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The Evolution of the Interaction Among the Chinese Mainland's State, Non-state Ruling Elite and the Masses During the Period of the Reform

Sun Liping

This article is intended to explore the outline of the evolution of the Chinese mainland's social structures with the analysis framework of the three - layer structure of "the state the non - state ruling elite and the masses" .

This article is one thesis of "The Symposium an the Studies of the Social Stratums of the Chinese Society" held in Hong Kong in December 1993. The formation of many viewpoints in this article is due to my repeated discussions with Messrs. Liu Liqun, Shi Xiaoming, Wang Hansheng, Shen Yuan and Xiao Guoliang and others whom I should like to give acknowledgements to here.

I.

The state , the non - state ruling elite and the masses are the three basic structural factors in social structure. The stable interaction formed by these three factors is one of the basic panels of social structure. The evolution of this interaction is one important respect of the changes of social structure and will have a wide and deep impact an social life.

To provide a reliable ground for the following analyses, a simple definition of the notion of the state, the non-state ruling elite and the masses is needed here.

The state here refers particularly to the state setup rather than the generally -sensed nation- state. There is no doubt that the state is a kind of setup to exercise power, but the power it exercises, more than the power of general sense, is the one related to sovereignty, i. e. , the power with the attribute of the highest arbiter and the ultimate nature. In the traditional theory of the state, people much more emphasized the "representativeness" of the state, i. e. , regarded the state as the representative of some groups of interests and their allies, the simplest formulation of which being: the state is the representative of the ruling class. Therefore, the policy decisions of the state are nothing but the expressions of the ruling class interests. But some important studies in recent years show that the state possesses apparent autonomy. Michael Mann's studies, for example, an the U. K. reveal the fact that the state has its own interests. (13 In such new theoretical framework, the attribute of the state itself must be evaluated: the state is an entity with its own independent interests; the goal of the state cannot be equated with that of a certain group of the society because the state has its own goal; the state can exist as an autonomous actor; the interests of the state and the ruling class both are identical and contradictory. Most outstandingly is expressed the contradiction of the two especially when the state and the ruling class are simultaneously threatened by a social crisis - - if any, its root consisting in that the target the two sides draw resources from in always the same one.

The non-state ruling elite are a distinctive type among social elite. Being among the people (or being independent of the state organs) and exercising ruling function are the two basic features of which makes them in contradistinction to the power elite in the state organs. In other words, the non- state ruling elite we mention here do not include the power elite in the state organs. The latter belongs to the scope of the state rather than that of the non - state ruling elite. (Z~ The word of "ruling" mentioned here has rather wide implication and does not merely refer to political rule. Leading, managing, arbitrating, coordinating, integrating and organizing are all matter-of - course in the meaning of "ruling" stated here. To cum up, all those who execute the above - mentioned functions in the social public sphere can be thought of as the non - state ruling elite. The resource the non - state ruling elite rely an while they exercise the ruling functions in social life is not the administrative administering power given by the state, but originates from the non - official influence including those derived from wealth, reputation, ability, knowledge and so on. The position of the non - state ruling elite is precisely between the state and the masses and thus they always come to be the medium and link of the two. Although independent of the state, the non - state ruling elite are the basic social force in shaping the fundamental institutional framework of the state; and in the social life of the popular grass - roots they are also the important social force in realizing social Integration and cultivating the ability of the society itself to organize and form orders.

The masses are a structural factor lying in the lowest level of the three - layer structure. The masses are the common target from which the state and the non -state ruling elite draw resources but in most cases, the interaction and relationship between the masse and the non - state ruling elite is direct while that between the masses and the state remains indirect. In the circumstance that the forces of both the state and the non - state ruling elite are weak , the masses will play a more outstanding part.

The interaction among the three structures can be graphed as follows:

the three - layer social structure in the Chinese traditional society was formed with the establishment of the system of empire (marked by the unifying of China by the Qin Dynasty).

 

In the course of the change of the feudal system into the system of empire, there occurred an important division of social power. The total power originally possessed by the feudal nobles which epitomized the ruling power, the actual administering power and the non - official influence was split up into the relatively separated ones. In the system after the division, the emperor possessed the ruling power and the occupational bureaucrat system wielded the actual administering power while the feudal nobles - - landlords who were among the people played a role with their non - official influence. Under this circumstance, the three-layer structure fell into a pattern:

 

But after the Song Dynasty, there was an important change in the three - layer structure of the Chinese traditional society - - that is, the gentry - landlord group consisting of the mainbody of the non - state ruling elite at the middle - layer replaced the noble - landlord group. Because of a series of reasons such as the damage to the hereditary system caused by a chain of chaos in wars after the end of the East Han Dynasty, the noble - landlord group that constituted the mainbody of the non - state ruling elite before the Tang Dynasty kept declining; while the gentry - landlord group began to rise with the development of the civil - service examination system and gradually replaced the Position of the noble landlord group. By then the three - layer structure of the society was transformed into:

 

A series of important changes in the layers of structure, system and social life were entailed after the gentry

- landlord group replaced the noble - landlord group and became the main element of the ace, of the propagating of the Western modern civilization

and the initiating of new – type schools, especially of the installation of the civil - service examination system itself and its being done with at the end. This group that used to possess rather high homogeneity and inner integration began to split up in four directions: some of them changed into the modern industrialists and businessmen; some became the modern intellectuals; some the new -type armymen; and some still stayed in the countryside and mostly became despotic landlords. [43 This actually meant the splitting up and disintegrating of the most important part of the three-layer structure.

The direct result brought about by the decline and disintegration of the non -state ruling elite this time consisted in the end of the autocratic monarchy, the deeper impact extended for a considerably long period: the medium between the state and the society lost its original effectiveness; the grass - roots society found it difficult to integrate and the political breakup was accompanied by social breakup; the lowerlevel rule rose while revolutions and rebellions happened with increasing frequency;

radicalism became the theme of cultural ideology while liberalism and and industrialists conservatism kept feeble; and more importantly, in the one hundred and more years hereafter, China had been short of the forces which were able to finalize the design of the basic system framework of the society and the social system had been lacking the inherent stable ground.

 

The final result was the formation of the total crisis reflected in the integration crisis. The Chinese Communist Party, in her contest with the Kuomintang (KMT) to solve the total crisis, won victory and held the power an the Chinese mainland, and an this basis, set up a total society reacting to the total crisis. [5]

11.

The total society institution established an the Chinese mainland after 1949 was based an the overall control over and monopoly of the social resources.

Early before the People's Republic of China was founded, the course of controlling resources which took as its main content the confiscation of bureaucratic capital had already started. Up to the end of 1949 , 2 , 858 bureaucratic capital enterprises with 12 , 900 , 000 workers and more were confiscated . The then bureaucratic capital accounted for about 66 % of the national industrial capital. According to the subsequent estimates of the original prices of the fixed assets, the bureaucratic capital confiscated then cost about 150 billion RMB yuan. Up to the end of 1956, the socialist transformation of the national capital had fundamentally been accomplished in which 1,120 , 000 private industries with 1, 200 , 000 workers and office staff were transformed into joint state - private enterprises, 4 , 000 , 000 privately owned commercial enterprises became joint state - private ones; 14 , 400 , 000 individual traders formed cooperative groups; and still more than 48 , 000 handicrafts under individual ownership were amalgamated into the joint state - private enterprises. Through the Land reform, the establishment of cooperatives and the organization of people's communes throughout the country and what not, the state realized the control over land and other important factors of agriculture. In 1953 , the state monopolized the purchase and marketing of grain, cooking oil and fixed the purchase of some agricultural and sideline products in Category 2 (such as live pigs, fresh eggs and so on) . (6) On this basis, the urban employment system of unified planning and centralized placement, the census register and control system based an urban - rural separation and the higher education system of the state centralized enrollment of new students and placement of graduates were formed. Therefore, the state had gained the power of control over and layout of the overwhelming majority of social rare resources not only including materials, funds but also power, reputation and opportunities, etc. And a social member had to obtain the corresponding resources from the state so as to get the most basic surviving conditions.

After the state held the power to monopolize and control the overwhelming majority of the social resources, -the whole social members fell into two major categories in accordance with their different relations with resources. One was the redistributors mainly consisting of the government officials, the full - time cadres engaged in the Party work (who got their wages from the state finance) and so on. They held the actual power to allocate the social resources. The other was the direct producers or receivers of resources. Although the specific fashions in which they got their portions of resources necessary in life and the amounts of their shares were not equal because of their different positions in the total system, yet, in the view of the fact that they were the targets of resource allocation, there was no essential difference between them. For example, the positions in the total system of the urban and rural residents, workers both of the state - owned units and of the collective enterprises, permanent and temporary workers differed greatly and they enjoyed different portions in such respects as job opportunities, public medical care, housing distribution, residence places, supply of staple and non-staple foodstuffs, incomes and so on, and the rural residents could not enjoy those rights and interests. But even so, they all were the targets of the redistribution by the state and even those groups who enjoyed the most welfare and privileges - - the workers and office staff in the state - owned units in the cities and towns did not own those resources.

From this we can see that this unique system in the total society of monopolizing and allocating resources played a part in simplifying social structure. In the market economy characteristic of ownership of rare resources by various sectors, most rare resources spread widely among the people. On this basis, a complicated and varied structural factor is formed: land owners, capital owners, big or small, complete or incomplete, owners of knowledge and skills, owners of physical power and so on. And in each group, there exist fine and important distinctions. It is in this circumstance that the middle stratum of the society, namely, the non - government ruling elite, is formed. But in the total society, the state not only monopolized the overwhelming majority of the vested resources but also always put under its direct control the new resources available with the use of the state mandatory power; and usually destroyed any potential rival who controlled the rare resources by resorting to political or administrative power, a typical prey of whom was the clan power in the countryside. The Chinese clan power has an ingrained historical tradition(7) , and the clan power in the countryside still stubbornly existed and occasionally played a role in the social and economic activities even after the national capital in the cities and the social influence of the gentry - landlords in the countryside were destroyed. It can be said that the clan power was almost the only force which could scramble for influence in the countryside with the state power organs at that time. And it was because of this reason that "the clan tribalism" was almost always taken as one of the targets under attack in all past political movements related to the countryside. In the "cultural revolution" , the clan influence, generally speaking, suffered a deadly blow though it still actually played an important part in some places. Since the overwhelming majority of rare resources were placed under the control of the state, no-state social forces that held important rare resources no longer existed and only two structural factors in the then Chinese society were left: the state and the masses. In this case, the past three - layer structure became the two - layer structure as shown in the following diagram:


This kind of two- layer structure constituted by the state and the masses may be said to be a very unique social structure in the human society. It is not only alien to the social structure in the Chinese history or to that of the modern West, but also is apparently diverse from the social structure of the former Soviet Union. Morris Misner applies "the generality of Vulcan reaction" invented by Clan Blanton to the comparative analysis of the Soviet Union after its revolution and China. He finds that the Soviets' revolutionary enthusiasm rapidly waned soon after the victory of their revolution and in the attempt and efforts to establish social life order, the course of conventionalization began and some new systems without much difference from the old ones were set up. On the contrary, after the victory of her revolution, China was "completely different from the usual social and historic models after ` the victory of revolution "' , " the most outstanding feature of the Chinese history after 1949 is that the Communists made great efforts so as to reverse the general trend of the revolution's perishing after its victory, to avoid ` the institutionalization of bureaucratism' which would possibly result in loss of revolutionary impetus and to safeguard the inherent vitality of the revolutionary goal and ideals, thus enabling it to become the strength source of the real social activities. "[8~ From the perspective of social structure, there existed an obvious difference between China and the Soviet Union. Soon after the October Revolution, the Soviet Union cultivated a group of new social elite and a certain degree of elite rule. Though these elite did not control the rare resources of much importance, their actual social positions and incomes were far higher than those of the common people. But after victory was won in her revolution, China aimed at eliminating and checking the elite rule through criticizing the so - called "technocracy of factories" and "technocracy of Colleges and universities by Professors" ; sending intellectuals to the countryside to let them subject themselves to re - education by the workers and peasants; breaking away with "the bourgeois right" ; and through criticizing "the reactionary academic authorities of the bourgeoisie" . Egalitarianism in income distribution was just the reflection of this real social structure.

