Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. China is Going to Get Wealthier: That’s a Good Thing

 

File:Chinese flag (Beijing) - IMG 1104.jpgChina may be having a hiccup in the economic rise it has been experiencing over the past decades. But should China wind up as comparable in economic status to the United States, it might be a good thing all around.

China has had it rough economically for a long time. It was defeated in the two Opium Wars with Great Britain and split between the Spheres of Influence of the Great Powers. The disastrous Taiping Rebellion further disgraced the Qing Empire in the Victorian Era. It was immediately followed by China’s humiliating loss of Korea to the Japanese Empire in the First Sino-Japanese War. This led to the collapse of the Qing Empire, the creation of a republic, and the outbreak of civil war between forces loyal to the Kuomintang-led government and forces loyal to the Communist Party of China. Meanwhile, decades-long Japanese imperial policies matured, prompting Japan to instigate the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and hastening the onset of World War II. The Communists won the Civil War and Mao Zedong came to power, a series of catastrophes in itself.

This century-long period of political depravity clearly doomed the Chinese economy. But following Mao’s demise, China began to slowly to thaw. It began experimenting with free markets in such arenas as farming and businesses, leading to the expansion of its private sector economy. The Party didn’t interfere so long as it didn’t threaten the state sector. Ronald Coase and Ning Wang tell the story of China’s economic transformation in an essay based on their book, How China Became Capitalist.

http://www.solarfeeds.com/how-long-can-china-sustain-mega-growth/

The result of political stabilization and market reforms was an explosion of economic growth. China held a mere 2.42 percent of world GDP in 1980. Now it holds 17.24 percent.

This massive expansion caught the world off guard. Many in the United States have begun to think of China as our new rival.

Despite its recent stutter, China will continue to grow economically. I argue that a nationalist, tough-on-China stance predicated on fear of their vaulting economic growth would be the wrong approach.

There’s a widespread perception that China’s economic growth is bad for the United States, and amounts to them “winning” against us. But in truth, China is destined to be an economic superpower, and that’s fine. China is very large (slightly larger than the United States); it is very fertile, with the largest population in the world; and it is a fairly homogeneous, with an ancient history and culture. Together, this gives China the greatest economic potential of any country on the planet. China failed to expand until recently only because its potential was unmet. It was unmet because its political situation was dire. Recently, political stability and economic reforms have allowed China to begin reaching its potential.

Too often, Americans look at this growth and assume China will outpace the United States and make us poorer in the process. The reasoning is fallacious. It is grounded in the assumption that China’s success must come at the expense of the United States.

But it is simply foolish to assume that China won’t grow, given its huge economic potential. The failure to understand that some countries are destined to be large and powerful is one reason we were startled by Vladimir Putin: We saw the Soviet Union’s collapse and thought Russia would stay down. We failed to appreciate that it was still the biggest country in the world, with a population of nearly 150 million. If American leaders had accounted for this, they would have predicted that Russia would sooner or later become a major world player again — meeting its potential — and their brains wouldn’t have been so readily scrambled by Putin’s behavior.

China’s Economic Growth is Good for the United States

The argument that the success of a foreign nation can have a positive effect on every other nation contradicts the competitive, zero-sum view of most nationalists. But it’s just common sense.

When China grows, economically, it produces more. When it produces more, it can sell more goods abroad, specifically to the United States. Increased supply lowers prices, lowering our cost of living and reducing the amount of capital required to start certain businesses, too. This does not result in lost jobs. To the contrary, it frees up resources that previously would have been used to produce these goods and allows them to be spent on other industries, ones in which we have a competitive advantage. Increased Chinese production opens a new market from which Americans can choose to buy products. This means Americans can then use their saved resources to produce things Americans are better at producing than they are at producing the product they bought from China. Of course this helps China, too, because the same thing happens to them when we begin to produce in arenas where we have a comparative advantage and begin supplying more of China’s demand for those goods.

You understand this principle if you shop at a supermarket. You could produce your own silverware by going into the woods and spending a week sharpening stones. But the silverware manufacturer has a comparative advantage at producing silverware because he has a factory. So it’s better for you to concentrate on your own work, instead — your work being the area of your own competitive advantage. You trade your hour of work for the silverware — and this is a better deal for you than spending a week in the woods. The mechanism by which this happens is money and a vendor at the market, but it’s still the same concept when we trade overseas. You benefit if the silverware manufacturer gets rich by inventing a new machine that produces silverware twice as fast, because it means you can now buy the same silverware at a much lower cost. And more people will be able to afford silverware.

