Social Scientist. v 7, no. 75 (Oct 1978) p. 36.

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Glimpses of Life in Peopled China

TRANSFORMING the basic conditions, and indeed the quality of life, of the masses of the people is a key principle of the socialist path of development. In fact, the whole aim of revolutionary socialist transformation is, through liberating productive forces from their man-made exploitative fetters, to create conditions for enhancing, step by step, the human factor—so that the new man becomes ever more the conscious master of nature and society. The connection between the general advance of the path and the material standards of living of various sections of the people is not at all an uncomplicated, one-to-one relationship, especially in a society where the historical consequences of backwardness arc yet to be fully overcome. A system resting on a sensitive combination of the interests of the State, the collective and the individual must. of necessity, give priority to the first two; in a society where material abundance is still some way off, severe constraints will remain and sacrifices roust be continually demanded and won. Nevertheless, if a sound general line is pursued over a reasonably long period, the superiority of the socialist system begins to yield results more and more directly in the daily life of the people. The basic reasons for this are obvious enough from a theoretical standpoint: public ownership of the means of production and the implementation of the principle, ^to each

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