It is generally believed that the era of Mao Zedong was established from the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, that is when Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party under his leadership began to exercise power across the country until the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. It may be the continuous mass movement, especially the “Cultural Revolution,” that make make a lot of people think that time is a time of political turmoil and social chaos. In fact, we clearly see that during the continuous political campaign and even during the “Cultural Revolution” that lasted for 10 years, the state power has not been overthrown and remains firmly in the hands of the party. Authoritarianism still exists and has taken root in the vast land of China. “Serving the people” is the most lofty ideal of people in that era(Xu, 1993). Although economic construction suffered a number of setbacks, but still moved forward with gratifying results. The crimes of social order such as security, robbery and theft were the least in the history of the world. People help each other, treat each other sincerely, and corruption is extremely rare. China’s international status is constantly improving and its diplomatic achievements are getting richer(Xu, 1993). The paper believe that economic is a very important reason that enable China to thrive on authoritarianism, Although centralized political stability belongs to the lower level of adaptive stability, it is necessary and most effective at that time. While with economic and social development, such system shows its weakness and inadequacy, and it starts to constrain the economic development(Chen,2004). The paper believe in 21 century, the system could be a barrier for economic development of China and it is unlikely to replace leading position of U.S. in near future. The paper will look into how authoritarianism assist the economic development in the first place and then see how it constrain the economic development.
Marxism emphasizes that economy determines politics, and the economic foundation decides the superstructure(He, 2008). In modern society, economic development is the universal goal of all countries, an important way for the modern ruling party to obtain the legitimacy of the political power, and it also provides the foundation and guarantee for political stability. Therefore, the economic situation has become a potential barometer of political stability. After taking office, the Chinese Communist Party attaches great importance to economic development and has adopted a series of economic policies and measures to develop its productive forces and raise its economic level.
1. Rectify the economic order and restore and develop the national economy
After the founding of New China, the national economy was facing a severe situation of severe recession and overall shrinkage. Agricultural production cuts, factory closures, scarce supplies, skyrocketing prices have seriously affected social stability(Wong, 1996). Some people are skeptical of the ability of the Communist Party to manage the economy, while others simply do not believe that the Communist Party will manage the economy well. They said that “the Communist Party has scored a military mark of 80 in politics and zero in the economy.” Faced with such a grim situation, the CPC Central Committee has made stabilizing prices its central task in stabilizing the economy, stabilizing the society and stabilizing the people’s hearts. The implementation of these policies and measures effectively stabilizes the national economic order and promotes the full recovery and development of the national economy, fundamentally providing conditions for political and social stability.
- Carry out the land reform movement and mobilize the enthusiasm of peasants
The feudal land system of old Chinese was extremely unreasonable. Feudal landlords and rich peasants exploited and oppressed a large number of peasants with the vast amount of land they owned. This is the root cause of the aggression, oppression and backwardness of the Chinese nation. It is a basic obstacle to the independence, unity and prosperity of the country. If this situation is not completely changed, the victory of the Chinese people’s revolution can not be consolidated, the productive forces in the countryside can not be liberated, and the industrialization of New China can not be realized. In the course of the People’s War of Liberation, land reform in our country, with more than 100 million inhabitants, eliminated feudal exploitation. However, land reform has not yet been implemented in the vast number of newly liberated areas with a population of 300 million(Wong, 1996). Therefore, after the founding of new republic of China, the party central committee formulated the land reform policy in time and carried out the land reform movement. Due to the implementation of land reform, all sectors of the New District have responded well to this policy. Land reform is a great struggle to eradicate feudal exploitation of land ownership and is the most significant and radical reform of the land system in Chinese history for thousands of years. Through the land reform, the peasants truly became the masters of the economy, and the enthusiasm for production was greatly enhanced, so that the agricultural productivity was greatly rescued.
