THE RURAL PEOPLE'S COMMUNES IN SHANDONG PROVINCE, 1958-1965 A MODEL OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT by ) MA SEN M.A. , Taiwan Normal University, 1959 Doctorate Candidate, University de Paris, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology University of British Columbia We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 1977 Ma Sen, : 1977 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i sh Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i lab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis f o r scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thesis fo r f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of Anthropology and Sociology The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date 30 December 1977 ABSTRACT This study examines the movement to establish and consolidate rural people's communes in China during the period 1958-1965. It concentrates on the development and consolidation of people's communes in the northern province of Shandong. The thesis argues that there are two trends in contemporary theories of Third World Development. One sees the development of Third World countries as a process of economic moves through adoption of advanced western technology and by the trans-formation of social institutions according to the features of ideal type of the western model. The other suggests that the development of Third World countries is not merely a process of economic growth, but is conditioned both by their respective historical backgrounds and the world-system. It is argued that China subscribes to the latter version of development theory. It is suggested that, historically, Chinese society followed a particular path of development. The western impact on China gradually brought about the disintegration of the traditional society. Chinese development strategy after 1949, especially after the establishment of the people's communes, is distinctive and differs not only from the dominant mode of development in China's past, but also from the modes in advanced societies of western Europe and North America, and the Third World in general. The people's commune is considered as possessing an identifiable structure and subject to a process of growth and change. Its development is seen as a response to basic economic realities and also, to an important degree, to human decision-making. It is argued that the commune system is at the center of China's strategy for rural development. Within the context of Shandong, the development of the people's commune is seen through an analysis of agricultural production, local industry, building of water conservancy, as well as changes in family institutions. The analysis of this study shows that the characteristics of the development of the people's communes during 1958-1965 manifest in two major aspects. First, development planning aims at resolving certain peasant problems which are a heritage of the traditional mode of economic development in China, and to fulfill modernization and some specific ideolo-gical goals. Secondly, the development of the people's communes helps to retain the traditional structure of rural community. The latter is essentially found in the features of self-control and self-sufficiency in political and economic life in the people's communes, and also in the development of human relations. The major sources of this study consist of documentary research, i .e. , Chinese local and national newspapers of the period under study, and magazines of the same period. Interviews of Emigres were also used as supplementary sources. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page Abstract ii List of 11 lustrations ix Preface and Acknowledgments xiii Chinese Units Used in This Thesis xvi Note on Transliteration xvii Chronology of the Commune Movement xviii One Introduction 1 I The Methodology of This Study 2-20 A . Method of Data Selection 20 B. Method of Analysis 23 II The Objective and Scope of This Study 24 A . The Objectives of This Study 24 B. The Limitations of This Study 24 C. The Organization of this Study. 27 Two An Approach to Chinese Society from the Historical Perspective 29 I The Traditional Stage (Before 1840) 29 A . Political Structure 38 B. Mode of Production 39 C. Values and Goals 41 II The Transitional Stage (1840-1949) 43 III The Socialist Stage (1949 Onward) 45 Three The People's Commune Movement in China 49 I The Prelude to the People's Commune Movement 49 V Table of Contents - continued Chapter Page II The Evolution of the System of the People's Commune 62 A . The First Stage - Period of Confusion - April 1958 to December, 1958 62 B. The Second Stage - Period of Crisis - January 1959 to July 1959 68 C. The Third Stage - Period of Regression - August 1959 to August 1962 71 D. The Fourth Stage - Period of Consolidation -September 1962 to 1965 73 III Summary 75 Four General Background for the Rural Economy in Shandong Before the Establishment of the People's Communes , 78 1 I Geographical 0and Historical. .Background 78 II Recent History in Shandong and Theoretical Interpretations of Economic Development 84 A. Recent History in Shandong 84 1. Invasion of imperialistic powers 85 2. Peasant rebellions 86 3. Acceleration of class polarization 87 4. Civil wars 89 B. Theoretical Interpretations of Economic Development 90 III On the Eve of Communization in Shandong 96 Five Structure of the People's Commune (1) : Organization and Leadership.. 105 I Size 105 II Organization 113 A . Administrative Organization 115 B. Party Control 117 III Leadership 121 A . Definition and Categorization of Leaders 121 B. Functions of Party Leaders and Administrative Leaders 126 C. Social Origin and Emergence of Leaders 129 D. Procedure of Becoming Leaders 133 E. Disciplines of Cadres 135 F. Methods in Leading 136 vi Table of Contents - continued Chapter. Page G . Shortage of Rural Leaders 141 H. Morale Maintenance of the Rural Leaders 143 IV Socialist Education 145 A . Definition 145 B. Policy 146 C. Principle 147 D. Methods 148 V Summary 154 Six Structure of the People's Commune (II) : Ownership and Management... 158 I Ownership 158 A . Public Ownership (gong-you) 158 B. Collective Ownership and Ownership by the Whole People.... 161 C . Three Level Ownership With the Production Brigade as the Foundation 166 D. Three Level Ownership With the Production Team as the Foundation 170 E. An Example of Ownership 172 II Management 175 A . Units of Management 176 1. Three level management with emphasis on the commune.... 176 2. Three level management with emphasis on the production brigade and production team 182 0. summary 190 B. Methods of Management 191 C. Summary 200 Seven Structure of the People's Commune (III) : Accounting and Distribution... 201 I Accounting 201 A . Basic Unit of Accounting 201 B. How was Accounting Done? 204 1. How was the accounting system practically set up in the people's commune? 204 2. The accounting scheme 205 C. An Example of Accounting 209 vii Table of Contents - continued Chapter Page II Distribution 211 A . Policies 211 1. First phase 211 2. Second phase 215 B. Work-Point System 216 1. "Basic point" system (di-fen-zhi) 217 2. "Norms of Work" system (ding-e zhi) 218 3. Dazhai system 220 4. An example of work-point system 221 C. A Few Remarks Concerning the Distribution 222 D. Examples of Remuneration (two case studies) 230 1. Comparison of remuneration between East Hao Production Team and West Hao Production Team of the Yingzi People's Commune, Linju County. 230 2. Peasant remuneration of the Second Production Team of the Caopo Brigade 232 III Conclusion of the Structure of the People's Commune 235 A . Utilization of the Pre-Existing Structure 236 B. Structural Differences Between the Commune and the Advanced Cooperative 236 C. A Significant Feature of the Commune System 238 Eight Local Industrialization 239 I Industrial Backgrounds in Shandong 239 A . Industrial History 239 B. Development of the Local Industry Before the Establishment of the People's Commune 242 II An Upsurge in the Building of Local Industry (1958-1959) 245 A . Policies 245 B. High Tide of Xian-she Industry - Five Case Studies 248 III The Ebbing of Local Industry (1960-1962) 262 A . New Contradictions versus Old Contradictions 262 1. Competition for the labor force between local industry and agriculture 263 2. Waste of capital investment 265 3. Quantitative pursuit of local industry 265 4. Multiple movements dispersing human force 266 5. Confusion of leadership in the industrial enterprises 267 B. De-emphasis on Local Industry 268 C. Limitations Imposed on Local Industry 269 viii Table of Contents - continued Chapter Page IV The Changing Direction of Local Industry (1963-1965) 271 A . The Spread of Technical Groups 271 B. Mechanization. 273 C. Sideline Production 275 1. Collective Sideline Production 276 2. Household and individual sideline production 278 V Summary 280 Nine Water Conservancy 283 I Construction of Water Conservancy in Shandong 283 A . Natural Conditions 283 B. Construction by the Masses 287 C. Efforts of the State 294 II Construction of Water Conservancy in Three Production Brigades of the Gufengtai People's Commune, Yishui County : A Case Study on Labor Accumulation 297 A . Construction of Water Conservancy and Field Works in Three Production Brigades (Zhangjiarongren, Shagou and Xiwangzhuang) 297 B. Utilization of Underemployed Labor Force 298 C. Labor Accumulation and Members' Income Distribution 304 1. Financial responsibility for basic construction 304 2. Labor employment for basic construction and income distribution 306 D. Significance of Labor Accumulation in the Development of the Rural Economy 309 E. Summary 311 III Construction of Water Conservancy in the Xia Dingjia Production Brigade, Da Lujia People's Commune, Huang County : A Case Study on Water Conseryancy 312 A . Physical Setting 312 B. Construction of Water Conservancy 313 C. Basic Construction of Field Works 314 D. Ref orestat ion 316 E. Other Measures for Increasing Output 316 F;. Result of the Water Conservancy and Field Works - Increased Output in Agriculture and Sideline Production 319 G . Investment in Water Conservancy and Field Works 320 H. Driving Force Behind the Scene 322 i x Table of Contents - continued Chapter Page IV Summary 324 Ten Economic Development in the People's Communes (Three Case Studies) 328 I The Case of Xiyou People's Commune, Ye County 328 A . Economic Development 328 1. Basic construction, commune industry and mechanization.... 328 2. The technical revolution 330 3. Development of agricultural production and improvement of members' income 332 B. Social Development 333 1. Welfare and health services 333 2. Education 333 3. Change in leadership 334 C. Significance of the Commune System in the Socioeconomic Development of the Xiyou Commune 336 II The Case of Dongguo Production Brigade, Lingcheng People's Commune, Qufu County 338 A . Focus in Promoting Agricultural Production 338 1. Improving field conditions 338 2. Improving crop strains 339 B. Results of the Agricultural Output 340 C. Dongguo Brigade as a Model 341 III The Case of Taojiakuang Brigade, The Municipality People's Commune of the Weihai Municipality 342 A . Multiple Managements with Grain Production as Foundation... 342 B. The "Directed Development" and the People's Commune 344 Eleven Social Development in the People's Commune : Changes and Continuity in Family Structure 347 I Family and Household 347 II Kinship Network 351 III Marriage 353 A . Age of Marriage 353 B. Betrothal 354 C. Wedding 359 XII List of Illustrations - continued Tables Page 9.8 Income of Households by Strength of Laborers for 1964 in the Second Production Team, Xiwangzhuang Brigade 308 9.9 Comparison of Output in the Three Brigades Between 1957 and 1964 310 9.10 Comparison of Reserve Funds Between 1957 and 1964 in the Three Brigades 311 9.11 Comparison of Per Unit Yield by Crops, Soil Condition and Field Work in Xia Dingjia Brigade 315 9.12 Per Unit Output of Food Grains in Xia Dingjia Brigade from 1959 to 1964 in Comparison with That of 1957 319 10.1 Comparison of Elementary and Middle School Graduates Between 1949 and 1960 in Houlu Brigade 334 Charts 5.1 Organizational Division of Xingfu People's Commune 119 5.2 Organizational Division of Taiqian People's Commune (Shouzhang County) 120 Maps Map 1 Shandong Province (showing topography) 79 Map 2 Shandong Province (showing counties) 85 xiii r -PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In speaking of the Chinese people's communes, one of the first western researchers to have been interested in this subject has said: "Over a fifth of mankind live in people's communes. To turn a blind eye to such a social organism is to deny a primary fact of twentieth-century life. " (Crook, 1965 : xi). However, the difficulty of access to field investigation in China did not facilitate the outsider sociologists and anthropologists in their task of collecting system-atic data at first hand during the first years of the people's communes. Only in the last few years wlhen China has become relatively more open than before and when documentary data about the people's communes has been accumulated abroad, have outsiders been able to undertake research on the commune movement. Among the researches of the Chinese commune, attention has been one-sidedly concentrated on one province, Guangdong, at the expense of all others, due to the unequal availability of data by geographical areas. In order to have a better under-standing of the commune movement and system in China, it is strongly desirable to extend the studies'to as large an area as possible. With its natural and historical idiosyncrasies, each province can add some particularities in some aspects to the common pool of know-ledge about the communes. The difficulty of data collection is indeed an obstacle to studying the less accessible areas, but it is nevertheless not insurmountable. This study is an attempt to scrutinize one area which has not so far been touched in this connection, in the hope that it will be a contribution to the common knowledge of the commune movement. Ir is no exaggeration to say that ail results of research come from the direct and indirect contribution and efforts of many people. Without the support of a multi-tude of institutions and the wise advice and kind help of a host of people, this disserta-tion could not have been completed. First I should like to express my gratitude to those institutions that have sup-ported me in various domains: The Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the University of British Columbia has provided me with an adequate training in sociology; the Department of Asi:an Studies of the same University has resolved my financial prob-lem's by kindly offering me some courses to teach during my sociological study; the Canada Council granted me a fellowship which made my fieldwork possible; and the Universities Service Center and the Union Research Institute of Hong Kong have both helped me greatly in my data collection. Secondly, I am deeply indebted to many professors of the University of British Columbia and a large number of friends. I owe a great deal to Dr. Grahem E. Johnson, the chairman of my dissertation committee, who has not only directed my study, but has also listened patiently to my complaints during my moments of frustration. I should also mention his kindness in making available to me his private library. I must express my thanks to Dr. Yun S. Chang, Dr. Tissa Fernando, Dr. Edgar Wickberg and Dr. Marwin Samuel who have all given me invaluable critical comments and suggestions, helping me greatly to shape the direction of this dissertation. To' two professors I owe a special intellectual debt. Professor Michael Ames brought me closer to the contemporary thought of social science, including both conservative and radical. Professor Cyril Belshaw has incessantly encouraged fne to think independently and has helped me a great deal in shaping my own thinking in the theory of development. I cannot forget , XV Dr. William Willm'ott who was the one who encouraged students of social science to use their imaginations and to rid themselves, of academic narrowness in thinking and outlook. My friends, Dr. Jan Walls of the University of British Columbia, Dr. Lee Yun-kuang and Professor Meng Chuang-ming of the Hong Kong Chinese University, Professor Chuang Shen of the Hong Kong University, and Mr. Wang Ching-hsi, Director and Publisher of the "Perspective Review" and Literary Publishing House in Hong Kong deserve my thanks for offering me additional information, and their concern for and encouragement of my research work. My thanks are also due to Mr. John Dolfin, Director, Mr. Lau Yee-fui, librarian, and other staff members of the Universities Service Center in Hong Kong for their having facilitated my research during my fieldwork. I should like to thank my friend Roger Langford for his patience in sitting down with me to read my manuscript and to polish my English, and Mrs. Ellen Moore for her kind help in typing the manuscript. Finally, I feel grateful to so many people who have helped me and encouraged me in the undertaking of this study in different ways, and only regret that space does not permit me to name them all. By mutual agreement I cannot mention the names of my informants, although I would like to express my gratitude to them. Last but not least I thank Annick, who has kindly taken the entire charge of our children to permit me to be free in my research. Needless to say, I alone am responsible for all errors and imperfections of this study. xv i CHINESE UNITS USED IN THIS STUDY II Governmental Administration: Sheng Xian Shi Xiang Zhen Curi> or Zhuang II Communal Units: Ren-min gong-she Sheng-chan da-dui Sheng-chen xiao-dui Province County Municipality Township Town Village People's commune Production brigade Production team Measurement: MU.J -, ?" 6 mu = 1 acre Jin 15 mu = 1 hectare 1.1 pounds 0.5 kilograms IV Currency: Yuan U.S.$ 0.382 (February 1965 official exchange rate) xvii Note on transliteration: The transliteration of Chinese words, whether they are names or special terms used in this study, is in the pin-yin system, except for a few well-known names such as Mao Tse-tung and Peking. The reasons for using pin-yin instead of other systems are manifold. First, with pin-yin the pronunciation of the Chinese words will be more accurate than with other systems. Second, pin-yin is the official system of latinizing the Chinese language in China and has been adopted by almost all the Chinese language teachers in the world (except in Taiwan) in teaching Chinese. The students who have some interests in China will certainly know this system better than others in the future. Third, in Europe most of the newly published books have used pin-yin to transliterate Chinese words. In North America, there are also a few students of China who have begun to adopt pin-yin in their published works. Therefore, it is worthwhile promoting the utilization of pin-yin to gradually replace the other less accurate systems. However, in order to help the readers who are not familiar with this system, the corresponding transliteration in Wade-Giles will be added in the glossary. CHRONOLOGY OF THE COMMUNE MOVEMENT April, 1958 August 3-13, 1958 August ,17-30, 1958 End of August, 1958 September 1, 1958 September 10, 1958 November 2-10, 1958 November 21427, 1958 November 28-December 10, 1958 December 10, 1958 December 19, 1958 February, 1959 April, 1959 Establishment of the Weixing People's Commune .Mao Tse-tung's inspection tour in Hbbei, Shandong and Honan Mao said: "We had better set up the People's Cormunes! " Beidaiho enlarged meeting of the Politboro announcing formation of the people's communes High tide of the commune movement Publication of the Draft of the Experimental Regulations of the Weixing People's Commune, Chaya Mountain, Honan in Hong-qi (No. 7, 1958); Publication of the Beidaiho Resolution in RMRB Meeting in Zhengzhou, Honan Meeting in Wuchang, Hubei Sixth Plenum of the Eightth Central Committee of the CCP Resolution adopted by the Eight Central Committee of the CCP at its Sixth Plenum in Wuchang, Hubei Publication of the "Resolution on Some Questions Concerning the People's Commune" (Wuchang Resolution) in RMRB, which called for the rectification of the communes Enlarged meeting of the Politburo of the CCP in Zhengzhou, Honan, to revise the rectification of the communes Seventh Plenum of the CCP Central Committee in Shanghai The resolution of the enlarged meeting of the Politburo in Zhengzhou in February was approved, but no detailed report of it was published xix August 2-16, 1959 Eighth Plenum in Lushan November, 1960 January, 1961 Decision on three-level system of ownership in communes with the production brigade as the foundation; Marshall Peng De-huai and associates dismissed from Ministry of National Defence for their criticism of the commune movement The "Twelve Articles of Emergency Directives for Work in the Countryside" is issued by the Central Committee of the CCP (not publicly published) Confirmation of the three level ownership with the production brigade as the foundation; private plots are allowed to be returned to members of the commune; rural markets are allowed to be re-opened Ninth Plenum Announcement of full retreat on the economic front March, 1961 September, 1962 "Draft of the Regulation for the Operation of the Rural People's Communes" (Sixty Articles) iis Issued (not published); the production team gains more importance in ownership and management Tenth Plenum The "Revised Draft of the Regulation for the Operation of the Rural People's Communes" is issued (not published); consolidation of the commune system; three level ownership and management with the production team as the basic unit of accounting. Chapter One INTRODUCTION From the point of view of development, the contemporary world can be divided into at least three large categories of models: the western model, the Soviet model and the model (or models) of the Third World (Horowitz, 1972). China, in this classification, occupies an ambiguous and undetermined position. From the ideological and political point of view, she should be a member of the bloc of the Soviet model in spite of her divergence of views with the Soviet leaders; but from the point of view of her socio-economic conditions, she shares many traits in common with the countries of the Third Worl'dv1 The western model and the Soviet model can be well defined by specific features in their development. The Third World as a whole is difficult to define owing to a large range of diversity in race, culture, history and social and economic institutions of the countries included in it. Indeed, the Third World cannot be considered as one model but, rather, a set of models of development. Since the establishment of the people's communes in 1958, China has become increasingly different, as much from the Soviet model as from those of the Third World. This study is an attempt to discuss the Chinese case as a parti-cular model of development through an examination of the development of agricultural communes in Shandong province from 1958 to 1965. ^ This is the reason why Horowitz has so much hesitation in placing China in the Third World category and finally gave China the status of marginal membership (Horowitz, 1972 : 17). 