New Leftists debate over at Simon’s World

Go see Simon’s response to my post on the New Leftists, and the comments. And be sure to leave your own.

The Discussion: 16 Comments

I like Simon, he’s a veteran blogger, and I read the Daily linklets everyday!

Therefore, I’m amazed at his opinions regarding China’s New Left. They made my blood boil and quite rightly. I’m exhausted now.

Enough talk of “big pies” and “pies getting bigger” for one night I think.

Just goes to show, and as we all know, you can live in Hong Kong but you might as well be on the moon as far as China is concerned. So near yet so far!

June 22, 2005 @ 12:44 pm | Comment

Simon’s a friend of mine and I had one of my most memorable afternoons in Singapore meeting him at the Coffee Bean outside my office at Raffles Plaza. I can respect his laissez-faire philosophy, but one has to realize in a place like China the concept can easily be abused, leading to incredible hardships and misery for those unlucky enough to lack guanxi.

June 22, 2005 @ 1:14 pm | Comment


laissez-faire, not laissez fair…

June 22, 2005 @ 3:13 pm | Comment

a place like China the concept can easily be abused, leading to incredible hardships and misery for those unlucky enough to lack guanxi.
Posted by: richard

Especially when the folks who have become constraint points in the “free market” are cadres or friends of cadres.

laissez-faire leads to monopolies/oligopolies inevitably, which are the anti-thesis of a free market. This is why capitalism is inevitably anti-free market, despite those who claim they are one and the same.

And you can look at the tycoons in Hong Kong {or Bill Gates} to reassure yourself of these things every day.

June 22, 2005 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

The China New Leftists Debate: The Point Isn’t Income Gap – It’s Opportunity

June 22, 2005 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

Martyn, I’m sorry if you’re disappointed but them’s the breaks. I’ll be posting a rebuttal of the various comments later today as there is a lot to cover. My god, a “veteran” blogger. Do I qualify for benefits from the VA?

Richard – I certainly appreciate your sentiments. It was a fine afternoon and I’m glad we can have discussions in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

June 22, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

Thanks Simon, and sorry if I got a little heated in your comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

June 22, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

‘course you’re a Vet Simon. Suffice to say, you’ve been around the blogging block a few times…

I never said I was disapointed, I said your comments made my blood boil so I look forward to your rebuttal, entirely at your convenience, of course, good sir.

June 22, 2005 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

Hey, we need a little heat. Since Conrad’s gone it’s been a chorus of agreement. At last there’s something we can really debate!

June 23, 2005 @ 12:38 am | Comment

Response to China’s new left

As I expected my piece on China’s new left (deliberately not capitalised) provoked mixed reactions. I hope to compose a rebuttal of the comments made both here and at Richard’s either today or tomorrow. I will update this post with the response once it…

June 23, 2005 @ 12:47 am | Comment

With regards to oligarchy / monopoly … it’s one of the things I like about USA … the fact that there are tough enough anti-trust laws on the books to break up major corporations. Unfortunately, it looks like the political will to do such things again seems to be lacking. Free market, with vigorously enforced anti-monopoly laws … vigorously! … that’s my ideal.

June 23, 2005 @ 5:00 am | Comment

I notice that the China’s New Left debate is being picked up left, right and centre, even globally. Well, accordingy to Simonworld’s very latest post on the subject that is.

Also, it’s started a new Blog Wars, albeit a war built on mutual respect and underestanding! Pity.

Richard, you must be pretty pleased that you decided to blog this in the first place. You apppear to be first with the big scoop. Good to see our site doing well!!

I noticed a rough split among the debators, those living outside China prefer to look at the ‘big picture’ of quasi-capitalist, kleptocratic China and ignore the daily realities of Chinese society. They scoff at the New Left.

The China-dwellers, however, see the daily reality as well as the capitalist debate and feel that not enough is being done to address the issues of corruption, poverty, inequality etc in Chinese society. They are likely to support any organised New Left.

Both views equally valid.

I’m stil musing over both arguments and shall wait for further progress in the debate before deciding where I stand! (Hey, I never said I was exciting).

And anyway, I can’t debate like Richard and Martyn so I’ll be damned if I’m going to try!!

Good luck during Round 2 guys. The Peking Duck Posse will be standing on the touchline!!!

June 23, 2005 @ 6:50 am | Comment

Reading discussions on such topics, I just cannot keep wondering what are the hidden agendas behind lofty words?

For the new leftist, they have been around since mid 90’s. Their first forum was a well read and well circulated magazine called Du Zhu. At the time when I was still its enthusiastic reader, they regularlly publish articles that repute central government policies, like WTO and market reform. However, curiously, they managed to be not censored and kept circulating. (I don’t know its current state).

My own suspect is that, they are just a bunch of intellectuals that has been learning Marxist theory and are falling out of favor of current regime and desperately strugglling to get attention.


June 23, 2005 @ 7:57 am | Comment

It could be, Luke. The article says Hu and Wen are on their side, and we’ve seen strong evidence that Wen carries many of their convictions; we’ll have to see if it means anything.

June 23, 2005 @ 8:05 am | Comment

Tom: Laissez-faire does not lead to monopoly/oligarchy in the abscense of that wonderful/horrible creature, the joint stock corporation. Adam Smith himself was largely opposed to the corporate form for that very reason.

I myself am less and less happy with the entire corporate form as a way around the transaction costs that it seeks to ease. Partnerships, cooperatives and labor syndicates can be much less harmful ways to get around those costs, without seperating the owners and management of an entity, and thereby divorcing them from the true repercussions of their behaviours.
See Richard, one can be a good laissez-faire capitalist and still hate corporations!

June 25, 2005 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

David, I’m really proud of you. We see eye to eye on this subject.

June 25, 2005 @ 7:25 pm | Comment

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