The Shotgun Blog
Monday, March 06, 2006
The other riots
Here's my new Sun column on the riots nobody wants us to hear about -- the slow-burn riots in China:
These mini-protests -- in some cases, full-fledged riots with 30,000 participants -- are not Tiananmen Square, which was a coherent, intellectual protest, explicitly in the name of freedom. But they're in the same spirit: A growing middle class of ordinary Chinese sick of the large and small tyrannies of a one-party state.
Many of the grievances are local and petty -- but that's the natural product of a country without rule of law. Local party bosses lord it over the peasants, as they in turn are lorded over by the Communist party in Beijing...
How different India is. The world's largest democracy is not the sexy story the Western press has sanitized China into. But it has something very valuable China's fascism does not: A legacy of the rule of law.
What do you think?
Posted by Ezra Levant on March 6, 2006 | Permalink
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I agree with your prediction that the quest for democracy in China will follow closely on the heals of hybrid capitalism that is causing the creation of a rapidly growing middle class who will demand democracy. In my mind the only question is “how smoothly will democratization of China happen? Like that of a British colony or more like the mayhem in the Middle East?”
We must keep China engaged with the West (trade and Olympics help) while we scream bloody loudly about the atrocities that take place in China. The building of democracy is always messy. Unless, as you say, your former colonial master was a civilized master like Britain. In Canada’s case we slipped into democracy so easily that unfortunately Canadians think all you have to be is “nice” and democracy will happen pleasantly with the band playing. In India’s case Gandhi could fast and lie down on the railroad tracks and the British train engineer was well-mannered enough not to run over him.
I would not recommend that any newly minted cartoon Publisher from Alberta go to China and lie down on the tracks. However fasting might be a good idea for him even if the thugs in China aren’t that threatened by the prospect of a leaner and meaner WS Publisher.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-06 5:35:19 AM
In the long run the country with the greater levels of freedom, democracy, and respect for personal and intellectual property will perform better economically because its business and personal environment will better enable relationships of mutual benefit.
I admire your support of the Chinese whose heartfelt desire for freedom leads them to put their lives at risk. It's a battle their counterparts in India are unlikely to ever have to fight.
Posted by: Halfwise Halfwit | 2006-03-06 5:51:51 AM
I agree with nomdenet - a hybrid capitalism is rapidly developing a large and exponentially growing middle class in China - and a middle class operates within and requires democracy. This is a movement that is 'from the bottom up' i.e., it begins within the population and therefore, that democracy will belong to those people.
Additionally, China places an increasingly heavy focus on scientific research; this too requires a middle class - and independence of thought.
These 'bubblings' within the population, which reveal that this population is taking control over their own gov't - can be found in China in multiple areas. It is interesting that the authorities can make laws about various forms of behaviour, and the people seem to simply ignore those laws.
China is not, however, without a rule of law (that's anarchy!). It is in a transition period, moving from the superimposed heavy hand of a centrally enforced social revolution..which moved China in one generation out of a locally based peasant agriculture. This centralization is breaking down - as it always has in China - which is too large for that mode..and local orders are emerging. China has always been local; that means that to get anything done, you require 'goodwill' and 'friends'; to get a visa, you take the local officer out to dinner.
Now- they have to develop laws that move authority out of the local patronage boss and enable the middle class to operate freely. A middle class doesn't work with 'kin-ties' and results based on 'who you know'.
My prediction is that this movement will happen smoothly and rapidly - as the population moves beyond the inhibitory capacity of the old guard..and as communism loses its functionality to 'make things happen'..and the middle class and democracy 'make things happen' instead.
I disagree with your perspective on India. I certainly agree with the British colonial legacy, which did indeed leave a rule of law, democracy, a middle class. The French colonial system left, always, and still - a complete mess (Vietnam, Haiti etc). That's because the French went in with a 'pur laine' mentality; they were the authorities and the population were workers and did not govern themselves. No middle class infrastructure developed in a French colony.
However, I disagree that India has a better infrastructure than China. The problem in India is its 'caste'/class system. It is more difficult to develop a middle class in India, for the idea of all the population has potential entrepreneurs doesn't yet exist there. They don't operate within the mind set of 'wouldn't it be helpful for your city to have a franchise that makes 'such and such' down the street near you...Instead, they answer that 'my servant'does that for me.
That is - there are levels within the Indian society that are more inhibitory of a middle class development than there are in China.