1 2-20 I THE METHODOLOGY OF THIS STUDY The methodology used during this study is conditioned by my theoretical frame-work on the one hand, and by the availableidata on the other. A . Method of Data Selection In the beginning, the writer hoped to do fieldwork in China but, as this was not possible, he had to be content with fieldwork in Hong Kong. That meant gathering information by documentary research, and by interviewing emigres1. Due to the actual circumstances in Hong Kong, the main body of data for this study comes from document-ary-research. Both the documentary research and interviews with £migresi have posed certain technical problems. The problems relevant to the interviews will be found in Appendix I. Here, I confine myself to the technical problems of the documentary research. First, the problem of diversity of primary sources: Michel Oksenberg has classified the primary sources for research on contemporary China into five categories: (1) the press, and monitored radio broadcasts of the Peoples' Republic of China; (2) interviews with, and publications of former residents of China; (3) accounts by visitors to China;; (4) Chinese fiction (particularly novels and short stories); and (5) secret Chinese documents obtained and released by agencies outside China (Oksenberg, 1969 : 577-606). Oksenberg has rightly advised the students of China to use different sources in order not to be biased by any one of these sources. Although sometimes the material conditions do not provide enough means or the time for a researcher to exhaust all sources, Oksen-berg's advice cannot be overlooked. In my case, the main bulk of information came from the first and the fifth categories. However, the other three categories have played a 'checking' role in my study. My interviews with emigres have been a very useful source to testify and to supplement, to some extent, my documentary data. I have also used the accounts of visitors to China in the same way. I have not directly used any source from Chinese fiction, but this does not mean that I have not employed some of them indirectly. Because one of my specialities is Chinese fiction, my knowledge in this domain forms a background for testing all other relevant sources. Another advantage for me is that I have sufficient competence in Chinese language to look directly into the original documents so that I could avoid the stylization of the translators of the United States Consulate in Hong Kong, who certainly had their own policy in the selec-tion of translations. Secondly, discontinuity of information constitutes a difficult problem for all 2 researchers of China. Since 1960 not only have local newspapers not been exported, but the national newspapers and reviews have, for a long while, been less informative. I have relied mostly on local newspapers for the period 1958-1959, on national news-papers for the period 1960-1961, and on secret documents released outside China, Hong Kong news, and interviews for the period thereafter. The discontinuity of information has constituted an important handicap in constructing a continuing picture of develop-ment of some units to be studied, which I have only partially overcome. Thirdly, how to evaluate data is another crucial technical problem. As John S. Aird reported, the statistical work during the GLF period became "creative" and ^For the four local newspapers of Shandong Province, the DZRB ceased to appear in the Union Research Institute Collection in October, 1958, the YTRB in August, 1958, the QDRB was only seen in one issue in October, 1959, and the JNRB in one issue in January, 1958. 22 played a major role in promoting the production enthusiasm of the masses (Aird, 1972). Some statistical figures of this period might be more fictive than real. The principal method of evaluating the validity of data is to compare it with, and to test it by other sources. Sometimes intuition is also useful. But competence in evaluating data can, after all, only be achieved through experience, and when you have become familiar enough with the subject to be studied. I have put aside much data during my study due to my doubts about their validity. But this does not guarantee that I have not misused some questionable ones owing to fallibility. My documentary research was conducted mainly in the Union Research Institute in Hong Kong. Some documents were gathered from Hong Kong University Library, Hong Kong Chinese University Library (section of the United College), Hoover Institution Library, and the University of British Columbia Asian Studies Library. With regard to the studies of the people's commune in China, only the documents concerning Guangdong Province up to 1967 were recorded and classified (Baum, 1968). The documents concern-ing other provinces were widely dispersed; the enormous collection of the Union Research !nstitutk>n, therefore, constitutes an untapped gold mine for future researchers who are interested in the commune problems of provinces other than Guangdong. For my research, the data gathered are too much and, at the same time, not sufficient - too much because of some data which I judged relevant at the beginning, such as those concerning social control and political education, which I later found could not fit into my schema of study, and could be separate studies in themselves. It is in-sufficient because some crucial problems could not be adequately explained without the due amount of information. It should also be pointed out that the main weakness of these data is that they cannot equally cover all the counties of the province to be studied, nor can they be considered representative as an average. Most of the documents that I 23 found are related to a few eommunes or production brigades which were regarded as exemplary in production or organization. This means that documents about the under-productive communes and brigades are lacking. However, because those model units have pioneered the way in the recent development of China, the abovementioned draw-backs cannot affect much of their representative quality concerning the main trend of development in China. B. Method of Analysis Although development is a process of growth and change, it occurs within a certain structure. At the analytical level, this structure has first to be considered as somewhat static in order that it can be described. Talcott Parsons said: Any ordinary system, therefore, is capable of description as on the one hand a structure, a set of units or components with, for the purposes in hand, stable properties, which of course may be relat-ional, and on the other hand of events, of processes, in the course of which "somethLngxhap'pens-htoicchangejspmesprbperties and some relations among them (Parsons, 1964 : 84). In order to combine the description of structure and that of development, the method used in this study is a combination of those used by the structural-functionalists and historians. First, the communeais viewed as a system which is described as an amal-gamation of related functional parts. Secondly, the process of development is presented mostly by case-studies. In each case-study, some particular aspects of growth and change will be emphasized and interpreted in the light of the proposed theory. But the commune movement, as a whole, will be situated in an historical perspective to throw the signifi-cance of the commune movement as a particular model of development into relief.' 24 II THE OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE OF THIS STUDY This section will deal first with what the writer attempts to achieve with this study, and then with the limits of the study, both temporal and spatial. Following this will be a brief introduction to how the study is organized. A . The Objectives of the Study The purpose of this study will be to attempt an interpretation of the Chinese commune movement from the point of view of development. This interpretation will be done by a description of events of the movement and by analysis of the people's commune as a system. The interpretation will be guided by the theory which I have proposed in this chapter. The final purpose is to single out the Chinese commune movement as a meaningful model of development among other models in the world in the light of its particular features manifested during the process of development, and its particular goals to be pursued. B. The Limitations of This Study When sociologists are scrutinizing a part of a social system, their final interests are nevertheless in the whole. To scrutinize the parts is to look into how these parts are related to the whole. For the purpose of research, any system has to be abstracted as a model of ideal type. In doing so, only the features which are considered crucial in the whole structure through the researcher's perception will be singled out. Thus, the parts under scrutinization only reflect the researcher's perception. The. degree of the near-ness between the abstracted ideal type and the reality depends upon this perception which is conditioned by the researcher's competence and the adequateness of the theory he has chosen for his research. This is the first limitation for every researcher, as it is for me. Following this, the researcher has to choose the unit of study. A unit must first possess the same characteristics as the whole, and, secondly, have an adequate size. That is to say, it must not be too big for the researcher to handle, or small enough to lose its representative quality. For the study of the Chinese society, thirty-odd years ago, Radc I iff e-Brown considered the village as the most suitable unit of study (Radcliffe-Brown, 1936). Thirty years later, Maurice Freedman expressed his feelings of dissatisfaction with Radcliffe-Brown's suggestion and encouraged anthropologists who worked on China to aim at the total society (Freedman, 1963a). G . William Skinner argues similarly by suggesting that the concentration in research on village has obscured the significance of the Chinese case (Skinner, 1964). Indeed, in any complex society, a village is too small to be taken as a unit of researcher if the researcher is to aim at an understanding of the society as a whole. How-ever, to take a whole country as the unit of study, especially one of such a size as China, is technically impossible. Thetefore, a choice of unit of study becomes necessary before undertaking any research. In the case of the commune movement, a single commune is no doubt too small as a unit of study, because no comparison between communes and no relations between the commune and a larger structure are possible to establish. A whole province is presumably too large for a researcher to handle. The adequate size is, in my view, the county. A county which has some twenty communes provides for the re-searcher a large range of possibilities for study such as comparison, ranking, relating, etc. 26 Unfortunately, sometimes the choice is not merely a subjective matter depending on the researcher's good will. It depends, for the time being, more upon the availability of data than upon any other factors. In my case, finding that no single county could provide enough data for a study of this kind, I was obliged to take a unit of study as large as a province. But why did I choose Shandong rather than others? In the beginning, the choice was based simply on personal interest as a native of that province, and on the consideration that I should better know its general conditions than those in other pro-vinces. However, I found, later in my research, other justifications for my choice of Shandong as the unit of study. First, Shandong is a province which shares many common traits with the other provinces in North China such as Hobei, Honan, Shanxi, Shanxi and the northern part of Jiangsu. Secondly, Shandong is very representative in the solution of Chinese peasant problems. These two points will be discussed further in Chapter Four and Chapter Twelve. Following the geographical limitation, there necessarily comes a temporal limita-tion. I have previously mentioned that any process of development can only be observed over a relatively long period of time. For an anthropologist, if his study is related to a relatively stable society, a year may be adequate time for observing the whole range of activities and events. But such is not the case in the commune movement. The latter experienced vital turns during the first years of its inception. The commune of 1960 was diffenent&om that of 1958-1959, and that of 1962 from that of 1960-1961. Only after 1962 did the commune system seem to become relatively stable. That is the reason why seven years is covered in my study. The years between 1962 and 1965 permit me enough time to observe the movement in a stable phase of evolution after the system had been readjusted. The reason for stopping my observation at 1965 is that after that year the Cultural Revolution started. The period of Cultural Revolution, a revolution which is political rather than economic by nature, should be considered as a separate stage from the period I have chosen to deal with. C . The Organization of This Study In the foregoing discussion, it was suggested that the commune movement is best treated as both a system and a dynamic evolution, and that the whole picture is meaning-ful only when it is located in the long course of history. There are, therefore, three component parts which are of importance in this study: system, evolution and history. While the first two parts constitute the main body of the study, the third one provides the background. With a concern for logic and chronology, the last part has to be presented first. The background will thus be introduced in the first three chapters following the introduc-tion. Chapter Two will provide an historical approach to the development of the Chinese society as a whole. This will be seen in a series of sequential stages. The idiosyncratic features of the Chinese society and those of each stage will be emphasized. Chapter Three will introduce the commune movement in China on a national scale. In order to make its evolutionary line as clear as possible, the movement will be approached by stages. The geographical and historical backgrounds particular to Shandong and relevant to the commune movement will be discussed in Chapter Four. The second part, also consisting of three chapters, will deal with the commune as a system. A system is always composed of related parts. These parts will be described separately. However, due attention will be paid to the relationships between these parts on the one hand, and between the parts and the whole system on the other. In the mean-2 8 time, though analyses of system are inevitably static, the change and evolution of the system will be described as well and, for the most part, this will be illustrated by concrete examples. Chapter Five will be devoted to the size, organization, leadership and social education of the commune. Chapter Six will center on the problems of ownership and management, while Chapter Seven deals with accounting system and distribution. The best way to grasp the dynamiicfpicture of development is to see it through concrete cases. However, it is impossible to see everything at one time. A choice among various sectors submitting to development is necessary. The more the chosen sectors are relevant to the march of the whole system, the more accurate the dynamic picture of the development as a whole«will be. Two sectors are judged to have crucial importance in the commune movement. They are local industry and the building of water conservancy. The development in the two sectors will be the content of Chapters Eight and Nine. Chapter Ten, which is composed of three case-studies, will present the picture of economic growth and changes as continuing in some developing communal units. Chapter Eleven will be a case study of changes in the family structure. The character-istics of the commune movement which appeared in these units will be specially pointed out in order to show the particularity of the Chinese model of development. Finally, the last chapter will present the result of this study. This will be done first in the context of the Chinese history and then on the international scale. 29 Chapter Two A N APPROACH TO CHINESE SOCIETY FROM THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE There were two turning points in recent Chinese history. One was 1840, the year of the Opium War, the other was 1949, the year of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It is suggested in this chapter that the development of Chinese society be divided into three stages: the traditional stage (before the western impact, up to 1840), the transitional stage (between 1840 and 1949, therperiod dating from China's exposure to western influence until the Communist Party came into power), and the socialist stage (1949 onward). The different stages imply a change from one type of society into another as a result of shifted orientation in development. I THE TRADITIONAL STAGE (BEFORE 1840) Karl Wittfogel's hydraulic theory about the Chinese society (and other Asiatic societies) has been widely known (1957). In my view, although he is right to advance the hydraulic order as a necessary cause of the Chinese political system, it seems that he is not right when making it a sufficient cause. First, the hydraulic work gave birth to a set of conditions on which the kinship group founded its elementary form of operation and organization. The legendary hero Yu was the first clan leader who went beyond his kinship group for the purpose of water control. Throughout Chinese history, only a few large-scale hydraulic works, mostly for transportation, were initiated and controlled by the state (Eberhard, 1952 : 34); all other irrigation water controls of a small scale were in the hands of the peasants at the village level.^ Hsiao Kung-ch'uan has pointed out ' Franz Schurmann also diverged with Karl A . Wittfogel in this connection. He does not think that local irrigation in China depended on the State (Schurmann, 1970 : 405). 30 that in the traditional Chinese society, "kinship group and rural community were virtu-ally identical, village leadership was none other than clan leadership" (Hsiao, 1960 : 327). That is to say, the small-scale hydraulic works were virtually operated not by the state, but by clan organizations. If the hydraulic work had exerted any influence to shape the form of political system, it must have been indirectly, by passing through kinship and family institutions. Secondly, if we compared ancient China to ancient Greece, we fwould find that the patriarchal clan organizations of the two areas shared many common characteristics (cf. Fustel de Coulanges, 1864), although Wittfogel tells us that ancient Greece was not under the influence of hydraulic order. Other kinds of agricultural work could give similar influence to social organizations provided they demanded similar conditions of cooperation between men. Sociologically, ancient Chinese patriarchy and ancient Greek patriarchy may be classified as the same type, but each certainly possessed other particularities of which the hydraulic order may constitute one relevant faction;.. Hydraulic order, therefore, can hardly be viewed by itself as a sufficient condition, or a determining condition of the Chinese political system. To understand the nature and structure of Chinese traditional social and poli-tical systems, we must look into the Chinese kinship and family institutions. Historically, the Chinese term for family, "jia", was not the same as it is under-stood in its modern sense, but a clan organization. The jia of a thousand chariots and that of a hundred chariots referred to by Mencius indicate the jia's dimension which Would not pertain to a simple family. Although this was a phenomenon of aristocracy, it is not improbable that the clan organizations among peasants already existed in an early time. The Chinese feudalism of Zhou (roughly 1100-500 B.C.) was based on clannish principles. As Max Weber pointed out, "the high vassals of the time (chu hou, the princes) were exclusively selected from the descendents of the ancient rulers" (1951 : 35). Weber was the first western sociologist who paid close attention to the "charis-matic sibe" in ancient China. In fact, even after the dissolution of the ancient feudal-ism (221 B.C.), the basic social order was not touched and the charismatic sibe in Weber's terms not only persisted as usual, but widespread so pervasively as to be soon a phenomenon of a general social organization in China. The clan organization became so important that individuals who lost their kindred ties would go to parasitize upon other clans instead of living independently. In Chinese history we find that the indi-vidual often acted in the society on behalf of his kinsmen. He shared glory as well as misfortune and, to a certain extent, properties, with the members of his kinship group. He was controlled by and exerted influence upon them. In contrast to the common belief that lineage is an expanded kinship group, it would be more appropriate to say that the 2 family, in the Chinese sense, is a sub-unit of lineage. Before the western impact, jia meant to Chinese a sub-unit of a lineage in the form of an expanded or joint family in which an agnatic group of more than two generations and sometimes more than one collateral degree, lived under the same roof. There were cases where the members of the group lived separately but shared joint rights to property and-recognized-each other-as-belonging^tpthe-same-jia. A household might be a jia, but in many cases it was not. An extended household which