To explain the features of the total society, it is necessary for us to go further into the interaction between the state and the masses in this two - layer social structure.

1. The formation of the interaction between the state and the masses while the former is directly confronted with the latter. As stated above, in the three - layer structure, the interaction between the state and the masses is in most cases the indirect interaction with the elite as the medium and only for taxation, litigation and modern democratic politics can the masses produce direct interaction with the state. And in daily work and life, the masses seldom come into direct contact with the state. But in the two- layer structure of the total society, the interaction between the state and the masses is almost completely face - to - face. One cannot be without the state in his whole life - - he has to be delivered at birth in a state hospital; the kindergarten, primary school, middle school, college or university he enters are all state-owned; he enjoys the material benefits supplied by the state; he gets retirement pay from the state; his house and staple and non - staple foodstuffs are all supplied by the state; and after his death he receives the service in a state - owned cremation and mortuary house. Even a common person with the lowest social position has to deal with the state all the time in his life. However, it is in these frequent interactions that the factors of the direct conflicts between the state and the masses are produced. Just because a person's life almost utterly depends an the state, while owing his benefits to the state, he will put the blame in his life an the state and even relate his grievance against his work units and his leaders to the state. This shows that the lack of the medium of the non - state ruling elite will introduce a great increment of chances for the direct conflict between the masses and the state, making any grievance and conflict caused by minor questions become very strongly politicized. Furthermore, although the interaction between the state and the masses is seemingly regular and frequent, there is the shortage of the real institutionalized channel of connection between the two sides, which will result in the slow response made by the state to the mass demand in the two-layer social structure. In this structure, being short of the role of the elite and other corresponding conditions, the masses will find it very hard to coagulate, clarify and express their demands. And even the demands epitomized in large - scale protests also obviously lack handlability, thus being far from the level of policy decision. It is from here that people can understand why the impact of the past mass resisting movements was very great but with few constructive factors.

2. The state's mobilization of participation of the masses. In the direct interaction between the state and the masses in the two - layer structure , the state's relation with the masses shows as direct total control and participatory mobilization. One of the striking features of the total society is its very strong ability of mobilization. It can complete the mobilization, with its national compact organizational system, of the national manpower and material resources so as to achieve a certain state's goal. This system of high - effective mobilization is both the workable means of rapid realization of industrialization - - the goal of nationalism and the response to the highly - scattered situation of resources in the Chinese society before 1949. Beginning from the later period of the Qing Dynasty, owing to the state's decline, the social resources were sharply decentralized and more and more of them went into the hands of the local despots such as the gentry, warlords and so an who then became the forces to resist the centralization of resources by the central government after they grew stronger. Foreign aggressions in the modern Chinese history and the slow industrialization as well as the frequent social upheavals - - we may say - - have something to do with the highly scattered state of the resources of the then Chinese society. To solve the combined total crises including the political and social disintegration before 1949 and simultaneously to realize rapidly the goal of enriching the country and in-

creasing its military power, the high - effective ability of mobilization thus became the first concern of the then new regime. However, just as Bernstein pointed out, the similar mobilization was expressed in different specific fashions respectively in China and the Soviet Union. According to Bernstein's classification, the Soviet Union's social mobilization may be called "common mobilization" while China's, a kind of "participatory mobilization"(9) , the most typical of which was the agricultural cooperative movement. In the Soviet Union, agricultural cooperative movement was achieved compulsorily by the urban working teams sent by the government. But in the Chinese agricultural cooperative movement , although a lot of working teams were sent to the countryside , their main test was to conduct propaganda among peasants and persuade them to do something instead of compelling the peasants to do something, enabling them to realize that the existing circumstances of land possession and operationing methods were not rational and only when the individual peasants took the collective road could they have a bright future. In the whole course of the cooperative movement, the working teams visited the poor and listened to their sufferings and held the peasants' meetings to recall their sufferings in the old society and compare them with the happiness in the new for the purpose of cultivating the peasants' class consciousness and enhancing their political awareness. As a result, the peasants conscientiously participated in or threw themselves into the agricultural cooperative movement. This peculiar way of social mobilization just determined a peculiar phenomenon in the Chinese society, namely, political movements occurred frequently. There was a consideration of a kind of social mobilization behind every political movement though some specific and particular reasons gave rise to it.

The high- effective ability of social mobilization, for one thing, vigorously promoted the process of industrialization and played a role of much importance particularly in the initial stage of industrialization. But at the same time, a great danger was imminent in this high-effective ability of social mobilization that would bring about very serious passive results because policy - decision power was completely centralized at the highest level of the power system or even in the hands of one person and also because the decision - making process failed to be checked and supervised. The Great Leap Forward and the "cultural revolution" were the typical examples.

3. The replacement of the genetic or contractual social integration by the administrative social integration that exercises total control over the masses. The state's overall control over and monopoly of rare resources as well as the formation of the total social system an this basis fundamentally changed the integration mode of the Chinese society. Generally speaking, all social integration are realized through two levels : one is the political integration at national level while the other is the social Integration at local level. The former purpose is to safeguard the sovereignty of the nation-state, to execute administrative control and management, and to establish and maintain social order through administration and law; the latter's purpose is to function at community level by non - state and non - political means so as to maintain the basic order and social activities, enabling the roles, organizations and systems that undertake different functions to set up a harmonious and coordinated relationship.

In China's traditional society, one of the outstanding features of the integration mechanism is that the social integration appeared stronger while the political Integration weaker; the social integration at community level was realized mainly through the local elite in the countryside and the genetic and regional connections played an important role in integrating the local society. This model of social integration may be called the innate integration; the integration of the two levels, lacking organizational connections, mainly relied an the integration mechanism role connecting the two levels played by the local elite’s' personal relations with the officials and an the replacement of the organizational integration partially by value integration. This kind of Integration model an one hand afforded the entire society flexibility and stable basis, enabling it to have maintained for more than two thousand years, and an the other hand created a fatal weak point of this social system, namely, the level of Integration was low. One of the results was that while meeting with foreign aggressions in modern times, the society could not make a powerful response. The description of the society as "a heap of loose sand" (i. e. , utterly lacking cohesiveness) made with deep regret and resentment by Dr. Sun Yat - Sen was the inevitable outcome of this Integration mechanism.

Under the circumstance that there was no institutionalized channel leading to the realm of political centre, the local elite would come to be the force that lorded it over a region and resisted the central regime, which was a matter of common occurrence in the modern Chinese history. Therefore, after the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949 , it became the prerequisite to the state's overall penetration into the rural society to resolutely hit or ban the gentry, landlords, clan, popular region as well as secret societies. At the same time, the formation of any new non-state elite became impossible because of the state's overall monopoly of resources and the simplification of the structural factors caused thereby. When the realization of the social Integration by the local elite was either impossible or kept an watch by the state, a model of administrative social integration was formed. One of the outstanding features of the integration model an the Chinese mainland after 1949 was that the political Integration, was very powerful. Even the Integration of the grass - roots society at community level was realized mainly by administrative means. Up to the middle and later period of the 1950s, this kind of model of replacing social integration by political integration had been basically formed. In the countryside, the typical form was the people's communes (the agricultural producers' ' cooperatives preceding it) ; in the cities and towns, the work unit was the mainbody added by the neighbourhood committee system (first established in 1954) . Either the people's communes in the countryside or work units in cities were the total organizations that had various functions, in which political and administrative power played the central role. To be specific, the Party organization system , the administrative power system and the mass organizations such as the trade union, the Communist Youth League, the women's federation and so an were the three important forces that worked in this integration mechanism. One of the advantages of this integration model was expressed in eliminating the tensions between the social integration and the political integration, having the two highly unified and making the social integration at local level subordinate to the political integration at state level. In this model, the state's strength penetrated into the grass - roots social life in depth and width that were unprecedented in history. But the effectiveness of this social integration model was produced at the cost of social independence and autonomy. Furthermore, this model was extremely rigid and had to take as the precondition the constant checking of social disintegration.

The people's communes and work units in the cities were not only the basic mechanism of social integration, but also the important means by which the state exercised control over the society. This total organizational form was the only channel through which people were able to approach and enjoy the rare resources monopolized by the state; if they were away from it, individuals would lose the opportunities to obtain the basic living conditions necessary for survival. Individuals' conduct ranging from the major respects such as political attitude, working zeal to the minor respects such as bearing children , conjugal relation and even the arrangement of their off -hours were under the direct control of their work units (in fact the state) because the work units mastered the basic living conditions of the individuals.

4. The masses' organized dependence an the state. The masses' relation with the state presented itself as "organized dependence" . Walder thinks that in China before the reform, workshop and factory directors - - as the representatives of the state organs - - exercised powerful and all - embracing domination and control over workers in social, economic and political fields. Therefore, the workers depended on their work units socially and economically; an the administrative stratum politically; on their superiors personally. [10] We can see with a little more detailed analysis that "the conditions necessary for life" people got from their work units mentioned thereinbefore included far richer contents than job opportunities, various material conditions and social welfare, etc. Virtually, much of one's rote, capacity and social Position was offered by his work unit. Whether or not you belonged to a certain unit, what kind of unit you belonged to, what position you were placed in the your unit determined your basic capacity to a great extent. What is interesting is that in the total society before the reform there was no ID system an the Chinese mainland universally practised in the world. What functioned as the ID card was either the employee's card or the work unit's letter of introduction (the peasants had no employee's cards, so what functioned were the letters of introduction written by the people's communes or the production brigades) . One's identity had to be proved by his employee's card and his unit's letter of introduction if he went anywhere out of his unit to get an to for business and for private affairs. Even today when the reform has been carried an for 15 years, only when one carries with him (her) the certificate proving he (she) is "single" issued by his (her) unit - - if he (she) is to marry - - can he (she) go through marriage formalities in the relevant units. If one wants to bear a child after marriage, he (she) will have to secure the approval of "the targeted number of birth" from his (her) unit. Since trans-unit social mobility is rather difficult in the total society, individuals have to be much independent an their work units. This is because if they are away from their units, individuals not only will be out of the resource distribution channel but also will lose their basic role and social identity.

To ensure social members' dependence an and loyalty to their units (hence the state) , any individuals' interests would be ideologically placed an "improper" position. The slogan either of "taking your factory as your home" in the 1950s or of "severely struggling against any idea of personal interests that suddenly comes to mind" in the early 1960s was out of the same consideration of checking individual interests. So under such a system, any effort of the individual to obtain resources somewhere exclusive of his own work unit would be resolutely stopped or even seriously punished. The phenomenon of "doing private work in off - hours" (somewhat similar to the moonlighting today) for example, used to be the target of criticism.

