[FoRK] Investing in China?

Bill Stoddard < bill at wstoddard.com > on > Wed Sep 13 09:26:35 PDT 2006

Luis Villa wrote:
> On 9/13/06, Zee Roe <zero at rawbw.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> On Tue, 12 Sep 2006, Luis Villa wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>> > with.  I am not OK with a *dictatorship* that would put the same
>> > system of law in place; I think denying people the right to regularly
>> > elect their government is unambigously wrong.]
>>
>> I have to ask here -- why? Assuming (and this is one hell of an
>> assumption, admittedly) that you have a benevolent dictator who plays by
>> the rules, enacts laws you and a rational majority consider "right", and
>> would be willing to step down if faced with overwhelming opposition to
>> his/her rule... what's the problem? Or is my last clause a suitable
>> replacement for regular elections?
> 
> Hypothesis: Because it is a hell of an assumption. Democracy is fairly
> robust; not perfect, but (in engineering terms) *robust*- it has
> checks; balances; mechanisms to recover from error. Various
> dictatorships may at various points in time do a decent job of
> protecting rights, running the economy, etc., but they fail, and their
> failure modes are very poor. You can basically guarantee that they
> will fail, and fail in ways vastly detrimental to basic human/civil
> rights. (Your 'overwhelming opposition' is a mediocre substitute for
> regular fine tuning, though better than nothing.)

Changing the topic slightly... in some of the investor circles I frequent, I've expressed the opinion that 
China is not a good place to 'invest' (as opposed to 'speculate') because their hybrid pseudo capitalist yet 
centralized system of government is doomed to fail for exactly the reasons outlined above. It may take a 
while, but eventually their government will fail spectacularly because it lacks the robustness of a true 
democracy.  On the other hand, perhaps my base assumption that Democracy and capitalism are hand-in-hand 
compliments is seriously flawed.  What do FoRK'ers think?

Bill


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