Monday 30 January 2012

How Are the Mighty Fallen

I admire China; I admire the present Chinese government. Oh, please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that I admire communism; I don’t; I loath it, but it’s doubtful that the Chinese system has anything to do with communism in any meaningful ideological sense. No, as an idea it was effectively abandoned at the same time as the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia and China then took the high road to capitalism, chaotic for the former, controlled for the latter.

What I admire is the technique of realpolitik, the wholly Machiavellian outlook of the Chinese. This is likely to be their century not simply because of their economic power but because they play the game carefully, looking always to their own interests.

What a sense of humour Clio, the goddess of history, has, what an acute love of irony. There was America at the end of the Cold War, the only great power left in the world. There was Francis Fukuyama saying that history itself had come to an end, a humourless plagiarism of Sellar and Yeatman’s contention in 1066 and All That, published in the 1930s, that America was clearly Top Nation and history came to a .

But it didn’t, did it? America, the paramount power in 1991, has frittered it all away in one fruitless crusade after another, war after war, intervention hard upon intervention, the gift of the neo cons who have nothing at all to do with genuine conservatism or any kind of political realism. All they achieved was more and more spending with fewer and fewer results. Now the country has reached the lowest point in its history, the nadir, headed by the hopeless and incompetent Barack Obama, not a neo con just a con, a Marxist in Marxist clothing.

Now look at China, the communist capitalist super power. This is a country with the good sense to stand and stare, to consolidate its power, not waste it all away. This is the new empire, extending its influence over much of the developing world, particularly Africa, large parts of which are effectively a Chinese economic colony. I simply could not imagine the Chinese getting bogged down in a hopeless place like Afghanistan for a hopeless cause. I simply can’t imagine any country headed by an intelligent leader doing so, a leader with even the lightest grasp of history.

But America did, here, there and everywhere, taking the wolf by the ears, unable thereafter to let it go. Good sense and good politics would have kept America out of Iraq, a country which, no matter how repellent its dictator, kept a check on the regional ambitions of Iran. But good sense and good politics was not at a premium in the Bush Whitehouse; it has not been at a premium ever since. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle.


  1. Ana, I fully trust your political sense and historical knowledge, so I believe you have your reason to believe China is an "awaking lion", politically and economically.

    I agree China right now really has nothing to do with communism. It is a combination of cultural&political tyranny and economically pure capitalism.

    I still doubt China could be a so call global power in 21 century, because, as its political/collective power rising, Chinese government's tolerance to individualism gets worse. I think sooner or later this terrible human right abuse inside China would cause some serious problems. Well, Let's see.

    It is so true that America has been spending its power and energy on many senseless and hopeless efforts. Hope it learns from the past.

    Personally I am an individualist and I only hope the world consists of many small "powerless" countries and people just enjoy art science and explore the nature. Too bad this will never be true. "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun", as Mao said. Right now, power really grows out of bank accounts!

  2. End the ZOG in America! Most consumer products purchased in America are manufactured in China, but china needs markets for its products. China got their space station up, when China and Taiwan are reunited their technology will advance by decades.

  3. America's foreign policy may not have done much to enhance the reputation of the nation, but it has been extremely effective in enhancing the wealth, power, and reach of U. S. - based multi-national corporations. What we are really seeing is an evolution beyond nation-based politics, just as the nation building of the 19th century was an evolution beyond monarchy. As old power structures dissolve and new ones emerge, those whose interests are vested in the old order natural decry the erosion of their world view. Those busy creating the new structures see things in a different way. I believe China is really two evolutionary generations behind the U.S. while Europe is one generation behind. We shall see . . .

  4. While I agree with most of what you say, and I accept they wouldn't get bogged down in Afghanistan -- but they've still go a tiger by the tail in Tibet; and what do you think would happen if say a rising African nationalism (for example) threatened their interests? I suggest they would be just as belligerent to protect their interests as either the British, the US or any other colonial power has been.

    They have the luxury of not having to do that ... yet; but knowing the history of China I am sure that they would if they felt they had to in the future.

  5. Yun Yi, indeed it does!

    Yes, I’m an individualist too; I place a huge premium on personal freedom. I simply couldn’t bear to live in China, to be surrounded by so much injustice. But power, greatness and justice seldom walk hand in hand. The truth is that the vast majority of Chinese people are only interested in improving the material conditions of their lives. It’s unlikely that they have ever heard the dissident voices, or, if they have, not really paid that much attention. Considering the sheer awfulness of the past - for some within living memory - the nation has made a true great leap forward. It’s such a pity that it continues to be ruled by a gang of paranoid gangsters.

  6. Anthony, Chinese power is certainly fuelled by Western greed, the insatiable demand for cheap goods. That's not just true of America of course. Our markets are also flooded.

  7. Calvin, that was certainly true for a good bit of the twentieth century, but with the administration G. W diminishing returns set in, leaving the nation saddled with a debt in trillions and unresolved foreign policy commitments. I take your wider point, though – we are indeed in a stage of dissolution and reformation. China has survived for so long because it was never really a monarchy, an empire or a nation state at all, more of an entity, an idea always in evolution. I dare say that makes no sense at all!

  8. Michele, first of all let me say that it’s nice to see you again and, if it’s not too late, to wish you a Happy New Year!

    Yes, you are right; there are always unforeseen problems and who knows what the future may bring. I fly on a wing and a prayer. The Owl of Minerva only ever flies at dusk. :-)

    1. Hi there Anastasia - and Happy New Year to you as well.

      Indeed, the wisdom of the owl is only exceeded by the forseeing of the ravens; So I'll give you Minerva and offer Hecate as well! BB

  9. But of coarse China is a Communist country.
    If we remove the un-educated presumtion, especaily the american-media propaganda, then we get to the core of communism. Another term to describe communism or Marx Socialism is: International Socialism.

    So where does all your stuff come from?

    There are many different ways in which Marx-Socialim festers, and surely, it is a mental disease in my books. People are swayed to think, as Marx proclaimed "the liberation of the international worker".

    What that is exactly, nobody knows. And just for interist-sake, Marx is preciously thin in the area of what happens after that.

    The mistake everyone makes is by isolating the zionist element from it. Communism keeps people in a local loop on an international decline.
    Personally Im not impressed by chinese communism at all, the exdploitation of the skill-pool, deprevation of local cultural value, decline of the working-class into the poor-class.

    Its a ticking-time bomb.

    All in the name of Big Bussiness.
    And for those who have not been watching the show, Worth in Life is not determined by money.
    It doesnt matter whether China has Disney-World Beijing, what matters is the people.
    And thats something Communism exploits, the Nation's people.

    For a few Bucks, everybody is the same.
    But what it does not cater for, is that people are not the same. Everyone is special in theire own way, but under the Red Front, people are no more than numbers, theire work has been turn into nothing more that merchandise.

    Still great work Anna, Im realy starting to enjoy your Blog.
    1488 From South Africa.

    1. Let me put it this way, Fox. Imagine the Apostles in a room discussing taking up money changing as a profession, all under a portrait of the crucified Christ! That's how I see China, a country that pays lip-service to an ideology, while doing things contrary to the theory, adopting forms of rapacious capitalism that we have not seen in the West since the days of Dickens. The Communist Party itself is no more than a self-perpetuating oligarchy. So far as I am aware there is no pretence to internationalism, other than in the form of creeping economic imperialism across large parts of Africa.

      I agree with your general assessment of socialism, though, and I'm so glad to have you as a visitor. :-)