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China: Economic Development and Evolution of Socialist Public Ownership

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 August 1991


For any developing countries in the 20th century, there exists a problem of how to choose the economic development route – socialist or capitalist; which means how to compare different social and economic benefits and make different value judgements in economic development. Socialism is not a pure political and ideological question, certainly not just a political question. It is a way for developing countries, particularly large agricultural countries, to realise their industrialisation and modern commercial economy. Essentially, it is a focus of development economics. For economically backward countries the aim of socialism is not to fight against the capitalist world, but first to develop their own economy. Socialist public ownership connected with the stage of economic development involves inner contradictions in its own development from the very beginning. We cannot make socialist public ownership perfect without overcoming those contradictions. Public ownership cannot improve social productivity without coming across its own historical limitation. Economic reforms now being practised in China are an effort to improve socialist public ownership: to reform traditional forms of public ownership which have not satisfied the development of productivity. Socialism and public ownership are not features for economically backward countries to flaunt. Neither are they historical trends. They are a way to get rid of poverty, and to realise a modern commercial economy, a way different from the development route of capitalism. There are historical necessity and economic rationality for that kind of socialist public ownership connected with economic development of backward countries. And, of course, socialist public ownership has its own inner contradictions and historical limitations, just like any other kind of ownership in history. It changes and develops continually. Socialist public ownership needs to improve itself, to realise its own development and evolution, and finally to make assets of public ownership the social capital satisfying the demand of highly socialised productivity.



Haiyan, G. (1991), "China: Economic Development and Evolution of Socialist Public Ownership", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 18 No. 8/9/10, pp. 60-66.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited