Land Reform Was a Necessary Evil

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Socialist Foundations
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'Yesterday's misfortunes might become the good fortunes of today.'

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<p>I will speak precisely. Political autocracy, various monopolies in basic infrastructure and resources, and the freedom and openness of labor intensive industries and the export processing industry, are the reasons for the success of China's 30 years of reform. Because, at this very time, the world underwent a process of globalized division of labor, and China capitalized on the opportunity. But, of course, it brought about some of the disadvantages that we experience today. There's a Laozi saying, &quot;The good fortunes of the past might become the misfortunes of today and yesterday's misfortunes might become the good fortunes of today.&quot; So, we can say that the land reform that took place 30 years before the Reform and Opening was very brutal and unjust, there were a number of unreasonable factors behind it. But, without the land reform at the end of the 40s and 50s and the communalization later on, which was, in effect, a nationalization, how could you have had the economic reform of the past 30 years with a large amount of cheap land resources? Whatever you call it, whether a coincidence, or that generation's ambition, with the land nationalized, when reform came, the land became a low cost factor of production, it became an advantage that China had in its economic boom. At the same time, if so many peasants were still like they were thousands of years ago, with one piece of land per household, it's hard to make them give it up. So I say, the land reform and communalization was painful and maybe disastrous at the time, but it became a good basis for the 30 years of reform.</p>
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Chen Ping explains how the land reform and subsequent communalization under Mao, while painful at the time, served as a basis for China's future economic development.