Changing Qualities of Chinese Life by Dennis J. Duncanson

By Dennis J. Duncanson

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Street battles were fought in Singapore and in Perak, before and after the Second World War, between secret societies aligned in China's politics with Chiang Kai-shek and unions sponsored by the Malayan Communist Party- which regarded itself as a section of Mao Tse-tung's Party- for or against strikes and hartals in which intimidated labourers provided the riot-fodder.

There is an ethical side to socialist transformation. The claim of Marxists is that their seizure of power is justified, at one level, in the cause of social justice, and certainly one does not see signs in the streets of wide gaps between rich and poor; but I never saw them before Liberation either, and such gaps do not attract one's attention outside mainland China. However, Marxists defend the ruthlessness of socialist transformation, at another level, as a means of wiping out that immorality of personal behaviour which they maintain is inseparable from the 'capitalist system'; Mao and his followers justified socialist transformation in part as a means of eradicating prostitution, drug-peddling, larceny, administrative corruption, fortune- Socialist Transformation and Economic Miracle 25 telling, spirit-mediumship, gambling, and other 'disorderlinesses', as well as that 'opium of the people' (so called, of course, because in Marx's day true opium was consumed openly and respectably by the middle and upper classes of England as a painkiller, whereas the poor could not afford it), namely the practice of religion.

Street battles were fought in Singapore and in Perak, before and after the Second World War, between secret societies aligned in China's politics with Chiang Kai-shek and unions sponsored by the Malayan Communist Party- which regarded itself as a section of Mao Tse-tung's Party- for or against strikes and hartals in which intimidated labourers provided the riot-fodder.

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