Re: China, the Free-Market & Freedom?

Steve Pruitt (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 12:38:37 -0600

> Steve Pruitt <> writes:
> > One thing that has some people worried is China becoming a huge
> > consumerist nation.

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> This is very widespread idea, but there is something wrong with it. If
> all chinese used cars, then they would not afford gasoline - or they
> would have to find a cheaper substitute. Overall I think this fear is
> based on linear extrapolation: if we have a certain standard of living
> producing a certain level of pollution, then if X times us chinese
> have the same standard they will produce X times as much
> pollution. The fallacy is the assumption that they develop *identical*
> systems, without learning anything from mistakes and without trying to
> improve them.
> "But Grog, if there really will be *millions* of people in the future
> as you say, then there won't be enough caves, and their cooking-fires
> will produce so much smoke that it will cause a new ice age."
> This seems unlikely, the chinese seem to be quite good at modifying
> foreign ideas for their own use. Advanced technology as a rule is less
> polluting than less advanced, so it would be a good thing
> environmentally speaking to encourage the chinese to use the most
> efficient methods available, giving/selling them our know-how.

This would be great in an ideal world. But, look who is trying to sell
the Chinese the infrastructure.
It seems to be the same folks who have hugely vested interest in the
status quo. I only follow this subject
in the detail provided by the likes of Business Week. But, I believe
this could be problematic; despite it
being linear extropolation. It certainly would be nice if it were not