Poverty and China’s Peasant farmers – Part 3/3

In rural China, the peasants do not earn much money.  They live in what the West calls poverty, but they have a home and a roof over their heads.  They are not homeless and seldom are hungry as the poor in India, which is touted as the largest democracy on the earth.

The peasant farmers in China grow most of the food they eat and sell what they do not need as the Amish do today in America and as 90% of Americans did before the Industrial Revolution.

If Chinese peasants, go to school, eat a nutritious diet and have access to basic medical care as China’s central government has promised, health will improve and life spans may surpass urban China where the air pollution is bad.

China is extending the electric grid and improving public transportation so rural China will have access to the same luxuries that urban people have. Before 1980, rural Chinese lived as most Americans did before the Industrial Revolution.

For thousands of years, the backbone of China has always been the peasant farmers and their collective lifestyle. What will happen to China if they all join the consumer oriented middle class?

Rural America must have been a collective culture before the Industrial Revolution. Consumerism and credit cards changed most Americans, except the Amish, into an individualistic culture where “I” is more important than “We”. 

The Amish are still a collective culture with free will to leave and become a modern American consumer. Why don’t they?

See Climbing the Dragon’s Back


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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