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Wang Huning
America Against America
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Preface • 3,000 Words
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From late August 1988, I was invited to the United States for a six-month academic visit. During that time, I visited more than thirty cities and nearly twenty universities, did research in dozens of government and private sectors, and discussed the United States with a wide range of Americans and foreigners. I documented my daily discussions, visits, and observations, and this book was born.

Obviously, I studied and viewed the United States as a society as an observer rather than an investigator, and I can say that my visit in the United States had a purpose, which was to get to know this number one capitalist country in more detail and in a more realistic way. We should look at it as a history, a culture, a people, a set of institutions, and not as a few abstract dogmatic concepts. In my book Comparative Political Analysis, published in 1987, I proposed a design for analyzing socio-political movements using a historically-socially-culturally conditioned landscape. In that book, it was by and large only a macro-framework design. This time, too, an attempt is made to use this approach to analyze a political community, the United States, specifically.

The fundamental purpose of this book, therefore, is not to explore the diverse dimensions, the colorful landscapes, and the intricate movements it depicts, but to explore the political and social management processes of American society, and although the book attempts to cover as many dimensions and topics as possible, its analysis remains consistent with these themes. The development and flux of a society is inseparable from its politics and the way it is managed. It can be said that what kind of politics and social management there is, is what kind of social development there is. It is difficult to analyze and understand the United States without this logic. I just want to answer a simple HO question by dissecting the multiple dimensions of society: “Why is there an America?” This question is simple, but it is far beyond my ability to do so, and I know it well.

The approach of this book is to analyze American society using a framework of historical-social-cultural conditions without considering any of these factors in isolation. Human social life, political life, and cultural life are infinitely intricate and intertwined networks. It would be difficult to analyze and view one of these issues in isolation or simply.

Since it is a concrete application of the above method, it requires careful and vivid observation, documentation, and analysis of all aspects of a society. That is why this book is more about concrete portrayal and factual recording than abstract reasoning. Any abstract reasoning can only be derived from observation and analysis of facts, and for abstract reasoning to be convincing, it is important that there are no convincing facts to lay the foundation. Sometimes one needs to do a kind of work, which is to provide the opportunity to think, rather than the conclusion of thinking. Of course, the various real-life accounts in this book follow my thinking and conclusions, but I have also tried to make it possible to provide opportunities for others to think.

This book takes the United States as the object of analysis, because the United States, like China, constitutes a special phenomenon of humanity in the twentieth century, which can be called the “American phenomenon”. The “Chinese phenomenon” is why this ancient civilization with a long history of more than 2,000 years has declined in the modern era. Why is it lagging behind the modern nations of the world? This has caused generations of scholars and scholars to think hard. The “American phenomenon” has a different dimension, and people wonder why this nation, with a short history of only two hundred years, has become the world’s leading developed country today. I believe that scholars living in the twentieth century have a responsibility to study these two phenomena. As a Chinese scholar, he has a dual responsibility to study both the “Chinese phenomenon” and the “American phenomenon. In this way, he can better understand himself and the world, and better explore the path to China’s strength.

America Against America is probably a strange and rather puzzling title for a book. My intention with this title is to show that America is not a simple homogeneous whole that can be dismissed with a single sentence. In the old days, when people started from a dogmatic view of America as a mere “exploitation of surplus value,” a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie,” and nothing more, then the reality of America would oppose this ominous “America “, the rigid conception of the United States. Now there is another extreme, some people imagine the United States as a rich paradise, perfect, then the reality of the United States is also opposed to such “America”, idealized America. Including American society itself, it has its affirmative and negative forces, and wherever affirmative forces can be found, negative forces can be found. This is the basic meaning of America Against America.

America Against America, shows the basic movement of society. But wherever there is a human invention, it cannot be ironclad, and it is not and cannot be possible to subsume a society all under one established concept. America Against America, indicates the book’s attempt to reveal what factors in American society constitute each of these two relative quantities of for. We cannot say in one sentence what America is, to say, but only: “America against America”.

The more one delves into the study of America, the more one gets rid of the sketched image, the easier it is to discover this inherent contradiction in American society. As a scholar who studies a society as an object of scientific research, one should not paint one’s object with a rose color, and certainly not with a coal gray color. Rather, one should objectively identify the pros and cons of the society. In general, scholars should be critical of what exists, which is the most important motivation for social development. In the case of the United States, I hold such a critical attitude. It is worth noting that the mechanisms that exist in American society, both good and bad, are the product of the historical-social-cultural conditions of that society, and they exist only in that environment, and cannot simply be applied to other societies. In this regard, it is not possible to simply imitate them between different countries.

The United States is a large country. In this big country, cite one image of America to cite an image of America in opposition to it. As is generally believed, the United States is a rich country, indeed, many people living in this place are very rich, rich enough to own a private jet airliner is not uncommon. The majority of the population can also be said to be living in “peace and happiness”, ordinary people generally have a small car and other equipment. But if this is America, then one can immediately paint a different picture of America. At the University of California, Berkeley, there is a place called “People’s Park”. The so-called “People’s Park” was originally an empty lot on Berkeley’s campus, but it was later occupied by homeless people. When I was there, there were hundreds of homeless people dressed in rags who spent the night there every day, some with small tents made of rags, others with newspapers on the ground, sleeping on the ground. The dirty, filthy, listless appearance of these Americans did not fit the concept of America in any way. Church charities came to give out breakfast each morning, and the university swimming pool was regularly opened for them to wash their bodies. On the night Bush was inaugurated as the 41st president, I saw homeless people sleeping in the doorways of the buildings lining Bush Street in San Francisco. Isn’t this America? Is this America? I’m afraid I can’t answer that with a single word.

The United States is also generally considered to be a Western democracy, and a typical Western democracy at that, and Americans are proud of it. The Constitution, election campaigns, separation of powers, citizen participation in politics, and so on and so forth show one side of this system, but on the other side, can each commoner really dominate the politics of this country? My analysis in this book shows that the powerful groups that dominate politics are above the common people. The constraints of private property on political democracy in the capitalist system of the United States cannot be ignored. Even American scholars have said that a political democracy cannot function properly where the differences in economic power are so great that one group can use non-political means to determine the woes of another group. A true political democracy must therefore involve the right of the governed to control economic policy through their representatives.” (Sydney Hooker, Reason, Social Myths, and Democracy, p. 286) Economic decision-making in the United States is largely controlled by private consortia. Is this democratic? Is it undemocratic? I’m afraid it can’t be answered in a single word.

Paradoxes like these abound. It can be said that the United States is a rich country, but it can also be said that the United States is a country full of poor people; it can be said that the United States is a typical Western democracy, but it can also be said that the United States is a not so democratic country; it can be said that the United States is a country with advanced education, but it can also be said that the United States has a lot of education problems; it can be said that the United States is a country where equality is paramount, but it can also be said that the United States is not so equal; it can be said that the United States is a stable We can say that the United States is a stable and developing society, but we can also say that the United States is a crisis-ridden society. My idea is to oppose the imaginary America with the factual America.

The United States is only one capitalist country, and it does not represent all Western capitalist societies. I simply want to use the case study of the United States to promote our understanding of capitalism and, indirectly, socialism as well.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Marx and Engels declared in The Communist Manifesto: “With the development of big industry, the very basis on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates its products is itself dug out from under its feet. It produces first of all its own gravediggers.” (Marx and Engels, vol. 1, p. 263) Lenin declared imperialism “dying” and “decaying” at the beginning of this century. After all these years, it should be said that capitalism is still developing and cannot be underestimated. The judgments and analyses of historical materialism are correct in terms of historical development. However, the law of the development of human society as indicated by historical materialism needs the maturity of historical conditions. When these conditions are not ripe, any subjective judgment is rather inconsistent with the logic of historical materialism. For a long time, driven by the reinforcement of ideology, once there was a total rejection of capitalism, which was influenced by dogmatism, which prevented people from judging capitalist society objectively and scientifically, and the influence of “left” ideology, which took class struggle as the outline, which disturbed our perspective of the whole world and prevented people from learning from advanced experience of other countries. It also prevents people from learning from the advanced experience of other countries. This not only hinders this, but actually also prevents people from correctly understanding and grasping the shortcomings of capitalism.

As human societies, no matter what the system is, there will be conflicts, conflicts, and needs. It should be useful to understand what methods different human societies use to resolve contradictions, mitigate conflicts, and meet needs. If my analysis of these issues contributes to the development and progress of Chinese society, then I will have achieved my original intention.

I think that the first thing to know about anything is to know and grasp it accurately or precisely, and then to analyze and evaluate it. This book is based on such logic.

There are eleven chapters in this book, and I would like to briefly point out here: (1) the uneven development of society and its various features; (2) the values that dominate political life and their flux; (3) the diverse character of the nation and its social efficacy; (4) the formal and informal mechanisms that regulate people’s social activities; (5) the political forces active in society and their relations; (6) the democratic and non-democratic elements in election campaigns; ( (7) top-down political operations and their characteristics; (8) non-political coordination mechanisms and socialized regulation; (9) the reproduction of culture, values and even institutions and the connection with education; (10) the role of ideas in the development and management of society; (11) the various undercurrents that threaten future development.

Although these eleven chapters contain quite a few aspects, the object is a large country, so the facets actually covered are only a limited aspect of American society. From this perspective, I think the book falls short on two counts.

First: The book is limited in its coverage and cannot possibly cover all aspects of every tree in the American forest, so it should be said that there are limitations. It cannot be said that these aspects adequately reflect the subject matter of this book. I wanted to do a “peek-a-boo” thing, but the question is whether the “peek-a-boo” was found. I think we have found some, but not many. The good thing is that we can find a lot of other literature that can make up for the shortcomings of this book.

Second, I analyze American society as an observer rather than a researcher. Some of the data and materials, though sourced, do not meet the standards of rigorous statistics. I am afraid that some of the issues discussed may be subjective, or even erroneous. Therefore, I hope that people will read this book from a macro-sociological point of view, rather than treating it as microbiology.

Also, in this book, I do not want to torture the reader with too much thoughtful analysis and theoretical quotations, which is not the purpose of this book.

Finally, I would like to thank the many institutions and friends who have been instrumental in bringing this book to fruition and without whom it could not have been written.

The CSCPRC, which invited me to be a visiting scholar in the United States for three months after the delegation’s visit, provided all the expenses; Fudan University, which arranged such a long period of time for me to leave my teaching job so that I could have time to study this topic; The University of Iowa’s political science department, which hosted me for three months and provided me with all the research and office facilities; the Chinese Cultural Studies Center at the University of Michigan, the political science department at Miami University in Ohio, which provided me with the opportunity to study this topic. The Center for Chinese Cultural Studies at the University of Michigan, the Department of Political Science at Miami University in Ohio, and the School of International Relations at the University of California, San Diego, all of which arranged short visits for me; and the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where I spent three weeks as a visiting scholar and was warmly received. Finally, I would like to thank the Faculty of Law at Keio University in Japan, where I spent a week gaining insight into the “Empire of the Sun” section.

On a personal note, that would be too much, and I would like to thank: Ms. Vergena Yen of the U.S.-China Academic Exchange Council, who carefully arranged the planning of my visit; Professor Steeves and family at the University of Iowa, who facilitated my visit for three months in a way that no one else could; Professor Douglas Madsen, Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa, and the entire faculty and staff. who helped me overcome many difficulties, and others such as Professor Lucine Pye, President of the American Political Science Association, Professor Arnold of the University of Miami, Professors Oxenberg and Kanru Lee of the University of Michigan, Professor Rosenblum of the University of Syracuse, Professor Mal Kahler of the University of California, San Diego, Professor Robert Scalavano of the University of California, Berkeley Professors Robert Scalavano and Giorgos; Professor Ryosei Kokubu of Keio University, Japan, and others. They have given me invaluable help.

I would like to thank my Chinese friends in the U.S. who have been living in the U.S. for many years and have enlightened me with many insights: Zheng Shiping, Shen Yi, Chen Feng, Gong Ting, Zhou Xueguang, Yu Xu, Wang Renli, Wu Danli, Lin Zhimin, Xu Huahua, Jin Ping, Gai Zheya, He Yufan, Yang Rijun, Huang Geng, Zhu Sheng, and many others. They live in different parts of the United States and all received the most typical Chinese hospitality when I arrived at their places. I would like to thank Associate Professor Ni Shixiong, with whom I spent a lot of time at Berkeley, for his sincere help. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ren Xiao, Qiu Kaiming, Yao Qin, Guo Dingping, and Ding Chunfang for their help in putting together the drafts of this book during the final finishing stages, and to Ding Chunfang for her careful proofreading of the entire manuscript. I am also grateful to all the staff in our departmental reference room and office, who are always so helpful.

I would also like to thank my wife, Qi Zhou, who has helped me in a way that no one can replace.

Wang Huning
April 1, 1989
Department of International Politics, Fudan University

I. Uneven Land

1. Doubt of American Manufacturing • 1,100 Words

CA985 arrived in San Francisco via Tokyo, Japan, and then a long flight over the rough Pacific Ocean. Due to a delayed flight, it was crowded with flights arriving from Europe and Japan. The normally spacious baggage claim and customs hall was crowded and full of people. People from all over the world were excited to arrive in the United States. There was one plane, probably from France, and many people spoke French. The line to get through customs was over an hour long and people were complaining as they do in China that the wait was too long. Many people thought that the queue should not be in the West, but I did not expect to have to wait for such a long time once I arrived in the United States. The customs counters at the San Francisco airport immigration office are divided into three categories: one for U.S. citizens, two for non-U.S. citizens, and three for new immigrants. The first two entrances on the left are for U.S. citizens, which are sparsely populated and show the superiority of being a U.S. citizen. Non-U.S. citizens, who have the largest number of people at the entrance, feel inferior.

At the entry point, there are hordes of Japanese people. Nowadays, Japanese people are traveling and doing business everywhere in the world in hordes, showing the strength of a rich country and a rich people. Although many foreigners find the Japanese unlovable, this economic strength makes one impressed. It is said that because there are so many Japanese, the U.S. government is considering giving Japanese people a kind of treatment: visa-free. Statistically, this would speed up the processing of customs at the U.S. customs entrance by one-third. But diplomacy requires equal treatment, and the Japanese seem reluctant to waive visas for Americans. From the development of the Japanese nation, one can draw at least two conclusions: first, economic strength is the basic force that determines the international status and international image of a nation; second, the international status and international image of a nation does not depend only on economic strength.

The United States is a society that is quite developed in many ways, and anyone who arrives in the United States will feel a “future shock. As a result, people think about how they want to enjoy America, while others think about why America exists. To the latter question, different people have different answers. I asked a friend. One friend replied that one is the extraordinary abundance of resources, and the other is that competition for talent is encouraged. Another friend added that at least that was the case when people first arrived in the United States. I asked G, a friend who is pursuing a Ph.D. at Stanford, the answer: tradition. I found this to be one of the most abstract, yet valuable, explanations. The development of any society is not the result of purely economic forces, nor is it the result of short-term behavioral adjustments. The development of a society to such a degree of “wealth” is not the result of artificial force. What are the forces that dominate the struggle of people in this society for generations? One can come up with many specific concepts, such as innovation, struggle, thrift, and so on. The most important thing is whether these things can become a cultural gene, a tradition. No matter what factors are conducive to social development, if they do not constitute a tradition, they cannot be deeply rooted. For any good factor to have an effect, it must be the work of several generations. Americans talk about innovation all day long, but in reality tradition is very strong. The Chinese also talk about innovation all day long, but the result is that tradition is repeatedly rising and falling. It has been said that Americans speak of innovation, not in opposition to tradition. The American tradition and innovation are the same thing, and today’s tradition is only the innovation of 30 or 50 years ago. The Chinese speak of innovation as being anti-tradition. However, it is not easy to counter the traditions of one or two thousand years.

Today, we cannot help but think long and hard about the influx of people into the United States. A few days ago, there was a lively discussion in domestic theoretical circles about the reconceptualization of socialism and capitalism. The basic reason why this issue is currently being discussed in China is that after decades of socialism, it is not as good as capitalism in economic terms. Is the social development program that Marx argued a hundred and fifty years ago consistent with the course of human historical development? Can socialism eventually overcome capitalism? This is the doubt of the people of the day. I think of the movie “Hong Hu Red Guard” that was shown on a Boeing 747 flight to the United States. The Chinese have overthrown the three great mountains that have been weighing them down for so long, but has this ensured the direction of China’s social development? What impact would a revolution such as the Chinese Revolution, with the rural population as the main force surrounding the cities, have on the development of a society? It is indeed worth thinking about.

The development of the United States today, with its economic prosperity, its political process, its way of life, and its international status, has created a great deal of doubt in the world today. People in the developed world carry this deep-rooted doubt: Has the development of human technology and material life reached this point? Is it against the nature of man? Will it lead to the depletion of the earth’s resources? Will it eventually lead to the destruction of mankind? Our colleagues in the Club of Rome are worried about this, and they are crying out for a long time. Those in developing countries have a different question: What is the force that has created such a dazzling material civilization? What system has created the right conditions for such development in terms of management and intellect? Is such a state of affairs accidental or inevitable? People began to doubt the system, and people began to doubt their own system. In any case, the United States has created a kind of doubt.

When you walk into the United States, you walk into this kind of doubt. Not into the United States, will also fall into this kind of doubt. A strange phenomenon is: into the doubt is easy, out of the doubt is difficult.

2. Manhattan and Chinatown • 1,100 Words

The plane arrived over New York. Got off and picked up my luggage. I was nervous when everyone was gone and there was no sign of my friend who had agreed to pick me up. I heard from my friend that once you arrive in New York, you will feel a sense of terror and the crime rate here is extremely high. I was afraid of encountering a mugger, because I was quite apprehensive. Half an hour later, my friend came and I was relieved. After leaving the airport, I went straight to the United Nations building. The UN building is a magnificent building. We went to the Security Council and had our pictures taken. Then we went to the UN General Assembly and found a seat for the Chinese delegation and took a picture of it. We also took a picture of each person giving a speech at the UN podium. While visiting the UN, I saw beautiful and valuable gifts from various countries, such as an ivory sculpture from China, a royal boat from Thailand, and a picture from the Soviet Union. This shows that the citizens of this world want a reputation at the UN, but how many countries in real life believe in the principles of the UN? It seems to be the same as a group of people, where everyone wants to join it and show their love for it, but in reality goes against it everywhere. In today’s world of pluralistic interests, ideological barriers and conflicts, it is true that the UN does not play the role it should. However, the UN has also played a role that cannot be underestimated, especially in socio-economic and cultural development. The Iran-Iraq ceasefire is also an outstanding example of conflict resolution. The world today is still a world that needs to be controlled by human beings. Looking at the statue of a sword turned into a plow in front of the United Nations building, one wonders what methods one can use to melt the sword. Past history has shown that many believe that warfare is also a means of turning swords into plowshares, and the result is that swords are always turned into plowshares. New York’s Chinatown feels quite familiar in style. It seems slightly dirtier than other places. It is said that Chinatown is a complex area, where all the phenomena unique to the Chinese are present. It reminds me of Poplar’s “The Ugly Chinese”. I didn’t walk much in Chinatown, but from the outside, there are many small businesses. In this bustling area, looking at the signs full of Chinese characters, it reminds me of the distant China. This area is in stark contrast to other parts of Manhattan. One evokes Chinese culture, the other tells of Western culture. Talking about America and China is a constant topic for almost all Chinese scholars and international students in the United States. Within this eternal topic are two more eternal centers: economic development and political democracy. The economic success and technological progress achieved by the United States in this century are there for all to see, and no country in the world today has yet surpassed it. Although the Japanese are aggressive, coming to the forefront, and coming later, they still cannot match the United States in areas such as military, culture, and resources, in addition to their competitive economic strength. What needs to be analyzed is what role the economic development of the United States has played in its political development. In both areas, the U.S. is the world’s most visible country. China owes too much in these two areas. Thus, both aspects have become a constant topic in the modernization process. How can China’s economic modernization be achieved? The fundamental question is whether the process of economic modernization can be completed under public ownership. Most of the developed countries in the world today are not under public ownership. This reality is the biggest challenge to people’s thinking. The next question is how does political democracy develop? In tandem with the economy, or not in tandem? These two major topics have become hot topics of discussion this year. One argument is that economic modernization cannot be achieved without political democracy; one thing that counters this is that Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea did not have political democracy during their economic take-off stage; Hong Kong was under colonial rule, Taiwan was under one-party dictatorship, and South Korea was under military intervention. Another argument is that when the economy developed, conditions for political democracy became available, examples being the democratization movements in newly industrialized regions and countries; the counter-argument is also strong: the developed Western countries were not really economically developed after the bourgeois revolution, far from the economic strength of some developing countries today, but the institutions of a democratic republic were basically established. This is a question that Chinese theorists must think about for a long time. Economic development is only a phenomenon, and either centralization or democracy may promote or inhibit economic development, but what needs to be concerned is what changes in society will be conducive to the development of political democracy after economic development. Since the economy does not develop, developing countries cannot be economically dependent on developed countries. This is mainly in terms of high technology, equipment, precision instruments, etc. But it also depends on the stage of development of each country, for example, African countries, for example, need mainly food to maintain basic living conditions. Whatever is needed, a special exchange mechanism is formed: developing countries have to offer the best things in exchange with developed countries. Thus, people in developing countries cannot enjoy the best products produced in their own countries, not even the second-class products. This is because the second-class products are intended for consumption by foreigners who come to these countries. Products from all countries and regions are available in the U.S. market: China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, etc. The best products from all countries and regions of the world flock to the U.S. market in exchange for U.S. dollars. As everyone wanted to obtain dollars, strong competition was formed, and the products were of high quality but low price. This situation caused an unprecedented boom in the U.S. market. This was the result of the market mechanism and the benefit to the U.S. of the world status of the U.S. dollar as determined by the Bretton Woods Conference after World War II. Of course, the mass entry of foreign products into the United States, the impact of the United States itself industry, resulting in factory closures, increased unemployment, which can not be ignored, so the two forces of free trade and protectionism have always fought.

3. Four “C” More • 1,300 Words

After living in the United States for a short time, it became clear that there are several things that are particularly abundant in this society. Through the surface phenomenon of these things, some basic conditions of the dynamic organization of society can be found. Let’s start with these four more things.

There are a lot of cars (“Car”) running in bunches in cities of all

sizes, on highways and country roads at all times. Cars come in all shapes and sizes, and there are all kinds of models. When I was in Washington, Antony King, vice chancellor of Essex University in England, pointed out to me the variety of cars on the street and said, “Ten years ago, most of the cars I saw in the United States were made in the United States, but today there are all kinds of cars, especially Japanese cars.” The auto war between the U.S. and Japan is already well known. One important reason why Japanese cars have been able to break into the U.S. market is that the U.S. car market is just too big and cars are just too important to individuals. Not having a car in America is like not having legs. The highway system is very well developed, with generally three lanes on the left and right. Divided into high, medium and slow three, some places have seven lanes of cars. All kinds of cars are running on it day and night. The average family has a car, and many families have more than one. I went to a professor’s house at Stanford University and there were three cars. The total number of privately owned cars in the United States is one of the largest in the world.

Phones are plentiful (“Call”) Everywhere you go in the United States, you can see a telephone. All offices and homes have telephones. Home phones also have one to several extensions. In public places, there are automatic telephones, and you can call by putting in a certain number of coins. Now there is another kind of telephone card telephone, when you call, you just put the card into the telephone and you can call. In airports, there are rows of these automatic telephones. There are also many such phones in hotels. When I stayed at the Sheraton and Hilton hotels in Washington, D.C., there were rows of automated phones in the lobby downstairs. In universities, there are also such phones in public places, such as libraries, dining halls, conference halls, computer centers, language centers, etc. Not only are there many phones, but they are also convenient. Not only are there many phones, but they are also quick and easy to use. No matter where you call, it is very quick. For domestic long-distance calls, you can pick up the phone and dial the number and be connected in half a minute at most. It is also easy to make calls to other parts of the world, just pick up the phone and dial. One of the main characteristics of people’s work is to use the phone, and many things are solved by phone, including love. Many parents have told me that their children call for two hours to fall in love, and other calls do not come in, which is very expensive. Naturally, the developed social function of the telephone system is not here, you can talk about love, but also about other things.

The number of computers (“Computer”) is also a big feature. Wherever you go, you can see the people you deal with to use computers. When I visited the National Security Council, I found that people inside use computers. University professors have computers in their offices or homes. Staying at a hotel, the whole management is computerized. At the Department of Transportation version of a driver’s license, it is all entered into a computer. Shopping in stores and canteens, paying the bill is computerized. Searching in libraries, the information retrieval is computerized. When you go to a bank to deposit money, its system is computerized. Computers are used extensively in factory production, government offices, military operations, aircraft in the sky, and so on. Computers make everything fast, accurate, and easy to find. Computers can also be integrated into national or worldwide networks. When I visited the library at Yale University, their head of East Asia, Mr. Ma, immediately typed in my name and within seconds found out that my books National Sovereignty and Comparative Political Analysis were available at two other universities. Computers can also talk to each other, and as long as they know each other’s computer numbers (Bignet ID), they can enter what they want to tell each other.

“Card” here is not the Chinese concept of “card”, there are some cards in China, such as briquette card, egg card, daily necessities card, vegetable card, etc., which are all made of paper. The card we are talking about here is a plastic card with a magnetic tape on the back to store information. Such cards, too many to mention, are credit cards, money cards, library cards, phone cards, and ID cards ……Each of these cards has different kinds. New cards are still emerging, and the newspapers once carried a story about a new service by an airline that offers free first-class treatment with the purchase of a certain number of tickets, with the voucher being one such card. I flew United Airlines from San Francisco to Iowa, and the ticket was actually a card similar to this. The card and the computer are linked together, as long as the card is inserted into a certain computer, you can do the relevant things, such as: withdrawing money, saving money, checking the number of their savings, can be used to solve the card and the computer, without having to find a bank clerk. Almost everyone who has a job takes out a wallet, which has a large number of cards. Because of the card, the wallet also changed, there are several bags inside specifically for the card. I am afraid that the leather wallets made in China now cannot be exported to the United States or other western countries because there is no place to put the cards.

These are the “four C’s”. What is important is the role they play in social organization and social management.

The number of cars makes the whole society constitute a dynamic whole, with vehicles moving not only people and goods, but also ideas, concepts and spirit.

The abundance of telephones, so that the whole society constitutes a well-connected information system, and the transmission of language is accompanied by the transmission of emotions and information.

The multiplicity of computers, which allows for a high degree of integration of the management of the entire society, and computerized information is a fair management.

Cards, which symbolizes the management of the whole society, frees people from the management of physical objects (people and things) into symbolic management.

The development of these four aspects is crucial to a society, where they are a driving force and a channel for political socialization and political communication. The progress of these aspects makes the institutions, principles and spirit of a society more and more deeply rooted, materialized and consolidated.

The “four C’s” have brought about many problems, and modernization has come at a cost to human society and nature.

More cars – more pollution, more traffic accidents, more waste.

More phone calls – more interference, eavesdropping.

More computers – social communication systems have become vulnerable, and if a machine breaks down or a “virus” invades a computer, a large area is immediately affected, and sometimes a large amount of data is lost.

More Cards – more theft, more reported theft, more forgery crimes.

How a society consolidates its institutions is the major issue. It is rare to have a solid system when you start with the system alone; the only real consolidation is when the system is actually infused into the lives of the people.

4. Highly Commercialized • 1,800 Words

Another major characteristic of American society or American culture is its high degree of commodification. It can be said that this is a typical capitalist “flowery world”. In this typical capitalist society, almost anything can become a commodity, from human flesh, air, abstract ideas to all kinds of concrete objects, all are commodified. This is why Marx’s analysis of capitalist society, in which he regarded commodities as the cells of this mode of production, was a true insight. In today’s capitalist society, this feature is more fully developed, although there are many differences in the form of expression.

Commodity, which remains the basic factor of this society, has its most typical manifestation in that people become commodities. This large-scale and comprehensive commodification is the basic tendency of the capitalist mode of production, which is not dominated by people’s subjective will.

The question that needs to be asked is not how this high degree of commoditization arises and to what extent it reaches. What we need to examine in the study of a society’s management process is: what does high commodification do to the intricate management process of a society?

The development of modern human society, the increase in the demands of all aspects of modern human life, the complex intertwining of modern society, politics, economics, culture, entertainment, health, art, transportation and other fields, have posed a serious challenge to the management system of society. Can a political and administrative system bear all the burdens of modern society? This is a difficult question for all countries. From both theoretical and practical aspects, I am afraid that no political and administrative system has the capacity to directly manage and assume all the responsibilities. If the political and administrative system has to assume it due to structural and functional constraints, it will inevitably lead to a situation where the whip is too long to reach. Because the energy of any political and administrative system is limited, for small societies, the government has the possibility to hold its own, as in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc. For large societies, especially those with hundreds of millions of people, it is unlikely that the government can directly and comprehensively manage all levels and areas of society. History has shown that societies that have embarked on this path by institutional design have often had political and administrative systems that do not address many of the basic needs of society very well, and have accumulated piles of problems. Striving to give the various spheres of social life their own organization and dynamics to meet the needs of society on their own, so that the political or administrative system plays only an indirect regulatory role, is an effective way to win in this area.

A prerequisite for the realization of this structure is to enable the various spheres of social life to form a self-organizing system that decouples these specific and complex spheres of activity from political activity. Commodification is the catalyst for this transformation process. The problems of housing, food, transportation, employment, and education are the basic dilemmas that plague every society. Many governments are plagued by these problems and cannot get out of them. The desire to retreat is not an option, and the desire to advance is not an option. The high degree of commodification has created a more particular structure in American society in these areas.

We can look at how commoditization has made these fields self-organizing systems and how they function.

Housing is a headache in many developing countries. The governments of some developing countries have worked hard to make “home ownership” a reality. But in the United States, the housing problem is better solved. Although the streets in the big cities are full of homeless people wandering around, but most people have spacious housing. Each family has a housing block is the general level. Many houses, with seven or eight rooms, are actually occupied by only one or two people. New housing is still being built. Housing management is completely commoditized. Everyone who wants to have his own house, or wants to rent one, has to pay for it or rent it. Real estate becomes an important pillar in the economy, regulated by economic levers. In different areas, prices vary. What you can buy for about \$100,000 in a small central city, you may not be able to buy for \$200,000 in San Francisco or New York. A house that might cost \$400-\$500 to rent in Manhattan, New York, might only cost \$200-\$300 in a smaller town. The housing industry has always had an incentive to build homes because of the lucrative nature of property after commodification. Over the years, housing has accumulated and more and more has been built. What the government did was to regulate these activities and keep them within the realm of legality, without directly creating housing, distributing housing, or maintaining housing. The government builds a very small percentage of housing for the poor.

Food, is another problem that plagues many countries today, some of which have not even solved the problem of subsistence. Some countries have passed this hurdle, but are far from meeting the needs of society in terms of the availability and fancy variety of non-staple foods. The government is exhausted by these conflicts and shortage of commodities. But in this society, the abundance and variety of food is amazing, even to the point of being wasteful. The system of supplying food is completely commoditized. As producers, people produce what the market wants, and then the market system sells it to consumers. In between, the producer, the seller, and all other parts of the system receive a profit. Commoditization brings profit, which is the main motivation. Of course, it cannot be said that commercialization can solve all problems, and the full development of science and technology and means of production is an indispensable factor.

Transportation is a challenge that modern society is bound to face. In modern society, human development, economic development, cultural development, and social development all mean increased mobility. If this mobility is not opened up, society will face an untold pressure, and the political, economic and cultural development of society will be hindered. The problem of transportation is precisely what many countries find difficult. Transportation means are mostly commoditized. Air traffic, which is handled by private airlines, such as United, Delta, Northwest, TWA, etc., is a completely self-sustaining enterprise. The development of the airline industry is one of the major determinants of economic development. Land transportation, the famous coach “Greyhound”, connects the four corners of the country. And so on. Commoditization stimulates people to operate, in order to make profits and increase profits, each business unit must find ways to improve services and expand the scope of business.

Employment, a major logical paradox of modern society: on the one hand, the development of science and technology is crowding out more and more people, and on the other hand, more and more people need to find work and earn a living. In this society, labor is commodified. The government does not directly place people in jobs; it directs employment and creates jobs through the political system. Every business can hire its own people, and everyone can go to any business to find a job. (Of course, in theory, this is not the same as everyone who wants a particular job will find that job.) However, where commoditization is highly developed, it is not the nature of the job that matters, but the exchange value received. With the right pay, people will be willing to exchange it. With money, one can then enter a commoditized society and get anything anyone else wants. After commodification, employment is not specifically managed by the government, but by individual companies and individuals coordinating among themselves.

The development of the commodity economy has led to a dual structure of governance in society: the social self-organized system is responsible for all kinds of specific matters, and the political system is responsible for coordinating the various self-organized systems. This is a major characteristic of macro-management in this society. These are just a few examples, but it should not be assumed that commodification necessarily makes things perfect. It simply means that commodification offers the possibility of making government lighter. It is impossible for government to function efficiently if it is involved in a thousand and one things in society. But after government is lightly loaded, it still has to regulate activities in various fields, only now it has changed from direct to indirect.

Commoditization has the amazing power to push people to every lucrative place. The most typical ones like Kentucky Fried Chicken, hamburgers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Crest toothpaste, Marlboro cigarettes, United Parcel Post, etc. are everywhere, even in very remote places. One could say that wherever there is a copper plate to be made, people will deliver goods and services to it. Commoditization not only promotes the circulation of goods in geographical breadth, thus contributing to the balanced development of society, but also drives goods to diversification and to every unexplored area. This is true in everyday small commodities, but also in high technology.

Everything has a dual nature, and the glamour of high commodification abounds. Human flesh, sex, knowledge, politics, power, and law can all become the target of commodification. The yellow culture on New York’s Forty-second Street is probably an important product of commodification. Commodification, in many ways, corrupts society and leads to a number of serious social problems. These problems, in turn, can increase the pressure on the political and administrative system.

Therefore, commodification can reduce the burden of the political and administrative system, but there is an important premise, which is that the political and administrative system must regulate commodification. The real essence of commoditization is not that everything becomes a commodity, but that the commodity is in a rational mechanism of operation. The economic levers coordinate this mechanism, and so must the political and administrative systems. When many basic areas of society have become self-organizing systems, the political and administrative systems will have the conditions to separate from them, to move from direct to indirect management. The process of commodification is the process of these spheres becoming self-organized systems. This process does not take shape in a short time, and even after a considerable period of development, contradictions, conflicts, obstacles and confusion are still inevitable. However, the political and administrative system will be more powerful and effective than managing dozens of large self-organized systems than managing thousands of specific activities.

5. Remote Areas • 1,500 Words

The term “remote areas” here is just a borrowing of the concept. In fact, these areas are neither remote nor far away. They are right next to the modern cities. When I say “remote areas”, I mean the Amish settlements. The Amish are a very peculiar group of people. Their main characteristic is their refusal to modernize, their incompatibility with the highly developed and advanced science and technology, and the preservation of the traditional lifestyle of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is a very interesting historical phenomenon. The modernization of Western society attracted and impacted the whole world, but not the Amish who were close at hand.

Not far from Iowa City, about ten minutes away by car, there is an Amish settlement called Kolona. With these questions in mind, I came to this place. As soon as I entered Kolona, I could see on the highway the 17th and 18th century European-style carriages, with a horse dragging a small carriage and Amish sitting inside, usually dressed in black. The roads here also have a special design, with carriage lanes on both sides of the carriageway. This is because the Amish do not accept modern cars and want to take horse-drawn carriages. It took the government authorities a lot of effort to convince them that horse-drawn carriages are very dangerous on the highway, and they had to install a prominent red sign behind the carriages to remind the drivers to pay attention.

Where did the strange Amish come from? Why did they come to America? This is an important clue to solving this mystery. The Amish immigrated from Europe. They were formed in the midst of religious turmoil in Europe in the sixteenth century. The Amish had their own religion, but they were persecuted by the orthodox religion of the time. It is said that the state church of the time suppressed them in a bloody manner, burning them, executing them, imprisoning them, etc. From about 1750 onwards, some Amish began to wander to escape persecution, going to Germany, France, Holland and Russia, but never finding a place to settle. They then decided to join the “New World”. Here they could find land and own it. The Amish valued the land so much that they believed it was a visible gift from God, so precious that one could not leave it. This belief is one of the fundamental reasons why the Amish cling to their land and maintain their traditional way of life. Today there are approximately 112 Amish settlements throughout the United States. Although there are variations from settlement to settlement, such as the Amish’s focus on farming, in some places Amish have embraced the tractor and the combine. But in general they maintain the ancient spirit and way of life.

What is the ancient spirit of life and lifestyle? The spirit of Amish life is to adopt anything on the basis of its usefulness: clothes to protect from the cold, but not from beauty. Amish once rejected metal buttons as a luxury and a symbol of wealth. The home may not hang colorful pictures. They often hang calendars with monotonous pictures. This reflects the spirit of Amish life: simplicity, nature and self-sufficiency.

The Amish way of life is also peculiar and seems somewhat unbelievable to modern people. In the most typical Amish settlements, they refuse to use electricity, and thus there is no electricity in these villages. This reflects the spirit of self-sufficiency of the Amish. Long persecuted, the Amish have developed a self-sufficient way of life and do not depend on the outside world. They refuse to use tractors and combines and use mainly horses as a means of production. Women wear old-fashioned skirts, and no one wears modern jeans. Americans generally have telephones in their homes, yet the Amish do not have telephones in their homes. Some local Amish have accepted washing machines and refrigerators, but they do not use electricity from outside, instead they use their own diesel engines to generate electricity. When the Amish go out and about, they take horse-drawn carriages. Many Amish have never been to Iowa City, a ten-minute drive, in their lives. To modern eyes, they are a very isolated and backward group. They themselves are not aware of what is happening in the world, but they feel they are living a leisurely and comfortable life, in line with their religious beliefs.

The Amish also had some behaviors that baffle modern people. In winter, men would go out in groups to collect ice from the river and bring it back to preserve it for the summer. They knew a good technique for preserving ice, probably until September of the following year. Traditional ice harvesting techniques replaced the function of refrigerators. A similar method of ice preservation was used in ancient China. Today it is not a necessary labor, but Amish see it as a part of keeping their spirit alive. The Amish speak a dialect of German at home, not English, and they have their own schools, but most children do not have access to higher education because their own schools are not of a high educational standard and they do not want to go to the big cities.

The Amish also have a distinctive religious life. They hold events about once every two weeks, rotating among the houses. Everyone gathers around the house of the family and holds the event. The house that is chosen for the event has to make elaborate preparations and prepare lunch. The Amish are patriarchal and women have few rights and have to listen to the men. Every boy and girl had to learn to harness a horse, which was an important part of their lives.

Over the years, despite the fact that the Amish have changed in one way or another, the basic spirit of this group has not changed much. It is curious: why has such a powerful modern civilization failed to influence and transform them? Hasn’t Western civilization impacted many very distant peoples?

With this question in mind, I interviewed a writer who lives in Corona called John M. Zielinski. He has written a book called “The Amish Across America”. His response was: “Imagine a person who has been raised in such an environment and educated with such rigor from an early age, he will not easily abandon these ideas. Also, the Amish are not highly educated and do not have the skills to do modern work; all they are trained to do is to plow. It is here that they feel the safest.” I think the latter statement is the most fundamental psychological accumulation of the Amish. Zielinski adds; “On the other hand, the U.S. Constitution guarantees them that right and that the government cannot forcibly change their way of life or their religion.”

This is a real social phenomenon worth thinking about. In the heart of the modernized world, there is such a group of people who refuse to be modernized. Their remoteness is not in the geographical area, but in the spiritual world. They are voluntarily isolated from modernization. From this we can draw an opinion that if people refuse modernization in the spiritual sphere, then it is difficult for modernization to invade them. This phenomenon can be seen in different societies. The real driving force of modernization is in the inner world of people.

Another issue that deserves a lot of thought is “psychological security”. The Amish feel that their way of life provides the safest environment and that changing it would be a crisis and turmoil. This psychological fear is also an important reason for their rejection of modernization, which is naturally a process of transformation of the old social structure and the disappearance of a certain sense of security. If people are all afraid of the disappearance of the safe environment, modernization and even any social change will encounter an incomparably strong resistance.

In reconciling these contradictions, society has adopted the method and means of listening to them and not imposing uniformity. It cannot impose uniformity either. If the government forces the Amish to accept modernization, it will only add pressure to itself. There are many examples like the Amish in the United States. People in many places have their own ways of life that are not in line with the mainstream of society, but they can exist. A part of society’s contradictions are resolved in this kind of eye opening and eye closing. No one blushes at the backwardness of the Amish, but rather considers it a typical reflection of the American spirit. Some methods of management in American society are practically unmanaged. This is a more effective method of management under certain conditions.

When I returned, I saw an old couple driving a horse-drawn carriage along the modern highway. They were so peaceful, so self-contained. Is it wrong to be modern? Any choice of lifestyle comes with its own convenience and price.

6. Amana Immigration Land • 1,300 Words

The Amana Colonies is a special place in Iowa. Americans call it the “socialism” or “collectivism” of the United States. How can such a place survive in a capitalist society like the United States? What kind of organization is it? It aroused great curiosity in me, a person from China, to know how “collectivism” is practiced in the United States.

In 1714, in southwestern Germany, two men started a religious movement. This religious movement evolved into the famous Community of True Inspiration, the precursor of the Amana Community. In 1842, persecuted because of their religion, the Amana ancestors traveled across the ocean to the North American continent, establishing six villages in New York State and two in Canada. As the Buffalo area where they lived rapidly urbanized, the Amana began to purchase land to the west, and in 1854, they purchased their present land. They purchased 25,000 acres of land from the government at that time and another 1,000 acres later. It was on this land that the Amana people farmed and lived. After coming to this land, the people chose to live together in a religious way of life where all property was owned collectively and all religious and secular decisions were made by a single leader. This way of life continued for over a century until 1932, when a vote was taken to separate church and state and establish free enterprise.

The charter of the early Amana states the goal of the community as follows: “The goal of the community as a religious body is not universal nor selfish, but to love God who has blessed us, to serve God in unison, and to obey God’s laws and requirements In order to achieve this goal, our collective pledge here is to receive and sign this charter together. ” It is evident that the initial collectivism of this group was inspired by a religious spirit. Collectivism must be dominated by some kind of spirit, otherwise it is difficult to sustain. Is this the case? It is worth pondering.

Inspired by this spirit, all property in Amana is collectively owned, land, grain, livestock, housing, and farming equipment. The Amana has various collectivist characteristics, and in addition to collective ownership, it is responsible for educating children, publishing, and caring for the elderly and the sick.

The leadership of the Amana Settlement was unique, with Christian Metz, the leader of the movement from Europe to the Americas until 1883. After his death, it was governed by a 13-member board of trustees. This council was elected annually from a certain number of elders. Every man or widow who signs the charter, and every woman over 30 years of age, can vote. Elders used to be chosen by Metz, but after 1883, they were nominated by the Board of Elders and confirmed by the Board of Trustees. The elders led the affairs of the church and met every Sunday morning. The local presbytery met weekly and the supreme council (trustees’ meeting) once a month. The local session manages only local affairs. The Supreme Conference manages both ecclesiastical and secular affairs. Under their administration, the Amana people live a communal life.

Why did the Amana people choose the communal way of life in the beginning? Its founder, Metz, said: “The Church is the servant of God, and God blesses and blesses us through the Church. Shall we not be devoted to God through total devotion to the Church? ……Therefore, everything should belong to the Church, and the Church provides needs to everyone. Anyone who does not care about this matter can go far away, and those who want to stay should accept my words.” So what does Amana mean? The word Amana comes from the fourth chapter of the Bible: “Depart with me from Lebanon, my wife, age me from Lebanon, and look out from Mount Amana…”

In 1932, the greatest historic shift took place in Amana. By vote, the Amana abandoned the system of living together and moved in stride to the system of free enterprise that surrounded them. Church and state were separated, and the elders of the church were no longer responsible for the full range of leadership. This shift is well worth exploring. What were the factors that motivated the Amana people to abandon the system of common life? Was there something wrong with the system itself? Or were other external systems too powerful? Or did the people lose faith in their basic religious beliefs? What are the reasons why the system of living together is still facing serious challenges?

The answer of the official who received us struck us as very familiar: one of the basic shortcomings of the system of common life was the lack of individual initiative to work dutifully; there were many lazy people. Another reason was the skepticism of the young generation towards the spiritual principles of Amana, who were tempted by the outside life and were not willing to attend Mass eight times a week. Every year the elders of Amana selected a part of the young people to go outside for higher education, such as doctors, teachers and businessmen. The young men’s wishes could not be fulfilled. There were no good jobs for the boys, and the girls had to go to work in the cafeteria of Amana. Another reason was political; the council of elders was always these people and had a tendency to be hereditary, and this hierarchy destroyed the spirit of the group.

Today Amana has a shareholding system, where anyone can buy shares. Collective property has been demutualized. Amana people who buy shares get dividends and those who are employed get a salary. There are nearly 100 private businesses, mostly stores and restaurants. The demutualized collective property is managed by a board of directors. The collective owns some factories, such as refrigerator factories, dyeing factories, textile factories, furniture factories, farms and hostels. Today people have long since ceased to live collectively. Amana’s own propaganda materials made a point of stating that Amana-style communism was different from Russian political communism, and that common ownership of property was only for the purpose of solving economic problems, not a fundamental doctrine or a belief.

This explanation is actually inconsistent with the early spirit of Amana. The early life of Amana was based on a belief. But this belief was religious, not political. Under the conditions of the unity of church and state, the distinction between this and the actual life of the people does not mean much. It is only by grasping this basic spirit that one can discern the name of the 1932 shift in Amana, the most fundamental cause of which was probably the abandonment and indifference of the younger generation to this faith. Under the powerful lure of this prosperous society, the younger generation turned to other values. Once this shift occurs in the younger generation, it is difficult for any force to ensure the longevity of an institution. This is a problem for all kinds of social systems. The problem facing many countries around the world today is a crisis of trust in the foundations of the system among the younger generation. If this problem is not addressed, the system will face challenges. The historical evolution of Amana is a very good example of this: the result of the interaction of two systems that influence each other. Amana eventually chose the dominant values of the United States because it was too weak, politically, economically and culturally, to overcome modern capitalism, which was stronger than it in every way.

The fact that Amana is now a National Historic Preservation Site is what makes it most meaningful. It teaches that in such an environment, any other choice of values becomes history. When the prevailing dominant American values will become history depends on whether there is a stronger alternative.

7. Vernacular Landscape • 1,600 Words

The impression that people get when they walk around is that of a big, bustling city, with skyscrapers lined up, speeding bicycles, colorful shopping malls, and all kinds of people. The prosperity of the United States is mainly reflected in its cities and metropolises. It is easy to equate these impressions with the United States. In fact, America is not just about cities. Cities are pivotal, but they are not the same as all of America.

There is a big difference between urban and rural areas in the United States, and the standard of living in the countryside is far from being comparable to that of the big cities. You can’t get to know the real America without going to the countryside, or at least you can’t get a panoramic view. The backward conditions in the countryside have driven a large number of people to the cities, and the rural population is getting smaller and smaller. Today, the rural population of the United States accounts for only a few percent of the total population, and more than 90 percent of the people live in the cities. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that agriculture is well developed and does not require as much agricultural labor. In fact the United States is the world’s largest importer of food (and its exports are large). On the other hand, due to the influx of people into the cities, agriculture has to be mechanized.

The more typical agricultural states are the central, east-central and several mid-western states. If one flies by plane from the East Coast to the West Coast, one does not necessarily understand exactly what is different in the vast plains from the metropolitan areas. It is only by living in these places, or driving on the highways of these plains, that one can feel the difference. It’s called having your feet on the ground. I’m afraid it’s hard to understand the rural landscape when the sky is the limit.

In some parts of the East and West coasts, it’s not easy to see large farm fields and the farmhouses dotting those fields, and it’s rare to see leisurely grazing cattle and hogs, and rare to see dusty roads. I took the train from New Haven to Philadelphia and saw little farmland. And I took a car from Iowa City to Illinois and Missouri, as well as a car ride within Ohio, and all saw large tracts of farmland. I would travel by car for more than five or six hours to see the rustic landscape.

What is a vernacular landscape, some depictions can be made here.

Agricultural states generally have vast and boundless farmland, a natural condition that the United States is uniquely blessed with. Large areas of farmland with few hills and rivers except for some slopes. This creates excellent conditions for agricultural mechanization. Like the terrain of China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang, it is extremely difficult to achieve mechanization. The farmland looks very fertile with dark mud. A friend told me that he had planted tomatoes behind the house where he lived and there were too many to eat. The land has only been developed and used for less than two hundred years, and the fertility is still there. China’s land has been developed for over two thousand years and most of it has become poor.

The agricultural area is sparsely populated and you can barely see people driving around, and some of the houses that can be seen are separated from each other. These houses are very far apart. Usually, the farms are run by families. The standard of the houses is not bad, but it is not comparable to the city. The rural areas are so quiet that the animals enjoy themselves, and many roads have signs saying “Beware of deer”. Once on my way to Chicago, I saw three or four deer playing on the side of the road.

The agricultural areas have less developed commodity economies and less developed cultures, and the main centers are small towns and small cities. We passed through about dozens of these small towns. The small towns are generally more run-down. In fact, some of them are just a street with some stores on both sides. There was no shortage of major commodities, and everything was available. This is the power of the commodity economy. Small towns are generally two or three stories high old buildings, without the fruits of modern architecture. There are not many houses and the population is sparse. People in small towns are relatively conservative culturally and psychologically, and not as enlightened as those in big cities. Rural roads are also not comparable to interstate highways. Most of the rural roads are two lanes in one direction, and the surface is not as smooth as some of the better long-distance roads in China. However, these roads are clearly marked with traffic signs and clear road lines on the road surface. The roads that branch off from these highways, such as those leading to farmland or farmhouses, are paved with gravel, not tar, and are dusty and windy when driving.

There are many dilapidated houses in rural areas, some of which have collapsed and are unmanaged and probably unoccupied. Some of the houses are occupied and do not look very elegant. As people keep moving to the city, many houses in rural areas are in disrepair or unoccupied. The next generation usually goes to college in the city and finds a job in the city after college. When the previous generation passes away, they do not return to their hometowns, but either sell them at a discount or leave them to the elements. The rural areas look a little shabby, in contrast to the bright lights of the big cities. In some places, all the people have left and they have become “ghost villages”.

The countryside offers some sights that are unique to developing countries, such as herds of cattle, horses and pigs in the grasslands. Naturally these herds cannot be compared to the herds on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. The United States is generally a one-family operation that does not raise many. Farmers use two methods to raise livestock, one is called captive breeding, which is usually invisible.

The other is called free-range, putting cattle, pigs, sheep and horses in a large enclosure. Sometimes you can feel the stench of manure hitting your nose. This is a very rare experience in the United States. The standard of living in rural areas is not as good as in cities, and many people are often worried about financial problems. Some people are not well educated and have difficulty finding good jobs and do not have the conditions to move to the cities. Many farmers can only do some small business. I went to a fisherman’s house on the Mississippi River in Missouri. He usually catches some fish and sells them at home, and the price is not expensive. The place where he lived was rather shabby, and although there were larger places, they were in disrepair for many years. Mr. Y told me he had been to one of the poorest places in America. The people there lived in shabby houses with little furniture, only a few broken tables and chairs, and an unpleasant smell when you entered the house. The people there were depressed and listless. Although I can’t say that such people abound in rural areas, but there are many.

The condition of rural areas is relative to that of highly prosperous large cities, and compared to some developing and underdeveloped countries, rural America is among the developed. What this comparison tells us is that the urban-rural divide will inevitably exist in any society, but that the divide has different implications for different societies. For American society, where more than ninety percent of the population is in cities, the countryside hardly constitutes a tension. Although no solution has been found to this problem, it will persist and tend to worsen, although the rural problem may not be able to make a big difference for the time being or under certain conditions. But for Chinese society, the political and social significance of having more than 80 percent of the population in the countryside is very different.

The actual process in the United States is to draw people out of relatively backward areas and concentrate them in the cities. This process is knitted together with the development process of production as a way to defuse the tensions in the rural areas. In fact, the problems that exist in the countryside are not really solved. Where is the limit of this process? Obviously there are limits. If agricultural production is seriously threatened, the urban-rural divide will become a serious problem. Under the current system, it is difficult to imagine any force or prescription that could reverse the actual flow of population.

The inevitability of the rural-urban divide is something that any society should be aware of. Differences in living standards are bound to create tensions between different populations. This tension may appear sooner or later, but the modernization process must eventually meet this challenge. The question is not how much the countryside has developed, but how many conflicts have been resolved and whether the methods of resolving them have created new ones.

8. Decline of the Farm • 1,300 Words

Farms have always interested me for the simplest of reasons: the U.S. is probably only three or four percent agricultural, but they produce a lot of products for export in addition to ensuring the consumption of over 200 million people. Remember that the Soviet Union used to import a lot of grain from the United States. And many countries have small urban and rural populations of the former and large populations of the latter, but are not yet self-sufficient. Solving this problem is the key to a country’s modernization. China has a population of almost 1.1 billion people, more than 80 percent of whom are in rural areas, but the supply of food and various kinds of foodstuffs is not so generous.

