This is absolutely beautiful:
“Politically speaking, most people think China should look more like Canada. But one day, perhaps, we will hope that Canada looks more like China.”
The excerpt does not come from some crazy maoist or leftist rag: it comes from a full page article, titled “The Chinese Confucian Party?”, published today in none other than the Globe&Mail, Canada’s conservative news juggernaut.
The article describes how young CPC cadres are increasingly abandoning whatever scraps of Marxism still survive in China in favor of “traditional Confucian values”, which were anathema in the days of Mao. And how these values can provide a more robust political framework than “Western” democracy: instead of elections, exams; instead of representation, meritocracy.
So, while China is rapidly sliding towards fascism proper, conservatives in the West are looking towards this new and emergent “Asian values capitalism” with awe. They are not stupid of course: the veil of Confucianism, “meritocracy” and “traditional values” barely manages to conceal that Capitalism reigns supreme in a political climate that takes care of all the nuisances that persist in the liberal democracies, things like unions, labor rights, environmentalism, democracy and other such “unnecessary baggage”.
Slavoj Zizek has been talking about that for quite a while now. Here’s an example from his interview with Amy Goodman:
[…] it still looks that we have two models now which are in competition, if I simplify the analysis very much: the Anglo-Saxon liberal market model and what we poetically call capitalism with Asian values, which means authoritarian capitalism. This is what every leftist, as I repeat it, should worry about, because let’s concede to the devil what belongs to the devil. Wasn’t it that, ’til recently -I’m sorry to tell you again, as a strange communist, you will say- there was one good argument for capitalism? It may have been that capitalism needed dictatorship for ten, twenty years -Chile, South Korea- but when things started to move, capitalism always engendered a push toward some kind of democracy. No longer. I claim that what is now emerging in the Far East started -it started in Singapore, this kind of so-called, again, authoritarian capitalism. I think something new is emerging: a capitalism even more dynamic than our own, but which, even in long term, doesn’t need democracy.