- Preliminary establishment of modern industrial system
Before the founding of new republic of China, due to the oppression of imperialism and feudalism, the modern industry was small in scale, low in level and incomplete in structure. After the founding of New China, the party was deeply concerned about the backward state of industry and was profoundly aware that to develop economy and consolidate power, one must vigorously develop industry and give priority to the development of heavy industry. On July 5, 1951, Liu Shao-ch’i pointed out: “As long as there is no eruption of the Third World War, the task of economic construction will remain unchanged. Without a war broke out in 20 to 30 years, our task has always been economic construction, China’s Industrialization. “(Wong, 1996) In September 1953, Zhou Enlai said:” Heavy industry is the basis of industrialization in our country. Without heavy industry, we can not supply all kinds of equipment, machinery, electricity, etc. required by the industry. “(Wong, 1996) In June 1954, At the 30th meeting of the government committee, when talking about the necessity and importance of developing heavy industry, Chairman Mao also vividly said: “What can we create now? We can make table chairs, tea bowls and teapots,.However, we can not produce even a car, a plane, a tank, a tractor.” In order to develop the economy and increase its national strength, the Chinese Communist Party regards the development of industry as the most important task in economic activities. From 1953 onwards, the first five-year plan centered on the development of heavy industry began. In the Maoist era, the share of industrial output in the gross industrial and agricultural output increased from 30% to 72%, reflecting the fact that China has shifted from a agriculture country into a more industrialized country. From 1952 to 1976, China’s steel output increased from 1.3 million tons to 23 million tons; coal rose from 66 million tons to 448 million tons(Martin,1993); its power generation increased from 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours to 133 billion kilowatts; crude oil increased from an actual value of zero To 84 million tons; the output of fertilizers increased from 200,000 tons to 28 million tons; the output of cement increased from 2.9 million tons to 49.3 million tons(Martin,1993). The initial formation of a more complete industrial system has provided good material foundation and economic security for political stability.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic China in 1949, the state has controlled the vast majority of scarce resources in Chinese society. The most important of these are employment opportunities and access to the necessities of life. By controlling these scarce resources, the state controls all social life, including economic activities, cultural and educational activities, people’s daily life and even private life. Under such a system, the state’s economic functions were extremely expanded and highly controlled by the society(Martin,1993). As the socialist revolution eliminated the economic basis for the independent living of the people, it completed the urban industrial and commercial transformation in mainland China and after the individual handicrafts are collectivized, the foundation of such a system is basically established. Establishing such a system has its own rationality. The highly centralized political management mode and the planned economic system have sufficient authority to facilitate the pooling of limited talents , financial resources for the development and development of an important industrial field. In the early days of the founding of New China, due to the complicated work and sharp struggles in various fields, it was necessary to unite the pace and concentrate its efforts. By unifying the command and deployment of social resources, the state ended the chaotic situation of “disunity” in the national economy before the founding of the People’s Republic.
Political stability in the era of Mao Zedong was a centralized form of stability based on a planned economy. Such stability adapted to the objective requirements at that time and was the inevitable choice of history. The establishment of a centralized political system is the preferred development strategy after the nation-state was established. This is because the primary task of the nation-state after its independence is to strengthen its central power so that the central government’s ordinance smooth and a value system universally accepted by the people and conducive to the development of the country. The political stability in the era of Mao Zedong is of great significance for the initiation of China’s modernization. In addition, at that time, China was in a very special political situation. The international ideological struggle was fierce. Capitalism was extremely hostile to socialism. The domestic economy was “poor and bad”. It just emerged from the old semi-feudal and semi-colonial society. Various social forces are not fully integrated. Under such circumstances, power needs to be concentrated in order to stabilize the political and social order. Because Mao Zedong had the incomparable political charisma of other people at that time, he had absolute authority over the control of power. Coupled with the cultural tradition of “rule by one person rather than the rule of law” in China, there is no objection to the personalization of political power. Under the influence of many factors, political stability in Mao Zedong’s era was based on the fact that the power was highly concentrated on the leader’s individual.
This was a flaw that the centralized politics could not overcome. Centralized politics has enabled the state to exercise superb control over the society, leading to the shrinking of social autonomy and lack of vitality(He, 2008). The political system has also shown a rigid side and is therefore a near-static low-level stability. Especially in the late Mao Zedong era, due to the excessive concentration of political power, such defects were made more obvious(He, 2008). The cause of socialism suffered a serious setback and the degree of political stability also gradually declined. Such centralized politics also hinders the development in nowadays.
According to the World Bank announcement, the per capita GDP of the United States in 2013 was $ 52,248, while the per capita GDP of China was $ 6,629. In 2014, the per capita income of the United States was $ 430,171 and that of China was $ 7,476 (Naughton,2007). As can be seen from the above two sets of figures, the gap between the economic levels of China and the United States is undoubtedly enormous.
However, the gap between China and the United States is not only reflected in World Bank statistics. It is also reflected in the value of GDP. Since the rapid economic growth in China in the early 1980s and due to the true market economy is far from being shaped, the main feature of the national economic structure is problematic: first, too many large state-owned enterprises that rely on monopoly of state resources and energy and are protected by government policies and financial subsidies; second, too many low-level redundant construction project, and competitive strength in the international market is too weak, too many low value-added products and technology, too many “Clone” business; Third, completely dependent on foreign core technology, too many joint venture company basically stuck in the processing level. There are only a few high-tech company, which resides in the upper reaches of the global industrial chain, with strong competitiveness and risk-resistant ability.Although the GDP has soared in all three decades, the value of it has been at a very low level(Naughton,2007).