The problem of food has plagued mankind for countless years, probably since the beginning of mankind. So far mankind has not solved this problem. The food shortage in Africa has reached an alarming point, and how many people are facing the threat of death. I am afraid that food is the biggest gamble of human life. I remember that in Berlin, just after the Second World War, young girls could contribute their flesh for a little food because there was nothing to eat. It is difficult to talk about dignity and rights when there are difficulties with the basic need for human life to survive.

The farm I visited was one of many farms and was very typical. There were only two people in the farm owner’s family, he and his wife. The son was away at college and working in another state. In the middle of a large open field, they had a very nice house, in comparison with the house seen in the city, almost. The city had all kinds of modern equipment and everything, such as telephone, electricity, running water, etc.

This is a phenomenon worth discussing. Generally speaking, no matter where you go, these basic equipment are always available. There are times when you walk a long way to meet a family. This family will not lack anything. Various companies are also willing to provide services for this family, which actually kind of pays for itself. In terms of living conditions, the farmer is no less than anyone else. A “farmer” is, in fact, a farm owner (Farmer). The farm is private and the land is private. When you talk about farms, you should never use the Chinese concept. We may have thousands of people on a farm; in the United States there are usually only two or three people.

Let’s look at some specific information to understand the differences in American agriculture. The farmer’s name is Oberman. He said he had a total of 800 acres of land, equivalent to 4857 acres of land. He is responsible for farming himself, and he also employs a long day laborer, plus his elderly father sometimes helps out a little. Labor productivity is high. In addition to farming his 800 acres, he also raises pigs, and the numbers he tells are startling: he raises 1,200 pigs by himself. That’s the number in the pen, which produces 2,400 pigs a year. In addition to all this, he is a director of an agricultural bank, and he manages the bank’s affairs during his free time. In addition, he has to deal with social activities and make plans for the development of the society. This shows the extent to which he is able to make use of his energy.

The question is, how can a farmer have that kind of energy?

To add to the experience, we offered to take a tour of his pig farm and farmland. He first took us around his 800 acres of farmland in his car and we got a general idea. Then we were shown around his farm machinery. He has three tractors, two very large ones, and a combine, as big as the one on the Heilongjiang farm. There are also all kinds of agricultural machinery, so his farming is all mechanized. A combine can plow 80 acres a day, so 800 acres is not a problem for him. He grows mostly corn and soybeans, and when he harvests them, he has a manual air-drying facility that is highly automated. Plus the American farm is a large plain, which is a unique place in the United States. Large machinery drives up, no obstruction and no fence. With this condition, mechanization is easy to implement. China’s rural areas around Zhejiang, ditches, rivers and hills are too much, large machinery is difficult to use.

It also has a highly automated pig farm with modern ingredients and a total of four stalls with a dense stocking. The food recipe has a fixed ratio to promote the rapid growth of the pigs, and after six months of raising them, they are ready for the market. The pork he provides alone can probably be consumed by several hundred people.

Of course, there are difficulties for farmers, which is a challenge for agriculture. One of them is the economic problem; the farmer’s financial income is not very high, and it takes a lot of labor. This farm earns \$20,000 to \$30,000 a year, but the combine bought with a loan is worth \$120,000, regardless of other equipment. Of course, some farms are larger and better, and the income is significant. This year, with the general drought in the United States, the farm owners are in a bad financial situation with lower incomes and about half of their income. We saw in the farmland, corn grows only half the standard height, the fruit deflated small. The low income of farm owners compared to other occupations is affecting agricultural development.

The second is the high intensity of labor. Farmers are labor-intensive, which cannot be compared with sitting in an office in the city or in an air-conditioned workshop in a factory. Farming is mainly a field operation. In any case, there is no way to avoid the vagaries of nature. Pig farming can be described as dirty and smelly. This farm is highly automated, but dirty and smelly cannot be excluded. Pigs do not know about cleanliness, there is no way out. When we visited the pig shed, the stench was so bad that it was discouraging. But the farm owner had to do it. He said that after work every day, it takes several showers to wash the smell away. This is something that I’m afraid not many people can accept in the United States.

The third is the boredom of the younger generation, which aspires to urban life due to the above-mentioned problems and the attraction of big cities. City life has cultural and recreational facilities that are not available in the countryside. This farm owner told me that he was devastated when his son graduated from college and told him he didn’t want to come back for a while. But he believed he would come back eventually. If he doesn’t come back, the farm will be a problem because he has only one son and there is no one to succeed him.

Despite all the problems, a number of people were crowded into agricultural production due to the market mechanism. The important issue is that the high output of agricultural production ensures the stability of political and social life. Imagine what will happen one day when Americans do not have enough food. In most developed countries, the common phenomenon is the solution of the basic necessities of life, so that there is a sufficient influx of these products. Most of the underdeveloped countries, on the other hand, cannot solve this problem very well. Agricultural development is a stabilizer of society and a starter of the economy, and the Soviet Union has long been perplexed by agricultural problems: the economy and politics languished. The situation in other societies is roughly similar.

In a world with a growing population, agriculture is a lifeline.

II. The Ancient Political Spirit

1. “American Spirit” • 1,700 Words

H. S. Commager was a leading American historian and critic. The shelves of American university libraries are generally stocked with his works. He is regarded as a master of American studies. His book, The Growth of the United States of America, is well established in Chinese scholarship. The Spirit of America, his book released in 1950, was so well received by the community that it was reprinted more than 20 times. I read the Chinese version translated by Nanmu and others. I brought it with me from Shanghai to the United States, a long way. It is indeed an essential book for understanding the American spirit.

H. S. Commager writes with sophistication and power, observes issues deeply, and is good at summarizing. He said he was not going to write a history book, but an interpretation rather than a record. He strives to discover the elusive “American spirit,” a uniquely American way of thinking, acting, and characterizing. He chose the period from the mid-1880s to the 1940s as a watershed moment in American history and thought. The American Spirit is a large, thick book of 500,000 words, with a lively, in-depth, and distinctive discussion, and a marvelous mix of historical information and surprising analysis.

What does Commager consider to be the “American spirit”? The primary premise is that Americans have their own character and their own philosophy. The American character is the product of the interaction of inheritance and environment. The origins of American culture and institutions can be traced back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Palestine, such as the church and the family system, as well as to values. But Commager sees this inheritance as a highly selective inheritance, where environment acts on selection, and where the political system and judicial system have changed very little in two hundred years, but the social organization has changed radically and the psychological aspects have been revolutionized. The American environment dissolves the differences between the different kinds of people who come here, from different cultural backgrounds.

It is not the local environment but the whole environment of the United States that determines the American character or creates the American style of people, says Commager. The whole environment refers to the vast land mass, the ease of mobility, the atmosphere of independence, and the spirit of optimism and enterprise. In Europe, with its long tradition of feudalism and nationalism, the local transcended the total, while in the United States, having matured during the Industrial Revolution and not recognizing the strong local tradition that had to be broken, the total transcended the local. He raises a question worth pondering: the extraordinary complexity of the American racial origin, the differences in climate and soil conditions everywhere, and yet the tendency to develop a distinct and stable national character, which not only makes it difficult for critics to anticipate, but also unexplainable by history and experience as a whole. Everyone who wants to understand America is, above all, prepared to think about this question.

What are the main characteristics of the American people’s spirit according to Commager? I have excerpted some of them, probably as follows.

The spirit of optimism is unusually unusual. Everything is going well in this country, and natural conditions are so favorable that every enterprising and lucky person can become rich. Optimism comes from the reality of change, where every day the wilderness turns into good land, villages into cities, and ideals into reality.

The belief is that there is nothing that can’t be done, and that we will not rest until we have won. Americans care more about the future than they do about the past and today. They have no sense of history and believe that only old crone who are not interested in the future are interested in the families of the past. So they see future presidents and millionaires in every barefoot boy, care for and love children, work for them, and let them grow.

Broad vision, imagination galloping across the continent, hate trivial matters, indecisive and timid, hope for big scenes, easy to accept large-scale plans and grand undertakings.

The culture is materialistic, takes comfort for granted, and views those with a lesser standard of living with a sense of superiority.

Always tenacious to overcome obstacles, partly because they are sure that perseverance combined with hard work, intelligence and luck will always lead to good results. Their credo is hard work, with laziness as a sin. Anything conducive to increasing wealth is taken for granted.

There is a strong concept of quantity and a tendency to evaluate almost everything in quantitative terms, such as demographics, skyscrapers, railroad miles, production records, etc. To depict Americans requires new vocabulary and even new mathematics.

Practical, especially in politics, religion, culture and science, but often romantic in business. Americans are always trying to invent new tools or technologies to adapt to new situations. They like to innovate, are less tradition-oriented, and are willing to give anything a try. Their response to various things is very practical. There are thousands of inventions in the United States, and Americans are known for their enthusiasm for making small inventions. American colleges and universities were the first to offer technology courses.

They hate theories and abstract thinking, avoiding esoteric political and behavioral philosophies like healthy people who don’t take medicine, and they are not interested in any kind of philosophy beyond common sense. They instinctively think that only the unfortunate and the confused resort to that kind of esoteric philosophy, but they are not that kind of people.

Religion, though of Calvinistic origin, is practical; they are religious but not pious; they no longer believe in the dogma that God saves mankind, but are instinctively convinced that salvation is only through work. Denominations were numerous, but were considered different organizations rather than different doctrines, and they could no longer tell the difference between Methodists and Presbyterians, just as they could not see the difference in principle between Republicans and Democrats.

In politics there is a strong aversion to empty theories and rhetoric. Some people laugh at the lack of political philosophy in the United States, and they take it in stride, believing that it is good not to be bound by political theories. No political party’s rhetoric will be supported by them. Although Americans are young and unsophisticated, they are politically mature. Their political institutions are as flexible and effective as the machines they have invented.

They were both skeptical and tolerant of culture, when it interfered with more important activities, and tolerant when it became a pastime or an entertainment for women. In exceptional cases, they demand that culture be something useful. Americans care about education and spend money on it, and they want it to produce people of practical use.

There is a nightmarish belief that they despise other nations and peoples almost to the point of paranoia. They believe that their country is superior and that they are superior to others, and this sense of superiority produces a natural sense of mission and a belief that they are the highest hope of the world.

Love to experiment, the United States itself is one of the largest experimental field, since every group is a gamble, a chance, then the Americans are gamblers and opportunists, they rarely stay in one place, full of care about moving. They do not like the same old thing, always love to do what others have not done, willing to accept the challenge.

It is democratic and completely equal. The environment opens the way for talent and luck. But their democracy is a social democracy, not an economic one. The concept of equality permeates the sphere of American life and thought; their behavior, work, recreation, language and literature, religion and politics all reflect the concept of equality, and real life is governed by it. In fact economic inequality is conceived as equality. Equality leads to cordial and sincere relations between people.

Good-natured, generous, hospitable, love to make friends, the vast majority of people like to socialize and enjoy group life. They are casual, unpretentious, speak casually, dress casually, eat casually, and treat people casually, which may be considered indulgent and rude and uncouth.

Find authority and rules and regulations to be a headache and find it insulting and challenging to follow certain rules. There is little to no discipline in school. Parents rarely control their children and children rarely respect their parents, but family life is happy. The military is lax in discipline, but can fight wars. Americans have no apparent respect for the law, but actually respect the rule of law, and the Constitution is the supreme law.

And so on and so forth. Commager concludes that these beliefs cannot help but have practical consequences and be reflected in the everyday behavior of the American people. The chapter in which Commager summarizes these characteristics is called “The 19th Century American. In fact, some of these generalizations are still relevant today. Naturally, one can give examples for and against any abstract generalization of real life. There are many examples that can be cited to refute Commager. However, as an American scholar’s view of our nation, let’s listen to it. All of what he says is good, which is a bit self-aggrandizing. In fact, the American nation has a number of shortcomings.

Today, these spirits can be found in such practical aspects of life as the space shuttle and global war programs, the endless stream of new equipment, the abundance of statistical reports, the spirit of practicality, the noisy scene in the classroom, and the attitude toward government scandals.

Sometimes, it can be said that there is no spirit in social life, but when you discover it, it will be there. Or rather, there is spirit in the world, but the question is whether it is found or not. Hegel was convinced that he had discovered the “absolute spirit”. The spirit of the American people is that there is no “absolute spirit”.

2. “The Mayflower” • 1,500 Words

Massachusetts can be described as a political-historical monument state. American monuments, you might say, are not many years old, but they are really crucial to the social and political development of the United States to say the least. Europeans often ridicule the United States for its lack of history, but in fact here reveals a question that is very worth exploring. The modern American society is only two hundred years old, how it has developed into the first-class power in the world. This is an important phenomenon in human society today.

Some people in China also say that the United States has no history.

Most of the historical displays of the founding of the United States are concentrated in two states, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the area near Boston, Massachusetts. While in Philadelphia, I visited the historical sites in question, including the meeting place of several important meetings during the War of Independence, the place where the Constitution was drafted, and the Liberty Bell. There were also hordes of Americans and foreigners who came to see the sights. These places are well preserved and serve as physical textbooks of political traditions. In terms of physical textbooks, Americans excel at this. It is often suspected that there is little political education in American society. But the spirit of tradition is deeply rooted in the people. Here, “physical textbooks” played a lot of role. Such places as the libraries of the Presidents of the United States established after retiring from office can be regarded as physical textbooks.

The first chapters of the physical textbook are in Massachusetts. “The Mayflower ship sent the first settlers to the American continent in 1620. This was the beginning of modern America. “The Mayflower is a larger wooden schooner, and the current display is a replica, but is said to resemble the original. Everything on board is still the same, and there are some people dressed in the costumes of the time who greet the passengers and talk seriously to the visitors about their hardships at sea and speak in the language of the time. They worked very carefully and meticulously. Not far from the Mayflower ship, there is a huge stone, which is said to be the place where the people on the Mayflower first set foot in America, the beginning of America.

Americans generally trace the American spirit back to the Mayflower and believe that the basic principles of American society were established when the Mayflower sailed for the mainland. The sixty or so men on board established the foundation of society. This interpretation may be valid, but it cannot be overstated. One thing is certain: most of the people who came to America from Europe at that time were religiously persecuted or politically excluded, and it was in 1620, at the height of the Stuart dictatorship in England, that the English bourgeois revolution broke out twenty years later. It is clear who was willing to leave Europe and England at that time, and what kind of state of mind they had when they came to this inhospitable land in order to escape from tyranny and persecution and to find freedom and wealth. This spirit inspired them to come to the New World. They arrived in a vast land without a complete political order, so they could fulfill their desires. If they had arrived in a place where a complete political system had already been established, these dozens of people would have had to accept reality, no matter how they turned their thoughts into actions. As many immigrants from all over the world are coming to the United States today, no one can change the system here. “The spirit brought by the Mayflower grew and developed precisely because the land was also politically barren.

However, it is important to note that this spirit could only be shared among the people on the Mayflower or among those who were like them, that is, among the white people. For a long time, the whites excluded the Indians and the blacks from the ranks of the people. An important reason for the subsequent establishment of the American political system, often overlooked, was that the indigenous Indians were not highly civilized, still lived like clans, and had not mastered basic production and farming techniques. This situation made it impossible for civilized Europeans to enslave them, because they could not provide more products. The only option for European settlers was to ask the Indians for the land under their feet. What would have been the situation if the Indians had been a fairly civilized people?

This is the famous argument put forward by my mentor in graduate school, Professor Chen Qiren. The difference between colonies of immigrant settlement and colonies of enslaved natives. The immigrant settlement refers to the immigration of a part of the population of the sovereign state to a piece of land for labor, such as the United States, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Indigenous enslavement refers to the domination of the local people of a colony by a small group of rulers from the sovereign state, such as many countries in Africa, India, Indochina, etc. These two different types of colonies formed completely different political systems. The history of the twentieth century points to this. The enslavement of the natives had a premise: could the natives be enslaved? Asian societies had developed to a considerable level before the arrival of the colonists, providing the conditions for the enslavement of the European colonists. The Americans did not have such favorable conditions in the New World. The Indians had long been considered savages, and civilized people only enslaved civilized people and were less willing to enslave what they considered “beasts.

“The spirit of the Mayflower survived, not because anyone intended to maintain it, but because social life had to be regulated by it. I also saw the Plymouth plantation, where a 17th century settlement has been preserved and where the earliest settlers are said to have lived. This village is adjacent to the sea and looks out over miles of blue water. The village’s boarded-up houses and various utensils are typical of the old-time countryside. It can be described with four words – poor and backward. This is natural. European immigrants came from far away with nothing and started with nothing but this environment. Villages like this are still as numerous in the world nowadays, what do they mean? Precisely because immigrants develop from a base of poverty, they especially value their wealth and their way of life. People who were born rich did not have the same strong emotions as they did. So when Britain tried to exploit them, they rose up to defend their lives, and in 1775, the Americans fought a war with the British army, firing the first shots of the War of Independence. I visited the place where the Americans fired the first shot, and there is a monument. There was also a monument across the river by the road where the British soldier who was killed by that shot lay. The result of the war was an American victory. The American War of Independence was inspired by the spirit of the bourgeois revolutions in Europe at the same time, especially the fact that Britain itself, as the ruler, had a revolution. It is evident from the Constitution of the United States that its basic principles were the creations of English and French thinkers during the bourgeois revolutions in Europe. The United States did not encounter strong resistance from the old system in creating the new one, unlike the English bourgeois revolution and the French bourgeois revolution, which made it easier to declare the implementation of ideological principles that reflected the demands of the bourgeoisie. Consider why Germany could not complete the bourgeois revolution in the mid-nineteenth century. The Junker aristocracy was too powerful.

The United States focuses on preserving and protecting these physical textbooks. They are managed by dedicated staff and provide the amenities needed for public access, such as parking, kiosks, restaurants, and various types of instructions. The facilities for the exhibitions are also of a high standard, with screening rooms in almost every location where visitors can see specially filmed films and slides. Things that are not considered cultural relics by the Chinese are carefully protected. So, in the future, Americans will have a history because it is now being preserved to the fullest extent. They know they have no history, and they treasure anything that has a little historical value. In a country that is too rich in history, things of much greater value than that are cast aside.

Americans not only preserve history, but know how to make these objects work as textbooks. These sites are open to the public and provide the best help for the public to fully understand them. In fact, this is spreading the American spirit, which is a socialized ideological and political education.

Any society that wants to have long-lasting peace and stability should spread its value system, but the method of spreading varies, and the effect of spreading depends to a large extent on the method.

3. Political Creed • 1,300 Words

One of the major reasons why Europeans look down on Americans is that Europeans believe that Americans do not have a long cultural tradition and are uncivilized, like a group of “hicks” who have suddenly become rich. In the political sphere, this view is reflected in the European belief that Americans do not have a rich heritage of political culture. Europe has contributed such great minds as Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Montesquieu, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Hegel. A very important aspect of their achievements is that they gave wonderful discourses on the political life of human beings. Many of the basic tenets of today’s European and Western politics originated from these thinkers. American political thought is less developed; the United States is only two hundred years old. The American patriarchs chose a system of thought that already existed in Europe, and they did not make many new contributions. American political scholars are also outspoken.

That said, one must not assert that Americans do not have a political creed and that political creeds do not work in America. Samuel P. Huntington, a political scientist at Harvard University, wrote a book, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981), devoted to this issue. He says it would be a mistake to think that political thought plays a lesser role in the United States than it does in Europe.

According to Huntington, the American Creed began to take shape from the time of the War of Independence, and certain fundamental political values were developed in the United States from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century, which is the American Creed. The core of the American Creed comes from the thinkers of the European bourgeois revolution, but it also has more distant origins, going back to ancient Greece. These creeds not only existed, but were accepted by the majority of society. These creeds have changed in one way or another over the course of two centuries, but their core remains the same. These tenets form part of the “self” of the American nation. Not many people in society spend their days promoting these creeds, but people practice them. The universities, the courts, the government, the mass media are spreading them. To some extent, these tenets dominate society. A major topic of discussion in the Dukakis and Bush campaigns was what constitutes the American Mainstream and who has left the American Mainstream. Neither side was willing to leave the American Mainstream without losing votes.

What is the American creed? According to Huntington, it can be summarized as (1) freedom; (2) equality; (3) individualism; (4) democracy; and (5) the rule of law. It seems so simple and clear. Here lies the human dilemma. Even a simple idea is difficult to become the dominant idea in society, and it cannot be effective without the efforts of several generations, naturally, the American creed and American practice do not exactly match.

Where did the creed come from? Arguably from the Declaration of Independence, where these creeds were used as an ideological weapon in the struggle against British colonial rule. It can also be said to come from the European intellectual tradition, where these basic ideas were played out long before the War of Independence. The early American yearning for these beliefs was driven by emotional motivation, or more emotional than rational motivation. Americans believed in these creeds, though no thinker ever did a good job of addressing the relationship between these ideas; they were always treated as an ideal. That there is a conflict between these ideals is obvious. Huntington says that majority rule may lead to the violation of minority rights, that the supremacy of law may weaken the sovereignty of the people, that individualism may undermine democracy, and so on and so forth. These conflicts not only exist logically, but are also evident in the process of actual political development. Some of the dilemmas of political life can find partial explanation in this situation. Americans claim to be democratic, yet what else can ordinary people do but vote? Perhaps no society can be organized beyond this pattern.

Most people share these ideas. There are various reasons for this, a major one being that prior to the War of Independence, there were no hierarchical differences as in Europe, nor were there different systems of thought based on these differences. People accepted the value system created for the new world in general from the beginning. Naturally, in the subsequent flux, different social classes interpreted these tenets in different ways. The battle between the two parties is a concentrated reflection of this. Today, I am afraid I cannot say that everyone accepts these tenets, but most people accept them. Many immigrant groups, because of the influence of different cultures, have difficulty in truly sharing these creeds. For example, the Chinese immigrant society, the Latin American immigrant society, the Japanese immigrant society, etc. The mainstream still exists. Americans constantly protect themselves with these creeds that have no definite meaning, because they have no definite content, but rather tend to survive for a long time.

One hundred and forty years ago, the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville said that Americans generally believed that the people were the source of power. People respect freedom and equality, the majority of citizens have political power, and so on. These are the constituent elements of the American creed. James Bryce’s boiled down to the beliefs that (1) the individual has divine power, (2) the source of power is in the people, (3) all government is limited by law and the people, (4) local government takes precedence over the federal government, (5) the majority is wiser than the minority, and (6) the smallest government is the best government, all of which are open to interpretation. In general, Americans do not feel the need to explain, and anyone who thinks they know the true transmission. However, in times of crisis, people interpret these tenets differently.

Huntington argues that this happened during four periods: the Revolutionary period, the Jeffersonian period, the Civil War, and the Turbulent Sixties. What happened during these periods? Primarily, there was widespread discontent, political ideas playing an important role in the polemics, political unrest, strong opposition to the regime, intensified psychology of change, and expanded political participation. The more important reason is that the actual politics did not fulfill these tenets, the potential conflicts accumulated and finally erupted like a volcano, thus finding new structures. Because most people believe in these tenets, the first thing people think of when they erupt is to better embody them, not to change them. Societies that keep realizing the same creed, as opposed to societies that keep changing their creed, have a continuity of social development whose efficacy for their social development cannot be ignored.

Many political scientists acknowledge the existence of the IvI Gap, the gap between Idea and Institutions in the United States. Although these beliefs are the mainstream of society, actual political life lags far behind them. Freedom, equality, individualism, democracy, and the rule of law are also things that are developing in the United States, but not to the same extent as in some societies. The question is not when these beliefs will be fully realized, but when society will create the conditions to make them a reality. Many people may not like these tenets, but the mainstream of society does not allow them to go against the tide. For the most part, people accept the trends, and only when necessary do they display the creed.

The state of the political creed sheds a light on the situation. It is not easy for a society to accept a creed, and it is even less easy to actually practice them once they are accepted. For a society to develop, the first step is for the core values to become mainstream in society, and then for them to become a reality. When core values are not mainstream, it is naturally more difficult to make them a reality. A society can say what it believes in, but that does not mean that it actually has something, or does not have something.

4. Equality or Freedom • 1,900 Words

There are always core values in the values of a society, and the core values dominate the development of the whole society, dominate the spiritual activities of most of the people in the society, and are the standards by which most of the people in the society judge all kinds of private and public things. What are the dominant values in the political and social culture of the United States? There are many different opinions about this. In recent years there have been heated debates. For example, liberals argue that the fundamental value is equality, and that the Constitution states that everyone is born equal. Neoconservatives, on the other hand, emphasize that the core value is liberty, not equality, and that liberty is the dominant concept in any era. When I was visiting Ohio University, I asked a senior professor of American politics, “What exactly is the difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party?” After a moment’s contemplation, he replied, “There are different views of freedom and equality, with the Republican Party focusing on freedom and the Democratic Party focusing on equality.” It is clear that there is not a unanimous view of these two fundamental aspects of traditional Western political culture.

My personal opinion is that in America today, more people tend to have freedom as their dominant value than those who choose equality as their dominant value, and the concept of freedom is the mainstream of the American spirit and culture today. Naturally, different people tend toward this concept, have different understandings and choices, and have to use it to defend their different interests. When viewed from this perspective, freedom is a concept that is more easily applied at will by people with different interests, and equality appears to be of lesser magnitude. I will analyze this issue below.

Nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, after a tour of the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote a book called Democracy in America, which became a classic and remains one of the essential readings in the study of American politics. Very difficult in a society like the United States, which lacks a sense of theoretical authority.

One of Tocqueville’s key arguments is that the most important fact is the full equality of conditions (equality of conditions), an idea that plays an inestimable role in the whole process of society, and that all other values in society derive from this basic fact. This argument can be said to be right or wrong. In the case of the time, after the War of Independence, the Constitution officially recognized the principle that all men are created equal. The United States did not have a tradition of feudal aristocracy, so it was easier to establish an environment of equality after colonial rule was overthrown. There was no wealth accumulated over time, no political eminence, and equality of conditions was easier to develop. It is not so easy in societies with a long history of feudalism, such as England and France. Although the law may provide for equality for all, de facto inequality cannot be destroyed by force. It may be possible to destroy the material inequality, but not the spiritual and cultural inequality. This is something that America has in its favor. Tocqueville came from a continent with a strong feudal tradition, and it was natural that he felt better conditions here. If he had gone from America to post-Revolutionary France, I am afraid it would have been difficult to reach this conclusion.

It is wrong to say that it is wrong because the equality that people favored at the time was in many cases only a principle and far from being a reality. Even today’s American society can hardly be said to have achieved the equality of all people as the Constitution says. Aren’t many scholars and politicians fiercely attacking the inequality of this society? At the time Tocqueville traveled around the United States, slavery was still widespread in the South, the Civil War had not yet broken out, women did not have equal social and political rights, not to mention the Indians, and economic inequality has always existed from then to now. If we only talk about equality of conditions and not equality of results, it seems that we cannot conclude that there was a general equality of conditions at that time. The reason for Tocqueville’s impression is, I think, mainly the feeling of a man who grew up in a more unequal environment.

This is not to say that there was no difference between the two societies; it should be said that the move toward equality was a historical progress. It can also be said that the people were seeking the principle of equality in those times, because equality was not fully achieved.

At the same time, those who choose the principle of freedom must first pursue the principle of equality, for without the prerequisite of equality, freedom can hardly be fully realized. Liberty and equality can be said to be the two main core values in Europe as well as in the West since Locke. But they do not go hand in hand. At the stage when both values are absent or at the initial stage of their development, the contradiction between them will not be revealed or will not be sufficiently revealed. But after the two values reach a certain stage of development, this conflict will show itself. If one speaks of human freedom, of full human freedom, then equality may become a limitation, because equality requires that different people have the same conditions. If one speaks of equality of results, this limitation becomes more obvious. If one speaks of equality, that means equal freedom for everyone, as Comte says. No one can enjoy more freedom. It is difficult to reach this situation in a society. There are different rules about these concepts, another place where disagreements arise. So, at a certain stage of the development of equality and freedom, new contradictions arise.

In Tocqueville’s time, Americans did seek equality, but this equality was a very abstract and principled concept, and in reality, equality was slow to be introduced. Women’s right to vote was not slowly established until the second half of the nineteenth century, and universal suffrage was not established until the 1920s. Equal rights for blacks did not become a consideration until the 1960s. Equal rights for Indians were consistently violated. President Lincoln rose to the call for the emancipation of black slaves. But his basic spirit was not to give blacks equal status with whites. He pledged: I never said anything about putting Negroes in government offices; I never said that Negroes were united with whites in marriage. I only said that there was a tension between blacks and whites. It’s not conducive to the two peoples living together. So the contemporary neoconservative notion is that Lincoln only gave freedom to blacks, not equality.

In fact, in the hearts of Americans, most of them are inclined to freedom. Speaking of equality is only when freedom is restricted. Once that constraint is removed, the value or expectation of freedom is often greater than equality.

Why is this so? Because the equality guaranteed by the Western system is only formal political equality, not social or economic equality. This has been recognized by Western scholars. After formal political equality is established, further demands for equality involve the interests of many people. History has determined that it is easy to provide for formal political equality, but difficult to achieve economic equality.

Political equality means equal implementation of laws, equal voting rights and other political rights, etc. Once this premise was established, people began their own social, economic, and cultural activities. The United States was founded more than two hundred years ago, and during this relatively short period of flux, the economy developed to a high degree, and accordingly, the division of interests in society was inevitably pronounced, with an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. To this day, the rich-poor divide constitutes the main interest structure of society. In affluent societies, there are few truly poor people and few truly rich people, but the majority of the middle class considers itself to be rich or would be rich. This part of the population believes that past wealth or possible future wealth depends on free activity in the economic sphere, and to restrict this freedom and create equality would be detrimental to their interests. The economic sphere is not part of the political sphere, and equality cannot be imposed. People should enjoy full freedom in this sphere. One cannot take someone else’s money and give it to another person to spend because of the emphasis on equality. Those who have money or have some of it think this way. In essence, this argument reflects the desire of the rich to not limit the freedom of capital and to share a deeper level of equality with society at large.

One hundred and fifty years later, or at least that number of years, the situation in the United States is very different from that of Tocqueville’s time. The issue of political equality has been greatly improved, though not resolved, by the postwar black civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement. The issue of economic equality, however, has never been substantially advanced. The United States once engaged in poverty eradication, welfare policies, and progressive taxation to promote equality, but later ended up with a lot of public discontent. The Keynesian welfare policy resulted in stagflation. Since then Keynesianism has fallen flat on its face. Large-scale social welfare programs are repugnant. The Democratic Party’s repeated electoral defeats also tell a story.

Welfare policies must extract higher taxes. To support the government budget. High taxes don’t make people happy or happy anywhere. Americans aspire to equality, but now that equality is associated with high taxes, they are turned off. If there are still strong advocates of such equality, most people will shift to an emphasis on freedom, seeing such equality as an infringement of liberty. There are profound socio-economic reasons why freedom has become mainstream, and in fact it reflects a polarization of conflicting interests between different groups in society.

In fact, from a historical perspective, Americans see freedom more than equality, and sometimes the pursuit of freedom manifests itself in the form of the pursuit of equality. After the end is achieved, what is preserved is often freedom. It cannot be said that some people do not aspire to equality, but they only aspire to political equality, and it would be difficult to accept it if they went further.

The War of Independence pushed equality to a new level, and subsequent developments have continued to advance political equality. But equality in the economic and social spheres has been slow to advance because it is considered to be in the realm of liberty, and freedom is inviolable, especially the right to freedom of private property. Americans accept only equality of conditions, not equality of results. Once equality of conditions is established, then comes the realm of liberty. Many Americans affirm that conditional equality has been achieved and that any further talk of equality can only be about equality of results, which is an important reason why freedom has become the dominant value today.

In today’s world of individualism, equality can hardly be the dominant value.

5. Two Hundred Years of the Constitution • 1,500 Words

There is a historical connection between the cities of Philadelphia and Washington. Philadelphia was an important site during the American Revolutionary War, and in 1787, a convention was held in Philadelphia to write the Constitution. This constitution has survived to this day and can be called the oldest written constitution in the world. In 1988, the bicentennial of the Constitution was celebrated under the Statue of Liberty and Reagan was there to speak. Americans are most proud of their Constitution. When I was in Philadelphia, I visited the building where the Constitution was written, but I only looked outside because it was so crowded. When I was in Annapolis, I saw a handwritten copy of the U.S. Constitution, a few sheets of yellow paper, but how could it play such a big role? The foundation is definitely beyond these yellow papers.

The Constitution of the United States is a product of the War of Independence. The arresting evolution was about twenty years in the making: 1770-1790, when the United States had thirteen separate colonies under the British government. 1774, the first Continental Congress was held, and 55 delegates from the thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia to discuss issues of common concern. 1775, the war between the colonies and Britain, the fierce battle in what is now Massachusetts, took place. In 1776, the American political thinker Thomas Paine published his book Common Sense, calling for independence. 1782, nearing the end of the War of Independence, peace talks were held in Paris and an agreement was signed. 1787, the Constitution was drafted. 1788, a sufficient number of states ratified the draft constitution and it took effect. 1789, George Washington was elected president of the United States. In 1791, the Declaration of the Rights of Man was added to the Constitution. This was the main milestone in the political development of the time. It is clear from this that the American Constitution was born out of the struggle for independence, and its basic provisions were certainly designed to safeguard certain interests.

This was the intent of the framers of the Constitution. At that time, 13 states sent 55 delegates to Philadelphia. Drafting the Constitution was a difficult task, but they did it in one summer. Perhaps it was because political, social, and cultural relations were not as developed as they have been since. If it were done today, I am afraid that it would not have been possible to create a constitution without two years. Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin were all involved in this work. These men were deeply influenced by European Enlightenment thinkers, and they were familiar with Locke’s Treatise on Government, Harrington’s Oceania, and Montesquieu’s On the Spirit of the Laws. At the same time, they also had a great deal of practical experience. Twenty of them are said to have participated in the drafting of state constitutions and to be well versed in the subject. Thirty of them have been involved in the legislatures of the states. They were familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of officialdom, and they also laid the foundation for the constitution.

One historical condition that is worth noting when formulating the Constitution is that it is a continuation of the same system, but with a different form of organization. At the time of the American War of Independence, England had completed the “Glorious Revolution” for 100 years, and the British rulers were no longer the traditional feudal aristocracy. Therefore, for the United States, it was basically a new system modeled after the British political principles. In other words, the ruled wanted to live as the rulers did. And the problem facing revolutions in many countries was to change the political principles, which was much more difficult because no one knew the practice of the new principles, there was a void, such as the English bourgeois revolution, the French bourgeois revolution, the Russian revolution and the Chinese revolution. Of course, in countries like England, France, Russia and China, the influence of the old system was so strong that it also created difficulties in establishing a new system.

Out of their own experience, the primary concerns of Americans in framing the Constitution were the authority of government and the freedom of the individual.

The separation of the colonies by the British also created the conditions for the formation of a political system. This separation made it impossible for one state to dominate another, political matters had to be negotiated, and those who made the constitution had the backing of the states and had a great deal of bargaining power. None of the states wanted one state to have power over them. Thus care would be taken to create a mechanism in the Constitution to guard against one state gaining such power. Kenneth Prewitt and Sidney Verba, in their book An Introduction to American Government, point out that the Constitution reflects a philosophical view. They cite a quote from John Adams.

Human desires, passions, prejudices and self-love are never conquered by love and knowledge, and …you say that “the love of freedom is rooted in the soul of man”. Then it is also in the soul of a wolf. I doubt that one man is more rational, more tolerant, more sociable than another. …Therefore, we should not rely solely on the love of freedom in the souls of men. Some political system must be prepared to help the love of freedom to rebel against its enemies.

Plevite and Wolbach’s interpretation is that without political limits, people cannot be trusted. Thus the Constitution reflects a pessimistic, not an optimistic, view of human nature. This is a major difference between Western culture and Eastern culture. Perhaps this can explain the difference in political development between East and West in some way.

With these ideas in mind, the Constitution establishes the following three basic principles.

The introduction of representative government, including the abolition of noble titles and the devolution of official positions, with regular elections and representative politics.

Decentralized governance (decentralization includes both vertical and horizontal aspects, with vertical referring to federalism, with the states retaining greater power. This was the only viable option at the time. Horizontal refers to what is commonly referred to as the “separation of powers”).

Limited government, i.e., what the government cannot do, such as not interfering with the rights of religion, speech, writing, assembly, etc. It also establishes the principle of “Government of laws, not of men” and, as a result of this principle, the Constitution establishes a court system.

It must not be thought that those who framed the Constitution had all the toiling masses in mind and were framing the Constitution for them. What they had in mind at that time was first of all to maintain their interests, a new ruling group. The popularization of the spirit of the Constitution was a long time in coming. As late as the 1960s, black Americans were still fighting for their rights. To this day, blacks are still fighting, though not often in blood.

A question that has attracted worldwide attention is why the Constitution has survived for two hundred years when other countries have no such record. Prewitt and Wolbach offer one explanation: (1) the Constitution is a political document, and the political conflicts that existed in 1780 still exist today, but in different forms, such as central-local relations; (2) the constitutionally guaranteed representative, decentralized, and limited government had sufficient appeal then and remains so today.

Another important reason is the Constitution’s own changes. If the Constitution had remained unchanged for two hundred years, it is hard to imagine that it would have lasted until today. The changes in the Constitution are characterized by changes in content but not in form. The Constitution has changed in many ways, such as the universality of its provisions, the new interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, the rights not listed in the Constitution, and the amendments to the Constitution. The key is that the basis and procedure for constitutional change is still this Constitution, and nothing else. There are no unchanging things in the world. Americans today have long interpreted the Constitution much differently than they did two hundred years ago, but people would rather say that is what it was two hundred years ago. Because it’s not easy to call attention to what people say today; it’s easier, sometimes much easier, to call attention to what the ancients said.

The key problem is that no one actually has the power to change this constitution, and maintaining it and interpreting it is the only way forward. Perhaps it is a general rule that if there is still some power to change the constitution and the political system, then the society has not reached a steady state politically and socially in terms of governance.

6. Political Genes • 1,400 Words

There is a quiet town next to Boston, and the name of this town is Belmont (Belmont) town. It is said that the political system of early America has been preserved relatively intact here. The town’s administration is strongly self-governing and is the source of the American political system, or a reflection of the political tradition. Let’s call it “political genes”. Professor Lucian Pye, who was the president of the American Political Science Association in 1988, also recommended this town, and we visited this special town in his company.

Belmont is a small town, about half an hour away from Boston by car, with a total of 26,000 inhabitants. The first person to come out and greet us was the secretary. She is the selectman. The first thing she said was that Belmont is governed by an organization of friends and neighbors who govern themselves, a kind of self-governing organization. Her second sentence was that this organization and the spirit of this organization originated in England. When the first settlers arrived on the American continent, they brought with them this tradition, which has been preserved until now. In the East, especially in Massachusetts, a number of places still maintain this political character, which has become a very noteworthy phenomenon in political life.

A brief look at the town’s organizational structure is in order. The town has a fundamental law, called the General by-laws, which in effect is the equivalent of the town’s constitution. According to the town’s organic law, the supreme authority is vested in the citizens, and all adult citizens who reside in the town have the right to vote. The town is organized into two parts, one for the elected officials and the other for the appointed officials. Elected officials are elected by all citizens. The head of the administration is called the Electman, which is not an official title, but only a proof of his status. There are three electors, with equal powers, who form the Council of Electors and are responsible for the day-to-day administration. The electors are re-elected every year and can be re-elected. In addition to the head of administration being elected, there are several other administrators who are elected rather than appointed by the head of administration, such as the Electricity Commission, the Health Commission, the Moderator, the Town Treasurer, the members of the School Committee, the Water Commission, etc. This mechanism guarantees that all of the executive departments are accountable to the voters and not dominated by the head of administration. There is also an elective town meeting, similar to a deliberative body, but it is the general assembly of all citizens that really has the power to decide. Under the elective town meeting, there is an executive secretary, an advisory board, and a town committee that helps or assists the electors in the day-to-day management of their affairs. The Executive Secretary and others are all appointed officials. Under the Executive Secretary are a number of Specialized Secretaries who are responsible for various matters such as community development, senior affairs, finance, fire, highway, police, veterans services, etc. Under the Moderator (Moderator), there are the Legal Committee, the Authorization Committee, the Budget Committee, etc., all of which are appointed officials. This is the general state of political organization in Belmont Township. As you can see, it has the premise that the administrative officials of important departments are elected to ensure that citizens can effectively monitor and control the administrative process.

Although it is a small town, the annual budget is in the tens of millions of dollars. For example, in the 1986-1987 fiscal year, the expenditure was \$31,709,621. How such a large sum of money is spent is the biggest political issue for the town. The town’s system effectively ensures the proper use of its finances and strongly precludes corruption because the finances must be open and approved by the town meeting. The town-wide meeting is generally held once a year to decide on major town matters. Let’s look at the 1987 town meeting, which took place on April 27 in the high school auditorium because it was the largest venue in town. Prior to the town meeting, the matters to be voted on were issued. Matters were studied by the authorized committee and opinions were given.

The 1987 meeting had 47 items to vote on. Most of them concerned how to spend money, how to expand public facilities, and how to improve living standards. There were also political ones, such as item 2, which dealt with the delegation of authority to elected people to resolve conflicts, and items 35 and 37, which dealt with amending the Basic Law. These items are fewer in number and are more about specific living matters, such as raising the salaries of officials, expanding water pipes, providing travel expenses to officials, purchasing parking meters, building roads, and purchasing large snow plows, large trucks, photocopiers, etc. As you can see, quite a few very detailed items have to be approved by the citizens’ assembly. Administrative officials are not allowed to spend money without permission. All finances have to be made public. At the town-wide meeting, the report of the Finance Committee and the report of the Authorized Committee are discussed. These reports list the salaries and allowances of the various officials and committee members in a clear manner. This would put an end to the practice of corruption. Under this system, it is extremely difficult to commit fraud. Naturally, this possibility cannot be ruled out.

This system is very similar to the citizen’s assembly in ancient Rome, and indeed vividly reflects the basic essence of the Western political system. The town of Belmont, however, is not independent. It has a unique set of mechanisms for conducting town affairs, but it is subject to state and federal laws. One characteristic of the American political system is that its local governments are not uniform, especially at the sub-county level. Most local governments have preserved their traditional colors. And it has never occurred to Americans to unify these local governments, but rather to let them develop. This way of looking at things is also rare in the world. In terms of organizational structure, the nation is integrated, but the specific ways of functioning are different. In fact, each local government adapts to local traditions, local perceptions and local needs. Any political system can function well only if it does so. To a large extent, the adaptation of the American political system to historical-social-cultural conditions is not reflected in federal and state governments, but in governments below the county level. This is a mechanism that is not found in a number of countries. History tends to show that the more delineated the political system is, the less adaptable the political system is. How to coordinate between macro political institutions and specific institutions is a major challenge in political development.

By saying that Belmont’s organization was “in the genes” of the political system, I mean that the later political system developed on the basis of the political rules of such small groups. The people who first came to America, having been subjected to religious and political persecution in England, had the strongest desire for political security, the deepest awareness of their rights, and the greatest wariness of political power. On the other hand, they were imbued with Western culture, they aspired in persecution to the democratic traditions of the ancient (ancient Greek) or medieval communes of the West, and they came to the New World from far away, mainly to escape one political life and establish another. This is why early Americans had a democratic outlook. Of course, similar to the democracy of the slaveholders in ancient Rome, this could only be a democracy among themselves, not among the Indians or later the blacks, but any political rights prepared for their own use had to be prepared to be shared with others, or they themselves would lose them. Not only does the history of many countries prove this, but the development of modern Chinese history also shows it. By the time of the War of Independence, it was this basic spirit that the Americans wanted to consolidate. The ease with which this spirit was institutionalized in America had to do with the nature of the earliest immigrants. Imagine what America would have been like if all the British princes and nobles had come to the New World.

Latin American countries and African countries have contributed a number of examples.

7. Political Rules • 1,800 Words

January 20, 1989, was the inauguration day for Bush’s election as the forty-first president. On this day, Bush and Vice President-elect Quayle were to be sworn in on Capitol Hill. All political dignitaries, leaders of the White House, the House and Senate of Congress, and the Supreme Court are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony. This ceremony will indicate that Bush officially becomes the president and Reagan officially leaves office. This is a major event in political life and a political rule. This rule actually serves as a constraint on the outgoing and incoming presidents, and also indicates to the nation the basic way in which the political system works. The new president has to give a speech at the inauguration ceremony, stating his basic policy ideas, which is also a sign to the nation.

The transfer of political power is one of the most difficult things to solve in human political life. Many societies have not developed a sound procedure on this issue, which has become a cause of political instability. The important thing about the oath of office of the president is not that the new president has power, but that the old president thus loses power and is relieved of his duties and becomes a man of the cloth. The Constitution does not specify how the transition between the old and new presidents should take place, but the oath of office ceremony has such a long history that it has now become a fixed political rule, and the whole process is very programmed.

On the morning of Jan. 20, the swearing-in area was prepared in front of the Capitol. VIPs and dignitaries entered the venue one after another. The venue was open to the public, with a raised platform as a podium for the oath of office. At about the same time, Reagan and the dignitaries left the White House in their cars and went to the Capitol. Before the oath of office began, all parties entered the podium according to a ritual. Behind the podium was a door connected to the Capitol, decorated with a large red curtain and a red carpet leading to the front of the podium, where there was a microphone and a podium. First, the judges of the Supreme Court enter and are introduced to the podium by an usher. Then the women entered, including the respective wives of Reagan, Bush and Quayle, and were ushered out through another corridor. Then Reagan entered. Reagan was followed by Quayle. Finally, Bush was seated. Each person or group was guided by a special person 12 minutes apart.

The oath of office was administered by the chairmen of the joint session of both houses of Congress. A chaplain was first asked to say a prayer for God’s blessing on America, on President Bush and his family, and on Quayle and his family. Then a children’s choir sang hymns of praise to God. Then a black singer sang praise songs. Quayle began with the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by Supreme Court Justice O’Connor, who read one sentence and Quayle repeated it. Mrs. Quayle held a family Bible, and Quayle placed his left hand on top of this Bible. After Quayle was sworn in, Bush was sworn in. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William H. Rehnquist, led the reading. Mrs. Bush held two Bibles, one for family use and one used by the first president, George Washington, when he took the oath of office. Bush placed his hand on it and followed the Justice’s reading.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, the black singer sang the National Anthem, and the entire audience sang it. After the anthem, Bush gave a speech announcing his basic national policy.

Praised Reagan, saying:-“This man has earned an important place in our hearts and in our history. President Reagan, in the name of our nation, I thank you for all the outstanding things you have done for America.” Pray to God, saying, “Strengthen us for Your cause, and we are willing to obey Your will and write the following in our hearts: Use power to help the people. For we have been given power, not to pursue our own goals, and there is only one right use of power, and that is to serve the people.”

Called for a revitalization of the American spirit, saying, “We can’t just hope to leave our children and grandchildren bigger cars and bigger bank accounts. We should want to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, what it means to be a loving parent, what it means to be a good citizen. America is not really America unless it has noble moral goals. We have that goal today, and that is to make the nation look more lovable and the world look better.”

Calling for a fight against drug addiction, he said that “crimes such as drug addiction should be eliminated.”

Asking Congress to cooperate, he said, “We need new action…, we need compromise…, we need harmony…, and I extend my hand to you.”

Expressing his determination, he said:I don’t doubt the future, and I don’t fear what lies ahead. Our problems are great, but our will is greater, our challenges are great, but our will is greater. If there is no end to our imperfections, God’s love is indeed vast and boundless.”

After Bush finished his speech, he said goodbye to the Reagans. The Reagans were then to leave Washington, D.C., which meant leaving the White House. A helicopter will take the Reagans directly to Andrews Air Force Base, where they will be flown directly to their home in Los Angeles. The Bushes and the Quayles see the Reagans to their plane: the Reagan era is over.

Bush then returned to the Capitol, where in an office he signed his first documents as president, including appointments to his Cabinet. After attending a luncheon in Congress, the return to the White House, sometimes on foot, was about 1.6 miles and marked the beginning of the Bush era.

The process, which is highly programmed, is incredibly expensive. The approximate statistic is that the entire inauguration (almost a week) costs \$30 million, including state expenses and private expenses. Tickets for the full event (including the various banquets, ceremonies, etc.) were \$25,000 a piece. In 1981, Reagan spent \$16 million on the inauguration. All of this money was privately donated. The government also spent a lot of money, with Congress budgeting \$775,000 for the inauguration. The city of Washington allocated \$2.3 million to provide police, fire prevention, medical care and other services. The Department of Defense spent approximately \$2.5 million to provide troops, honor guards and more. The cost of the entire event was staggering, which is a hallmark of the American system. Most of the spending came from civilian sources, and while this suggests that there was no political obligation, it is difficult to say whether this was the case. However, as an established procedure for the transfer of power, the cost is not much compared to the chaos and even bloodshed of the transfer of power.

The entire event was highly public, with extensive television and newspaper coverage of the entire event. The inauguration ceremony was broadcasted live on TV and radio. To a certain extent, the political openness also ensured that the change of power was carried out properly. This process, in fact, also tells the people that the change of power is done according to the procedure.

One of the most fundamental problems of any political system is how to carry out the alternation of power. Without solving this problem, it is difficult for society to have a sustainable and stable political order. The United States has formed a set of political rules during its long history of development. Everyone must abide by this set of political rules, contrary to this set of political rules, it is impossible to be recognized, it is impossible to have legitimacy. It is unthinkable that any outgoing president would not leave the White House. The day Bush was sworn in, Reagan moved out of the White House. The Oval Office was empty. The New York Times ran a photo of Reagan casting his last glance at the empty office. After the swearing-in ceremony, Bush will be in office here. Reagan’s team will also have to move out of the White House. When Reagan left the Self-Presidential Palace for the ceremony, the moving truck drove into the White House. After the swearing-in, Reagan flew straight to Los Angeles and became a man of the cloth. Although the outgoing president has played a far greater role in American politics than the common man, his time is over after all.

In this process, one can see how political rules and political traditions work. The ceremony is ancient, the oath of office is the same oath of office used by the first president two hundred years ago, and the Bible is the same Bible used by George Washington two hundred years ago. The American nation is a nation that places great value on tradition. This situation seems a bit strange: how can Americans, who are so innovative and individualistic, value tradition in such a way. In fact, the more tradition has authority where no one has the say, the greater the authority. Tradition becomes the only thing modern people can rely on, and modern people cannot come up with one thing to convince the masses. In national or state or local political life, rules and traditions are forces to be reckoned with. In the sensitive issue of power change, rules and traditions are better at binding people. In societies where modern politics is in flux and where political rules and traditions have not been developed, there is some difficulty in changing power or in finding a suitable path.

In depth, political rules and traditions are useful because they protect the power relations between different groups within the ruling class. The function of socially formed political rules and traditions is that they are appropriate for coordinating power relations between different groups in society. Such relations are rooted in the complex political, economic and cultural mechanisms of society. Political rules and traditions are the result of the long-term functioning of a social system and best reflect the fundamental characteristics of that society. Sometimes, political rules and political traditions are more powerful than laws, because one is written in words and the other is written in people’s beliefs. The path to a society’s political development lies in turning political principles and beliefs into political rules and political traditions.

8. “Third Republic” • 1,400 Words

The “Third Republic of the United States of America” is an unfamiliar concept to many people. I am afraid that many people have heard of the Fourth Republic of France and the Fifth Republic of France, but not of the Third Republic of the United States of America. The concept was first introduced in 1969. Of course, this concept was introduced by a scholar in a book. His name is Theodore J. Lowi. The book was called The End of Liberalism: The Second American Republic. In this book, Lowi analyzes the evolution of mainstream thinking in the United States and points out the trend of social development. These analyses are still valuable for understanding America.

In the war of words campaign of 1988, the Republican presidential candidate chose the key strategy of accusing the Democratic candidate of being a “liberal. The implication was that liberalism had become a pejorative term. Noted political scientist Samuel Martin Lipset has an article in the Oct. 27 issue of The New York Times that looks at this shift. He says that Americans have always sought and longed for liberalism, and that the War of Independence was sparked by the quest for freedom and equality back then. The tradition of Western political philosophy also has freedom and equality at its core. Now, with the change of time, liberalism has become the opposite, and it seems disgraceful to be called a “liberal. This turn of events took place mainly after World War II, and especially in the 1960s. Since the 1960s, support for liberalism has been declining. What are the reasons for this?

The demise of liberalism is linked to Keynesianism. The classical tenets of capitalism are the “invisible hand” and “laissez-faire”. This is the basic rule of capitalism as proposed by Adam Smith. However, the contradictions inherent in the capitalist mode of production, or the regulatory requirements arising from socialized mass production, form the basis of some of the ills of the social structure of capitalist society. The evolution of these contradictions, which had intensified by the beginning of the twentieth century, seriously threatened Western society and the capitalist system. At this time many Western scholars realized that the traditional Western concepts should be revised to find a way out of the dilemma. As a result, the doctrine of the British economist Keynes spread, forming what later became known as Keynesianism. The core idea of Keynesianism is very different from the traditional liberalism, he emphasizes government regulation, emphasizes the government through the “visible hand” to promote “full employment, regulate the “propensity to consume” and He emphasized government regulation through the “visible hand” to promote “full employment, regulate the “propensity to consume” and “invest”, and engage in public works. When the capitalist world encountered a general crisis in the 1920s and 1930s, Keynesianism became mainstream. If capitalism had not encountered such a huge crisis, Keynesianism would not have been able to take hold in the West. It is always human nature: one does not turn back until one hits the wall. The same is often true when it comes to government policy. It will soon be seen how Keynesianism itself has followed this path.

