the “new era”

The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which ended last Sunday, constitutes a milestone in the course of the recent Chinese historical process. In the West, it is difficult to find a fair and effective understanding of what happened and, above all, of the events and ideas that led to the report presented by the Central Committee and the maintenance of Xi Jinping as general secretary of the Party, breaking a habit that came from the time of Deng Xiaoping, who had stipulated a maximum period of ten years for the continued exercise of power at the highest level of the State.

In order to effectively read what happened and discover the reasons that shape the main decisions, we will have to adopt two paths: on the one hand, using concepts from Chinese thought and applying them to the Chinese reality, instead of intending to use only concepts imported from western ideologies; on the other hand, to make a brief historical summary, since the opening started in 1978, in order to better situate ourselves in the current moment, which the PCC calls the “new era”.

Thus, we will begin by trying to understand what is called “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, whose origins we detect in Mao Zedong’s thought, namely in a 1937 text entitled “On Contradiction”. In that document, Mao reformulates the application of Marxism to the Chinese reality, refusing for the Chinese situation the Hegelian dialectical notion of “thesis, antithesis, synthesis”, adopted by Marx and with traces of 19th century evolutionism, which would close us in a finalist eschatology, in which History would permanently resolve itself, as Hegel wanted, by proposing an end of History resolved in the model of the Prussian State, and Marx, by prescribing a model that would end in socialism and communism, after the capitalist phase. Mao Zedong prefers, in practical terms, to think and act, inspired by Chinese culture, a dialectic of impermanence in which contradictory but not rigid and exclusive oppositions are constantly created in the socius, which guarantee a perpetual movement of political, economic and social adjustment. , as between Yin and Yang. It will then be up to political leaders to identify, at any given moment, which are the prevailing contradictions in society in order to balance the system and guarantee another of the fundamental values ​​of Chinese political thought: harmony.

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