Suggested Discussion Outline - When China Rules The World

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johnkarls
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline - When China Rules The World

Post by johnkarls »

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SUGGESTED DISCUSSION OUTLINE

1. Is Martin Jacques correct that China (like Japan) has never “Westernized” and never will, although they will surpass the rest of the world in terms of standard of living?

2. Is Martin Jacques correct that the Chinese view themselves, with a 5,000-year old civilization, as superior to other human beings and view their current economic surge as validation of their superiority?

3. So-called “thought leaders” around the world are now atwitter in the wake of America’s inability to pass health care legislation that China’s political system is far superior in terms of its ability to make the “hard decisions.” Is this true and, whether or not true, will other countries decide to follow the Chinese model rather than the “Western democracy” model?

4. Will China “crash the U.S. dollar” (as many pundits term it)? What goes into China’s thinking on this issue? What would be the consequences for everyday Americans if they did?

5. Why does China support North Korea’s fostering of nuclear terrorism around the world when everyone knows that China could bring North Korea to its knees in a matter of days by cutting off, for example, its fuel supplies?

6. Are there other substantive issues with respect to which China’s policies might be upsetting?

7. Procedurally, China’s current governmental structure since 1949 when Mao came to power has followed the ancient Chinese tradition of dictatorship (the “Mandate of Heaven”) subject only to conditions becoming so intolerable that revolution occurs (which, if successful, the Chinese believe resulted in “Heaven” withdrawing its “mandate” from the old regime). Is it dangerous to have such a government in charge of such a large country? After all, following World War II we didn’t hold the German public, the Italian public or the Japanese public responsible for the actions of their governments and it is not too far fetched to suppose that a Hitler, a Mussolini or a Hirohito might come to power without the Chinese public, despite what their Hitler-Mussolini-Hirohito might do to other countries, rising in revolution.

8. Also procedurally, there has been quite a bit in the press about China’s censorship of the internet and the acquiescence of Google in facilitating such censorship. Does this further impair the Chinese system of “checks and balances” (though admittedly revolution is not much of a “check” or “balance”)? In this regard, is democracy effective without “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press”? In formulating your answer, please give some consideration to George Orwell’s classic “1984” and to how Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels emasculated German public opinion.

9. Are there any modifications to Chinese policies that we even have any ability to influence?

SirArthurC
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Chinese Public Responsibility For Acts of a New Mao

Post by SirArthurC »

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---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: Meeting THIS WEDNESday Feb 10th -- When China Rules The World
From: Sir Arthur Collingsworth
Date: Sun, February 7, 2010 10:53 pm
To: John Karls
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John.

To think that China or Japan should be "westernized" is ethnocentric arrogance!! We do not have a monopoly on truth as many Americans think. We are overextended politically, economically and militarily.

Cheers, ARTHUR


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: Re: Meeting THIS WEDNESday Feb 10th -- When China Rules The World
From: John Karls
Date: Mon, February 8, 2010 8:21 am
To: Sir Arthur Collingsworth
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Dear Arthur,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

Though I'm afraid that I missed something!!! Who was suggesting that China or Japan should be Westernized???

Martin Jacques is suggesting that most Westerners ASSUME WITHOUT EVEN NECESSARILY FOCUSING ON THE ISSUE that China and Japan have been Westernizing, and his book is dedicated to disabusing them of that notion.

However, Martin Jacques does not suggest that Westerners believe that China or Japan SHOULD Westernize.

Nevertheless, I will step into the breach with some elaboration on Q&A No. 7. In drafting the Suggested Answer, I was trying to be polite by alluding only to Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.

You'll have to admit that the real Mao killed tens of millions of Chinese in his "Cultural Revolution," and then killed additional tens of millions of Chinese in his "Great Leap Forward."

So two questions for you:

If killing so many Chinese did not produce a revolution, much less a successful one ("Heaven" withdrawing its "mandate"), then why should there be any reason to suppose that a new "Mao" killing tens of millions of citizens of other countries would result in "Heaven" withdrawing its "mandate"???

And if China should produce such a new "Mao" then should the rest of the world excuse the Chinese public for the actions of the new "Mao" in killing tens of millions of foreigners just because the Chinese public refuses to take responsibility for their leaders and puts the blame on "Heaven"!!!

I'll look forward to receiving your answers.

Your friend,

John K.

TheChancellors
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Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:27 pm

Re: Suggested Discussion Outline - When China Rules The World

Post by TheChancellors »

This is a comment to item 3 on the suggested discussion outline. To me what the health care fiasco does not demonstrate any basic problem with democracy but a grave problem with a number of the practices in our particular version of democracy.

1. Super majority votes and rules allowing votes to be indefinitely blocked are not inherent to democracy and should be drastically scalled back. The California legislative requirement of a super majority vote to leglislate with respect to taxes is a formula for deadlock. So is the cloture rule in the Senate. The rule allowing a single Senator to put a hold on executive nominations allows important administrative appointments to be blocked indefinitely without a vote. These are abuses not elements of democratic government. As I understand it there are 70 appointments requiring Senate approval that are in limbo because of the hold rule.

2. Even when legislation manages to come to a vote (e.g., the health care bill in the House) the product is usually an incoherent mess. The solution here is more difficult. One possibility is to have the representative body decide on basic policy choices and goals and then leave drafting to a group of non political experts followed by an up or down vote by the Congress. Think, the base closure process.

3. None of this suggests any reason to follow the China model.
Thomas Chancellor

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