April 11th 2009
Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. The Epoch Times. 2005. ISBN 1-932674-16-0. The Epoch Times wrote these as a series of columns which are now available as a download and a book. (http://ninecommentaries.com/) It could use some editing, as it was put together as nine separatly published “stories” which as a complete set , causes some repetition. If you are a scholar of trends, cultures and predicting economic behavior tied to past behaviors, this is your type of book.
I was shocked to realize the worsening abject poverty of the 800 M peasants in China. They are still in a residential registry system, preventing them from freely moving around the country. Peasants earn 1/3 of an urban wage and yet carry the highest tax load of the country. They have no medical insurance, no UI, no retirement pensions, and can not take loans from banks. They pay a mandatory provident fund, public welfare fund, administrative management fund, extra education fee, birth control fee, militia organization and training fee, country road construction fee, and military service compensation fee. They must sell part of their grain at a flat rate to the state , pay agricultural tax, a butchery tax as well as other levies. If you live in an urban environment you pay none of this while earning much more.
The articles detail the systemic corruption in China as well as the state sponsored suppression of groups such as Falun Gong. There is much evidence of periodic loosening of oppression and then subsequent tightening. the authors warn that the party is very good at manipulating Western press to their own ends. Human rights and care for the environment are not even on the table in Chian. Quite the opposite. As well there is a good discussion of how far the Chinese system has moved away from resembling Communism into a revised totalitarianism with very cult like attributes. Other religions are feared and suppressed – voilently. The party has only one goal, to remain in control. A very illuminating series.
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