This means that China’s recent economic growth should be welcomed. Not only is it lifting more than a billion people out of poverty in East Asia, but it makes our lives better in the United States, too.

But What About their Military?

The only potential downside to China’s increased economic power it also funds the People’s Liberation Army. This raises the odds that they could be successfully aggressive. This threat is real. It is wise for the United States to remain in East and Southeast Asia to defend the region militarily.

But to maintain peace in the region, it might well be shrewd to encourage the transformation China’s seen since the death of Mao Zedong. China’s shift toward market freedom has led to massive economic growth. If China continues to discover the benefits of capitalism and continues to prosper as a result, history suggests that economic opening will result in political opening, too. Capitalist countries are much less likely to go to war with each other than socialist countries.

The best way to make this happen is to trade more with China without reducing our military defenses, and to accept all economic opportunities cordially. This will benefit both countries and make China less hostile to the West.

More Chinese prosperity means more Chinese liberty and freer Chinese markets. Free people and free markets mean a less hostile China, making Western fears of a Red Blitz across Asia less acute.

One such fear is that in 2047, Hong Kong’s “One Country, Two Systems” agreement with the mainland will expire, allowing the CCP to foist a communist system upon Hong Kong. But by that point, if the West is wise and economically open to China, we may well see Hong Kong conquer the mainland for capitalism instead.

There are 119 comments.

  1. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Naudious: The only issue that might come out of China’s increased economic power is that it aids the People’s Liberation Army, and makes it more possible to be more successfully militaristic. This threat being real. it is wise policy for the United States to remain in South-East Asia to defend the region militarily.

    This is the big variable, unfortunately. China isn’t just clawing its way out of 2 centuries of economic backwardness, it also has a huge chip on its shoulder and an axe to grind. There are some uncomfortable parallels with Germany of 1914. Would China be willing to gamble its recent prosperity to (in its own mind) right the wrongs of the past? Hard to say. Their aggressive moves in the South China Sea, The Yellow Sea, and along the old Soviet frontier all suggest that they are considering that gamble.

    • #1
    • January 11, 2016, at 9:42 PM PST
    • Like
  2. Merina Smith Inactive

    We visited China a few years ago. The people are very poor, and for that reason it would be wonderful to see them rise in the world. The military is a big worry, however, because of the excess men thanks to the one child policy. That has been brutal and IMHO, evil, because they have forced many women to have abortions. Now they have a huge contingent of elderly people and not nearly enough young to maintain them, nor women for young men to marry. I wouldn’t wish that on a nation for all the tea in China! Unfortunately, once demographic decline gets underway, it is very hard to reverse. One child has become the norm. The communists forced people not to have children, but they can’t really force people to have them.

    • #2
    • January 12, 2016, at 3:46 AM PST
    • Like
  3. I Walton Member

    Well yes, maybe and no. It all depends on us. Playing tennis or any competitive game against the best around is good for your game, but you have to stay in shape, eat well and constantly work on your game or you get eliminated early. And you must know what game you’re playing. We’ve a long way to go but fortunately so does China.

    • #3
    • January 12, 2016, at 4:24 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Titus Techera Contributor

    I am not sure what you mean about historical suggestions, but have you read about Germany & Britain? To me, that history suggests you should forget little wars like America & Britain or even the American Civil War–the most peaceful democracy in the world that…–& look directly at the 20th century’s World Wars. That really puts in perspective the democratic wars of France & the democratizing effect on Germany of her wars.

    Capitalism is the means of achieving the worst slaughters in the history of war & the biggest reason why the powers that fought those wars felt they had to fight them! How do you miss untold millions of corpses that destroyed European civilization? Capitalism should be encouraged? Capitalism is how it was possible to have the German-Russian wars in the World Wars & why the Germans were scared of the Russians!

    You’re encouraging free markets in China? What are you willing to bet that ten years from now China will be for peaceful prosperity? You have any idea as to whether the current troubles are going to get worse or better? That’s pretty important news just now–you could make a fortune or secure honors by helping your countrymen!

