2008 April 13 Sunday
Rise Of China To Kill Political Correctness In West?
Writing for the Daily Mail Anthony Browne predicts the rise of China will shift the West rightward and kill off political correctness.
But Western attitudes will change as well, with a likely shift to the political Right. White liberal guilt, the driving force behind political correctness, will subside as Westerners feel threatened by the global order changing, and their supremacy slipping away.
Anti-Americanism will disappear as Europeans realise how much better it was to have a world super power that was a democracy (however flawed) not a dictatorship.
There is even speculation that the intense economic pressure on countries such as Britain will cause them to trim down their bloated welfare state, simply because it will no longer be affordable at present levels.
Western attitudes of superiority to China and the rest of the East will also subside, as Westerners realise they are no longer the masters of the world.
The relative status of Westerners will decline vis a vis Chinese people. The Chinese will change the status games. Westerners won't be able to imagine that they are the only causes of what goes right or wrong with the world. It is unfortunate that we need to face something akin to the decline of the West to make people more realistic.
The romans had similar issues in their day. I just hope we don't have to fight a war with them... but again, it's human nature to fight each other to find out who is stronger. No mater how strong one side looks on paper you never know. History of war in a nutshell.
This idea occurred to me when I was working in Thailand for a Chinese boss. When I started to work for him, he drew me a pyramid and explained that the Chinese are on top. The Whites are next and South East Asians below them. At the bottom are the blacks.
In response I smiled.
With there rise of China Liberalism with its expectation of global domination of Liberal Western values will look less likely. Ethnic chauvinism will become more "fashionable", because the Chinese are ethnic chauvinists. People follow the ideology of the dominant empire, because people irrationally try to gain power by emitating the powerful. With the loss of power and prestige of the USA through its economic problems and difficulty to dominate the Middle East, China will look like a more attractive example.
The legendary investor Jim Rogers sold his mansion in Manhattan, and he permanently moved to Singapore instead of Hong Kong or Shanghai because he worries that the current level of pollution might be bad for the health of his two new born daughters. His two daughters, of course, were already being tutored in Mandarin Chinese soon after their birth, by hiring Chinese nannies in New York, so that they become nearly native Chinese speakers. Jim Rogers is absolutely sure that China will dominate this century not only economically but also culturally, like UK during the 19th century, and the US during the 20th century. Rogers says that investing in China now, is as smart as investing in America in 1905.
I see two possible flaws in Roger's thinking. (1) The Chinese have shown no talent for democratic self-government. The country could collapse in some new variant of the Cultural Revolution. (2) They don't seem to have the creative spark in science and engineering that the West continues to exhibit. My bet is more that the West will decline due to immigration of lower-IQ types. These folk will dominate the political process and render ineffective the contributions of those with the creative spark and talent for self-government. China will win by default and the world will be worse off overall than it needed to be.
Well, in the end it probably would have been better if Al Gore were elected President in 2000. Too bad people were afraid of tax hikes to make that happen. Bush favored the rich... the Republicans favored the rich.
Avarice does destroy nations... but maybe a return to paleocon conservativism instead of neoconservatism might be a good thing.
But I do not think American's are superior. Why would they vote for a President twice on rhetoric about tax cuts and family values?
Uninformed, unconsciencious, unskilled, dumb, immoral voters are a world wide problem. Poor voting choices in America do not say much about America's ranking in the world.
There are several reasons for this. One big reason is that a vote counts for so little and yield so little direct return that people are not incentivized to study and vote wisely. Another problem is lack of intelligence. Another problem is the cognitive flaws aside from low IQ that are present in most or all minds (the most or all depending on the individual flaw in question). Another reason is selfishness. Lots of people vote to have the government take from others and give to them.
Another problem is that voters have to vote on too many things when selecting a candidate. When you vote for a President you are voting on a Middle Eastern policy, an energy policy, a judicial policy about abortion, a judicial policy about freedom of speech, and thousands of other things. You do this with typically 2 choices. How can your choice be wise across the board? It can't.
