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China vs U.S.A.

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  • China vs U.S.A.

    Easy to confuse the commitment of one nation to another for an act of friendship. As mid-19th century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston once commented, nations don’t have friends; nations have interests. The mutual interests of China and the U.S. are the kind that kept the U.S. and the Soviet Union from going at each other with nukes during the Cold War.

    China and the U.S. are running inter-dependent bubble economies, relying on the economic equivalent of Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) to keep one from blowing up the other’s economy. Whether through intent or accident, sooner or later, market forces will assert themselves and both economies will go through tough transitions. Ho will the world look after that? How will it all turn out?

  • #2
    At the time of the Tiananmen Square Massacres I was struck buy the senior member of the Central party that came into the square to beg the young people demonstrating peacefully, to leave. In those small moments he showed a classic compassion for the simple aspects of a free society. Another image from that time is the young man with carrier bags standing in front of a tank trying to stop it moving and also, not to be forgotten; the tank commander that did not shoot the young man either.
    I have met and conversed with many Chinese in the USA, and can report that they seem on the whole to be motivated individuals that respect the laws and rules of what we call a free society.
    I have seen video of the students that were walking as a long stream of protestors towards Beijing in complete silence without any sign of violence. I believe that the ordinary hard working Chinese people are as good as any on Earth. They demonstrate a compassion for those around them and value all the tenets of a free society that does not hold with the idea of making war, either on other citizens or outside parties such as the USA.
    Where we are going wrong is not in our own attitudes to democracy here where we all live in peace; we go wrong because, where we let our governments act for us, they seem to be only able to open a debate about democracy with a gun held to the head of their target audience.
    We need to understand that neither a fascist nor a feudal democracy will work. That the best way forward is not to try and usurp a small incumbent leadership minority with insurgency tools such as the CIA are well know to possess and have used on a number of occasions; but instead, with a steady, open, free enterprise based dialogue with all those ordinary people.
    We need to lead by example and, much more importantly, the example needs to be completely non violent. You cannot hold the high ground ethically and at one and the same time; cheat. Saying we are a great democracy and at the same time sending in our own insurgents to disrupt tells the outside world that we say one thing but do another.
    The primary lesson must be seen. Trying to promote an idea called democracy while turning a blind eye to the gun held against the head does not work. Democracy is not about military power in any shape or form; it is about freedom of the people to come and go as they please within a structure of law that values that freedom. You cannot impose that set of values; they have to be naturally demonstrated and evolve to suite the local conditions.
    I leave you with the reported words of a Chinese individual who values all our ideas of democracy; “And a caller from the eastern province of Jiangsu said: “It’s truly regrettable that decision-makers in China are trying to demonstrate that only through violence, bloodshed and gunfire can they control society. Once gets the sense that China is on the verge of a catastrophe.”
    When ordinary Chinese people look outside of their country, they need to see examples of what they wish for inside their nation. We should pull back from using war to impose a feudal democracy and turn to tools that will demonstrate the highest ethical standards in our treatment of those around us in the wider world. We can only win the debate peacefully.

    Chris Coles.


    • #3
      We consumers have created this mess..
      As a whole the consumer is dumb and goes for the most inexpensive product available. The consumer would prefer to save a Buck than do business with their neighbor.
      Sadly the result is the loss of good jobs, having fewer people in your country without good paying jobs WILL affect everyone. Luckily we have had a lot of creative financing available to prop up the value of our Real Estate (Real Estate has done wonders to temporarily replace those lost manufacturing jobs).
      Then we elect politicians who make it has difficult for the people who run US based manufacturing plants.
      Between environmental, workplace safety regulations, Taxes, and minimum wage laws there are way too many opportunities to get in legal trouble here in the USA for manufacturers.
      Move your operation to China (or else where) and the manufacturer reduces his potential liabilities. Trying to create jobs in the United States is too risky for anyone who is smart.


      • #4
        Hello, Chris. Good to have you on our forum here.

        The point of the China vs USA piece is that the governments of both countries are setting the people of their respective countries up for, as your friend says, potential disaster. Conditions are not unlike those that preceded WWII. Democracy is on the wane. Here is a good article on the topic.

        Fascist governments appear to be gaining strength and banding together, apparently led by China:

        Paradoxically, this is happening at a time more of the world's citizens than ever understand and aspire to the practice and institutions of democracy espoused by the West, but as you point out are no longer practiced to previously acceptable standards needed to rule by example.

        A strong argument can be made that without a militarily assertive U.S. to play off against, the rulers of these countries will lose legitimacy and eventually their people will prevail. There was a period before the U.S. invasion of Iraq when it appeared as though the people of Iran were close to developing a true Western style democracy there. The counter argument is that the rulers of some of these countries only understand military power, that any backing off will be seen as weakness and embolden them. That was the case with Hitler who was overtly militarist and expansionist.

