Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Disaster Communism: Michael Moore and America's left exploit the financial crisis to advance statism | Main | I guess it’s news: Helena Guergis and Brad Wall »

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Behind the "engagement" delusion

Today I try (again) to ascertain why so many conservatives are willing to give the CCP a pass.  I found my answer (I think) in the history of a man who is arguably the most complicated tyrant in recent history: Augusto Pinochet.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on November 26, 2008 in International Affairs | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Behind the "engagement" delusion:


While I hate to leave the Western Standard to get through a post, I read your complete post, DJ.

You’ve once again demonstrated your expertise on China, but let me ask some naive questions from an “engagement” perspective. (I say naive because I spend no time considering foreign affairs.)

First, sure China is corrupt, but business people have told me corruption is often easier to content with than bureaucracy. Try to open a mine in California, and then try to open a mine in China. Both will be nightmares, but you’ll get it done in China. Regulations increase the cost of business, and the regulatory environment in North America is completely out of control. Add corporate governance liabilities - think Martha Stewart and Conrad Black – and America is a very costly place to do business. Is the US better than China in this regard? Of course. But it is no longer a model worth emulating and defending.

Libertarian Walter Block thinks bribes are often a better way to get business done that enduring the cost of red tape.

As for the model tyrant theory, it’s an interesting argument. You say it doesn’t apply to China because China isn’t a free market. But isn’t more of the Chinese economy in the private sector than the US, or pretty close?

Here’s what concerns me: China is going through remarkable reforms at a remarkable pace. 1.3 billion people are slowly coming out of poverty and a middle class is emerging, despite the corruption and the human rights problems, etc. Why aren’t conservative hawks celebrating this success?

I worry that some people don't want China to succeed because they don't want another big player on the international scene.

The market economy, however, will shape the culture of China for the better, which is why China's growth is so exciting.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-11-26 5:37:14 PM

It's not so much that the conservatives seem willing to give the CCP a pass, as it is that the CCP is in charge.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-11-26 7:57:04 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.