The Mission and Value of Industry: Theoretical Logic of Industrial Transformation and Upgrading in China

Jin Bei

Institute of Industrial Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China


Abstract: China is currently in a critical stage of industrial transformation, the key to which is the transformation of the manufacturing industry. Research on industrial transformation is essentially an exploration of the origin of industry and the values of industrial development. Industry offers the impetus for human development and contributes to social welfare. Industrial transformation is a simultaneous representation of the innovative and revolutionary nature of industry. Currently, industrialization is far from being complete in China and most regions of China have yet to develop a strong social foundation of modern industrial civilization. China still has large gaps with the standards of developed industrial powers. In addition to the lack of a solid industrial, technological foundation, China’s industrial transformation and upgrade are confronted by the negative inclination towards excessive “instrumental rationalism.” An obsession with speed, quantity, capital appreciation, and the single-minded pursuit of profitability have constrained the real values of industry. China’s current industrial transformation essentially requires a readjustment of the relationship between instrumental utility and real values and calls for a release of the innovative capabilities of industry. Currently, one of the most imperative, strategic tasks for China is to continue strengthening its industry. In-depth integration between industrialization and IT application will bring China’s industrial civilization to a new level.

Keywords: industrialization, industrial transformation, industrial civilization, industrial rationality


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