could include non-family members was what Morton H. Fried saw in Ch'u Hsien (1969 : 29-30), or a reduced I use clan and lineage interchangeably in this thesis. For the distinction between these two terms in the Chinese case, see Freedman, Chinese Family and Marriage in Singapore (1957 : 18). household was often a fluctuating form of more than or a part of a jia in order to adapt itself to the social and economic demands. On the other hand, most of the Chinese have experienced the extended family at least once in their life cycle, especially during the first few years, and the last years of life. In ancient times, it seems likely that there was no clear distinction between lineage and family. A kinship organization, whether it be a large form like lineage or a restricted form like family, was primarily an elementary political organization. From Confucius, Mencius and other classics, we can see that the Chinese feudalism and the principalities of the late Zhou (roughly 6th-3rd century, B.C.) were organized accord-ing to kinship principles. The dissolution of feudalism which coincided with the unifica-tion of China by Qin Shi-huang-di (221 B.C.) was a real revolution in Chinese history; nonetheless, i;t did not destroy the foundation of the Chinesesociety: the kinship organization. As soon as the Liu family took over the political power, the new state again set its foundation on kinship principles. Until the last dynasty,which was replaced by a republic in 1911, the Chinese state could roughly be viewed as an enlarged form of lineage. At a lower level, the peasant lineages always were, as Hsiao Kung-ch'uan said, identicals with communal organizations. The Chinese monarchical structure and ethics were none other than kinship structure and ethics, differentiating only in scale. Even the bureaucracy, historically speaking, originated from a division of domestic functions. As for the economic structure of the traditional society, C . K. Yang has pointed out: The most outstanding of the characteristics^ (the economic structure) was the predominance of the family as a unit of production; a unit of 33 organization of labor, capital and land for the acquisition of goods and services to meet the needs of the members of the household... . In agriculture, partnerships and other forms of organization were numerically negligible in comparison with the vast majority of China's traditional family forms. In commerce and industry the family as unit of organization was equally dominant. When a boy reached working age, he worked in the family business. Should the family business be too small to employ him, he would be apprenticed if possible to a firm owned by relatives... The dominance of the family as an organiza-tional unit of production led to the development of another prominent characteristic of the Chinese family, namely, the provision oficollec-tive security for its immediate members and the extension of economic aid to more distant kinsmen... A high degree of economic self-sufficiency was another vital characteristic of the traditional family. Only those necessities that could not be fashioned at home or grown from the soil were purchased from outside (Yang, 1959 : 137-138). From the above description, two crucial points attract our attention: one is the dominance of the family as an organizational unit of production, and another is the self-sufficiency of the family. Generally speaking, a village which was often identical with one lineage or a branch of a lineage, was a larger self-sufficient unit than family in terms of both production and consumption. The main consumption was supplied by domestic products and to a certain extent local products within the village; only secondary necessities were purchased from towns or other villages. The latter gave birth to a limited scope of commercial transaction. In cities and towns, the situation was different. There, two different categories of social groups dominated the scene, namely, the bureaucracy and the guild (Burgess, 1928). Lacking large markets in the wide country-side, the urban merchants never had the opportunity of accumulating significant capital as those in Europe at the time of industrialization. However, a great deal of data, both from historical documents and from local gazetteers, indicate that the class of merchants was richer,- and lived much better off than the class of peasants, even than the class of lower ranking bureaucrats. But a career in commerce had never been as attractive as a career in officialdom. The reason, I think, is partly because the Chinese ideologically looked down upon the merchant class, and partly because the career of the merchant forced him to travel a lot and to often live apart from his kinsmen, and therefore, he could not enjoy security in times of crisis and have his kinsmen share his pleasure in times of prosperity. As a rule, as soon as a merchant had succeeded in accumulating a sizeable sum, he invested it in the land in order to settle down somewhere (usually in his native place) to become a landlord. If he had several sons, his land would be divided accordingly, and second or third genera-tions would have a good chance to become ordinary peasants. The equal division of the father's property by sons constituted a crucial factor in both population control and social mobility in the traditional stage. It is true that the prescription of this rule resulted from the deliberate elimination of primogeniture at the beginning of the Han Dynasty. It is not, however, proper to consider this measure as being only in favor of the central government. In fact, it greatly benefited the integ-ration of local lineage organizations because the practice of primogeniture had often forced the younger sons to leave their nativepplaces, a phenomenon quite well-known in Japan. Without lineage, the effect would be different. For instance, in France, many scholars have regarded the practice of primogeniture to be a preventive measure for family integration and have considered that its abolution after the revolution of 1789 constituted one of the causes of the disappearance of large families (Delzons, 1913 : 249; Arils, 1960 : 417). The Chinese case has empirically refuted the theory that primogeniture could play a determining role in family integration. Whether it could, affect the membership of the family unit or not must depend upon other variables. Although the practice of equal division of property among sons did not impede the formation of extended family in China, it seems that it resulted in a positive check on population growth. Once land was divided and re-divided into small parcels, it would quickly reach the limit in meeting its minimum surface which could hardly support a small household. The limitation of division of land resulted in the limitation of proliferation of households, and hence the limitation of the growth of population. Population growth must be related to the quantity of available arable land in Chinese history. Ho Ping-ti suggested that the introduction of new kinds of rice and other cereals from outside was the primary cause of population growth during the last centuries in China and the expan-sion of arable land was rather a consequence (Ho, 1959). I think the expansion of arable 3 land during the last centuries might be, in the first place, a consequence of population growth, but could in all probability turn later into a cause of further population growth. Without birth control, the Chinese population was checked by various factors, one of which might have been the land division. Ebnimgre than two thousand years the Chinese population Imqitataimediian equilibrium, both within the society, and between the society and its ecological environment. Under such an equilibrium of population, the Chinese society was not in a state of stagnation as many people supposed. The vertical social mobility in Ming and Qing China was even greater than in "most large pre-modern western societies" according to Ho Pint-ti's research on social mobility during the two last Chinese dynasties (Ho, 195871959?: 347). However, Ho's concern was only involved in social mobility through imperial examinations which obviously cannot represent o According to Robert F. Dernberger, between 1600 and 1893 there was 148 percent increase in cultivated land in China (1975 : 25). Perkins states that "by the middle of the 20th century the amount of cultivated land in China was four times the level of the late 14th century" (1969 : 185). The cultivated land continued to increase even after 1949 in a so thickly populated area as Guangdong (Johnson, 1973 : 15). the whole picture of social mobility. Needless to say, more research is needed to gain a further understanding in this respect. Two aspects are, in my view, of crucial import-ance. First, Ho's data about the candidates for examinations and the holders of titles are arranged according to surnames, so the result of his research tells us much of the duel between lineages of different surnames, but nothing about the social mobility within one given lineage. In the Chinese villages which were mostly clustered by lineage-differen-tiation, there existed a social stratification side by side with the kinship hierarchy. I have the impression that the social mobility within a lineage must have been more dif-ficult than the inter-lineage social mobility. That is why the kinship organizations appeared more stable than any other social groups. Secondly, however limited the scope of commerce might be, it seemed to be of importance to social mobility. There is no doubt that the talented of the first class were attracted by bureaucracy, but commerce was a sure way to get rich and thus constituted an outlet for the ambitious people. As Ho Ping-ti has pointed out, "there is definite evidence showing that many officials and frustrated candidates openly engaged in trade and that not a few members of merchants' families managed to pass the national examination and become officials" (ibid : 333). Nonetheless, the merchant class was not a stable social stratum in the Chinese society, because they aimed at either officialdom or investment in land, as I have shown. The merchant class had merely a transitional place in social mobility. The latter, both up-ward and downward can be seen in the following diagram: 37 t ' officialdom \K I \ [ L landlord i * \ V \ » peasant \ \ I » \ mei r erchant Ideologically, the merchant class was lower than the peasant class, but practically, it was higher because it was much better off than the latter. The merchant class occupied only a marginal place in the Chinese social structure and thus never constituted an initial changing factor in the societal develop-ment in the traditional stage. The pattern of the merchant class was more influenced by, than exerted influence on the peasant class (including rich peasant), which was in turn dominated by the landlords or gentry class. It may be supposed that urban areas did not emit initial changes in the traditional stage as has happened in the European 4 countries. In this light, perhaps we can suggest that the place of the merchant class in the social strata may constitute one more indicator of the development of Chinese society which was never able to orient itself along the same direction as the western societies until the western impact. Max Weber has spent much time studying the relationships between the Chinese religions and the Chinese society (1951). He concluded that it was the Confucian and 4 Franz Schurmann has also noticed the difference between Chinese cities and European cities. He says: "The continuing link between countryside and city undoubtedly in-fluenced the nature of the traditional Chinese city, which did not develop the urban character so typical of European and Japanese cities. A bourgeoisie, that is, a social class explicitly identified with the city, never arose in China - at least not until modern times" (Schurmann, 1970 : 366). Taoist ethics which prevented the Chinese society from a capitalistic development; otherwise the Chinese society had the potentiality, probably more than Japan, of assimi-lating capitalism. On the other hand, the Chinese modern historians have used the term "incipient capitalism" to describe the economic situation of the pre-modern-impact period. It is evident that all of them have based their studies on the premise that capita-lism is supposed to be a necessary stage of all societies. This thesis, from Spencer and Marx, had never been challenged until recent times. It has formed a restrictive para-digm in social sciences in which societies differentiated in kinds can be granted a place in development and can be understood only when they are put in connection with capital-istic societies. In the Chinese case, I cannot see any convincing evidence which would lead the Chinese society to a capitalistic stage before influence came from outside. I cannot see such a necessity either. In short, the Chinese patrilineal kinship structure was so powerful and all-permeating that it has moulded a particular model of society, and a particular type of development which had its own direction, just as many other particular societies might be developing in other directions. The particularity of development of the traditional Chinese society can be seen in the following outlines: A'. Political Structure Chinese feudalism before the unification of China by Qin Shi-huang-di (221 B.C.) originated from clan organizations.^ When the JJ clan of Zhou took control over Cf. Si-ma Qian, Shi-Ji (the part concerning the pre-Han history). 39 other clans, it imposed its members as heads on only a few regions where the clans had been destroyed because of their hostility toward Zhou, but kept all the other clans intact. The prince of each principality was at the same time chief of his clan. All the principalities inside the Chinese territorial boundary recognized at the time as such founded a large alliance by marriage along the exogamic principle. An alliance was strongly clan-centric, affinal ties by marriage were viewed rather as a diplomatic re-lationship. It was impossible at the time for an individual without a clan to survive. He would perish or would let himself be adopted by another clan. It seems that everybody belonged to a clan; participating in clan activities meant participation in political life. Clan structure was identical to political structure.-Qin Shi-huang-di was the first ambitious leader in Chinese history who intended to break up clan organizations and to establish instead a network of bureaucratic officials exercising direct control over commoners. He failed. Fifteen years later when the Han Dynasty was founded, new rulers re-linked the Qin's bureaucratic system with clan organizations. Until the birth of the Republic in 1911, clan or lineage organizations always constituted the basic element of social and political fabric during the time of the Chinese monarchy. Even the two exotic political orders during the Mongol dominance and that of the Manchus did not touch this foundation. B. Mode of Production The patrilineal kinship structure determined the collective ownership of property of a patrilineal kinship group. The practice of agricultural production led the group to a fixed locality. Consequently a patrilineal kinship group was identical with a certain locality. The division of labor between sex and age created a feeling of interdepend-ence between members of the group. The collective ownership precluded any strong feeling of personal possessions. An individual was thus not only interdependent with his kin, but also with the land he cultivated, in other words, nature. He did not exploit nature, nor did he enslave it to his service but, rather, nourished it in the hope of getting a return which constituted the source of subsistence and happiness of the whole group. The relationship between man and nature determined the special mode of produc-tion which was labelled by Marx as "Asiatic mode of production". The Asiatic mode of production had been understood as a mode of production in stagnation, at least with little progress in technology used in production. This is not false, but the problem can also be examined from another angle. According to the outlook moulded by the patri-lineal kinship structure, material fortune was not viewed as being of paramount import-ance in achieving happiness on the one hand; nature, embodied in land for the peasant, was regarded as an integral part of the kinship group and thus must not be squeezed in-definitely, on the other. There was an equilibrium between man and nature established as a result of mutual exchange for a long time. This equilibrium did not point to any significant change or "progress" in the sense of evolutionist terminology. It should be remembered that this kind of relationship between peasant and nature was almost universal. The technological improvement in agriculture in European societies was the result of industrialization rather than the progress of agriculture per se. If we cannot say that the patrilineal kinship structure in itself determined the Chinese society as an agricultural or peasant society, at least we are certain that such a social structure cannot develop toward the industrialized society, in the sense of capitalism. Generally speaking, industry, trade and technology were not unknown in 41 China (Needham, 1956 — ). According to recent archaeological findings, industry and technology in some sphere in ancient and medieval China could be seen as very "advanced" in comparison with European countries. Why did these industries and tech-nology not experience proportional development as modern industrial societies? Many scholars, including the clear-sighted Max Weber, have spent life-times attempting to answer this question. Yet the problem is not clear. They have always concentrated on seeking such and such factor which might hinder the capitalistic development, but have forgotten the holistic structure of the Chinese society which would point to a quite different direction from that of a capitalistic and industrial society. I believe that in-dustry, trade and technology in ancient and medieval China were different from those of modern times, not in quantity but in quality. In essence, they were regarded as tools to add to the amount of happiness, but not as a means of accumulation of capital for the purpose of reproduction. The development of industry and trade was neither a necessary nor a desirable condition for maintaining or improving the harmony of family and kinship relationships. For these reasons, industry and trade could never develop independently vis-a-vis agricultural development. When the production and comsumption of agriculture had already entered into a stage of equilibrium, industry and trade worked perforce to maintain this equilibrium. C. Values and Goals Ideologically, Confucian virtue was based upon self-perfection. The cultured man must not be just a means for specified useful purpose. He is an end in himself. The Chinese "ego" is not an individualistic conception, but related to a network of kinship relationships. Self-perfection means above all the process of personal achievement in bringing the family interpersonal relationships to perfection. Xiao (filial piety) and you (brotherhood) are both the beginning and the end of self achievement according to Confucian ethics. Practically, the individual was brought up and educated by his parents or other members of near kin within the family framework. His personal fulfillment was not only involved with the interest of his living relatives, but also with that of his de-ceased ancestors. His troubles would be shared by other members of the family; and his satisfaction would be mainly dependent upon the positive attitude and behaviour of the same members. Without the help of his parents and kinsmen, an individual could not realize his ambition in the society at large, and without the sharing of his kinship group the realization of his ambitions would be meaningless. In Chinese history, almost with-out exception, successful ministers and officials ended their lives in returning to their native homes after a long political career. Luo-ye gui-gen (the floating leaves will all return to the root of the tree) symbolizes well the Chinese life outlook. Tiah-lun zhi luo (the family happiness) indicates the ultimate goal of an individual's life pursuit. A very different system of values and goals from that of the capitalistic society had been fostered within the patrilineal kinship structure in China and attained maturity at a very early age (more or less at the time of Confucius). That is to say, the social, economic and political systems have for a long time already adapted to each other to form a whole cultural unit which is dissimilar to other societies and could not, and still cannot, develop toward the same direction as the other societies point to. All attempts to place the Chinese society in a stage of any uni lineal development or to judge the 43 Chinese society in relation to the capitalistic societies would be misleading and would probably offer a false departure in theory and conception in the social science. II THE TRANSITIONAL STAGE (1840-1949) Students of Chinese society have all remarked some actual changes or symptoms of changes in the Chinese socioeconomic structure during the transitional stage as a consequence of western impact on China. Few would deny that since the Opium War (1840) the influence exercised by the western countries on China was tremendous; from foreign trade, steamship transportation and financial institutions to missionary works, educational undertakings and journalistic enterprises. The total amount of foreign trade in the thirty years before the Sino-Japanese War (1894) more than doubled, but in the following thirty years it increased almost six times (Hou, 1965 : 51). After 1895, some 33 ports were opened to foreign trade. Foreigners could travel freely along a sea coast of 5,000 nautical miles and through inland rivers as long as 10,000 nautical miles (Shigeo, 1941 : 90-92). In the same period /a.length of 7,671 miles of railway was built, mostly, with foreign capital (Chang Chia-ao : 424). With regard to banking, by 1925 foreigners had established 63 banks in China, with 179 branches, of which there were 17 with capital exceeding 10,000,000 yuan (pre-war value), while China itself set up two banks of some importance (Chien l-shih, 1939 : 249-251). Postal and tele-graphic offices had also made much headway: the former had increased from 100 in 1901 to more than 12,000 in 1930, and the latter from about 500 in 1922 to 1,400 44 in 1930 (Chang Liang-jen, 1937, Vol. II : 5-7).