5 . Vertical - type relationship is more important than horizontal - type relationship and "relations" played a role of much importance in social life. A further analysis will make it clear that the individual's dependence an his unit is actually a kind of dual dependency. One was the individual's dependence an the organization and the other was an the leaders themselves in the organization. In the former dependence, what the individual had to practise was loyalty usually judged by two standards: (1) loyalty and honesty in politics, for instance, "taking an active part in political movements" , "standing an the side of the correct line" , "upholding the leadership of the Party" and so on; (2) working hard and making more contributions for the "unit" (also the state. But in the dependency an the unit leaders themselves, the general practice was under the "feeling - benefit" principle rather than under the "politics - work achievement" principle, because in each unit both the leading and the led enjoyed remote possibility of flowing. So the leading - led relationship existing between individuals remained rather stable. Because it was not easy for this vertical relationship to change and the unit controlled the majority of resources necessary for the individual, the individual had to lay much emphasis an his relation with the leaders. Thus it became a universal practice to establish a closer relation with one's leaders by flattery, even inviting the leaders to banquets and giving them presents. But objectively speaking, under the circumstances at that time, this relationship was not yet a short - term relationship of interests with which to seek an equivalent or larger reward for one's cost within a short time because then the unit's bonus was universally cancelled, wages remained relatively fixed and there was rare opportunity or little room for changes. Therefore, in such a relationship, what the subordinate expected to get was a kind of reward bearing a certain nondeterminacy in a long period - - for instance, they expected to be attended to in housing allotment and post transferal or when they got into trouble in life. The more popular mental state was expected in that they were afraid of "being punished underhand" by their leaders.

In the total society, this phenomenon of "relationship" not only existed inside the work units but outside them. But contrary to the "relationship" inside the work unit, the relationship outside the unit - - if the "relationship" inside the unit was more of the vertical - type - - was more of the horizontal - type: relatives, friends, fellow- townsmen, old colleagues, old comrades - in - arms, old subordinates, old schoolmates were all the important links that formed the "relations" outside the work unit. In the inflexible system of the total society, this kind of "relation" was a very important resource. In fact, it was this social resource of "relation" that made the very inflexible system still contain considerable flexibility. For example, couple Separation of workers and office staff was not a rare phenomenon before the reform when a spouse's trans - city or trans - region transfer was rather difficult according to the official stipulations in the system. But thanks to the effectiveness of "relation" , actually many people broke through the so - called "back door" the limitation officially stipulated by the state, having their spouses transferred and the question of couple separation solved.

But generally speaking , the importance of the vertical - type relationship was far greater than that of the horizontal relationship in the total society before the reform. This is because in this system, out of the consideration of the interest ratio of "costreward" , people usually safeguarded and strove for their own benefits by establishing a special clientelism with their leaders rather than through collective action of persons at the same position. ~11~ Therefore, compared with the vertical relationship, the horizontal relationship remained in a much undeveloped state. "Inside a work unit, the leaders and other individuals were in a lax state and it was only possible for the principal and subordinate relationship between the leaders and those advanced workers to exist. Units were also in the same situation. Perhaps we may call this state the minimal integration within the highly organized state. "[12)

6. The stratified society and "the phenomenon of the majority". The total society an the Chinese mainland before the reform was a stratified society rather than a class society. The class society was formed an the basis of multivariate occupation of social resources and so classes could not come into being under the circumstance that the state monopolized the majority of the resources. What was formed an this condition was nothing but social estate or capacity. There actually existed the four major capacity systems an the Chinese mainland before the reform: first, the political capacity series. At both ends of this series were the theoretical proletariat and bourgeoisie. But in China's practical situation, the two parts embodied very mixed elements and particularly when the original bourgeoisie had disappeared, the notion of "bourgeoisie" in fact included all those who were thought to be "hostile to socialism" or even those who were dejected in some power struggles. Second, urban - rural capacity series. The census system an the Chinese mainland based an the urban - rural Separation gradually got into shape between 1951 and 1958 and after "the three years of natural calamity" (from 1959 - 1962) , such separation caused by the census system went further towards stringency. This system separated the urban and rural residents into two entirely different social capacities. Third, the "cadre" and "worker" occupational capacity series. In most societies, the occupation cannot constitute the stratified capacity because occupation always bears very strong changeability. But an the Chinese mainland before the reform, the capacity either of "the cadre" or of "the worker" was rather fixed and thus it was very hard for one "to become a cadre from a worker". It was just because of this that the phenomenon of "allowing a worker to act as a cadre" was popular. According to this capacity system, all occupations in the Chinese mainland cities were actually divided into two major categories: one was the occupation pursued only by "cadres" and the other was the occupation pursued only by "workers". Fourth, the ownership capacity series. After the nationwide socialist transformation of capitalist industry and commerce was basically completed in 1956 , the differences of ownership capacities were mainly manifested between the ownership by the whole people and the collective ownership. "Workers of the ownership by the whole people" and "workers of the collective ownership system" were both the capacities that could not be changed easily. The formation of this capacity system resulted from the complicated interaction among the three factors of the serious shortage of rare resources, the overall monopoly of rare resources and the resource redistributor's ability of administration and allotment. When the resources were distributed in a unified way by the state but the resources were seriously short, the only way was to divide the distributes into various grades whereby the preferential order to allot resources was determined. At the same time, to centralize all the rare resources of the whole country and to distribute them in a unified way by the state was undoubtedly a very big project far beyond the state's ability to complete with the then limitation of organizational, manpower and technical conditions of the state organs themselves. Therefore, it could surely reduce the complexity of the state's resource allotment practice to divide the social members into different capacities and grades, having the social members of different types draw their allotted portions of resources respectively through different channels but in a fixed way. Of course, this was done at the cost of the social structure's being inflexible and of strictly limiting social flow.

But it should be noted that this kind of capacity system and grade system failed to fundamentally change the total state of the masses as the resource allottees though they caused obvious differences among the social members. Thus, the social members - - separated by regions, units or capacities though, formed what some scholars call "the large numbers" - - such a phenomenon as provides food for thought: "The system structure of state socialism decreased the obstacle to collective actions through producing the phenomenon of ` large numbers' that were constituted by those individuals who had similar conduct mode and demand which broke the limit of organizations and social groups. "[13) One of the important reasons rested with the similarity of the relations of different individuals and groups with the state. Not only did the state place all social members exclusive of the state officials in a similar position of being directly allotted of resources by the state but also created for them a largely similar social , economic and political environment in which even each social member's life experience was very much alike. And it was precisely this common feature and similarity that gave the social members a common character of conducting which was extremely apt to result in a non - structural collective action with fuzzy goal. Under the state strong control, this generalized conducting character would find it very easy to lead to the state's mobilization of political movements in which the masses would take part "very enthusiastically"; while under the state loose control, this commonness in conduct would make a popular resisting movement very easy to grow into a large scale within a short time.

7. The populist ideology and its instinct aversion to the elite. The populist ideology was the important tool that made the two - layer structure of "the state - the masses" legalized. This kind of ideology emphasized the important or unique role of the rand and file both in history and in reality. "The people, and only the people can the impetus to create the world history" ; "the masses are the real heroes" ; "the elite are most ignorant while the lowly are most intelligent" served as the most basic faith of such ideology under which the authorities were rather sensitive to and would sternly check any indication of the possible growing of the elite although there existed the obvious social differences and even grades and this system structure did play a role in maintaining and strengthening these differences. The "cultural revolution" made the populist ideology go to the limit. The efforts of this populist ideology were reflected by calling an the intellectuals to receive the reeducation by the workers and peasants through taking part in physical labor, by allowing the worker - peasant - soldier students to attend, manage and reform colleges or universities, by sending workers propaganda teams, the PLA propaganda teams and poor peasants propaganda teams into units of the superstructure, by encouraging the workers to directly participate in management of factories and by promoting ordinary workers and peasants to posts of leadership at various levels. Since most popular rulers in the Chinese history had a certain educational background, the practice of taking sedulous precautions against the intellectuals' becoming "intellectual aristocrats" could be understood.

Income egalitarianism and the so - called "big - pot" distribution system were but the concrete reflections of this egalitarian ideology in the distributing field. This egalitarianism in income distribution had two rather clear goals: one was to narrow the gap between the income of the officials (they are called "administrative cadres" , especially administrative leading cadres an the Chinese mainland) and that of the ordinary workers. But to safeguard the interests of the official stratum, while the goal of the equality of income distribution (i. e. , the narrowing of wage gap) was realized, the privileges enjoyed by cadres in housing and other material distributions kept increasing. The other was to narrow the gap between the income of the petty intellectuals (especially the senior intellectuals) and that of the workers) . The original wage scale of the intellectuals set with the help of the Soviet experts was continuously reduced so that finally the workers' wage income exceeded the intellectuals' - - that is the phenomenon of "wage disparity between white - collar and blue - collar workers

The populist ideology also created a kind of subconsciousness that despised authorities , which was expressed in that it was "legalized" to resist the managers' institutions in a specific unit. What was interesting was that under the dual effect of the total system and populist ideology, a kind of much contradictory dual personality, i.e. , "authority - anti - authority" dual personality was formed. As stated above, in the vertical - type asylum relationship of the total society, individuals were under very strong personal bondage to their leaders, in the relation of which the protected

assumed a very avowed authority character but at the same time generally showed a kind of contempt for and revolt against all the authorities that could not affect their interests but should be obeyed. If they were able to get the powerful asylum from a higher - level leader, they would issue their fearless challenge to their direct superiors. Therefore, in the total society before the reform, although the authority personality was popular, yet with it, the relationship beneficial to work between the leadership and the rank and file could not be established.

B. The one - way connecting system. In the two - layer structure of the total society, the connecting channel from above down and that from the bottom to the top were very asymmetric: the former remained stable and effective whereas the latter's degree of systematization and institutionalization was rather low. In the connection from above down, three channels played the role of much importance. The first was the media (the mass media) . In the total society, such media as the newspaper, books and periodicals, radio and television were in the hands of the Party and the state almost without exception. The only function of these media was to communicate the policy - decisions and guiding ideology of the Party and the government and attempted to make them "strike root in the hearts of the people" in the fashions that the masses would "love to see and hear" . The strength of the media was expressed in uniformity and repetition. It was virtually one of people's basic requirements to receive information and thus it became the only choice of people to receive the official information conveyed by the media without other information sources available. And the conveying of these information was performed in a way of very high - frequency repetition. The second channel was the official documents. In the total society before the reform, transmitting the documents of the leading bodies at all levels constituted one important content of the political life. One of the evident differences of document conveying from medium propaganda was that after document was transmitted, it was generally practised "to organize the masses to have discussions" and at the same time to work out "the measures of carrying out the documents" because the documents themselves were the mandatory instructions. The third channel was the work teams. In the total society, before the reform, sending a work team an the mission of accomplishing a certain task (usually a rather difficult one) was a constant practice. The method of communication was usually mandatory. Because the work team was similar to "the imperial envoy" in the feudal society, - - as the representative of the higher - level organization, it not only assisted a local organization to fulfil a certain task but was given the authority to dismiss and replace "the leading body" of that organization. Behind the above three connecting channels was a compact organizational system which ensured that the instructions from the superiors would be effectively and accurately received and carried out.

On the contrary, there did not exist this kind of effective channel in the connection from the bottom to the top. At that time, such channels as the people's congress, the workers, youth and women's organizations, level - by - level condition reporting, the practice of appealing to the higher authorities for help and so an - -theoretically existing though - - were unlikely to really play the role of linking from the bottom to the top. What availed more often was the non - institutionalized "mass line" such as the leaders' having heart - to - heart talks with their subordinates respectively in private or soliciting opinions from the masses. Later on, the so - called "four big freedoms" (i. e. , speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates and writing big - character posters) were advocated. But even at the time when "the four big freedoms" were prevailing, this kind of linking from the bottom to the top existed not as the way the will and interests of the masses were expressed , instead, it was a positive respondence to the policy - decisions of the higher authorities.

In short, in the two - layer structure of the state - masses in the total society, the interaction between the state and the masses was a rather peculiar type, which created different kinds of peculiar social phenomena.

III.

In the course of the reform of the economic structure, the possession and allocation of rare resources caused a series of changes which led to the essential change in social structure. A new middle stratum was formed in a rather fast speed, which introduced a new - type interaction between the state, the non - state ruling elite and the masses.

1 . The formation of "the freely- flowing resources" and "the space for free activities" and the appearance of the new middle stratum.

Any transition is always most notable in the change in representation. One most representative change of the social structural transition during the course of the reform and opening to the outside world was the important change in the "public service" . Of course, the "public service" nowadays still means something important to an individual or a family because of the slow progress in the urban reforms, especially in the reform in the state - owned enterprises and institutions but compared with the past , public service is obviously less important. Some phenomena seemingly inconceivable before the reform appear, the most typical of which is reflected in the fact that one separates himself from the approach to the resources and activity space controlled by the state when he/she has not been punished as "being discharged from public service". Although not popular at present, this phenomenon possesses very strong symbolic significance and suggests an obviously increasing tendency. More general than one's resignation of the public service is the practice of "retaining the job with one's salary suspended". When this policy was first carried out, so many people made the above choice that various additional stipulations had to be formulated to restrict that practice. While "retaining the job with one's salary suspended" , although one has retained most of the opportunities to get the state - controlled resources, he/she also lost several such opportunities. In contrast, the "firing employees" widely adopted in individual businesses, private enterprises and "the three forms of ventures" (Sino -foreign joint ventures, cooperative businesses and exclusively foreign - owned businesses, translator's note) is very common and not strange. What is particularly noteworthy is that the "firing employees" does not seem to mean something more serious to those who are "fired" than "being discharged from the public service" .

Behind the changes in representation mentioned above actually is an essential change in the Chinese social structure in the course of the reform and opening to the outside world, that is, with the weakening of the state's monopoly of resources and social activity space, the society is in the process of becoming a source to supply resources and opportunities which is in juxtaposition with the state and is with relative independence. And the supply and exchanges of resources and opportunities proceed, in the form of marketing.

Then, how has the society become a source for supplying resources and opportunities in juxtaposition with the state and thus with relative independence? What factors have furnished the conditions? The answer just consists in "the freely – flowing resources" released by the economic restructuring and "the space for free activities" afforded by it. Let's have a more detailed investigation into this process in the following paragraphs.

Now first look at the formation of "the freely - flowing resources". As stated above, in the Chinese mainland society before the reform, the majority of resources were monopolized by the state. It was rather difficult or even impossible for individuals to get these resources by other channels other than the state. But one of the goals and results of the economic restructuring is the narrowing of the range of and weakening of the state's control over resources. Therefore, a part of resources were made to break away from the state's monopoly, to become "the freely - flowing resources" and to enter the society or the market. In the market, theoretically speaking, the ownership of these resources can be transferred and will be no longer subordinated to the monopoly by a certain administrative authority. This process first proceeded in the countryside. Although the institution of production responsibility system in the countryside and the disintegration of people's communes had not changed the nature of the final ownership of land, the peasants got two important things: one was the relative right to make their own decisions an tilling and running their plots of land; the other was the right to control their own labor. The two relatively independent rights became two most basic and also very important "freely - flowing resources" possessed by the peasants after the reform (though land could not be exchanged freely an the market) . The two items of "freely - flowing resources" were the prerequisites for choice of planting methods and breeds and for choice among decisions of engaging in agriculture or sideline production or industry , or of going to some other places to become odd- jobbers. At present, we can see that the possession of the two "freelyflowing resources" by the peasants seems to be something very natural and ordinary but from the historical angle this is the greatest starting point for Chinas economic restructuring and changes in the social structure. It means that there occurred the fission at the weakest link of the state resource monopoly system and the primary "freely - flowing resources" dissociated from the system in which the state monopolized almost all the resources. A lot of the historical changes occurring later an in the Chinese countryside, even including some developments of the urban economic society have something to do with that. In the cities, this "freely - flowing resources" came forth as a result of the state's loosening the monopoly of the means of production and funds. Particularly the implementation of the double - track pricing system (the co -existence of state fixed price and the market price) made it possible for a considerable portion of the means of production to break away from the state control and enter the market. The state's monopoly of capital began to loosen with the private and individual enterprises having become the bank's borrowers. And the large number of the foreign capital inflow came to be the other source of "the freely - flowing resources". The financial responsibility system (dividing the revenue and expenditures between the central and local governments and holding each responsible for balancing their budgets, translator's note) and the retaining of funds by the enterprises (including their retained foreign currency) further intensified the diversification of capital ownership , which resulted in the appearance of various non - state - owned industrial and no longer banned from employing workers from the countryside. And the peasants' rights to make decisions an using land and to control their own labor - - the two "freely - flowing resources" , just function just in the above - stated four big "spaces for free activities". Supposedly, if only with the two "freely - flowing resources" stated thereinbefore but without the corresponding "spaces for free activities" , the peasants would get no more than the right of longer rest and leisure.

The cities have also experienced the similar course of the formation and expansion of "the space for free activities" , which, however, is much slower than that in the countryside. The reason lies mainly in that the state's original control over the space of social activities in the cities was more compact and powerful while the complex degree of "the space for free activities" was higher. But even so, "the space for free activities" in the cities still enjoys a considerable eye - catching formation and expansion during the [15] years of the reform. First, at the beginning of the reform, owing to the various malpractices off the commodity circulation system and the great pressure formed by the employment of the educated youth who returned to the cities from the countryside, the government's policy of "creating as many job opportunities as possible" opened a large gap in permitting individuals to initiate retail trades and catering - - later an the retail sales were extended to wholesale businesses. Therefore, a sizable "space for free activities" was formed in the commodity circulation field. Then, beginning between 1984 and 1985 , the government vigorously promoted the development of the tertiary industry. A large - scale "space for free activities" was shaped in the tertiary industry because it did not require much of such factors as technology, capital and managerial expertise and thus was suitable for the individual and private businesses. At the same time, the high - tech industries with the electronics technology as the core began to thrive. The various special policies made by the government for the high - tech development and particularly the government's permission of engaging in the high - tech industries in the form of non - state - owned companies made the high - tech become the third rather sizable "space for free activities" in the cities. Compared with the first two "spaces for free activities" , the level of the high - tech as "the space for free activities" was greatly improved. Taking into account the factors of "the three forms of ventures" , "the special economic zones" and so on, we can see that in the 15 years of the reform, "the spaces for free activities" in the cities have already started from scratch and begun to take shape. From the spring of 1992, the second wave of the reform has come and "the spaces for free activities" in the cities are expanding to other areas. 15

The appearance of "the freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces for free activities" marks the essential changes that have been taking place in the resource monopoly system of the total society an the Chinese mainland before the reform. A considerable part of resources have flown into the non-state fields though some very important resources are still being controlled by the state so far. These resources of non - state monopoly , owned multivariantly by the nongovernmental, makes the society become a source supplying resources and opportunities an a par with the state. Meanwhile , a relatively independent social force is beginning to take shape an the Basis of "freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces of free activities" . This relatively commercial enterprises such as the individual, the private, the three forms of ventures, the small collective affiliated with the residents' committees and so on. The appearance of these enterprises plus the reform of the employment system in the state - owned enterprises formed another "freely - flowing resources" , i. e. , the contractual employment opportunity that was furnished by the non - state society in the form of market rather than by the state. In accordance with statistical data, by the end of 1989 , 19 . 41 million employment opportunities had been provided by urban and rural individual economic entities, 47.2 million by township and village enterprises, 33.8 million by village industrial enterprises or those below the village level, 76. 8 million by the rural construction teams, 370,000 by the foreign funded industrial enterprises, and 910,000 by joint ventures. [14)

Now let's us turn to the expansion of "the space for free activities" . The formation and development of "the space for free activities" meant something as important as the release of "the freely - flowing resources" . The formation and development of "the space for free activities" were both the outcome of the reform of the economic structure and the product of the modification of the state policy. And it was just because of this that people usually called "the space for free activities" as "within the scope permitted by the policy" in their daily life. "The space for free activities" was the specific place where people took advantage of "the freely - flowing resources". "The free flow" would not bear essential significance only with "the freely - flowing resources" but without "the space for free activities" .

Take the ten and more years of the development of the Chinese countryside as an example. The above - stated release of "the freely - flowing resources" alone cannot have created such prospects for development today. The formation of the prospects for development was the combining result of "the freely- flowing resources" and "the space for free activities". When viewing the matter an second thoughts, we shall find that four big blocks of "the space for free activities" with considerable size have been formed for the peasants who could only engage in collective agricultural labor originally through the ten years of the reform of the economic system and a series of policy adjustments. The first block is "the space for free activities" of diverse economic undertakings formed by crop cultivation itself because of the reform of the system and policy adjustments. Therefore, the transformation from product agriculture into commodity agriculture occurred. The second is the sideline "space for free activities" with trading as the mainstay, which was shaped by the ban - lifting for peasants' trading activities, especially for their operations of transport for sale over a long distance. The thriving of the open markets in particular, keeps this block of "the space for free activities" continuously expanded. The third block is "the space for free activities" of

town and village enterprises (including the private enterprises) formed thanks to the permission and support by the state policy whereby the industrialization process of the Chinese countryside starts. The fourth block is "the space for free activities" of peasants' freedom to get into the cities to be odd- jobbers, in which the peasants are permitted by the policy to engage in construction , business and other service trades in the

cities, some urban state - owned enterprises are permitted to recruit part of odd - jobbers and contract labor from the peasants and the enterprises of other ownership are no longer banned from employing workers from the countryside. And the peasants' rights to make decisions an using land and to control their own labor - - the two "freely - flowing resources" , just function just in the above - stated four big "spaces for free activities". Supposedly, if only with the two "freely - flowing resources" stated thereinbefore but without the corresponding "spaces for free activities" , the peasants would get no more than the right of longer rest and leisure.

The cities have also experienced the similar course of the formation and expansion of "the space for free activities" , which, however, is much slower than that in the countryside. The reason lies mainly in that the state's original control over the space of social activities in the cities was more compact and powerful while the complex degree of "the space for free activities" was higher. But even so, "the space for free activities" in the cities still enjoys a considerable eye - catching formation and expansion during the[151 years of the reform. First, at the beginning of the reform, owing to the various malpractices off the commodity circulation system and the great pressure formed by the employment of the educated youth who returned to the cities from the countryside, the government's policy of "creating as many job opportunities as possible" opened a large gap in permitting individuals to initiate retail trades and catering - - later an the retail sales were extended to wholesale businesses. Therefore, a sizable "space for free activities" was formed in the commodity circulation field. Then, beginning between 1984 and 1985 , the government vigorously promoted the development of the tertiary industry. A large - scale "space for free activities" was shaped in the tertiary industry because it did not require much of such factors as technology, capital and managerial expertise and thus was suitable for the individual and private businesses. At the same time, the high - tech industries with the electronics technology as the core began to thrive. The various special policies made by the government for the high - tech development and particularly the government's permission of engaging in the high - tech industries in the form of non - state - owned companies made the high - tech become the third rather sizable "space for free activities" in the cities. Compared with the first two "spaces for free activities" , the level of the high - tech as "the space for free activities" was greatly improved. Taking into account the factors of "the three forms of ventures" , "the special economic zones" and so on, we can see that in the 15 years of the reform, "the spaces for free activities" in the cities have already started from scratch and begun to take shape. From the spring of 1992, the second wave of the reform has come and "the spaces for free activities" in the cities are expanding to other areas. 15

The appearance of "the freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces for free activities" marks the essential changes that have been taking place in the resource monopoly system of the total society an the Chinese mainland before the reform. A considerable part of resources have flown into the non-state fields though some very important resources are still being controlled by the state so far. These resources of non-state monopoly, owned multivariantly by the nongovernmental, makes the society become a source supplying resources and opportunities an a par with the state. Meanwhile , a relatively independent social force is beginning to take shape an the Basis of "freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces of free activities" . This relatively independent social force is starting the establishment of the embryonic form of the present non - state ruling elite an the Chinese mainland.

