Someone writes to Steve Sailer listing a series of points about China's rise.
4. China may emerge as a dominant military power. History says that military power cannot be separated from real economic power. The dominant military power of each modern period has been the dominant manufacturing power. That meant the UK until around 1900 and the U.S. until around 2000. China is the leading manufacturing power of the world today. The gap separating China and the U.S. will only grow (much) larger over time. Manufacturing is crucial for war for two reasons. First, manufacturing provides the national wealth required to pay for war. Second, manufacturing (the manufacturing infrastructure) provides the means for actually producing the weapons needed for war. Note that services are not a substitute for manufacturing in this context. Services are not (typically) tradable and donít provide the convertible currency income needed to fight international wars.
I for one welcome our new East Asian overlords.
America's decline is baked in at this point. Our lower classes will continue to grow in numbers faster than our upper classes and it seems unlikely we will return to the economic growth rate we saw fro 1945 to 2000. I'm trying to imagine a scenario where we go back to a fast economic growth trajectory. We'd need to achieve breakthroughs in robotics that would allow the smart people to just have little need for manual laborers. Then the smart people, computers, and robots would create an economy that is effectively detached from the lower classes.
I expect offspring genetic engineering to eventually make a big impact. But the time line for doing that seems long. Suppose by 2030 offspring genetic engineering starts enabling prospective parents to twiddle genes to produce smart kids with Type A personalities. Those kids won't start to enter the labor force until 2050. Meanwhile we've got decades of decline baked in before that happens.
Okay, imagine you've got a time machine. Imagine going back in time to 1950 (you'd need to go back at least that far) to start building up the capability to alter history in order to at least slow the relative decline of America relative to China. What would you do if you could alter US policy? What's key: the absolute number of smart people in America and the ratio of smart people to everybody else. If America had more 130+ IQ people than China and if the expansion of the lower IQ populations could be slowed or prevented then America could probably remain number one.
Could a team of time travelers to 1950 make a big enough difference to alter the balance of power 70 or 80 years later? Maybe, but it would be hard. The time travelers would need to build up a lot of wealth (perhaps trading in the US stock market offshore as a non-citizen in order to avoid US taxes). A relatively easier of the time traveler: stop the 1965 Immigration Act. How could a time traveler greatly alter decades of Congressional legislation? Get pictures of Ted Kennedy and a few other Senate members in highly compromising positions. Do not use those pictures to force them from office. Keeping them in office and blackmailing them would provide sustained influence lasting for decades.
A big alteration in immigration policy would not be sufficient to prevent the American loss of the number one nation spot. Though it would improve quality of life in alternative America.
What we really need: conditions that mimic the selective pressures of England before the industrial revolution but without the death from starvation and disease. We need conditions that select for higher intelligence, longer time horizons, and other attributes that are needed for a healthy and sustainable industrial society. My guess is time travelers couldn't pull that off, no matter how talented they were.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2014 July 02 06:42 PM|