January 15th, 2008

Alright, I’m reacting to this very early, and yet too late. Early in the piece, and too late in the night. And right now I have a gazillion other things demanding my attention. But, thanks to richard, I found my way to this article. Now, on top of the usual questions, I have to ask this: Why is the Western, Capitalist press publicising something that reeks to high heaven of Marxism in practice? I mean:

The Fujin farmers focused on 250,000 acres that had been taken over by local officials in the 1990s for sale to private agriculture companies. Only part of the land was in theory redistributed last month, they said, because police moved in and prevented further allocations. But the farmers have since moved beyond the issue of the seized land and asserted the right to own all the collective farmland that they currently work under lease.

“The encroached-upon collective land should be divided evenly by households and possessed by us farmers,” said a statement issued in the name of the Fujin villages and posted on the Internet. “Our farmers’ land rights should include the right to use the land, the right to make income from it, the right to inherit it and dispose of it and the right to negotiate over it and set the price of it with developers. . . . So-called collective ownership has actually deprived farmers of their rights as landowners for a long time.”


“In the industrial sector in cities, ownership of the means of production is clearly defined, but in rural areas, the relationship between farmers and their land, their basic means of production, is not clear,” said Zhong Dajun, who runs the nongovernmental Dajun Center for Economic Observation and Study in Beijing. “So this has generated protests from farmers. This shows their attitude toward the land-ownership system. They are not satisfied with the current system of collective land ownership.”

And yet at the same time I smell the beginnings of landed Capitalism at the same time.

Actually, reading that article I can’t decide who I could support. Both sides have equally sold out Communism, and neither side has any chance of success. I would like to side with the farmers, but in this case, based on what the WaPo has written, I can’t. I sympathise with the farmers, but I can’t see any solutions in this article.

2 Responses to “early”

  1. Matthew Stinson Says:

    I’d say that it’s … the capitalism of the proletariat, farmers collectively establishing their individual property rights. What I’m confused about is what happened to the responsibility system of farmers being alloted land for personal use? Is it just a matter of the leases running out and the local officials refusing to extend them?

    I’m interested to see how this will play out if copied in the rural parts of Tianjin. There have already been some big protests in Tianjin’s Ninghe County, so the farmers have the potential to cause mischief.

  2. wangbo Says:

    There’s a lot that confused me about that article, the first being the responsibility system.

    And yes, I’m picking the next revolution will come from the countryside. Urbanites have too much invested in the status quo.