Um, George, are you trying to tell us that 'feudal surfdom' has been eliminated in mainland China?
If we substitute 'the state' for 'the lord' in ordinary definition of surfdom, nothing has changed in china, except folks are leaving the countryside in massive droves and some have more money.
Living in town those country folks now are easy prey for the all-seeing eyes of the CCP, and thru the 'hukou' system cannot legally leave their farm.
Sure, lots of folks now can take a warm shower every day, rather than once weekly and may have more expensive foods to eat. Is life better considering the ruined environment, the social controls, the lack of freedoms (expression, religion, movement)?
The Catholic church has fostered many pedophile opportunists, due i think to the celibate priest policy, but is facing up to the facts and making restitution. Facing up to the facts is something the CCP will never, ever do.
They tried to shut down all science for over a thousand years (thankfully the Arab world kept it going) and who knows where we would be now without that.
They lead holy wars throughout Europe and the middle east for literally hundreds of years that make our recent Iraq and Libya debacles look like picnic lunches.
Mercantilism, don't get me started.
The list continues but you can research that yourself.
Instead, China has gone from probably the poorest country in the world around 1949 to somewhere around the middle tiers and still rising rapidly; and that is not easy for a huge, mountainous country with a proportionately short coastline and rivers that like to flood A LOT
Not saying CCP got it all right, but credit where credit is due
This is the CCP that still routinely incarcerates millions without trials, practices widespread torture .... with all these human rights disasters lets celerbate they have have managed to get their people a per capita income level almost as high as Iraq and Botswana.... yes all credit where it's due for fucks sake.
Always open to different perspectives (and not beyond being a devil’s advocate myself sometimes), but it somewhat feels like an analogous situation might be arguing Trump (or at least his tax cuts) was good for the stock market. Might very well be true (lacking counterfactuals) but kind of missing the point. Plus that’s not what you’re arguing.
Your additional points are worth bearing in mind (accomplishments vs resources), but the Asian tiger economies seem to have accomplished pretty much the same trajectory (and earlier) by being export economies. Are we seriously arguing that their political approach is something that’s welcome in the civilised world when economic liberalisation appears to have brought relative prosperity whether you are Thailand (periodically wracked by coups) or democracies like Taiwan and Korea?
It’s one thing to be critical of conventional thinking, but quite another to be too uncritical of the line being pushed by autocrats.