Will The 21st Century Belong To China?

Sir Wilfred Laurier, one of if not the greatest Prime Ministers of Canada, believed that the 20th century belonged to the country he was a citizen of. Unfortunately, his prediction did not come true as Liberal rule throughout the decades pillaged Canadians and made them poorer. Almost to the point of verging on being a third world nation after the havoc wreaked by Chretien budgets and Trudeau socialism.

It’s interesting to note as we here in Canada become more regulated, our entrepreneurial spirit weakened, and our liberties removed, one country is creeping slowly towards less regulation and more liberty. I certainly wouldn’t hold up China as a model nation by any means – but events there are becoming more and more interesting.

Perhaps China is on the right path, as Budha would have put it. I’m old enough to remember the “Cold War” with the former Soviet Union, and then the rejoicing as the communist giant fell apart almost overnight – with promises that the new Russia would become a hotbed of business, free markets, and freedom.

That hasn’t really happened. Sure, there have been noises made about the progress in Russia – but with all the banterings, there’s an equal volume of noise about corruption – much of the ‘business’ in that country is still controlled by present and former corrupt officials. Instead of equal opportunity, it was American tax payers, through contracts with chosen individuals, that funded the capitalist ‘experiment’ in Russia. So far, there really hasn’t been much capitalism or free market at all. The problem is, governments just aren’t very good at capitalism. Even the American Government is an utter failure when it comes to promoting free enterprise.

This situation of course, has given Marxists much ammunition to bellyache against capitalism. Unfortunately, they use the term ‘capitalism’ when in fact, what they are bellyaching against is a form of pseudo-capitalism.

I’m no expert on China. But this country does seem to be taking a different approach, and one that very well may end up by the end of this century, help China become the financial engine of the world. Rather than an ‘overnight’ approach, and making deals with the Tyrant of other nations, China is slowly opening up its borders to business. Entrepreneurs are popping up all over the place, and from what I’ve seen, the quality of products coming out of China is improving.

According to the National Post on March 14, 2004, China has now done something that even Canada has not done. It has enshrined property rights into it’s constitution. For whatever reason, Canadian politicians still have not grasped the concept that a person’s labour translates into the property he/she chooses to buy, and therefore should be protected as a right. It’s interesting that China is now miles ahead of Canada on this point of human rights!

Apparently, critics are still complaining that China has not recognized the right to free political expression. But even in Canada, there is no such right, and in fact there are laws that limit political expression. Parts of Canada’s Election Act prohibits individuals or independent organizations from communicating political opinion during an election. Some freedom of political expression that is!

Regardless, it is interesting to watch as China removes regulations and hindrances on entrepreneurship, while Canada, who should have and could have owned the 20th century, increases regulation and removes liberties.

China’s pace may be slow. But as the Chinese come to appreciate capitalism and freer markets, my guess is that there will be no stopping them – and with their economy growing at the rate of 9.1% last year, the Chinese Government will have a tough time limiting the growth of freedom in that country.

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