IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From the Ashes, Freedom
(previous | next)

My old professor Burton Malkiel sees the "tectonic shift" that continues in China:

I believe that the lasting legacy of the cataclysmic Sichuan quake will be a tectonic shift towards a freer China, an enhanced image of the Chinese government, and a renewed commitment to encourage rapid growth in the poorer central and western regions of the country. And the recent declines in Chinese stock prices have provided investors with a very attractive entry point to correct the substantial underweighting of China in the investment portfolios of most individual and institutional investors.

Contrary to the numerous, perennial -- and tedious -- warnings of a coming Chinese crash, a scary new free-market "autocracy," or even an embrace of "classical fascism," Malkiel shares my own view, that Chinese economic freedom is both real and crucial in and of itself and is in fact leading to much more political freedom:

the “firewall” that surrounds the internet in China has been severely breached. Countless bloggers have heaped praise on the rescue effort but have also been unafraid to offer sharp criticism of officials who supervised the construction of the shoddy schools and buildings that crumbled when the quake hit. Ordinary citizens have rushed in to help, independent of any planning by the government. The surge of patriotic fervor has even muted the voices of those criticizing China’s policies with respect to Tibet.

Prof. Benjamin Friedman of Harvard University has argued that economic growth eventually leads to increased political freedom. Some China hands have been skeptical that the Friedman hypothesis applies to China. The 2008 earthquake may well prove to be a defining moment in China’s development into a flourishing civil society with increased personal freedom and with a government that is less distrustful of its own citizens.

For 30 years since Deng Xiaoping's "reform and opening up" policy began, Western political writers and historians have misjudged China. It's been the economists, like Malkiel, who have gotten it right.

posted by Bret Swanson @ 11:23 AM | China

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly


There are some parallels between the Lochner era U.S. and China today.

Posted by: Michael F. Martin at June 10, 2008 9:16 PM

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation