NO ANCIENT WISDOM, NO FOLLOWERS
THE CHALLENGES OF CHINESE AUTHORITARIAN CAPITALISM
Tom Ashbrook from NPR’s On Point discusses the book with James McGregor in a one-hour interview, “China Slows”
The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time interviews McGregor about the book in “Eight Questions: James McGregor, ‘No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers”
The Wall Street Journal Assistant Managing Editor John Bussey discusses the book in “Tackling the Many Dangers of China’s State Capitalism”
In three decades, China has risen from near collapse to a powerhouse–upending policy and business conventions across the globe. China is now the second largest economy, the second largest exporter, and a manufacturing machine that has lifted 500 million from poverty while producing more than one million U.S. dollar millionaires.
Then why do China’s leaders describe their economic model as “unstable” and “unsustainable”? Because it is.
In this highly readable book, James McGregor offers extensive new research that pulls back the curtain on China’s economic power. He describes the much-vaunted “China Model” as one of authoritarian capitalism, a unique system that must be radically overhauled for the country to continue its march toward prosperity. The system is proving incompatible with global trade and business governance, and relying on an outdated investment and export model that’s running out of steam.
The nation must consume more of what it makes. It must learn to innovate. It must unleash private enterprise. And Communist Party bosses must cede their pervasive and smothering hold on economic power to foster the growth, and thus social stability, that they can’t survive without.
As a Tang Dynasty official lamented, China has: “No ancient wisdom, no followers.” He was describing how the empire was headed alone into dangerous and unchartered waters without any precedent for guidance.
And today–as McGregor makes clear–this is China’s greatest challenge.