° Both commerce and industry had begun to increase in volume since the foreign economic intrusion, although commerce occupied the leading position. It may be noted that the total foreign investments in China increased from (U.S.) $787,900,000 in 1902 to $34,483,200,000 in 1936 (Hou, 1965 : 13). Besides the economic invasion, the western missionaries worked intensively in social and educational spheres. In 1937, the Catholic missionaries maintained 2,985 primary schools (with 123,389 pupils), 58 high schools for boys (with 11,335 students), 45 high schools for girls (with 7,167), three universities (1,321 students and 908 prepara-tory students), 415 orphanages and 236 hospitals and homes for the poor. The educat-ional activities of the Protestants were even more widespread than those of the Catholics. In 1935, about 150,000 children were educated in their primary schools, 47,940 in their high schools, and 7,098 in their 16 universities and colleges. In 1937, 271 hospitals were maintained by the Protestants (Lang, 1946 : 18). All these innovations brought about by the invasion of the western powers drastically affected the Chinese society to a degree that was deep and far-reaching. Above all , the development of the Chinese traditional society was drawn away from its own orbit. During the transitional stage, the Chinese society gradually changed its goals from the social norms dictated by Confucian ethics which precluded the social action ° Sources which come from, respectively, Shigeo, Imura, History of Euro-American Economic Aggression in China, Tokyo: Dobunkai, 1941; Chang Chia-ao, Railway Construction in China; Chien l-shih, Economic History of Modern China, Tokyo, Keio Book Store, 1939; and Chang Liang-jen, Postal Administration in China, Shanghai, The Commercial Press, 1937, are all cited by Wu Kan (1952). 45 from pursuit of profit to a series of westernized new goals. It has been noted that, as in the course of industrialization in most western countries, the general tendency of changes in China during this stage was also manifested by urbanization of social life, dissolution of extended family, equalization between sex and age, degradation of father's authority, etc., probably to a lesser extent. Changes, of course, occurred unequally along the line of differences between urban area and rural area, gentry and peasantry, literates and illiterates, westernized and conservators, and so forth. It is also recognized that some change in the social structure was not only a consequence of changing economic patterns, but also resulted from the introduction of western customs and ideology, especially the western individualism. Ill THE SOCIALIST STAGE (1949 ONWARD) At the beginning of the Chinese socialist revolution, the revolutionary leaders seemed to be convinced that the priority of economic development must be given to industrialization, following the Soviet Union model. Taking the Soviet model means, in a certain sense, to trace indirectly the economic development of the western capital-ist countries with the sole exception of stressing on state planning.^ A planned indust-rialization implies a planned restructure of social institutions. The success of industriali-zation depends much upon the flexibility of social institutions. The first two quiquennial plans in China resulted, however, in some grave consequences: acceleration of urbani-zation,^ disintegration of familial organization, reinforcement in "elite" education ^ The Soviet Union resembles the capitalist industrial countries in a variety of ways despite their differences in political systems (Inkeles and Bauer, 1959). ^ It is reported that between 1949 and 1960 China's urban population increased by some 70 million, described as one of history's largest population shifts in so short a time (Buchanan, 1970 : 30). 46 which implied the continuation of the split between intellectuals and masses, and con-solidation of bureaucracy including entrepreneurship. Some of these phenomena contra-dict the Chinese traditional norms which still persisted, at least partially, in spite of the western impact, and others contradict the communist ideals. The so-called "struggle between two roads" during the Cultural Revolution reflected, in my view, the divergence of viewpoint in regard to the societal develop-ment. On the one hand, Liu Shao-qijand his followers attempted to pursue an industriali-zation along the lines of the Soviet model in order to catch up with the western productive standards as soon as possible, even though it was detrimental to other social factors. On the other hand, Mao Tse-tung endeavored to combine the communist ideals with the Chinese traditional social structure. As we know, it was Mao who came out of this struggle as vanquisher. This struggle has an historical and sociological bearing of crucial importance because it was the first time since the western impact on China that the Chinese society placed emphasis on goals of social performance and economic development other than those in the western countries. Among others, the collectivization which implied an anti-individualistic attitude, is not only related to communist ideals, but has much to do with the traditional chinese kinship structure. In the western countries, rapid industrialization and urbanization caused the disintegration of the rural communities. Collective life has become impossible in the context of the industrial setting. However, in China, the introduction of individualism has encountered resistance because the Chinese people have a strong propensity to collective life due to their familial organization. During the process of modernization, it seems that they had to make the choice between industrialization and collective life. 47 In comparison with Japan, China is geographically much larger and socially much less urbanized. It would be much more difficult for the Chinese people to emerge from their collective life and adapt themselves to the standards of individualistic "univer-salism". Under such circumstances, the Chinese peoples' propensity for collective live might constitute a real handicap in the way of industrialization. It would be a long time before the Chinese people could be urbanized, become universalistic, and finally be equipped with all the conditions favorable to industrialization. But the Maoist vision in this matter was quite different. According to them, the collective life is not at all incompatible with industrialization; on the contrary, it may be a favorable factor by the facility of organizing manpower. If it had some incompatibility with urbanization, why could one not do something different from the experience of western industrialization through an unorthodox process, namely, industrialization without urbani-9 zation? Many analyses by orthodox Marxists, as well as modern western social scientists, have shown that the process of urbanization, concomitant of the western industrialization, has brought about a dichotomy of metropolitan centers and their vast peripheries, which inevitably led to the rise of imperialism (Cohen, 1973). As a result, the formula of people's commune was launched. The original blueprint of the people's communes was conceived as an all-comprising unit. Functionally, the communes run banks, factories and commercial en-terprises, handle credit and distribution, undertake cultural and educational work, and control their militia and political organizations, besides the agricultural tasks. It seems Rhoads Murphey points out in his analysis that the anti-urbanism attitude of the CCP "is directed primarily against the former treaty ports, but it involves by association all cities" (Murphey, 1970 : 69). 48 clear that the commune continues in fact to keep the basic characteristics of the tradi-tional rural community: self-control in political and military affairs, self-sufficiency in economy and collective life (especially collective ownership of land and affection-ate relationship between members of the collectivity). What is added to the traditional structure is its modern organization and additional new goals, of which the develop-ment of small-scale industry and the transformation of the natural environment are the most important ones. 49 Chapter Three THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNE MOVEMENT IN CHINA The Chinese People's Communes were set up in 1958. While few have expressed reservations about the importance of the newly created socioeconomic unit, arguments have diverged as to the process of its birth. Some speak of it as a logical outcome of economic and political development in China, ^ whereas others insist on the forced setting-up in immature circumstances. It is certain that both views have presented some truth, butnne'i'ther of them seems able to avoid being biased by their respectively political inclinations. In this chapter I will try to establish an account as close as possible to the historical reality, and to find, and also to explain, the implications of ihe different arguments in such a controversy. I THE PRELUDE TO THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNE MOVEMENT When speaking of the development in China, it is not possible to ignore the leading role played by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the leadership of its chairman, Mao Tse-tung, in decision-making in any sector and at any crucial moment since 1949. The movement to establish people's communes was, like other turning points in the history of the People's Republic of China such as the Great Leap Forward (GLF) ^ This point of view is specially represented by the Chinese official attitude and research done in China using only the Chinese official sources. For instance, Too Chu (1964), Chu Li and Tien Chieh-yun (1974), and Wu Chou (1975). 2 This point of view is specially represented by those who have a hostile attitude toward the CCP and the Chinese government such as researchers in Taiwan and some researchers of Chinese economy in the United States, for instance, Xiang Da-kun (1966), Cheng Chu-yuan (1959), and Hughes (1960). and the Cultural Revolution, deeply imprinted by the CCP's past experiences. Franz Schurmann has rightly pointed out that "the revolutionary history of Chinese communism is closely linked to the peasantry; its organizational history is closely linked to the village cooperatives" (1970 : 413). During both the Jiang-xi Soviet period (1927-1934) and the Yan-an period (1935-1946), the CCP always tended to carry out its program of land reform and to establish cooperatives. And they got some successful results (Shi Jing-tang, 1957). It is worthwhile noting that the village cooperation based on kinship organizations was a commonplace in the countryside in China. Therefore, the communist program for social revolution, though guided by the communist ideology, also had its roots in Chinese tradition. What was radical is that the program of land reform aimed at eradicating the landlord class and replacing it by revolutionary organizations. From the point of view of rural development, the main achievement of the CCP during the two periods mentioned above was the experience gained from land redistribution and from organization of small-scale cooperatives, which was to become the basic guide of land reform on a nationwide scale after 1949. The large-scale land reform started in 1950 and ended in 1952. Its importance in the history of cooperativization lies in its wiping out of a whole class of landlord and gentry. Schurmann called it one of the greatest social revolutions of modern times (1970 : 437). However, the land reform did not solve the problems of production either in organization or in technological revolution. The poor peasants who had received land from land redistribution were faced with the difficulties of effectively exploiting it, due to the lack of investment, draught animals and farm tools. In a short time after the land reform, some again got into debt while others began to sell land. New rich peasants got the upper hand in the rural economy. Middle peasants were trying to turn 51 themselves into rich peasants. Under such a situation, the CCP saw the obligation to speed up the cooperative movement by starting with the mutual-aid teams. The latter was a traditional form of cooperation in the countryside. The teams consisted of a small number of households which shared their draught animals, farm tools and labor force in the busy season. But they did not pool their properties together. It was easier to use a traditional pattern than to initiate a new form before coming into cooperativization. The mutual-aid teams were thus planned as a preparatory step to setting up cooperatives. Some cooperatives were set up immediately after the land reform; but in most places the movement was slow because of the shortage of local cadres. In January, 1954, the Central Committee of the CCP issued a directive on "developing agricultural producers' cooperatives". It was reported that 114,165 cooperatives had been formed by the end of that year (Schurmann, 1970 : 442). However, the cooperative movement speeded up in 1955 due to the personal intervention of Mao Tse-tung (Carin, 1960 : 192). It was in the main completed by the end of 1956. According to the Chinese official statistics, by the first half of 1955, the number of agricultural producers' cooperatives (nong-ye-she) increased to 670,000, embracing a number of households of about seventeen million (The State Statistical Bureau of China, 1960 : 28). But in only one year, by the end of May, 1956, the total number of cooperatives made a great leap forward, number-ing 1,003,657, and the number of households rose to 110,134,226. Among those co-operatives (therejLwere^302y756)advdnced agricultural producers' cooperatives (gao-ji nong-ye-she) with the number of households being 74,720,054 (RMRB, 19 June, 1956). By the end of the year, more than 96 percent (or about 12 million) of all the peasant 52 households in China had joined agricultural producers' cooperatives, of which an over-whelming majority (87.8 percent of the total peasant households) had become parts of advanced cooperatives. Only 8.5 percent remained in the elementary agricultural producers' cooperatives (chu-ji nong-ye she) (see Tables 3.1 and 3.2). In the elementary type, the ownership of land and of other important means of production, such as draught animals and large farm implements, were transferred from the members to the cooperatives. These means of production as well as land were con-sidered as the peasants' shares to be used collectively Jay the-cooperative for joint production. The peasants, however, retained the ownership of their houses, domestic animals, small farm implements and tools needed for sideline production. In addition, the peasants were allowed to have a small plot of land, called "private plot" (zi-liu-di), not exceeding 5% of the average landholding in the cooperative, for growing vegetables and raising pigs and poultry for their own use. While the cooperative products had to be sold to the state at fixed prices, the peasants' earnings were calculated on the basis of their "labor days" (lao-dong-ri) as well as the amount of their shares. The crucial difference between the advanced type and elementary type of co-operatives is in the treatment of land compensation. In the advanced type, a peasant was not entitled to compensation for the amount of land that he had contributed to the co-operative. His income was determined solely by his "labor days". Besides, he had no shares for his draught animals and large farm implements for which he received a sale 3 price from the cooperative. Another characteristic of the advanced type is its larger There were some cooperatives of the advanced type set up from the very beginning of the cooperativization, for example, the Bai-pen-yao Advanced Agricultural Producers' Cooperative (The General Office of the Central Committee of the CCP, 1956, Vol. 1 : 294-300). 53 Table 3.1 ^AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION (I) (thousand households) No. of peasant No. of peasant households in No. of peasant households in agricultural producers' cooperatives households mutual-aid and in mutual-aid cooperative Total Advanced Elementary teams organizations 1950 11,313 0.219 0.032 0.187 11,313 1951 21,002 1.618 0.030 1.588 21,000 1952 45,423 59 2 57 45,364 1953 45,912 275 2 273 45,637 1954 70,775 2,297 12 2,285 68,478 1955 77,310 16,921 40 16,881 60,389 1956 117,829 117,829 107,442 10,407 — — Source: China : Ten Great Years. p. 34 Table 3.2 AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION (II) (percentage) Percentage of peasant Ag ricultural Producers' households in mutual- cooperatives aid and cooperative Mutual-aid organizations to total teams no. of peasant house- Total Advanced Elementary holds 1950 10,713 w — — — — _ . _ 10.7 1951 19.2 19.2 1952 40.0 0.1 0.1 39.9 1953 39.5 0.2 0.2 39.3 1954 60.3 2.0 2.0 58.3 1955 64.9 14.2 14.2 50.7 1956 96.3 96133 87.8 8.5 Source: China : Ten Great Years, p. 35 54 larger size than the elementary one. It included a number of households of between 150 and 300. It could thus have more possibilities in planning land utilization and labor management. It is easy to understand that not all the peasants who joined the cooperatives did so wholeheartedly. Some, especially the rich peasants (fu-nong) and the upper-middle peasants (shang-zhong-nong) were extremely unwilling to work in a collective framework for they had become used to relying on their own calculations in production and to hiring labor for heavy field work. But the majority which was composed of lower-middle peasants (xia-zhong-nong) and poor peasants (pin-nong) were filled with en-thusiasm, because they had little to lose in collectivization. Therefore, while many rich and upper-middle peasants withdrew from the cooperatives in many parts of China during the course of collectivization, the poor peasants insisted on continuing along the collective road. A striking example was the Wang Guo-fan Cooperative in Zunhua County of Hobei Province. After the withdrawal of almost all members of the coopera-tive, three poor peasant households succeeded in proving the advantages of cooperation and finally regained all their lost members (cf. The General Office of the Central Com-mittee of the CCP, 1956 : 5; Mao Tse-tung Si-Xiang Wan-Sui, 1969 : 200). What was the most important advantage of the collectivization in the eyes of the peasants? No doubt it was the increase in production. Since 1949, following the course of collectivization, the output of grain crops and cotton had increased year by year. The yield of 1957 increased 71 percent over that of 1949 for grain crops and 270 percent for cotton.^ For 1958, the year of The GLF, the national grain figures were The Chinese official statistical figures on agricultural production between 1955 and 1957 have been considered more reliable than other years by economists in western countries. See Liu and Yeh (1965 : 42), and Cheng (1963 : 184-185). 55 first estimated to increase 100 percent above 1957 (Liao, 1958), and then adjusted to 35 percent(see Table 3.3). The improvement of the living standards in the countryside has also been wit-nessed by many foreign visitors. And the increase in agricultural production was con-firmed by Mao Tse-tung himself through direct reports addressed to him.^ It was the striking success of cooperativization that paved the way for communization. The process of establishment of the people's commune began with the merger of small-scale cooperatives into larger ones. During the "Chengdu Conference" in March, 1958, Mao's suggestion was to work out a plan for merging small cooperatives (Xiang, 1966 : 13), because the small cooperatives, with fewer members, less land, and little capital, were not able to operate on a large scale or employ machinery and would bind the development of productive force (The General Office of the Central Committee of the CCP, 1956 : 611). It was not long after Mao's call that Minhou County of Fujian Province made plans to unify all the cooperatives of the county into one, in April of the same year (Yue, 1958). Following the example of Minhou County more than one thousand cooperatives were merged into seven hundred larger ones in Lu County of Sichuan Province (RMRB).23 April, 1958). At the same time two provinces, Honan and Liaoning, became experimental spots in this task for the whole country be-cause they were in advance of all others. Honan had successfully merged its 38,473 small cooperatives into 1,378 and Liaoning its 9,600 into 1,412 (RMRB, 2 September, 1958. ^ For example, Rene Dumont, Isabel and David Crook, Keith Buchanan, Jan Myrdal, etc. ° Mao said during his "Second, Talk' at the Second Session of the Eighth Central Com-mittee of the CCP": "There are many cooperatives in every province that have in-creased their output. When there is any increase, it would be either twice or several times the output of the previous years. Can you still not believe this?" Mao Tse-Tung Si-Xiang Wan-sui, 1969 : 200). 56 Table 3.3 OUTPUT OF GRAIN CROPS AND COTTON Of which: Grain crops Rice (unhusked) Wheat Coarse grains Potatoes Cotton (Pre-libera-tion peak year=100 1949 1952 77.9 111*3 111.3 84.J8 119.3 59.3 77.8 69.2 99.6 155.5 257.9 52.4 153.6 1957 133.4 151.2 101.5 101.8 346.2 193.2 1958 180.2 198.3 124.2 119.8 715.0 247.3 (1949=100) 1952 142.8 140.7 131.2 143.9 165.9 293.4 1957 171.1 178.4 171.2 147.1 222.7 369.0 1958 231.3 233.7 209.8 • 173.0 460.9 472.4 (1952=100) 1957 119.8 126.8 130.4 102.2 134.3 125.8 1958 161.9 166.1 159.9 120.3 207.3 161.1 (1957=100) 1958 135.1 131.0 122.4 117.7 207.3 128.0 Average Annual Rate of Increase (%) 1950-1952 12.6 o 12.1 9.5 12.9 18.4 43.2 1953-1957 3.7 4.9 5.5 0.4 6.1 4.7 1950-1958 9.8 9.9 8.6 6.3 18.5 18.8 Source: China: Ten Great Years, p. 120 57 - 58 One of the merged cooperatives in Suiping County of Honan, composed of 27 small cooperatives, took the name of Weixing (sputnik) People's Commune in 7 8 April, 1958. According to the available data, it must be the first of its kind. This new collective unit was distinct from the advanced cooperatives not only in having a larger size and in its more advanced character of ownership, but in integrating local government administration and commune management into one. Such an experience had beer* unknown not merely in Chinese history but also in other socialist countries. In addition to the Crooks' description in which a commune is believed to take upon itself spontaneously all the functions of both cooperative and township, it has been shown that the original idea stemmed from Mao. During his inspection trip to Hobei, Honan and Shandong, Mao is reported to have said: "It is better to set up People's Communes because the communes can combine See "Chaya Shan Weixing Ren-min Gong-she Shi-xing Jian-zhang Cao-an" (The Draft of Experimental Regulations of Weixing People's Commune in Chaya Mountain), Hongqi, No. 7, 1958. During a press conference for the journalists from Hong Kong and Macao, Tao Chu mentioned that the Zhangshi People's Commune in Qujiang County, Guang dong Province, was also set up in April, 1958 (cf. "On the Problems of the People's Commune - Tao Chu's Response in detail to the Journalists from Hong Kong and Macao" in Ren-min Gong-she Wen-ti Zi-liao, 1959 : 77). But there is no other evidence to prove that Zhangshi People's Commune was set up earlier than Weixing People's Commune. 