I, too have been wondering about this for some time. Perhaps, a more basic question is whether capitalism can survive let alone thrive in an authoritarian society that considers all property as belonging to the state and only loaned to members of the society. I do not believe that capitalism can survive in such an environment. Certainly, in the short term, there is and can be great success. However, at some point in time, there will be a clash between those wanting property and other rights and those determined to rule. The biggest gun will generally win such a clash.
One thing that appears to be established by the Chinese experiment is that capitalism is not a political philosophy. It is an ethical and social philosophy guiding how humans relate and trade with one another. It demands morality and fairness between the members of the society. One of the greatest challenges to capitalism is how society can regulate and control those who use the system to cheat and steal from others. Unrestrained capitalism is clearly and ideal. However, there will always be those who use deceit and Ponzi like schemes claiming to be capitalist while they are, in actuality, thieves. I wonder if an autocratic government is more or less likely to control these individuals?
answered Dec 17 '10 at 17:11