This timing coincided with the Roosevelt administration. As a result of this principle, Keynesianism was then combined with liberalism. If the Republican Party, which advocated conservatism, had been in power, I am afraid it would have chosen Keynesianism. The times make the man. Another factor that contributed to the combination of liberalism and Keynesianism was the philosophical beliefs of liberalism. The philosophical belief of liberalism is that people are rational and can control and regulate themselves as long as the necessary conditions are created for them to do so. Conservatism’s belief is that people are irrational and that norms should be made for their behavior. By definition, conservatism prefers government control. Yet the desire to create good conditions and the reality of winning elections drove liberalism to combine with Keynes: to create good conditions through government activity. One result of Roosevelt’s New Deal was a dramatic expansion of government authority, extensive government intervention in the economy, full involvement in the socio-economic sphere, and an immediate expansion of government functions. This was a major departure from traditional capitalist beliefs.

Rowe argues that this change has led to two results: one is statism and the other is pluralism. Statism asserts the primacy of state action, and pluralism is more precisely Interest-Group Pluralism (IGP). Rowe sees Interest-Group Pluralism as the new philosophy of capitalism, a mishmash of statism, capitalism, and pluralism, or interest-group liberalism.

The implications of pluralism are: (1) once interest groups come to rule the market, imperfect competition becomes the rule of social relations; (2) imperfect competition is not really competition but some kind of bargaining; (3) bargaining is the only alternative to violence and coercion in industrial societies; and (4) if the system is stable and peaceful, pluralism can achieve the property of self-regulation. Interest group liberalism combines pluralism to some extent.

Interest group liberalism, according to Lowe, is the Second Republic of the United States of America. He says that every Congress and every administration since 1961 has practiced this doctrine. Interest-group liberalism has led to serious consequences: government institutions have been freed from the control of the people, new privileges have been maintained and established, etc. More importantly, this new form of liberalism did not cope with the basic contradictions of capitalist society in the long term.

Rowe’s explanation is that liberal government cannot plan; planning requires authoritative application of authority; planning requires law, choice. Libertarianism replaces planning with bargaining. Liberalism can expand government functions, but it cannot coordinate those functions. Keynesian policies also had serious consequences, and deficit finance became an intractable problem for government. These problems gradually erupted by the end of the 1960s with economic crises, fiscal deficits, social problems, economic depletion, and moral decay. The result of the combination of liberalism and Keynesianism was not glorious, but dim and bleak. The general chaos of the late sixties can be a good example of why liberalism is notorious today, and why Bush can throw liberalism as a pot of dirty water on Dukakis.

The First Republic, as Rowe called it, was the United States from 1787 to the 1930s and was characterized by a federal structure with limited central government power and greater state government power. The Second Republic began in the 1930s, when the powers of the central government were greatly expanded, with the primary powers being those of regulation and redistribution. The regulatory and redistributive powers made possible high wages, high benefits, high consumption, high deficits, and eventually led to social discontent. The anti-liberal sentiment is quite strong today.

The Third Republic, means how to get out of the rut that reached its peak in the 1960s and choose a new path. Interest group pluralism had corrupted the traditional concept of democracy, rendering the government impotent and unpredictable, and making it impossible for the government to function democratically anymore. The Third Republic, as Rowe called it, was called Judicial Democracy, which emphasized a sound judicial process in all areas.

In the wake of the Keynesian wave, society is indeed facing new choices. How can the social framework and governance mechanisms formed under Keynesianism be changed is a major challenge. How can the expansion of government functions be reduced? Just as it is not easy for a person to lose weight once he has gained weight. One is that the government wants to be thin, and the second is that the people want to be thin. Liberalism has “given” a lot of welfare, which many Americans hate, and is a big burden for the government. The problem is that you can’t get rid of this burden, which is an important cornerstone of political stability. After the United States has suffered enough from big government, it wants to have a small government, but for American society, a small government will certainly cause a lack of blood supply for the whole society. The development of society demanded total coordination, and science and technology provided the necessary conditions, but Americans could not accept total coordination ideologically and emotionally. The memory of liberalism still grips the mind. This challenge will continue for many more years.

III. Colorful National Character

1. International People • 1,800 Words

Americans, may be called international people. Although most people do not have the sense to join the world voluntarily, their social and economic mechanisms have brought them to this diverse world by force. Americans’ world consciousness is, on the whole, much weaker than that of those people whom Americans or Westerners regard as backward and ignorant. In recent years, American scholars have repeatedly called out the young generation’s woeful lack of world knowledge, which is unbecoming of a great nation. People in developing or backward countries, on the other hand, aspire to prosperity and development, to the outside world, and instead have strong feelings about the world and possess more knowledge.

In the United States, the masses are passively cosmopolitan; social, economic, and cosmopolitan interactions have forced Americans to be cosmopolitan. The Monroe Doctrine that prevailed earlier has been difficult to reproduce, except under specific historical conditions. The straw-hatted, horseback-riding, yellow-faced Americans portrayed in Western films are now traveling the world in Boeing 747s, or on aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. A significant number of educated people are focused on the development of the world today and on the internationalization of people. Efforts are being made in the field of education and research to promote the internationalization of the American people. Americans can be said to be pampered and the general population is not very interested in the outside world and is dead set on their own doorstep. A considerable number of Americans, recognizing this problem, have made a strong effort to develop international studies and international education to nurture talent.

The promotion of internationalization relies on two kinds of institutions: educational institutions and scientific institutions. The number of institutions that study international issues in American society is probably among the highest in the world. There are sub-national or sub-regional research institutes or research programs in universities, in addition to many independent research institutions. University education focuses more on international education and promotes international awareness among students. To summarize, it can be found that there are some characteristics of such institutions.

Regional boundaries are clear. In universities, education about the international has a specific classification rather than a generalized one. University political science departments generally have generalized programs in international relations and comparative political studies, but at the same time have very detailed divisions. For example, Iowa State University has a China Studies Program and a Japan Studies Program; the University of Michigan is known for its China Studies Program; the University of Syracuse has an extremely strong India Studies program; and the University of Washington in Seattle has a special China Studies Program. Institutes in universities, too, have specialized classifications, such as Michigan’s Institute of Contemporary Chinese Culture, which specializes in China. These specialized institutes or programs have strongly concentrated the experts in the field and strengthened it.

Educational goals are clear. The internationalization of people is important in terms of how generations of people acquire international awareness. The achievement of this goal depends on the implementation of international education programs. Universities are generally very focused on achieving this goal. When I visited several universities in central China, the professors there told me that people in central China are more conservative and backward, less open, less receptive to new knowledge and ideas from outside, and even more uncertain about the world. To promote the development of the central part of the country, we need to let the people here know more about the world, so we attach importance to international education. When visiting several universities in the East, Eastern professors believe that international education is a tradition of Eastern culture, openness, and understanding of the world, especially Europe. The East is strong in international studies. When visiting several universities in the west, professors here emphasized that the 21st century will be the Asia-Pacific century, and the west coast is remote to the Asia-Pacific region, so we should focus on Asia-Pacific studies, so Asia-Pacific studies and education in the west are especially developed.

The government focuses on promotion. The internationalization of people is involved in the development of all aspects of a country’s politics, economy and culture. The development of a society ultimately depends on the quality of its people. A nation’s international standing and ability to compete in the international community ultimately depends on the quality of its people as well. Policy makers know this well. This is a federal country, and the state governments have decision-making authority over the state universities. Each state government requires its universities to develop a strong international education. Take the University of California, San Diego, for example. They have established a graduate school of international relations and Pacific studies to train people for California’s development into the Asia-Pacific region. The school is using high salaries to poach famous professors from universities. One of Berkeley’s leading Japanese experts has been tapped, reportedly at a very high salary, perhaps \$150,000 a year. The college is building an office tower on the Pacific Ocean waterfront, facing the Pacific Ocean waves, which will inspire the world to sit inside. The college was established by the state in 1986 as the only Pacific-centric center for international education in the University of California system (nine campuses). The college’s description makes it clear: The college’s primary goals are to train students interested in the countries of the Pacific, to prepare them for leadership positions in business, diplomacy, public institutions and other fields, and to make the college a center for the study of economic, political, social, technological and security issues in the region. This is just one example of the many universities in the United States. The government’s intent, naturally, is not only to train students, but to chart political, economic and cultural development. But without this first step, this latter one would be difficult to achieve.

Emphasis on international exchange. Educational or research institutions dealing with international issues not only focus on promoting the study of foreign issues by their own professors, but also pay much attention to expanding academic exchanges and cooperation with scholars in the countries they study. Americans are probably most inclined to use foreign experts, and in this regard this nation is most pragmatic. As long as they are useful, they can use anyone. In many international research and educational institutions, visiting scholars from many countries can be found, sometimes in groups. At the same time, Americans tend to formally hire someone from a particular country as a professor if he is qualified. As a result, professors of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Canadian, French, and Hungarian descent are often found in universities, a phenomenon that I am afraid is uncommon in the world. The American concept is practical, because you are from the country or the region, you speak the language, you are familiar with the customs, and you are in a better position to study the problems of that region. Take, for example, the East Asia Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. The institute has few researchers and only administrative staff, but it has dozens of visiting scholars from China, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, and other places. Director Robert A. Scalapino’s view is that with more than half of the world’s population living in the Asia-Pacific region, with the world’s major political and strategic powers in the region, and with its vast natural resources, the region is of world significance. The Institute is committed to promoting exchanges between U.S. scholars and Asian scholars. By attracting foreign scholars to the United States, the goal is not only attraction but also radiation. After their visits, visiting scholars return to their respective countries. They become peers with whom U.S. scholars can continue to communicate, and the entire academic engagement will continue. As for the non-academic role of this exchange, naturally, this is not the case.

The internationalization of Americans, at the popular level, is quite a bit passive; they are drawn into the world by the process of world economic integration, and the economic challenges of Europe, Japan, and Asia make it impossible for them not to become involved in international economic life. On the other hand, the policy orientation of government policies has also contributed to their involvement in international life, such as the Middle East issues, Central American issues, etc. However, from the point of view of the government and knowledgeable people, they are targeted and strategically intentioned in pursuing internationalization. Educational and scientific institutions also have long-term goals. These are conscious, organized, and planned processes. The past, present and future development of the United States cannot be distinguished from this process. What worries politicians and knowledgeable people is that the younger generation has become less and less cosmopolitan. The essence of their concern is, how long can the United States maintain its position as a world power? Do they really understand the world? Do they have the ability to compete in an international arena where there are many strong players?

For any society, nation and state, in today’s world where the human community is in solidarity, the prerequisite for the development of one’s own nation, society or country is to be familiar with and understand the strengths and strategies of other nations and other societies. Today’s world is a world of cooperation plus competition, and in a sense it is even a world of competition. The countries of the world are in full competition in politics, economy, culture, military, and lifestyle. To fail or lag behind in this competition will mean backwardness and poverty. Recent history has proved this. What has changed now is simply that this competition has become more intense and more unequal. The key factor to win in this competition is people. Promoting the internationalization of people will be an important aspect of improving and strengthening them. Imagine people who drive ox carts and live a leisurely country life, and people who fly in jet airliners and live a stressful city life, coming together on this world stage and facing the intricacies of various institutions, who will be more competitive?

The key here is not the geographical boundary, but the spiritual boundary. People who live in modern cities may still have a sense of country residence, and people who live in the countryside may also have a strong sense of internationalism. Education is a powerful force to break the boundaries of the mind. Only when this boundary is truly and fully broken can a people and society truly join the international community and truly and effectively compete internationally.

The breaking of this boundary is the internationalization of people.

2. New and different • 2,500 Words

It can be said that Americans are still a rather conservative people in terms of values, such as sexual liberation, rock and roll, hippies, homosexuality, decadence, and racial equality, which are still not accepted by all Americans. Many people still hold old-fashioned values. This is especially true in politics, where traditional values still dominate. The consecutive Republican victories in presidential elections can also be considered a manifestation of this tendency. The people still hold very traditional standards when evaluating political leaders. Gary Hart, the backbone of the Democratic Party, had to withdraw from the presidential race after he was caught having an affair, and Quayle was elected vice president because of Bush’s glory. Many people shake their heads when they talk about Quayle, saying that he did not do well in school, served in the military only in the National Guard, had no experience, and relied on his rich father to become popular. Many Easterners take it for granted that in a sexually liberated country like the United States, relationships between men and women do not pose a problem, but they often pose a major problem in the political arena. This is true in the Western world. Americans follow the ideas of their founding fathers in politics and remain largely unchanged. The entire system maintains this set of ideas to the exclusion of others, and in this respect, Americans tend to be conservative.

Paradoxically, Americans are also the most innovative people in the world. There is a peculiar phenomenon in this nation: the masses embrace the oldest and most time-honored things, but also relish the most novel and bizarre things. This society has more inventions, bolder and more courageous visions than any other society. In recent years, Americans have launched the space shuttle, proposed the Star Wars program, and in late 1988 unveiled the ingenious B2 bomber. When it comes to small inventions, Americans are also quite good. When you walk into a large department store, you can find a wide variety of items for a variety of purposes.

On the one hand, it is conservative and on the other hand, it is innovative. There seems to be some contradiction here.

This contradiction manifests itself in different domains. Americans tend to be conservative in the realm of values. But in the field of technology, they seek to be new and different. The most daring ideas in the technology field are approved. Some Americans built a mock space city in a remote area, ready to recruit volunteers to live in it closed for two years, and it was completed surprisingly quickly. If tomorrow someone proposed to build a highway on the Atlantic Ocean from America to Europe, or a highway on the Pacific Ocean from America to Asia, it would not be considered crazy, but would be considered a remarkable idea.

The use of human ability to conquer nature is one of the values of the American tradition, so here innovation and tradition are not contradictory. The process of innovation is the process of following traditional values. The whimsical nature of this process is often limited to the material and technological realm. In the material and technological realm, Americans are prepared to accept anything. The historical development and technological progress of the United States have created this state of mind.

I thought about this over and over again when I visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, trying to find out why and how American novelty works.

The St. Louis Arch is one of the world’s most impressive, standing some 630 feet tall, nearly two hundred meters, and made entirely of stainless steel. It stands tall and shines majestically in the silvery light of the sun and blue sky. The span of the arch is also more than two hundred meters away, and the whole arch is like an oversized silver rainbow appearing on the banks of the Mississippi River. Below the arch is the Jefferson Memorial for Territorial Expansion, which commemorates President Thomas Jefferson’s campaign to advance the development of the West in the first half of the 19th century in the United States. Inside the arch is an elevator that takes visitors from below all the way to the top of the arch, which has a ten-meter walkway at the top with some windows that provide a bird’s eye view of the city of St. Louis. The elevator rises or descends through the two legs of the arch. It’s a curious idea. The designer was Fero Saarinean, an American architect of Finnish origin, whose design won a national call for proposals in 1947. Construction was later started by technical and engineering staff in 1963 and completed in 1965.

The construction process is also unique. Such a high building, and did not build any scaffolding. Built from two legs, the crane is set up on the two legs. Build a little higher, climb up a little. The two legs are built in the air according to prior calculations, and gradually come together at the top, and finally come together. The whole process, from design to construction are new and innovative. But people accepted it and built it. I also doubt: will anyone ask what is the use of building this thing? Can it generate income? Why not build a traditional monument? Who can guarantee that it will work?

Another building in Missouri that embodies the American spirit of innovation is the Fulton College Chapel, a world-famous but unassuming little place. It is famous for being the site of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous speech in 1946, shortly after the smoke of World War II had cleared, saying that the “Iron Curtain” had fallen, separating East from West. The Cold War between the East and West began from then on. The “Iron Curtain” became a common Western term to describe the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. There is a church in this place; from the outside, it is quite unassuming, nothing special compared to the countless churches in the United States. But it is a church with a distinctive flavor. The main reason for this is that the stones used to build the church were brought from England. It was originally an English church, built in the 12th century and completely remodeled in 1677. During World War II, it was severely destroyed by artillery fire, and all that remained were the ruined walls, stones and twelve pillars. The church remained in ruins after World War II, when the Westminster College Memorial Committee proposed moving the stones to Missouri to build the college’s chapel and the Winston Churchill Memorial. 1965 saw the start of the work, with seven hundred tons of stones crossing the Atlantic Ocean at a total cost of \$3 million. President Harry S. Truman laid the cornerstone of the church, which was completed in 1969. This is indeed a typical expression of the American spirit of novelty and innovation. Will anyone ask: Why not use local materials? How much more money would it have cost? Where are the stones not available, and where do we have to cross the Atlantic to transport these broken stones?

These are just two examples of American ingenuity. We can also cite many other examples: Iowa City basketball court can accommodate tens of thousands of people, but in the ground look only one floor so high, the entire gymnasium sunken in the ground below. The University of Iowa College of Law building, bare-bones steel and concrete, with a large dome and only a few small windows, is like a military fortification, which I don’t think would be so easy to penetrate in a battle. The Americans could have come up with the idea of carving four presidents’ giant, unmistakable heads on a big hill. The Monument to the Unknown Heroes in Washington, D.C., stands tall and bare, resembling an Egyptian-style column. The Vietnam War Memorial, a black wall with the name of each fallen man carved into it. Furniture stores sell popular water beds with mattresses that are almost a foot high with water cushions that are incredibly soft to lie on and water that heats and cools. Movies have the most bizarre imaginings, E.T., Star Wars, Superman, Third Contact, etc. The recently introduced B2 bomber, no tail, the whole is like a pair of wings, and the traditional aircraft style is very different. Costumes are even more bizarre, new clothes, very expensive, bought when they were processed to rags, it is said that the process is very complex. In the field of science and technology, the American spirit of innovation is fruitful, and so on, to name a few.

Of course, sometimes the new and innovative to the extreme, the above-mentioned new rags clothing is an example. In addition, such as some people build some ultra-luxurious cars, incredibly large, with a kitchen, hot tub, putting green, telephone, television and other kinds of facilities. I’m afraid only a very few people can enjoy it, sometimes walking down the street, you can see some people’s hair completely erect, explosive, or shaved a yin and yang head. Some public places hang a few pieces of broken tin, called modern sculpture. For some modern art, many people are afraid to enjoy it.

In any case, the spirit of innovation in technology and in the material field is an important driving force in the development of society. Technological progress and economic development are driven by this spirit. If Americans are said to be more conservative in their values, why have they succeeded in protecting and promoting this spirit of innovation?

For one thing, there is a clear line of distinction between value and technology and materiality; value involves the moral or public sphere and should take into account the inclination of the majority of people. The latter domain belongs to the private sphere, and novelty is the weight of the private in this society. To be recognized by society, one has to be different. Political history does not provide the prerequisites that other societies have, such as aristocracy and pedigree, and all people depend on success and creativity. In fact, the conservative tendency in the sphere of values guarantees innovation in the technical and material spheres, allowing society to innovate within an orderly context.

Second, the conservatism in values did not form a particular fetter (not to say not at all) to technological and material innovation. The arrival of Americans in the New World from Europe, who had originally grown up in a land of abject poverty and struggle against nature, in victory over nature, became a fixed value in the American tradition. To recognize such innovations and to accept them is in itself to uphold the tradition. On the one hand, the American conception seems to exclude the technological and material part from the range of values, considering technology to be technology and material to be material. Technological and material innovations are something other than value innovations, and they enrich traditional values. The culture of some societies does not make such a clear distinction, and societies are unified, with all kinds of things related to values, which often tend to constrain technological and material progress. On the other hand, traditional values are abstract at their core, such as freedom, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, technological and material innovation can be considered as an expression of freedom, and the acceptance of innovation can be considered as an expression of equality.

Third, the mechanism of society forces people to innovate. The reason why I say forced, because if you want to win can not be without innovation. There are two mechanisms that force people to innovate. One is the primacy of money. Anyone or any group that wants to get money, or more money, must be different and must constantly introduce newer things to attract people and society. The second is a society at the end state of affluence and development. People tend to average at a higher level, without unique creation one will not be able to get ahead. The water rises, everyone is pursuing innovation, innovation to get money, innovation to get identity, innovation to get social recognition. To win, you have to go to the next level.

Fourth, “great power vanity” drives Americans to be different. The “great power vanity” is not necessarily a good thing, but it has a certain role in promoting innovation. Since childhood, Americans have grown up in an atmosphere of “America first in the world” and most of them believe in the “America first in the world” statement. The more we go high-tech, the more people tend to pursue the world first. This mentality has indeed led Americans to make many world-renowned creations. At the same time, it also tends to create the illusion that Americans have hit a lot of walls with the idea that the old man is number one in the world. But its effectiveness in promoting innovation is there.

Fifth, the dominant individualism in society also acts indirectly on innovation. Innovation often implies some form of individualism. Any innovation is, first and foremost, a unique and distinctive design. This design requires the individual to take less account of the opinions of others and the demands of others. Novelty indicates a certain individuality. Some large creations are not the creation of one person, but can eventually be broken down into the creation of many individuals, the sum of their personalities. Individualism makes people more individualistic and prone to seek novelty. In the opposite cultural atmosphere, novelty is harder to be accepted psychologically by individuals and socially. Individualism has a negative effect on social harmony, but it also acts in some way on people and society.

Sixth, the democratic component of traditional values contributes to people’s choice of innovation and acceptance of it. Americans are happy to accept innovation or to put it vulgarly, often good at coaxing one another. To not acknowledge a new thing or affirm that it is good, they risk being considered undemocratic or without cultural cultivation. As some people look at the abstraction of a painting, dare not say that it is bad, afraid that people would laugh. However, many people genuinely agree with the new and different. They accept those who succeed and those who think differently. Those who are new and different often enjoy a special reputation and respect.

The development of a society cannot be achieved without the spirit of innovation. The promotion of the spirit of innovation requires a society that encourages and accepts new and innovative ideas. At the same time, the continuity of values is essential for any society, otherwise social stability is unsustainable. The question is how to separate value continuity from technological and material innovation, so that value continuity ensures the development of the latter, and the development of the latter strengthens value continuity and transmission. From this point of view, whether the atmosphere of novelty can be formed is, to a large extent, not a technical and material problem, but a problem of the properties of value itself.

3. Demystification • 1,400 Words

American society is the least mysterious society. People grow up in this society with little mystery about any matter. This is an inseparable part of the American culture. Many peoples have a strong sense of mystery, such as some peoples of Africa, some peoples of Latin America, including some components of Western European culture. It is worth exploring what role mystery plays in the development of a society, or at least it can be a wall around many traditional ideas and traditional institutions. The same is true for nature. The progress of science and technology lies in the continuous conquest and victory over nature, and if one is full of mystery about nature or some aspects of nature, one cannot take a big step into the temple of nature to see what it is all about, but will linger outside and pray for divine blessing. Americans have few taboos in this regard, or rather taboos do not become taboos. On the other hand, the development of society is the development of human beings themselves, and it is difficult to develop the culture and social institutions of human society if they are full of mystery about people themselves.

We can take a look at how to demystify.

Many peoples harbor a mystical feeling of deep faith in the heavens. Americans have strong religious feelings, but such feelings have not caused most people to mystify the heavens. The Apollo moon landing program, the space shuttle, were efforts to get out of the mystery. The Star Wars program, included, saw the heavens as part of something that people could manipulate and exploit. The heavens are in the American mind as a place where God lives, but this place has never been mystified. Star Wars, E.T., and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were more a product of non-mystery than mystery. But in America, religious preachers are extremely powerful, yet proof of the mystery of religion and God.

Nature tends to carry an air of mystery among many peoples; Americans harbor less mystery about the natural world, and they continue to recognize it and demystify it. This cultural factor is feared to be a conceptual force driving the development of American society. One of the primary conditions for the development of science and technology should be the belief that nothing is outside of man’s ability to know and create.

Americans also have the least amount of mystery about man himself. Religious people know that the Bible says God made man. But society continues to break down the mystery surrounding man. It is common for doctors to open chest cavities and skulls and move around hearts and brains, and the difficulty is purely technical, with no conceptual element. Americans are most interested in transplanting artificial hearts. Americans have one of the highest number of IVFs in the world. Demystification, pushing to move Americans toward artificial people. Sex education in adolescence is also a product of non-mystification. The issue of sex is shrouded in mystery in many societies. In American society, sex became as common knowledge as oil and vinegar. Naked magazines, though opposed by some, have been taken for granted by most people who have no particular interest in reading them. This attitude toward man himself affects not only the natural sciences, but also the social sciences. If one really knows what a person is, there will be no mystery in any respect.

Politics is full of mystery in many societies, and Americans are the least mysterious about it. Sometimes one gets the impression that Americans are too practical and pragmatic. Politics is run like an economic activity and lacks a cultural element. The non-mystical aspect of culture plays an undervalued role in maintaining the political system. Political cartoons amply demonstrate this. Political stars are often the protagonists of political cartoons. In the case of the 1988 presidential campaign, political cartoonist Joe Sharpnack drew a picture of a child rolling around in bed, crying and screaming, saying, “I want to be vice president! I want it! I want it!” Another person, who looks like Bush, holds a flag and says, “Okay, okay, look, Daddy made you a new coat.” This is a satire of Republican presidential candidates Bush and Quayle. The non-mystification of politics is also seen in the press, the press is very active in political coverage. Scandals such as Watergate are made by the press, Iran-Contra, the Department of Defense bribery case, all related to journalists and politics. Like all other activities, there are not many people interested. A candidate for Congress has to drive their own car around to canvass for votes.

There is also no mystery about society, which is a human creation, not the other way around. It can be recreated whenever necessary. Recently a college student in computer science made a program that was fed into the Pentagon’s network, and it destroyed the Pentagon’s database. His program became a “computer bacteria” that keeps growing. Americans are especially not mystified by what people set up and create themselves. If you can create it the first time, you can create it a second time. There is little mystification in children’s education, which is a mechanism for non-mystical socialization. Americans have almost no belief in ghosts. Americans invent and conceive of many ghosts, probably more than any other country in the world, but do not believe in ghosts. Children have no concept of ghosts, and during Halloween, children dress up as all kinds of ghosts and move around the neighborhood. Americans grow up with the mentality that ghosts are not scary, but that people are the real scary ones. In some societies, the opposite is true: people are not scary, ghosts are scary. It will certainly be interesting to discuss what the consequences of these two different creeds will be.

Demystification has both advantages and disadvantages for social development. There are both negative and positive aspects of everything, both good and bad. This condition often constitutes a major problem in the development of human society. Demystification has undoubtedly advanced Americans’ knowledge of nature, of themselves, and of society, thus advancing social progress. On the other hand, demystification constitutes a major component of the obstacles to the management of American society. Demystification has the tendency to make people lack authority, neutrality, self-sufficiency, self-confidence. A society in which everyone harbors the idea that everything must not be finally believed can be the greatest driving force, or the greatest destructive force. This is what I mean by the conundrum of human society: we can’t have mystification and we can’t have no mystery.

The question is how this non-mystical culture has been formed. This is too complex a puzzle to discuss at once, I’m afraid. But there may be some value in one point. American society developed in a land that did not have a long history of culture. The abundance of natural resources and geography made early Americans discover that anyone’s practical efforts would be generously rewarded, early on mainly by the land. There were no cultural mysteries to mystify, and everyday life cautioned that recognizing simple and universal truths would be rewarding. The long-standing preoccupation with pragmatism and focus on economic development also advanced demystification. One might even say that money has created demystification. Driven by money, people began by breaking out of the mystical realm of nature, and later extended to man himself and the society of which he is a part. Economic development requires demystification, and demystification can, under certain conditions, promote economic and social development. This is twofold: first, Americans like to be different and original; second, Americans are used to challenge and conquer. American culture is an aggressive culture and Chinese culture is a defensive culture.

What does mystification mean? Mystification is the belief that there are things that are beyond the ability of ordinary people to recognize and change, or matters that do not belong to ordinary people. Naturally, we are not talking about divinization here. Divinization speaks of the relationship between man and supernatural forces, and mystification speaks of the relationship between man and man.

4. Sanctification • 1,600 Words

Americans tend to demystify, but they also tend to sacralize the most. Sacralization is still not deification because it involves relationships between people. Americans rarely deify anything. In some societies, a thing is often deified when it reaches beyond the capabilities of ordinary people. Such as the phenomena depicted by the author of “The Car of the Gods”. Some people on the Pacific islands deified the accidental landing of a U.S. Army plane during World War II by making a realistic plane out of wood and worshiping it. In many societies, witch doctors have a mystical feel. American society does not have such a culture, and while there have been cases of mass suicides of hundreds of people like the People’s Temple Church, these are rare. The American nation does not tend to mystify or deify, but it has a special nature that I call “sacralization.”

What is “sacralization”? Sanctification is first and foremost a secular domain. It is of a cultic nature, but it is not a religious cult. The process of sanctification is the elevation of an earthly phenomenon to a very high status. This process is not initiated by any one person or organization, but is a process of socialization. Let’s look at specific examples of what I call sacralization before we analyze the social function of this phenomenon.

The American nation is a race that is very susceptible to emotional impulses, and a people that is very receptive to external things. Sacralization can be seen in the political arena. The National Convention of both parties is a typical manifestation of this sanctification. The enthusiasm, the excitement, the genuine emotion of the people in the room was a rare emotional resonance. The candidates of the two parties. Both candidates of the two parties will be warmly welcomed in this venue. When they come out, people can cheer for as long as ten minutes. Their speeches are constantly interrupted by applause and cheers. Throughout the campaign, candidates of both parties are greeted in this way wherever they go. As usual in such an individualistic and egalitarian culture, it is difficult for an individual to be adored in this way. One of the reasons for this is that they are sanctified, they are just a symbol, a symbol of a culture or a goal that everyone is pursuing. People are more in pursuit of a sanctified spirit.

Americans are also extremely prone to go this far with individuals. No matter what the person is, in what profession, as long as they have achieved something, they tend to become easily sanctified. Up to the President, it can be said that Washington and the Founding Fathers, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, etc. are sacralized. In celebrating them, Americans are also celebrating a spirit. The sanctification of individuals is not only in the political sphere; in the sports world, many famous ballplayers or other athletes are included in the sanctification process, such as track and field athlete Lewis and diver Loganis. In the economic world, the possibility of being sanctified is even greater, and Iacocca was once a hot spot for such sanctification. Iacocca achieved a glorious performance at Ford Motor Company, and after being driven out of Ford, he joined Chrysler Motors, which was again remarkable and his book became a best seller. Film stars are naturally among the sanctified, and famous directors and artists are no exception. Ueberroth, who gained fame for organizing the 23rd Olympic Games, was also sanctified. Lt. Col. North, who was recently implicated in the Iran-gate scandal, has actually been the subject of sanctification because many people feel that he is loyal to his duty and is the spirit of America. However, it seems that few professors have been the object of sanctification. The singer was naturally none other than June, Madonna was so popular, and Jackson was so popular that even President Reagan awarded him a medal of some kind. The effect that his performances achieves is amazing, and the listeners are so energetic in their worship that they hate for it to end. People in the technology world are also extremely easy to sanctify, such as the founder of Apple Computer and Wang An of Wang An Computer. This process of sanctification is fully open, not by a center that decides who can be the object of sanctification, but by society at large to choose.

This sanctification, naturally, manifests itself in other ways as well. Football games, for example, are actually sanctified. People are not there to watch the ball, but to see what each believes in and embraces. The whole process of the game, from the playing of the national anthem, to the ceremonies, to the appearances, to the game, to the performances at the break in the stadium, goes beyond the meaning of the game itself. For example, the event under the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the bicentennial of the country was lively, big, and not a normal celebration in nature, with a certain flavor of sanctification. This is the work of the government. The government is often the promoter of sanctification, as in the case of the military, and the sanctification of the military is obvious. This is especially evident in the American attitude toward military victories and toward those who have fallen in battle. There is a curious Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., where every man who died in battle has left his name. For those killed in action, official funerals are held with pomp and circumstance. The government’s attitude toward the space shuttle is also an excellent example. When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, the government gave the astronauts who died high praise and honor, seeing them as dedicated men who pioneered the American spirit. The successful launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which the government saw as a triumph of the American spirit, had significance beyond the technological breakthroughs in astronautics.

The process of sanctification is actually the process of elevating various phenomena that people believe in and choose into the American spirit, as well as the process of people accepting the American spirit. Society cultivates this mechanism, and people have a solid psychological deposit of hero worship and achievement worship. The basic spirit depicted in the western is hero worship and achievement worship. Star Wars embodies this spirit in another way. Today’s heroes are not the cowboy images of yesteryear, and today’s concept of achievement is also changing. However, the character of hero worship and achievement worship within the American people still exists. The American nation lacks the cult of ghosts and gods, replacing them with the first two cults.

These two kinds of worship are hidden in people’s hearts, and will be revealed when they feel a strong and powerful call. The growth of egalitarianism, nihilism, and relativism in contemporary American culture has made this character deeply repressed. Under ordinary conditions, it is difficult to imagine that Americans would have such strong feelings of worship. The process of sacralization is, on the one hand, a process of social induction and, on the other hand, a process of self-release. A look at the frantic emotions of the audience at ball games, venues and concerts will show how they satisfy the two basic human needs mentioned above: a sense of worship and a sense of personal release.

This secular worship is different from deification worship. Deification worship is the worship of superhuman and supernatural powers, such as gods, immortals, ghosts, totems, etc. The emotion for God is a belief, an emotion, a conviction, and more than a worship in America. The non-mystical tendencies of the American nation make it difficult for them to produce deified worship, and the need for human worship turns to the secular. People look for worship in their own surroundings. Americans are a pragmatic people who find it difficult to worship abstract, legendary, and invisible objects, but they can worship success, bravery, adventure, and wisdom in their own surroundings. This worship is entwined with a complex of elements, rational, irrational, emotional, non-emotional, conscious, and unconscious. The process of sanctification is, in fact, not the sanctification of the individual, but the sanctification of a spirit. This spirit has constituted the tradition of culture and has become the gene of it. The process of sanctification of society in turn constantly consolidates it. It is difficult to name what kind of spirit this is. In the abstract, presence. On this point, see the book “American Spirituality” by Commager.

The process of sanctification has a fundamental social function, which is to maintain and transmit the core values of society. The process of sanctification of society plays a very important role. It spreads its spirit to all levels of society on the one hand, and attracts people to join the sanctification process on the other. It is here that people’s emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and pursuits come into some kind of agreement. I am reminded of Rousseau’s argument that society must have a civil religion and I feel that the process of social sanctification is very much like the process of creating and spreading a civil religion. In such an individualistic, self-centered society, sanctification is the best mechanism for spreading core values.

A society cannot develop in a balanced way without core values. The question is where the core values come from and how they are maintained. If they come from the extraction of things around people, and are spread and maintained by people themselves, they may be a most powerful mechanism.

5. Space Shuttle Misdirection • 1,100 Words

“The space shuttle Discovery was launched successfully and flew straight into the blue sky. All television networks broadcast live footage. The launch was extraordinary for the United States, which had not launched a space shuttle for more than two years after January 1986. That year, the world was rocked by the explosion of Challenger and the tragic death of its astronauts. Two and a half years later, Discovery was launched, fulfilling the dreams of many.

The space shuttle program best exemplifies the American spirit, or, as Commager put it, the American belief that nothing is impossible and that we will not rest until we have won it all. The exploration of space embodies this belief. The process of building, launching and controlling the space shuttle is extraordinarily complex. One need only look at the dizzying array of hundreds of computers in the control center to imagine the technological capabilities required. Since the Challenger accident, the U.S. space sector, it took two and a half years to improve the program, a total of more than four hundred technical improvements. The American belief is as stated above, so they are confident that they can find a way and persevere. This spirit prompted them to carry out many extremely daring imaginations, such as the Star Wars program, the space shuttle, etc., and also prompted them to accept many small, insignificant inventions, such as machines for opening envelopes, cans, electric pencil sharpeners, etc. It should be said that this belief is a very important force that drives the development of society.

However, this belief can also be alienating. This belief drives Americans to come up with solutions to the problems they face, resulting in a high level of scientific and technological development, but the high level of scientific and technological development is often followed by the illusion that it is not man who ultimately solves the problem, but rather that science and technology become the ultimate power and man becomes its slave.

A professor and I were discussing this issue and felt the same way. This illusion dominates a large part of society. In the face of some intricate social and cultural problems, Americans tend to think of it as a scientific and technological problem. Or it is a matter of money (which is a result of the spirit of commercialism), rather than a matter of people, of subjectivity. This is also true in the political sphere. The approach to the growth of Soviet power was to desperately develop equipment superior to Soviet weapons systems, including the eventual proposed Star Wars program. The way to deal with terrorism is to strike the other side with advanced attack forces. The way to deal with threats in international waters is a powerful and well-equipped fleet. The way to deal with regimes you don’t like is to provide the opposition with a lot of advanced weaponry. The most typical illustration of this is the equipment that disabled people get, automatically guided wheelchirs, automated bedside service equipment, and glasses that guide the blind. People with disabilities are free to move around. But as human beings, their problems are not solved. This is also true in the field of politics and international relations.

On the one hand, people believe too much in technology, and on the other hand, technology has become political. After Discovery’s successful launch, Kennedy Space Center director Forrest McCartney said, “Every American must have raised an eyebrow today.” President Reagan watched it on television from Washington, D.C., and made a speech saying, “America is back in space.” In fact, the space program has been a political weight from the beginning. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union succeeded in landing on the moon, and Americans were so enraged that President Kennedy ordered an all-out space program, followed by the Apollo moon landing, which overwhelmed the Soviet Union by a mile. There is political competition behind technological competition, and political competition needs technological competition and technological competition supports political competition.

An important direction for humanity in the twentieth century is the high integration of politics and technology. Politics without technology cannot be a strong politics, and of course, technology without politics cannot be a strong technology.

As a result of this combination of technology and politics, technology itself has been alienated. This phenomenon is particularly stark in the United States. Sometimes it is not the people who master the technology, but the technology that masters the people. If you want to overwhelm the Americans, you must do one thing: surpass them in science and technology. For many peoples it is different; having technology does not work; there must also be cultural, psychological and sociological conditions.

Americans have been in a privileged position for a long time, almost since World War I, when its privileged position was formed. In seventy years, the United States has had several generations, and those born after World War II are now in their forties. This generation of Americans is in the atmosphere of “America First”, and a psychological stereotype has been formed. As a result, the United States is also a nation that can not afford to lose. Technological superiority has gradually developed into national superiority, and they cannot imagine that any nation can surpass them. Japan’s rapid rise in the post-war decades has led to unusually rapid development in the field of high technology, which has surpassed the United States in some aspects, such as electronic products and automobiles. Japanese products flooded into the U.S. market, and Japanese money flooded into the United States. Some people say that a lot of Hawaii’s real estate fell into the hands of the Japanese, because the Japanese have come to buy houses, so the price of land has soared. Americans are not convinced of this, often disdain the Japanese and are always talked about with a contemptuous attitude. Americans for a long time do not want to recognize the success of Japan. Harvard professor Fu Gao-Yi spent a lot of effort to make Americans understand this point. His “Japan Ranked First” woke up Americans like a dream. A similar situation, I think Americans will encounter again.

This wonderful intersection of politics and technology also involves the space shuttle. And this high technology is a concentrated reflection of this relationship. Some scholars have recognized this and have begun to criticize this “alienation”. One professor of physics, Allen, has argued that after the Challenger launch failure, NASA prioritized a successful launch in order to save face and for political motives. When I say misdirection of the space shuttle, I am speaking metaphorically, but I am actually referring to misdirection of science and technology. It may take generations for Americans to recognize this “misdirection.”

6. Work Ethics • 1,800 Words

The attitude of Americans towards work, naturally, cannot be said to be clear-cut, there is a great difference. If we talk about the workforce in society as a whole, the difference is enormous. Many people would rather receive government handouts than get a job, and they don’t do it even if they have one. This is a major problem in society, and many taxpayers are complaining: Why is the government taking money out of our pockets and giving it to those who are idle? The middle class, in particular, is angry about this.

If we’re talking about people who are working, that’s another story. Most people who work, work hard, diligently and actively. This can be interpreted in many ways. Work ethic is a society’s most valuable asset. If people’s work attitude is serious and diligent, society will gain this wealth. Conversely, society loses this wealth. The economic take-off of Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea is closely related to people’s work attitude.

Naturally, in different societies, people can promote work ethic in different ways. For example, in eastern cultures like Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, strict management system may be an important factor. In developed capitalist countries, such as the United States, where individualism dominates the heap, it is worth analyzing what promotes people’s work attitudes. In any case, a good work attitude inspired by whatever method is used. It is the first asset of a society.

The American work ethic can be described as serious and diligent, and some of them make it difficult to do so.

In all government offices, public places, stores, airports, stations, restaurants, etc., most people have a good work attitude. They are conscientious, enthusiastic, proactive and well versed in their business. I have been to many public and private departments, some to do research, some to do business, and most of the people there can be called competent in their work. They work on their own initiative. When I did research in Congressman Negel’s office, the two clerks there explained everything carefully, piece by piece, and rummaged around for reference materials. The three secretaries in the political science department where I worked sat there every day, three people who rarely spoke, minding their own business. Most of the people in the Department are busy, idle people are almost non-existant.

If you go to the tertiary sector, the service attitude are good. Hospitality in restaurants, warm initiative; stores, the same sales clerk, answer all questions, often take the initiative to ask, what to help. The drivers of the buses are always thinking of the passengers. I took a kind of bus, because of the distance. The driver knew where I lived and took the initiative to stop at that intersection. When you fly, if there is any problem, the airline will arrange the whole process. One of my friend’s parents came to the U.S. and the elderly did not speak English and the plane was delayed. The airline took care of all the arrangements, including arranging hotels and transfers. If you want to eat pizza at home, you can call the company and they will deliver it to you. The whole service industry is very convenient, and it is not strange.

When it comes to work ethic, many Americans are also extremely hardworking. One young assistant professor I know comes to the office almost every Saturday and Sunday to work. He was finishing his doctoral dissertation. Most faculty members come to the department office every day and sit in front of the computer to write books. Some are said to be less diligent once they reach the position of full professor. One professor’s wife, who works with lasers, has an amazing work ethic. She worked in the lab almost every evening and Sunday. Perhaps the Japanese work ethic is even more impressive. It is not unusual for Japanese people to work late into the night. The Japanese have a famous saying, “work until your pee is red”. Many people in the United States also work hard, but there is a difference between them and the Japanese. Americans have a special word to describe this kind of people, called Workaholics, directly translated as “alcoholic workers”, consisting of the words “work” and “alcoholism”.

The question is what motivates Americans to work this way? What forces could motivate them to do so in such a capitalist society, in such an individualistic society? If work attitudes require huge institutions to promote them, it would be an unbearable burden on the economic management of society.

There are various interpretations, one of which is work ethic. Work ethic is the attitude towards work that is influenced by work ethic. Work ethics have also become Puritan ethics and Protestant ethics. Some believe that they encourage people to work hard. This ethos was brought to America from Europe by the early colonists and is based on the spirit that material success is a sign of God’s gift and that those who achieve these successes will be God’s chosen people and will enter heaven. Weber, who wrote a book analyzing the inherent relationship between the Puritan ethic and the development of capitalism, is considered a prominent theorist of this school. Today, this religious overtone has long faded considerably, but the spirit still exists in a small way. Most people can no longer be said to be influenced by this religious spirit. The development of culture has long since relegated this religious spirit to a distant place. If the older people still have this idea, the younger generation does not know what this religious belief is. So, obviously, it cannot be explained by religious feelings. Religious feelings, for the new generation, are already a very distant story.

Another explanation is that the American Dream drives people to work hard. Those who have seen the TV series “Ellis Island” can easily understand what the typical American Dream is: it is to get rich and become wealthy. It’s about getting rich and getting richer. You get paid for working hard, you get richer, and you improve your social status. The explanation that immigrants come to the United States and become “rich” as a result is still valid, and most working Americans are motivated by a confluence of several factors, among which the acquisition of money is a very basic one. But it’s hard to say whether everyone wants to make a fortune. Many Americans no longer have such an interest, as long as they can live comfortably on the line.

There is also an explanation from a psychological perspective. This explanation believes that work can lead to satisfaction, such as Maslow has a systematic theoretical analysis. In fact, there are indeed a number of Americans who seek psychological satisfaction in their work. This phenomenon is evidenced by the large number of volunteer workers. Voluntary workers are not paid and are completely obligated, but they can get rid of their personal loneliness by their work, get social recognition, and find the meaning of their existence. But after all, there are not many people who consider the problem from a purely psychological point of view.

There should be some other mechanism that motivates people to work hard. I think that the most important thing is that people’s desire to pursue life can be satisfied only when they work hard. There are two main principles that give rise to this mechanism: first, the improvement of living standards is determined mainly by the amount of income, the amount of money, which becomes necessary to maintain and improve life; second, most jobs are provided by the private sector, both in the public and private sectors, with full employment rights and no lifetime employment. On the one hand, people must work in order to survive or live better, and on the other hand, if they want to continue working or be better paid, they must work hard or risk losing their jobs. These two principles are the main motivation for most Americans to work hard today.

Of course, for both principles to work, other conditions are needed. Economically speaking, a sufficient influx of goods is a major condition. The full flow of goods allows everyone who has money to buy anything for sale, and status, power, and family are no longer limitations, so that everyone will go after money and nothing else. Culturally, since money is equal in front of any job, the difference between high and low in each profession is no longer important; what matters is that the money can be used to achieve the goal one is seeking. The money earned by sanitation workers does not smell bad and circulates in the society as well. When people’s desire to consume is fully stimulated, as long as they have money, they can, and the difference in the nature of work is the second level of things.

It can be said that this set of mechanisms is coercive, they include all people in the capitalist way of operating and force everyone who enters this mechanism to obey their rules, or it can be said that the delivery is the coercion of private ownership. They can expel anyone who does not want to obey this mechanism. People get money here, and capital gets profit here. This mechanism is the basic one that allows capitalist society to function. At the same time, this mechanism is outside the political system, and people’s work ethic is ensured by this mechanism, not by the political system. The political system appears much easier.

The above statement is a generalization that there are anti-social and anti-system forces in society. Many people prefer to stay out of the system.

Americans work hard, but they are also the best at relaxing. In American terms, it means to work hard and play hard, work hard and play hard. This is different from the Japanese, who are probably only the first half, working hard. The Japanese have recently been talking about a disease called “death by overwork,” in which many people die of chronic overwork in middle age. Americans have the most ambitious plans for spending money on the weekends or during the holidays. Students are also most frantic on the weekends. Perhaps they have suffered too much coercion and repression at work and want to let off steam.

There is one prerequisite for a good work ethic in any society, and it is simple: find a way to make each person feel that they are working for themselves, not for others. For most people this is important. The way to make people feel this way can vary. This feeling is not necessarily created in the economic sphere alone, but also requires other conditions such as politics and culture. In fact, social organizations, in any way, rarely allow everyone to work for themselves, so that society would not be a society, and the key thing is to make people feel this way, this belief.

7. Sexual Liberation • 2,200 Words

The sexual liberation of Westerners is something that is both tempting and unbelievable in the eyes of Easterners. Most Easterners have heard about Westerners’ sexual freedom, casual sex, and sexual pervasiveness. In fact, this issue is not so easy to explore for a person who has just stepped into the United States, because it is impossible to penetrate into the American life. Sightseers can see movie theaters showing X-rated movies and groups of prostitutes on the streets of New York. There is also nudity and sexuality on television shows. Bookstores and grocery stores display pornographic publications such as Playgirl, Playboy, and Penthouse. But these were all commercialized sexual liberation. The real average American’s view of sexuality is not so easy to understand. What I have analyzed is more theoretical than practical, because I really haven’t gotten into the minds and lives of ordinary Americans. I remember the book “Glory and Dreams” which has a very documented depiction of sexual liberation.

One thing is certain: Westerners and Americans today have a much different view of sexuality than they did in the eighteenth century, even before the two world wars. Traditional Western concepts and ethics also emphasize women’s chastity and self-respect, and a strict set of behavioral rules for women. Old European culture was more concerned with this. Today it is quite different. The classic shift is that sex cannot be limited to a definition of physical pleasure, nor can it be understood only as a symbol of deep human bonding (Elizabeth Janeway). For if it is so understood, sexual activity is subject to social, religious and moral values. The religious life of the European Middle Ages was one of repression of sexual desire and advocated that man repress his desire in devotion to God. The Decameron depicts the inner quest of people under this repression. European religious spirituality basically considered sexual activity to be within the scope of the flesh and not in the ascension of the soul. Belief in God should be pursued in the sublimation of the soul and restraint of human instincts. The traditional restraint of human desire in Western society came from these deep-rooted ideas. After World War II, these ideas changed rapidly and are not what they used to be. Americans refer to the old concept of sexuality as the “rigid Victorian standard of sexuality.” The core of this standard was that sex should be restricted to marriage, that prostitution was undoubtedly a sin, that pornography was morally depraved, and that homosexuality was evil. Today these ideas have changed. Naturally, they cannot be said to have disappeared, as there are still many people who still maintain traditional ideas.

To demonstrate the change in perception, we can look at some figures. According to the Ministry of Commerce, fifteen percent of men and women lived together without being married (1980), and 660,000 children were born unmarried in 1980. In the early 1980s there were about 2 million prostitutes, 600,000 of whom were girls 18 years old or younger. The pornography industry generated about \$4 billion a year in the early 1980s. Homosexuality was also gaining increasing social status. In some places, homosexuality was legal, and marriages could be officially registered. Homosexuals often marched for their “legal rights”. Television and movies give the best example of this shift: the “sex movement” at every turn. Naturally, this is not the case with some of the best films, such as the Academy Award-winning ones.

To better understand this shift, take a look at a book by Bruno Leone and M. Teresa O’Neill, Sexuality: Opposing Perspectives, which presents different perspectives on the shift in approach to sexuality.

Are non-marital sexual relationships acceptable? Some people believe that the primary function of sex is to provide pleasure, so the primary question is not whether you are married or unmarried, but whether you have pleasure. Another idea is that sex is about having love, and love has a specific object, while sex has no specific object, so the two cannot be equated. Others think about the issue from a purely scientific point of view. Some think of sex as relaxation, self-propulsion, experience, advancing marriage options, reducing jealousy, saving time, ending sexual discrimination, limiting prostitutes, etc. Contrary opinions suggest that sexuality requires mutual adaptation, that personal communication is the key to sexuality, that a guilty mind can be a barrier, etc. There are also contrasting views on whether government regulation should be imposed, with some believing that government regulation infringes on the private sphere and others believing that government regulation facilitates family growth.

The popularity of sex education among underage children in the United States has also caused controversy regarding this issue. Some believe that sex education leads to sexual activity because children are unaware of these issues, and once it is made clear, everyone wants to try it, resulting in teenage pregnancy. Another idea is that sex education promotes responsible sexual behavior, and that because 10 percent of young women between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant each year, sex education should be provided. In fact, in such a sexually liberated social environment, teenagers are hearing and seeing from all sides, and sex education is a “forced” choice. Because of this difference in perception, a third opinion is that parents have the right to vote on what kind of sex education their children will or will not receive.

Is homosexuality acceptable? One notion that homosexuality is harmful to society is a more conservative one. This idea is that homosexuality leads to the decline of the male principle. Female homosexuality may be harmless, but male homosexuality is very harmful because it will leave no family. The other idea is the opposite, that homosexuality is a socially responsible contribution, that it is not a pathology, and that it brings people together. Some suggest that homosexuality should be “behind closed doors” and not open. Some advocate that homosexuals have the right to live openly and that they should be allowed to live in the light of day, which is a human right.

In 1968, President Nixon organized a special commission to investigate this issue. Eight members of the commission investigated pornographic publications and films. Their report concluded that pornography was harmless. They believed that these media could increase mutual understanding among adults and that public opinion considered it unacceptable to legislate against pornography. This was the majority report. The minority report of the committee found pornographic publications harmful, arguing that they are extremely harmful to society, public morality, human values, family attitudes, and culture, and that the pornography industry is contrary to human nature. The debate on this issue is very different between the two factions, with those in favor of prohibition believing that pornography causes sexual violence, juvenile depravity, family breakdown, and other problems. Those against believe that pornography comforts the human psyche and conforms to the norms of a free society. There is also a difference of opinion as to whether pornography promotes violence or not.

Is it a crime to be a prostitute? Prostitution is generally understood by the Chinese to mean “prostitution”. The debate around this issue in the United States is also clear-cut. Some argue that prostitution is a crime. Others believe that prostitution is not a crime. The two schools of thought are at odds.

These arguments are all related to sexual liberation. Once upon a time, these issues were self-evident, but today they are rather unintelligible. American culture is now a culture of tolerance for sexuality, and all five kinds can exist. This is both the strength and the weakness of American culture. I am afraid that in America, the best can exist and the worst can exist.

“Sexual liberation” has influenced the sexuality of the younger generation. Most of the parents growing up now are the generation in the 1960s at the height of “sexual liberation”. People generally have a more open attitude toward sexual liberation. It is normal for high school students to have girlfriends or boyfriends. This is especially true for middle schoolers and above. Young people think more in terms of pleasure and don’t seem to associate pleasure with having a family, which is a different thing. Parents are also used to these things. Often, they instruct their children on how to have sex properly so that girls don’t get pregnant. One professor told me that her children didn’t need her guidance, and as soon as she spoke her children indicated that they knew three years ago. Sexual relations between college students are also more usual and casual for Easterners, who still find some concepts difficult to accept.

