15 April 2012
“It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white,” China’s Deng Xiaping was fond of remarking, “so long as it catches mice.” This was Deng’s way of describing the oxymoronic prospect of a socialist market economy, which seemed like a pipe dream in his early days. In 1989, Deng was president of the Communist Party’s military commission. The country was a vast peasant country. No one was rich. There were no capitalists.