Tuesday, June 2, 2020

"In China, we must break the capitalism of" cronyism ""

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In a country where the state is both "player and arbiter of the economic field," the collusion between money and power is a source of inequality and an obstacle to growth, says the economist who pleads, in a tribune to " World ", for a" political reform ".

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Tribune. From its birth, capitalism has aroused vehement criticism and rejection. XXe The century has been marked by an attempt to replace it with a new system characterized by state planning, collectivisation of the means of production and even of citizens' goods. But it has undoubtedly failed, despite the regrets of his supporters. For the sake of legitimizing their power, some countries have retained the word "socialist" in their denomination, but they have abandoned it in practice.

The Chinese authorities are constantly boasting about practicing "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". In fact, in the name of reform, in recent decades, we have witnessed the gradual "Capitalism with Chinese characteristics". The accumulation of capital replaces the ideological objective; the market replaces the planned administrative organization. This explains China's success in terms of growth.

"This regime has both features of totalitarian regimes on the right and of the left, and striking similarities with the Asian model, where capitalism has accompanied development."

This confusion over the appellation and the practices between "socialism" and "capitalism", as well as the opacity of the functioning and the economic and political institutions accentuate the difficulty, from an epistemological point of view, to qualify the nature of the current regime in China. This regime is different from what we experienced in the XXe century. It possesses at once some features of totalitarian regimes on the right and of the left, and striking similarities with the Asian model, where capitalism has accompanied development. In the world, it arouses admiration right for its economic efficiency and its ability to maintain order, and left for its populist speeches in the name of the people's interest, the predominant role of the state and the critical of Western systems.

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But one point is clear: the state is both player and referee of the economic field; collusion between the ruling elites and the business community, a phenomenon that American political scientist Minxin Pei describes as "Crony Capitalism", capitalism of cronyism. If the greed and ambition of these "buddies" have built the engine of the Chinese economic machine for a period, they now block the social lift and are obstacles to Chinese growth because of the inequality they generate, reducing the capacity of the internal market. Corruption is thus structural and widespread because of state monopoly in many sectors.

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