China’s agricultural reforms

Video 47 of 245 from the course: Development Economics
Twitter HashTag: #MRUDevEcon

When China freed up agriculture in the late 1970s, it was one of the most significant blows for human freedom ever recorded.  Here is the story of the farmers, and then the political leaders, who got the ball rolling.


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Try Terry Eagleton: "But the so-called socialist system had its achievements, too. China and the Soviet Union dragged their citizens out of economic backwardness into the modern industrial world, at however horrific a human cost; and the cost was so steep partly because of the hostility of the capitalist West." He goes on to call the the regimes of Mao and Stalin as "botched experiments". Some Marxists regularly point out that Marx foresaw the transfer to socialism occurring in advanced industrial economies not in say, backward, feudal Russia-a variation of the "botched experiment" argument. Then there's Trotsky's "degenerated workers state"...but I must urgently stop typing now.

James, without the „botched experiments” (suprisingly, communism introduced anywhere in the world yielded similar results: blooshed and starvation) actually the „backward” societes would do just fine and overwhelmingly better than what actually happened. You can't possibly ruin everything at once, so there certainly are going to be some *achievements*. If you move all the resources to the IT sector you might have the best growth in IT for a while, but the rest will starve. Hardly an achievement.

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