Gathered from Wikipedia, various websites, and my notes
First Five-Year Plan, 1953-57
Having restored a viable economic base, the leadership under Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and other revolutionary veterans was prepared to embark on an intensive program of industrial growth and socialization. For this purpose the administration adopted the Soviet economic model, based on state ownership in the modern sector, large collective units in agriculture, and centralized economic planning. The Soviet approach to economic development was manifested in the First Five-Year Plan (1953-57). As in the Soviet economy, the main objective was a high rate of economic growth, with primary emphasis on industrial development at the expense of agriculture and particular concentration on heavy industry and capital-intensive technology. Soviet planners helped their Chinese counterparts formulate the plan. Large numbers of Soviet engineers, technicians, and scientists assisted in developing and installing new heavy industrial facilities, including many entire plants and pieces of equipment purchased from the Soviet Union. Government control over industry was increased during this period by applying financial pressures and inducements to convince owners of private, modern firms to sell them to the state or convert them into joint public-private enterprises under state control.
Concrete problems of the First Five Year Plan
Though capitalism took years to evolve, other countries trying to utilize socialist means felt that they could catch up quickly
Inequalities between city and countryside
The 1st 5 yr. plan focused on heavy industry, which took place in cities
Unemployment in cities
Too many people try to get jobs in these funded factories, and their ends up being a serge of unemployment because of a flooding migrant population
Inadequate capital for continuing investment
China simply doesn’t have enough surplus capital to venture into new industry
Nor can the industries it invests in develop instant revenue – it takes hundreds of years to make heavy industry evolve to utilize its full potential
There needs to be a better use of labor power - - especially in the country side
So they tax the peasantry à exporting grain
Stages of Agricultural Collectivization:
Agriculture also underwent extensive organizational changes.
1) Mutual Aid Teams, 1953-54
To facilitate the mobilization of agricultural resources, improve the efficiency of farming, and increase government access to agricultural products, the authorities encouraged farmers to organize increasingly large and socialized collective units.
2) Elementary Agricultural Producers' Cooperatives, 1955-56
From the loosely structured, tiny mutual aid teams, villages were to advance first to lower-stage, agricultural producers' cooperatives, in which families still received some income on the basis of the amount of land they contributed, and eventually to advanced cooperatives, or collectives.
3) Advanced Agricultural Producers' Cooperatives, 1956-57
In the agricultural producers' cooperatives, income shares were based only on the amount of labor contributed. In addition, each family was allowed to retain a small private plot on which to grow vegetables, fruit, and livestock for its own use. The collectivization process began slowly but accelerated in 1955 and 1956. In 1957 about 93.5 percent of all farm households had joined advanced producers' cooperatives.
4) People's Communes, 1958 onward (The Great Leap Forward)
An economic and social plan used from 1958 to 1961 which ostensibly aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society through the process of agriculturalization, industrialization, and collectivization. Chief changes in the lives of rural Chinese included the introduction of a mandatory process of agricultural collectivization, which was introduced incrementally. Private farming was prohibited, and those engaged in it were labeled as counter revolutionaries and persecuted. Restrictions on rural people were enforced through public struggle sessions, social pressure, and violence.
Structural aspects and problems of the People's Communes
Built on collectives pre-established in countryside
Takes many of the collectives and binds them together in a huge scale à a commune
The first level is referred to as a production team
It was also a view of countryside politics à the commune leader would be the main leader, etc. à commune heads had lots of authority à everything was centrally planned
Work point system à points allocated for certain types of work
But some have more animals, better tools, and different types of quality of land
But the size of these units was mammoth
Too large for inexperienced leadership
Many are illiterate
Many also exaggerate their statistics because of competitive air with other rural leaders and the cities
Famine and its aftermath
Exaggerated numbers leaves little to no grain left in rural areas
Enthusiasm for the Great Leap Forward is dashed by feminine
But the communes are not dismantled à rather restructured
Their size is reduced
Production brigades still exist à along with production teams
Authority problems become easier to manage
Industry in countryside is never abandoned
People want to hear less about politics, but it continues in waves à Cultural Revolution
Mao à worries about creating a huge state bureaucracy
It creates a top heavy party of a different type than during the revolutionary period à when the revolutionary period party fought against a bureaucracy in the first place
Recreating systems of the past
Insulated technically specialize class
Divisions between bureaucrats and common citizens
Most highly educated take bureaucratic jobs
Engineering the soul
Focusing on developing a consciousness into the people to constantly combat inequality
Concrete manifestation of ideological “permanent revolution” leads to the institutional manifestation of people’s commune
the "lower" or "semi socialist" agricultural producers' cooperative (APC). An APC usually encompassed a small village or section of a village (twenty to forty households on average). Members of the APC pooled their lands and large agricultural tools and draft animals and worked the land together. A management committee kept records, usually measuring in daily "work points," of the amount of labor done by each family. At the end of a year, the crop and other income (after taxes had been paid and reserve funds had been subtracted) would be divided among the members of the APC according to the accumulated work points of each family and the land and tools they had contributed. Fifteen thousand APCs were established when the CCP began to encourage peasants to replace MATs with APCs at the end of 1953.
a Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader. He led the People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His theoretical contribution to Marxism-Leninism, military strategies, and his brand of Communist policies are now collectively known as Maoism.
Mao remains a controversial figure to this day, with a contentious and ever-evolving legacy. He is officially held in high regard in China as a great revolutionary, political strategist, military mastermind, and savior of the nation. Many Chinese also believe that through his policies, he laid the economic, technological and cultural foundations of modern China, transforming the country from an agrarian society into a major world power. Additionally, Mao is viewed as a poet, philosopher, and visionary, owing the latter primarily to the cult of personality fostered during his time in power. Mao's portrait continues to be featured prominently on Tiananmen and on all Renminbi bills.
Conversely, Mao's social-political programs, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, are blamed for costing millions of lives, causing severe famine and damage to the culture, society and economy of China. Mao's policies and political purges from 1949 to 1976 are widely believed to have caused the deaths of between 50 to 70 million people. Since Deng Xiaoping assumed power in 1978, many Maoist policies have been abandoned in favour of economic reforms.
Liu Shaoqi – Vice Chairman of the CCP
a Chinese revolutionary, statesman, and theorist. He was Chairman of the People's Republic of China, China's head of state, from 27 April 1959 to 31 October 1968, during which he implemented policies of economic reconstruction in China. He fell out of favour in the later 1960s during the Cultural Revolution because of his perceived 'right-wing' viewpoints and, it is theorised, because Mao viewed Liu as a threat to his power. He disappeared from public life in 1968 and was labelled China's premier 'Capitalist-roader' and a traitor.
From 1945 to his downfall in 1966, Liu ranked as the First Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1949, he was Vice Chairman of the Central People's Government, and later First Vice Chairman of the National People's Congress (1955-59). He succeeded Mao as Government Chairman (essentially President of the People's Republic of China) in 1958, and was publicly acknowledged as Mao's chosen successor in 1961.
Liu worked mainly in party organizational and theoretical affairs. An orthodox Soviet-style Communist, he favored state planning and the development of heavy industry. He was the first to announce the Great Leap Forward, at the Second Session of the 8th CCP National Congress, in May 1958, and together with Deng Xiaoping and Peng Zhen stood at odds with moderates led by Chen Yun and Zhou Enlai. The first indication of concern came at the August 1959 Lushan Plenum.
Amid growing disenchantment with Mao's Great Leap Forward, Deng and Liu gained influence within the CCP. They embarked on economic reforms that bolstered their prestige among the party apparatus and the national populace. Deng and Liu advocated more liberal economic policies, as opposed to Mao's radical ideas.
Halfway through the 1960s, however, Mao rebuilt his position in the Party and in 1966 he launched the Cultural Revolution as a means of destroying his enemies in the Party. Liu and Deng Xiaoping, along with many others, were denounced as "capitalist roaders." Liu was labeled as a "traitor," and "the biggest capitalist roader in the Party." In July 1966 he was displaced as Party Deputy Chairman by Lin Biao. By 1967 Liu and his wife Wang Guangmei were under house arrest in Beijing.