In these social forces, the following factors merit special attention: (1) the private industrialists. According to the report from China Information News an March Ello) 1993 , the registered private enterprises an the Chinese mainland were 130 , 000 with z . 318 million employees and increased rapidly (by 28 . 8 per cent in 1992) . If the universally - existing "red cap" phenomenon (that is, the private enterprises are run in the name of the state - owned and collective enterprises) were taken into account , the number of the private enterprises were far larger than that shown in statistical data. (2) The private businesses with enormous economic strength. By the end of 1991, the industrial and commercial private businesses an the Chinese mainland had increase to 14. 168 million with 22. 58 million employees. By the end of 1992, they had increased to 15.339 million with 24. 677 million employees. A considerable part of these private businesses had conducted large - scale business activities. (3) Managers and operators of the township and village enterprises. At present, the township and village enterprises an the Chinese mainland are up to more than 20 million[l6) with 40 to 50 million managers and operators if every enterprise has two. (4) The Chinese managerial staff in the three forms of ventures. The capacities of those managerial staff differ obviously from those of the government officials because of the characteristics of their work although they represent official interests. (5) The managerial staff in the shareholding enterprises without being subject to the competent departments. Since 1991, the reform of the shareholding system in China's economy has progressed rapidly. A group of the shareholding enterprises without being subject to the competent departments have come into being, and most of them have enormous economic strength. (6) The intellectuals with increasingly great independence. In the total society before the reform, the intellectuals were much dependent an the state. It was true either materially and spiritually. But this situation has changed obviously in the course of the market reform. Apparently increases the number of nonofficial channels whereby the intellectuals get resources and their independence is strengthened. (7) Others. Because the market reform is still underway, the structural disintegration is not very clear and thus there are some structural divisors that are not distinct such as the individual brokers engaged in large businesses, most of whom have the capacities of the public service, the underground "black economy" businessmen, some independent managers and operators in the state or collective enterprises - - - even they also losing the characters of officials and are gaining more and more characters of the non - state ruling elite.

2. The structural divisors in evolution under the partial reform:

The influence of the reform of the economic system an the social structure, thereby making the two - layer structure of "the state - the masses" transformed into the three - layer structure of "the state - the non - state ruling elite - the masses" , is reflected not only in the appearance of the non - state ruling elite but also in the change in the state of every structural divisor.

(1) The state

In the course of the reform of the economic system, one of the state's striking

changes is the continuously fall in its ability to draw resources, which is reflected concretely in the fact that the portion of the state revenue in the national income or GNP keeps falling. In 1978 , the state revenue accounted for 27.2 per cent of the national income; in 1985 , the state revenue with earnings from debt deducted accounted for 25.3 per cent of the national income; up to 1989, the state revenue fell to 18.7 per cent. Compared with that in 1978, the proportion of the state revenue for 1989 in the national income fell by about a half .

According to Mr. Liu Liqun's analysis, the state's financial straits have created various influences an the government's administration.

First, " the shortage of administrative fees caused the overall decline in the government's administrative capacity. " "Since the reform, owing to the serious shortage of the administrative fees, the government functionaries' wages and other benefits are obviously lower than those in enterprises and institutions for ten years. As a result, the morale of the government functionaries is low, the quality of personnel and their work fall, office personnel do not perform their duties but seek extra income. This, coupled with the double - track system, has resulted in the spread of such tendencies as embezzlement, bribe - taking and corruption. The dependence of governmental official business an the financial assistance from enterprises or institutions and an private contributions will certainly lead to the government's loss of justice and the gradual ineffectiveness of its instructions. "

Second, "the serious shortage of the budgetary investment for improving the country's land situation and building infrastructural facilities. " As a result, "soil erosion becomes serious; river floods occur frequently; the mileage of railways that are open to traffic decreases year by year; urban telephone services are very poor. " "The government compels the enterprises and institutions to do what it should do because of the shortage of funds, which results in the change of the state unified management into unit ownership and decentralized management. " "Many users of utilities have to prepare and build the "small and fully equipped" infrastructural facilities. Although much money is spent , the economic returns and social impact are poor because those facilities are small - scale and they are not frequently used. "

Third, the decline of social, cultural and welfare undertakings. "At present, the expenditures for education, science, culture, public health, relief and for the disabled and for the family of the deceased accounts for less than 4 per cent of the GNP. Owing to the shortage of funds, the government's functions in these areas cannot be performed. The change of the elementary education into compulsory education remains to be empty talk in the countryside because of the lack of money and arbitrary charges in urban schools are widespread. Because the funds for basic scientific research are insufficient, thousands of the units are placed under the leadership of the administrative departments at a lower level or to try to make money for survival , which results in the sliding downhill of the quality of the nationwide research . . . . The government's finance even cannot fulfil the function to provide the relief to the disaster stricken areas as performed by the government for several thousand years, which was obviously proved by the fact that more than half of the relief funds for victims in East China had to be donated by people at home and abroad. " (17) This situation is due to the change in the relations between the central government and the local governments, between the government and enterprises in the course of the 15 years of the reform. Before the reform, either the local governments or the enterprises were a component of the state apparatus, but during the course of the reform, they begin to become the interest entities with their own independent interests. Because a lot of powers originally controlled by the central government have been delegated to the local governments, because a considerable part of the powers of autonomy delegated to the enterprises by the central government are retained by the local governments and particularly because the local economic strength grows , the local governments' ability to bargain with the central government in interest distribution has been greatly strengthened. If we say that the central government took the initiative to delegate many powers to the local governments in the initial period of the reform , up to now the local governments' initiative has apparently increased in interest and power distribution whereas the central government sometimes is obviously in a passive position.

The administrative incapability of the government (especially the central government) is due to finance and to the low professional awareness and sense of responsibility an the part of government officials. In the total society before the reform, thanks to the influence of the revolutionary ideal and atmosphere, the effective existence of the impetus system of exchange of active work and political loyalty for payments and the effectiveness of the organizational system and control as well as no strong stimulation and temptation from the outside, the government officials' sense of responsibility to work was rather high, which to a certain degree compensated the negative influence caused by their low quality. But during the course of the reform, the process of worldly - mindedness has weakened ideology and the revolutionary zeal while the frequent stimulations and many opportunities from the outside are strongly undermining the effectiveness of the impetus system of exchange of active work and political loyalty for payments originally existing within the government. The past motive force that cultivated the officials' sense of responsibility is losing but the new motive force and the officials' professional awareness do not come into being and the organization and control are lax, so that officials do their work casually. At the same time, owing to the various changes in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries and an the Chinese mainland itself , a considerable part of the government officials have lost a long - term expectation and thus their behaviors are becoming increasingly short - term, which is strikingly reflected in the officials' corruption. The co- existence of the redistribution system and the market system has provided the conditions for the corruption, which will be further analysed in the following paragraphs.

In short, the present state organs are in a waning state to a certain extent. But when analysing this decline, we need to differentiate in detail between the two courses. The first one is the normal course of structural division. In the total society before the reform, the state not only monopolized the majority of the rare resources but also the state's power directly penetrated into every field of social life, thus forming a kind

of "comprehensive" rule. During the course of the reform, the structural division between the state and the society begins. The state power has withdrawn from some fields, making this part of social activities proceed independently. (181 On the surface, the role of the state power in these fields becomes weaker than the original one. But this is just the normal course of structural division rather than the decline of the state power. The second course is precisely the decline of the state power in the real sense - - that is, the state cannot effectively exercise its power within the scope in which the state power must play a role at present. For example, the state cannot exercise macro control over the social and economic activities. The state cannot effectively protect the public property with the state - owned enterprises as the mainstay, which results in the great loss of the state assets. The state cannot promote the development of the public utilities according to the social demand. The state even provides special forces with special interests by exercising public power under the pressure of those forces. This course of decline will certainly exert an important influence an the interaction among the state, the non-state ruling elite and the masses.

(2) The non - state ruling elite

As for the formation of the non - state ruling elite an the Chinese mainland, there has been a prevailing viewpoint for long: it is impossible for the middle class an the Chinese mainland to grow rapidly. It has two main reasons. First, the basis for the existence of the middle class is lacking in the Chinese history. Second, China is unlikely to realize privatization rapidly and it is important to form a sizable middle class an the basis of public ownership of the means of production.

However, this viewpoint failed to anticipate a very important fact in recent years that the state assets run off and are carved up rapidly. At present, the formation of the non - state ruling elite is just based an this course to a great extent.

As stated above, the birth of the non - state ruling elite is linked with the appearance of "the freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces for free activities" . But because of the existence of the urban - rural dual structure in the Chinese society, the formation course of "the freely - flowing resources" and "the spaces for free activities" respectively in the cities and in the countryside are evidently different, which thus provides different conditions for the formation of the non - state ruling elite. We can roughly divide the development of the private and individual economies an the Chinese mainland into the two important stages. The first stage covers the duration from the beginning of the reform to the time before and after 1986 which is the first period of the great development of the private and individual economies. Later on, there was a stagnation or even a very short period of decline. The second stage covers the duration from Deng Xiaoping's talks given during his inspection tour of South China in 1992 and the second wave of the reform to today, which is the second golden period of the development of the private and individual economies. (19] It is true of the course of the development of the township and village enterprises.

In the countryside, the development of the township and village enterprises, the private enterprises and the individual enterprises coincide with the fixing of farm Output quotas an the household basis and the disintegration of the people's communes system, which not only made the peasants free themselves from the personal bondage imposed an them but made the cadres of the original production teams and the production brigades become useless to a great degree. As to what an earth is the relationship between the political power and the growth of the non - state economy in this period, we haven't got comprehensive and systematic data. In accordance with Mr. Dai Jianzhong's investigation of Gongxian County, Henan Province, among 517 owners of the private enterprises, 28 have the original social capacities of village cadres, only accounting for 5 per cent, while 449 are peasants, accounting for 87 per cent. (Z°~ But unfortunately this is only a county's data seemingly exclusive of the original production team and production brigade's cadres while the cadre capacity is mentioned. When conducting investigation in Fujian Province, Victor Nee's classification is more detailed. He, an the basis of the cadre backgrounds of the industrialists, divides the rural industrialists into three categories : the cadre industrialists, the ex - cadre industrialists and the non - cadre industrialists. In his investigation sampling, the cadre industrialists account for 9 . 6 per cent of the total industrialists , the ex - cadre industrialists for 13. 7 per cent and the remaining 76. 8 per cent of industrialists have no cadre background at all. And the third category "make up the majority of the rural economic elite" . This can probably indicate the considerably wide participation of the ordinary peasants in the reform of the rural economic system and the industrialization in the countryside. But if one equated "cadre background" to "power background" accordingly, he would obviously underestimate the function of power during this course. Here are the two factors that deserve consideration. First, it is not through an industrialist's cadre background sometimes that the power function works. One can establish a direct or indirect relation with a power owner through kinship, friend relationship , townmanship , comrade - in - arms relationship or even through bribery with money. Second, when the double - track systems co - exist and the planned System dominates in resource allocation, it is common in the countryside that the township and village enterprises , private and individual economic entities buy power with money so as to get the raw materials and resources monopolized by the state and to have access to the market. Taking into account these two factors, we can confirm that during the primary course of the formation of the rural economic elite, power did play an important role. (z2)