    You know the destiny of China? Are you sure about that? Is this something Americans tell investors on the make? You’re really an amazing prophet, then! Do you also know the destiny of America? Is America destined to stay a superpower or whatever you want to call it?

    • #4
    • January 12, 2016, at 4:44 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Titus Techera Contributor

    Merina Smith:We visited China a few years ago. The people are very poor, and for that reason it would be wonderful to see them rise in the world. The military is a big worry, however, because of the excess men thanks to the one child policy. That has been brutal and IMHO, evil, because they have forced many women to have abortions. Now they have a huge contingent of elderly people and not nearly enough young to maintain them, nor women for young men to marry. I wouldn’t wish that on a nation for all the tea in China! Unfortunately, once demographic decline gets underway, it is very hard to reverse. One child has become the norm. The communists forced people not to have children, but they can’t really force people to have them.

    Don’t worry. We have a guy who knows destiny: China’s gonna be great-

    • #5
    • January 12, 2016, at 4:46 AM PST
    • Like
  6. I Walton Member

    Titus Techera:”Capitalism is the means of achieving the worst slaughters in the history of war & the biggest reason why the powers that fought those wars felt they had to fight them! How do you miss untold millions of corpses that destroyed European civilization? Capitalism should be encouraged? Capitalism is how it was possible to have the German-Russian wars in the World Wars & why the Germans were scared of the Russians”

    Was it capitalism? Industrialization made for more destructive technologies, but WWI was more a product of a dying elite living out it’s dreams of imperial greatness, than the process that was killing it. It was fundamentally reactionary. WWII was not capitalism but it’s collapse caused by centralizers and fools and, of course, WWI and its peace, again reactionaries. The power elite in China will be challenged by the changes if marketization continues. The thing about markets is that they are the most unsettling thing in man’s history. The relentless changes harm the most powerful and help others become powerful, give rise to combinations in restraint of progress, undercut older technologies. This is the only thing Marx got right, the mode of production shapes culture, values, language as well as stuff. But it’s not determined, it’s chaotic and unknowable. And, you are right, causes the future to unfold in ways we cannot know or foresee. Get ones’ mind around the future of China?

    • #6
    • January 12, 2016, at 5:24 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Titus Techera Contributor

    I Walton:

    Was it capitalism? Industrialization made for more destructive technologies, but WWI was more a product of a dying elite living out it’s dreams of imperial greatness, than the process that was killing it. It was fundamentally reactionary. WWII was not capitalism but it’s collapse caused by centralizers and fools and, of course, WWI and its peace, again reactionaries.

    Are you aware of the enormous popularity of the Great War? Do you know the national passions it aroused & raised to a previously & subsequently unknown pitch?

    As for reactionary: How reactionary were England & France!

    Of course, it’s questionable, was capitalism the culprit or merely the misunderstood bright young thing that got into the middle of a horror it did not understand & ended up arming everyone to the teeth as they produced murder on a scale previously unimaginable!

    It could go either way, I guess…

    The power elite in China will be challenged by the changes if marketization continues. The thing about markets is that they are the most unsettling thing in man’s history.

    I raise an eyebrow at the superlative. The Bible is it, not the market. Who taught people they are all equal in having inextinguishable divine souls?

    This is the only thing Marx got right, the mode of production shapes culture, values, language[…]

    As soon as Americans turn around to affirming that the most productive are most worthy & the unproductive comparably worthless, I’ll believe that. Modes of production serve, not control politics.

    • #7
    • January 12, 2016, at 5:32 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Titus Techera Contributor

    Mr. Walton–I’m sorry if I come across as angry–I’m just down-to-the-250-th-word-hurried!

    I think you describe rather well our current predicament & the difficulty of seeing even the future in front of our noses!

    I disagree with the theoretical statements, as I’ve tried to say…

    • #8
    • January 12, 2016, at 5:35 AM PST
    • Like
  9. James Madison Member

    Naudious,

    Bravo. This topic and your post are most welcome. Too often there is a tendency to flood the airwaves of Ricochet with free-association, apocalyptic talk of doom or worse, glee over the misfortune of others – under the guise of political analysis. It shows little humor and heavy doses of karma – punishment, wrath, just rewards – aimed almost deleriously at the establishment, the media, or anyone whose sees the merit of the other side or whose credentials can be assaulted. I read elsewhere today as people tried to take Peter Robinson apart for his friendships. Seriously? So much of this nattering negativism is backed up with joy over humiliation or the expected humiliation at the hands of voters, the rebellious, or the chosen, one true conservatives. Such schadenfreude is political porn – as the “Girl with a Peal” wrote two days ago on Ricochet.

