Textbook Notes (369,153)
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POLI 338 (20)
Juan Wang (20)

POLI 338 - Shue: Fate of the Commune.doc

4 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 338
Juan Wang

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ShueThe Fate of the CommuneZhengshe fenkai decommunization or separation of economic and political activity and authorityBy end of 1983 16 per cent of communes in the country had completed decommunization reformSichuan led the reforms under Zhao ZiyangCritique of the CommunePRC discourse argues that communes provided past advantages via largescale labour mobilization for capital construction projects Yet by 1983 its disadvantages began to outweigh its advantagesGreat Leap Forward currently understood as a subjectivist misinterpretation of the historical dialecticIn the theory of socialist transition in China rural production teamsbrigades should not be subject to direct political control but rather be indirectly brought to general compliance with state plans through mechanisms such as taxation stateset pricing contracts etcPeasant production units had no alternative institutional nor financial base from which they could oppose central demands Thus the fundamental principle of production team autonomy could not be protectedFurthermore cadres overseeing communes had little personal or material interest in peasant attitudes or concerns selecting from afar Thus the ethic of serving the people and genuine popular supervision of commune cadres could not be sustainedFinally the commune structure made it easy for the state to shift financial burdens which it rightfully should have carried onto the people such as schooling clinics and public transportationThus the present elite consensus is that the state under Chinese socialism has been permitted to penetrate rural economy and society far too deeplyThe only solution is the separation of commune powers to decisively limit state power while embedding peasant production in strengthened economic networks These new networks must be cooperativecompetitive equals not defined in relations of subordination and superiority Voluntary contractual relations must supplant administrative command Outside of fulfilling a tax obligation to the state peasants are to pursue their own plans for economic
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