Judging from the status of China’s Manufacturing Industry, the present situation of China’s National Economy and the value of GDP: Manufacturing has always been the pillar industry of the big-nation economy. However, a long period of low-level redundant construction has made the value added of China’s products very low nowadays. It can only rely on too many enterprises that “clone” others’ products and rely on cheap sales and vicious competition. They rely solely on foreign core technologies and too many joint ventures stays at the material processing level. Because of this, China’s manufacturing industry has long been in a low-profit or even loss status. For example, in 2014, 260 manufacturing enterprises ranked among the top 500 Chinese enterprises with operating income totaling 23 trillion yuan, but net profit totaled only 462.3 billion yuan. 260 large-scale manufacturing enterprises with a net profit of 462.3 billion yuan a year means only more than one-third of the annual profits of China’s 17 state banks(Naughton,2007). In the same year, the revenue of 17 state-owned banks in China totaled 5,500.2 billion yuan while their net profit was as high as 1,220 billion yuan(Naughton,2007).
The severe backwardness of the manufacturing technology (even less so in business management) led China to lag far behind the United States, Japan and many western countries in terms of high-tech digital electronics and internationally renowned brands , even far left behind South Korea . As a result, the long-standing paranoia many people can not change until now: the market for high-end electronic, computer and digital products in the Chinese market is almost entirely monopolized by the United States, Japan, Europe and South Korea.
A member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) once used the term “bloody” to describe the phenomenon of manufacturing in China: “Most of the core components in China’s domestic appliance brands are from overseas. Automobiles, computers and the like which are generally regarded as highly profitable industries and almost all face with exploitation of foreign technologies.Chinese enterprises consume huge amounts of energy and suffer huge pollution with the cheapest labor force in the world. Foreigners who master core technologies can sign off with a piece of paper technology contracts and bring more than half of Chinese enterprises hard-earned money(Myers,2003).
Under the conditions of the ever-increasing degree of global economic integration and the economic and trade war is becoming an unlimited World war without smog, the competition between countries and countries has largely become the dispute between transnational corporations and multinational corporations. Therefore, whether a country can win the fierce competition is a crucial factor.
On the contrary, the United States, Although its economic growth has been very low, due to the highly mature and sound market economy and the rule of law environment, the national economy has a reasonable industrial structure and a high degree of intensiveness. There are also too many companies that similar to Boeing, Apple, Microsoft Cisco, Oracle, Intel, Pfizer, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Chevron, Nike, Hollywood, NBA, Disneyland, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, McDonalds and KFC which resides in the upper reaches of the global industrial chain with strong international competitiveness and Anti-risk ability, has the ability to win huge profits in domestic market at the same time very profitable in the world. For example, in 2014, 128 United States companies ranked among Fortune 500 companies and almost all of them were such companies.
The huge disparity between China and the United States is far beyond the visible economic statistics and the overall national strength that can be felt everywhere.The United States is universally recognized as a powerful nation but the most powerful strength in the United States is not that it has a vast and unique geographical environment, land or resources, nor is it having a large number of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, intercontinental missiles and the most powerful military in the world, nor because it has great companies such as Boeing, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, Pfizer, JPMorgan, IBM, Chevron, Nike, Hollywood, NBA, Disneyland, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, McDonalds, KFC etc. but because it has a strong self-correcting mechanism designed by the nation’s predecessors; rather, it has a talent that will allow great talents such as Edison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, as well as many Nobel Prize winners, to be given full play, enables all kinds of elite talents and students all over the world to flock to such great companies as Boeing, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, Pfizer, JPMorgan Chase, International Business Machines, Chevron, Nike and Hollywood, With a population of 5% of the world’s population, it has an excellent cultural environment of nearly 45% of the world’s economic productivity and 40% of high-tech products. What is more, it has a social environment that can live well both rich and poor, all this is something that the United States has been crafting over the two hundred years sincerely and paying too much effort,In this way, China still have a long way to go.
Although centralized political stability belongs to the lower level of adaptive stability, it is necessary and most effective at the early time. With economic and social development, centralization-style stability will inevitably require a democratic transition. It is also in the post-Mao era that Deng Xiaoping repeatedly emphasized the need to carry out the political restructuring and change the over-concentration of power(Chen,2004). While with economic and social development, such system shows its weakness and inadequacy, and it starts to constrain the economic development. The system could be a barrier for economic development of China and it is unlikely to replace leading position of U.S. in near future.
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