The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Book Review: Arthur K. Kroeber - China's Economy
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Arthur K. KroeberCHINA’S ECONOMY (2016)
Rating: 4/5

TLDR: Comprehensive and very readable overview of Chinese economy from a China expert, with especially useful discussions on Chinese SOE’s, financial system, and the validity of Chinese economic statistics (spoiler: They’re fine). Learned some interesting new things from it, despite having already read a considerable amount on this topic over the years. However, there are some rather questionable takes that prevent me from giving it a full five stars.

You can access all of my latest book, film, and video game reviews at this link, as well as an ordered, categorized list of all my book reviews and ratings here: https://akarlin.com/books


China is an emerging superpower with a nominal GDP at 70% of the US level (130% in PPP terms). The physical correlates of that are illustrated on the cover of this book – as China’s share of the urban population trebled since 1980, cities and megalopolises have sprouted on the sites of former villages (follow Carl Zha to get a a regular visual dose of such transformations). Yet even as China let go of Maoist lunacies and built up the infrastructure and productive capacity of a First World nation over a single generation, it encountered new problems – pollution, inequality, debt – that some pundits have argued will eventually derail its ascent. This book offers a comprehensive account of the story of the world’s most successful major economic growth story after the heyday of the East Asian tigers, and a more realistic background for analyzing China’s prospects.

Interesting/Important Observations

(1) As I have argued in the past, Maoism was a disaster in economic terms – at the end of it, China had a lower GDP per capita than India, despite their human capital disparity. This is not so surprising when one learns that you had a greater chance of dying on the job than getting fired in late Maoist China (cf. “THE CHINESE ECONOMY” by Barry Naughton). It made the Soviet Gosplan look like a paragon of technocratic efficiency. So no wonder that on Mao’s death, the Politburo decided to adopt the proven East Asian developmental state model instead (based on land reform, export manufacturing, and financial repression).

But Chinese practice differed from Japanese and Korean in two key respects.

First, the state played an even more paramount role, with China relying much more on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). In contrast, most Japanese banks and corporations were private, and while many of Korea’s banks were state-owned, the chaebols were generally private; interesting, the most state-dominated economy was Taiwan’s, where all the banks were (and still are) state-owned, and many companies were owned by the state or Guomindang (though these were mostly privatized in the 1980s to early 1990s).

Second, foreign direct investment (FDI) played a much greater role. Counter-intuitively, this was because of the East Asian tigers’ security integration with the US. In exchange, the US “tacitly allowed to run mercantilist economies, shutting out foreign companies from their markets even as their own companies enjoyed easy access to the US market.” As Kroeber argues, this was a deal that China was never going to get – “as the price of admission to the US-dominated world trading system, China would need to give foreign companies substantial market access.”

Incidentally, one corollary of this, that I was not previously aware of, is that the East Asian democratic transitions – far from conferring to “end of history” eschatology – were to a significant extent forced by local elites’ need to keep the US invested in their security after its restoration of ties with the PRC.

In Taiwan, the move to representative democracy was a strategic choice made by leader Chiang Ching-kuo in the 1980s in response to the US decision to normalize relations with Beijing (and hence sever formal diplomatic ties with Taipei). Chiang believed that in order for Taiwan to retain its autonomy in a region increasingly influenced by a fast-growing China, it had no choice but to align itself as fully as possible with American political and ideological values. Similarly, South Korea’s military dictatorship was tolerated by Washington during the Cold War, but would not likely have outlasted the fall of the Berlin Wall by very long, even had it not crumbled in the face of embarrassing student-worker protests ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. By contrast, China’s position outside the US alliance structure means that it has no need to accept the liberal-democratic framework.

Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?

(2) Useful chart of China’s power system: Policy largely determined by “leading small groups” tightly linked to the Politburo (especially under Xi Jinping) – ministries don’t have much power, are largely tasked with implementation.

(3) Why isn’t China crushing the Hong Kong protesters under tank treads?

Another facet of the FDI strategy was that much “foreign” investment was not really foreign. Nearly half of inbound direct investment has come from Hong Kong, and while much of that may simply reflect the activities of Hong Kong–based subsidiaries of American or European firms, it is clear that Hong Kong firms have been major investors in the mainland… Moreover, as much as a third of China’s reported FDI may in fact be “round-tripping”—investments by Chinese individuals and companies that are routed through companies in other jurisdictions, especially Hong Kong.

(4) Forget Russia’s “sale of the century” – the single largest transfer of wealth in world history was probably the privatization of the urban housing stock controlled by Chinese SOEs beginning in 1998, and mostly culminating in 2003, when urban house owners attained unrestricted rights to own, buy, sell, and mortgage property.

The value of this privatization was valued at $540 billion (doesn’t specify what date; I assume as of the time of writing). Since then, urban Chinese properties have become some of the priciest real estate in the world. Meanwhile, commenter AquariusAnon tells us that professionals in Tier 1 Chinese cities now earn near-American salaries, in a country where most things are twice cheaper, with home ownership at 70-80% amongst hukou holders. This group of people must have some of the highest material living standards in the world. Meanwhile, contrast that with the peasant living in his modest shack over which he doesn’t even have full property rights to this date.

Naturally, inequality soared.

(5) More from the Annals of Maoist Lunacy:

One of the major reasons for this “partial urbanization” is the hukou or residence registration system. This system has its roots in the baojia household registration method established by the Song Dynasty in eleventh-century China, versions of which later appeared in other Asian countries including Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. The modern hukou, which dates from 1958, is far more restrictive than the traditional baojia, which was used mainly for census and taxation purposes. Hukou incorporates elements of the “internal passport” system used by the Soviet Union to limit the mobility of its citizens. In addition to assigning each person a place of registration that is difficult to change, the system sorts people into two categories: rural and urban. When it was strictly enforced during the Maoist era, hukou made it very difficult to obtain a job outside one’s place of registration, and almost impossible for people to migrate from the country to the city. Between 1960 and 1978 the urban share of the national population actually fell, from 20 percent to 18 percent. This repression of city growth in the 1960s and 1970s is one of the main reasons why even today China’s urban population is lower than is normal for a country of its income.

That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher fertility rates.

Moreover, this effect may have been further strengthened by suppressing the growth of the biggest metropolises in favor of small towns.

The cities with the most vibrant economies and best job opportunities, like Beijing and Shanghai, also have the most restrictive immigration policies, so their populations and economies are smaller than they would be without hukou barriers. Many migrant workers are diverted from these hubs into smaller cities, where construction jobs have created a temporary demand for labor and more relaxed migration policies, but where the potential for long-term productivity growth is lower.

Highly ironic if the Communists who implemented the One Child Policy were simultaneously running an unintentional pro-natality program.

(6) While Kroeber doesn’t make the analogy himself, he would clearly agree with Richard McGregor’s argument in THE PARTY that China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state. While it has many vigorous small companies, the “commanding heights” of the economy remain state dominated. This includes three of the ten largest companies in the world (Sinopec, CNPC, State Grid), as well as 82 of the 92 Chinese companies on the Fortune Global 500.

Comparison to Japanese and Korean industrial organization:

Chaebol are diversified conglomerates, typically controlled by a founding family. Like keiretsu, they involve extensive use of cross-shareholdings among related companies. Unlike keiretsu, they are prohibited by law from owning banks. This prohibition on bank ownership was a deliberate choice made in the 1960s by the Korean government, which wanted to make the chaebol dependent on credit from state-owned banks and hence responsive to the government’s policy objectives. … After much experimentation, the system that evolved in China was that of the “business group” (qiye jituan). The business group was first legally defined in 1987, and over the course of the next fifteen years the central government created about two hundred such groups by corporatizing various ministries and production bureaus. …

SOE business groups typically operate within a single industrial sector. This rule is somewhat elastic and most SOE groups have a cluster of investments in sectors unrelated to their core businesses, often in property, travel services, and restaurants. But these investments are generally modest relative to the core businesses. This single-industry focus distinguishes Chinese business groups from the highly diversified Japanese and Korean conglomerates.

Over the years, the SOEs have been steadily reformed:

  1. “Grasping the large, letting go of the small” (抓大放小) in 1995, that is, getting rid of the most ineffective and smallest SOEs and holding on to the largest and potentially most competitive ones.
  2. Listing commercially attractive assets in a subsidiary on stock markets, while retaining lower-return investments and politically sensitive projects in an unlisted parent company.
  3. Creation of State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) in 2003, which is a government shareholder in ~200 central SOE business groups.
  4. There were plans – at least, as of the time of writing – to make SASAC into a purely regulatory body, and transfer ownership to a set of “asset management companies” broken down by major industry sectors (modeled after Singapore’s Temasek).

While the adjustments were occasionally painful, SOE performance did improve: “The average return on assets in state firms soared from 0.2 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2007.”

(7) While state ownership in Russia is high relative to the West – even once dirigiste France – it’s nothing out of the ordinary relative to BRICS, as well as South Korea (which I have argued is Russia’s closest analogue in East Asia). Meanwhile, China is clearly the most state-dominated.

(8) One major thing to bear in mind is that while the SOE system have been criticized for producing monopolies, this is inaccurate:

As noted above, a deliberate feature of the SOE reforms of the 1990s was the creation of multiple, competing state firms even in sectors marked down for central control, such as aviation, telecoms, oil, and electricity generation. In less strategic industries the degree of state-sector fragmentation is even greater: in 2011, for instance, there were 880 SOEs in coal mining, 312 in steel, and 264 in nonferrous metals processing. …

One lesson from this experience is that, for countries making the transition from a socialist planned economy to a market economy, full privatization of state assets is not necessarily the critical step, as many economists believed in the 1990s. The indispensable feature of a market economy is not private property but competition. If state assets are privatized but competition mechanisms remain weak, the results will be poor: one just substitutes private monopolists or oligopolists for state-owned ones.

This is a very legitimate point. While China was carrying out intelligent reforms of its SOE sector, the US-worshipping market Bolsheviks in Russia were giving away the crown jewels of the Soviet economy to shady, well-connected characters. This just led to private monopolists replacing the public ones, with a new class of rapacious oligarchs thrown in for free. But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.

(9) Whence thither for Chinese SOEs?

Probably as before: Regulatory reform to promote greater efficiency, while the private sector organically displaces it through winning greater market share over time (“growing out of the plan”).

Kroeber finds no evidence for “the state enterprises advance, the private sectors retreat” (国进民退) in recent years, though the pace of SOE decline relative to the market as a whole fell since the 2008 global recession.

(10) Despite its status as a “bureaucratic-authoritarian” state (Kroeber’s description), China is also one of the world’s most decentralized economies.

Interesting, this is a legacy of Maoist-era geostrategic concerns:

Decentralization of production partly resulted from China’s immense geographic diversity and its relatively poor transportation links. But it was also a deliberate strategy pursued by Mao Zedong, who believed that China’s best insurance against attack by the Soviet Union or the United States was a system that ensured that production of both daily necessities and military equipment could continue even if one or more major industrial area were wiped out.

… though today’s rationale is more purely political-economic:

Unlike Western analysts, who see a fatal contradiction between a dynamic economy and a tightly controlled political structure, Chinese leaders see the two as complementary. Tight political control provides the stability within which economic activity can be decentralized; and the resulting rapid economic growth in turn enhances the party’s legitimacy for having “delivered the goods” of higher living standards.

(11) We don’t actually know China’s TFR – the SPFC claims ~1.6 children per woman, the Census hints at ~1.1. Amused to see Kroeber take a stab somewhere in the middle:

In 1980 the fertility rate was 2.4; by 1990 it was around 2.1, which is the replacement level. By 2000 it was down to 1.4, and since then it has fluctuated between 1.4 and 1.5.

(12) But the really big demographics story in China is the great rural to urban migration, which Kroeber assess as ~2/3 done as of the time of writing.

The World Bank estimates that the excess rural labor supply (i.e., workers not needed to maintain the present level of agricultural production) is somewhere around 100 million people. Accounting for future increases in agricultural productivity, somewhere around 120 to 135 million workers are likely to move from country to city between 2012 and 2030—in other words, about half as many as have already made the move. … An important footnote is that while worker migration to the cities will slow down, movement of nonworking family members to the city will probably pick up, as immigration restrictions are relaxed. This could add as many as 100 million more people to the migrant flow by 2030. At that point, China’s total urban population will be about 1 billion, or roughly 70 percent of the total population.

This syncs with my own tallies. Basically, China’s 2030 will be the RSFSR’s 1980 – the point at which the Russian urban population passed 70% of the total, to max out at 73% a decade later. By the middle of the 2030s, I expect a growing trickle of Central Asian Gastarbeiters rerouting to increasingly labor-starved Chinese cities (as they already are from Russia to South Korea).

(13) Interesting to know that Ethiopia (my favorite African country) and Rwanda are the two fastest growing African countries, and the two African countries that have most closely adopted the Chinese model.

Justin Yifu Lin, who established China’s top economic think tank in the 1990s and served from 2008 to 2011 as chief economist of the World Bank, argues that African countries are in a good position to emulate China’s experience of economic development, using state-led infrastructure investment to attract FDI from companies (including Chinese ones) that no longer find China attractive as a site for low-cost manufacturing.19 Two African countries, Rwanda and Ethiopia, have adopted a more or less explicit policy of imitating the Chinese growth model. Over the past decade Ethiopia has been the fastest-growing economy in Africa, with an average GDP growth rate of 11 percent since 2004. Rwanda is not far behind, at 8 percent.

***

Life has become better, comrades. Life has become more cheerful.

Despite some of the problems highlighted above, Kroeber is certainly no ideologue, and does highlight that life has become much better:

  • While China allocates a prodigious amount of GDP to investment, people are still consuming more – consumer spending increased by 7% annually in 1990-2013.
  • They have bought the most cars of any country since 2010, and make up the majority of the world’s international tourists since 2012.
  • Labor conditions better than in comparable income countries. Child labor is not a major problem like in much of the Third World.
  • Social spending is going up as Hu Jintao rebuilt the tattered safety net to replace the old SOE-based welfare system, including nationwide health insurance schemes, free schooling for nine years, and pension scheme coverage from 200 million to 700 million people.

Meanwhile, many problems that analysts cite as potential mines underneath Chinese economic progress are in reality fairly modest and manageable.

Low efficiency of current investments?

These are summed up in a motto frequently cited by one of China’s leading economists, Justin Lin, who attributes it to Premier Wen Jiabao: “When you multiply any problem by China’s population, it is a very big problem. But when you divide it by China’s population, it becomes very small.” … This observation illuminates a common feature of China’s economy in both the Maoist and reform eras: the main goal throughout has been to mobilize resources. Maximizing the efficiency with which those resources are used has always been a secondary concern. This often distresses economists from rich countries, where virtually all economic growth and improvement in living standards comes from efficiency improvements. Visitors to China observe the waste and inefficiency visible everywhere, and often conclude that the economy will soon hit a crisis. These predictions have so far been wrong, not because observers are wrong about the degree of waste, but because they fail to realize that in a country of China’s size, such waste can be irrelevant so long as it is a by-product of an effective process of meeting basic needs.

Nonetheless, Kroeber does later note that with China’s capital stock/GDP ratio approaching rich country levels, there will be diminishing returns from more capital investment. China will have to become more efficient about resource use.

Growth based on unsustainable currency manipulation?

A low exchange rate played some role in China’s export boom, but no more than a supporting one. From 2001 through 2010, when most experts agreed that China’s exchange rate was undervalued, China’s share of global manufactured exports rose by about 1.1 percentage points a year, from 5 percent to 15 percent. In 2010–2013, when China’s exchange rate appreciated rapidly and other costs such as wages were also rising, China still gained about 0.9 percentage points of global market share each year, to nearly 18 percent in 2013.

Degrading environment?

It is, however, worth putting China’s environmental challenges in international and historical perspective. Every country that has grown rich has gotten quite dirty along the way. Today the headlines are filled with stories about toxic smog in Chinese cities and chemical spills in Chinese rivers. It is easy to forget that four decades ago, almost identical headlines were being written about Japan; and that in the 1960s the United States faced severe air pollution problems in big cities like Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, rivers in industrial regions caught on fire, and localities were rendered unfit to inhabit because of chemical pollution.

Finally, nor is Kroeber unduly worried about Chinese debt. Mortgages are unlikely to be the trigger…

The average down payment for a home purchase in China is well over 30 percent and the legal minimum is 20 percent. On average, urban households carry debt that is less than 50 percent of their annual disposable income. This is a far cry from the United States, where down payments of 5 percent or less were common, and household debt peaked at nearly 130 percent of disposable income. This means that even if house prices fall quite a bit, Chinese homeowners will still have positive equity in their homes and will be able to continue paying off their mortgages. China is unlikely to suffer a housing-related financial crisis.

… nor a sovereign debt crisis…

Whatever the level, however, a large and rapid increase in debt, such as we have seen in China since 2008, often does lead to financial crisis. But not necessarily. To have a crisis, you need two things: fast-rising debt, and a trigger event that forces shaky borrowers to pay up or go bankrupt. China has the debt, but not the trigger. The classic trigger for an emerging-market debt crisis is an inability to pay back foreign lenders. …

This is obviously not China’s problem. Its foreign borrowings are small—about 10 percent of GDP—and its gigantic foreign reserves of US$3.5 trillion (nearly 40 percent of GDP) give it plenty of ammunition to ward off a speculative attack and preserve the value of its currency. It runs an annual current account surplus of 2 to 3 percent of GDP, meaning that it has more than enough current income to cover its short-term foreign debts.

… nor from weird financial instruments…

The Financial Stability Board, an international group that monitors shadow banking around the world, found that for the entire world in 2013, nonbank assets accounted for 25 percent of all financial system assets, and were equivalent to 120 percent of world GDP. In the United States, nonbank assets accounted for nearly 60 percent of all financial assets, and equated to 150 percent of GDP. In China, nonbank assets were just 9 percent of financial assets, and a relatively modest 31 percent of GDP. … Second, China’s shadow finance is boring. Almost all of it consists of ordinary bank loans that are routed through nonbank institutions. Virtually all of the exotic features that make shadow banking both difficult to measure and potentially destabilizing in advanced countries are absent in China. China has basically no securitized loans, no derivatives, no collateralized debt obligations, no credit default swaps, few hedge funds and real estate investment trusts, and no structured finance vehicles.

Kroeber doesn’t foresee urbanites demanding democracy anytime soon.

It seems likely that the Communist Party’s twin desires to turn China into a great economic power and to retain its own political monopoly are incompatible, and sooner or later one of those goals must give way. So far, though, this prediction has proved wrong. Xi Jinping’s top-down reform program aims at a sort of “Leninist capitalism” in which the economy will be driven more by market efficiency, while the party’s power will be strengthened, not weakened. There are several reasons to think this strategy could be effective, at least for the next few years.

First, the acquiescence of the governed appears to remain relatively high. …

Second, the party does not simply crush dissent; it also makes a real effort to address the underlying material causes of discontent. …

Third, the natural class advocate of a more open political system is not obviously interested in change. … On the whole, members of this group have benefited disproportionately from economic reforms—notably through the privatization of state-owned housing, which gave them a valuable tax-free asset; and through the quotas for university admission, which are heavily skewed in favor of urbanites. In a more representative system, the interests of this group would almost certainly lose out to the interests of poor rural people, who are twice as numerous as the urban middle class. So long as the party continues to deliver the goods, in the form of a rising standard of living (not just financial but environmental), expanding opportunities, and reasonably secure property rights, the urban middle class is unlikely to agitate for political change.

Corruption is certainly bad – though as I have argued with respect to Putin’s Russia, or Orban’s Hungary, is it even possible to maintain sovereignty from the Blue Empire without building up your own elite?

Profiteering from corruption ran right to the top of the political system. The biggest case that the government has acknowledged was that of Zhou Yongkang, who served on the Politburo standing committee in 2007–2012 and ran the nation’s security services. In 2014 Zhou was formally investigated for corruption and expelled from the party; police claimed to have confiscated assets of $14.5 billion from Zhou, his family members, and his business associates. That amount would rank Zhou as seventh in the list of China’s richest people compiled annually by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report. Foreign media have also documented extensive wealth in the immediate family of former prime minister Wen Jiabao (US$3 billion, according to the New York Times) and current president Xi Jinping (US$55 million in Hong Kong property, and investments in companies worth US$2 billion, according to Bloomberg News). The widespread perception that, in the party and government, no one’s hands are clean of corruption is probably accurate.

In any case, Kroeber rightly points out that Chinese economy is dynamic enough to support significant corruption, and in any case, corruption has often served understandable political purposes, such as getting elite consensus for reforms, or purging hostile political factions.

Moreover, those people who steal too much & too flamboyantly do eventually get punished.

Finally, this tacit license to steal was not unlimited. Beginning in the early 1980s, the Communist Party waged a continuous and occasionally intense fight against corruption. … Researchers have found that at most one in ten corrupt officials are ever charged with corruption; but those that are charged are almost invariably convicted, and they face harsh sanctions including prison terms of ten years or more or even death sentences, of which 700 were handed down in corruption cases in the decade to 2008.

Finally, regional inequality is getting better:

By 2004, growth in rural consumption began to catch up to urban levels, and the urban-rural income gap began to shrink in 2009.6 As late as 2005, only a half-dozen provinces had urban wages within 10 percent of the national average. The rest of the country was divided between a handful of provinces, mainly on the coast, with much higher than average wages, and a vast mass of interior provinces with much lower incomes. By 2011 this provincial wage gap had closed: half of provinces had urban wages within 10 percent of the national average, and only the coastal megacities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai had wages more than 10 percent above the national norm.

So most likely we are not going to see George Friedman’s fevered predictions of the interior regions rising up against the fat cats in the coastal cities anytime soon.

***

Sinoskepticism

Nonetheless, while Kroeber is not a China bear, nor is he any sort of Sinotriumphalist. I would call him a Sinoskeptic, but I happen to disagree with most of his assessments here – so if they make sense, then perhaps Sinotriumphalism really is warranted.

(1) Huge headline growth rates obscure paucity of successful Chinese brands in automobiles…

The auto industry represents a failure of industrial policy in several dimensions. Since 1990, Beijing’s stated aim has been to reduce the number of automakers and have three giant state-owned companies dominate the industry (similar to the triopoly of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan in Japan). In fact, the number of car assemblers has stayed constant at around 120 since the early 1990s. The “big three” SOE car makers make most of their money from joint ventures that are effectively controlled by foreign firms, and have proven unable to market their own independent brands. The success stories of the Chinese car industry have all been small, upstart companies, often sponsored by local governments—most notably the private firm Geely, which in 2010 acquired the Volvo passenger-car company.

… and even electronics (where a large percentage of production is final stage assembly).

As it demonstrates, Chinese companies remain far from achieving the highest global standard in products that require multiple levels of technology, intricate production processes, and high degrees of precision. In addition to autos, examples include jet engines, airplanes (where China has tried for years, without much success so far, to develop homegrown commercial aircraft), and many consumer electronics sectors. International firms have been able to maintain a wide technological edge in these areas, despite having major production bases in China where concerns about theft of intellectual property are high.

The electronics industry is another interesting case study. At one level, it is a spectacular success story: China now accounts for over 40 percent of global exports of electronics goods like computers and smartphones, up from 5 percent in the year 2000. But the vast majority of electronics activity in China remains final-stage assembly, where profit margins are extremely thin, and even this activity is largely controlled by foreign enterprises—especially Taiwanese firms, of which Foxconn (the main contract assembler of Apple products) is the best known. The highest-value components of the technology value chain—design and marketing of final products, design of integrated circuits, and original software development—remain firmly in the hands of global giants such as Apple, Samsung, Intel, and Microsoft. …

Like many successful Chinese firms, it is caught at the bottom of what Taiwanese technology baron Stan Shih famously called the “smile.” Shih observed that in the tech industry, high profits are earned at one end by companies that control the design of core technologies (such as Intel), and at the other by companies that control the design and distribution of products to consumers (such as Apple). In between are commodity firms that manufacture and assemble the products, in high volumes but for low profit margins. Taiwan is filled with such low-margin bottom-of-the-smile firms, such as Shih’s own Acer, TSMC (the world’s biggest contract maker of integrated circuits), and Foxconn (the world’s biggest contract assembler of consumer electronics). For the most part, China’s technology companies seem to be heading in the same direction.

These are all legitimate criticisms, and probably don’t bode well for China’s future if the current situation persists. After all, monthly wages in South Korea, which has powerhouses like Samsung, are now almost twice higher than in Taiwan (which normie has heard of TSMC? Or of Foxconn in a context other than labor violations?). Korea is developing dynamically, while Taiwan is getting brain drained by the mainland.

But will this situation persist? Here, I think, Kroeber is unduly pessimistic.

First, Chinese firms are broadly quite good at “adaptive” innovations—taking existing products, services, or processes and modifying them, often in substantial ways, to make them more responsive to the needs of the Chinese market. This is an important type of innovation. But Chinese companies have shown little ability to develop new products, services, or processes that are adopted or emulated in other countries. This is an important distinction between the China of today and, say, Japan in the 1960s and 1970s. Japan pioneered some important business-process innovations—notably “total quality management” or TQM in manufacturing (actually a Japanese development of ideas conceived by the American engineer W. Edwards Deming)—that were later studied and adopted by many firms in other countries. By the mid-1970s Japan had a long roster of companies that were beginning to set global quality and technology standards for a host of industries: firms like Toyota, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, and Seiko. China has no such companies today, nor are any on the horizon.

Japan in the mid-1970s was developed country – it was ahead of UK in GDP per capita at that point! Meanwhile, brands like Huawei are already becoming better known. I think what was true when he was writing the book in 2014-15 is rapidly becoming much less so.

China is spending a great deal more money on basic scientific research than most countries. But a willingness to spend money does not equal results. A crude but handy test of a country’s prowess in basic scientific research is a count of Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine. Between 1990 and 2015, two-thirds of these prizes went to researchers in North American institutions, another quarter to Europe, and 5 percent to Japan. China got its first prize in 2015, for work done in the 1960s and 1970s on malaria cures.

Nobel Prizes are a lagging indicator; the Nature Index, a much more relevant and current measure of elite science production, has China at over 50% of the American level, and far ahead of any other country.

Kroeber doesn’t believe the renminbi will displace the USD as the world’s reserve currency anytime soon – or ever.

The financial press frequently carries stories about how China plans to turn the renminbi into an alternative to the dollar, which since the end of World War II has been the world’s principal currency for trade and investment. This plan might exist—we have no way to know—but we can be sure that it will be many decades before the renminbi rivals the dollar, and there is a good chance that it never will. …

First, international use of the renminbi is still microscopic compared to that of the dollar. The dollar is over forty times more frequently traded than the renminbi on foreign exchange markets. The dollar accounts for about 60 percent of the reserve holdings of the world’s central banks, a share that it has maintained, with some variation, since the late 1940s. Virtually all the rest of central bank holdings are in euros or yen; the renminbi’s share is probably less than 1 percent. …

Moreover, there are reasons to think that renminbi internationalization will slow down. Here the precedent of Japan is interesting. In the 1980s, many people talked about Japan in much the same way they talk about China today, as a rising financial superpower. By 1990, the yen accounted for 14 percent of international foreign exchange trading (seven times China’s level in 2013) and 9 percent of global central bank reserves. Backed by Japan’s seemingly unstoppable economic juggernaut, the yen seemed poised to join or perhaps even replace the dollar at the top of the international currency rankings. It never happened: 1990 turned out to be the peak of the yen’s importance. By 2010 its shares of foreign exchange trading and global reserves fell to 9 percent and 3 percent, respectively. This was partly because Japan’s economic growth slowed to almost zero for nearly a decade. But it was also because its leaders refused to open up the financial system, and clung to an economic growth model that depended on large trade surpluses. …

For a nation’s currency to be truly global on a sustained basis, it must have deep, open, and trustworthy financial markets that foreigners can easily move money in and out of. In the absence of such markets, foreigners will be inclined to look elsewhere for places to park their liquid funds. …

Willingness to run a trade deficit also helps. When the United States runs a trade deficit, as it has virtually every year since the early 1970s, it sends more dollars abroad than it collects. That means the world has an abundance of dollars. People are always hungry for safe places to invest these extra dollars, and America’s deep, open, and trustworthy bond market is a good place to do so. …

Will China prove any different? Perhaps. For now, it seems committed to keeping its financial markets relatively closed and to running trade surpluses. According to the standard indices of financial openness, China has the least open financial sector of any major economy.

This makes sense, except for the unfortunate comparison to Japan – as I have long pointed out, comparing Japan (40% of America’s population) to China (4x America’s population makes zero sense).

That said, by the time the USD decisively displaced the GBP as the world’s reserve currency in the 1940s, the US had three times the UK’s population and perhaps 5x its GDP. Britain was saddled with war debts. It is unlikely that the extreme conditions which provoked that tectonic shift will ever be recreated.

However, if the trade war continues degrading into a Great Bifurcation of the world economy – as I believe there is a substantial chance of happening – then it is entirely possible that the renminbi will dominate in the part of the dominated by the Sinosphere.

China’s capacity to conjure up some alternative, competing system should not be overrated. What would be the basis for such a system? It cannot be technological leadership, since China is a technological laggard. It cannot be a military alliance structure, since China has no alliances and no credible prospects of creating any. It cannot be a regional power bloc, since all of its neighbors view China with a degree of mistrust and are busy with hedging and balancing strategies to constrain China’s influence. It could perhaps be a claim that China has discovered more effective methods of governance and economic management, and hence a stronger claim to global legitimacy and moral leadership.

Lack of soft power is a problem. I don’t see much of an improvement in terms of cultural soft power until 2050 or so. Really, when you have your own people in Hong Kong agitating for the Anglo colonists to come back, that can only be called a pretty hard fail.

Nonetheless, he repeats the much more questionable canard about China having no cool brands.

Take, for instance, the world’s most popular consumer-technology item, the iPhone. Virtually all the world’s iPhones are assembled in China, and their wholesale value shows up as part of China’s trade surplus. None of the technology embedded in an iPhone comes from China. The operating software and the overall design emerged from Apple’s labs in California. The integrated circuit chip that is the crucial part of the hardware was designed and fabricated by Samsung in South Korea. The touch screens depend on materials science research conducted in the United States, Europe, and Japan and are produced by Toshiba. Many of the other electronic components, such as the wireless transceiver and camera, are produced by Infineon, a Germany company. Even the assembly process (which counts as a form of “soft” technology) is managed by Foxconn, a Taiwanese company.

Huawei is frequently cited because other examples are hard to come by. Chinese civil engineering firms are emerging as important builders of infrastructure throughout the world, and it is likely that they will dominate this market, in terms of total construction volumes, in the coming decades. Yet for the most part, they conform to the “80 percent of the quality for 60 percent of the price” business model…

I would argue that Huawei is now more like 100% of the quality for 80% of the price.

One could also argue that it is still early days yet for China. Most of its private companies are less than twenty years old, and it is only a matter of time before they emulate the international success of their Japanese and Korean peers. A comparison with Japan gives cause for doubt. In the early 1970s Japan’s per capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, was about the same as China’s is today. By then Japan already had a large number of firms with important positions in international markets for technology-intensive goods: Canon and Nikon in cameras, Seiko in watches, Toyota and Honda in cars, Sony and Panasonic in consumer electronics, and NEC in semiconductors. Not only does China lack a single such company, it has few plausible candidates for firms that might achieve this sort of global prominence.

But the world was poorer in the early 1970s today – as I pointed out above, Japan was already a developed country by then. Apples and oranges.

Ironically, I think Kroeber himself makes the best argument against his own Sinoskepticism:

If we assume that eventually industrial technology will spread across the world in the same way that agricultural technology did around ten thousand years ago, we can imagine that over the next century or two all countries may industrialize, and living standards around the globe will be much more equal than they are today. If that happens, the biggest economy will be the one with the most people, as in the days when the whole world was agrarian. But the fact that a country has the biggest economy will tell us nothing about that country, other than that it has a large population.

This sort of comprehensive convergence is unlikely because different populations have varying capacities to improve their level of human capital (see Our Biorealistic Future).

In reality, China will account for approximately half of the world’s population residing in high human capital countries.

That is obviously huge, and will eventually put it in a position to dominate the globe, unless the Western Powers consolidate and form their own bloc. Moreover, should technological progress slow down, this will further privilege China, since East Asian societies tend to be better at gradualistic optimization as opposed to groundbreaking innovation.

***

Conclusions

China’s governance system has many flaws but has generally proved effective, and has in fact changed substantially in response to shifting conditions, even if the Communist Party’s monopoly remains intact. Most important, outsiders can do nothing to change it—just outsiders can do nothing to change the aspects of the American system they deplore, such as the capture of the political system by big campaign donors, institutionalized racism, excessive consumption of energy and other resources, capital punishment, and so on.

Equally, however, the deep uncertainty over its long-run demographic and economic outlook, and the untapped expansive potential of the US economy, not to mention the richness and robustness of the US-led world order, make it unlikely that China will ever unseat the United States as the world’s technological, cultural, and political leader. Given China’s demonstrated pragmatism and caution under successive leaders over the past thirty-five years, there is reason to believe that an accommodation can be reached under which China enjoys increased prestige and influence—to the extent it can earn it—but the US-led system remains the core of the world’s political and economic arrangements.

Not quite sure what he means by “untapped expansive potential of the US economy”.

Twenty-first-century China is not the reincarnation of Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany or the Soviet Union. Recognizing the fact and durability of its distinct value system does not constitute appeasement. And “containment”—the strategy that ultimately proved successful against the brittle and stagnant Soviet system—is a foolish idea when applied to China, which has proved itself dynamic and adaptable. There is plenty of room in the world for both the US and the Chinese systems, so long as people on both sides can agree that this peaceful coexistence is a goal worth striving for.

***

Are China’s Economic Statistics Reliable?

My strong intuition has always been that China’s statistics are essentially accurate for some of the following reasons:

  1. Extrapolation – I am rather familiar with the Russian state statistics system (Rosstat), I know that they are accurate, but I also know that Western ideologues hostile to Russia have questioned them when they showed Russian successes (while not noting converse cases). Why wouldn’t there be similar dynamics in play with respect to China?
  2. Coming up with fake statistics and keeping them consistent is really hard. Not even the Soviets managed.
  3. Who are you to believe anyway? The critics, or your lying eyes? China is building cities out of villages in a historic blink of an eye. Independent indices of wellbeing such as car purchases and Internet penetration suggest that if anything China’s GDP (PPP) may be slightly underestimated.

That said, I didn’t have sufficient material to write an article about it, as Ron Unz once suggested to me; at least not without significant further research. Nor did Polish Perspective want to do it. (Incidentally, thanks to him for recommending me this book in the first place).

But no matter, because Kroeber deals with this question in the appendix – perhaps single most useful chapter in this book. I will end the review by quoting it in extenso:

This book, like all works of practical economics, relies heavily on statistics. Most of the official Chinese government data are sourced from the CEIC database, which is the authorized online reseller for China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Some data not available from the CEIC is sourced from Chinese government publications, notably the yearbooks published by various agencies, the Ministry of Finance’s annual budget reports to the National People’s Congress, and occasional ad hoc reports that appear on government websites. …

The unserious ones are those advanced by nonspecialists, typically analysts for hedge funds or other financial firms, alleging that Chinese data on GDP, or energy consumption, or inflation, or whatnot are falsified by the government in order to cover up some major problem. These claims, often hyped by the media, are best ignored. Economic data in all places are subject to various problems and distortions, which are addressed by the constant revision of published data and the underlying methods used by national statistical agencies, as well as by enormous volumes of academic econometric research that seek to refine our understanding of how numbers relate to reality. …

Many serious analysts do believe that the government tends to smooth out the quarterly GDP growth numbers, underreporting growth when it is very hot and nudging the figures upward when it is cool. Most other data problems and inconsistencies can be explained by ordinary analytic econometric work, without resort to conspiracy theories about deliberate falsification. Those interested in making sensible use of Chinese data should consult Tom Orlik’s excellent Understanding China’s Economic Indicators (FT Press, 2012). …

The falsification theory also fails a simple logical test. If the government publishes false data, it must either rely on this false data to make economic policy, or it must keep a secret set of true data. If it uses false data, economic policy will quickly run aground, as it did during the Great Leap Forward of the 1950s, when reliance on bogus agricultural production numbers led within a couple of years to a catastrophic famine that killed tens of millions of people. …

This leaves the possibility that the government uses a secret set of true data to form policy, while feeding lies to the public. No evidence has ever been presented that such a secret data set exists. There are certainly a few data series that are not published but are reserved for the internal use of government officials. What is interesting is how boring these prove to be when occasionally they come to light through a leak—as, for instance, when a classified unemployment figure was accidentally disclosed at a press conference. The figure was 5 percent, compared to the published “registered unemployment” figure of 4 percent. In any case, if the government really kept a full set of secret accounts, the falsity of the published data could be exposed by the same statistical tests used by forensic accountants to prove chicanery in corporate balance sheets. These tests have been applied, and have failed to show any evidence of systemic falsification. …

The more serious claim, made by several economists, is that China’s long-run growth rate has been systematically overstated, not because China sought to bamboozle the world but because its statisticians employed faulty techniques. The most recent version of this argument is by Harry X. Wu of The Conference Board, who heroically reconstructed China’s national accounts for the sixty-year period 1952–2012 in order to arrive at a better understanding of long-term trends in productivity growth. Wu concluded that, thanks mainly to weaker than reported productivity gains, China’s average annual real GDP growth during the reform era (1978–2012) was 7.2 percent, well below the official figure of 9.8 percent. …

This is an interesting exercise, but it raises some conceptual problems. If we assume that the size of the Chinese economy was accurately measured in 1978, then the lower growth rate compounded over thirty-four years implies that China’s economy in 2012 was less than half as big as the official data say it was. This is impossible, because the economy’s present size is roughly confirmed by a wealth of information, including the government’s own economic censuses, and indicators including exports, foreign exchange reserves and consumption of physical items such as automobiles, oil, steel, and cement that are independently verifiable and not subject to falsification. If, on the other hand, we assume that the economy’s reported size today is correct, then the lower growth rate compounded back thirty-four years implies that China’s economy was more than twice as big in 1978 as the government believed it to be. This is slightly more plausible than the first case, but not much. Alternatively, we can try to pick values for China’s 1978 and 2012 GDP that are not so obviously incredible, for instance that the economy was two-thirds bigger than reported in 1978 and one-quarter smaller in 2012 (in which case we need merely explain away $2 trillion—an India’s worth—of phantom output). Any way you slice it, it is quite hard to reconcile the arithmetic of these alternative growth calculations with observed reality. …

To anyone who has spent much time in China since the 1980s, it is clear that (a) China has grown very rapidly for a long time; and (b) the speed and nature of that growth was roughly comparable to that of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, each of which uncontroversially grew at 8 to 10 percent a year for about a quarter-century in the post–World War II era. The reluctance of some observers to accept that China achieved similar results to those of its neighbors, using essentially the same economic playbook, is odd. It probably reflects the belief that because China’s government is secretive, authoritarian, and untrustworthy in many political matters, its economic data must also be untrustworthy. The feeling is understandable, but the conclusion is supported by neither logic nor the preponderance of evidence. A government so dependent on sustained economic growth for its legitimacy, and so keenly aware (thanks to its own recent history) of the disastrous consequences of relying on bad data, has a strong self-interest in maintaining statistics that are approximately right, at least with regard to trends, even if they do not meet the highest standards of modern statistical science. Like all economic data, China’s must be used with care; but they are useable.

***

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: Books, China, Economy, Review 
Hide 216 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    You can find all my reviews here.

    My personal website also has (more or less) current lists of my book, film, and video game reviews.

  2. WWIII incoming. It is inevitable. I think in this case you would have to prove that the US doesn’t seek decisive war with its long-term global rival (the USSR wasn’t it) given past events.

  3. [MORE]

    While the adjustments were occasionally painful, SEO performance did improve: “The average return on assets in state firms soared from 0.2 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2007.”

    (8) One major thing to bear in mind is that while the SEO system have been criticized for producing monopolies, this is inaccurate:

    *SOE

    I know it’s a very autistic correction by me. sorry

    AK: Thanks. I knew I was going to write SEO instead of SOE a couple of types; it was inevitable.

  4. 1. The yuan can’t replace the dollar because China’s financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China’s tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don’t have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    —————————–

    I’m not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means “We Vote”, and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan’s embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as “our thing”. This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.
     
    Without knowing Chinese & looking from afar, I've come to the same conclusion. Just, to me it all seems like something potentially important, but not decisive. The glue of Chinese identity & civilization is too strong to offset any short-time setbacks. Basically, it is all about two - three factors. You got to have: a) your kind of people, not foreigners, b) your kind of people need to be sufficiently able, not someone like Australian Abos, c) meritocracy, without extremes of totalitarianism & chaotic rootlessness
    , @Arilando
    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population. If anything, if western countries had been more democratic, western elites would have found it much harder to push for these policies, and if they had been less democratic, western elites would have had an easier time doing so. Case in point, Switzerland is one of the most (probably the most) conservative countries in western Europe (of course, not particularly conservative by world or even eastern European standards).
    , @Digital Samizdat

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.
     
    You're so right. I've often wondered why the PRC doesn't start up a 'Confucian values' campaign (or the equivalent) which emphasis traditional values like family, community and patriotism. This would have broad appeal, not only in the far east but also in the middle east. Heck, it would probably even win them a cheering section in the west, too. But I guess--despite their long cultural history--the Chinese are just tone-deaf on the cultural front. This is probably related to their inability to do branding. But maybe that will change ...
    , @Ron Unz

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.
     
    Well, I think you may be ignoring one very important factor. It seems to me that America is *exceptionally* fragile these days, and if it suffers a highly-negative "discontinuity" in the near future, China's geopolitical situation will obviously improve enormously by default.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America's economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    Moreover, our national security/foreign policy is totally insane, and much of the country is violently split along ideological lines, with a substantial fraction of the entire population believing that President Trump is a Russian spy. All these endless random mass-shootings are probably a warning-flag.

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

    If some unfortunate bull in a herd is infected with rabies and begins wildly jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth, I suspect the other bulls will stay well clear of it until it finally collapses in a heap.
    , @d dan
    "The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side."

    I believe nationalism is part of evolving strategy that they are exploring and developing, rather than the permanent be-all-end-all method. They also try different dose of Confucianism, Marxism, and yes Xi's "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" (LOL).

    That may actually be both their weakness and strength: it is everything and it is nothing. The key is to be nimble and catch up with the needs of society.
    , @last straw

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.
     
    Why would anyone criticize democracy? It's Neo-liberal economic policies, laissez faire and crony capitalism, and kleptocracy that should be criticized. There is nothing wrong with democracy.

    It's not so easy to convert China's young people as you described. Virtually anyone in China can climb "the Great Fire Wall" by using a free VPN, provided by foreign NGOs specifically for such propose. 1.5 million Chinese study in other countries. Almost 150 million Chinese make international trips each year. Yet we see little sign of "converting".

    So far, China's "fragile" patriotic education has worked well, as indicated by the counter-protests organized by overseas mainland students against the supporters of Hong Kong protest recently.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.
     
    I don't think Chinese culture and society is incompetent, although the Chinese government could do a much better job in improving their PR skills. Make no mistake, there is a western propaganda war against China, just like the propaganda war against the Soviet Union. The Chinese government should not harbor any illusions, and fight back as hard as they can.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan’s embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as “our thing”. This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.
     
    Really? I doubt it - at least it's too early to tell. Let's wait and see. For example, would RCEP be signed next year? Would Japan or South Korea host America's intermediate-range nuclear weapons? Australia seems have refused to do so.
  5. Great and very extensive review, Anatoly! 🙂 Nice job! 🙂

    A couple of very brief thoughts:

    Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?

    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can’t these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher higher fertility rates.

    You wrote “higher” twice here.

    As for Central Asian Gastarbeiters working in China, I suspect that you will be correct in regards to this in the long(er)-run. That said, though, Central Asians generally don’t speak Chinese–which could be an impediment to having them work in China, no? At least they have an advantage in regards to working in Russia because many of them are able to speak Russian.

    That said, though, if China wants a steady stream of guest workers, maybe it should aim more for South Asia. After all, the pool of guest workers that South Asia will be able to provide for China is going to be something like 20 times greater than what Central Asia can provide for China.

    But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.

    Are you being sarcastic here? Also, what do you think would have happened to Russia had the Communists won in 1996?

    Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can’t these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?
     
    Power and prestige of a regime (or regimes) are (to varying extents) connected with the ideology it propagates.

    Fascist military defeat and Bolshevist economic/geopolitical failures massively discredited their beliefs.

    If there one day comes a time when America finds that she can no longer maintain a state of suzerainty, then the ideological worldviews of other nations may change.

    But in more practical terms, whether Japan or South Korea remain Democratic states, I believe, depends on the degree to which it has become an "innate" part of their national identity and to which part it is (subconscious) opportunism.
    , @Arilando
    >Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China's authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
    , @The Big Red Scary

    I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy
     
    Some forms of artwork have an easier time flying under the radar than others. Not surprisingly, the finest artistic products of the Soviet Union were in instrumental music and animation. Still, artists in these areas had to be careful. Shostakovich received middle-of-the-night phone calls from Uncle Joe himself and the animator Khrzhanovsky was sent off to the navy after making the Glass Harmonica.