What is “sexual liberation”? Consider the New Charter of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities, which appeared in February 1976. The Charter says: “Physical pleasure has the same value as moral values. Traditional religious and social concepts often accuse carnal pleasure of being a “sin”. These concepts are inhumane and destroy human relationships. Findings from behavioral science indicate that deprivation of physical pleasure, especially during the anthropogenic period, often leads to family disintegration, child abuse, crime, violence, alcoholism, and other inhumane behaviors. We declare that carnal pleasure within the context of human relationships is essential.” This is, in effect, the leaven of sexual liberation: from the fear of carnal pleasure to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.

I’m afraid that American “sexual liberation” has reached its peak. There is nothing left for future generations to discover. Pornographic magazines have exposed everything about men and women. Any further discovery would be anatomical. Pornographic magazines often use large color photographs to render the human body, including the fine details of the genitals. In many states, these magazines are available for public sale. Pornographic films are rife with sexual acts. In such an environment, arguments can naturally be heated.

The biggest problem is the younger generation. In order to cope with such a carnal-seeking age, schools offer courses in this area. There are countless other manuals for teenagers and parents. All kinds of libraries have such manuals. Teenage students take this class. These books generally tell young men and women clearly about their physiology, the changes in puberty, how to use contraception, etc. This type of education is very popular.

Although it is said that “sexual liberation”, many people still have their own views on the issue of sex. One friend told me. Americans are not as casual as they are portrayed in movies, or at least he takes the issue seriously. In political life, having sexual relations outside of marriage is scandalous. 1988 election, Gary Hart, who originally wanted to run for president, had to withdraw from the race because of such stories. In areas such as schools, this can sometimes be an issue. Quayle, the Republican candidate for vice president, was once involved in this kind of fiasco, but fortunately nothing happened to him. So the ethical norms that maintain the basic order of a society have not been completely breached, they are still in effect.

The question is why there was “sexual liberation” after the 1960s, but not before? Is there any logical connection between this and the high level of material production? There should be. Freud said that the development of civilized life inevitably suppressed human instincts. Marcuse called it a “necessary repression”. But after the full development of material life, people do not need to use all their energy to cope with nature and maintain physical survival, human instincts will be unleashed. The development of the material level of society leads to a revolution of moral concepts. The more important issue of this process is that it raises a new issue of social management: from the management of material production to the management of human behavior. I am afraid that this is a problem that any society will encounter after reaching a certain level of material level.

Marcuse sees “sexual liberation” as a means of liberating modern man from the repression of the large capitalist machine, giving it a political meaning. So far, however, this political meaning is not so obvious. One thing that can be confirmed is that the social meaning of sexual liberation does not lie in the individual’s desire for more physical pleasure, but in the change of people’s perceptions, which is a factor that cannot be ignored for the management of society.

The “sexual liberation” has created new problems. When sexual activity was strictly regulated, the conflicts and contradictions arising from sexual repression often became an important aspect of family and social management. Sexual liberation removes the basis for the existence of these conflicts, and the management of the family and society is relieved of a considerable burden. Although society carries a new burden, after all, it is changed. It is a tricky job for social management to maintain the old order and old ideas. The longer it takes, the more difficult it becomes. Naturally, maintaining the new order and new ideas is also a tricky job, and the shorter the time, the more difficult it is. There seems to be a contradiction between these two, a dilemma that makes it difficult to choose. This is where the problem of American society lies. “Sexual liberation” is the most typical sample of the new problems it raises, which have emerged now and will become more apparent in the future.

8. The Lonely Heart • 1,500 Words

A writer recently wrote a book called “The Lonely American” that has caused quite a stir. The main idea of the book is that in today’s American society, all kinds of people have become very lonely, whether they are single, married, teenagers or elderly. Loneliness, or the deep sense of loneliness in people’s hearts, has brought about a lot of difficulties and problems to society. Especially as people with emotional needs and interaction needs, they are more likely to be bitter, lost, desolate, uncertain, despondent, anxious and sad… in this environment. These internal variations, as well as the mental pressure, largely determine people’s behavior, and thus constitute a pressure in the operation of society. Human loneliness is posing an increasingly serious challenge to society and constitutes an important aspect of social management and government administration.

How are Americans lonely? Some people don’t think that Americans are lonely either, or at least they may not all think so themselves. It may not be true that every American is lonely, but there are plenty who feel lonely.

It is entirely possible for children to be lonely at home. There are many reasons why children may feel lonely. Many children have only a “single parent,” that is, a father or a mother. This may be due to the divorce of the parents, or the mother may be unmarried and have children. In such a family, the child lacks the necessary family warmth, and over time, a sense of loneliness develops. The phenomenon of “single families” is extremely common, and a large proportion of children and adolescents live in such families. Even in an intact family, this situation can easily arise. If parents are busy with work, they have no time for their children. Many families use the American way of raising children, which is to encourage independence. Children are placed in separate rooms at an early age and left to their own devices. In some sense, this is good for child development. However, in a combination of certain factors, it can also lead to a sense of isolation in children. I dare not say that this type of nursing necessarily leads to loneliness in people’s minds, but the imprint it puts on children’s minds is hardly anti-solitude. The findings of psychologists show that the life experiences of a person in adolescence will have an indelible impact on that person’s life.

We can say that teenagers do not know loneliness, born in loneliness, do not know loneliness. But older people feel this very well. Loneliness among the elderly is a major headache in American society. Most elderly people are in a state of loneliness. Children generally do not live with the elderly, each has their own things. There is little psychological comfort for the elderly. When children come back to visit on holidays, it is also a whirlwind. In their daily lives, children rarely interfere, believing that it is everyone’s private domain and not wanting to interfere. Many elderly people live in nursing homes and move into them when they are old enough. The movie “On Golden Pond”, which won an Academy Award and starred Henry Fonda, deeply portrays the inner loneliness of an elderly couple and their witty approach to the problem, which resonates strongly with people. The elderly have many organizations of their own, all designed to combat loneliness. For example, the Burial Committee, mostly composed of elderly people, is responsible for arranging the funeral affairs of the elderly after their death. The existence of this organization is probably very telling.

People in the middle of childhood and old age also feel various kinds of loneliness for various reasons. People who are working also seem to have difficulty in finding some mechanism to eliminate loneliness. Work is a purely technical or material activity, which means that there is a lack of emotional and spiritual communication. Of course, it is not true that any workplace lacks such a mechanism, but it is not easy to develop such a mechanism. The American egoism, which is often reflected in work, develops work into the biggest obstacle to emotional and spiritual communication. The high mobility of social work also constitutes an obstacle to the development of hypertechnical relationships. Many people who work part-time tend to work for three or five days and then leave, so how can we talk about interpersonal communication? Married men and women, in general, feel less lonely, but that is not always the case. Many partners still have difficulties in communicating with each other spiritually. Divorced men and women, there is no need to talk about loneliness, and this problem has become a major social problem in the United States. The divorce rate in the United States is probably the highest in the world. After divorce, men and women are very prone to loneliness and often live in lonely situations.

American loneliness is either superficial or deep and manifests itself in different forms. It is also a disease derived from all developed societies. A friend told me a story that vividly reflects the loneliness of an American. The main character of the story is a woman of almost fifty years old. She came from a wealthy family, married to a professor, and then divorced. Her children have grown up and are living independently outside the home. She now lives alone in a house. She has no job and earns some money by working short hours. Due to her mental depression, she often drinks heavily. When she drinks, she becomes delirious, crying and screaming, which is naturally caused by her mental loneliness. But what made people feel that she was lonely was not her situation, but people’s attitude toward her. The friend, who was living in her house, was often worried about the woman’s condition. He called her children. Her children said that it was her business and they could not interfere with it. If she felt that she needed to go to the hospital or to the police, it was up to her to decide and they could not decide. In effect, they were saying that they couldn’t control it, but just let it happen. When he called her best friend, the answer was the same, saying there was nothing he could do. Although the best friend, but also can not exceed the authority, the friend often can only watch her drunken madness, helpless. That best friend of hers said, “She is trying to treat me like a mother and pamper me.” From the bottom of her heart, that friend despised her too. The question is, why was she like that? It was a deep-seated loneliness. Her loneliness was not only within herself, but also in the way society treated her on the outside. She was alone in society, and society was alone in her. This is the situation that a lonely American encounters.

How are Americans lonely? This is a question that is difficult to answer in one sentence. We can say that the American economic system has created human loneliness, and the prominence and importance of money in society has monetized human relationships, while human feelings are forced down in money relationships. A little warmth may mean money. We can say that the dominant value of America individualism – leads to the isolation of the individual. Tocqueville says that the American Revolution led to the growth of individualism, but individualism means at the same time self-solitude. Without accepting self-solitude, the fear of dissolution also makes it difficult to truly create the conditions for individualism. The overwhelming position of individualism in society may be a good note for the lonely American. We could say that the American protection of the private domain also protects loneliness; each person does not like or want others to invade his or her own domain of life. This desire breeds solitude. Perhaps Americans like solitude, or more accurately, want a moderate amount of it. The question is whether they are prepared to deal with the greater or socially imposed loneliness. The mechanisms that people devise and build themselves to ensure moderate loneliness sum up in society to impose unbearable and unbearable loneliness on the individual. The problems that such mechanisms create for the individual become potential problems for society. Human loneliness is a product of social institutions, and it is difficult to find solutions as long as such social institutions remain intact. The most difficult thing for an institution to overcome is its own by-products.

The authors of Megatrends argue that the development of high technology has increased the pursuit of high emotion. The overly concentrated pursuit of any one thing in a society constitutes a political management problem. The isolation of people has become a major burden on the political system and will continue to do so. Analyzing many of the government’s policy actions, it is easy to see that the more fundamental motivation lies in the complex and constant role of each person’s loneliness.

9. Future World • 2,100 Words

The American mentality is a complex synthesis that sometimes feels so contradictory. The popular view is that since James and Peirce developed the philosophy of pragmatism, the nation has become a most pragmatic people. The idea of pragmatism and the requirement to “deliver value” permeate every corner of the American spirit.

The so-called pragmatism, embodied in the meteorological social life and human behavior, is to focus on everything to achieve useful, effective, practical goals, and reject the vague, unattainable or seemingly non-existent value standards. In the contemporary United States, this spirit is materialized as “money first”, with the sight of money as the touchstone of pragmatism. Make money, in a way, has become the essence of pragmatism in the present era.

There is certainly a significant portion of society that still struggles, pursuing political, moral, ethical, religious, social or philosophical values. But most of those who work in these fields are not as idealistic. In the government sector, there are so many officials, probably not too many of them are thinking about the American ideals at all times, and they do their job because it is just a job, without any sense of responsibility like “carrying morality on iron shoulders”. They do their jobs because it’s just a job and there is no sense of responsibility like “a man with an iron shoulder”; in the welfare machine, people are eager to take care of the poor and the disabled, but it’s hard to say that every one of them does it because they are compassionate to the lower class and the poor, but because it’s a job and because someone is paying for it; university professors write books and speak impassionedly in the classroom, criticizing the government and calling for change, but Most of the professors only regard this as work, and not as many of them have the sense of mission and responsibility of intellectuals. This is just to show how pragmatism dominates the American spirit and society, especially in a society that recognizes money but not people.

On the other hand, it is not negligible and strange that society is full of another spirit, which I will call “futurism”. In this materialistic society, there is rarely any force that can override pragmatism. However, the idea of futurism has a particularly strong appeal and allure. Therefore, futurism also constitutes a fundamental core in the general spirit of this society. Other ideas are difficult to convince, but the idea of futurism is strong and powerful. By futurism we mean something that does not have a direct effect at present, but will have an effect in the future, whether it is a concrete substance, an abstract idea, or a state of affairs. Looking at it this way reveals that pragmatism and futurism are a contradictory pair, one seeking the value of the present moment, the other the value of the future. But these two spirits do dominate this society, so it is said to be a complex synthesis.

We can look at examples of futuristic spirituality.

On the political front, look at the 1984 presidential election. A popular topic of debate between Bush and Dukakis was America in the twenty-first century, or the world and America in the twenty-first century. Can the United States maintain its current position in the world? Where will the United States go in the face of challenges from Japan and Europe, and possibly from China? How will the U.S. choose when the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries pose a challenge to the United States on all fronts? Both parties, in their efforts to win over voters, have talked about how their policy strategies will continue to make the twenty-first century the American century, which they see as the century of the United States. Now there is talk that the 21st century will be Japan’s century or China’s century. Bush has often said that the twenty-first century will be the American century. Such slogans are quite compelling. Nixon’s 1987 book, “1999: Winning Without War,” in which the recurring theme is how the United States will win in the future, what threats the United States will encounter in the future, and how the United States should choose its response, became an immediate bestseller. It is clear that this concern lies not only with politicians but also with the general public, otherwise it would not be successful as a strategy to pull voters.

On the military front, Americans also have a stronger futuristic sensibility. In terms of future warfare, strategy, and weapons research, the United States has been very concerned and invested heavily. The tens of billions of dollars spent on the Star Wars program is a futuristic dominated product. This plan, which seemed to many to be a whimsical idea, was determined to be put into practice in earnest by the Americans to deal with a possible new round of strategic weapons competition in the future. One of the factors underlying the uproar over this plan, which has caused much debate in the court and the country, is the conflict between the spirit of pragmatism and the spirit of futurism. The spirit of futurism prevails in most cases when it comes to armament development. Plus the arms industry mostly supports futurism because it is profitable. Even though they may all be authentic pragmatists themselves. The recent introduction of the B2 bomber is a typical reflection of this futurism. It is futurism, rather than pragmatism, that dominates the development of strategic imperatives, despite appearances of pragmatism. In the conflicts and fluctuations in Nicaragua, the Philippines, and the Middle East, the attitude of the U.S. government has been, for the most part, based on futuristic strategic thinking.

When it comes to scientific and technological development, Americans are more futuristic. The idea of futurism is extremely flourishing in fundamental areas such as basic theory, astrophysics, biological sciences, and chemistry. It is often said that the sciences have the most money in American universities. All this money comes from foundations or whatever institutions outside the university. The leading idea as to why these institutions are willing to invest large sums of money is to look to the future. The recent announcement of the world’s largest collider in the United States, with a total length of 80 kilometers, sounds like an amazing project. But with an eye on the future, the Americans decided to fund the construction. When it comes to computers, Americans are also looking to the future, and companies are investing large sums of money in developing the latest models. Environmental protection, which has attracted unprecedented attention in this society, has become a fundamental force in government policy, with an unprecedented public consensus on the issue. Without a futuristic spirit, such a consensus would have been difficult to develop.

In urban construction, the mark of futurism is even deeper. Whether in Iowa, a small city of a few tens of thousands of people, or in New York, a metropolis of over ten million people, futurism has a pivotal role in the design of urban construction. One of the conditions that must be kept in mind in order for an urban plan to be successful and realized is what will become of the design in the coming decades. Will it become an obstacle to further urban development? Or will it be a bridge to further urban development? In many cities, highways, subways, buildings, and homes are designed and built with the future world in mind. The International Trade Tower in New York, for example, is a majestic building standing tall above, and the world below is even more amazing, with a huge underground level with subways and trains to all parts of New York and neighboring states. The designers designed it with the needs of future urban development in mind. In many cities, much of the housing is over fifty or even a hundred years old, but it still does not look dilapidated or cramped, and a small building, renovated, is still very substantial housing. This is an incomparable resource. If at that time housing was built to last five or twenty years only to be eliminated or become uninhabitable then it is not possible to reach the level that it is today. Futurism, in the construction of the city, is expressed as a hundred-year plan.

Futurism is also evident in the education of talent. Americans understand that the world of the future is the world of today’s children and young people. Can they meet the challenges of this world and the challenges of the world of tomorrow? The term “children’s paradise” refers to a society where children are cared for in a holistic way so that they can meet the challenges of the future. This is also true of university education. The success and status that we have achieved today is inseparable from university education. The success of education is the most powerful force in maintaining and developing a social system. No matter what the nature of that social system is, it is difficult to maintain it without a successful education. Both the government and the university have put great effort in coping with the world of the future.

The spirit of futurism is reflected in many aspects. Therefore, it is not possible to simply dismiss this society as pragmatic. It goes without saying that pragmatism is predominant. The question is to understand why this society breeds such strong futurism. And how are these two spirits reconciled? The spirit of the American tradition has always been pragmatism. From the time the first settlers set foot in this territory and began to build homes and fight nature in this newfound land, pragmatism has had to be preached. There is not as long a cultural tradition here, not as much philosophy, not as much money and wealth for people to engage in the unthinkable. To survive, one has to be pragmatic. The spirit formed by the early immigrants has become the dominant spirit of the society as the vast territory is developed.

On the other hand, since the twentieth century, the United States has gradually become involved in the international community, and leapt to become the world’s leading power. After World War II, the United States became the number one power. Decades of history have created a strong mentality among Americans: “We are number one in the world.” To maintain this status, it became a consensus of the nation, to maintain the status of “boss” in today’s competitive world, it is natural to choose futurism, otherwise it will lag behind. I am afraid it is difficult to draw a precise conclusion here as the “first in the world” mentality is implicit in the promotion of futurism. But if a country is in the first position in the world and does not want to be surpassed by others and to be ahead of others in every aspect, it will naturally be eliminated.

If we look deeper into individual psychology, perhaps the fact that Americans follow futurism is related to the fact that everyone feels that the future is too insecure. Americans can hardly be said to have anything guaranteed for life in terms of employment, social life, marriage, education, etc. In the American system, it is rare for an individual to have lifetime security from the government; the only possibility is social security, and that requires a job to be covered or a grave medical condition. For every member of society, the uncertainty of the future is an important motivation for individuals to believe in futurism.

Here, pragmatism and futurism are both in conflict and in synthesis. At the moment of synthesis, it is a moment when both streams of thought find it beneficial. At the moment of conflict, it is a moment of disagreement between the two. Most of the conflicts and disputes that occur in this society on many issues are related to the similarities and differences between these two spiritualities, which is of course a deeper conflict. In many cases, people believe in futurism, often from pragmatic thinking, and in other cases, people believe in pragmatism, again from futuristic thinking.

The development of this land is inseparable from the concern of the people here for the future world. Those who are concerned about the future world may have various purposes, such as to dominate the world, to advance its development, or for personal motives, but this concern will become a concept and spirit in the development of a society, and it will bring a driving force that cannot be replaced by other forces. In general, only when any people pay attention to the future world and find out what position they will have or will fight for in the future world can they really find the way to development and a wide and broad vision.

10. People are Always People • 1,800 Words

It is generally believed that human relationships in American society are simpler and less complex, and people live in society based on their abilities, knowledge, and money, rather than on relationships, family, and other factors, which constitute the biggest difference between Eastern and Western societies, and the culture of Eastern societies, especially within the Confucian cultural circle, emphasizes identity, discipline, etiquette, and blood, while Western culture emphasizes talent, law, profit, and authority. In general, and only in general, this division is acceptable. But it must not be assumed that this is absolutely true of American and Western societies. Just as relationships are not always relied upon in Eastern societies, they are not always relied upon in Western societies.

Due to the developed economy and material abundance, there are some problems that are easier to solve in American society and do not require too complicated operational processes. A person who does the most difficult and tiring work (road repair, cleaners, porters, etc.), after taking the money can buy any goods in the store, can go to stay in any high-class hotel, can go to any restaurant to eat and drink. Most of the things that rich people can do, others with money can also do. This is what Marcuse called assimilation or integration. Marcuse was critical of this, arguing that this mechanism assimilated class divisions, and that the working class assimilated into the capitalist system and became unaware of its exploitation and oppression. This was the result of a highly developed commodity economy. The full flow of commodities harmonized social contradictions. In fact, in many societies, the cause of various social contradictions is the scarcity of commodities. Ordinary people do not think that much about high and profound problems; They think in terms of their own food, clothing, and housing. The focus of social coordination is not to explain a grand theory in a sophisticated way, but to meet the daily needs of ordinary people.

In the abstract, American relationships are less complex, but interpersonal interactions are also less deep. At the core of American life is the protection of the private sphere. So few people like it when others intrude too much, or intrude too much on others. This is different from Eastern cultures. So the American concept of friend is different from the Eastern culture. A friend can be an acquaintance, or someone you met at school, or at church, or on the sports field, or at work. But this kind of interaction is not deep, and it is rare to have a close friendship. It is easy for Americans to have a fast friendship, but not a deep friendship. Similarly it is easy for Chinese people to have a fast friendship, but not a deep friendship. There is a great deal of social mobility, with one-fifth of American families moving each year, and material abundance creates the conditions for this choice. The high mobility creates two kinds of impetus: on the one hand, people move a lot and need mechanisms to find friends quickly, and on the other hand, this mobility makes it difficult to establish truly unbreakable friendships. Non-relative interactions between people come from teenage and young adult years. With a family, it is difficult to form deep friendships. Energy, finances, and culture do not allow it. And it is easier in the teenage and young adult years. After living in one place for more than ten years, you spend your childhood and teenage years with a group of people. Things change when you get to the college years. The mechanics of college also make it difficult to form deep friendships; college students are largely solitary, with no concept of classes, taking whatever class they choose and going their separate ways the next semester. Good housing conditions isolate people, as does college and as does society. Americans live alone for long periods of time, so that they often have an introverted and passive mentality, not knowing if they should deal with a stranger. This is especially true of foreigners, who rarely take the initiative to deal with them. Although the concept of “foreigner” is foreign to Americans, they often cannot tell who is a “foreigner” and who is a “native”. In fact, it is very difficult, except that foreigners often think in their minds that they are foreigners, in this case, clearly identified foreigners. But Americans are often very welcoming if the foreigner takes the initiative. So on and so forth. Some people think it is good for the development of society, because there are no complicated interpersonal relationships and everyone can eat according to their abilities. Some people think it is not good for the development of society, because there is no deep friendship between people, and human feelings are too thin, and social life is not harmonious.

The above is just a general statement, in fact, when you look at American society, human relationships are not unimportant, but vital. People are always people, and without relationships, how can society be sustainable? In many ways, human relationships are very similar to those in Eastern cultures. One professor told me that in America, people can live well without relationships, but they can live better if they have them. I am afraid this is a more objective evaluation. In fact, this is not a unique phenomenon of a nation, but only a different degree under different cultural conditions and economic development.

I can give some examples of the American mentality.

In politics, the role of relationships is clear. one of the major controversies in the 1988 presidential campaign was the Republican vice presidential candidate Quayle, who was not considered by public opinion to be a prominent figure or to have gotten ahead by his own struggle, but by his family, which earned two million dollars a year. He did not do well in school, there was some talk of the draft, and so on. The power of family is still important in America. Without a family background, a person may come out on top, and with a family background, a person is more likely to come out on top. The Kennedy family is an example. When George W. Bush became president, he had the power to appoint all political officials, and many of his old friends were given high ranking positions, even though public opinion was not favorable to some of them. I will not dwell on these phenomena in politics, as I will discuss them in detail.

One of the professors who studied African issues told me that to do good research I had to do fieldwork in various countries and regions of East Africa, and that to do so I could not attend classes in the department. He got permission from the head of the department. The other professors then became very jealous; they didn’t say anything on the surface, but there was a lot of gossip behind the scenes that this professor was getting too good a deal for not teaching and going abroad and getting a salary at the same time. In contrast, they were too unprofitable. I asked him how he could get the permission of the department head. He said the department chair had a good relationship with him. He was working on a plan to get the department chair to go to a country in Africa for a scenic trip and lecture on the side. This professor is a very decent man, but he knows how to get his way.

When I was visiting a university on the East Coast, a friend told me that the interpersonal relationships among professors in the department were complicated, with professors fighting with and backstabbing each other. Sometimes there were arguments in the classroom. One professor criticized a school of thought in class for having no theory and abstract data, and another professor in the room immediately asked him to be more specific. It was actually a conflict between the two of them. Professors often see professors in the same field as competition. Of course there are harmonious relationships.

In the society of working and working, interpersonal relationship is more important, how the relationship with the boss, how the relationship with the foreman, directly affects a person’s status and future. I think this is true in higher education institutions, not to mention others.

In a university, full professors with tenure hold the power in the department, while others have little power. Full professors can decide on the promotion and retention of other personnel, and such a power relationship determines the basic relationship of professors in the department. The desire of the other faculty members to have a good relationship with the full professor is very obvious. I am not saying that this relationship is bad per se, but I am trying to illustrate the existence of interpersonal relationships.

Another noteworthy event was a situation seen at a university that illustrates very well that Americans do not disregard human relations. A delegation from the Japanese business community came to speak at a university, representing some of Japan’s major corporations and important academic institutions. The Japanese are rich and already known to the world. At the reception, many Americans treated the Japanese representatives with respect and looked for things to say. One woman official from the local government held the hand of a Japanese man for several minutes, smiling all over and saying straight out that the Japanese man had a beautiful tie. I felt uncomfortable looking at her. In fact, she was trying to get some Japanese investment for the local area. Americans mostly despise Japanese, but their attitude towards Japanese and what they think inside is different.

Examples of interpersonal relationships abound. But their role and mechanisms are different and not as important as in Eastern societies. The American system offers one condition: big deal to go. Under private ownership, it is normal for people to leave one unit to seek employment in another. But in some societies where this mechanism is not available, the interpersonal determinants are much greater. Social institutions, material abundance, and cultural mentality determine that interpersonal relationships in the United States are different from those in Eastern societies. But it would be idealistic to say that human relations are not valued here and are not needed.

People are always human, and they will repay any kindness or hatred. People are always human, people have human emotions, people have human needs. The extent to which modernization can change the nature of man needs to be studied.

IV. Multi-Level Social Regulation

1. The Invisible Hand • 1,900 Words

Western economies and societies operate on the principle of the “invisible hand”, i.e., the economic lever, the market, regulates economic movement. Since Adam Smith proposed the economic principle of liberalism, despite the rise of Keynesianism and the welfare state, the principle of liberalism has remained the basic principle of the functioning of Western economies and societies. The “invisible hand” was once transformed into the “visible hand,” i.e., direct governmental control over the entire economic and social process, and now Western governments are regulating economic behavior much more than before. However, Western societies are still dominated by the coordination of the “invisible hand. Both the “invisible hand” and the “visible hand” are related to the behavior of the government. Which approach is used determines the size of the government’s function and burden. Generally speaking, the “invisible hand” reduces the burden of government, while the “visible hand” increases it. In modern society, politics and economics are so intertwined that changing the way the economy is regulated means changing the structure and function of the political and administrative system.

The “invisible hand” means that the political and administrative system does indirect control of the economy and society, only in the areas of taxation, finance, law, etc. The specific economic operations of individual enterprises, however, are left to each enterprise to do its thing in the sea of the market economy. This gives rise to extensive competition.

To win in an economy, to win big, a company must be good at competing, must be good at winning markets and customers from other similar companies, or it will go down the drain. They have no government agency to rely on, and the structure of government is all different from the structure of the economy in terms of laws and determining procedures that are difficult to cut through. If they do not compete well and do not operate well, they will go out of business and go bankrupt. This type of situation can happen within a business, i.e., something goes wrong with the internal operation of the business, or outside a business, i.e., other businesses are good at business, good at management, and the environment changes. To be invincible, any enterprise has to be unique and improve continuously. The most important competition lies in the quality of service. Whether it is products, services, tangible or intangible, ultimately can be attributed to the quality of service. Without service quality, there will be no customers, there will be no market, there will be no profit, and they will be eliminated. This is an irresistible force that drives every enterprise to continuously improve service quality and compete for the market.

In this economic model, the government is not inactive. The government uses legal, financial and taxation instruments to regulate economic behavior, however, the government is not directly involved in the economic process. Government regulates at three stages: when a business starts, when it operates, and when it closes. Regulation is not management, and it is probably fair to say that regulation determines what to do and what not to do in this society, and management determines what can and should be done in this society. Of course, this is only a very abstract argument. The duty of the political and administrative system is not to teach companies what to do, but to control them so they do not get out of hand and to guide them in the general direction of social development. This is not to say that this coordination mechanism is perfect, since the “invisible hand” plays a leading role, there are many areas where the political and administrative system cannot intervene or can hardly intervene. Sometimes, the political and administrative system can also be used to avoid responsibility and stand aside.

To illustrate the role of the “invisible hand”, here is an example of competition among travel agencies in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I am afraid it is difficult to say how many travel agencies there are in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but there are probably dozens of them. If you walk around San Francisco’s Chinatown, you will see the signs of travel agencies. When you open the local Chinese newspaper, advertisements for travel agencies abound. Most of these travel agencies are owned by ethnic Chinese, and their general services include group tours, buying air tickets, gifts and bills abroad, and Chinese transportation services. Since the travel agencies offer roughly the same services, there is fierce competition among them for the market and for customers.

We can casually name some travel agencies, such as Pan Wai Travel and Transport, Lida Travel, Waiya Travel, Your Travel, Soon Wind Travel, Cathay Travel, Gold Mountain Travel, Lishan Travel Consultants, Fei Fei Travel Company, Jet Airways, Swire Express, East Wind, Seven Seas Travel, Flying Boat Travel, Reed Travel, Wing On Travel, Envoy Travel, and so on. This is only a small portion of them, and only the travel agencies located in Chinatown, which basically specialize in serving the Chinese and overseas Chinese. Add the travel agencies outside of China Town, and you can imagine the fierce competition.

Such travel companies handle worldwide travel programs to Europe, Asia, Latin America, but also for domestic travel projects. Due to the competition, each of them has to have new and high-level tricks in terms of services, including: special cheap air tickets, route design, hotel agency, car rental, etc. In terms of airfare, the prices vary. For example, from San Francisco International Airport to Japan and then to Shanghai, some travel agencies offer \$ 480, some offer \$ 460, some offer \$ 440. This price competition naturally prompted the travel agencies to try to set prices within a reasonable range, otherwise they will lose the market. To quote low prices, but also involves the entire business management, if the price is low, no profit, the business will naturally collapse. Therefore, the competition between them is not only the competition of price, but also the competition of management ability, human quality and business style. This competition reflects the general characteristics of enterprise competition under the control of the “invisible hand”.

In terms of service, due to competition, travel agencies have to try to improve the quality of service as well. I booked a ticket from San Francisco to Shanghai with a travel agency here. After I called and asked for the price, the travel agent booked the ticket for me by computer. A few days later, I went to pick up my ticket, everything was arranged. I was asked if I needed to change the date and flight, and if I didn’t need to change, the ticket was issued. After I picked up the tickets on the spot, the agent also told me that I had to confirm my international ticket 72 hours before departure, and she said that the travel agency would handle the departure from San Francisco, and that I should not forget the travel agency after I arrived in Japan. She also took out the form for a Japanese visa and gave it to me, which is a kind of incidental service. I said I did not know anything about doing a Japanese visa, she immediately called the visa office of the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and asked for information. After a few days, Travel Du called to tell me that the flight from Tokyo to Shanghai was canceled and asked me what day I would like to leave instead. Very responsible to the customer.

Another professor in our department was also outbound in San Francisco, and he was going to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It was a little more trouble to buy tickets, because it was necessary to connect all these places, and also involved visa time in one place, and so on. Finally a travel agency was selected and they issued the tickets. They calculated carefully, gave the lowest price, and helped with the visa process. To get a Hong Kong visa to go to Los Angeles, it was not convenient to go on your own and given to do it on your behalf. Various travel agencies in terms of service, customers have any requirements they try to consider to meet, and often take the initiative for the sake of customers.

Why is there such service quality? The reason is very simple: high service quality is prosperous, low service quality is death. In a society full of competition, an enterprise can only survive so long.

However, the role of the “invisible hand” at play is powerful, but it also has to have certain conditions. The abundance of resources is an important condition. If there are so many travel agencies, but not so many airlines, airline tickets can not be bought, the airlines can have a monopoly price, without asking travel agencies to help them promote. If there is also competition among airlines, then travel agencies will have a source of tickets. The same is true for the economy of society as a whole, because the whole economy is a competitive economy, all the links are in competition and the “invisible hand” can work. If the macro environment is not competitive, several enterprises will not be able to compete, the “invisible hand” grows too small, the “visible hand” too large. A competitive economy is developed gradually and cannot be achieved overnight. It took hundreds of years for American society to develop this mechanism.

The formation of this set of mechanisms has important implications for the political and administrative system. This is that it can be greatly freed from the heavy burden of specific management. The vast majority of society’s transportation, communication, daily commodities, real estate, and food are managed by private enterprises in competition. The role of the government is indirect management, in which the “invisible hand” reduces the burden of the government and the “visible hand” increases it.

The “invisible hand” also has its shortcomings, because of this “invisibility”, so we do not know where the hand is. Often, when things have reached a certain stage, it dawns on people that the hand is there. By this time, the economy and the functioning of society may have already developed more important problems. The development of Western societies, especially after the Second World War, can be a strong example of this cycle.

What we want to observe is not the economic behavior, but how the political and administrative systems are constrained under different economic models. In the “invisible hand” model, the political locomotive is not attached to the long train of the economy, and the economy has an economic locomotive. The advantage is that both have a lighter load and may run faster; the disadvantage is that since there are two locomotives, it is difficult to control and harmonize them with each other. Under the “visible hand” model, the political locomotive is attached to a long series of economic cars. The disadvantage is that it is heavily loaded and not easy to move quickly; the advantage is that it may be easy to move in a regular direction because it is the same locomotive. Politics is not included here. From a political point of view, the conclusion may be different again.

The politics of any society cannot be examined in isolation from its economic model. The same is true for any specific political behavior. The structure and nature of American social politics cannot be explained outside of its economic model.

2. Money Management Society • 2,200 Words

In a typical capitalist society like the United States. The phrase “money makes the world go round” is perfectly applicable, to which can be added: money makes the goods go round. In American society, there is indeed a tangible feeling: greenbacks (because the dollar is green) hit the world. The development of the commodity economy has made everyone equal in front of money, and money can buy anything that can be bought, with no delineated boundaries. Money is the tangible driving force behind the development of capitalist society, and the pursuit of money drives economic and social development. Americans do a lot of things with the first goal of earning money, professors teach, mostly without the inner impulse of worrying about the country and the people, which is a kind of work; politicians are hardly idealists, serving in political party campaigns also for the purpose of money, and so on and so forth. For, in any society where money is the symbol of value, there is no livelihood without it. To some extent, American society is organized around money.

Acknowledging this fact reveals a wonderful phenomenon that I call: “Money governs society”. Money becomes a fundamental medium in the management of society. People manage money, and at the same time they use money to manage people. A set of mechanisms centered on money constitutes an important mechanism in the management of American society. People serve money. Because of the importance of money, people have tried to invent mechanisms, methods and techniques to manage it. As a result, a huge management system is formed through the medium of money. It is precisely this system that capital uses for the purpose of obtaining surplus value. This system is independent of the government, independent of the political system, and does not require direct control by the political system. It undertakes a large and complex management process by itself. Marx said that under the capitalist system, the commodity economy is apparently a relationship between things, but in fact it is a relationship between people. This is a most famous saying, and it applies to any relationship between people that takes the form of material relations. When people manage money, they actually manage people. This non-governmental money mechanism regulates people’s thinking, emotions, and behavior.

The process of using money in a capitalist society is extremely convenient for the individual, although not in terms of the management process.

Banks are the primary sector of management. There are many different types of banks. State banks are generally more powerful. Banks perform various social management functions. Each hiring unit pays wages and allocates them directly to each employee’s account at the bank, and does not hand large bundles of money to each individual, who then goes to the bank to withdraw the money. The bank is directly escrowed.

Carrying a large sum of money on your person is not safe and inconvenient. It is obviously inconvenient to carry a purse of money to buy a color TV or a refrigerator. Checks are something that is commonly used in the United States or in Western societies. Banks have various types of checks to choose from after depositing money. The check has the name and address of the holder printed on it. All this process can be settled within two weeks and in principle, checks are available in the United States and most places in the world. The bearer simply writes who to pay, how much, and signs and gives it to the store or hotel. The person who receives the check transfers it through the bank, which automatically takes that amount from the account of the person who wrote it. Once a month, the bank reports to the depositor in writing and sends the check that the bank received signed by the depositor. The depositor does not have to worry about the cash himself. Naturally, if a check is lost, that becomes a problem, because the check can be used by anyone but for the signature. Also, there are people who have no deposits in the bank, have used them up, and are still using the checks. To be on the safe side, sometimes the party receiving the check has to see ID or take down a phone number.

In terms of travel, you can also exchange traveler’s checks. Traveler’s checks are useless if they are not signed. Naturally, losing them is also a problem and they have to be reported lost. Another service of the bank is the money withdrawal card. It is a plastic card with a magnetic strip on the back. With this card, you can withdraw cash from an automatic machine. Each cardholder has a PIN number that he or she enters into the machine, which is computerized, and it automatically recognizes it and gives the customer the amount of cash he or she needs. Most of these machines are local, but there are also national ones. These machines can also make deposits. Just give your password, put the amount you want to deposit into the envelope available next to the machine, and put it into the deposit slot.

In addition to these, credit cards (Credit Cards) are very popular in Western societies. With a credit card, you can use it in most countries. Many stores or hotels in China also accept credit cards. Credit cards require an application. A credit card is a plastic card with the number and name of the holder on it. To use this card anywhere, the conditional cardholder places the card on a special computerized device, and a screen shows whether the cardholder’s card is acceptable, whether such a card is lost, whether there is credit, etc. Then, the card and the bill for the payment in question are placed together, pressed on a special device that prints the card number and name on the bill, and the customer is asked to sign. In this way, the customer does not have to pay cash, and each month the credit card company sends the bill to the cardholder. The cardholder has to pay the bill to the company at a certain time. There are many of these cards, the more famous ones are Visa, Master, American Express, Discover and so on. There are also different levels of cards, mainly for the total amount of goods that can be purchased at one time, such as \$1,500 or more. Credit cards are indeed very convenient, but at the same time all credit card holders are regulated by the card issuer.

Cardholders pay their bills to the credit card company by writing a check and sending it from home, and many things are done through the post office and by check. Pay taxes to the government? Send a check. Place an order? Send a check. You can send a check and a film to develop a photo. You can send a check to pay back money you borrowed from someone, and the banks of the parties involved will deal with you directly.

The management of money is also reflected in borrowing. Banks lend money to businesses and individuals. Businesses borrow, as capital for investment, which also exists in socialist countries. Naturally, enterprises are private businesses, and receive a kind of personal loan. But this part of the loan goes to into its capital investments. There are also purely personal loans, such those used to buy a house, a car, etc., which can be taken from a bank. The personal loan has to be repaid partly every month along with the interest due. The interest the bank receives does not come only from the business, but also from the individual. This is different from China. As a result of the loan, the individual is connected to the bank. If the loan is not repaid, the bank has the right to take the lender’s property as an offset, backed up by the police department.

There is also an organized system of management in the relationship of borrowing and owing money outside of banks. For example, if you have seen a doctor in a hospital, you spend a lot of money and have no money to pay for medical treatment. The hospital then turns this matter over to a specialized debt collection agency. The debt collection agency’s duty is to collect debts and is well versed in the law and specializes in this field. It will make a plan for the debtor to pay the money every month, and if not, it will go to court.

Banks offer all kinds of facilities and also have a system of strict control. Anyone who wants to get this convenience has to accept this control system. If you apply for a credit card, you have to fill out an application form. On the application form, the name, date of birth, social security number, address, home telephone number, length of residence in the local area, whether the home is owned or borrowed, previous home address, length of residence, closest relatives and friends living separately, address, mother’s name when she was unmarried, name of employer or company, nature of employment, status, length of residence, address, telephone number, former employer or company (must be stated within three years), The yearly salary, other income, source of other income, verification of the name used, telephone number, bank deposit number, bank name, bank address, etc. The card issuer has to verify all these information before issuing the card to the applicant, so you can see how people can start from managing money and develop to managing people. These data will become a personal file, and a very detailed one at that. Applications for loans, etc. also have to go through this process.

There are also companies that specialize in managing the creditworthiness of individuals. These companies are called Credit Reporting companies. These companies are privately owned, regulated by law, and actually collect personal crotch cases, mainly in economic, not political terms. There are many of these companies, both national and local. Every person who has dealt with a bank or financial institution has a name on file. Banks and various financial institutions can ask such companies about their customers. If you apply for a loan, the bank can check the situation, such as past bill payments, credit, etc., using its own computer terminal. If the credit is bad, the bank will refuse the loan. This is a very powerful network. Banks have a partnership with such companies, where the bank proactively reports the customer’s situation to them, and the credit reporting company in turn reduces the bank’s charges for using the information. This mechanism powerfully manages the people who want to deal with money or cannot do without it, so to speak, all the people in the world are in the bag.

Naturally, if one has good credit, one can enjoy all the above facilities. This mechanism regulates everyone’s behavior, and if one is excluded from all the above mechanisms, one will encounter all kinds of cheeks. What are the conveniences? Look at what American Express offers beyond money: more than 1,400 travel offices in 1,000 cities around the world to help with travel planning, emergencies, and more.

This shows how effectively and powerfully capital controls society at large, and thus society as a whole. Most of the institutions in this set are private, but in fact they manage a very large part of the affairs of the whole society. This management is not based on coercion and command, but rather on voluntarily by each individual. People either voluntarily, or driven by social circumstances, automatically seek to be governed. Americans like to be governed least, but they like money most. The logic of money is to lead people to be governed. This mechanism is related to the basic survival of each person, and therefore effective management. Perhaps mobilizing the ability of a society’s money to govern people is a very important aspect of reducing the pressure on the political system to manage. The amazing dynamism of money connects individuals to individuals and institutions to institutions. The government transcends this set of mechanisms and controls them indirectly by legal means. The people in this mechanism, all operating in their own interest, maintain the balance of this set of mechanisms. I am afraid that if it were only a deposit relationship, a management mechanism would not have developed. The key question is the extent to which money has developed into a set of institutions on which people must depend. Americans believe in freedom and do not rely on other institutions, but they rely on this one. A society cannot be effectively managed without a system of subject management on which everyone depends.

Societies have different subject systems at different stages of development, and in a fully developed economy, there may have to be a transition from a political to an economic system.

3. Standardization of People • 1,500 Words

Standardization is a necessity in modern society. American society has reached a certain level in this regard. It can be found that there are defined criteria for all kinds of matters and all kinds of work. In particular, there are standardized evaluation procedures for the selection of personnel, or for the evaluation of people’s knowledge and skills.

The U.S. is a highly mobile society where people do not have fixed accounts or work records and may have different levels of education and systems. How do you determine if a person meets certain requirements or if they can do a certain job? A very important procedure is for individuals to pass standardized exams. Employers often rely on these test scores to determine whether to hire or not hire an individual, and schools rely on these tests to determine whether to admit or not admit students. Chinese students are familiar with the TOEFL or GRE as these tests.

Such exams are often not specifically administered by the government, but by private, specialized companies. The government may commission these companies to design special exam papers or specify what exams must be passed in order to hold a position, and no one can hold the position without passing a specified exam. For example, lawyers are required to pass a specified examination. Such companies are responsible for organizing, designing, analyzing, and administering the exams. From the point of view of social management, they assume a very important function in the functioning of society.

I visited one such company and spoke with Richard L. Ferguson, the Chief Executive.

ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of services to students, parents, high schools, and colleges, as well as to professional organizations and government agencies. ACT also developed a variety of other programs in education, student admissions, vocational education, and licensure. ACT is headquartered in Iowa City and has offices in Washington, D.C., California, Denver, Atlanta, Austin, and Albany. Each office is responsible for several states, thus forming a national network.

ACT’s governing body has two components: the ACT Corporation, composed of representatives elected by the states, which meets annually to review policy; and the Board of Directors, a 15-member board that meets quarterly to review the administration of ACT. The Board of Directors appoints the Chief Executive, who is the principal executive officer of ACT.

ACT’s business includes many aspects, and we can look at several.

ACT Evaluation Program. This is a comprehensive program that serves college, high school, and college-bound students. Students take an ACT-designed test that includes educational and autobiographical questionnaires, four exams (English, mathematics, social studies, and natural science), and an interest inventory. after ACT analyzes the test papers, it prepares a report on them for use by students, high schools, and colleges. It can be used for career selection, curriculum design, student admissions, etc. Approximately one million middle and high school students take the ACT each year. Test results are used by 2,900 universities, colleges, academic institutions, or state education systems. This means that admissions tests such as the College Admissions Test are not organized by the government, but by ACT, a private national corporation, but each institution recognizes the authority of the test.

Educational Opportunity Service (ACT) uses computers to analyze information about students who take the test, including educational plans, interests, strengths, and educational goals.

Enrollment Information Service (EIS). This service consists of two basic components, a market analysis service and a revenue analysis service. These two services are based on the data obtained from the aforementioned examinations.

The industry testing program, ACT, has more than 40 standardized exams designed to allow those with no professional training to earn a professional certificate that demonstrates they have reached a post-secondary level in practical work or independent study. The exams include the arts, sciences, business, education and nursing, among other fields. Participating institutions award certificates, design curricula, etc. based on the results of the exams.

ACT offers many other types of services, including career planning, computer analysis of data, and financial analysis. Another important activity is the provision of services to professional organizations. In society, all types of professional or vocational organizations are non-governmental. In order for professional organizations to exist in society and be trusted, they must be of high quality and at a high level, otherwise they will not be very useful. Therefore, although professional organizations are not required to conduct examinations of their members, they themselves organize examinations of their own members. ACT provides this service to about eighty such organizations, including unions and government agencies. This type of examination is primarily to evaluate a person’s level and qualifications for a scholarship, certificate or license, or for admission to further professional training in a program, and one can look at which associations are associated with ACT.

American Academy of Ophthalmology.

American Academy of Otolaryngology.

American Association of Business Schools.

American Society of Teachers of German.

American Society for Microbiology.

American Council on Education.

American Dental Association.

The Association of American Medical Colleges.

Emergency Nursing Association.

Law School Admissions Committee.

National Association of Pharmacology.

U.S. Department of Defense; etc.

Companies like ACT, and several others, are large, national companies. There is also competition among these companies, and they have to survive, as well as reputation and quality. The companies put a lot of effort into researching how to improve and refine the exams and papers, how to better evaluate the test takers, and how to determine the appropriate standards. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining confidentiality and not letting the exam questions and papers leak out, because the credibility of the company is at stake. If you falsify the test, the whole company may collapse because you will lose business. If they lose business, the companies cannot survive because they are private companies. Although non-profit, salaries and administrative costs are derived from these business activities. ACT, for example, has a full-time and hourly staff of nearly 500. That is a large expense based on U.S. wages. The government is not responsible for the company’s expenses because there is no connection.

As you can see, the existence of such companies is related to the demand for standardization in society. If society did not require standardization, such companies would not exist. Modern society is at the same time a standardized society. In terms of standardization, such companies benefit from two things: government regulations that specify which exams must be passed by which company for which type of activity or profession, and non-governmental organizations such as schools and associations. Anyone who wants to practice a profession or enter a school or an institution cannot do so without passing the necessary exams. This approach, on the one hand, saves the government a great deal of money by eliminating the need to set up a special department to conduct such examinations, while the private sector maintains the standardized procedures in society through fees. On the other hand, a standardized process is achieved. The government has the full freedom to require that a particular occupation pass a particular exam from a particular company, or a particular exam from another company, if it feels that the former company does not meet quality and standards. Other organizations have the same right to do so, and all have to maintain their credibility and trustworthiness, thus reaching a kind of check and balance.

Naturally, another important condition is that there is a need for general standardization in society. If such an atmosphere does not develop in society, it will be difficult for such private companies to survive. Such an atmosphere can be formed only when every cell of society is organized with a real concern for its own interests and survival. If every cell has no sense of interest, has something to rely on and depend on, and is not responsible for being good or bad, there will be no such atmosphere. Only when the admission of each person is closely related to their own interests, will people pursue standardization.

Another driving force for standardization is the widespread mobility of people. Society is so mobile that everyone needs to be validated in their skills and knowledge, and every institution needs to have reliable credentials to prove each individual’s skills and knowledge. Local credentials are no longer sufficient to meet this requirement. Too comprehensive a certificate, such as a university diploma, is not enough to prove competence in the profession. The wide mobility of people requires that everyone who wants to get a certain position effectively prove their knowledge and ability. To obtain such proof, people have to meet socially accepted standards. This mutual process drives the standardization of people. Certificates are product instructions and certificates of conformity for all types of people. People buy goods in the market and shop for them according to their use, performance and size. When the development of human resources reaches a certain level. The standardization of people will then become an essential part of society.

4. Regulatory Culture • 2,200 Words

Any society needs certain regulations to regulate the relationship between people. Regardless of the type of society, the system is different, the culture is different, the regulation of regulations are essential. There can be various levels of regulations, the constitution is the highest level, the law is another level, and specific regulations are another level. Regulation is a tool that people can use to resolve conflicts and contradictions. Naturally, the status of regulations varies in different cultures, and the regulatory role they play varies, as well as the form in which they are expressed in different societies, some in the form of written laws, some in the form of traditional taboos, and some in the form of religious precepts.

American society is a regulatory society, with a plethora of regulations, and every area of social life is defined by certain regulations. It is worth exploring why such a “regulatory culture” has developed. Let us first look at specific aspects of the regulatory culture of society: a few examples to illustrate these issues.

The greatest statute in the United States is the Constitution. In this society, the Constitution is a central part of the culture, not just a central part of politics and law. I remember once a professor came to Fudan University to give a lecture, and a Chinese student asked a question: “There is no fixed ideology in the United States, what do people unify their thoughts based on?” This was a very typical Chinese question, and the professor was puzzled. After explaining, he understood what the student wanted to ask. He thought for a while and then said, “The Constitution.” The answer seemed to be a windy one; the Constitution is a law, not an ideology. Ideologies do not have the force of law. But the answer does reflect the customary American response: the Constitution is culture, not just law. The Constitution profoundly embodies the dominant ideology of the West. And it turns it into law. The Constitution has been deeply imprinted on people’s hearts and minds for more than two hundred years and has become the final arbiter of social disputes. Not everyone thinks of the Constitution all the time, but when a dispute arises, the only thing everyone can rely on that they feel they can trust is the Constitution. (See Chapter 2, Section 5, “Two Centuries of the Constitution.”)

The Constitution is too abstract a statute, and there are thousands of specific statutes that regulate people’s behavior on a daily basis. I personally feel that most people in Eastern societies and Eastern cultures may find these regulations too harsh. People who grow up in Eastern culture, if they really live in American society, sometimes do not feel so comfortable and free.

Alcohol, there are strict regulations to control. People who are underage cannot drink alcohol, and drinking alcohol is a violation of the law. Stores must obtain a government license to sell alcohol, and no store or restaurant is allowed to sell alcohol without a license. Iowa City’s supermarkets do not sell alcohol on Sunday mornings before 12:00 p.m., on the grounds that people are expected to be at church for Mass at that time. Of course, this is not the intention of the government, but a religious influence and a tradition.

Food products, too, are regulated by strict regulations. For example, the maximum standards for chemical elements in fruits and vegetables, and the marketing standards for meat. If the relevant regulations are exceeded, the food cannot be marketed, and if the regulations are violated, there will be severe penalties. Large fines are imposed.

Cars, there are so many that it’s amazing how many there are, basically one for every family and many families have two. How to manage cars has become a major problem for society. Strict regulations have been established to regulate “car behavior”. Traffic rules were very strict. Everyone who wants to get a driver’s license must pass a special test. At high speed, people must also comply with these rules, otherwise it is not impossible for a car to destroy people. Gridlock traffic is a headache. Parking (Parking) is a big problem. On both sides of the street, there are clear signs indicating whether you can park. If you park in a place where you can’t park, you will receive a fine (Ticket) and if you don’t pay, you will be notified by the court to appear in court or have trouble renewing your license next time. Freeways, called highways, also have strict rules about how fast cars can drive, usually between 50-65 mph. There are police patrols on the highway, and cars found speeding are subject to fines of several dozen dollars, which is a typical amount.

Sitting or driving in a car, the person in the front must wear a seat belt. If you do not wear a seat belt, you are also in violation of the law. (In this regard, the laws of each state are not exactly the same, some stipulate that while driving on the highway one must wear a seat belt, and some stipulate that while driving on city streets one must also wear one).

In terms of taxation, I am afraid that there are the most detailed regulations, probably because it is related to the government’s revenue. Government tax regulations are so detailed that the average person would have to study them for a long time. There are rules for every detailed aspect. If you violate these rules, you can be punished very severely. Therefore, everyone has to be careful when dealing with government taxes. If you don’t pay or can’t pay your property taxes, the government has the right to take that part of your property and sell it against your taxes. Anyone has to report income to the government. In this respect, Americans are the least free. (See Chapter 4, Section 5, “The Tax System” and Chapter 7, Section 6, “Transparent Deliberation.”)

Schooling, too, has strict rules for admission, exams, tuition, credits, jobs for teaching assistants, health insurance, and everything else. These regulations regulate the activities of the school. It is entirely possible for these regulations to keep students who violate them out of school.

Factories, government agencies, schools, military agencies, and other fields have their own detailed regulations. By human nature, people do not want to obey the rules and regulations, they want to live freely and unrestrainedly. But regulations are mandatory, and people should or must comply with them. There are special places in parking lots for people with disabilities that people don’t normally use. Street-side parking places sometimes have automatic toll timing devices, and most people will automatically put coins in and keep track of their time. Traffic rules are also obeyed by everyone. Even if there are no cars, people will not cross the street until the light indicating that they can cross the street is on. People do not smoke in places where it is written “Do Not Smoke”. Buses are generally unmanned, and coins are automatically thrown into a device, and at the end of the line, when the driver is sometimes not on board, passengers generally throw in their coins. This is especially true for the law. Why does this happen?