    So this and your posts yesterday are very, very welcome. They are thoughtful, contain facts, and posit some theories which you defend. Yesterday, you dusted up a bit over how to use the Hillary-gate email controversy. Yet, you stood your ground and presented a reasoned case. The Brian’s did a nice job in opposition. And you show some bits of humor aimed at the public figures who are fair game.

    Argumentmum a fortiori over argumentum ad populum or argumentum ad hominem.

    Now this topic to me is as important as any discussed by conservatives. It gets too little play – and degenerates into Trumpism. Your points are thought provoking.

    I am currently teaching courses/classes in strategy. This is not my vocation, it is my avocation in transition. My tour will end in the spring. My topics are very different and real world – which is why I was asked. I sit around with some very bright people and they help me pick out illustrative topics. Having visited China over 25 times and given the stark contrasts one sees there (Merina’s observations above), I use it as a prime example to demonstrate many things. When the classroom discussion unfolds, many offer similar ideas to your own above.

    Thank you again.

    • #9
    • January 12, 2016, at 6:07 AM PST
    • Like
  10. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am going to argue with the premise: China is NOT going to get much wealthier. It is toast.

    Why? Demographics. People are an asset, and the Chinese “One Child” policy means that China will get old before it gets rich.

    Their financial problems make the US debt modest.

    Every rich person in China has an exit strategy. 80% of them, when polled, say that they will leave as and when they can. The place is so corrupt that people treat it like Nigeria: steal what you can, then flee while you can.

    The US should open the floodgates to Chinese with cash in hand.

    • #10
    • January 12, 2016, at 6:48 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Mike H Coolidge

    Titus Techera: Capitalism is how it was possible to have the German-Russian wars in the World Wars & why the Germans were scared of the Russians!

    Well… I would say something like governments confiscated the output of capitalism and focused it into armies and killing machines. Without that ability to take the wealth of others, ostensibly to “protect” them, it would be nearly impossible to make entities capable of killing millions. It’s much easier for governments to decide to kill each other when they’re using other people’s money and lives.

    • #11
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:02 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Titus Techera Contributor

    Mike H:

    Titus Techera: Capitalism is how it was possible to have the German-Russian wars in the World Wars & why the Germans were scared of the Russians!

    Well… I would say something like governments confiscated the output of capitalism and focused it into armies and killing machines. Without that ability to take the wealth of others, ostensibly to “protect” them, it would be nearly impossible to make entities capable of killing millions. It’s much easier for governments to decide to kill each other when they’re using other people’s money and lives.

    Yes, but all governments have that ability! & if capitalism did not tame all the nations that went to war & ended u almost destroying civilization, what’s it gonna do to reassure reasonable people today that China is gonna be great & it’s gonna be great for you Americans?–not, of course, Tibetans or others, but anyway…

    Wouldn’t a reasonable person say, nine times out of ten, someone tries capitalism, makes it big, & then horrors start?

    • #12
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:20 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Stoicous Inactive
    Stoicous

    Titus Techera:I am not sure what you mean about historical suggestions, but have you read about Germany & Britain? To me, that history suggests you should forget little wars like America & Britain or even the American Civil War–the most peaceful democracy in the world that…–& look directly at the 20th century’s World Wars.

    ———————————————————————-

    You’re really an amazing prophet, then! Do you also know the destiny of America? Is America destined to stay a superpower or whatever you want to call it?

    Predicting the destiny of China is one thing, assuming its growth will continue based on its economic statistics is another.

    Furthermore, it is not to say that Capitalist Democracies never go to war. But if you look at a list of wars from over the past centuries, you will find the majority of those wars are either between two Socialist Nations, or involve one Socialist Nation. And before the rise of Socialist nations in their modern form, these wars involved countries of a more Mercantilism-based economic model. Germany is a great example. In the early 1900s, Germany’s leadership and Kaiser Wilhelm II all despised Western Capitalism, and Germany had the largest Socialist party in Europe as well. Even looking at WW1; it started in the East, between Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Russia and Germany. All older, not-so-capitalist powers, before it engulfed the more Capitalist France, Great Britain and United States.

