Blaming growth for child murder

In: Uncategorized

14 May 2010

An appalling article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald – although evidently originating with news agencies – on the recent spate of child killings in China. To quote the introduction:

“The latest deadly school rampage shows China is paying the price for focusing on economic growth for decades while ignoring mental health problems linked to the nation’s rapid social change, experts say.”

It goes on to quote several Chinese psyhologists criticising the impact of rapid economic growth and social change.

The New York Times is not quite as blatant but its roomfordebate blog makes similar points.

It is far too easy to draw links between’s China’s rapid growth and a tiny number of tragic and isolated incidents. None of the authorities quoted comes any where near establishing a causal relationship between the two.

Such articles reflect a broader cultural predisposition to blame growth and prosperity for many social problems. The subject is discussed extensively in my new book.