Bloomberg’s comments on China are distressing for two reasons. First, they deny the reality that China is a Communist dictatorship, run without the consent of its people, and that what popular legitimacy it does have comes partly as a product of how it has degraded said people. Secondly, they seem to deny the existence of tyranny as a category, to be an assertion that there are no captive peoples.

Naturally, the question arises: Why does Bloomberg believe this and say so out loud? Is there a pecuniary motive at work? He has tried to run a Davos-like economic forum in China, and the massive Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index facilitates the investment of American capital in Chinese industries controlled by the state. Bloomberg News, a great and well-resourced journalistic outfit, has been called to the carpet by other news organizations for softening its coverage of the Chinese system and its power-brokers ever since a series of hard-hitting stories in 2012 resulted in friction between Bloomberg News and the state. That friction coincided with a decline in revenue from the sale of subscriptions to the Bloomberg empire’s bread-and-butter product, its proprietary financial-analysis terminal.