CULTURAL REVOLUTION AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION IN CHINA: Changes in Management and the Division of Labor by Charles Bettelheim

CULTURAL REVOLUTION AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION IN CHINA: Changes in Management and the Division of Labor

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KIRKUS REVIEW

During his fourth visit to China, Professor Bettelheim of the Sorbonne's Institut d'Etude du Developpement Economique et Social conducted 1,971 interviews with workers at Peking's General Knitwear Factory, a unit deeply immersed in Mao Tse-tung thought. If Bettelheim has any qualms about the Chinese ""encounter group"" mass brainwashing techniques for boosting labor productivity, none appear here. Indeed, he uncritically cites the example of a cadre whose flaws included ""smiling when being praised"" but who reformed after days of ""discussion"" and ""a list of some one hundred specific criticisms."" Bettelheim is equally enthusiastic about the Chinese policy of rural industrialization and decentralized planning, with special praise for the labor-intensive, ""self-financing street factories"" -- another Chinese attempt to increase productivity. The ""correct line"" of making a virtue out of a lack of advanced technology, recommended here for Third World countries, will elicit more ardor from economic planners than from the peasants and factory laborers on whose backs the ""Chinese model"" would have to be carried out.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1974
Publisher: Monthly Review Press