The United States of America is not only the world’s most powerful and wealthy nation today, but also distinguishes itself as one of the most stable democracies. Also referred to as the ‘land of the free,’ the United States epitomizes the ideology of liberal democracy. The United States gives its citizens more democratic space than most other countries (Eichner, 2007). Other countries which follow the same ideology include the countries of Western Europe, some Asian nations and very few, if any, in Africa and Latin America.
Only in these democratically-mature countries can and do citizens criticize their governments openly and strongly without attracting strong, and sometimes deadly, reactions from the government. The impact of liberal democracy is evident in the ease and freedom with which one opens and conducts business in the United States. So long as one meets the legal requirements, anyone can do business in the US without unnecessary government interference. Not surprisingly, many immigrants to the United States have opened their businesses in the country.
Of all countries on the world map today, China has arguably one of the longest and most decorated histories. However, China has never been in the race for the most democratic nation. China adopted communism as the state ideology after the revolution of 1949 following which communism went on to shape China’s path of development. The communist leaderships neither tolerated multi-partyism nor entertained criticism from the public. Other countries which adopted communism and had a human rights record almost similar to China’s include Cuba and the Soviet Union.
Central planning was the hallmark of communism, and land and resources were owned by the government. The government determined what the people did with the resources to the extent of determining how much a community was supposed to produce. China gave up the communism ideology during the tumultuous period between the infamous “Tiananmen [square] protests of 1989 and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the following two years” (Tsang, 2010).
China is now freer and has since opened up to foreign direct investment. However, the Communist Party remains strong and the government remains reluctant to allow the western kind of democracy into China. The state still interferes with business and to a large extent, sets the terms for those who choose to do business in China. China’s politics therefore makes it more difficult to do business in China than it is in the US. Business and Politics in China and the United States
As a country which is proud of and prioritizes its intention of spreading democracy worldwide, the United States is one of the most democratic countries (Ryn, 2003). (It is debatable whether other countries approve of the mechanisms and tools the US employs to bring democracy to ‘undemocratic’ societies). Unnecessary government interference in Americans’ lives is so unexpected that the state attracted harsh criticism over accusations of torture of terrorism suspects in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Guantanamo Bay (Lukes, 2005).
Although the Republican and Democratic parties are the strongest parties in the country, many other parties are registered and allowed to carry out their activities freely. Freedom and economic opportunities have made the US a destination of choice for political and economic refugees from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. United States’ history of democracy and freedom partly accounts for the fact that many of the largest and best-performing players in many industries have their roots or divisions in the country.