There is a focus on scientific research, but, not as great as that of China.
So- it will be interesting to see which of these 'sleeping giants' will take precedence in the world.
As for the Middle East - that's the problem. Here you have a population that has not, unlike India..which moved out of peasantry via British colonialism, and unlike China, which moved out of it via communism - here you have a population which is frozen in time..in the medieval period.
Frozen into a subsistence economy, which has been corrupted by a 'fake economy' that enriches dictators and sets up military dictatorships to prevent those dictators from losing that power. A population kept in massive ignorance and superstition. A population kept at a minimal economic level. Essentially, a population kept as machines - able only to react to the Click of the Switch of their leaders and unable to think for themselves.
No science - instead, a rejection of science. No power to the people - instead, the people are used as leverage to maintain the dictatorial power. No middle class. No economy other than the sale of one single raw resource.
It's not only the West that can't put up with this cancer in the middle of the world. India and China won't be able to do so either. The ME's transition to democracy is extremely difficult...
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 6:38:04 AM
It's nice to see someone use the word 'fascism' correctly for a change, i.e., in reference to militant authoritarianism of the leftist variety.
Don't know when this book will be coming out (but I, for one, am eagerly awaiting it):
I was lucky enough to see the author speak a couple weeks back. He is really quite funny, even though the subject itself is not.
Posted by: MSYB | 2006-03-06 9:22:37 AM
Your comment laid it out very well. I see the stuation as you do.
If anyone is not sure about what the big picture is on Planet Earth at this time. They can get a perfect snapshop, reading you stuff right here.
I am unable to connect a couple of dots though.
If India and China won't be able to put up with the Muslim scourge any more than we can, why aren't they doing more to help out?
I suspect there is an agenda that may be simply to let the west spend itself nearly to death doing the dirty work, then step up fill the economic vortex with their own proserity.
But how can this shake down without eventual disenchantment by the West toward these biggies who use us and don't want to pay the freight.
I see many problems. The USA will not quietly into the night as the rest of the world chips away at its wealth and dominance.
Can you imagin a USA with it's back against the wall and few friends if any?
Posted by: Duke | 2006-03-06 9:59:02 AM
I like the idea of a democracy coming thru grass roots demands.
That means a wide base of support among people who WANT democracy, and know what the alternative is, and reject the alternative.
They are the kind of people who will fight to preserve rights and freedoms and understand why they form one of the foundations of a healthy society.
Economic health depends on property rights of the individual, being supported by the state but it also depends on other rights and freedoms.
People who demand property rights, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association and the right to vote, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and the right to be presumed innocent till proven guilty, the protection from unwarranted search and seizure of persons or property
people who demand those rights, will understand and be able to support a democracy.
Way to go CHINA!!!! (cheering the people working for change, not the bosses responsible for oppressing them!)
Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-06 10:14:06 AM
Some valid points. But be careful of generalizations. When you say middle east, are you meaning those Muslim countries only? When you talk about democracy are you saying that democractic countries (like Canada) don't have any of the problems you've attributed to the 'middle east'? Like the power wanting to keep the populace ignorant? We may have a more developed and 'wealthy' economy, but we're not immune from corruption and greed. 'We' are easier for 'us' to stomach, but the muslim populace sees us as extremely corrupt (especially morally) and are frightened by our culture, as frightended as we are of theirs. That's why the road to 'democracy' is going to be tough. We are not a great example of a 'good' society, something that "God fearing" people would want to emulate. (We've done a good job of extinguishing our 'Christian' culture, and our secular aspirations have left a moral vacumn.) It will be very hard to show the merits of democracy through the many veils of prejudice (on both sides) and suspicion. It doesn't help that the west gets frustrated when things move slowly (short attention span) and the angry rhetoric starts flowing. It also doesn't help that the liberals are constantly proclaiming the evils of democracy , all the while benefitting and seeking power. This will not be quick and easy.
The Chinese no longer have peasants? Or do they just have a different name for it?
Posted by: lwestin | 2006-03-06 10:22:56 AM
In reply to Duke -
The Muslim scourge is attacking the West, at the moment, not India or China. So, I suspect that India/China are sitting back and hoping that we will deal with it. I don't think we can, or should, do it all alone.
