"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
2 The Rise from 1949 until Now1 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the FoundationChapter 6: The Big Cycle of China and Its Currency2020-10-09Journal1 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation2 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation3 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation
Mao and the communists won the civil war and started the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and quickly consolidated power. In 1949 Mao was a philosopher-revolutionary who was leading a class war of workers against the capitalists, had won the revolution, and was in the position of being the de facto emperor of China (titled “president and chairman of the Central Military Commission”) and Zhou Enlai became his prime minister (titled “premier”) in pursuit of the overarching mission of ruling the country on behalf of the proletariat. To do that he turned to Marxism-Leninism and away from Confucianism. He also dealt with the practical aspects of building a government to take care of basic services. The new government quickly repaired transportation and communications and nationalized the banking system, which it put under the new central bank, the People’s Bank of China. Needing to bring down inflation the new central bank tightened credit and stabilized the value of the currency. The government nationalized most businesses and redistributed agricultural land from large landowners to those who farmed the land. It also created “public institutions” for “education, science, technology, and public hygiene.” No matter whether one worked or not, one got a basic pay. There was no merit-based pay. The protections that these guaranteed basic incomes and benefits provided everyone were collectively called “the iron rice bowl.” These changes created a stable economy but little motivation beyond the commitment to the mission of motivating workers. But Mao was on his way to achieving his first goal of having China’s mainland free of foreigners, shifting wealth and power to the proletariat led by him, and establishing basic institutions to govern. In other words, he focused primarily on building a new internal order.
1 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation
2 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation
3 Phase 1, 1949 to 1976: The Mao Phase of Building the Foundation