    At the same time, as I get to be older and grumpier, I'm afraid I agree more and more with Moldbug that freedom and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. While on paper "liberal democracies" allow freedom of expression, the elites have outsourced censorship to mass and social media. Arguably the problem in the Soviet Union was that the government was insecure in its power and, at least symbolically and ideologically, needed the consent of the masses for legitimacy. Hence repression of anyone who didn't consent ideologically. Only if you dispense with ideology, whether commie, fascist, or liberal, and provide some other ground of legitimacy, can you have freedom of expression.
    , @Kronos
    “lso, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.”

    I can see it now, a State Central Committee on Cat-Girls.

    Also, here is a very funny video on K-Pop played in North Korea. The look of many North Korean faces is “what the hell is going on?”

    https://youtu.be/NelZXZx9zjM
  6. “Equally, however, the deep uncertainty over its long-run demographic and economic outlook, and the untapped expansive potential of the US economy, not to mention the richness and robustness of the US-led world order, make it unlikely that China will ever unseat the United States as the world’s technological, cultural, and political leader.”

    What exactly does Kroeber mean by this, demographically the US fertility rate is just 10% above China’s and its natural growth rate is already lower then China, China’s GDP is already 30% larger than the US and on current trends will be 2x as large in PPP terms by 2030.

    As for the ‘richness and robustness of the US-led world order”, I don’t know what to say other than it sounds like propaganda straight from the US State Department.

    One final point on demographics that is a pretty strong argument for the Chinese system relative to America is that China’s life expectancy is up to 77 now, just 1.5 years below America and will overtake American life expectancy by the mid 2020’s.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts, Aft
    • Replies: @Aft
    What a nonsense paragraph.

    "cultural, and political" are the only three words that ring true here.

    The US may continue to wield political power, for a time, while backed by technological advantages that won't hold up and a military advantage for a while. And it's cultural lead may hold up much longer, but the supposed headwinds to China or tailwinds for the US he's referencing here are what exactly?
  7. Good poast. You should take a look at Michael Hudson’s books if you haven’t already.

  8. @Mr. XYZ
    Great and very extensive review, Anatoly! :) Nice job! :)

    A couple of very brief thoughts:

    Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?
     
    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can't these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher higher fertility rates.
     
    You wrote "higher" twice here.

    As for Central Asian Gastarbeiters working in China, I suspect that you will be correct in regards to this in the long(er)-run. That said, though, Central Asians generally don't speak Chinese--which could be an impediment to having them work in China, no? At least they have an advantage in regards to working in Russia because many of them are able to speak Russian.

    That said, though, if China wants a steady stream of guest workers, maybe it should aim more for South Asia. After all, the pool of guest workers that South Asia will be able to provide for China is going to be something like 20 times greater than what Central Asia can provide for China.

    But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.
     
    Are you being sarcastic here? Also, what do you think would have happened to Russia had the Communists won in 1996?

    Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China--specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can’t these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    Power and prestige of a regime (or regimes) are (to varying extents) connected with the ideology it propagates.

    Fascist military defeat and Bolshevist economic/geopolitical failures massively discredited their beliefs.

    If there one day comes a time when America finds that she can no longer maintain a state of suzerainty, then the ideological worldviews of other nations may change.

    But in more practical terms, whether Japan or South Korea remain Democratic states, I believe, depends on the degree to which it has become an “innate” part of their national identity and to which part it is (subconscious) opportunism.

  9. AK: Removed because OT.

  10. It seems likely that the Communist Party’s twin desires to turn China into a great economic power and to retain its own political monopoly are incompatible, and sooner or later one of those goals must give way.

    Why?

  11. Why isn’t China crushing the Hong Kong protesters under tank treads?

    Because they are wimps, that is really why. To say that they want foreign investments via Hong Kong does not make them any less wimpish. Letting people wave the US regime flag and pulling down the Chinese flag, what more evidence does one need to see how craven the Chinese government is.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
    Are you autistic?
    "Why aren't Chinese committing propaganda suicide"

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn't even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)
  12. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    Without knowing Chinese & looking from afar, I’ve come to the same conclusion. Just, to me it all seems like something potentially important, but not decisive. The glue of Chinese identity & civilization is too strong to offset any short-time setbacks. Basically, it is all about two – three factors. You got to have: a) your kind of people, not foreigners, b) your kind of people need to be sufficiently able, not someone like Australian Abos, c) meritocracy, without extremes of totalitarianism & chaotic rootlessness

    • Replies: @Miro23

    The glue of Chinese identity & civilization is too strong to offset any short-time setbacks. Basically, it is all about two – three factors. You got to have: a) your kind of people, not foreigners, b) your kind of people need to be sufficiently able, not someone like Australian Abos, c) meritocracy, without extremes of totalitarianism & chaotic rootlessness
     
    There's also the fact that Neoliberalism as a world movement seems to be going out of fashion. It's beginning to look like a crowd of Boomer pensioners trying to push their counter-cultural "freedoms" onto an increasingly unreceptive audience.

    Young Chinese are more likely to connect to whatever comes next.
  13. China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state

    Imagine what could have been if the USSR had stayed on that path.

    • Replies: @sexgod
    What is NEPist?
    , @Mr. XYZ
    No Kazakh independence, for one. :(
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Larger economy that could have had an easier evolution into the free market.

    Probably no WW2, since Bukharin would have cut a less barbarous figure on the world stage than the mustachioed bandit (Nazis less likely to come to power - even if they do, Western European socialists would be more willing to negotiate with him).

    Russian population obviously much larger, though still nowhere near as large as it would have been without the October Revolution.

    Bad thing - the Old Bolsheviks wouldn't have been exterminated as they deserved. Minor price to pay, of course.
    , @Galan
    would have been the second largest economy in the world.
  14. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population. If anything, if western countries had been more democratic, western elites would have found it much harder to push for these policies, and if they had been less democratic, western elites would have had an easier time doing so. Case in point, Switzerland is one of the most (probably the most) conservative countries in western Europe (of course, not particularly conservative by world or even eastern European standards).

    • Agree: Miro23
    • Replies: @Franz

    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population.
     
    (Applause)

    Nobody I talk to lately, which includes Russian truck drivers and Bulgarian Xray techs, seem to grasp the fact that the whole can of "multi-LBQT-Dgen" has been totally pushed from above, a revolution from the top without precedent.

    I knew a librarian with literally years of serious duty, several degrees in both her field, the classics, and so on, who recently quit library work altogether because she refuses to get with the program. How many more like her? In all ages and all regions of the country? My guess is a lot.

    China, no doubt, sees this very clearly. At least the top dogs would. They know the first order of business after getting their people suitable work is protecting them while they do it. Western decadence comes from one small hive, and China will keep it out.
    , @Mitleser

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this?
     
    https://twitter.com/jalexkrantz/status/1170863145201614848
  15. “will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?”

    It’s hard to say how “democratic” they really are. I bet Korea’s immigration policy has zero mainstream support. Japan has been ruled by one CIA created party for all but a handful of years sense 1955.

  16. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.

    You’re so right. I’ve often wondered why the PRC doesn’t start up a ‘Confucian values’ campaign (or the equivalent) which emphasis traditional values like family, community and patriotism. This would have broad appeal, not only in the far east but also in the middle east. Heck, it would probably even win them a cheering section in the west, too. But I guess–despite their long cultural history–the Chinese are just tone-deaf on the cultural front. This is probably related to their inability to do branding. But maybe that will change …

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    CPC has Marx and Mao and they dig up Confucius' tomb. And the culture development since 1919 is that Chinese's tradition bad, west good. Not easy at all to just do a 180.

    Besides, a main thing of Chinese tradition, and also a main lesson taught by Deng, is that you don't have to be clear on such matters.
  17. @neutral

    Why isn’t China crushing the Hong Kong protesters under tank treads?
     
    Because they are wimps, that is really why. To say that they want foreign investments via Hong Kong does not make them any less wimpish. Letting people wave the US regime flag and pulling down the Chinese flag, what more evidence does one need to see how craven the Chinese government is.

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    • Agree: MAOWASAYALI
    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

     

    I'm not so sure about this. If the Hong Kong protesters are allowed to continue what they're doing without any restraint for a long enough time period, the Hong Kongers and their paymasters could easily spread protests and trouble all throughout China. China's conduct towards these protests has clearly been a display of weakness, not strength.

    Honestly though, an interesting but possible alternative I'm starting to think about regarding the Hong Kong protests is that they are actually staged by US agencies not in order to change anything in China, but to test and experiment with Western public opinion. The efforts to push wars with Iran and Venezuela completely flopped partly because they proved to be extremely unpopular with mainstream American/Western public opinion. Although US military intervention in favor of the Hong Kongers is completely off the table, it's clear that the Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs, and so on, are trying to test their popularity with the US/Western mainstream. If so, this psy-op seems to be somewhat, but not completely, successful so far.

    , @neutral
    There are things more important than money and what ones enemy thinks of you. If you allow people to commit outright acts of sedition, and do nothing about it because you are scared about how it will look, you are a coward.
    , @Theo
    @Korentchkin
    I agree with you.China won't go into that trap.They just wait and see.
    , @foolisholdman
    As I see it, the rioters are a small minority of HKers. The majority will get very fed up with their disruptions, particularly when they see that they are achieving nothing useful. Eventually, as the leaders get arrested, the riots will peter out. As I understand the news, the leaders are now being arrested and will be charged and, I imagine they will be put away for some time. Probably, the effect of the riots will be that, after peace has been restored, the Beijing government will pressure the HK government to address the issues which gave the agitators some support.
  18. @Mr. XYZ
    Great and very extensive review, Anatoly! :) Nice job! :)

    A couple of very brief thoughts:

    Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?
     
    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can't these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher higher fertility rates.
     
    You wrote "higher" twice here.

    As for Central Asian Gastarbeiters working in China, I suspect that you will be correct in regards to this in the long(er)-run. That said, though, Central Asians generally don't speak Chinese--which could be an impediment to having them work in China, no? At least they have an advantage in regards to working in Russia because many of them are able to speak Russian.

    That said, though, if China wants a steady stream of guest workers, maybe it should aim more for South Asia. After all, the pool of guest workers that South Asia will be able to provide for China is going to be something like 20 times greater than what Central Asia can provide for China.

    But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.
     
    Are you being sarcastic here? Also, what do you think would have happened to Russia had the Communists won in 1996?

    Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China--specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    >Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China’s authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    • Disagree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
     
    Wow....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-qxGhkRojc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XneUvKLO06o
    , @anonymous coward

    ...but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
     
    That's true, but at the same time Mandarin songs are quite pleasing to listen to and catchy, while sung Japanese sounds like ass.

    Not sure why that is, it just might be some sort of cultural legacy.

    That said, your theory is only half-true. Theoretically the Chinese could put together some sort of working music industry targeting the rest of the world.
    , @Anonymous
    The standard Beijing Mandarin doesn't sound that bad. As a native English speaker, it doesn't sound worse to me than, say, German or Dutch.

    Cantonese and some of the other Chinese dialects do sound bad, much worse than standard Beijing Mandarin. I think most people are unaware of the differences or assume Cantonese and the other dialects are representative. Until relatively recently, Cantonese was the main Chinese dialect people heard outside of China.

    I find Beijing Mandarin sounds much better than Taiwanese Mandarin as well, although the difference isn't as great as with Cantonese.
    , @MAOWASAYALI

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China’s authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
     
    Cantonese is by far the more ugly sounding and vulgar Chinese language.

    Good luck trying to convince anyone who was a Jap prisoner during WWII that Japanese is an "aesthetically pleasing" language.

    This one is still alive:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxFWaSSV4dU

  19. @Arilando
    >Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China's authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    Wow….

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What about Korean?

    https://youtu.be/s4bC7VkRCws
    , @Arilando
    I do not understand finding that pleasing to listen to.
  20. @Mr. XYZ
    Great and very extensive review, Anatoly! :) Nice job! :)

    A couple of very brief thoughts:

    Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?
     
    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can't these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher higher fertility rates.
     
    You wrote "higher" twice here.

    As for Central Asian Gastarbeiters working in China, I suspect that you will be correct in regards to this in the long(er)-run. That said, though, Central Asians generally don't speak Chinese--which could be an impediment to having them work in China, no? At least they have an advantage in regards to working in Russia because many of them are able to speak Russian.

    That said, though, if China wants a steady stream of guest workers, maybe it should aim more for South Asia. After all, the pool of guest workers that South Asia will be able to provide for China is going to be something like 20 times greater than what Central Asia can provide for China.

    But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.
     
    Are you being sarcastic here? Also, what do you think would have happened to Russia had the Communists won in 1996?

    Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China--specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy

    Some forms of artwork have an easier time flying under the radar than others. Not surprisingly, the finest artistic products of the Soviet Union were in instrumental music and animation. Still, artists in these areas had to be careful. Shostakovich received middle-of-the-night phone calls from Uncle Joe himself and the animator Khrzhanovsky was sent off to the navy after making the Glass Harmonica.

    At the same time, as I get to be older and grumpier, I’m afraid I agree more and more with Moldbug that freedom and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. While on paper “liberal democracies” allow freedom of expression, the elites have outsourced censorship to mass and social media. Arguably the problem in the Soviet Union was that the government was insecure in its power and, at least symbolically and ideologically, needed the consent of the masses for legitimacy. Hence repression of anyone who didn’t consent ideologically. Only if you dispense with ideology, whether commie, fascist, or liberal, and provide some other ground of legitimacy, can you have freedom of expression.

  21. @Korenchkin
    Are you autistic?
    "Why aren't Chinese committing propaganda suicide"

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn't even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    I’m not so sure about this. If the Hong Kong protesters are allowed to continue what they’re doing without any restraint for a long enough time period, the Hong Kongers and their paymasters could easily spread protests and trouble all throughout China. China’s conduct towards these protests has clearly been a display of weakness, not strength.

    Honestly though, an interesting but possible alternative I’m starting to think about regarding the Hong Kong protests is that they are actually staged by US agencies not in order to change anything in China, but to test and experiment with Western public opinion. The efforts to push wars with Iran and Venezuela completely flopped partly because they proved to be extremely unpopular with mainstream American/Western public opinion. Although US military intervention in favor of the Hong Kongers is completely off the table, it’s clear that the Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs, and so on, are trying to test their popularity with the US/Western mainstream. If so, this psy-op seems to be somewhat, but not completely, successful so far.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I suspect the goal is to make China crack down hard, which will tie in with the American elites' bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).
    , @neutral

    Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs
     
    This shows how this movement was completely manufactured by the CIA with input of some think tank people.

    They think this will win over people by looking edgy (with the lifetime of memes this is probably already considered stale though), however they seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADL and partners are clamping down hard with the censorship on things like Pepe.

    , @d dan
    CIA has a clear and direct motive to kill the extradition bill, because if it is passed, many CIA staff stationed in Hong Kong will lost their jobs, or at least have to leave Hong Kong.

    So, I speculate the Hong Kong instigation may just be started from local branch, or a department within CIA, without direct permission from the top (e.g. Bolton or Trump). Of course, when the protest unexpectedly lasts so long, China hawks are happy to jump in to try to make a mess.

    I am not sure there was a big strategy to start off - because there was no good end-game for US to exploit, and any "successful" scenario would seem long shot a few months ago.

  22. @Bardon Kaldian

    It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
     
    Wow....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-qxGhkRojc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XneUvKLO06o

    What about Korean?

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Every Korean-American father's worst nightmare. It calls for Asian sharia.
  23. @Anonymous
    What about Korean?

    https://youtu.be/s4bC7VkRCws

    Every Korean-American father’s worst nightmare. It calls for Asian sharia.

  24. @Arilando
    >Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China's authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    …but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    That’s true, but at the same time Mandarin songs are quite pleasing to listen to and catchy, while sung Japanese sounds like ass.

    Not sure why that is, it just might be some sort of cultural legacy.

    That said, your theory is only half-true. Theoretically the Chinese could put together some sort of working music industry targeting the rest of the world.

  25. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

     

    I'm not so sure about this. If the Hong Kong protesters are allowed to continue what they're doing without any restraint for a long enough time period, the Hong Kongers and their paymasters could easily spread protests and trouble all throughout China. China's conduct towards these protests has clearly been a display of weakness, not strength.

    Honestly though, an interesting but possible alternative I'm starting to think about regarding the Hong Kong protests is that they are actually staged by US agencies not in order to change anything in China, but to test and experiment with Western public opinion. The efforts to push wars with Iran and Venezuela completely flopped partly because they proved to be extremely unpopular with mainstream American/Western public opinion. Although US military intervention in favor of the Hong Kongers is completely off the table, it's clear that the Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs, and so on, are trying to test their popularity with the US/Western mainstream. If so, this psy-op seems to be somewhat, but not completely, successful so far.

    I suspect the goal is to make China crack down hard, which will tie in with the American elites’ bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous

    which will tie in with the American elites’ bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

     

    Which "wall" are you referring to?
    , @yakushimaru
    U.S. conspiracy or not, the real issue is that there are hundreds of thousands of HKers who are really not completely aligned with CPC. And this should be and I think is the main concern of CPC. But their image can only change gradually, given their past. It's hardly an issue of CIA op other than a very small core of maybe a few hundreds.

    Any hard cracking down would gain China and CPC almost nothing and will put a huge risk on every aspect of China's development. If, on the other hand, CPC can manage to show a non-threating face to vast majority of HKers, this issue can only go away after awhile. After all, the local protests affect local life and local elites way more than anything else the other side of the SAR border.
    , @Escher
    Who will supply cheap iPhones and the other toys that keep the masses distracted, if not China?
  26. @Korenchkin
    Are you autistic?
    "Why aren't Chinese committing propaganda suicide"

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn't even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    There are things more important than money and what ones enemy thinks of you. If you allow people to commit outright acts of sedition, and do nothing about it because you are scared about how it will look, you are a coward.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru

    because you are scared about how it will look
     
    You want to send out tanks because you are scared about how it looks right now. I mean, come on!
    , @Korenchkin
    Massacres have consequences, and can be used to breed future traitors
    If your fetish for violence is unsatisfied then go watch footage of HK cops beating and tear gassing protesters
  27. @Bardon Kaldian

    It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.
     
    Wow....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-qxGhkRojc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XneUvKLO06o

    I do not understand finding that pleasing to listen to.

  28. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

     

    I'm not so sure about this. If the Hong Kong protesters are allowed to continue what they're doing without any restraint for a long enough time period, the Hong Kongers and their paymasters could easily spread protests and trouble all throughout China. China's conduct towards these protests has clearly been a display of weakness, not strength.

    Honestly though, an interesting but possible alternative I'm starting to think about regarding the Hong Kong protests is that they are actually staged by US agencies not in order to change anything in China, but to test and experiment with Western public opinion. The efforts to push wars with Iran and Venezuela completely flopped partly because they proved to be extremely unpopular with mainstream American/Western public opinion. Although US military intervention in favor of the Hong Kongers is completely off the table, it's clear that the Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs, and so on, are trying to test their popularity with the US/Western mainstream. If so, this psy-op seems to be somewhat, but not completely, successful so far.

    Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs

    This shows how this movement was completely manufactured by the CIA with input of some think tank people.

    They think this will win over people by looking edgy (with the lifetime of memes this is probably already considered stale though), however they seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADL and partners are clamping down hard with the censorship on things like Pepe.

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    I can't believe Pepe is an effort to appeal to wider HKers or Chinese outside SAR.

    I would guess it's a naive attempt at getting Trump's attention. This again, I would say, shows that those people are not heavy weights.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    The West is hardly welcoming to Neo-Nazis or Islamists within their borders either, but are perfectly fine with having them as useful idiots in places like the Ukraine or Syria.

    Perfectly reasonable approach TBF.
  29. @Anatoly Karlin
    I suspect the goal is to make China crack down hard, which will tie in with the American elites' bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

    which will tie in with the American elites’ bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

    Which “wall” are you referring to?

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    I think AK is thinking about Churchill's iron curtain being pulled down.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.
  30. @Peter Akuleyev

    China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state
     
    Imagine what could have been if the USSR had stayed on that path.

    What is NEPist?

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    New Econ Policy of Lenin.
  31. @neutral
    There are things more important than money and what ones enemy thinks of you. If you allow people to commit outright acts of sedition, and do nothing about it because you are scared about how it will look, you are a coward.

    because you are scared about how it will look

    You want to send out tanks because you are scared about how it looks right now. I mean, come on!

  32. @Anatoly Karlin
    I suspect the goal is to make China crack down hard, which will tie in with the American elites' bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

    U.S. conspiracy or not, the real issue is that there are hundreds of thousands of HKers who are really not completely aligned with CPC. And this should be and I think is the main concern of CPC. But their image can only change gradually, given their past. It’s hardly an issue of CIA op other than a very small core of maybe a few hundreds.

    Any hard cracking down would gain China and CPC almost nothing and will put a huge risk on every aspect of China’s development. If, on the other hand, CPC can manage to show a non-threating face to vast majority of HKers, this issue can only go away after awhile. After all, the local protests affect local life and local elites way more than anything else the other side of the SAR border.

  33. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    which will tie in with the American elites’ bipartisan desire to pull the wall down between the West and China (this makes sense from the American strategic perspective).

     

    Which "wall" are you referring to?

    I think AK is thinking about Churchill’s iron curtain being pulled down.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous

    I think AK is thinking about Churchill’s iron curtain being pulled down.

     

    Fair enough.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

     

    I couldn't disagree more. If they could, American elites would want the Chinese Communists to dissolve China USSR style into many smaller provinces/entities that the USA could then swoop into its own sphere of influence through economic and military entanglements.
  34. @sexgod
    What is NEPist?

    New Econ Policy of Lenin.

    • Replies: @sexgod
    thanks, bro!
  35. @neutral

    Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs
     
    This shows how this movement was completely manufactured by the CIA with input of some think tank people.

    They think this will win over people by looking edgy (with the lifetime of memes this is probably already considered stale though), however they seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADL and partners are clamping down hard with the censorship on things like Pepe.

    I can’t believe Pepe is an effort to appeal to wider HKers or Chinese outside SAR.

    I would guess it’s a naive attempt at getting Trump’s attention. This again, I would say, shows that those people are not heavy weights.

    • Replies: @neutral
    The attempt is naive, but there is absolutely no way that all of this is not coming from the US regime. They should have given them rainbow flags instead, that would have easily won over the leftists, because that is now the sacred symbol of the West for them. The patriotards, like people who hang out at Breitbart, would not completely like it, but they would probably still support this kind of protest.
    , @LEAFY
    8chan use to have /hkpol/ before it died. No need for conspiracies on this aspect.
  36. @yakushimaru
    I can't believe Pepe is an effort to appeal to wider HKers or Chinese outside SAR.

    I would guess it's a naive attempt at getting Trump's attention. This again, I would say, shows that those people are not heavy weights.

    The attempt is naive, but there is absolutely no way that all of this is not coming from the US regime. They should have given them rainbow flags instead, that would have easily won over the leftists, because that is now the sacred symbol of the West for them. The patriotards, like people who hang out at Breitbart, would not completely like it, but they would probably still support this kind of protest.

  37. @Digital Samizdat

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.
     
    You're so right. I've often wondered why the PRC doesn't start up a 'Confucian values' campaign (or the equivalent) which emphasis traditional values like family, community and patriotism. This would have broad appeal, not only in the far east but also in the middle east. Heck, it would probably even win them a cheering section in the west, too. But I guess--despite their long cultural history--the Chinese are just tone-deaf on the cultural front. This is probably related to their inability to do branding. But maybe that will change ...

    CPC has Marx and Mao and they dig up Confucius’ tomb. And the culture development since 1919 is that Chinese’s tradition bad, west good. Not easy at all to just do a 180.

    Besides, a main thing of Chinese tradition, and also a main lesson taught by Deng, is that you don’t have to be clear on such matters.

  38. @yakushimaru
    New Econ Policy of Lenin.

    thanks, bro!

  39. @yakushimaru
    I think AK is thinking about Churchill's iron curtain being pulled down.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

    I think AK is thinking about Churchill’s iron curtain being pulled down.

    Fair enough.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

    I couldn’t disagree more. If they could, American elites would want the Chinese Communists to dissolve China USSR style into many smaller provinces/entities that the USA could then swoop into its own sphere of influence through economic and military entanglements.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    If the entire USA wants to pull down the iron curtain, what stops them now?

    Also, the dissolved USSR is not exactly in USA's sphere of influence so far.
    , @Anonymoose
    The PRC is a unitary state. They had the sense not to turn china into a federal union of autonomous ethnic republics with the right to secede unlike what the sovoks did with the USSR. Though the State Departmnt is certainly hoping the same thing can happen to china with all their propaganda about Uighur genocide.
  40. @neutral
    There are things more important than money and what ones enemy thinks of you. If you allow people to commit outright acts of sedition, and do nothing about it because you are scared about how it will look, you are a coward.

    Massacres have consequences, and can be used to breed future traitors
    If your fetish for violence is unsatisfied then go watch footage of HK cops beating and tear gassing protesters

  41. @neutral

    Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs
     
    This shows how this movement was completely manufactured by the CIA with input of some think tank people.

    They think this will win over people by looking edgy (with the lifetime of memes this is probably already considered stale though), however they seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADL and partners are clamping down hard with the censorship on things like Pepe.

    The West is hardly welcoming to Neo-Nazis or Islamists within their borders either, but are perfectly fine with having them as useful idiots in places like the Ukraine or Syria.

    Perfectly reasonable approach TBF.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    The tolerance - or even outright support - of islamists in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc combined with large immigration from the said places has been an unmitigated disaster.
  42. @Anatoly Karlin
    The West is hardly welcoming to Neo-Nazis or Islamists within their borders either, but are perfectly fine with having them as useful idiots in places like the Ukraine or Syria.

    Perfectly reasonable approach TBF.

    The tolerance – or even outright support – of islamists in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc combined with large immigration from the said places has been an unmitigated disaster.

  43. @Peter Akuleyev

    China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state
     
    Imagine what could have been if the USSR had stayed on that path.

    No Kazakh independence, for one. 🙁

  44. American soft power is a double-edged thing. It is immense but mostly destructive to the world and esp to the US itself.

    What has the social impact of Rap music and ‘twerking’ been?

    What social or cultural good can come out of all those dumb superhero movies? Granted, some have decent special effects and cleverness(Ant-Man is the best), but they ‘dummify’ the masses.

    Pop Idols and Celebrity culture are mostly poisonous.

    Some Asian brands that have garnered some global brand are equally toxic, corrupting, and mostly worthless. There have been some good Anime works but most of them are not only dreadful but turned Japanese culture into one of artifice and fantasy. K-Pop is just globo-homo fa**otry.

    China should return to the humanist basis for its culture in the 80s when the so-called ‘Fifth Generation’ Filmmakers told very human tales.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    暴雪将至 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7649320/

    An incredibly good movie. It reflects China's elites' attitude towards CPC. The Party nowadays attracts substantial talents and cooperation from those not joining them. But, the fundamentals are still in question.
  45. Some of the posters just don’t understand the Chinese attitude towards traditional ‘religions’, confucism, a secular ‘relgion’ included (traditional Chinese writings labelled Taoism, buddhism, confucism as the ‘3 religions’)
    –Chinese ‘religions’ are NOT institutionalized, rather it’s diffused; for examples, for the average ‘believers’, there’s no initiation rituals. ‘Family values’,’sense of community’…are not confucist
    specific and are common to many other societies like islam, old gen Christians. There was an initial conversionistic period of confucism as the Chinese civilization expanded, after that, it was hardly necessary.
    –With the exception of Chinese muslims, even the more religious Chinese do not inherit their ‘religions’ from their parents. People do switch from one ‘religion’ to another.
    –Some Chinese strangely hold ‘Chinese culture’ as some kind of chastity belt. Polygamy was part of Chinese culture and I’m glad that Chinese culture component was DESTROYED. Chinese also no longer wear those old drappy glowns, also absolutely fine with me(Costume is definitely part of culture).
    ………..
    Most valuable Chinese cultural components:
    —-China is definitely the most SECULAR among the older civilisations. Conficius said:”respect the spirits and deities but distant from them”
    —-The average Chinese hi-school grads can read 2000 yrs old ancient texts, albeit with some difficulty. Chinese can readily communicate with the past but not necessarily with nostalgia.
    —-Chinese, unlike arab muslims and hindutwadis, are capable of critical self-appraisal. Exactly a 100 years ago, there started a massive self-examination movement known as the ‘May 4th movement’. Confucist morality like polygamy, male chauvinism was tagged ‘cannibalism’ by the writer Lu Xun. All the early Chinese leftists were product of this movement. Excessive it had been, it shows Chinese civilisation is capable of self-rejuvenation.

    • Replies: @Hong Xiu Quan
    Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong.
  46. @Lin
    Some of the posters just don't understand the Chinese attitude towards traditional 'religions', confucism, a secular 'relgion' included (traditional Chinese writings labelled Taoism, buddhism, confucism as the '3 religions')
    --Chinese 'religions' are NOT institutionalized, rather it's diffused; for examples, for the average 'believers', there's no initiation rituals. 'Family values','sense of community'...are not confucist
    specific and are common to many other societies like islam, old gen Christians. There was an initial conversionistic period of confucism as the Chinese civilization expanded, after that, it was hardly necessary.
    --With the exception of Chinese muslims, even the more religious Chinese do not inherit their 'religions' from their parents. People do switch from one 'religion' to another.
    --Some Chinese strangely hold 'Chinese culture' as some kind of chastity belt. Polygamy was part of Chinese culture and I'm glad that Chinese culture component was DESTROYED. Chinese also no longer wear those old drappy glowns, also absolutely fine with me(Costume is definitely part of culture).
    ………..
    Most valuable Chinese cultural components:
    ----China is definitely the most SECULAR among the older civilisations. Conficius said:"respect the spirits and deities but distant from them"
    ----The average Chinese hi-school grads can read 2000 yrs old ancient texts, albeit with some difficulty. Chinese can readily communicate with the past but not necessarily with nostalgia.
    ----Chinese, unlike arab muslims and hindutwadis, are capable of critical self-appraisal. Exactly a 100 years ago, there started a massive self-examination movement known as the 'May 4th movement'. Confucist morality like polygamy, male chauvinism was tagged 'cannibalism' by the writer Lu Xun. All the early Chinese leftists were product of this movement. Excessive it had been, it shows Chinese civilisation is capable of self-rejuvenation.

    Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong.

    • Replies: @Lin
    "Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong."
    ……….
    Polygamy might not be enuff. Please ask your mother, wife(wives) to practise polyandry, not to mention the good side effect to help china's gender numeric imbalance
  47. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    Well, I think you may be ignoring one very important factor. It seems to me that America is *exceptionally* fragile these days, and if it suffers a highly-negative “discontinuity” in the near future, China’s geopolitical situation will obviously improve enormously by default.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America’s economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    Moreover, our national security/foreign policy is totally insane, and much of the country is violently split along ideological lines, with a substantial fraction of the entire population believing that President Trump is a Russian spy. All these endless random mass-shootings are probably a warning-flag.

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

    If some unfortunate bull in a herd is infected with rabies and begins wildly jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth, I suspect the other bulls will stay well clear of it until it finally collapses in a heap.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America’s economic trajectory is a sustainable one.
     

    I agree with your general point, but I'm a skeptic on economic doomerism.

    Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America's vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. See FRED data here: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFSGDA188S

    Interest rates are at record lows, so newly issued debt is very affordable.

    You're also exaggerating the current account deficit. For the first quarter this year it was $130bn: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IEABC

    There is a concept in economics known as the Triffin Dilemma. It notes that reserve currency issuers tend to run chronic balance of payments deficits in order to satisfy overseas demand for reserve assets. That certainly appears to describe the United States.

    Another novel explanation for the chronic deficit was recently made by Scott Sumner, who suggested the English language itself is to blame: https://www.econlib.org/language-trumps-money/

    I am not entirely sure this is true, as Britain and America made many similar policy mistakes, and Australia has always been in deficit. But it's an interesting idea.

    In the context of a secular balance of payments deficit, the federal budget deficit helps increase demand which leaks abroad. We can see this today in America's low unemployment rate.

    This, of course, all looks very risky--a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.

    The impoverishment of much of the American population, while a human tragedy and a political crime, doesn't diminish America's economic and financial power.

    , @Sean
    Sick animals isolate themselves .
    , @Biff
    This:

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.
     
  48. @Ron Unz

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.
     
    Well, I think you may be ignoring one very important factor. It seems to me that America is *exceptionally* fragile these days, and if it suffers a highly-negative "discontinuity" in the near future, China's geopolitical situation will obviously improve enormously by default.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America's economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    Moreover, our national security/foreign policy is totally insane, and much of the country is violently split along ideological lines, with a substantial fraction of the entire population believing that President Trump is a Russian spy. All these endless random mass-shootings are probably a warning-flag.

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

    If some unfortunate bull in a herd is infected with rabies and begins wildly jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth, I suspect the other bulls will stay well clear of it until it finally collapses in a heap.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America’s economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    I agree with your general point, but I’m a skeptic on economic doomerism.

    Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America’s vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. See FRED data here: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFSGDA188S

    Interest rates are at record lows, so newly issued debt is very affordable.

    You’re also exaggerating the current account deficit. For the first quarter this year it was $130bn: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IEABC

    There is a concept in economics known as the Triffin Dilemma. It notes that reserve currency issuers tend to run chronic balance of payments deficits in order to satisfy overseas demand for reserve assets. That certainly appears to describe the United States.

    Another novel explanation for the chronic deficit was recently made by Scott Sumner, who suggested the English language itself is to blame: https://www.econlib.org/language-trumps-money/

    I am not entirely sure this is true, as Britain and America made many similar policy mistakes, and Australia has always been in deficit. But it’s an interesting idea.

    In the context of a secular balance of payments deficit, the federal budget deficit helps increase demand which leaks abroad. We can see this today in America’s low unemployment rate.

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.

    The impoverishment of much of the American population, while a human tragedy and a political crime, doesn’t diminish America’s economic and financial power.

    • Agree: Sbaker
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.
     
    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we've been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it's only luck that war hasn't yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can't admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393
    , @d dan
    "Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America’s vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. "

    Except that US GDP is over inflated, or at least, compare with China GDP. Consider:

    1. In US GDP accounting, if you own a house, they actually do a "imputation" of what rental you miss paying (i.e. the amount you will pay your landlord if you would to rent rather than own that house), and add that amount to the GDP. In China and many countries, they don't do this type of imputation.

    2. US GDP also accounts for the cost of many real estate transactions that China does not. As a result, even though China population is 4x US, and China's home ownership (~ 90%) is much higher than US home ownership (~65%), and China total real estate floor areas is many time that of US, the real estate still accounts for a smaller proportion of GDP in China than in US. All these inflate US GDP by a few trillions, or equivalently, deflate China GDP by a few trillions.

    3. There are similar imputations in US in other service sectors like financials, retails, etc. The last time I heard, they even want to impute if you cook your own meal, i.e. estimate the amount you miss paying to restaurant and add that to GDP. Not sure whether they are already doing it today.

    4. US GDP is financial heavy and manufacturing light, e.g. if Warren Buffett clicks on a mouse and make billions, that will be added to the GDP. The "value" added is called the "increase in efficiency of capital allocation". China, on the other hand, is manufacturing heavy. China manufacturing is almost (already?) as big as the next 3 biggest manufacturing countries combined: US, Japan and Germany.

    5. China's black market is much larger than US. That includes cash-only, unreported, under-reported transactions of all purposes. So, again, this under state China's GDP vs US GDP.

    In summary, if China and US would to use the same standard of accounting and criteria, I believe China GDP would be larger than US GDP in NOMINAL term. And I am not even talking about Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

  49. @Hong Xiu Quan
    Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong.

    “Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong.”
    ……….
    Polygamy might not be enuff. Please ask your mother, wife(wives) to practise polyandry, not to mention the good side effect to help china’s gender numeric imbalance

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    Polygamy PLUS homo marriage. See, problem solved.

    Think about it from libertarian angle of view. ;)
    , @Toy
    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?
  50. @Peter Akuleyev

    China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state
     
    Imagine what could have been if the USSR had stayed on that path.

    Larger economy that could have had an easier evolution into the free market.

    Probably no WW2, since Bukharin would have cut a less barbarous figure on the world stage than the mustachioed bandit (Nazis less likely to come to power – even if they do, Western European socialists would be more willing to negotiate with him).

    Russian population obviously much larger, though still nowhere near as large as it would have been without the October Revolution.

    Bad thing – the Old Bolsheviks wouldn’t have been exterminated as they deserved. Minor price to pay, of course.

  51. @Thorfinnsson

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America’s economic trajectory is a sustainable one.
     

    I agree with your general point, but I'm a skeptic on economic doomerism.

    Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America's vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. See FRED data here: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFSGDA188S

    Interest rates are at record lows, so newly issued debt is very affordable.

    You're also exaggerating the current account deficit. For the first quarter this year it was $130bn: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IEABC

    There is a concept in economics known as the Triffin Dilemma. It notes that reserve currency issuers tend to run chronic balance of payments deficits in order to satisfy overseas demand for reserve assets. That certainly appears to describe the United States.

    Another novel explanation for the chronic deficit was recently made by Scott Sumner, who suggested the English language itself is to blame: https://www.econlib.org/language-trumps-money/

    I am not entirely sure this is true, as Britain and America made many similar policy mistakes, and Australia has always been in deficit. But it's an interesting idea.

    In the context of a secular balance of payments deficit, the federal budget deficit helps increase demand which leaks abroad. We can see this today in America's low unemployment rate.

    This, of course, all looks very risky--a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.

    The impoverishment of much of the American population, while a human tragedy and a political crime, doesn't diminish America's economic and financial power.

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.

    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we’ve been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it’s only luck that war hasn’t yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can’t admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393

    • Agree: SeekerofthePresence
    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Foreign nations are already trying to abandon the US Dollar. Apparently the BRIC alliance was in part an attempt to do just that. The following essay asserts that the US dollar most likely to be abandoned during a general failure of world peace after strong US stabilization efforts fail.


    Western air power is becoming less effective in contested air spaces, and aircraft carriers are, as you say, becoming more vulnerable. The US is now reduced to strategic advantages -- effective control of the major sea shipping lanes and the ability to restrict shipping from individual countries. It can't "send in the Marines" anymore, and I doubt that it could field anything like the Desert Storm force.

    The US and the US Army are both showing the effect of 19 years of warfare since 9/11, . You can't send most people through multiple tours of actual combat without the person becoming combat ineffective, or (for those who can tolerate multiple combat tours) having them acquire and in part become a skill set that has little or no applicability in civil life. You can't have a nation supporting prolonged combat without severe effects on the entire civil populace. Notice, for example, that one reads of "rural suicide" and "military suicide" but never that "the rural areas with high suicide rates have been supplying the troops that have a high suicide rate". There is an obvious connection that is not being mentioned, perhaps because it has policy implications unpopular with the ruling establishment (note that Spain depopulated itself fighting the 30 years war). Popular or not, you can draw on a population to fight a war only so long.

    The US, IMHO, is fighting "like a lunatic" because funding its urban areas has become increasingly difficult since 9/11, and especially since AD 2008, when the finances of hinterland America was destroyed in order to concentrate available Federal funds on saving the financial institutions that provide a substantial part of the tax revenues for urban areas. Letting one of these institutions fail served as an example to the rest that they had best not object to high taxation, but did not stem continued departure of economically productive or wealthy people from large urban areas. The more the urban areas decline, the more the US fights to keep its international influence and revenue streams flowing. The process is a diversion of capital and labor to unproductive ends, and must eventually become unsustainable.

    Fighting "like a lunatic" (a very apt phrase) doesn't seem conducive to stability, but note that its ultimate purpose is to sustain revenues / trade / supply of essential raw materials and goods into the United States. This requires open seaways and no large regional fights. When the process ends, the seaways will not be protected and regional fights will break out [1].

    But I digress. The US is down to to its control of the seaways just now. The basic problem there is that full use of this capability (against China, or even Iran) would severely affect world trade. The US depends on world trade. It's sort of like having the ability to make the Sun go nova: your enemies could and would believe that you would never use your weapon. It would prevent threats to your life ("Central war" in strategic terms), and the situation is a repetition of the defeat of "massive retaliation" by the Korean War in the 1950s.
    This shrinkage of military capability has given non-US countries a good deal more independence than they had 20 years ago (2000), and they are using it to attempt regional dominance or in one case world preeminence (let's say). They will eventually start fighting between each other (India vs. Pakistan, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia, even S. Korea vs. Japan (!) are heating up) .

    Worldwide, we are seeing the decline of the urban megacity [2]. Megacity populations generally produce nothing very little except political dominance. They are resented by their hinterlands, and are increasingly unable to govern. This is perhaps most obvious in the US and Western Europe/UK. If the trends described above continue, megacity rule will become insupportable, and megacities themselves may become the targets of deniable attacks (SCADA raids on utilities) or attacks by non-state organizations in an attempt to extort some advantage (e.g. ISIS threats to US cities, Islamic raids in Paris, various ransomware attacks on local US governments). Dollar collapse would be part of this process, which would be world wide. One could trace reporting of the above trends back to Martin von Creveld's _Parameters_ article in 1996 [3].

    Megacities are highly vulnerable to utility and logistics failures, the more so since both systems are decrepit in megacities. If either or both utilities or logistics were to be interfered with on a wide scale (say, a global disruption in trade, or sporadic but repeated attacks from a variety of organizations as above), the result would be something like that on New Orleans and Louisiana after Katrina, only on a national or world wide scale. Urban civilization would be reorganized into something different and much less urban by the hard hands of physical necessity.

    I don't know about casualty/death rate among the ruling establishment, but it would definitely be out of power after such an event. During WW II _all_ combatants stripped their propertied classes pretty much bare of assets. That would happen again, and previous forms of government would be as discredited as parliamentary government became after WW II..

    Counterinsurgency

    1] and then they'll be sorry, but it will be too late, in the words of every kid who has ever lived. This whole process is very well and widely known. Why do men fight when the obvious result will be ruin? No answers so far, we just do.

    2] Gregory R. Copley.
    _UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos_
    _The International Strategic Studies Association; First Edition; 2012/10/22
    ISBN-10: 1892998181; ISBN-13: 978-189299818

    3] Martin von Creveld.
    "The Fate of the State".
    _Parameters_, Spring 1996.
    Currently available from URL:
    chttps://www.coursehero.com/file/28309280/Van-Creveld-The-Fate-of-the-Statepdf/
    _Parameters _ won't download the article anymore, as far as I can tell.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    US military power, or alleged military power, is certainly a prop.

    But the main factor is the size and liquidity of American capital markets.

    If you as a seller accept payment in Dollars, you know that you can immediately purchase Dollar-denominated securities and sell them at any time.

    Other developed countries can fulfill a similar role, but their capital markets are all much smaller. Eurozone leaders sometimes talk about fulfilling such a role, but the Eurozone is unfortunately a disaster. Additionally, many of them would be likely to resist such large capital inflows since that produces persistent current account deficits and may increase domestic unemployment. Hence why Japan took steps to ensure the Yen never became a major component of international reserves or trade.

    The greatest threat to this system is probably the endlessly escalating sanctions regime emanating from Washington. If you can't use Dollars, or you strongly believe you might not be able to in the future, you're going to try to use something else. Hence the current efforts by Russia and China to de-Dollarize their bilateral trade.

    If the Dollar were to somehow suddenly cease to be the world's reserve currency (as opposed to a gradual decline, as experienced by Great Britain), then certainly there would be a sharp increase in interest rates, inflation, and unemployment. Probably, a depression.

    But it would in fact be a boon for Americans over time, as domestic industrial production and exports would increase. Some America-first types have in fact suggested the US should place tariffs not just on goods, but on capital inflows. Personally I'm of the view that it's more important to produce goods in the United States and employ Americans than it is to have the ability to make it hard for Iran to participate in world trade. Crazy talk, I know.

    If America gets into a stupid war with Russia and/or China, of course, all bets are off. In that event the international position of the Dollar may be the least of our worries.
    , @d dan
    "...my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability."

    That is true, plus the fact that being a reserve currency actually is a double edge sword (e.g. less control of your own exchange rate), so other countries, while resenting the dollar hegemony, aren't rushing in to replace dollar wholesale.
    , @Anarcho-Supremacist
    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news
  52. Anonymous[210] • Disclaimer says:
    @Arilando
    >Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    As you mention this is unlikely because of China's authoritarianism, but also because Mandarin is a pretty ugly sounding language, not something that most (non-Chinese) people find aesthetically pleasing to listen to. It is much less aesthetically pleasing to listen to than Japanese.

    The standard Beijing Mandarin doesn’t sound that bad. As a native English speaker, it doesn’t sound worse to me than, say, German or Dutch.

    Cantonese and some of the other Chinese dialects do sound bad, much worse than standard Beijing Mandarin. I think most people are unaware of the differences or assume Cantonese and the other dialects are representative. Until relatively recently, Cantonese was the main Chinese dialect people heard outside of China.

    I find Beijing Mandarin sounds much better than Taiwanese Mandarin as well, although the difference isn’t as great as with Cantonese.

  53. China has long had a habit of very approximate official statistics; the Harry X. Wu GDP series is used by the Maddison Project database (see https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf p. 26) and seems consistent with the observed information we have (though note the Maddison Project Database series’ growth rate is too low after 2011). China’s GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India’s; this is consistent with the Wu series (as well as basic logic, such as electricity consumption per capita and life expectancy), but not the official series.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700030082-7.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700020057-6.pdf

    China’s officially stated growth rate 1992-2006 also seems to be a major outlier here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/baf3/64f9f85fc29b5f68a3c7666195d93825cda2.pdf

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.