        There is a long article in the WSJ today re the CCP's massive 10 year military buildup. Are they reacting to the U.S. or is this buildup driven by the party's own military expansionist ambitions? Watch what the CCP does, not what they say.

        The Chinese people are a great people. I admit a special affection for them -- my wife is Chinese. I will add that the people of Iran are also great, as are the people of North Korea, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia... all nations whose people in one way or another suffer under single party rule, some by parties that were "elected." The people of Japan and Germany in the 1930s were no doubt just as great as they are today.

        The question is not the goodness or evil of the people, its about systems of government that overpower the people of a society and align their interests with rulers who are more interested in themselves than their people.

        Here's my simple rule for measuring the legitimacy of a government: "Any government that uses violence against its own citizens is illegitimate."

        The Chinese people are a great people. (I admit a special affection for them -- my wife is Chinese.) I will add that in my travels I have come to conclude that the people of Iran are also great, as are the people of North Korea, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia... all nations whose people in one way or another suffer under single party rule. If we could go back in time, we'd find that the people of Japan and Germany in the 1930s were just as great as they are today. It's not about the goodness or evil of the people, its about evil systems of government.


        • #5
          Good afternoon Eric,

          You are wrong, the problem is not a matter of government, rather it is the economic method of investment underpinning the nation that defines the power of the incumbents. Indeed, since I have got involved in this debate, both here and Always On, I have come to the conclusion that I have a book inside me that will define that prognosis in much more detail. Do you fancy a punt as the co-author putting in your own viewpoint?

          Before you wrote back, I had already realised that it was not enough to propose a dialogue with the ordinary people of China, (or any other nation for that matter). That there is a need to define exactly how you can actually have that dialogue without in any way either endangering the ordinary people or causing the incumbents to try and prevent you from access.

          The incumbents feel threatened, why? I believe that they have never come into contact with the idea that the world has moved on to a new geometric plane. I agree with you about the utter stupidity of Iraq and what it has done to de-stabilise Iran. Bush and Blair have taken the debate right back to the middle ages where everything is settled by war between tribes. There was never any thought to acting in the best interests of the people, this was a classic “boys thing”; let’s beat up the place and grab what we can in the process. Medieval! So my aiming point is to define a way of dialogue that will outlive this period and, over a very long timescale, reduce the pressure to dominate and make for much more prosperity.

          We cannot do anything that will divide, nor break with tradition. So what can substitute force as a dialogue? The first to come to mind is trade, but to have trade, you need investment. Looking at investment today, it has become feudal. Very few have access. So we cannot take the existing investment model and use that as it is already in the wrong mode. You only have to look at Cisco or Google in China to see that the existing mode will always default into a feudal mode and rollover to please the incumbent.

          I suggest that we look at a completly new free enterprise model where the small, ordinary individual has access to capital on free enterprise terms where they are left in complete control of their lives, their business; that the dialogue is driven, not by ideological politics but simply trade at the grass roots.


          • #6
            Continued from above


            • #7
              Continued from above

              That we converse in free trade using the basic principles of simple capital investment.

              Do all we can to bring together every free minded ordinary individual into an honest, lawful grouping that has only the immediate interest of simple free enterprise trade.

              Yes, everyone has to have armed forces for defence. The huge mistake has been to take that force and use it outside of defence and assume that without being able to project that force we are vulnerable. I believe that another mistake has been to allow regime change to occur… anywhere. I am sure that a detailed analysis will show that rather than make the world safer, trying to change things to “Our Own Model… by force” has been a disaster. We are not safer.

              We need to define a dialogue with every free ordinary individual. Give them what they need to stand up with simple pride in their own communities and say, I own, I employ, I take responsibility for others around me. I believe that by doing that we will give these people the confidence to, over a long period of time, make the changes they need in their own societies, for themselves. Not for the needs of the USA, or the United Kingdom, nor for the likes of Cisco or Google. To do that we have to define that road for them, provide the mechanisms to capitalise them, the basic structure of rules of law and then, having given them the underpinning they need, to stand back and let them evolve their own way forward.



              • #8
                Just out of curiosity EJ, do you think US is approaching to be a fascist nation? In the name of democracy, US seems to be suppressing democracy in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. And, in the name of removing tyrants in Iraq, it has acted like a tyrrant to Iraqies. In spite of all these events, most of the population in US seems to voting for the govt that pursues such policies. Do you see these as sign of fascism in US too?

                I think China could get bad, ME could get bad, and US too. I think there is a clear sign of bad war everywhere....


                • #9
                  Jack, that brings to the fore another raft of questions such as; is Republicanism, United States style a failure? Has feudalism returned and not been properly recognised?

                  From my own perspective, Europe has no interest at all in the individual. As an individual I cannot obtain any financial grant for any study proposal. Blair has repeatedly denounced "individualism" in recent speeches.

                  The BBC Radio 4 dedicated an hour long program not so long ago to give us a most important insight into how a major US based catholic college was infiltrating the decision makers of the White House. Targeting the executive positions with religious zealots in exactly the same way as was common in medieval times in the likes of Spain.

                  “We the people” has gone out the door. War is afoot and baying for blood, ours!


                  • #10
                    Chris, In my opinion, it is not Repbulicans or Democrats that matter. As Ben Franklin said - "Those who sacrifice liberty for a secure future deserves neither". So today, both the parties have provided people with goodies [Republicans give "religious", "feel good we are saving the world" goodies and Democrats give "welfare" goodies] - and people have started to believe in govt rather than themselves[i.e individualism/"voluntary cooperation" is lost]. The Republicans [and democrats to lesser extent] are helping businesses through foreign policy which are now turning to hurt the American population (this turnaround has probably taken 40-50 years). Tomorrow, the govts are going to want more from the people so that it can pander to their "welfare" and "forced religious/foreign policy" ideology - but the poor people are hoping that govt will do some Houdini tricks and provide the goodies. This is why I think there are going to be many many wars until people are weened away from govt and people learn to be tolerant. I think US will go into war with Iran no matter what, and the US Citizens will support Iran war no matter what - and then most likely there will be a "draft" - and people start hating wars. All I hope is that, US does not go to war with China before US Citizens learn to be tolerant and respectful of other nations. But history has no records where people have corrected themselves before some "significant" damage. Ofcourse, all these will happen over a decade or two and it will be a slow drain of human progress....


                    • #11
                      In my opinion, the biggest freedom the Americans have given up is the "right" to their money. This has been taken away by the Fed. Because the people gave up this freedom, now, all jobs are moving to Asia - the only job that is profitable in US is "finance". Anything else is unprofitable. The people have become to believe that govt can sustain this "financial" world without the real world of manufacturing etc. The fundamental flaw in the American system is this Fed. Religious, foreign policy ideology and welfare are all secondary. If there were no Fed, can the govt provide "welfare"? Can the govt negotiate such foreign policy at the tax payers cost (i.e all the cost was taxed on the people instead of just printing/creating credit by the Fed?) . The core of the problem is the Fed which provides the capital for the govts misadventures. Today, people talk about everything except the Fed (the govt control over money). Welfare, foreign policy adventure, wars etc all would have been minimal if there were no Fed!! The Fed has magnified the existance of welfare etc i.e Feudal govt and today the govt has become so powerful. I think Central banking is at the heart of the problem....


                      • #12
                        Jack, and all the people of Iran want is set out here in this that turned up in the Washington Post today:


                        "There is not enough salary for the people," he said. "There is not enough income. They don't have enough money, so they don't buy anything.

                        "Normally, everything gets worse."

                        And later still in the same piece:

                        "I want to make one point clear," Mani Jalili announced, by way of introduction. "If Americans attack the city of Shaft, I will defend it."

                        Shop owner Ali Korshidi concurred: "If there's going to be any change in this country, it has to come from inside. I put no faith in foreign forces."

                        Atta Jafarzadeh, 17, wore suede sneakers and an injured look. "We are the generation born after the revolution," he implored. "We have no bad memories of the Americans."

                        So how do we stop this is the challenge? And if we do not do our darnnedest to try and stop it we let ourselves down as well as all the poor sods that will get killed on the way. Having the nouse to see the future brings responsibilities.


                        • #13
                          Hasn't the individual often traded individual freedoms for the security and financial gain of a group. This is not simply a Democrat and Republican parties. Individuals like to join groups for the security and financial gain.

                          The US does not have a monopoly on tribalism or group/individual behavior. Americans haven't given up rights - they have traded them for short term financial gain (the ability to buy the McMansion, easy access to borrow money) and many don't have the time to consider the long term ramifications of their choices. Politicians are happy to comply with Voters choices in order to get re-elected. Politicians never worry about the long term impacts of there choices. Look at the choices FDR made with the New Deal and Lyndon Johnson made in the 1960s. Short term soltuions that make voters happy - but, Long term impacts that undermines society financial foundations.

                          I'm 41 and a baby boomer. Most of my friends parents had pension jobs and there was little need to understand financial markets. Times have changed - but, most American are very ignorant of financial markets and money. Thanks to a booming Real Estate market and decent job opportunities most thing the are the next Warren Buffet.

                          So, lets get back to the China -US trade problem.


                          • #14
                            Why, we have George Bush for two more years, what else could we possibly need or want.........


                            • #15
                              But if the CCP actually carries out this counter-threat then exports to the U.S. decrease and China’s credit-corruption bubble economy may go the way of the Japanese bubble economy in 1991.

                              After suffering through the invasion of the Chinese KMT after WW2, the day when the above quote happens, Taiwan will have to suffer through the invasion of the CCP as well.

                              I have to agree with the observation that the USA is fast becoming a fascist state.

                              "I have to decide between two equally frightening options. If I wanted to do that, I'd vote." --Duckman
                              "The system's broke, Hank. The election baby has peed in the bath water. You got to throw 'em both out." --Dale Gribble