January 10, 1966: Fighting Speculation and Capitalist Influence

On January 10th 1966 the Central Committee of the Communist party approved and endorsed the Central administrative management office party organizations “Report on the current fight to oppose Capitalist influence and strengthen market management.” The report was widely distributed to party branches across the country. It focused on serious concerns about speculation and black market activities that were occurring during the new five year plan, it addressed the issue of market speculation and profiteering. It expresses concern with theft of resources from state owned enterprises for sale on the  black market. The party needed to: “Tightly control the market, make sure that agricultural products that are not allowed to be sold do not enter the market.” The party needed to do more to manage and restrict market activities. It blamed “capitalist influence” for the sneaking corruption and black market activities.

At play at the time:

A central debate within the party was the roll of the market economy under state socialism, between those in favor of a tightly controlled planned economy and a more market oriented economy. Market activity flowed and ebbed during the first 30 years of the PRC, hitting low points during periods of intense political activity, and sneaking back during low periods. in the 1960’s some amount of private market activity had been allowed to return after the disastrous results of the Great leap Forward left many parts of China in famine and destitute. This report was likely an action towards curbing those post GLF market activities. Noticeably the blame is placed upon the vague idea of capitalist influence, it is unclear if this refers to the influence of the old oppressing classes, or the emergence of new class powers within the PRC, specifically from a people within the party taking the capitalist road.

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