- New Thinking in Political Economy series
Chapter 5: China and India: competitors for future leadership in the global economy
China has been the media and analysts’ favorite for quite some time. First, it has been ‘anointed’ as a global economic power and the next to surpass the USA as the No. 1 world economy. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, many writers have published their prophecies for the world economy, with China invariably playing the role of forthcoming No. 1. Quantitative projections have seemingly supported such expectations. Why? I see two reasons for such scenarios, one ideological and the other substantive. With respect to the former, a large, if not actually major, proportion of Western writers have been driven by their hostility to if not downright hatred of the capitalist West, the USA, Western multinationals, globalization – you name it. They are by and large the orphaned children of socialism. They understand (with the exception of some die-hards!) that socialism has been so thoroughly compromised that it will not become a serious proposition in the foreseeable future. Therefore, if it must be capitalism, let it be Chinese capitalism – despotic, intrusive, tinkering with the market, with a large state sector – rather than classical liberal, free market capitalism, based on private property (even fettered as it has been in the more recent period in the West!). Thus the reason is ideological and emotional – visceral, in fact.
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