GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
The issue of China + the Capitalists has stirred much debate. After all, China is a Socialist country – how, then, can China be encouraging Capitalists to become Billionaires? Are not the two in direct competition, even confrontation?
During the Cultural Revolution, the presence of Billionaires would have been unthinkable. But two points; first, at that time China was in the grip of a Left leadership which insisted on strict obedience to traditional class struggle theory. The consequence – China in Confusion. Schools + Universities closed. Strife, bitterness and death for many Chinese and, finally, zero growth in individual prosperity.
Something had to be done lest the people lose their belief in the Party’s leadership. People had to see the benefit of the Party’s Socialist leadership. There had to be growth – and quickly. Deng Hsiaoping took charge and said he didn’t mind whether it was a white cat or a black cat so long as the cat caught the mice. China needed growth and embraced the enterprise, initiative and personal dynamism of the entrepreneurs.
China has prospered. The people are better off than ever before. Prosperity + Stability have been achieved. Now it’s time to rein back in the Capitalists, especially those who have become Billionaires. “Get Rich Quick” was a short term response to the widespread malaise that flowed from the failed Cultural Revolution. Today there is a new goal “Common Prosperity for All”. The Party is reasserting its control. Hence the problems for Jack Ma, TenCent, Didi Chuxing. And ByteDance, the group that controls TikTok now has the State owning a 1% stake and a seat on the Board.
Capitalism -Yes. But within limits and subject to overnight State intervention if Capitalists challenge the State.