What is going an in the cities shows a slight difference. In the early days of the development of the urban individual and private economies, those who were engaged in these activities were mostly the young people waiting for employment (among them, a considerable part of them were the educated urban youths who were allowed to return to their original cities after doing physical labor in the mountainous areas or the countryside) , the retired people and the social unemployed people. [z3~ These people's power background seemed weaker. With great power background, those educated youths who returned to the cities could not have been in the state of waiting for jobs. On the contrary, they could have entered into the administrative organs or the state - owned and collective enterprises for a lifelong job and the so - called "social unemployed people" could not have been in an state of unemployment. The retired people were a little complicated. A considerable part of them were these workers who retired before the due time in order to let their adult children succeed their jobs and most of them did not have a decent power background. Those who really had some powers were a part of the retired cadres, whose noble social capacities, however, made it difficult for them to engage in the individual businesses which were discriminated against by the public in the then social conduct . Accordingly we can recognize that in the early days of the development of the urban private and individual economies, their businessmen's cadre backgrounds were not obvious. But the state's monopoly of rare resources and social activity spaces in the cities were far more strict than that in the countryside, which caused a problem in the cities. Therefore, the businessmen of the individual and private economies had to have direct dealings with the power owners in such respects as applying for operating licenses, land, housing, water and electricity, operation, paying taxes and even changing or expanding Business scopes. The scarcity of the resources plus the rarity created sedulously by the officials who monopolized the resources made it more difficult for the individual and individual businessmen without power background to have access to those resources. It was because of this that the deals between power and money had been playing an important role in the initial development of the urban individual and private economies. So the individual and private businessmen had to depend an the officials who controlled the resources. Behind almost every successful individual and private enterprise lay such a stable "protecting - protected" relationship with the officials.

In recent years, things again have changed obviously. One impressive phenomenon is that "some cadres engage in trading". There are three cases. First, going trading thoroughly, that is, the cadres resign their official posts and run individual and private (or the red cap) enterprises or contract the state - owned and collective enterprises. Second, "engaging in trading within the system", that is, to initiate the business enterprises of "the tertiary industry" within the power structure, and some of them are actually contracted by individuals who only pay certain management fees to the state organs. Third, "engaging in trading in an invisible way" , that is, the cadres do Business by using power in private while retaining their official posts and power. "The official black marketing" activities people usually talk about respectively belong to these three different categories. Of course, there are also a group of "trading - goers" without cadre background, among whom, however, the family members of some of them have cadre background, the relatives or friends of some of them have cadre background and some can establish a relation with the power through other means. Much of the upstarting and rise of these people is connected with the course of "the loss of state assets". In other words, a considerable part of this kind of upstarting and rising are revealed in the course of "carving up the state assets" . Much of the carving up of the state assets, except corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public property, is done through profiting from "gaps in prices, exchange rate, interest and tax" and so on. According to Mr. Hu Huoli's analysis, in 1987, the price differential of all the controlled commodities an the Chinese mainland was estimated at more than 130 billion yuan, and the interest differential about 20 billion yuan and the exchange rate differential approximately 50 billion yuan. In 1988, the commodity price differential was more than 150 billion yuan, the interest differential over 113. 881 billion yuan and the exchange rate differential over 93. 043 billion yuan, which totaled 356.9 billion yuan, accounting for about 30 per cent of the national income that year. (24) Certainly, a considerable part of these price differential profits, though not all of them, must have flown into the hands of individuals. After the 1990s, with the lifting of the control over the prices of more commodities and permission to make the foreign exchange "being regulated by the market" , these two price differentials will decrease. But the "interest differential" exists and will obviously increase because of the increase in the loans. Besides the "interest differential" , there are two items that merit attention. One is "loss of tax revenue". According to estimates made by the people concerned , in 1992 about 100 billion yuan of state tax revenue was lost , including tax evasion and irrational tax reduction and exemption. (25) The other is the "land price differential". In the real estate business fever last year, there appeared more than 1,000 persons who profiteered in land transactions, each of whom earned 10 million yuan or more in Hainan alone. Therefore, the land price differential of the whole country in 1992 were about 100 billion yuan. The value of the state land swiftly is lost in the real estate fever, in which power plays a basic role. The price of a plot of land approved for use by using power is much cheaper - - sometimes even by several dozen times - - than the market price. Therefore, in real estate business there is a very large room for speculation in which a big group of economic elite who "upstarted" through power or relations as their patron. (26)

The dose relationship between the non - state economic elite and power directly affects the characters of these economic elite themselves. First, the possession of the huge wealth is closely linked with the course of the reform. In this sense, the economic elite are those who have had the vested interests in the reform and thus show an evident supporting attitude towards the reform. At the same time, for the sake of their further development, they also hope that the marketing reform will be rapidly promoted. Second, because a considerable part of the economic elite have officialdom experience and their possession of wealth is closely linked with the government's administrative power, their dependence an the political power is obvious. Even when enjoying a considerable scale and development speed, they also give much weight to the protection of them by the officials. But this kind of dependence an the non - state economic elite can never be exaggerated wantonly. And in the deals between money and power, the elite sometimes are in a very positive position, which differs from the circumstance in the early days of the reform. Third, their economic activities bear evident short-termness and speculation. It is necessary "to wash money" because some of the economic elite' income is "dirty money" of illegal income. At the same time, because the state is short of the systematic protection of private property and the economic elite find it difficult to accurately assess the future political trend, a considerable part of private capital is used for such speculative economic activities as "speculation in buildings" , "speculation in real estate" , "illegal transactions in stocks" , "illegal transactions in foreign currencies" and so an instead of for long - term Investments. And in the non - speculative economic activities, they prefer engaging in the commercial business with shorter cycle to engaging in the manufacturing industry with longer cycle.

Another part of the people who are noteworthy among the non - state elite are "the intellectual elite" . In the early days of the reform, the stratum of intellectuals had two characteristics that deserved special attention. One was that, in comparison with that before the reform, the independence of the stratum of intellectuals apparently increased. At the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, the independent voice among the stratum of intellectuals began to be aired. The other was the intellectuals' enthusiastic support for the reform. Although there were evidently different attitudes inside the stratum of intellectuals towards the reform, yet generally speaking, the stratum of intellectuals were the most firm supporters for the reform among the then social strata. Were we to probe into the cause that the then stratum of intellectuals supported the reform, we would find that there were the two factors which exercised important functions in it. One was the intellectuals' longing for a free academic atmosphere that was likely to be created by the reform; the other was that the intellectuals' knowledge background and their knowledge of the outside world made them firmly believe that only the reform was the way out for China. In other words, their attitude towards the reform at that time was not based to a great extent an the judgment of the influence possibly exerted by the reform an their vital interests. They failed to sober - mindedly forecast the ruthlessness of the market reform, especially its possible negative influence an the interests of the stratum of intellectuals. But after the reform has proceeded for ten and more years, the stratum of intellectuals suddenly find that with the progress of the market reform, their relative poverty is becoming more and more serious and some of them are mired in absolute poverty. As the marketing progresses, the society is overspread with "money worship" and the knowledge looked upon as sacred all along by the stratum of intellectuals devalued greatly almost overnight or even is scorned and taunted. When people go trading one after another, the intellectual stratum represents the nature of "intellectuals are useless". In such a circumstance, beginning from the early 1990s, the intellectual stratum's attitude towards the reform has subtly changed, which is first of all reflected in the evident downgrading of their zeal for the reform. One example is the cold response among the intellectual stratum to Deng Xiaoping's talks given in his inspection tour of South China last spring. In striking contrast with this indifference is intellectuals' violent attack an corruption. While a part of the economic elite are defending "the carving up of the state assets" - - the Chinese unique "road of privatization" , the intellectual stratum distinctively include this phenomenon into the corruption they are violently attacking. What the economic elite overemphasize is the positive effect of "the carving up of the state assets" an economic growth while the intellectuals overemphasize the negative effect of social injustice and the intensification of social contradictions created thereby. In a sense, a kind of very contradictive psychology among the present intellectual stratum towards the reform is beginning to come into being: an the one hand, they, in the sense of reason, still maintain that the reform is China's only way out and that the road of "non - nationalization" characteristic of "the carving up of the state assets" might be a road with most possibility, too; an the other, their cost paid in the course of the reform, their instinctive aversion to corruption and their concern about the negative response caused by corruption at social layer make them have some reservations about the reform. The mere statement that "corruption is not the natural product of the reform" or "there is no natural link between the reform and corruption" cannot change the intellectuals' reservations that are formed. If we took into account the fact that the Chinese intellectuals had in history the tradit
ion of "pleading for the people" , it would not be impossible for the intellectual stratum to incline to plebification in choosing directions.

(3) The Masses

The masses are evidently changing as the marketing reform progresses and the methods of possessing and allocating resources change.

In the analysis thereinbefore concerning the total society an the Chinese mainland, we did not deal with an important structural divisor, that is, "the public ownership nobility" (also may be called urban nobility) . At that time , there did exist a "public ownership nobility" group though there was not a non - state ruling elite group. According to concrete circumstances, this group can be divided into four subgroups. The first is the cadre subgroup (referring to those who lived an their wages paid by the state within the state size of staff, excluding the heads of the rural production teams and production brigades; the administrative cadres among them belonged to the state in structure rather than to the category of the non - state elite) . This subgroup had the most outstanding advantage in approaching the state - controlled resources and enjoyed the most overall special interests or even privileges. The second is the state ownership worker subgroup that also enjoyed much state welfare and special interests although they were inferior to the first subgroup in social position and material benefits. The third subgroup is the collective ownership workers. The status of the workers in the "big collective enterprises" affiliated with industrial departments at the city or district level differed slightly from that of the state ownership workers - - they only had more restrictions in the change of professions. The workers in "small collective enterprises" affiliated with neighborhood offices had relatively less special interests and privileges but they also enjoyed much social welfare. The fourth subgroup is the urban residents who were neither cadres nor workers of the state - owned or collective enterprises and "the persons with non - agricultural status" in the countryside. They all shared a common feature that they enjoyed the "commodity grain" , cooking oil and other non - staple foodstuffs (which were very important at that time) rationed by the state and some subsidies. But after mid - 1980s, the reform began to gradually affect the special interests and privileges of "the public ownership nobility" . The housing reform and the reform in the public medical care system weakened the privileges in these two aspects. The great contrast formed between the slowly increased retirement pensions and the double - digit inflation made the retirement pensions which used to be ensured all the time losing sense. The reform of the employment system of the state - owned enterprises created the situation in which the group's privileges and advantages in employment were no longer what they used to be. The lifting of control over the prices of grain and cooking oil and the marketing of non - staple food made the special interests in this respect exist no more. In this sense, "the public ownership nobility" was a group that paid the greatest cost during the course of the reform. Particularly when seeing that the income of other groups increase rapidly and their living standards greatly improve, "the nobility" could not but have a strong "sense of relative outlawry" .

The course of social disintegration proceeds rapidly. The trend of this disintegration is rather obvious either among the career cadres or the workers or the peasants.

