Two Reinforcing Feedback Loops

The obvious reason is that the more a virus spreads, the more it… spreads. A virus is harder to contain when there are more people in more places who have it. On the other hand, countries that were able to contain the virus early on, are more likely to keep it that way. I want to explore a few potential feedback loops that explain why.

First take the perspective of a competent state.

First off, a competent state would directly limit/reduce disease spread thanks to fast and accurate testing, tracing infrastructure, mask/PPE availability, etc. So more state competence directly leads to less disease spread.

High state competence, and…

Pradeep Taneja

Part 2 Available Here

Rural Economic Reform

Deng was branded as a ‘capitalist roader’ as he supported some level of market forces in China’s economy.

Hua Guofeng wanted to import technology on an unprecedented scale with emphasis on heavy industry over light industry & agriculture in an ambitious (unrealistic) modernization plan. Deng sought a more balanced form of development.

Deng’s advisors supported two changes to the economy. More decision making by producers, and introducing markets to varying extents.


1949–1952: Post revolutionary land reform followed by an agricultural collectivization project.

This process of collectivization became rushed and was declared completed in 1957 years ahead…

Graham Young

Part One available here.

This summary is split up by author. This section includes the chapters written by Graham Young.

Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

“In contrast to the collapse of regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, China under Deng has remained one of the few state-socialist political systems.”

The two main goals of political reform were to reduce state intrusion into social activity, and to facilitate economic reform.

China wasn’t sure who to draw positive lessons from, liberal democracy of the west, authoritarian capitalism of S. Korea & Singapore, or the Soviet Union. …

By Colin Mackerras

1949–1978 Historical Background

The CPC came about after “a century or so of turbulence, civil war, and foreign occupation.” The CPC succeeded in redistributing hoarded wealth, improving the status of women and minorities, but not without violence especially surrounding land reform. It did so with the support of the Soviet Union and the “implacable opposition” of the US and its allies.

Mao was fixated on “changing the nature of the Chinese people altogether” to make them more cooperative, less individualistic. “Serve the People.”

I’ve been interested in learning about China’s government and economic policy for a while. Its development over the past 40 years has been historic, but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to why. China can be a somewhat difficult subject to learn about. Online discourse is a healthy combination of shallow and toxic. There is an abundance of contradictory information from sources that are motivated to the point of disqualification. Since this is a topic I have limited information on I need a neutral foundation of the basics.

In the year 2020, China is threatening to overtake the…

By Robert Paxton

I read this a while ago, maybe even before I started this blog. It doesn’t fit squarely in the theme of my blog, but I think the content is important enough to post anyway. In fact there is some discussion albeit brief of the Nazi economy.

Information is organized more by category than by chronological order. I am not including any commentary outside of adding a few extra sources that I feel bolster the information.


Fascism is complex. Mussolini originally coined the term “fascismo.”

It was a revolution of a kind never seen before, without underlying ideas, against ideas.


“All my conclusions are tentative and fragile by their very nature.”


The significant reduction of inequality that took place in the mid-twentieth century was made possible by the construction of a social state based on relative educational equality and a number of radical innovations, such as co-management in the Germanic and Nordic countries and progressive taxation in the United States and United Kingdom. The conservative revolution of the 1980s and the fall of communism interrupted this movement; the world entered a new era of self-regulated markets and quasi-sacralization of property… People have once again begun thinking about a new, more…

Rethinking the Dimensions of Political Conflict

Chapter 14 Borders & Property: The Construction of Equality

Voting Patterns over time

Education used to be associated with the right, and over time it has reversed. The young generally have always voted left.

“It is striking to note that turnout rates are linked to inequality. Turnout remains high among socially advantaged voters but declines among less advantaged voters… We find a similar gap if we use level of education, occupation, or wealth. Whatever the criterion used, we find that abstention is higher among less advantaged groups.”

The collapse of the working-class vote for socialist, communist, and social-democratic parties in Europe and for the Democrats in the United States and Labour in the…

The Great Transformation of the Twentieth Century

Chapter 10: The Crisis of Ownership Societies

Collapse of inequality from 1914–1945 was a consequence of 3 elements:

  • Emergence of Socialism
  • Twilight of Colonialism
  • Exacerbation of Nationalism/Racialism.

American inequality is comparable in scale to European inequality from 1880–1914, but its structure is different. Highest incomes in Europe came almost entirely from property whereas the highest American incomes can sometimes be from high executive salaries.

“Contrary to what interested parties would have you believe, this in no way implies that this form of inequality is more ‘just’ or ‘meritocratic’ than the other. As noted earlier, access to higher education in the United States is highly unequal, despite official…

Slave & Colonial Societies

Chapter 6 Slave Societies:

Slavery is a broad term and not all societies with slavery were the same. For example some small number of slaves served as public officials with high levels of expertise. They were considered to be less fettered by politics as they had no rights.

“In the current state of research, it would appear that the 4 million slaves exploited in the southern United States on the eve of the Civil War (1861–1865) constituted the largest concentration of slaves that ever existed.”

The strict separation of slaves and citizens in the US was the exception not the rule.

Again we see…

EconSystems Thinking

Political Economic Commentary & Analysis.

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