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A Late Maoist Industrial Revolution? Economic Growth in Jiangsu Province (1966–1978)

  • Chris Bramall (a1)

According to the conventional wisdom, the promise of the Chinese revolution of 1949 went unfulfilled in the Maoist era. Instead of taking off, the economy grew slowly, and widespread rural poverty persisted. The economic turning point was instead the famous political climacteric of 1976–78. But this metric of aggregates is the wrong criterion by which to judge China's economic record because industrial revolutions have regional beginnings. They invariably take place against a backcloth of slow aggregate growth and stagnant material living standards. Accordingly, we should dwell neither on China's slow overall growth nor its widespread poverty before 1978 but look instead for evidence of an emerging regional growth pole. This article argues that Jiangsu was such a growth pole in the late Maoist era, and that its record bears comparison with that of Lancashire and Yorkshire during the early years of Britain's industrial revolution. This holds out the intriguing possibility that a Chinese economic take-off, diffusing out of the Yangtze Delta, would have occurred even without post-1978 policy changes.

根据传统的智慧, 1949 年中国革命的诺言在毛派时代没有实现。经济增长缓慢, 农村贫困现象普遍存在, 而不是起飞。经济转折点相反是著名的政治革命 1976–78 的。但是, 由于工业革命具有地区性的开端, 这一指标是判断中国经济记录的错误标准。工业革命总是在 背景缓慢的总体增长和停滞不前的物质生活水平的情况下进行。因此, 我们不应该对中国在 1978 年之前的缓慢的总体增长和普遍的贫困问题不谈, 而是要寻找一个新兴的区域增长极的证据。本文认为, 江苏是毛派时代晚期的一个增长极, , 它的记录与兰开夏和约克郡的历史比较在英国工业革命初期. 即使没有后 1978 年的政策改变,从长江三角洲出来,中国经济起飞将要发生.

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