Among the workers, workers of different ownership split up greatly obviously. The average monthly wage of the workers in "the three forms of ventures" is evidently more than that of the workers in other enterprises. Therefore, people scramble for "the three forms of ventures" though they do not offer or offer less various welfare than the state - owned enterprises do. But the incomes of a large number of workers in the collective enterprises are meager and a lot of their social welfare cannot be guaranteed in fact because of the enterprises' poor economic returns. The gaps between the incomes of workers in state - owned or collective enterprises are obviously widened because of the differences in state resources possessed by their enterprises, in the progress of enterprises' reform process and in enterprises' economic returns. Those at the top are the workers of the enterprises with best economic returns and those at the bottom are the workers who can only get living expenses from their enterprises that are operating under capacity or have stopped production. As far as the break- up at individual layer is concerned, there will be an evident difference between the workers' incomes with and without earnings from moonlighting. There are the division of the "white collar" and the "blue collar" workers and the capacity differences formed by permanent workers, contractual workers and temporary workers. The break - up of peasants is also evident. Here I shall not illustrate this in detail because there have already been many research results. What particularly merits our attention is that, with the loosening of the urban and rural dual structure and the increase in the social flow between cities and the countryside, a unique "marginal Population" has already been formed. The "marginal population" here mainly refers to those peasants who do odd - jobs or engage in various business activities in the cities. With their kinsfolk included, the number of this group is estimated at about 70 or 80 million. In other words, the "marginal persons" account for about one tenth of the rural population. Although they live in the cities, doing odd - jobs or engaging in other business activities, they are not urban residents and are not accepted by the urban communities where they live. The tendency of this group is doubtlessly one factor that deserves attention in observing the changes of the Chinese social structure. To sum up, among the masses an the present Chinese mainland, there is a large- scale and rapid social break - up , and the direct result is to reduce the homogeneity within the masses but promote the increase in the degree of their heterogeneity. With the strengthening of the degree of the masses' heterogeneity, the "majority" phenomenon existing in the above - mentioned total society begins to become weak, who had roughly identical requests and similar behavioral mode though separated by units, regions, ownership or even cities and the countryside. Instead, their diversified requests and entirely different behavioral mode arise.

At the mass layer we also need to point out the direct burden of the "public Utility" is put an the masses because this factor has an apparently innegligible influence an the analysis of the interaction among the state, the non - state ruling elite and the masses. In the total society before the reform, owing to the state's monopoly of the majority of social rare resources, the state handled everything related to social "public Utility" , only to require sometimes the masses to put in manpower in a way of "large formation warfare". During the reform and opening to the outside world, because the state's ability to draw resources decreases and there remain too many things to be "made up for" in this respect, the state's finance seems helpless in initiating and maintaining the "public utility". The burdens of such public utilities as education, transportation, antique protection and so an are more and more directly shifted onto the masses, and plus the "charges" in a multitude of names added by some corrupt local officials, that part of people with meager incomes among the masses have felt that they cannot endure the heavy burdens.

3. The interaction in adjusting mode among the state, the non - state ruling elite and the masses

Theoretically, three pairs of relations can be formed among the three structural divisors of the state, the non-state ruling elite and the masses. In many societies, the relation between the state and the non - state ruling elite and the relation between the non - state ruling elite and the masses are direct while the relation between the state and the masses is always indirect. But under the circumstances an the Chinese mainland, the relation between the state and the masses bears very strong directness because some old systems are still continuing under the partial reform and also because the non - state ruling elite have not played a normal role in social life.

In the following paragraphs, we are going to explore the status quo and adjusting course of the present interaction among the state, the non - state ruling elite and the masses an the Chinese mainland an the basis of the analysis made respectively thereinbefore of the three structural divisors.

(1) The relation between the state and the non - state ruling elite

A considerable part of the non - state ruling elite, especially the non - state ruling elite at the higher levels, come from the centre of the original systems. For example, some of them are transferred from the cadres under the old system (even leading cadres) and their officialdom experiences longer or shorter make them have a natural affinity for the government departments. Those with longer officialdom experience in particular, are quite familiar with and have a very strong identity sense of the special way in which to deal with affairs, thinking logic and even the language employed in officialdom. There are also a part of persons who are never less familiar with the language, logic and political trickery in officialdom than the ordinary cadres because they were born in cadres' families and have been nurtured by official culture

from childhood though they themselves are not necessarily cadres. The non – state ruling elite from the above - mentioned two respects have a similarly natural relation with the state. Still, some persons among the non - state ruling elite, especially among the economic elite, being Party members or the demobilized armymen, used to have more contacts with the centre of the system although they themselves are not cadres or have not the background of cadres' families. Therefore, we may say that as far as the individuals' origins are concerned, the non - state ruling elite have a close relation with the state. With further analysis, we can still find that there are not only close individual connections between the non - state ruling elite and the state but also a strong uniformity in their interests. The formation of the non-state ruling elite, especially the economic elite, is the direct product of the reform and opening up and has been promoted directly by the state. Therefore, as for the reform and opening to the outside world, the economic elite and the state share a common interest. Furthermore, this common interest exists both at the layer of group or bloc and at the layer of individuals. We know from the above analysis that the rising of the non -state economic elite benefits to a great extent from the exchange between power and money, which determines the close relationship of interest between the individuals of the non-state economic elite and some government officials. So when analysing the relationship between the non - state ruling elite and the state, we must pay enough attention to their close connection and the existence of a certain common interest.

However, this is only one side of the coin. From the view of the other side, there exist a lot of real factors between the state and the non - state ruling elite, which can lead to the tensions of their relationship. First, the loss and carving off of the state assets, as stated above, was the important condition for the rapid rise of the non - state ruling elite but the rapid loss of the state assets caused direct damage to the state interests. Under the present circumstances an the Chinese mainland, the state's authority is still based an the monopoly of resources. But the rapid loss of the state assets breaks down the basis of the state's authority. If we make a comparison between the situation in the late 1980s and in the 1990s with that before mid -1980s, we shall find that the state's ability to carry out its economic and social policies is obviously declining and the phenomenon of "neither obeying orders nor observing prohibitions strictly" is very popular. In particular, the central government's efficiency in restraining the local governments and the non - state social forces has been already not what it used to be owing to the shortage of legal means and the falling of the administrative ability. Since this summer, the central government has taken a series of measures to protect the state assets, including the readjustment of the real estate business, the rectification of the financial order, the strengthening of tax management, the reform of the administrative system in the state - owned enterprises, the intensifying of the struggle against corruption and so on. These measures, to a great extent, are contradictory to the interests of the non - state economic elite, especially the interests of those economic elite who came into being by carving up the state assets. As to this question, not only is the state, especially the central government confronted by the contradiction with the non - state ruling elite but by the two very thorny problems within itself : one is how to normalize and restrain the officials' conduct, making sure that they will no longer be "the secret sellers" of the state assets. The other is how to find a realistic road of "nonnationalization" without "carving up the state assets through the use of power" so as to change the situation that the state - owned enterprises hamper the economic development.

Here is one point we must mention : it is doubtlessly a simplistic practice when we treat the term of "state" as an entirety in all the above analyses. In fact, there do exist assignable differences or even antagonism of different degrees either in determination of value or in their relations of interest among the different parts of the "state" or among different official groups. In our analyses, the most noteworthy is the relationship between the central government and the local governments. In the total society before the reform, local governments were not an interest entity and the contradiction - - even if there was one, between the local interests and the interests of the whole country - - would be in a latent state. But in the ten years or more since the reform, the local governments begin to become independent interest entities while the contradiction between the interests of the central government and the local governments is becoming acuter and acuter. The contradiction of this kind appears more outstanding especially in the coast areas where economy is development and the local economic strength is stronger. The relationship between the central government and the non - state economic elite obviously differs from that between the local governments and the non - state economic elite owing to the interest contradiction between the central government and the local governments. There is no doubt that the relationship between the non - state economic elite and the local governments will be closer. Local protectionism and the preferential policies formulated by the local governments undoubtedly contribute more to the promotion of the growth of the local economy, thus being in the interest of the local non - state economic elite; while not only can the development of the local non - state economy indicate the official career achievements of the local governments and their officials but can increase the local revenue. Therefore, when antagonism against the central government does not help develop the local economy, the local governments and the local non - state economic elite will naturally be an the same side together.

Therefore, we may conclude that the interweaving of the commonness and contradiction of the interests and the differences of the relations between the non - state ruling elite and the different parts of the state structure put the relationship between the state and the non-state ruling elite in a quite subtle state. From the perspective of development, the above relations will change with the growth of the strength of the non - state economic elite and the ripeness of the conditions for their independent development. But what is interesting is that although the interaction between the state and the non - state ruling elite is frequent or even close sometimes , yet the two parties connect and interact almost without any effective systematic channel and their dialogues are carried out through private relations to a great extent. This situation is related to the following two factors. First, the organizational degree of the non -state ruling elite is very low. It is very hard for the numerable intermediary organizations such as associations and institutes emerging in recent years in the economic and academic fields to play the roles of cohesiveness and interest expression and to become the medium for connecting the government because most of them are government -run and in the hands of the retired officials of the two fields. Second, the non- state ruling elite seldom participate in the central political field and only in personal capacities even if they do. In view of the extreme sensibility of this question, the non -state ruling elite always retain a very cautious attitude while striving for political participation. Therefore, a channel for the institutionalized dialogues and interaction between the state and the non - state ruling elite has not been formed though the number of the non - state ruling elite among the deputies to the People's Congress and the members of the People's Political Consultative Conference at various levels keep increasing, which contrasts sharply with some close relationship existing between the two parties in individual form (sometimes even the relationship between father and son - - for example the father is a government official while the son is one of the non - state ruling elite) .

Without an institutionalized effective connecting channel, what is formed is but the estrangement among the groups. And judging according to the standard of the orthodox ideology, there is no doubt that the non-state ruling elite are a force alien. On some major questions concerning the development of the Chinese society, the intelligentsia with stronger and stronger independence shows an attitude different from that of the official. Because even the languages the two sides use concerning China's development are different, their mutual connection and understandings will find it more difficult to be realized. So in a sense, the state and the non-state ruling elite are very strongly suspicious and jealous of each other or even fear each other. This is because the political disturbance at the end of the spring and the beginning of the summer in 1989 went so far as to be solved in that extreme way. We can believe that with the further development of the independence of the non - state ruling elite, the establishment of an institutionalized channel for the connection and dialogue between the state and the non-state ruling elite will be certainly projected. One of the concrete forms is the demand of the non - state ruling elite for "the elite democracy" . This is also one of the preconditions that the non - state ruling elite will feel safe in making long - term investments.

(2) The relationship between the non - state ruling elite and the masses

If there exists a tense state in the relationship between the state and the non -state ruling elite , then there is also such a state in the relationship between the non - state ruling elite and the masses and a more evident one. The plebeianist ideology of the total society has formed two deposits with far- reaching influence in the minds of the masses. One is the egalitarianism in income distribution, that is, the privileges cultivated by power can be tolerable but the sharp differences of income created by non - power factors cannot be tolerable. The other one is the consciousness of "masters" at the political- social layer. The "master" consciousness - - although false at that time and vertical dependence was universally available - - did create an indifferent or even distasteful psychological tendency towards all authorities exclusive of the state. Therefore we believe that the deposits of the plebeianist ideology are one important forming factor in the present tense relationship between the masses and the non - state ruling elite.

Of course, a more realistic factor is that the masses do not accept the non - state ruling elite an moral principles. They all condemn the non - state economic elite for "being rich and cruel" . Not only is the condemnation based an the traditional concept in history that "No merchant is not unscrupulous" but also aimed at the conduct of the non- state economic elite. During the course of the development of the non -state economy an the Chinese mainland, it generally cheats and swindles, evades taxes and makes forgery and illegal imitation of brandname products. All this doubtlessly damages the image of the non - state economic elite. More importantly, as stated above, the formation of the non - state economic elite benefits to a great extent by the deals between power and money and the carving up of the state assets, which is a more realistic factor of intensifying the tense relationship between the masses and the economic elite. Some unwise actions of part of the non - state economic elite such as flaunty consumption, flaunting their riches, indulging in luxury and lewdness as well as their open disdain and insult upon the poor stratum pour more oil an the flames of this tense relationship.

