“The Greatest Death Camp in the History of the World”

Lew Rockwell puts together a nicely comprehensive overview (is that an oxymoron?) of China’s history. Take the 10 or 15 minutes to read it, and become, as Lew says, part of "a tiny elite that know anything about [China as a death camp]."

The sheer scale of the thing makes even the Soviet Union look benign, and we know that’s not true.

And yes, I have been cheerleading for China lately; and that’s because the people who perpetrated and perpetuated these atrocities are largely dead or no longer in a position to do what they did, anymore. And, there are now hundreds of millions in China born in the last two decades who know nothing of this and bear no culpability — if it can even be said that anyone subject to such insanity — such capricious and malevolent brutality — could bear any moral culpability for anything they did. A human being must have at least an environment conducive to human goodness. When human goodness is rendered impossible because there’s no ability to choose good over evil because there is only evil to choose from, humanity has vanished and we’re simply talking about non-cognitive animals operating on gut urges to eek out a survival any way they can.

This was no less than the near destruction of a rich ancient
civilization and culture; and all the evidence tells me that
civilization, culture, and the possibility of human goodness is on the
swift and sure rise in China. As such, there is simply no rational alternative to redemption, which, while falling far short of the explicit seeking of it I’d like, is nonetheless implicit in their actions today and the swift changes they’ve been making. Some call for their pounds or tons
of flesh in retribution, or they strive against all reason to advocate
trade policies dictated from above: clearly motivated by a desire to keep China down
economically so they don’t become a military threat or whatever else it is they fear about them. That’s not
going to happen; and since it’s not going to happen, the very best
defense is to encourage trade and the individual prosperity in China that’s resulting from it.

You’ve heard it here, and I’ll say it again: China is going to surprise all of you, and it’s going to surprise you in terms of individual and economic freedom
to produce unlike anything known in America for a few generations.
Within a couple of decades, we will be to China what Western Europe was
to America for so long: second-rate economic powers who couldn’t even defend themselves. These are smart people at
work and they understand quite clearly that America is America’s worst
enemy — and we just perpetuate it every time we step into a voting
booth because some guy promises to knock the shit out of someone else
so we can benefit.

There’s one way to stay ahead of China, and that is to remove virtually all (I said all) regulation on business and virtually all taxation on business and individual productivity. Take a look here (2000), and then here (2005). See that? Now take a look at this. Now do the math. They have five times our population and many times our natural resources. Five times our productive capacity, and while we cruise along at our 2-3% per year growth that’s not 10% or more purely because politicians will kick the shit out of people ’cause you’d like to, but don’t want to get your hands dirty; and so you’ll vote for them and they’ll come through for you. You never get the results you want, of course, but you get half: at least they do kick the shit out of people; and the only people they kick the shit out of are the productive ones, because there’s no "glory" where there’s no booty.

If the relationship remains linear, which I doubt it will for a lot of different reasons, China overtakes America in around 2030 as the world’s economic powerhouse. Imagine that headline: U.S. second in productivity behind China. Maybe then people will understand that you don’t beat them by trying to tie one arm behind their backs with trade policy from on high. But I won’t hold my breath.

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  1. Richard Nikoley on July 22, 2007 at 10:55


    First, I think it's appropriate to make some distinctions. I'm as guilty as anyone in blurring distinctions when I rant against our home crop of "commies." But while the underlying principles are the same everywhere (here and there; which is what I and guys like me are getting at when we say such things), actions count for a lot. So it's appropriate to make that distinction. They aren't exporting food and starving their people any longer, in order to try to convince the world that communism is just peachy and viable. And they aren't doing a whole lot of things they used to do. I do not understand how anyone can not consider that a very important (good) development.

    But I see no reason to think that their economic prosperity will root out communist or collectivist premises there — any more than it has done so here.

    It's also important to understand that in terms of politics, we always had some of these premises in place. I think the reason Americans enjoyed the economic freedom they once did is more for practical reasons than philosophical ones; not entirely, as there is that American spirit that's important, but I don't think there was ever a time when some "authority" literally had no "right" or means to take you down if they really wanted to "justify" it.

    I think there's a Chinese spirit too, that's perhaps unlike anything else we've ever seen. You can see it when you look at Hong Kong and Taiwan, huge economic powerhouses, both with the very most economic freedom anywhere on Earth.

    It's an odd thing, and in some respects, American in character. There was a time in this country where we were poor enough that we had no time for anything but producing. Now, we're fat and happy, and we have all the time in the world to mind other people's business. The Chinese don't have that luxury, yet, so they're just furiously producing.

    If you notice from those GDP figures I linked, per capita is $38 for each American and $1 for each Chinese. The Chinese have a hell of a long way to go before they're rich enough to take time to care about how Michael Vick treats dogs, who Paris Hilton is seeing, or how you are destroying your own health and need to be stopped.

    I'll tell you what, though. After five years living in Japan, I found Asians, in general and on a personal level, to be the most non-nosy people I've ever met. That might bode well. And while they are as stupid as we are about personal drug use, they don't much care about personal sexual proclivities (especially if it's out of plain sight), so that accounts for a difference of billions of GDP they'll probably never be stupid enough to steal and spend.

    In short, I expect they're going to have a period of "wild west 'freedom,'" such as we enjoyed, and then when they're rich enough, they'll start spending their free time minding other people's business, "caring" about animals and the environment, and trying to mold a new world in their image, just as we're doing today.

  2. James Pruitt on July 22, 2007 at 06:51

    It is an amazing thing to behold, that's for sure. I was there about 10 years ago and marveled at all the construction and growth just as much as I was amazed at all the filth and pollution. I am eager to return to see how things have changed.

    Rest assured, I am on record that my two sons (7 & 5) WILL learn about the culture and language. As I've told them, the American who understands the people and knows the language will be valuable indeed.

    Even if we slip to second we'll still be a major player in world economics and a huge trader with their country. That is if haven't completely destroyed ourselves so that no one would need or want to trade with us.

  3. John Venlet on July 22, 2007 at 10:05

    You've heard it here, and I'll say it again: China is going to surprise all of you, and it's going to surprise you in terms of individual and economic freedom to produce unlike anything known in America for a few generations.

    Richard, what form of individual freedom, beyond the free market, do you think is arising in China, and, do you think this individual freedom will supplant communism in China completely?

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