    • #13
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:29 AM PST
    • Like
  14. Stoicous Inactive
    Stoicous

    iWe:I am going to argue with the premise: China is NOT going to get much wealthier. It is toast.

    Why? Demographics. People are an asset, and the Chinese “One Child” policy means that China will get old before it gets rich.

    Their financial problems make the US debt modest.

    Every rich person in China has an exit strategy. 80% of them, when polled, say that they will leave as and when they can. The place is so corrupt that people treat it like Nigeria: steal what you can, then flee while you can.

    The US should open the floodgates to Chinese with cash in hand.

    China recently terminated its One-Child Policy, and it is important to remember that all its economic factors are still in hand.

    The point of my piece is to say that opening Free Trade with China will benefit China and the United States greatly, and will have the added benefit of making China freer and less hostile.

    For instance, through the Treaty of Versailles, the West put hard economic restrictions on Germany, primarily the War Guilt Clause. This is the #1 factor in the rise of Nazism. If the West had maintained its military pressure on Germany, but not hindered it economically, it is much more likely that the Wiemar Republic would have survived.

    • #14
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:35 AM PST
    • Like
  15. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Titus Techera: Wouldn’t a reasonable person say, nine times out of ten, someone tries capitalism, makes it big, & then horrors start?

    No, not really. WWI was a culmination of many different things, not fair to lay the blame on capitalism for that one. Hyperactive nationalism (France, Germany, Russia, Italy,the entire Balkans), coupled with a hyperactive desire to right nationalistic grievances (France, Germany, the entire Balkans), coupled with corrupt old regimes blundering about (Russia, Austria, Turkey), coupled with the new weapons – all those combined gave us that war. Russia was not a free economy then, nor was Turkey, nor was most of the Hapsburg empire.

    As I said earlier, though, China is showing a number of the tendencies that ignited that war – hyperactive nationalism, a blundering regime, hyperactive desire to right past grievances, and lots of new weapons. China is still not capitalist as the government controls and manipulates an enormous amount of its economy.

    • #15
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:36 AM PST
    • Like
  16. dbeck Inactive

    China has a problem with its neighbors, especially Vietnam. In late 1975, China invaded and was stopped cold 4 miles past the border it shares to its south with Vietnam. China’s army is populous but not seasoned. It has fought no major wars since Korea and that did not turn out so well for them either. They have poured lots of money into modernization and have stolen considerable American technology to upgrade aircraft, ships, submarines and land based missiles. But their general staff is political appointees and not critical military thinkers.

    They have a too small land area to grow crops with deserts and mountains making up the largest part of the country. They depend on imports to feed the population. Indications are their economic growth is faltering. Pollution is killing the population. Bad times.

    • #16
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:38 AM PST
    • Like
  17. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Naudious: For instance, through the Treaty of Versailles, the West put hard economic restrictions on Germany, primarily the War Guilt Clause. This is the #1 factor in the rise of Nazism. If the West had maintained its military pressure on Germany, but not hindered it economically, it is much more likely that the Wiemar Republic would have survived.

    This is likely true.

    Naudious: The point of my piece is to say that opening Free Trade with China will benefit China and the United States greatly, and will have the added benefit of making China freer and less hostile.

    This is unknown. There were many making this argument prior to WWI vis. Germany. They bet wrong. Free trade may well help China along, but then it may instead merely give the PLA the means to harness rampant nationalism and grievance mongering to more unfortunate ends (see also Japan in the 1930s). Proceed with caution.

    • #17
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:40 AM PST
    • Like
  18. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Naudious: The point of my piece is to say that opening Free Trade with China will benefit China and the United States greatly, and will have the added benefit of making China freer and less hostile.

    Complete agreement from me on this point.

    • #18
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:43 AM PST
    • Like
  19. I Walton Member

    Titus Techera:

    I Walton:

    Was it capitalism? Industrialization made for more destructive technologies, but WWI was more a product of a dying elite living out it’s dreams of imperial greatness, than the process that was killing it. It was fundamentally reactionary. WWII was not capitalism but it’s collapse caused by centralizers and fools and, of course, WWI and its peace, again reactionaries.

    Are you aware of the enormous popularity of the Great War? Do you know the national passions it aroused & raised to a previously & subsequently unknown pitch?