The relationship between the intellectual elite and the masses seems a bit subtle. In history, the Chinese had long enjoyed a tradition of respecting the intellectuals. But the constant humiliations upon the intellectuals in the past 40 years and more and some intellectuals' inappropriate behaviors in political movements to a certain extent changed the respect of intellectuals in two entirely different respects. Particularly in recent years, the intellectuals increasingly seem to be "good- for- nothing" and incapable because the standard of evaluation with money weighs more and more. So if the masses' attitude towards a considerable part of economic elite is distaste, then their attitude towards the intellectuals is disdain. It is because of this that in the latest several "political movements" , the official has received the approving response from the rank and file while criticizing and gibing the elite through mass media. But even so, the intellectuals gradually show a tendentious attitude towards the masses because of the daily relegation of their economic and social positions, which was called thereinbefore "the intellectuals go to plebeianism" .

(3) The relationship between the state and the masses

If the peasants are those who have benefited from the reform from the very beginning, then the urban residents are paying cost for the reform while benefiting from it. This is because the peasants almost had nothing before the reform whereas the urban residents enjoyed various privileges before the reform but these privileges are to a great degree weakened by the reform. The housing system reform and price reform make the favor offered to the urban residents in housing and in staple and non- staple foodstuff supply suffer from shock. The employment system reform makes the much - valued "iron rice bowl" (the lifelong job) meaningless; the reform of the public medical care system and the retirement pension system will make the social security lasting for about 40 years gradually disappear. The deepening of the reform in cities, we can say , will be strengthening to a certain extent the urban residents' reservations to the reform. It is because of this that the state exercises due caution in carrying out any reform concerning the immediate interests of the urban residents and postpones the implementation of the reform measures again and again. After the summer of 1989, the state granted "loans of stability and unity" in the cities in the amount of about 100 to 200 billion yuan pocketed from the peasants so as to pacify the urban residents. But to solve some basic problems of the Chinese society, the reforms related to the urban residents' interests have to be pushed on. In the last two years, the reforms in this respect are gradually being deepened in fact. What response an earth these deepened reforms will evoke among the urban residents to a great extent depends an whether or not a high - speed economic growth can be maintained while the economic restructuring is carried out. Objectively speaking, the reason why the urban residents can maintain a "reserved but tolerable" attitude towards some reforms concerning their immediate interests in recent years is that they have got many benefits in incomes while paying the cost in welfare privileges. There are two bigger questions between the state and the peasants.

The first is the question of peasants' comparative interests. Beginning from last year, the question of agriculture and peasants causes official and social concern because the peasants' comparative interests keep descending in recent years. However, the question of the peasants' comparative interests obviously differs from that before the reform. Under the planned economy before the reform, the peasants' comparative interests manifest themselves in the following aspects: the state purposely lowered the prices of agricultural products through administrative power and raised the prices of industrial products and the scissors differential between the prices of the industrial products and the agricultural products was thus formed, which turned to be an important means to accumulate funds for industrialization at that time. But today, not only have the prices of most agricultural and sideline products not been controlled by the state but are regulated by the market so that the present domestic market prices of agricultural and sideline products have approached those an the world market . But the peasants' income level is still much lower than that of the urban residents (the ratio was about 1:2.4 before the reform and now about 1:2. 33) . (273 What is the reason? I think this can be called "cook predicament" , that is, the agricultural population and labor force make up too big a proportion just as a man employs three cooks whose average income (if without additional income) can never be higher than one third of this employer's income. This situation is created by the fact that the course of urbanization an the Chinese mainland is far behind its course of industrialization. Recalling the history of 40 years and more we can see that the Chinese mainland urban - rural population has been all along in the ratio of two to eight or of three to seven. The rural population with big proportion is an important condition to cultivate "ruling elasticity" . The rapid end of the disastrous phase caused by the great leap forward , the fact that the "great cultural revolution" could last for 10 years and that the government was able to placate the urban residents after the 1989 political disturbances depend an the existence of a great "rural population" . Therefore, it is the official consistent policy to check urbanization process - - especially the development of the big cities. And the approach found in the reform for the peasants to raise their comparative interests is "engaging in other trades" or "leaving the farmland without leaving their hometown". "Township and village enterprise" is actually a kind of "collective engaging in other trades" . But more individuals are engaging in other trades. Although this measure helped solve the question of agricultural comparative interests within a certain period, it has offered limited benefits to a great number of peasants who still concentrate an farming and owing to the limitation of other factors, the agriculture cannot form large - scale operation and the comparative interests cannot be increased. Therefore, whether or not the "cook predicament" can be effectively solved will affect the relationship between the state and the peasants.

The second question is that there is almost no medium of connection and interaction between the state and the peasants. Since the disintegration of the people's communes, actually the state has been facing directly several hundred million individual peasants. Because the peasants' comparative interests are falling, because the state shifts a lot of burden onto the peasants and because of the corruption of local officials (including the non - official officials at the village level) , the peasants' burden becomes heavier and heavier. The peasants have not their own intermediate organizations (peasant association for example) and the vehicle by which to organize and express their interests, so it is impossible for the individual peasants to deal with the state. There thus form two striking characteristics of the peasants' resisting action. One is lagging. For example, because the peasants get low profit in farming or "suffering from farming" , some of them choose passive resistance by "giving up cultivation of their farmland". By carefully analysing this course, we can find that in fact, the peasants usually decide not to do farming next year when they feel that farming is not profitable after selling grain in the fall. But this intention of the peasants cannot be revealed by any medium and the officials are almost ignorant of it. The officials at the grass - roots levels will not perceive the fact until some plots of land is left uncultivated the next spring. But owing to the low efficiency of the government organs, the course of the information feedback to higher authorities remains very slow. Not until the statistical figures are reported after the fall does the central government really realize the seriousness of the matter. The other characteristic is the "jumpiness" of resistant form. Owing to the lack of the medium whereby to express their own interests, plus being tamed by the local officials' intimidation, the peasants usually "hold back" when their burden can be tolerated. But once their patience is thoroughly exhausted, the peasants' resistance will suddenly break out violently. The peasants' action to refuse to pay levies taking place in Renshou and other places in Sichuan Province last year is the typical example of this kind.

In short, the further development of the Chinese mainland hinges to a great extent an the evolution of the interaction among the three structural divisors - - the state, the non - state ruling elite and the masses.

NOTES

[ 1 ]Michael Mann, "State and Society: 1130 - 1815 ; An Analysis of English State Finances" , pp. 165 - 208 in Political Power and Social Theory, edited by Maurice Zeitlin, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1980 ; The Sources of Social Power , vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

(2]The non- state ruling elite mentioned here is not entirely identical with the ruling elite defined by V. Pareto.

(3) Sun Liping, "The Growth and Decline of the Relative Strength of the Nobles and Gentry in the Chinese Traditional Society and Its Influence an the Social Structure" in Tianjin Social Sciences , 1992 , vol . 4 .

(4) With respect to the discussion an the local tyrants and evil gentry, see Philip A. Kuhn, "Local Self - government under the Republic" in Frederic Wakemen, Jr and Carolyn Grant (cds) , Conflict and Control in Late Imperial China , University of California Press, 1975.

(5)The two notions of "the total crisis" and "the total society" were originally advanced by Mr. Tsou Tang, an American researcher of political science. See: Ho Pingti and Tsou Tang (eds) , China in Crisis , University of Chicago Press , 1968; Tsou Tang, "The Chinese 20th Century Politics and the Western Political Science" , in The Thinker , 1989 , vol.1.

(6) "Contemporary China's Economy", Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, first edition, 1987; "The Reform of Contemporary China's Economic System" , Beijing, China Social Sciences Press, first edition, 1984; The Economy Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "The Socialist Reform of China's Capitalist Industry and Commerce" , Beijing, People's Press, first edition, 1978.

(7)Morton H. Fried, Fabric of Chinese Society , Atlantic Press, 1956.

(8) (American) Morris Misnard, "Mao Zedong's China and Post-Mao Zedong's China", Chengdu, Sichuan People's Press, 1990 , pp. 74 - 77.

(9) Thomas Bernstein, "Leadership and Mobilization in the Collectivization of Agriculture in China and Russia: A Comparison" (Ph. D. diss, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 1970).

(10) Andrew G. Walder, "Organized Dependency and Culture of Authority in Chinese Industry", Journal of Asian Studies , vol. XL III, No. 1 (November 1983 ) ; Andrew G. Walder, Communist Neo - traditionalism : Work and Authority in Chinese Industry , The University of California Press, 1987.

(11) Andrew G. Walder, "Communist Social Structure and Workers' Politics in China" in Citizens and Groups in Contemporary China, edited by V. Falkenheim; Ann Arbor, MI "Centre for Chinese Studies" , University of Michigan, 1987.

(12) (Hong Kong) Lu Dequan, " ` Relationship' - - The Exchange Pattern of Contemporary China's Society° , in Sociology and Social Investigation, 1991 , vol. 5.

(13) Xueguang Zhou, " Unorganized Interests and Collective Action in Communist China" , in American Sociological Review , 1993 , vol. 58 (February: 54 - 73) .

(14) "China's Statistical Yearbook : 1990" .

(15) Sun Liping, "The Freely - Flowing Resources" and "The Space for Free Activities" , in Probe , 1993 , vol . 1.

(16) China's Industry and Commerce Times , July 22 , 1992 ; China's Information Paper , March 10, 1993.

(17)Liu Liqun, "The Predicament of China's Finance and the Solvation Direction" , in Chinese Social Sciences Quarterly (Hong Kong), February 1993.

(18) Sun Liping, "The State and the Breakup of Social Fabric", in Chinese Social Sciences Quarterly (Hong Kong), first volume, 1992.

(19) Mr. Li Qiang divides it into five stages. See Li Qiang, "Social Layers and Flow: Contemporary China" , Beijing: China Economy Press, 1993.

(20) Dai Jianzhong, "An Investigation of the Present Status of the Private Enterprise Owners in Henan Province" , in Sociology and Social Investigation , 1991, vol. 5 .

(21) Victor Nee, "Social Inequality in Reforming State Socialism: Between Redistribution and Markets in China" in American Sociological Review , 1991, vol. 56 (June: 267- 282) .

(22) Estimated by the cadres who are familiar with the real situation in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, about 50% of the collective property (especially cash) were carved up by the production team and production brigade leaders during the disintegration of the people's communes. See: Jiang Ruxiang, "The Market, the Government and the Social Changes" (his doctoral dissertation, Sociology Department of Beijing University, 1993). It is estimated that the then rural collective property totaled about 1400 billion yuan. See: Wang Xiaoyi, "Social Integration" in The Rural Economy and the Society , 1991, vol. 3. We are not informed so far about the function of this part of property carved up in the initial capital accumulation of the private and individual economies.

(23) Shi Xianmin, "Institutional Breakthrough", Beijing, Chinese Social Sciences Press, 1993, p. 60; Li Qiang, ibid, pp. 324 - 325.

(24) Mu Heli, "Three - point Discussion an Incorrupt Government", in Comparative Studies of Economical and Social Systems , 1989, vol. 2 ; " 1988: Estimation of China's Rent " , in Comparative Studies of Economic and Social Systems , 1989, vol. 5.

(25) Guangming Daily, on the first page, October 11, 1993.

(26) At the end of 1992, the state-owned Properties totaled 1,930 billion yuan (See, Outlook, 1993, vol. 47); plus the real estate and resource, they would total at least more than 10,000 billion yuan.

(27) Guangming Daily, on the first page, October 11, 1993.

Sun Liping: associate professor of the Sociology Department of Bejing University

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