59 industry, agriculture, commerce, education and the militia together, thus facilitating leadership." (Wu Zhi-pu, 1958 : 5). Following the example of a few early established people's communes in Honan to which Mao publicly gave his approval, the 5,376 cooperatives in Suiping and Pingyu counties of the same province had been merged into 208 communes by early August (RMRB, 18 August, 1958). By the end of August, 1,378 communes had already been built from the 38,473 cooperatives in Honan Province (ibid., 2 September, 1958). In view of such an upsurge of communization in Honan and, at the demand of Mao Tse-tung, the Politburo held an enlarged meeting in Beidafho, lasting from August 17 to August 30. The conference concluded that the People's Communes were the "logical output of the march of events" and adopted a "Resolution on the Establishment of the People's Communes in the Rural Areas" (XHBYK, No. 8, 1958 : 1-2). This resolution provided a guideline for the ongoing commune movement, since by then the People's Communes were mushrooming throughout the country. From April, the month of emerg-ence of the first commune, to the end of September, a mere six months, 90.4% of the total number of peasant households in China had been integrated into the commune system (the number and size of communes in different provinces and municipalities are shown in Table 3.4). By the end of 1958 communization could be considered completed in China. From all available data it is safe to say that the creation of people's communes is an organizational change moving from the already well-established cooperatives rather than any kind of new establishment created by state investment, or promoted by techno-logical innovations. This organizational achievement, however important it may be, 60 Table 3.4 People's Communes Established to September, 1958 Number of Number of Percentage Average Communes Participat- of Total Number of Established ing house- Peasant Households holds Households in each ' 1': ;936, J5P Commune Peking 56 663,124 100.0 11,841 Shanghai 23 256,000) 100.0 11,130 Hobei 951 8,402>639 100.0 8,836 Shanki 975 3,483,564 100.0 3,573 Inner Mongolia 812 1,561,023 98.6 1,922 Liaoning 428 3,264,579 100.0 7,627 Jilin 481 1,914,547 100.0 3,980 Heilong-jiang 718 1,946,478 100.0 2,710 ShSnxi 1,673 3,232,904 100.0 1,932 Gansu 794 2,006,389 100.0 2,527 Qinghai 1144 245,624 100.0 2,456 Ninxia 53 201,815 67.3 3,808 Xinjiang 389 625,151 59.3 1,607 Shandong 1,580 11,347,989 100.0 7,182 Jiangsu 1,490 9,127,234 99;.4 6,125 Anhui 1,054 7,219,244 100.0 6,849 Zhejiang 761 5,697,412 100.0 7,487 Fujian 622 2,672,839 95.1 4,297 Honan 1,285 10,272,517 100.0 7,994 Hubei 729 6,040,000 96.1 8,286 Hunan 1,284 8,172,440 100.0 6,365 Jiangxi 1,240 ;3,'/7/20,(OO0 92.0 3,000 Guangdong 803 7,905,553 100.0 9,845 Guangxi 7841 4,041,944 100.0 5,155 Sichuan 4,827 13,676,988 99.1 2,833 Guizhou 2,194 3,101,205 94.5 1,413 Yunnan 275 1,137,148 31.0 4,135 Total 26,425 121,936,350 98.2 4,614 Source: Tdff^-fi Gong-zuo (Statistical Work), Semi-Monthly, No. 20, 1958 : 23. 61 has incited much hostility from outside as well as discontent within the CCP itself, especially among the high-ranking leaders. Since the pre-Cultural Revolution period, students of modern China have become more and more aware of the disagree-ments among Chinese decision-makers. After the Cultural Revolution burst forth, a stream of documents has revealed to us that the Chinese decision-makers did not constitute a monolithic body acting from consensus. On the contrary, serious disagree-ments over a set of important issues had existed among the top leaders. It has been said that the approach to collectivization by organization and ideopolitical education was advocated by Mao Tse-tung. His rivals, such as Liu Shaorqi and his followers, were inclined to relate collectivization to agricultural mechanization. Since they were aware of the Soviet experience, they agreed that collectivization would be feasible only after industry has been able to equip the agricultural sector with sufficient mach-inery. Otherwise China would certainly fall into the same pitfall of losing the incentives of farmers as had the Russian people. The struggle between the two factions within the CCP had gone on for at least a decade before reaching its climax at the Cultural Revolution. As the "invincible" leader in modern Chinese history, Mao's policies eventually prevailed over those of his rivals. Chao Kang has correctly pointed out a crucial fact - that "all important decisions that resulted in drastic accelerations in agricultural collectivization were reached in special meetings under Mao's personal auspices" (Chao, 1970 : 23). Therefore, it can be said that Mao played a decisive role in the establishment of the people's communes. Chao Kang has given a clear description of the struggle between Mao and Liu over agricultural development (1970 : 11-35). II THE EVOLUTION OF THE SYSTEM OF THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNE Stages of change in the People's Commune system have been the subject of some previous studies. ^ I shall deal with these stages in this section by changing slightly some details according to my own data. The evolution of the People's Com-mune can be roughly divided into four stages: A . The First Stage - Period of Confusion - April 1958 to December 1958 After the first commune had emerged in Honan, rural communes were organized with incredible speed throughout the whole country. Within half a year, 26,425 com-munes were set up, representing 98.2 percent of the total number of peasant households, with an average of 4,614 households in each commune (see Table 3.4). Although the communization can be seen as completed by the end of September, 1958, considerable disparities existed in size, organization, ownership and distribution systems among the newly established units throughout the country. The "Draft of An Experimental Regulation of the Weixing People's Commune" was published on 1st September, 1958 in Red Flag. It seemed to be published for the purpose of serving as a model for other newly established communes in the country. The major points were: (1) Weixing People's Commune is a basic social unit combining agriculture, trade, culture, education and political affairs. ^ For example, Cheng Chu-yuan, Communist China's Economy 1949-1962 : Structural Changes and Crisis, Chapter 4, pp. 37-59; Chao Kang, Agricultural Production in Communist China 1949-1965, Chapter 1, pp. 26-35; and Xiang Da-kun, Problems of the Communist People's Communes, pp. 12-24. G . E. Johnson has also given a detailed description in his master's thesis "Mobilization, Growth and Diversity : The Chinese Case 1958-1963" (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Cornell University, 1966). 63 (2) The commune system is considered as the proper form bridging socialism and com-munism, a stage to prepare the transition from the society of "to each according to his work" to that of "to each according to his needs". (3) Every citizen over sixteen years old, except those who have been landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries and those who have been deprived of political rights for other reasons, can be a full member. Those in the excepted categories can only be informal members; that is, they will not have the rights of electing, being elected, and voting. (4) All the public property formerly belonging to the cooperatives that have become part of the commune must be transferred to the commune and will be owned by the commune. The share funds formerly contributed by the members of the co-operatives are still valid, but will not be refundable if a member leaves the com-mune, or dies. (5) Members' private plots, grounds of houses, livestock, trees, etc., will be trans-ferred to the ownership of the commune; however, members are allowed to retain a small number of livestock. The Commune will compensate members for their losses of livestock and trees. (6) The commune will take special care to develop industry, irrigation, transportation, electrification and to set up commercial and bank services. (7) The commune is composed of all cooperatives in the whole township (xiang) with the former head of the township as its director. (8) The commune is divided into production brigades which are in turn divided into production teams,J^ While the commune is only responsible for profits and losses, ^ At the beginning of communization, there were a few variations for the brigade and team levels, but most of the communes were based on a three-level system. For con-venience, I translate all terms of the second level into "production brigade" and those of the third level into "production team" the production brigade is the basic unit of production management and account-ing, and the production team is the basic unit of labor organization. (9) Distribution system is a combination of wages based on the principle of "to each according to his work" and supply of free grain according to rations fixed by the state for each person. Those who work well can receive a prize in the maximum amount of one-quarter of their wages. Those who are lazy will be forced to work. Every male member is entitled to two days' leave per month, and female members three days' leave per month, without reduced wages. Absenteeism will be the subject of wage reduction. Women on leave for one month due to pregnancy will receive half a month's wages. (10) Each production brigade should organize its own mess hall and nursery. Those who do not want to eat in the mess hall or to use the services of the nursery are allowed to make other arrangements. (11) - The commune will improve the housing'[conditions of the members by rebuilding houses in accordance with the consideration of facilitating production and leadership. (12) Inside the commune, management at every level must be carried out democratically. Management personnel must participate in labor. As a means of democratic exp-ression, masses will be encouraged to use the Big Character posters to make criticisms (Hong-qi, No. 7, 1958 : 16-20). Inspired by the experimental regulation of the Weixing People's Commune, Mao suggested drafting the "Resolution About the Problems Concerning the People's 12 Commune" at the enlarged meeting of the Politburo in Beidaiho which was to be ^ Mao said during his "Talk at the Lushan Conference on 23 July 1959": "It was I who suggested to write down the Resolution at the Beidaiho Conference" (cf. Mao Tse-tung Si-xiang Wan-sui, 1969 : 304). published on 1 Oth September, 1958 in the Peoples' Daily. This resolution was a direc-tive from the highest authority and was also one of the causes of confusion. With extreme enthusiasm and optimism the authorities uttered their ideas in the resolution in an idealistic and encouraging manner rather than in a realistic and practical one; many terms and ideas were expressed ambiguously. The resolution considered the appro-priate size of a commune to be one xiang (township) in the slogan yi xiang yi she (one township for each commune) with about 2,000 households; and yet it is also suggested that local cadres should not oppose larger communes with more than 10,000 or 20,000 households, and advocated crossing township and county boundaries. It warned that the collective ownership should not be changed too quickly into ownership by the whole people, but, at the same time, thought that this transition period would be only a matter of three or four years in some places, and five or six years in others. It said that it was not necessary to deal immediately/ with the question of private plots, scattered fruit trees, share funds, and so on; on the other hand it suggested that the private plots might be pooled together to be managed collectively during the merger of cooperatives into com-munes. But, above all , two other measures promoted in the resolution were to become a source of disturbance to peasant life: one was militarization of the organization of labor force, the other was the everyday life being collectivized for which the most important symbol was the mess hall. Because the suggestions contained in the Resolution v\ere not precise enough to be followed, the leading cadres of each commune thought they had to do their best in the communization process. If deviation could not be avoided, they preferred to deviate to left rather than right, as a result of their experience in political education. This seemed unbelievable to outsiders so far as the efficiency of militarized actions of 66 the Chinese peasants is concerned. For example, at the beginning of the establish-ment of Weiguo People's Commune in the rural area of Yantai Municipality, Shandong Province, during half a night, under the orders of the production captain, the young peasant "soldiers" broke up all brick beds (Kang) of twelve households in the village in order to turn them into manure. Due to that very efficient action, the twelve households would face the problem of heating in the winter (YTRB, 26 August, 1958). In Xinyang Administrative District, Honan Province, in August, 1958, almost all the peasant households destroyed their private cooking stoves and handed over their con-served grain to show their determination to eat in the public mess hall (Li Fa-jiu, 1958). These were not isolated cases. Many other communes were, in the beginning, organized along military lines. For example, the Chengmen People:5s Commune in Minhou County, Fujian Province, was set upas a regiment which was divided into battalions at the brigade level. The whole commune was thus divided into 15 battal-ions, 121 companies, 329 platoons, and 1,254 squads (Hong-qi, No. 10, 1958 : 26). Most of the local cadres who led the commune movement were so afraid of being criticized as backward elements that they tended to take an overzealous attitude, without considering closely the objective situation. Protected by resounding slogans such as y i da er gong (literally, first big, second public; but here the word gong con-notes the meaning of fairness and equality) and chi-fan bu-yao qidn (eating without payment), they thought they could go as far as the Resolution had suggested. Con-sequently, some were looking for the big size in unifying all cooperatives in a county into one commune while others were striving to be highly public in eliminating Statistics showed that in 13 provinces, 94 counties had either established only one commune, or formed a federation of communes in each (RMRB, 1 October, 1958). 67 private plots, destroying private cooking stoves, even going so far as to separate 14 couples into different dormitories, and confiscating private houses and livestock. A general confusion rose throughout the country leading to reaction on the part of the peasants in the form of work slowdown, attacks on cadres, damage to public property, slaughter of livestock, waste of grain, and so forth (Cheng, 1963 : 126-129). Not only the peasants felt bitter; dissenting voices were heard even among the local cadres and high-ranking officials. In the face of such confusion, Mao Tse-tung convened two meetings, one in Zhengzhou, Honan, between November 2-10, 1958, and another in Wuchang, Hubei, between November 21-27, 1958 (Wen-hui Bag, 1959 : 1) to hear reports from secretaries of provincial, autonomous regional and municipal Party Committees and to analyze the situation. These two meetings were the prelude to the 6th Plenary Session of the 8th CCP Central Committee which was to be held from November 28 to December 10, 1958. The Central Committee adopted a new resolution to amend and consolidate the Peoples' Commune. Following publication of this "Resolution on Some Questions Concerning the People's Communes", although the configuration of the commune became much clearer than before, the movement entered into a period of crisis. Mao l^erodeplored the situation by saying: "We have blown the "wind of communism' as to seize the property belonging originally to brigades or teams. Pigs and cabbages were carried away without uttering a single word. This is incorrect:" ("Talk at the Wuhan Conference", Mao Tse-tung Si-xiang Wan-sui, 1969 : 297). 68 B. The Second Stage - Period of Crisis - January 1959 to July 1959 The objective of the "Resolution on Some Questions Concerning the People's Communes" was to confirm the correctness of the Beidaiho Resolution, to eliminate some ambiguities and to make it easier to follow in order to consolidate the People's Commune system. The essential points as amended were: (1) The necessary tempo from collective ownership to ownership by the whole people is not three to four years or five to six years, but fifteen to twenty years. (2) Federation of communes within one county is encouraged. (3) The principles of "to each according to his work" is emphasized. Distribu-tion is still based on half supply half wage, but wages can be ranked on a six or eight-degree scale, the highest being four times the lowest. The means of subsistence and savings deposit are guaranteed to be owned privately forever. (4) Increase of income for at least 90% of the members must be guaranteed. (5) Balanced development between agriculture and industry is encouraged. (6) Owing to the negative effect of the excessive shock actions, a limited time-schedule for one working day is fixed: 10 hours (8 for working and 2 for learning)for normal times and 12 hours during the busy farming season. (7) The leadership of militia is separated from that of administration and produc-tion. (8) "Politics iri command" should be enforced. Among these rectifications, a very strange item was inserted in the Resolution: presum-ably based on the swollen figures of the agricultural output in 1958, the authority sud-denly discovered that the agricultural problems had not lain in shortage of arable land and overpopulation, but on the contrary, in a shortage of labor force and surplus of arable land. Thus, a gradual reduction of one-third of the present cultivated land during the coming years was advocated. Of course, this suggestion was quickly to fall into silence and would never be talked of again. Mao's point of view was still strongly reflected in this Resolution. However, it was at the same conference that Mao decided not to be nominated for presidency of the state for another term. The real motive behind his decision is still unclear. Certain documents released during the Cultural Revolution suggest that he was forced to yield his position by a contending group led by Liu Shao-qi, apprently because of the econ-omic failure of the Great Leap Forward and the confusion caused throughout the country-side by the escalation of the communization. Now, looking back at the events, it seems probable that Mao preferred to sacrifice his presidency in order to get through the resolution about the People's Commune. At the end of the Resolution all party and administrative cadres at the provincial, municipal and autonomous regional level were called to participate intensively in the checking-up or rectification campaign of com-munes in organizing ten-thousand-person groups (wan-ren tuan) to investigate the situation. In February, 1959, an enlarged meeting of the Politburo was held in Zheng-zhou to revise the so-called rectification campaign. Some concrete measures were said to be formulated by this conference and approved by the CCP Central Committee's 7th 70 Plenum in April in Shanghai. But no detailed report was published. The full impact of the confused situation caused by the setting-up of the People's Communes on agricultural production began to be tested by the summer of 1959. Although no statistical figures were published, it can be suggested by other evidence that agricultural production decreased drastically in comparison with the previous years (Buck, 1965, and Clark, 1965 : 148-49). Criticism among the high-ranking officials against the commune system began to mount. The famouse case of Marshall Peng De-huai's petition at the Lushan Conference, held in August of that year, (which cost Peng his position as Minister of Defence), was representative of a large number of the high-ranking Party members. Although Mao succeeded during the Lushan Conference in subduing once again the opposition in the Party, his personal prestige was considerably lowered. A succession of readjustment measures was to be taken for the purpose of easing the economic crisis which confined to deepen as time went on. The period of 1959-1961 has been reported to be a time at the edge of a veritable famine, the cause of which is usually attributed to natural calamities, but it is alleged that Lui Shao-qi/ihas said in a subsequent report that "the economic crisis was 30 percent attributable to natural calamities and 70 percent to man-made disaster" (Chao, 1970 : 31). An official report issued in August, 1960, suggests that deliberate devasta-tion of land by peasants during the spring sowing season had become serious (RMRB, 14 August, 1960). The shortage of grain for the coming years was so grave that the 15 government was forced to buy wheat in great quantity from Australia and Canada. It is estimated that China imported 5-6 million tons of wheat from Australia, Canada and France in 1961 (Jan Deleyne, 1971 : 172). 