Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Reforms of Lenin and Deng Xiaoping

In November 1921, Lenin wrote an article for the Pravda (No. 251) to justify the New Economic Policy (NEP) of Russia’s communist government that included practices like selling gold at commercial prices. He wrote: 

"When we are victorious on a world scale I think we shall use gold for the purpose of building public lavatories in the streets of some of the largest cities of the world. This would be the most “just” and most educational way of utilizing gold…”

“Meanwhile, we must save the gold in the R.S.F.S.R., sell it at the highest price, buy goods with it at the lowest price. When you live among wolves, you must howl like a wolf…” 

Lenin’s exhortation that one must “howl like a wolf” reminds me of the famous statement that China’s Deng Xiaoping made in the 1980s: "It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice?"

When Stalin took power in 1925, he overturned Lenin’s economic reforms, and adopted the policy of socialist industrialization. Russia’s economy has not recovered till this day. Deng’s reforms were not overturned, and China became a major economic power.

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