Wei Jingsheng : The Paradox of Marxism - Reaction to the Suicides of More than a Dozen Foxconn Workers
Recently, a hot topic of the Chinese news media both inside China and overseas is the continuing suicide incidents of more than a dozen workers of Foxconn, owned by Taiwanese businessman Terry Gou. This rash of suicides has been called the "Foxconn Incident". As these workers jump to their deaths, the news media, especially in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Overseas, are still digging further for news. Yet, even with limited current knowledge of the situation, we know that the degree of brutal exploitation of the Chinese workers by the capitalists in China has far surpassed the sweatshops criticized by Karl Marx.
The theory of Karl Marx was really not so good, as it brought a century disaster to the human race. Yet, to the least, Karl Marx was a person with some sympathy. Should he have the opportunity to comment on the Communist Party in China nowadays, he would be regretting it all the way. This evidence is too horrible to look at, and would force him to admit his own mistakes and overthrow the theory of the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" that he created. It was exactly the capitalists under the system of this type of dictatorship that were able to use the workers as draft animals without restraint, which provides prove to Marx's theory of "workers are only one essential factors of production."
Some people might rebut: you do not have the evidence to say Terry Gou is a Marxist, nor to prove the "Foxconn Incident" is related to the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat". Indeed, Mr. Gou is not a Marxist, nor a self-claimed one. However, this "Foxconn incident" is indeed related to the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat". Who are all the capitalists of the whole world who like the Chinese Communist Party so much and have been spending their money to lobby the Western governments in an effort to help the Chinese Communist government? Why have the so-called "free media" in the West, which are controlled by big business, been shamelessly singing the praises of the Chinese Communist Party, simulating peace and prosperity in China?
This time, Karl Marx is right: driven by super profits, these capitalists dare to do any bad things including killing and arson. Who offered the super profits to them? It is the investment environment of cheap yet good workmanship in China. If Chinese labor could produce good products, how can it be cheap? A lot of laborers in third world countries produce cheap goods, but they were not as good quality. Many Western business enterprises have searched the whole globe, yet found only a few investment environments which could produce cheap yet good products. China is the biggest one.
What kind of special condition could allow the Chinese workers to produce good products, yet to accept cheap pay and miserable conditions? The scholars groomed by the capitalists study and produce whole bunches of specious theories to explain it in favor of the capitalists. That is their means of livelihood so we could give little criticism. However, we have found out that these scholars often consciously neglect one important fact: the social environment of the dictatorship.
That dictatorship has helped the capitalists to destroy the most important adversary in competition - labor unions. Without the labor unions to represent the workers, there is no need for the capitalists to pay reasonable wages to the workers. The "surplus value" of Karl Marx is realized in China thoroughly and undisguised. So called "reasonable wages" by these capitalists are only essential to maintain the most minimum living conditions. The so-called "equality between men and women" reduced the wages into half. Most families cannot maintain their survival by solely depending on one worker.
The workers are human, not draft animals. Besides wages, they need an environment to live like a human, not just at home, but also in the workplace. In the Orient, the Japanese style feudal tradition that is utterly unreasonable is not enough to subdue youths. So the dictatorship has its big use. Not only can one be sent to jail for organizing labor unions, but also if one is not submissive and servile he would receive rounds of beating, with fists, even with clubs. There are reports of using electric batons and handcuffs as well. According to the official statistics of the Chinese government, the guns owned by rich peoples' private armies in China have already surpassed what is owned by the military police. So it is very clear as who owns this dictatorship.
When I was chatting with capitalists of various countries who invested in China, I have asked them why they would not let the workers organize labor unions and why the working conditions are so terrible. Their answers are basically the following two. One is that there are no labor unions in the Chinese businesses, so if they allowed labor unions, all the other businesses including the Chinese government would have their objections. The other is that labor unions would result the Chinese Communist party having an opportunity to interfere with the business; then it would be better off to invest in countries which were not under the leadership of the Communist Party.
From these answers, one would argue that it is not totally fair to blame these capitalists. The duties of these capitalists are to make money. They do not have the responsibility to maintain morale. In the West, where there are normal moral and legal standards, as well as labor unions to protect workers' rights and interest, they must care about being "good" capitalists. However, under the conditions of the dictatorship by the Communist Party, their greediness becomes like the bunny rabbits in Australia, who, without natural predators, lost restriction and swamped all over.
The dictatorship of the Communist Party is exactly responsible for creating such an environment of lacking natural enemies. The capitalists are transformed into devils in that dictatorial environment. In their own countries, they would not dare to abuse workers to such a degree. Yet, just as Karl Marx said: they are willing to turn themselves into devils when several times more profit is offered.
When we are talking about human rights, democracy, rule of law, and morality, some people think it is just preaching. However, let us look at the sweatshops of Foxconn. Let us look at our Chinese fellows who have to jump to their deaths, to hang themselves, to drink pesticide to their deaths. Can we still think that these problems are irrelevant to human rights, democracy, and rule of law?