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October 13, 2004

China Is Becoming More Capitalist Than The United States (UPDATED) « China/Taiwan »

Competing for customers, "Upscale" hospitals in China are finding creative ways to attract business.

And idiots in the US want to impose singe-payer, govt-financed/run/provided health care.

Remember Godwin's Law? Well, Brain Fertilizer's Corollary states: "Anyone who insists China is still a communist/socialist nation automatically loses all credibility on the issue of capitalism and/or socialism."*

UPDATE: I should probably explain. There are people who hate the People's Republic of China because it is an oppressive, evil, Communist police state. It certainly used to be. It is no longer Communist. It is no longer even socialist, for the most part. In fact, as I have pointed out, the United States is moving ever closer toward socialism while China is moving ever closer toward pure capitalism. They have no universal health care, no HMOs, little taxation, few social programs; they have dismantled all of the State-run corporations. People are largely allowed to seek their own path to wealth, to seek their own way in life.
The biggest problem there is the lack of a developed Rule of Law. There isn't always a channel for legal redress, especially against the government. That's bad, and it makes it difficult for western corporations to do business there. I think market pressures will do far more to fix that problem than anything diplomacy can accomplish.
It is still a police state, in that it is very easy for the government to imprison a person on minor charges...or even no charges. It happens so rarely, however, that the average individual in China lives in far less fear of his government or his neighbor than we do. IRS audit, anyone? Or would you prefer to walk through a 'bad neighborhood' at night wearing a Rolex? You can just about do the "virgin with a bag of gold at midnight" thing in most parts of Beijing, a city of 16 million people. Compare that to our capital city...
People often cite the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989 as proof that China is an evil nation and must be opposed to defend Taiwan, at least. I usually counter with our Kent State Massacre, and get derided for using "moral equivalence". Well, I think "moral equivalence" is when you use a lesser crime to excuse a greater crime...and that's not what I'm doing. I don't excuse what China's government did at Tiananmen. But I also don't excuse what our government did at Kent State. Or in Chicago in 1968. Or in Selma. Or what "Our friends in Democracy", the KuoMinTang did in Taiwan in 1947 (the little-known 2-28 incident), in which the Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek murdered at least 10,000 Taiwanese people (some say as high as 30k...Taiwan still hasn't declassified the documents to allow anyone to know for sure) in order to solidify their rule there...and then didn't let them vote or participate in governmental processes until 1996. My point is that it is entirely possible to hate the governmental system without hating the people, or even without hating the nation. As Americans, we have supported many heinous and/or evil governments. That doesn't mean you have to accept China's, but you should address why this specific government is so much more worthy of your hate than other governments that have committed equally bad or worse atrocities, or else you face justifiable charges of hypocrisy.
This is not to excuse China's government for their crimes, or the people for not overthrowing their government yet. One of the biggest faults of the Chinese, in my opinion, is that they are so focused on becoming wealthy that they are mollified by a corrupt government that buys them off with opportunities to get rich. That's how they got into Communism in the first place, you know, by believing that Communism could make your family rich, rather than any altruistic notion of ensuring that no one starved. On the other hand, however, in reaction to the demands of the people, China is allowing free markets and allowing the market itself to determine how business and life are conducted. As a result, they are experiencing unprecedented growth and enrichment. It's amazing to see the differences there just over the last 6 years.
They have a tragic past, but they are clearly heading in the right direction. I wish I could say the same for the United States, but as long as we have a significant percentage of our population that actually wants us to be like Europe, or have a gun control laws like Great Britain, or a health care system like Canada, I have to say I fear for our future.**

*however, the terms "totalitarian" or "authoritarian" still apply, as does the more in-depth description "still insufficiently respective of human rights and dignity" or "possessing a near-complete deficiency of Rule of Law precepts".

**if for no other reason (and their are other reasons), because socialism invariably increases government control over the lives of individuals. The more socialist our nation becomes, the more we risk delivering ourselves over to the hands of a corrupt, authoritarian police state.

Posted by Nathan at 01:18 PM | Comments (1)
» Simon World links with: Asia by Blog
» The White Peril links with: Old sins cast long shadows
» The White Peril 白禍 links with: Old sins cast long shadows

Gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with that annoying little fact that free markets historically provide a better life than anything else?

Nahh, communism works it just hasn't been implemented correctly yet. {/sarcasm}

Posted by: Sharp as a Marble at October 14, 2004 06:06 AM
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