I don't know if you caught our President's speech today from North Carolina. While none of it was notable, what is notable is his reliance upon some catch phrasing that intimates that the Way Forward, or Winning the Future, is going to be reliant upon policies that are "aimed at accomplishing the economic and technical development of the country at a vastly faster pace and with greater results." It is his belief that policies "aimed at accomplishing the economic and technical development of the country at a vastly faster pace and with greater results" are needed and if "the people could be ideologically aroused and if domestic resources could be utilized more efficiently for the simultaneous development of industry and agriculture" that we can solve the problems facing our economy.
These undertakings are going to be down to the grassroots level, as we are able to mobilize a grassroots movement, working in "factories, communes, mines, and public works projects for manual labor and firsthand familiarization with grassroots conditions."
This is Obama's Democratization Campaign for Economic Development. This campaign will be noted for "a new socioeconomic and political system created in the countryside and in a few urban areas."
The quotations provided above are from China: A Country Study (Robert L. Worden, Andrea Matles Savada and Ronald E. Dolan, editors, GPO for the Library of Congress, 1987.)
What triggered this post can be found in the comments section of a post at The Volokh Conspiracy today. "First, this presumes that power generation requires large-scale projects. What about distributed smaller scale systems, like rooftop generation? While there are issued with system stability and control (provision of suitable reactive support, for example), there is no reason to believe that these are insoluble." The image that came to mind was immediately forthcoming, pig-iron production during Mao's Second Five-Year Plan during the Great Leap Forward.
California is looking at adding more than eight thousand megawatts of additional capacity. And the commenter at Volokh gets all Green and stuff, and offers up "smaller scale systems," like rooftop generation.
Yes, it is true that under the Second Five-Year Plan, production of Pig Iron was increased. What was produced was valueless, although I'm sure, at the time, certain apparatchiks were quite willing to offer, "While there are issued with system stability and control (provision of suitable reactive support, for example), there is no reason to believe that these are insoluble", the truth remains "The Great Leap Forward was an economic failure. In early 1959, amid signs of rising popular restiveness, the CCP admitted that the favorable production report for 1958 had been exaggerated. Among the Great Leap Forward's economic consequences were a shortage of food (in which natural disasters also played a part); shortages of raw materials for industry; overproduction of poor-quality goods; deterioration of industrial plants through mismanagement; and exhaustion and demoralization of the peasantry and of the intellectuals, not to mention the party and government cadres at all levels."
It may be true that Mao is a personal hero for the President's coterie. He certainly has put into positions of authority many prominent Leftist/Communist/Marxist/Socialist ideologues. Visit our current policies in international affairs, as currently being practised in our leadership in areas around the Horn of Africa. "The "soft" foreign policy based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to which China had subscribed in the mid-1950s gave way to a "hard" line in 1958." Time has been compressed for illustrious leader, moving in a span of two-years from the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence" to our current war-making in Libya and Yemen.
A Great Leap Forward. Winning the Future. Adolescent views on how markets "should work."
The parallels fail to surprise me.