Maoist economics and politics

Jared Israel: Philip writes Mao off as a "lampoon," calls him a radical nationalist and compares him to Ronald Reagan. In fact Mao solved the basic problem of how to socially transform China - a problem which eluded everyone before him. By doing that he frustrated plans of the US elite to use China as the basis of making this the American century.

Chinese Communist Party's early focus on urban proletariat left it vulnerable to Chiang Kai-shek and Nationalists...Mao's capture of party leadership and reorientation toward peasantry was important step in party's revolutionary potential...but initial line was radical agrarian reform - including land expropriation & organization of collectives - which threatened both upper and middle strata peasantry...his subsequent emphasis on 'winning over all possible allies' involved an appeal to middle strata - usury rates were reduced, progressive land tax implemented, and some large estates were redistributed in areas controlled by communists, but land of most upper stratum peasants was not confiscated...Mao often won over converts by showing captured government soldiers (usually of peasant origins) the positive effects of the agrarian reform and then releasing them with enough money to get back to their own homes and villages...subsequent mass peasant support enabled party to consolidate its position in the villages... at time of its 1949 victory, the Chinese Communist Party was quite representative of Chinese population: about 80% of party members were of peasant origin, of which about 75% were poor peasants and 25% were middle stratum....

revolutionary leaders do not make revolutions, at best, they select means of revolutionary action, determine revolutionary tactics and timing of implementation, and they may move course of movement a bit one way or another, but the movement's ends, strategy, and general direction are mostly beyond their control...Mao's genius - if I may call it that - was in adapting long-range objectives of revolution to immediate demands of masses (this was Lenin's genius as well)...

if Mao is a 'lampoon' (and to be honest, I have no idea what calling him such means), then we can use some more - one, two, three, many lampoons!...

Michael Hoover


On LBO-Talk Rakesh Bhandari wrote: "Has anyone read Stephen Andors' or John Gurley's defenses of Maoist economic strategy? Or Michel Chossudovsky's appraisal? Mark Selden's or Victor Nee's? From an impossible to get edition of Root and Branch: A Libertarian Marxist Journal 8, Bill Russell argues that Maoism was actually the Stalinist crash industrialisation programme adapted to China in which the State confronted the problem not only of seizing agricultural surplus but also producing it."

Other well-known Maoist economist's were Samir Amin and post 60's Joan Robinson (she wrote paeans to the Cultural Revolution and N.Korea after visiting