The Chinese don't have to be as creative per person. If they reach even a quarter our per capita GDP their total economy will be larger than ours. Plus, they can steal our ideas and use the results of our publically available scientific research.
The rise of China poses a big problem for our science policy. Why invest in scientific research if the Chinese will commercialize most of the useful results?
But now let's see if the American system of Democracy is really good for America. Since every normal looking citizen who is 18 years of age or older is allowed to vote, it follows that the majority of the voters are not smart enough to understand the complexity of world affairs in general. Hence this means that, paradoxically, the nation has very little control on who is getting elected and what policy is decided. Thus in order to make sure that the nation really has more control over the government, maybe it is better to require that only the voters with SAT or GRE scores in the top 5% should be allowed to vote. This is because the latter group would have a greater attention span to really read the actual platform of the parties running for government. In fact, if we do legislate that only the top 5 % can vote, then ironically there will probably be more than just 2 dominant parties.
For the record, the average IQ of China in populated areas where education is available, is close to 110. And they do have a lot of creativity, and so don't underestimate them.
"They don't seem to have the creative spark in science and engineering that the West continues to exhibit."
They will in time. I have a friend in Taiwan who has developed instruments for biotech based on photonics technology. I have another friend in Japan who will be (we're signing the NDAs right now) developing solar cells using photovoltaic polymers. He is also interested in using the same polymer material for display applications (Displays are the more value-added application, solar cells are commodities).
The Chinese are doing the smart thing. They have decentralized their economy and, as a result, the economic development is working its way from the ground up, rather than top-down. This means that by the time the Chinese are building space colonies, they will be manufacturing just about everything that will go into those space colonies.
Also, consider that all of the basic inventions that drove Europe (compass, printing press, gun powder, etc.) were all previously invented in China long before their were in Europe. The Chinese are certainly capable of creativity and innovation.
Its possible the Chinese could collapse into another cultural devolution. However, I think this is very unlikely and becomes more unlikely as time goes on. For a cultural devolution to occur, all of China would have to be under the control of a single monopolistic entity. Anyone who has been to China recently (like myself) can clearly see that China's economy is very much decentralized, bottom-up, not top down. This trend will only continue into the future. The decentralization of China's economy (and society) will reduce the chances of China sinking into another cultural devolution.
China's main problem is that they are in something of a bubble right now with increasing inflation. This means that a correction is coming, where the growth rate will slow to around 4-5% for a few years, as the bubble excesses purge themselves out. Following such a correction, they will resume with 7-8% anuual growth for a while.
My guess is that China's 30-40 year outlook will be "saw-toothed", with expansionary periods with 7-8% annual growth interrupted periodically with recessions and slow-growth periods. The long term trend of course will be up.
For the most part, I agree with Jim Roger's assessment. The difference is that I don't actually have to live in China in order to do business there. I work my stuff (selling process equipment and what not into China) from my home office in the Pacific Northwest, with periodic trips there when necessary.
The Rise Of Japan did not affect the concurrent spread of PC from academia to middle America.
Technology transfer to China requires huge forebearance on the part of America,
but research is moving every year more towards more secure places like Israel and Europe and defense contractors here.
Japan S Korea and Taiwan are well-defended against Chinese demand for innappropiate technology transfer.
While we're given ever-shriller propaganda for 'open society' transfers of technique,
the facts dictate that places which are the more open to technology transfer must get less return for what they put into
research and development.
Another indication of this shift being already well underway, is that Annapolis has become one of the top schools in terms of good
prospect for engineeering majors. Only one factor can explain this, and that is that jobs covered by security clearance are still available and lucrative for engineers, but the technology transfer has made the other opportunities scarce for such graduates.
Openness valued for its own sake destroys itself.
> But now let's see if the American system of Democracy is really good for America. ... Hence this means that,
> paradoxically, the nation has very little control on who is getting elected and what policy is decided.
There's nothing paradoxical about it. Aristotle considered democracy a degenerate form of government precisely for this reason.
