At a recent Brookings/Caixin dinner, I met James Dorn of the Cato Institute, where he serves as vice president for academic affairs, editor of the Cato Journal, and director of Cato’s annual monetary conference. We had a brief but intriguing conversation, and this led me to investigate Dr. Dorn’s writings.
Among the many excellent pieces, I was especially struck by ‘China’s Dilemma: Power vs Freedom.’ In it, Dr. Dorn contends:
China’s dilemma is that if the CCP wants to improve the quality of life, it must allow greater freedom of choice, but that will threaten its monopoly on power — thus the struggle between power and freedom. Ai Weiwei, perhaps China’s most famous dissident, aptly notes, “In a society like this there is no negotiation, no discussion, except to tell you that power can crush you.”
What China needs most is not democracy but limited government and the rule of law. That is why Mao Yushi founded The Unirule Institute of Economics in Beijing in 1993, to promote what Nobel Laureate economist F. A. Hayek called “the constitution of liberty.” On May 4, Mao will be the first Chinese scholar to receive the prestigious Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, awarded every two years by the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. (It is uncertain whether he will be allowed to attend.) [He did attend.]
Here is an excellent video by Dr. Dorn about Mao Yushi and his work.
And, for more on Mao Yushi’s current views, please see ‘Economist Mao Yushi on why the Chinese government is not evil‘ in Foreign Policy.