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Why did Mao use political mobilization to prevent inefficiency and slack?

Why did Mao use political mobilization to prevent inefficiency and slack?


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China just followed the Soviet Union model and inevitably encountered the same problems that socialist countries all suffered in the 1950s and 1960s. That is the lack of incentives of people and the waste of resources which are closely explained in János Kornai's book: The Socialist System The Political Economy Of Communism.

Mao realized the shortage of the planned economy and mobilized the population to conquer the difficulties but it backfired and led to two disasters: The Great Leap(including the following famine) and the cultural revolution.

Did he have the only option? Why there would be no better solutions for him?


I learned from China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed that there are three solutions to the drawbacks of a socialist economy:

  1. rely on the experts and scientific management;
  2. import market as a supplement to the planned economy;
  3. use political mobilization and promote party leadership and hard work

Mao chose the third one because

  1. he had tried that in Manchuria and won the civil war against the Nationalist;
  2. the first approach may need the party to yield/cede authority to the technical specialists;
  3. the second approach would provide the educated elites a ladder to their positions, threatening their status finally. (refer to this case)


Watch the video: Political thoughts of Mao Zedong. Quick Review. 14 (May 2022).