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The author of this book is my father who turns eighty this October. He has been a formidable student in his times but opted for the corporate sector rather than academia because of the higher salaries and glamour of the former and the decided lack of either in the latter. He comes from a family of academicians and his was an age of the rising individualism; it was considered to be more fashionable and meritorious to move away from inherited occupations and strike out on one's own into uncharted territories. The original manuscript that my father wrote was an enormous sheaf. It contained many details of the Chinese policies. The reading was good but the matter did not conclude anywhere; besides there were many authors who wrote copiously on China with a similar lack of conclusion. These books, including my father's original manuscript tried to explain China's growth post facto in the language of economic theories derived from the West and contextualised in the development of the Western capitalism.
Reading through these published works, I felt that China's growth lay neither in its policies, nor in its politics, neither in its institutions or the lack of it and nor in the form of its government. China grew through a revolutionary organisation of its family, social, cultural and community capital and the Chinese growth was an impulse from below and not a set of decisions from above. It was a people's movement and not a government's effort because when Mao decided to impose growth from above he landed China into the world's worst ever famine but when Deng decided to release that stranglehold, forces of prosperity were released. The Chinese knew how to form groups and much like the rock bands of America, the Chinese bands were dedicated to manufacturing enterprise and innovation. The street corner clubs were hubs of investments and production; family ties and networks were channels of trade and finance. It was through the use of human and social capital that China grew.