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The China Conundrum

I’m sure you remember a time, not long ago, when western companies were falling over themselves to outsource to India & China.

This was mostly because of what the bean-counters call labour arbitrage, often sweetened further by ultra low corporate tax rates.

The choice of India v China soon became one of quality v security. Even then, the obvious risks of moving critical production or research to a communist country were mysteriously ignored.

Greed short-circuited common sense on a spectacular scale. Living proof of the perils of letting the accountants call the shots.

You might argue that the transfer of labour and intellectual property is just a part of the natural levelling of economic power which would have happened any way in time and perhaps a good thing.

If modern China was maturing into any kind of recognisable democracy this might be valid. But state communism diminishes human freedoms, reducing the species to mere biological robots.

Their response to this criticism is to point to the many flaws in capitalist countries, with their inequality and exploitation. They argue that the apparatus of democracy is a sham and that, in fact, their alternative model offers greater genuine equality for the masses than what is on offer in the west.

That discussion is really about materialism. On that level, they may even be right. But the human species deserves to live beyond the material.

This confrontation is in full flow in Infinite State, the final part of my Infinity Trilogy. At stake is the survival of the human spirit, that messy chaotic thing most feared in the Great Hall of the People and the Kremlin. Infinite State is available now from Amazon. Click here for details.

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