Great Leap Forward Qs

What is “socialist primitive accumulation”? Does it differ at all from “primitive accumulation” from chapters 26-32 of Capital? If not, why not? If so, what part of it is “socialist.”

Meisner makes mention that agricultural surplus was to be achieved by “lengthening the working day.” Can you use your Marxist categories (use-value and value) to explain what might be going on here. Again, what, if anything, would be socialist about this?

What, if anything, is changed about the social relation of “surplus value” and exploitation if workers gain access to subsistence through “work points” as opposed to “money”?

If the agricultural surplus needed to be translated into Chinese yuan for purchase of Soviet and Communist bloc industrial equipment, what might be the dangers for a non-capitalist path to development?

What does Mao mean by “among the people”?

Can you see any of the ideology of “On Practice” or “Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” at work in the Great Leap Forward? Where?

Can you see any of the ideology of “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”?

Famine is rarely, if ever, a simple condition of an absolute lack of food. In British India in 1876-77 and again in 1900-2, over 60 million people starved to death despite adequate agricultural production as grain was exported to Britain and Indian employment was inadequate to purchase Indian grain. In the case of the Great Leap Forward, what do you think was the cause of the famine of 1958-62? Was this a “socialist famine” a “Maoist famine” or a “capitalist famine”? What methods or categories would you use to begin answering this question?