Gina, Chris and Maoist Economics and socialism and starvation

Brian Carnell briand at
Tue Apr 23 11:25:27 MDT 1996

On Sun, 21 Apr 1996 12:03:26 -0400, Rubyg580 at wrote:

>Between 1949 (victory of the revolution) to 1984 (when the dismantling of
>collectivisation in agriculture was complets) the increase in grain
>production in China was 7.42% per year AVERAGE.  During the same years the
>population growth averaged 2.46% per year, so grain production was climbing
>far faster than population.


>These figures are from the  Chinese Academy of Science, reported in China
>Daily, Apr.10,1996

Hi Gina,

These figures are clearly bogus as well.  If indeed grain production
grew that dramatically after 1949, it is hard to imagine what caused
the mass starvation and famine in China from 1958 to 1961.  In fact
Mao's collectivization attempts led to the break down of agriculture
among the poorest of Chinese leading to one of the worst famines in
this century (joining the disastrous Soviet famine of 1934 resulting
>from efforts to collectivize agriculture in the Ukraine).

According to figures in Judith Banister's _China's Changing
Population_ (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987), p.352, Life
expectancy in China in 1954 was about 42 years, which goes up to
almost 50 in 1957 and then plummets to an astonishginly low 23 in 1960
at the height of the famine.  The only good news in that story is that
the Chinese recover very quickly from the famine, so that by 1962 the
life expectancy increased to above its 1957 level, and has increased
steadily to about 62 years or so as of the mid-1980s.

If China indeed has more food than its population growth (which it
clealry does now, especially with the experiments in pseudo-market
systems), one has to wonder why China maintains its coercive one-child

BTW, the figures I mentioned in an earlier post show amazing growth in
Chinese GDP since the pseudo-market reforms.  Those figures do not
measure just food production, but all economic activity.


Brian Carnell         
briand at

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