Deng Xiaoping – CCP General Secretary (after the Great Leap Forward); from 1978 onward, “supreme leader” (leader of the Reform Era)
a Chinese politician, statesman, theorist, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng became a reformer who led China towards a market economy. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (historically the highest position in Communist China), he nonetheless served as the Paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to the early 1990s.
As a supporter of Mao Zedong, Deng was named by Mao to several important posts in the new government.
After officially supporting Mao Zedong in his Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957, Deng became General Secretary of the Secretariat and ran the country's daily affairs with then President Liu Shaoqi. Having failed to advance the “social productive forces” in the Great Leap Forward through the “communist wind” and the “exaggeration wind”, Liu and Deng moved from an “ultra-leftist” approach to a “pragmatic” or right opportunist approach.
In the rural areas, they allowed the peasants to have bigger private plots and sell their outputs on free markets, diverting peasants’ labour effort away from the collective work. The collective work itself was partially privatised as a result of the “contracting production to the family” policy. This new partial privatisation had led to rising inequality among peasants as well as growing corruption among the rural cadres.
In the cities, the industrial sector was reorganised to concentrate power and authority in the hands of managerial and technical experts. Bonuses and piece rates were widely introduced to promote economic efficiency, leading to a rising economic and social inequality. Then, Deng and Liu used growing disenchantment with Great Leap Forward, and gained influence within the CCP. They embarked on economic reforms that bolstered their prestige among the party technocrats and apparatus bureaucrats. Deng and Liu advocated more rightist policies, as opposed to Mao's leftist ideas.
In 1961, at the Guangzhou conference, Deng uttered what is perhaps his most famous quotation: "I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice." This was interpreted to mean that being productive in life is more important than whether one follows a communist or capitalist ideology.
Improving relations with the outside world was the second of two important philosophical shifts outlined in Deng's program of reform termed Gaige Kaifang (lit. Reforms and Openness). The domestic social, political, and most notably, economic systems would undergo significant changes during Deng's time as leader. The goals of Deng's reforms were summed up by the Four Modernizations, those of agriculture, industry, science and technology and the military.
The strategy for achieving these aims of becoming a modern, industrial nation was the socialist market economy. Deng argued that China was in the primary stage of socialism and that the duty of the party was to perfect so-called "socialism with Chinese characteristics", and "seek truth from facts". (This somewhat resembles the Leninist theoretical justification of the NEP in the 20s, which argued that Russia hadn't gone deeply enough in to the capitalist phase and therefore needed limited capitalism in order to fully evolve its means of production) This interpretation of Maoism reduced the role of ideology in economic decision-making and deciding policies of proven effectiveness. Downgrading communitarian values but not necessarily the ideology of Marxism-Leninism himself, Deng emphasized that "socialism does not mean shared poverty". His theoretical justification for allowing market forces was given as such:
Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are both ways of controlling economic activity."
Unlike Hua Guofeng, Deng believed that no policy should be rejected outright simply because it was not associated with Mao. Unlike more conservative leaders such as Chen Yun, Deng did not object to policies on the grounds that they were similar to ones which were found in capitalist nations.
This political flexibility towards the foundations of socialism is strongly supported by quotes such as:
We mustn't fear to adopt the advanced management methods applied in capitalist countries (...) The very essence of socialism is the liberation and development of the productive systems (...) Socialism and market economy are not incompatible (...) We should be concerned about right-wing deviations, but most of all, we must be concerned about left-wing deviations.
Material and moral incentives
Big character posters – puts forward a political position – shows movement in CCP
handwritten, wall-mounted posters using large-sized Chinese characters, used as a means of protest, propaganda, and popular communication.
were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in China, who were mobilized by Mao Zedong in 1966 and 1967, during the Cultural Revolution.
the Cultural Revolution Group directed the Red Guards to attack the 'Four Olds' of Chinese society (old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas). For the rest of the year, Red Guards marched across China in a campaign to eradicate the 'Four Olds'. Old books and art was destroyed, museums were ransacked, and streets were renamed with new revolutionary names and adorned with pictures and the sayings of Mao. Many famous temples, shrines, and other heritage sites were attacked and, in total, 4,922 out of 6,843 were destroyed..
