Even to ask shows an ignorance beyond all understanding

I have seen some pretty disgraceful things since the election, but this must rise to the top. This is from The Economist Intelligence Unit, sent to me by an undercover agent who will remain unknown, but does have my thanks. Even to raise the question is near enough beyond the pale – Do you think China has a better system for political transition than the US? – but the fellow who has asked it, their Chief Economist, must at least entertain the idea as a possibility, if it is not actually his own personal belief. Assuming this is not a parody or “fake news”, if you were ever in doubt of the necessity in electing Trump as president, have doubts no more.

From Our Chief Economist
Not an election
November 24th 2016

After the recent surprises brought about by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, many are questioning whether democracy is an effective system. In last year’s edition of our annual Democracy Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s analysts identified public anxiety as a stress point for democracies in 2016 (watch out for the next edition of the Democracy Index, due in January). For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), electoral travails in some of the world’s leading democracies provide succour and reinforce its message to the people of China that democracy is not desirable. However, there is no avoiding messy politics; it is just a matter of the means through which it happens and to what extent it does so in public view.

China has its own messy elections. Fluid power alliances within the CCP, combined with certain set-piece events, fulfil a role similar to multi-party electoral processes in democracies. One critical such event is the reshuffling of the politburo, which will take place at the end of 2017. Just as in the US election, punditry here is based on speculation and gossip, along with occasional facts. The CCP election process can be just as messy as a democratic election, and China is not immune to the risk of unexpected outcomes.

Do you think China has a better system for political transition than the US? [My bolding.] How might the leadership changes affect your business? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @Baptist_Simon or email on [email protected].
Best regards,


Simon Baptist
Chief Economist

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43 Responses to Even to ask shows an ignorance beyond all understanding

  1. Stackja says:

    Red China got Mao, recently got Xi, none was elected. Commissars selected them.
    Opponents disappeared.

  2. Tezza says:

    Well, since Simon asked and we have his e-mail, let’s give him our thoughts!

  3. H B Bear says:

    LOL The Economist has finally come out of the closet. What took ’em so long?

    Nice work comrades.

  4. Roger says:

    Well, since Simon asked and we have his e-mail, let’s give him our thoughts!

    Yes, tell him what you think.

  5. LGS says:

    After the recent surprises brought about by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, many are questioning whether democracy is an effective system.

    And only a lefty sook would ask such a question after he doesn’t get his way.

  6. Gab says:

    Shorter Simon: Communism is great and this time we’ll get it right!

  7. mosomoso says:

    As with Japan in the 80s and the Tigers in the 90s, economic experts and “Asia hands” will tell us how China has THE system.

    Later they’ll tell us why it wasn’t so. (With luck, China won’t do its civil mega-war thing by way a “transition”.) Then someone like Paul Krugman will get a Nobel for knowing what every cab driver and bar fly knew.

    One thing’s for sure: the European model of bureaucrats and technocrats owned by lobbyists is an absolute turkey.

    It’s enough to make even democracy look good, isn’t it?

  8. Richard H says:

    Sorry, Steve, it’s not “ignorance beyond all understanding”.

    It’s moral depravity beyond all redemption.

  9. Muddy says:

    Does this depend on their definition of ‘effective?’ Sure, I’m not overly economically literate, but how many words and concepts have been appropriated and redefined in the past few decades? Effective for whom?

  10. bemused says:

    Will wonders never cease?

  11. wozzup says:

    I think what this dude really means is this.

    China is a socialist country. It has a system for government “transition” that is designed to ensure that there is no real transition – that after the “transition” China will still be a socialist country, run by the usual suspects in the usual way. And of course that’s what the Left in the USA wants for USA – Obama mark 1 goes, with a transition that is purpose designed to ensure that it is smoothly followed by Obama mark 2/3/4/5 ad infinitum.

    I can perfectly well see how a lefty would think democracy is too messy, but in a democracy it somehow misses the point. That is – in a free democracy the people decide who gets to form government, but in a socialist country the government NEVER changes (only the actors who play the parts might change but often that’s a set up too). I am reminded here of the old joke about an Eastern European country where a government figure stated that the difference between democracy and communism is that in a democracy if they are unhappy the people change the government. In a communist state if the government is unhappy they change the people.

    The bottom line, proven yet again, is that the Left has never been big on democracy / popular elections and given their way would do away with them. The point being that you do not need elections when you are the one who has the guns – put only a little more bluntly by Mao when he said “power comes from the barrel of a gun”. He knew whereof he spoke (and he meant it).

  12. Rabz says:

    The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

  13. Rabz says:

    questioning whether democracy is an effective system

    If you’re an idiot who prefers to be unburdened by those pesky “facts” and the historical record, that is.

    Beyond parody (again).

  14. Bought and paid for.

    The long march through the institutions continues.

  15. Driftforge says:

    Do you think China has a better system for political transition than the US?

    China’s is getting better. The U.S is getting worse.

    It’s really only a question of when. Democracy and its inherent leftward ratchet is a pretty high price to pay for ‘less messy transitions’. If you aren’t getting ‘less messy transitions’ — and at some point they won’t be — why bother paying the toll?

  16. Baa Humbug says:

    Riccardo Bosi
    #2218345, posted on November 24, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Bought and paid for.

    The long march through the institutions continues.

    Exactly.
    I do not trust anyone under 50 years of age in any institution. There is a better than even chance that they have been brainwashed by their socialist Marxist professors.

  17. Leo G says:

    Do you think China has a better system for political transition than the US?

    At least the engine for moving the US from democratic to dictatorial has a proven capacity to travel a great distance in the other direction.

  18. duncanm says:

    well – I guess in one sense he’s right. Sending your old guard off to the gulags is ‘neater’.

  19. duncanm says:

    Messiness in democracy is a feature, not a bug.

  20. H B Bear says:

    The long march through the institutions continues.

    Not sure The Economist counts as an institution. Unless you mean like a looney bin institution, in which case who would disagree?

  21. Pedro the Ignorant says:

    FMD.
    Did the Cold War really happen or did I just imagine it all?

    This has to be a pisstake from this fool.

  22. Art Vandelay says:

    The long march through the institutions continues.

    I gave up on the Economist about 15-20 years ago when the socialists and Keynesians took over. The Economist Intelligence Unit held out against much of the socialist idiocy for a while, but it was only a matter of time before they degenerated too.

  23. LeChiffre says:

    I had to block The Economist on twitter.
    Non-stop big government left Socialist Just Wankerdom.

  24. duncanm says:

    Did the Cold War really happen or did I just imagine it all?

    these days, if you’re under the age of 30 or so, the answer is ‘what’s a cold war’ ?

  25. bemused says:

    these days, if you’re under the age of 30 or so, the answer is ‘what’s a cold war’ ?

    Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer in Victoria lately.

  26. Cannibal says:

    …if you’re under the age of 30 or so, the answer is ‘what’s a cold war’ ?

    Is history still taught in schools any more ? (exception being the noble savage narrative)

  27. Jannie says:

    China has been going downward ever since the great helmsman passed on to eternal glory in socialist heaven. That Deng rightist capitalist roader has ruined a good workers paradise. You just can’t rely on the Chinese anymore.

  28. Paul Farmer says:

    I am with Art Vandelay………….when I was younger and at Uni doing my undergrad in finance and economics I read it. It is now just wall to wall Keynesian drivel with the antidote to all problems just shock horror surprise ………..more government spending. Like you Art I stopped reading it about 15 years ago . I used to put it up on a pedestal with Nat Geo which I loved too. Unfortunately I had to give that up also as the incessant crapping on about global warming in that publication stopped being scientific and was just propaganda from about the time Al Gore appeared on the scene. It seems every mainstream source of information has moved significantly to the left…………..guess its why we all hand out here now ………….lol 🙂

  29. MickofBrisbane says:

    In last year’s edition of our annual Democracy Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s analysts identified public anxiety as a stress point for democracies in 2016 .

    and

    For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), electoral travails in some of the world’s leading democracies provide succour and reinforce its message to the people of China that democracy is not desirable.

    Well of course. The left use the same propaganda techniques whether in China or the West so that their sheeple are opposed to the ideas of others. The only difference is that a greater percentage of the Chinese population has been beaten/indoctrinated into submission than that of the West.

