特 – a manifesto against special privileges

More from 乌有之乡, this time an essay on “Why is creating SEZs a logical fraud? (为什么说搞“经济特区”是一个“逻辑骗局”?)” And yes, these thoughts have been expressed before, but they really do bear repeating. And then, it’s worth applying the analysis to other, non-Chinese spheres where legal exceptionalism remains the primary form of creating competitive advantage. As the anonymous author argues, governments have made it their business to help multinationals squeeze even more out of workers.

Why is Creating SEZs a Logical Fraud?

Key point: The original purpose and core intention of creating “Special Economic Zones (SEZs)” was to explore possible paths for reforming and opening China. However, the problem appeared with the character “special (特)”. If what is being created is a “special” zone, logically speaking it isn’t relevant to ordinary life. In other words, the paths that are suitable for a “special” zone are “special paths”, and not the ordinary path of reforming and opening China.

[translation note: 法律特权 literally translates as legal privilege, however, it functions analogously to the American English concept of legal exceptions — the rules don’t apply to me — and where appropriate that is how I have translated it. In most places, however, I’ve tried to stick to “privilege”.] Continue reading