    • Replies: @Lin

    "So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year."
     
    No.It doesn't make sense to overstate growth rate by 2% year after year though might be the Chinese stats bureau does tend to smooth out the data which is reasonable considered does the cyclic ups and downs in data really reflect the ups and downs in econ activities?
    2% a year over 20 yrs means 48.6% difference which is quite meaurable. Fact is Chinese income and various consumption/capita are boardly inline with countries of similar GDP/capita like brazil, mexico, turkey...
    Measuring artificial light intensity as a reference to econ activity is complex and fussy at best. Chinese electricity production/capita has likely exceeded that of UK. I think a better way is to investigate the energy consumed by air-conditioners/capita and compare to countries with similar climate. BTW, one can measure the energy output from a electricity generation plant by measuring the EM waves intensity from the transmission cables and other known parameters, a better way than measuring light intensity.
    Automobile production and popn(2018):
    china: 27.8 million popn(M.L.): 1395 million
    Brazil: 2.88 million popn 211 million
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_motor_vehicle_production
    china
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    China’s GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India’s...
     
    The World Bank figures disagree, but in any case it's a theoretical debate - for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping's reforms.

    Higher electricity consumption would be expected in a heavy industry-focused Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.
    , @last straw

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.
     
    By how many percentage points and for how long? I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America's in PPP terms. Below are some reasons why I think that's the case:

    - China has to provide food, housing, education, and medical care for four times more population
    - China’s factories now generate more real manufacturing value added—$3.7 trillion in 2017—than the US, Germany, South Korea, and the UK combined.
    - China is the world's largest trading nation.
    - "China To Become The World's Largest Retail Market".
    - At least 23 million auto sales in China vs 17 million in the U.S.
    - In 2017, 142 million Chinese international tourist spent $257.7 billion overseas, vs 135 billion for Americans

    Some caution for using satellite light images to estimate economic growth: there are conflicting reports. For example, there is a study that claims that "China's GDP Growth May be Understated".
  54. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    I think AK is thinking about Churchill’s iron curtain being pulled down.

     

    Fair enough.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

     

    I couldn't disagree more. If they could, American elites would want the Chinese Communists to dissolve China USSR style into many smaller provinces/entities that the USA could then swoop into its own sphere of influence through economic and military entanglements.

    If the entire USA wants to pull down the iron curtain, what stops them now?

    Also, the dissolved USSR is not exactly in USA’s sphere of influence so far.

  55. @Priss Factor
    American soft power is a double-edged thing. It is immense but mostly destructive to the world and esp to the US itself.

    What has the social impact of Rap music and 'twerking' been?

    What social or cultural good can come out of all those dumb superhero movies? Granted, some have decent special effects and cleverness(Ant-Man is the best), but they 'dummify' the masses.

    Pop Idols and Celebrity culture are mostly poisonous.

    Some Asian brands that have garnered some global brand are equally toxic, corrupting, and mostly worthless. There have been some good Anime works but most of them are not only dreadful but turned Japanese culture into one of artifice and fantasy. K-Pop is just globo-homo fa**otry.

    China should return to the humanist basis for its culture in the 80s when the so-called 'Fifth Generation' Filmmakers told very human tales.

    暴雪将至 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7649320/

    An incredibly good movie. It reflects China’s elites’ attitude towards CPC. The Party nowadays attracts substantial talents and cooperation from those not joining them. But, the fundamentals are still in question.

  56. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    I think AK is thinking about Churchill’s iron curtain being pulled down.

     

    Fair enough.

    This might be bipartisan, but I think there inside US, there must be forces that do not really want that. Say, the biz people.

     

    I couldn't disagree more. If they could, American elites would want the Chinese Communists to dissolve China USSR style into many smaller provinces/entities that the USA could then swoop into its own sphere of influence through economic and military entanglements.

    The PRC is a unitary state. They had the sense not to turn china into a federal union of autonomous ethnic republics with the right to secede unlike what the sovoks did with the USSR. Though the State Departmnt is certainly hoping the same thing can happen to china with all their propaganda about Uighur genocide.

  57. Good review and summary. Kroeber is weakest in his discussion of Chinese governance, which he clearly does not understand, but his figures are among the best I’ve seen from a Western writer.

    One quibble: “Maoism was a disaster in economic terms” is a common–and widely promoted–trope, designed to make Deng’s capitalism look good. But it has no foundation in fact.

    Despite the most vicious peacetime embargoes in history, on food, agricultural machinery, technology, finance and even international recognition, according to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org.
    China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.%5D

    Concretely, between 1945 and 1974, Mao
    doubled China’s population from 542 million to 956 million
    doubled life expectancy
    doubled caloric intake
    quintupled GDP
    quadrupled literacy
    increased grain production three hundred percent
    increased gross industrial output forty-fold
    increased heavy industry ninety-fold.
    increased rail lineage 266 percent
    increased passenger train traffic from 102,970,000 passengers to 814,910,000.
    increased rail freight tonnage two thousand percent
    increased the road network one thousand percent.
    increased steel production from zero to thirty-five MMT/year
    Increased industry’s contribution to China’s net material product from twenty-three percent to fifty-four percent.
    Put satellites into orbit
    Developed the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb faster than anyone in history
    Left China at peace, debt-free, and independent.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    I'm dumbstriken.

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can't say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.
    , @Hyperborean
    I can understand defending Stalin or Kim Il-Sung, or even the Khmer Rouge, but it must require suffering from severe generational stasis to bother defending the lame teddy bear Mao as an obsessive hobby.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?

    We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.

    How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?

    , @Anarcho-Supremacist
    I'm sure western medicine and the green revolution did most of the heavy lifting. Now had that period seen Japan level of growth then maybe you would have a point.
  58. @Godfree Roberts
    Good review and summary. Kroeber is weakest in his discussion of Chinese governance, which he clearly does not understand, but his figures are among the best I've seen from a Western writer.

    One quibble: "Maoism was a disaster in economic terms" is a common–and widely promoted–trope, designed to make Deng's capitalism look good. But it has no foundation in fact.

    Despite the most vicious peacetime embargoes in history, on food, agricultural machinery, technology, finance and even international recognition, according to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org.
    China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.]

    Concretely, between 1945 and 1974, Mao
    doubled China’s population from 542 million to 956 million
    doubled life expectancy
    doubled caloric intake
    quintupled GDP
    quadrupled literacy
    increased grain production three hundred percent
    increased gross industrial output forty-fold
    increased heavy industry ninety-fold.
    increased rail lineage 266 percent
    increased passenger train traffic from 102,970,000 passengers to 814,910,000.
    increased rail freight tonnage two thousand percent
    increased the road network one thousand percent.
    increased steel production from zero to thirty-five MMT/year
    Increased industry’s contribution to China’s net material product from twenty-three percent to fifty-four percent.
    Put satellites into orbit
    Developed the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb faster than anyone in history
    Left China at peace, debt-free, and independent.
    https://i.imgur.com/jlsW90L.jpg

    I’m dumbstriken.

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can’t say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.

    • Agree: Thorfinnsson
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Ghak
    LMAO?
    , @Lin

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can’t say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.
     
    Now you're seeing one. Honestly your identity/locale matter little.
    Mao's greatest positive: He was quite willing to query china's past.
    Mao's greatest negative: He didn't start birth control from the 1950s; 20 yrs too late.
  59. @Lin
    "Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong."
    ……….
    Polygamy might not be enuff. Please ask your mother, wife(wives) to practise polyandry, not to mention the good side effect to help china's gender numeric imbalance

    Polygamy PLUS homo marriage. See, problem solved.

    Think about it from libertarian angle of view. 😉

  60. @Godfree Roberts
    Good review and summary. Kroeber is weakest in his discussion of Chinese governance, which he clearly does not understand, but his figures are among the best I've seen from a Western writer.

    One quibble: "Maoism was a disaster in economic terms" is a common–and widely promoted–trope, designed to make Deng's capitalism look good. But it has no foundation in fact.

    Despite the most vicious peacetime embargoes in history, on food, agricultural machinery, technology, finance and even international recognition, according to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org.
    China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.]

    Concretely, between 1945 and 1974, Mao
    doubled China’s population from 542 million to 956 million
    doubled life expectancy
    doubled caloric intake
    quintupled GDP
    quadrupled literacy
    increased grain production three hundred percent
    increased gross industrial output forty-fold
    increased heavy industry ninety-fold.
    increased rail lineage 266 percent
    increased passenger train traffic from 102,970,000 passengers to 814,910,000.
    increased rail freight tonnage two thousand percent
    increased the road network one thousand percent.
    increased steel production from zero to thirty-five MMT/year
    Increased industry’s contribution to China’s net material product from twenty-three percent to fifty-four percent.
    Put satellites into orbit
    Developed the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb faster than anyone in history
    Left China at peace, debt-free, and independent.
    https://i.imgur.com/jlsW90L.jpg

    I can understand defending Stalin or Kim Il-Sung, or even the Khmer Rouge, but it must require suffering from severe generational stasis to bother defending the lame teddy bear Mao as an obsessive hobby.

  61. @yakushimaru
    I'm dumbstriken.

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can't say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.

    LMAO?

  62. @yakushimaru
    I can't believe Pepe is an effort to appeal to wider HKers or Chinese outside SAR.

    I would guess it's a naive attempt at getting Trump's attention. This again, I would say, shows that those people are not heavy weights.

    8chan use to have /hkpol/ before it died. No need for conspiracies on this aspect.

  63. @Lin
    "Whats wrong with polygamy? Its eugenic as high status men get to reproduce more. It also satisfies womens need for hypergamy, and mens need for sexual variety. As long as the parties involved are willing, i dont see anything wrong."
    ……….
    Polygamy might not be enuff. Please ask your mother, wife(wives) to practise polyandry, not to mention the good side effect to help china's gender numeric imbalance

    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?

    • Replies: @Lin

    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?
     
    I'm amazed by how fragile the straws you grapped.
    I suggest you, yakushimaru & Hong Xiu Quan(assuming you ain't the same person) could find out through exchanging related polyandrous favours with each others(regardless of your genders).
  64. @E. Harding
    China has long had a habit of very approximate official statistics; the Harry X. Wu GDP series is used by the Maddison Project database (see https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf p. 26) and seems consistent with the observed information we have (though note the Maddison Project Database series' growth rate is too low after 2011). China's GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India's; this is consistent with the Wu series (as well as basic logic, such as electricity consumption per capita and life expectancy), but not the official series.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700030082-7.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700020057-6.pdf

    China's officially stated growth rate 1992-2006 also seems to be a major outlier here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/baf3/64f9f85fc29b5f68a3c7666195d93825cda2.pdf

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.

    “So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.”

    No.It doesn’t make sense to overstate growth rate by 2% year after year though might be the Chinese stats bureau does tend to smooth out the data which is reasonable considered does the cyclic ups and downs in data really reflect the ups and downs in econ activities?
    2% a year over 20 yrs means 48.6% difference which is quite meaurable. Fact is Chinese income and various consumption/capita are boardly inline with countries of similar GDP/capita like brazil, mexico, turkey…
    Measuring artificial light intensity as a reference to econ activity is complex and fussy at best. Chinese electricity production/capita has likely exceeded that of UK. I think a better way is to investigate the energy consumed by air-conditioners/capita and compare to countries with similar climate. BTW, one can measure the energy output from a electricity generation plant by measuring the EM waves intensity from the transmission cables and other known parameters, a better way than measuring light intensity.
    Automobile production and popn(2018):
    china: 27.8 million popn(M.L.): 1395 million
    Brazil: 2.88 million popn 211 million
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_motor_vehicle_production
    china

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @E. Harding
    The overstatement of growth rates has manifested itself in understatement of the past much more than in overstatement of the present. See also my comment here:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kroeber-chinas-economy/#comment-3440787
  65. @yakushimaru
    I'm dumbstriken.

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can't say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.

    You know I am Chinese living in China. I can’t say I ever met a single Chinese who loves Mao half as you do.

    Now you’re seeing one. Honestly your identity/locale matter little.
    Mao’s greatest positive: He was quite willing to query china’s past.
    Mao’s greatest negative: He didn’t start birth control from the 1950s; 20 yrs too late.

  66. @Arilando
    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population. If anything, if western countries had been more democratic, western elites would have found it much harder to push for these policies, and if they had been less democratic, western elites would have had an easier time doing so. Case in point, Switzerland is one of the most (probably the most) conservative countries in western Europe (of course, not particularly conservative by world or even eastern European standards).

    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population.

    (Applause)

    Nobody I talk to lately, which includes Russian truck drivers and Bulgarian Xray techs, seem to grasp the fact that the whole can of “multi-LBQT-Dgen” has been totally pushed from above, a revolution from the top without precedent.

    I knew a librarian with literally years of serious duty, several degrees in both her field, the classics, and so on, who recently quit library work altogether because she refuses to get with the program. How many more like her? In all ages and all regions of the country? My guess is a lot.

    China, no doubt, sees this very clearly. At least the top dogs would. They know the first order of business after getting their people suitable work is protecting them while they do it. Western decadence comes from one small hive, and China will keep it out.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    China, no doubt, sees this very clearly. At least the top dogs would. They know the first order of business after getting their people suitable work is protecting them while they do it. Western decadence comes from one small hive, and China will keep it out.
     
    Then they could at least ban Hollywood films.

    Diversity agitation films like Black Panther, Marvel and DC superhero series and that offensive negro Disney version of The Nutcracker are available in cinemas and in general degenerate Hollywood films are easily accessible though iQiyi and negro rap music through QQMusic.

    Realistically to block such influences only North Korean-style cultural autarky will suffice.
  67. @Ron Unz

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.
     
    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we've been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it's only luck that war hasn't yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can't admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393

    Foreign nations are already trying to abandon the US Dollar. Apparently the BRIC alliance was in part an attempt to do just that. The following essay asserts that the US dollar most likely to be abandoned during a general failure of world peace after strong US stabilization efforts fail.

    Western air power is becoming less effective in contested air spaces, and aircraft carriers are, as you say, becoming more vulnerable. The US is now reduced to strategic advantages — effective control of the major sea shipping lanes and the ability to restrict shipping from individual countries. It can’t “send in the Marines” anymore, and I doubt that it could field anything like the Desert Storm force.

    The US and the US Army are both showing the effect of 19 years of warfare since 9/11, . You can’t send most people through multiple tours of actual combat without the person becoming combat ineffective, or (for those who can tolerate multiple combat tours) having them acquire and in part become a skill set that has little or no applicability in civil life. You can’t have a nation supporting prolonged combat without severe effects on the entire civil populace. Notice, for example, that one reads of “rural suicide” and “military suicide” but never that “the rural areas with high suicide rates have been supplying the troops that have a high suicide rate”. There is an obvious connection that is not being mentioned, perhaps because it has policy implications unpopular with the ruling establishment (note that Spain depopulated itself fighting the 30 years war). Popular or not, you can draw on a population to fight a war only so long.

    The US, IMHO, is fighting “like a lunatic” because funding its urban areas has become increasingly difficult since 9/11, and especially since AD 2008, when the finances of hinterland America was destroyed in order to concentrate available Federal funds on saving the financial institutions that provide a substantial part of the tax revenues for urban areas. Letting one of these institutions fail served as an example to the rest that they had best not object to high taxation, but did not stem continued departure of economically productive or wealthy people from large urban areas. The more the urban areas decline, the more the US fights to keep its international influence and revenue streams flowing. The process is a diversion of capital and labor to unproductive ends, and must eventually become unsustainable.

    Fighting “like a lunatic” (a very apt phrase) doesn’t seem conducive to stability, but note that its ultimate purpose is to sustain revenues / trade / supply of essential raw materials and goods into the United States. This requires open seaways and no large regional fights. When the process ends, the seaways will not be protected and regional fights will break out [1].

    But I digress. The US is down to to its control of the seaways just now. The basic problem there is that full use of this capability (against China, or even Iran) would severely affect world trade. The US depends on world trade. It’s sort of like having the ability to make the Sun go nova: your enemies could and would believe that you would never use your weapon. It would prevent threats to your life (“Central war” in strategic terms), and the situation is a repetition of the defeat of “massive retaliation” by the Korean War in the 1950s.
    This shrinkage of military capability has given non-US countries a good deal more independence than they had 20 years ago (2000), and they are using it to attempt regional dominance or in one case world preeminence (let’s say). They will eventually start fighting between each other (India vs. Pakistan, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia, even S. Korea vs. Japan (!) are heating up) .

    Worldwide, we are seeing the decline of the urban megacity [2]. Megacity populations generally produce nothing very little except political dominance. They are resented by their hinterlands, and are increasingly unable to govern. This is perhaps most obvious in the US and Western Europe/UK. If the trends described above continue, megacity rule will become insupportable, and megacities themselves may become the targets of deniable attacks (SCADA raids on utilities) or attacks by non-state organizations in an attempt to extort some advantage (e.g. ISIS threats to US cities, Islamic raids in Paris, various ransomware attacks on local US governments). Dollar collapse would be part of this process, which would be world wide. One could trace reporting of the above trends back to Martin von Creveld’s _Parameters_ article in 1996 [3].

    Megacities are highly vulnerable to utility and logistics failures, the more so since both systems are decrepit in megacities. If either or both utilities or logistics were to be interfered with on a wide scale (say, a global disruption in trade, or sporadic but repeated attacks from a variety of organizations as above), the result would be something like that on New Orleans and Louisiana after Katrina, only on a national or world wide scale. Urban civilization would be reorganized into something different and much less urban by the hard hands of physical necessity.

    I don’t know about casualty/death rate among the ruling establishment, but it would definitely be out of power after such an event. During WW II _all_ combatants stripped their propertied classes pretty much bare of assets. That would happen again, and previous forms of government would be as discredited as parliamentary government became after WW II..

    Counterinsurgency

    1] and then they’ll be sorry, but it will be too late, in the words of every kid who has ever lived. This whole process is very well and widely known. Why do men fight when the obvious result will be ruin? No answers so far, we just do.

    2] Gregory R. Copley.
    _UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos_
    _The International Strategic Studies Association; First Edition; 2012/10/22
    ISBN-10: 1892998181; ISBN-13: 978-189299818

    3] Martin von Creveld.
    “The Fate of the State”.
    _Parameters_, Spring 1996.
    Currently available from URL:
    chttps://www.coursehero.com/file/28309280/Van-Creveld-The-Fate-of-the-Statepdf/
    _Parameters _ won’t download the article anymore, as far as I can tell.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Illustration of what "dilapidated urban infrastructure" means.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/heres-dilapidated-equipment-san-francisco-taxpayers-are-buying-bankrupt-pge-25-billion

    PG&E is pretty clearly a shell of itself. The regulators should have mandated higher rates and much more maintenance, but clearly did not. Note that the author's remedy is to not give PG&E its asking price for equipment as PG&E dissolves into bankruptcy to free the tax money for unspecified purposes. Whence the money to renovate California's utilities, then?

    And this is the case nation wide. The capital expenditures needed just for capital equipment renewal are far beyond what the US can raise without dropping its social stabilization programs.

    China is going to be left on its own to stabilize the seaways.

    Counterinsurgency
  68. Anonymous[302] • Disclaimer says:

    The West can’t win this game because it’s infested with a parasite. There’s no room at the top for fragmented, borderless, 80-90 IQ, mystery-meat, gender-fluid “countries”. Just look at the “popularity” enjoyed by the likes of Merkel, Macron and May among their own local goyim victims.

    The Tribe knows this so they’ll try to cheat by literally killing the competition on a global scale. It’s time for Russia and China to get their nukes upgraded and ready.

  69. @Ron Unz

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.
     
    Well, I think you may be ignoring one very important factor. It seems to me that America is *exceptionally* fragile these days, and if it suffers a highly-negative "discontinuity" in the near future, China's geopolitical situation will obviously improve enormously by default.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America's economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    Moreover, our national security/foreign policy is totally insane, and much of the country is violently split along ideological lines, with a substantial fraction of the entire population believing that President Trump is a Russian spy. All these endless random mass-shootings are probably a warning-flag.

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

    If some unfortunate bull in a herd is infected with rabies and begins wildly jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth, I suspect the other bulls will stay well clear of it until it finally collapses in a heap.

    Sick animals isolate themselves .

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Not necessarily. As Ron points out, some illnesses like rabies make animals less isolationist, more social, promiscuous, etc.
  70. @Toy
    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?

    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?

    I’m amazed by how fragile the straws you grapped.
    I suggest you, yakushimaru & Hong Xiu Quan(assuming you ain’t the same person) could find out through exchanging related polyandrous favours with each others(regardless of your genders).

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    BTW I am not in support of polygamy. I was just joking.

    And that when people ask you questions you reply by talking about their mothers, this is not good manner. Besides, how difficult can it be to defend something like monogamy in today's world with a few polite words? You seem utterly unable to do this.
  71. @Franz

    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population.
     
    (Applause)

    Nobody I talk to lately, which includes Russian truck drivers and Bulgarian Xray techs, seem to grasp the fact that the whole can of "multi-LBQT-Dgen" has been totally pushed from above, a revolution from the top without precedent.

    I knew a librarian with literally years of serious duty, several degrees in both her field, the classics, and so on, who recently quit library work altogether because she refuses to get with the program. How many more like her? In all ages and all regions of the country? My guess is a lot.

    China, no doubt, sees this very clearly. At least the top dogs would. They know the first order of business after getting their people suitable work is protecting them while they do it. Western decadence comes from one small hive, and China will keep it out.

    China, no doubt, sees this very clearly. At least the top dogs would. They know the first order of business after getting their people suitable work is protecting them while they do it. Western decadence comes from one small hive, and China will keep it out.

    Then they could at least ban Hollywood films.

    Diversity agitation films like Black Panther, Marvel and DC superhero series and that offensive negro Disney version of The Nutcracker are available in cinemas and in general degenerate Hollywood films are easily accessible though iQiyi and negro rap music through QQMusic.

    Realistically to block such influences only North Korean-style cultural autarky will suffice.

  72. Why would nerve gassing Hollywood be such a bad idea?

    • Replies: @Sbaker
    It's actually a very good idea.
  73. @E. Harding
    China has long had a habit of very approximate official statistics; the Harry X. Wu GDP series is used by the Maddison Project database (see https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf p. 26) and seems consistent with the observed information we have (though note the Maddison Project Database series' growth rate is too low after 2011). China's GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India's; this is consistent with the Wu series (as well as basic logic, such as electricity consumption per capita and life expectancy), but not the official series.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700030082-7.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700020057-6.pdf

    China's officially stated growth rate 1992-2006 also seems to be a major outlier here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/baf3/64f9f85fc29b5f68a3c7666195d93825cda2.pdf

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.

    China’s GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India’s…

    The World Bank figures disagree, but in any case it’s a theoretical debate – for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

    Higher electricity consumption would be expected in a heavy industry-focused Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.

    • Replies: @Lin
    Regarding Chinese and indian economy during the 70s,
    I posted the following at the blog of the indian economist Atenu Dey:

    “In 1978, the two countries were in the same socialist hell: hundreds of millions living in dire poverty, with similar per capita GDP figures..’
     
    While china did grow fast, the growth was probably overstated because of the Dollar-Yuan exchange rate back in 78. For poor 3rd worlders, food is the most important budget item. I checked that china grain production/capita in 1978 was over 300 kg while the indian figure in 2015 was about 200 kg. And the difference had little to do with fodder to meat conversion because Chinese meat consumption back then was still quite low(its about 60kg/capita in 2018, US figure(with more expensive beef)is > 100kg/capita).
    https://deeshaa.org/2019/06/01/india-china-and-the-us-trade-numbers/#comments
    , @E. Harding

    The World Bank figures disagree
     
    Not from the time (see p. 138-9 of this PDF, though the figures from the time clearly overstated China's GDP per capita). China's GDP per capita in the 1970s has constantly been revised downward to make it consistent with overly high officially stated post-1970s growth rates. By 1986, its 1980 GDP per capita had been revised downward to a reasonable level ($290 v. India's $240, see page 166 here) -today, this is listed as higher for India and much lower for China.

    The Wu/Maddison Project series are both on FRED; you can play around with them:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=oPdT


    Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.
     
    India prior to 1980 had very severe trade restrictions. Exports as a percentage of GDP were under 7% (at least, by present-day World Bank figures for GDP), lower than import substitution Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, and not that far from China (at least, if the World Bank's probably too low present-day numbers for China's past current dollar GDP are used). Interestingly, the World Bank's present-day numbers for China's past current dollar GDP imply China's exports as a percentage of GDP surpassed India's in 1981. This is probably(?) too early. This is all GDP by exchange rates, of course, but the distortion caused by China's growth rate overstatement is more severe for GDP by purchasing power parity.

    for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.
     
    Agree; electricity consumption per capita stats here are pretty consistent with GDP per capita in China and India being very similar around 1980. Meanwhile, the official GDP growth numbers imply China only surpassed India around 1992, which is very implausible, given that (supposedly) China had a higher % of the population with access to electricity at the time than Brazil.
  74. Lots of stuff here to digest and think about. Sometimes it is hard to get decent information, but here we have a deluge. I often write a contrary opinion to the “China will implode tomorrow” articles at ZeroHedge, for example:

    These predictions have so far been wrong, not because observers are wrong about the degree of waste, but because they fail to realize that in a country of China’s size, such waste can be irrelevant so long as it is a by-product of an effective process of meeting basic needs.

    The ghost cities argument. I try to explain that it doesn’t matter if they build a few ghost cities, they can afford it. Does it represent mis-allocated capital? Probably, but is it any worse than our excess military expenditures (ghost nukes)? Also, they can find a use for these cities if pressed and besides, they are rich enough to afford it.

    That’s the main thing. They are getting richer as a society, while the US is getting poorer. Which brings up the technology aspect. Some of what passes for scientific creativity is really serendipity, like Newton getting bonked on the head by an apple and “discovering” gravity. Half of science is merely realizing what you are looking at until it jells and makes sense.

    Another piece of it is problem solving. On your way to solving problem X you find a plethora of smaller issues that need to be solved. So instead of one technology you end up with five. Having a large STEM population means they can tackle ancillary problems more easily.

    For example, They have over 600 scientists working on their Molten Salt Reactor program. They are probably going to have a lot of mini breakthroughs on things like online processing of nuclear waste. Brayton cycle CO2 turbine generators and so forth.

    Keeping an eye on their finance / banking sector and keeping the West out is probably a good idea. Banning most derivatives probably is another good idea. And while China may not have the world’s reserve currency, it could be part of a new multi-polar international currency like SDRs, used to settle international trade.

    Very good article. Could have been broken up into smaller articles based on subject matter. Linking to an article this long is problematic. Most people don’t have the time for it these days.

  75. anon[182] • Disclaimer says:

    I think the United States is doomed at this point, and I think the US knows it, too. Their hysterical threats against Huawei and support for these Hong Kong protests strike me as pure desperation. They don’t know what to do, so they flail about doing anything they can. Won’t work, though. China need not forcibly displace the US to take over the world; they just need to wait long enough for an opening. There are just so many things going against the US at this point that I don’t see how things can turn around. Honestly, I thought about making a detailed list of things – economic, demographic, and political – running against the US here, but I had to stop because the list would have been too extensive. Suffice it to say this country is going to experience severe fiscal, economic, cultural, and political stain in the next few decades. China may very well look like a safe haven at that point. Worse, much of this damage was inflicted by an incompetent ruling class that will refuse to cede power to anyone willing to fix their mess; failing regimes have a nasty habit of doubling down before the end.

  76. @Ron Unz

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.
     
    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we've been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it's only luck that war hasn't yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can't admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393

    US military power, or alleged military power, is certainly a prop.

    But the main factor is the size and liquidity of American capital markets.

    If you as a seller accept payment in Dollars, you know that you can immediately purchase Dollar-denominated securities and sell them at any time.

    Other developed countries can fulfill a similar role, but their capital markets are all much smaller. Eurozone leaders sometimes talk about fulfilling such a role, but the Eurozone is unfortunately a disaster. Additionally, many of them would be likely to resist such large capital inflows since that produces persistent current account deficits and may increase domestic unemployment. Hence why Japan took steps to ensure the Yen never became a major component of international reserves or trade.

    The greatest threat to this system is probably the endlessly escalating sanctions regime emanating from Washington. If you can’t use Dollars, or you strongly believe you might not be able to in the future, you’re going to try to use something else. Hence the current efforts by Russia and China to de-Dollarize their bilateral trade.

    If the Dollar were to somehow suddenly cease to be the world’s reserve currency (as opposed to a gradual decline, as experienced by Great Britain), then certainly there would be a sharp increase in interest rates, inflation, and unemployment. Probably, a depression.

    But it would in fact be a boon for Americans over time, as domestic industrial production and exports would increase. Some America-first types have in fact suggested the US should place tariffs not just on goods, but on capital inflows. Personally I’m of the view that it’s more important to produce goods in the United States and employ Americans than it is to have the ability to make it hard for Iran to participate in world trade. Crazy talk, I know.

    If America gets into a stupid war with Russia and/or China, of course, all bets are off. In that event the international position of the Dollar may be the least of our worries.

  77. @Godfree Roberts
    Good review and summary. Kroeber is weakest in his discussion of Chinese governance, which he clearly does not understand, but his figures are among the best I've seen from a Western writer.

    One quibble: "Maoism was a disaster in economic terms" is a common–and widely promoted–trope, designed to make Deng's capitalism look good. But it has no foundation in fact.

    Despite the most vicious peacetime embargoes in history, on food, agricultural machinery, technology, finance and even international recognition, according to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org.
    China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.]

    Concretely, between 1945 and 1974, Mao
    doubled China’s population from 542 million to 956 million
    doubled life expectancy
    doubled caloric intake
    quintupled GDP
    quadrupled literacy
    increased grain production three hundred percent
    increased gross industrial output forty-fold
    increased heavy industry ninety-fold.
    increased rail lineage 266 percent
    increased passenger train traffic from 102,970,000 passengers to 814,910,000.
    increased rail freight tonnage two thousand percent
    increased the road network one thousand percent.
    increased steel production from zero to thirty-five MMT/year
    Increased industry’s contribution to China’s net material product from twenty-three percent to fifty-four percent.
    Put satellites into orbit
    Developed the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb faster than anyone in history
    Left China at peace, debt-free, and independent.
    https://i.imgur.com/jlsW90L.jpg

    Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?

    We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.

    How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?

    • Replies: @d dan
    "Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?"

    I think it is because China, India, Indonesia and Philippines all started at similar level of developments around the same time.

    "We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast."

    No, France was much better developed than the others (industrialization, education...), so you can't compare them.

    "How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?"

    There are several problems with this suggestion too:
    1. South Korea and Taiwan had full supports of US and western countries the entire time, (militarily, economically,...) China was only partially supported by the more backward Soviet for a shorter period (e.g. no military support).
    2. China was involved in several border wars.
    3. China is much larger in size and complexity, e.g. it does not make sense to compare China and Singapore.
    , @Dmitry
    Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country (Ancient Indian philosophy was perhaps higher even than the ancient Mediterranean). So a person with historical knowledge, might imagine that India has greater potential than China in the 22nd century, if not the 21st.

    -

    That said, comparisons to the ancient world seem quite useless as indicators for future potential. Ancient Greece achieved infinitely more than primitive German tribes of the same time - but today Germany is by far one of the most advanced and successful countries in the world, while modern Greece mediocre.

    It's possible that China will develop a higher culture in the 21st or 22nd century than India can hope.

    , @Unknown128
    Fully in agreement here. Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.

    Meanwhile few Indian communities managed that, despite being also spread all around the globe. It all fits very well into HBD and is one of the best proofs for its value. As for US support, Indonesia had lots of it as did many Latin American countries, still none of them could reach the 1st world, while east Asians got there very fast as soon as they had the chance. To call Chinese an "inferior race" based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago (and is still normal for provincial Russians) is myopic since it ignores the successes of all Chinese communities outside of Communism. The fact that under Mao China was as poor as low IQ places shows how much damage Mao really did. One could just as well compare the USSR with Brazil (Like Noam Chomsky does) or Mexico (which by some counts had a higher GDP per capita 1913 then the Russian empire.) and say that socialism there was a success because life in the late USSR was still better then in IQ 85 places. Also Spain had a lower GDP per capita 1913 then several Latin American states but knowing HBD it is clear that this would have been only temporary and looking closer at its economy one could already have predicted a divergence between these countries even back then. Mao apologists have to resort to blank slatism to defend their beloved helmsmen while in reality China was always richer then India and had a higher life expectancy. China was in a state of civil war between 1915 and 1949 and still had a higher GDP per capita for most of this time then orderly governed British India. So of course there was some growth after the war was over, that's normal if a country is no longer at war. At the same time the ROC on Taiwan achieved vastly superior growth and it was run by the very same people Mao supposedly "liberated" China from. North Korea also had growth after the Korean war but it paled compared to the growth in the "other Korea" just as anything Mao achieved failed in comparison to the "Other China(s)". Despite civil war, chaos and corruption, as well as a global economic crisis China did achieve a lot of growth in the "Nanking decade" already.
  78. @Ron Unz

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.
     
    Well, I think you may be ignoring one very important factor. It seems to me that America is *exceptionally* fragile these days, and if it suffers a highly-negative "discontinuity" in the near future, China's geopolitical situation will obviously improve enormously by default.

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America's economic trajectory is a sustainable one.

    Moreover, our national security/foreign policy is totally insane, and much of the country is violently split along ideological lines, with a substantial fraction of the entire population believing that President Trump is a Russian spy. All these endless random mass-shootings are probably a warning-flag.

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

    If some unfortunate bull in a herd is infected with rabies and begins wildly jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth, I suspect the other bulls will stay well clear of it until it finally collapses in a heap.

    This:

    This is not a healthy situation, and I suspect that China (and Russia) are merely playing a waiting-game until the inevitable occurs.

  79. Chinee not have democlacy cause Chinee not have heblew tlibe to lun evelything like in velly gleat Amelika. Chinee not have velly gleat gay plide palade all time and Chinee too sholt dunk basketball and velly small plick not make gleat polnoglaphy. Chinee not have neglos so not have lots clime or spolts or lap music like in gleat Amelika. Amelika send heblew tlibe help Chinee have velly gleat democlacy velly smalt wondelful like help USSL 1991 become Lussia.

    • Replies: @Lin
    Your attempt to stereotype Chinese accent is clumsy. The Chinese numeral for '2' pronounced 'er'.
  80. @Peter Akuleyev

    China’s current political economy may be best described as a Leninist/NEPist state
     
    Imagine what could have been if the USSR had stayed on that path.

    would have been the second largest economy in the world.

  81. @nsa
    Chinee not have democlacy cause Chinee not have heblew tlibe to lun evelything like in velly gleat Amelika. Chinee not have velly gleat gay plide palade all time and Chinee too sholt dunk basketball and velly small plick not make gleat polnoglaphy. Chinee not have neglos so not have lots clime or spolts or lap music like in gleat Amelika. Amelika send heblew tlibe help Chinee have velly gleat democlacy velly smalt wondelful like help USSL 1991 become Lussia.

    Your attempt to stereotype Chinese accent is clumsy. The Chinese numeral for ‘2’ pronounced ‘er’.

  82. @Anatoly Karlin

    China’s GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India’s...
     
    The World Bank figures disagree, but in any case it's a theoretical debate - for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping's reforms.

    Higher electricity consumption would be expected in a heavy industry-focused Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.

    Regarding Chinese and indian economy during the 70s,
    I posted the following at the blog of the indian economist Atenu Dey:

    “In 1978, the two countries were in the same socialist hell: hundreds of millions living in dire poverty, with similar per capita GDP figures..’

    While china did grow fast, the growth was probably overstated because of the Dollar-Yuan exchange rate back in 78. For poor 3rd worlders, food is the most important budget item. I checked that china grain production/capita in 1978 was over 300 kg while the indian figure in 2015 was about 200 kg. And the difference had little to do with fodder to meat conversion because Chinese meat consumption back then was still quite low(its about 60kg/capita in 2018, US figure(with more expensive beef)is > 100kg/capita).
    https://deeshaa.org/2019/06/01/india-china-and-the-us-trade-numbers/#comments

  83. The indispensable feature of a market economy is not private property but competition. If state assets are privatized but competition mechanisms remain weak, the results will be poor: one just substitutes private monopolists or oligopolists for state-owned ones.

    The understatement: not private property but competition.

    Competition fosters unplanned invention, when it happens it decimates whole industries overnight, and energizes instantaneous disruptive growth in real terms.. growth in my book is measured as a sum of the ratios between
    growth= Sum (for each industry) [quality of life/ $cost to provide that LQ] ; innovation can increase the QC and decrease the cost at the same time.. in the same time frame.

    the flaw in the privatization ointment occurs when state monopolies are delivered into private hands (privatization), because the private monopoly owners will abuse the power of the state and use it to restrict, defeat or grab for themselves the innovation and they will use the power of the state to deny competitive forces access to the market place. monopoly powers in private hands provides the masses with neither gain in quality of life or cost to deliver/acquire it.

  84. anon[826] • Disclaimer says:

    “Not quite sure what he means by “untapped expansive potential of the US economy”.

    He’s probably imagining filling up the continental United States with unlimited numbers of immigrants. I’m not sure how that will play out considering most of them will be non-white. Nations with huge group disparities in wealth or ability or representation have poor track records of not destroying themselves in the long run. Eventually, as we saw in tragic fall of the African nation of Zimbabwe (and increasingly in South Africa), one group in a diverse society, perhaps spurred on by a demagogue, seizes from another and destroys the prosperity of all. The poor blacks of Zimbabwe had an incentive to keep white farmers on their lands because it was in their group’s best economic interest. Naively, an outsider would have assumed the population would have realized that and acted accordingly. But humans are fundamentally tribal and short0sighted by nature, some moreso than others. The people of Zimbabwe ruined themselves by killing their economic golden goose, the white farmer. They drove him off his lands, sometimes with violence, as the Western world ignored his plight. Misery followed. Worse, the people of Zimbabwe brought back the demagogue who encouraged them, Robert Mugabe, in 2013. I suspect a similar fate awaits the United States in the long-run.

    The democrats are already channeling the spirit of Robert Mugabe’s racist demagoguery with talk of reparations, institutional bias, police shootings, etc. I see this rhetoric escalating in the future. Why would it not? What’s to stop it?

    And that’s on top of all the other odious racial policies already imposed on the American economy: companies must state whether they have diversity policies (a means of publicly shaming companies into adopting ethnic quotas); affirmative action; the many racial scandals of Barack Obama, like his attempt to lower air traffic controller standards to get more of his own race into those jobs or his DOE abolishing due process rights for male students accused of sexual misconduct, setting off a wave of false accusations and multi-million dollar lawsuits against American colleges; government contract set asides for non-whites; disparate impact; HR departments; etc etc etc.

    In the near future, it wouldn’t surprise me if the democrats imposed financial penalties on companies for not have more racially and gender-diverse boards and work forces, even in critical industries like Silicon Valley. California already does this by fining companies $100,000 for not having a female on their board of directors. I see nothing stopping this from becoming a requirement to have one of each race and gender. How competitive will American companies be when that happens? How competitive are they now? American car companies can’t sell in Japan or Europe, for the most part. There are things they do sell, like software, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the US established an early monopoly, which has discouraged competitors; that may not last forever. What about Manufacturing? Lol, nope. The US deindustrialized itself for short-term profit ages ago. Maybe agriculture, but how sad would it be for the US to become the world’s greatest society only for it then to destroy itself and end up a backwards agrarian society racked with continual racial unrest, dysfunction, and poverty?

    Entertainment? Well, not when photo-realistic CGI and A.I. technologies allow the Chinese to make movies of the same visual and linguistic quality as Western films; see the videogame industry as an example of how easy it is to compete with the Americans once language is removed as a barrier (hint: Sony and Nintendo have dominated Microsoft this console generation).

    Personally, I see no reason why China can’t have cultural influence before 2050 should they adopt the right policies and technologies beforehand. Mostly, it will depend upon how far they are willing to go to get it. If they are willing to grant permanent resident status to Western artists and work on developing their own videogame and movie industries into international export powerhouses, industries free of odious Western gender and racial politics, it could be done. South Korea, a comparatively much smaller country, enjoys international acclaim for its romantic dramas everywhere except the US; their K-Pop industry is also surprisingly influential. China could do much better with the right leadership.

    And there’s a lot to suggest that may be the case in the future as America finds itself increasingly at odds with global attitudes and tastes (even domestic tastes). Example: DC and Marvel comics are on the verge of closing, and not all of that is due to digital competition. Tellingly, Marvel is outsourcing its characters to a Japanese firm with Japanese writers in order to escape the extremist SJWs who’ve ruined their brand with forced inclusion and gender politics. The same phenomenon is seen throughout Hollywood, too. Do they make anything that isn’t a rehash and is also original (and good)? The few times they do, either the increasingly dumb American audience rejects it or there is an inevitable race controversy centering on casting. It’s mostly safe rehashes now because they’ve focused on recruiting skin color over talent. Movies today are disproportionately trash, and I don’t think that’s just nostalgia on my part. There is a severe lack of talent and drive and a poor creative culture. That means there is potentially an opening for China should they want to exploit it. These stupid superhero movies can’t last forever … can they? I’ll cut my spiel short here by saying that China may not be as culturally isolated as they are now in the future should this oppressive PC environment continue in the US and China gets her game ready.

    • Replies: @Si1ver1ock

    Tellingly, Marvel is outsourcing its characters to a Japanese firm with Japanese writers in order to escape the extremist SJWs who’ve ruined their brand with forced inclusion and gender politics.
     
    I recently watched Deadpool 2 on Amazon. It was chaotic in its notions of good and evil to the point of becoming incoherent and unwatchable.
    , @Aft

    The democrats are already channeling the spirit of Robert Mugabe’s racist demagoguery with talk of reparations, institutional bias, police shootings, etc. I see this rhetoric escalating in the future. Why would it not? What’s to stop it?
     
    Basically this; the US is in a demographic death spiral from the composition of its younger generation already. Racial handouts, grievances, open borders, low social trust, corporate inefficiency et al will only get worse from here.
  85. @Korenchkin
    Are you autistic?
    "Why aren't Chinese committing propaganda suicide"

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn't even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    @Korentchkin
    I agree with you.China won’t go into that trap.They just wait and see.

  86. @anon
    "Not quite sure what he means by “untapped expansive potential of the US economy”.

    He's probably imagining filling up the continental United States with unlimited numbers of immigrants. I'm not sure how that will play out considering most of them will be non-white. Nations with huge group disparities in wealth or ability or representation have poor track records of not destroying themselves in the long run. Eventually, as we saw in tragic fall of the African nation of Zimbabwe (and increasingly in South Africa), one group in a diverse society, perhaps spurred on by a demagogue, seizes from another and destroys the prosperity of all. The poor blacks of Zimbabwe had an incentive to keep white farmers on their lands because it was in their group's best economic interest. Naively, an outsider would have assumed the population would have realized that and acted accordingly. But humans are fundamentally tribal and short0sighted by nature, some moreso than others. The people of Zimbabwe ruined themselves by killing their economic golden goose, the white farmer. They drove him off his lands, sometimes with violence, as the Western world ignored his plight. Misery followed. Worse, the people of Zimbabwe brought back the demagogue who encouraged them, Robert Mugabe, in 2013. I suspect a similar fate awaits the United States in the long-run.

    The democrats are already channeling the spirit of Robert Mugabe's racist demagoguery with talk of reparations, institutional bias, police shootings, etc. I see this rhetoric escalating in the future. Why would it not? What's to stop it?

    And that's on top of all the other odious racial policies already imposed on the American economy: companies must state whether they have diversity policies (a means of publicly shaming companies into adopting ethnic quotas); affirmative action; the many racial scandals of Barack Obama, like his attempt to lower air traffic controller standards to get more of his own race into those jobs or his DOE abolishing due process rights for male students accused of sexual misconduct, setting off a wave of false accusations and multi-million dollar lawsuits against American colleges; government contract set asides for non-whites; disparate impact; HR departments; etc etc etc.

    In the near future, it wouldn't surprise me if the democrats imposed financial penalties on companies for not have more racially and gender-diverse boards and work forces, even in critical industries like Silicon Valley. California already does this by fining companies $100,000 for not having a female on their board of directors. I see nothing stopping this from becoming a requirement to have one of each race and gender. How competitive will American companies be when that happens? How competitive are they now? American car companies can't sell in Japan or Europe, for the most part. There are things they do sell, like software, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the US established an early monopoly, which has discouraged competitors; that may not last forever. What about Manufacturing? Lol, nope. The US deindustrialized itself for short-term profit ages ago. Maybe agriculture, but how sad would it be for the US to become the world's greatest society only for it then to destroy itself and end up a backwards agrarian society racked with continual racial unrest, dysfunction, and poverty?

    Entertainment? Well, not when photo-realistic CGI and A.I. technologies allow the Chinese to make movies of the same visual and linguistic quality as Western films; see the videogame industry as an example of how easy it is to compete with the Americans once language is removed as a barrier (hint: Sony and Nintendo have dominated Microsoft this console generation).

    Personally, I see no reason why China can't have cultural influence before 2050 should they adopt the right policies and technologies beforehand. Mostly, it will depend upon how far they are willing to go to get it. If they are willing to grant permanent resident status to Western artists and work on developing their own videogame and movie industries into international export powerhouses, industries free of odious Western gender and racial politics, it could be done. South Korea, a comparatively much smaller country, enjoys international acclaim for its romantic dramas everywhere except the US; their K-Pop industry is also surprisingly influential. China could do much better with the right leadership.

