Friday, February 10, 2012

The return of state capitalism

Among the disquieting echoes of the 1930s, the past few years have seemed to show that capitalism doesn't work as well as we thought it did, and that a better model might be the "state capitalism" practiced by China. (And by Russia, though few mention that.) Niall Ferguson has a thorough-going piece on the subject in Foreign Policy magazine online. He argues that China and the United States are not polar opposites, but in fact are much closer to the middle--a blend of free markets and authoritarianism:

The real contest of our time is not between a state-capitalist China and a market-capitalist America, with Europe somewhere in the middle. It is a contest that goes on within all three regions as we all struggle to strike the right balance between the economic institutions that generate wealth and the political institutions that regulate and redistribute it.
Regulation and redistribution--does that sound familiar? Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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