Here’s some unconventional wisdom, J.P. The way I see it, the free market bargain falls apart — stops being rational — if the Chinese are able to liberalize their markets strongly enough to fully participate in the international market without liberalizing their politics. The best way to do this, in my analysis, is to delink social policy from political policy.
How? China can grow progressively more ‘permissive’ when it comes to ‘personal freedoms’ by transfering the goods of that permissiveness away from the incentive structure of a liberal political system and into the incentive structure of a liberal economic system. If they succeed — and I strongly suggest that they’ve started to already — the Chinese will change the rational calculus that goes into the market theory of liberalization. Why trade with partners that will remain political opponents indefinitely? Why invest trust and risk into a trade regime they dominate? China will also be able to take away the use of markets as an American pressure point on domestic political liberty (democratization, Tibet, human rights).
None of this augurs particularly well for the US, but it all hinges on the ability of China to become what I’ve called elsewhere a pink police state — a politically despotic regime that grants its subjects broader and deeper access to pleasure-related economic and social goods in exchange for letting its absolute rule go absolutely unchallenged.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?