[Marxism] Letter to Desmond Tutu concerning President Robert Mugabe

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Sun Jul 6 22:10:53 MDT 2008

On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 11:40 PM, Walter Lippmann <walterlx at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Thanks for this. I appreciate it. It's news to me to read that
> China did not enjoy "dramatic industrial expansion no high per
> capita incomes no extensive family planning programs." Please
> share this information with Comrade Proyect. I'm sure that he
> will find this information helpful. And the positive news of
> Burma, Coloubia and Chile as well as Kerala. Yes, I see that
> I failed to grasp the importance of this. Thanks again!
> Elvitz Pretzel
> Olympia,

>From "The Population Puzzle"
by Frances Moore Lappé and Rachel Schurman


China * While more complex, China's recent demographic history is
equally telling. From 1969 to 1979, China achieved a dramatic
transition from high to low rates of fertility. With one-fifth of the
world's people, China accounts for virtually all of the decrease in
global rates of population growth in the past two decades. How was
this accomplished?

Some credit China's success to its aggressive family planning programs
that began in the late 1960s. Through a network of "barefoot doctors"
in the countryside, these programs reached into every village. But
these programs did not arise out of thin air. They reflected prior,
massive political change bringing a government to power whose
ideological orientation was toward advancement for the whole society,
not merely the narrow elite to whom the former government, as most
governments, feel themselves accountable.

We can unequivocally condemn China's totalitarian features while also
recognizing that such a shift in power, from leadership long ignoring
the needs of the Chinese peasantry to one attempting to address these
needs, was a prerequisite to China's population success record.
Indeed, its extensive rural health care systems - a precondition for
its family planning effort - would have been inconceivable without
profound prior political change.

Other changes in Chinese society - such as far-reaching land
redistribution, a guaranteed minimum food allotment, and the assurance
of old-age security - allowed the Chinese people to opt for fewer
children and clearly benefited women. And note that virtually all of
China's dramatic drop in fertility occurred before 1979, that is,
before implementation of its notorious "one couple, one child" policy.
In fact, the economic reforms begun by Deng Xiaoping at about the same
time that policy was instituted appear to have reversed China's trend
- birth rates there have risen since 1980.

Colombia * Of these success stories, Colombia - not known for its
government intervention on behalf of the poor - appears to defy the
preconditions of security and opportunity. But not entirely.
Colombia's health service sends medical interns to the countryside for
one year's free service, and infant mortality there is well below most
lower-middle-income countries. It has also achieved high literacy
rates, and according to the World Bank, over half of all Colombian
women aged fifteen to forty-nine were at some point enrolled in
primary school - even more than the comparable proportion for men

Colombia's record also demonstrates that shifting resources toward
women, expanding their opportunities and particularly their education,
has a much bigger impact on lowering birth rates than an overall rise
in income. Colombia's women, who are entering the paid work force at a
rapid pace, appear to be achieving greater economic independence from
men and therefore are becoming better able to determine their own

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