...much of the driving force behind this set of policy recommendations ("structural adjustment" programs designed to create financial elites in Eastern Europe through "privatisation" -- sdf) was primarily political. There was a widespread fear among Western policy makers that unless economic reform was made 'irreversible' then the communist system could be reconstructed from the roots -- a curious contrast with the equally widespread belief after 1989 that the old order was terminally unsustainable. from Laszlo Andor and Martin Summers' MARKET FAILURE (London: Pluto Press, 1998), pp. 34-35.
Don: A fear that Russia might return to communism in no way contradicts the fact that communism was unsustainable. After all, it can do great damage even if it only lasts a short while . . .
: Thus, many of the economic policies which were suggested and implemented had fundamentally non-economic political and cultural goals. So pervasive and all-encompassing was this phenomenon that we might characterize it as putting 'politics in command': a phrase used by Mao to describe the policy adopted by China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which he initiated with a wave of carefully orchestrated youthful enthusiasm in 1966. In other respects, the economic policies in Eastern Europe (after the end of the Eastern Bloc -- sdf) corresponded to those adopted during the earlier stages of Maoist rule in China in the 1940s when a whole new class of property owners was created in order to provide a political basis for the revolutionary regime. Mao achieved his goal of revolutionary consolidation by dispossessing a substantial minority of the Chinese population.
Don: Draw even the thinest parallel between Maoism and the Western policies in Eastern Europe . . .
:The Market Maoists of the Great Bourgeois Cultural Revolution would achieve theirs by dispossessing the overwhelming majority of the populations of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Don: . . . then use it for propaganda . . .
: Thus perhaps we can say that Maoism isn't really dead, but it's alive as well, only today the Maoists champion their favorite segment of the capitalist class, and their fundamentalism exalts the idol of the "free market" instead of "actually existing socialism." They yell their procapitalist slogans in an attempt to drown out opposing points of view, as the Chinese Maoists did with "communism" in the 1960s.
Don: . . . run with the propaganda . . .
:And when their policies are shown to have caused widespread misery, as Andor and Summers point out, they hide behind their academic ivory towers and explain that "pure capitalism" was never really established.
Don: In fact, capitalism was not established.