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p. 634. An economy of “self-reliance”locked

  • Richard Curt Kraus


‘An economy of “self-reliance”’ assesses Maoist economic policies. China was traditionally poor but egalitarian. Disorder at the start of the Cultural Revolution caused decline, before stability enabled growth. The Cultural Revolution's rhetoric spoke of ‘self-reliance’ being the only alternative to capitalism, and the only way to deal with international isolation. Inequalities between urban and rural areas persisted, and the authorities exploited agriculture to fuel industrialization. The Cultural Revolution recognized the importance of human capital, and oversaw massive increases in female employment, public health, and education. Industrialization plans suffered from paranoia of foreign attacks. Despite this, Maoist modernizations laid the foundations for post-Revolutionary reforms.

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