    But something tells me that the term, and importance of, public anxiety may become a prominent feature of future political discussion — because exploding heads.

  30. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I stopped reading the Ecommunist decades ago.

  31. MickofBrisbane says:

    I should have added: because the left feel they’ve had good results in shutting down debate, because feelings, they may as well give it a go in elections.

  32. MickofBrisbane says:

    Perhaps now is the time for the US government to call an end to public anxiety inducing democracy. To let it go on for another minute would be just cruel.

  33. Chester Draws says:

    I teach kids born in 2002. At high school.

    Yes, the Cold War is ancient history them. Some have parents who don’t remember the Berlin Wall coming down.

  34. Rob says:

    #2218446, posted on November 24, 2016 at 7:45 pm
    I teach kids born in 2002. At high school.

    Yes, the Cold War is ancient history them. Some have parents who don’t remember the Berlin Wall coming down.

    Most of the readers of the cat don’t have parents old enough to remember when The Economist wasn’t full of shit.

  35. Siltstone says:

    I stopped reading the Ecommunist decades ago.

    Ditto.

    The manager of The Economist Group, (“Lady”) Lynn Forester de Rothschild, wrote to the matriarch of the Clinton Crime Family in 2010 and signed off “I remain your loyal adoring pal” (Wikileaks link below). That sentiment was very evident in The Economist in the lead up to November 8 and since. As Sinc implies, it has been a useless publication for ages, I think since the 1990’s.

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/250

  36. Rob says:

    I hope that the Trump administration reacts appropriately to ease Mr Baptist’s concerns. If Baptist is in the US, he should be deported to China with the Chinese informed that he is a dissident to ensure that he gets to appreciate all the benefits of an authoritarian government.
    To ease the transition, Trump should continue with the drone strikes and The Economist Intelligence Unit would be legitimate target.

  37. JohnA says:

    The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Let’s re-punctuate that:

    The Economist. Intelligence? U nit!

    After the recent surprises brought about by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, many are questioning whether democracy is an effective system.

    The key question is: “effective” towards what goal/s? And Whose goals?

  38. RobK says:

    The Economist went the way of The Scientific American magazine in the mid 2000s. I had subscribed to both for over three decades but found them increasingly less pleasurable to read as the global warming frenzy took over.

  39. …if you’re under the age of 30 or so, the answer is ‘what’s a cold war’ ?

    Is history still taught in schools any more ? (exception being the noble savage narrative)

    Discovered yesterday that some staff at my place, Australians, with an interest in politics & stuff, had no idea that the Australian government had been sacked by the G-G.

    They looked at me with an expression no different to if I’d told them Russell Crowe was actually Kylie Minogue in disguise.

    So dismissive were they of my ridiculous suggestion that they didn’t even bother to google it. “Same day as Remembrance Day, yeah right boss, pretty funny”

    I supposed there’s only so much time in a school day, and those Sodomy lessons won’t teach themselves.

  40. Sergio Adrián says:

    If the world were not on the verge of destruction, your reflections might be worth something. It is time for comments to be more objective. Trump will show cheap politicians how social issues are solved, i.e. Do politics

  41. J.H. says:

    China is an authoritarian communist regime. In most ways its political structure and ideology is an obscenity to liberalists and all free enterprising people….. We probably shouldn’t even be doing business with them anymore…… Trump certainly thinks so.

    The Chinese were granted access to our Western global markets to encourage political reform…. They went right ahead and grew their industrial and military complexes to heights they could only dream about before. All done at our expense, or rather at America’s expense, as Trump has pointed out.

    But with all that, they haven’t come through with any real political reform… and they won’t.

    With China, Putin’s Russia, Iran’s nukes and the Socialist EU with it’s Muslim invasion….. It’s going to be an interesting few years ahead.

  42. duncanm says:

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

    George Santayana

  43. Crossie says:

    Over at the Guardian Tony Blair is suggesting that if Brexit negotiations with EU become too difficult the Brits should just give up and stay. I would have thought EU’s recalcitrance would be even more reason to leave.

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