I suspect that China would hold the view of 'let them fight, let them weaken themselves..and then, we'll step in'. Chinese capitalism is very aggressive at the moment. They simply move into any areas that seem weak (eg, in Africa)..and take over the economic infrastructure. They aren't really interested in the political infrastructure - as long as it doesn't interfere with the economic.
Possibly, India is not assisting in Pakistan, and deliberately letting the Islamic scourge weaken Pakistan.
The thing is - what does the ME gain by refusing to 'grow up', i.e, refusing to move out of tribalism, out of a peasant economy, refusing to educate its citizens, frozen in a theocratic mindset that rejects reason, science, advancement and maintains the population in a peasant, emotive 'groupthink'. What do they have to gain by this agenda? Is it only the power of the tribal elite? How long can this be maintained?
Europe is wakening up - and starting to fight back. The US is fighting back. China and India are nowhere near the US economy. China, for example, still has to deal with a large rural peasant population, it has to educate that population into an industrial mode, it has to build the industrial infrastructure for communication etc. it's done an impressive job so far - but, there's a 'humungeous' amount of work left. And..it has to give more power to the people.
AND - the people have to exercise that power. The majority of Chinese are disinterested in gov't and politics. A democracy requires their involvement and interest.
India, in my view, has much further to go, for more of their population is locked into a caste, class rural and peasant system.
The Islamic phase is wierd - a geographic area that is adamantly rejecting industrialism, rejecting thought, science..and insisting that its people behave, not like humans who think, but like machines that cannot think..and..simply act when a switch is pushed. That's what Islamism is doing...
So- Europe has to reject welfare state supporting these 'people-who-act-like-machines' and insist that they join the industrial world, the capitalist world, the scientific world.
I think, and hope, that Europe is wakening up and realizing that it cannot state-welfare fund machines. It requires human beings as citizens. People who think and work.
With regards to China, I think it's busy gobbling up economic infrastructures wherever states are weak and unable to finance those infrastructures themselves. That includes AFrica..and Canada..which has refused to develop an investor class of Canadians and is thus reliant on foreign investment.
The loser is going to be the ME - unless it confronts its frozen mindset.
As for fears of China - I don't see it. Our global world cannot function within a totalitarian system. The size of our global population requires democracy. Equally, the size of our global population requires science, and open minds, because we require constant new innovations.
I don't worry about the USA, but, I think that the world will be more and more networked, and therefore, the imbalances that we now see, will be reduced.
The world cannot, ever, be homogeneous. First, because homogeneity is dysfunctional. A bowl of jello is homogeneous..and doesn't do anything. We require diversity and difference in order to 'do work'.
And, we must never forget our biome, ie, the env't. The fact that our geographic world is vastly different means that we will adapt to its differences in different ways...
I admit- I'm biased about China. My first university degree was in Chinese. Four years of it...it kind of stays with you. But, I see communism as a passing phase..and I don't think we should fear the China of the future.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 10:31:27 AM
I'm glad you appreciate 'some valid points'.
When I refer to the ME, I'm referring to the Islamic countries - ..Iran, SA, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq..And, one can't leave out Egypt, Jordan..and Afghanistan and Pakistan. The removal of Saddam Hussein has enabled Iraq to move towards democracy but this mov't is strongly rejected by the neighbouring countries, who are the 'insurgents'.
No society is ever immune to corruption and greed; that's because such factors are attributes of the psychological nature of human beings.
I certainly don't mean to say that democratic countries don't have the problems of ignorance, etc of the ME - but, these are not state policies. We do not have a theocracy, which merges religion and state. A religious ideology presents 'truths' that are infallible and beyond debate and question. A democratic state has to operate by a civic mode, whose 'truths' are derived by the population themselves (by the people, for the people, of the people). Therefore, our population is encouraged to become informed. Blogs, in my view, are an increasingly important source of information, for they provide 'self-correcting' information.
As for the Muslim population viewing the West as 'corrupt'- I think that's a smokescreen. The two ideologies are not, as you seem to assert, morally or intellectually equal. To state that their ideology is a 'religious' one and therefore, immune to criticism, while ours is a secular one and therefore open to criticism - is a tactic of theirs, to close their minds. Religion is a human construct - and it is developed within a particular, and only a particular, economy. If it moves into another economic mode, it must, as a human construct, adapt and change. The Muslim religion was developed within a nomadic, pastoral peasant economy of over 1,000 years ago- and hasn't adapted or evolved.
