Deng Xiaoping and the origins of Chinese Capitalism
The Legacies of the Maoist Era
The Chinese communists came to power in 1949 promising two revolutions: a bourgeois revolution (nobility vs. bourgeoisie) followed by a socialist one (bourgeoisie vs. proletariat). The bourgeois revolution was accomplished by the Marxist rulers. The aim was to make China appear as a nation- state. Therefore, the population was instilled by feeling of national identity and strong sense of social purpose. The agrarian revolution was completed with the conclusion of the Land Reform campaign in 1952. The territorial unification of the country, the establishment of a strong centralized state, the emergence of a national market, and the abolition of pre- capitalist social relations in the countryside created the necessary conditions for the development of an industrial economy. The communists were in charge of implementing the program started by the Kuomintang: national unification, independence from foreign imperialism, “land to the tiller”, and a plan for modern industrial development. The bourgeois phase of the Chinese Revolution was carried out under the auspices of a Marxist political party proclaiming socialist and communist goals; it didn’t resemble a Western capitalist revolution. National capitalism in the citied and individual peasant proprietorship in the countryside were limited in scope and duration, limitations were imposed by a state who aimed to abolish private property. The era of “the transition to socialism” was announced in 1953. The Mao period was a unique attempt to reconcile the means of modern industrialism with the ends of socialism. But, Mao was far more successful as an economic modernizer than as a builder of socialism. This was a contradiction due to the fact that industrialization is in capitalism. The success in industrialization is shown by the increase in the value of gross industrial output and...
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