However, attacks on culture quickly descended into attacks on people. Ignoring guidelines in the 'Sixteen Articles' that stipulated that persuasion rather than force were to be used to bring about the Cultural Revolution, officials in positions of authority and perceived 'bourgeois elements' were denounced and suffered physical and psychological attacks. Intellectuals were to suffer the brunt of these attacks. Many were ousted from official posts such as university teaching and allocated manual tasks such as "sweeping courtyards, building walls and cleaning toilets from 7am to 5pm daily" which would encourage them to dwell on past "mistakes". An official report in October of 1966 reported that the Red Guards had already arrested 22000 'counterrevolutionaries'.
The Red Guards were also tasked with rooting out 'capitalist roaders' (those with supposed 'right wing' views) in positions of authority, This search was to extend to the very highest echelons of the CCP, with many top party officials, such as Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping and Peng Dehuai being attacked both verbally and physically by the Red Guards
By February 1967 political opinion at the centre had now decided on the removal of the Red Guards from the Cultural Revolution scene in the interests of stability. In February and March the People's Liberation Army (PLA) forcibly suppressed the more radical Red Guard groups in Sichuan, Anhui, Hunan, Fujian and Hubei provinces. Students were also ordered to return to schools, student radicalism was branded 'counterrevolutionary' and banned. However, in the spring, there was a wide backlash against the suppressions, with student attacks on any symbol of authority and PLA units. As a result, on September 5th 1967, an order from Mao himself, the Cultural Revolution Group, the State Council and the Central Military Affairs Committee of the PLA instructed the PLA to restore order to China.
PLA (People’s Liberation Army
The result of the unfettered criticism of established organs of control by China's exuberant youth was massive civil disorder, punctuated also by clashes among rival Red Guard gangs and between the gangs and local security authorities. The party organization was shattered from top to bottom. (The Central Committee's Secretariat ceased functioning in late 1966.) The resources of the public security organs were severely strained. Faced with imminent anarchy, the PLA--the only organization whose ranks for the most part had not been radicalized by Red Guard-style activities--emerged as the principal guarantor of law and order and the de facto political authority. And although the PLA was under Mao's rallying call to "support the left," PLA regional military commanders ordered their forces to restrain the leftist radicals, thus restoring order throughout much of China. The PLA also was responsible for the appearance in early 1967 of the revolutionary committees, a new form of local control that replaced local party committees and administrative bodies. The revolutionary committees were staffed with Cultural Revolution activists, trusted cadres, and military commanders, the latter frequently holding the greatest power.
a Chinese Communist military leader who was instrumental in the communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, especially in Northeastern China, and was the General who led the People's Liberation Army into Beijing in 1949. He abstained from becoming a major player in politics until he rose to prominence during the Cultural Revolution, climbing as high as second-in-charge and Mao Zedong's designated and constitutional successor and comrade-in-arms.
He died in a 'plane crash' in September 1971 in Mongolia after what appeared to be a failed coup to oust Mao. After his death, he was officially condemned as a traitor
Mao Zedong's designated successor as the paramount leader of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. Upon Zhou Enlai's death in 1976, he succeeded him as the second Premier of the People's Republic of China. Months later, Mao died, and Hua succeeded Mao as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, to the surprise and dismay of Jiang Qing and the rest of the Gang of Four. He brought the Cultural Revolution to an end and ousted the Gang of Four from political power, but because of his insistence on continuing the Maoist line, he was himself outmaneuvered a few years later by Deng Xiaoping, who forced Hua into early retirement. Hua, as Hunan Party Secretary, was credited for his 1968 use of the PLA to quell the red guards and restore order, though at the cost of many deaths.
The Gang of Four
The name given to a leftist political faction composed of four Chinese Communist Party officials. They came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and were subsequently charged with a series of treasonous crimes. The members consisted of Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's last wife and the leading figure of the group, and her close associates Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen.
