Imagine instead of a democracy where legislation is hammered out, compromised and bastardized from its original form and intent to the point that it is so watered down that its rendered impotent, you have a dictatorship that says,
“We’re doing this.”
End of discussion, no if, ands or buts, just
“We’re doing this.”
Now, of course, most dictatorships are inept, with its primary goal of serving those in power, and thusly the people suffer.
However, every once in a while a dictatorship might get its head out of its ass and start making smart decisions.
China is one such example.
And having learned its lessons from Mao’s Great Leap (ahem) “Forward” modern day (ahem) “Communist” leaders in China are starting to implement free market reforms, yet at the same time still have dictatorial control.
This results in a bevy of decisions that at times, despite being for democracy, I can only envy.
For example China decided it would build a fence on its border with North Korea.
No if and or buts, no ACLU whining and complaining, no Mexican diplomats going to the UN to file a law suit.
Just China saying, “We’re building a fence.”
Meanwhile it took Bush, what, 6 years to get us to AGREE to build the fence? China within 1 month had decided and started on construction.
The Three Gorges Damn is another one I just sit in awe of.
“We’re building the world’s larger damn that will be five times the size of the Hoover dam, displacing several million people and you’re going to shut the hell up and like it.”
No, it’s not open for negotiation, no, we’re not going to listen to the Sierra Club, no we’re not going to compromise the design or change it to satisfy some small group of fishermen on the river.
We’re building the dam and that is final.
Or one that I am truly envious of, for it is the fastest way to reallocate your resources to more efficient production and thereby boost your economic growth incredibly quick, when China lays off HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of workers from its State Owned Enterprises. Meanwhile here in the US we lament, practically go into mourning at the loss of 400 jobs at the local obsolete factory.
So you could imagine my dark and grudging respect for our Chinese competitors when they decided,
“Hey, we’re building the world’s biggest subway system.”
Never in a million years could we pull that off here as no doubt a bevy of environmentalist groups would handcuff the development of such a public transportation project, no matter how beneficial, not to mention it would be gerrymandered in such a way that it would be of marginal public use.
Alas, it seems China has happened upon the rare and magical formula of not only being a dictatorship, but one that makes the right decisions (most of time) for its people, allowing for very efficient and effective decision making and implementation that leaves most democracies in the dust. And no doubt such fast and expeditious decision making on the part of the government manifests itself in the 12% real GDP growth they seemed to manage each year.
Now, I know, I know, inevitably the system will collapse. Some dictator who isn’t benevolent or as economically savvy (as say, Zhu Rongji) will come in and have the system in place to wreak havoc upon the masses like Mao. And I’d still prefer a dysfunctional democracy over what they have. But for now they seem to have the best game in the business.