The evolution of China since Mao | Bhaskar Sunkara and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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December 23, 2022
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The evolution of China since Mao | Bhaskar Sunkara and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

The implementation of socialism and communism in China has led to improvements in basic education and healthcare, but also exposed the limitations of authoritarian rule.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What were some positive outcomes of China's implementation of socialism?

China's focus on basic education and healthcare under socialism improved the status of women, provided access to primary education for all, and improved healthcare services.

Q: Did China's agricultural campaigns and crash industrialization succeed under socialism?

No, similar to the Soviet Union, China's agricultural campaigns and crash industrialization were failures. They did not achieve the desired outcomes and faced challenges similar to those mentioned earlier.

Q: Is the Chinese Communist Party's governance justified by their developmental achievements?

While the Chinese Communist Party has achieved economic development and technocratic governance, it does not have a democratic mandate. The party's achievements cannot justify their authoritarian rule.

Q: How would you fix China if given the opportunity?

A democratic socialist perspective suggests the need for multi-party elections and the elimination of state censorship and control over the press. Maintaining state control of key sectors while allowing for liberalization has been effective in lifting people out of poverty, but the ability for ordinary people to participate in dissent is essential.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Socialism in China emerged through the countryside and during times of war and civil strife, with Mao building his base in the peasantry before governing the cities.

  • China's implementation of socialism led to improvements in women's rights, primary education, and healthcare.

  • However, China's agricultural campaigns and crash industrialization have been failures similar to those in the Soviet Union.

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