Our ideology is secular, is based on empiricism and reason - and is fully open to debate and adaptive change.
The two, therefore, are not equal. What disturbs the western mind when confronted with Islamism, is its rejection of debate, questions, change. Now- that's frightening. That's fundamentalism.
What do they view as corrupt - the fact that men and women are equal? We consider their view of women as unequal, as an owned vassal of the male etc - as amoral and unethical. We consider their view that women cannot work - as unethical. They consider our view that a woman's body is hers - as unethical; we consider their view that a woman's body belongs to her father/brother/husband - is unethical.
As for 'god-fearing' people - well, I'm an atheist, so that is meaningless to me. As for a 'good society' - I don't think we are as good as Australia or the USA, because we are too politically correct; we live in a Cave of our own self-drawn fictional images. But, we are a democracy; we do have the right of free speech.
As for China and peasants - of course they still have peasants!, But, the major percentage of the economy is not a peasant (local, subsistence level, no surplus) economy; the proportion of peasantry is extremely low.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 11:26:26 AM
ET your post are much too long and too boring
you should put more wastes in the toilet
Posted by: Tom | 2006-03-06 11:31:18 AM
Duke, You make perfect sense to me. ET you have good arguments but you ignore evil, you should read a bit about 'habitats for humanity', Marice Strong and co. We should all thank our lucky stars that United States lives next door to us, thank God that George Bush (not Al Bore) is in the White House and John Bolton is wire brushing at the UN.
Posted by: jema54j | 2006-03-06 12:05:46 PM
MSYB - Thanks for the book title; looks extremely interesting. There's a nice book by Roger Eatwell: Fascism, a history. Pimlico. 2003.
And, there's always Mussolini/Gentile's two page 1932 'What is Fascism'.
What makes it 'left' is its collectivism, its socialism, its homogeneity, its centralist governance, its rejection of the individual, its focus on emotion rather than reason. And, its emphasis on fiction, propaganda (aka postmodernism).
What makes it right is its focus on its 'energy-force' coming from an inherited source (race, the mythic nation). But, since fascism rejects the individual, rejects reason, in my view - it's primarily a 'leftist' ideology.
Thanks for the book - clearly seems to link the left with the Islamists...
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 12:08:30 PM
Jema54 - I think that's an important comment - the reality of evil. But, I think that evil is within any and all of us. So, could you explain what you mean by this?
I 100% agree - we must be grateful that we are next to the USA - and a USA run by George Bush. And, that we live in a world where the USA, and some other countries, (UK, Australia, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, etc...and finally, unwillingly...Canada)..acknowledge their responsibilities.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 12:13:55 PM
Colon - Tom, Duked, and all the other assorted aliases you have used here in the past few days, a simply brilliant strategy. A wonder no one has tried it before! Oh wait... they have.
A few have probably even gotten away with it but I'm afraid as usual your 4th grade grammar and spelling skills have tripped you up.
McClelland, he is your typical left wing bomb thrower, I have never seen him actually make a point, he simply displays his hate and immediately attacks ad hominem. The favorite trait of the left.
I suspect ET while completely capable of self defense, will not be lowered to reply to such drivel. That is called class.
I on the other hand do not suffer from that affliction and as usual feel compelled to speak out. If you want a debate of the mind, or one in the gutter, which seems to be your favorite venue, then debate. But have a point, and at least try and back it up with some facts.
These petty personal attacks are ridiculous and border on childish.
ET (and others), keep up the good work. While not always, I usually agree with you and have learned plenty, Particularly how to debate with skill and class. Something I have not seen in any of the left wingers who have tried to take you to task, or others with your point of view.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-03-06 12:28:53 PM
Please, please, tell me that was a joke.
The Communists kileld more than two dozen protestors in Shanwei; the murders by themselves made the protests news. According one local witness at the Hanyuan County (Sichuan) hydroelectric dam protests, the cadres killed TEN THOUSAND demonstrators.
The cadres don't "allow them to haappen;" they crush them as hard as they can, usually because the protests are over illegal land seizures committed by the cadres themselves.
ET, I wish I still had your optimism (I once did have it). I've just seen too much evidence of Communist Party perfidy, arming of terrorists, and other rampant misbehavior.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-03-06 12:29:51 PM
ET I’m glad to see you agreeing with Jema54. Perhaps my only concern about atheists is their lack of visceral instincts about evil.