    And there's a lot to suggest that may be the case in the future as America finds itself increasingly at odds with global attitudes and tastes (even domestic tastes). Example: DC and Marvel comics are on the verge of closing, and not all of that is due to digital competition. Tellingly, Marvel is outsourcing its characters to a Japanese firm with Japanese writers in order to escape the extremist SJWs who've ruined their brand with forced inclusion and gender politics. The same phenomenon is seen throughout Hollywood, too. Do they make anything that isn't a rehash and is also original (and good)? The few times they do, either the increasingly dumb American audience rejects it or there is an inevitable race controversy centering on casting. It's mostly safe rehashes now because they've focused on recruiting skin color over talent. Movies today are disproportionately trash, and I don't think that's just nostalgia on my part. There is a severe lack of talent and drive and a poor creative culture. That means there is potentially an opening for China should they want to exploit it. These stupid superhero movies can't last forever ... can they? I'll cut my spiel short here by saying that China may not be as culturally isolated as they are now in the future should this oppressive PC environment continue in the US and China gets her game ready.

    Tellingly, Marvel is outsourcing its characters to a Japanese firm with Japanese writers in order to escape the extremist SJWs who’ve ruined their brand with forced inclusion and gender politics.

    I recently watched Deadpool 2 on Amazon. It was chaotic in its notions of good and evil to the point of becoming incoherent and unwatchable.

  87. @Lin

    Do you really wanna steal pussy from men who are much tougher and stronger than you?
     
    I'm amazed by how fragile the straws you grapped.
    I suggest you, yakushimaru & Hong Xiu Quan(assuming you ain't the same person) could find out through exchanging related polyandrous favours with each others(regardless of your genders).

    BTW I am not in support of polygamy. I was just joking.

    And that when people ask you questions you reply by talking about their mothers, this is not good manner. Besides, how difficult can it be to defend something like monogamy in today’s world with a few polite words? You seem utterly unable to do this.

    • Replies: @Lin

    Besides, how difficult can it be to defend something like monogamy in today’s world with a few polite words? You seem utterly unable to do this.
     
    You're absolutely wrong !! I'm an alpha centaurian masquerading as a Chinese( as much as you're Chinese) making a statement to honour the freedom of choice of your mother
  88. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    “The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.”

    I believe nationalism is part of evolving strategy that they are exploring and developing, rather than the permanent be-all-end-all method. They also try different dose of Confucianism, Marxism, and yes Xi’s “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (LOL).

    That may actually be both their weakness and strength: it is everything and it is nothing. The key is to be nimble and catch up with the needs of society.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    You take him too seriously. He would have China forsake hard power and economic power for soft power. That is asking China to commit suicide.

    This anon with a Chinese name reminds me of the Mandarin class in ancient China I read so much about. So much crap, zero substance. All talk, completely, absolutely useless when shit hits the fan.

    Also a brain washed ideologue that thinks higher living standard = liberalism. En epic retard that thinks voting by the masses matters in countries like USA and Europe. Perfect examples are grexit n brexit.

    I truly believe the current politicians in the USA are the exact same kind as those Chinese mandarins of old. All talk, nothing else.

  89. @Ron Unz

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.
     
    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we've been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it's only luck that war hasn't yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can't admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393

    “…my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.”

    That is true, plus the fact that being a reserve currency actually is a double edge sword (e.g. less control of your own exchange rate), so other countries, while resenting the dollar hegemony, aren’t rushing in to replace dollar wholesale.

  90. After reading all of this I came to the conclusion that the ChiComs are in big trouble, really big trouble, a lot worse than I thought.
    Hopefully, it is so big they won’t have time to try to take the rest of us down with them.
    Now before all the usual suspects come back with how it is the US that is in real trouble, you are somewhat right, one chance in three the US survives intact, but China, it’s looking really bad for them.
    When they didn’t roll tanks into Hong Kong, well, everybody knows now.

  91. @Anatoly Karlin

    China’s GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India’s...
     
    The World Bank figures disagree, but in any case it's a theoretical debate - for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping's reforms.

    Higher electricity consumption would be expected in a heavy industry-focused Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.

    The World Bank figures disagree

    Not from the time (see p. 138-9 of this PDF, though the figures from the time clearly overstated China’s GDP per capita). China’s GDP per capita in the 1970s has constantly been revised downward to make it consistent with overly high officially stated post-1970s growth rates. By 1986, its 1980 GDP per capita had been revised downward to a reasonable level ($290 v. India’s $240, see page 166 here) -today, this is listed as higher for India and much lower for China.

    The Wu/Maddison Project series are both on FRED; you can play around with them:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=oPdT

    Communist state that concerns itself with autarky than in the over-regulated but nonetheless market-based Indian economy.

    India prior to 1980 had very severe trade restrictions. Exports as a percentage of GDP were under 7% (at least, by present-day World Bank figures for GDP), lower than import substitution Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, and not that far from China (at least, if the World Bank’s probably too low present-day numbers for China’s past current dollar GDP are used). Interestingly, the World Bank’s present-day numbers for China’s past current dollar GDP imply China’s exports as a percentage of GDP surpassed India’s in 1981. This is probably(?) too early. This is all GDP by exchange rates, of course, but the distortion caused by China’s growth rate overstatement is more severe for GDP by purchasing power parity.

    for all intents and purposes, China and India were (plus or minus) level pegging until Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

    Agree; electricity consumption per capita stats here are pretty consistent with GDP per capita in China and India being very similar around 1980. Meanwhile, the official GDP growth numbers imply China only surpassed India around 1992, which is very implausible, given that (supposedly) China had a higher % of the population with access to electricity at the time than Brazil.

  92. One sector of the Chinese economy that I find utterly puzzling is debt diplomacy.

    Historically, didn’t the West always need to send gunboats to collect on debts? How could it possibly make sense for the Chinese to loan African countries money or help them build infrastructure? Are the Chinese actually making money on this? Or is it all some kind of subsidy?

    I mean, I understand the concept of being paid in natural resources or in port ownership, but, in each case, what is the real guarantee on them handing those things over?

    Or did the West simply develop some sort of clever financial mechanism that obviates the need for gunboats and which Chinese are taking advantage of now, like the World Bank?

    • Replies: @last straw
    I'm not sure the BRI is debt diplomacy. China is using its own experience to help poorer countries to develop, become rich, and increase trade. If they are successful, it's a win-win situation. China developed by building up infrastructures, with deficit spending if necessary. So when they make loans to poorer countries for building infrastructures, they are probably not really deliberately setting up debt trap. Do not believe everything you see in the western MSM.
  93. @Sean
    Sick animals isolate themselves .

    Not necessarily. As Ron points out, some illnesses like rabies make animals less isolationist, more social, promiscuous, etc.

  94. @Lin

    "So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year."
     
    No.It doesn't make sense to overstate growth rate by 2% year after year though might be the Chinese stats bureau does tend to smooth out the data which is reasonable considered does the cyclic ups and downs in data really reflect the ups and downs in econ activities?
    2% a year over 20 yrs means 48.6% difference which is quite meaurable. Fact is Chinese income and various consumption/capita are boardly inline with countries of similar GDP/capita like brazil, mexico, turkey...
    Measuring artificial light intensity as a reference to econ activity is complex and fussy at best. Chinese electricity production/capita has likely exceeded that of UK. I think a better way is to investigate the energy consumed by air-conditioners/capita and compare to countries with similar climate. BTW, one can measure the energy output from a electricity generation plant by measuring the EM waves intensity from the transmission cables and other known parameters, a better way than measuring light intensity.
    Automobile production and popn(2018):
    china: 27.8 million popn(M.L.): 1395 million
    Brazil: 2.88 million popn 211 million
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_motor_vehicle_production
    china

    The overstatement of growth rates has manifested itself in understatement of the past much more than in overstatement of the present. See also my comment here:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kroeber-chinas-economy/#comment-3440787

  95. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Are you autistic?
    “Why aren’t Chinese committing propaganda suicide”

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn’t even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

     

    I'm not so sure about this. If the Hong Kong protesters are allowed to continue what they're doing without any restraint for a long enough time period, the Hong Kongers and their paymasters could easily spread protests and trouble all throughout China. China's conduct towards these protests has clearly been a display of weakness, not strength.

    Honestly though, an interesting but possible alternative I'm starting to think about regarding the Hong Kong protests is that they are actually staged by US agencies not in order to change anything in China, but to test and experiment with Western public opinion. The efforts to push wars with Iran and Venezuela completely flopped partly because they proved to be extremely unpopular with mainstream American/Western public opinion. Although US military intervention in favor of the Hong Kongers is completely off the table, it's clear that the Hong Kongers by using things like Pepe signs, and so on, are trying to test their popularity with the US/Western mainstream. If so, this psy-op seems to be somewhat, but not completely, successful so far.

    CIA has a clear and direct motive to kill the extradition bill, because if it is passed, many CIA staff stationed in Hong Kong will lost their jobs, or at least have to leave Hong Kong.

    So, I speculate the Hong Kong instigation may just be started from local branch, or a department within CIA, without direct permission from the top (e.g. Bolton or Trump). Of course, when the protest unexpectedly lasts so long, China hawks are happy to jump in to try to make a mess.

    I am not sure there was a big strategy to start off – because there was no good end-game for US to exploit, and any “successful” scenario would seem long shot a few months ago.

  96. @d dan
    "The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side."

    I believe nationalism is part of evolving strategy that they are exploring and developing, rather than the permanent be-all-end-all method. They also try different dose of Confucianism, Marxism, and yes Xi's "Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era" (LOL).

    That may actually be both their weakness and strength: it is everything and it is nothing. The key is to be nimble and catch up with the needs of society.

    You take him too seriously. He would have China forsake hard power and economic power for soft power. That is asking China to commit suicide.

    This anon with a Chinese name reminds me of the Mandarin class in ancient China I read so much about. So much crap, zero substance. All talk, completely, absolutely useless when shit hits the fan.

    Also a brain washed ideologue that thinks higher living standard = liberalism. En epic retard that thinks voting by the masses matters in countries like USA and Europe. Perfect examples are grexit n brexit.

    I truly believe the current politicians in the USA are the exact same kind as those Chinese mandarins of old. All talk, nothing else.

  97. anon[620] • Disclaimer says:

    “After reading all of this I came to the conclusion that the ChiComs are in big trouble, really big trouble, a lot worse than I thought.”

    They’re not, though. For years Americans have been engaging in wishful thinking about China. Any day now they were supposed to collapse. Nope. They keep growing. Maybe the numbers are fudged, but they certainly can’t be to an extreme degree because the proof of their advancement is in front of our eyes; similar complaints can be lodged against the US in terms of phantom GDP and various inflation measure formula adjustments. I was told back in the day that China couldn’t compete with the West, only copy. Now Huawei is set to dominate 5G; without American sanctions, they’d already be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. They are also preparing a challenge to Boeing down the road. It looks to me like they might just make a good run at it, too. It’s the US with its falling birth rate, fracturing politics, dysfunctional government, creeping authoritarianism, deteriorating social bonds, and declining student performance in international metrics, both in relative and absolute terms, that’s in big trouble.

    “I recently watched Deadpool 2 on Amazon. It was chaotic in its notions of good and evil to the point of becoming incoherent and unwatchable.”

    That’s quite common now in movies. The Force Awakens made little sense to me until the halfway point. Many other movies are either unfocused or just poorly made. Focus groups and studio board rooms now determine plot, casting, and reshoots. This is a situation made much worse by virtue of the fact that very little forethought goes into these these flicks anymore. That means movies are more about spectacle (something explodes, something happens, a guy does a thing, a guy is a thing) than about people and relationships. Even in old movies like Terminator 2, they dovetailed a poignant relationship and a thoughtful philosophical message about humanity into the film; you could even make that claim with cheesy (but fun) films like Independence Day. Now? Not so much. Modern film philosophy: “Just have a guy do a thing or have something be a thing or have something happen with magic or explosions.”

    Deadpool 2 also purposely race-swapped the white female character Domino when they didn’t have to. Hollywood has made it clear they aren’t after the white male demographic even though, paradoxically, that demographic has probably the most disposable income when it comes to toys and fantasy movies. That’s why Star Wars, a male-oriented property, was given a female lead and poorly-developed males costars, none of whom in the new guard are white unless they are also villains. Same with Ghostbusters 2016 and several other films. Politics > profits. I think that could indicate a market for the Chinese.

    The Japanese have exploited this situation by crushing politically correct, “thing focused”, Microsoft with innovative stories, characters and gameplay mechanics in their games and anime. The Japanese also appeal to traditional demographics as opposed to strictly appealing to fringe groups representing a fraction of the population. Unlike Netflix, they don’t apologize for putting normal relationships into their products, and unlike videogame maker Bioware (and the makers of the newest Harley Quinn movie), they don’t go out of their way to make women look ugly in their products because “male gaze”.

    If the Japanese can do this with success, despite the difficult language barrier, and if the Koreans can make internationally popular dramas and romances based on nothing more than appealing to traditional audiences, then why can’t the Chinese? Import ~5 – 10 million white male creative artists as permanent residents from the US, and it’s game over for America; I think the country is that fragile. As recently as 2018, I’ve heard of a Chinese company considering importing talent rather than bothering with investing in the US, which could be dangerous now depending on what the government there does. Of course, it’s nowhere as easy to do that as I’ve implied, but who knows what they will do 20 years from now?

    Why exactly aren’t they doing that instead of letting the CIA divert their entertainment industry investments into crap SJW production companies everyone knows will fail? Say, for example, there’s a couple of ordinary, but promising, young guys floating around PC Hollywood who can’t get their movies made because everyone wants a popcorn blockbuster or the studio wishes to dictate casting or plot. Maybe some Chinese investor who wants to get his country some more cultural soft power says, “You guys look like you might be the next Speilberg, Cameron, or Scorsese. Why don’t you come and make movies for us? We’ll help you get them made and market them back to the West, not just in Asia. We’ll let you make whatever you want. No interference. What do you say?”

    Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax pursued this kind of artsy strategy in the 90s, going against the grain, and it paid off. They made lots of critically acclaimed movies. Granted movie, music, and video game production is expensive, but all Hollywood revenue in a single year is maybe 8% of the Chinese military’s budget, so it’s no loss if it doesn’t work out.

  98. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:

    “Then they could at least ban Hollywood films.”

    Why not just make your own, better, Hollywood films, export them to the West, and put your pozzed competition out of business on their home turf? No need to ban any films and make yourself look bad doing that. The Chinese could even subsidize the effort. Worth the investment if you ask me. One of China’s big problems is that their culture is somewhat insular. Personally, I like being aggressive. Best defense is a good offense. That sort of thing.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    Why not just make your own, better, Hollywood films, export them to the West, and put your pozzed competition out of business on their home turf?
     
    That is not how markets work. If domestic demand is lacking, producers will expend more efforts on foreign sales.

    Ticket sales at U.S. cineplexes are at a six-year low, while marketing costs are soaring. As a result, studios are increasingly relying on international markets to reach profitability. Films like “Coco” — which is set in Mexico — and “Fate of the Furious” — which features Hispanic and African American lead actors – have global appeal.

    The most tantalizing market is China.

    “Coco” is the highest-grossing animated movie ever in China; it pulled in $189 million at the box office, which almost matched the $209 million it earned stateside. And “Fate of the Furious” actually made $392 million in China, easily overtaking the $226 million it earned in the U.S.

    China is presently Hollywood’s biggest foreign market. According to projections by PricewaterhouseCoopers, this year the Chinese box office will rake in $11.05 billion, compared to ticket sales in the U.S. of $12.11 billion. Next year, however, China is expected to surpass the U.S. for the first time and be crowned the world’s largest film market.
     
    https://www.salon.com/2019/07/13/the-international-movie-market-is-transforming-hollywood_partner/
  99. I hear you anon, but you can’t judge “America” by the media, government, or the social network.
    Unlike almost everywhere else, America has made government almost irrelevant. A couple more administrations letting the economy expand, and we might actually get there, to the horror of socialists would wide.
    Anyway, that is our one chance in three.
    China, well they have a way to go.

    The average American, much to the distress of the political class, doesn’t have a freakin’ clue what the government is up to, except for agency XYZ, the one their sister in law works for.

  100. @Counterinsurgency
    Foreign nations are already trying to abandon the US Dollar. Apparently the BRIC alliance was in part an attempt to do just that. The following essay asserts that the US dollar most likely to be abandoned during a general failure of world peace after strong US stabilization efforts fail.


    Western air power is becoming less effective in contested air spaces, and aircraft carriers are, as you say, becoming more vulnerable. The US is now reduced to strategic advantages -- effective control of the major sea shipping lanes and the ability to restrict shipping from individual countries. It can't "send in the Marines" anymore, and I doubt that it could field anything like the Desert Storm force.

    The US and the US Army are both showing the effect of 19 years of warfare since 9/11, . You can't send most people through multiple tours of actual combat without the person becoming combat ineffective, or (for those who can tolerate multiple combat tours) having them acquire and in part become a skill set that has little or no applicability in civil life. You can't have a nation supporting prolonged combat without severe effects on the entire civil populace. Notice, for example, that one reads of "rural suicide" and "military suicide" but never that "the rural areas with high suicide rates have been supplying the troops that have a high suicide rate". There is an obvious connection that is not being mentioned, perhaps because it has policy implications unpopular with the ruling establishment (note that Spain depopulated itself fighting the 30 years war). Popular or not, you can draw on a population to fight a war only so long.

    The US, IMHO, is fighting "like a lunatic" because funding its urban areas has become increasingly difficult since 9/11, and especially since AD 2008, when the finances of hinterland America was destroyed in order to concentrate available Federal funds on saving the financial institutions that provide a substantial part of the tax revenues for urban areas. Letting one of these institutions fail served as an example to the rest that they had best not object to high taxation, but did not stem continued departure of economically productive or wealthy people from large urban areas. The more the urban areas decline, the more the US fights to keep its international influence and revenue streams flowing. The process is a diversion of capital and labor to unproductive ends, and must eventually become unsustainable.

    Fighting "like a lunatic" (a very apt phrase) doesn't seem conducive to stability, but note that its ultimate purpose is to sustain revenues / trade / supply of essential raw materials and goods into the United States. This requires open seaways and no large regional fights. When the process ends, the seaways will not be protected and regional fights will break out [1].

    But I digress. The US is down to to its control of the seaways just now. The basic problem there is that full use of this capability (against China, or even Iran) would severely affect world trade. The US depends on world trade. It's sort of like having the ability to make the Sun go nova: your enemies could and would believe that you would never use your weapon. It would prevent threats to your life ("Central war" in strategic terms), and the situation is a repetition of the defeat of "massive retaliation" by the Korean War in the 1950s.
    This shrinkage of military capability has given non-US countries a good deal more independence than they had 20 years ago (2000), and they are using it to attempt regional dominance or in one case world preeminence (let's say). They will eventually start fighting between each other (India vs. Pakistan, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia, even S. Korea vs. Japan (!) are heating up) .

    Worldwide, we are seeing the decline of the urban megacity [2]. Megacity populations generally produce nothing very little except political dominance. They are resented by their hinterlands, and are increasingly unable to govern. This is perhaps most obvious in the US and Western Europe/UK. If the trends described above continue, megacity rule will become insupportable, and megacities themselves may become the targets of deniable attacks (SCADA raids on utilities) or attacks by non-state organizations in an attempt to extort some advantage (e.g. ISIS threats to US cities, Islamic raids in Paris, various ransomware attacks on local US governments). Dollar collapse would be part of this process, which would be world wide. One could trace reporting of the above trends back to Martin von Creveld's _Parameters_ article in 1996 [3].

    Megacities are highly vulnerable to utility and logistics failures, the more so since both systems are decrepit in megacities. If either or both utilities or logistics were to be interfered with on a wide scale (say, a global disruption in trade, or sporadic but repeated attacks from a variety of organizations as above), the result would be something like that on New Orleans and Louisiana after Katrina, only on a national or world wide scale. Urban civilization would be reorganized into something different and much less urban by the hard hands of physical necessity.

    I don't know about casualty/death rate among the ruling establishment, but it would definitely be out of power after such an event. During WW II _all_ combatants stripped their propertied classes pretty much bare of assets. That would happen again, and previous forms of government would be as discredited as parliamentary government became after WW II..

    Counterinsurgency

    1] and then they'll be sorry, but it will be too late, in the words of every kid who has ever lived. This whole process is very well and widely known. Why do men fight when the obvious result will be ruin? No answers so far, we just do.

    2] Gregory R. Copley.
    _UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos_
    _The International Strategic Studies Association; First Edition; 2012/10/22
    ISBN-10: 1892998181; ISBN-13: 978-189299818

    3] Martin von Creveld.
    "The Fate of the State".
    _Parameters_, Spring 1996.
    Currently available from URL:
    chttps://www.coursehero.com/file/28309280/Van-Creveld-The-Fate-of-the-Statepdf/
    _Parameters _ won't download the article anymore, as far as I can tell.

    Illustration of what “dilapidated urban infrastructure” means.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/heres-dilapidated-equipment-san-francisco-taxpayers-are-buying-bankrupt-pge-25-billion

    PG&E is pretty clearly a shell of itself. The regulators should have mandated higher rates and much more maintenance, but clearly did not. Note that the author’s remedy is to not give PG&E its asking price for equipment as PG&E dissolves into bankruptcy to free the tax money for unspecified purposes. Whence the money to renovate California’s utilities, then?

    And this is the case nation wide. The capital expenditures needed just for capital equipment renewal are far beyond what the US can raise without dropping its social stabilization programs.

    China is going to be left on its own to stabilize the seaways.

    Counterinsurgency

  101. Is there any property tax in mainland China? I recall hearing that there was none and being quite surprised by it, but that was a number of years ago.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    Is there any property tax in mainland China? I recall hearing that there was none and being quite surprised by it, but that was a number of years ago.
     
    Despite talk about implementing it there is still no property tax. But if I understood correctly what I was told correctly real estate are not freeholds but merely 99-year leaseholds.
  102. @songbird
    One sector of the Chinese economy that I find utterly puzzling is debt diplomacy.

    Historically, didn't the West always need to send gunboats to collect on debts? How could it possibly make sense for the Chinese to loan African countries money or help them build infrastructure? Are the Chinese actually making money on this? Or is it all some kind of subsidy?

    I mean, I understand the concept of being paid in natural resources or in port ownership, but, in each case, what is the real guarantee on them handing those things over?

    Or did the West simply develop some sort of clever financial mechanism that obviates the need for gunboats and which Chinese are taking advantage of now, like the World Bank?

    I’m not sure the BRI is debt diplomacy. China is using its own experience to help poorer countries to develop, become rich, and increase trade. If they are successful, it’s a win-win situation. China developed by building up infrastructures, with deficit spending if necessary. So when they make loans to poorer countries for building infrastructures, they are probably not really deliberately setting up debt trap. Do not believe everything you see in the western MSM.

  103. @Thorfinnsson

    With endless trillion-dollar budget deficits, trillion-dollar trade-deficits, and a massively impoverished population (something like 50% of people having less than $500 in available savings), I do not think America’s economic trajectory is a sustainable one.
     

    I agree with your general point, but I'm a skeptic on economic doomerism.

    Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America's vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. See FRED data here: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFSGDA188S

    Interest rates are at record lows, so newly issued debt is very affordable.

    You're also exaggerating the current account deficit. For the first quarter this year it was $130bn: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IEABC

    There is a concept in economics known as the Triffin Dilemma. It notes that reserve currency issuers tend to run chronic balance of payments deficits in order to satisfy overseas demand for reserve assets. That certainly appears to describe the United States.

    Another novel explanation for the chronic deficit was recently made by Scott Sumner, who suggested the English language itself is to blame: https://www.econlib.org/language-trumps-money/

    I am not entirely sure this is true, as Britain and America made many similar policy mistakes, and Australia has always been in deficit. But it's an interesting idea.

    In the context of a secular balance of payments deficit, the federal budget deficit helps increase demand which leaks abroad. We can see this today in America's low unemployment rate.

    This, of course, all looks very risky--a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.

    The impoverishment of much of the American population, while a human tragedy and a political crime, doesn't diminish America's economic and financial power.

    “Trillion Dollar budget deficits sound bad, but in the context of America’s vast economy are less alarming. The budget deficit for 2018 was 3.8% of GDP. ”

    Except that US GDP is over inflated, or at least, compare with China GDP. Consider:

    1. In US GDP accounting, if you own a house, they actually do a “imputation” of what rental you miss paying (i.e. the amount you will pay your landlord if you would to rent rather than own that house), and add that amount to the GDP. In China and many countries, they don’t do this type of imputation.

    2. US GDP also accounts for the cost of many real estate transactions that China does not. As a result, even though China population is 4x US, and China’s home ownership (~ 90%) is much higher than US home ownership (~65%), and China total real estate floor areas is many time that of US, the real estate still accounts for a smaller proportion of GDP in China than in US. All these inflate US GDP by a few trillions, or equivalently, deflate China GDP by a few trillions.

    3. There are similar imputations in US in other service sectors like financials, retails, etc. The last time I heard, they even want to impute if you cook your own meal, i.e. estimate the amount you miss paying to restaurant and add that to GDP. Not sure whether they are already doing it today.

    4. US GDP is financial heavy and manufacturing light, e.g. if Warren Buffett clicks on a mouse and make billions, that will be added to the GDP. The “value” added is called the “increase in efficiency of capital allocation”. China, on the other hand, is manufacturing heavy. China manufacturing is almost (already?) as big as the next 3 biggest manufacturing countries combined: US, Japan and Germany.

    5. China’s black market is much larger than US. That includes cash-only, unreported, under-reported transactions of all purposes. So, again, this under state China’s GDP vs US GDP.

    In summary, if China and US would to use the same standard of accounting and criteria, I believe China GDP would be larger than US GDP in NOMINAL term. And I am not even talking about Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

  104. @Korenchkin
    Are you autistic?
    "Why aren't Chinese committing propaganda suicide"

    The protests will wank off for a few more months and peter out, this isn't even close to stuff like the Ukranian Maidan or Yugoslav Otpor
    Crushing it with tanks for everyone to livestream on every channel gives their enemies all the tools they need to destroy Chinas relations with the world, look how much ink they got out of the Tianemen thing (even if the number of dead is fake)

    As I see it, the rioters are a small minority of HKers. The majority will get very fed up with their disruptions, particularly when they see that they are achieving nothing useful. Eventually, as the leaders get arrested, the riots will peter out. As I understand the news, the leaders are now being arrested and will be charged and, I imagine they will be put away for some time. Probably, the effect of the riots will be that, after peace has been restored, the Beijing government will pressure the HK government to address the issues which gave the agitators some support.

  105. African countries have not done well at implementing Western free-enterprise economies, perhaps because these can only work in a high-trust society.

    It is interesting that Ethiopia and Rwanda are having more success with the Chinese economic model.

  106. [T]he untapped expansive potential of the US economy, not to mention the richness and robustness of the US-led world order, make it unlikely that China will ever unseat the United States as the world’s technological, cultural, and political leader.

    This seems to me a dangerously dated statement.

    If Bill Gates was right about thirty years ago in saying,
    “In the future everything will be digital,” then China rules.

    I believe China is building two giant computing complexes,
    one for AI and the other for quantum research. I believe these dwarf any such project in the US, including our largest corporations. Personpower and renminbi devoted to them, I believe, surpass any such US investment.

    A recent Pentagon report laments that the US cannot keep up the numbers of cyber warriors deployed by China. China has a special recruitment program for the most technologically promising young people to develop its rapidly growing computing prowess for military use. As Putin has said, whoever masters AI will rule the world. China graduates ten times more engineers than the US. Its latest war-fighting technology will be on display in one of the largest military parades ever on Oct. 1, 70th anniversary of the PRC.

    No more be said about the political fracturing and cultural and infrastructure decline of America. A drone flyover of its largest homeless-encamped cities tells the squalid story. The vaunted stock market, inflated by printed money, will have the durability of the Hindenburg. Will another Monopoly money handout by the Fed save our banks when the day of reckoning comes? Will there even be an America after tidal immigration makes it a suburb of Mexico City? Confucius said a nation lacking a strong family will not survive. America once met that standard. Can we say so now?

    China has its issues. But America is in collapse.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
    Spiritual Degeneration Heralds Collapse of Western Civilization

    https://www.infowars.com/the-spiritual-collapse-of-society-leads-to-the-fall-of-civilization/
  107. @Jason Liu
    1. The yuan can't replace the dollar because China's financial system is opaque, too prone to government intervention, and thus seen as untrustworthy. Plus, China lacks any rich, first world allies that trust us enough to use the yuan, therefore limiting its acceptance to China.

    2. I remain confident that China's tech sector has what it takes to make breakthroughs and iconic products similar to Japan, but the situation is not the same. The CCP does exercise more control over SOEs than Japan/Korea did with their keiretsu/chaebols, not necessarily in the sense that they stifle innovation, but that they redirect innovation to areas that don't have broad public appeal.

    3. The geopolitical situation is much more unfavorable towards China than it was with Japan/Korea/Taiwan, all of which had the blessing of the west. Negative perceptions hurt Chinese brands, cast doubt on Chinese investments, trade deals, diplomatic dealings, and so on.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won't know what it's like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP's current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic -- a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride -- containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    -----------------------------

    I'm not a pessimist, just a problem-finder and constant critic.

    About democracy in the Far East: Conversations with Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese have shown me that most of our neighbors do not truly understand or care for liberal democracy the way westerners do. Most of them think liberal democracy means "We Vote", and not much else. Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    This confirms that East Asian societies are fundamentally autocratic, as per stereotype, but also politically naive about the true, backwards nature of liberal democracy.

    One would think that China could take advantage of this and steer Asia away from the blue empire, but we run into two problems.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don't think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won't even admit there's a culture war going on.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan's embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as "our thing". This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.

    Why would anyone criticize democracy? It’s Neo-liberal economic policies, laissez faire and crony capitalism, and kleptocracy that should be criticized. There is nothing wrong with democracy.

    It’s not so easy to convert China’s young people as you described. Virtually anyone in China can climb “the Great Fire Wall” by using a free VPN, provided by foreign NGOs specifically for such propose. 1.5 million Chinese study in other countries. Almost 150 million Chinese make international trips each year. Yet we see little sign of “converting”.

    So far, China’s “fragile” patriotic education has worked well, as indicated by the counter-protests organized by overseas mainland students against the supporters of Hong Kong protest recently.

    1. The CCP is culturally and socially incompetent, sees the world exclusively through money/power, thereby allowing hostile ideologies to surround us. I don’t think they could persuade our neighbors away from liberal democracy even if they recognized the issue and wanted to fix it. Older nationalists won’t even admit there’s a culture war going on.

    I don’t think Chinese culture and society is incompetent, although the Chinese government could do a much better job in improving their PR skills. Make no mistake, there is a western propaganda war against China, just like the propaganda war against the Soviet Union. The Chinese government should not harbor any illusions, and fight back as hard as they can.

    2. Japan/Korea/Taiwan’s embrace of democracy is at least partially founded on anti-Chinese sentiment. Democracy has become an identity marker for them, a way to differentiate themselves from evil China. Its ideological implications are not considered, they support it simply because they see it as “our thing”. This position is often taken by simple nationalists, even though democracy hurts their own nationalism.

    Really? I doubt it – at least it’s too early to tell. Let’s wait and see. For example, would RCEP be signed next year? Would Japan or South Korea host America’s intermediate-range nuclear weapons? Australia seems have refused to do so.

  108. @yakushimaru
    BTW I am not in support of polygamy. I was just joking.

    And that when people ask you questions you reply by talking about their mothers, this is not good manner. Besides, how difficult can it be to defend something like monogamy in today's world with a few polite words? You seem utterly unable to do this.

    Besides, how difficult can it be to defend something like monogamy in today’s world with a few polite words? You seem utterly unable to do this.

    You’re absolutely wrong !! I’m an alpha centaurian masquerading as a Chinese( as much as you’re Chinese) making a statement to honour the freedom of choice of your mother

  109. @E. Harding
    China has long had a habit of very approximate official statistics; the Harry X. Wu GDP series is used by the Maddison Project database (see https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf p. 26) and seems consistent with the observed information we have (though note the Maddison Project Database series' growth rate is too low after 2011). China's GDP per capita was estimated in the 1970s as higher than India's; this is consistent with the Wu series (as well as basic logic, such as electricity consumption per capita and life expectancy), but not the official series.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700030082-7.pdf
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP85T00875R001700020057-6.pdf

    China's officially stated growth rate 1992-2006 also seems to be a major outlier here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/baf3/64f9f85fc29b5f68a3c7666195d93825cda2.pdf

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.

    By how many percentage points and for how long? I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America’s in PPP terms. Below are some reasons why I think that’s the case:

    – China has to provide food, housing, education, and medical care for four times more population
    China’s factories now generate more real manufacturing value added—$3.7 trillion in 2017—than the US, Germany, South Korea, and the UK combined.
    China is the world’s largest trading nation.
    “China To Become The World’s Largest Retail Market”.
    – At least 23 million auto sales in China vs 17 million in the U.S.
    – In 2017, 142 million Chinese international tourist spent $257.7 billion overseas, vs 135 billion for Americans

    Some caution for using satellite light images to estimate economic growth: there are conflicting reports. For example, there is a study that claims that “China’s GDP Growth May be Understated”.

    • Replies: @d dan
    "I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America’s in PPP terms."

    I think it is probably bigger too in nominal term. See my comment #103 above.
    , @E. Harding
    [sigh]. Again, the issue is with growth rates, not with current levels. Don't know why so many get confused by this. I think the Chinese economy is ~110-120% the size of the American, but was richer than India starting from at least the early 1980s, probably earlier.

    By how many percentage points and for how long?
     
    See my remarks here:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kroeber-chinas-economy/#comment-3440787
  110. @last straw

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.
     
    By how many percentage points and for how long? I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America's in PPP terms. Below are some reasons why I think that's the case:

    - China has to provide food, housing, education, and medical care for four times more population
    - China’s factories now generate more real manufacturing value added—$3.7 trillion in 2017—than the US, Germany, South Korea, and the UK combined.
    - China is the world's largest trading nation.
    - "China To Become The World's Largest Retail Market".
    - At least 23 million auto sales in China vs 17 million in the U.S.
    - In 2017, 142 million Chinese international tourist spent $257.7 billion overseas, vs 135 billion for Americans

    Some caution for using satellite light images to estimate economic growth: there are conflicting reports. For example, there is a study that claims that "China's GDP Growth May be Understated".

    “I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America’s in PPP terms.”

    I think it is probably bigger too in nominal term. See my comment #103 above.

  111. @last straw

    So yes, it makes sense to think China overstates its growth rate by a couple percentage points per year.
     
    By how many percentage points and for how long? I think the Chinese economy is at least 25% bigger than America's in PPP terms. Below are some reasons why I think that's the case:

    - China has to provide food, housing, education, and medical care for four times more population
    - China’s factories now generate more real manufacturing value added—$3.7 trillion in 2017—than the US, Germany, South Korea, and the UK combined.
    - China is the world's largest trading nation.
    - "China To Become The World's Largest Retail Market".
    - At least 23 million auto sales in China vs 17 million in the U.S.
    - In 2017, 142 million Chinese international tourist spent $257.7 billion overseas, vs 135 billion for Americans

    Some caution for using satellite light images to estimate economic growth: there are conflicting reports. For example, there is a study that claims that "China's GDP Growth May be Understated".

    [sigh]. Again, the issue is with growth rates, not with current levels. Don’t know why so many get confused by this. I think the Chinese economy is ~110-120% the size of the American, but was richer than India starting from at least the early 1980s, probably earlier.

    By how many percentage points and for how long?

    See my remarks here:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kroeber-chinas-economy/#comment-3440787

    • Replies: @last straw

    [sigh]. Again, the issue is with growth rates, not with current levels. Don’t know why so many get confused by this. I think the Chinese economy is ~110-120% the size of the American, but was richer than India starting from at least the early 1980s, probably earlier.
     
    Accurate determination of the sizes of the economy at a beginning and an end point will help you to calculate the growth rate between the two points. If the size of the economy at the end point is bigger than the growth rate would indicate, then the growth rate probably has been underestimated. For example, underestimating China's growth rate by 2% a year over a 15 year period would underestimate the current size of China's economy by 35%. Such large margin of error is rather easy to discover.
  112. @Thorfinnsson
    Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?

    We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.

    How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?

    “Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?”

    I think it is because China, India, Indonesia and Philippines all started at similar level of developments around the same time.

    “We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.”

    No, France was much better developed than the others (industrialization, education…), so you can’t compare them.

    “How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?”

    There are several problems with this suggestion too:
    1. South Korea and Taiwan had full supports of US and western countries the entire time, (militarily, economically,…) China was only partially supported by the more backward Soviet for a shorter period (e.g. no military support).
    2. China was involved in several border wars.
    3. China is much larger in size and complexity, e.g. it does not make sense to compare China and Singapore.

  113. @Thorfinnsson
    Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?

    We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.

    How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?

    Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country (Ancient Indian philosophy was perhaps higher even than the ancient Mediterranean). So a person with historical knowledge, might imagine that India has greater potential than China in the 22nd century, if not the 21st.

    That said, comparisons to the ancient world seem quite useless as indicators for future potential. Ancient Greece achieved infinitely more than primitive German tribes of the same time – but today Germany is by far one of the most advanced and successful countries in the world, while modern Greece mediocre.

    It’s possible that China will develop a higher culture in the 21st or 22nd century than India can hope.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Quantitative measures of human accomplishment do not back that up - Greece was head and shoulders above everyone else.

    In terms of sciences in which progress can be distinctly measured, such as mathematics, India (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory. But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods (18C Japan even managed to accomplish some original stuff in that sphere ahead of Europe).

    China was more socially and economically advanced than India at basically any point in the past three millennia. Just as a minor example, to bring things into perspective, we know far more about the England of the Domesday Book from native documentary sources than we do about 19C India.
  114. George Magnus (once Chief Economist at UBS) is a Sinoskeptic. Some excerpts from “Red Flags: Why Xi’s China Is in Jeopardy” (2018):

    [MORE]

    In 2007, former premier Wen Jiabao said at the National People’s Congress that the Chinese economy was becoming unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable. Wen was worried by a long list of concerns including over-investment, unbalanced trade, inequality of incomes between cities and the countryside, wasteful and inefficient use of energy and other resources, and environmental damage. A decade on, most of these problems are still awaiting effective solutions.

    There is no doubt that the economy is in the process of a long-term slowdown. Its long-run sustainable growth rate at the moment is probably around 3–4 per cent, or roughly half the rate suggested by official statistics.

    It is also worth noting that China’s manicured, official GDP data reveal very little about the sometimes volatile nature of what’s going on in the economy. Systemic bias in the collection of data arises from the practice of setting annual GDP growth targets. Once set, state and local government authorities are duty-bound to hit the target even if, as in recent years, this involves misallocated investment and the rapid accumulation of debt. Reported steady growth of 6.5–7 per cent, therefore, includes misallocated or uncommercial investment, and overstates GDP. By contrast, GDP in most other economies is the end-product of a plethora of spending decisions rather than a target that has to be met. Western economies make bad investments too, but these tend to be written down or written off with costs allocated to creditors or owners much more quickly by accounting and legal conventions, and so-called hard budget constraints.

    The future, though, cannot be drawn in straight lines from the past. Many of the things China did to overcome obstacles in the past could only be done once. Like joining the WTO, or moving people from low-productivity rural life to high-productivity urban manufacturing, or enrolling all children in secondary schools. What worked in the past has been overtaken by the circumstances of development and economic maturity.

    The People’s Republic was able to harness the legacy of Japan’s Manchuria as an industrial heartland producing the bulk of its electric power, iron and cement. The region would go on to become the epicentre of China’s heavy industry, a status which it retains, though now it is of diminishing importance.

    This second phase of reform was distinguished by an important development – the introduction of rules-based, institutional mechanisms and regulations as a substitute for political directives and planning by diktat. Perversely, precisely the reverse is happening in Xi Jinping’s China, where the centralisation of power around Xi at the head of a strengthened Party is a substitute for the institutionalisation of rules and processes.

    Social unrest became a more important problem, with the number of ‘mass incidents’ – many about low-level public sector corruption, construction and planning injustices, and pollution and environmental degradation – reportedly rising from about 50,000 a year in 2002 to about 180,000 a year by 2012. Those with money left China. It is estimated that about 27 per cent of Chinese with at least $15 million in assets emigrated, citing the quality of the educational system, the environment, healthcare, food safety and protection of assets as the drivers.

    In short, China has reached a point we can call the end of extrapolation. It simply cannot continue to develop on the basis of the economic model that has existed until now. More credit-fuelled investment will risk economic and financial instability, possibly leading to an abrupt and painful growth crunch. In the medium to longer term, rising income inequalities and environmental degradation risk both significantly slower growth and major social dysfunction. Consequently, China needs to develop a more sustainable growth path and development model. This much, at least, is recognised well by the Chinese leadership.

    We also know that China has had to invest more and borrow more to get the same amount of GDP, or, that the investment and credit intensity of GDP has been rising. Between 1978 and 2006, for example, China spent between 2 to 4 yuan of investment to get 1 additional yuan of GDP. Since then, the amount has risen steadily to reach about 9 yuan in 2015, corresponding to a marked fall in investment efficiency. Similarly, the financial system has been allocating more and more resources to finance that investment, as evidenced by the constant worries about China’s rising debt level. Higher credit dependency, suggested by the rise in the amount of credit needed to generate a single unit of extra GDP, is known as the credit intensity of GDP. According to the IMF, the credit intensity of GDP has quintupled since the late 2000s to over 5, meaning that it now takes five times as much credit to produce one unit of GDP. In 2007–8, about RMB (Renminbi) 6.5 trillion ($1 trillion) of new credit was needed to raise nominal GDP by about RMB 5 trillion per year ($769 billion). In 2015–16, it took more than RMB 20 trillion ($3 trillion) in new credit for the same nominal GDP growth.

    Officially, and according to some China-watchers, SOEs now account for just a fifth of output and a tenth of employment. The presumption, though, that the rest of the economy is in private hands, as we understand it in the West, is incorrect. Many private firms have large or majority state owners, who exercise significant control over senior appointments and corporate strategy, and state ownership is often disguised by multiple layers of investment companies ultimately owned by a state entity. Allowing for these opaque adjustments, the purely private part of the enterprise sector may actually be little higher than 20–30 per cent.

    It seems, therefore, that in Xi’s China, technocrats, who were previously at the helm of SOE policy and management, are increasingly giving way to political apparatchiks and officials. This does not bode well for the future of SOE reform, and suggests that they will become bigger and more focused on political strategy than on commercial efficiency.

    In a further example of good plans that haven’t quite lived up to expectations, China invested over $78 billion in renewable energy in 2016 (more than either the US or the EU), but a considerable amount of its wind and solar power capacity lies idle.

    In 2016, each Beijing resident had access to just 178 cubic metres of water (nationally, 438 cubic metres), compared to a United Nations benchmark of ‘water stress’ of 1,700 cubic metres.

    Nearly 60 per cent of underground water is believed to be polluted.

    The issue that many are inclined to forget is that, sooner or later, someone always has to pay for bad debt and banking sector problems. It’s just a question of when and how the costs are allocated among consumers, companies, the government and, sometimes, foreign creditors. It all ends up as lower economic growth, one way or another.

    China accounted for about a half of all new credit created worldwide between 2005 and 2016.

    In China, some private analysts have estimated that a realistic non-performing loan ratio estimate is around 22 per cent. The IMF has estimated that risky corporate bank loans amount to about 15 per cent of all lending, confronting banks with potential losses of $756 billion, or 7 per cent of GDP. The IMF also calculated in banking sector stress tests in 2017 that in extreme circumstances, the non-performing loan ratio at thirty-three banks would jump to 9 per cent, and they would have to raise a lot more capital.

    As I have suggested here, China could become embroiled in a debt crisis arising from the increase in the burden of debt and the decline in capacity to shoulder it, but this does not seem a likely outcome. It is much more likely that debt will loom over the economy, manifesting itself as lower economic growth than as a crisis per se.

    Low-end exports have migrated to Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh – clothing and footwear and other labour-intensive goods accounted for just 16.5 per cent of Chinese exports in 2016 – and companies have moved up the so-called value chain. Two-fifths of exports comprised mechanical and electrical products, and one-fifth were made up of high technology products, including computers.

    China runs a current account surplus, smaller than it used to be, but structurally entrenched for the time being. To balance this surplus, capital has to flow out but it is subject to controls that keep it locked up at home. The likelihood of China running current account deficits or allowing a meaningful liberalisation of capital account transactions any time soon is negligible. If anything, the surplus is likely to increase again as growth slows in the future. Consequently, the Renminbi is strongly handicapped when it comes to becoming a more serious global reserve currency. It is still possible for businesses and commercial organisations to use the Renminbi more for transactions in the future but that is quite different from becoming a more important global reserve currency.

    According to the IMF, global reserves stood at $11.3 trillion at September 2017, of which $9.6 billion were ‘allocated reserves’ – that is, their currency composition was identified, while the rest were ‘unallocated’. The Renminbi share of allocated reserves was 1 per cent.

    China’s currency reserves surged in the 2000s, rising from $400 billion in 2003 to peak at just over $4 trillion in 2014. By January 2017 they had fallen to about $3 trillion, with most of the fall occurring between June 2014 and June 2016. The rise in reserves had happened because of balance of payments surpluses, which brought US dollars into China, which the central bank bought from banks in exchange for Renminbi, and subsequently invested in foreign, mostly US, bond markets.

