[Marxism] Fwd: How Did Communist China Become a Capitalist Superpower?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Mar 3 06:02:53 MST 2018

SHARMINI PERIES:	Professor Cohn, in your book you analyze the transition 
of the Chinese economy from Maoist to "iron rice bowl" policy to a 
neoliberal policy. What kind of domestic factors contributed to this 

STEVE COHN:	Yeah. My book's really a sociology of knowledge study, the 
replacement in China of Marxist economics by neoclassical economics, and 
that of course facilitated neoliberal policies. So it's a fascinating 
sociology of how people came to think about things in a different way, 
and of course that facilitated different policies. They're both domestic 
and international or Western pressures or actors in the story, but you 
asked about the domestic ones, so I'll say something about that.

There really were about five major domestic factors that promoted the 
expansion of neoclassical economics in China. I might digress for a 
second to say in 1978, when the reforms began, the entire Chinese 
economics profession, the teaching of economics, the curriculum and 
schools, the public discussion was conducted in Marxist language. Today, 
all of that has changed. It's conducted in neoclassical language. The 
curriculum in universities, the journals, the editorial policy, the 
promotion policy, the criteria for tenure has been reconfigured to be 
consistent with neoclassical economics.


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