Imposing Communism on the Economy of South Vietnam
A Conjectural View
Projects a postwar South Vietnam controlled by Hanoi's Communist regime. Reviewing the Lao Dong Party's past performance first, the author notes that goals of unification and national liberation were achieved through far-reaching purges of party enemies to establish collectivization. Communist objectives in the South might include development, consolidaton of political power, extraction of capital assets, reduction of disparity in wealth and living standards; but unprecedented problems are posed by (1) extraordinary dependence on U.S.-dollar-financed imports; (2) artificially high degree of urbanization; (3) monetization and commercialization of the countryside linking urban and rural economies. Given the postwar enforced austerity, reduced market output, and a need to feed the people, a Communist regime would increase its squeeze on the peasant, later moving toward revolutionary land reform, perhaps replaying the North's grim experience. The physical infrastructures serving the war effort would probably be dismantled and moved north.