Hedge Fund CIO: "To Maintain Control, Government Must Instill Fear While Delivering Economic Growth"
By Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management
“Since the outbreak of the epidemic, we have always put people first and life first, adhered to scientific and precise prevention and control, optimized and adjusted prevention and control measures according to the time and situation, and maximized the protection of people’s lives and health,” said Xi Jinping, in a New Year’s address to his restive subjects, who had finally had enough and took to the streets, risking revolution.
“After arduous efforts, we have overcome unprecedented difficulties and challenges,” added Xi, surely awed by the power of one man atop a vast security apparatus to hold a nation of 1.4bln under lockdown, a testament to the overwhelming power of a modern surveillance state. In the history of humanity, no such thing had ever been attempted.
But it occurred in China of course, a nation where every so often a remarkable social/economic experiment takes place on a scale that is incomprehensible to the western mind. Its Great Leap Forward from 1958-62 led to many unexpected outcomes, one of which was the starvation of 40-50mm Chinese. The one-child policy from 1980-2015 was history’s greatest social experiment. No more brothers, no sisters, no aunts, no uncles. A generation of “missing women” has left today’s China with 723mm boys and just 689mm girls.
“While it is still a struggle, everyone is working hard with perseverance, and the dawn is ahead,” said President Xi to his nation of lonely, mostly only-children, emerging from the psychological torture of lockdown.
How such things manifest is anyone’s guess, the outcome of each grand experiment interweaving, compounding, echoing through generations.
Of course, it’s not all for the worse. No nation in history has lifted so many from extreme poverty, even if was in part self-inflicted. And through it all, amongst the key lessons learned, one is that to maintain control, the government must instill fear while delivering economic growth.
So having just discovered the limit of its ability to lockdown its people, the time has come to give them economic growth. “Let’s work harder, persistence means victory, and unity means victory,” said Xi Jinping, to his nation, humanity’s remarkable experiment.