The famous scholar H. S. Commager says that to ask an American to obey a certain rule is an insult and a challenge to him, that is, what I said about the incompatibility between the requirements of human nature and compliance. But he adds that Americans have a peculiar attitude toward the law. At first glance, it seems that Americans do not obey the law, and everyone is guilty of minor infractions, though Americans are reverent of the law. Commager’s explanation is that Americans believe that the American nation thrives on contempt for tradition and authority, with regulations representing tradition and discipline representing authority. But the government and the Constitution are valid and cannot tolerate attacks and disobedience, as the development of society proves. That’s why people revere the law. And most of the exhaustive regulations of modern society are adopted by the legislature. Many of the aforementioned regulations, which have a legal form, in a way harmonize the sense of anti-regulation and the sense of following the law.

American society can be described as a “regulatory society”, although the phenomenon of lawlessness and crime is quite worrying. However, the whole process of society is regulated by various regulations. There must be a reason why the law works the way it does. Naturally, I cannot say what the reason must be, but in addition to the analysis of Kang Maji, I can think again.

It is a fact that the United States is a young society that has not historically developed a complex social class structure, unlike European and Eastern societies. European and Eastern societies have a long history in which tradition and non-tradition, authority and non-authority have been personified. Some groups represent tradition and some represent authority. These groups or classes occupy a certain position in society and assume the function of coordinating interpersonal behavior when social conflicts and conflicts of interest develop. In societies with a long history and culture, the coordinating factor is the “humanization” of groups with culture, power, wealth or tradition in society. In this cultural climate, regulations cannot play a dominant role. As long as this interpersonal structure or humanized coordination mechanism does not change, it is difficult for regulations to be effective. In contrast, when the United States emerged on the stage of history as a new nation, there was no strong “humanized” coordinating mechanism. A society, in turn, must have coordination mechanisms. That is why the common set of rules and regulations had a stronger position. Everyone’s interests are protected by the law, and there is no “humanized coordination”. This is the basis of the “regulatory society” of the United States. Needless to say, on this basis, regulations have developed, and there are differences in interest orientation, and it is not possible to protect every member of a society equally. The role of cultural mechanisms resulting from historical development in the formation of a regulatory society is only emphasized here.

Another important reason is the rapid advancement of technology after World War II. I think this has also contributed to the regulation of society. The development of high technology, especially the results of bringing high technology into the homes of ordinary people, so that people must comply with the necessary rules, because without rules, not only can one not enjoy high technology, but it also may be dangerous. Such as cars becoming faster and faster, without strict rules this will be life threatening; as highways are evermore developed, those who do not abide by the rules may not be able to travel; television, VCR, video cameras, washing machines, rice cookers, microwave ovens, audio equipment, vacuum cleaners, weeders, egg beaters, slicers, envelope openers, can openers, massagers, electric toothbrushes, shavers, video games, etc., are required to know than the natural society Simple tools require a much more complex set of rules. In technology, modern devices such as computers, laser typewriters, faxes, and photocopiers refuse to work if their users do not obey the rules. In public places, automatic telephones, newspaper machines, vending machines, automatic cameras, automatic money changers, automatic stamp machines, automatic money deposit and withdrawal machines, all require compliance with the rules. And so on and so forth, under many different names. If the rules are not followed, the machines refuse to work. In the operation of society, checks, credit cards, loans, stocks, etc., there are also detailed rules. Americans grow up in such an environment, in a kind of “social coercion” to follow the rules. To enter this society, you have to follow the rules. This is not only a way of life, but has also become a culture. People get into the habit of following the rules. There is an interesting comparison. Americans cooked food, strictly according to the recipe, strict measurement of various condiments, with a variety of measuring tools, a minute do not want to differ. Chinese people cooking, rarely look at the recipe, grab a handful is. The progress of science and technology in American society, the development of more and more specialized supplies, they require each person who wants to use them must comply with the rules.

Naturally, compliance with rules may or may not be beneficial for social development, depending on the historical conditions. However, if one is in a society where there are disputes and groups living together, one always needs mechanisms to reconcile conflicts. The coordination of commonly set regulations may be imperfect, but it is the one most likely to be followed. The effectiveness of regulatory harmonization will be greatly expanded if it is combined with the rationalization principles of technology. Ordinary people do not directly accept high technological logics; they become a subtle force only after they have penetrated into the life of society.

5. Tax System • 1,700 Words

The U.S. tax system is an extraordinarily complex system that is not easy to figure out. Many Americans don’t quite understand it either. One political science professor told me that he once couldn’t understand a government tax document and called the department and said, “I have a Ph.D. in political science, but I still can’t quite understand your documents.”

Taxes are a major political issue. One of the main debates in the presidential election was whether to raise or lower taxes. The newspapers say Bush has successfully convinced many voters that Dukakis’ policies will raise taxes, so Bush is ahead in the polls. The tax issue is about how the government spends the people’s money, so voters are most concerned. In fact, taxes were the foundation of the United States, as one of the major causes of the War of Independence was the rebellion against the British government’s heavy taxation of the then 13 North American states. In modern countries, taxation is never an economic issue, but a political one.

Due to the complexity of the tax system, only its main points can be summarized here.

How do people pay taxes? How much tax do people pay? It is a very important topic in social management. Some taxes are administered by the Treasury Department, which is the federal tax. Local taxes are administered by each state. In addition to these two taxes, every family has to pay property tax if they have a house. In addition to these three, there is a sales tax, which anyone who buys something in a store also has to pay on most of the goods. This part of the tax is added to the price of the goods in the calculation, ranging from about four to eight percent. This is the basic concept of paying tax.

In terms of federal taxes, at the end of each year, the federal government tax department sends tax documents and forms. Everyone must fill out the forms in detail and return them, along with the taxes due, by April 15. The documents and forms sent by the federal government are quite complicated. Citizens are required to report all their income, such as wages, stock dividends, remuneration, other income, etc.

Can a citizen not report it? Generally there is trouble and on the other hand it is illegal. Violation of tax laws can be serious enough to go to jail. Some people are careless and omit to report their income, which results in serious consequences. Because it is not clear at this point whether it is carelessness or intentionality. The government knows all about most of the income that citizens receive, salaries, fees, stock dividends, etc. The United States has a fairly developed computer system. Citizens each have a social security number, and individual companies and organizations enter this information into the government’s computers when they pay. Thus, the government can check the computer to know whether the statement is true or not. Of course, there are many people who evade taxes, and many high-ranking officials have been involved in scandals in this area.

A significant portion of federal and state taxes are already deducted directly when the typical hiring organization pays wages. This money does not meet with the citizen and goes directly to the federal and state government accounts. In addition, the employer also directly deducts the cost of social security, which is stored under the citizen’s social security number for future retirement. So when citizens get their paycheck, a significant amount of taxes have already been deducted.

There are also various rules for citizens to fill out the forms, such as whether they are married or not, whether they have children, whether their parents are income dependent, etc. There are different rules for different categories. Each person has to fill in the details. There are also clear rules about what income is to be reported and what income is not to be reported, such as disabled veteran’s payments, employee disability payments, child benefits, gifts or other inherited property, compassionate payments, disaster compensation payments, partial scholarships, etc., which do not have to be reported, but money received from foundations, teaching, research, etc., salary income, profits from the sale of personal property, scholarships, and money received outside the United States must be reported. Failure to do so is illegal. There are detailed rules for all yearly income, minus those that are exempt under the law, such as some income from retirement, some income from persons over 65 years of age, blind persons, children, etc. In addition, there are complex provisions concerning tax exemptions for investments, official office expenses, etc. Other than that, they are all taxable.

Since the government takes a portion of the citizen’s money in advance, the citizen must calculate whether the portion taken by the government is greater or less than the amount of tax that should be collected. In addition to the above, there are some medical and dental expenses, state and local taxes (there are agreements between governments), property taxes, interest paid by citizens, loans paid, 65% interest on personal income, grants, military payments (political contributions, societies, club fees, blood donations, etc. are not tax deductible). Some of the expenses needed for work are also tax-free, such as security facilities, gadgets, necessary clothing, protective clothing, medical examination fees, fees for professional organizations, subscription to professional publications, etc. After all of these items are clarified and calculated, the final total is the portion that is taxable by the federal government. In the handbook sent by the federal government, you can find out how much income should be taxed, and then compare it to the portion deducted in advance, and make up for the excess.

How much tax the average family pays, we can look at. After deducting the various tax exemptions, the remaining amount of income has to be taxed, and there is a difference here between the four categories: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, and head of household. The average annual income of the average American family, after deducting all tax exemptions, is between \$30,000 and \$50,000. We can look it up (1988 standard).

SingleMarried (Joint Filing)Married (Filing Separately)Head of Household
\$30,950 – \$31,000\$6,695\$4,913\$7,386\$5,583
\$40,000 – \$40,050\$9,863\$7,447\$10,554\$8,259
\$49,950 – \$50,000\$13,345\$10,581\$14,210\$11,741

As you can see from the above, federal taxes are quite high. It is thus clear why taxation has become a major issue in politics.

In addition to federal taxes, there are state taxes, which are similar to the federal tax process. The state government sends documents and forms to each citizen, and the citizen declares the tax exemptions, including some medical and dental expenses, taxes paid, interest paid, donations, etc., which are roughly similar to those of the federal government, and then checks the table and finds that for an annual income of \$29,950 – \$30,000, the state tax is \$1,837. Because the state tax is deducted in advance, it is also more than refundable.

In addition to federal and state taxes, you also have to pay property taxes to your local government. In Iowa City, you pay about \$1,000 per house, which is set by the local authorities after assessing the value of the house and is used by the city to build roads and maintain publicly owned facilities, such as libraries.

Adding up the above three items, a married family with a taxable income of \$30,000 pays more than \$7,000 in taxes, or about a quarter of their total income.

The tax system is fairly well developed and works well. The tax laws are quite tough and tax evasion is punished to varying degrees depending on the severity of the situation. Americans have an important job each year, and that is dealing with taxes. People often have to keep a large number of documents and slips to prove part of their income that can be tax-free. There is a whole lot of paperwork for taxes in a year. Naturally, taxes are a “core secret”, mainly because they reflect the true income of each family.

Taxation is one of the central issues in American politics, as well as in the politics of capitalist countries. In socialist countries, there is no regular, universal personal income tax system. Does the income tax system in Western countries have any social or political function? This is a question worth analyzing.

At least Americans have a very clear idea: the money the government spends is the money they pay in taxes, so they generally expect the government to spend it in the right places and to pay attention to government policies and actions. Without the tax system, people would not care as much about government policies and ideas because they would not be relevant to the individual, even though they actually are. The tax system is one of the foundations of the Western political system. Everyone who gives a certain amount of money to the government feels a responsibility to monitor it. Government officials often have to explain their policies just to show that they are not spending taxpayer money frivolously, and voters pay more attention to elections because they have a vested interest in who they elect. Whether it is the president, senators, representatives, governors, state senators, state representatives and local officials, all have a direct stake in the interests of individual citizens. Through taxation, officials form a “contract” with the people. The tax system fosters a sense of responsibility, however passive it may be. In a society where people do not pay taxes, the government has to spend money too, just through different channels, but the people are much less accountable to the government.

The tax system has another function, which is to organize the whole society. The tax department, through a sophisticated computer system, uses social security numbers to link individuals, organizations, and governments together in a tightly managed network. Individuals may not be controlled by anyone, but they are controlled by the tax authorities, a symbol of which is the need to report the “core secrets” of the family. That’s why some say that tax officials are “tougher” than security officials.

6. Science and Technology to Rule People • 1,500 Words

The United States is a country where everyone reveres individualism, where individualism reigns supreme, and where no power has the right to interfere with it. Ask most people and you will get that impression. There are plenty of people who worry that individualism is too prevalent. People from other cultural milieus who have spent time with Americans can find their individualism (not all of it) to be obvious and sometimes difficult to accept. Given this assertion of the sanctity of individual liberty and the private domain, what is the force that organizes these 200 million or so people and brings them into every part of the great machinery of society so that this society can function properly? There is a paradox here: the proper functioning of society, especially large societies, requires good collaboration and joint action by its members, and the values that people pursue are the primacy of the individual and the primacy of the private domain.

There are various forces that coordinate this clock, the coordination of political systems, the coordination of laws, the coordination of stakes, the coordination of money, and so on and so forth. Among all kinds of coordination, there is one force that cannot be ignored, and that is science and technology.

The development of science and technology acts in two directions: on the one hand, the high level of scientific and technological development requires a finer division of labor, so that each person has his or her own clear task, which technically guarantees the value of individualism. Electronic Automation, allows each person to perform a specific job in his or her own specific position, without the need to depend on others or to obey human orders. Only dependence on the machine and obedience to its commands. This is precisely one of the aspects of human alienation analyzed by Marcuse. Science and technology, especially high technology, to be applied to the specific production process, must be broken down into countless links, each of which requires a person dedicated to it. Although it is a very small link, it is difficult to replace him without training. The more high-tech, the more so. Whereas in the seventeenth century a single craftsman could manufacture a product from start to finish, today the situation has changed completely. This development of science and technology, in general, has raised the status of the individual, increased his self-awareness, and strengthened his sense of responsibility. Each individual has found a definite place in the big machine of society. In societies where technology is less developed or produced in the traditional way, the position of the individual in society is not very clear, roles are interchangeable, and the possibility of chaos and instability in social organization is higher, mainly due to the interchangeability of roles. This has not only an economic but also a political meaning. As long as a significant portion of people in a society are not clear about their roles, that society may be in structural chaos.

The development of science and technology also requires a tight organization. On the one hand, it is the transformation of science and technology into small links so that they can be operated, and on the other hand, these links must eventually be connected to form a whole. This is the most powerful organizational force of a society. It is outside the political and legal forces, but it is strong and powerful. Technology uses the logic of reason to persuade people to obey a strict rule. This process constrains the notion of individualistic supremacy. Imagine how many people are needed to work on a project like the space shuttle, and how many people are needed in its tightly organized system. Imagine how IBM organized each individual to serve. This kind of order is not a political order, but a technical order, as John Kenneth Galbraith said, is the imperative of Technology (process order), today’s human society has a peculiar phenomenon: it is more difficult to make people obey political and legal commands than to make them obey technological commands, a hundred times more difficult. Everyone carefully studies the precautions before taking medicine. But far fewer people listen to politicians when it comes to abolishing racial discrimination and obeying a will.

The degree of organization of society is generally higher in societies with high-tech development, while it tends to be less organized and less rationalized in low-tech or technologically less developed places. A large part of the function of the organization of American society is carried out by large companies and corporations that realize the logic of science and technology. In some less economically developed societies, strange phenomena can often be seen, where the degree of organization is much higher than the general level of society in certain areas and places where high technology is realized.

Scholars have also studied this issue. The famous economist Galbraith, in his book The New Industrial State, discusses his views. He argues that the widespread implementation of technology will lead to six results: (1) the use of technology will separate the beginning of any work from its final completion; (2) the capital used for production will increase; (3) time and financial resources will be more fixed for the completion of specific work; (4) technology requires specialized manpower; (5) technology requires a high degree of organization; (6) because of the use of time and financial resources, and because of the need for large organizations, society requires planning due to market conditions under high technology.

So Galbraith’s concept is that the development and use of technology will inevitably lead to a more organized society. The economic and technological systems will be decided by professional managers who will control the whole system. Galbraith calls this the “Technostructure”. In the end stage of technological development some people will automatically assume the function of managers, and they will be apolitical managers. But this management can largely reduce the burden of the political system. One of the functions of the political system is to coordinate human behavior, and society will be easy to govern if a mechanism can limit human behavior within the limits of rationalization.

Another contemporary author, John Naisbitt, in Megatrends: The New Directions Transforming Our Lives, depicts the same phenomenon, but more human, more psychological, more physical. He uses the terms High Tech and High Touch to describe this process. He depicts the powerful power of technology to rule people as Forced Technology, the application of high technology that binds people more and more firmly to the technological process and alienates them. A rebellion against this power over man arose: a rebellion against electronic transfer technology and against electronic automatic inquiry technology. Naisbitt attributes this to the fact that technology takes away the human touch and sense, so people have to rebel against it.

In fact, a further layer can be added, that is, the rapid development of technology has made its own means of governing people highly sophisticated, and may break through the general technical management, and go to the inner world of each person, invading the private domain of people. In today’s America, there is probably no power that can break through the barriers of individualistic beliefs and private spheres, but technology has this power. Technology guarantees material rewards, which is another condition. The fact that people aspire to high induction is a sign of rebellion against governance, and it just shows the power of technology to rule people.

Technology to govern people is a completely unexpected result, and it can be said that the flowers are not planted intentionally, and the willow will be planted inadvertently. Whereas earlier advocates of the use of technology did not explicitly realize that they would become a means of managing people, today the application of technology has become one of society’s most powerful means of managing people. To a large extent, American society is governed by technological processes. People obey technology more than they obey politics. Technological development has broken society into tiny interconnected spheres, one for each individual. To enter a field requires special skills, and the educational system essentially operates around this goal. Thus, education is again incorporated into this governing process. Education constantly derives and develops the energy of technological governance and the culture of technological governance.

The radicals criticize this phenomenon as alienation, which can be valid from a human point of view. But no society can do without science and technology, and the logic of science and technology is inevitable. Valuing science and technology, admiring it, applying it, it is obvious that this is not just a productive, economic, or purely technical issue. Therefore, while developing science and technology, I am afraid that the problem to think about is not that simple. Everything has good and bad, the key is to make a choice under what historical conditions, and how to coordinate after the choice.

7. Dogs and Cats Are Not Free • 1,300 Words

The preceding paragraph is devoted to the issue of regulations in American society (Section IV of this chapter, “The Culture of Regulations”). This is indeed a characteristic of American society. There are various reasons for the emergence of a regulatory society. As I analyzed in the section on “Regulatory Culture,” the harmonization of rules of equality and the high level of scientific and technological development are important conditions for the passage of regulations.

On the other hand, in terms of national identity, I do not consider the American nation to be a moderate and uncontested people. On the surface, it is often easy to get the impression that this is the case.

Most Americans are not loud and rowdy, and it is rare to see a fight on the street or in the car. It’s rare to see any heated arguments in the workplace either. In fact, these phenomena are the result of coordination under the regulations. Today, all kinds of regulations are quite developed, and there are clear regulations to coordinate all kinds of interests. The main reason why there are so many regulations is that society needs them. The reason why society needs them is that there are disputes over the things in question. If there is a dispute, there will be regulations; if there is no dispute, there is no need for regulations.

Americans are by nature argumentative. Where regulations are unclear, arguments often occur. This character arises from a variety of reasons. One could argue that the development of the United States shows why this nature exists, developing on a vast unowned land where everyone can claim to be the owner of something, and where there would be nothing if there were no arguments or no disputes. Westerns depict vivid stories of strife. In the light of modern developments, individualism is also prone to contention, and regulations reconcile not only conflict but also individualism. In this culture, it is natural for regulations to move toward systematization.

And the regulations are often unclear in matters of collectivism. The Japanese tend to go to court rarely, unlike the Americans who go to court at every turn.

As a result, various types of regulations have been developed to reconcile disputes. Most activities have regulations. There are regulations for building land, parking cars, plowing snow, raising children, and supporting the elderly.

To illustrate the fineness of the regulations, let’s look at a regulation governing domesticated animals (this regulation is in effect in one municipality).

The statute begins by saying, “The law protects people, and the law protects domesticated animals. While it is considered a personal right to keep domestic animals, some animals cause problems and must be regulated. Regulations are designed to make the public healthier and safer. Citizens should read these regulations and understand why you and your domesticated animals must comply with these laws. ” Here, animals seem to have equal rights with people. Many people keep animals in their homes, are regarded as equal members of the family. So when the law is made, this feeling of the owner must be respected and not harmed. The following is a breakdown of this legislation.

Rabies. All livestock, including cats, over six months old must be immunized against rabies because wild animals can transmit this incurable disease to domestic animals. Rabies can be transmitted to humans, so the law protects both humans and domestic animals from this disease. Animal breeders must keep immunization certificates.

Leashing animals: All dogs, regardless of size, must be leashed, except in the owner’s own house and property. If the animal is outside without a leash, it is a violation of the law. If the animal is lost, the owner will be fined and the animal will be impounded.

License: All pets, six months or older, must be licensed by the municipality and must have a rabies vaccination certificate to apply for a license. License fees vary. Licenses must be applied for annually, and after March 1 of each year, those who do not apply will pay an additional \$15. All licenses expire on December 31 of each year.

Fines. The animal control officer has the authority to confine and fine a stray animal. \$10 for the first offense, \$20 for the second, \$30 for the third, \$40 for the fourth, and so on for dogs; \$5 for the first, \$10 for the second, \$15 for the third, \$20 for the fourth, and so on for cats. If the owner does not come to claim the animal within 24 hours, an additional \$8 per day for dogs and \$5 for cats will be added. The owner must present a vaccination certificate and a license to claim the animal. After four days, the owner loses all rights to the animal and the animal is given up for adoption or euthanized. Every citizen has the right to claim a lost animal, and if anyone complains, the owner will have to go to court, where fines and penalties will be determined by a judge. If there is a violation, one can always call the reporting line to expose the wrongdoing of a particular animal.

Other violations. This includes abandoning an animal in the city, allowing an animal to bark and disturb others, tethering an animal to a public facility in a public place, confining or tethering an animal in a place without suitable food or water, keeping an animal in a place that affects their health, allowing an animal to disturb others, etc.

That’s just the gist of this legislation. This legislation is much more detailed. The reason for such a statute to coordinate dogs and cats is also because of the different interests that exist. Americans, some love dogs and cats to death, and some hate them to death. So, in order to reconcile the two, there must be regulations. I witnessed a family whose dog ran onto a neighbor’s lawn to play, and the owner came out and yelled at them. The owner of the dog ran out and took the dog home. In this case, there is no regulation to coordinate the conflict.

We can see that the law is very detailed, each possible dispute is included, if there is a dispute, you can follow the rules. If there is no detailed legislation, I am afraid that the public will say that the public’s opinion is reasonable, the mother will say that the mother’s opinion is reasonable, the daughter-in-law will say that the daughter-in-law’s opinion is reasonable, the son will say that the son’s opinion is reasonable.

With a little more discussion, one can feel that American society is not so “free” and not as free as one might think to do whatever one wants. Even dogs and cats are not free, and those who have cats and dogs are bound by them, and in my opinion, by choice. Although some people love dogs like life itself, and the dog and cat industry is thriving, dog houses, dog cars, dog clothes, dog food, everything. But dogs and cats are very restricted. If dogs and cats had any sense, they would have gone to Washington to demonstrate and demand “dog rights” and “cat rights”.

The more contentious a society is, the more coordination is often needed. Different coordination mechanisms can be chosen for different cultural climates. Regardless of the mechanism chosen, one thing that should always be kept in mind is the constant identification of potential areas of contention and the continuous development of coordination mechanisms. The various types of coordination can be broadly divided into two categories: “humanized coordination” and “regulatory coordination. Regardless of the type of coordination, the important thing is to have the appropriate coordination mechanism for each type of potential dispute and to make it procedural. In each place where a dispute occurs, not only the specific dispute is resolved, but also a general coordination procedure is developed. In this way, society can increasingly move toward the development of orderly dispute resolution. A modern society is also a society that is free from disorderly dispute resolution.

V. Interwoven Political Forces

1. Donkey and Elephant Rule the Country • 1,600 Words

The donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party and the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. Some people have imaginatively described the election campaign in the United States as “the battle of the donkey and the elephant”. In fact, both parties represent the ruling class of society and control politics, so it can also be said that “the donkey and the elephant rule the country”. When analyzing the U.S. elections, it is important to understand the pivotal position of both parties. It is impossible to understand American politics and how it is run without understanding bipartisan politics. American politics is run by both parties, but neither party is really a political party, just an “aggregated mass”. Compared to most Western and Eastern political parties, they are an even “rabble”. We can look at why American political parties are rather like a “rabble”.

For one thing, neither party has a set system of membership (some registration procedures); in fact, they don’t have members in the strict sense of the word, and voters can self-identify with whichever party they want. Voters can self-identify with whichever party they vote for in the election. No one recognizes them as “party members,” and they don’t need to be recognized to say, “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat. Even senior party leaders probably had no concept of “party membership” from the beginning. The doors of both parties were wide open, and access was free, like a temple.

Second, neither party has a systematic theory, and there are differences between the two parties on many issues. But there are also various views among the two parties, from the left to the right, and from the center, etc. Among the members of both parties, all ideas can be heard. Senators or Representatives nominated and elected by both parties are also free to decide what to do, and can even oppose their own party’s proposals.

Third, neither party has a complete platform, and if you want to find a copy of the Democratic or Republican party platform, you will never find one. Political parties generally have only two kinds of documents that indicate their positions and propositions, one is the platform formed at the nominating convention, but it cannot bind anyone. The other is the president’s speech about it. So neither party can tell people clearly what they really want. They only propose some reform ideas on domestic and foreign affairs at election time, not their basic lines.

Fourth, neither party has a tight organization, and it is rare to hear which party holds branch or membership meetings in general. American political parties are electoral parties, that is, they are active only at election time, and it is not clear who is a member of the party itself during weekdays. It is like a person who is in a market and does not know what he or she should do until then. The federal system, too, prevents both parties from becoming well-organized parties. Each state has its own independent power, and the boundaries between the federal and state parties are well understood, with each state actually having its own Democratic and Republican parties. What the local party organizations do at election time is not known to the national organization. Regardless of this, what people are talking about is whether or not a candidate with their party’s logo can be elected.

This shows that the concept of two parties is very different from that of a normal political party. But such loose organizations should not be underestimated; sometimes their strength lies in such looseness. Of course, it is not that the two parties are not organized, it is just that these organizations are not very effective outside of elections.

There are two types of political party organizations in the United States, one permanent and one ad hoc. The lowest level is called a Precinct Committee, which usually has only one person in charge. At the same level are town committees and other committees. At the top is the county commission, whose committee is made up of precinct members (usually), with the county commission being the more important layer. Between the county and state committees, there is a congressional district committee that puts forward candidates for Congress. Further up the ladder is the state committee. Because state legislation varies from state to state, the mechanism for creating state committees varies greatly and is not uniform. The state committee is the permanent body of the party in the state and is responsible for promoting the party and consolidating it. The chairman of the committee is a prominent figure in politics. Finally, there is the National Committee. The National Committee is composed of representatives from each state. The National Committee is loose, has little power, and cannot do much. Both parties do not have a formal central committee or standing committee, and there is no concept of a “U.S. Standing Committee. The chairman of the national committee is responsible for leading the campaign headquarters, promoting the candidates, fundraising and other matters, and has little power, but only a steward role.

In addition to this, both parties will have Headquarter for election services, from national headquarters, state headquarters to county headquarters.

It may seem that the two parties still have a more decent top-down, or bottom-up, organization, but in reality there is very little connection between the organizations, because there is no theory, no party platform, no fixed membership, and no idea how to connect. There was some connection between the national committee and the state committees, and little connection further down. The national headquarters also had no control over the local headquarters, which went about their business under the banner of the national headquarters. Because the main goal of the local headquarters is to win elections, there are no other benefits to be gained, such as a bigger share of the house, buying some cheap goods and riding in a nice little car. The people who come to work understand what they are doing before they come, so it works fine. As long as you can win the election, you can use whatever tricks you have. The National Committee doesn’t bother to control either.

The two parties are the most willing to have others fight under their banner. You can do whatever you want as long as you play under my banner and negotiate certain terms. National franchise stores, such as McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, are available nationwide. The head office has no idea what they are doing other than selling the same goods. Americans implement the same ideas in politics and economics. The two parties are like a National franchise, with each branch doing its own thing to sell its products.

In fact, there are not only the two parties, there are also many small parties, such as the Socialist Workers Party, the American Party, the People’s Party, the Communist Party of America, etc. But they have never become a major party that can compete with the Republican and Democratic parties. One of the important reasons is that the two parties do not have clear boundaries, including a lot of “dissidents”, There is no need for them to take refuge in others or occupy the top of the mountain because they are excluded.

It is sometimes unbelievable that two major parties that can dominate politics are so loosely organized. In fact the energy of the two parties lies in the looseness.

For one thing, it’s hard for American culture to accept a wellorganized political party and to understand a party platform that is ready to be used for twenty years. Americans are pragmatic and it’s not even that easy for them to come up with the idea. They want to solve the specific problems they encounter in society. The individualism that people are raised with makes it difficult for them to become so deeply involved in a political organization that they can disregard their own interests. People choose political parties for their own benefit.

Second, both parties are open doors, anyone can enter and exit, the grassroots party members can not talk about discipline. The U.S. political parties are an ugly “hodgepodge”, well known for their inclusiveness. In fact, this is an important condition for the long-term existence of the two parties. The two parties have no mechanism to exclude those who are willing to support them, but have a mechanism to absorb different people. Because there are no clear boundaries, anyone who wants to can come in and anyone who wants to can go out, and there is no real point in opposing them. The general public can only be uproarious, the main power of the party was in the hands of a small group of party leaders, unavailable to the general public.

Third, both parties are electoral parties whose main purpose is to win elections and do not have a fixed political goal. They do whatever will help them win the election. This mechanism motivates them to cater to voters’ aspirations as much as possible and to unite themselves with their voters. The policy ideas that both parties talk about actually summarize voters’ problems, and then propose solutions. This ability to adapt is also important for both parties to maintain their position. In this process, party leaders add the idea of representing the interests of big money and specific classes to the mix. Of course, after winning an election, they may disregard all their campaign promises and do something else. Voters have little control at this point.

2. Political Party Fertilization • 1,900 Words

The political party fertilization system, in theory, is already very limited. Since the introduction of the civil service in the late nineteenth century, public sector officials and employees have been divided into two categories, one elected and the other permanent civil service, with most officials coming from the latter system. They are selected through an open and competitive mechanism (see Chapter 7, “Selecting Officials”), independent of whether a party wins or loses an election, and do not work with the party. In practice, however, the party that wins the election is still very well off, and the system of fat-sharing still exists among political officials, and not in small numbers. According to the New York Times, the number of presidential appointees of all kinds, full-time or part-time, substantive or honorary, adds up to about 8,000. The article estimates that there are around two million federal officials (some estimates are much higher), so 8,000 seems like an insignificant number, but it is not. These 8,000 positions are all important positions, the status is important, and there is a lot of money involved. Once a political party wins, it gets a piece of meat, and those who have made meritorious achievements in the election are rewarded with a title and a salary. Soon after Bush was elected as the forty-first president, Reagan asked all such officials to resign in general, so that the president-elect to organize a new team.

Why is this a fat piece of meat? let’s look at what is included in this meat.

14 cabinet ministers with an annual salary of \$99,800.

Their deputies earn between \$75,500 and \$89,500 per year.

134 ambassadors abroad, with an annual salary of \$75,500.

Head of the various control committees, with an annual salary of \$82,500.

White House attorney and physician at \$89,500 per year

And so on, 8,000 positions is a lot of money. When you compare the salaries of university professors, you can get an idea. Very famous professors, especially those in science and medicine, can earn upwards of \$200,000 per year, while professors in the liberal arts generally earn less, with full professors earning \$40,000 to \$60,000, associate professors less than \$40,000, and assistant professors even less, despite having a doctorate. Naturally, not all of the 8,000 people have such high salaries. Some also don’t bother with politics, because these salaries can be pathetically small compared to the corporate world. Chrysler Motors general manager Iacocca’s annual salary in 1987 was seven million. One professor commented, “No one is worth that much.” Public sector salaries are relatively lower than those of the corporate world, but these positions have the additional attribute of political significance – the right to rule.

After winning the presidential election, the political parties have to consider how to divide the fat. This is a sensitive and complex project: on the one hand, it is necessary to satisfy all those who have contributed in the election, and on the other hand, it is necessary to form an effective team. If the same party is re-elected, this also involves how to treat the existing team. Let’s take a look at the two key figures Bush has already chosen.

Secretary of State James Baker, 58, is a lawyer in Houston. He was chairman of all four Bush campaigns and made his mark. He was Reagan’s chief of staff and served as Secretary of the Treasury. Close to Bush, can be said to be the most beloved family friend.

Chief of Staff John Sonunu, 49, governor of New Hampshire and a doctor of engineering from MIT, is credited with saving Bush in the New Hampshire primary. Bush was nearly defeated by another Republican candidate, Dole, and Sonunu, as governor, fired up the machine and saved Bush’s life. Bush chose him as chief of staff, replacing incumbent Chief of Staff Craig Fuller. Fuller had been Bush’s chief of staff since 1985 and was loyal, but Sonunu was simply too meritorious for Bush to pass up.

Bush keeps announcing his choices and appointments. Before the election, the rich contribute money, the powerful contribute, and after the election is won, you can pop the crown and get an official position for all those who have merit. The winner is the king, the loser is the enemy. The defeated party candidates in the election and many campaign assistants, have to look at these fat vacancies.

This process is not without checks and balances, because it is a fat job, and in a society like the United States, a mechanism is bound to develop. Of the official positions that the president can appoint, 700 require Senate confirmation, such as ambassadors and the like. The White House team and the advisory team do not need to be approved by the Senate. This mechanism controls the president’s appointment power and makes him consider the feasibility of appointing some officials.

In theory, the U.S. officer system has significantly weakened the party fattening system, but the party fattening system still exists in practice. This mechanism is not only found in presidential elections, but also in the elections of congressmen and senators. If you are elected to the House of Representatives or the Senate, you can organize a team, and the people who have helped the politician get ahead in the election will be rewarded. This is the official official position. Official positions imply power, and power implies decision-making. These important official positions often have the power to determine the direction of government finances, and far more people than just the official appointees may benefit from a party’s electoral victory. In addition, once you are in high office, you have a secure future. If the party loses the next election or is itself dismissed, or wants to leave, major companies or institutions will be eager to hire them at high salaries. Many former key government officials are now working for major companies. They have been in the White House or Washington and are an important resource.

The question is what role has this system played in the management of society? Why has this part of the political party fattening system been preserved?

One of the main reasons for changing the party fattening system in the late nineteenth century was that it led to selfishness, inefficiency, corruption, and at the same time led to an unstable system of governance for the whole society. Every official was appointed and might have to walk in the next term, so they had to grab a tight buck. Because government officials change in a whirlwind pattern, government management is not consistent and coherent. But the fat-sharing system at the top is still preserved. The fat-sharing system ensures that the elected political party builds an effective team. Although there are various drawbacks in it. However, from the management point of view, the president appoints friends and relatives of the same party to hold each key point of the political system, which is easy to form a highly integrated and convenient political chain of command. This system can do all kinds of things, good and bad, but from the political command, without such a system will be difficult move forward. Imagine the president does not have the power to organize the team, all the members of the team have to be decided by others, how can the whole government function? It will certainly form mutual constraints and conflicts. TThe reason why it has been preserved is that it is necessary for social management and political rule. Anyone elected to the presidency would want to hold such power, so it has not been changed.

Second, this power is unrestricted to a certain extent, and the president can use it to his heart’s content, but at the same time there are limits, the House and Senate of Congress have some oversight of government officials, including the president himself. Nixon had to resign because of the Watergate scandal. Many administrators have had to resign in the course of their administration. The biggest constraint is the quadrennial presidential election. After a new president is elected, especially if a candidate from the other party is elected, all appointed officials have to be reappointed, or if they are not appointed, they are free to go. Generally speaking, when the other party’s candidate is in the White House, all appointees will have to roll up and move out. A team that fails to win hearts and minds and loses elections loses office. Despite this or that limitation, once elected president, you can share the fat with your party and form a “one-party dictatorship” in the federal government. In fact, the federal government is also a “one-party dictatorship,” except that it is subject to the test of elections, time constraints, and the constraints of Congress. The successor is king, the loser is the enemy, in American politics this is the unbreakable truth.

Third, while the implementation of the fat-sharing system is beneficial to the winning party, it also poses a challenge to those who enjoy fat jobs. If the party loses, they will have to lose their posts, and then where will they find a job? There is no such problem for officials, as they can retire to their homes. But not for political officials, who will have to prepare for their future if the wind changes. Senior government officials naturally do not have too many problems, but many lower level government officials have such problems. It should be said that the social mechanism of the United States has created certain conditions for the implementation of the fat-sharing system, without which the fat-sharing system could not be realized. Where does a person who is a minister or the head of a department go when he suddenly has no job? American society is a society where everyone has to go to work and no one arranges jobs. This mechanism, which consists mostly of private companies and departments, is also practiced by schools and other sectors. If one is highly competitive, one can find a job. People who have held senior positions in Washington have a stronger competitive edge than the average person, some of whom originally had their own businesses, and some of whom returned to their former workplaces. Society provides the mechanism to absorb these people so that it does not constitute a serious social problem. Administrative officials are first prepared for this mentality when they become officials. Preparing to say goodbye to Washington after a few years, they have long started looking for a way out. There is no tenure system for government officials, and those who wish to do so will take the bait. Otherwise, every government has to change shifts and so many important people, wouldn’t it constitute a major social problem.

There are disadvantages to political party fertilization, the question is how to find mechanisms to monitor and control them. At the same time not any society can implement this system, it depends on whether the social environment has the corresponding mechanism. The political parties are fattened, to a large extent, to guarantee the unity and efficiency of the administrative team and the unity of step within the ruling class group, which is a basic mechanism.

3. Interest Groups • 1,600 Words

Interest groups, also known as pressure groups, are an important phenomenon in American politics and society. Understanding interest groups and pressure groups is not only an important part of understanding American politics. It is also an important part of understanding the processes that run American society.

What is a pressure group? In general, it is a group that wants to use common power to influence the political process. This group often has its own special interests, and they exert influence on the political process to protect their own interests or to get a greater benefit. Only a small number of interest groups are idealistic. The basic driving force behind the activities of interest groups is self-interest. The decisions of the political system largely influence the pattern of social interests and the distribution of social benefits. Anyone who wants to protect or expand his or her interests should influence political decisions first. Herein lies the basis of interest group activity.

Interest groups are also considered to be the basis of pluralism. Politics is pluralistic when interest groups can influence the decision making process. If there is no force in society that can influence the governmental decision making process, politics is monistic. There are various means by which interest groups can influence the political process, of which Lobbying is the basic means. Many of the active Lobbyists in Washington are representatives of interest groups.

Interest groups are one of the characteristics of capitalist societies, and also of some developing countries. Interest groups often play some peculiar roles. Linking politics and economics. In a capitalist system, the government does not directly manage the economy. Conflicting economic interests are ostensibly coordinated by government policies and laws. Various interest groups influence the formulation of policies and laws through their own activities so that they reflect their own interests to the greatest extent possible. This process, in fact, links economic groups to political groups, or rather, links a portion of economic groups to political groups. Other types of groups can act in the same way.

Interest groups are an inevitable product of capitalism. Under the condition of private ownership of property, individual interests are clear and well-defined, and the drive and mechanism to pursue greater interests are strong and powerful, so it is natural for individual interests to converge into group interests for greater power. Interest groups are of various types: economic, linguistic, cultural, religious, ethnic, professional, and so on. One of the characteristics of the capitalist system is that the government is passive (traditionally, the smallest government is the best government), and in order to use government to protect and expand one’s interests, it is obvious that individual power will not work, only group power will work. There is a tradition and culture of forming groups in order to make a difference, which is a characteristic of its social organization.

According to some scholars, six out of ten American adults are affiliated with an organization. There are political and non-political interest groups. Political ones include Republican and Democratic clubs, political activist groups, and so on. Other interest groups are as diverse as school service organizations, youth organizations, veterans’ organizations, farmers’ organizations, ethnic organizations, church organizations, fraternal organizations, professional organizations, labor organizations, and sports organizations. They are all independent “mass” organizations that do not have a leadership relationship with the government, and therefore have to find ways to influence the political process.

The top interest groups are business, labor and farmers organizations. Business organizations have a lot of money and can hire specialized people to lobby on their behalf to influence the political process, such as the National Association of manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Unions have extraordinary power because they have a large membership and a large number of people. Different interest groups have different levels of influence. Naturally, the smaller interest groups are not comparable to the larger ones. What really works, or often works, are the large interest groups, and the small interest groups have freedom of action, but are often not very effective. That said, a society’s political process cannot have everyone plugged in, and in that case, it would lose its unity. The natural evolution of such a system results in large interest groups with economic as well as political power.

This inequality of interest groups can be seen in the means by which interest groups influence the political process. All interest groups do not have the power to walk into the office of the president or the office of a member of Congress and order them to do something. They must influence them to achieve such ends.

First they must have the financial resources to support the people who work exclusively for the interest groups, which are the lobbyists, and who operate at the federal, state and local levels of government.

Secondly, they need to have members, and it is obvious that only a dozen people with seven or eight guns can’t make things happen; however, there is a view that because of the nature of “public good” and “free ride” [open door]. However, there is a view that because of the nature of “Public Good” and “Free Ride” [open door], large groups are not as organized and effective as small and medium-sized groups.

The third requires expertise, a system in which no one can speak for themselves in adopting policies and laws that benefit a particular interest group; they must be legislated and voted on, which requires interest groups to use reasonable, sufficient and scientific. There are naturally dirty deals to be made, but subject to the exclusion of the political process, each interest group monitors how the others operate, and in this situation, the interest groups must have specialized, systematic knowledge about them and use them to achieve their ends.

The fourth to have access, there are people who are good officials, and there is a big difference between knowing and not knowing. From these conditions, large-scale interest groups are naturally much more lively and powerful. So, if American politics is pluralistic, it is not pluralistic in this area. This is something that must be noted when studying American politics.

Large or powerful interest groups often have real power in their hands, which is a condition for their formation and existence. Some call such interest groups “Quasi-Governments”. They can control the practice of certain professions, which are mainly limited to professional organizations; they can set standards and rules; they can allocate public funds, and many kinds of funds provided by the government are eventually distributed by private groups. Despite the rules set by the government, but the county officials are often less effective. The private groups responsible for such matters are naturally superior; they have great power to influence the economy or a sector of the economy, this makes the government think twice before interfering, and so on.

There are various reasons for the creation of interest groups. The privatization of the economy is also the basis for the creation of interest groups. The capitalist mode of production requires the government not to interfere in the economic process, to obtain cooperation and guide the economy, or to regulate the economy and other social activities. The government cannot have wishful thinking and must take the major interest groups seriously. Conversely, the interest groups, coordinated by law and policy, must operate legally and must also look at the face of the government. This mechanism of interaction is one of the features of the socio-political and regulatory process.

As for the interaction of interest groups, it can be said that they infuse various demands into the political system and play a communicative role, serving to connect the political system to society at large; it can also be said that interest groups represent the interests of a segment of the population, and that no powerful masses without power can form a powerful interest group. Both of these phenomena exist. From the perspective of social management, the former function exists objectively, although many interest groups do not subjectively have such an agenda. But the latter phenomenon is one of the problems in social management. If well-organized, well-resourced interest groups are best able to influence the political process, then who represents the interests of the common people? Is American democracy democratic enough? It is possible to put a question mark. The existence of interest groups, as I have already analyzed, is an inevitable product of the American social system, political system, and culture. In this triple structure, it is impossible to identify other ways to harmonize politics and society. The question is at what point the inherent weaknesses and strengths of this mechanism become so out of balance that a crisis arises.

In social management and political processes, the existence of groups to collect, synthesize, summarize, and channel society’s interest demands is an important condition for political systems to be able to satisfy the greatest interest demands. Each political system has limited resources and can often satisfy only a portion of the interest requirements. The best policy is not the one that satisfies all of society’s interests (which is impossible), but the one that satisfies the greatest number of interests with the same resources. To do this, the political system must try to understand, through various channels, the various interests that exist in society.

4. Lay Advocates • 1,300 Words

“Lay Advocates”[乐辩士] is my translation of the word Lobbyist, phonetically and paraphrased. Many people translate it as corridor councilors [走廊议员] or lobbyist [说客]. Lobbyists are a very important phenomenon in American political life, and one cannot ignore this important area in understanding American politics.

What does Lobby mean and who is a Lobbyist? According to Karen Sagstetter’s book Lobby, Lobbyists are people who specialize in persuading people and who work with members of local councils as well as state and federal legislatures and agencies. They try to influence government policy and legislation, and they represent special private or public interest groups. They lobby everywhere to get the government or the legislature to do something or not to do something.

There is nothing derogatory or dishonorable about the concept of lobbyists, and it is not sneaky or unseen. The lobbyists, all of them, were visible, even powerful. Frank Cummings wrote a book called Capitol Hill Manual. In this book, the author sagely teaches Congressmen that although many historical stories contain the implication that “lobbying” is a dirty word, there is no sin here. It is essential. Cummings reasoned that no Representative or Senator can be an expert on any issue, and that even the experts in Congress cannot know everything about everything; nor can legislators know what a particular group thinks about particular issues, so from the perspective of legislation and governance of society, the function of a lobbyist is really one of providing information and expression of interest.

Of course, all Lay Advocates have intentions, and most of them are not arguing for the general interest, but for a particular interest. If the argument is successful, often a special interest group can benefit from it. Let’s take an example (hypothetical). Chinese textiles are low cost and sell for \$50 per suit, while American labor is expensive and costly and sells for \$100 per suit, so consumers will choose Chinese suits. This makes it impossible for American manufacturers to make a profit. So the U.S. textile industry’s lobbyists will lobby in Congress to pass legislation that either raises taxes or restricts imports. If Congress passes the legislation, then this interest group will gain significantly.

There are all kinds of lobbyists, of all shapes and sizes. Some of them work for private groups, and there are many of them. Some of them work for social organizations, such as labor unions, environmental organizations, and public welfare organizations. There are also many foreign governments who want to benefit from congressional legislation or make money from it, so they hire lobbyists to serve them. For example, in 1969-1970, South Korea sent a large number of people to operate in Washington for seven months in order to obtain \$50 million in additional aid. Some of them negotiated with the President of the United States, who had to get the support of Congress because of the separation of powers in the United States. Most of the President’s lobbyists are executive advisors under the president, and sometimes they form a council to deal with Congress. There are many names for the President’s council, but the basic function is the same: to influence the legislative activities of the legislature or the decisions of the executive branch.

Lobbyists use all kinds of means to carry out their activities, they have to meet with the legislators, to prepare documents, or to have lunch. The job of a lobbyist is not so easy. To become one, you have to have certain requirements. The main tasks of a lobbyist include: (1) research, detailed study of a particular issue and a particular bill; (2) testifying at hearings; (3) working with legislators, drafting speeches, preparing reports, drafting bills, answering letters, etc. In addition to direct Lobbying, there are other tactics, such as Grassroots Lobbying, which starts with influencing voters, influencing voters in the legislator’s own constituency; Cross-Lobbying, where several different interest groups work together with the debaters to publish voting records, put pressure on legislators through ballot records or public opinion, and so on.

On the other side of the coin, legislators also need lobbyists. They need to know the information and materials necessary to express their opinion on a bill. That’s why legislators often do not sit and wait for the lobbyists to come to them, but go to them on their own initiative. Of course, there are different attitudes toward lobbyists, some against them, some for them. One thing is certain, and that is that every lobbyist has his or her own goal. They always have their own intentions when it comes to facilitating the legislators. That is why the Capitol Hill Handbook says, “There is danger here.”

The normalization of the activities of the lobbyists was reflected in a certain degree of institutionalization. In 1946, the main statute regulating the activities of lobbyists was passed in the United States. Everyone who wanted to influence the legislative process had to register if they were paid to do so. In this way individuals, associations, and companies all fall under this scope. When registering, it is necessary to state the scope and field of activity, name, address of the company, name of the employer, number of years as a debater, salary, who pays the salary and daily expenses, which legislation is of interest, who receives funds and for what purpose. In terms of the law, it is naturally good. But it’s actually extremely flawed. Many people influence the legislative process, but they can claim they are not lobbyists and have no interest in the legislative process. In total, there are about 20,000 lobbyists working in Washington.

The activities of the lobbyists are often effective and significant. Israel, for example, has a very strong and effective platform. There are approximately six million Jews in the United States, and they have an above-average level of education, social status and political activity. One of their major lobbyist organizations, AIPAC, had 75 members and a budget of \$5.7 million in 1985. Naturally, Arab lobbyist organizations are also very strong. The book Washington Lobby gives a number of examples of the effectiveness of Lobbyists’ activities. Needless to say, few ordinary people have their own lobbyists.

One of the characteristics of American society is that the political arena has been turned into a big commodity market, and politics has become a kind of trading market like the economic market. You can sell your own “products” or buy other people’s products in it. Politicians bargain in it, you compete with each other.

This process is regulated by law, but the law first recognizes this political model, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that in political competition it is generally easier to sell quality products, which forces those who want to compete to come up with good products. On the other hand, large companies can monopolize the market, promote their own products or promote inferior products, and obtain “monopoly profits”. Although the political arena is not easily monopolized by anyone, the wealthy and powerful groups naturally have the advantage. This political spirit is a very important component of American political culture, and in fact is susceptible to the spirit of its highly developed commodity economy. The requirements of the commodity economy are to find the best patrons in the market, to market products, to obtain the best technology, the best conditions, and to obtain the maximum benefit. This principle connects the lobbyists with the legislators and government officials. They are always in the position of sellers or buyers.

Another cultural factor reflected in this is the secularization of politics. There is a problem of secularization of religion, and there is also a problem of secularization of politics. People engage in politics like anything else, such as doing business, scientific research, making money, etc. There is little sense that politics has a special status. Politics becomes an ordinary, everyday matter, and although the political power is held by the upper echelons of society, they have to be secularized to do politics, otherwise it won’t work.

5. Radical Organizations • 1,000 Words

Passing through the city center, there was a girl who had a book stall in a busy place. Not many people patronized it. I happened to be walking by and took a look at the books she was selling and was intrigued. The books on the stall included The Communist Manifesto, a collection of Castro’s speeches, and a collection of Trotsky’s speeches. It was easy to see that she belonged to a leftist radical organization. It is said that there are hundreds of such small organizations or micro-organizations in the United States. They are active, but have little political influence, and most of the population does not care about them.

The girl was also selling their organization’s newspaper, The Militant, with the following headline: A weekly socialist news magazine published for the benefit of the workers. The Militant was a 16-page newspaper, like the Shanghai newspaper Xinmin Evening News, and sold for one dollar a copy, which was more expensive than the average newspaper.

Browsing through The Militant, one can see a bit of interesting and thought-provoking news.

The largest amount of space was devoted to the defense of a man named Mark Curtis. This man was an active member of the organization and was accused of sexual assault. The story is that on March 4, 1988, the girl who identified him, Morris, was at home watching television when, after about 8 p.m., someone called for her parents and she said they were not home. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door and when she opened it, the man sexually assaulted her and beat her. The Militant published the activities of Curtis that night to prove that Curtis did not have time for this, and the newspaper called for public solidarity with Curtis.

Also in the news: criticism of Prime Minister Thatcher for expelling the Cuban Ambassador to the UK and the Third Secretary of the Cuban Embassy. Oscar Fernandez Mell, the Cuban ambassador to Britain, was one of the founders of the Cuban Communist Party, was elected to the first Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, and had assisted Zaire’s anti-imperialist struggle together with Che Guevara. The girl who sold newspapers once said that Cuba was the only socialist country left in the world, I’m afraid. There was a large report on political movements in Burma. One reported on a rally of 250 people in Zimbabwe to discuss Che Guevara and the Cuban revolution and an article on the experience of the Pennsylvania miners’ strike.

An article worth mentioning, so that one can probably grasp the basic idea of this radical organization, is titled “One Caribbean, One Destiny” and is about a conference held in New York. The subject of the conference was the prospects of the anti-imperialist struggle. The conference was organized by the Caribbean Unity Coalition. This organization consisted of 38 political organizations from 23 countries. The main speaker was the press secretary of the former Prime Minister of Grenada. His statement is worth reading. He said: “What we are going to discuss is the use of our coalition against theirs. Our coalition, meaning the coalition of workers, farmers, fishermen, young people, students, people who are suffering. Their coalition refers to people with power, privilege, capital, and wealth.” In today’s world, there are still many who speak such words. Many participants condemned the U.S. intervention in Cuba and Nicaragua, saying it was aggression and a major obstacle to human beings getting housing, education, bread and other basic necessities of life.

More interestingly, the newspapers also carried notices of this party, the Socialist Workers Party, running in the 1988 presidential election. The presidential candidate was Warren, the vice presidential candidate was Mickells, and there was a campaign committee. Such a candidate would naturally not get much traction and would probably be completely downed out in the noisy campaign of Bush and Dukakis.

The newspaper The Militant called for popular subscriptions, advertising that The Militant tells the truth and reports the facts and the truth about the war waged by the United States against the peoples of the world, and that if the truth were obtained only by major mass communication, we would be ignorant of the war waged by the United States against the peoples of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

As you can see from the above reports, this is a radical group, and there are countless such radical groups in the US and other Western societies, but most of them have little impact. Some of the issues that these organizations talk about are true, and some of their ideas are not unhelpful to social progress. The status of these self-proclaimed socialist organizations is particularly low in the United States. I am afraid that these phenomena cannot be seen in the context of the programs and activities of these organizations, but in fact reflect the relationship between the two major ideologies in the world today. Since the post-war socialist countries have encountered twists and turns of one kind or another, their economic development has lagged far behind that of the capitalist countries, so their overall appeal is not sufficient. The economic development of the capitalist countries, on the other hand, has produced an overwhelming appeal. Generally speaking, the public does not judge the merits of society from the point of view of institutions, structures, ideas, spirituality, human nature, etc., but from their own daily life, or from the gut, not from the brain. Because of the huge gap in economic and social development, organizations and ideas that advocate reforming the capitalist system will have no great impact in Western society. Therefore, American society also leaves them to their own devices. If one day the economic level between the East and the West is reversed, I am afraid that they will have to be regulated. In fact, we won’t have develop beyond them, just pull even, and the ideological battle may rise again. A friend says that this is a good point, and that with a few more serious recessions, there will be a market for radicals.

6. Diversity or Excellence • 1,200 Words

There are a number of people who view the United States as a pluralist society and portray the American political system as pluralistic. An early proponent of this argument was David Truman, who portrayed the basic mechanisms of pluralist politics in his book The Process of Government. The second was Robert Dahl, who depicted the basic mechanisms of the contemporary American political process in his book Who Rules?

I have translated Dahl’s Modern Political Analysis and understand his ideas better. His concept, strictly speaking, is Polyachism, not Pluralism. Yet whatever the conceptual differences, their basic idea is the same: in American society, power is shared, with many competing interests striving for power, in which no single interest can monopolize power, and no one part of the population is completely excluded from it. Power is shared among different social groups through such mechanisms. It is evident that pluralism is to be based on interest group theory.

The basic thesis of pluralism is that different social groups can influence the processes of power. The question is whether there is such a possibility, and pluralism advocates argue that there is.

For one thing, the United States is a country of immigrants, and the society is full of various ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, and differences between different industries still exist clearly. In other words, the United States is a “melting pot society” as Naisbitt said.

Secondly, it is true that Americans have a natural tendency to form groups to pursue their own interests. There are many different kinds of groups, because the government is the less control the better, so you want someone to control some things, either by organizing yourself, or by organizing to influence the government. The electoral system also facilitates this mechanism, and the American experience in the election is that a certain number of people can constitute a certain force.

Third, the separation of powers structure of the government also lays the foundation for pluralism. The separation of powers prevents any government department from holding sole power, so power in the United States is contested by a variety of competing forces. Various interest groups in society share power through competition, negotiation, and compromise. The government is the regulator, and the government has its own special interests.

The other group rejects the idea of pluralist politics and believes that American society is a “democracy of excellence. Most people do not enjoy political power. It is mainly the large organized groups that can compete, and it is difficult to say what role the small groups have. Large groups have far more power than small groups. And the people involved in the groups do not include all the people in the field. Groups have a certain tendency to have interests. In addition, the most powerful government is not at the mercy of the government; it can use its power powerfully to pursue its own policies and achieve its own intentions.

The elitists believe that the public, elected representatives and interest groups have no power. Power is in the hands of a small group of “power elites. Among those who advocate this idea are Grant McConnell, who wrote a book called Private Power and American Democracy (1970), Theodore Lowi, The End of Liberalism (1969), Wright Mills, and Ralph Miliband. Power Excellence (1956), Ralph Miliband, The State in a Capitalist Society (1969), and others. Mills, with some authority, says that the power elites command the major hierarchical structures and organizations of modern society. They run the state apparatus, lead military organizations, and occupy strategic command positions in the social structure. He argued that power in American society comes from three main sources: large corporations, military organizations, and political leaders. The U.S. economy was in the hands of hundreds of large corporations, which determined the socio-economic direction of society. Political power was increasingly concentrated in the federal government, with the president’s powers expanding. The military has become the government’s largest spender and largest institution. The leaders of these three spheres constitute the class of power elites who decide issues of life and death. The public can only look to power and do nothing.

Not only that, but Mills also sees these three areas of power as interconnected and complementary. A retired general is hired as a manager in a defense plant; an unsuccessful presidential candidate goes to work as a consultant for a major corporation; the chairman or manager of a major corporation becomes a government official. Thomas R. Dye has a book called Who Rules America? in which the notion is that America is ruled by 5,000 moguls.

Another book by Thomas Dye, also interesting, is called The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to Amarican Politics. His main point is to assert that American society is ruled by excellence. He says that America has been ruled by brilliance since its founding and continues to be ruled by brilliance to this day. The result of the rule of genius is the alienation of the people, the power of genius, and the protest of society, which constitute the dilemma of American politics. The meaning of democracy is rule by the people, for the people, and of the people, but the actual operation of politics is the inevitable rule of genius. The so-called rule of genius means that power is wielded by a small group of people.

Therefore, the management of society, in the end, is in the hands of a part of the brilliant, regardless of whether this number is five thousand or fifty thousand, they are definitely the minority of society. The rule of geniuses is a common feature of societies under the capitalist system. This therefore raises a question for the development of human society: whether democracy in the strict sense of the word is in accordance with the laws of development or the inherent requirements of large-scale human society. While Americans theoretically defend institutional and constitutional democracy, they also psychologically and culturally worship excellence. There are few peoples who worship excellence as Americans do. While it may seem that many Americans are unconcerned about many things, the hero worship mentality is actually very strong in American culture. This may have something to do with American history and national upbringing. This mentality and cultural values are the basis for the rule of excellence that prevails in America. Americans conceptually advocate popular democracy and practically accept the rule of excellence (see Chapter 3, Section 4, “Sanctification”).

This is both a peculiar and an unspeakable aspect of the American social system, and many scholars have recognized that the phenomenon of rule by excellence is contrary to the principles of popular democracy. But it is produced by popular democracy, and some people take advantage of it, and cannot be forced to abolish and restrict it, which in turn undermines the principle of democracy. This dilemma will be broken in the future operation of the American social system, but in which direction it will go cannot be predicted yet.

7. Participation in Democracy? • 2,100 Words

In recent years, a number of scholars have been talking about the latest development in capitalist republics – participatory democracy as the “democracy of the twenty-first century. Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends are the best examples of this theory, asserting that participatory democracy is causing “revolutionary change”. Harlan Cleveland, director of the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, writes that participatory democracy “may be the newest definition of democracy” in the “information society.

The form of organization of power in the United States is typical of republicanism. The establishment of the American democratic republic was a product of historical movement, and its formation was historically caused by the rapid development of capitalism in the thirteen colonies at that time. Soon after the establishment of the thirteen colonies, a free capitalist economy emerged, and the most developed industries at that time were the woolen and metallurgical industries, which could even compete with the British mainland. The economic and political restrictions imposed on the colonies by the British ruling class led to the intensification of conflicts between the thirteen colonies and their rulers. The thirteen colonies strongly demanded the establishment of their own regime to protect and promote the development of the colonial capitalist economy, thus giving rise to the historical demand for the establishment of a democratic republic in politics.

The establishment of the capitalist economy in the thirteen colonies meant that commodity production and commodity exchange achieved dominance. And from commodity production and commodity exchange inevitably comes the demand for a democratic republic, which is due to the fact that the entity of commodity value is undifferentiated abstract labor, and with this qualitative equivalence, commodities can be exchanged with commodities. Commodities are exchanged in equal amounts according to their value, and the socially necessary labor time, which determines the value, is calculated spontaneously by the society under the conditions of normal production, average proficiency, average labor intensity, etc. These conditions themselves imply equality, meaning that there is no distinction between high and low producers of commodities. The democratic republic is the political institutionalization and legalization of the economic principle that “commodities are inherently equal”.

In the past two decades, with the development of social productivity, science and technology, and social contradictions, some new phenomena have emerged in democratic republics: citizens’ participation in political decision-making or legislative activities abound, and democratic forms have developed dramatically in depth and breadth. Some scholars believe that the political system and political institutions of the industrial age have become obsolete and weak, and has now entered the stage of “participatory democracy” or “semi-direct democracy. In The Third Wave, Toffler asserts that “the third wave poses a revolutionary challenge to the outdated institutions of the second wave, and that this challenge cannot be met simply by changing regulations. For it strikes at the most basic conception of Second Wave political theory, the idea of representative government.” Naisbitt asserts that the United States has undergone “a shift from representative democracy to participatory democracy.” American scholars have written about “participatory democracy” in a variety of ways, summarized in the following three areas.

First, the actual holder of state power, i.e., the executive head, should be directly elected by the widest possible range of people. The so-called direct election is relative to the previous indirect election. For example, some scholars argue that the popular election of the president is a transition from the electoral college system to a de facto direct election, in which the presidential electors are virtually null and void, and even the political parties are dispensable.

Second, the broad participation of all citizens and local states and towns in political decision-making or legislative activity is even more important than the previous one. The founding principles of the United States placed great emphasis on the emancipation of the individual, including freedom of speech and keeping government influence over the individual to a minimum. However, the implementation of this principle was greatly compromised by limitations in communication and other equipment. Now with advanced communication devices, citizens are free to participate in political decisions or legislation, and can even stay at home and push buttons to express their will. The “electronic city government” in Columbus, Ohio, is a prime example of how political issues can be discussed through a television system. Naisbitt uses data to demonstrate that the 1970s were the height of creation and referendum in the United States, which leads to the inference that most of the laws in the United States are now made directly by citizens or by the states.

Third, because of the first two items, the logical consequence is the tendency to “decentralize” politics. Since citizens are free to participate in political decisions and legislation, and to solve their own problems, it does not matter who is president, and citizens and states do not care who is elected to Congress, they no longer need representatives. But for now, we are still electing representatives for two main reasons: (a) we have always done it that way before; and (b) it is politically easier to do so. We don’t want to vote on whatever it is, we only want to vote on those things that really affect our lives.” Thus, “centralization of power no longer works,” and centralized democracy has become “decentralized” democracy.

“Participatory democracy” has indeed expanded formal democracy, but it has also strengthened de facto centralization. This is an intricate process of movement in which the forces of action and reaction interact. With the major breakthroughs and wide application of science and technology, especially electronics, information, energy and computers, production has developed rapidly and it has led to a further democratization of the management of the production process and a further centralization of the management of people. The decentralization of shares and the increase of small and medium-sized enterprises have played a very important role in this change.

Shares in contemporary U.S. corporations are extremely fragmented, with a large corporation often having thousands or tens of thousands of share holders. Workers also hold a certain number of shares. Although the number of shares owned by workers is quite small, they more or less become one of the owners of the enterprise, and so these shareholders also demand the right to participate in corporate decisions. Moreover, since the monopoly profits of a monopoly capitalist enterprise cannot originate from itself, it needs to keep the small and medium-sized enterprises that can provide it with monopoly profits. The more the monopoly grows, the more the number of small and medium-sized enterprises grows. The participation of these small and medium-sized enterprises in the management of the economy on a social scale makes it possible to increase their activities in favor of their own development. Under these conditions, the principle of equality in the production of goods developed into a concept with democracy at its core. This concept requires a socio-political system that is formally compatible with it.

This requirement is first of all expressed in the democratization of the management of public affairs. Social public affairs are closely related to social production. The content and scale of contemporary public affairs are constantly expanding and changing, and it has a very important role in the development of production. It can hinder, as well as protect and promote the development of production. For this reason, people from all walks of life or small and medium-sized enterprises involved in economic management are bound to demand participation in the management of public affairs in the sphere of the superstructure, so that it will be beneficial to the development of their respective production.

However, the workers’ shares have no decisive power over the enterprise, and these funds of theirs are precisely controlled by the large share holders. Due to the extreme fragmentation of shares, big capital can now control even millions of small shares of the whole enterprise with two or three percent. In this way big capital invariably moves social capital, bringing their concentration to a higher degree. Likewise, since SMEs exist only as suckers for profits, their various efforts to participate in decision-making in public affairs, while contributing to their own development, are expanding the sources of profits and promoting the concentration of capitalist production. This inevitably leads to a situation of formal democracy and substantive centralization.

The corollary of this situation is that, formally, people enjoy more democratic rights and can participate in the production process and in the management of public affairs; but, substantively, all their democratic activities can only be carried out “consciously” in accordance with the requirements of the further concentration of capital, and their actions are unified under one will. Marcuse of the Frankfurt School analyzed the economic and political structure of American society and came up with a thoughtful observation: “The space of the private has been violated and reduced by the realities of the technological world. Mass production and mass distribution demand total appropriation of the individual”. This process inevitably spills over into the political process, giving rise to a high degree of political unity that no skilled craftsman or orchestra conductor could have imagined.

Naisbitt identifies the guiding principle of participatory democracy as the requirement that those whose lives are affected by a decision should be involved in the process of making those decisions, a requirement that we have analyzed for profound economic reasons. However, this participation in democracy is very limited. In his analysis of American politics, Naisbitt first confined it to “local politics”. The “instruments of the new democracy,” creation and referendum, were also limited to local affairs and had no role in national activities. In addition, the creation and review of the vote involved only specific social issues, such as the ban on spraying herbicides from airplanes, the creation of non-smoking areas, the recycling of beer bottles, the color of streetlights, and other issues, which were not effective in some substantive matters. In the late seventies, there was a movement to reduce taxes in the United States due to the passage of Proposition 13, a tax cut in California, and each state proposed its own program, but it died down after a year.

In fact, political power is increasingly centralized, and modern technological means provide good material conditions for such centralization. Many American thinkers saw this, and even Toffler himself, in his analysis of The Third Wave, was sensitive to this direction, saying that the first heretical principle of Third Wave government was minority power, that the extremely important and legitimate principle of the Second Wave era, namely majority rule, had become increasingly obsolete, that now it was not the majority that had the say, and that the political system had to reflect this fact more. Look at the American political system. Behind the facade of “participatory democracy,” the process of centralization is accelerating dramatically. Almost one in six working Americans is employed by the federal government or its “affiliates”. In 1976, with more than 15 million federal and local government employees and a payroll of \$167 billion, Robert J. Ringer wrote inexorably: “You find the world struggling in the hands of an artificial monster, the government. Government, which is growing larger and larger and more and more uncontrollable. This untamable beast is slowly extending its tentacles into every area of our lives, trampling on human rights as a matter of habit.”

Daniel Bell, a distinguished professor at Harvard University, said in 1976 that the central problem in Western political systems is the relationship between the desire for broad participation and bureaucratic politics. This contradiction has now been temporarily resolved under “participatory democracy”. The state functions by developing one structure, the expansion of formal democratic participation, in order to develop another, the strengthening of rule. This is a more indirect and effective form of rule, which is more in line with the principle of equality in the production of goods. Universal suffrage in modern America has added the elements of creation and referendum, which has partially transformed the form of universal suffrage from an indirect form to a direct form, where some matters previously managed by the elected officials are now directly intervened by universal suffrage. The development of science and technology has also made this formal expansion possible, and these formal changes have not changed the basic character of the American political system.

VI. Incomplete Campaign

1. The Fight for the White House • 1,300 Words

The year 1988 was an election year. The quadrennial presidential campaign is the most exciting and lively part of political life. In each election, the two parties engage in a fight to the death for the White House and its occupancy. This presidential election saw the Democratic Party launch Massachusetts Governor Dukakis and the Republican Party launch incumbent Vice President Bush. Both candidates and their vice presidential candidates are busy making campaign speeches and pulling votes.

There is a powerful mechanism for running for office, and that is the voter’s vote. If you do not get the votes of the voters, nothing can be done. Only when you get the majority of voters’ votes, you can hold the power and enter the house. Attracted by this mechanism, candidates in general elections must first express their opinions on issues of public concern. In fact, there is no ideological difference between the two parties; there are only differences on basic and specific policies under the same ideology. One could say that the differences between them lie in what attitudes they hold on some commonly agreed issues.

We can compare Dukakis’ and Bush’s views on some major issues (according to American newspapers).

Dukakis

Foreign Policy:

Opposes Aid to Nicaraguan Contras

Wants to strengthen economic sanctions against South Africa, seeks more comprehensive embargo

Calls for strengthening strategic ties with Israel, opposes any arms deal that could harm Israel’s security, and encourages direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan

Advocating an international arms embargo on the Persian Gulf, international naval forces protect the right to freedom of the seas

Budget:

Agree to increase income tax, but only as a last resort

Oppose Reduction of Capital Gains Tax

Support the “single veto” power

Willing to cut deficit, but no arguments, says will maintain current military spending

Health Protection:

Support universal health insurance programs that require employers to pay for worker coverage

Want to increase AIDS research funds; support directive testing for the military and for immigrants from countries with high rates of AIDS

Environment:

Require the establishment of national standards to reduce the transmission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, the main components of acid rain

Oppose oil extraction in important environmental protection areas and fish-producing areas

Oppose new commercial nuclear reactor stations, address safety issues first

Employment:

Called full employment the first goal

Wants to raise the minimum wage to \$4.25 per hour

Arms Control:

Opposing the Star Wars Program

Calls for negotiation of comprehensive nuclear test ban

Advocates Negotiations to End Testing and Development of Anti-Satellite Weapons

Social Issues:

Opposition to the death penalty

Supports \$2.5 billion bill to distribute to state funds to help poor and middle-income families

Oppose constitutional amendment to legalize abortion, support federal funds

Support the right to own weapons

Drugs:

Advocate for a cabinet-level committee to lead the entire anti-drug program

Will give more aid to foreign countries to help them prohibit drug production; will aid governments willing to stop drugs from entering the United States

Promises more support for local anti-drug and rehabilitation programs

Education:

Advocate for a national fund to recruit teachers

Companies will be encouraged to have employees work in teaching units for three to five years

Support the reemployment of retirees with expertise

Education investment program to be established to enable college students to repay tuition loans

A College Opportunity Fund will be established, and the government will guarantee tuition if parents provide funds for their children’s education

Bush

Foreign Policy:

Agrees to provide military and humanitarian assistance to the Nicaraguan Contras

Opposition to further sanctions against South Africa

The United States should be the broker in the Middle East and facilitate negotiations. But then impose conditions to never abandon Israel

Budget:

Promise not to increase income taxes under any circumstances

Want to reduce capital gains tax to 15% from 28%

Agree to the “single veto” right

Requires flexibility to freeze, but refuses to say what programs will be cut

Health Protection:

Want to eliminate the activities of the transformation of life insurance, IRA to implement long-term protection plans

Suggestions to promote the purchase of group insurance plans

In favor of local AIDS control education; in favor of AIDS testing for prisoners, immigrants

Environment:

Want to develop coal washing process to reduce acid rain

Support for the construction of nuclear reactor stations

Employment:

Requirement to create 30 million jobs in eight years; later deemed too optimistic

Opposition to minimum wage increase

Arms Control:

Support Star Wars research, support space experiments

Opposition to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Support the testing and development of anti-satellite weapons

Social Issues:

In favor of the death penalty

Opposes federal relief; favors establishing a new \$10 million tax credit for each child of a family earning less than \$20,000 per year

Oppose federal gun registration and licensing, favor loosening gun control laws

Drugs:

Advocate for a cabinet-level committee to lead anti-drug operations

Advocating for the death penalty for drug-related crimes

Advocate for a meeting of Latin American countries on how to end economic dependence on drugs

Advocates legislation to confiscate driver’s licenses and federal student loans from repeat offenders

Education:

500 Million Dollar Fund Planned to Fix High Schools that Advance Student Education

Require more tests for students and more proficiency tests for teachers

A college savings bond program will be established, with tax exemptions if profits are used for colleges and universities

From the above comparison, we can see that the candidates of both parties care about and discuss the issues that are of concern to the general public. Talking around these issues is precisely to win voters. The above nine areas are all issues that are discussed daily in academia, the press, politics and the public. Budget, health, environment, jobs, drugs, education, etc. are all headaches. A party’s presidential candidate will have to think of solutions to these issues. In fact, each candidate does not know if they can solve them, and in order to be elected, they must provide solutions. In fact, these solutions have been available to society for a long time, and there are multiple solutions. The job of both parties is simply to choose the option that is likely to have the most support or sympathy as their own. It can also be said that “choice” is not a very accurate word. In terms of political parties, this is putting a commodity, the candidate, on the market; in terms of voters, this is shopping among the commodities available in the market.

As a result, elections develop a strange logic: whether parties choose voters or voters choose parties. In many cases, presumably, parties choose voters. The result is that parties do not have a unified platform, party members can be indecisive, and voters can be left and right. This is the power of elections (see Chapter 5, Section 1, “The Donkey and the Elephant Rule the Country”).

In fact, whether a political party can achieve its platform after being elected, and whether it is willing to achieve its platform, cannot be checked during the election campaign. By the time it can be checked, the party has already been elected and is again beyond control. At best, the losing party can wait until the next round, and then the above phenomenon may happen again. In the election campaign, all you need to do is “talk the talk”.

This phenomenon has been much studied by scholars. Another is to see the election as a “referendum” of the previous administration’s performance in order to decide whether to replace it. The idea here is to replace the person, not how to do the job after the new person comes in. Anyway, whatever can be done to win the White House and the presidency, so be it. This logic requires a high degree of political flexibility and agility, to become a barometer of the demands of society, otherwise it is impossible to get into the White House.

2. The Path of the President • 1,900 Words

In late October 1988, the presidential election was in full swing. The Democratic and Republican candidates for president and vice president had already debated three times on television, and the results of various polls were flooding television screens. The presidential candidates were touring the states, and in a few weeks the presidential election would be held.

The president of the United States can be considered the most powerful head of government and head of state in the world. He is backed by the great power of the United States and can often generate policies to turn the tide of history. One can feel it as soon as one listens to the presidential candidates’ speeches, each claiming how he will keep the U.S. number one in the world. Nixon’s new book, popularly titled “1999: Winning Without War,” has something to say about the mindset of those who have sat on the presidential throne: “Peace and freedom cannot exist without the United States playing a central role in the international community. It is a simple fact that, as André Malraux once told me, ‘America is the first nation in history to become a world power without deliberately seeking world power status.’ However, if we cannot lead the free world, there will be no free world that can be led.” This grand statement, I fear, cannot be made without a particularly good sense of self.

Where did the president come from? It may seem like a strange question. In a political system like the United States, the president is elected by the voters, and anyone who gets the voters’ vote can walk into the Oval Office of the White House. In fact, the voters also vote in real terms, choosing between the Democratic and Republican candidates. The person who doesn’t get the majority of votes doesn’t become president.

However, it would be a mistake to infer from this that it is possible for everyone to become president. In the abstract, every citizen has the potential to become president if he or she meets the requirements. Specifically, in the two hundred years since the country was founded, only about forty people have had that luck. Others can have dreams of being president, but that’s about it.

The mechanism for producing the president has long come a long way since the day the nation officially voted. This mechanism, although informal, is a central part of political life.

In fact, candidates from smaller parties often fall through the cracks and no one knows about them. I’m afraid that after a little bit of noise and fuss, there will only be a little more “name recognition”, but probably not much else. Only the Republican and Democratic candidates have the last word, so to be president you first have to get the nomination of one of the parties. This excludes a large number of people, and within both parties there is a small number of people who can can be nominated.

A small group of people from both parties make up the Caucuses. The caucuses nominate candidates for various public offices, such as governor, state offices and the presidency, although there are different levels of caucuses, with state offices generally nominated by a caucus composed of the backbone of the state legislature. At the national level, the caucus nominates presidential candidates. The caucus is crucial, and the caucus for the 1988 election was held in Iowa.

After the caucus, there is a primary election (Primary). Primaries are actually intra-party elections that take place at the party convention. Convention delegates are chosen by state and local party organizations and are more representative than the caucus. The caucus determines a certain number of candidates, all from the same party. The party convention then selects the most suitable of these candidates to be the party’s candidate in the official election.

A look at the process makes it clear that the average person is unlikely to get the nomination. Only the intended candidates of both parties have this blessing. However, another thing to know here is that the management and organization of the candidates in the election process is actually taken up by the parties, not by the government. The two parties limit the possible number of candidates, a mechanism that must be in place for any democratic election. The job is a tricky one, and the government cannot do it if there is no organization in society to do it. It would necessarily be against democratic principles for the government to do it. It is important for a democratic society to consider what mechanisms should be in place to achieve this function.

The conventions of both parties are major events in political life. Hundreds of activists gather and television stations broadcast them live. The party conventions do two things: they present the Party Platform and they choose the presidential nominee. Voters can only choose on the basis of their candidates choice. The delegates to the convention are crucial. The way they are elected varies from state to state: some states elect delegates; some have some discretionary power; some have unrestricted self-determination; some have certain delegates elected by voters and some delegates appointed by county and state party organizations.

If you want to be nominated, you must first influence the creation of delegates to the nominating convention. The diversity of delegate generation mechanisms is consistent with the diversity of the political system, which is a hallmark of the United States.

Not just anyone can be a delegate. Delegates are generally officials, members of Congress, governors, mayors, members of state legislatures, in short, party dignitaries. Ordinary people can only look forward to being a delegate. The delegates’ duty is to decide what to put forward for the voters to choose. The conventions of both parties determine a total of two people, one from each party. The voters will actually choose one of these two people in the future, but of course there will be some non-party candidates in different places, but they will not make it to the national level.

The presidential campaign battle begins after both parties have chosen their candidates. This process reflects American-style democracy, but it is a democratic campaign of two, or at most four, people. That is why it is an “imperfect campaign,” just as the concept of imperfect competition is used in economics. I’m afraid that this latter layer of democracy would not have been possible without the previous less democratic activities of both parties. Imagine what would have happened if hundreds of candidates had participated in a national campaign. Candidates from both parties would be running around, giving speeches and winning the hearts and minds of the people. This party ring is very important because their election depends on the voter’s vote. This ring is indeed the real deal. Voters don’t have too much choice, but for these people, it’s enough to choose one or the other.

Voters do not directly elect the president when they cast their ballots, but rather elect the Electoral College (EC). Each state has a certain number of votes equal to the number of representatives the state has in Congress, such as 47 in California and 8 in Iowa. Whichever candidate for president has the majority in a state, all the votes in that state belong to him.

And big states are especially important, as are states with large populations. That’s why the second debate between Bush and Dukakis in 1988 was held in Los Angeles, California, against 47 votes there. California plus New York had 83 votes, and 270 votes were needed to get elected. Voters in each state elect the members of the Electoral College, who are elected by state party conventions, party committees, or other means. These electors must support the party’s official presidential candidate. Voters do not elect the president on election day; they elect these electors. Only the voters represented by the majority of electors have the opportunity to express their will; the will of the rest of the electorate is “forced” on them by the majority of electors.

On the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the winning electors meet in the state capitals to hand in their election certificates and register. In fact, this is already a “walk in the park”, because once the electors are chosen, the situation is clear and it is already clear who will be elected as the next president.

Another difficulty for the average person to become a presidential candidate is the cost of campaigning. The cost of campaigning has reached a staggering number of dollars; in 1972, it was officially announced at \$10 million, but unofficially… we won’t go into that, and what it was in 1988 was not yet announced. Money beyond a certain limit is the same for the average person: impossible to get. The usual sources of expenses for presidential candidates are donations and gifts. Of course those who give have their own intentions, and those who receive understand them. Rockefeller alone spent more than \$3 million on various expenses for his campaign. How can ordinary people enjoy this kind of democracy?

My analysis here is intended not to talk about a dysfunctional political system, but to point out just how far democracy can unfold in order to end up with a single political leader who can manage a large society. Our analysis of American democracy demonstrates this conundrum. Political and social management requires a centralized process. If it were completely and utterly democratic, the United States would not even be able to elect a president, I’m afraid. Political parties in the United States play a centralizing role outside the formal system. They actually centralize opinion in a less than democratic way. The voters’ choice follows this centralization process, and is a “second hand”. Why does such a process still have the appearance of a democracy? I think there are two things.

For one thing, American political parties operate and are organized in ways that are outside the political system. They cannot use the state or government agencies to achieve their programs. But the fact that they are outside the political system prevents their activities from being formally counted as part of the political system. This part of the more centralized political activity is done in an informal process, in the context of social activities. Political parties control politics by means of getting presidential candidates and various candidates elected. Once elected, they can use the legal process to achieve their will. Every society needs two aspects of political activity, a more centralized process to produce political leadership, and a more democratic process to lead politics. It is the latter activity that the American political system copes with. The former activity is determined by political parties.

Second, a more programmatic process of operation has also developed within the U.S. political parties (not exactly the same for the Democratic and Republican parties). There is some leeway in the various conventions and meetings, although they are controlled by core party figures. At the party conventions, there are contests between different candidates from the same party. This process not only effectively disguises the final manifestation of centralization – the right to make the final decision – but also finds a way to resolve intra-party conflicts. For the American political parties, I will make a separate analysis.

There’s a wonderful thing about the American political system: you can’t say it’s undemocratic, and you can’t say it’s democratic. That’s why I say that the U.S. elections are “not fully contested”.

3. Second District Democratic Party Gathering • 1,400 Words

After we have divided the macro activities of political parties in the whole election, we have a concept of the role of political parties in political life, in fact, the activities of political parties cannot be separated from their grassroots organizations, without the active and effective activities of subordinate organizations at all levels, a political party will become an empty shell.

Over the weekend, with two days off and no one working on Saturday and Sunday, it is popular to say, “Have a good weekend” on Friday. This is a way of life reflected in human relations. Probably the primitive people, when meeting and parting, said: “Shoot a rabbit.”

On September 16, 1988, at the University of Iowa Activity Center, I ran into several college students doing election campaigning for Democratic candidate Dukakis and local candidates. A small table was set up in front of the cafeteria with two girls and one young man. The two girls seemed very shy, not at all political. The young man, on the other hand, was very active and was happy to hear that I was a professor of political science and wanted to learn about how local politics works. I was immediately invited to the Second District Democratic Party potluck, or picnic, that was held over the weekend. The invitation, of course, was not free, but a “levy,” since the main purpose of such gatherings is to raise money for the candidates.

Around 5 p.m., we arrived at the venue, which was located just outside of Iowa City. The venue was located in a relatively calm place, either a farm or a park. It was a simple setup, with a large house, somewhat like the auditorium I had in my cadet school labor days, only with a floor and a large wood-paneled shed outside. There were two young men selling drinks in the shed, as the purpose of such meetings themselves is to raise funds and it is impossible to provide a lot of free drinks. Next to them were some young girls selling T-shirts with campaign slogans or candidates’ names on them, as a means of publicity. There was also a “Polaroid” camera, where a cardboard cutout of Democratic presidential candidate Dukakis stood, exactly like the real person. You can go up and stand next to it and take a picture, which is quite realistic. The main method of fundraising is by paying a “meal fee”. The “food fee” is high, \$8 for a single person, \$24 for a family and \$6 for a child. It was a case of “the ginger fisherman will take the bait”. Most of the people who came were Democratic Party activists, so they were willing to donate money. In fact, these activists are also dependent on the Democratic Party. They include congressmen, senators, state representatives, state senators and various local prominent figures. They cannot be elected to these positions without the support of the Democratic Party, so they are naturally very enthusiastic, and I am afraid they cannot help but be enthusiastic, about Democratic Party activities. This has become a “network” or “relationship”. Without this “network”, a person would lose many resources. It is reasonable to say that in such a society where individualism and private domains are prized, people will not care about this. In fact, I found that people care a lot. People who are not part of these networks are trying to get in, and some people are coming here with bad intentions.

Important figures of the local Democratic Party were present. Such gatherings are also important to these figures themselves. There is a strange interplay between the need for these people to be present at such gatherings and the need for these people to be present at such meetings as part of their “obligation” and as part of their own “public image”.

Among the people who came, the high ranking one was a congressman named Nagel, who wore an apple green T-shirt and went around greeting people, looking easy-going and dashing. There was another candidate for governor of Iowa, a Democrat, tall, wearing glasses, quite scholarly, named Christal, walking around. I went over to talk to him, and he was very easygoing, and asked me what I thought about the fate of Gorbachev’s reforms. I said that Gorbachev was facing many difficulties. He said that the Soviet system was solid and not easy to change. As a local person, it is not easy to be so concerned about international issues in the United States. The international perspective of local people in the United States is weak and does not match the status of the United States as a great power.

I became interested in him after this conversation. John Christal, the son of an Iowa farmer, received a degree in economics from the University of Iowa in 1949, ran a farm from 1949-1959, turned to banking in 1959, and was president of the Iowa Savings Bank from 19601984. He was chairman of the Iowa State Savings Bank from 1960 to 1984 and president of the State Bankers Association in 1973. In 1987, he was named “Iowa’s Farm Leader of the Year”. Since 1956, he has been active in Democratic Party politics. The literature also states that he has been the most respected advisor on Soviet issues for over twenty-five years. How he came to have this last ability is not clear to me. It seems from his experience that it was entirely business-oriented and political.

Many politicians are not professional politicians, most of them take political positions when necessary. President Carter was a peanut grower, President Reagan was an actor; From the top national leaders to small municipal public officials, it’s all the same. I’m afraid this is also a characteristic of politics.

This format allows most public officials to have a backup plan and no special arrangements need to be made for them. Perhaps more importantly, these people bring their long-standing business mindset and social skills to government, making it particularly adept at dealing with economic issues and social development. Local government is not so much political as it is like a large corporation dealing with various social matters. Christal has a good economic experience, which is a necessary condition to enter politics.

I also met State Senator Jane, whom I had interviewed in 1987 about the status and function of the State Senate. She was handing out fans with her name on them, also a form of public relations. Such occasions, of course, are important and critical and one should be there to make an appearance. Also met some of the Democratic Party leaders in the county.

Kerry Bowen, Nagel’s representative in this county, joked to me that if I went to a Republican potluck, not to tell them what was going on here. Thus, we can find that both parties, though loosely organized and disciplined as they are, have a relatively good top-down approach to their activities. Although the activities of the lower level organizations have little to no “ideological line” guiding them from the top, and are solely for the purpose of canvassing votes in their own constituencies, and possibly only for people of the same party in their own constituencies running for state or local office, and not exclusively for national presidential candidates. But such activities reinforce the congregation’s identification with a party, whether Democratic or Republican. The status of a political party is established more in the minds of the people, so it can be said that the concept of a party is political as well as cultural and psychological. One of the key things that makes the national systems of both parties seem effective is that they have very large and active grassroots systems.

What holds this whole system together is the structure of interests. In fact, the parties do not have very clear national interests, and the platforms proposed by the parties in the presidential election are indeed supported by the states because of their beliefs and value choices, not because they reflect the specific interests of the states. Each state and each party organization has its own interests and values, some very different, and they defend and pursue their own interests under the banner of both parties, and the national party organizations are happy to let them do so, which ensures some form of centripetal force. Through their activities, party organizations at the state and local levels realize the intentions and interests of local power players. This process has the peculiar effect of actually strengthening the party’s national coalition, even though local party organizations are mostly concerned only with their own interests. This is a major feature of the party system.

4. TV Debates • 1,600 Words

The 1988 presidential election, as in the past, was tight and very lively. Democratic presidential candidate Dukakis, Republican candidate George W. Bush, the two opponents made campaign speeches and activities everywhere. Every day there was a new twist, a shot in the arm to win over voters. Their platform arguments I described earlier (see Chapter 6, Section 1, “The Race for the White House”). What is actually important in such campaigns is not that voters understand their political platforms. The United States has a sufficiently developed mass media so it is not difficult for anyone to understand their political views. The fundamental purpose of such activities is to expand their influence, build up their image, contact the public’s feelings, and grow their power. Today, voters are less concerned with political platforms and more concerned with the personalities, abilities and images of presidential candidates. One college professor told me he didn’t like Bush, and when I said why, he replied, “Bush’s face looks unreliable; Dukakis is much more reliable.” What kind of criteria is that?

A high point of the 1988 election was the televised debate between Bush and Dukakis on the evening of September 25, to be broadcast live on television to a national audience for 90 minutes. Many people were interested in this debate. Professors in the political science department at the University of Iowa have been talking about it for a long time, perhaps because of their profession. Of course there were many who ignored it. Afterwards, some footage was shown on television, and reporters interviewed several pedestrians on the street who said they hadn’t been paying attention and hadn’t watched. The political science professors had a picnic that afternoon. When it was about time, everyone drove home and waited for the debate.

I was watching the telecast at a professor’s house. His wife, a laser technician, was also sitting there in silence. His son, an elementary school student, also seemed interested and watched until the end, when the debate began at 7:00. There were two opposing podiums, one for Bush and one for Dukakis, and in front of them sat four TV presenters, senior journalists, of course, to ask questions. In the back was a large venue with about a couple hundred people sitting down. In front of the announcer’s table, there were red and green lights to indicate speaker time. The announcers had their backs to the audience, opposite the speaker’s order. While they sat, the two prominent candidates stood.

The procedure is roughly as follows: one reporter asks a question to one of the candidates, then the candidate answers, and after the answer, the other candidate comments, which is actually a rebuttal. Both sides get roughly equal numbers of questions.

The debate was, shall we say, heated. Bush had said during the debate: “I wish it was a less friendly night.” Both sides debated taxes, deficits, education, drugs, abortion, armaments and international relations. The content was largely a reiteration of the insights they have expressed on these issues on various occasions, and because it was a live exchange, there was always a bit of wit and humor on display. Right off the bat, Dukakis said, “If he could do that, he’d be the Joe Isuzu of American politics,” insinuating that Bush was like a TV advertiser selling doggy pills, which got a good laugh from the audience. Soon after, Bush also made a brilliant remark saying, “This answer is as clear as Boston Harbor.” Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts, which is heavily polluted, and Dukakis is the governor there, and Bush meant that what Dukakis said wasn’t clear. There were also some tit-for-tat exchanges between the two sides. Dukakis said, “I want to make sure never to deal with the dictator of Panama.” Referring here to Noriega, Bush said, “All seven administrations dealt with Noriega, but the Reagan-Bush administration brought him to justice.” Dukakis said:-“To most people, the notion of President Quayle is terrifying.” Quayle was Bush’s vice presidential candidate. Bush said, “He’s done a great job.” Dukakis said, “Obviously the vice president is doubting my patriotism. I love this country, I believe in it,” Bush said: “I don’t doubt your patriotism, but can we make the country that left-wing? He’s that left-wing and to the left of mainstream America.” The entire debate lasted 90 minutes, with occasional applause and laughter from the floor.

The two candidates also made mistakes because of the tension. Bush once referred to himself as “president” instead of “vice president. Dukakis also made a mistake once, causing laughter. Bush was so sophisticated that he couldn’t remember the name of a defense system halfway through his speech and said, “Only ice men never make mistakes.” After a while, the moderator miscalculated the time, the time has not arrived to let Bush stop speaking, Bush spoke up in defense, the moderator said: “Sorry, I was wrong, you said everyone will make mistakes.”

The two sides in the debate are using their brains. Bush called Dukakis the governor of Massachusetts, trying to create the impression that Dukakis is just a “local official”. And Dukakis called Bush “Mr. Bush” or “George”, avoiding mentioning the title of vice president.

These aspects weigh heavier than the substantive physical appearance in the debates, which largely determines whether the candidates can conquer the voters psychologically. In addition to this, both sides paid special attention to image. Newspaper comments said that both candidates were successful in language, tone and style. Both are long-time politicians, so they can naturally speak well. The first requirement to be a politician in the United States is to be able to speak. The costumes were also carefully planned. Frank Greer, Dukakis’ campaign advisor, said that to ensure an elegant image, Dukakis brought several shirts and several ties to be on camera. Dukakis wore a blue and gray suit, white shirt and red tie, as did Bush. The American concept is that the image of politicians is not a personal issue, but a matter of whether the people have confidence in them, so they are very image conscious.

After the debate, there was a flurry of commentary from all walks of life. Some said Bush won, others said Dukakis won. People made comments with a lot of emotion, saying whoever they supported was good. Reporters interviewed members of each candidate’s campaign team on the spot, and all said they were good. NBC: “It’s hard to say who lost or who won.” ABC: “Both are very good, but Dukakis is slightly better, so maybe he wins.” CBS: “Nothing new. If there’s a winner, Dukakis is slightly better.” CNN: “George Bush wins.” Also, there was an immediate poll to see who scored more points. My impression is that the two men are about the same, but Bush is more seasoned, has experience in international politics and has insight into national politics, and Dukakis is slightly worse in that regard, but Dukakis has an advantage because the public has high expectations of Bush, and he just has to be able to handle Bush, and doesn’t need to have a clear upper hand to deliver.

This procedure is very interesting and has a high degree of openness. Such debates are an example. The election of the top executive head can be debated openly, making it a truly public affair, even though the candidates have strong party affiliations that the common people have no access to. Of course ordinary people can join the party and volunteer to work for the party’s candidate: campaigning, canvassing, donating, etc., but if they want to win, they have to engage in public relations. The nature of the U.S. political system prompts various political groups and parties to pursue this kind of publicity, or else they cannot get elected.

When it comes to expanding publicity, societies have two kinds of motivation: one comes from the party that wants to win, and the other comes from the public. In a number of societies, the demand for greater publicity tends to come from the latter. The material abundance of society has led most people to stop paying attention to abstract political principles or whatever programs. They want to have an emotional understanding of a politician. The system, in turn, encourages people to do this. Anyone who wants to be in this office must get the vote, and without the vote, there is nothing to talk about. The power of the vote pushes them to find ways to be as public as possible. The candidates lobby around, make gestures, go on TV, for the same reason. Part of what makes Quayle so unsettling is that he is too young and probably too junior. For some it’s always a little unsettling to leave public affairs to someone like this, and many people think so. In fact, Americans are not interested in politics, but in how the person is, which is called the “depoliticization of politics”.

This debate format also provides the public with a better understanding of the candidates. For a long time, adult citizens had the right to vote, but the voters never knew who was elected, how they were, what they were like, what they were good at, what they stood for, and the votes were cast, but there was no democracy. An important criterion of democracy is: a well-informed choice. Of course, it is difficult to do this, and the United States does not do it 100 percent of the time.

5. Dreams of a Congressman • 1,700 Words

Elections for members of the House of Representatives are held at the same time as the presidential election. On Election Day (November 8 in 1988), voters will elect members of the House of Representatives and the President at the same time, so the election of members of Congress is ramping up at the same time as the Presidential election is taking place. I contacted the Republican Party headquarters in Iowa City’s county and asked to observe the congressional races, and the headquarters staff was kind enough to let me shadow Republican candidate Don Redfern and watch him campaign in Iowa City.

Elections to Congress are held by electoral districts. The districts are divided according to the total population, and each district has an equal number of people. Each district elects one member of the House of Representatives, so each member represents an equal number of people. Each district includes approximately one or more counties. The situation varies in large cities. Iowa is an agricultural state with a small population, so the geographic range of districts is larger. Both parties have campaign headquarters in each district. The district in which Iowa City is located is the 3rd Congressional District. Under the district headquarters, there are county headquarters. The so-called headquarters is actually a space rented by both parties with one or two staff members. The Republican Party’s headquarters in Iowa City is on a two-story building, and the place is not small, with a space for two dozen chairs to make speeches. There were two or three staff members, one girl was a permanent staff member, and the others came to work on a volunteer basis. The headquarters was responsible for arranging the activities of the party’s candidates in the county.

One of Mr. Redfern’s activities was an private dinner with the district’s entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs of the district are the local elite, or “gentry”. They have a club for their own activities. Every Tuesday morning they meet for breakfast, usually to exchange information, talk business, and invite people to give speeches. This is the local power group. If a person wants to win a local election, he or she must first win this power.

Breakfast began at 7 a.m., and after a few minutes of eating, Redfern gave a speech that covered his views on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs, essentially his “same old stuff”. He is a Republican candidate, so many of his views are similar to those of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush. After his talk, the breakfast attendees asked questions, and Redfern answered them all. The entrepreneurs then played a game, handing out a small piece of paper to each of them and asking them to mock vote, which resulted in 18 votes for Bush and 2 votes for Dukakis. Naturally, since Redfern is a Republican, it would have been a lot different if a Democrat had given the speech. It was almost 8:00 when the entrepreneurs left the room, and by 8:00, only four remained. The breakfast was over.

Entrepreneurs have an organization of entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to win in an election cannot do so without pulling together this group.

Being a candidate is very hard. There’s a lot of running around and doing a lot of things throughout the day. Redfern drove 250 miles to Iowa City at noon to attend an afternoon event.

The first activity was a trip to the University of Iowa’s teaching hospital. The teaching hospital at the University of Iowa is nationally known as a well-equipped and highly skilled medical facility. Redfern drove himself there, and I sat in his car with an American professor without anyone in front or behind me. When we arrived at the hospital, we were led to a meeting place where there were 16-18 people, 5 of whom were with him (including us), 7 from the press, and the rest from the hospital. The crowd was surprisingly small, but Redfern didn’t seem to care, giving his usual lively speech about his basic views on U.S. domestic and foreign policy, then asking questions and closing. Leaving twenty minutes for him to receive the reporters present one by one, each could ask a few questions.

So it doesn’t matter how few people there are, the important thing is that thousands of people know about him through newspapers, TV and radio. In the United States, the hardest thing is to find an audience. Professors come to universities to give lectures, and it is not easy to find an audience. A candidate for Congress doesn’t seem to have much appeal. This is a very interesting phenomenon in American politics. Anyone who wants to get into politics has to ask the voters, not the voters have to ask them.

After leaving the hospital, the same car went to a student residence, where he was going to meet the students. Once there, Redfern’s main activity would have been to stand in front of the student cafeteria shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with the students. He stood in the doorway for a while, met the students and said, “Hi, I’m Don Redfern, a candidate for Congress.” Then ask the students if they are going to vote or something like that, purely for networking. It’s an extremely difficult job, and the students don’t seem to be interested in it, usually just saying “Hi” and passing on, and few are willing to say more, and some are extremely cold. I looked around and saw how hard it was to be a candidate for Congress. There was no one in front or behind, there were three of us, him, his assistant and me. This is American politics. His opponent is David Nagel (D). Nagel is currently the congressman for his district and is seeking re-election. Nagel has also been active on campus a number of times, giving speeches and such. Redfern didn’t seem too interested in the event, doing it for a while before heading to his next stop, telling his aides in a depressed mood, “Let’s go! I’m not feeling well.” And so it was.

The next stop was also a student dormitory building called “Mayflower”. The International PEN Center, famous in China, is located on that building. We drove ourselves there, were greeted by a female student, and were led to a meeting room with nearly twenty students. Redfern spoke for forty minutes, all about his views on domestic and foreign affairs, but with a focus on education. After the lecture, the students asked questions about social security, education and other issues. After the questions, it was over, an hour before and after, and there were not many people here. Outside the meeting room was the student activity room, where a number of people were playing video games, billiards and ping pong, and some were watching TV. None of them were fascinated by the speech of a congressional candidate and did their own thing.

That was the end of the day’s activities. Redfern drove me back to school. In the car, we discussed the process of creating candidates for Congress. Candidates for Congress are elected by a constituency. One can run if he or she feels capable of running, but only with the approval of a certain number of people. First, you have to go through a primary election, and after that you can become a candidate. The primaries are held among the party’s aspiring electors. Redfern won the primary and became the Republican candidate. The Republican Party supported his campaign, including giving him the funding allowed by law, and other support. He said the party’s support was very important and that without it, the campaign would have been difficult to win. In fact, in American politics, candidates have real competition in the primaries. But the parties’ primaries already exclude others. After the primaries, only the candidates of the two major parties have the possibility of being elected, and it is actually a competition between the two of them.

The two-party system effectively makes the candidates “clean”, a function that the government has no way of assuming. Because there is competition among the parties, it is possible to tolerate dissent. This does not lead to internal division. Those who disagree are voted out and do not have a lot of grievances or grudges against anyone. This mechanism appears to benefit the social management system.

Another point worth noting is that “high level elections” like Congress are not as attractive and inspiring, and most people seem to be indifferent. This is an important, though not ideal, condition of democracy. Democracy will not function maturely if everyone has a strong interest in politics. It has been said that the greatest enemy of democracy, I fear, is not tyranny, but democracy itself. Politics in the United States rarely directly affects the daily lives of voters, except in the case of taxes, so it is not difficult to understand the indifference of voters. This situation forces each candidate to do everything possible to travel, speak, and rally to make themselves known to the voters. This mechanism forces the two parties to come up with decent candidates in terms of appearance, character, eloquence, knowledge, associations, social interaction, etc., all must be able to take the stage, otherwise there is no way to appeal to the voters.

Take Redfern, a lawyer himself, with a lot of experience, good looks, excellent diction, a good sense of humor, and good with people. Nagel probably has the same qualities. The electoral system coupled with the party system makes for a high quality candidate. Either of these two, without either, could produce ludicrous results.

Redfern’s campaign was run by himself, and not many people worked for him. He talked about specific issues of concern to the people, not because the candidate was willing to talk, but because of the power of the electoral mechanism. Naturally, there is another force that is more important, and that is the political parties. It is difficult for ordinary people, without political party background, to win in the election.

6. Election Day • 1,800 Words

November 9 is Election Day in the 1988 election year, when nearly a year of intense campaigning comes to a close, with voters casting their ballots to decide who will be president, as well as for members of the House of Representatives, some senators and some state governors. Elections, including those for some county officials, are held on the same day. This will eliminate the need to spend more time on the various elections.

Prior to election day, each voter is required to register. If you do not register within a certain period of time before the election, you cannot vote. Registration may or may not indicate whether the voter is registered as a Republican or a Democrat. The election is managed by a special agency of the county government, and the list of all voters is entered into a computer and divided into precincts (precincts). The data entered is a voters name, social security number, address, etc. The campaigns push voters to register them as voters of their own party starts long before election day. There is often a booth set up by pro-party students in schools, asking you to register. Of course, you can also register at the headquarters, or at the election agency.

Each party’s headquarters also has a roster of people registered as voters for their party. When election day is approaching, they start to work on the lists. Party workers in the constituency also have to contact their party’s voters. In the past, they used to go to each house, but now they usually use the telephone method. Those who have volunteered to work on the campaign in the party headquarters also have to start their activities, such as distributing propaganda materials.

On Election Day, polling stations were set up in each precinct. Voters drove themselves to the polls, and I made an observation at one polling station. Voters came in large numbers and seemed to have a sense of responsibility. It is impossible to drive yourself for ten minutes, stand in line, and then vote without a certain perception governing it. This perception constitutes an important condition for the political system to function and remain unchanged for two hundred years. If everyone is not interested in voting, that is, in maintaining an institution, how can such an institution exist? Naturally, the development of material conditions is to some extent also a condition for citizen participation. Families have cars, and it is easy to come and go, especially in the countryside.

However, compared to some Western European countries, there are some inconveniences in U.S. elections (e.g., pre-election registration, no public holiday for elections, time limits on residency). Low voter turnout is often thought to be related to this.

At the polling station, voters fill out a small form with their name, address and social security number. Then it goes to another worker who finds a record of the voter’s registration on a roster typed up by the computer. The voter signs in, indicating that the voter has come to vote, and then goes to a third person to receive the ballot.

The ballot is a long strip of paper, about 40 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide (the ballot varies from state to state). The names of the candidates are printed on it, with the first column, for either the Democrat or the Republican. If the voter wants to vote for all the candidates, just mark the space after the Democratic and Republican parties, indicating that the voter is voting for all the candidates of that party. If you want to vote for each person specifically, there are the names of the candidates below, including the presidential candidates of some minor parties, senators, representatives, county officials, etc.. that can be distinguished one by one. You can make elaborate choices and vote for Republican candidates and Democratic candidates on the same ballot. This split choice was reflected in the outcome of this election. The final result was that the Republicans won the grand presidential throne and the Democrats won most of the smaller seats in the House of Representatives. Although these seats are individually smaller than the throne, the cumulative power of these seats is not to be ignored.

After the voter fills out the ballot, the ballot is covered with a cover and sent to the ballot box. This box has an automatic counter to count the number of ballots. After the polls close at 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays, all ballots are sent to the county government office in charge of elections for counting. The counting process is computerized. From 9 o’clock onwards, television stations report the results of the counties to viewers.

On election day, many polling stations are staffed by volunteers. The polling station also has “station rules” such as no campaigning at the polling station and no showing of ballots to others, which are posted on the wall for public notice.

What are the official duties of each party’s headquarters on election day? The activists at each party’s headquarters cannot go to the polling stations to promote the election, but each party sends a person who supervises the voting at each polling station. They all have a roster. When each voter comes in to register, the staff tells them. They then mark their roster. This serves two functions: one is to monitor to prevent people from voting twice, and each party has to prevent voters from the other party from cheating; the other is to see if all the voters from their party came to vote. If someone does not come, they will call to show concern, if there are any difficulties, the headquarters of each party to find ways to provide convenience, such as child care and so on. This is called canvassing for votes.

In the matter of preventing cheating, Americans are wary of others and are less than generous. Measures are taken from the beginning of the grassroots party primaries, such as making it impossible for one person to participate in both parties’ primaries by requiring that both parties’ primaries be held at the same time. Observers are also assigned to each election station on election day.

The counting of votes began after 9:00 p.m. Because there are several time zones in the U.S. mainland, the eastern states were the first to count their votes, and television stations immediately announced the results bit by bit, with the number of votes changing from state to state, so viewers could see the results clearly at any time. The presidential election was decided at almost 11:00 p.m. Central time, and Bush was elected. The western states, such as California, had just finished voting and the votes had just been counted, so the westerners were complaining that it was unfair. Because without waiting for their opinions to be expressed, the president had already decided that their votes were useless. This is one of the major drawbacks of the U.S. electoral system, and there are existing proposals for legislation that would establish a time when polling stations across the country would agree to close.

Of course, this is under the condition that the votes in the central and eastern states are relatively obvious. If the vote in the central and eastern part of the country is hard to determine, the votes in the west will be pivotal. Especially California’s votes, because California has a large number of electors and a lot of weight.

