Loony Rundle goes all in on CCP

Dear God! Check this out from my old mate Guy Rundle today:

According to many — Greg Sheridan and Henry Ergas were the local representatives — China was a totalitarian state controlling every aspect of its citizens’ lives. But, they said, the rule of the Chinese Communist Party had nothing to do with the country’s galloping success over several decades, which was due either to the generic East Asian model, or just dumb luck.

It’s a pretty funny totalitarianism which has nothing to do with the economic life of its citizens. The conclusion is, of course, bunkum. Some on the naive right, the chino-pearls-Hayek-fanboy squad, are angered by the stubborn refusal of China to correspond to the idea that demands for political freedom shadow economic freedom. China has shown the opposite: give people a chance to improve their lives within a fairly stable framework, and such rewards will actively defer demands for political pluralism for decades upon decades.

For them, China essentially refutes a philosophy they have based their life on.

Rundle surely isn’t arguing that China’s economic rise was not driven by liberalisation? That’s just stupid. It even transpired at the political level for a while but, most importantly, it was the lifting of many previously banned economic freedoms under Deng and his successors that triggered the forty year growth spurt. That’s what capitalism with “Chinese characteristics” is.

More from the pulpit:

The importance of having a mixed economy, with 60% in state hands, was that funds could be steered towards infrastructure, and the country could bootstrap itself and build an urban working and middle class. Compare India, which has lurched from village socialism to neoliberalism, resulting in a “missing middle” between a rich elite, a residual working/rural poverty, and absolute poverty. Or compare Nigeria, which never managed to free itself from the capitalist world-system, with whole regions being as poor as they were at decolonisation. Or for that matter compare the Anglosphere West, which has talked its way into stagnation by allowing capital to starve demand by crushing wages and evading taxes.

For the Chinese, the goal of socialism remains. But it is not the slightly hippy, weave in the morning, seminars in the afternoon type thing of the 19th century. The CCP is clearly preparing for an era of nationalist post-capitalism, one in which automation and cybernation reduce capitalist accumulation in key sectors to a level that makes private reinvestment impossible. At that point the nation acts like a unit, with a retained but limited private sector, surrounded by a system of universal basic income and universal basic services.

The economy is not centrally planned, but steered by real-time qualitative feedback between production units. As far as one can see, the purpose of the country’s new universal social credit system is to lay the basis for a post-wages form of social control and reward.

The great difference in Chinese transitional capitalism/proto-socialism is that it is conceived in national terms and anticipates future war — with India, Russia or the US. Hence patriotism and military expansion accompany the steady revolutionisation of production — robots, 3D printing manufacture — applied with a focused rapidity that the West cannot, at the moment, match.

If the right is scared for what this does to its pathetic fairytales of history and the West, they should be. And as the cannons and hypersonic missiles parade by, they shouldn’t be the only ones.

Here are the income shares for the US, France and China via Thomas Picketty:

By our estimates, the share of national income earned by the top 10 per cent of the population has increased from 27 per cent in 1978 to 41 per cent in 2015, while the share earned by the bottom 50 per cent has dropped from 27 per cent to 15 per cent. The bottom 50 per cent of the population used to have about the same income share as the top 10 per cent, while their income share is now about 2.7 times lower. Over the same period, the share of income going to the middle 40 per cent has been roughly stable. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5. Income inequality in China, 1978-2015: corrected estimates

Note: Distribution of pretax national income (before taxes and transfers, except pensions and unempl. insurance) among adults.
Corrected estimates combine survey, fiscal, wealth and national accounts data. Raw estimates rely only on self-reported survey data. Equal-split-adults series (income of married couples divided by two). Pre-2006 series assume that the tax/survey upgrade factor is the same as the one observed on average over the 2006-2010 period when national-level tax data exist.

To summarise, the level of inequality in China in the late 1970s used to be less than the European average – closer to those observed in the most egalitarian Nordic countries – but they are now approaching a level that is almost comparable with the USA. In 2015 the bottom 50 per cent in China earn approximately 15 per cent of total national income versus 12 per cent in the USA and 22 per cent in France; while the top 1 per cent earns about 14 per cent of national income, versus 20 per cent in the USA and 10 per cent in France. (See Figures 6a and 6b.)

Figure 6a. Bottom 50% vs top 1% income share: China vs US

Note: Distribution of pretax national income (before taxes and transfers, except pensions and unemployment insurance) among adults.
Corrected estimates (combining survey, fiscal, wealth and national accounts data). Equal-split-adults series (income of married couples divided by two).Pre-2006 series assume that the tax/survey upgrade factor is the same as the one observed on average over the 2006- 2010 period when national-level tax data exist.
Figure 6b. Bottom 50% vs top 1% income share: China vs France

Notes: Distribution of pretax national income (before taxes and transfers, except pensions and unemployment insurance) among adults.
Corrected estimates (combining survey, fiscal, wealth and national accounts data). Equal-split-adults series (income of married couples divided by two). Pre-2006 series assume that the tax/survey upgrade factor is the same as the one observed on average over the 2006- 2010 period when national-level tax data exist.

It bit outmoded but the trends have continued. China is not getting fairer. It’s getting more unfair, just like Western nations.

