Please see the update below, a quote from Chris Floyd.
But it isn’t moral either. It’s an economic system that is amoral. Moral values and ethical systems can be attached to capitalism, but I don’t think they inhere in capitalism itself; they come from somewhere else. Which is why Stephen B. Young’s recent trip to China to (apparently) flog his book Moral Capitalism and his report of his trip in today’s Strib caught my eye. Early in the op-ed piece, Young makes this sad observation:
Does China's leadership really propose to replace a Western imperial order with its own "celestial" one?
Could be. I sense that part of China's leadership is coming down with "greatpoweritis."
Britain, France, German, Japan and Russia all went though bouts of this disease. Even the United States had what I would call a mild infection in the late 19th century.
You are invited, boys and girls, to consider especially that last sentence. Now, raise your hand if you’ve heard or read the term “last remaining superpower” any time in the 21st century. I see a lot of hands.
Young reports that the Chinese weren’t sufficiently deferential to him when he went to China as an evangelical of “moral capitalism.” Apparently, they went all Boxer Rebellion on poor Missionary Steve.
I was in Shanghai recently speaking at the launch of the Chinese translation of my book "Moral Capitalism." The respondent to my overview was introduced as a "businessman." But he was not just an ordinary real-estate speculator. He had what Shelley called the "sneer of cold command," the condescending bearing of a senior party cadre. His take on me was dismissive -- I was, in his words, coming from a declining, has-been power and peddling nonsense to justify a decadent cultural system inappropriate for the Chinese people. [emphasis added]
I took this in stride and gave as good as I got in this unexpected clash of civilizations in front of some 100 young Shanghai intellectuals.
His counterargument to my thesis that capitalism can be ethical and responsible was to fall back on the Chinese notion of heaven and of an emperor who presided over "all under Heaven." Since, he said, the Chinese have always believed in heaven, they have no need today to think in terms such as "globalization" or "universal values" -- a code word for human rights.
This all must have been a great shock to one of America’s great moral missionaries. Not to mention a dose of reality therapy. China certainly is the ascendant power in Asia, and maybe the world. And we have very little to teach it these days, at least economically.
You really have to ask yourself: who is the more infected with hubris, the Chinese business man or Steve Young?
Update: In a post about abuses in the microfinance “industry” in India, Chris Floyd says this:
Now here is another blatantly obvious, common-as-dirt fact: The market is designed to make money. If you rely on the market to achieve social goals -- such as the alleviation of poverty, or the provision of public services necessary for the common good -- then you will fail. And these failures [ ] will generally be catastrophic, exacerbating the problems they are intended (or purporting) to address.
Orginal post 11/12.