(NPR) The Secret Document That [Financially] Transformed China

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky ”” and such a big deal ”” because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.

“Back then, even one straw belonged to the group,” says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. “No one owned anything.”

Read (or better listen to) it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

One comment on “(NPR) The Secret Document That [Financially] Transformed China

  1. AnglicanFirst says:

    It seems to me that what the villagers did was to return to centuries-old agricultural onwershipship practices.

    They threw out the absentee landlord, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and managed their own affairs.

    In the old days of imperial China, the government burdened the village with excessive taxes and corruption and absentee landlords had gained control of much of the farmland, often with the cooperation of the government.

    Under the CCP they were burdened with both a simplistic and idiotic ideology and the CCP as an absentee landlord, excessive taxes and corruption.

    And, that is the result of all of the death, suffering and destruction of the Chinese Communist revolution.