Martin Jacques, ex Editor of Marxism Today (or Marxism Yesterday) blows a trumpet for China:
The competence of the state is little talked about or really valued in the West, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world.
Indeed, since the early 80s, the debate about the state in Britain has largely been conducted in terms either of what bits should be privatised or how it can be made to mimic the market.
Now, however, we are in a new ball game. With the Western economies in a profound mess and with China’s startling rise, the competence of the state can no longer be ignored. Our model is in crisis. Theirs has been delivering the goods. (Source: BBC)
More state intervention, in other words. Wouldn’t expect anything else from a Marxoid.
He’s making a few big assumptions in his article. One is that China’s economy will continue to expand at the rate predicted. There’s no guarantee that it will. Only a couple of decades ago the same future was predicted for Japan: it didn’t happen.
Another is that China’s global influence can be based purely on production and finance rather than on innovation. Technological innovation requires the political, social and personal liberties that the Chinese do not have yet, and which an authoritarian regime is unlikely to allow.
Still, it’s interesting that the BBC are airing such a viewpoint. Jacques must surely be happy that we have a fledgling regime in the form of the European Union. As in China, you can vote any way you want and still end up with the same thing. Except with the EU there’s no actual party at the top.