A few years ago, Americans would have chuckled about Chinese capitalism. They would have pointed to the instability of the Shanghai Stock Exchange as proof that communists don’t know how to run an economy. Who’s laughing now?
To be honest, I’m a little confounded that the (not so) free market of American capitalism has shot itself in the foot like it has. Then I rethink that confusion and realize that our capitalism is not so different from theirs, but that not so different has enormous ramifications.
Both China and America sport government control over the economy. Both countries manage their economy for profit (or, to be specific, they manage their economy by turning resource into capital). Both have great natural resources. Where’s the difference?
One is corporate, the other is corporate. Wait… What does that mean?
In China, corporate refers to the governing posture. Decisions are made with the many in mind. China has yet to change that definition like America did. In America, corporate does not even refer to people. It doesn’t refer to the many. Instead, corporate America refers to businesses not people. That is the irony of American business. Once something has become incorporated (literally within bodies), it ceases to be human.
The American business model has managed capital for the express purpose of protecting corporate America (not people).
In a way, China is beating us at our own game: capitalism. Staunch capitalists will say that capitalism is the only economy (actually, they tend to think of capitalism as a way of governing) that protects the human spirit. The sad truth is that American capitalism gave up on human beings a long time ago. In that sense, the current collapse of our economy is not the failing of American capitalism, it is it’s culmination.