Social Scientist. v 13, no. 148 (Sept 1985) p. 53.


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ARUN PROKAS CHATTERJEE*

China's Economy An Aspect

IN CHAPTER I of the Development of Capitalism in Russia, Lenin referred to the relation between the ruin of the small producers and the development of capitalism. He said, quoting from Das Capital, that "the expropiation and eviction of a part of the agricultural population not only set free for industrial capital the labourers, their means of subsistence and material for labour; it also created the home market."

But the contradiction is here that unless the attachment of the peasantry to the land is broken, the development of capitalism which is a progressive step in the progress of society compared with the stage of feudalism is not possible. In the preface to the Second Edition of the work, Leniri further said that the basis of the final transition from otrabotki (share-cropping system) to capitalism is the free development of small peasant farming.

It appears that China, being faced with the problem of industrialization, has been groping for a system since the 1950s which will liberate the peasant masses from servitude to land and take them onwards on the path of modernization and industrialization. Obviously, in a socialist regime, the elemental law of capitalism could not be allowed to operate leading to ruination of small peasants and thus to creation of not only a home market for the indigenous industry but also setting free for industrial capital the labourers, their means of subsistence and material for labour. Lenin himself said that "infinetely diverse combinations are possible of elements of this or that type of capitalist evolution and only hopeless pedants could set about solving the peculiar and complex problem arising merely by quoting this or that opinion of Marx about a different historical epoch."

China learnt from her own experience that the establishment of large communes and placing farm land and other means of production under public ownership did not solve the problem of modernization. According to their statistics, production dropped drastically as a result due to cornmuniza-tion of agriculture.

One of the reasons was the decline in the enthusiasm of the peasants. In aXi article on "China's countryside under reforms", Mr. Du Runsheng, Director of the Rural, Policies Research Centre under the Secretariat of the

President, West Bengal Association of Democratic Lawyers, Calcutta



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