Industrial Society in Communist China

Industrial Society in Communist China

Industrial Society in Communist China

Industrial Society in Communist China

Excerpt

Ideology has played a vital role in bringing Communist China into the modern industrial--and military--world in a remarkably short period of time. But ideology, when pushed to extremes, has also caused and may again lead to the virtual collapse of Red China's industrial management system and to severe economic crisis.

This book is essentially a study of economic development and particularly of the impact of ideology on the environment and performance of management and industry in China. Industrial progress, as well as economic and military power, in any nation depends directly on how well industrial enterprises are managed at the grass-roots level of the economy, and how well they perform. Not a great deal is known in the West--or outside China, in general--about the management or performance of Communist Chinese industry or the individual enterprises which comprise the overall industrial sector. I was fortunate to be extended an opportunity to undertake a two-month firsthand study of Chinese industrial management during April and June of 1966.

It has been through a unique combination of rational pragmatism and the implementation of possibly the most unusual ideology in the world that China has achieved impressive, if erratic, industrial and general economic progress since 1949. The Red Chinese nation has done better with regard to industrial development than the Soviet Union did during its first two decades under communism. It has so far done substantially better than India. However, ideological extremism was a chief cause of China's temporary but severe economic crisis during the (Great Leap Forward and its aftermath (1958-62); and ideological extremism could lead to a similar crisis again under conditions prevailing in 1968 or in the future.

The Red Chinese regime seems to follow an oscillation theory of industrial and general economic management, with ideology implemented most intensively when economic conditions are relatively good, and relaxed when the reverse is true. For the regime has seen from the Soviet experience in particular that economic progress and relative affluence can lead to revisionism and softness with regard to pure Communist ideology. This . . .

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