Why do the Leaders of the Generation of “Educated Youth” Want to Restore the Planned Economy?

A September 29, 2018 comment posted after an article on the Financial Times Chinese language website.   A comment the same writer made just a few minutes previously, reviewing the history of Chinese reform, is at https://gaodawei.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/chinese-readers-comments-on-ft-chinese-language-website/

Comment from Wangchdq of Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province [other comment-articles by Wangchdq are available on the FT Chinese website.]

Why do the Leaders of the Generation of “Educated Youth” [Sent Down to the Countryside during the Cultural Revolution] Want to Restore the Planned Economy?

The old image of “The Nine Dragons Controlling the Irrigation Waters” [each in their own separate way and ineffectively] is a weak mode of leadership and cannot stop the inevitable evolution of things.

It is merely a path towards greater authoritarianism.

On January 14, 2018, Zhou Xincheng’s big theoretical article “The Communists Can Sum up their Theories in One sentence: the Elimination of Private Ownership”, published in the “Flags” commentary column, the article attacked the Central Party School, making accusations against the Central Party Schools and Colleges There are a group of anti-Marxist professors that were doing serious harm to the ideology of the Communist Party. Zhou Xincheng even went so far to accuse them of being “traitors.”

Naming Zhang Wuchang and Wu Jinglian as advocates for private ownership, Zhou Xincheng wrote:

“That kind of thinking had become such a “strongly implanted mindset” that that is so “into the hearts of the people” that when that blatantly anti-Party and anti-socialist neo-liberal Zhang Wuchang characterized China’s “reform experience” at a cadre meeting held by an economic management department, he screamed, “I can refute the ideology of the Soviet Union in just one sentence: human nature is selfish” and “The experience of Mainland China was a complete failure”, “The only way forward is privatization”.

The leading cadres present there not only do not refute him but instead they collected the talks of Zhang Wuchang and published them in an open publication. Wasn’t that a strange thing to happen in socialist China! I really don’t know if the oaths of those leading Party cadres were sincere or just a joke.”

That Zhou Xincheng would make a murderous Cultural Revolution-style critique like this means that he must have strong support. He is an honored senior professor and member of the National People’s Congress. If he did not have powerful backing, he would not have had the strength and the confidence to attack the Central Party School.”

Zhou Xincheng’s attack on the Central Party School and fight against people within the system who favor privatization such as Zhang Wuchang and He Jinglian reflects the paradox that the leaders of the generation of educated youth want to prepare public opinion for the restoration of the planned economy.

In fact, attacks on privatization is not the first sign of the preparation of public opinion. The restoration is already underway in the manner of slowly raising the water temperature to boil frogs in the manner of “work quietly, there is no need to shoot”. Ninety-five percent of the rural townships in China have supply and marketing co-operatives. The restoration of the planned economy has been carried out in the warm water boiled frogs. “Work quietly, don’t shoot.” 95% of the towns and villages in the country have a supply and marketing cooperatives; through them the planned economy system will be gradually restored.

“Over the past five years, China has restored more than 10,000 grassroots supply and marketing cooperatives, bringing the total up to 30,000. The rural township coverage rate has increased from 56% in 2012 to 95%.”

In other words, as early as the “Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China”, the restoration of the planned economy has already taken its first step.

At the end of January, the Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council issued the “Notice on Launching a Special Struggle Against Smuggling and to Eliminate Evil”. For the first time since 1983, after a lapse of 35 years, a “Strike Hard” campaign was underway once more.

Foreign exchange controls have never been more stringent. This is not a matter of already having exchanged the upper limit of 50,000 US dollars per person per year. No, now you will have trouble exchanging RMB for just a few hundred dollars in cash. That probably won’t work since new rule is: If you already have US dollars, you can take them.

Why do the leaders of the educated youth want to restore the planned economy? Under the impact of the five major crises of fewer young people, the collapse of manufacturing, the real estate bubble, breakdown in the social pension system, and the rapid decline of foreign exchange reserves, China’s economic collapse is close at hand. Without restoring the planned economy, there will be no way to maintain stability!

The planned economy is the socialist economy. In a purely planned economy, there is no market and so it it will not be affected by the crisis of the market economy. The planned economy generally does not have an economic crisis because it shares shortages among everyone and avoids the bubbles from excess supply. There is a risk there too – in fact, the planned economy is in crisis every day because it leads to shortages and widespread poverty.

The essence of socialism, to put it bluntly, is to “dismantle the East Wall and repair the West Wall”, that is, spreading the losses some people are responsible for among the entire population, and giving the government great power to mobilize society through its planning of the economic system in order to implement this kind of “strict equality”.

Therefore, in a socialist society, economic problems are unlikely to threaten the regime in power.

Do not think for a moment that the government would be reluctant to restore the planned economy merely because it would be harmful to China’s economic development.

Reply Support (305) Against (21)

wangchdq 来自黑龙江省大庆市知青一代领导为什么要复辟计划经济?

而社会主义的本质,说穿了就是“拆东墙,补西墙”,即把一部分人造成的亏损,平摊到每一个人的头上,计划经济体制,就赋予了政府的最大社会动员力,以实行此种 “平摊”。

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Now retired, translated Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and studying some things. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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1 Response to Why do the Leaders of the Generation of “Educated Youth” Want to Restore the Planned Economy?

  1. Lowell Dittmer says:

    Brilliant analhysis and thanks for the translation.


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