But I still place more hopes with America than China, as there's a significant numbers of Americans who understand entrepreneurship and are overtly anti-authoritarian. Most of China's impressive economic growth comes from artifical impoverishment of Chinese by their government's monetary manipulation to keep export goods artificially low. Besides, it is much easier to achieve impressive rates of growth when the base line is so low.
Frankly, Chinese engineers, even the best ones (with very few exceptions), are not that good. They tend to be completely uninterested about anything outside of their fields of specialization, and tend not to challenge even the most stupid ideas of their managers. The resulting products are usually quite mediocre. I have yet to see an Indian or a Chinese software guy whom I couldn't run circles around in writing code. There's a reason why most high-tech R&D is in US - and that reason has nothing to do with labour costs or taxes; it's a matter of mentality.
>Openness valued for its own sake destroys itself.
There are few things more silly than calling for restrictions on technology transfer. It doesn't work, period. Never worked in the entire recorded history. Technology dominance is not about zekret knowledge; it is about brains of people who can create it. Keep the inventive people in US by making their lives pleasant and prosperous, and no amount of technology transfer is going to challenge US technological dominance. It is as simple as that.
What really threatens US technological dominance is the fascist immigration apparatus which does make life of many talented people coming to US really unpleasant. I have quite a few friends who don't know if they'll be told to pack and leave in 24 hours; all of them are highly paid and productive scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs - not some illegal Mexican labourers.
> Another indication of this shift being already well underway, is that Annapolis has become one of the top schools in > terms of good prospect for engineering majors. Only one factor can explain this, and that is that jobs covered by
> security clearance are still available and lucrative for engineers, but the technology transfer has made the other
> opportunities scarce for such graduates...
I see a different view. From what I can see is that there are plenty of jobs (with the usual caveat of business cycle downturns) in regular civilian R&D for engineers in the US. I'm a total believer in the H1B and the L1 visas. The recent dip in the US dollar, if it is sustained (which it should be given the fact that there still is a massive trade deficit), will likely make the US a more lucrative place to do R&D relative to RoW than in the past so I expect substantial US R&D to not only continue but for the US R&D job market to get better. For most of the past 15 years I've seen it be very hard to find qualified engineers in the US - and I've never worked in any area requiring a clearance. I know many would disagree with me - particularly those locked to a metropolitan region that just doesn't have much R&D going on in their specialty. I do see portions of my engineering expertise are slowly going to Taiwan, but it really doesn't affect my employability negatively. From what I've seen, the EU is pretty strong on academic research, but very weak on development and business exploitation. This is probably why there's a lot of engineers from Europe here. I'm saddened if the bleak Dobbsian mindset (i.e. Lou Dobbs) that has permeated popular US opinion in the past several years has given the impression to young college students than high-tech is a bad career choice. To me this seems to be udder nonsense and makes less sense now in 2008 than it did in 1988.
In the long run, I think those in the defense industry will struggle again. We are currently developing many air craft and naval platforms that make very little sense to me in terms of both the short-term issues the US faces (Iraq) and long-term issues(China rivalry/oil dependency). F22's, new subs, and aircraft carriers are useless against terrorists and the best way to address China rivalry and oil dependency is not with outdated military concepts but rather to get our own economic house in order. I hope it won't take long for congress to cut these programs down. When they do many in defense will be out looking for a job again.
>>I have yet to see an Indian or a Chinese software guy whom I couldn't run circles around in writing code.
>>What really threatens US technological dominance is the fascist immigration apparatus which does make life of many talented people coming to US really unpleasant. I have quite a few friends who don't know if they'll be told to pack and leave in 24 hours;
Well averros, those precious immigrants, which is it: are they mediocre hacks or brilliant scientists and entrepreneurs?
Inquiring "fascists" wish to know.
It may be true that 'restrictions on technlogy transfer' have not worked in the long run, but the point is to hold things closer for the
period when they're highly profitable.
In any case, no example from the past can compare to that of America today, where we actually massively subsidize
technology transfer to those countries which mean us harm.
