chapter  19
15 Pages

Utopia and "Dreams of Heaven" in the New Millennium?

WithChristopher J. Smith

In the 1990s, as prosperity increased and China continued its meteoric rise, inhumane tactics were gradually de-emphasized again, and the nation was able to settle down and concentrate on the major task of making China richer. China scholars find themselves in an awkward predicament. As sideline activities opened up, and as jobs in rural enterprises became more easily available, many parents in rural China realized that future earning potential could be increased considerably by having more children. In reform-era China, the new economic and social climate created by the economic expansion has produced many demands that the Party-state has not been able to respond to within its current institutional and organization structure. In an analysis that many China scholars will no doubt evaluate as hopelessly idealistic, Robert Weil has suggested that contemporary China still has the potential to produce a new form of democratic socialism.