chapter  19
22 Pages

Draining the “blood energy”

Destruction of independent production and creation of migrant workers in post-reform China
ByJoseph Medley, Lorrayne Carroll

In theorizing Z processes as an analytic category, Stephen A. Resnick and Stephen Hymer stretch the boundaries of neoclassical economic analysis and continue to work within its logic. Z goods represent a way to account for production that remains invisible or "partially seen" within neoclassical metrics because the analytic provides a means with which to measure formally excluded or mischaracterized production. The ancient firms enabled a substantial portion of the self-provisioning of the rural communities, as well as providing the source, along with agriculture, of sufficiently higher incomes to raise the majority of Chinese peasants above the poverty level. Many of the firms that initially benefited from the pro-capitalist policies were among the larger TVEs located near major cities, along the east coast and readily accessible to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Yu Hua employs traditional metaphors of "blood" and "blood energy" to trace the ever-diminishing opportunities for self-provisioning, family support, and, ultimately, sheer survival afforded to Xu Sanguan.