BRIAN on Maoist Economics and socialism and starvation

Rubyg580 at Rubyg580 at
Tue Apr 30 19:43:03 MDT 1996

In a message dated 96-04-24 Brian wrote:

>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).

Yo, Brian, didn't anyone ever explain to you what "average" means?
The figures include the famine years.  These are figures taken from a
pro-current Chinese government source.  If you have some concrete
evidence that they are not accurate, then present it.

>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.

For some reason, this doesn't indicate to our inveterate capitalism lover
that the communalization of agriculture was a major reason why the
recovery after several years of natural disaster was so quick and complete.
If the agricultural process had remained semi-feudal, certainly the death
toll would have been much greater and the recovery much slower.  Also,
don't forget that somewhere around this time the Soviet Union abruptly
pulled out ALL its aid, leaving many projects unfinished.

>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

Could it be that the regime sees the direction of food production?  Could
it be that it sees the results of massive unemployment and lack of social
benefits?  Could it be that  the current capitalist rulers of China are
fearful of the power of the masses?  Just like capitalists and imperialists

>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.

And they show, just like any GDP figures NOTHING about the real
distribution of wealth among the population; nothing about the real
disarticulation and distortion of the ecomomy as it is bent and shaped
once again to meet the needs of global imperialism, not the needs of
the people of China, especially the workers and peasants. But why
should a lover of capitalism care about the welfare of the masses as
long as the statistics on paper look good enough to let the capitalists
keep accumulating wealth and attracting imperialist backers.

Gina/ Detroit

     --- from list marxism at ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list