    After 2014, the opposite happened. The People’s Bank had to sell US dollar assets to support the exchange rate, not because of any big change in the current account, but because of a sharp rise in capital outflows to the rest of the world, comprising foreign direct investment, portfolio investments, trade credits, currency and deposit flows, and other financial transactions. Some of these outflows were what is colloquially called ‘hot money’, more commonly known as capital flight.

    In any event, rising living standards still rank as one of the best forms of contraception.

    According to Yi Fuxian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chinese officials may have been overestimating births for many years, possibly by about 90 million between 1990 and 2016. Although the official fertility estimate for 2015, for example, was 1.6 children, he suggests it was more like 1.05 children. If this is even broadly correct, then China’s WAP [working age population] and total population over the next twenty to thirty years will be significantly smaller than expected.

    The old-age dependency ratio, which is the number of over-65-year-olds as a proportion of the WAP, is predicted to rise from 13 per cent today, to over 20 per cent in 2025 and 47 per cent by 2050. Put another way, the 7.7 workers who support each older citizen today will be just 2.1 workers by 2050.

    According to the IMF, the net present value of pension and healthcare spending in China out to 2050 amounts to 83.7 per cent, and 47.1 per cent of GDP, respectively, or roughly 132 per cent of today’s GDP.

    China certainly has all the ingredients of an economy facing a structural growth slowdown. It has had an unusually long period of high growth that’s ended. Debt has accounted for a lot of growth in recent years, and this cannot continue forever. In any event, there are many things that China has proved successful at doing in the past, but which it can no longer repeat because they were one-off accomplishments. For example, China could only join the World Trade Organization once. It could only embark on a massive real-estate ownership and investment boom once. It could only enroll all of its children in secondary school once. Exploiting the demographic dividend, benefiting from rural–urban migration, and raising the share of employment in industry and manufacturing to peak levels were all achievements that could only happen once. Riding the wave of powerful globalisation during the 1990s and 2000s was a bonus, but we don’t know when those go-go days are going to return, if at all. Put simply, complex upper-middle-income countries such as China have, by definition, exhausted much if not most of the potential to get growth by deploying and exploiting physical capital and labour. Rebalancing requires a switch in focus, policy and resources away from investment and credit towards efficiency and innovation, human capital and productivity, and coping mechanisms to deal with the consequences of ageing and new technologies.

    Many countries in Asia are outward-looking, financially stable, and have a sharp focus on trade, innovation, infrastructure and technology. At the same time, however, they have the challenge of ageing, under-utilisation of women at work, and inadequate social safety nets. There is a weak culture of entrepreneurship, and bankruptcy regimes are often poor. Other shortcomings include human capital formation, distortionary trade and state-owned enterprise policies, and inadequate attention to the rule of law. China fits many, if not all, of these descriptions. It has definitely arrived at the point where it needs to push up its TFP [total factor productivity] growth in order to re-energise the momentum needed to avoid stagnation in the future, relatively even if not absolutely.

    In 2014, nearly 90 per cent of Shanghai’s high-tech industry output, for example, were traceable to foreign enterprises, despite the policy of ‘indigenous innovation’, and in Chongqing, which makes over a third of the world’s personal computers, the industry is almost completely linked to foreign investment.

    China has not yet developed strengths, for example, in semiconductors, which it has been trying to develop, unsuccessfully, since the 1960s. A policy switch in the 2000s from central planning to equity investments has gained some traction, but ended up with over-capacity at the low end of the sector and weakness at the high end. It lags behind the US in university-led research. It falls considerably short when it comes to AI engineers and scientists. It does not have the same business-facing software capacity, or high levels of integration between its technology and industrial sectors. Chinese firms tend to be less digitised, and do not yet really compete when it comes to commercialising technologies overseas or setting global standards. A recent study of China’s AI potential judges that it is about half as advanced as that of the US, according to an AI Potential Index, designed to approximate AI capabilities in key drivers of overall AI development. China’s one lead is in access to data. These things can change, but at the same time, it would be naive to think that the US or other Western companies are going to stand still and allow their competitive edges to be eaten away.

    Although China has high secondary school enrolment rates, it also has high drop-out rates, such that only 24 per cent of working-age people completed their education.

    Rozelle has predicted that a further 400 million or so working-age Chinese people are ‘in danger of becoming cognitively handicapped’. The heart of the problem is poor paediatric health, with anaemia, intestinal worms, uncorrected myopia, and poor parenting and stimulus in infancy all contributing to weak learning skills and poor educational attainment levels.

    According to the Conference Board, the share of Chinese workers with tertiary education was about 17 per cent in 2015, and the share of highly skilled workers in manufacturing was just 10 per cent in 2013, compared with 47 per cent in the US. The OECD has estimated that only 10 per cent of Chinese adults aged twenty-five to sixty-four possess tertiary education, which is less than one-third of the average in OECD countries. This high skill gap in the workforce is probably a major reason for the emphasis on robotics in the Made in China 2025 plan, though this is unlikely to resolve the issues raised by low educational attainment levels.

    Since the GPT [general-purpose technology; i.e., AI] in question is new, we should perhaps not be overly prescriptive, but a lot of it all boils down to risk-taking, disruption and instability. China’s governance system and the structures in place to evaluate and incentivise scientists and engineers, projects and methodologies of instruction and research tend not to be compatible, by and large, with these phenomena. Will China be able to break the mould by showing that autocracy and repression and transformative innovation can coexist?

    US Census Bureau data show that US imports from China amounted to over $500 billion in 2017, compared to US exports to China of $130 billion. Yet, this $370 billion US trade deficit with China is not all strict bilateral trade, because China, as Asia’s prime supply chain hub, finishes off a lot of products shipped there by, say, Japan and South Korea. According to the value-added trade data of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which allows for this sort of effect, the US trade deficit with China was just $150 billion in 2017, and once you allow for the US surplus in services sold to China, which includes tourism and commercial services, the total deficit was about $110–120 billion. This doesn’t mean the Americans don’t have legitimate arguments about Chinese trade and investment practices, but it is important to bear this in mind in assessing the bluster that often passes as trade policy.

    The bottom line is that US exports to China amount to barely 1 per cent of US GDP and 8 per cent of total exports, while China’s to the US amount to 4 per cent of Chinese GDP and a fifth of total exports.

    Displacing the US economically, however, is a major challenge, even if the US itself is acting for now as a willing participant in the process. To be the leader of globalisation, as the US has been, you need to have willing followers, who will not so much pay you tribute, as have respect for and trust in your statecraft and diplomacy, and look to you as the provider of generosity and shared ideals. There are some exceptions, but for most countries, China falls short of these criteria even if they nevertheless regard China as a magnet for commerce.

    The BRI [Belt and Road Initiative] is expected to relieve the pressure on sluggish heavy industries suffering from excess capacity, notably coal and steel. Affected firms might export that excess output to BRI countries directly by dumping coal and steel abroad, or by moving the physical capacity itself into other countries. The latter seems more likely. It is planned, for example, to migrate 20 million tonnes of Hebei province’s large surplus steel capacity (as well as cement and pleat glass) to Southeast Asia, Africa and Western Asia by 2023. This foreign direct investment strategy may reduce the supply glut in China, but add to it elsewhere. Exporting, one way or another, will not solve the problem from a global standpoint.

    While BRI headlines are normally about new contracts and project progress reports, it is worth noting that there is also a flurry of reports detailing disputes, cancelled contracts and delays. At the end of 2017, Pakistan withdrew its request for the Diamer-Bhasha dam in northern Pakistan to be included in China’s BRI projects in the country, ostensibly because of financing conditions but amid complaints about Chinese ownership conditions. Meanwhile, Chinese construction and acquisition of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, and the Port City Colombo project, have brought claims that Chinese behaviour threatened Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, resulted in large excess capacity at a brand new airport and excessive debt financing. In Africa, allegations of colonialism have accompanied greater Chinese involvement and engagement with the continent, and the arrival of Chinese companies, workers and finance. Both the Nairobi to Mombasa railway line, which opened in 2017, and the previously completed major rail project from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, linked Indian Ocean ports to natural resource deposits, and put the sponsoring governments under great financial strain. The response in these cases, as well as in other countries including Tanzania and Namibia, was to allow Chinese entities to take controlling stakes in companies in finance, real estate and resource management. Although African nations are getting infrastructure that is financed, built or operated by China, the terms to some Africans look eerily familiar to those extracted under colonialism.

    Over the next twenty years and beyond, Xi’s China must find its own coping mechanisms to deal with a rapidly ageing population and declining labour force. These will play out in a quarter of the time that it took in most advanced economies, and at lower levels of income and wealth per head of population.

    China says that it is developing a greater tolerance for risk but the systems employed to evaluate and promote scientists, projects and methods of learning are not really compatible with at least the kind of risk encouragement and tolerance accepted in the West.

    • Replies: @last straw
    China's economic growth will slow down when its national per capita income reaches those in the developed countries and regions in East Asia. They have a long way to go and their growth potential is still enormous.
  115. @anon
    "Then they could at least ban Hollywood films."

    Why not just make your own, better, Hollywood films, export them to the West, and put your pozzed competition out of business on their home turf? No need to ban any films and make yourself look bad doing that. The Chinese could even subsidize the effort. Worth the investment if you ask me. One of China's big problems is that their culture is somewhat insular. Personally, I like being aggressive. Best defense is a good offense. That sort of thing.

    Why not just make your own, better, Hollywood films, export them to the West, and put your pozzed competition out of business on their home turf?

    That is not how markets work. If domestic demand is lacking, producers will expend more efforts on foreign sales.

    Ticket sales at U.S. cineplexes are at a six-year low, while marketing costs are soaring. As a result, studios are increasingly relying on international markets to reach profitability. Films like “Coco” — which is set in Mexico — and “Fate of the Furious” — which features Hispanic and African American lead actors – have global appeal.

    The most tantalizing market is China.

    “Coco” is the highest-grossing animated movie ever in China; it pulled in $189 million at the box office, which almost matched the $209 million it earned stateside. And “Fate of the Furious” actually made $392 million in China, easily overtaking the $226 million it earned in the U.S.

    China is presently Hollywood’s biggest foreign market. According to projections by PricewaterhouseCoopers, this year the Chinese box office will rake in $11.05 billion, compared to ticket sales in the U.S. of $12.11 billion. Next year, however, China is expected to surpass the U.S. for the first time and be crowned the world’s largest film market.

    https://www.salon.com/2019/07/13/the-international-movie-market-is-transforming-hollywood_partner/

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    For the first stage, China should invest to build a high quality arthouse film industry - if they can find talented people.

    This doesn't require a mass audience, but just a good enough product to be appreciated by the small elites who view arthouse cinema, and they are usually quite tolerant anyway, and have a high threshold before becoming bored.

    Arthouse is not viewed by masses, but it is viewed by culturally influential people. (Aside from the fact it might contribute some real culture or spirituality to the world,).

  116. Apologies if this comment is offtopic to the review. But I was wondering if anyone has an explanation for the anti-China protests in Kazakhstan this week?

  117. @songbird
    Is there any property tax in mainland China? I recall hearing that there was none and being quite surprised by it, but that was a number of years ago.

    Is there any property tax in mainland China? I recall hearing that there was none and being quite surprised by it, but that was a number of years ago.

    Despite talk about implementing it there is still no property tax. But if I understood correctly what I was told correctly real estate are not freeholds but merely 99-year leaseholds.

    • Replies: @songbird
    Quite interesting. I believe this differs sharply with former practice in at least some of Eastern Europe, but I suppose China's revolutionary history was very agrarian and land-based, which means that it greatly differed from invasion of already developed states by Communist forces.

    China has no death tax either, while Japan and SK have the top and second highest rates respectively. Sometimes, I think these hum-drum domestic issues are more important than all the bluster on foreign policy issues.

  118. @Hyperborean

    Why not just make your own, better, Hollywood films, export them to the West, and put your pozzed competition out of business on their home turf?
     
    That is not how markets work. If domestic demand is lacking, producers will expend more efforts on foreign sales.

    Ticket sales at U.S. cineplexes are at a six-year low, while marketing costs are soaring. As a result, studios are increasingly relying on international markets to reach profitability. Films like “Coco” — which is set in Mexico — and “Fate of the Furious” — which features Hispanic and African American lead actors – have global appeal.

    The most tantalizing market is China.

    “Coco” is the highest-grossing animated movie ever in China; it pulled in $189 million at the box office, which almost matched the $209 million it earned stateside. And “Fate of the Furious” actually made $392 million in China, easily overtaking the $226 million it earned in the U.S.

    China is presently Hollywood’s biggest foreign market. According to projections by PricewaterhouseCoopers, this year the Chinese box office will rake in $11.05 billion, compared to ticket sales in the U.S. of $12.11 billion. Next year, however, China is expected to surpass the U.S. for the first time and be crowned the world’s largest film market.
     
    https://www.salon.com/2019/07/13/the-international-movie-market-is-transforming-hollywood_partner/

    For the first stage, China should invest to build a high quality arthouse film industry – if they can find talented people.

    This doesn’t require a mass audience, but just a good enough product to be appreciated by the small elites who view arthouse cinema, and they are usually quite tolerant anyway, and have a high threshold before becoming bored.

    Arthouse is not viewed by masses, but it is viewed by culturally influential people. (Aside from the fact it might contribute some real culture or spirituality to the world,).

  119. @Dmitry
    Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country (Ancient Indian philosophy was perhaps higher even than the ancient Mediterranean). So a person with historical knowledge, might imagine that India has greater potential than China in the 22nd century, if not the 21st.

    -

    That said, comparisons to the ancient world seem quite useless as indicators for future potential. Ancient Greece achieved infinitely more than primitive German tribes of the same time - but today Germany is by far one of the most advanced and successful countries in the world, while modern Greece mediocre.

    It's possible that China will develop a higher culture in the 21st or 22nd century than India can hope.

    Quantitative measures of human accomplishment do not back that up – Greece was head and shoulders above everyone else.

    In terms of sciences in which progress can be distinctly measured, such as mathematics, India (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory. But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods (18C Japan even managed to accomplish some original stuff in that sphere ahead of Europe).

    China was more socially and economically advanced than India at basically any point in the past three millennia. Just as a minor example, to bring things into perspective, we know far more about the England of the Domesday Book from native documentary sources than we do about 19C India.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    If we look at the area of logic, Ancient India was more advanced in logic than Ancient Greece.

    For example, although I can’t find any tutorial on Panini's logic, it is described like Boolean algebra.
    http://doc.gold.ac.uk/aisb50/AISB50-S13/AISB50-S13-Kadvany-paper.pdf

    Or another biography of Panini (520 BC-460 BC), which claims his grammar has the same power as modern systems (but with no tutorial)

    " The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini's notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties."

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Panini.html

    -

    For another example - one of the Great Philosophers of the modern world (Schopenhauer), recommends that the Upanishads are the greatest work of philosophy of all time.

    Or writes Schopenhauer, in World as Will and Representation, for example:


    the Vedas, the fruit of the highest human knowledge and wisdom, the kernel of which has at last reached us in the Upanishads as the greatest gift of this century.
     
    -

    Schopenhauer about Aristotle in World as Will and Representation:


    If we thus observe how the course of Greek culture had prepared the way for, and led up to the work of Aristotle, we shall be little inclined to believe the assertion of the Persian author, quoted by Sir William Jones with much approval, that Kallisthenes found a complete system of logic among the Indians, and sent it to his uncle Aristotle
     
    , @The Big Red Scary

    (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory.
    But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods
     
    This is contrary to the (unstructured) information that I've come across over the years, in which Kerala astronomers are portrayed as being ahead of everyone in calendrical computations. I'd be interested in your reading recommendations.

    The claim I've come across about the Kerala astronomers is that they were basically computing the Taylor expansion of solutions to equations before that was hip. On the other hand, epicycles can also be understood as Fourier expansion, and Fourier expansion is usually considered mathematically deeper than Taylor expansion, so take that for what it's worth.

    Anyhow, my own prediction is that modern India will produce more and more scientifically, but that it won't be able to catch up with modern China.

  120. @Anatoly Karlin
    Quantitative measures of human accomplishment do not back that up - Greece was head and shoulders above everyone else.

    In terms of sciences in which progress can be distinctly measured, such as mathematics, India (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory. But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods (18C Japan even managed to accomplish some original stuff in that sphere ahead of Europe).

    China was more socially and economically advanced than India at basically any point in the past three millennia. Just as a minor example, to bring things into perspective, we know far more about the England of the Domesday Book from native documentary sources than we do about 19C India.

    If we look at the area of logic, Ancient India was more advanced in logic than Ancient Greece.

    For example, although I can’t find any tutorial on Panini’s logic, it is described like Boolean algebra.
    http://doc.gold.ac.uk/aisb50/AISB50-S13/AISB50-S13-Kadvany-paper.pdf

    Or another biography of Panini (520 BC-460 BC), which claims his grammar has the same power as modern systems (but with no tutorial)

    ” The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini’s notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties.”

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Panini.html

    For another example – one of the Great Philosophers of the modern world (Schopenhauer), recommends that the Upanishads are the greatest work of philosophy of all time.

    Or writes Schopenhauer, in World as Will and Representation, for example:

    the Vedas, the fruit of the highest human knowledge and wisdom, the kernel of which has at last reached us in the Upanishads as the greatest gift of this century.

    Schopenhauer about Aristotle in World as Will and Representation:

    If we thus observe how the course of Greek culture had prepared the way for, and led up to the work of Aristotle, we shall be little inclined to believe the assertion of the Persian author, quoted by Sir William Jones with much approval, that Kallisthenes found a complete system of logic among the Indians, and sent it to his uncle Aristotle

    • Replies: @German_reader
    Reminds me of this book I saw mentioned on Razib Khan's blog:
    https://archive.org/details/TheShapeOfAncientThought/page/n3

    It's about supposedly close links between ancient Greek and Indian philosophy. I haven't read it (too demanding for me at the moment...and for the foreseeable future), but maybe you're interested.

    , @Aft
    May be right, but that's one (not particularly useful) area. In more productive sectors (or basic ones like sanitation) they still have a ways to go.

    Whatever a few upper-caste part-Aryan philosophers came up with millenia ago, a lot of evolution has happened since and the caste system hasn't been kind to the average genetic IQ over there.
  121. @Mr. XYZ
    Great and very extensive review, Anatoly! :) Nice job! :)

    A couple of very brief thoughts:

    Would they have happened otherwise? And, more importantly – with China conceivably approaching military superiority in the West Pacific within another 1-2 decades and forcing the US to cede control over the region – will Japan, Korea, and Taiwan remain democracies?
     
    If Mongolia can remain a democracy in spite of China having a population advantage of 450:1 over it, why exactly can't these countries remain democracies as well? Is China going to force them to change their form of government, or what?

    That said, I do wonder if this could have canceled out the losses in actual and potential population from the Great Leap Forwards and the One Child Policy, respectively. After all, the Chinese kept the rural population artificially higher than it “should have been” for several decades, and rural dwellers have higher higher fertility rates.
     
    You wrote "higher" twice here.

    As for Central Asian Gastarbeiters working in China, I suspect that you will be correct in regards to this in the long(er)-run. That said, though, Central Asians generally don't speak Chinese--which could be an impediment to having them work in China, no? At least they have an advantage in regards to working in Russia because many of them are able to speak Russian.

    That said, though, if China wants a steady stream of guest workers, maybe it should aim more for South Asia. After all, the pool of guest workers that South Asia will be able to provide for China is going to be something like 20 times greater than what Central Asia can provide for China.

    But at least the Communists didn’t get back into power in 1996 and that’s all that matters.
     
    Are you being sarcastic here? Also, what do you think would have happened to Russia had the Communists won in 1996?

    Also, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China--specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.

    “lso, as a side note, I wonder if China is eventually going to produce a booming animation industry like Japan did with anime. I fear that this might be one downside of a lack of democracy in China–specifically that authoritarian regimes might be less willing to allow for creative output to the same extent as non-authoritarian regimes would.”

    I can see it now, a State Central Committee on Cat-Girls.

    Also, here is a very funny video on K-Pop played in North Korea. The look of many North Korean faces is “what the hell is going on?”

  122. @Dmitry
    If we look at the area of logic, Ancient India was more advanced in logic than Ancient Greece.

    For example, although I can’t find any tutorial on Panini's logic, it is described like Boolean algebra.
    http://doc.gold.ac.uk/aisb50/AISB50-S13/AISB50-S13-Kadvany-paper.pdf

    Or another biography of Panini (520 BC-460 BC), which claims his grammar has the same power as modern systems (but with no tutorial)

    " The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini's notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties."

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Panini.html

    -

    For another example - one of the Great Philosophers of the modern world (Schopenhauer), recommends that the Upanishads are the greatest work of philosophy of all time.

    Or writes Schopenhauer, in World as Will and Representation, for example:


    the Vedas, the fruit of the highest human knowledge and wisdom, the kernel of which has at last reached us in the Upanishads as the greatest gift of this century.
     
    -

    Schopenhauer about Aristotle in World as Will and Representation:


    If we thus observe how the course of Greek culture had prepared the way for, and led up to the work of Aristotle, we shall be little inclined to believe the assertion of the Persian author, quoted by Sir William Jones with much approval, that Kallisthenes found a complete system of logic among the Indians, and sent it to his uncle Aristotle
     

    Reminds me of this book I saw mentioned on Razib Khan’s blog:
    https://archive.org/details/TheShapeOfAncientThought/page/n3

    It’s about supposedly close links between ancient Greek and Indian philosophy. I haven’t read it (too demanding for me at the moment…and for the foreseeable future), but maybe you’re interested.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Thanks it looks like an interesting book.

    Like most people, I do not sadly know so much Ancient Indian philosophy (lol).

    However, you can read in Plato many mystical ideas which are more like something from the Indian religions.

    For example, Plato's belief about re-incarnation. In Phaedo, it seems that only bad souls re-incarnate. While the philosopher, can escape the cycle (it seems to be the Indian theory of "Moksha").

    Moreover, he presents these ideas like they are not his original ideas, but those which are some kind of "ancient doctrines" which are commonly believed.

    E.g. "The ancient doctrine of which I have been speaking affirms that they go from this into the other world, and return hither, and are born from the dead. Now if this be true, and the living come from the dead, then our souls must be in the other world, for if not, how could they be born again? "
    http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/phaedo.html

  123. @Ilya
    George Magnus (once Chief Economist at UBS) is a Sinoskeptic. Some excerpts from "Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy" (2018):



    In 2007, former premier Wen Jiabao said at the National People’s Congress that the Chinese economy was becoming unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable. Wen was worried by a long list of concerns including over-investment, unbalanced trade, inequality of incomes between cities and the countryside, wasteful and inefficient use of energy and other resources, and environmental damage. A decade on, most of these problems are still awaiting effective solutions.

    There is no doubt that the economy is in the process of a long-term slowdown. Its long-run sustainable growth rate at the moment is probably around 3–4 per cent, or roughly half the rate suggested by official statistics.

    It is also worth noting that China’s manicured, official GDP data reveal very little about the sometimes volatile nature of what’s going on in the economy. Systemic bias in the collection of data arises from the practice of setting annual GDP growth targets. Once set, state and local government authorities are duty-bound to hit the target even if, as in recent years, this involves misallocated investment and the rapid accumulation of debt. Reported steady growth of 6.5–7 per cent, therefore, includes misallocated or uncommercial investment, and overstates GDP. By contrast, GDP in most other economies is the end-product of a plethora of spending decisions rather than a target that has to be met. Western economies make bad investments too, but these tend to be written down or written off with costs allocated to creditors or owners much more quickly by accounting and legal conventions, and so-called hard budget constraints.

    The future, though, cannot be drawn in straight lines from the past. Many of the things China did to overcome obstacles in the past could only be done once. Like joining the WTO, or moving people from low-productivity rural life to high-productivity urban manufacturing, or enrolling all children in secondary schools. What worked in the past has been overtaken by the circumstances of development and economic maturity.

    The People’s Republic was able to harness the legacy of Japan’s Manchuria as an industrial heartland producing the bulk of its electric power, iron and cement. The region would go on to become the epicentre of China’s heavy industry, a status which it retains, though now it is of diminishing importance.

    This second phase of reform was distinguished by an important development – the introduction of rules-based, institutional mechanisms and regulations as a substitute for political directives and planning by diktat. Perversely, precisely the reverse is happening in Xi Jinping’s China, where the centralisation of power around Xi at the head of a strengthened Party is a substitute for the institutionalisation of rules and processes.

    Social unrest became a more important problem, with the number of ‘mass incidents’ – many about low-level public sector corruption, construction and planning injustices, and pollution and environmental degradation – reportedly rising from about 50,000 a year in 2002 to about 180,000 a year by 2012. Those with money left China. It is estimated that about 27 per cent of Chinese with at least $15 million in assets emigrated, citing the quality of the educational system, the environment, healthcare, food safety and protection of assets as the drivers.

    In short, China has reached a point we can call the end of extrapolation. It simply cannot continue to develop on the basis of the economic model that has existed until now. More credit-fuelled investment will risk economic and financial instability, possibly leading to an abrupt and painful growth crunch. In the medium to longer term, rising income inequalities and environmental degradation risk both significantly slower growth and major social dysfunction. Consequently, China needs to develop a more sustainable growth path and development model. This much, at least, is recognised well by the Chinese leadership.

    We also know that China has had to invest more and borrow more to get the same amount of GDP, or, that the investment and credit intensity of GDP has been rising. Between 1978 and 2006, for example, China spent between 2 to 4 yuan of investment to get 1 additional yuan of GDP. Since then, the amount has risen steadily to reach about 9 yuan in 2015, corresponding to a marked fall in investment efficiency. Similarly, the financial system has been allocating more and more resources to finance that investment, as evidenced by the constant worries about China’s rising debt level. Higher credit dependency, suggested by the rise in the amount of credit needed to generate a single unit of extra GDP, is known as the credit intensity of GDP. According to the IMF, the credit intensity of GDP has quintupled since the late 2000s to over 5, meaning that it now takes five times as much credit to produce one unit of GDP. In 2007–8, about RMB (Renminbi) 6.5 trillion ($1 trillion) of new credit was needed to raise nominal GDP by about RMB 5 trillion per year ($769 billion). In 2015–16, it took more than RMB 20 trillion ($3 trillion) in new credit for the same nominal GDP growth.

    Officially, and according to some China-watchers, SOEs now account for just a fifth of output and a tenth of employment. The presumption, though, that the rest of the economy is in private hands, as we understand it in the West, is incorrect. Many private firms have large or majority state owners, who exercise significant control over senior appointments and corporate strategy, and state ownership is often disguised by multiple layers of investment companies ultimately owned by a state entity. Allowing for these opaque adjustments, the purely private part of the enterprise sector may actually be little higher than 20–30 per cent.

    It seems, therefore, that in Xi’s China, technocrats, who were previously at the helm of SOE policy and management, are increasingly giving way to political apparatchiks and officials. This does not bode well for the future of SOE reform, and suggests that they will become bigger and more focused on political strategy than on commercial efficiency.

    In a further example of good plans that haven’t quite lived up to expectations, China invested over $78 billion in renewable energy in 2016 (more than either the US or the EU), but a considerable amount of its wind and solar power capacity lies idle.

    In 2016, each Beijing resident had access to just 178 cubic metres of water (nationally, 438 cubic metres), compared to a United Nations benchmark of ‘water stress’ of 1,700 cubic metres.

    Nearly 60 per cent of underground water is believed to be polluted.

    The issue that many are inclined to forget is that, sooner or later, someone always has to pay for bad debt and banking sector problems. It’s just a question of when and how the costs are allocated among consumers, companies, the government and, sometimes, foreign creditors. It all ends up as lower economic growth, one way or another.

    China accounted for about a half of all new credit created worldwide between 2005 and 2016.

    In China, some private analysts have estimated that a realistic non-performing loan ratio estimate is around 22 per cent. The IMF has estimated that risky corporate bank loans amount to about 15 per cent of all lending, confronting banks with potential losses of $756 billion, or 7 per cent of GDP. The IMF also calculated in banking sector stress tests in 2017 that in extreme circumstances, the non-performing loan ratio at thirty-three banks would jump to 9 per cent, and they would have to raise a lot more capital.

    As I have suggested here, China could become embroiled in a debt crisis arising from the increase in the burden of debt and the decline in capacity to shoulder it, but this does not seem a likely outcome. It is much more likely that debt will loom over the economy, manifesting itself as lower economic growth than as a crisis per se.

    Low-end exports have migrated to Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh – clothing and footwear and other labour-intensive goods accounted for just 16.5 per cent of Chinese exports in 2016 – and companies have moved up the so-called value chain. Two-fifths of exports comprised mechanical and electrical products, and one-fifth were made up of high technology products, including computers.

    China runs a current account surplus, smaller than it used to be, but structurally entrenched for the time being. To balance this surplus, capital has to flow out but it is subject to controls that keep it locked up at home. The likelihood of China running current account deficits or allowing a meaningful liberalisation of capital account transactions any time soon is negligible. If anything, the surplus is likely to increase again as growth slows in the future. Consequently, the Renminbi is strongly handicapped when it comes to becoming a more serious global reserve currency. It is still possible for businesses and commercial organisations to use the Renminbi more for transactions in the future but that is quite different from becoming a more important global reserve currency.

    According to the IMF, global reserves stood at $11.3 trillion at September 2017, of which $9.6 billion were ‘allocated reserves’ – that is, their currency composition was identified, while the rest were ‘unallocated’. The Renminbi share of allocated reserves was 1 per cent.

    China’s currency reserves surged in the 2000s, rising from $400 billion in 2003 to peak at just over $4 trillion in 2014. By January 2017 they had fallen to about $3 trillion, with most of the fall occurring between June 2014 and June 2016. The rise in reserves had happened because of balance of payments surpluses, which brought US dollars into China, which the central bank bought from banks in exchange for Renminbi, and subsequently invested in foreign, mostly US, bond markets.

    After 2014, the opposite happened. The People’s Bank had to sell US dollar assets to support the exchange rate, not because of any big change in the current account, but because of a sharp rise in capital outflows to the rest of the world, comprising foreign direct investment, portfolio investments, trade credits, currency and deposit flows, and other financial transactions. Some of these outflows were what is colloquially called ‘hot money’, more commonly known as capital flight.

    In any event, rising living standards still rank as one of the best forms of contraception.

    According to Yi Fuxian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chinese officials may have been overestimating births for many years, possibly by about 90 million between 1990 and 2016. Although the official fertility estimate for 2015, for example, was 1.6 children, he suggests it was more like 1.05 children. If this is even broadly correct, then China’s WAP [working age population] and total population over the next twenty to thirty years will be significantly smaller than expected.

    The old-age dependency ratio, which is the number of over-65-year-olds as a proportion of the WAP, is predicted to rise from 13 per cent today, to over 20 per cent in 2025 and 47 per cent by 2050. Put another way, the 7.7 workers who support each older citizen today will be just 2.1 workers by 2050.

    According to the IMF, the net present value of pension and healthcare spending in China out to 2050 amounts to 83.7 per cent, and 47.1 per cent of GDP, respectively, or roughly 132 per cent of today’s GDP.

    China certainly has all the ingredients of an economy facing a structural growth slowdown. It has had an unusually long period of high growth that’s ended. Debt has accounted for a lot of growth in recent years, and this cannot continue forever. In any event, there are many things that China has proved successful at doing in the past, but which it can no longer repeat because they were one-off accomplishments. For example, China could only join the World Trade Organization once. It could only embark on a massive real-estate ownership and investment boom once. It could only enroll all of its children in secondary school once. Exploiting the demographic dividend, benefiting from rural–urban migration, and raising the share of employment in industry and manufacturing to peak levels were all achievements that could only happen once. Riding the wave of powerful globalisation during the 1990s and 2000s was a bonus, but we don’t know when those go-go days are going to return, if at all. Put simply, complex upper-middle-income countries such as China have, by definition, exhausted much if not most of the potential to get growth by deploying and exploiting physical capital and labour. Rebalancing requires a switch in focus, policy and resources away from investment and credit towards efficiency and innovation, human capital and productivity, and coping mechanisms to deal with the consequences of ageing and new technologies.

    Many countries in Asia are outward-looking, financially stable, and have a sharp focus on trade, innovation, infrastructure and technology. At the same time, however, they have the challenge of ageing, under-utilisation of women at work, and inadequate social safety nets. There is a weak culture of entrepreneurship, and bankruptcy regimes are often poor. Other shortcomings include human capital formation, distortionary trade and state-owned enterprise policies, and inadequate attention to the rule of law. China fits many, if not all, of these descriptions. It has definitely arrived at the point where it needs to push up its TFP [total factor productivity] growth in order to re-energise the momentum needed to avoid stagnation in the future, relatively even if not absolutely.

    In 2014, nearly 90 per cent of Shanghai’s high-tech industry output, for example, were traceable to foreign enterprises, despite the policy of ‘indigenous innovation’, and in Chongqing, which makes over a third of the world’s personal computers, the industry is almost completely linked to foreign investment.

    China has not yet developed strengths, for example, in semiconductors, which it has been trying to develop, unsuccessfully, since the 1960s. A policy switch in the 2000s from central planning to equity investments has gained some traction, but ended up with over-capacity at the low end of the sector and weakness at the high end. It lags behind the US in university-led research. It falls considerably short when it comes to AI engineers and scientists. It does not have the same business-facing software capacity, or high levels of integration between its technology and industrial sectors. Chinese firms tend to be less digitised, and do not yet really compete when it comes to commercialising technologies overseas or setting global standards. A recent study of China’s AI potential judges that it is about half as advanced as that of the US, according to an AI Potential Index, designed to approximate AI capabilities in key drivers of overall AI development. China’s one lead is in access to data. These things can change, but at the same time, it would be naive to think that the US or other Western companies are going to stand still and allow their competitive edges to be eaten away.

    Although China has high secondary school enrolment rates, it also has high drop-out rates, such that only 24 per cent of working-age people completed their education.

    Rozelle has predicted that a further 400 million or so working-age Chinese people are ‘in danger of becoming cognitively handicapped’. The heart of the problem is poor paediatric health, with anaemia, intestinal worms, uncorrected myopia, and poor parenting and stimulus in infancy all contributing to weak learning skills and poor educational attainment levels.

    According to the Conference Board, the share of Chinese workers with tertiary education was about 17 per cent in 2015, and the share of highly skilled workers in manufacturing was just 10 per cent in 2013, compared with 47 per cent in the US. The OECD has estimated that only 10 per cent of Chinese adults aged twenty-five to sixty-four possess tertiary education, which is less than one-third of the average in OECD countries. This high skill gap in the workforce is probably a major reason for the emphasis on robotics in the Made in China 2025 plan, though this is unlikely to resolve the issues raised by low educational attainment levels.

    Since the GPT [general-purpose technology; i.e., AI] in question is new, we should perhaps not be overly prescriptive, but a lot of it all boils down to risk-taking, disruption and instability. China’s governance system and the structures in place to evaluate and incentivise scientists and engineers, projects and methodologies of instruction and research tend not to be compatible, by and large, with these phenomena. Will China be able to break the mould by showing that autocracy and repression and transformative innovation can coexist?

    US Census Bureau data show that US imports from China amounted to over $500 billion in 2017, compared to US exports to China of $130 billion. Yet, this $370 billion US trade deficit with China is not all strict bilateral trade, because China, as Asia’s prime supply chain hub, finishes off a lot of products shipped there by, say, Japan and South Korea. According to the value-added trade data of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which allows for this sort of effect, the US trade deficit with China was just $150 billion in 2017, and once you allow for the US surplus in services sold to China, which includes tourism and commercial services, the total deficit was about $110–120 billion. This doesn’t mean the Americans don’t have legitimate arguments about Chinese trade and investment practices, but it is important to bear this in mind in assessing the bluster that often passes as trade policy.

    The bottom line is that US exports to China amount to barely 1 per cent of US GDP and 8 per cent of total exports, while China’s to the US amount to 4 per cent of Chinese GDP and a fifth of total exports.

    Displacing the US economically, however, is a major challenge, even if the US itself is acting for now as a willing participant in the process. To be the leader of globalisation, as the US has been, you need to have willing followers, who will not so much pay you tribute, as have respect for and trust in your statecraft and diplomacy, and look to you as the provider of generosity and shared ideals. There are some exceptions, but for most countries, China falls short of these criteria even if they nevertheless regard China as a magnet for commerce.

    The BRI [Belt and Road Initiative] is expected to relieve the pressure on sluggish heavy industries suffering from excess capacity, notably coal and steel. Affected firms might export that excess output to BRI countries directly by dumping coal and steel abroad, or by moving the physical capacity itself into other countries. The latter seems more likely. It is planned, for example, to migrate 20 million tonnes of Hebei province’s large surplus steel capacity (as well as cement and pleat glass) to Southeast Asia, Africa and Western Asia by 2023. This foreign direct investment strategy may reduce the supply glut in China, but add to it elsewhere. Exporting, one way or another, will not solve the problem from a global standpoint.

    While BRI headlines are normally about new contracts and project progress reports, it is worth noting that there is also a flurry of reports detailing disputes, cancelled contracts and delays. At the end of 2017, Pakistan withdrew its request for the Diamer-Bhasha dam in northern Pakistan to be included in China’s BRI projects in the country, ostensibly because of financing conditions but amid complaints about Chinese ownership conditions. Meanwhile, Chinese construction and acquisition of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, and the Port City Colombo project, have brought claims that Chinese behaviour threatened Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, resulted in large excess capacity at a brand new airport and excessive debt financing. In Africa, allegations of colonialism have accompanied greater Chinese involvement and engagement with the continent, and the arrival of Chinese companies, workers and finance. Both the Nairobi to Mombasa railway line, which opened in 2017, and the previously completed major rail project from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, linked Indian Ocean ports to natural resource deposits, and put the sponsoring governments under great financial strain. The response in these cases, as well as in other countries including Tanzania and Namibia, was to allow Chinese entities to take controlling stakes in companies in finance, real estate and resource management. Although African nations are getting infrastructure that is financed, built or operated by China, the terms to some Africans look eerily familiar to those extracted under colonialism.

    Over the next twenty years and beyond, Xi’s China must find its own coping mechanisms to deal with a rapidly ageing population and declining labour force. These will play out in a quarter of the time that it took in most advanced economies, and at lower levels of income and wealth per head of population.

    China says that it is developing a greater tolerance for risk but the systems employed to evaluate and promote scientists, projects and methods of learning are not really compatible with at least the kind of risk encouragement and tolerance accepted in the West.

    China’s economic growth will slow down when its national per capita income reaches those in the developed countries and regions in East Asia. They have a long way to go and their growth potential is still enormous.

  124. @E. Harding
    [sigh]. Again, the issue is with growth rates, not with current levels. Don't know why so many get confused by this. I think the Chinese economy is ~110-120% the size of the American, but was richer than India starting from at least the early 1980s, probably earlier.

    By how many percentage points and for how long?
     
    See my remarks here:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kroeber-chinas-economy/#comment-3440787

    [sigh]. Again, the issue is with growth rates, not with current levels. Don’t know why so many get confused by this. I think the Chinese economy is ~110-120% the size of the American, but was richer than India starting from at least the early 1980s, probably earlier.

    Accurate determination of the sizes of the economy at a beginning and an end point will help you to calculate the growth rate between the two points. If the size of the economy at the end point is bigger than the growth rate would indicate, then the growth rate probably has been underestimated. For example, underestimating China’s growth rate by 2% a year over a 15 year period would underestimate the current size of China’s economy by 35%. Such large margin of error is rather easy to discover.

  125. @Thorfinnsson
    Why do you think that comparing China to countries with racially inferior populations proves anything at all?

    We might as well compare France with Morocco, Algeria, and for good measure the Ivory Coast.

    How about comparing China from 1950-1980 with the two Koreas and Taiwan?

    Fully in agreement here. Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.

    Meanwhile few Indian communities managed that, despite being also spread all around the globe. It all fits very well into HBD and is one of the best proofs for its value. As for US support, Indonesia had lots of it as did many Latin American countries, still none of them could reach the 1st world, while east Asians got there very fast as soon as they had the chance. To call Chinese an “inferior race” based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago (and is still normal for provincial Russians) is myopic since it ignores the successes of all Chinese communities outside of Communism. The fact that under Mao China was as poor as low IQ places shows how much damage Mao really did. One could just as well compare the USSR with Brazil (Like Noam Chomsky does) or Mexico (which by some counts had a higher GDP per capita 1913 then the Russian empire.) and say that socialism there was a success because life in the late USSR was still better then in IQ 85 places. Also Spain had a lower GDP per capita 1913 then several Latin American states but knowing HBD it is clear that this would have been only temporary and looking closer at its economy one could already have predicted a divergence between these countries even back then. Mao apologists have to resort to blank slatism to defend their beloved helmsmen while in reality China was always richer then India and had a higher life expectancy. China was in a state of civil war between 1915 and 1949 and still had a higher GDP per capita for most of this time then orderly governed British India. So of course there was some growth after the war was over, that’s normal if a country is no longer at war. At the same time the ROC on Taiwan achieved vastly superior growth and it was run by the very same people Mao supposedly “liberated” China from. North Korea also had growth after the Korean war but it paled compared to the growth in the “other Korea” just as anything Mao achieved failed in comparison to the “Other China(s)”. Despite civil war, chaos and corruption, as well as a global economic crisis China did achieve a lot of growth in the “Nanking decade” already.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    To call Chinese an “inferior race” based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago
     
    Actually, that's not correct. Many of the smarter and more thoughtful Westerners of a century or more ago would not have been at all surprised by China's current position in the world, and indeed some of them explicitly predicted it. It was just the various Chinese disasters of the later decades of the twentieth century that caused most Americans to forget this:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/
    , @Lin

    Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.
     
    ………
    That's about as retarded as you labelled Mao was.
    HK,Taiwan,singapore, even if one ignores the size difference, basically had different historical as well geopolitical scenarios the latter of which were pushed by anglo powers to counter china. A good example, Chiang Kai-shek emptied Chinese gold vault and shipped all Chinese gold to Taiwan. Facing all Darwinist geopolitical challenge/hostility, Chinese has been overall progressing though as I said he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
    --Taiwan has been economically growing quite slowly in the past 10 to 20 yrs or so. HK gdp/capita, as Akalin's other thread pointed out, is inflated because of insanely high housing expenses there.
    --As I pointed out before, PRC nominal GDP grew from US 0.99 trillion in 1999 to over US 10 trillion in 2014(due to very fast growth, some inflation, currency appreciation and 2 GDP calculation adjustment at 16% and 6% if I remember right). Had Taiwan, HK ever experienced such economic burst?
  126. @Arilando
    >Few understand that democracy is the cause of ruinous policies like multiculturalism, feminism, and degeneracy in the west.

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this? These sorts of policies have usually been pushed by western elites against the will of the majority of the population. If anything, if western countries had been more democratic, western elites would have found it much harder to push for these policies, and if they had been less democratic, western elites would have had an easier time doing so. Case in point, Switzerland is one of the most (probably the most) conservative countries in western Europe (of course, not particularly conservative by world or even eastern European standards).

    How exactly is democracy the cause of this?

  127. @Anatoly Karlin
    Quantitative measures of human accomplishment do not back that up - Greece was head and shoulders above everyone else.

    In terms of sciences in which progress can be distinctly measured, such as mathematics, India (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory. But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods (18C Japan even managed to accomplish some original stuff in that sphere ahead of Europe).

    China was more socially and economically advanced than India at basically any point in the past three millennia. Just as a minor example, to bring things into perspective, we know far more about the England of the Domesday Book from native documentary sources than we do about 19C India.

    (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory.
    But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods

    This is contrary to the (unstructured) information that I’ve come across over the years, in which Kerala astronomers are portrayed as being ahead of everyone in calendrical computations. I’d be interested in your reading recommendations.

    The claim I’ve come across about the Kerala astronomers is that they were basically computing the Taylor expansion of solutions to equations before that was hip. On the other hand, epicycles can also be understood as Fourier expansion, and Fourier expansion is usually considered mathematically deeper than Taylor expansion, so take that for what it’s worth.

    Anyhow, my own prediction is that modern India will produce more and more scientifically, but that it won’t be able to catch up with modern China.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This is I recalled from Dunham's Journey Through Genius (excellent book, BTW), as well as Boyer's History of Mathematics (which I didn't read much of but did read the chapters on China and India). Though that was more than a decade ago and I must have forgotten many of the details.

    On checking, I found that calculus (or rather proto-calculus) was indeed furthest developed by the Kerala School before the Europeans burst ahead.

    That does seem much more impressive than anything the Chinese accomplished in mathematics, so I will cede that particular point to Dmitry.
  128. @Godfree Roberts
    Good review and summary. Kroeber is weakest in his discussion of Chinese governance, which he clearly does not understand, but his figures are among the best I've seen from a Western writer.

    One quibble: "Maoism was a disaster in economic terms" is a common–and widely promoted–trope, designed to make Deng's capitalism look good. But it has no foundation in fact.

    Despite the most vicious peacetime embargoes in history, on food, agricultural machinery, technology, finance and even international recognition, according to data provided by the World Bank, expressed at constant prices (base 1980) and in ten-year averages, China’s economic growth rate was 6.8 percent between 1970 and 1979, i.e., more than double that of the United States during the same period (3.2 percent, also at 1980 constant prices).