    Of course but popularity doesn’t just spring out of people busy doing the things they do. And while mass war and mass politics required a relatively more educated and attentive public and that can be blamed on markets and popular government, they also required leadership that wanted them. It’s the relentless change markets unleash that turn everything on it’s head and require more flexible institutions and yes, a grounding in the inherited religions and notions that gave rise to success, democracy, law and markets in the first place. But yes modes of production change and shape everything especially in the early stages, and if we’re not rooted, lead to the fatal conceit. You suggest it’s wealth that leads us to war, and it does often enough, but poverty and the top down controls that cause it aren’t the answer. Markets are just the way the world works. Some arrangements do better by them.

    • #19
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:49 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Stoicous Inactive
    Stoicous

    Please don’t construe my piece to say China is 100% destined to become pacifist wonderland.

    Rather that going forward, China will be a great economic power. And the best way to avoid war or Chinese aggression, is to not get agitated by their inevitable growth and become more antagonistic as they grow; but rather to accept that growth, trade with them, and develop mutually beneficial relationships.

    • #20
    • January 12, 2016, at 7:59 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Mike H Coolidge

    skipsul:

    Titus Techera: Wouldn’t a reasonable person say, nine times out of ten, someone tries capitalism, makes it big, & then horrors start?

    No, not really. WWI was a culmination of many different things, not fair to lay the blame on capitalism for that one. Hyperactive nationalism (France, Germany, Russia, Italy,the entire Balkans), coupled with a hyperactive desire to right nationalistic grievances (France, Germany, the entire Balkans), coupled with corrupt old regimes blundering about (Russia, Austria, Turkey), coupled with the new weapons – all those combined gave us that war. Russia was not a free economy then, nor was Turkey, nor was most of the Hapsburg empire.

    Not to mention that people believed war was just an inevitable part of the human condition so people were more inclined to actively seek it.

    • #21
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:04 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Titus Techera Contributor

    skipsul:

    Naudious: For instance, through the Treaty of Versailles, the West put hard economic restrictions on Germany, primarily the War Guilt Clause. This is the #1 factor in the rise of Nazism. If the West had maintained its military pressure on Germany, but not hindered it economically, it is much more likely that the Wiemar Republic would have survived.

    This is likely true.

    Naudious: The point of my piece is to say that opening Free Trade with China will benefit China and the United States greatly, and will have the added benefit of making China freer and less hostile.

    This is unknown. There were many making this argument prior to WWI vis. Germany. They bet wrong. Free trade may well help China along, but then it may instead merely give the PLA the means to harness rampant nationalism and grievance mongering to more unfortunate ends (see also Japan in the 1930s). Proceed with caution.

    It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to have caution. I’m not sure what kind of political speeches & deeds would correspond to that indication…

    As for Weimar Germany, it never had a chance. The regime was built on defeat, without any kind of popular support, the military escaping any blame for the war, including for the coup!

    • #22
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:07 AM PST
    • Like
  23. Tenacious D Inactive

    I think pollution in China could have a black swan level impact in the near future. It’s as bad as the height of the industial revolution in the west, with the difference that health impacts are much better understood and even behind the great firewall people have sone access to tools of mass communication. What happens when e.g. parents of kids with asthma start getting politically organized?

    • #23
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:15 AM PST
    • Like
  24. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Naudious:Please don’t construe my piece to say China is 100% destined to become pacifist wonderland.

    Rather that going forward, China will be a great economic power. And the best way to avoid war or Chinese aggression, is to not get agitated by their inevitable growth and become more antagonistic as they grow; but rather to accept that growth, trade with them, and develop mutually beneficial relationships.

    Right. But also keep our powder dry too.

    • #24
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:15 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Stoicous Inactive
    Stoicous

    Titus Techera:

    skipsul:

    Naudious: For instance, through the Treaty of Versailles, the West put hard economic restrictions on Germany, primarily the War Guilt Clause. This is the #1 factor in the rise of Nazism. If the West had maintained its military pressure on Germany, but not hindered it economically, it is much more likely that the Wiemar Republic would have survived.

    This is likely true.

    Naudious: The point of my piece is to say that opening Free Trade with China will benefit China and the United States greatly, and will have the added benefit of making China freer and less hostile.