The Gang of Four effectively controlled the power organs of the Communist Party of China through the latter stages of the Cultural Revolution, although it remains unclear which major decisions were made through Mao Zedong and carried out by the Gang, and which were the result of the Gang of Four's own planning. The Gang of Four, together with disgraced Communist general Lin Biao, were labeled the two major "counter-revolutionary forces" of the Cultural Revolution and officially blamed for the worst excesses of the societal chaos that ensued during the ten years of turmoil. Their downfall in a coup d'état on October 6, 1976, a mere month after Mao's death, brought about major celebrations on the streets of Beijing and marked the end of a turbulent political era in China.
The first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976 - Zhou was instrumental in the Communist Party's rise to power, and subsequently in the development of the Chinese economy and restructuring of Chinese society.
A skilled and able diplomat, Zhou served as the Chinese foreign minister from 1949 to 1958. Advocating peaceful coexistence with the West, he participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference and helped orchestrate Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China. Due to his expertise, Zhou was largely able to survive the purges of high-level Chinese Communist Party officials during the Cultural Revolution. His attempts at mitigating the Red Guards' damage and his efforts to protect others from their wrath made him immensely popular in the Revolution's later stages.
As Mao Zedong's health began to decline in 1971 and 1972, Zhou and the Gang of Four struggled internally over leadership of China. Zhou's health was also failing however, and he died eight months before Mao on 8 January 1976. The massive public outpouring of grief in Beijing turned to anger towards the Gang of Four, leading to the Tiananmen Incident. Deng Xiaoping, Zhou's ally and successor as Premier, was able to outmaneuver the Gang of Four politically and eventually take Mao's place as Paramount Leader.
First adopted in agriculture in 1981 and later extended to other sectors of the economy, by which local managers are held responsible for the profits and losses of the enterprise. This system partially supplanted the egalitarian distribution method, whereby the state assumed all profits and losses.
In traditional Maoist organization of the rural economy, and that of other collectivized programs, farmers are given a quota of goods to produce. They were compensated for meeting the quota. Going beyond the quota rarely produced a sizeable economic reward. In the early 1980s peasants were given drastically reduced quotas. What food they grew beyond the quota was sold on a free market at unregulated prices. This was an instant success, quickly causing one of the largest increases in standard of living for such a large number of people in such a very small space of time.
Village and township enterprises
TVEs are economic units which are either collectively owned by local
residents in the rural areas of China or mainly owned and controlled by the
peasants.3 The broad concept of TVEs includes, in addition to the
collectively-owned enterprises, other rural non-state enterprises such as the
enterprises owned and run by individual peasants
the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party. The democratic aspect of this organizational method describes the freedom of members of the political party to discuss and debate matters of policy and direction, but once the decision of the party is made by majority vote, all members are expected to uphold that decision. This latter aspect represents the centralism. As Lenin described it, democratic centralism consisted of "freedom of discussion, unity of action."
became the focus for democratic dissent. Beginning in December 1978, in line with the Communist Party of China's policy of "seeking truth from facts," activists in the Democracy movement — such as Xu Wenli — recorded news and ideas, often in the form of big-character posters (dazibao), during a period known as the "Beijing Spring". The first posting on the Wall was by a poet from Guizhou province, Huang Xiang. These activists were initially encouraged to criticize the Gang of Four and previous failed government policies as part of Deng Xiaoping's struggle to gain power but the wall was closed in December 1979 when the leadership and the communist party system were being criticized along with acknowledged mistakes and previous leaders. The shutdown coincided with suppression of political dissent. The Democracy Wall was moved to Ritan Park prior to being closed down. As visitors to the wall then had to show identification to enter the park, the open and free access to the wall was curtailed.
During the Beijing Spring, the general public was allowed greater freedom to criticize the government than the Chinese people had previously been allowed under the government of the People's Republic of China. Most of this criticism was directed towards the Cultural Revolution and the government's behavior during that time; it was made public with the Democracy Wall Movement.
Tiananmen Square Massacre
The Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, commonly referred to as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, were a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labor activists in the People's Republic of China between April 15 and June 4, 1989. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and voiced complaints ranging from minor criticisms to calls for full-fledged democracy and the establishment of broader freedoms. The demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large-scale protests ... occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which stayed peaceful throughout the protests. In Beijing, the resulting military crackdown on the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or injured.