9 May 2014

China 2013

Development, Part 4c

China 2013

Samir Amin is an African revolutionary writer who has recently written comparatively as between the development path of post-revolutionary China, and that of the Soviet Union.

On page 2 of our 20-page bookletised version of his article (“China 2013”, attached), Samir Amin writes that the success of China (and Vietnam) “is the product of an intelligent and exceptional political line implemented by the Communist Parties of these two countries.”

South Africa’s problems are far from being identical to those of China’s at any stage of its development, or to those of the Soviet Union.

It would seem to follow, therefore, that South Africa will also require its own, and different, “intelligent and exceptional political line”.

This does not mean that South Africa can ignore the experience of others such as the Soviet Union, China and Vietnam. On the contrary, it means that South Africans need to study as widely as possible the paths of development that others have followed. Not so as to copy them, but so as to get behind them to the general principles of planning and development.

In particular, we may note that China, the Soviet Union, and India, have all used the practice of five-year planning as well as longer-term strategic orientation.

South Africa, at last, has begun to plan. We have our first, imperfect but nevertheless actually-existing, plan, called the NDP (National Development Plan).

This very extraordinary article of Samir Amin’s can help us to reflect on planning and on the results that it can have, even in so short a historical period as one person’s lifetime.

·        The above is to introduce the original reading-text: China 2013, Samir Amin.


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