Steve Barber: Australia must re-industrialise our economy

Steve Barber, We must re-industrialise our economy
The lesson for the Western political and ruling elites from China’s economic success story is that we have to actively decide what sort of economy and society we want, and promote it with appropriate government policies, just as China has successfully done. Otherwise, left to the free market alone, the deadly combination of ‘ponzi-financialisation’, deindustrialisation and consumerism, comprising the most significant downsides of neoliberal economics, mean that we are precipitating our own decline and facilitating the rise of China at the expense of our economic security and foreign policy.

The ultimate price that we will pay in the West, especially in the U.S. and Australia, for allowing ourselves to become economically weakened is for China to increasingly dominate the Asia-Pacific region, in a foreign policy sense, as a corollary of its economic strength. Numerous authors have been documenting this increasing foreign policy shift, involving both soft and hard power. Joshua Kurlantzick has noted that the rapidly growing economic power of the Chinese economic model has enabled it to flex its foreign policy muscles to the extent that “it may already be the pre-eminent power in parts of Asia and Africa”.

Therefore, there is an imperative to reverse deindustrialisation in the Anglo economies...

... the deindustrialisation process wrought by ‘Millennial Capitalism’ is now rapidly accelerating, and ... this is exacerbating the ‘break point’ between the mainstream voter and the neoconservative and neoliberal elites.
Many punters agree ...

Australians fear war with China, says Lowy Institute survey
ALMOST half of Australians believe that China will become a military threat to Australia within 20 years, prompting record support for the US alliance.

According to the 2010 Lowy Institute foreign policy poll, 46 per cent of people think China will be a threat, with 19 per cent of them rating the possibility as "very likely"....

57 per cent said the Government had allowed too much investment from China, and 69 per cent said China's aim was to dominate Asia.

Of those surveyed, 55 per cent wanted Australia to join with other countries to limit China's influence.
Hu's an Economic Threat?
Americans see more economic threat than opportunity in China, and divide almost evenly on whether they regard it as a friendly or unfriendly nation – results that underscore the challenging nature of relations between the two powers.

With President Hu Jintao visiting the United States ... an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that 47 percent of Americans see China as a friendly nation, while 44 percent regard it as unfriendly. Personal views tip the other way – 42 percent say their own opinion of China is favorable overall, 49 percent unfavorable.
File under: exacerbating the ‘break point’.


  1. What's dumber: trade with China or Muslim immigration? China is the bigger threat. It's nuts to keep making them rich.

  2. Yep. A Muslim population can largely be isolated and contained if/when it goes rogue. A military machine like China is a far more dangerous threat.

  3. Are these the same "political and ruling elites" that sold (sell) us down the drain and you now call upon to save us? Save it Steve. Agree with your sentiments though.