71 In the face of such a disaster in rural economy, Mao's voice could no longer be as resounding as it had once been. It is very likely that a contending group took shape at the time around Liu Shao-qi and Deng Xiao-ping, and began to act in concert. The decision of the Lushan Conference and the "Twelve Articles of Emergency Direc-tives for Work in the Countryside" issued by the Central Committee of the CCP in November, 1960^ marked another stage which may be called the "stage of regression". C . The Third Stage - Period of Regression - August 1959 to August 1962 Following the Lushan decision, the "Twelve Articles of Emergency Directives for Work in the Countryside" were issued to carry out some important modifications: (1) The basic ownership of the production brigade and partial ownership of the production team was strengthened. (2) Labor force should be controlled at the production team level. (3) The portion paid in wages and the portion supplied should be 70% and 30% respectively. (4) The private plots were returned to members of the communes. (5) Family sidelines were allowed. (6) Rural trade markets were restored in a controlled manner. (7) The proper balance between work time and rest was assured. (8) Masses should be mobilized to participate in the "rectification campaign" of the commune (Chiang, 1965 : 70-71; 1967 Yearbook oh Chinese Communism : 1029-1030). 1° The "Twelve Articles of Emergency Directives" and the later "Sixty Articles Con-cerning the People's Communes" have never been published in the Chinese press. I found them in the URI's collection, and the Hoover Institution collection among the materials gathered by the Taiwan Security Office. They have been viewed as veracious. 72 Based on the principles of the above "Emergency Directives", a document called "Draft of the Regulations for the Operation of the Rural People's Communes (known also as "Sixty Articles Concerning the People's Communes") was issued in March, 1961, in order to concretize in detail the spirit of the "Twelve Articles". The "Sixty Articles" went further in putting a limitation on local industry and larger plans of irri-gation systems in order to concentrate the labor force directly on agricultural production. The ex-landlords and rich peasants who had behaved well were for the first time allowed to be full members. Along with this, the slogan of "san-zi y?-bqo" (three privates and one guaran-tee) which was to become notorious during the Cultural Revolution was carried out as an efficient measure to stimulate the peasant's zeal in production. The "three privates" means private plots, free markets and responsibility for losses and gains in rural handi-crafts production. All three things had existed during the cooperativization period. The one guarantee which caused the communal land to be distributed to individual house-holds on condition that each household guaranteed a fixed quota in production, was a new policy. It is apparent that this policy made the system of labor distribution retreat even beyond the cooperativization period. That is why this period can be considered as a period of regression. However, it seems very likely that the "one guarantee" policy did not become really prevalent before being criticized as the main crime of the capital-istic roaders. ^ ^ Deng Zi-hui, one of the high-ranking officials in the Government, was purged by Mao because he proposed the adoption of a nationwide system to sefguaranteed production quotas" for individual farm households instead of production teams (see Liu's "Confession", China Monthly, Sept. 1969, p. 35, quoted by Chao, 1970 : 322-323). If is difficult to affirm now whether the cause of the improvement in agricul-tural production in 1962 was due to amelioration of weather, or to the drastic modifi-cations in the commune system; probably both. In any event, the sign of the end of crisis gave Mao and his supporters an opportunity not to yield further in the Commune movement to Liu's group which considered that the economic policies had not been retreated far enough. Now Mao decided to launch his counter attack during the Tenth Session of the Eighth Central Committee, held in September, 1962, by focussing the economic problems on ideological ground. Class struggle was once again raised to gauge the standard of correct policy-making. The Maoists thereafter called this meet-ing amhistorical turning point in the duel of power struggle against the capitalist roaders (Chao, 1970 : 31). It was also this meeting which opened a nationwide cam-paign of politico-ideological indoctrination known as the Socialist Education Movement. D. The Fourth Stage - Period of Consolidation - September 1962 to 1965 The meeting of the Party's Central Committee in September, 1962 has been considered decisive by the Maoists because an alleged proposal on further modifications of the communal organization by Liu was not accepted at the meeting. In Maoist terms, the situation was that "the black wind of capitalism was victoriously stopped" (Chao, 1970 : 31). It seems that Mao regained since then some influence in decision-making which had been manipulated by Liu's group during the crisis period of 1959-1961. Although Mao and his policy have never been publicly criticized in the Chinese Press, 1 g For a full account of this movement see Richard Baum (1975). 74 Mao recognized in many instances his mistakes in communization and specially pointed out two important deviations during the movement, namely, "ping-jun zhu-yi" (equali-tarianism) and gong-chdn feng" (wind of communism).^ The former refers to the blunder of cadres in not understanding the necessity of socialist principle in distribution, "to each according to his work". The latter refers to the contradictions between commune and brigade, commune and team and brigade and team, on the one hand, and between collectivity and individual household on the other. Mao later recognized that the passage from collective ownership to ownership by the whole people would require much more time than he had originally thought. That is why he made no attempt to reverse 20 the main modifications made by Liu's group, except the "one guarantee" policy. Following the purge of Deng Zi-hui, who had been the flagbearer of Liu's "one guarantee" policy, the commune organization retained the "three levels" system with-out handing the communal land to individual households except at some experimental spots. The revised version of the "Draft of the Regulations for the Operation of the Rural People's Communes" at the Party's Central Committee meeting in September, 1962, made clear that the ownership was of a collective nature, not by the whole people. Most property such as hilly land, fruit trees, small-scale industries, formerly owned by the commune, was handed over to the brigade and team for possession and management.. The production team was designated instead of the brigade as the basic unit of accounting.^ ^ See Mao's "Talk at Zhengzhou Meeting in March 1959: and "Talk at Lushan Con-ference in July 1959" (Mao Tse-tung Si-xiang Wdh-sui, 1969 : 279-305). 20 See Mao's "Talk at the Conference of the Party's Central Committee Work Group at Beidaiho on 9 August 1962" (Mao Tse-tung Si-xiahg Wdn-sui, 1969 : 425). In the revised version, a two-level system (commune and team without brigade) was mentioned as a variation (See "Nongcun Renmin Gongshe Gbhgzuo Tidoli-Xiuzheng an ("A Revised Draft of the Regulations for the Operation of the Rural People's Commune" or "Revised Version of the Sixty Articles Concerning the People's Communes"), Sept. 1962, reprinted by the Taiwan Security Office in May, 1965. 75 Along with the modifications in organization, the size of the commune was 9 9 also reduced drastically. Up to November, 1963, the total number of communes had increased to 74,000 from around 26,000 in 1959 (Peking Review, 1 November, 1963 : 9), corresponding roughly to the number of townships in China. From 1962 to 1965 no miraculous increase in agricultural output has been re' ported, but it is very likely that agricultural production was being steadily increased dujing that period. There is little doubt that the commune system was gradually con-solidated and entered into a stage of stability. Ill SUMMARY Eighteen years have elapsed since the emergence of the people's commune. More and more people are recognizing the importance of this socioeconomic organism, and more and more information and research results are being published. However, we still feel the danger of being misled in one direction or another. Let us put aside for the time being a few studies made in China on the People's Communes, because they could be thought of as being published for the purpose of dis-seminating some kind of propaganda. In the western countries there still exist two oppos-ing points of view. For instance, Cheng Chu-yuan concluded in his study on the People's Commune: "The failure of communization, first experienced in the Soviet Union and now in Communist China, provides a valuable lesson to all other less developed countries -collectivization definitely leads to the deterioration of agricultural production (1963:5-6). 22 For the reasons and process of re'ducing commune size, see G . William Skinner, "Marketing and Social Structure in Rural China", Part III : "Rural Marketing in Communist China" (The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, May, 1965 : 363-399). 76 Perspicacious as he is, Chao Kang takes the view that the communes existed almost in name only by 1961 (1970 : 29). On the other hand, Keith Buchanan states that the "changes (modifications) do not mean the commune system is collapsing; they are rather a sign that the system is very much alive and developing" (1966 : 38). His point of view is shared by Jan Myrdal (1965 : 1970) and Peter Worseley (1975). It is certain that both views must be tested before 'either one can'be.accepted as a theory which can cope with the reality. However, we may ask a prior? if these opposing points 23 of view were not the consequence of their guiding theories. As a matter of fact, a few social scientists have been aware of the danger of being misled by the theories, well established in the vWest, in approaching the problems of the Third World (Frank, 1967;:Gurley, 1971). But most of them have expressed their dissenting points of view in the form of criticism, few have attempted to break up the paradigmatic restraint with suggestive studies. As has been expressed in the introduction, this study is an attempt to go beyond the conventional theories on the Third World. The development of the People's Commune is viewed, in this thesis, as a different model from the western capitalist and the Soviet socialist ones. It is likely not appropriate to 'establish this model by using the same criteria as would be used to build a model along the capitalist line. From this point of view, neither GNP index nor capital formation index is very meaningful in judging whether the commune system is a failure or a success. It is rather suggestive that the development of the People's Commune should be treated in its own historical and cultural backgrounds and sociological environment. Its success This academic dispute is not a novelty, but has its roots in the pre-World War. II research which will be discussed further in the next chapter. 77 or failure is based on the structural flexibility of the Chinese society to the theory with which the decision-maker was attempting to change the social reality in order to attain some predesigned goal on the one hand, and the flexibility of the theory in its adapta-bility to the Chinese situation on the other. The process of change is a dialectical one. However utopian a predesigned goal may be, if it is malleable and ready to modify itself in accordance with inter-reaction between itself and the pre-existing social structure, it will be no longer Utopian. On the contrary, a feasible predesign may become Utopian if it is too rigid to adapt it-self to the social reality. Therefore, it is almost inconceivable for me to consider the rectification of the commune as a pure regression without taking its adaptive aspect into account. It is undeniable that there were things which could be deemed as regressive in comparison with the original design of a very radical nature, but there were also other things which provided advanced indices for further development. In contrast to the con-clusions of C'heng and Chao, I cannot find any solid ground of failure, nor can I say that the commune system is only a name. After the stage which I have called "regression", it was the stage of consolidation. Why is the People's Commune to be considered not as a failure, but as a valuable model? Why is it not merely a different name for the co-operative system? How was it being consolidated in a continuing developmental process? And how can it be perceived as such? the following chapters will respond to these questions. 78 Chapter Four GENERAL BACKGROUND FOR THE RURAL ECONOMY IN SHANDONG BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNES This chapter will be presented in three sections: the first section will provide a geographical and historical background of Shandong Province; the second section will deal with the historical facts relevant to the rural economy and the theoretical interpretations of the latter; and the third section will give a description of the situ-ation of cooperativization on the eve of the commune movement in Shandong. I GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Shandong Province, stretching from latitude 38°N to 34°N and from longitude 115°E to 123°E, has an area of a little more than 150,000 square kilometres, roughly corresponding to 1.5 percent of the total area of China. ^ The topography of Shandong is uneven. Mountainous and hilly regions comprise three-fifths of the total area. The province can be divided into four parts (see Map 1). 1. The Western Alluvial Plain is a part of the vast North-China Plain. Ninety percent of its surface is under fifty metres above sea level. The Yellow River and the Great Canal pass through, and cross each other in the middle of the region. Between the mountains in the central part of the province and the Yellow River alluvial plain, short rivers form lakes. Weishan Lake, the largest one, covers an area of approximately six hundred and sixty square kilometres. To the north of the region a delta formed by the ^ China is about 9,6000,000 square kilometres. 1. The Western. Alluvial Plain* 2. The Jiaolai Plain 3* The Central Mountainous Region*. k» The Eastern Liaodong Hilly Region. Sources Atlag by Provinces of the PRC. 197i*tH3 - o Yellow River between the estuaries of Tuhai River and Xiaoqing River stretches to the Gulf of Bohai. 2. The Jiaolai Plain is situated between the central mountainous region and the Jiaodong hilly region. It is also an alluvial plain formed by the rivers of Wei, Bailang, Jiaolai and Dagu. 3. The Central Mountainous Region consists of a chain of mountains such as Tai, Mong, Lu and Y i . The highest peak on Tai Mountain rises to more than one thousand five hundred metres, but the borders of the region are no more than three hundred metres above sea-level. 4. The Eastern Jiaodong Hilly Region is the main part of the Shandong Peninsula. This portion is made up of granite and gneiss with some crystalline limestone. It is not more than four hundred metres high on the average. The cultivated areas are concentrated in the two plains regions (cf. Atlas by Provinces of the PRC, 1974 : 37-40). Ramon Myers describes Shandong Province as one area with poor soil conditions because "rainfall was insufficient to leach out most of the lime so that the soil was alka-line" (Myers, 1970 : 9). The annual rainfall is so irregular that agriculture used to 2 depend largely upon the weather. Drought often occurred in the past, but flooding was no less frequent because the concentration of rainfall in a short period during the summer 2 During the nineteenth century Shandong had 30 droughts. See Amano Motonosuke, "Shindai no riogyo to sono kozo" (Agriculture during the Qing period and its structure) in Ajia kenkyu (Asiatic Studies), 3.1 : 240 (quoted by Myers, 1970 : 274). usually caused the Yellow River to overflow. Drought, flood, alkali and sand have been viewed as the four major natural calamities contributing to the low agricultural output. Compared with the fertile Yangzi Delta, that of Pearl River, or the Sichuan Basin, the geographical conditions of Shandong province are greatly inferior, but they are no more severe than in many other inland provinces such as Honan, Shanxi and Shanxi. If the arable land and the total area ratio are taken into account, Shan-dong will occupy a better position. Shandong has been ranked first of all the provinces in China with respect to its net cultivated surface area (see Appendix III, Table I). In spite of the relatively low yield per unit (Appendix III, Table 2), it has been ranked second only to Sichuan Province on the list of net output of food grains (Appen-dix III, Table 3). However, one factor which has placed Shandong among the poorest provinces is its man-land ratio. Its population numbered more than 48,870,000 in the census of 1955 (Tregear, 1965 : 228), 54,000,000 in 1958 (DZRB, 1 October, 1958), and 55,520,000 in 1974,^ a population three times as large as that of Shanxi Province which is equal to Shandong in area, and has twice the population of Canada which is almost as big as China.^ In the past, the vast virgin land in the North-east was the ideal colonial area for the surplus population of Shandong. In short, poor soil conditions, insufficient annual rainfall, regular flooding of the Yellow River, and overpopulation, have constituted the main problems of 3 During the last 2,000 pears, tUa 2, JOG years, the lower course of the Yellow River has overflowed in Honan and Shandong Provinces more than 1,500 times (see Huanghe Zai Qian-jin (The Yellow River Goes Ahead), published by the Ministry of Irrigation and Electricity, Peking, 1972. ^ Atlas by Provinces of the People's Republic of China, op. cit., p. 39. In Shenzhou Jubian (Drastic Change in China), published in January, 1976 in Hong Kong by the Economic Report News Press, A population of more than 68,000,000 is given for Shandong Province (p. 88). ^ Shandong is ranked second after Jiangsu Province in population density, but Jiangsu is much more fertile than Shandong. Shandong Province. These problems are no different than those of China as a whole, but they have manifested themselves in a more acute manner in Shandong than in any other province. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that Shandong is, geographically one of the most representative areas of China with regard to basic problems in agricul-tural development. Historically, Shandong is one of the places where the early Chinese culture flourished. Thanks to the archaeological discoveries during recent decades, we know that an early culture, called by archaeologists the Longshan Culture or Black Pottery Culture^ developed between approximately 2,000 and 1,200 B.C. in the present Long-shan Township of Licheng County (Shi Zhang-ru, 1954 : 26). This neolithic culture spread to the north, west and south and was to meet the Yang'shaoCCuIture in the present Honan Province to form the earliest Chinese culture known to us before the Shang Dynasty (Pei, 1954 : 56). It was also in this province that Confucius was born and pro-pagated his philosophy. Shandong Province formed part of the territory of China at a very early time and was part of the Chinese cultural unit long before the provinces to the south of the Yangzi River. Administratively, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, Shandong was divided into ten fu and three zhi-li zhou (directly under the jurisdiction of the provincial govern-ment). Those ten fu were divided into 7 zhou and 97 xian (counties) (Shandong Tong-zhi, 1915). After the Revolution of 1911, all zhou were converted into counties. So the province was divided first into 108 counties (Feng-sheng, D?-zhi, 1935), and then into 107 counties (see Map 2). After 1949, although some county seats were moved It has been so called because the excavation was found at Longshan, Licheng County, Shandong Province, and consisted mainly of black potteries. Counties of Shandong Provinces 1•Wudi 2.Zhanhua 3.Yangxin 4.Luoling 5.Ningjin 6.Shanghe 7.Huimin 8.Bin 9.Lijin ICBoxing U.Guangrao 12*Shouguang 13«Yidu 1if.Linzhi 15* Changshan l6.Zouping 17.Gaoqing 18. Huantai 19.Putai 20.Qingcheng 21,Qidong 22.Jiyang 23.Linyi 24*Ling 25.De 26. En 2?.Wuchang 28.Xiajin 29»Linqing 30*Qiu 31. Quantao 32.Guan 33-Xin 3^-Zhaocheng 3 5 . Fan 3&.Guancheng 37.Pu 38*Hezhe 39*Dingtao 40.Cao M.Dan if2..Jinxiaig 43*Chengwu kh* Juye if5.Yuncheng i*6.Jiaxiang if7.,Wenshang i+8.Dongping 49.Shouzhang 5CDong«a 51.Piayin 52.Yanggu 53•Tangyi 54.Liaocheng 55.Shiping 56.Boping 57»Qingpin 58.Gaotang 59-Pingyuan 6Q*Yucheng 61.Qiho 62.Licheng 63.Changqing 64.Feicheng 65«Tai*an 6 6 . Ningyang 67»Sishul 68.Qufu 69*Yanzhou 70.Jining 71.Yutai 72.Zou ?3*Teag. 7^.Yi 75.Daacheng 76.Fei 7?.Mengyin 78»Xintai ?9.Laiwu 80.Zhangqiu 8l.Zhichxan 82.Boshan 83Linju 8/f.Yishui 85.Liayi 86.Rizhao 87.Ju 88.inqiu 89.Changluo 90.Wei 9 K C h a n g y i 92*Gaomi 93.Zhucheng 9 W i a o 95.Piagdu 96.Te 97.Zhaoyuan 98.Laiyang 99*Jiiao 100.Hai.yang IQUQixia 102.Huang 103*Penglai 104.Fushan 105.Muping 106.Wendeng 107»Rongcheng Sources; Myers 1970s 10-11 and Atlas by Provinces of the PRC> 1974:37-38. 84 because of the development of transportation and some small counties were merged into large ones, the province continued in the main to keep the traditional subdivi-sion. However, according to the available sources, we know that changes have been occurring since 1949. A 1958 source shows that the province was divided into 8 large Administrative Districts (Zhuan-qu) which were in turn divided into 6 municipalities and 104 counties in addition to four municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the provincial government (DZRB, 7 July, 1958). The Administrative Atlas of China published by the U.S. Directorate of Intelligence in 1969 gives 9 Administrative Dist-ricts and 107 counties under their jurisdiction of Shandong Province. The most recent Chinese Atlas shows that the province is divided into 9 Administrative Districts and 4 municipalities under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. The 9 Administrative Districts are;subdivided into 106 counties and 5 municipalities (Atlas by Provinces of the PRC : 39). No available source tells us when the trivial changes in the administra-tive division occurred between 1958 and 1974. As the more recent atlases do not contain the demarcation lines between counties, Map 2 remains the only reference as to county demarcation for the beginning of commune movement. Ill RECENT HISTORY IN SHANDONG AND THEORETICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT A . Recent History in 'Shandong The following is a resume of significant historical facts about Shandong Province since the Opium War of 1840 (cf. History Department of Shandong University, 1960), which reflect the extent to which peasant life was disturbed by both internal and external forces and the gradual collapse of the rural economy. 