Thursday, January 19, 2006

Show me the money, Comrades!

In today's South China Morning Post, a story said that the Chinese government has decided to spend a lot of money in a bid to revive Marxism. Read the story here.

Two thoughts:

1) The fact that the central government has to use monetary incentives rather than resorting to the old way of launching some sort of violent campaign to make more people learn Marxism tells us how much China has improved in terms of individual liberty (albeit still limited) since reform started more than 2 decades ago.

2) Market reform means Chinese people are becoming less and less dependent on the government for their livelihoods. People's views on the role of the government necessarily change as a result. Now Chinese people see the government more as the source of trouble(corruption, regulatory burden, and a defective legal system) that limit their opporunities than their source of welfare or income as in the past. The government's legitimacy crisis follows. The bid to revive Marxism is an attempt on the part of Chinese leadership to deal with this legitimacy crisis. Will it work? Not in a million years!

1 comment:

Gautam said...

This is interesting. Would you say that this scenario is similar to the Chilean case? Where rather than focusing on political freedoms first, the western engagement with Chile on the economic front lead to changes in the attitude both of the people and the government?