    Furthermore, according to the official GDP series published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) since its creation in 1952 up until today, the growth rate of China’s GDP averaged 8.3 percent annually from 1952 to 2015, with a strong 6.3 percent between 1952 and 1978 and an even stronger 9.9 percent between 1979 and 2015. These percentages are expressed at constant prices in base 1952 and standardized to take into account the statistical breaks that marked the accounting transition from the Material Product System (MPS) to the more “modern” System of National Accounts (SNA).5 Nevertheless, if we exclude the very first years of the People’s Republic from 1952 to 1962—i.e., between the completion of the unification of the continental territory and the period of the break with the Soviet Union—there is a recorded average of 8.2 percent per annum GDP growth rate in the period of 1963–78, reflecting very rapid growth even during the Cultural Revolution.[Development Indicators (Washington, DC: World Bank, various years)databank.worldbank.org.
    China Statistical Yearbook (Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China, various years), http://stats.gov.cn/english.]

    Concretely, between 1945 and 1974, Mao
    doubled China’s population from 542 million to 956 million
    doubled life expectancy
    doubled caloric intake
    quintupled GDP
    quadrupled literacy
    increased grain production three hundred percent
    increased gross industrial output forty-fold
    increased heavy industry ninety-fold.
    increased rail lineage 266 percent
    increased passenger train traffic from 102,970,000 passengers to 814,910,000.
    increased rail freight tonnage two thousand percent
    increased the road network one thousand percent.
    increased steel production from zero to thirty-five MMT/year
    Increased industry’s contribution to China’s net material product from twenty-three percent to fifty-four percent.
    Put satellites into orbit
    Developed the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb faster than anyone in history
    Left China at peace, debt-free, and independent.
    https://i.imgur.com/jlsW90L.jpg

    I’m sure western medicine and the green revolution did most of the heavy lifting. Now had that period seen Japan level of growth then maybe you would have a point.

  129. @Ron Unz

    This, of course, all looks very risky–a house of cards that could come crumbling down at any time. But it begs the question as to what would prompt foreigners to abandon the Dollar for transactions and what would replace it.
     
    Well, I hardly make great claims at being an expert in finance, but my impression is that what keeps the dollar afloat is fear of the US military and a belief in US stability.

    Lots of people seem to think that Russian weapon systems probably work better than the American ones these days, and in particular our carrier groups are very vulnerable.

    For many years now, we've been running around like a lunatic, waving guns at everyone, and I think it's only luck that war hasn't yet broken out. But suppose that war does break out against Russia or China or Iran or somebody, and we lose a carrier group to a conventional missile strike.

    Since we have a crazy government that can't admit defeat, quite possibly we go nuclear in response, and the world gets blown up, thereby resolving all currency issues.

    But if not, then I think the dollar probably collapses taking down the domestic American economy with it, while perhaps provoking some sort of popular uprising and the wholesale massacre of our worthless ruling elites.

    http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/?display=showcomments#comment-2698393

    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news

    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news
     
    Except for autos, I think we import the overwhelming majority all of our consumer goods, which is what most ordinary people spend much of their money buying. And the American population has already been total impoverished, with something like half the people having less than $500 in available savings. People are already living on the edge, and a big increase in prices would drive them over.
  130. @Unknown128
    Fully in agreement here. Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.

    Meanwhile few Indian communities managed that, despite being also spread all around the globe. It all fits very well into HBD and is one of the best proofs for its value. As for US support, Indonesia had lots of it as did many Latin American countries, still none of them could reach the 1st world, while east Asians got there very fast as soon as they had the chance. To call Chinese an "inferior race" based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago (and is still normal for provincial Russians) is myopic since it ignores the successes of all Chinese communities outside of Communism. The fact that under Mao China was as poor as low IQ places shows how much damage Mao really did. One could just as well compare the USSR with Brazil (Like Noam Chomsky does) or Mexico (which by some counts had a higher GDP per capita 1913 then the Russian empire.) and say that socialism there was a success because life in the late USSR was still better then in IQ 85 places. Also Spain had a lower GDP per capita 1913 then several Latin American states but knowing HBD it is clear that this would have been only temporary and looking closer at its economy one could already have predicted a divergence between these countries even back then. Mao apologists have to resort to blank slatism to defend their beloved helmsmen while in reality China was always richer then India and had a higher life expectancy. China was in a state of civil war between 1915 and 1949 and still had a higher GDP per capita for most of this time then orderly governed British India. So of course there was some growth after the war was over, that's normal if a country is no longer at war. At the same time the ROC on Taiwan achieved vastly superior growth and it was run by the very same people Mao supposedly "liberated" China from. North Korea also had growth after the Korean war but it paled compared to the growth in the "other Korea" just as anything Mao achieved failed in comparison to the "Other China(s)". Despite civil war, chaos and corruption, as well as a global economic crisis China did achieve a lot of growth in the "Nanking decade" already.

    To call Chinese an “inferior race” based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago

    Actually, that’s not correct. Many of the smarter and more thoughtful Westerners of a century or more ago would not have been at all surprised by China’s current position in the world, and indeed some of them explicitly predicted it. It was just the various Chinese disasters of the later decades of the twentieth century that caused most Americans to forget this:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1171494179433664514
    , @Unknown128
    I'm sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to @Dmitry and his claim that "Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country"

    His belief that the Chinese seem an inferior race today is based on nothing but the rude behavior of some rural mainlanders and nothing else. 100 years ago a majority of westerners were poor proletarians or rurals who behaved just as badly if not worst, so based on this the westerners were an inferior race till the 1950s, especially countries like Spain or Italy.

    I do know that westerners over history did indeed see Chinese and other East Asians to be far smarter than Indians. For example Portuguese slavers did prefer Chinese and Japanese slaves to all others because they were seen to be smart and hard working, while the women were valued for their "exotic beauty", the Jesuits did also value east Asians above any other non western race. A negative view towards China mostly was the product of its19th century disasters. It was also at this point that Japanese started to be seen as a distinct "race" from Chinese and Koreans. Today its very hard to uphold this distinction so many anti china people have grouped Koreans with Japanese as "superior yellows" and Chinese as "inferior yellows", of course there is the problem of non PRC Chinese being not worst then Koreans or Japanese....so some now have embraced the completely irrational concept that "Taiwanese" "Singaporians" or even "Hong Kongers" are some completely separate "race" from "the Han" to keep up the idea that "Han" are a separate "race" from other East Asians. The problem is that some people cant separate biology from culture or even political identity and love to mix them up. The Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman's was exactly such a thing. In the 16th or 17th century Europeans tended to see even Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes back then or Chinese better ones, rather western culture just hasn't reached that level of education and civic drill. Soon it would overcome China so Chinese are now seen as uncultured and hence inferior. Such talk has little to do with constant factors like genes, but rather can be seen as "noise" that can fluctuate over very small periods of time. I find it strange that so many people on HBD aware sites focus so much on "noise".
  131. @Anarcho-Supremacist
    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news

    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news

    Except for autos, I think we import the overwhelming majority all of our consumer goods, which is what most ordinary people spend much of their money buying. And the American population has already been total impoverished, with something like half the people having less than $500 in available savings. People are already living on the edge, and a big increase in prices would drive them over.

    • Replies: @Anarcho-Supremacist
    A big increase in some prices. Again the real value of thire debts would go down. Everything levels out. Now would there be mass layoffs that would effect everything? Now that would effect everyone
  132. @Ron Unz

    To call Chinese an “inferior race” based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago
     
    Actually, that's not correct. Many of the smarter and more thoughtful Westerners of a century or more ago would not have been at all surprised by China's current position in the world, and indeed some of them explicitly predicted it. It was just the various Chinese disasters of the later decades of the twentieth century that caused most Americans to forget this:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

  133. @The Big Red Scary

    (Kerala) did have a lead over China in heavily theoretical areas like number theory.
    But East Asia was ahead elsewhere, especially in numerical methods
     
    This is contrary to the (unstructured) information that I've come across over the years, in which Kerala astronomers are portrayed as being ahead of everyone in calendrical computations. I'd be interested in your reading recommendations.

    The claim I've come across about the Kerala astronomers is that they were basically computing the Taylor expansion of solutions to equations before that was hip. On the other hand, epicycles can also be understood as Fourier expansion, and Fourier expansion is usually considered mathematically deeper than Taylor expansion, so take that for what it's worth.

    Anyhow, my own prediction is that modern India will produce more and more scientifically, but that it won't be able to catch up with modern China.

    This is I recalled from Dunham’s Journey Through Genius (excellent book, BTW), as well as Boyer’s History of Mathematics (which I didn’t read much of but did read the chapters on China and India). Though that was more than a decade ago and I must have forgotten many of the details.

    On checking, I found that calculus (or rather proto-calculus) was indeed furthest developed by the Kerala School before the Europeans burst ahead.

    That does seem much more impressive than anything the Chinese accomplished in mathematics, so I will cede that particular point to Dmitry.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    "Dunham’s Journey Through Genius"

    Thanks. That looks like a fun book. Although, alas, he seems to treat Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean theorem rather than Einstein's, which would have made sense to Euclid and is surely the proof that God himself had in mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem#Einstein's_proof_by_dissection_without_rearrangement

    Even readers of the Unz Review will have to admit that Jews are good for something...

  134. @Ron Unz

    To call Chinese an “inferior race” based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago
     
    Actually, that's not correct. Many of the smarter and more thoughtful Westerners of a century or more ago would not have been at all surprised by China's current position in the world, and indeed some of them explicitly predicted it. It was just the various Chinese disasters of the later decades of the twentieth century that caused most Americans to forget this:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/how-social-darwinism-made-modern-china-248/

    I’m sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to and his claim that “Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country”

    His belief that the Chinese seem an inferior race today is based on nothing but the rude behavior of some rural mainlanders and nothing else. 100 years ago a majority of westerners were poor proletarians or rurals who behaved just as badly if not worst, so based on this the westerners were an inferior race till the 1950s, especially countries like Spain or Italy.

    I do know that westerners over history did indeed see Chinese and other East Asians to be far smarter than Indians. For example Portuguese slavers did prefer Chinese and Japanese slaves to all others because they were seen to be smart and hard working, while the women were valued for their “exotic beauty”, the Jesuits did also value east Asians above any other non western race. A negative view towards China mostly was the product of its19th century disasters. It was also at this point that Japanese started to be seen as a distinct “race” from Chinese and Koreans. Today its very hard to uphold this distinction so many anti china people have grouped Koreans with Japanese as “superior yellows” and Chinese as “inferior yellows”, of course there is the problem of non PRC Chinese being not worst then Koreans or Japanese….so some now have embraced the completely irrational concept that “Taiwanese” “Singaporians” or even “Hong Kongers” are some completely separate “race” from “the Han” to keep up the idea that “Han” are a separate “race” from other East Asians. The problem is that some people cant separate biology from culture or even political identity and love to mix them up. The Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman’s was exactly such a thing. In the 16th or 17th century Europeans tended to see even Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes back then or Chinese better ones, rather western culture just hasn’t reached that level of education and civic drill. Soon it would overcome China so Chinese are now seen as uncultured and hence inferior. Such talk has little to do with constant factors like genes, but rather can be seen as “noise” that can fluctuate over very small periods of time. I find it strange that so many people on HBD aware sites focus so much on “noise”.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes
     
    I don't think this is something genetic - or if genetic difference between nationalities, it is not the most important thing for determining the achievements at any particular moment. I am responding with "seem to be" after Thorfinssen says you shouldn't compare with Indians. It's clearly a result of historical stage.

    If we look at India - it was one of the world's greatest civilizations, particularly in the intellectual sphere, but after thousands of years of decline we view them today as an inferior race where you should not visit if you don't want to die from food poisoning.

    Today, Japan is far more advanced than China. But 2000 years ago, Japanese were primitive tribes living in caves, while in China there were people building clocks and drip irrigation.

    I can imagine China will have a cultural flourishing at the end of 21st century, while for India in the 22nd century.

    , @Ron Unz

    I’m sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to @Dmitry and his claim that “Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country”
     
    Sure, perhaps I did.

    Incidentally, for those so interested in what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese about a century ago, here's a convenient HTML copy of a short book on the subject by E.A. Ross, one of America's greatest early sociologists:

    http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-changing-chinese/

    Ross was vastly influential, with his views being taken very seriously both by all of America's leading leftists and also by top right-wingers such as Lothrop Stoddard.

    It's only during the mid-century decades that Americans thought China was going to be hopelessly poor forever.

    Meanwhile, as far as I know, Westerners never had a very high opinion of India or its future prospects.
    , @John Regan

    Today its very hard to uphold this distinction so many anti china people have grouped Koreans with Japanese as “superior yellows” and Chinese as “inferior yellows”, of course there is the problem of non PRC Chinese being not worst then Koreans or Japanese….so some now have embraced the completely irrational concept that “Taiwanese” “Singaporians” or even “Hong Kongers” are some completely separate “race” from “the Han” to keep up the idea that “Han” are a separate “race” from other East Asians.
     
    I think I see what you're trying to fight there, and I don't mainly disagree with that (if I understand you correctly). To counter potential mistaken understandings of this post, though, I'll just note that it remains a fact the Japanese (and to a somewhat lesser extent, the Korean) population is indeed quite genetically distinct from the main Chinese. Much as we would expect, given their relative isolation. Of course, none of them are completely homogeneous populations or "absolutely pure races" in whatever autistic sense some people may use that concept, but scientifically speaking it makes much more sense to treat them as distinct (if sometimes overlapping) clusters than as some amorphous blob of "East Asians" just because we Westerners are often too lazy to tell the difference between a "Chink" and a "Jap" when we see one. And it does seem that these differences do have some important expressions below the surface level of culture. Similarly, European peoples can differ fairly meaningfully in various traits, even if they also share greater similarities to each other as compared to other clusters of racial groups.

    That people often conflate genetics/race and culture is still very true, and regrettable, although perhaps unavoidable to some degree at our present state (though many could assuredly get better at minimizing these errors). That the latter does play a part is (as you correctly note) observable from history. Probably, the complete biological determinism of many "racists" stems from overcorrecting the insane blank slatism of what passes for "mainstream" discourse.


    The Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman’s was exactly such a thing.
     
    Incidentally, "the Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman’s" is by and large a myth out of "American" propaganda. The most obvious proof of that being that many or most of the Slavic states of Europe were German allies during the war, rather than allies of the USSR. Of course, the Nazis were only human and had their various biases and bigotries like everyone else, and some people did say awful things about (for example) the Russians at various points. But that jargon wasn't settled policy, any more than the British or Americans intended to literally castrate the "Depraved Huns" or literally exterminate the "Jap Lice" after the war (despite the hateful jargon and statements to that effect you can sometimes find during the war years, both in Allied propaganda and the off the record statements of Churchill, FDR and friends).
  135. @German_reader
    Reminds me of this book I saw mentioned on Razib Khan's blog:
    https://archive.org/details/TheShapeOfAncientThought/page/n3

    It's about supposedly close links between ancient Greek and Indian philosophy. I haven't read it (too demanding for me at the moment...and for the foreseeable future), but maybe you're interested.

    Thanks it looks like an interesting book.

    Like most people, I do not sadly know so much Ancient Indian philosophy (lol).

    However, you can read in Plato many mystical ideas which are more like something from the Indian religions.

    For example, Plato’s belief about re-incarnation. In Phaedo, it seems that only bad souls re-incarnate. While the philosopher, can escape the cycle (it seems to be the Indian theory of “Moksha”).

    Moreover, he presents these ideas like they are not his original ideas, but those which are some kind of “ancient doctrines” which are commonly believed.

    E.g. “The ancient doctrine of which I have been speaking affirms that they go from this into the other world, and return hither, and are born from the dead. Now if this be true, and the living come from the dead, then our souls must be in the other world, for if not, how could they be born again? ”
    http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/phaedo.html

  136. @Unknown128
    I'm sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to @Dmitry and his claim that "Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country"

    His belief that the Chinese seem an inferior race today is based on nothing but the rude behavior of some rural mainlanders and nothing else. 100 years ago a majority of westerners were poor proletarians or rurals who behaved just as badly if not worst, so based on this the westerners were an inferior race till the 1950s, especially countries like Spain or Italy.

    I do know that westerners over history did indeed see Chinese and other East Asians to be far smarter than Indians. For example Portuguese slavers did prefer Chinese and Japanese slaves to all others because they were seen to be smart and hard working, while the women were valued for their "exotic beauty", the Jesuits did also value east Asians above any other non western race. A negative view towards China mostly was the product of its19th century disasters. It was also at this point that Japanese started to be seen as a distinct "race" from Chinese and Koreans. Today its very hard to uphold this distinction so many anti china people have grouped Koreans with Japanese as "superior yellows" and Chinese as "inferior yellows", of course there is the problem of non PRC Chinese being not worst then Koreans or Japanese....so some now have embraced the completely irrational concept that "Taiwanese" "Singaporians" or even "Hong Kongers" are some completely separate "race" from "the Han" to keep up the idea that "Han" are a separate "race" from other East Asians. The problem is that some people cant separate biology from culture or even political identity and love to mix them up. The Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman's was exactly such a thing. In the 16th or 17th century Europeans tended to see even Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes back then or Chinese better ones, rather western culture just hasn't reached that level of education and civic drill. Soon it would overcome China so Chinese are now seen as uncultured and hence inferior. Such talk has little to do with constant factors like genes, but rather can be seen as "noise" that can fluctuate over very small periods of time. I find it strange that so many people on HBD aware sites focus so much on "noise".

    Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes

    I don’t think this is something genetic – or if genetic difference between nationalities, it is not the most important thing for determining the achievements at any particular moment. I am responding with “seem to be” after Thorfinssen says you shouldn’t compare with Indians. It’s clearly a result of historical stage.

    If we look at India – it was one of the world’s greatest civilizations, particularly in the intellectual sphere, but after thousands of years of decline we view them today as an inferior race where you should not visit if you don’t want to die from food poisoning.

    Today, Japan is far more advanced than China. But 2000 years ago, Japanese were primitive tribes living in caves, while in China there were people building clocks and drip irrigation.

    I can imagine China will have a cultural flourishing at the end of 21st century, while for India in the 22nd century.

    • Replies: @Unknown128
    If I may ask, what is your view of IQ, its fixed nature in races and its importance for modern civilization?
  137. @Unknown128
    Fully in agreement here. Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.

    Meanwhile few Indian communities managed that, despite being also spread all around the globe. It all fits very well into HBD and is one of the best proofs for its value. As for US support, Indonesia had lots of it as did many Latin American countries, still none of them could reach the 1st world, while east Asians got there very fast as soon as they had the chance. To call Chinese an "inferior race" based on the (quickly declining) behavior of rural mainlanders that has also been typical for most westerners just a century ago (and is still normal for provincial Russians) is myopic since it ignores the successes of all Chinese communities outside of Communism. The fact that under Mao China was as poor as low IQ places shows how much damage Mao really did. One could just as well compare the USSR with Brazil (Like Noam Chomsky does) or Mexico (which by some counts had a higher GDP per capita 1913 then the Russian empire.) and say that socialism there was a success because life in the late USSR was still better then in IQ 85 places. Also Spain had a lower GDP per capita 1913 then several Latin American states but knowing HBD it is clear that this would have been only temporary and looking closer at its economy one could already have predicted a divergence between these countries even back then. Mao apologists have to resort to blank slatism to defend their beloved helmsmen while in reality China was always richer then India and had a higher life expectancy. China was in a state of civil war between 1915 and 1949 and still had a higher GDP per capita for most of this time then orderly governed British India. So of course there was some growth after the war was over, that's normal if a country is no longer at war. At the same time the ROC on Taiwan achieved vastly superior growth and it was run by the very same people Mao supposedly "liberated" China from. North Korea also had growth after the Korean war but it paled compared to the growth in the "other Korea" just as anything Mao achieved failed in comparison to the "Other China(s)". Despite civil war, chaos and corruption, as well as a global economic crisis China did achieve a lot of growth in the "Nanking decade" already.

    Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.

    ………
    That’s about as retarded as you labelled Mao was.
    HK,Taiwan,singapore, even if one ignores the size difference, basically had different historical as well geopolitical scenarios the latter of which were pushed by anglo powers to counter china. A good example, Chiang Kai-shek emptied Chinese gold vault and shipped all Chinese gold to Taiwan. Facing all Darwinist geopolitical challenge/hostility, Chinese has been overall progressing though as I said he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
    –Taiwan has been economically growing quite slowly in the past 10 to 20 yrs or so. HK gdp/capita, as Akalin’s other thread pointed out, is inflated because of insanely high housing expenses there.
    –As I pointed out before, PRC nominal GDP grew from US 0.99 trillion in 1999 to over US 10 trillion in 2014(due to very fast growth, some inflation, currency appreciation and 2 GDP calculation adjustment at 16% and 6% if I remember right). Had Taiwan, HK ever experienced such economic burst?

    • Replies: @yakushimaru

    he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
     
    I assume you're refering Mao based on your earlier post.

    One child policy went into full effect around 1980. That makes twenty years ago to be 1960. I'd say Mao done pretty darn well controlling the birth. He's got entire China into a famine!
    , @Unknown128
    https://twitter.com/pseudoerasmus/status/1044283763243520001
    , @d dan
    Agree with your general sentiment. I am not an apologist for Mao, but he did contribute to China's development in difficult time. Comparing China with Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore... is dumb. Not only the size matter, but China was involved in various border wars (i.e. disruption), supporting North Vietnam (i.e. drain resources), involved in its own defense, has to (at least partially, if not mostly) independently develop its nuclear weapon, submarine, satellite...., doing all these simultaneously with the strictest embargo from the western world in technology. None of these applied to other East Asian "tigers".

    I hate cultural revolution, but Mao's contributions to China is grossly under-estimated by most people in the west.
  138. @Lin

    Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.
     
    ………
    That's about as retarded as you labelled Mao was.
    HK,Taiwan,singapore, even if one ignores the size difference, basically had different historical as well geopolitical scenarios the latter of which were pushed by anglo powers to counter china. A good example, Chiang Kai-shek emptied Chinese gold vault and shipped all Chinese gold to Taiwan. Facing all Darwinist geopolitical challenge/hostility, Chinese has been overall progressing though as I said he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
    --Taiwan has been economically growing quite slowly in the past 10 to 20 yrs or so. HK gdp/capita, as Akalin's other thread pointed out, is inflated because of insanely high housing expenses there.
    --As I pointed out before, PRC nominal GDP grew from US 0.99 trillion in 1999 to over US 10 trillion in 2014(due to very fast growth, some inflation, currency appreciation and 2 GDP calculation adjustment at 16% and 6% if I remember right). Had Taiwan, HK ever experienced such economic burst?

    he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.

    I assume you’re refering Mao based on your earlier post.

    One child policy went into full effect around 1980. That makes twenty years ago to be 1960. I’d say Mao done pretty darn well controlling the birth. He’s got entire China into a famine!

    • Replies: @Lin

    He’s got entire China into a famine!
     
    Why don't you tell me how he got china into a famine ?
    The Great leap Forward sure was a hasty act but it got china into a famine?
    Conclusion: You're either naïve or just yield to propaganda or try to make the best residual use of an old piece of propaganda. Sign of mental immaturity
    (What you said is even worse than hindu nationalists blaming Churchill on the 1943 famine. Although Churchill sure was an ass hole, blaming him alone on a complicate/tragic event is stupid. Bengal had a number of famines in recent centuries and who should be blamed?)
    ………….

    One child policy went into full effect around 1980. That makes twenty years ago to be 1960. I’d say Mao done pretty darn well controlling the birth
     
    Look, I just rounded up the number of yrs. He had been reminded of the need for a 2 children/couple during the 50s. What you said amply demonstrated you lack even the rudimental quantitative intuition regarding demographics.
  139. @Dmitry

    Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes
     
    I don't think this is something genetic - or if genetic difference between nationalities, it is not the most important thing for determining the achievements at any particular moment. I am responding with "seem to be" after Thorfinssen says you shouldn't compare with Indians. It's clearly a result of historical stage.

    If we look at India - it was one of the world's greatest civilizations, particularly in the intellectual sphere, but after thousands of years of decline we view them today as an inferior race where you should not visit if you don't want to die from food poisoning.

    Today, Japan is far more advanced than China. But 2000 years ago, Japanese were primitive tribes living in caves, while in China there were people building clocks and drip irrigation.

    I can imagine China will have a cultural flourishing at the end of 21st century, while for India in the 22nd century.

    If I may ask, what is your view of IQ, its fixed nature in races and its importance for modern civilization?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's likely there is partly genetically determined different distribution of abilities in different nationalities.

    However, as actually expressed in national life, it is difficult to separate any innate character, from developed path of the civilization, geography, and recent history.

    Profession this topic is understood most by, will be any intelligent synoptic historians, who have usually understood their subject as the messy mix of a thousand variables.

  140. @Lin

    Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.
     
    ………
    That's about as retarded as you labelled Mao was.
    HK,Taiwan,singapore, even if one ignores the size difference, basically had different historical as well geopolitical scenarios the latter of which were pushed by anglo powers to counter china. A good example, Chiang Kai-shek emptied Chinese gold vault and shipped all Chinese gold to Taiwan. Facing all Darwinist geopolitical challenge/hostility, Chinese has been overall progressing though as I said he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
    --Taiwan has been economically growing quite slowly in the past 10 to 20 yrs or so. HK gdp/capita, as Akalin's other thread pointed out, is inflated because of insanely high housing expenses there.
    --As I pointed out before, PRC nominal GDP grew from US 0.99 trillion in 1999 to over US 10 trillion in 2014(due to very fast growth, some inflation, currency appreciation and 2 GDP calculation adjustment at 16% and 6% if I remember right). Had Taiwan, HK ever experienced such economic burst?

    • Replies: @Lin
    Who's 'Bebin Ma', a KMT mouth piece?
    1st of all Yangzi region has always been relatively easy to develope even without govt support. 2ndly how reliable are the data?
  141. @Lin

    Fact is that for all of its recent growth the PRC has done by far the worst of all Han Chinese communities on the globe. All others, be it the Republic of China on Taiwan, or HK, or Singapore, or countless oversees communities did reach first world standards of living rather quickly.
     
    ………
    That's about as retarded as you labelled Mao was.
    HK,Taiwan,singapore, even if one ignores the size difference, basically had different historical as well geopolitical scenarios the latter of which were pushed by anglo powers to counter china. A good example, Chiang Kai-shek emptied Chinese gold vault and shipped all Chinese gold to Taiwan. Facing all Darwinist geopolitical challenge/hostility, Chinese has been overall progressing though as I said he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
    --Taiwan has been economically growing quite slowly in the past 10 to 20 yrs or so. HK gdp/capita, as Akalin's other thread pointed out, is inflated because of insanely high housing expenses there.
    --As I pointed out before, PRC nominal GDP grew from US 0.99 trillion in 1999 to over US 10 trillion in 2014(due to very fast growth, some inflation, currency appreciation and 2 GDP calculation adjustment at 16% and 6% if I remember right). Had Taiwan, HK ever experienced such economic burst?

    Agree with your general sentiment. I am not an apologist for Mao, but he did contribute to China’s development in difficult time. Comparing China with Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore… is dumb. Not only the size matter, but China was involved in various border wars (i.e. disruption), supporting North Vietnam (i.e. drain resources), involved in its own defense, has to (at least partially, if not mostly) independently develop its nuclear weapon, submarine, satellite…., doing all these simultaneously with the strictest embargo from the western world in technology. None of these applied to other East Asian “tigers”.

    I hate cultural revolution, but Mao’s contributions to China is grossly under-estimated by most people in the west.

    • Replies: @Lin
    Cultural revolution was excessive for sure but the spirit was right:
    --A serious attempt of self-examination on the ancient past. I would call it the last stage of the may 4th movement. China was defeated repeatedly by western powers, something went wrong civilisationally and must be corrected
    --To reduce confucist elitism. Though science&tech research was interrupted(and to Chinese credits, recovery was fast), scientists who were sent to the countryside were reminded of the needs of the poor rural folks.
  142. @Anatoly Karlin
    This is I recalled from Dunham's Journey Through Genius (excellent book, BTW), as well as Boyer's History of Mathematics (which I didn't read much of but did read the chapters on China and India). Though that was more than a decade ago and I must have forgotten many of the details.

    On checking, I found that calculus (or rather proto-calculus) was indeed furthest developed by the Kerala School before the Europeans burst ahead.

    That does seem much more impressive than anything the Chinese accomplished in mathematics, so I will cede that particular point to Dmitry.

    “Dunham’s Journey Through Genius”

    Thanks. That looks like a fun book. Although, alas, he seems to treat Euclid’s proof of the Pythagorean theorem rather than Einstein’s, which would have made sense to Euclid and is surely the proof that God himself had in mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem#Einstein’s_proof_by_dissection_without_rearrangement

    Even readers of the Unz Review will have to admit that Jews are good for something…

    • Replies: @utu
    Einstein boyhood proof of Pythagorean theorem is reconstructed and postulated by his biographers. It never was recorded. That it even appears in Wiki and that there are papers written about it just shows the intensity of the cult of Einstein that concerns itself with such trivia and reminds of the Soviet childhood stories about Lenin used to indoctrinate Soviet kids into the cult of Lenin.

    The proof itself was probably known to Euclid and other mathematicians who usually did not bother to record such a trivia with the exception of Legendre.

    "The underlying question is why Euclid did not use this proof [by similar triangles], but invented another. One conjecture is that the proof by similar triangles involved a theory of proportions, a topic not discussed until later in the Elements, and that the theory of proportions needed further development at that time." - wiki

    See New Yorker article that cast some doubt on the story of Einstein proof:

    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/einsteins-first-proof-pythagorean-theorem
  143. @Ron Unz

    What do you mean by dollar collapse? Most of the economy is domestic( US does not import that much food or houses) for one. If the dollar drops to a fourth of its value on forex markets then that means US exports boom and the real value of foreign held debt goes down by 75 percent. Not all bad news
     
    Except for autos, I think we import the overwhelming majority all of our consumer goods, which is what most ordinary people spend much of their money buying. And the American population has already been total impoverished, with something like half the people having less than $500 in available savings. People are already living on the edge, and a big increase in prices would drive them over.

    A big increase in some prices. Again the real value of thire debts would go down. Everything levels out. Now would there be mass layoffs that would effect everything? Now that would effect everyone

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Individual Americans’ Debts are denominated in US Dollars, so Americans won’t get a break on their debt if the dollar weakens substantially.

    As for mass layoffs: if Americans start paying a lot more for clothes and electronics from abroad, tens of millions will cut back or eliminate luxuries like eating out and going on vacation. That will cause big layoffs of restaurant and hotel workers, closure of many such small businesses.

    The dollar weakening drastically and/or precipitously will not be even close to a net positive for most Americans.

    With a more gradual dollar decline and intelligent economic policy, we could mitigate the damage by starting to manufacture and assemble more textiles, electronics, and other consumer products here in the USA.
  144. @Unknown128
    I'm sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to @Dmitry and his claim that "Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country"

    His belief that the Chinese seem an inferior race today is based on nothing but the rude behavior of some rural mainlanders and nothing else. 100 years ago a majority of westerners were poor proletarians or rurals who behaved just as badly if not worst, so based on this the westerners were an inferior race till the 1950s, especially countries like Spain or Italy.

    I do know that westerners over history did indeed see Chinese and other East Asians to be far smarter than Indians. For example Portuguese slavers did prefer Chinese and Japanese slaves to all others because they were seen to be smart and hard working, while the women were valued for their "exotic beauty", the Jesuits did also value east Asians above any other non western race. A negative view towards China mostly was the product of its19th century disasters. It was also at this point that Japanese started to be seen as a distinct "race" from Chinese and Koreans. Today its very hard to uphold this distinction so many anti china people have grouped Koreans with Japanese as "superior yellows" and Chinese as "inferior yellows", of course there is the problem of non PRC Chinese being not worst then Koreans or Japanese....so some now have embraced the completely irrational concept that "Taiwanese" "Singaporians" or even "Hong Kongers" are some completely separate "race" from "the Han" to keep up the idea that "Han" are a separate "race" from other East Asians. The problem is that some people cant separate biology from culture or even political identity and love to mix them up. The Nazi belief about Slavic subhuman's was exactly such a thing. In the 16th or 17th century Europeans tended to see even Chinese commoners as more cultured then westerners, this was not because westerners had worst genes back then or Chinese better ones, rather western culture just hasn't reached that level of education and civic drill. Soon it would overcome China so Chinese are now seen as uncultured and hence inferior. Such talk has little to do with constant factors like genes, but rather can be seen as "noise" that can fluctuate over very small periods of time. I find it strange that so many people on HBD aware sites focus so much on "noise".

    I’m sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to and his claim that “Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country”

    Sure, perhaps I did.

    Incidentally, for those so interested in what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese about a century ago, here’s a convenient HTML copy of a short book on the subject by E.A. Ross, one of America’s greatest early sociologists:

    http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-changing-chinese/

    Ross was vastly influential, with his views being taken very seriously both by all of America’s leading leftists and also by top right-wingers such as Lothrop Stoddard.

    It’s only during the mid-century decades that Americans thought China was going to be hopelessly poor forever.

    Meanwhile, as far as I know, Westerners never had a very high opinion of India or its future prospects.

    • Replies: @utu

    ...what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese ...
     
    About Jesuit enthusiasm for China from Reflections on the Jesuit Mission to China, Kenneth Winston, Mary Jo Bane, 2010:

    What Ricci and other Jesuits saw in Chinese civilization— apparently much to their surprise—was a highly sophisticated naturalistic ethic that could be the envy of Europe. Did they experience a corresponding self-doubt? If so, it would not likely be revealed in any reports or missives sent to Europe, only in a tone of warm appreciation in discussing the Confucian texts.

    Seventeenth Century European scholars who noticed this tone and were impressed by Jesuit enthusiasm for China focused much of their attention on Confucian ethics.38 Although coming somewhat later, the admiration of the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was typical. While taking pride in European superiority in theoretical disciplines (from theology to logic and mathematics), Leibniz remarked on the deficiencies in ethics:

    “[W]ho would have believed that there is on earth a people who, though we are in our view so very advanced in every branch of behavior, still surpass us in comprehending the precepts of civil life? Yet now we find this to be so among the Chinese.... And so if we are their equals in the industrial arts, and ahead of them in contemplative sciences, certainly they surpass us (though it is almost shameful to confess this) in practical philosophy, that is, in the precepts of ethics and politics adapted to the present life and use of mortals.”
     

     
    I am sure there are tonnes of interesting material in works by Jesuit, Dominican and Franciscan missionaries to India, Chin and Japan.
  145. @SeekerofthePresence

    [T]he untapped expansive potential of the US economy, not to mention the richness and robustness of the US-led world order, make it unlikely that China will ever unseat the United States as the world’s technological, cultural, and political leader.
     
    This seems to me a dangerously dated statement.

    If Bill Gates was right about thirty years ago in saying,
    "In the future everything will be digital," then China rules.

    I believe China is building two giant computing complexes,
    one for AI and the other for quantum research. I believe these dwarf any such project in the US, including our largest corporations. Personpower and renminbi devoted to them, I believe, surpass any such US investment.

    A recent Pentagon report laments that the US cannot keep up the numbers of cyber warriors deployed by China. China has a special recruitment program for the most technologically promising young people to develop its rapidly growing computing prowess for military use. As Putin has said, whoever masters AI will rule the world. China graduates ten times more engineers than the US. Its latest war-fighting technology will be on display in one of the largest military parades ever on Oct. 1, 70th anniversary of the PRC.

    No more be said about the political fracturing and cultural and infrastructure decline of America. A drone flyover of its largest homeless-encamped cities tells the squalid story. The vaunted stock market, inflated by printed money, will have the durability of the Hindenburg. Will another Monopoly money handout by the Fed save our banks when the day of reckoning comes? Will there even be an America after tidal immigration makes it a suburb of Mexico City? Confucius said a nation lacking a strong family will not survive. America once met that standard. Can we say so now?

    China has its issues. But America is in collapse.

    Spiritual Degeneration Heralds Collapse of Western Civilization

    https://www.infowars.com/the-spiritual-collapse-of-society-leads-to-the-fall-of-civilization/

  146. @Hyperborean

    Is there any property tax in mainland China? I recall hearing that there was none and being quite surprised by it, but that was a number of years ago.
     
    Despite talk about implementing it there is still no property tax. But if I understood correctly what I was told correctly real estate are not freeholds but merely 99-year leaseholds.

    Quite interesting. I believe this differs sharply with former practice in at least some of Eastern Europe, but I suppose China’s revolutionary history was very agrarian and land-based, which means that it greatly differed from invasion of already developed states by Communist forces.

    China has no death tax either, while Japan and SK have the top and second highest rates respectively. Sometimes, I think these hum-drum domestic issues are more important than all the bluster on foreign policy issues.

  147. @The Big Red Scary
    "Dunham’s Journey Through Genius"

    Thanks. That looks like a fun book. Although, alas, he seems to treat Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean theorem rather than Einstein's, which would have made sense to Euclid and is surely the proof that God himself had in mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_theorem#Einstein's_proof_by_dissection_without_rearrangement

    Even readers of the Unz Review will have to admit that Jews are good for something...

    Einstein boyhood proof of Pythagorean theorem is reconstructed and postulated by his biographers. It never was recorded. That it even appears in Wiki and that there are papers written about it just shows the intensity of the cult of Einstein that concerns itself with such trivia and reminds of the Soviet childhood stories about Lenin used to indoctrinate Soviet kids into the cult of Lenin.

    The proof itself was probably known to Euclid and other mathematicians who usually did not bother to record such a trivia with the exception of Legendre.

    “The underlying question is why Euclid did not use this proof [by similar triangles], but invented another. One conjecture is that the proof by similar triangles involved a theory of proportions, a topic not discussed until later in the Elements, and that the theory of proportions needed further development at that time.” – wiki

    See New Yorker article that cast some doubt on the story of Einstein proof:

    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/einsteins-first-proof-pythagorean-theorem

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Dude, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. And this one at least is plausible. It seems not uncommon for the very precocious to rediscover well-established scientific and mathematical theories.

    Can't resist a quote from the article to which you linked.

    "Every boy in the streets of Göttingen understands more about four-dimensional geometry than Einstein,"...the mathematician David Hilbert, remarked.
     
  148. @Ron Unz

    I’m sorry but I think you did somewhat misunderstand me here.

    I did reply to @Dmitry and his claim that “Both Chinese and Indians seem to be inferior races today. However, historically India achieved a vastly greater intellectual level than has ever been achieved in China, and perhaps any other country”
     
    Sure, perhaps I did.

    Incidentally, for those so interested in what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese about a century ago, here's a convenient HTML copy of a short book on the subject by E.A. Ross, one of America's greatest early sociologists:

    http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-changing-chinese/

    Ross was vastly influential, with his views being taken very seriously both by all of America's leading leftists and also by top right-wingers such as Lothrop Stoddard.

    It's only during the mid-century decades that Americans thought China was going to be hopelessly poor forever.

    Meanwhile, as far as I know, Westerners never had a very high opinion of India or its future prospects.

    …what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese …

    About Jesuit enthusiasm for China from Reflections on the Jesuit Mission to China, Kenneth Winston, Mary Jo Bane, 2010:

    What Ricci and other Jesuits saw in Chinese civilization— apparently much to their surprise—was a highly sophisticated naturalistic ethic that could be the envy of Europe. Did they experience a corresponding self-doubt? If so, it would not likely be revealed in any reports or missives sent to Europe, only in a tone of warm appreciation in discussing the Confucian texts.

    Seventeenth Century European scholars who noticed this tone and were impressed by Jesuit enthusiasm for China focused much of their attention on Confucian ethics.38 Although coming somewhat later, the admiration of the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was typical. While taking pride in European superiority in theoretical disciplines (from theology to logic and mathematics), Leibniz remarked on the deficiencies in ethics:

    “[W]ho would have believed that there is on earth a people who, though we are in our view so very advanced in every branch of behavior, still surpass us in comprehending the precepts of civil life? Yet now we find this to be so among the Chinese…. And so if we are their equals in the industrial arts, and ahead of them in contemplative sciences, certainly they surpass us (though it is almost shameful to confess this) in practical philosophy, that is, in the precepts of ethics and politics adapted to the present life and use of mortals.”

    I am sure there are tonnes of interesting material in works by Jesuit, Dominican and Franciscan missionaries to India, Chin and Japan.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
    Notable among missionaries to China was James Legge (1815-97), Scottish sinologist and the first Professor of Chinese at Oxford. He co-prepared the 50 volume Sacred Books of the East Series. He loved Chinese culture and ethics, and noted in his "Analects" translations many parallels between Confucius' ethics and Christ's.

    I began my elementary study of Chinese with his bi-lingual "Analects." It led to my great esteem and affection for China, and (not so ironically) eventually to my faith in Christ as Savior.

    https://www.bu.edu/missiology/files/2013/05/225px-James_Legge_China.jpg

    James Legge

    , @AaronB
    By the 17th and 18th century, European morality had indeed declined to the point where they might well find China's ancient morality superior.

    Similarly, and connectedly, by the late 19th and early 20th century, Western vitality and optimism had declined to the point where Chinese industry and energy was beginning to look comparatively impressive.

    I imagine in another few decades, China's meagre theoretical offerings will begin to look comparatively impressive to a West where HBD and IQ represent cutting edge theory.
  149. @yakushimaru

    he made the worst mistake of not starting birth control 20 yrs earlier.
     
    I assume you're refering Mao based on your earlier post.

    One child policy went into full effect around 1980. That makes twenty years ago to be 1960. I'd say Mao done pretty darn well controlling the birth. He's got entire China into a famine!

    He’s got entire China into a famine!

    Why don’t you tell me how he got china into a famine ?
    The Great leap Forward sure was a hasty act but it got china into a famine?
    Conclusion: You’re either naïve or just yield to propaganda or try to make the best residual use of an old piece of propaganda. Sign of mental immaturity
    (What you said is even worse than hindu nationalists blaming Churchill on the 1943 famine. Although Churchill sure was an ass hole, blaming him alone on a complicate/tragic event is stupid. Bengal had a number of famines in recent centuries and who should be blamed?)
    ………….

    One child policy went into full effect around 1980. That makes twenty years ago to be 1960. I’d say Mao done pretty darn well controlling the birth

    Look, I just rounded up the number of yrs. He had been reminded of the need for a 2 children/couple during the 50s. What you said amply demonstrated you lack even the rudimental quantitative intuition regarding demographics.

  150. @Unknown128
    https://twitter.com/pseudoerasmus/status/1044283763243520001

    Who’s ‘Bebin Ma’, a KMT mouth piece?
    1st of all Yangzi region has always been relatively easy to develope even without govt support. 2ndly how reliable are the data?

  151. @d dan
    Agree with your general sentiment. I am not an apologist for Mao, but he did contribute to China's development in difficult time. Comparing China with Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore... is dumb. Not only the size matter, but China was involved in various border wars (i.e. disruption), supporting North Vietnam (i.e. drain resources), involved in its own defense, has to (at least partially, if not mostly) independently develop its nuclear weapon, submarine, satellite...., doing all these simultaneously with the strictest embargo from the western world in technology. None of these applied to other East Asian "tigers".

    I hate cultural revolution, but Mao's contributions to China is grossly under-estimated by most people in the west.

    Cultural revolution was excessive for sure but the spirit was right:
    –A serious attempt of self-examination on the ancient past. I would call it the last stage of the may 4th movement. China was defeated repeatedly by western powers, something went wrong civilisationally and must be corrected
    –To reduce confucist elitism. Though science&tech research was interrupted(and to Chinese credits, recovery was fast), scientists who were sent to the countryside were reminded of the needs of the poor rural folks.

  152. @utu

    ...what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese ...
     
    About Jesuit enthusiasm for China from Reflections on the Jesuit Mission to China, Kenneth Winston, Mary Jo Bane, 2010:

    What Ricci and other Jesuits saw in Chinese civilization— apparently much to their surprise—was a highly sophisticated naturalistic ethic that could be the envy of Europe. Did they experience a corresponding self-doubt? If so, it would not likely be revealed in any reports or missives sent to Europe, only in a tone of warm appreciation in discussing the Confucian texts.

    Seventeenth Century European scholars who noticed this tone and were impressed by Jesuit enthusiasm for China focused much of their attention on Confucian ethics.38 Although coming somewhat later, the admiration of the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was typical. While taking pride in European superiority in theoretical disciplines (from theology to logic and mathematics), Leibniz remarked on the deficiencies in ethics:

    “[W]ho would have believed that there is on earth a people who, though we are in our view so very advanced in every branch of behavior, still surpass us in comprehending the precepts of civil life? Yet now we find this to be so among the Chinese.... And so if we are their equals in the industrial arts, and ahead of them in contemplative sciences, certainly they surpass us (though it is almost shameful to confess this) in practical philosophy, that is, in the precepts of ethics and politics adapted to the present life and use of mortals.”
     

     
    I am sure there are tonnes of interesting material in works by Jesuit, Dominican and Franciscan missionaries to India, Chin and Japan.

    Notable among missionaries to China was James Legge (1815-97), Scottish sinologist and the first Professor of Chinese at Oxford. He co-prepared the 50 volume Sacred Books of the East Series. He loved Chinese culture and ethics, and noted in his “Analects” translations many parallels between Confucius’ ethics and Christ’s.