85 1. Invasion of Imperialist Powers As a result of the Second Opium War in 185.8, Yantai, an east-coast port in Shandong, was opened to foreign trade. Following the arrival of commercial goods, Catholic and Protestant missionaries from France, Italy, Germany, and the United States began to penetrate deeply into the countryside with three bastions in three big cities: Jinan (western parochiality of Shandong), Yanzhou (southern parochiality) and Yantai (eastern parochiality). It was not long before the religious activities of the American missionaries spread to a large number of counties such as Pingdu, Linqing, Qufu, Linyi, Weixian, Laiyang, Changqing, Yucheng and Enxian. The secession of Taiwan as a result of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-71895 whetted the Japanese appetite and consequently they occupied by force Weihaiwei, on other east-coast port in Shandong. At the same time, under the pretext of the dis-appearance of a German missionary, Germany occupied Jiaozhou Gulf where Qingdao was to be developed into a German bastion, ln 1898 Great Britain seized Weihaiwei by routing the Japanese, and imposed another trade treaty port on China. The German-Chinese Railway Company, the German-Chinese Mineral Exploita-tion Company and the German-Chinese Bank were set up simultaneously in 1899. The Jiao-Ji Railway was built by Germany in order to exploit a large area between Qingdao and 'Jiinan. In the meantime, intervention by the foreign missionaries in Chinese domestic affairs provoked peasant resistance and riots^ among which those in Pingyuan County Deleted. (1895), in Cao County and Dan County (1896), in Juye County and Yanggu County (1897), and in Yucheng County, Licheng County, Feicheng County, Guan County and Linqing County (1899) were the most well known. During the First World War, the Japanese entered the conflict on the Allied §:ide in order to move into the German concessions on Shandong. The famous Twenty-one Demands presented to China by Japan in 1915 provoked the May Fourth Movement which would have far-reaching influence in modern China. But China was too weak at that moment to defend herself. The Japanese army finally entered Shandong in 1927 to impede the northward march of Chiang Kai-shek's North-Expedition Army. The merciless massacre of the inhabitants of Jinan, the capital of Shandong, by the Japanese army, on May 3, 1928, makes this date a memorable one in modern Chinese history. From 1937 to 1945, all the big cities and a large area along the railways in Shandong were occupied and governed by the Japanese forces. Because the communist guerrillas were active in the countryside, under the pretext of eliminating communists, Ibotingtamd the massacre of Chinese peasants by the Japanese became routine in a large part of the province. 2. Peasant Rebellions The failures in wars with foreign powers forced the Manchu government to continuously increase agricultural taxes. Between 1840 and 1854, open and organized peasant resistance to payment of taxes occurred in fifteen counties. In 1854 the Tai-ping Army entered Shandong and at the same time peasant riots flared up in the western part of the province. Between 1855 and 1868 the Nian 87 Army actively engaged the Manchu Armies in a large region of Shandong. Both Taiping and Nian rebellions were on a nation-wide scale. Many other rebellious instances, although originating locally and having limited influence, affected even more the peasant life of this province. The best known of these local uprisings were: (1) the Fu-jun in the counties of Mengyin, Yishui, Te.ng/ Fei, Y i , Taian, and Laiwu (1856-1862); (2) the Zou-jiao-jun in the counties of Zou and Qufu (1860-1862); (3) the Chang-qiang Hui (the Long Lance Society) in the counties of Fan, Mengcheng and Dongchang (1861-1867); (4) the Bai-liah Jiao (the White Lotus Society) in the West of Shandong (1861-1863); and (5) the Yi-he Quan (the Boxers 1863-1901) which was originally a branch of the White Lotus Society, expanding later into Hobei Prov-ince and Peking and finally becoming widely known because of the War of the Boxers. In a relatively short span of time, the fact that so many peasant revolts oc-curred, strongly indicated the state of instability in the countryside. 3. Acceleration of Class Polarization Due to disintegration of the social and economic structures and to the modern means of accumulating wealth, class polarization proceeded at an unprecedented pace. Because of disintegration of social and economic structures, the restraining forces, both structural and moral, were considerably weakeried;5becausecofcm'odepn:means of accumu-lating wealth, people could be enriched in a short span of time to a degree that formerly took several generations. Two facts can be seen to indicate the tendency to class polari-zation: (1) Multi-enterprises of landlords: Besides leasing land, landlords also undertook commercial and handicraft enterprises, and began to set up money stores (qian-zhuang) or silver stores (yin-hao). The last named was a modern means of acculumating wealth, much more efficacious than the means of traditional userers. The Xu family in Xiajin County and the Shu family in Zhichuan County were very representative of this category of landlord. 8 (2) Militia groups (Tuan-lian) : Inasmuch as the Manchu legal forces were in-capable of protecting people against either foreign invaders or armed peasant rebels, many wealthy and influential landlords embarked on the organization of a defensive militia. They built citadels and armed their tenants. They even collected taxes from the inhabitants of their spheres of influence. They offered an alternative to the peasants: aligning with the rebels, or looking for protection from these influential landlords. As the militia groups were proven efficient in fighting against the peasant rebels, they were en-couraged by the government. This phenomenon was not, of course, limited to Shandong Province. It was a nationwide movement during this period. A few of these militia groups developed into warlords at the beginning of the Republic. According to Chinese official statistics, before the Land Reform the landlord class in Shandong represented 3%-4% of the total population, but occupied 30%-50% of the total arable land. This situation was exacerbated in some places, for instance, at the time of Land Reform, officially reported surveys indicated that in the southern part of Zhucheng County, the landlord representing 10% of the local population possessed 80% of the land (DZRB, 6 August, 1957). This situation created tension not only between landlords and peasants, but also among the peasants themselves ° T h o u g h the tuan-lian varied greatly in different, places, under different circum-stances, it was invariably a gentry creation for local militarization and control in response to a time of administrative weakness (cf. Kuhn, 1970 : 93-104). 89 because of the scarcity of land, a situation which made so many people pessimistic about the Chinese rural economy. 4. Civil Wars; In Myers1 book, the Japanese invasion of Shandong between 1937-1945 seems not to have dealt a serious blow to the rural economy. But his perceptions are highly suspect because he relied strongly on Japanese data to study the Chinese economy. He nevertheless gives a detailed account, always according to the Japanese surveys, of the impactsof warlordism and the civil war between the Communists and Nationalists on the rural economy (Myers, 1970 : 277-287). Shandong was not only the battlefield of the Japanese invasion armies, but also of the civil wars before and after them. As Myers says: "no other phenomena between 1911 and 1937 (sic!) caused such upheaval and misery in the countryside as that of dissident military units wandering about pillag-ing and warring with one another" (ibid. : 277). Between 1937 and 1945, the rural situation became worse because of the pitiless attacks by the Japanese armies for the purpose of seizing provisions and elimin-ating the communists. But the defeat of the Japanese forces did not bring about calm-ness in Shandong. Between 1945 and 1948, the communist forces made assaults on the county seats one after another before they finally conquered the provincial capital, Jinan. It is known that the defeat of the Nationalist government did not result only from the military collapse, but also - probably mainly - from economic bankruptcy. On the eve of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, just as Myers points out, "the collapse of both urban and rural economy in north China was complete" (ibid. : 187). 90 B. Theoretical Interpretations of Economic Development Many scholars, both Chinese and Western, have used much of their time and energy to investigate the causes and to look for some feasible solutions to the problems of backwardness or regression in Chinese agricultural development. In his research on peasant economy in Hobei and Shandong (the only serious study about local economy of Shandong Province so far as I know), Ramon H. Myers puts forth two theories for explaining the backwardness of Chinese agriculture: the:distribution theory and the eclectic theory, as previously mentioned in Chapter One (Section I). Although those theories were not derived exclusively from research on Shandong and Hobei provinces, Myers thinks they can be applied towards explaining the agrarian problems in these two provinces. He states that his study is closer to that of J . L. Buck than tb that of any other student of the Chinese rural economy. Therefore, he espouses Buck's explanations which rested on "incontrovertible evidence that the funda-mental problems of agriculture had nothing to do with rural socioeconomic relationships" and "that China's rural problem was rooted firmly in improving farming technology and in the government undertaking various forms of assistance to permit farmers to manage their land more efficiently" (Myers, 1970 : 292). Before advancing my comments about the divergence between the "distribution theory" and "eclectic theory" named by Myers, I would like to say a few words about the nature of Myers' data upon which he has based his research. In the first place, there is little doubt that the North China rural surveys made by the Japanese during the war period (1939-1943), which constituted the bulk of the sources of Myers' data, have certain value for understanding the peasant economy in the corresponding areas. In some ways, they might even be regarded as very valuable if there existed no other sources of the same nature, covering the same period. However, as Myers was aware, the validity of data is questionable because they were "collected via interpreters by citizens of a conquering power, by foreigners whose compatriots had committed aggression of the most naked kind" (Myers, 1970 : 37). After citing such a strange condition of data collecting, I can hardly believe that Myers could be so naive as to think that the Chinese peasants' "characteristic tolerance (and long experience) of alien powers suggested that they probably told the truth" and that "they could under-stand that these particular investigators were not the usual servants of the invading army" (ibid.). So far as I have observed, the Chinese peasants are no more tolerant of alien powers than any other people.' Nor can I believe that the peasants during a time of war were capable of distinguishing "these particular investigators" from the "servants of the invading army" . 1 0 In the second place, the four villages from whence the bulk of the data was derived, were all close to big cities such as Peking and Jinan, or to county seats. They were not very representative of inland villages, either by number or by their geographical situation. 9 The Mongols and Manchus, in spite of their rapid Sinicization, were not really tolerated even after 80 years and more than 200 years domination respectively. 1 0 Even I, a Chinese, when collecting information for my thesis in Hong Kong, felt I had incited some undue suspicion in my compatriots, yet it was not a time of war. Moreover, I was in Hong Kong, a large westernized city, faced with informants who were more or less educated and surely capable of distinguishing a student from a secret agent; after all, I did not need an interpreter and was capable of communi-cating with my informants in the most subtle Chinese way (see Appendix I). 92 Thirdly, many examples in the data which could lead to a different conclu-sion were not discussed by Myers. For instance, in the data of Ling Shui Kou Village in Shandong Province, the land distribution is reported as very unequal. As we know, before 1949 the village leadership was strictly linked with wealth. The number of families belonging to the village council until 1925 represented 2% of the total number of village householders, but owned 10% of the land. Between 1928 and 1939, the number of village leaders increased to 4% while the land they owned decreased to 8%. There are two possible explanations for such an abrupt change occurring within a time span of only a few years. The first is that the members of the village council did not report the accurate figures of their land holdings between 1928-1939 for fear of being over-taxed by the Japanese. The second explanation may be that given the accuracy of the figures, this trend rather indicates a general impoverishment of the villagers, including the wealthy peasants, and not more equality of land distribution, because there was little chance that the land lost by the village leaders fell into the hands of the poor non-leader families. Who could purchase this land? Absentee landlords? Presumably. If this explanation is reasonable, it would touch the socioeconomic relationship in the rural areas. It was no longer possible to confine the problem merely to a purely economic framework. With respect to the two theories about peasant development in China advanced by Myers, many points were shared by the two theories. Both sides recognized the im-poverishment of the peasants and both thought that a large proportion of their incom was unjustly taken away by taxes, high rents, usury and the like. The crucial difference between them in their conclusions is that the distribution theorists viewed the causes and solutions in production relationships and stressed them, whereas the eclectic theorists 93 viewed the causes and solutions in and stressed on productive forces. Bearing this in mind, we immediately find that this difference in thinking and in the accordingly derived arguments is not only confined to the research before World War II, but is still carried on by the students of China today. The difference between Buchanan, Worsley and Jan Myrdal on the one hand, and Cheng Chu-yuan and Chao Kang on the other, on the people's commune which I have discussed in the previous chapter, is none other than the old theme of production relationships versus productive forces. One interesting remark is that those who espouse the "eclectic theory" are mostly economists trained in the purely western academic tradition in economy, no matter whether their origins be Chinese or western. On the other side stand mostly non-economists whether they be sociologists, anthropologists or social historians. At this point, James Hansen's remark about the paradigmatic limitations in modern empiricist science woul'd become very suggestive.11 The old paradigmatic framework set up by 1 9 Adam Smith in economic development is still in vogue. Laissez-faire, self-interest and competitive markets are viewed as basic principles for rapid economic development. Derivatively, any interference from government is viewed as evil and undue action which could only obstruct a normal and healthy development. That is why those econ-omists, when studying the Chinese economy, have done everything to avoid looking at any evidence which might contradict those principles. In spite of historic facts, many of them still think that communism was imposed on the Chinese peasants by a host of elitists and that the creation of the People's Commune was also arbitrarily conceived 11 In criticising the Empiricist Science, Hansen says: "This type of science is prevalent in most lab-work: the scientist 'collects' 'facts' in accordance with some pre-estab-lished paradigm" (1967). ^ John G . Gurley has made a precise analysis in this matter. See "Capitalist and Maoist Economic Development "(1969). 94 by Mao or by a few people against the peasants' will, and that if the Chinese peasantry was to be given a chance to develop itself along the line of laissez-faire, self-interest and competitive markets, it would have developed much better. But laissez-faire, self-interest and competitive markets have operated in a set of historical conditions and sociological institutions that the countries outside the western sphere do not possess. If the social and economic prerequisites for development in developing countries consist merely of introducing the necessary social "(institutions as well as technology from the developed countries, there would already have been some "united states" emerging in Latin America or Asia. The historical evidence of economic development shows that the countries of Latin America have not successfully received such similar condi-tions and institutions by diffusion from the developed countries after having developed along the line of "liberal economy" for more than two centuries, at least. India is another example of a country which has not successfully developed in this way. Even Japan, which has always been regarded as an exception in terms of a successful model of liberal economy, has not possessed similar institutions, although some historical conditions similar to the western countries in their development were created during World War II and are continuing in effect. Ironically enough to the expectations of some economists, they were not created by the liberal economy, but by Japanese military invasion. The divergence between the two theories becomes all the more important when it is not merely circumscribed within the academic realm, but brought into the sphere of policy-making. It has been reported that the question of »w'hetlheri:produetion relation' ships"on«produetKve>fo^ constituted the most burning issue of 95 the struggle between two factions within the CCP during the collectivization move-ment. The fact that the final decisions were always inclined to change the produc-tion relationships in order to resolve the contradiction between them and the productive forces, could sufficiently indicate that the final analyses of the decision-makers were in accord, to some degree, with the 'distribution' theorists. Contrary to Myers' accu-sation that the distribution theorists lacked thorough examination of "the great body of rural data" and critical analysis, they often brought about insight into the problems wJth.more historical perspective and less limitation by the western economic paradigm. This discussion may help the reader to understand that Mao's decision to establish the People's Commune in order to bring about some radical changes in the production re-lationships in the rural areas was not so arbitrary as many have supposed it to be. Even Mao was not influenced by the research of the so-called "distribution" school, at least his analyses coincided with many of those theorists. Therefore, there is no reason to think that Mao was alone in having such a point of view, and was in default of theoretical support. Before turning to the discussion of the Commune system it is necessary to present a brief description of the developmental situation in Shandong just before the creation of the People's Commune. ^ The faction led by Liu Shaoqi has often been depicted by the students of Chinese economy as representative of the "productive-force-first" theory and thus were more perceptive to the reality. In fact, there is no evidence to prove that Liu and his followers did not take the production relationships into account and that they were •asHiber&laaslan;landifrLad&an^hh^ , 96 III O N THE EVE OF COMMUNIZATION IN SHANDONG In China as a whole, the cooperative movement is said by a number of authorities to have started in 1955. But in some places, agricultural producers' co-operatives were set up as early as 1952, the very year of the completion of the Land Reform and the inception of the mutual-aid groups. Shandong was one of those places. According to the available sources, one of the earliest cooperatives was the Red Star (Hongxing) Agricultural Producers' Cooperative in the Village of Hou-zhaizi, Junan County, which was organized in the winter of 1952. It started with only 25 house-holds, but this number was increased to 140 in 1954, representing 86.2% of the total households of the village (DZRB, 23 November, 1954). By 1954, there were already more than 24,000 agricultural producers' cooperatives while 68.1% of the total house-holds had joined the mutual-aid groups in Shandong (DZRB, 10 November, 1954). By the end of 1955, 7,190,000 peasant households (or 76% of the total households in the province) had joined the cooperatives.^ In March of 1956 the number of co-operativized households rose to 10,070,000, or 91.8% of the total number of the peasant households. Among them, 7,200,000 households or 65.6% of the total number became members of the advanced type.^ Up to iihebeginning of 1957, 96% of the peasant households in Shandong had been cooperativized and 85% were in the advanced cooperatives. 1° The cooperative movement can, in the main, be considered to '4 "Report on the National Economic Development and the Situation of Implementation of State Planning of Shandong Province in 1955" by the Statistical Bureau of Shandong Province (DZRB, 18 April, 1956). 