Evidence for Marxism's Continued Role in Chinese Economic Modernization Theory: An Analysis

Szewczak, Jillian, East Asian Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Laughlin, Charles, East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Virginia
Megill, Allan, Department of History, University of Virginia

China’s astounding economic growth over the last forty years has sparked debate among scholars over the source of this success and the future of China’s economic and political reform, with a significant portion of this debate centered on the Washington and Beijing Consensuses. Responding to this debate, this paper compares the rhetoric of Marx and Engels with major Chinese Communist Party publications, such as speeches, policies, and study guides, and considers the impacts of Marxism’s indirect arrival in China on later interpretations of the theory. This paper finds that Marxism is not a historic relic, but an active part of Chinese economic modernization theory with a direct ideological link shared from Marx’s Capital to Xi Jinping’s China Dream. This continuity is seen primarily in the continuation of a Soviet legacy, Mao’s dialectics, and a Marxian sense of democracy.

MA (Master of Arts)
Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought, Beijing Consensus, Economic Modernization, Scientific Outlook on Development, Dialectics
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