China’s leaders might be called the “Communist Party”, but if Beijing is anything to go by, this nation is a celebration of a capitalism. So this is what happens when you mix market-minded capitalism with the heavy handed control of authoritarianism?
In the video below, Naomi Klein attempts to answer this question. She suggests that the millions of landless, homeless peasants act as the ‘Mexicans of China’, providing the unpleasant manual labour at a price that makes large scale projects possible. Also, the government can put money ahead of people by ensuring relaxed environmental/labour laws and barely policing the ones they’ve got. It’s the kind of thinking that’s made China the economic envy of many in the West, and the perfect partner for some of the world’s most successful businesses. Is the Chinese government providing the ultimate cocoon of capitalism, with the Olympics a crowning award from global capitalism’s heavyweights (ie. Olympic sponsors)?