Modernization and Mao : The Logic of the Cultural Revolution and the 1970s.

by Harry Harding


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Considers Mao Tse-tung from an unusual perspective: as a modernizer. Modernization includes both industrialization and social/political equalization. (In this sense, the United States is also a modernizing country in a developmental crisis.) Since the failure of the Great Leap Forward, resources are being redistributed from the privileged sectors (mainly in cities) to the nonprivileged (mainly the peasant 85 percent of the population). Doctors, teachers, accountants, mechanics have been ordered to the countryside permanently. Health care and education are being universalized, at the cost of lower quality. Agricultural machinery is being redistributed from the most to the least advanced farms. Replacing the parallel, bureaucratic Party and state structures are joint "revolutionary committees" supposed to include direct popular representation and to be responsive to community desires. Machine operators and consumers are to be added to industrial design teams. China may see continued struggle between the ideals of efficiency and equity. 21 pp.

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