Magazine May 20, 2019, Issue

‘Chinese Capitalism’ Is an Oxymoron

China’s president Xi Jinping meets with members of the Chinese delegation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 1, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters )
What Beijing rules over is not a market economy

In his classic 1967 book Modern Capitalism: The Changing Balance of Public and Private Power, Andrew Shonfield tried to make sense of the distinctly different flavors of capitalism that evolved in the post-war era: the German model, where large banks played a key role in allocating investment; the Italian model of public–private ownership of key industries; the French model of indicative planning; the Japanese model of state-led industrial policy; and the American and British models of largely free-market, laissez-faire capitalism, albeit leavened with a growing social-welfare state.

He concluded that, notwithstanding their differences, advanced capitalist economies share basic convictions, including that

This article appears as “‘Chinese Capitalism’ Is An Oxymoron ” in the May 20, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Robert D. Atkinson — Mr. Atkinson is the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and a co-author, with Michael Lind, of Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business.

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In Defense of Markets

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The Week

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