Yes evil exists everywhere and is a part of all of us, which is why most of humanity needs something to hang onto to keep knocking it down. A few atheists that I know don’t seem to need faith to see things clearly (you’d be one) and still have the courage to carry on. My experience (I can’t prove it) is that people of faith see evil in our midst more clearly than atheists. Which is why I also think the post-modern secular liberal PMSLs, which we’ve debated in the past, don’t have the sense of urgency to fight Islamofascism. This is because of their emphasis on cultural relativism; they simply don’t acknowledge the power of evil to take over an individual or a culture/cult.
As a practical example of what I think this means, in my own Church we intuitively (almost sub-consciously) isolate and keep at the fringe the fundamentalists (being those that are a bit over the top, I don’t mean that these fundamentalists would behead anybody). I fear the Moderate Muslims have not marginalized their fundamentalists. I fear their radicals have found the centre of the Mosque (in some cases) and are ruling the roost.
I simply think that a person of faith sees these problems instinctively in a part of their brain that is more open to the “notions” about evil. Eventually, reason has to trump these “notions”. The notions eventually need to be articulated and explained. Which is starting to happen now in connection with Islamofascism. Incredibly it’s been helped by the cartoon fiasco, which started 4 years after 9/11. In other words post-religious Europe took 4 years whereas the more religious USA “got it" immediately. As did the religious Bush and Blair. I put it back to you: why is that?
I think communism and those that practice it are evil. Socialism is communism with a vote. I think socialists are often heading down the same path of evil as commies but not all have crossed it. In short any “ism” that does not put reason and the rights of the individual at the top of the equation is headed for evil.
I am very optimistic that communism and socialism are finished. We are simply seeing China in its death rattle stage. There is still some danger and for that reason I mean no disrespect to China e-lobby for whistle blowing.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-06 1:12:26 PM
nomdenet - interesting comments.
I think that you are equating atheists with postmodernists..who, because they are relativists, are unable to evaluate and therefore, unable to accept, see, acknowledge evil. If someone does something evil, they always try to blame it one 'something else'..which, interestingly, means that postmodernists reduce people to MECHANISMS, to machines..that react only when a switch is flicked. Hah- postmodernists, the ultimate humanists, have reduced human beings to machines.
As you know, I loathe postmodernism. But -I'm an atheist. I simply cannot accept the notion of a metaphysical agent determining the non-metaphysical. I DO accept that our world is organized, it is not random. Any quick look at the repetitive patterns of a five-petal flower, necessarily shows the observer that 'mind' exists; that organization exists. But, I see our universe as self-organized, not organized by some metaphysical Intelligence. The intelligence exists, but it not within an Agent (God) but is within the universe. The universe operates, and has to operate, as a mind. Otherwise, its energy content would dissipate. The agenda of our universe is to prevent entropic dissipation of energy, and it achieves this 'goal' by a complex organization of all abiotic and biotic life.
So- to me, there's no god. But, there is complex self-organization.
But, within humans, there is indeed evil. I think that this is a function of our complex nature as human. We are the species with the most capacity-to-imagine. This is beneficial; it means that we enable the most complex mode of life on earth..via our inventions. But, along with this great beneficial capacity-to-imagine and invent, and because of this capacity to imagine, we are burdened with the capacity to invent fictions that are purely malicious and evil.
I have always been stunned by how a society, as cultured as Germany, could so rapidly descend into accepting, into believing in an ideology as evil as fascism. To walk down the streets - in Berlin, in Dresden, and think that a mere generation ago, these cities were rubble,and the people were engulfed within a totally fictional world...How could we do this?
But then - when I read the manifesto's of Islamicism - I see the same mindset.
Do I think that communism is evil? No, I think it's romantic, utopian fictional nonsense. Just as I think Plato's Republic is similar. The appeal of collectivism, where one loses not simply the right but also the the burdensome responsibility to think..can be enticing. This appeal will never be lost; we'll always have some group promoting it.
Is totalitarianism evil? Yes - and when the romantic groupism of communism, fascism, socialism, any -ism..moves into a fundamentalist enforcement from the top - then, it becomes like a cancer. Because it rejects dissent. It rejects any 'Otherness'. Any view that is holistic and rejects dissent and questions - is evil.
Yes - I completely agree with you. Europe is waking up - and it took the cartoon fiasco. But, let's hope Europe stays awake! However, I think that economically, it is realizing that it cannot function to maintain a welfare state support of immigrants who refuse to exist as a democratic middle class.