    I began my elementary study of Chinese with his bi-lingual “Analects.” It led to my great esteem and affection for China, and (not so ironically) eventually to my faith in Christ as Savior.

    James Legge

  153. @utu

    ...what leading Westerners thought of the Chinese ...
     
    About Jesuit enthusiasm for China from Reflections on the Jesuit Mission to China, Kenneth Winston, Mary Jo Bane, 2010:

    What Ricci and other Jesuits saw in Chinese civilization— apparently much to their surprise—was a highly sophisticated naturalistic ethic that could be the envy of Europe. Did they experience a corresponding self-doubt? If so, it would not likely be revealed in any reports or missives sent to Europe, only in a tone of warm appreciation in discussing the Confucian texts.

    Seventeenth Century European scholars who noticed this tone and were impressed by Jesuit enthusiasm for China focused much of their attention on Confucian ethics.38 Although coming somewhat later, the admiration of the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was typical. While taking pride in European superiority in theoretical disciplines (from theology to logic and mathematics), Leibniz remarked on the deficiencies in ethics:

    “[W]ho would have believed that there is on earth a people who, though we are in our view so very advanced in every branch of behavior, still surpass us in comprehending the precepts of civil life? Yet now we find this to be so among the Chinese.... And so if we are their equals in the industrial arts, and ahead of them in contemplative sciences, certainly they surpass us (though it is almost shameful to confess this) in practical philosophy, that is, in the precepts of ethics and politics adapted to the present life and use of mortals.”
     

     
    I am sure there are tonnes of interesting material in works by Jesuit, Dominican and Franciscan missionaries to India, Chin and Japan.

    By the 17th and 18th century, European morality had indeed declined to the point where they might well find China’s ancient morality superior.

    Similarly, and connectedly, by the late 19th and early 20th century, Western vitality and optimism had declined to the point where Chinese industry and energy was beginning to look comparatively impressive.

    I imagine in another few decades, China’s meagre theoretical offerings will begin to look comparatively impressive to a West where HBD and IQ represent cutting edge theory.

    • Troll: German_reader
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    'We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.’ - Kurt Vonnegut.

    I would urge you to reflect deeply and sincerely on your nihilist masquerade, otherwise you will inevitably end up walking the path of suffering.

  154. @Unknown128
    If I may ask, what is your view of IQ, its fixed nature in races and its importance for modern civilization?

    It’s likely there is partly genetically determined different distribution of abilities in different nationalities.

    However, as actually expressed in national life, it is difficult to separate any innate character, from developed path of the civilization, geography, and recent history.

    Profession this topic is understood most by, will be any intelligent synoptic historians, who have usually understood their subject as the messy mix of a thousand variables.

    • Replies: @Aft

    What is your view of IQ?
     

    Profession this topic is understood most by, will be any intelligent synoptic historians, who have usually understood their subject as the messy mix of a thousand variables.
     
    ...
  155. Indian texts were only mostly translated in the beginning of the 19th century.

    Immediately, after 2 thousand years of no advancement in Europe logic – the influence of Indian logic partially inspired the sudden creation of modern logic in 1830-65, if we believe the wife of Boole.

    She describes “Hinduizing” of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole. And that her husband’s whole work inspired by Indian logic.

    https://archive.org/details/indianthoughtwes00bool/page/n3

    At the same time, Indian metaphysics is synthetized to Kant, and results in one of the highest peaks of German philosophy – Schopenhauer’s “World as Will and Representation” .

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science. And it is not controversial to say they are not on a level of Ancient Greek philosophy – whereas Ancient Indian philosophy is an equal.

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    She describes “Hinduizing” of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole

     

    Here are some quotes from De Morgan's 1859 preface for an Indian book on mathematics.

    "They forget that there exists in India, under circumstances which prove a very high antiquity, a philosophical language which is one of the wonders of the world, and which is a near collateral of the Greek, if not its parent form. From those who wrote in this language we derive our system of arithmetic, and the algebra which is the most powerful instrument of modern analysis. In this language we find a system of logic and of metaphysics: an astronomy worthy of comparison with that of Greece in its best days; above comparison, if some books of Ptolemy's Syntaxis be removed. We find also a geometry, of a kind which proves that the Hindu was below the Greek as a geometer, but not in that degree in which he was above the Greek as an arithmetician...

    Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation. But the intellectual fate of the two nations was very different. Among the Greeks, the power of speculation remained active during their whole existence as a nation, even down to the taking of Constantinople: it declined, indeed, but it was never extinguished. Their latest knowledge was inquisitive, as well as their earliest. They preserved their great writers unabridged and unaltered: and Euclid did not degenerate into what are called practical rules.

    In India, speculation died a natural death. A taste for routine - a thing to which inaccurate thinkers give the name of practical - converted their system into a collection of rules and results. Of this character are all the mathematical books which have been translated into English; perhaps all which still exist. That they must have had an extensive body of demonstrated truths is obvious; that they lost the power and the wish to demonstrate is certain. The Hindu became, to speak of the highest and best class, the teacher of results which he could not explain, the retailer of propositions on which he could not found thought. He had the remains of ancestors who had investigated for him, and he lived on such comprehension of his ancestors as his own small grasp of mind would allow him to obtain. He fed himself and his pupils upon the chaff of obsolete civilization, out of which Europeans had thrashed the grain for their own use."


    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/De_Morgan_1859_Preface.html

    , @German_reader

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science.

     

    Some Enlightenment thinkers were very interested in China, e.g. this guy held a famous lecture "On the practical philosophy of the Chinese" in 1721:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Wolff_(philosopher)

    I can't judge how seriously he engaged with the thought of Confucius and Mencius, but China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal.

  156. @Dmitry
    Indian texts were only mostly translated in the beginning of the 19th century.

    Immediately, after 2 thousand years of no advancement in Europe logic - the influence of Indian logic partially inspired the sudden creation of modern logic in 1830-65, if we believe the wife of Boole.

    She describes "Hinduizing" of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole. And that her husband's whole work inspired by Indian logic.

    https://archive.org/details/indianthoughtwes00bool/page/n3
    -

    At the same time, Indian metaphysics is synthetized to Kant, and results in one of the highest peaks of German philosophy - Schopenhauer's "World as Will and Representation" .

    -

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science. And it is not controversial to say they are not on a level of Ancient Greek philosophy - whereas Ancient Indian philosophy is an equal.

    She describes “Hinduizing” of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole

    Here are some quotes from De Morgan’s 1859 preface for an Indian book on mathematics.

    “They forget that there exists in India, under circumstances which prove a very high antiquity, a philosophical language which is one of the wonders of the world, and which is a near collateral of the Greek, if not its parent form. From those who wrote in this language we derive our system of arithmetic, and the algebra which is the most powerful instrument of modern analysis. In this language we find a system of logic and of metaphysics: an astronomy worthy of comparison with that of Greece in its best days; above comparison, if some books of Ptolemy’s Syntaxis be removed. We find also a geometry, of a kind which proves that the Hindu was below the Greek as a geometer, but not in that degree in which he was above the Greek as an arithmetician…

    Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation. But the intellectual fate of the two nations was very different. Among the Greeks, the power of speculation remained active during their whole existence as a nation, even down to the taking of Constantinople: it declined, indeed, but it was never extinguished. Their latest knowledge was inquisitive, as well as their earliest. They preserved their great writers unabridged and unaltered: and Euclid did not degenerate into what are called practical rules.

    In India, speculation died a natural death. A taste for routine – a thing to which inaccurate thinkers give the name of practical – converted their system into a collection of rules and results. Of this character are all the mathematical books which have been translated into English; perhaps all which still exist. That they must have had an extensive body of demonstrated truths is obvious; that they lost the power and the wish to demonstrate is certain. The Hindu became, to speak of the highest and best class, the teacher of results which he could not explain, the retailer of propositions on which he could not found thought. He had the remains of ancestors who had investigated for him, and he lived on such comprehension of his ancestors as his own small grasp of mind would allow him to obtain. He fed himself and his pupils upon the chaff of obsolete civilization, out of which Europeans had thrashed the grain for their own use.”

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/De_Morgan_1859_Preface.html

    • Replies: @AaronB
    Indian civilization was always basically religious - it was never really serious about secular speculation.

    If the interest isn't really there, no amount of talent will make a difference.

    India today, also, is largely dysfunctional because of a disinterest in efficiency and organization.

    China had to go through a complete gutting of its traditional civilization before it could really compete in terms of development.

    People tend to focus on the talent half of the equation, and assume everyone wants the same thing. This is very myopic, although perhaps understandable culturally - every culture assumes its values are universal.
    , @Unknown128
    China had a profound impact on the development of the centralized administrative state in the west and did directly inspire the system of standartized exams in western education. Sunzis art of war was praised by many western military minds for its depth.
  157. @Dmitry
    Indian texts were only mostly translated in the beginning of the 19th century.

    Immediately, after 2 thousand years of no advancement in Europe logic - the influence of Indian logic partially inspired the sudden creation of modern logic in 1830-65, if we believe the wife of Boole.

    She describes "Hinduizing" of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole. And that her husband's whole work inspired by Indian logic.

    https://archive.org/details/indianthoughtwes00bool/page/n3
    -

    At the same time, Indian metaphysics is synthetized to Kant, and results in one of the highest peaks of German philosophy - Schopenhauer's "World as Will and Representation" .

    -

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science. And it is not controversial to say they are not on a level of Ancient Greek philosophy - whereas Ancient Indian philosophy is an equal.

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science.

    Some Enlightenment thinkers were very interested in China, e.g. this guy held a famous lecture “On the practical philosophy of the Chinese” in 1721:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Wolff_(philosopher)

    I can’t judge how seriously he engaged with the thought of Confucius and Mencius, but China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    And he helped Leibniz's interest in China (which seems to be more imagining that Chinese agreed with his philosophy)? Or more the other way around?

    Malebranche also wrote "Dialogue between a Christian Philosopher and a Chinese Philosopher". But I just read that he didn't know Chinese philosophy, and identified it with basically atheism.

    , @anonymous coward

    ...China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal
     
    Total bollocks. The ancient Chinese had a monotheistic God, heaven/hell and even the requisite Temple.

    It's just that it was a long time ago, the Chinese degenerated towards base humanism way back in B.C. years and we have long forgotten (or never knew) their history. Like in our case, their humanism was based on a religious core that has since degraded.

    Modern Chinese are aware of God and the rest, but it has over millennia turned into a vague folk superstition, not something systematic and intellectual.

    When (if) China converts to Christianity it will be a big step up for them, intellectually and culturally.

  158. @German_reader

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science.

     

    Some Enlightenment thinkers were very interested in China, e.g. this guy held a famous lecture "On the practical philosophy of the Chinese" in 1721:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Wolff_(philosopher)

    I can't judge how seriously he engaged with the thought of Confucius and Mencius, but China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal.

    And he helped Leibniz’s interest in China (which seems to be more imagining that Chinese agreed with his philosophy)? Or more the other way around?

    Malebranche also wrote “Dialogue between a Christian Philosopher and a Chinese Philosopher”. But I just read that he didn’t know Chinese philosophy, and identified it with basically atheism.

  159. @Dmitry

    She describes “Hinduizing” of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole

     

    Here are some quotes from De Morgan's 1859 preface for an Indian book on mathematics.

    "They forget that there exists in India, under circumstances which prove a very high antiquity, a philosophical language which is one of the wonders of the world, and which is a near collateral of the Greek, if not its parent form. From those who wrote in this language we derive our system of arithmetic, and the algebra which is the most powerful instrument of modern analysis. In this language we find a system of logic and of metaphysics: an astronomy worthy of comparison with that of Greece in its best days; above comparison, if some books of Ptolemy's Syntaxis be removed. We find also a geometry, of a kind which proves that the Hindu was below the Greek as a geometer, but not in that degree in which he was above the Greek as an arithmetician...

    Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation. But the intellectual fate of the two nations was very different. Among the Greeks, the power of speculation remained active during their whole existence as a nation, even down to the taking of Constantinople: it declined, indeed, but it was never extinguished. Their latest knowledge was inquisitive, as well as their earliest. They preserved their great writers unabridged and unaltered: and Euclid did not degenerate into what are called practical rules.

    In India, speculation died a natural death. A taste for routine - a thing to which inaccurate thinkers give the name of practical - converted their system into a collection of rules and results. Of this character are all the mathematical books which have been translated into English; perhaps all which still exist. That they must have had an extensive body of demonstrated truths is obvious; that they lost the power and the wish to demonstrate is certain. The Hindu became, to speak of the highest and best class, the teacher of results which he could not explain, the retailer of propositions on which he could not found thought. He had the remains of ancestors who had investigated for him, and he lived on such comprehension of his ancestors as his own small grasp of mind would allow him to obtain. He fed himself and his pupils upon the chaff of obsolete civilization, out of which Europeans had thrashed the grain for their own use."


    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/De_Morgan_1859_Preface.html

    Indian civilization was always basically religious – it was never really serious about secular speculation.

    If the interest isn’t really there, no amount of talent will make a difference.

    India today, also, is largely dysfunctional because of a disinterest in efficiency and organization.

    China had to go through a complete gutting of its traditional civilization before it could really compete in terms of development.

    People tend to focus on the talent half of the equation, and assume everyone wants the same thing. This is very myopic, although perhaps understandable culturally – every culture assumes its values are universal.

  160. India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South. I think Kerala and Bangalore developed as fast as China if not faster. Steve Sailer mentioned that South Indians did dramatically better than one would expect looking at IQ, History. The Indian Diaspora seems to have no real problem easily defeating the Chinese Diaspora socioeconomically in the West, and they have done so for multiple generations.
    Then again Uttar Pradesh is utterly poor, with low living standards.
    Then again India has maintained a Democracy, something Russia has failed to do
    Then again they scored dead last on the PISA.
    And so on so forth…
    Something we can all agree on is that China is pretty well governed, contrary to what you hear in the West. I think their future as an equal to the West is assured
    John

    • Replies: @Lin

    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South.
     
    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    --Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
    --Hindustan is a highly elitist country. I browse a number of hindutwadis sites and one can judge the posting members' high caste/class and mostly 'expat' background and they seem to have the notion they represent INDIA.They seldom discuss the livinghood of the indian downtrodden low or out castes, probably out of insecurity or they couldn't care less. India GDP is only about US$2.7 trillion? No problem and they'll tell their PPP GDP of $11 trillion is a better measurement.
    --A few days ago, their first attempt to send a lander + rover to the moon has failed the prime objective that the lander obviously had crashed. Yet it was called 95% successful. Any mass media commentator who said it was a failure would immediately be labelled as anti-hindu if not traitor by those expat hindu nationalists.
    https://www.rediff.com/news/report/chandrayaan-2-achieved-95-of-objective-madhavan-nair/20190907.htm
    , @Commentator Mike

    The Indian Diaspora seems to have no real problem easily defeating the Chinese Diaspora socioeconomically in the West, and they have done so for multiple generations.
     
    Could it be because the Indians in the west are even more corrupt, nepotistic and clannish than the Chinese while they gamble less? Most Chinese work hard to make the money during the day and then lose it all in the casinos at night. Go into any casino in the west at night and compare the proportion of Chinese to Indians. Even where there are no legal casinos available the Chinese run their illegal gambling houses. I never got the impression that Indians were as inveterate gamblers as the Chinese. And well ... most gamblers tend to lose, while only those running the gambling scene tend to profit.
  161. @AaronB
    By the 17th and 18th century, European morality had indeed declined to the point where they might well find China's ancient morality superior.

    Similarly, and connectedly, by the late 19th and early 20th century, Western vitality and optimism had declined to the point where Chinese industry and energy was beginning to look comparatively impressive.

    I imagine in another few decades, China's meagre theoretical offerings will begin to look comparatively impressive to a West where HBD and IQ represent cutting edge theory.

    ‘We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.’ – Kurt Vonnegut.

    I would urge you to reflect deeply and sincerely on your nihilist masquerade, otherwise you will inevitably end up walking the path of suffering.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    I'm not sure I understand you.

    My point is that European reactions to China are as much a reflection of what stage of history Europe is in, as it is about the "intrinsic" character of China.

    Which makes sense, as no observer can be objective, but can only make comparisons with his own state.

    In this case, Christian morality is obviously as impressive as Confucius, yet by Leibnitzs time, after a man like Machiavelli had written, European morality was in a process of decline.

    Then by the late 19th century, when Schopenhauerian pessimism and gloom pervaded the educated classes of Europe, the energy and optimism of the Chinese, who had not undergone a process of philosophical disillusionment, was bound to strike European observers, and influence their impressions.

    I am, in short, trying to introduce depth and intelligent complexity to a conversation that all too often resorts to simple minded notions of a timeless "intrinsic" character of nations that only awaits an "objective" observer to notice and record.

    Obviously I will fail in this objective, as the West is undergoing a process of intellectual closing of the mind which cannot be reversed - which is why I mentioned that in a few decades, Western observers will likely be in awe at the Chinese capacity to understand national character in dynamic, complex terms, while we will have reverted to a primitive philosophy of simple essences.

    I can't see what you object to in all this.
  162. @Hyperborean
    'We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.’ - Kurt Vonnegut.

    I would urge you to reflect deeply and sincerely on your nihilist masquerade, otherwise you will inevitably end up walking the path of suffering.

    I’m not sure I understand you.

    My point is that European reactions to China are as much a reflection of what stage of history Europe is in, as it is about the “intrinsic” character of China.

    Which makes sense, as no observer can be objective, but can only make comparisons with his own state.

    In this case, Christian morality is obviously as impressive as Confucius, yet by Leibnitzs time, after a man like Machiavelli had written, European morality was in a process of decline.

    Then by the late 19th century, when Schopenhauerian pessimism and gloom pervaded the educated classes of Europe, the energy and optimism of the Chinese, who had not undergone a process of philosophical disillusionment, was bound to strike European observers, and influence their impressions.

    I am, in short, trying to introduce depth and intelligent complexity to a conversation that all too often resorts to simple minded notions of a timeless “intrinsic” character of nations that only awaits an “objective” observer to notice and record.

    Obviously I will fail in this objective, as the West is undergoing a process of intellectual closing of the mind which cannot be reversed – which is why I mentioned that in a few decades, Western observers will likely be in awe at the Chinese capacity to understand national character in dynamic, complex terms, while we will have reverted to a primitive philosophy of simple essences.

    I can’t see what you object to in all this.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    I’m not sure I understand you.
     
    You play many roles and you play them well, but the risk is that if you continue long enough the roles will eventually play you, that is what I am attempting to warn you of.
    , @Dmitry
    In a few decades - if economy is able to continue to develop - China will be far more similar to Western countries.

    There's still space for divergences. Ultra-liberal Western European countries like Spain still have a significantly different street atmosphere to conservative Western countries like America.

    But the radical difference between China and Western countries (to an extent it might exist today), will be eroded by economic development.
    , @Aft

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT7FNZi59bYzOWDNyUDYV5M_AqmPSIRBc2TahYkWpdUUgryNeGT
     
    Underappreciated graph.

    VERY STRONG recent selection on the highly heritable trait of openness to ideas (a key measure of intellectual inclination and creativity and historical driver of scientific and other forms of progress).

    A 20% (!!!) reproductive disadvantage to a trait with ~0.7-0.8 heritability, when using combined self and peer reports, has a major effect on the population.
  163. Apart from being a valuable review, this article has to be an argument for in-depth reading. Apparently Gen Z more or less no longer read books, so how are they ever going to understand and deal with these issues?

    Having got that off my chest, some thoughts on the article:

    One lesson from this experience is that, for countries making the transition from a socialist planned economy to a market economy, full privatization of state assets is not necessarily the critical step, as many economists believed in the 1990s. The indispensable feature of a market economy is not private property but competition. If state assets are privatized but competition mechanisms remain weak, the results will be poor: one just substitutes private monopolists or oligopolists for state-owned ones.

    There’s also the aspect of political corruption. An economy can be planned or market but under both systems competition can be destroyed through buying politicians (maybe with the Philippines at one extreme and Sweden at the other).

    (10) Despite its status as a “bureaucratic-authoritarian” state (Kroeber’s description), China is also one of the world’s most decentralized economies.

    Interesting, this is a legacy of Maoist-era geostrategic concerns:

    Geostrategic or not, it shows that countries can develop successfully while keeping a large part of taxation and spending local. It produces societal stability and seems to work in societies as different as China and Switzerland.

    This is obviously not China’s problem. Its foreign borrowings are small—about 10 percent of GDP—and its gigantic foreign reserves of US$3.5 trillion (nearly 40 percent of GDP) give it plenty of ammunition to ward off a speculative attack and preserve the value of its currency. It runs an annual current account surplus of 2 to 3 percent of GDP, meaning that it has more than enough current income to cover its short-term foreign debts.

    These reserves are only “gigantic” while the dollar hold its value. They represent the real value of work/goods that China over the years has delivered to the West. It would be tempting for the US to cheat on the bargain with a quick hyperinflation (i.e. effectively get the goods for free).

    Virtually all of the exotic features that make shadow banking both difficult to measure and potentially destabilizing in advanced countries are absent in China. China has basically no securitized loans, no derivatives, no collateralized debt obligations, no credit default swaps, few hedge funds and real estate investment trusts, and no structured finance vehicles.

    It has a lot of bad property loans in its shadow banking system but none of the really toxic “financial engineering” stuff that will eventually replay 2008 on a larger scale. Next time round, QE won’t work – it will probably just devalue the dollar = higher interest rates = the end of the story.

    [MORE]

    Second, the party does not simply crush dissent; it also makes a real effort to address the underlying material causes of discontent. …

    It does this at the moment, but enlightened dictatorships easily revert to the non-enlightened kind.

    … Researchers have found that at most one in ten corrupt officials are ever charged with corruption; but those that are charged are almost invariably convicted, and they face harsh sanctions including prison terms of ten years or more or even death sentences, of which 700 were handed down in corruption cases in the decade to 2008.

    And these cases get wide publicity. The public like them. Same as Putin taking on the oligarchs.

    The rest of the country was divided between a handful of provinces, mainly on the coast, with much higher than average wages, and a vast mass of interior provinces with much lower incomes. By 2011 this provincial wage gap had closed: half of provinces had urban wages within 10 percent of the national average, and only the coastal megacities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai had wages more than 10 percent above the national norm.

    This is a good argument for local fiscal/spending autonomy, and maybe some control of residency (controlling the mass movement to the coasts)

    By the mid-1970s Japan had a long roster of companies that were beginning to set global quality and technology standards for a host of industries: firms like Toyota, Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, and Seiko. China has no such companies today, nor are any on the horizon.

    This does seem to be lacking in China, and it’s not clear why there is this difference between Chinese and Japanese development.

    For a nation’s currency to be truly global on a sustained basis, it must have deep, open, and trustworthy financial markets that foreigners can easily move money in and out of. In the absence of such markets, foreigners will be inclined to look elsewhere for places to park their liquid funds. …

    The Yuan/Renminbi doesn’t meet these criteria, so if the dollar goes, that realistically only leaves the Euro. Oil producers (inc. Russia) would probably be quite happy to denominate their exports in Euros).

  164. @John Arthur
    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South. I think Kerala and Bangalore developed as fast as China if not faster. Steve Sailer mentioned that South Indians did dramatically better than one would expect looking at IQ, History. The Indian Diaspora seems to have no real problem easily defeating the Chinese Diaspora socioeconomically in the West, and they have done so for multiple generations.
    Then again Uttar Pradesh is utterly poor, with low living standards.
    Then again India has maintained a Democracy, something Russia has failed to do
    Then again they scored dead last on the PISA.
    And so on so forth...
    Something we can all agree on is that China is pretty well governed, contrary to what you hear in the West. I think their future as an equal to the West is assured
    John

    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South.

    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    –Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
    –Hindustan is a highly elitist country. I browse a number of hindutwadis sites and one can judge the posting members’ high caste/class and mostly ‘expat’ background and they seem to have the notion they represent INDIA.They seldom discuss the livinghood of the indian downtrodden low or out castes, probably out of insecurity or they couldn’t care less. India GDP is only about US$2.7 trillion? No problem and they’ll tell their PPP GDP of $11 trillion is a better measurement.
    –A few days ago, their first attempt to send a lander + rover to the moon has failed the prime objective that the lander obviously had crashed. Yet it was called 95% successful. Any mass media commentator who said it was a failure would immediately be labelled as anti-hindu if not traitor by those expat hindu nationalists.
    https://www.rediff.com/news/report/chandrayaan-2-achieved-95-of-objective-madhavan-nair/20190907.htm

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I hope it's not viewed as rude to Karlin, to go offtopic and talk all the time about India - when he is reviewing China.

    In the case of India, we are talking about a country with incredibly low economic development levels currently. So it's difficult to judge what the final capacity of the civilization will be, when they are still living in middleages conditions.

    India's potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster, etc. For China, this is also similar, but in a far more small extent.

    So, unfortunately our life is short - we would need to see what happens when the Indians become a first world country (probably the end of the 21st century or beginning of the 22nd century?).

    While with China, they will be a first world country already in the 2050s. India might even be half of a century later (I don't know if other people here have different estimates to me, and believe India might be a developed country by the 2070s?).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtRwsiAQ8aY

    , @John Arthur

    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    –Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
     
    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren't high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.
    My guess, this is because the South Indians are much more different than the North Indians in intelligence than anyone seems to think currently. Indeed, most of our most successful Indians in the US are the more downtrodden, shorter, Dravidian people, the the fairer skinned Northerners.
    Will this translate into future Indian performance, I don't know but tend to doubt. India is too fractured.
    South India is really doing good, and this shocked me the first time I visited during my college years. I hadn't expected the level of development as I was more familiar with North India from our History textbooks and causal internet searches.
    I think a good analogy to South India are the Chinese in Malaysia, who have to pay for the Malays and Indians in large numbers, which holds them back. I have no doubt that the Chinese in Malaysia would hit first world standards in a country of their own(like Singapore), but because of the baggage they cannot. South India is in the same boat. I think a country of South Indians would easily hit first world standards as well, if it didn't have to pay for North India
  165. @Dmitry

    She describes “Hinduizing” of Babbage, De Morgan and Boole

     

    Here are some quotes from De Morgan's 1859 preface for an Indian book on mathematics.

    "They forget that there exists in India, under circumstances which prove a very high antiquity, a philosophical language which is one of the wonders of the world, and which is a near collateral of the Greek, if not its parent form. From those who wrote in this language we derive our system of arithmetic, and the algebra which is the most powerful instrument of modern analysis. In this language we find a system of logic and of metaphysics: an astronomy worthy of comparison with that of Greece in its best days; above comparison, if some books of Ptolemy's Syntaxis be removed. We find also a geometry, of a kind which proves that the Hindu was below the Greek as a geometer, but not in that degree in which he was above the Greek as an arithmetician...

    Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation. But the intellectual fate of the two nations was very different. Among the Greeks, the power of speculation remained active during their whole existence as a nation, even down to the taking of Constantinople: it declined, indeed, but it was never extinguished. Their latest knowledge was inquisitive, as well as their earliest. They preserved their great writers unabridged and unaltered: and Euclid did not degenerate into what are called practical rules.

    In India, speculation died a natural death. A taste for routine - a thing to which inaccurate thinkers give the name of practical - converted their system into a collection of rules and results. Of this character are all the mathematical books which have been translated into English; perhaps all which still exist. That they must have had an extensive body of demonstrated truths is obvious; that they lost the power and the wish to demonstrate is certain. The Hindu became, to speak of the highest and best class, the teacher of results which he could not explain, the retailer of propositions on which he could not found thought. He had the remains of ancestors who had investigated for him, and he lived on such comprehension of his ancestors as his own small grasp of mind would allow him to obtain. He fed himself and his pupils upon the chaff of obsolete civilization, out of which Europeans had thrashed the grain for their own use."


    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/De_Morgan_1859_Preface.html

    China had a profound impact on the development of the centralized administrative state in the west and did directly inspire the system of standartized exams in western education. Sunzis art of war was praised by many western military minds for its depth.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Sure, Ancient China has influence to the rest of the world in various technologies and inventions also.

    But, as Ancient Rome could eventually dominate the Ancient World, but still have a lack of intellectual contribution in the top end compared to Ancient Greeks. As De Morgan writes, "Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation."

  166. @utu
    Einstein boyhood proof of Pythagorean theorem is reconstructed and postulated by his biographers. It never was recorded. That it even appears in Wiki and that there are papers written about it just shows the intensity of the cult of Einstein that concerns itself with such trivia and reminds of the Soviet childhood stories about Lenin used to indoctrinate Soviet kids into the cult of Lenin.

    The proof itself was probably known to Euclid and other mathematicians who usually did not bother to record such a trivia with the exception of Legendre.

    "The underlying question is why Euclid did not use this proof [by similar triangles], but invented another. One conjecture is that the proof by similar triangles involved a theory of proportions, a topic not discussed until later in the Elements, and that the theory of proportions needed further development at that time." - wiki

    See New Yorker article that cast some doubt on the story of Einstein proof:

    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/einsteins-first-proof-pythagorean-theorem

    Dude, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. And this one at least is plausible. It seems not uncommon for the very precocious to rediscover well-established scientific and mathematical theories.

    Can’t resist a quote from the article to which you linked.

    “Every boy in the streets of Göttingen understands more about four-dimensional geometry than Einstein,”…the mathematician David Hilbert, remarked.

  167. @Bardon Kaldian

    4. The danger of the CCP falling to democracy may become MORE likely as living standards improve. Younger, idealistic generations won’t know what it’s like to be poor and will demand liberalism. The CCP’s current nationalist education is only temporary effective. It is actually too simplistic — a mix of historical victimhood and generic pride — containing no sophisticated, multi-layered criticism of democracy, let alone counter-arguments. This is a fragile nationalism that, without state protection, would crack against an encroaching liberal universalism, with young people being rapidly converted to the other side.
     
    Without knowing Chinese & looking from afar, I've come to the same conclusion. Just, to me it all seems like something potentially important, but not decisive. The glue of Chinese identity & civilization is too strong to offset any short-time setbacks. Basically, it is all about two - three factors. You got to have: a) your kind of people, not foreigners, b) your kind of people need to be sufficiently able, not someone like Australian Abos, c) meritocracy, without extremes of totalitarianism & chaotic rootlessness

    The glue of Chinese identity & civilization is too strong to offset any short-time setbacks. Basically, it is all about two – three factors. You got to have: a) your kind of people, not foreigners, b) your kind of people need to be sufficiently able, not someone like Australian Abos, c) meritocracy, without extremes of totalitarianism & chaotic rootlessness

    There’s also the fact that Neoliberalism as a world movement seems to be going out of fashion. It’s beginning to look like a crowd of Boomer pensioners trying to push their counter-cultural “freedoms” onto an increasingly unreceptive audience.

    Young Chinese are more likely to connect to whatever comes next.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
  168. @German_reader

    On the other hand, translation of Ancient Chinese texts, does not seem to have had an intellectual impact in European philosophy or science.

     

    Some Enlightenment thinkers were very interested in China, e.g. this guy held a famous lecture "On the practical philosophy of the Chinese" in 1721:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Wolff_(philosopher)

    I can't judge how seriously he engaged with the thought of Confucius and Mencius, but China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal.

    …China as a high civilization without revealed religion clearly had a certain appeal

    Total bollocks. The ancient Chinese had a monotheistic God, heaven/hell and even the requisite Temple.

    It’s just that it was a long time ago, the Chinese degenerated towards base humanism way back in B.C. years and we have long forgotten (or never knew) their history. Like in our case, their humanism was based on a religious core that has since degraded.

    Modern Chinese are aware of God and the rest, but it has over millennia turned into a vague folk superstition, not something systematic and intellectual.

    When (if) China converts to Christianity it will be a big step up for them, intellectually and culturally.

  169. @AaronB
    I'm not sure I understand you.

    My point is that European reactions to China are as much a reflection of what stage of history Europe is in, as it is about the "intrinsic" character of China.

    Which makes sense, as no observer can be objective, but can only make comparisons with his own state.

    In this case, Christian morality is obviously as impressive as Confucius, yet by Leibnitzs time, after a man like Machiavelli had written, European morality was in a process of decline.

    Then by the late 19th century, when Schopenhauerian pessimism and gloom pervaded the educated classes of Europe, the energy and optimism of the Chinese, who had not undergone a process of philosophical disillusionment, was bound to strike European observers, and influence their impressions.

    I am, in short, trying to introduce depth and intelligent complexity to a conversation that all too often resorts to simple minded notions of a timeless "intrinsic" character of nations that only awaits an "objective" observer to notice and record.

    Obviously I will fail in this objective, as the West is undergoing a process of intellectual closing of the mind which cannot be reversed - which is why I mentioned that in a few decades, Western observers will likely be in awe at the Chinese capacity to understand national character in dynamic, complex terms, while we will have reverted to a primitive philosophy of simple essences.

    I can't see what you object to in all this.

    I’m not sure I understand you.

    You play many roles and you play them well, but the risk is that if you continue long enough the roles will eventually play you, that is what I am attempting to warn you of.

  170. @AaronB
    I'm not sure I understand you.

    My point is that European reactions to China are as much a reflection of what stage of history Europe is in, as it is about the "intrinsic" character of China.

    Which makes sense, as no observer can be objective, but can only make comparisons with his own state.

    In this case, Christian morality is obviously as impressive as Confucius, yet by Leibnitzs time, after a man like Machiavelli had written, European morality was in a process of decline.

    Then by the late 19th century, when Schopenhauerian pessimism and gloom pervaded the educated classes of Europe, the energy and optimism of the Chinese, who had not undergone a process of philosophical disillusionment, was bound to strike European observers, and influence their impressions.

    I am, in short, trying to introduce depth and intelligent complexity to a conversation that all too often resorts to simple minded notions of a timeless "intrinsic" character of nations that only awaits an "objective" observer to notice and record.

    Obviously I will fail in this objective, as the West is undergoing a process of intellectual closing of the mind which cannot be reversed - which is why I mentioned that in a few decades, Western observers will likely be in awe at the Chinese capacity to understand national character in dynamic, complex terms, while we will have reverted to a primitive philosophy of simple essences.

    I can't see what you object to in all this.

    In a few decades – if economy is able to continue to develop – China will be far more similar to Western countries.

    There’s still space for divergences. Ultra-liberal Western European countries like Spain still have a significantly different street atmosphere to conservative Western countries like America.

    But the radical difference between China and Western countries (to an extent it might exist today), will be eroded by economic development.

  171. @Lin

    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South.
     
    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    --Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
    --Hindustan is a highly elitist country. I browse a number of hindutwadis sites and one can judge the posting members' high caste/class and mostly 'expat' background and they seem to have the notion they represent INDIA.They seldom discuss the livinghood of the indian downtrodden low or out castes, probably out of insecurity or they couldn't care less. India GDP is only about US$2.7 trillion? No problem and they'll tell their PPP GDP of $11 trillion is a better measurement.
    --A few days ago, their first attempt to send a lander + rover to the moon has failed the prime objective that the lander obviously had crashed. Yet it was called 95% successful. Any mass media commentator who said it was a failure would immediately be labelled as anti-hindu if not traitor by those expat hindu nationalists.
    https://www.rediff.com/news/report/chandrayaan-2-achieved-95-of-objective-madhavan-nair/20190907.htm

    I hope it’s not viewed as rude to Karlin, to go offtopic and talk all the time about India – when he is reviewing China.

    In the case of India, we are talking about a country with incredibly low economic development levels currently. So it’s difficult to judge what the final capacity of the civilization will be, when they are still living in middleages conditions.

    India’s potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster, etc. For China, this is also similar, but in a far more small extent.

    So, unfortunately our life is short – we would need to see what happens when the Indians become a first world country (probably the end of the 21st century or beginning of the 22nd century?).

    While with China, they will be a first world country already in the 2050s. India might even be half of a century later (I don’t know if other people here have different estimates to me, and believe India might be a developed country by the 2070s?).

    • Replies: @Lin
    I mentioned India as a reference because a number of posts already did.
    I just want to high light the problems 3rd world nations face.
    India is a very complicate country to start with; it's far more complicate than

    'India’s potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster'
     
    These problems are common to most 3rd world nations. A good example is Bangladesh: A country born of chaos, high popn density and started off even less developed than india. Yet it seems Bangladesh has been growing well economically in recent years and even manage to curb popn growth as a muslim country.
    India is a baffling strange case. Because of their lack of proper pre-islam/Mughal historiography, the hindu nationalists even cook up something called 'Out of India' that ancient india is actually the birth place of the 'aryan' race and the white euros are their descendents . I definitely would add insecure national psyche to their problem list.
    (Let me repost: What hold a country together?It could be same race,same language, same sense of history... .These at large don't apply to indian, so the only cultural component that the majority of Indians have in common actually is 'religion',so indian nationalism is hindu nationalism.).
    Personally I don't want to predict when will china, india...become developed 1st world countries because human behavior is inherently unpredictable. What had predicted the collapse of USSR during the heyday of the sputnik 33 yrs earlier?
  172. @Unknown128
    China had a profound impact on the development of the centralized administrative state in the west and did directly inspire the system of standartized exams in western education. Sunzis art of war was praised by many western military minds for its depth.

    Sure, Ancient China has influence to the rest of the world in various technologies and inventions also.

    But, as Ancient Rome could eventually dominate the Ancient World, but still have a lack of intellectual contribution in the top end compared to Ancient Greeks. As De Morgan writes, “Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation.”

    • Replies: @Unknown128
    China does stand out mostly in technology, not in philosophy. Till the 18th century it was certainly the most technologically advanced part of the world, this probably says more about the averege IQ of a society then philosophic output of a small elite of Brahmins
  173. @Dmitry
    Sure, Ancient China has influence to the rest of the world in various technologies and inventions also.

    But, as Ancient Rome could eventually dominate the Ancient World, but still have a lack of intellectual contribution in the top end compared to Ancient Greeks. As De Morgan writes, "Greece and India stand out, in ancient times, as the countries of indigenous speculation."

    China does stand out mostly in technology, not in philosophy. Till the 18th century it was certainly the most technologically advanced part of the world, this probably says more about the averege IQ of a society then philosophic output of a small elite of Brahmins

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    probably says more about the averege IQ of a society
     
    Then how do you explain the technology retardation of China for recent centuries. Just as India had a history of intellectual achievement, and then many centuries of nothing.

    The people themselves have not changed externally - either in India or China -, but creative ability of their former civilizations were lost for centuries.


    the 18th century

     

    Not in the 18th century or even earlier.

    For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century - Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!

  174. @Lin

    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South.
     
    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    --Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
    --Hindustan is a highly elitist country. I browse a number of hindutwadis sites and one can judge the posting members' high caste/class and mostly 'expat' background and they seem to have the notion they represent INDIA.They seldom discuss the livinghood of the indian downtrodden low or out castes, probably out of insecurity or they couldn't care less. India GDP is only about US$2.7 trillion? No problem and they'll tell their PPP GDP of $11 trillion is a better measurement.
    --A few days ago, their first attempt to send a lander + rover to the moon has failed the prime objective that the lander obviously had crashed. Yet it was called 95% successful. Any mass media commentator who said it was a failure would immediately be labelled as anti-hindu if not traitor by those expat hindu nationalists.
    https://www.rediff.com/news/report/chandrayaan-2-achieved-95-of-objective-madhavan-nair/20190907.htm

    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    –Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms

    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren’t high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.
    My guess, this is because the South Indians are much more different than the North Indians in intelligence than anyone seems to think currently. Indeed, most of our most successful Indians in the US are the more downtrodden, shorter, Dravidian people, the the fairer skinned Northerners.
    Will this translate into future Indian performance, I don’t know but tend to doubt. India is too fractured.
    South India is really doing good, and this shocked me the first time I visited during my college years. I hadn’t expected the level of development as I was more familiar with North India from our History textbooks and causal internet searches.
    I think a good analogy to South India are the Chinese in Malaysia, who have to pay for the Malays and Indians in large numbers, which holds them back. I have no doubt that the Chinese in Malaysia would hit first world standards in a country of their own(like Singapore), but because of the baggage they cannot. South India is in the same boat. I think a country of South Indians would easily hit first world standards as well, if it didn’t have to pay for North India

    • Replies: @Unknown128
    Just as there are several HanMajority states, there are many Indian majority states, starting with Pakistan, Bangladesh and sri lanka and ending with isles like Mauritus. Could you name a single country the Indians maneged to get into the first world? Just about all Chinese majority countries exept for the PRC (yet) are in the first world. From what Iv seen all of them are poor third world countries which in no way stick out from their neighbors who dont have as many Indians.
    , @EldnahYm

    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren’t high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.
     
    Chinese aren't very politically adept.
  175. @John Arthur

    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    –Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
     
    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren't high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.
    My guess, this is because the South Indians are much more different than the North Indians in intelligence than anyone seems to think currently. Indeed, most of our most successful Indians in the US are the more downtrodden, shorter, Dravidian people, the the fairer skinned Northerners.
    Will this translate into future Indian performance, I don't know but tend to doubt. India is too fractured.
    South India is really doing good, and this shocked me the first time I visited during my college years. I hadn't expected the level of development as I was more familiar with North India from our History textbooks and causal internet searches.
    I think a good analogy to South India are the Chinese in Malaysia, who have to pay for the Malays and Indians in large numbers, which holds them back. I have no doubt that the Chinese in Malaysia would hit first world standards in a country of their own(like Singapore), but because of the baggage they cannot. South India is in the same boat. I think a country of South Indians would easily hit first world standards as well, if it didn't have to pay for North India

    Just as there are several HanMajority states, there are many Indian majority states, starting with Pakistan, Bangladesh and sri lanka and ending with isles like Mauritus. Could you name a single country the Indians maneged to get into the first world? Just about all Chinese majority countries exept for the PRC (yet) are in the first world. From what Iv seen all of them are poor third world countries which in no way stick out from their neighbors who dont have as many Indians.

    • Replies: @John Arthur
    That's why I was referring to South Indians instead of all Indians. I know that people in North India will probably not attain first-world Status anytime soon. Take Sri Lanka, which is full of South Indians.
    Sri Lanka ended Socialism in the 93, and has attained a per-capita income of $13,500. For reference, China opened up in 1980-ish and its per-capita income at PPP is $18,000. So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer.
  176. @Unknown128
    Just as there are several HanMajority states, there are many Indian majority states, starting with Pakistan, Bangladesh and sri lanka and ending with isles like Mauritus. Could you name a single country the Indians maneged to get into the first world? Just about all Chinese majority countries exept for the PRC (yet) are in the first world. From what Iv seen all of them are poor third world countries which in no way stick out from their neighbors who dont have as many Indians.

    That’s why I was referring to South Indians instead of all Indians. I know that people in North India will probably not attain first-world Status anytime soon. Take Sri Lanka, which is full of South Indians.
    Sri Lanka ended Socialism in the 93, and has attained a per-capita income of $13,500. For reference, China opened up in 1980-ish and its per-capita income at PPP is $18,000. So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer.

    • Replies: @d dan
    "So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer."

    LOL. Another guy comparing China with some tiny little country. Try compare Sri Lanka with Singapore, or Taiwan next time.
    , @Unknown128
    From what I know Trinidad, guyana and Mauritius all have Tamili southerners as their indians, still all 3 are very poor. Sri Lanka never was Mao levels of socialist and allways had private property. Thats a level of capitalism China only reached in the 2000s
  177. @John Arthur
    That's why I was referring to South Indians instead of all Indians. I know that people in North India will probably not attain first-world Status anytime soon. Take Sri Lanka, which is full of South Indians.
    Sri Lanka ended Socialism in the 93, and has attained a per-capita income of $13,500. For reference, China opened up in 1980-ish and its per-capita income at PPP is $18,000. So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer.

    “So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer.”

    LOL. Another guy comparing China with some tiny little country. Try compare Sri Lanka with Singapore, or Taiwan next time.

  178. @John Arthur
    India is weird. You have the improvised North, and the extremely rapidly growing South. I think Kerala and Bangalore developed as fast as China if not faster. Steve Sailer mentioned that South Indians did dramatically better than one would expect looking at IQ, History. The Indian Diaspora seems to have no real problem easily defeating the Chinese Diaspora socioeconomically in the West, and they have done so for multiple generations.
    Then again Uttar Pradesh is utterly poor, with low living standards.
    Then again India has maintained a Democracy, something Russia has failed to do
    Then again they scored dead last on the PISA.
    And so on so forth...
    Something we can all agree on is that China is pretty well governed, contrary to what you hear in the West. I think their future as an equal to the West is assured
    John

    The Indian Diaspora seems to have no real problem easily defeating the Chinese Diaspora socioeconomically in the West, and they have done so for multiple generations.

    Could it be because the Indians in the west are even more corrupt, nepotistic and clannish than the Chinese while they gamble less? Most Chinese work hard to make the money during the day and then lose it all in the casinos at night. Go into any casino in the west at night and compare the proportion of Chinese to Indians. Even where there are no legal casinos available the Chinese run their illegal gambling houses. I never got the impression that Indians were as inveterate gamblers as the Chinese. And well … most gamblers tend to lose, while only those running the gambling scene tend to profit.

  179. @John Arthur
    That's why I was referring to South Indians instead of all Indians. I know that people in North India will probably not attain first-world Status anytime soon. Take Sri Lanka, which is full of South Indians.
    Sri Lanka ended Socialism in the 93, and has attained a per-capita income of $13,500. For reference, China opened up in 1980-ish and its per-capita income at PPP is $18,000. So China is 33.3% richer than Sri Lanka, but China has been open 43.5% longer.

