Sunday, July 19, 2009

Korea and Capitalism (Or if you prefer "Fraser Nelson is an Ignorant Tosspot")

I was reading a little piece by Fraser Nelson discussing James Purnell's leadership platform (please god no). What amused me was this little snippet:
6. But he's still stuck in that 1994 cul de sac of "Market Socialism". "It's not a phrase that is ever going to inspire a political movement but it does capture a lot of what I believe – that markets are a good means to spread power and create innovation but they can be yoked to leftwing goals and not to capitalism." This is a well-worn staging post on people's journey to conservatism. If he does enough research at Demos, he'll come to realise that "leftwing goals" -ie, fairness, poverty reduction, etc - can never be achieved by leftwing means. This is the great tragedy of leftism: all that energy expended by all those well-meaning people, all wasted. Such goals are best achieved by capitalism. Ask China. Or Korea.
I'm amazed that this kind of drivel is what passes as "Champagne for the Brain" among rightwingers. Capitalism has come in many flavours, Korea's for example involved quite heavy use of measures that many might think rather left wing. Take this little snippet from "Industrial Policy in Action - The Case of Korea", a chapter in this book:
As soon as it came to power the Park regime moved swiftly to prepare the institutional grounds for a political-economic agenda. One of the first moves was to nationalize all the banks and thereby gain control of the financial flows in the economy.
Need I say more?

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