Maybe Canada is waking up too - and moving out of its fictional cave.
Nice phrase - 'socialism is communism with a vote'.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-06 1:43:22 PM
Nomdenet > “I think communism and those that practice it are evil. Socialism is communism with a vote. I think socialists are often heading down the same path of evil as commies but not all have crossed it. In short any “ism” that does not put reason and the rights of the individual at the top of the equation is headed for evil. I am very optimistic that communism and socialism are finished.”
There is a school of thought that suggests that far from being “finished” communism and socialism are not only not dead but are resurgent in a different guise (from blatantly brute Marxism to more slow and subtle tactics of cultural subversion). An interesting proponent of this line of thinking suggests that it is behind the neo-communist resurgence in Latin America.
Olavo de Carvalho, Brazilian university professor, thinker, philosopher and self-made investigative journalist, has been fighting a lonely battle in defense of America and liberty and for his trouble subjected to censorship and death threats. Here are excerpts from an interview with de Carvalho. It has relevance to the battle against socialism everywhere. Read the whole thing at:
Interviewer: Olavo, you contend that the neocommunist surge in Latin America is not a spontaneous phenomena but rather the result of the successful implementation of strategies devised by Antonio Gramsci. Could you please expand into the philosophical/political underpinnings of Gramsci's methodology?
de Carvalho: Gramsci, side by side with the frankfurtians and the Hungarian philosopher Georg Lukacs, is one of the top masterminds of the so-called “cultural marxism”, which is not a school of thought but a bunch of heterogeneous proposals having in common the hate to Western civilization, and the belief that, the cultural war against it, should precede and guide the political fight for socialism. ..........
.........But while the aforementioned authors focused mainly in theoretical issues, Gramsci, who was the founder and leader of the Italian Communist Party, was interested above all in practical results. He created the strategy and the tactics of the “cultural revolution” that should pave the way for the seizure of State power by the communists.......
...........Socialist symbols and values under some other name should be inocculated in the souls of people since early age. Disguised socialist influence should spread to every field of human social existence, including private life and the most intimate feelings. Child care, medicine, psychoterapy, religion and marriage counseling were preferential channels for the transmission of that influence. Christian churches, for instance, should not be criticized, but infiltrated in order to deprive them of their spiritual content and use them as megaphones for communist watchwords. At the same time, disguised communists should occupy all the posts in educational, cultural and media organizations, gradually and carefully expelling their opponents to the last man. Communist ideology should recast all the language of public conversations, in order to provide that every circulating opinion contributes unconsciously to communist-fabricated general results.
Posted by: JR | 2006-03-06 1:58:36 PM
Just to be clear, I did not mean to equate you or any other atheists with being PMSLs. I think it is very tough work being atheists whereas it’s easy to be a PMSL … ;>)
I had it in my head that communism and totalitarianism were similar in the sense they are both without a vote and ergo they were both evil.
Without the Internet I think we were déjà vu descending into “ walking down the streets of Germany”
I’ll have to chew over the rest of your post, thanks.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-06 1:59:48 PM
Thanks for the link and the article. I linked to it on my blog.
Posted by: The Lord Protector | 2006-03-06 2:29:10 PM
Ahhh JR, I read your article and Carvalho’s a smart brave guy, they need a lot more of them. I’ve been disappointed in Latin America too.
I would agree with you about the resurgence globally:
If Bush, Blair, Howard, hadn’t been re-elected
If Mr K? in Japan hadn’t been re-elected on a clear reform platform
If Schroeder hadn’t been kicked out and replaced by Angela Merkel
If Chirac wasn’t showing signs of coming back into the USA fold
If we hadn’t replaced Martin with Harper
China and India are powering ahead with captialism.
In more nebulous areas, the cartoon fiasco and the Manifesto that ET mentions plus lots of other signs, all indicate the tide is turning globally. But as to Latin America ..
I think what is happening in LA is that the successful political class/ elite did not leave their money there, they moved it to Miami. There is more LA money out of the countries than left in them. LA, other than Chile the only successful one, simply did not put property rights at the top and enforce it. Hernando de Soto is an expert on this and coincidentally his property rights theories apply to our aboriginal screw-ups.