Presidential elections, I’m afraid, are a little problematic to say the least. There is an the Electoral College system in place. Each state awards a portion of the electors. Large states have more, small states have less. The number of voters has no direct impact on the presidential election. Voters effect the direction of the electoral vote within a state. If the Republican Party has a majority in a state, even by the margin of a single vote, all the electoral votes in this state belong to the Republican Party. The implication is that all the votes cast for the Democratic Party in that state are useless. From the final figures, Bush got 47 million votes, accounting for 54% of the total, and Dukakis got 41 million votes, accounting for 46% of the total, the difference is not too big. But when you look at the number of Electoral College votes, the difference is dramatic. Bush received 426 votes, or 79 percent of the total, while Dukakis received 112 votes, or 21 percent. Elections are majority rule, and one more person is a majority, while the rest are minorities. This political dilemma is still difficult to solve. Do 10 million people have to obey 10 million and one? But to choose a democratic system, you have to accept this reality. This time the minority fails, next time they will fight for this one additional vote (or more).

After the election results were known, both presidential candidates made speeches. Dukakis said, “I called Vice President Bush a few minutes ago to congratulate him on his victory.” Bush said, “I got a call from Governor Dukakis a few minutes ago, and it was sincere, and it’s a great tradition in American politics. For those voters who didn’t vote for me, I want to be your president, too.” Both sides thanked the people at their respective headquarters who contributed to the election, their respective families and their respective running mates. The losing candidate and his supporters also acknowledged the other as president and had no thought of contesting the election results and pulling the plug on the other side.

The degree to which this system works in an orderly manner is shown here. Although the whole mechanism of presidential candidate selection is not accessible to everyone, but in the hands of the parties, the final result is the real deal. The party that loses cannot say that it does not accept this reality, or that it has other plans. Even if someone wants to, I’m afraid no one will respond.

Generally speaking, it is a characteristic of the functioning of a mature system that everyone in society believes that any result of the system’s procedural operation cannot be solved by non-procedural means, but only by the procedure itself. If you want to change the outcome, you have to go through the procedure again from the beginning. When to start over again is defined by law. People believe in a procedure, not to bind themselves, but to guard against others. Procedures that some people can use to the detriment of others, and that others can use to the detriment of those people. The maturity of the system lies in the continuous effect of this kind of psychology and understanding, and that the society has provided sufficient conditions to ensure the formation and existence of the system.

7. Who is in Charge? • 1,500 Words

George H.W. Bush was elected the 41st president after a hundred battles. Dukakis was also battle-hardened, but was defeated miserably.

Why did Bush win? Why did Dukakis lose? This is not only a question of the two presidential candidates, but also a reflection of the election mechanism. It is instructive to analyze the workings of the American political process through the election of Bush as president and the defeat of Dukakis.

Richard Stengel, writing in the special election issue of Time magazine (1988.11.21.), says that there were nine key moments in the 1988 presidential campaign that determined Bush’s victory and Dukakis’s defeat. We use this article as a basis for analyzing such an important political process as the presidential election.

In the primary stage, Bush campaigned in New Hampshire, where he initially trailed Republican Senator Bob Dole and TV Preacher Pat Robertson. Bush immediately acted with urgency, summoning Reagan’s favorite speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, to return to New Hampshire with Bush on his official state jetliner “Air Force Two”. Noonan worked through the night to draft a speech that would cast Bush’s persona in a new light. Meanwhile mass communications consultant Roger Ailes advocated criticizing of Dole, while two other public relations consultants opposed it, arguing that it was inappropriate to expose the shortcomings of a fellow Republican. Bush agreed at first. Three days before the election Alexander Haig sided with Dole. Polls showed Bush could not win the primary without publishing ads attacking Dole. Bush was still hesitant. Governor John H. Sununu thought it could be published, and Mrs. Bush thought there was no problem. So Bush decided to publish it. They bought all the ad time on Thursday. Dole’s team was also meeting on Wednesday and decided not to use any negative ads. Polls showed Dole ahead, so they didn’t immediately produce a new ad. When they tried to use the old campaign ads, they were told all the time was full, and it turned out Bush won. If Bush had lost that state primary, where would we be today?

With things looking good for Dukakis in the primary, he also met two strong competitors, Al Gore and Jesse Jackson, and Dukakis thought he needed to get the support of New York Mayor ed Koch. He called Koch. Koch was concerned about Dukakis’ attitude toward Jackson, and Dukakis’ attitude was uncertain. Koch was against Jackson, so he was not too happy with Dukakis’ attitude. In turn, Al Gore’s attitude was modest and interesting to Koch, and he chose to support Gore. But Koch’s attitude towards Jackson was too intense, and he cursed Jackson at the ceremony to show his support for Gore, instead, Gore lost support and Dukakis won.

Once the two party candidates were decided, it was a battle between Bush and Dukakis. The initial polls showed Dukakis leading by 10 to 12 points. At this point, Sonunu suggested attacking Dukakis’ weaknesses: the Full Universal Health Insurance plan, the pollution of Boston’s harbor, and prison overcrowding. But Bush was a bit hesitant, wanting to wait until the Republican National Convention. But the public surveys showed that if he waited until the Republican Convention, Dukakis would probably be ahead by 20 points. Bush made a snap decision to take an offensive stance.

In choosing a running mate, the vice presidential candidate, Dukakis’ aides suggested that the person should preferably be from the South to mirror John F. Kennedy’s campaign. Dukakis had a number of candidates, but Dukakis chose Senator Lloyd Millard Benson as a seasoned politician.

Within the Democratic Party, there is also competition. Dukakis had to get the support of big players from all sides of the party. Reverend Jesse Jackson is one. Jackson wanted to be the vice presidential candidate, but Dukakis had no such consideration. Since then, Jackson has been trying to work with Dukakis privately, but Dukakis has been feigning ignorance. Jackson then made a stunt out of it. Rich Bond, Dukakis’ deputy campaign manager, called Jackson, who whined that Dukakis never consulted him. The problem, Bond said, is that you never explicitly endorsed Dukakis. Jackson was surprised, that Bond blaming him for doing too little. His aide suggested he go to the bargaining table, speaking vaguely. Dukakis froze for a moment and hung up the phone feeling very frustrated. Five days later, they met again. Jackson was enthusiastic, but it was too late.

Bush also had many choices when he chose his vice presidential candidate, such as Jack Kemp, Peter Domenici, Bob Dole and others. Bush wanted to use this choice to show that he was a man with independent ideas. He had many discussions with senior aide James Baker and others, but no decision was made. He finally chose Dan Quayle. It was a completely personal choice for Bush, and his aides were not sure how to treat this Quayle and how to introduce him to the press. They simply didn’t prepare the material for it. The aides felt at their wits’ end.

Dukakis’ campaign organization lacked discipline. John Sasso, his original campaign right-hand man, was sent away for some reason, and they rarely spoke. During the Democratic convention, the two stayed in a hotel, but did not meet. When Dukakis saw that it was not working, he called Sasso, who talked about his ideas: defining a campaign theme, doing a TV campaign and strengthening the campaign team. But Dukakis couldn’t decide again, and it wasn’t until August, after his percentages began to fall, that he had to re-instate Sasso. Sasso pulled out all the stops, but the delay had gone on too long.

The second televised debate, the most crucial one. In the first televised debate, Dukakis did not do well, but the second was more important, and its aides all urged him to fight like Rambo in “First Blood,” but he had reservations, and finally Dukakis agreed to his aides’ plan and prepared to attack Bush on the following issues: Quayle, Iran-Contra, abortion, patriotism, drugs, and Boston Harbor. On the day of the debate, Dukakis was not feeling well and was ill enough to cancel his three-hour debate training in the morning; he remained tired and slept in the afternoon and did not get up until 5 o’clock, only an hour before the debate! Half an hour before the debate, another call came in and Dukakis spoke for twenty minutes. The aide thought that this call prevented Dukakis from concentrating. Less than a minute into the debate, the questioner mentioned a murder case, a topic Dukakis had never prepared for and only addressed one of the six questions he had prepared. The debate was over and the situation was clear.

Bush was feeling bad after the first debate. The next day, Bush asked to be sent a daily memo on the issues to prepare for a rematch. For the first debate, he hired more than a dozen coaches; this one he wanted to do himself, and one day, when the memo didn’t arrive, he asked his aides to get it within an hour. Once on Air Force Two, he talked loudly to himself, debating an imaginary Dukakis. Before the debate, Bush’s debate coach chatted with him and drew laughs from him to ease his mind. Once Bush got on the stage and saw that Dukakis was very nervous, he got an idea.

This is one man’s account, which may not be comprehensive and may be sketchy. But it reveals to us a few key aspects of the presidential election. Personnel relationships are critical. Without handling those relationships well, no candidate is likely to win the election. Campaign strategy is also very important; without an effective campaign strategy, it is impossible to win, and every step and every connection can be a close call. The personalities and abilities of candidates also play a pivotal role in elections, and many voters do not think too much about the complex political issues. They evaluate candidates based on intuition alone. From this process, the election is a real battle within the primaries within both parties and later between the respective candidates of both parties, and must be fought to the hilt.

In the presidential election, who is in charge? is a complex question. The above material shows that different people, at different moments and at different levels, all have different roles to play. Of course, only those who have climbed to this level with the support of the ruling group within the party have such a problem. The common people have no access to the presidential election and can do nothing about it. After the presidential candidates of both parties have secured the nomination, they face an ocean and it is a fight to the death as to who will finally reach the other side. He who sinks in the journey across the sea and who can cross it depends on various factors.

VII. Political Pyramid

1. Capitol Hill • 1,700 Words

Congress has always been seen as the center of political power in the United States, and Congress has, in principle, the highest authority. I do not want to analyze in political science terms the organization, structure, function, and competence of Congress. The data can be found in any textbook. I want to talk about something concrete and vivid.

One day in September 1988, around noon, we drove up to the front of the Capitol. It was a magnificent white building. As soon as we got out of the car, we saw a number of concrete triangular stakes placed on the road leading to the front of the building, arranged in a twisted way so that vehicles could not go straight in. This is said to be a precaution against terrorists from the Middle East. Some terrorists have threatened to bomb the Capitol, so the police have to be careful. At the entrance of the Capitol, there are many heavily armed police officers standing at the entrance.

Entering the doors of the building, you encounter some more security police, and the inspection process is the same as the security check at the airport. The Capitol is a freely accessible place, and every visitor can enter and visit. When not in session, visitors can also sit in their seats to get a taste of what it’s like to be a congressman.

Once inside, I first found Sinclair, a leading expert on congressional issues. She was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and is now temporarily doing research in Congress, as if she were also working as an assistant to the Speaker of the House. Professor Sinclair gave a brief introduction to the organization of Congress and then gave a tour of the Capitol. The tour began with a look at the so-called “corridor” where the “Lobbyists”, as they are called, lobby to pass a bill and influence the legislative process (see Chapter 5). They were responsible for lobbying to pass a bill and influence the legislative process (see Chapter 5, Section 4, “Lay Advocates”).

The many chairs in the hallway provide better conditions for lobbyists, which is perhaps the most incomprehensible part of American political culture. Politics is a very serious matter of public interest, and the lobbyists are always lobbying for a special interest, which is a bit “out of sight”. But in the United States, this kind of activity is open and legal. And the government has set up a comfortable venue in the Capitol to provide services. Here is a certain spirit of enterprise, or business spirit. It’s legitimate for businesses to do business with their own interests and to be able to bargain openly. The head of the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Research Program who took us there joked that China should send more people here.

Entering the House meeting room, the venue is traditional, from the décor to the design is not up to modern aesthetic standards, perhaps it is intentional to maintain this antique style. The light coffee-colored chairs look rough. The modern equipment is reflected in the technology. Voting by congress is electronic. Each politician has a card that has a short tape with their code on it. To vote, the politician first inserts this card into a device located behind each row of seats and then presses a key. The member’s choice is immediately displayed on a huge electronic display board hanging in front. Anyone can see it.

There is usually live television coverage during legislative debates. There is a special TV channel to cover political events, such as the activities of the presidential candidates, the debates in the Senate, the votes in the House of Representatives, etc. So voters can also know what the people they elected voted for. This is a good way to monitor the situation. There are several microphones on the floor, and the legislator who wants to speak walks to the front to do so. There are often many people who are not on the floor when a legislator speaks. This is especially true when the Senate is in session. Senators who are not interested in the discussion of an issue leave the floor. They drink coffee and talk outside, or go back to their offices. They watch the floor argument unfold on television and then rush off to cast a vote when it’s time to vote. If a senator is a guest in his office at this time, he is likely to talk halfway and suddenly say, “Sorry, have to go vote,” and pull up his legs and run. This can be said to be a strange phenomenon in American politics. It is a supreme legislative body, but it doesn’t require everyone to sit upright. People are practical about this: what matters is that it can legislate, not how it legislates. The same is true for each member: what matters is whether I have a real vote, not whether I sit there or not. Not to be present without fear of what happens. If not, no one would dare to go far or fly high.

After the tour of the building, we went to meet with a congressman named “P.” from North Carolina. Congressmen have their own offices. The Senate has its own building and so does the House of Representatives. When you enter a congressman’s office building, you it is a little bit like getting on a plane and being closely inspected. Each congressman has a large office with the state emblem of the state from which the congressman comes hanging on the door. In a large building, generally partitioned into two rooms, the inner room is the congressman’s office, outside the door there is a secretary, in addition to several assistants. The room was filled with various documents. We walked up to “P.”’s door and informed the female secretary. The female secretary called in and said to wait for a moment. The female secretary enthusiastically took out a bag of peanuts for us to eat. Once asked, it turned out that the congressman’s hometown produces peanuts in abundance and is here to advertise.

Shortly after, “P.” came out, exchanged pleasantries, and then went into the inner room and sat down. There was some discussion. He was found to be easy-going, good at conversation, and able to follow the visitors’ topics. I am afraid this is a quality that a legislator must have. Elections are all sharp knives and are never polite. For those who want to be elected, it is very important how to win the voters and how to make them believe you.

Each Congressman and Senator has many aides in order to do this communication well, ten for the Congressman and about twenty to thirty for the Senator. They have offices not only in Washington, but also in their home states or in their districts. Congressmen are elected by district, so they have offices in their districts and representatives at the county level in order to in order to fully communicate with their constituents. The congressmen also regularly print pamphlets and send them to their constituents to report on what they have done. On such pamphlet I saw was called “David P.’s Washington Report. It said: He started promoting a piece of legislation to ease the burden on homeowners; his spending and lending bill was endorsed by the House; two local universities received federal funding for medical and space research; agricultural issues received attention; and congressional service projects helped citizens of the Fourth District.

Americans are not afraid to brag about themselves. I’ve heard for a long time that legislators get a staggering amount of mail. This part is free, so legislators can send it in bulk to stay in contact. When I visited, I saw an employee driving an electric cart and delivering mail door-to-door. At the door of one legislator, there were nineteen boxes of paper boxes stacked up, and when I walked over, a note on the boxes read: “Envelope”. There were probably a few thousand of them. They do not participate in such a mass correspondence voluntarily, nothing of the sort, but mechanically. To get reelected they have to do it, they have to represent their constituents. In fact, not only do they have to write letters and send out circulars, they also have to meet with their constituents on various occasions, to pull the strings and make important connections.

Another point worth mentioning is the relationship between scholars and Congress. Members of Congress generally have assistants or advisors to enable them to express their opinions on specialized issues. The aides are usually young students, such as those in the political science and law departments of universities. This facilitates these students’ understanding of the political process. It is amazing to think that when a senator came to visit Fudan University, a carload of wiry young arrived to see him. In fact, this is a noteworthy phenomenon in political life. This practice fills politics with youthful vigor, and at the same time cultivates young people, an important process of political socialization.

Many political scientists have worked as senior advisors, and many will tell you which president or presidential candidate he has advised on a particular issue. Political scientists also have easier access to the political system for observation and research. I asked Professor Sinclair on the way to the Congressman’s office building if this was common. She said it was common, and that the Political Science Association had a special program to advance this kind of research. This engagementment between academia and politics reflects a spirit of pragmatism. Politicians are also happy to seek out academics as advisors, such as Kissinger, Brzezinski, and so on. In effect, on the one hand, this can make policy issues more scientific, and on the other hand, it reinforces the public’s psychological perception of a policy because of the experts involved.

The spirit of American politics is the same as its entrepreneurial spirit, taking the best goods on the market. Politics is specialized on many levels, and what remains is the politics of resolving contradictions, of solving problems. Whoever can solve contradictions and difficulties is popular. Of course, there are choices in popularity. There are various ways to cook the same meat, but not every way to cook it is welcome.

2. Society of Fifty • 1,700 Words

The United States is a country with a federal system of government, with fifty states having relatively independent powers. The states existed before the federal government, and this history has determined the status of states’ rights. In fact, one of the basic ideas of the Americans who established the country was to maintain the states’ rights and limit the power of the federal government. Those who wrote the Constitution were all representatives from the states, and their leanings were clear.

Thomas Dye said the structure of federalism is: (1) the powers of the national government are granted by the Constitution; (2) the states are guaranteed by the Constitution; (3) the Constitution determines the powers of the national and state governments; (4) the constitutional provisions provide for the states to form the federal government; and (5) the courts interpret the constitutional provisions. State governments are not nominally local governments, they have greater independence, and each state has its own constitution and laws. The English word for state [国] is “State”, which is a better translation of the original meaning, but state is just an agreed-upon translation because there can be no state in a country. In all respects, the political landscape is very much like a “Society of Fifty”. Although the power of the federal government has expanded rapidly over the past 40 years since the war, the status of the states has not changed easily. Therefore, state politics is extremely important in politics. In many matters, the federal government has no power to interfere and cannot do anything. The leaders of state politics dominate state affairs.

The relative independence of state capitals may be one of the conditions for rapid socio-economic and cultural development. The federal system divides the United States into fifty “states within a state”, and the full name of the US is “United States” [合众国], which is actually translated as “United Nations” [联合国]. The government of a society can only manage a certain range, beyond a certain range, it will be out of reach, which will cause a lack of administrative blood supply. This is not a political system problem, but a political physiology problem. A person’s physical strength has a limit, beyond which even the fittest person cannot bear. Government is no different, and history and reality have given us many examples of this.

For large countries, finding the right kind of institution is more beneficial than anything else. Federalism has unwittingly served precisely that function in the United States. The federal government is pretty much self-contained, managing the affairs of its own domain. The United States federal government is not small, but neither are the

State Governments, which makes all levels of government activity within reach. Of course, not every country has the conditions for federalism. State governments vary. One system is called the “Weak-Governor” system. In this system, there are a number of independent executive officers, and the state constitution defines the system of state government in detail. The governor has no power to appoint or remove members of their cabinet. The executive power of the governor is weak. Administrative officials (civil officials) are not under the governor’s jurisdiction. At present, many states still have this system.

The other is the opposite: the “Strong-Governor” system. This system emerged from the reform of corporate principles in government administration. The Strong-Governor has authority over statewide administration, reduces the administrative responsibilities of boards and agencies, and establishes a cabinet of governors who prepare and oversee the budget. Dye believed that the governor was the central figure in state politics, and it was also believed that the governor was responsible for the affairs of the state’s development. The governor’s power in the state is equivalent to the president’s power in the country. The governor is the chief executive, the chief legislator, the leader of the party, etc. The governor is responsible for coordinating state agencies, preparing the budget, and overseeing the state government’s major programs. The office of governor is generally considered a stepping stone to the presidency or vice presidency, as Reagan was governor of California and Dukakis, the Democratic candidate for president in 1988, was governor of Massachusetts. As a result, the governor’s office has become a must for politicians, and both parties often engage in fierce battles in state elections.

The executive branch of a state is broadly divided into departments of finance, public welfare, highways, taxation, agriculture, industry, conservation, insurance, banking, education, budget, and disability services. Under the “weak governorship” system, these agencies have relatively independent status, and officials such as the treasurer, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor are elected directly by the voters. They are directly accountable to them, and are not subject to too much control by the governor. This system ensures that the officials of each specialized department have independent authority and are better adapted to the needs of society, while they are also directly supervised by the voters. In a strong governor system, such officials do not exist, or are subordinate to the governor. In today’s political life, it is conceivable that governors can use various methods to influence institutions and expand their powers, whether they are strong or weak governors.

Next to the executive branch is the legislature. The main responsibility of the state legislature is to make laws. Each state also has a House of Representatives and a Senate. The number of members of the Senate varies from 19 to 67, and the number of members of the House of Representatives varies from 39 to 400. The organization and legislative process of the state legislatures are generally the same as those of the federal legislature, and are clearly defined by law.

The importance of state politics is also shown in other political operations. One is that interest groups and lobbyists are active at the state political level. A clearer sign is that political party activity at the state level is the focus of party campaign activity. The party members ascend from the lowest level, the Precinct, to the state level, which is a key level.

There are state party committees at the state level, as well as state executive committees. A major feature of American political party organization is that it is decentralized. The national party apparatus has virtually no major powers, and state party organizations often decide their own affairs. Within some states, county and municipal party organizations also have their own independence. The cantonal party committees are responsible for organizing the election of the governor, federal senators and deputies. County and city committees are responsible for organizing the election of county and city officials and members of the state legislature. The National Committee actually only plays a role every four years, holding a national convention to determine the party’s presidential candidate.

The state parties are organized separately, which is why some say both parties are coalitions of fifty or more parties, and the National Committee is merely a meeting of the state party organizations, not a governing body, and does not control the state party organizations. Each state has detailed laws regulating the activities of political parties, and the organization of political parties, nominations, primaries, party officers, numbers, duties, and meetings are all determined by state law, not by the parties themselves. The reason why the states have elaborate laws regulating the activities of political parties has to do with the possible negative phenomena associated with the activities of political parties and the absence of a national force that can regulate the current state of party organization in the states, and the fact that the parties’ activities is primarily based in state-level structures.

State governments are also important because they can influence county and municipal governments to a large extent through grants. Conversely, the federal government can also influence state governments through grant money. However, there are limits to this influence. The state government’s budgetary body does not have much to do with the federal government. There are two main types of funding assistance between the federal government and the state governments: grants and Revenue Sharing. The state government can levy taxes such as income tax, sales tax, gasoline tax, tobacco and alcohol tax, and various fees or revenues from public enterprises. The tax system is extremely complex and confusing to the average American (see Chapter 4, Section 5, “The Tax System”).

The federal system gives the states considerable leeway to operate. This is not uncommon in today’s political systems. The states have so much power and independence that there is even concern that it could cause dysfunction. But, on the whole, the system works well. There are multiple layers of socio-historical-cultural reasons for this.

Economically speaking, the United States is a highly unified market, a complete whole, hamburgers, IBM companies, car gas stations, KFC, “Greyhound” coach, etc. are national organizations, but also non-governmental organizations. Car rental companies are a good example, customers in San Francisco to rent a car, after driving to New York can be returned to the company’s branches, the country has such a service. Hilton and other large systems of hotels are all over the country. The unification of information and transportation together gives the integration of this society of states a durable substructure. The high level of economic development performs the important function of maintaining national unity. Under such circumstances, the political system, in turn, does not need to make much effort, and a situation like the Civil War could hardly be reproduced.

Secondly, American political history tells us that the state governments precede the federal government, and the states already have a more orthogonal functioning mechanism. The federal government is established only to maintain the original status of the states so that they will not be destroyed and weakened. On the contrary, if there is a central government first and a local government later, the situation is very different. In the political development of different countries, there are local governments as the premise of the central government, and there are central governments as the premise of local governments. It goes without saying, I am afraid, that these two models lead to different results.

The long-running U.S. social system has created a culture that accepts the current political landscape – the “Society of Fifty” – and is the main force that maintains it. To maintain an institution is, in effect, to maintain itself. The federal government is, in a sense, an institution that is coordinated and managed by people from the G50.

3. County Politics • 1,600 Words

A county is a local government; a state government is not a local government. The county is pivotal in that it deals directly with the people. The state government is separated by the county, and the federal government is separated by the state. There are approximately 3,000 counties in the United States, including some states that for historical reasons do not call their subdivisions counties but use other titles, such as Parishes in Louisiana and Boroughs in Alaska. The county’s administrative function is important. This shows the importance of the political management of counties.

Every county has a county government. However the structure and functions of government vary considerably from county to county and are not uniform. This situation is not rare in the political systems of countries. Most countries have a similar structure at the same level of government. The differences are greater in federal systems. Not all counties have a government; about 31 counties do not have a county government and are governed through other administrative units. A few counties are governed by a combination of county and city governments, and some counties are governed directly by metropolitan areas. The number of counties also varies from state to state, with Delaware having only three counties and Texas having 254 counties. The size of counties also varies greatly, with San Bernardino County in California having more than 20,000 square miles, almost the size of two Netherlands, the combined size of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware. In contrast, Arlington County, Virginia is only 24 square miles.

From an economic perspective, counties are generally dominated by agriculture. The cities within the county are the main markets. Some counties are based on industrial economies. Economic activity and organization varies greatly from county to county and is unique.

County politics is noteworthy. County politics is the foundation of politics. Counties are the basis of political party organization. County politics is one of the most substantive elements of politics. Herbert Sidney Duncombe, author of County Government in America, says that county political party chairmen are often the key players in local political organization. County elections and county offices are stepping stones to state and federal government, and counties are also where money is collected, with gerrymandering often done on a county-by-county basis. Political organizations are organized at the county level. County officials are often responsible for determining sub-county districts, designating precinct leaders, etc.

The basic unit below the county level is the Precinct (subdistrict). Precincts may have only a dozen voters in rural areas and 2,000 voters in cities. Political parties are organized in precincts. It varies from precinct to precinct, some precincts have elected precinct leaders (committeemen), others are led by committees. This is not a government organization, but a civil organization. At election time, the task of the Committeeman is to organize his party’s activists, contact potential voters, distribute campaign literature, and attend meetings. It is at this level that the two parties’ campaign for voters is mainly carried out.

In more populous counties, there are also intermediate political organizations between subdivisions and counties. County political organizations are generally led by a committee or chairman of the organization. These political organizations have no direct power over the government, but only the possibility to indirectly influence government decisions. Political organizations must solve all problems of funding their activities, venues, personnel, etc. by themselves and cannot take a single cent of taxpayers’ money.

Counties have a wide variety of governmental organizations, a feature of American politics, including the traditional model, the quasi-manager model, the elected model, the administrative assistant model, and the county administrator model, which Duncombe divides into two broad categories.

In the traditional Multi-Person Executive model, 85 to 90 percent of county governments have some sort of traditional elected multi-person governing board, generally called the Board of Commissioners. sometimes referred to as County Court, Board of Supervisors, or others. Some county administrations have other functions, and some county administrators also serve as town supervisors, judges, or other positions. The county governing body is primarily an administrative body, which can appoint certain employees and approve financial documents. They generally have the authority to adopt the county budget and to pass regulations as allowed by state law. A number of other county officials such as the treasurer are also elected,. This is a major feature of this system.

The Executive and Administrative system has one person with greater supervisory authority who has some say in the county administration. Within this form, there are variations, such as the County Manager System, in which the county board is merely the decision-making body, while a manager is employed for most administrative functions. The manager is a professional, chosen solely on the basis of experience and learning, without regard to factional leanings. The manager does not care about decision making and the decision maker does not care about day-to-day administration. The manager has the authority to appoint most of the administrative officers and to prepare the county budget and implement it. The quasi-manager system, the Administrative Officer System, and the Administrative Assistant System are all variations of the above system, and all have a professional person appointed by the county commission to be in charge of administration, but the appointee does not have full power to appoint officials and administrative authority. Another system is the Elected Administrative Officer system, in which the chief administrative officer is elected and the voters of the county participate in the election. The county commission has little executive power and is the equivalent of a county deliberative body. County governmental bodies vary and are related to the early history of the American colonies.

The usual affairs of county government include valuing property (for use in collecting local taxes, which are drawn on the value of the property), collecting property taxes, recording property documents, maintaining rural roads, providing relief to the poor, enforcing laws, administering elections, and certain judicial functions. These functions are defined by state law. In addition to this, the county government performs some functions determined by the county itself to meet the needs of the county’s residents, such as fire protection, water supply, parking, airports, public schools, libraries, health, welfare, policing, transportation, etc.

Another power of the County is its right to levy property taxes, which the County collects and then distributes to cities, school districts, or other local units. Counties have two main sources of revenue: property taxes and state aid and other funds. Tax collection varies from county to county, with some counties relying primarily on property taxes, others relying primarily on state tax redistribution, and some counties levying additional taxes.

The county is pivotal in political life, and its activities and functions are closest to the voters. A large part of the political system is reflected in county politics. The counties are all economically developed to a considerable level, the standard of living and amenities do not differ much from those of metropolitan areas, most of the young people have access to higher education, and credit and transportation are very well developed. There is also no apparent backwardness or ignorance in the counties of the average agricultural region. This is an important condition for county politics to work.

To a large extent, county politics is the foundation of American politics. The process of county politics determines what kind of politics people can and cannot accept. At the county level, it has more of a managerial dimension. Class interests are more directly reflected in the federal and state governments. The county level of government takes more into account the actual interests of the residents and reflects class interests more indirectly, and is actually made possible by the electoral system. The county is small enough that everyone can see what the county officials are doing. If they feel dissatisfied, they will not vote for them next time. Anyone who wants to get more votes has to do real work. This is the basis for the secularization of politics.

The managerial system and various other institutions prevailing in county politics reflect the degree of secularization of county politics. Many people see county politics as a technical issue rather than a political one. Of course there is some politicking in county politics, but it is just more necessary to use practical matters at the base of the system.

In fact, the American political system is programmed to function more effectively in its more than 3,000 counties. For any society to have any form of mature political system, the first step should be for local and grassroots government to function effectively. Local governments are in direct contact with their constituents and the people, not as far apart as the federal and state governments. People evaluate the merits and failures of politics by looking at what is closest to their interests. Therein lies the political value of the success or failure of local political operations. After more than two hundred years of society’s operation, and with the compulsion of the electoral system, county politics have worked quite well. To say that they have worked well is to say that they have laid a good foundation for the stability of political rule as a whole. In reality, Americans value county politics or the next level of politics which is only one level removed. For federal politics, they often will find it boring because it is too far away. The American nation is a nation that speaks of pragmatism, political pragmatism, that is, focusing on the politics of the immediate future. This attitude, in turn, has promoted the development of local politics, including county politics.

4. Politics in the City • 2,100 Words

The city is a fundamental unit in the social and political governance of the United States. The success of the United States is, to a large extent, the success of cities. According to 1970 statistics, there were 56 large cities with a population of more than 250,000, and the total population was more than 40 million. There are also more than 200 “central cities”. In addition, there are many smaller cities like Iowa City, which are scattered all over the country.

The United States is a highly urbanized society, with more than ninety-five percent of the population not engaged in agricultural production. As a result, most of the population is concentrated in the cities, so whether or not the municipalities are well managed becomes a very critical issue. 80% of China’s population is in the countryside, and whether or not the countryside is well managed is the key to the successful development of Chinese society.

Any social and political management is the management of people. Therefore, in order for a society to develop, for the economy to prosper, and for culture to flourish, it should first find the appropriate way to manage the largest part of a society’s population, including cultural, geographical, economic, religious, and political means. Only when the largest part of the population is properly managed can a society develop in a balanced way.

What does the city government care about? Probably most city governments around the world have to manage the same things because people have the same ultimate needs. On top of this whole basis, countries manage some different matters depending on their culture. Demetrios Caraley, author of Municipal Government and Municipal Issues, divides the functions of municipalities into three categories.

Welfare, including matters such as fire prevention, water supply, maintenance of streets and highways, and public health.

Control, the municipality is responsible for the control of food sanitation, corporate tax evasion, housing maintenance, city construction, daily services, transportation, air pollution, water pollution, racial discrimination, urban development, etc.

Taxes are drawn to support the first two functions. One of the categories in which the City levies taxes is property taxes and the other is sales taxes.

Municipalities additionally have some revenue. When you buy something in the United States, local taxes are often added. In short, whoever buys something, pays a tax. Some municipalities also levy “nuisance taxes” or, as they are commonly known in this country, “benefit fees” on related departments. The municipality may also levy “nuisance taxes” on the amenities and services it provides, such as zoos, recreational facilities, museums, bridges, tunnels, bus and subway fares, public housing rentals, and hospital services. The municipality may also collect fees for the issuance of various licenses. Finally, there are fines.

City government has a huge budget. Government officials at all levels think about problems in a very simple way: money. The basic means by which governments solve any problem is: making budgets. In China, just making a budget obviously doesn’t work; one must also coordinate interpersonal relationships and unblock material channels. The highly developed American economy allows Americans to think that way and to actualize that way of thinking.

The organization of municipal governments is not provided for in the Constitution. Theoretically, municipal governments are created by the state government to perform functions assigned by the state. The authority of municipal government is generally set forth in The City Charter, which is like an ordinance and varies from city to city. The state government influences municipal government in a variety of ways: first, by the powers granted by the state constitution; second, by legislative delegation; third, by state funding, which accounts for about one-third of municipal government expenditures; fourth, by administrative oversight; and fifth, by special investigations.

Municipal governments are organized differently from each other, as determined by the constitution and laws of each location. Therefore, there are rarely two municipalities with identical governmental organizations. Generally, municipalities have some form of mayor and city council. The mayor is elected separately and is the chief executive officer of the city, overseeing and enforcing the laws. The mayor is the head of the city and represents the city in various activities. There is also a city council, which can make local laws, establish plans, and levy taxes, etc. The president of the city council is generally elected by the city council, and in some cities, such as Chicago and Atlanta, is elected directly by the voters. Some cities, like New York, have two legislative bodies to keep each other in check,. The mayor’s authority also varies, with a “strong mayor” and a “weak mayor”. A “strong mayor” has greater authority, while a “weak mayor” has less authority and is limited by the city council, mainly in the areas of appointing administrative officials, making plans, and legislating.

The other form is called the city council-manager form, which is practiced mainly in cities of less than one million people, and in half of the cities of less than 500,000 people. In this system, the city council appoints a city manager as the main executive officer, and there is no separate election of an executive mayor. The manager serves the city council and can resign if he/she does not want to do it. The manager appoints the heads of the administrative departments. In general, the city council cannot directly interfere with the administrative departments, but must first deal with the manager. The city manager prepares the budget and the city council adopts it. Under the manager-council system, there is also a mayor, who is elected by the voters or chosen by the city council. He is only a representative of the city, not a major executive officer, and his duties are honorary, including attending ceremonies and signing laws.

The third form is the committee system, which exists in a few cities with a population of less than 500,000. In this system, all powers are vested in a committee, which has between five and seven members. The councils together form the city council and exercise legislative power. The individual members are the heads of one of the administrative departments. In some cities, separate elections are held and then the committees are formed. In some cities, the committees are elected first and then divided. In this form there is no mayor, only one commissioner who enjoys the title of mayor, presides over the meetings, and attends the ceremonies as the representative of the city, but has no privileges and sits on an equal footing with the other commissioners. He is sometimes elected directly by the voters and sometimes chosen by the commission. In some cities, the commissioner who receives the most votes is also the mayor.

The electoral system also varies greatly from city to city. For example, the term of office varies from two to four years; some municipalities divide their electoral districts, while others do not; some municipalities require candidates to indicate their party affiliation for elections, while others do not, and in municipalities where party affiliation is required, candidates for each party are generally selected by each party’s primary election. Anyone wishing to run for office must obtain a certain number of signatures from the voters of his or her party. Other forms of election also require that someone sign a certain number of signatures, and some cities require a certain deposit from those who want to run.

Municipal governments have a variety of relationships with other types of local governments. Most large cities are within the territory of counties, which have county governments. There are also local governments such as special districts, towns, and satellite cities. These governments do not have a direct relationship with the municipality, but their activities can influence the municipality. One of the major relationships is with the county government.

The concept of counties and cities is different from that of China. Chinese counties generally refer only to rural areas and do not include large and medium-sized cities. In the United States, counties are both administrative and geographic concepts. Large and medium-sized cities are generally within the geographic boundaries of counties, not within the administrative boundaries. Counties have their own separate governments, most of which are located within large cities. Counties administer certain local courts, register marriages, oversee elections, and in some cases participate in welfare programs, and in some cities counties administer hospitals and public health programs, etc. Some counties have separate governments and different systems, and some cities have some county officials, but as part of the city government function, such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and New Orleans. Some places are called “cities and counties,” such as San Francisco, where there is only one governmental organization and the city is the primary focus.

Most county organizations were formed long ago, while cities were formed gradually with economic development. During the long process of development, forces have waxed and waned from each other, with some cities and counties uniting and others separating. Cities within counties are a characteristic of American administrative divisions. Separation of cities and counties is a characteristic of Chinese administrative divisions. Cities within counties are beneficial in promoting the development of rural areas.

Cities are also centers of politics. Political parties are very active in large cities. Party leaders are usually people who hold important government positions or have leadership positions in the party. Each city is divided by law into smaller constituencies called precincts, each of which has an average of 600-900 people, ranging from 200 to 2,000. There is a polling station within the precincts. The supporters of a party in each s precincts elect a committeeman (or several committeemen) in a primary election. They are the grassroots cadres of the party and are party workers, not party leaders. Further up, there is the ward or assembly. In this electoral unit, there is usually one member of the municipal council or state legislator. Each ward assembly elects its own leaders, who are the grassroots party leaders in the city. The leaders are elected either directly by the members of their party in the primary election or by the ward assembly. Ward leaders generally have the right to appoint a ward “Captain”. Usually, the ward “captain” office is combined with the ward committeeman. All ward leaders form the central or executive committee of the party’s city or county, which in turn appoints a county or city party chairman, who is the leader of the party’s municipal chapter.

In nature, as with other political organizations, there are many variations here. New York City consisted of five counties, each with its own party organization, but without a city commission or a city chairman. The city and county party cadres are nominally part of the state and national party organizations, but in practice have a great deal of independence, especially in the election of city officials. In the nineteenth century, party leaders had a pivotal influence on the political process, which has greatly changed today, and the role of primary elections has limited the power of party leaders. However, this is precisely the premise that has allowed the two-party system to endure. Both parties allow for differences of opinion, without which organizational fragmentation is inevitable. Cities are strategic political locations, and while political parties are not what they used to be, party activity in cities is still the mainstay of party politics.

Municipalities govern more than ninety-five percent of the population, and how cities tend to develop determines the development of society in the future. Large and medium-sized cities are facing increasingly serious challenges with rising crime rates, rising cost of living index, aging city facilities, and high taxes. I have been to San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, San Diego, and other large cities. New York has a frightening crime rate, downtown Chicago has a lot of desolate places and so on and so forth.

Of course, in all fairness, compared to many countries in the world, American municipal management is first-rate and modern. The American municipality has a favorable condition in that it only needs to regulate the economy, not to manage it; the economic sphere is privately managed, and the municipality only makes regulations. The primary function of local government is to manage urban development, promote the improvement of urban living standards, and improve urban facilities. Compared to China, the responsibilities of municipalities are much smaller. A municipality is able to focus on development.

The development of society has always pointed out new problems and constantly challenged human management capabilities. In the face of these challenges, people can have two choices: one is to limit the problem; the other is to find countermeasures. Limiting the problem cannot ultimately solve the problem; the problem can only be solved by finding countermeasures.

5. Grassroots Politics • 1,500 Words

In political science, the term Grass-roots Politics, can be translated as [基层政治], or [草根政治] if it is not translated in the original way. How politics unfolds below the county government is a part of the social management system. The county government acts as the next level of the state government, and from the county government to the people, some states have a lower level of government, which is the town or township government. Once again, however, this level of government reflects American culture in that not all states have town or township governments, and exist only where there is a tradition of such governments, such as in the East, the Mid-Atlantic, and elsewhere. Township governments are more typical of New England. Thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson spoke highly of town government as an ideal form of direct democracy.

Town government originated during the colonial period when, due to harsh winters and the presence of Indians, early colonists established such formations in small villages and on the land that surrounded it. A church was often located in the area, which included both rural areas and towns. The politics of the town government is relatively simple, with decisions made by a meeting of all eligible voters, who choose the town officials. Meetings are held once a year and can be called if needed. After the town-wide meeting makes their decision, the elected town officials (three to nine) govern for a year.

In addition, voters elect a number of other officials. Town officials are required to carry out the basic policies set by the town council. However, some scholars point out that as political life has evolved, fewer people come to meetings and fewer people are willing to be town officials. Some towns developed delegate meetings, where voters elected a hundred or more people to meet and represent them. Rousseau said that the public will cannot be represented, and if people prefer to elect delegates to represent their will, the political system has deteriorated. What is the trend of town government? It is hard to say now. However, in many places, town governments still play a pivotal role (on town governments, see Chapter 2, Section 6, “Political DNA,” where a field trip to a town government is documented).

In addition to townships, rural areas in the Mid-Atlantic and East Central states also have township governments. Township governments usually cover an area of 36 square miles. In many states, township governments are still quite active, such as Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Missouri and Washington still have a small number of township governments. Iowa and Oklahoma once had township governments, which are no longer functioning.

The township government takes care of the roads, handles minor legal cases, and administers elections. The township government is also responsible for assessing property values and drawing taxes. In some states, large townships can have police, fire, water, and other agencies. The township government is responsible for meeting the needs of the rural population. The township government is run much like a town government, with the voters setting policy at their annual meeting. However, few people come to the meetings unless the matter is of great importance. The township government is currently in decline because rural areas are becoming less and less populated, transportation is well developed, and information networks and economic communications are keeping rural areas more closely connected to the cities. These functions are difficult for the village government to undertake; on the other hand, fewer and fewer people are willing to be “village officials”. People go to higher places and seek higher positions outside the countryside.

However, in some of the more urbanized places, the role of the village government has grown slightly. This is because they are urbanized, have high population densities, and have many conflicts and interests to sort out, making management naturally indispensable.

Another form of government are the Special Districts. Not many people know about this form of government. A special district is a governmental organization that is separate from other governmental agencies and has its own taxation and other powers as well as its own governmental organization. Special districts are organized for different needs, such as airports, developmental planning, parking lots, and so on. Special districts have boundaries with other governmental organizations, such as municipalities and counties, and may be intertwined with other governments. There are urban and rural areas, and sixty percent of special districts are concentrated in ten states, such as California and Illinois.

The reasons for establishing special districts are generally (1) to facilitate or support a particular function; and (2) the institution performing some single function is critical within a district.

There are many types of special districts: (1) school special districts, the largest in number, headed by a committee that provides a system of education to the people under them; (2) sanitation special districts to make sewage treatment more efficient; (3) electricity special districts; (4) water special districts, where water is supplied by a water system; (5) other categories, library special districts, fire special districts, forest special districts, etc. Special zones grew the fastest in the 1950s and 1960s. The total number of special zones is approximately equal to the total number of cities in the country.

The creation of a special district is determined by state law. The people in a special district form a government for a specific purpose. A board is generally elected, which has the power to levy taxes, establish the necessary organizations, and purchase the necessary equipment to meet the needs of the people. Special districts are used to meet the special needs of the people and to levy taxes on people in special areas. Special districts are created because other local governments cannot provide such special services. Special districts tend to have a low political function and are only active to provide some special service.

Naturally, there are arguments about the special zone. Some argue that its creation has benefited those manufacturers engaged in the production of specialized equipment, since special zones are established for specialized objectives. Moreover, although special zones are not established for political purposes, they are not free from politics. Interest groups and politicians continue to operate in special zones and influence their management.

In any case, special districts are a more flexible form of administration, and where there is a special need, the creation of a special district to address it is a proven method of administration. When state and other local governments cannot meet the needs, a purely managerial special district organization for special needs is a reasonable option. It is especially appropriate for societies with large land areas, cultural differences, and complex needs.

When it comes to the system and form of management a society uses, it is better to be alive than dead. If the system is too dead, it tends to restrict the lively and active development of society. Of course, things cannot be taken to extremes, and if they are too alive, social management activities will again lose their order and have no integrated structure. Finding the right orientation between the two extremes is a prerequisite for the optimization of a society’s management.

Finally, there are also village governments (Villages). The concept of village is here equivalent to town rather than township, and has an urban rather than a rural connotation. Legally speaking, villages have the same status as municipalities. The status of a village is defined by state law. Some villages are just a few homes around a post office or store where “the sound of chickens and dogs is heard”; some are larger. People here need services such as road repair, street lighting, and water supply, and the constituent village are too small to be called municipalities. Each state has a law that people can apply to form a village through certain procedures. Village governments are generally simpler, similar to a weak mayoral system. The legislative body is a small committee of three to nine people. A chairman or other title presides over the committee. A few other officials are elected, few and far between. The village government may be separate from the county government, sending its own representatives to the county government, or it may be subordinate to the county government, which varies.

American politics is very liberal at this level of grassroots politics, where the main function is to provide services and amenities to the people in the jurisdiction, and other functions are relatively less obvious. Officials rely on taxes paid by people for administration, and they are elected. The organization of grassroots politics is simple and easy to monitor. In political life, the people have nothing to say about national politics or state politics. But they have a real say in grassroots politics, because these activities happen around them, before their eyes, and are intertwined with their daily lives. In fact, it’s more social welfare at this level. Grassroots welfare, grassroots non-politics, is enough for the common people.

6. Transparent Proceedings • 1,900 Words

One interesting aspect of the political process is that much of the decision-making process is public. The federal Senate and House of Representatives meet and debate in public, televised live, and open to the casual observer in a designated seat. The results of the votes of all legislators are also public, and electronic display boards automatically show each person’s voting position at a glance. State governments meet and debate in the same manner as the federal legislature. I have observed the Maryland legislature on the floor, and there are gallery seats and electronic display boards. At the local government level, open hearings are also the norm. Open hearings are generally in deliberative bodies. At the county level of government, the setup varies, so I can’t say it’s the same across the United States. I attended a meeting of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners in Iowa that was open to the public.

The venue is located in the county administration building. The County Administration Building is a four-story building the size of a movie theater. It is small compared to the size of the county government offices in China. The two largest offices in the county government are the voter registration office and the driver’s license application office. The venue is about 50-60 square meters in size, with fixed tables in the front row and five fixed seats for the five elected commissioners. In front of each person was a sign with their name. To the right sat the prosecutor and the auditor. They participate in opinions when financial and legal issues are involved. To the left sits the clerk, with a recording device. Opposite the podium, a small table and chairs are placed for those concerned to express their opinions. Behind this table, there are more than twenty chairs where the public can sit and observe their decisions and listen to their discussions. The general public is not very interested in this either, but mainly those who are related to the decisions of the day’s meeting are willing to attend the meeting. Those present to observe could watch, and could speak and comment, as long as they had prior permission from the chairman.

The day’s proceedings were extensive, starting at 9:00. Journalists from local newspapers were also present. There were several items on the informal agenda for discussion. One was to redecorate the offices of one of the county agencies. There was a lot of discussion about carpeting, curtains, air conditioning, and how much the state would pay and how much the county would pay. The spokesperson for this agency that made the request presented the case and the county commissioners asked questions, very carefully and thoughtfully. Even the architect was brought in. In the end, it was decided that the architect would come up with a draft first, and then the county commissioners would meet to discuss it again.

The second was to discuss the construction of a road, opening and connecting two roads in order to provide more convenience to the area. Each project proponent had to present their case, answer questions, and present materials. They brought written materials as well as design drawings. When the meeting was held, they had to gather around to discuss the drawings and then make a decision. Informal agendas are for the preparation and discussion of issues and do not require a vote. This decision-making mechanism of the county is equivalent to the legislature, where the final decision is to be made by a vote, and the vote is public.

The official agenda began at 10:00 with the tapping of a small gavel from the chair. The first item was the consideration of the sale of property. There were three pieces, two of which passed quickly. The third was hotly debated. The gist of it was this: by law, everyone who owns property and real estate must pay property taxes, and if they don’t, the government has the right to confiscate the property and sell it. The money from the sale is offset against the property taxes. It’s a very powerful law, and people can’t afford to cheat their property taxes. The issue under consideration that day was within this scope. A man was building a house, and halfway through, he probably ran out of money and couldn’t build it. But he had to pay property taxes on the house, and he couldn’t pay them. The government confiscated his house and put it up for sale. An old friend of his was ready to buy the house for \$2,000 and return it to him to solve the problem. Another young couple lived next to the unfinished house and thought it was too unsafe for children to play there and be in danger, and wanted to buy the house and tear it down. They promised to pay a thousand dollars. The argument took place among these people.

The owner of the property spoke to explain his case, his friend defended his buddy’s position; the young woman defended her own. Each also had one or two neighbors who spoke on his behalf. After a longer debate, the members vote. The auditor calls each member’s name in turn, and those who agree say “yes” and those who disagree say “no”. The result of the vote is recorded by the auditor. The result of the vote was that the young couple won. The county commissioners’ meeting preferred \$1,000 to \$2,000, probably because they felt that the property owner could not be allowed to own the property because he had not paid taxes for eleven years. If two thousand dollars is chosen, the result is that the property owner owns the house and does not pay the property taxes owed for eleven years.

The second consideration was the plan of the “Human Services” agency, which requested the expansion of office space and the establishment of a juvenile center. The head of the county human services agency presented his reasons and submitted a draft and drawings. Vote: Passed. The third item, a letter to the state Department of Economic Development discussing the issue of securing greater benefits for the county, passed quickly without much debate.

Then a few matters of the county audit will be discussed and a license to sell alcohol will be issued. In the U.S., you have to have a license to sell alcohol, and it is illegal to sell alcohol without a license. When I ate at a Korean restaurant, they had no beer because there was no license. There was no objection to the license that was issued. Then the motion made by the prosecutor for the 1988 school election, for which he had prepared papers, passed.

One person’s application is also discussed. He plans to convert 11 acres of farmland into a residential area to build a new house. Without objection, it passed. In the United States, landowners are not free to do as they please with their land, but are subject to government laws that require government approval of plans for the land or they cannot break ground.

Several agenda items were then quickly discussed and all passed.

The last item that was discussed at some length was the issue of snow plowing in the winter. With so many cars in the United States, snow plowing the roads in the winter is a big problem. Equipment has to be purchased, budgets have to be set, and people have to be recruited. If a lot of money is spent and not much snow falls, the benefit of the money is not realized. If you save money, the result is too much snow to cope with, and voters will raise their disappointments, so the issue of snow removal becomes an important agenda item for the government in winter.

After the agenda is completed, several county commissioners and the prosecutor and auditor share their opinions with each other. Each can ask any questions they have for the record.

Finally, the chairman asked the audience what they had to say. At this point only two listeners remained, and the other two dozen people left one after another after their own matters had been discussed. One person said he had an opinion. He asked the county commissioners if, in endorsing the Human Services plan (i.e., building a new office building), they had considered renting or buying an existing building, and why they had to build a new one, which would be much more expensive. This person was a person who had nothing to do with the project, but was concerned about it. One of the county commissioners, who had investigated the matter, replied. The meeting ended with the chairman taking a wooden gavel and tapping it.

This entire process, which is completely open, allows anyone to sit in and voice their opinion. The county commissioners are all elected. After the meeting, one of the county commissioners told me that at a county commissioners meeting, everything must be voted on in public. Without a public vote, they cannot make a decision.

A large part of the functioning of politics is in local politics. The proper functioning of local politics is the basis for the functioning of the entire system. Each ordinary citizen’s perception of the political system often comes first from the functioning of the political institutions closest to him. The deliberative process of county politics makes people feel that there is a high degree of transparency. Naturally, they have their own way of getting through matters they want to pass or do not want the audience to know about. Voting must be public, but they can speak very specialized language and vote very quickly. People call it “Railroading”, which means “drive through fast”, and before people can react, it’s passed.

The main duty of the county council is actually to discuss how the budget is spent, and many matters involve money; there are not many purely political matters, nor do they directly manage economic matters. There is a tendency to depoliticize local politics, mostly in the areas of welfare, road repair, taxes, property, etc. Johnson County’s entire 1987 revenue was \$21 million, of which property taxes accounted for about one-half and intergovernmental transfer taxes for more than \$2 million. The County Council mainly decides how this money is to be spent.

Of course, there are also political party disputes at the county level, and the political parties are based in the counties. However, the activities of the counties themselves are very specific and generally involve the livelihood of the county.

For local governments, there are two goals that should be implemented in any society: first, that local governments effectively meet the immediate needs of local residents; and second, that local governments are highly open in their proceedings. Local governments are the feet of the central government, without which the central government cannot move an inch: local governments are the hands of the central government, without which the central government cannot accomplish anything. The central government should take the most effective measures and policies to promote local governments to achieve these two goals. With effective local governments, the central government will be like a tiger with wings, like a fish in water.

7. Selecting an Official • 2,100 Words

The United States has a permanent civil service system in which all service officers are subject to a public examination. This system is said to have been developed from the ancient Chinese imperial examination system, which was first adopted by the British. However, the ancient Chinese eight-legged examination and imperial examinations are very different from the modern civil service system.

The United States began to implement a civil service system around the end of the 19th century. Prior to that, the political party spoils system, or party fattening system, that is, after the election of a candidate of a political party to the presidency, his or her party will be able to rise to the top, and those with status celebrate. This system has a number of drawbacks, resulting in official corruption, cliques and inefficiency. There is a story about a man who wanted to become a government official in Washington in that era, but did not get what he wanted, and ended up shooting the then president. This incident is considered to be an important milestone in the implementation of the civilian system in the United States. The actual problem is not the shooter’s dissatisfaction, but in whether a system can adapt to the needs of social development, the basic feature of the civil service system is the separation of political and business officials. The civil officials were not elected, while the political officials were elected and worked together with the political parties. The officials are selected by public examination and are competitive and politically neutral. In fact, many of them are not officials, but ordinary employees. Anyone who wants to work in the public sector has to pass either an election, a public appointment, or an examination, so that qualified people can enter the public sector and the path of corruption is blocked. It also serves to balance the political forces of each faction.

