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Introduction

Introduction The political life of academic intellectuals is a theme positions often returns to. Wen Tiejun’s “Four Stories in One: Environmental Protection and Rural Reconstruction in China” is rooted in his academic work as an economist and dean of the School of Agriculture and Rural Development at Renmin University in Beijing. Wen draws on the academic convention of the cautionary tale to excoriate social policies in Mexico and China such as land commodification, neoliberal efforts to extract economic surplus from agriculture, incoherent urban planning, the ruin of healthy traditional farming, and the poisoning of food. On the strength of his experiences as an academic economist and agronomy tourist to formerly colonized economies, Wen urges intellectuals to join a debate over land privatization in the People’s Republic of China. Academic intellectuals have to seek truth through grassroots research, he argues, to enter the struggle over progressive policy; positions 16:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2008-010 Copyright 2008 by Duke University Press pos163_01_Barlow.indd 485 positions 16:3 Winter 2008 in this case, the evidence suggests that agriculture and food are best when peasants organize themselves and the state reinstitutionalizes organic farming as a national policy. A pragmatics of truth is also at stake in Iwasaki Minoru http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2008 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1067-9847
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2008-010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The political life of academic intellectuals is a theme positions often returns to. Wen Tiejun’s “Four Stories in One: Environmental Protection and Rural Reconstruction in China” is rooted in his academic work as an economist and dean of the School of Agriculture and Rural Development at Renmin University in Beijing. Wen draws on the academic convention of the cautionary tale to excoriate social policies in Mexico and China such as land commodification, neoliberal efforts to extract economic surplus from agriculture, incoherent urban planning, the ruin of healthy traditional farming, and the poisoning of food. On the strength of his experiences as an academic economist and agronomy tourist to formerly colonized economies, Wen urges intellectuals to join a debate over land privatization in the People’s Republic of China. Academic intellectuals have to seek truth through grassroots research, he argues, to enter the struggle over progressive policy; positions 16:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2008-010 Copyright 2008 by Duke University Press pos163_01_Barlow.indd 485 positions 16:3 Winter 2008 in this case, the evidence suggests that agriculture and food are best when peasants organize themselves and the state reinstitutionalizes organic farming as a national policy. A pragmatics of truth is also at stake in Iwasaki Minoru

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2008

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