    From what I know Trinidad, guyana and Mauritius all have Tamili southerners as their indians, still all 3 are very poor. Sri Lanka never was Mao levels of socialist and allways had private property. Thats a level of capitalism China only reached in the 2000s

    • Replies: @John Arthur
    Lol. Indians aren't a majority in any of those states with the second biggest groups being black.
    In all three, Blacks are 30%+ of the population.
    China and other Han States are 90%+ Han. Only in Singapore Indians and Chinese exist in large numbers together and in that country Indians to better.
    Try to develop with those circumstances of being 30% Black-I bet China would collapse. US nearly did multiple times with Blacks only being 15ish percent of the pop.
    And Mauritius is richer than China at ppp levels per capita.
    , @John Arthur
    Uh... Sri lanka also had a civil war lasting 25 years before from 1983-2009
    So, you have to take that into account for its growth
  180. @John Arthur

    The psyche of the hindu diaspora in US(elsewhere like in UK might be a bit different)is an incongruent but not unexpected mix of caste, highly selected immigration, hindu nationalism and psychological insecurity.
    –Like I mentioned before, the Chinese govt laments brain drain but both Modi and the hindu elite want more H1B visas.
    https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-narendra-modi-discussed-spirit-of-h1b-visas-with-donald-trump-sushma-swaraj/articleshow/59685866.cms
     
    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren't high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.
    My guess, this is because the South Indians are much more different than the North Indians in intelligence than anyone seems to think currently. Indeed, most of our most successful Indians in the US are the more downtrodden, shorter, Dravidian people, the the fairer skinned Northerners.
    Will this translate into future Indian performance, I don't know but tend to doubt. India is too fractured.
    South India is really doing good, and this shocked me the first time I visited during my college years. I hadn't expected the level of development as I was more familiar with North India from our History textbooks and causal internet searches.
    I think a good analogy to South India are the Chinese in Malaysia, who have to pay for the Malays and Indians in large numbers, which holds them back. I have no doubt that the Chinese in Malaysia would hit first world standards in a country of their own(like Singapore), but because of the baggage they cannot. South India is in the same boat. I think a country of South Indians would easily hit first world standards as well, if it didn't have to pay for North India

    Perhaps, but I tend to doubt such things. Alot of our Indians in the US aren’t high caste, and they are definitely not high caste in the UK, where they still beat the Chinese. The fact is that some reason or the other, the Indian Diaspora easily defeats the Chinese diaspora in almost all countries except Malaysia.

    Chinese aren’t very politically adept.

  181. @Unknown128
    China does stand out mostly in technology, not in philosophy. Till the 18th century it was certainly the most technologically advanced part of the world, this probably says more about the averege IQ of a society then philosophic output of a small elite of Brahmins

    probably says more about the averege IQ of a society

    Then how do you explain the technology retardation of China for recent centuries. Just as India had a history of intellectual achievement, and then many centuries of nothing.

    The people themselves have not changed externally – either in India or China -, but creative ability of their former civilizations were lost for centuries.

    the 18th century

    Not in the 18th century or even earlier.

    For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century – Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!

    • Replies: @d dan
    "For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century – Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!"

    Some of Newton's "discoveries" were already known by Mozi over 2000 years ago, e.g. Newton's 1st law of motion, and various other facts on optics and mechanics.

    It is true that Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China was still leading in many areas of engineering and applied sciences, e.g. Europeans didn't even know how to make good porcelain or silk. :-)

  182. @Dmitry

    probably says more about the averege IQ of a society
     
    Then how do you explain the technology retardation of China for recent centuries. Just as India had a history of intellectual achievement, and then many centuries of nothing.

    The people themselves have not changed externally - either in India or China -, but creative ability of their former civilizations were lost for centuries.


    the 18th century

     

    Not in the 18th century or even earlier.

    For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century - Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!

    “For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century – Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!”

    Some of Newton’s “discoveries” were already known by Mozi over 2000 years ago, e.g. Newton’s 1st law of motion, and various other facts on optics and mechanics.

    It is true that Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China was still leading in many areas of engineering and applied sciences, e.g. Europeans didn’t even know how to make good porcelain or silk. 🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Newton’s “discoveries” were already known by Mozi
     
    That's more like mythology.

    Like claiming Democritus has discovered atomic theory. Well, he has some intuitions about atoms, etc... it's not the same as the real theory.


    Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China
     
    Europe (or the small segment of society which are researchers) was vastly more advanced in this area - nothing in Chinese history can even touch the toes of e.g. Newton.

    Europeans didn’t even know how to make good porcelain or silk
     
    And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles.
  183. @Unknown128
    From what I know Trinidad, guyana and Mauritius all have Tamili southerners as their indians, still all 3 are very poor. Sri Lanka never was Mao levels of socialist and allways had private property. Thats a level of capitalism China only reached in the 2000s

    Lol. Indians aren’t a majority in any of those states with the second biggest groups being black.
    In all three, Blacks are 30%+ of the population.
    China and other Han States are 90%+ Han. Only in Singapore Indians and Chinese exist in large numbers together and in that country Indians to better.
    Try to develop with those circumstances of being 30% Black-I bet China would collapse. US nearly did multiple times with Blacks only being 15ish percent of the pop.
    And Mauritius is richer than China at ppp levels per capita.

    • Replies: @John Arthur
    Trinidad is more than twice as wealthy as China ppp, even though Africans are equally as large as a share of the population as Indians. However, it is a tourist center so I don't know really.
    , @Unknown128
    Its not hard to beat the PRC in GDP PPP per capita, much of Latin america does so. The PRC is while quickly growing still low GDP, more so then core India though. Which is why I focus on oversees Han and Indian dominated states as proxies for predicting the potential of a people. No Indian dominated state (Like Mauritus) has gotten into the first world, besides that % of indians in a country does not influence GDP per capitavs non Hindu dominated neighbors. Meanwhile in Southeastasia its easy to see that the more Han chinese in a population the richer the country (Malaysia being richer then Indonesia) and Han majority settler colonies like Taiwan or Singapore are firmly in the first world.

    Also Singapore has a high Maly lower class and is still firmly 1st world
  184. @Unknown128
    From what I know Trinidad, guyana and Mauritius all have Tamili southerners as their indians, still all 3 are very poor. Sri Lanka never was Mao levels of socialist and allways had private property. Thats a level of capitalism China only reached in the 2000s

    Uh… Sri lanka also had a civil war lasting 25 years before from 1983-2009
    So, you have to take that into account for its growth

  185. @John Arthur
    Lol. Indians aren't a majority in any of those states with the second biggest groups being black.
    In all three, Blacks are 30%+ of the population.
    China and other Han States are 90%+ Han. Only in Singapore Indians and Chinese exist in large numbers together and in that country Indians to better.
    Try to develop with those circumstances of being 30% Black-I bet China would collapse. US nearly did multiple times with Blacks only being 15ish percent of the pop.
    And Mauritius is richer than China at ppp levels per capita.

    Trinidad is more than twice as wealthy as China ppp, even though Africans are equally as large as a share of the population as Indians. However, it is a tourist center so I don’t know really.

  186. @d dan
    "For example, of how far the advancement of Europe is in the 18th century – Isaac Newton has published Principia in 17th century England!"

    Some of Newton's "discoveries" were already known by Mozi over 2000 years ago, e.g. Newton's 1st law of motion, and various other facts on optics and mechanics.

    It is true that Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China was still leading in many areas of engineering and applied sciences, e.g. Europeans didn't even know how to make good porcelain or silk. :-)

    Newton’s “discoveries” were already known by Mozi

    That’s more like mythology.

    Like claiming Democritus has discovered atomic theory. Well, he has some intuitions about atoms, etc… it’s not the same as the real theory.

    Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China

    Europe (or the small segment of society which are researchers) was vastly more advanced in this area – nothing in Chinese history can even touch the toes of e.g. Newton.

    Europeans didn’t even know how to make good porcelain or silk

    And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles.

    • Replies: @d dan
    "... he has some intuitions about atoms, etc… it’s not the same as the real theory."

    1. Democritus' concept of atom was wrong in some aspects by modern standard - so, you are right, we can't credit him to the discovery of atomic theory. But at least historians (or scientists) still mention him when discussing atom today. On the other hand, I don't see how Mozi' understanding of Newton's 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton's.

    2. My point being that in pre-modern science era, many people in different civilizations knew many laws, principles and theorems (many attached with western names today) of the physical world as well, if not better than contemporary Europeans. Another example is the Archimedes principle. Historic texts in China indicated that this idea was well understood and being applied in many practical problems. I can give further examples in sciences and math.

    3. It is therefore hard to claim which civilizations understood the physical world better before (around) the time of Newton, when Europeans surged ahead.


    "And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles."

    1. I doubt it was due to technological problem. After all, they built the Great Wall, many stone bridges, Grand Canal and elaborate mausoleums for thousands of years. Whereas Europeans probably couldn't master the technologies of porcelain and silk making. They didn't have anything similar or close.

    2. Even if it was true that Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don't believe), my original point still stands that China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century, even after Europeans dominated the basic sciences.
    , @Unknown128
    I wouldnt call the forbidden city "mediocre"
  187. @Dmitry
    I hope it's not viewed as rude to Karlin, to go offtopic and talk all the time about India - when he is reviewing China.

    In the case of India, we are talking about a country with incredibly low economic development levels currently. So it's difficult to judge what the final capacity of the civilization will be, when they are still living in middleages conditions.

    India's potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster, etc. For China, this is also similar, but in a far more small extent.

    So, unfortunately our life is short - we would need to see what happens when the Indians become a first world country (probably the end of the 21st century or beginning of the 22nd century?).

    While with China, they will be a first world country already in the 2050s. India might even be half of a century later (I don't know if other people here have different estimates to me, and believe India might be a developed country by the 2070s?).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtRwsiAQ8aY

    I mentioned India as a reference because a number of posts already did.
    I just want to high light the problems 3rd world nations face.
    India is a very complicate country to start with; it’s far more complicate than

    ‘India’s potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster’

    These problems are common to most 3rd world nations. A good example is Bangladesh: A country born of chaos, high popn density and started off even less developed than india. Yet it seems Bangladesh has been growing well economically in recent years and even manage to curb popn growth as a muslim country.
    India is a baffling strange case. Because of their lack of proper pre-islam/Mughal historiography, the hindu nationalists even cook up something called ‘Out of India’ that ancient india is actually the birth place of the ‘aryan’ race and the white euros are their descendents . I definitely would add insecure national psyche to their problem list.
    (Let me repost: What hold a country together?It could be same race,same language, same sense of history… .These at large don’t apply to indian, so the only cultural component that the majority of Indians have in common actually is ‘religion’,so indian nationalism is hindu nationalism.).
    Personally I don’t want to predict when will china, india…become developed 1st world countries because human behavior is inherently unpredictable. What had predicted the collapse of USSR during the heyday of the sputnik 33 yrs earlier?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Don't worry - I was apologizing, because I am the main person writing about India.

    ancient india is actually the birth place of the ‘aryan’ race and the white euros are their
     
    There is an immigration to very Ancient India from Andronovo, including territory of Ural federal district in modern Russia. And it might be one explanation of some of the common "pagan" (before importation of Semitic religion) mythology across Europe-India - e.g. Thor = Indra = Zeus.

    Obviously events of 2000 BC are rather funnily, or idiotically, used by modern nationalists for their ego boosting.

  188. @Lin
    I mentioned India as a reference because a number of posts already did.
    I just want to high light the problems 3rd world nations face.
    India is a very complicate country to start with; it's far more complicate than

    'India’s potential human capital is suppressed by poverty, food poisoning, ecological disaster'
     
    These problems are common to most 3rd world nations. A good example is Bangladesh: A country born of chaos, high popn density and started off even less developed than india. Yet it seems Bangladesh has been growing well economically in recent years and even manage to curb popn growth as a muslim country.
    India is a baffling strange case. Because of their lack of proper pre-islam/Mughal historiography, the hindu nationalists even cook up something called 'Out of India' that ancient india is actually the birth place of the 'aryan' race and the white euros are their descendents . I definitely would add insecure national psyche to their problem list.
    (Let me repost: What hold a country together?It could be same race,same language, same sense of history... .These at large don't apply to indian, so the only cultural component that the majority of Indians have in common actually is 'religion',so indian nationalism is hindu nationalism.).
    Personally I don't want to predict when will china, india...become developed 1st world countries because human behavior is inherently unpredictable. What had predicted the collapse of USSR during the heyday of the sputnik 33 yrs earlier?

    Don’t worry – I was apologizing, because I am the main person writing about India.

    ancient india is actually the birth place of the ‘aryan’ race and the white euros are their

    There is an immigration to very Ancient India from Andronovo, including territory of Ural federal district in modern Russia. And it might be one explanation of some of the common “pagan” (before importation of Semitic religion) mythology across Europe-India – e.g. Thor = Indra = Zeus.

    Obviously events of 2000 BC are rather funnily, or idiotically, used by modern nationalists for their ego boosting.

  189. @Dmitry

    Newton’s “discoveries” were already known by Mozi
     
    That's more like mythology.

    Like claiming Democritus has discovered atomic theory. Well, he has some intuitions about atoms, etc... it's not the same as the real theory.


    Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China
     
    Europe (or the small segment of society which are researchers) was vastly more advanced in this area - nothing in Chinese history can even touch the toes of e.g. Newton.

    Europeans didn’t even know how to make good porcelain or silk
     
    And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles.

    “… he has some intuitions about atoms, etc… it’s not the same as the real theory.”

    1. Democritus’ concept of atom was wrong in some aspects by modern standard – so, you are right, we can’t credit him to the discovery of atomic theory. But at least historians (or scientists) still mention him when discussing atom today. On the other hand, I don’t see how Mozi’ understanding of Newton’s 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton’s.

    2. My point being that in pre-modern science era, many people in different civilizations knew many laws, principles and theorems (many attached with western names today) of the physical world as well, if not better than contemporary Europeans. Another example is the Archimedes principle. Historic texts in China indicated that this idea was well understood and being applied in many practical problems. I can give further examples in sciences and math.

    3. It is therefore hard to claim which civilizations understood the physical world better before (around) the time of Newton, when Europeans surged ahead.

    “And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles.”

    1. I doubt it was due to technological problem. After all, they built the Great Wall, many stone bridges, Grand Canal and elaborate mausoleums for thousands of years. Whereas Europeans probably couldn’t master the technologies of porcelain and silk making. They didn’t have anything similar or close.

    2. Even if it was true that Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don’t believe), my original point still stands that China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century, even after Europeans dominated the basic sciences.

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Mozi’ understanding of Newton’s 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton’s.
     
    There's vast difference someone observing some obvious intuition about reality, that something will move unless there is an opposing force (millions of people - including many children - will have thought the same as Mozi about inertia, in human history, and no-one says Hobbes is important, even though he also says that), and Newtonian mechanics as actually systematized knowledge.
    http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/PR-ADV-B-00039-00001/1

    Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don’t believe),

     

    16th century European architecture (Procuratie Nuove, Venice):
    https://i.imgur.com/rsf13XS.jpg

    16th century - Piazza San Marco
    https://i.imgur.com/L3Ov5lT.jpg

    17th century - Versailles?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETmC3jkDAwY


    Wurzburg?

    https://www.bavaria.by/wp-content/uploads//2018/01/wuerzburg-resi-brunnen.jpg


    Large list here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    17th century China - "Hall of Supreme Harmony"

    https://i.imgur.com/aZTkPm3.jpg


    China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century
     
    Is this true?

    If we compare soldiers Ming dynasty, which ends in the 17th century, with an army of the Spanish Empire? Or a 17th century navy?

  190. @Dmitry

    Newton’s “discoveries” were already known by Mozi
     
    That's more like mythology.

    Like claiming Democritus has discovered atomic theory. Well, he has some intuitions about atoms, etc... it's not the same as the real theory.


    Europeans were more advanced in fundamental sciences at that time, but China
     
    Europe (or the small segment of society which are researchers) was vastly more advanced in this area - nothing in Chinese history can even touch the toes of e.g. Newton.

    Europeans didn’t even know how to make good porcelain or silk
     
    And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles.

    I wouldnt call the forbidden city “mediocre”

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Aesthetically - it is a matter of taste, and you might find it more beautiful.

    But in terms of construction, it's very basic compared to equivalent 17th century Europe. Europe was far ahead in construction in 17th century, actually a lot earlier (if you would view it as a contest or something technological).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

  191. @John Arthur
    Lol. Indians aren't a majority in any of those states with the second biggest groups being black.
    In all three, Blacks are 30%+ of the population.
    China and other Han States are 90%+ Han. Only in Singapore Indians and Chinese exist in large numbers together and in that country Indians to better.
    Try to develop with those circumstances of being 30% Black-I bet China would collapse. US nearly did multiple times with Blacks only being 15ish percent of the pop.
    And Mauritius is richer than China at ppp levels per capita.

    Its not hard to beat the PRC in GDP PPP per capita, much of Latin america does so. The PRC is while quickly growing still low GDP, more so then core India though. Which is why I focus on oversees Han and Indian dominated states as proxies for predicting the potential of a people. No Indian dominated state (Like Mauritus) has gotten into the first world, besides that % of indians in a country does not influence GDP per capitavs non Hindu dominated neighbors. Meanwhile in Southeastasia its easy to see that the more Han chinese in a population the richer the country (Malaysia being richer then Indonesia) and Han majority settler colonies like Taiwan or Singapore are firmly in the first world.

    Also Singapore has a high Maly lower class and is still firmly 1st world

    • Replies: @Lin
    Both nominal and PPP GDP are inadequate but the latter is basically the GDP for the insecure because it's basis of comparision is fluid or apologetical and doesn't take care of comsumption pattern:
    --For very poor countries, food are the most important family budget items and it so happened that developed countries like US and Holland(yes, a small&amazing country)have lower agricultural production cost(and therefore lower unsubsidized bulk food price before distribution)due to more advanced agricultural tech and mechanization. The only exceptions probably are developed Japan and developing Brazil.
    --For the better off developing like brazil and lower ranked developed like eastern euro countries, I think electricity consumption is a better measure.
    --For the truely developed countries, I suggest one should look at the average price/specs, quantities of the gadgets, cars, vanity designer labelled symbols people own.
    …………….
    I remember a poster once said it only costs US$85/month to hire a domestic in his home country; my question what could that domestic do with US$85/month? Definitely that amount would suffice quite a number of haircuts at local barbar shops; but how many kg of chicken breast ? How many months of pay for a washing machine?
    , @John Arthur
    Actually Trinidad has incomes in the firat world,. Im not contestinf that the Chinese are smart-they are. Im just saying the easiest explanation for the success of the Indian Diaspora os that Ibdians are pretty smart, and that India has a good chance of being somewhat successful in the long run even though their cureent countries arent doing so well.

    An good example would be the Hispanics. Virtually none of thwir countriea are in the first world, yet in the US their socioeconomic rise has been nothing shoet of remarkable, and it is likely that they will converge to the White median soon enough.

    Remember, while China has been a great nation for the last 2000 years, its people have been the poorest in the world almost uniformly dueing that time period. Recent Chinese success per capita is a new trend, and kne you would not have predicted looking at history.

    While people on this website love talking about demographics, governance matters as well, and the varying quality of governance can sometimes be difficuly to explain. After all, how did thr US do somrthing as monumentallu stupid as invading Iraq after decades of relatively sensible policu making?
  192. @Unknown128
    Its not hard to beat the PRC in GDP PPP per capita, much of Latin america does so. The PRC is while quickly growing still low GDP, more so then core India though. Which is why I focus on oversees Han and Indian dominated states as proxies for predicting the potential of a people. No Indian dominated state (Like Mauritus) has gotten into the first world, besides that % of indians in a country does not influence GDP per capitavs non Hindu dominated neighbors. Meanwhile in Southeastasia its easy to see that the more Han chinese in a population the richer the country (Malaysia being richer then Indonesia) and Han majority settler colonies like Taiwan or Singapore are firmly in the first world.

    Also Singapore has a high Maly lower class and is still firmly 1st world

    Both nominal and PPP GDP are inadequate but the latter is basically the GDP for the insecure because it’s basis of comparision is fluid or apologetical and doesn’t take care of comsumption pattern:
    –For very poor countries, food are the most important family budget items and it so happened that developed countries like US and Holland(yes, a small&amazing country)have lower agricultural production cost(and therefore lower unsubsidized bulk food price before distribution)due to more advanced agricultural tech and mechanization. The only exceptions probably are developed Japan and developing Brazil.
    –For the better off developing like brazil and lower ranked developed like eastern euro countries, I think electricity consumption is a better measure.
    –For the truely developed countries, I suggest one should look at the average price/specs, quantities of the gadgets, cars, vanity designer labelled symbols people own.
    …………….
    I remember a poster once said it only costs US$85/month to hire a domestic in his home country; my question what could that domestic do with US$85/month? Definitely that amount would suffice quite a number of haircuts at local barbar shops; but how many kg of chicken breast ? How many months of pay for a washing machine?

  193. @d dan
    "... he has some intuitions about atoms, etc… it’s not the same as the real theory."

    1. Democritus' concept of atom was wrong in some aspects by modern standard - so, you are right, we can't credit him to the discovery of atomic theory. But at least historians (or scientists) still mention him when discussing atom today. On the other hand, I don't see how Mozi' understanding of Newton's 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton's.

    2. My point being that in pre-modern science era, many people in different civilizations knew many laws, principles and theorems (many attached with western names today) of the physical world as well, if not better than contemporary Europeans. Another example is the Archimedes principle. Historic texts in China indicated that this idea was well understood and being applied in many practical problems. I can give further examples in sciences and math.

    3. It is therefore hard to claim which civilizations understood the physical world better before (around) the time of Newton, when Europeans surged ahead.


    "And China produced mediocre wood buildings in the 17th century, while in Europe is constructing Palace of Versailles."

    1. I doubt it was due to technological problem. After all, they built the Great Wall, many stone bridges, Grand Canal and elaborate mausoleums for thousands of years. Whereas Europeans probably couldn't master the technologies of porcelain and silk making. They didn't have anything similar or close.

    2. Even if it was true that Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don't believe), my original point still stands that China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century, even after Europeans dominated the basic sciences.

    Mozi’ understanding of Newton’s 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton’s.

    There’s vast difference someone observing some obvious intuition about reality, that something will move unless there is an opposing force (millions of people – including many children – will have thought the same as Mozi about inertia, in human history, and no-one says Hobbes is important, even though he also says that), and Newtonian mechanics as actually systematized knowledge.
    http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/PR-ADV-B-00039-00001/1

    Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don’t believe),

    16th century European architecture (Procuratie Nuove, Venice):
    16th century – Piazza San Marco
    17th century – Versailles?

    Wurzburg?

    Large list here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    17th century China – “Hall of Supreme Harmony”

    China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century

    Is this true?

    If we compare soldiers Ming dynasty, which ends in the 17th century, with an army of the Spanish Empire? Or a 17th century navy?

    • Replies: @d dan
    I suspect you have under-estimated (probably a lot) the sophistication of ancient Chinese construction technologies. Take the Great Wall, for example, it is an enormously complicated construction - just the problems on the terrain were sufficient to stop the best European engineers. Of course, you also have to take care of the weather, the transport, the logistics, the military requirements, ... and even standardization of different regions (yes, the Great Wall is not a monolithic structure like what tourists see today). And there were many others like the mausoleum of the first emperor, the Grand Canal....

    Maybe you are right that there were European techniques that Chinese were not aware of, but I still don't know any of them even after browsing your link.

    "Is this true?"

    Chinese were way ahead of other civilizations in inventions and technologies for thousands of years. Yes, by 17th century, they started to fall behind in some. But I believe they still attained leadership in many areas into 19th century. Those were mostly non-military technologies. I mentioned porcelain and silk making. Others include agricultural technologies (most important being the rice growing, but also others), herbal medicine, paper making. Hell, they even make the best kite in the world. :-)

  194. @Unknown128
    I wouldnt call the forbidden city "mediocre"

    Aesthetically – it is a matter of taste, and you might find it more beautiful.

    But in terms of construction, it’s very basic compared to equivalent 17th century Europe. Europe was far ahead in construction in 17th century, actually a lot earlier (if you would view it as a contest or something technological).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    • Replies: @d dan
    In my opinion, the Forbidden City, while grand and visible, is not even in the top 10 most difficult projects ancient Chinese undertook. It may not even in the top 50.
    , @Unknown128
    China stopped inovation mostly after the Mongol invasion (although the early Yuan still had some, particularly in Math), still it took time for the west to catch up in technology,see Joseph Needhams work for that.
  195. @Unknown128
    Its not hard to beat the PRC in GDP PPP per capita, much of Latin america does so. The PRC is while quickly growing still low GDP, more so then core India though. Which is why I focus on oversees Han and Indian dominated states as proxies for predicting the potential of a people. No Indian dominated state (Like Mauritus) has gotten into the first world, besides that % of indians in a country does not influence GDP per capitavs non Hindu dominated neighbors. Meanwhile in Southeastasia its easy to see that the more Han chinese in a population the richer the country (Malaysia being richer then Indonesia) and Han majority settler colonies like Taiwan or Singapore are firmly in the first world.

    Also Singapore has a high Maly lower class and is still firmly 1st world

    Actually Trinidad has incomes in the firat world,. Im not contestinf that the Chinese are smart-they are. Im just saying the easiest explanation for the success of the Indian Diaspora os that Ibdians are pretty smart, and that India has a good chance of being somewhat successful in the long run even though their cureent countries arent doing so well.

    An good example would be the Hispanics. Virtually none of thwir countriea are in the first world, yet in the US their socioeconomic rise has been nothing shoet of remarkable, and it is likely that they will converge to the White median soon enough.

    Remember, while China has been a great nation for the last 2000 years, its people have been the poorest in the world almost uniformly dueing that time period. Recent Chinese success per capita is a new trend, and kne you would not have predicted looking at history.

    While people on this website love talking about demographics, governance matters as well, and the varying quality of governance can sometimes be difficuly to explain. After all, how did thr US do somrthing as monumentallu stupid as invading Iraq after decades of relatively sensible policu making?

  196. @Dmitry

    Mozi’ understanding of Newton’s 1st law was wrong, or different from Newton’s.
     
    There's vast difference someone observing some obvious intuition about reality, that something will move unless there is an opposing force (millions of people - including many children - will have thought the same as Mozi about inertia, in human history, and no-one says Hobbes is important, even though he also says that), and Newtonian mechanics as actually systematized knowledge.
    http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/PR-ADV-B-00039-00001/1

    Europeans were ahead in architectural construction (which I don’t believe),

     

    16th century European architecture (Procuratie Nuove, Venice):
    https://i.imgur.com/rsf13XS.jpg

    16th century - Piazza San Marco
    https://i.imgur.com/L3Ov5lT.jpg

    17th century - Versailles?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETmC3jkDAwY


    Wurzburg?

    https://www.bavaria.by/wp-content/uploads//2018/01/wuerzburg-resi-brunnen.jpg


    Large list here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    17th century China - "Hall of Supreme Harmony"

    https://i.imgur.com/aZTkPm3.jpg


    China was ahead in many areas of technologies and applied science, as late as 19th century
     
    Is this true?

    If we compare soldiers Ming dynasty, which ends in the 17th century, with an army of the Spanish Empire? Or a 17th century navy?

    I suspect you have under-estimated (probably a lot) the sophistication of ancient Chinese construction technologies. Take the Great Wall, for example, it is an enormously complicated construction – just the problems on the terrain were sufficient to stop the best European engineers. Of course, you also have to take care of the weather, the transport, the logistics, the military requirements, … and even standardization of different regions (yes, the Great Wall is not a monolithic structure like what tourists see today). And there were many others like the mausoleum of the first emperor, the Grand Canal….

    Maybe you are right that there were European techniques that Chinese were not aware of, but I still don’t know any of them even after browsing your link.

    “Is this true?”

    Chinese were way ahead of other civilizations in inventions and technologies for thousands of years. Yes, by 17th century, they started to fall behind in some. But I believe they still attained leadership in many areas into 19th century. Those were mostly non-military technologies. I mentioned porcelain and silk making. Others include agricultural technologies (most important being the rice growing, but also others), herbal medicine, paper making. Hell, they even make the best kite in the world. 🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    I mentioned porcelain and silk making.
     
    But these are "technologies", which were thousands of years old.

    They were not created in 17th century China, or a result of the contemporary culture of that century.

    It's like India was more advanced than all the other countries of the world in philosophy and religion, but this was a product of their ancient civilization. In 17th century, Indians were mostly free riding on ancient knowledge in philosophy and religion, not producing new knowledge.

  197. @Dmitry
    Aesthetically - it is a matter of taste, and you might find it more beautiful.

    But in terms of construction, it's very basic compared to equivalent 17th century Europe. Europe was far ahead in construction in 17th century, actually a lot earlier (if you would view it as a contest or something technological).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    In my opinion, the Forbidden City, while grand and visible, is not even in the top 10 most difficult projects ancient Chinese undertook. It may not even in the top 50.

  198. @d dan
    I suspect you have under-estimated (probably a lot) the sophistication of ancient Chinese construction technologies. Take the Great Wall, for example, it is an enormously complicated construction - just the problems on the terrain were sufficient to stop the best European engineers. Of course, you also have to take care of the weather, the transport, the logistics, the military requirements, ... and even standardization of different regions (yes, the Great Wall is not a monolithic structure like what tourists see today). And there were many others like the mausoleum of the first emperor, the Grand Canal....

    Maybe you are right that there were European techniques that Chinese were not aware of, but I still don't know any of them even after browsing your link.

    "Is this true?"

    Chinese were way ahead of other civilizations in inventions and technologies for thousands of years. Yes, by 17th century, they started to fall behind in some. But I believe they still attained leadership in many areas into 19th century. Those were mostly non-military technologies. I mentioned porcelain and silk making. Others include agricultural technologies (most important being the rice growing, but also others), herbal medicine, paper making. Hell, they even make the best kite in the world. :-)

    I mentioned porcelain and silk making.

    But these are “technologies”, which were thousands of years old.

    They were not created in 17th century China, or a result of the contemporary culture of that century.

    It’s like India was more advanced than all the other countries of the world in philosophy and religion, but this was a product of their ancient civilization. In 17th century, Indians were mostly free riding on ancient knowledge in philosophy and religion, not producing new knowledge.

    • Replies: @d dan
    "They were not created in 17th century China, or a result of the contemporary culture of that century."

    Do you know that among the later dynasties, Song, Yuen, Ming and Qinq's porcelain were very different in quality, variety, production methods, decorative techniques, and artistic styles?

    Yes, porcelain was not invented in 17th century, but the technologies have been improving ever since its invention. It is totally reasonable to say US has the best airplane technologies in 21st century, although airplane is not invented in 21st century.
  199. @Dmitry
    Aesthetically - it is a matter of taste, and you might find it more beautiful.

    But in terms of construction, it's very basic compared to equivalent 17th century Europe. Europe was far ahead in construction in 17th century, actually a lot earlier (if you would view it as a contest or something technological).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_residences

    China stopped inovation mostly after the Mongol invasion (although the early Yuan still had some, particularly in Math), still it took time for the west to catch up in technology,see Joseph Needhams work for that.

  200. @Dmitry

    I mentioned porcelain and silk making.
     
    But these are "technologies", which were thousands of years old.

    They were not created in 17th century China, or a result of the contemporary culture of that century.

    It's like India was more advanced than all the other countries of the world in philosophy and religion, but this was a product of their ancient civilization. In 17th century, Indians were mostly free riding on ancient knowledge in philosophy and religion, not producing new knowledge.

    “They were not created in 17th century China, or a result of the contemporary culture of that century.”

    Do you know that among the later dynasties, Song, Yuen, Ming and Qinq’s porcelain were very different in quality, variety, production methods, decorative techniques, and artistic styles?

    Yes, porcelain was not invented in 17th century, but the technologies have been improving ever since its invention. It is totally reasonable to say US has the best airplane technologies in 21st century, although airplane is not invented in 21st century.

  201. institutionalized racism, excessive consumption of energy and other resources, capital punishment, and so on.

    Not the brightest observer of actual issues facing the US it seems. (Maybe he thinks that “untapped expansive potential of the US economy” comes from a couple hundred less executions and some races suddenly starting to vastly outperform their IQs, or some other naivete.)

  202. @Annatar
    "Equally, however, the deep uncertainty over its long-run demographic and economic outlook, and the untapped expansive potential of the US economy, not to mention the richness and robustness of the US-led world order, make it unlikely that China will ever unseat the United States as the world’s technological, cultural, and political leader."

    What exactly does Kroeber mean by this, demographically the US fertility rate is just 10% above China's and its natural growth rate is already lower then China, China's GDP is already 30% larger than the US and on current trends will be 2x as large in PPP terms by 2030.

    As for the 'richness and robustness of the US-led world order", I don't know what to say other than it sounds like propaganda straight from the US State Department.

    One final point on demographics that is a pretty strong argument for the Chinese system relative to America is that China's life expectancy is up to 77 now, just 1.5 years below America and will overtake American life expectancy by the mid 2020's.

    What a nonsense paragraph.

    “cultural, and political” are the only three words that ring true here.

    The US may continue to wield political power, for a time, while backed by technological advantages that won’t hold up and a military advantage for a while. And it’s cultural lead may hold up much longer, but the supposed headwinds to China or tailwinds for the US he’s referencing here are what exactly?

  203. @anon
    "Not quite sure what he means by “untapped expansive potential of the US economy”.

    He's probably imagining filling up the continental United States with unlimited numbers of immigrants. I'm not sure how that will play out considering most of them will be non-white. Nations with huge group disparities in wealth or ability or representation have poor track records of not destroying themselves in the long run. Eventually, as we saw in tragic fall of the African nation of Zimbabwe (and increasingly in South Africa), one group in a diverse society, perhaps spurred on by a demagogue, seizes from another and destroys the prosperity of all. The poor blacks of Zimbabwe had an incentive to keep white farmers on their lands because it was in their group's best economic interest. Naively, an outsider would have assumed the population would have realized that and acted accordingly. But humans are fundamentally tribal and short0sighted by nature, some moreso than others. The people of Zimbabwe ruined themselves by killing their economic golden goose, the white farmer. They drove him off his lands, sometimes with violence, as the Western world ignored his plight. Misery followed. Worse, the people of Zimbabwe brought back the demagogue who encouraged them, Robert Mugabe, in 2013. I suspect a similar fate awaits the United States in the long-run.

    The democrats are already channeling the spirit of Robert Mugabe's racist demagoguery with talk of reparations, institutional bias, police shootings, etc. I see this rhetoric escalating in the future. Why would it not? What's to stop it?

    And that's on top of all the other odious racial policies already imposed on the American economy: companies must state whether they have diversity policies (a means of publicly shaming companies into adopting ethnic quotas); affirmative action; the many racial scandals of Barack Obama, like his attempt to lower air traffic controller standards to get more of his own race into those jobs or his DOE abolishing due process rights for male students accused of sexual misconduct, setting off a wave of false accusations and multi-million dollar lawsuits against American colleges; government contract set asides for non-whites; disparate impact; HR departments; etc etc etc.

    In the near future, it wouldn't surprise me if the democrats imposed financial penalties on companies for not have more racially and gender-diverse boards and work forces, even in critical industries like Silicon Valley. California already does this by fining companies $100,000 for not having a female on their board of directors. I see nothing stopping this from becoming a requirement to have one of each race and gender. How competitive will American companies be when that happens? How competitive are they now? American car companies can't sell in Japan or Europe, for the most part. There are things they do sell, like software, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the US established an early monopoly, which has discouraged competitors; that may not last forever. What about Manufacturing? Lol, nope. The US deindustrialized itself for short-term profit ages ago. Maybe agriculture, but how sad would it be for the US to become the world's greatest society only for it then to destroy itself and end up a backwards agrarian society racked with continual racial unrest, dysfunction, and poverty?

    Entertainment? Well, not when photo-realistic CGI and A.I. technologies allow the Chinese to make movies of the same visual and linguistic quality as Western films; see the videogame industry as an example of how easy it is to compete with the Americans once language is removed as a barrier (hint: Sony and Nintendo have dominated Microsoft this console generation).

    Personally, I see no reason why China can't have cultural influence before 2050 should they adopt the right policies and technologies beforehand. Mostly, it will depend upon how far they are willing to go to get it. If they are willing to grant permanent resident status to Western artists and work on developing their own videogame and movie industries into international export powerhouses, industries free of odious Western gender and racial politics, it could be done. South Korea, a comparatively much smaller country, enjoys international acclaim for its romantic dramas everywhere except the US; their K-Pop industry is also surprisingly influential. China could do much better with the right leadership.

    And there's a lot to suggest that may be the case in the future as America finds itself increasingly at odds with global attitudes and tastes (even domestic tastes). Example: DC and Marvel comics are on the verge of closing, and not all of that is due to digital competition. Tellingly, Marvel is outsourcing its characters to a Japanese firm with Japanese writers in order to escape the extremist SJWs who've ruined their brand with forced inclusion and gender politics. The same phenomenon is seen throughout Hollywood, too. Do they make anything that isn't a rehash and is also original (and good)? The few times they do, either the increasingly dumb American audience rejects it or there is an inevitable race controversy centering on casting. It's mostly safe rehashes now because they've focused on recruiting skin color over talent. Movies today are disproportionately trash, and I don't think that's just nostalgia on my part. There is a severe lack of talent and drive and a poor creative culture. That means there is potentially an opening for China should they want to exploit it. These stupid superhero movies can't last forever ... can they? I'll cut my spiel short here by saying that China may not be as culturally isolated as they are now in the future should this oppressive PC environment continue in the US and China gets her game ready.

    The democrats are already channeling the spirit of Robert Mugabe’s racist demagoguery with talk of reparations, institutional bias, police shootings, etc. I see this rhetoric escalating in the future. Why would it not? What’s to stop it?

    Basically this; the US is in a demographic death spiral from the composition of its younger generation already. Racial handouts, grievances, open borders, low social trust, corporate inefficiency et al will only get worse from here.

  204. @Dmitry
    If we look at the area of logic, Ancient India was more advanced in logic than Ancient Greece.

    For example, although I can’t find any tutorial on Panini's logic, it is described like Boolean algebra.
    http://doc.gold.ac.uk/aisb50/AISB50-S13/AISB50-S13-Kadvany-paper.pdf

    Or another biography of Panini (520 BC-460 BC), which claims his grammar has the same power as modern systems (but with no tutorial)

    " The Backus Normal Form was discovered independently by John Backus in 1959, but Panini's notation is equivalent in its power to that of Backus and has many similar properties."

    http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Panini.html

    -

    For another example - one of the Great Philosophers of the modern world (Schopenhauer), recommends that the Upanishads are the greatest work of philosophy of all time.

    Or writes Schopenhauer, in World as Will and Representation, for example:


    the Vedas, the fruit of the highest human knowledge and wisdom, the kernel of which has at last reached us in the Upanishads as the greatest gift of this century.
     
    -

    Schopenhauer about Aristotle in World as Will and Representation:


    If we thus observe how the course of Greek culture had prepared the way for, and led up to the work of Aristotle, we shall be little inclined to believe the assertion of the Persian author, quoted by Sir William Jones with much approval, that Kallisthenes found a complete system of logic among the Indians, and sent it to his uncle Aristotle
     

    May be right, but that’s one (not particularly useful) area. In more productive sectors (or basic ones like sanitation) they still have a ways to go.

    Whatever a few upper-caste part-Aryan philosophers came up with millenia ago, a lot of evolution has happened since and the caste system hasn’t been kind to the average genetic IQ over there.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    This is my point. Ancient India was more speculatively intelligent than Europe, except for Greece. And yet modern India, is one of the most backward and undeveloped countries in the world, and is not revolutionizing world philosophy either.

    Current stage of the civilization, is not the "end point", but perhaps the bottom of a two thousand year decline. It's difficult to estimate what will be human capital if it was a developed country, especially in this case (although to a lesser extent also in China), when today large proportion of Indian population is living in conditions like:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7945mcrvd_c

  205. @Dmitry
    It's likely there is partly genetically determined different distribution of abilities in different nationalities.

    However, as actually expressed in national life, it is difficult to separate any innate character, from developed path of the civilization, geography, and recent history.

    Profession this topic is understood most by, will be any intelligent synoptic historians, who have usually understood their subject as the messy mix of a thousand variables.

    What is your view of IQ?

    Profession this topic is understood most by, will be any intelligent synoptic historians, who have usually understood their subject as the messy mix of a thousand variables.

  206. @AaronB
    I'm not sure I understand you.

    My point is that European reactions to China are as much a reflection of what stage of history Europe is in, as it is about the "intrinsic" character of China.

    Which makes sense, as no observer can be objective, but can only make comparisons with his own state.

    In this case, Christian morality is obviously as impressive as Confucius, yet by Leibnitzs time, after a man like Machiavelli had written, European morality was in a process of decline.

    Then by the late 19th century, when Schopenhauerian pessimism and gloom pervaded the educated classes of Europe, the energy and optimism of the Chinese, who had not undergone a process of philosophical disillusionment, was bound to strike European observers, and influence their impressions.

    I am, in short, trying to introduce depth and intelligent complexity to a conversation that all too often resorts to simple minded notions of a timeless "intrinsic" character of nations that only awaits an "objective" observer to notice and record.

    Obviously I will fail in this objective, as the West is undergoing a process of intellectual closing of the mind which cannot be reversed - which is why I mentioned that in a few decades, Western observers will likely be in awe at the Chinese capacity to understand national character in dynamic, complex terms, while we will have reverted to a primitive philosophy of simple essences.

    I can't see what you object to in all this.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT7FNZi59bYzOWDNyUDYV5M_AqmPSIRBc2TahYkWpdUUgryNeGT

    Underappreciated graph.

    VERY STRONG recent selection on the highly heritable trait of openness to ideas (a key measure of intellectual inclination and creativity and historical driver of scientific and other forms of progress).

    A 20% (!!!) reproductive disadvantage to a trait with ~0.7-0.8 heritability, when using combined self and peer reports, has a major effect on the population.

  207. @Aft
    May be right, but that's one (not particularly useful) area. In more productive sectors (or basic ones like sanitation) they still have a ways to go.

    Whatever a few upper-caste part-Aryan philosophers came up with millenia ago, a lot of evolution has happened since and the caste system hasn't been kind to the average genetic IQ over there.

    This is my point. Ancient India was more speculatively intelligent than Europe, except for Greece. And yet modern India, is one of the most backward and undeveloped countries in the world, and is not revolutionizing world philosophy either.

    Current stage of the civilization, is not the “end point”, but perhaps the bottom of a two thousand year decline. It’s difficult to estimate what will be human capital if it was a developed country, especially in this case (although to a lesser extent also in China), when today large proportion of Indian population is living in conditions like:

    • Replies: @Brutis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian_states_and_union_territories_by_GDP_per_capita

    Western India has already achieved a second world standard of living.

    India is really three countries economically.

    My numbers may be old but are reasonable by PPP

    Agriculture is around 1.5-3k USD
    Manufacturing is around 6-8K
    Services is 10-12

    The real transformation occurring is that very few households rely solely on agriculture now to make ends meet.

    Furthermore, people discount the fact that similar to Japan a British stooge party ruled India for basically the entire period until 1992.

    Since then it has made significant progress.
    Readers here should know that political power is always the goal of any elite.
    The Indian elite would deny villages who rebelled in 1857 even a bridge well into the 80s.

    Look at the toilet meme for example, from 44% in 2014 to over 98% today.

    Recently, the supreme Court has been banning many traditional festivals and in christian schools which have a pseudo monopoly children have been beaten to death by principles for wearing cultural symbols.

    https://yugaparivartan.com/2018/05/30/sterlite-protests-development-hits-minority-roadblock/

    A large copper plant was shut down with the help of evangelical missionaries who will then prey (pray) on the despair.

    --
    Overall, while it may not end up at the forefront of everything due to iq or w/e,
    With an average iq somewhere in the low to mid 90s, a somewhat more religious population, a common language of Sanskrit (being revived) & the sheer scale of the population it will do alright.

    People forget how geographically isolated India is and therefore hard to influence.

    On the South is the Indian Ocean, the Mountains to the North have racially and culturally similar people with 0 chance of large population movements and to the east are all likewise similar Buddhist or Hindu states with vast tracts of rainforest.

    The British canal colonies greatly expanded the frontier of Indic population versus Iranic, the latter had been gaining since Islam.

    The region of Punjab mostly Pakistan today was traditionally arid and sparsely populated yet is now as big as UP. The traditional seat of power was in Delhi but now Lahore can contest it.

    Without going into too much detail and phone typing is annoying India is in a stronger position than much of the last 1000 years.

    Comparing to the high points such as Sikh or Maratha Empires is one thing but remember the Turkic invaders who carried off slaves or the British who persecuted Brahmins.

    The Huns so devastated Taxila in NW India that two Chinese travellers each a few centuries apart gave vividly differing accounts on the university there. Fa Hien described it as Heaven and 150 years after the Huns the other one said life scarcely exists.

    However, areas such as Punjab, Sindh or Bengal were for centuries considered outside of the mainstream Hindu fold. Core Hindu areas have not really been lost.

    Obviously, we think Hindus are today cowardly and have forgotten who they are but Panjabis look down on everyone. 🤷‍♀️


    (even the demographic issue of traditional core India, which included even Java & Filipinos were Hindus I think, of being surrounded by 8-900million muslims if you include Indonesia & Malaysia will even