You’ll get no argument from me that contemporary Western capitalism has lost out to oligarchy and businessomics. That’s obvious. Economic stagnation has resulted as productivity, reform, demographics and the middle classes have all stalled into under-regulation and financialisation.

But China is coming to a stop on exactly the same spot from the other end of the political spectrum. It’s not some glowing example of socialist utopia, it’s a cleptocratic mobster state. For precisely the same reason it is now entering stagnation as well, long before it is even rich.

As a result, the threat that the West will be out-spent on military capability is declining not rising. Made all the worse by China turning even further from the liberalistion path politically and economically.

Anybody with eyes can see that liberal democracy has some very large failures to address for its people. But they pale next to those confronting the people of CCP China. The comparison is preposterous.

What a shame Rundle now produces propaganda for the latter.

Comments

  1. That is some loony sh#t right there. Off the deep end.

    Anyone know where this clown went to Uni? I must strike it from the list of prospects for my children

    • david collyerMEMBER

      +1

      The world doesn’t need Marxists and Communists any more than it needs Fascists.. Too.many people died trying to prove the concept. This is not to say capitalism is beyond reproach, but it does have the capacity to change.

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Ha! Last time I tried that I had an old man fall down a hill. Tired Cliffy Young shuffle doesn’t work with exposed roots, washaways and loose stones. The boy thought the shoe full of blood at the finish was cool if somewhat icky. Didn’t want to include the scars in the family picture album though.

          As for old and tired of waiting, I’d kinda like this mess called Straya sorted out one way or another before I roll into my 60s so I can make a plan. That’s six years away so hopefully that’s long enough.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    The ‘social credit system’ tries to solve a gap in Chinese law enforcement : there are not enough prisons in China to arrest everyone that does something wrong, so it need to dish out a non-custodial punishment to people who haven’t cross the line of being arrested. Unlike ‘Western democracy’ like Australia, in China you can’t be jailed for not paying a fine. As with all things Chinese, there will be overreach, and when somethings goes wrong (bad AI facial recognition, etc) life will soon become a tragic comedy.

    How much personal liberty is a society willing to give up in exchange for elimination of fraud? In China’s case, the population don’t actually get a choice : it’ll be imposed on them. However if the social credit score system goes according to plan, how many other countries will follow China’s example?

    • The “social credit system” is basically the same as a collection of similar systems in the western world, from actual credit ratings (especially in the US, less so in Australia – so far) through secret renter blacklists to the Indue welfare card.

      • Case in point… back in the 90s I remember a specific case where a middle class couple found out, after a protracted period and costs, it was recorded on their Credit Score that they were friendly with a couple next door that had a bankruptcy in the recent past. This ultimately effected their score negatively, best bit was the difficultly in finding out this information and the scope of it as it was considered someone else property.

    • I would like to see the difference between Australia vs China in terms of individual freedom and power as this is what the topic is about. Forced to buy house at massively inflated prices, then be a slave to your job and bank for the rest of your life. Or, forced to rent being treated subhuman kicked out from home to home having a dragon lady bang on your door every 3 months then talk to you like a headmaster to a kid in trouble at school.

      Not be allowed to defend yourself against bullies for fear of being the one put in jail. Surveillance of the internet, Journalists fear of being arrested if they question parts of our government.

      Please, go live in China for a few years before commenting I bet it is different but the same police state we have here only here the police serve the rich instead of the politburo as in China.

  3. Stand back from the bloodthirsty commie CCP ideology for a moment and look:

    NSDAP:

    Ethno-supremacist
    State owned capitalist enterprises
    Dictatorship
    Regime seeded and funded by London and NY bankers
    Tech handed to them on a platter by Western corporations
    Concentration camps
    Superfast economic expansion

    Current day China:

    Ethno-supremacist
    State owned capitalist enterprises
    Dictatorship
    Regime enjoys massive FDI
    Tech handed to them on a platter by Western Corporations
    Concentration camps
    Superfast economic expansion

  4. These people irrationally hate the west and their own society

    Just like the article the other day by someone bemoaning how awful their childhood in Warrnambool was because it wasn’t ethnically diverse (with no comprehension of the fact that their childhood was immeasurably better than current childhoods)

    It is utterly bizarre , some type of mass shared mental illness

    I have no idea how it started and I don’t know if there is any historical precedent for this kind of mass selfloathing

    Future generations will look back at this period and shake their heads (assuming that the study of history is not subverted)

    Could it be wifi or 3G affecting people’s brains?

    I have no idea

    • It’s certainly a weird time to be living in a so called western democracy. We seem to have been completely sold out by the upper class of business interests and being gaslighted by the media to tell us it’s a great thing. It’s really quite confusing watching your country devolve whilst being told it’s going great.

    • Datto 1600 was a much sought after car in my youth. Needed the 2.0l upgrade though. Whoever had that or an rs2000 escort were the cool kids on the block. (especially if they had splatts mags)

      Yes, I grew up in a bogan area 🙂

  5. “.. Rundle surely isn’t arguing that China’s economic rise was not driven by liberalisation?..”

    Huh?

    He was arguing that economic liberalisation does not necessarily lead to political liberalisation.

    That seems like an unremarkable observation to make about China.

    Some might say that the Hayek crowd are also much more interested in economic liberalism than political liberalism.

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