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34926Y193 From 1958 to 1961 communist China under-

Q&@
TOOK
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD,
WHEN MAO ZEDINGDONG WISHED TO RAPIDLY TURN CHINA INTO A GLOBAL SUPERPOWER?!
Intending to use surplus grain to finance ambitious industrial & military projects, Mao ordered the doubling
and tripling of agricultural production! From the government offices in Beijing his impossible demands made
their way down the beaurocratic ladder, through provincial administrators, all the way down to the headmen
of all villages? The local officials, afraid of voicing any criticism anyhow and wishing to curry favour with their
superiors, concocted imaginary reports of dramatic increases in agricultural output! As these fabricated num-
bers made their way back up the beaurocratic hierarchy, each official exaggerated them further, adding one
zero here & there with a stroke of a pen. Consequently, in 1958 the Chinese government was informed that
annual grain production was 50% móre than it actually was. Believing the reports, the government sold millions
of tons of rice to foreign countries in exchange for weapons & heavy machinery, assuming that enough was left to
feed the Chinese population. The result was the worst famine in history & the death of tens of millions of Chinese.
Meanwhile, enthusiastic reports of China's farming miracle reached audiences throughout the world! Julius Nyerere,
the idealistic president of Tanzania, was deeply impressed by the Chinese success?! In order to modernize Tanzanian
agriculture Nyerere resolved to establish collective farms on the Chinese model. When peasants objected to the plan,
JuNy sent in the army & police to destroy traditional villages & forcibly relocate hundreds of thousands of peasants onto
the new collective farms! Government propaganda depicted these farms as miniature paradises, but many of them existed
only in government documents. The protocols & reports written in the capital Dar es Salaam said that on such-&-such date
the inhabitants of such-&-such village were relocated to such-&-such farm! In reality, when the villagers reached their destination
they found absolutely nothing there. No houses, no fields, no tools. Officials nevertheless reported great successes to themselves &
to President Nyerere. In fact, within less than 10 years Tanzania was transformed from Africa's biggest food exporter into a net food importer that could not feed itself without external assistance. In 1979, 90% of Tanzanian farmers lived on collective farms, but they generated only 5% of the country's agricultural output.