Commerce and the Market Surge

  • Philip ScrantonEmail author


During the post-Leap “adjustment period,” commercial organizations stressed meeting demand with supply, displacing prevailing 1950s “just ship it” practices which resulted in warehouses crowded with unwanted tools, fabrics, or straw mats. SMCs became central to quality assessments, to two-way information transfers, and to rebuilding traditional channels for interregional trade, disrupted by administrative interventions and the Leap’s disarray. Extending trade connections increasingly meant ignoring regulations that aimed to control market activity, pricing, and goods transportation, as multiple examples show. Indeed, with state policies and state managers focused on reorienting industry to support agriculture, enforcing such strictures was impossible. SMCs and wholesalers now experimented with commissioning production outside the plan, contracting for deliveries at negotiated prices, and privately arranging inspection and transport. So too did urban retailers being contacting, for example, shoe factories to design, fabricate, and deliver footwear to order, while at the same time striving to improve customer service through staff classes studying Mao’s essays. To leading Maoists, the market surge threatened to repave the “capitalist road.”

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryRutgers UniversityCamdenUSA

Personalised recommendations