China engraves capitalism onto its constitution
December 22, 2003 8:22 PM   Subscribe

China engraves capitalism onto its constitution. This is good development indeed. Although business investment and production has been flourishing in China, doing business there remained very risky because of the fact that private property rights have never been officially legalized. That has changed. The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?
posted by VeGiTo (19 comments total)
 
This is good development indeed.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to sell."

Yes, this will be great. Now they have to stop executing people, right? Capitalist countries respect human rights.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:32 PM on December 22, 2003




" The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?" - That is a question which some in the US are now asking about the American equation.
posted by troutfishing at 8:53 PM on December 22, 2003


Paying lip service to good old capitalism will be enough to keep the Americans from looking too closely at their human rights record.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:56 PM on December 22, 2003


"The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?"

The answer is, of course. Money does buy happiness.
posted by Derek at 9:03 PM on December 22, 2003


For some reason I couldn't tell if you were being serious or sarcastic, Derek.
posted by VeGiTo at 9:27 PM on December 22, 2003


The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?

It may not be hip to say this on MeFi, but the answer is more often yes than no.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:33 PM on December 22, 2003


if you're rich, you can work the government. most people want freedom to do what they want, money means the gov is not the only source of power.... in other words, what IJR said above.

one of the major mistakes of the US constitution was not specifically protecting private property. This would have stopped most 'eminent domain' bs.
posted by chaz at 9:45 PM on December 22, 2003


Define political freedom. Hell, if we're associating ownership of private property with economic freedom, despite the fairly capitalist system already in place, define economic freedom as well.

one of the major mistakes of the US constitution was not specifically protecting private property

Heh. They actually had a choice, if I'm not mistaken, between choosing Leibniz's "life, libery, and the pursuit of happiness" and Locke's "life, liberty, and property". Guess which way the wind blew.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:49 PM on December 22, 2003


the application of power in modern china has been and will continue to be for purposes of maintaining and strengthening political and social stability. the power elite have recognized that a capitalist system is more apropos to this end, at this particular time, than a strict maoist-communist approach. i don't think there's any mystery here, and i don't think anybody seriously expects that individual rights will somehow magically follow the adoption of a model up until now more affiliated with the west than the east. while a free market may in certain situations give rise to a republican state that embraces the rights of individuals, there is no clear causal relationship - or if there is, the data does not yet exist to draw the conclusion that A begets B.
posted by luriete at 9:49 PM on December 22, 2003


No one really owns property. They are merely renting it for the a period of time. After all, once they are dead, they no longer own the property. And once everyone is dead, the property will belong to no one but the Earth. And when the Earth is destroyed by the sun dying or going nova, the entire point of property ownership will be made completely moot. And Have a wonderful Holiday.
posted by benjh at 4:48 AM on December 23, 2003


And so China moves closer to the ideal that Western politicians would have in their own countries.
posted by Blue Stone at 5:34 AM on December 23, 2003


1. fig.

> Je ne vois pas la correspondence entre les sanges et les francais.

Cest une expression idiomatique, comme << mange de la merde >>. Comme vous savez bien, je crois.


2. lit.

> je ne vois pas la correspondence entre les sanges et les francais.

Ne voyez-vous pas les queues?
posted by jfuller at 7:39 AM on December 23, 2003


The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?

Well I laughed, anyway.

As I recall, it took a full-on war and propaganda machine (not to mention a changing economic tide) to get rid of slavery in the US after about 80 years of economic "freedom." And nevermind the cases of near-feudal landlording that went on throughout New England in early America (also stopped by armed revolt, after being encouraged by economic freedoms).

But, yeah, sure, economic freedom does beget political freedom - for those with money. Unless you should find yourself unble to buy off your politicians, for whatever reason (see recent events in Russia).

peh.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:15 PM on December 23, 2003





one of the major mistakes of the US constitution was not specifically protecting private property. This would have stopped most 'eminent domain' bs.


Erm ... no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law? Sure, I'd like it to be more specific so as to preclude eminent domain specifically, but private property is certainly in there.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 2:04 PM on December 23, 2003


Yeah, they have a lot of stuff in that constitution of theirs. Maybe if they had an independant court it would matter.
posted by delmoi at 11:24 PM on December 23, 2003


The question now is: does economic freedom beget political freedom?

It may not be hip to say this on MeFi, but the answer is more often yes than no.



Hooray for bald assertions. If you want people to actualy belive what you say, you need to provide some sort of proof. I don't think this is true.

Why not? Because people have lived under mostly capitalist systems since the begining of recorded history. While earlier, pre-marx governments may have been capricious in their taking, I'd be willing to bet that they took far less from fewer people then governments today.

And yet, true political freedom has only existed on this earth for 200 or so years. Fewer if you consider Slavery and the jim-crow era of US history. In the US today we are mostly free if we don't want to take and drugs. Although the US jails far more of its population then china, even in real numbers.

The default state throughout human history has been very close to capitalism, and very far from freedom that we enjoy today.
posted by delmoi at 11:34 PM on December 23, 2003


"A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them. He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them. He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person. He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them. In a word, as a man is said to have right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights."

- James Madison
posted by MarkO at 11:09 AM on December 24, 2003


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