Chicken and egg, cart before the horse — pick any of the obvious clich?s. Here’s an old point, but one worth repeating in the run-up to the Olympic games: Russia stumbled in its early crack at capitalism because economic reform followed political reform. Without a strong centralized government, party bosses seized what they could in the post-Soviet feeding frenzy. If the party put me in charge of one of the people’s factories prior to the union’s collapse, it was mine for the taking once the Wall came down. China, on the other hand, proceeded with economic reform with the world holding its breath (and now turning blue) in anticipation of political reform.
I only bring this up in order to point to former labor secretary Robert Reich’s confusing blog post on authoritarian capitalism.
“The real competition lurking behind the upcoming Olympic games is between democratic capitalism and authoritarian capitalism … We thought capitalism and democracy went hand in glove. They don’t … when it comes to civil and political rights, China today is where it was almost two decades ago at the time of Tiananmen Square.”