Continuously since it was first unified, before Hannibal had crossed the Alps, China has been the biggest political unit in the world; never in history has any other state comprised more than a quarter of China’s population, still today uncounted by census but officially estimated to be a thousand million, of whom eight hundred million count as peasants. It follows that no precedents from the experience of other states can be urged on, or applied by, China’s rulers with confidence, and when historians or political scientists criticize either the present regime or its forerunners, it behoves them to bear in mind how hard put to it any of us would be to devise alternatives that would work or that would have worked.
KeywordsCommunist Party Production Team Poor Peasant Civil Dispute Party Cadre
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