Social Scientist. v 5, no. 58-59 (May-June 1977) p. 3.


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PETER .NO LAN

Socialist Path of Development

CHINA in 1949 was a poor underdeveloped country with a highly unequal distribution of income. Today it is economically strong and growing fairly rapidly. In the process of development the people's republic has not incurred vast foreign debts^, and has guaranteed most of the citizens basic minimum material and cultural living standards. These are enormous achievements that outstrip those of most ^Third World5 countries with capitalist or proto-capitalist regimes. As the Chinese experience of the last 27 years has shown., building socialism in a backward country proceeds on three inter-related fronts: development of the productive forces at a satisfactory rate and in a suitable manner;

transformation of production relations along egalitarian lines; and development of democratic relations in the superstructure.

There are a number of criteria one can use when analyzing the development of a country's productive forces. The most basic is simply the rate of growth of gross national product (GNP). In this respect., the consensus of opinion among qualified observers is that China has performed reasonably well, growing at a rate somewhat above the average for all underdeveloped countries., though not as fast as the most-rapidly-growing group. A second criterion is employment. It seems that China has been able to find employment for the vast majority of those



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