imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dictatorship as Economic Advantage: China's Rise

by Tobias Salander Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2005 at 9:48 PM

"Paul Samuelson questions the theory that existed for 200 years: the theory of free world trade..Wolfgang Hirn shows how China's rise to omnipotent production nation leads to de-industrialization..The 150 year old western dominance is obviously coming to its end.."


How the Chinese Ascent Changes our Life

By Tobias Salander, historian

[This article published in: Zeit-Fragen Nr.27 7/4/2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.zeit-fragen/]

China is the topic of conversation everywhere. The kingdom of the middle rises to a new superpower with effects all over the world. People in Europe are affected. The German journalist Wolfgang Hirn documents this in his new book. Solutions are sought for dealing with the challenge of a state that throws 900 million people on the world market in a slaveholder manner at the lowest wages as dumping-competition. How do we wrestle against countries for dignified work and economics? Hirn’s book is a plea for an economic order that starts from equality and human dignity, exists everywhere in the world and is in force for all people because they are people.

The situation seems to be very serious. The supposed panacea, the wonder-cure often propagated like a prayer-wheel for poverty in the world, boundless growth and universal prosperity, economic liberalism known under the names “free market economy” or “globalization” is put in question not only by the notorious globalization opponents who are becoming ever-stronger worldwide but by an economist, a Nobel Prize winner, “one of the most renowned economists of all time.” Paul Samuelson, 90-year old dean of his guild, questions the theory that persisted for 200 years: the theory of free world trade.


Proposed by Adam Smith (1723-1790) and David Ricardo (1772-1823) and refined by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), the free trade rhetoric says in a simplified way: Every country should produce the products or services that it can produce better or more inexpensively than any other country. The nations exchange these goods with each other. We all know this theory in practice has only enriched the northern hemisphere, the North and the West. We live differently today than our forefathers 150 years ago. We also know that we usually first claimed free trade for ourselves when our production sites were strong enough to enter international competition after a phase of protection by tariffs. Those who then competed against the North had the worst cards from the beginning, supplied us with resources and bought our products. Whoever rebelled was slaughtered with military force. That was the time of colonialism and imperialism. Then neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism occurred and are institutionalized today under the set of agreements of the WTO.

Despite the flaw of the system, the protectionism of the North, free trade was generally approved in our latitudes as long as it was useful to us. What happened in the world that the “grand old man” of this system before running cameras called to complete change?


Anyone who wants to become immersed in the thematic should take up the book “China as Challenge. How the Chinese Rise Changes Our Life” by Wolfgang Hirn. After studying the 250 readable pages, one will read the daily papers, above all the economic section, differently and more attentively. The columns today are full of China and its corporations that buy out ever-larger western firms ever more often. The Chinese Lenovo Corporation owns IBM’s PC-division today. The US oil company Unocal that gained world (dis-) repute through the Afghanistan war could soon be part of the China National Offshore Corporation. The large US home appliances marquee Maytag could soon trade under the name Haier from China. Aleatel and Thompson are already in Chinese ownership. The list could be continued endlessly.

Hirn, an economist and editor, offers the reader a picture of contemporary China with its history and includes critical questions. He quotes memorable remarks of Paul Samuelson. “What if one country can make nearly everything at unbeatable prices? This was not anticipated in the beautiful self-contained world of free trade theory. Paul Samuelson pointed to this weak spot by referring to the example of China. China can increasingly produce everything cheaper – from toys to computers.” (P.88)

Hirn shows how China’s rise to the “omnipotent production nation” leads to an increasing de-industrialization of former industrial states and asks: “Will history repeat itself? Earlier owing to the first industrial revolution, England and the rest of Europe and the US with a certain temporal delay rose to economic superpowers while the other non-European countries – including China and India – were marked by a dramatic decline.” (P.88)

He concludes: “The opposite seems to be happening now during the new industrial revolution of the 21st century. This time China and India are winning. The losers will be Europe and the US. The 150-year western dominance is obviously coming to its end.” (P.88)


Hirn opens the eyes of us westerners to the revolutionary consequences of free trade with a nation like China. He never represents China as a “yellow peril” or decays to the TINA-syndrome (“There Is No Alternative”), a roguish trick with which we people should become accustomed to the supposed inevitability of globalization. He is swept away by the fascination of the impressive growth figures of the Chinese economy. However he ignores that this is only possible because people must live in slave-like conditions and work at the absolutely lowest wages. He shows bluntly how capital moves freely where workers are cheapest. He speaks of the Japanese firms that closed their factories in Mexico because the Mexican workers with their 0 monthly salary earn two to three times as much as the Chinese army of millions. However the profit maximization circus is moving within China itself. Since the coastal region has already become too expensive, many firms migrate to the interior of the country where people work for half of the already very low wages of coastal dwellers.

The environment is burdened beyond all measure with pollutants just like the two American coasts today. This dictatorship stands in free competition with the national economies of the old world where unions gained rights by fighting for decades. Today these rights are subsumed as a positional disadvantage. Thus whoever wants free world trade with a dictatorship and its army of slaves of almost a billion persons will also support slave labor at home. Whoever wants profit for the sake of profit does not prune for democracy, human rights and human dignity at home.


When even a Paul Samuelson calls to complete change, which can only mean protecting one’s own economy where necessary while pursuing trade where desirable for both sides. However this can only happen on the ground of human dignity. Europe cannot abandon its hard-fought labor rights unceremoniously to compete with pitiable slave labor. But it also may not be that the North shirks its historical responsibility and its guilt in past decades and centuries. What is lined up is a reorganization of world trade, a dissolution of the unfair WTO with all its instruments of exploitation like GATS, TRIPS and so on, a strengthening of the idea of human rights and human dignity worldwide in China, Europe and America. What did Maria Mies say once? Neoliberalism means war, war against the outside and in the interior of countries, war of those above against the great majority of the population below. Still this war is man-made and can be prevented from below.


China is well on the way to the 80:20 percent society as Hirn demonstrates clearly. This is unjust in China as it is unjust in the North of the planet. However 80:20 percent societies are not natural laws but were cooked up in a dubious conference of the elites of this planet like the madness of heavy debts of the public treasury and the compound interest problem.

The large majority of people in the first world are among the best educated on this earth, well fed, medically well-provided and favored for happiness. It could be their sacred duty to assure that human dignity is not trampled on either in the first or the third world, in Switzerland or in China. A protective tariff policy with a sense of distance involves human dignity and justice, not nationalism, war and egoism. This policy also implies concern and reflection about the others, the less favored. In the heart of every individual person, there is enough room for his fellow-creatures. True happiness first appears when the neighbor next door or on the other side of the globe can also live in peace. The Swiss are called to organize the economy in Europe more justly.

* Wolfgang Hirn, Herausforderung China. How the Chinese Rise Changes our Life, Frankfurt 2005

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy