The Relevance of the Western Left

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at
Thu Feb 15 00:37:30 MST 2001

On Wed, 14 Feb 2001, S Chatterjee wrote:

[excerpt from Deng-Yuan Hsu and Pao-Yu Ching]
> reform, Deng's land redistribution was a capitalist
> project. The argument Deng and his supporters gave for
> dismantling the communes was "eating from a big pot
> breeds laziness." While this might have been true in a
> small number of cases, Deng dismantled all communes in
> one sweep, despite the fact that the majority of
> communes were doing well. The de-collectivization in

Hinton's own research in "Shenfan" reveals that per capita production of
grain barely kept pace with population growth during the 1960-1976 period;
we do know that the heroic myths of model communes such as Dazhai (I'm
probably misspelling this) were just that -- heroic myths. He's also
pretty devastating on the communes, most of which weren't created by
popular demand but by Party factions, scrambling for power and influence
in what Bourdieu would call the internal marketplace of symbolic capital.
The economic boom of the 1980s is real enough, though; output,
productivity and production have all soared since Deng took over (not that
increased production correlates with human happiness, of course).

-- Dennis

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