How western CapitaLeaders & their ThinkTanks try to understand China

HBR, Harvard Business Review, one of the best western Think-Tanks: What the West Gets Wrong About China (hbr.org) – If you follow this Link, you can see the original article inclusiv its marvelous pictures.

The following is not my opinion about China, but it’s important to know, what the western financial “ELITE” (lets:-)) think about the upraising number one of the world

What the West Gets Wrong About China

Summary.   

Many people have wrongly assumed that political freedom would follow new economic freedoms in China and that its economic growth would have to be built on the same foundations as in the West. The authors suggest that those assumptions are rooted in three essentially false beliefs about modern China:

(1) Economics and democracy are two sides of the same coin;

(2) authoritarian political systems can’t be legitimate; and

(3) the Chinese live, work, and invest like Westerners.

But at every point since 1949 the Chinese Communist Party—central to the institutions, society, and daily experiences that shape all Chinese people—has stressed the importance of Chinese history and of Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

Until Western companies and politicians understand this and revise their views, they will continue to get China wrong.

[  Myth 1  ]

Economics and democracy are two sides of the same coin

Many Chinese believe that the country’s recent economic achievements have actually come about because of, not despite China’s authoritarian form of government.

In China, however, growth has come in the context of stable communist rule, suggesting that democracy and growth are not inevitably mutually dependent. In fact, many Chinese believe that the country’s recent economic achievements—large-scale poverty reduction, huge infrastructure investment, and development as a world-class tech innovator—have come about because of, not despite, China’s authoritarian form of government. Its aggressive handling of Covid-19—in sharp contrast to that of many Western countries with higher death rates and later, less-stringent lockdowns—has, if anything, reinforced that view.

China has also defied predictions that its authoritarianism would inhibit its capacity to innovate. It is a global leader in AI, biotech, and space exploration. Some of its technological successes have been driven by market forces: People wanted to buy goods or communicate more easily, and the likes of Alibaba and Tencent have helped them do just that. But much of the technological progress has come from a highly innovative and well-funded military that has invested heavily in China’s burgeoning new industries. This, of course, mirrors the role of U.S. defense and intelligence [id est: DARPA: e.g. for Apple-Siri, NASA: inevitable namely for Elon Musk, NSA: for Amazon, etc. – since the “sputnik moment” (n.1) of 1958 more than a 100 bill. $ – AH] spending in the development of Silicon Valley.

[  Myth 2  ]

Authoritarian Political Systems Can’t Be Legitimate

Thus July 2020 polling data from the Ash Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government revealed 95% satisfaction with the Beijing government among Chinese citizens. Our own experiences on the ground in China confirm this. 

[ Myth 3  ]

The Chinese Live, Work, and Invest Like Westerners

For example, a 2015 survey found that 81% of them trade at least once a month, even though frequent trading is invariably a way to destroy rather than create long-term fund value. That figure is higher than in all Western countries (for example, only 53% of U.S. individual investors trade this frequently); it’s also even higher than in neighboring Hong Kong—another Han Chinese society with a predilection for gambling and a similar, capital-gains-tax-free regime. This suggests that something distinctive to mainland China influences this behavior: long-term unpredictability that’s sufficiently recent to have been experienced by or passed on to those now buying stocks…

That history also explains the paradox that the rulers and the ruled in China operate on very different time frames. For individuals, who’ve lived through harsh times they could not control, the reaction is to make some key choices in a much more short-term way than Westerners do. Policy makers, in contrast, looking for ways to gain more control and sovereignty over the future, now play a much longer game than the West does. This shared quest for predictability explains the continuing attractiveness of an authoritarian system in which control is the central tenet.

A version of this article appeared in the May–June 2021 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Read more on Globalization or related topics EconomicsGovernment policy and regulation and Asia

  • RM

Rana Mitter is a professor of the history and politics of modern China at Oxford. His most recent book is China’s Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard University Press, 2020).

  • EJ

Elsbeth Johnson, formerly the strategy director for Prudential PLC’s Asian business, is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the founder of SystemShift, a consulting firm.

Autor: Hartmut Barth-Engelbart

Autor von barth-engelbart.de

Ein Gedanke zu „How western CapitaLeaders & their ThinkTanks try to understand China“

  1. Chinas Wirtschaft durchläuft einen Entwicklungs-Boom. Befeuert wird dieser Boom durch staatliche Souveränität über die Kreditvergabe und einen riesigen, noch wenig kapitalistisch entwickelten Marktraum im Inneren. Was eine starke Ausweitung der Kapitalbasis ermöglicht — die Schornsteine rauchen kräftig, und der kapitalistische Laden brummt lüstern stöhnend.

    Förderlich für das Gelingen einer solchen politischen Ökonomie sind auch das Vorhandensein reicher inländischer Rohstoffvorkommen und einer quasi unerschöpflichen, hoch mobilen und überaus motivierten industriellen Reservearmee, welche sich aus einem in China sehr armen und – wie überall auf der Welt – körperlich allgemein hoch belastbaren und gut arbeitsfähigen Bauernstand rekrutiert; ein Stichwort hier ist Houkou (oder so ähnlich). Und wie als allgemein bekannt vorausgesetzt werden darf, sind die KPCh-Eliten nicht eben zimperlich. Im Umgang mit ihren Nichteliten, meine ich.

    Hinzu die strategische politische Entscheidung des US-Imperialismus, seine eigene zivile produktive Basis aufzugeben und chinesische Waren zu importieren. Siehe die China-Connection Kissingers. Sagen wir es so sachlich wie möglich: Eine Elite entledigt sich “ihres” Volks. Und last not least, ist das Klima Chinas überaus gemäßigt, wenn es mit einer anderen großen Entwicklungsdiktatur verglichen wird, mit der ehemaligen UdSSR.

    All dies sind geradezu perfekte Voraussetzungen für einen wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungsboom. That’s all. Ansonsten ist die Physik der kapitalistischen Produktionsweise in China nicht anders als überall sonst auf der Welt. Wird der Entwicklungsboom erst einmal vorüber sein, wird der tendentielle Fall der Profitrate spürbar werden — schmerzlich. Es sei denn, der nicht eben zimperlichen chinesischen Elite gelänge das Kunststück, die technologische Entwicklung in den Stillstand zu zwingen. Marxens “zur Entwicklung drängenden Produktivkräfte” haben aber einen Haken: Sie drängen zur Entwicklung. Sie lassen sich nicht abstellen. Sie sind conditio humana. So sicher wie das Lachen. So sicher, wie diese unverschämt nüchterne politisch-ökonomische Analyse à la Marxienne des großen China-Zaubers.

    Nein, Chinesen sind auch “bloß” Menschen. Zum Glück! Ach ja, Angehörige von Klaus Schwabs Familie haben nach China geheiratet. Aber nein, nicht doch ins chinesische Proletariat!

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