But in LA the elites did not trust their own countries’ laws and banks etc. I think it has something to do with the authority of Catholicism being replaced by socialism. Socialism is just another kind of disastrous paternalism. We saw it happen in Quebec when they dumped the authoritarian Catholic Church. Ditto in Europe, which became post-religious and adopted the comforts of nanny care socialism. As Carvalho says, Socialism is a religious substitute. Which is why the PMSLs don’t want us having too much faith in the future or ourselves because they want to tax us and centrally plan our lives.
I still think LA will make it eventually. But they need smarter better-educated politicians. They frankly have elected in Brazil, Venezuela etc ...high school dropouts. Maybe someday the brains that have moved out to Miami and New York will get nationalistic and return to clean up their countries of the corruption that is terrible in LA.
LA could also use less machismo in government, which comes out of their Mediterranean roots. They could use more females in government, ready to compromise rather than argue. Get some things done. Clean it up for the kids. That kind of “clean it up for the sake of the kids” attitude is needed, which I think is what is happening in Quebec and the ROC.
The good news in LA is that they have freedom of the press, “some” competition in the media and they are a family oriented people. Mostly they need solid, honest leadership. I sold my LA mutual funds in December, took my loses for taxes, that probably means LA will turn around soon … ;>)
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-06 2:53:50 PM
Tell you what Ezra. You can have them both. China because it is the world largest facist state and India because it is not a democracy. Since when does a democratric country have huge populations of child labour plus the highest spousal killing rate. I find it sad that we rank one better than the other. They both are a threat to individual liberty and freedom.
Posted by: mel wilde | 2006-03-06 3:18:14 PM
Steve Sailer writes:
"...making racial or ethnic generalizations about South Asia can be a mug's game. It is the most anthropologically complex region on earth. Arguably, its [India's] democratic stability rests in part on its infinite divisions. Indians couldn't arrange to hold a civil war because they couldn't coalesce into just two sides.
The average IQ of India and China is crucial to the future of the world. But the question is far from settled. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen's IQ and the Wealth of Nations found three IQ studies of China, which averaged out to 100 on a scale where the U.S. average is 98. As I've tried to emphasize, single-country averages from that important book should be taken with a grain of salt, but regional averages are more reliable. The more advanced and better-documented countries bordering China feature even higher average IQs. So the future looks bright for China.
In contrast, Lynn and Vanhanen found four studies of Indian IQ that average out to only 81.
Still, in the long run, homogenous China looks more formidable a competitor for American than diverse India. One of my Indian correspondents wrote me:
"China has an enormous advantage over India: relative homogeneity. In China there is no significant difference in racial appearance between the rich and the poor. They come from the same people. In India, you can see a colour line dividing classes every inch of the way. Sure these lines aren't cut and dry like black and white, and there are overlaps, but the trends are easy to follow for anyone willing to observe. The fact that the Chinese don't have 4000 year old caste hatreds gives them an enormous advantage over India."
As late as 1960, the U.S. looked like China— it was nearly 90 percent white. But now whites are down to some 75 percent—because, since the 1965 Immigration Act, public policy has been bent on making us interesting, like India.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-06 3:33:36 PM
I agree there have been encouraging signs. But still, in spite of Bush, Blair, Howard, Merkel, Harper, et al, the subversion of thinking in the USA, Britain, Australia, Germnay and Canada seems to continues unabated - more slowly in some places than others. The media, the churches, the education system seem hopelessly compromised by the left. The drift ever-leftward seems steady with moves to smaller government nowhere in sight.
I don’t subscribe to the idea that all this is a ‘conspiracy’ but it wouldn’t be much different if it were.
Posted by: JR | 2006-03-06 3:35:51 PM
Ezra, thank you for continually covering news that rarely gets touched by anyone else!
The Robert McLellands of the world refuse to believe the facts: the CCP kills protestors. It has happened many times since Tiananmen.
I hope you're right about the Olympics.
Posted by: Angela | 2006-03-06 3:43:03 PM
A growing middle class of ordinary Chinese sick of the large and small tyrannies of a one-party state.
We suffer from a tyrannical one party state most of the time too.
What I think is we should emulate what the Chinese are doing. Our own government is pretty purvasive in our lives and shrinking standard of living.
The only reason we aren't rioting here is because there is still enough to pay us off so we can have the illusion that our standard of living is high and secure ..... it's not!
Posted by: Duke | 2006-03-06 4:59:58 PM
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