    This is unknown. There were many making this argument prior to WWI vis. Germany. They bet wrong. Free trade may well help China along, but then it may instead merely give the PLA the means to harness rampant nationalism and grievance mongering to more unfortunate ends (see also Japan in the 1930s). Proceed with caution.

    It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to have caution. I’m not sure what kind of political speeches & deeds would correspond to that indication…

    As for Weimar Germany, it never had a chance. The regime was built on defeat, without any kind of popular support, the military escaping any blame for the war, including for the coup!

    That isn’t necessarily true. The Republic had its weaknesses, but it was the War Reparations that made it dead in the water and obliterated it when the Great Depression came around.

    • #25
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:16 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Titus Techera Contributor

    I Walton:

    Titus Techera:Are you aware of the enormous popularity of the Great War? Do you know the national passions it aroused & raised to a previously & subsequently unknown pitch?

    Of course but popularity doesn’t just spring out of people busy doing the things they do. And while mass war and mass politics required a relatively more educated and attentive public and that can be blamed on markets and popular government, they also required leadership that wanted them.

    Surely, the British government did not want war! The sense in which the German Kaiser wanted it is complicated, but I think it’s the consensus view that the German government wanted it.

     You suggest it’s wealth that leads us to war, and it does often enough, but poverty and the top down controls that cause it aren’t the answer.

    I don’t think the adversative clause is necessary. But we have to face the most important fact–we live in an age of facts, don’t we?–that the most capitalist–most modern–most successful–most powerful regimes tore each other apart. I would say democracy is far more to blame than capitalism for the wars, but a capitalist or liberal democracy also saved civilization… But why on earth anyone would believe history advertises capitalism…

    Markets are just the way the world works.

    This I don’t know how to make sense of–surely, history does not show this to be the case. You mean, theoretically?

    • #26
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:20 AM PST
    • Like
  27. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Titus Techera: It doesn’t seem like it’s possible to have caution. I’m not sure what kind of political speeches & deeds would correspond to that indication…

    A policy of “no better friend, no worse enemy” would help, but that would take an administration with an actual spine and resources dedicated to the task.

    Instead we have an aimless “a mediocre friend, an erratic and half hearted enemy”. This rather encourages the PLA to think it can gamble and get away with it.

    • #27
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:21 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Titus Techera Contributor

    Naudious:. The Republic had its weaknesses, but it was the War Reparations that made it dead in the water and obliterated it when the Great Depression came around.

    What were its strengths rather? Who believed in it or wanted to defend it or save it? When people got a chance, in 1925, they elected von Hindenburg! A more obvious statement that they did not want democracy, liberalism, legislatures, & party gov’t they could not have made! Making the republic in Weimar was the singlehandedly silliest thing–as if the ghost of Goethe was going to protect Germans from what they truly wanted!

    • #28
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:25 AM PST
    • Like
  29. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Titus Techera:

    Naudious:. The Republic had its weaknesses, but it was the War Reparations that made it dead in the water and obliterated it when the Great Depression came around.

    What were its strengths rather? Who believed in it or wanted to defend it or save it? When people got a chance, in 1925, they elected von Hindenburg! A more obvious statement that they did not want democracy, liberalism, legislatures, & party gov’t they could not have made! Making the republic in Weimar was the singlehandedly silliest thing–as if the ghost of Goethe was going to protect Germans from what they truly wanted!

    Shame too. Weimar is (or was, when I was last there 20+ years ago) a very nice little town – albeit with Buchenwald just up the road.

    Of course the town also gave us Bauhaus architecture, so maybe it deserves being associated with the failed republic.

    • #29
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:32 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Stoicous Inactive
    Stoicous

    Titus Techera:

    Naudious:. The Republic had its weaknesses, but it was the War Reparations that made it dead in the water and obliterated it when the Great Depression came around.

    What were its strengths rather? Who believed in it or wanted to defend it or save it? When people got a chance, in 1925, they elected von Hindenburg! A more obvious statement that they did not want democracy, liberalism, legislatures, & party gov’t they could not have made! Making the republic in Weimar was the singlehandedly silliest thing–as if the ghost of Goethe was going to protect Germans from what they truly wanted!

    But they didn’t want Hitler until the Economic restrictions of Versailles began to hurt. They didn’t want Fascism until they became destitute.

    • #30
    • January 12, 2016, at 8:35 AM PST
    • Like