Matt On China, Is Bad On China

In my travels through the internet I’ve come across a lot written on China. This is a prime example of it; it’s from a blog called Matt On China[1]:

“I’d like to pause for a moment to reflect on these two criticisms: indebted to banks; and dependent on migrant workers without equal rights. Sound familiar? If you live in the United States then it should, because essentially you live in a giant Nanjie, but without the benefits. It’s interesting that such parallels can be drawn between a traditional communist village in central China and the world’s foremost capitalist nation. In this respect, Nanjie tells us less about different political systems and economic models, and more about human nature. It seems that no matter the circumstances or conditions, the incompetence of humans will bring about the same results: corruption; inequality; and exploitation.”

This paragraph is a complete mess.

I was able to find an actual source for the claim of being greatly in debt.[2] Perhaps it would have collapsed under the weight of this “massive debt” by now? Notice how the 2011 and 2012 articles shows it’s still using a commune like system. I going to go ahead and take this claim of a supposed “massive debt” as baseless. In actuality “it’s true Nanjie has a 1.7-billion-yuan debt, but it’s also true it has assets of 900 million yuan. So it is “nowhere near” bankruptcy.”

This is all from 2008, so by the fact that it is still here and operating, then they must be doing something right and surviving.

Even if this debt existed, it is completely illogical to think human nature had anything to do with it. Exactly how does human nature correspond to being “indebted to banks”? If a business owner is going about his producing when a global recession hits, he is unable to make profits and begin to go into debt in order to try and keeping going and survive the recession. Exactly how is the businessman responsible for going into debt? The circumstances were caused by market forces well beyond his ability to control, or even maybe even be able to see coming?

If a business takes out a loan to begin production and does not sell its product making a profit, then therefore it went into debt because of human nature. By this idiotic logic, anyone who isn’t in debt therefore isn’t human.

What he’s saying is absolute nonsense. What does human nature have to do with debt? Debt is a recent historical development that originated with commodity societies, which are recent modes of production. Rights are also a recent development. Migrant workers exist because there are several nation states. Guess what? These are also modern developments. Nanjie and the United States are both economic organizations that operate under the same logic of the market. Moreover, you only have 2 common points between the US and Nanjie, while I could find dozens points of divergence, so this is a false affinity.

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[1] Matt On China, The Last Maoist Village in China http://mattonchina.com/2012/07/04/the-last-maoist-village-in-china/

[2] China Daily, The village and the controversy http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/30years/2008-11/18/content_7215934.htm

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