54、Public Capital Constitutes the Foundation of People’s Life

Public ownership, co-ownership, ownership by the whole people, and state ownership, which appear to be different in names and concepts, highly resemble each other.

However, I think public capital is most appropriate as compared to other terms.

1. Public ownership

As a concept of application, ‘public’ is relative to ‘private’, referring to public goods rather than private ownership. The ‘foundation of people’s life’ relates to the use of public capital, and its user is also the beneficiary, but not everyone is required to use it. For instance, everyone has the right to take a bus, whereas a car owner will be probably reluctant to use it despite enjoying such right, since they believe that taking a bus means lower social status, unable to meet their needs.

2. Co-ownership

As a concept of possession, co-ownership highlights joint ownership. The ‘foundation of people’s life’ is not intended for possession but for use, and besides, possession of public capital is an illegal and corrupt behaviour that turns public property into private property.

3. Ownership by the whole people

Ownership by the whole people is also a concept of possession. In actual operations, however, ownership by the whole people tends to be transformed into local ownership, ownership by state-owned enterprises, or ownership by employees of state-owned enterprises. This is the fundamental reason for the collapse of the state-owned enterprises caused by employees. Employees of state-owned enterprises are so shameless to privatise the assets owned by the whole people to result in the collapse of state-owned enterprises.

4. State-owned ownership

There is a difference between public ownership and state ownership. In principle, since the state is only a principal, everyone who needs to make use of the assets owned by the whole people must seek approval from 1.3 billion Chinese people; otherwise, they will be deemed to have performed infringement behaviours or the behaviours of illegal possession. As a matter of fact, the whole people can neither manage nor operate such assets. From a macro perspective, the most realistic way is to empower the central government that can represent the fundamental interest of 1.3 billion Chinese people to exercise the right of ownership. In a strict sense, public ownership does not stand for state ownership. Only when the state can represent the fundamental interest of 1.3 billion Chinese people can public ownership be replaced by state ownership.

In other words, when the state cannot represent the fundamental interest of 1.3 billion Chinese on the condition of widespread corruption, unrestrained gambling, absconding, and unfair clauses, the state’s disposal of public assets is illegal.

The government, which causes the loss of its people’s money for whatever reason, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is unqualified to manage the property for the people.

Undoubtedly, experience can be accumulated little by little. While learning something new at the beginning, all people need to pay some price, but it is worth noticing that different concepts should be clearly defined.