The Socialism Test, Respect for Property Rights: China vs South Africa

Socialist governments do not respect private property rights and want the means of production to be nationalised and owned by the ‘people’ [read: government]. More free market oriented governments respect private property rights and want private citizens to own the means of production.

Knowing this, let’s see whether the Communist Party of China or the African National Congress are more socialist.

I know of two cases where the Chinese government was forced to build a public road – in both cases main routes – around a privately owned home, because the owners did not want to move.

This is a picture of “Hong Chunqin, 75, and her husband Kung, who live in the two dilapidated buildings with their two sons, had initially agreed to sell the property in Taizhou, in east China’s Zhejiang province and accepted £8,000 in compensation. But then she changed her mind and refunded the money once work on the road had started,” reports Daily Mail.

Image: CEN

Another more recent case was in “Wenling, Zhejiang province, China, November 22, 2012. An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement to allow their house to be demolished. They say that compensation offered is not enough to cover rebuilding costs, according to local media. Their house is the only building left standing on a road which is paved through their village,” reports Reuters.

These aren’t the only cases. Daily Mail reports:

In one case, one family among 280 others at the site of a six-storey shopping mall being built in Chongqing refused to leave their home for two years.

Developers cut their power and water, and excavated a 10-meter deep pit around their home, which their family had inhabited for three generations.

The owners broke into the construction site, reoccupied it, and flew a Chinese flag on top and then Yang Wu, a local martial arts champion, used nunchakus to make a staircase to the house and threatened to beat any authorities who attempted to evict him.

The owners turned down an offer of £300,000 but eventually settled with the developers in 2007.

In another example, a ‘nail house’ remained in Changsha, even after a shopping centre was built around it, and now sits in a courtyard of the finished complex.

In South Africa, it’s a different story. Firstly the government won’t even allow low income people from owning the low cost housing they reside in. Secondly when they do develop the land and use their own resources to build a home for themselves, the South African government comes in with excavators and demolition trucks to break them down.



The ANC like to say they are copying a ‘socialist’ Chinese government that has been so successful in improving the living standards of the average Chinese.

The reality is the Communist Party of China is more capitalist than the American government, and have a deep respect for private property rights. The South African government should be comparing themselves with North Korea, not China.