1 j-bidor According to the provincial Statistic Bureau's report for 1956, there were 137 State farms in the province besides the cooperatives (DZRB, 9 August, 1957). ^° Report presented by Tan Qi-long, the first secretary of the Provincial CCP Committee of Shandong Province to the Third Plenum of the Second Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (RMRB, 12 March, 1957). have been completed in 1957 in Shandong. The most important achievement's in agricultural development since the cooper-ative movement started were the increase of arable land by exploiting the virgin and deserted lands, and amelioration of soil conditions by building and improving irrigation systems, and afforestation. Mechanization also got under way. In 1955, the newly exploited land amounted to 168,000 mu, giving a total increase of 1,219,000 mu over 1952 (DZRB, 18 April, 1956). In the sector of irriga-tion, in 1955, 245 small-scale dams, 737 irrigation canals and more than 5,000 reser-voirs were built. There was also a well-building endeavor that brought the number of wells up to 2,110,000 (ibid.). Due to these basic irrigation works, 18,000,000 mu of land were brought under irrigation in 1956. 1 7 In 1955 the afforestation areas in-creased 100% over 1954 (DZRB, 18 April, 1956). In 1956, 1,991,200 mu were added to make the total afforested area 5,148,800 mu (DZRB, 8 February, 1957). Mechanization in agriculture was first introduced into Shandong in 1952 by the establishment of the first tractor station which possessed 6 tractors. In 1955, 13 more stations (with 364 tractors) were set up, serving 2,469 cooperatives in 22 counties. By September of 1956, the number of tractor stations and of tractors had increased to 36 and 700 respectively (DZRB, 5 September, 1956). The 'per unit1 yield steadily rose for most food grains and economic crops (see Table 4.1). In 1956 food grains increased 10% over 1955, amounting to 30 billion j in. 1^ A survey of 372 cooperatives (10,300 households) in 24 counties revealed that per capita output of food grains was 559 jin in 1955 and 607 fin in 1956. The actual 1 7 It is noted that before 1956 the total irrigated land was only 8,000,000 mu. See Tan Qi-long's report (1957). ^ Tan Qi-long's report, op. cit. Chao Kang's estimate is 25 billion 900 million jin for 1956 and 25 billion 930 million jin for 1957 (Chao, 1970). 98 grain distribution per capita after tax and sale to the State was 423 jin in 1956 (Tan, 1957). Up to 1957, living standards of peasants had been steadily improving. This can be seen in the survey of the Village of Wang's Well (Wang-jing Cun) in the Red Temple Township (Zhu-miao Xiang), Xia jib County (Table 4.2). However, the improve-ment of living standards was better seen in the category of lower-middle class peasants. Few, if any, improvements had been made for those above the upper-middle peasant class. Generally speaking, the sharp difference in living standards between rich peasants and poor peasants as a common pattern before the revolution, had given way to equalization. According to this survey, we see that in comparison with the level of living standards in 1936, the best year during a long period of turmoil before 1949, the upper-.m'i;ddle class peasants consumed more grain, more oil, a little more cotton cloth in 1956, but less meat. In contrast, the poor peasants consumed more of everything in 1956 than in 1936. The living standards of the poor peasants in 1956 almost reached the level'of'upper^-middle class peasants'iri-l-936.;il pc^dnrs t.'t >r2-1956 was a year in which heavy industry still took precedence. It was reported that the gross output value of industry in Shandong increased 339.6% over 1949. The ratio of gross output value in the industrial sector to the total value of industry and agri-culture rose from 29.1% in 1949 to 45.8% in 1956, an increase of 22.8% per year (DZRB, 3 August, 1957). The first half of 1958 was a period of upsurge for the development of rural in-dustry (xiang-she gong-ye literally means "industry of township and cooperatives"). 19 According to the average income in the survey, the peasants of the village of Wang's Well were better off than the average in Shandong which was reported as 69 yuan in 1936, 78 yuan in 1952 and 83 yuan in 1956 (DZRB, 6 August, 1957). Table 4.1 Per mu yield for the principal food grains and economic- crops : 1954-55 (unit : jin) 1955 1954 wheat 101.7 111.3 corn 184.1 177.5 millet 204.7 189.8 sorghum 169.0 119.6 soybeans 107.1 95.7 sweet potatoes 344.9 445.9 cotton 36.7 32.9 foreign hemp 187.71 13215 tobacco 185.4 199.1 peanut 260.1 217.8 rape seed 50.1 30.1 Source: "Report on the National Economic Development and the Situation of implementation of the State Planning in Shandong Province in 1955" by the Statistical Bureau of Shandong Province (DZRB, 18 April 1956). 100 Table 4.2 (Comparison of living standards from 1936 to 1956 in the Village of Wang's Well, Xia jin County (per individual) net income (unitryan) 1936 1943 1945 1950 1951 1954 1955 1956 upper-middle peasant v 87.7 21.1 47.9 114.17 39.95 114.6 125 137.5 lower-middle 45.36 17.3 30 89.75 43.97 89.2 128.5 145.9 poor 29.5 17.98 33.6 73.72 21.8 91.8 139 165.9 average 54.19 18.79 37.16 92.55 35.24 98.53 130.83 149.77 grain comsumption (jin) upper-middle 347.3 266.9 324.8 373.9 359.5 381.68 395 419.5 lower-middle 261.6 243.5 301.7 369.5 371.7 398.8 399.2 413.2 poor 242 218.7 322.9 356.6 352.8 406.6 411 451.9 average 283.6 243 316.5 369.66 361.3 395.69 401.73 428.2 meat consumption (jin) 7«>66 upper-middle 7.66 0.6 2.88- 11.24 3.9 6.66 7.12 6.88 lower-middle 2.77 0.17 1.88 4.63 2.95 4.31 3.81 5.52 poor ];.3l 0.29 1.35 3.13 1.8 3.33 4.27 5.63 average 3.91 0.35 2.037 /6,:33 2.88 4.77 5.07 6.1 oil consumption (jin) upper-middle 3.53 1.4 2.69 9.5 4.65 4.34 5 5.49 lower-middle 2.5 0.76 1.23 4.63 22.73 4.4 4.19 3.93 poor 2 0.35 1.58 4.61 2.33 3.88 4 4.15 average 2.676 0.84 1.83 6.25 3.24 4.21 4.4 4.52 cotton cloth consumption (chi) upper-middle 23 1.6 11.56 15.69 3.8 14.87 21.53 23.16 lower-middle 8.9 1.7 5.29 14.5 3.64 16.3 17.5 30.1 poor 7.17 0.47 6.47 2.62 14.76 18.37 22.36 average 9.69 1.26 7.75 10.94 2.48 15.31 19.1 25.21 ! n the vilfricthe village, there were 197 households and 725 persons in 1936. The total culti-vated land was about 2,700 mu. 5.1% of the population were landlords and rich peasants who owned 24.7% of the land. There were 110 households (423)persons) of the middle pea-sant class. On the average each of them owned 4.3 mu. 55 households (194 persons) belonged to r the poor peasant class. Each of them owned 1.07 mu on the average. 27 households had no land at al l . In 1943, the number of households increased to 208. 32 middle-peasant house-holds became poor peasant households. The percentage of middle peasants decreased from 56% to 43% while that of poor peasants increased from 28% to 35%. Those who had no land increased from 13% to 17%. In 1956, the year of the survey, there were 259 households totalling 970 persons. The classification of peasants was done during the Land Reform. Source: Survey done by Liu Hong-kui et al (DZRB, 6 July, 1957). 101 In May, 1958, an average of 1,400 factories of various kinds were built up daily in the province (GRRB, 4 June, 1958). (For the extent of the development of the rural factories see Appendix III, Table 4). As Ren£ Dumont has pointed out: "une telle enumeration laisse re*veur sur I'importance &d'usines2^ aussi varices et aussi vites baties, par si peu de travailleurs!" (1965 : 68). It is true that the extravagant number of factories can only make people suspect the importance or quality of those factories. However, it is crucial to note that what was important was not the fact that all those factories merited their names, but the fact that the peasants were mobilized on a large scale to face their own problems. This movement had a twofold significance: it indi-cated on the one hand that the urban industry was insufficient to support rural develop-ment; on the other hand, the policy-makers did not rely only upon the urban industry for supporting the development of agriculture. The period 1956-1967 has usually been considered as one of stability. But this stabilityjiwas still precarious. As we have seen in the general rural development in Shandong, although improvement had been marked in different sectors, the living stand-ards were still not as high as people might have expected, especially when the peasants had worked really hard for some years and had been too often promised a better living in a socialist society. Dissatisfaction grew and was sharply felt by the former landlord and rich peasant categories, because not only their living standards quickly lowered instead of being raised when collectivization advanced, but they could not see any promising future for them either economically or politically in socialization. It was these categories of people in the countryside who had more affinity with the intelli-gentsia in the cities. The Hundred Flowers policy which was launched in 1956, and 102 which was an over-optimistic estimation of the situation by the CCP leadership, provided an opportunity for those unsatisfied categories of people to give vent to their anger and disappointment. In the same year, the socialist camp as a whole was dismayed by the Hungarian revolt. In China, many intellectuals, as well as the bourgois remaining in the cities, went so far as to doubt the feasibility of socialism and the legitimacy of the CCP as the absolute power holder. This dissident atmosphere spread widely under the Hundred Flowers policy, both in the cities and in the countryside. In many a place in Shandong, peasants led by the better-off ones, manifested their desire to withdraw from the cooperatives. For instance, in the spring of 1957, more than 4,700 households in Junan County threatened to withdraw from cooperatives (DZRB, 21 March, 1957). In the Village of Shage, Laixi County, 45 households in 7 cooperatives demanded permis-a on to work on their own (DZRB, 15 May, 1957). In Cao County, one-third of the households (about 300) requested withdrawal from the New China (Xinhua) Cooperative (ibid.) According to the Chinese analysts, an increasingly spontaneous tendency to capitalism was emerging. The CCP could not but take some emergency measures in order to reverse the tide. The Hundred Flowers movement was finally ended by a vehement Anti-rightist campaign. It was evident to some CCP leaders, especially to Mao and his supporters, that the collectivization could not remain at the stage of the cooperative movement for too long. As Mao pointed out: "Small cooperatives have fewer members, less land, and not much money. They cannot operate on a large scale or use machinery. The development of their forces of production is still hampered. They should not stay in this position too long, but should go on to combine with other cooperatives" (The General 103 Office of the Central Committee of the CCP, 1957 : 460). The shortcomings of the co-operatives, such as their small size and an important part of private ownership, not only bound the productive forces but also fostered the danger of the restoration of capit-alism. We have seen during the last century how destructive the disintegration of the traditional social structure was to the peasant economy and life. This disintegration of social structuresresulted from western impact, but was thereafter enhanced by continued imperialist invasions, peasant rebellions, class polarization and civil wars. It was due to the socialist revolution and the political and economic policies designed by and implemented under the leadership of the CCP that China became independent and free from imperialist invastion, and that the causes of peasant rebellions, class polarization, civil war and other evil forces were eliminated. It is obvious that the restoration of capitalism would sooner signify a revival of all those evils than a happy development of liberal economy. Moreover, as a French sociologist has pointed out, the agricultural history of China is largely that of peasant revolts (Dumont, 1965 : 26). Mao had profoundly understood that China's destiny was identical with the destiny of the peasants. It was recognized that China could not duplicate the Russian model of development by empha-sizing heavy industry at the expense of agrarian development. To find a permanent solution to socioeconomic problems in China, it is necessary, above all, to eliminate the causes of peasant revolt. From Mao's point of view, the key lay in the policy of mass-line. That is to say, unless the peasants held the political and economic power themselves, they would not be able to fully release their potential for initiative and creativity. If the peasants were not allowed to express themselves positively, they would do it negatively, by revolts for example. In order to make the peasants their own masters, it was necessary to set up a structural framework in which the peasant ,> power could be realized and maintained. In the final analysis, under pressures both from outside and within, the co-operative movement arrived at such a precarious stage:during 1956-1957 that it could not gain a real stability without either advancing further or regressing. In order to depart once and for all from the capitalistic road of development, and to release the labor force for further large-scale works in agrarian development, such as the building of irrigation systems, land leveling, and the construction of local industries, it was considered necessary to design a more advanced framework for the economic unit of production. This was embodied in the setting up of the Beople's Communes. 105 Chapter Five STRUCTURE OF THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNE (I) : ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP I SIZE When the people's communes were first established in 1958, the Beidaiho Resolution gave a vague directive about their size. On the one hand it proposed that the communes be organized in accordance with the size of the township, but on the other hand it called for the local cadres not to oppose the organization of large com-munes. As in other provinces, there was a great disparity in the size of the communes in Shandong at the beginning of communization. The difference in size by population ranged from 4,000 households (e.g., the Haosheng People's Commune in Zouping County) (RMRB, 6 December, 1958), to 19,000 households (e.g., the Dongjiao People's Commune in Licheng County ( (RMRB, 14 January, 1959). The average was 6,000-diO,000 households (Tan, 1958). By cultivated area, some communes had only about 60,000 mu of land (e.g., the Lao-Zhaozhuang People's Commune in Linqing County) (XHDX, 18 December, 1961), while others could have three times more (e.g., the Xiawei People's Commune in Yishu! County had 186,930 mu) (RMRB, 2 September, 1959). If township is taken as measurement, many communes might correspond roughly to the boundaries of their own townships while many others could cover several townships. For example, the Xingfu People's Commune in the suburb of Yantai Municipality included 2.5 townships in addition to the municipality. "Township""has been utilized as a useful unit in the studies of Rural China and was taken as a standard in delimiting the boundaries of the commune. But, as an 106 administrative unit, it is an uncertain term because of its frequent variation in size in recent history. ^ Skinner reported that in China as a whole, townships were reduced in size and increased in number during 1951-52 to make about 220,000. This number was reduced to 100,000 by the beginning of 1957, and again to 80,000 by early June of 1958 (Skinner, 1964-65, Part III : 367-368). This means that up to the moment of the establishment of the communes the townships had been changed in size at least three times since 1949. In Shandong Province, the term xiang (township) corresponded to a variety of sizes as an administrative unit or rural division under the county level. First, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, xiang was only one kind of a range of administrative units under the county level and riot necessarily found in every county. Besides xiang, there were zhen, ying, xin, pu and yi. The different terms indicate different kinds of rural clusters. Both ying and xin were garrison points either in former times or dur-ing the Qing Dynasty. PJJ and y\_ were stations of communication and transport. Zhen means a commercial centre. Xiang indicates a cluster of villages which was neither a strategic military point nor a commercial centre. Secondly, xiang, or the township, did not correspond at all to the marketing area. For instance, at the beginning of the Republic, Linyi County was divided into The complicated variation of administrative divisions below the county level during the late Qing Dynasty has been documented by Hsi:ao Kung-ch'uan in Rural China (1960, Ch. 2), but far from extensively. Many variations of the nomenclature of administrative divisions in the countryside were not mentioned by Hsiao. For example, the Linqing zhou (larger than county) had, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, only 5 xiang which were only one kind of the administrative units be-sides others. At the beginning of the Republic, the Linqing County (smaller than the former Linqing zhou) had no xiang at all. Instead, the county was divided into 41 li above the village level. In 1930, the 41 Ii were grouped into 10 qu under the directive of the provincial government (Gazetteer of Linqing County, first published in 1934, reprinted in Taiwan by the Chengwen Press in 1967). 107 9 xiang which were subdivided into 125 she above the village level. There were 56 marketing places in the rural area in the county (Linyi Xian-zhi, 1967). One xiang had roughly 6 markets under its jurisdiction. It was much larger than Skinner's standard marketing area.^ If we take one county as an example, the evolution of xiang size can be ex-plained in a concrete manner. In Qiho County, according to the county gazetteer (Qiho Xian-zhi, 1967), the whole county was divided into 10 xiang in 1906. Each xiang was subdivided into 7 or 8 cfujdistrict!;). Besides the qu which covered the county seat and its surrounding 12 villages, there were in total 75 qu. Each qu embraced a number of villages from 4 to 19. The xiang and qu were reversed in size in 1931. That is to say, the original smaller qu became the intermediate unit between county and xiang, and thus became much larger than before. Accordingly, xiang was reduced in size and increased in number (the numbers of qu, xiang, zhen and villages in Qiho County are shown in Table 5.1). Skinner gives an estimate of 63,000 rural standard marketing systems for 1,790 counties in agricultural China before 1948. One county had approximately 35.2 standard marketing systems. If we subtract the estimated 5,300 standard markets which had died during the process of modernization, there were still almost 33 standard markets per county (Skinner, Part II : 227-228). 108 Table 5.1 Administrative Division of Qiho County in 1931 Qu Xiang Zhen Villages First 12 5 120 Second 13 2 124 Third 11 1 96 Fourth 13 7 112 JFifth 16 2 109 Sixth 5 8 125 Seventh 13 7 109 Eighth 10 5 67 Total: 8 93 37 862 Source: Qiho Xian-zhi (Gazetteer of Qiho County) : 108-122. It should be noted that the term zhen (Skinner called it "urban township")was not only a market place ( or commercial centre) at the time, but also an administrative division which headed the surrounding villages. Its size was more less the same as a xiang. Among the 130 xiang and zhen of Qiho County, there were 37 zhen. In each zhen there was at least one commercial centre which could be ranged in importance from a big village in which a market took place periodically to a permanent market place. Besides the county seat where, in addition to its quality of a permanent market-ing place, 16 periodic markets took place, there were still 61 periodic markets in the rural areas. At least 37 of them took place at the zhen. So, the remaining number of periodic markets was much smaller than the number of xiang. It is obvious that the 109 peasants of two or three xiang could not but go to the same market. This fact sufficiently indicates the small size of a xiang at that time. The last population survey reported in the gazetteer which was done in 1928, gave 57,681 households and 292,613 indi-viduals in the county (the previous figures were 250,258 individuals in 1884, and 59,322 households and 277,661 individuals in 1926). One xiang had, on the average, only 443.7 households and approximately 2,250 individuals. According to the data from Honan Province, Skinner found that in 1935 the township (xiang) was larger than the natural village, while the 1948 township was larger than the standard marketing area and that in neither year did the township cor-respond to any natural social or economic system (Skinner, 1964-65, Part III : 222). According to the available data of three counties in Shandong, the xiang before 1949, as in the case cited by Skinner In Honan, did not correspond to any natural social or economic system either. It is clear that xiang was not as meaningful in North China as in Sichuan Province or Guanding with regard to the rural socioeconomic system. How-ever, after 1949, the fact that the Chinese government attempted to enlarge the size of xiang seems to indicate its efforts to make this administrative unit closer to the natural social and economic community. No sources are available regarding changes in size or number of xiang in the whole of Shandong Province since ;1949. However, Skinner's approximate figures indicate that in China as a whole the numberoof xiang was reduced in 1957 from 100% to about 36%. That is to say, the xiang of 1957 was almost three times as large as the former xiang. According to the limited sources on this issue, we know that Shan-dong Province started to enlarge its xiang unit in 1956. In Laiyang County, in July, 1956, the 13 qu as intermediate administrative units between xiang and county were no abolished while the 154 xiang were merged into 35 larger xiang (and zhen) (DZRB, 10 February, 1957). The new xiang was roughly four times as large as the former one, and corresponded to the size of Skinner's standard marketing area. However, the new xiang units were still unequal both in size and in number of population. For instance, Holuo Township covered an area of 225 sq. Ii (about 50 sq. kilometres) with 34 nat
UBC Theses and Dissertations
The rural people’s communes in Shandong province, 1958-1965 : a model of social and economic development Ma, Sen 1977
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