Category Archives: Original Articles

The Great Leap Sideways – Chinese Industrialization Under Mao Zedong

Written By: Finn O’Connor

After forming the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Mao attempted to rapidly develop China’ economy through a series of centrally administered 5-year plans based on the Stalinist industrial policy. The most famous of these plans is the second one between 1958 and 1962, commonly referred to as the Great Leap Forward (GLF). These plans came at an enormous economic and social cost, resulting in the death of between 15 and 55 million people through one of, if not, the largest famine in history. The failure of Mao’s economic policy led him to double-down on the Chinese Communist Party’s social control, purging dissidents and rewriting Chinese history through the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976. After the Chairman’s death and subsequent reorganization of power within the CCP, Deng Xiaoping undertook broad economic reforms that moved the Chinese economy away from its command structure to a more free-market approach through the household responsibility and Town-Village Enterprise (TVE) programs that stimulated market-driven economic growth. Paired with an opening-up policy that ended decades of economic isolation from the world economy, Deng cultivated some of the most rapid development in history, setting the PRC on track to become one of the strongest of today’s economies.  Continue reading…

Cartels and Collapse – The Deep (Economic) Impact of Asteroid Mining

Written By: Finn O’Connor

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report released in late March has once again spurred discussion on how we can reconcile humanity’s massive consumption with the relative continuation of our way of life (1). One solution that has long been discussed is the possibility of harnessing resources outside the terrestrial ecosystem to bolster our scarce supply. The most attractive place to start this process is with asteroids; mineral-rich rocks that orbit our sun. Companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries cropped up in recent years intending to harvest asteroids for their resources and transport them back to Earth. However, they have barely begun the exploratory stage, where probes are sent to assess the composition of target asteroids (2). Continue reading…