As China Marches towards Freedom, Greedy Mandarins Destroy the West

Daily Mail (London), February 18, 2012 | Go to article overview

As China Marches towards Freedom, Greedy Mandarins Destroy the West


Byline: CORMAC LUCEY

THE three-day visit of the Chinese vice-president and leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping gives us an opportunity to salute the greatest advance of human rights in the last century. That advance resulted from China's decision, under Deng Xiaoping, to turn away from a planned economy (where the state made every important economic decision) to a free-market economy (where citizens are free to make key economic decisions for themselves).

This decision, and the rapid economic growth that followed, ended the threat of death by famine in China.

As recently as 50 years ago, the country suffered from severe starvation which, according to official accounts, saw 15million deaths. Unofficial estimates put the death toll at between 20million and 45million.

The policies which China adhered to then are still followed today by North Korea's government.

Its people are still threatened by famine.

And, even if they escape that, their lives are still affected by their government's foolish policies. It is estimated that the average North Korean is three inches smaller than their South Korean counterpart.

At a stroke, China's vulnerability to famine ended once Deng replaced state planning with the free market in its farming sector. Rapid growth in agricultural incomes led in turn to surplus savings which were the foundation of China's extraordinary industrial growth over the last three decades.

That growth is so exceptional that when economists talk today of 'an economic slowdown in China', they mean that its annual rate of economic growth might slip from ten per cent to just five or six per cent.

But despite all the human rights progress which China made under Deng Xiaoping, he remained wedded to the totalitarian political rule of the Chinese Communist Party. For instance, he supported the party's brutal response to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

The government treats its dissidents with brutality and degradation, and in Tibet, it is applying the very same policies of torture, expropriation and plantation that England inflicted on this country in the 16th and 17th centuries.

So while Deng Xiaoping is a hero who presided over massive human rights advances, he is a flawed hero.

But he did more for human rights than an army of human rights lawyers.

The hard reality is that economic progress is a much bigger spur for human rights advances than any lawyerly agitation.

Just because the cock crows at dawn, it doesn't mean he has caused the sun to rise; just because lawyers campaign for justice, it doesn't mean they are the cause for advancement in human rights.

We could parachute 100 such lawyers into underdeveloped Afghanistan and they would make little progress, especially after western forces withdraw in the near future.

There were few of them active in China between 1975 and 2000 and yet huge progress was made. But despite the very clear advances that the turn towards the market economy brought to China, many in Ireland are now turning away from market economics.

This reflects disenchantment across the Western world at the economic stagnation and unfairness that free markets appear to have visited upon us.

Groups like Occupy Dame Street have received supporting rhetorical fire from senior politicians including the President.

President Michael D Higgins recently stated: 'We know that the present economic morass through which we are struggling did not come about by accident.

'We know it came about because of a failed paradigm of economic policy, undeclared assumptions, skewed values, and the growth of a culture where our assets were valued and utilised on purely material considerations.' This analysis has some truth: selfishness and greed were the main human propellants of the spectacular Irish economic boom which has now been transformed into calamitous economic bust. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

As China Marches towards Freedom, Greedy Mandarins Destroy the West
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.