Farfetched socialist dreamsCrucial problems such as land management and integration of labour wage and market price have to be resolved.
The current world economy has turned towards three different directions. One, the continuation of the world capitalist system; two, the emerging regional capitalist system; and three, the orientation to far socialism. Constitutionally, Nepal has chosen the third direction, orientation to far socialism. In this historical context, the government has concluded that a prosperous country is almost impossible without solving the problems within the existing system. Therefore, the current period is a historic opportunity to move towards socialism.
Nepal is in the midst of a world economic upheaval, as mentioned in the Nepal Communist Party's latest political paper. It is a confession of the transition to an emerging regional capitalist system. This has made Nepal dependent to reform its internal affairs.
Socialism is the main constitutional goal in Nepal. Laws are not being formulated. Confusion regarding foreign policy is increasing. A dispute between the federal and local governments over who should use natural resources such as water and forests is escalating. This is a challenge for us, but there is a lack of an objective debate against a backdrop of global experiences. Much of the debate seems to revolve around Utopian Leninism and Failed Thatcherism.
Critics are unhappy with the Nepal government's emphasis on distribution instead of production. They argue that an important programme such as the Social Security Scheme is based on import-based taxation, which is a vulnerable source of state revenue.
Some intellectuals even in the Communist-led government are concerned that the government cannot work in favour of workers. They represent the majority portion of the economy. The nature and structure of access to the means of production are still the same. A market economy alone is not enough for the state to become socialist. Crucial problems such as the issue of land management and integration of labour wage and market price have to be resolved, otherwise, the orientation towards socialism will remain just a daydream.
Proponents of the world system do not consider intercountry import trade as a good trade, but intercountry trade is the substance of the modern economy. Domestic trade alone cannot push economic growth. They blame the trade deficit for the stagnating development of the poorest countries.
Regional trade, a decades-long trade strategy, has changed the world map, trade and employment. Employment in the developed countries is concentrated among its own population. It has spawned illiberal behaviour towards immigrant workers. The effort of powerful countries like the United States and China to elevate the trade balance has been challenging for the world system. It has a long-term unavoidable effect on a developing country like Nepal orienting towards socialism.
Since 1990, there have been 218 significant regional trade agreements around the world to strengthen the regional capitalist system. The European Union, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Latin American Free Trade Association and Belt and Road Initiative, for example, have been embracing capitalism further by refining and correcting it. The financial crisis of 2008 was not merely difficult, it was also an opportunity to reform the world capitalist system. It brought the regional capitalist system back into existence almost 70 years after its disappearance.
Analysts claim that the world capitalist system is in crisis. However, since it is distancing itself from the crisis, there is no scientific prediction that the next system will be socialism. So the next system will be a regional system. As splitting the industrial centres to the regional system, the economic dominance of China is emerging in Asia. It has strengthened the claim of forming a regional capitalist system. But some analysts consider Nepal as still being a market-oriented autonomous country.
Opportunism and dependency are the essences of our economy. They exist in employment to development. Our stagnating industries are dependent on imported raw materials. Cities exist merely as trade centres instead of being industrial hubs. Almost 92 percent of imported goods are supplied through big cities. Thus, our villages and cities are linearly linked to the regional capitalist system and dominated by a trade deficit.
Socialism is not something beyond our economy. Without removing the flaws in the economy, it is impossible to go to socialism. This requires adjustment in the structure and characteristics of the economy which is not happening. The same person is both a leader and a businessman. Land management is controlled by the land mafia. Because of this, important bills have not been passed.
Nepal is a non-industrial country. Declining agricultural contribution, stagnating industrial development, and dramatic changes in the structure of income and expenditure are not productive. The lifestyle of the common people has become costly. This has not allowed Nepal to form national capital and cut off the decision-making capacity. They are the antithesis of the socialist dream.
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