China’s Looming Agricultural Melt-Down

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Li Xueren/Xinhua via AP

China’s problems are many and varied, but now we can add a possible famine to them.

Like Mao during the Cultural Revolution, Xi is pushing a new program of “agricultural management.” In practice, this means hundreds of thousands of party bureaucrats or simply average job seekers turned into state-sanctioned “agriculture managers” (effectively rural “enforcers” for the CCP) descending on villages and small towns – a nightmare scenario for farmers.

These enforcers have already sowed resentment and chaos in rural communities. In one instance from earlier this year that went viral on Chinese social media, agricultural managers threatened to uproot backyard fruit and vegetable plots as part of a rural “beautification” campaign.

“Due to the need to create a civilized environment, the planting of climbing vegetables like beans or melons and squashes in front and backyards is strictly forbidden,” a notice placed in a village near the northern city of Xian said. Amid severe backlash, the local CCP committee was forced to reverse course.

But this was only one example of the arbitrary and capricious new restrictions imposed by Xi’s army of rural enforcers. Another policy as part of the “rural beautification” campaign bans farmers from tying ropes to trees in front of their houses to dry quilts, since “they spoil the view.”

According to some reports, if a farmer kills a pig without first asking the local CCP manager’s permission, it can result in beatings and a fine of three months’ wages. Meanwhile, party officials often steal livestock to sell on the black market.

This is nothing new, not in socialist countries. If there is a conflict between ideology and reality, ideology wins every time. That’s how Mao did it, that’s how Xi is doing it, and it’s… not working out very well. But a nation as big as China has a lot of ruin in it, and not even Communists can bring it down overnight.

It sure seems like Xi is giving it all he’s got, though:

Dr. Song Yongyi, a former Red Guard and follower of Mao who is now a professor at the University of California specializing in the Cultural Revolution, has warned that Xi’s policies have placed China in serious danger of a repeat of the suffering seen during the Cultural Revolution. The Great Famine that resulted from Mao’s farming “reforms” led to millions of deaths – estimates vary greatly between 15 million and 55 million.

Dr. Song has also pointed out how Mao’s reforms, which Xi appears to be repeating, stirred enormous hatred among the Chinese people, leading to open class warfare. In at least one horrifying instance Dr. Song has spoken about, revolutionaries inspired by “class war” ate other people’s hearts and livers, convinced it would prolong their own lives.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The problem with Communism, and with the socialism of which Communism is a sub-set, is precisely as noted above: It places ideology above reality. It ignores human nature; indeed, it represses human nature. The fatal flaw in socialism is simply this: People will always work longest and hardest for their own monetary gain. Bill Gates founded Microsoft to make money. Steve Jobs founded Apple to make money. Both became billionaires. Both produced products that revolutionized our technological world, creating demand for those products that didn’t exist before and, in so doing, creating wealth. That never happens in socialist systems. It’s not happening in China now; China copies, they don’t innovate.

And China, meanwhile, is desperately trying every avenue open to them to try to gain hard currency — even, it seems, drug trafficking.

Youtube Vlogger @serpentza, who lived and worked in China for years, has some added perspective on how China’s government covers up their problems — in many cases, literally painting over them. This is just one video of many he has produced, calling China’s government out, and it’s a great illustration of what I mentioned above — a country placing ideology above reality. He rips off the paint and lets you see the rot underneath. Have a look.

 

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