People’s Utility Maximization Matters the Most Essay

Submitted By LuWang3
Words: 2018
Pages: 9

Economic191 ET Professor Alan Ebenstein
Due Mon 2/28/2011 Lu Wang(4583555) People’s Utility Maximization Matters the Most China’s Ideological Conservatism to Emphasis on Economic Development Karl Marx said that: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”(Reader96) He believed in the historical inevitability of a proletarian revolution against the bourgeoisies. And with the establishment of Soviet Union, the Marxism started to get practiced as the form of communism. In Marxist theory, communism is a specific stage of historical development that inevitably emerges from the development of the productive forces that leads to a superabundance of material wealth, allowing for distribution based on need and social relations based on freely-associated individuals(Wikipedia). People’s Republic of China, after Soviet Union, joined the communism system since 1949. Two countries, being the two biggest communistic countries in the world, have quite different experiences. Like what we talked about in the class, economic ideology and political system aren’t about philosophy, but more about the technique. What works will survive, and what can bring the people the highest standard of living will last. Seeing the disjoint of Soviet Union, we have to admit that till now, capitalism is still showing its advantage in economic productivity and communism hasn’t welcomed its right moment. But the economic progress China has done so far also shows that with better understanding of “ideology” and advances the Marxism with the times (i.e. practice what is good in Capitalism etc.) can also reach the same goal of improving people’s standard of living. This again, proved that ideology isn’t a problem we should entangle in. China, once, during 1950’s and late 1970’s, copied the public ownership system of Soviet Union and formed a “planned economy”. Though according to Marx, only public ownership of the means of production can, bring into existence a new system of productive relations based on production for common use rather than for private profit that will match the tremendous forces of production actually or potentially known to men.(William Ebenstein9) With a planned economy, the role of government was extremely strong, especially no private sector of economy was allowed back then. Everything was publicly owned, production activities were totally decided by the government rather than the market. And even stores were publicly owned, people could only get necessities by coupons (amount based on size of households) distributed by the government. And since all the economic developing policy made by the Chinese government at that time was based on the so-called Soviet Model, central decision makers decided to rapidly expand the heavy industry like the Soviet Union did. But the “new” China has just established in 1949, the whole country hadn’t recovered from the World War Two. Yet, Chinese political leaders were attracted by the Soviet Union experience and their ideologically sounded publicly ownership system(planned economy) and initiated plans that were so beyond China’s grasp. From late 1950’s to early 1960’s, a rapid industrialization started by Mao Ze Dong called “The Great Leap Forward” took place in China. During that time, Mao wanted to accelerate the pace of China’s economic growth by large-scale class struggle and massive labor mobilization. Mao encouraged the political activists to amalgamate China’s 700,000 collective farms into just 24,000 people’s communes with centralized accounting and hierarchy to achieve the economy of scale and, by doing so, virtually eliminated the “private plot” and income differences between villages within the commune.(Wei-Wei Zhang15) But during the Great Leap Forward, only quantities were appreciated, quality and variety were neglected. Output was at low quality and some of them