Friday, January 18, 2008

Illiberal capitalism

The Financial Times is hosting a live online Q&A with Dr. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the FT's own Gideon Rachman on January 22 on the topic of "illiberal capitalism."

So, what is this "illiberal capitalism"? Rachman describes it as a marriage of capitalism with a large state role in the economy. It also consists of economic liberalization without accompanying political freedoms. Perestroika without Glasnost. And as more "communist" countries enter the global economy, it becomes a much more prevalent model, e.g. Vietnam.

So while this is not technically a legal post, it does remind me that states are people too. What I mean is, like a corporation, a state is a legal person, able to have actions attributed to it, and to have social and economic priorities that it acts on in the marketplace. This is the point that gets lost at times in U.S. domestic politics, and is also the point that people are freaking out about when state investment companies start throwing money into U.S. banks.

It's Pebble Beach all over again.

No comments: