Dialogue on the Future of Capitalism

Event: Sustainable Growth Model

The program on the future of capitalism in China and Europe with Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer from April 18th to April 20th can roughly be separated into two parts.

The first part consisted of informal talks with Chinese experts and intellectuals on theoretical questions like the role of Marxism and Marxist debates in China but also on rather practical questions as the overall economic development in China, the development in the western part of the country and the feasibility of alternative, inclusive economic models like the so-called Chongqing model. The second part of the program consisted of discussion meetings. The first discussion meeting took place at the International Department of the Central Committee of CPC (IDCPC) in the morning of April 19th. The second took place within the framework of the Wanshou forum of the IDCPC in the evening of April 19th. In the morning of April 20th, Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer attended a discussion meeting at the Central Party School of the Central Committee of CPC.

During the discussion meeting in the morning of April 19th in the IDCPC - attended by Vice-Minister Chen Fengxiang of IDCPC - on the adaption and changes of European capitalism since the international financial crisis, Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer at the beginning introduced two major types of capitalism (liberal market economy; LME and coordinated market economy; CME). During the following discussion, the discussants mainly expressed interest in theoretical differences between capitalism and Marxism as well as the question of the strengthening of liberal elements in both types of capitalism.

During his speech at the Wanshou forum of the IDCPC in the evening of April 19th, Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer outlined the current development, challenges and perspectives for the European Social Democracy. Prof. Dr. Cao Changsheng, Faculty of International Relations of Peking University, commented the speech afterwards. Throughout the subsequent discussion, it became clear that the audience was surprised by the rather poor performance of European Social Democracy in recent years. For many this tendency becomes even odder, as the current situation in Europe (rising inequality, refugee crisis) seems to yearn for social democratic solutions.

The program ended with a discussion meeting on the current importance of Marxism in view of the crises of global capitalism in the morning of April 20th. During his introductory lecture, Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer introduced the different historical types of Marxism. In the following discussion, the experts from the Central Party School in particular raised questions on the importance of Marxism in Europe against the background of an increasing inequality.

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