Capitalism is not the opposite of communism. China is proof that the two go together well. The Chinese government finally discovered and embraced what the Soviet, North Korean, and other hard line communist nations of the world have ignored for so long at their peril – the wonders of capitalism for growing a sustainable national economy.
Private enterprise does business better than government every time. Now they’re getting rich on a diet of capitalist communism.
But capitalism is not the same as freedom either. China is also proof that those two concepts aren’t mutually exclusive. Freedom means free markets, free association, and free thinking. So while capitalism is thriving in China, freedom still lags a long way behind.
The communist ruling class in China has learned how to get the most out of their golden goose without allowing it liberty, for individual political and social liberty would most definitely jeopardize their power.
Only recently have China's Communist rulers permitted some small degree of individual freedoms in matters of religion, but religious worship is strictly limited to government approved churches. By far, however, most Chinese Christians prefer to associate in unregistered churches, thereby exposing themselves to constant state harassment and oppression, rather than attend a state approved church.
Last week, as part of a growing crackdown across China targeting artists, lawyers, writers, freethinkers, activists and intellectuals, police arrested about 200 Christian worshippers from an unregistered church, and confiscated their cell phones, when they tried to pray outdoors at an open air public platform. There will be no First Amendment anytime soon in China.
The death penalty follows as a matter of course for scores of non-violent crimes in communist China. To their credit, though, they did recently drop capital punishment for a dozen or so non-violent offenses, and also, out of the goodness of their hearts, gave criminals over the age of 75 a reprieve.
“The revulsion is so strong that there would be a potential political cost to eliminating the death penalty for corruption,” said one Chinese official. “Because there still is a very strong sense that corrupt officials must die among the Chinese population at large.”
Well, at least they got that part right.