This situation is in no way sustainable, and to the extent China
depends on it continuing, they're growth trajectory is threatened.
I recently had a good hour talk with a (smart) friend of mine who had come from India to Canada just 8 months ago, on the topic of the movie Sicko. I convinced him that his rabid enthusiasm for socialised health care and Michael Moore was unfounded. He seemed very depressed after that, probably because his subconscious worldview of holding hands, kumbaya, being in it all together yada yada was unfounded. Its depressing to realize we are pawns, easily fooled, fooled completely or for an extended period of time, not in control etc etc.
The point is WHAT WAS THE USE?
The guy only has one vote. I may as well have been talking to a brick wall in terms of its effect on the Canadian Polity. BUT if the vote was restricted, de facto or de jure doesnt matter, to 20% of Canadians - that conversation and debate wouldnt a waste.
The vote is kinda like money. Making it universal dilutes its effectiveness and efficiency in running a polity as surely as Inflation brings down the value of money.
i have worked in many places around the world and i have never encountered anyone who wanted to immigrate to China.
Invariably they want to move to (usually in this order): the US, Canada, the UK, Australia or New Zealand.
As for the Sinophiles, I can only say that if the world does pass at some stage from a US hegemony to a Chinese one, it would not be a world I would wish to live in.
But then I don't expect to see this occur within my-- or my child's-- lifetime.
The Russians eventually got fed up with living in abject misery and the mask slipped. The new bar (set by the West) is unfettered individualism. The Chinese yearn for this. It is only a matter of time. Pie charts, GDP growth rates, etc notwithstanding-- Chinese will want what others have and is denied to them by a corrupt elite. I know this is considered by naive by many. And so it was 30 years agao. Time will tell the tale.
"i have never encountered anyone who wanted to immigrate to China.
Invariably they want to move to (usually in this order): the US, Canada, the UK, Australia or New Zealand."
Well, of course! China is a racist country that doesn't roll out the red carpet for immigrants. If an immigrant can even get into China, he will still be treated like dirt. Compare that to the treatment of immigrants in Western countries.
As for liberalism making headway in China, it's a possibility, but a remote one. The Chinese have to feel pretty good about the direction they're headed right now, compared to the declining liberal nations of the West.
"The Rise Of Japan did not affect the concurrent spread of PC from academia to middle America."
There's a crucial difference between China and Japan - size.
Notice how big powers seems to keep knocking over smaller ones - Germany beat France, the US beat Britain, Russia beat Germany, the US beat Japan.
Japan wasn't big enough to knock over the US militarily or economically. In contrast China has a lot more people and resources with which to push the US back into second place.
To the extent that China has a major weakness it is that it's much shorter of resources than the US and much greater resource needs than Japan.
The likely impact of US decline will be a shift away from self-loathing, cultural Marxism towards more populist politics, which means greater social conservatism, immigration restrictionism and centrist economic policies.
The left will likely become less Michael Moore and more Lou Dobbs or Ralph Nader.
The West (including Russia if possible) can and should win a military and technological war against China and soon, certainly befire 2020, while we can. The Chinese nature cannot be trusted, do not understand humanity like most in the west, do not respect difference and understand only totalitarianism. Do not mistake Chinese nature for communism. Communism was adopted because it suited their desire for a totalitarianist structure during a transitional period of reform from an agrarian/feudalistic phase of social development. The Chinese are what they are and need to be controlled soon, probably by population reduction. The need for this will become clear by about mid 2012.
Whilst the chinese military is in quality terms currenty a little less sophisticated thn NATO, the philosophy behind Chinese weapons systems is totally different and far more insideous to those evolved in the Euro/American "post Queensbury Rules/Geneva Convention" context and is accelerating ahead of our old school ideas annually. We already know a lot about these new ideas - more than the Chinese realise; and they are really disturbing: can't say much more.
With regards the Western left and the PC lobby, sweet people that they are - as already said, they are simply facilitating their own downfall.