How exactly does this system work? I did research in Iowa City’s city government. Iowa City is a city with a managerial system. The highest authority in the city is the City Council, which has seven members, one of whom is the mayor, a virtually honorary position. The mayor, John McDonald, runs the optician’s store across the street from the school and often sits inside to fix glasses for customers. He would only go to city hall when the city council was in session.

The person responsible for day-to-day affairs is the City Manager. Under the City Manager are the Finance Department, Housing Department, Public Facilities Management Department, Fire Department, Cooperative Department, Planning Department, Public Works Department, Transportation Department, Personnel Department, and Police Department. In addition, the City Manager is not responsible for the Library Director, the City Clerk, or the City’s Chief Justice. The City Manager employs nearly 500 permanent employees, including fire department, police, and library employees. Anyone who works in the public sector is included. In addition, the city needs temporary staff, about 300 to 400 people per year, such as snow plowing in winter, road repair and lawn mowing in summer. All those who work in the public sector, whether they are officials or clerks or workers, are included in the civil roster. So, where were these people recruited from? How were they recruited?

An assistant in the city’s personnel department told me that all positions must be open and available to anyone in the community. Women, minorities and people with disabilities are not only not to be not discriminated against, but are to be treated more favorably than the general population. This is called Affirmative Action. Anyone willing to take on these public positions can apply.

How does the City make the public aware of the need to recruit? The city has to use various means, such as notices in local newspapers, special job bulletins, advertisements, posting on bulletin boards in city offices, and using the city’s cable television. I saw some of these notices on the doorstep of the city’s personnel department, called “Memorandum from the City of Iowa City. There were notices for people to greet students as they crossed the street, for reserve staff (to replace staff who might be sick), for program staff, for water, ski, science, and preschool art instructors, for library assistants, and for the police chief. Recruitment notices and advertisements are sent out depending on the level of the position; general positions are sent out within the city, more important ones to the states, and the most important ones, such as city managers and police chiefs, are sent out nationwide.

The notice should state the nature of the job, job duties, job content, working hours, job requirements, job pay, start time, and application time for the official position you want to recruit someone to fill. Let’s look at two specific announcements.

Community Development Fund Program Assistant: Assist in managing the Community Development Fund program by overcoming difficulties, preparing fund applications, writing reports, drafting documents, and being responsible for research and studies, including program design, data collection, and analysis of results. Applicants are required to have received a master’s degree in political science, community studies, urban studies or something closely related to these fields, and to have worked for at least three years in program management and development, or urban housing and community development departments. A master’s degree in public administration may be substituted for one year of practical work experience. Excellent oral and written skills, administrative skills, the ability to communicate effectively with citizens, and knowledge of federal, state, and local laws are required. Applicants are required to have an Iowa City driver’s license.

The police chief is responsible for a \$3 million annual budget and manages 53 people. There are 50,000 people in Iowa City and other small towns. Candidates are required to: have various competencies in policing such as budgeting, developing plans, long range planning, police leadership practices, respect for different views and opinions; know how to meet goals and anticipate problems; can be a leader and coordinate all members; can make recommendations to the City Manager, City Council; have the ability to deal with the public; can deal with a highly educated public; can work harmoniously with other governmental The City provides 100% health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, one day of vacation per month, one day of sick leave per month, retirement pay of \$200 per month after 5 years, salary between 39,936 and 57,429, with a car, possible selection process: application termination date January 31, 1989, the applicant will prepare other relevant documents and the final candidate will be interviewed at the expense of the city to check the relevant documents, the interview will include an evaluation by a group of police experts and other interested parties, and will include an examination conducted by the University of Iowa. After the preliminary selection, the selected person will be interviewed again.

After the wide announcement, candidates will send in their materials and the HR department will gather all applications together. When the time is set, an examination is held. There are types of exams such as interviews, written exams, and practical exams. The interview is mainly a group of people who evaluate the candidate, ask questions on the spot, and the interviewee answers the questions and then makes a selection. Written exams are more complex, with exam papers designed for each position. Such exams can turn out to be ineffective if they are generalized. So the exams are all designed for specialized positions. The exams include knowledge, ability, and response. Different positions also have special requirements, like that of police chief, which may require psychological and physical examinations to ensure that the mental condition is normal and the physical ability is adequate to perform the position. In the case of specific jobs, such as typists, computer operators, snowplow drivers, etc., the test takers are only required to operate the job on the spot for evaluation. The best candidate is selected through this process.

I read an examination paper for the head of the fire department and I remember the following questions.

How do you understand policy development? What does policy development mean?

Is it possible to make a long-term plan? What do you understand long term planning to be?

What would you do if there was a financial deficit in the department you lead?

Can you train firefighters? How do you train them?

What do you think is the most difficult issue? How will you deal with it?

How do you see the role of women and minorities in your work?

So on and so forth, there are about 30 questions. Each test taker has to take a test, of course, for those who have certain responsibilities. The results of these examinations are then evaluated and the candidates are selected on the basis of merit.

In order to guard against fraud, all positions must be open and cannot be designated by any one person, and the mayor and city manager have no such right. The city has an agreement with the union that before open recruitment to the community, it must be open to those already employed, and then open to the community if no suitable candidate is available. But the process must also be public. No department head, including the city manager or mayor, has the authority to make direct appointments. If the many applicants feel that the final choice is unfair, they can take action in two ways: by going to court, which will hear such cases, or by filing a complaint against the Fair Chance Commission, a federal agency. Also unions play a role. The fairness of the selection process is ensured through such a mechanism.

Since the public sector depends on taxpayer money for its existence, they are subject to taxpayer scrutiny, and taxpayers should be on an equal footing to compete for public office. In the selection of candidates, it is stipulated that marital status, child status, religious affiliation, racial categorization, and personal history may not be examined. Only what is relevant to the position for which application is made may be examined. No person shall be excluded from competing for public office for any of the above reasons.

Naturally, theoretically speaking, in the actual operation process, there are always unorthodox. There are many official practices. Any system or regulation will face these kinds of challenges, and this is especially true of the civil service.

There is no need to analyze in detail here what percentage of this set of regulations is actually achieved. Theoretically, this system has its advantages.

It ensures the relative stability of the administrative system. Civilian officials become skilled workers, unrelated to political party competition; political party shifts do not affect them, and they can consistently manage all aspects of society.

It ensures that political party competition can run smoothly. The functioning of the administrative system is the part of the iceberg that is underwater, and party competition is only the part of the iceberg that is exposed to the air. If party competition causes social disorder, it cannot be carried out effectively. The machinery of the administrative system is the civil service, which is the cornerstone of the American political system.

It guarantees the technicalization of the social management process. The management of modern society requires increasingly refined and specialized technical personnel, whose competence cannot be lower than that of engineers and technicians in factories; a large number of problems are engineering problems, and it is impossible to form a stable and effective technical cadre if all officials are involved in the political vortex.

It ensures that the positions get the more capable people. It is not always the most capable people, and the most capable people are not always willing to hold public positions because the pay is lower than in private business. But because there is competition, testing and selection, the people chosen can generally be competent.

The success of a society’s management or governance lies in how effectively that society can technicalize and professionalize a large percentage of its personnel so that they can study and develop the sectors they manage in a stable manner over time. At the same time, opening up these positions for interested people from society to come and compete, so that the best can be chosen over the worst. The greater the scope of openness, the greater the collection of surface. Like radar, a 360-degree scan will reveal more targets than a 180-degree scan. The key to achieving full openness about public positions is the degree of technicalization of these positions. The two are complementary and closely related, and the duality of American politics lies in the fact that on the one hand, it is a wide recruitment of talents into the civil service, and on the other hand, it places them under the rule of political forces, which effectively guarantees the rule of the ruling class.

8. Congressional Liaison Office • 1,100 Words

The American political pyramid, from top to bottom, is huge and complex. The pyramid, as we have seen, is not so compact in structure, but it runs smoothly. And there is no particular conflict between the levels, and the whole system is maintained. In fact, there are threads linking the various parts of this pyramid. We can look at how Congress is linked to the electorate.

Members of Congress are elected by district, one from each. The current Congressman for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District is named Nagel. The Congressman’s job is to reach out to his constituents, listen to them, and help them in various ways, including through legislation, to solve practical problems in his district.

The primary responsibility of members of Congress does not lie in national affairs. Of course, if Congress votes on such bills, they have to have an attitude. Their main focus is on their own constituency. Whether or not the voters of his district are satisfied with him is a prerequisite for his election or re-election. The function of the electoral system is the real deal in this respect. Although one can only choose among a limited number of people, a majority of votes is necessary for whoever is to be admitted to the Capitol. This mechanism forces members of Congress to give more consideration to their own constituency.

Congressmen have offices in Washington, D.C., and generally have an office staff of less than 10 people to help with various matters. Each staff member has a division of labor, some are in charge of foreign affairs, national politics, some are in charge of various welfare matters, and some are in charge of economic matters, agriculture, industry, and so on. However, the Washington office is too far away from the constituency to contact the constituents of the constituency. Therefore, the congressmen have to set up liaison offices in this constituency. The number of liaison offices depends on the size of the district. Iowa’s third district has a large area, and Nagle has four liaison offices. The size of the liaison office depends on the size of the area it covers. Iowa City has one liaison office, which covers Johnson County. Because of the importance of the University of Iowa, Negel has a liaison office in this county.

What is a liaison office? I went to this liaison office in Iowa City. The office is located on the upper floor of a bank, in the center of town. There were two or three offices, and the interior was spacious. There were two staff members in the office. All the liaison offices in the Third District have a total staff of about ten. With the Washington staff, a Congressman has an average staff of about twenty. The liaison offices operate in the name of the Congressman, and most of the letters they send out are signed by the Congressman’s name, although they may make their own decisions.

What is the main purpose of the liaison office? It’s actually a facility to help voters solve their problems. Constituents can go to the liaison offices if they have any complaints, problems or issues. Although the liaison offices are not executive agencies, they can coordinate with the executive agencies and influence the decisions of different agencies in the name of the Congressmen. The main activities of the liaison offices include social security matters, treatment of veterans, support of disabled children, immigration issues, agricultural development issues, etc. Their task is to help their constituents to solve their problems.

On the one hand it is a social work, and on the other hand it is a way for Congress people to win the hearts and minds of the people. The staff member I interviewed told me how she works through various methods to get money from federal, state and other funds to support children, and how she helps foreigners who want to stay with their immigration problems, saying that she is dealing with the immigration of a Polish Solidarity union member. The liaison office uses the prestige of the Congressman to coordinate and lobby, often solving a number of problems. In terms of function, it is a bit like the Chinese “petition office.

The congressional liaison offices are paid by the congress and have a budget in congress, so they have some independence from the executive branch. It is the Congressman who heads the liaison office. Congressmen travel between Washington and their districts each week, spending much of their time in their districts. If a Congressman loses his election, his liaison office is abolished and the staff in it has to find a new position. When a newly elected member of Congress establishes his or her liaison office, he or she naturally hires someone who has worked hard in the election.

In political and social life, the liaison offices of Congressmen most a very important network, they link all the constituents together, and the function of Congressmen is not just to go to Washington once a year to discuss national events, but to deal with the smallest matters of each family every day. This is a mechanism that has some efficacy in terms of defusing and easing social tensions. They are not the executive branch, and when people cannot deal with the executive branch, they can also go to the liaison office of the legislature, which is responsible for dealing with the executive branch. Naturally, the liaison offices also work within the law and cannot overstep it, unless the Congressmen make new laws through their own efforts.

Even more noteworthy is the network of congressional liaison offices, which in effect constitute a complete information system. How does the legislature of a country legislate? This is a crucial issue in practical politics. Only when the legislature is well informed can it make laws that are more adaptable, and at the same time, it can correctly judge the priorities of each matter and make laws. Without a complete information system, how can each Congressman and Congress make accurate judgments? The Congressman’s liaison office system, together with modern means of communication and transportation, allows this information network to operate effectively. This is an important aspect of political and social organization.

Congressmen rely on this system, but they are also subject to it. For this mechanism both serves and tests the activities of Congressmen. Are Congressmen competent? Are they doing their jobs? Have they accomplished something? This mechanism will tell the voters. There are many things that start out as things that people build for one goal and then often become tools to achieve another goal. Liaison offices both gather public opinion and are governed by it.

VIII. Soft Governance

1. Drivers License • 1,300 Words

There are two basic approaches to managing or governing a society, one is political governance and the other is technical governance, which can also be called soft governance. By soft governance, we mean that the society develops an effective mechanism to govern the society through economic, cultural, customary and legal means. Governance by politics, with more power application and coercion, increases the burden and responsibility of the political and administrative system. If the political and administrative system can take away a large part of the responsibility and make the affairs that should be governed governed, then the society has a more mature management system. Contradictions and conflicts arising from political governance would be reduced accordingly. American society is a privately owned capitalist society that, by design and by the power of capital itself, has developed a set of soft governance methods that constitute a condition for the stability of this society.

In the United States, there is no special ID card issued to citizens. What is commonly used by Americans to prove their identity is a driver’s license. Most adults in the United States have a driver’s license. If you do not have a driver’s license, you can go to the driver’s license department and get a document that is the same as a driver’s license and cannot be used to drive, but can be used to prove your identity. You can show it when you need to verify your identity (e.g., write a check). All public and private sectors have agreed to recognize this as the norm.

I went to apply for a driver’s license to prove my identity. I called and asked for a driver’s license, and the answer was yes, so I went there with my passport and saw that it was the state department of transportation office. This kind of thing is generally under the control of the state government. There were quite a few people applying there. I waited in line for ten minutes. The officer didn’t have any other questions, so I opened my passport and showed her my name, asked about my height and weight, looked at the color of my eyes, wrote down my birthday, and I was done.

Then go to the next desk to verify it, then move to the next desk, enter it into their computer, and collect the five dollars. This office worker took about a minute. The next person took out a printed sheet with my gender, eye color, weight, body height, date of issue, birthday, and address, number, and then gave me a signature. After signing, I sat down on a chair next to the photo, which only took one or two minutes. The third clerk told me to sit and wait for a while, saying that the photos should be developed. After waiting for two minutes, he brought the license, the photo and all the data mentioned earlier printed on a small card and sealed in a plastic case. Five to eight minutes total. This license can be used as an “ID card” and is valid throughout the United States. No one asked me why I needed this ID card. No one said that a foreigner could not get one either.

I was discussing this phenomenon with a professor in the political science department at the University of Iowa. He said it’s tradition. Americans don’t like the government controlling them and absolutely cannot understand why the government gives everyone a number. In fact, every American who applies for a job, even foreigners, have a social security number given by the federal government’s tax office. The practice varies from country to country under different political cultures. For example, the French government gives a number to every baby at birth.

Americans need documents because they need them in their own lives, such as for banking, paying bills or driving a vehicle. Where are such documents issued? The most common is the Department of Transportation, because it is difficult to live in the United States for long periods of time without a car. He said Americans could never accept the police department issuing documents, which would give the police department too much power. In fact, the computer system is so advanced that the police department can easily use the personal data about citizens stored by the Department of Transportation and even various other agencies. I’m afraid that anywhere you go the police department has a way to find out what’s going on through the computer based on your license. I was reminded of a scholar who returned to the United States the year before last and told me that once when he left his state for a visit, his host arranged to visit a county police department and the police department showed him the computer system. The police chief who accompanied him asked him for this “license”, entered the relevant number into the computer, and immediately showed his details on the computer screen, including age, nationality, date of birth, occupation, and whether he had a criminal record, which amazed him.

Regardless, it is a very interesting political and cultural phenomenon that the Department of Transportation issues “ID cards” and not the police department. It shows the wariness that Americans have of a coercive department like the police department. The fact that the head of the county police agency is elected, not appointed, is also indicative of a desire to constrain its power.

The transportation department does not ask any more questions about this type of document, but only requires the applicant to show proper documentation to prove that he or she is over 18 years of age; for applications under 18, parental consent is required. The department that handles this “ID” can accept a variety of documents: licenses from other states, copies or originals of birth certificates, passports, immigration documents, insurance documents, etc. They only need these documents to see the applicant’s name and birth.

Americans protect their psychological security at all times. As you can see from the previous analysis, this is only a “psychological feeling” because the police department has full access to information through the computer system. But the eternal idea of this “psychological feeling” should be seen as an enduring force in political life. The real question is how to make the people feel at ease and how to make the government manageable.

It is clear from the procedure for obtaining such “identity cards” or “driver’s licenses” that what is important here is not which department issues them, but that each person has an “identity card”. The government’s computer system has data on the citizen’s situation. Any government department can still use this data whenever it is needed. In short, although apparently uncontrolled, society is naturally under strict control of the government.

The government has woven this network without deliberately emphasizing that it is the responsibility of the police department, but rather that it is a service to the public. The issuance of a “driver’s license” can be used as a driving license and an “ID card”, killing two birds with one stone. At the same time, in all aspects of social life, the “ID card” is indispensable at all times, so it is also a convenience provided by the government to the public, so that people will voluntarily get the “ID card” and join the network, because it is indeed useful.

Another feature of this approach is that it unifies the various document systems and makes one card multi-purpose. With one “ID” card, such as a driver’s license, no other documents are needed, simplifying the process. The “identity” system is formally depoliticized, but it has the same function as the politicized “identity” system.

2. Principles of the Factory • 1,400 Words

I was very unfamiliar with American factories and thus eager to take a tour. I knew that Harvard professor Ezra Vogel [傅高义] had written a book – Japan as Number One: Lessons for America – comparing American corporate management with Japanese corporate management, trying to find out from it the causes of Japan’s mind-boggling post-war economic miracle. We were accompanied to the factory by Jack Newman, the former manager of this factory.

This plant was a branch of The Procter and Gamble Company in Iowa City. The company, now a worldwide powerhouse, was founded in 1837 as a small factory for candles and soap and was based in Ohio. Today there is no need for candles and the company manufactures mainly detergents such as the famous Tide detergent and laundry detergent, and also Crest toothpaste. When I was in Singapore and Hong Kong, I also saw these toothpastes all over the streets. In addition to detergents, the company also produces some food and medicine.

The company is fully committed to introducing new products, and in recent years has been producing popular diapers. The company, like most companies, continues to innovate and introduce new products in the pursuit of maximum profitability, and has more than 50 branch plants and research and development facilities throughout the U.S. The Iowa City plant is just one of more than 50, and the company has operations in 45 countries.

This transnational organization is typical of the American economy and is part of the American entrepreneurial spirit. American businesses are willing to open branches at home and abroad whenever possible, and pay close attention to the statistics that come from these activities. Multinational corporations, too, often compete with each other for these numbers. When it comes to business, the American mindset is not only focused on making money, but also on fame. Spending money on fame is popular among Americans, and this mentality governs much of their behavior.

The company had about 80 employees and sales of one million dollars from 1850 to 1859, and by 1930, sales had risen to two million dollars. It took almost 70 years to double, and in 1956, sales rose to a billion dollars, showing the incredible pace of postwar growth. By the eighties, the company had 59,000 employees and sales of \$10 billion. This rate of increase was phenomenal. Indeed, there is a phenomenon in all economic development: initial growth is often slow, but after reaching a certain size, it surges. This is true of national and regional development, and it is also true of factory and business development. In terms of countries and regions, Japan is the most obvious example, and most of the newly industrialized regions have experienced this.

This factory in Iowa City employs five hundred people. Five hundred people is not a small factory in a more automated factory, producing toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo and other products. We were greeted by the new manager. The manager had been working in the factory for more than twenty years and came to work in the factory after getting his master’s degree, during which he moved to various factories of the company to grow his experience and talent, and then was sent to Saudi Arabia as a manager of a branch factory. After such a process, he was promoted to the manager of this factory. In this plant, a prerequisite to become a middle manager is a master’s degree from a university and it should be in chemistry. Then in the process of practice repeatedly hone, and then select from them promising people to assume leadership positions, Ezra Vogel said that in Japanese management promotions are slow In the United States promotions are rapid. In this manager’s case, it is the opposite. This ensures that the person promoted to manager has management experience and talent, and at the same time knows the business. For the development of a good manager, a diploma and practice are indispensable.

The management style of this factory aroused our interest. On the wall of the parlor hangs a frame with a very interesting message, which is transcribed as follows.

Each of us is an owner of the Company. We should abide by the following principles.

We will operate safely at all times. We will provide a safe working environment.

We will work with honesty and integrity.

We will care for each person as an individual. We will act in a respectable and trustworthy manner.

We will dominate ourselves and our work and will pursue ourselves to excellence.

We will work together for common goals and long-term advancement.

We will recognize that the needs of both the business and the individual are important. We will work for both.

We will understand our business and support it continuously.

We will make smart use of manpower. We will develop and maintain the necessary expertise and flexibility.

We will provide effective training to implement the work.

We will encourage and support personal growth. We will look for opportunities that inspire personal growth.

We will repay fairly. We will recognize the contribution of individuals to the business.

We will communicate effectively. People will get the information they need.

Decisions will be made by the person with the best information about each situation.

We will encourage innovation and knowledge, and will learn from successes and failures.

We will be a responsible group of citizens in our community.

Iowa City Branch, 1986.11

This is a very interesting corporate statement. It was formulated in November 1986 and seems to be less in line with the traditional entrepreneurial spirit, with more emphasis on the call to action and on being one with the company, similar to the Japanese entrepreneurial spirit. But at the same time, it places great emphasis on the traditional spirit: the status of the individual. From a historical point of view, it also reflects the extent to which the conflict between entrepreneurs and workers has been reconciled. Such a provision would have been unthinkable in the West fifty years ago. The latest changes in the capitalist system today deserve attention.

On the other hand, the development of science and technology has made the process of production regulations seem insignificant, such as not to be late, not to finish early, to complete the number of products, to ensure quality, etc. We will call these regulations hard regulations, that is, the regulations used to regulate the production process. In a society where production is not developed, this is essential. Marx could have given many examples when he wrote Capital, and here is why.

In societies with advanced production, automation, electrification and electronics make these regulations redundant, while soft regulations become important. Soft regulations mainly harmonize people’s mental and psychological state. Each part of the automated assembly line is forced to be obeyed by each worker. We saw multiple assembly lines in this factory, and the speed was dizzying. The workload of the workers is enormous. This is called “dehumanizing coercion”. Psychologically speaking, “dehumanizing coercion” is easier to accept than “humanizing coercion”. Marcuse’s analysis of contemporary capitalism is worth exploring, especially when it comes to the changes in people’s psychology caused by modern mass production. The question of how to reconcile people’s psychological and spiritual states becomes a crucial one. This “convention” contains a lot of Maslow’s psychology, which seems to be clear at a glance.

Thanks to automation, management has become easier, and with the right to terminate employees, the whole management seems more effective. A look at the people who have been sacked from this factory shows how modernization has facilitated management. The retired manager told us that some of the people who were dismissed were stealing from other people’s clothing boxes or not paying in the self-service stores. These are non-productive reasons. The development of capitalism has used technology to resolve the conflicts that may arise between labor and management over technology. This is a condition for both the easing of social conflicts and the development of business. The undemocratic process of American business has been technologized and automated. In Marcuse’s words, it has been rationalized. What remains is to reconcile people’s inner worlds. But it seems difficult to reconcile people’s inner worlds, because the rationalization of what is irrational is constantly and quietly suppressing people’s minds, and this process will intensify with the development of modern science and technology. This will be a difficult problem for Western society for a long time.

3. The Enterprise is not Democratic • 1,200 Words

I was a guest at a friend’s house and had dumplings. In America, this is a high class “treat”. After arriving in the United States, surrounded by “hamburgers”, “hot dogs”, and “fried potatoes”, people will feel that eating dumplings and squash is a premium luxury. Many Chinese have lived the United States for many years, but are still not used to eating Western food. This is probably also a kind of Chinese “bad nature”.

During the meeting, we talked about part-time jobs. My friend’s wife had worked in many places. In order to survive, she couldn’t help working. The first thing she said was: “Working is really exhausting, I have cried several times, I really can’t protest. The problem I am interested in is not whether I am tired or not, but how to manage it in the workforce, how to people are forced to work and made to feel ‘tired’.”

She said the management is extremely strict, in factories, enterprises and other departments, the supervisor is the absolute authority. Some supervisors are so fierce that everyone is afraid. She now works part-time on campus and is responsible for cleaning the school building. She starts work at 5:00 a.m.. and finishes at 1:00 p.m. every day because she has to clean the classrooms when the school is less crowded. She says the supervisors are very strict and tell her what to do and how thorough to be in each job. Everything is clearly defined and detailed. The supervisor was responsible for checking her work and if it didn’t meet the requirements, he would write a note to the worker to redo it. If not, they will be fired.

The supervisor will appear in front of the workers anytime and anywhere. When the overseer comes, there is no permission, as long as he sees someone resting, or talking and gossiping, will be found to talk and warned. Once again, they will be sent away. In front of the overseer, absolutely have to obey.

There is a layer above the supervisor. There is also a layer below the supervisor, there is a team of people who are responsible for the cleaning of the entire building. They then assign the work to subordinates. For the work assigned, the person below must complete it, and if they feel it is unfair, they can theoretically talk to their supervisor, and if talk doesn’t work, they can find their supervisor’s supervisor. But in the meantime, the work assigned to you must be completed, and if not completed you may be fired. Therefore, in terms of the entire organization of economic activities, the control is very strict. This is the reason for its high productivity on the one hand, and an important condition for the self-organization of its social life on the other.

Another noteworthy factor is the convenience that modernization has brought to management. The friend’s wife said that the supervisors carry walkie-talkies and are always in contact with the managers further up the hierarchy. The supervisors can receive instructions from their superiors while making their rounds. In addition, in some buildings, there are camera lenses, so that every move of the workers is visible. The most powerful force is money, because once fired, it is also very difficult to find a job. The new employer is going to ask why the original job is not being done, there is a possibility of calling the original employer of the person applying for the job. In this American society, if you cannot find a job, life will be very difficult. The pressure of life, the magic of money, and the power of management all drive people to do their best and be careful. To do it, you have to put in real effort and be realistic.

This strict management in the social circle of life is an integral part of the organic functioning of society. Private businesses and corporations manage most of the economic functioning mechanisms of society. The public sector is essentially managed in this way as well. The most important force is the square measure of money. The power of money is irresistible, but not all money creates such a power. Money creates power only when it reaches a certain amount. Whenever you work, you can get a higher pay, for example, washing dishes for \$3-6 per hour. If you wash dishes for ten hours and take the average, you can earn \$40, which is almost 160 RMB at the official price (of course, the high and low wages are not fully explained by the amount of income or from the comparison with the wages of workers in other countries, but must be linked with the proportion of expenditure and the inflation rate to see more clearly). If it were only \$1 per hour, most people probably wouldn’t take how they work seriously. As long as they work, most of them have a better salary. This makes him reluctant to lose his job, but to not lose his job, he has to work hard. This way society has a strong coordinating force and does not need the government to coordinate. Only after a certain threshold of labor conflict or social tension is exceeded will the government intervene.

Society is managed through the power of money, with little talk of ideological education. Of course, we can say that this ensures that the capitalists exploit the workers. In fact, capitalists and businesses are all about getting profits, and this method of management ensures that they get there. In fact, this spirit of management is not only reflected in the economic sphere, but also in the public sector of government. Other institutions of society follow the same pattern. This kind of management creates a mechanism: strict and efficient management in social and economic affairs. It should be said that this constitutes a basic condition for its political democracy, because the specific area of political rule is very limited and most of it is encompassed by the supra-political activities of private enterprises, where turmoil and ups and downs do not touch the whole society. In countries where institutions and power are relatively centralized, on the other hand, political or policy changes move the whole body of a nation.

The American approach to management is not the same as the Chinese tradition. American management is rigid and strict; Chinese tradition is about flexibility and mobility so as to appear humane. Americans consider the former to be natural and the Chinese consider the latter to be natural. A Taiwanese who was second in command in an American company told me that he made it clear to the Americans that he was Chinese and was willing to follow the Chinese approach to management, and if his American counterparts did not cooperate, he had to take the American approach, and was at the mercy of it all. In a sense, this shows that it is difficult for Chinese people to accept the American management method, and they may feel psychologically unbalanced and may not be able to coordinate interpersonal relationships. It is worth exploring what path Chinese society should take to create a better organizational mechanism for political development.

4. Human Services • 1,300 Words

Social service, or human service, is the dominant element in contemporary Western social welfare policy. I have always felt that social welfare is a stabilizing mechanism that cannot be ignored in Western societies, and it has resolved various conflicts that were difficult to resolve in the past. The inhuman phenomena of capitalist society depicted and criticized by Marx, Engels and Lenin have now been resolved by the government. Naturally, such an ending came about only after social contradictions had intensified. However, once this mechanism is formed, it will have an unanticipated effect on the stability and continuity of the entire social system.

I went to visit a county human services agency. When I walked into the agency, I saw some people waiting to be received. They appeared to be poor people, some pregnant women, some mothers with children. We were greeted by F, the director of the agency.

These types of human service organizations are found in all states. Let’s dissect the organizational structure of Iowa. There is a Department of Human Services at the state level, and eight districts below the state, each of which is divided into a number of counties. This county is in the Cedar Rapids district. At the state level, there is a commissioner in charge of the Department of Human Services, who is subordinate to the governor, and there is also a Human Services Commission. At the state level, there are three divisions, Veterans Administration, Mental Health and Social Services, which are responsible for proposing policies, organizing programs and providing services. There is also a Community Services Division, headed by a deputy commissioner, which manages refugee, volunteer, district and county offices; an Organizational Planning Division, also headed by a deputy commissioner, which manages communications, program development and program coordination; and a Management and Budget Division, which manages finance, legal affairs, personnel, training, program evaluation and other matters. The Human Services Commission sets policy and recommends how the Department of Human Services should work. The Department of Community Services manages eight district agencies and 146 local offices. What are the goals of the Department of Human Services? The Department of Human Services’ own literature indicates: to provide human services to Iowans who are experiencing personal, economic or social problems. The Department’s primary responsibility is to promote the welfare of Iowans by helping individuals and families become self-supporting.

This goal was set with a guiding philosophy that we can analyze: a good family is the foundation for the growth and well-being of all individuals, so the Department of Human Services focuses on promoting family unity and human development; services should be provided in a manner that protects the private domain (Privacy), promotes the dignity of the individual, and enables individuals to have full control over their own lives. As you can see, this goal is deeply infected by the American spirit, and its role is, of course, to promote and preserve it.

What does human services include? Services for people who are incapable of taking care of themselves and services for the mentally ill, which is what any society would do. It is noteworthy that it focuses more on the social problems caused by human beings, while concentrating on resolving these conflicts. We can look at several areas. One major aspect of its services is the distribution of food stamps to provide food for those who do not have jobs or income. Food stamps may arise from a variety of problems, such as unemployment, early pregnancy, etc. The agency also takes care of young women with early pregnancies and helps “Single Mothers” by encouraging them to go back to school and finish their studies.

And then there is the care of abused children. although the United States is a very civilized country to say the least, there is a lot of child abuse going on. Ms. F. told us that last year they had a hundred documented cases of child abuse here, and two became permanently disabled. Many children are crippled by being beaten. Then there is the care of abused adults, mostly women, (Americans are known to beat their wives). The agency also provides medical funding. In particular, its services in social issues act as a buffer, so that forces that might otherwise impact the social system are diminished at this point. Its social function speaks for itself.

Social services play a role that legal and political regulation cannot. Legal and political regulation is effective within the limits of reason. The desperate people in society tend to lose their rationality, and they do not heed the normal means of regulation. The role of social services is to keep people within the bounds of rationality and not to make them go out of their way.

Because social services have such a wonderful function, government investment is also significant. The countervailing theory, of course, is that social conflicts have reached such a level that investment is necessary. Let’s look at the fiscal report for the Cedar Rapids district: in fiscal year 1987, financial expenditures for child assistance were \$168 million; food stamp expenditures were \$108 million; and medical assistance amounted to \$412 million, a ratio that is easy to calculate for a district with a total population of 430,000.

It is possible to look at it in more detail. Let’s look at the county: population of about 16,000, almost desolate compared to China. in fiscal year 1987, nearly \$320,000 was spent on child support; unemployed parent fees, \$63,000; food stamps, \$270,000; medical support, over \$140,000; state supplemental aid, \$60,000; temporary emergency food support, \$76,000; adoption services, \$200,000; purchased services, \$100,000; child support, \$160,000; administrative costs and salaries, \$140,000; and administrative expenses, \$9,500. Adoption services, \$200,000; purchased services, \$100,000; child support, \$160,000; administrative costs and salaries, etc., \$140,000; and administrative expenses, \$9,500. The total cost of all these items is \$2.7 million. And the total cost to the state in this area is \$839 million. That’s a staggering figure. This is one way of looking at the social problems that are piling up.

57% of this financial cost comes from the federal government and 43% from the state government. Since social services play a vital role in social stability, this money cannot be left out. Imagine what it would be like to stop the social services program as a whole. However, this expenditure is increasingly becoming a heavy burden on taxpayers and the debate around it will grow stronger and stronger.

That said, one can trace this service back to England in the 16th century. It is said to have been a practice in England around 1500 to reserve a portion of the land to care for the poor. This legend also came to America with the Mayflower ship, explains F. That may be true. But the more important question is why were there poor people? Because when the Mayflower arrived, there was not a clear distinction between the rich and the poor. The system that produces the poor also produces the power to delegitimize itself. Rulers must find ways to transform that power. It is not difficult to look at the history of the United States after World War II and come up with such an answer.

Many people strongly advocate cutting these costs. But when it comes to putting it into action, everyone is afraid to act. The human services program has become an inseparable part of the social system, and without it it would be unbalanced. The real problem is that American society has not stopped creating the forces of denial, but has instead produced more and more of them, which human services can only transform, not eliminate. In the long run, this function will one day reach its limits. But for the United States, there is no other choice, a choice that has to be made to prevent possible political upheaval.

As with any society, no society has the capacity to solve all the problems of all people. If a society is to pursue long-term stability, this should be built to maximize the mechanisms that can solve social and individual challenges. For many societies, the cause of the crisis is not in the system, but in something very common: whether people can be fed and clothed.

5. Coca-Cola Headquarters • 1,300 Words

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest companies in the world. In recent years, it has also gained a huge market in China and has become a household name. Coca-Cola is used as a typical example when discussing “over-consumption”. Perhaps this refers to the can, not the drink inside. People all over the world are embracing Coca-Cola. I want to look at the organization of American society from this world-famous company.

The headquarters of Coca-Cola is located in the city of Atlanta. Such a well-known company, in fact, the headquarters of the office is not very large. An old building fifteen stories high, and a newly built building. In a city of skyscrapers, Coca-Cola can be considered inconspicuous. But this is the place where people command Coca-Cola around the world. The title page of the 1987 annual report of Coca-Cola’s headquarters reads.

The spirit of Coca-Cola is to sell beverages to a thirsty world, with more than 500 million people drinking Coke every day.

There is no mention of money here; in fact, the spirit of Coca-Cola is to make a profit by selling beverages. Let’s look at the company’s finances for the year 1987: total operations of more than \$7.6 billion, probably more than the gross national product of many small countries; total operating income of more than \$1.3 billion; and net income of more than \$900 million. Coca-Cola’s growth from a small workshop to the massive multinational corporation that it is today, across five continents, is a path shared by many large companies. Today, Coca-Cola is present in 155 countries around the world, and the company accounts for 44 percent of the world’s softdrink sales. The company employs 17,000 people. The global Coca-Cola system employs 500,000 full-time employees and 500,000 part-time employees. Coca-Cola directs this army of one million people around the world. When you think about it, does it make political sense? Or a have a broader meaning?

I visited the Coca-Cola headquarters. We were accompanied by the PR lady, who seemed to have some connection to the earliest Coca-Cola family. In the Coca-Cola office building, there are a number of valuable paintings hanging, both modernist and classical style. It is a policy of the Coca-Cola Company to collect artworks so that they will be more valuable in a few years. In the lobby of the office, the flags of 155 countries and territories are hung, indicating that Coca-Cola has penetrated the markets of these places. Next to it was an electronic display board that automatically showed the price of Coca-Cola stock on the New York Stock Exchange. As Coca-Cola’s sales were booming, the stock price was rising and gaining momentum. The company’s employees generally bought shares of their own company as well.

The corridor also displays a number of Coca-Cola advertisements from the 1930s and 1940s, many of which feature a voluptuous girl in various poses, presumably a well-known singing actress or dancer of the time. Professor Shi Xiaochong said that these advertisements were available in Shanghai before the liberation. The company also displayed below gifts from branch plants around the world. We saw a gift from the Coca-Cola factory in Xiamen, China.

The tour guide took us to the office of the former chairman of the board, which I was told is not normally open to visitors. In this office, regardless of other kinds of gifts, only the wall hanging on the autographed photos of several U.S. presidents is enough to illustrate the status of the Coca-Cola Company. Americans attach great importance to this honor. Celebrity photos on the wall is an honor. This, I’m afraid, is the biggest human flaw, the world’s common problem.

When Coca-Cola made a fortune, in addition to expanding its reproduction, it donated a significant portion of its funds to educational and academic institutions. This is of most interest to me. One university around Atlanta, Emory University, has received a lot of money from Coca-Cola and has grown rapidly over the years. During our visit to the university, the president told us that the school had taken off in the past few years thanks to Coca-Cola’s sponsorship. Indeed, a beautiful new building was erected on the campus. The university has become rich enough to spend a lot of money on famous professors and to attract good students by awarding scholarships. Large corporations have a tradition of donating large sums of money to academic institutions and foundations. This is of course regulated by government tax policy. We can look at the Brookings Institution (see Chapter 10, Section 2, “The Brookings Institution”).

Of the Brookings Institution’s 1987 finances, government appropriations accounted for only 8 percent, while private donations amounted to 39 percent; dues and book income, 31 percent; and grants, 27 percent. This does not give a quantitative idea, so let’s look at the dollar amounts: government, \$450,000; private donations, \$6 million; dues and book income, \$4.85 million; and grants, \$4.1 million, for a total of \$15.4 million. This is the income a think tank receives. With such a mechanism, how can a think tank not be developed? If all the think tanks were to be covered by the government, I am afraid that something would soon go wrong. One is that it may not be able to produce ideas, because if the government pays for it, the government can influence it. Another is that financially the government cannot afford such a large pool of ideas. If there is only one or a few think tanks left, I am afraid that there will not be a real competition and contest of ideas, and it will not create a situation where ideas are flowing.

This leads to another issue that deserves attention, the political significance of the mega-corporations I mentioned earlier. Coca-Cola manages nearly a million people, manages hundreds of plants inside and outside the United States, and actually governs those people. Add up the number of people managed by each multinational or private company in the United States and you will see what this means in terms of political management. For if all these companies and factories belonged to the government and needed to be specifically managed by the government, the government would add many burdens. In terms of management principles, the government also does not have such a large amount of energy.

In a capitalist society, private enterprise pursues its own goals and will govern by all means at its disposal, while the role of government is to regulate private enterprise. This completes the dualization of the regulation of people: the self-organizing system of society and the self-organizing system of government. The governmental system only regulates the self-organized system of society from above, but does not get caught up in it, and thus the burden of government is not heavy. The self-organized system of society has a set of rules, procedures and operations, and they operate in a stable manner. Changes in politics often do not affect the functioning of this set of mechanisms. They drive the functioning of the social system while pursuing their own goals in their operation. This is the basis of a political system, or rather of a political system like the United States. It is precisely in these two areas that the role of large corporations in the United States lies. This non-economic role is not realized by the large corporations themselves. If they were consciously doing these things, it would be a different political picture, I’m afraid.

Steady state.

Coca-Cola grew out of a ramshackle workshop, as did other large companies. At a certain level of this process, political institutions and social systems tend to stabilize. This is the relationship between politics and economics.

6. God on Earth • 2,100 Words

Religion, or religious life, in American society is a fundamental part of social life. Religion is an inseparable part of the lives of many people. An understanding of America cannot be separated from an understanding of American religious life. When you enter any community, urban or rural, you are bound to see churches of all sizes and shapes. The number of churches in a city is often surprisingly large.

Not all Americans are religious, and it’s even fair to say that not all church-goers are religious. People who are religious and people who go to church are very different. But whatever the psychological and social motivations, they come into the church. Christmas is more an expression of religious life and religious sentiment. Christmas commemorates the coming of Jesus Christ, but the holiday has long been secularized and has become a folk holiday. It is also a religious holiday, and religious organizations organize various events during this period. The same applies to non-religious organizations.

I went to a special concert by a city symphony orchestra on Christmas Eve. These concerts are held once a year and sing roughly the same songs, all hymns, in praise of the Savior. In this concert, Handel’s Messiah (meaning “Savior”) was performed. When one of the songs (“Hallelujah”) was sung, the whole audience stood up, as has been the custom since George II. Hallelujah, or Praise the Lord: “The kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of the Lord and Christ, and the King of kings and Lord of lords will rule over us from generation to generation.” Many Americans are psychologically dependent on religion or religious organizations, which has created a situation where religion is powerful in American society.

Americans are religious, but it varies greatly. There are devout believers who remain true believers and worship God with great seriousness and reverence. They go to church every Sunday to watch Mass or to worship, and actively participate in the various activities organized by the church. In their family life, they also continue the traditional family religious life. I was once a guest in the home of a prominent financial man. They had a prayer during the evening meal, and the guest of honor held hands while his daughter read a prayer in Latin.

Some people also go to church every Sunday, but they are not religious, they are not Religious. They are so used to going to church that they have to go every time, and if they don’t, they feel like they are missing something. I discussed this topic with a theology professor. He said that not many people are really religious, and that most people who go to church are not religious. But they can find a way of life in church, form a circle of life, see friends and acquaintances, talk, and have a community life. Also some people maintain a close relationship with the church because of the church’s charitable services. The church conducts a lot of charitable activities, and many poor people and people in need benefit from the church, so naturally they also maintain a closer relationship with the church. In short, there are a multitude of people who come into the church, but differ in their feelings, perceptions and purposes.

An important piece of the reason why religion has had such a powerful influence lies in the secularization of religion. Religious activities are not so much mysterious, and are very different from the religious activities and religious organizations of the Middle Ages. Many of the large modern churches are very modern and do not have the style of the old church with its spires and towers, but have a modern mood. Many modern churches have become the subject of debate. The churches are richly decorated with green pine and green leaves. God and Christ probably dare not think about it.

Religious organizations are also using modern means of communication to spread their religion. Several major radio stations broadcast prayer programs on Sundays, reaching millions of households. Prominent priests conduct the services, and much of what is preached concerns the worries and needs of each person’s daily life. Sometimes it is about how one can be successful, sometimes it is about why one should get along with others, and so on and so forth. All the topics are linked to quotations from the Bible. When the Olympics were held in Seoul, a famous pastor held a prayer in Seoul, broadcast live to the United States, with the theme, “Before you ask, I will meet you.” These are the words of the Bible. The pastor said that the reason why there was such good weather in Seoul during the Olympics was because God fulfilled this desire of people before they asked for it. And so on and so forth. The modern mass media have spread religious culture to the four corners of the earth in a way that the missionaries of the 17th and 18th centuries could not match. Because of the power of the mass media, people unconsciously accepted religious culture by ear.

Another reason for the strong appeal of religion is the large number of charitable activities organized by religious organizations. Religious organizations have their own philanthropic endeavors, which are non-profit and funded by gifts from believers. Religious organizations are often very wealthy because many believers donate large amounts of money to the church in order to save their hearts or demonstrate their piety. These monies are not taxed and are at the disposal of the church. Churches organize various charitable activities for the relief of the poor. For example, a church serves free lunch every Thursday, and anyone can go and eat it. During the holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, churches arrange for students from foreign countries to be guests in American homes. The church also tends to organize trips, at a very low cost, to stay outside the homes of the congregation. The church does a lot of activities such as these. In a privately owned country like the United States, where the government has limited responsibility, many people without support have come into the arms of the church. The church, along with other types of organizations, attracts this class of people, which is an important aspect of the organizational structure of American society.

Religion in the United States is also diverse and varied, with a wide variety of religions and names. Americans are generally not concerned about what the difference is between one religion and another. They are not sure what the essential difference is, they just follow one religion, and that is enough. There are so many religious organizations that sometimes a few people can claim to be of a different religion. Freedom of religion is constitutionally protected. Anyone who declares that he or she has a religion cannot be prohibited by anyone else. Even if one day a person says that the religion he founded believes that bees are the angels of the world, no one else can do anything but disbelieve him. Tragedies caused by evil religions are not unheard of. For example, the People’s Temple religion founded by Jim Jones ended up forcing more than nine hundred believers to commit mass suicide in Guiana, which shook the world for a while.

Religious organizations and religious activities do not have only a narrow meaning; they also have a broad social meaning. The large and active religious organizations and the numerous and extensive religious activities constitute an important social mechanism in themselves. This mechanism connects and coordinates thousands of people, and thus has a social function that cannot be underestimated. To say that it has a social function is to say that they play a role in public life. Robin W. Lovin’s analysis in Religion and American Public Life is that: (a) Religion can play a role in maintaining order; it ensures a pattern of authority and the necessary obedience of the population, allowing organized human life to continue. A society without religion is a society on the verge of chaos, and religion admonishes people to obey God and the order of the world; (ii) religious life maintains and protects people’s freedom. The greatest contribution of religious life to public life is freedom. Religion in the United States had a different course of development from that of Europe, which came to this great land believing in freedom and came here to escape religious persecution. Religious communities do their best to protect their own freedom, but they also protect the freedom of society, for without social freedom, religious freedom would not exist. Religious freedom gives people a belief that motivates them to pursue freedom in public life as well; (c) religious life promotes social justice. Because religion spreads the gospel of God and propagates equality, this spirit promotes public life and political culture. These three points, he argues, are the three basic relationships between religion and public life.

Looking at the functions of religion in detail, we can say that Lowen’s opinion is not comprehensive; it is obvious that religion has a social function. But the problems of religion are also obvious and cannot be denied. The problem is that in different cultures and social conditions, such functions can be greater or lesser. To summarize these social functions, from the point of view of socio-political management, it can be said that religion has three basic functions.

The capability of constituting a strong system of social organization that can independently govern the people who belong to it according to its own principles.

The ability to constitute an ethical value system that guides and coordinates people’s behavior.

The ability to form a powerful radiating system that can spread its activities and ideas to the community as a whole.

Of course, the above three functions can only perform positive social functions under certain conditions, otherwise they are often detrimental to society. In many societies, religion is the main cause of social unrest. For religion to perform a positive social function, two prerequisites are needed.

One of them is the depoliticization of religion. Religion cannot be the instrument of politics or become the master of politics. The situation in the Middle Ages was the latter, manifested as a kind of foolish tyranny; some modern countries practice the former, manifested as a kind of authoritarian foolishness.

The second is the non-superstition of religion. Religion cannot become superstition; if it becomes superstition, there will be the absurdity of burning Bruno, sending boys and girls to the river gods and seeking gods to tap unseen mystical energies. Superstition and religion are two different fields; religion lies more in the cultivation of personal moral sentiments, the pursuit of self-discipline and devotion, superstition often requires personal devotion to an idea that does not require a rational process, only more blindness and fear of self. Where there is no real separation between religion and superstition, religion cannot perform a positive social function.

A society with a set of religious organizations to coordinate the activities of a significant portion of the population, to establish a set of moral norms and values for a significant portion of the population, may be generally beneficial to community life. Many great thinkers have spoken of the indispensability of religion in an ideal society, such as Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and others. A society without religious life would lose an important self-governing mechanism, and the task of the political system would be even heavier. Where religions exist, the role of the political system is to coordinate them and not allow them to transgress common norms.

The fact that religion is so developed in the United States seems at odds with the highly developed science and technology of American society. This is a mystery of human rationality. In fact, Americans are very rational about religion, just as they are about science and technology. It is difficult for a religion to develop into a superstition in such an American environment. In some other countries, the absence of high-tech development often leads to superstition. The high level of development of science and technology constrains the potential for irrationalization of religion. Society behaves as a strange process; the more knowledge advances and the less dangerous religion becomes, the more active religion becomes.

Naturally, anything can be an object of exploitation, and religion is no exception. Recently the American television press focused on the scandal of a televangelist pastor. His life became a major scandal when he fornicated with a woman while embezzling tens of thousands of donations from his followers for personal gain. This incident shows that religion can be beneficial or detrimental to society, a dilemma that confronts any society with religion at all times.

IX. Reproduction of the system

1. Education system • 1,500 Words

The most difficult task for any society is not the reproduction of goods or products, but the reproduction of institutions. By reproduction of institutions, we mean whether a particular social institution can survive in the next generation or in future generations. The strongest foundation for the existence of an institution is the identity of the society. Whether the new generation agrees with this identity or not is related to the question of whether a certain social system can be reproduced. The most important mechanism of institutional reproduction is the education of society. Social education spreads the socially produced values and thus provides the basic conditions for the survival of the system. In the United States, the mechanism of institutional reproduction is very well developed.

The educational system in American society is so well developed that it is said that America is “a paradise for children, a battleground for youth, and a hell for the elderly. The “paradise” includes the ability of children to receive a good education. Education also serves another function: the United States is a society without aristocratic traditions, the kind of traditional European society is not strong in the concept of hierarchy, everyone has the possibility to enter a certain class of society. Society is naturally divided into classes and groups, and there is a hierarchy of high and low. The mastery of higher knowledge, in a highly technically organized society, is the passport to the upper class. This is also true in practice, where dirty and heavy work such as cleaners and porters is often undertaken by people with less education. Employees, technicians or managers of large companies generally need a good higher education. Under such a mechanism, getting an education becomes a social belief.

I say a belief because it constitutes a psychological sediment for most people. Charles R. Adrian says that parents always want their children to be well educated and want their children to be educated more than they are. While there is not as strong a notion of expecting children to become “dragons” as in Chinese society, no one expects them to become worms. Children going to prestigious universities is one of the top three components of the American dream.

However, the organization of the U.S. social and educational system is unique in that it is not a uniform national organization, but rather one that varies from state to state. Each state has passed a law establishing school districts, which have the authority to administer public schools. The law provides for the establishment of local school boards and establishes the method by which their members are elected. Board members are usually elected by the voters. This shows the importance of education. The law provides that the commission may levy taxes, borrow money, build schools, recruit personnel, and determine local school policy.

The laws of the states differ in their regulation of the boards of education, specifying the types and rates of taxes that the boards may levy, the maximum number of loans, the length of the school year, the minimum salary of the teachers, the quality of the teaching staff, and the main elements of the teaching program. Many states select textbooks, establish syllabi, teaching methods, organize state examinations, and set minimum teacher-student ratios. Some states have also made it illegal to teach communism and evolution in the classroom. State legislation allows for strict control of the education system, often with nuanced regulations. Iowa, for example, mandates that high school students take classes on U.S. history and U.S. government, in effect spreading American beliefs.

The state has a Department of Education, headed by a state school secretary. The Secretary of Education is an elected official. In some cases, he or she is appointed by the board of education or the state superintendent to coordinate the state’s schools to meet the standards set by the state. The state Department of Education has the authority to coordinate and monitor instruction in the state’s schools. It is responsible for providing technical and information services to schools, setting and implementing minimum standard curriculum plans, and approving teaching staff. In addition, the state can influence school decisions by subsidizing school funding.

Although greater authority is available at the state level, the primary activities in local schools are the responsibility of locally elected boards. Local school districts are administrative special districts, independent of the general local government, and therefore they have a great deal of autonomy. Local school boards determine the general policy of the school and have a great deal of authority within the provisions of state law. As a result, school board elections are highly competitive. Parents are naturally very concerned about what kind of education their children will receive in school.

The field of education is the most contentious and divisive area in any society, where conservatism and progressiveness, tradition and modernity, theism and atheism will all be reflected. What the committee members believe will largely determine what kind of education the next generation receives.

It is also a feature of American society that school districts have considerable power, and people elect their own representatives and decide for themselves what kind of education their children receive. The federal government has little substantive authority over local education. This phenomenon can be called the “denationalization of education. In many countries around the world, education is nationalized, such as Japan, France, the Soviet Union, and China. It was once said that the French Minister of Education could sit in his office and look at his watch and tell a visitor which grade of students in all the elementary school in the country were being taught which text, or even which part of the text the teacher had covered. There is an irony in that. The American education system is very different. Each local board of education has the authority to make its own choices. I met a member of the board of education who was of the old school and said he didn’t like the way young students looked now, and he wanted everyone to look like they did before the 1930s: men in suits and women in skirts and flowers.

What is the role of the federal government in education? In principle, there is little role, other than to provide financial support and to sit on the sidelines. However, the increasing federal funding has also caused some controversy. Because federal funding will influence education policy, it will undermine the authority of state governments and local boards of education. There are also many private schools.

Some are Catholic schools, and there is concern that religious choices will be affected. In addition, factors such as ethnic culture, property, and taxes all play a role.

School committees are very political, and most of the people elected are local figures, such as entrepreneurs, proletarians, managers, etc. Teachers are often distrustful of school committee people; they believe that educational policy should be in the hands of teachers and that education should not contain a political element. In reality this idea is unrealistic; I am afraid there is no education without politics, and I am afraid there is no politics without education.

Each state also has its own university, usually two or three. The universities are under the jurisdiction of the state government and are funded by the state government. The president is appointed by the state governor. State universities are not budgeted by the federal government. This system is worth exploring. If all universities were budgeted by the federal government, the federal government would have more than enough money available to pay for them.

The facilities at the school are of top-notch standard. One elementary school in Iowa City is laid out and decorated in a very modern way, with spacious and well-equipped grounds. Of course, good equipment does not equal high quality education. Education in the United States also has serious problems. In some places, the quality of education is incredibly poor (see Chapter 11, Section 2, “The Ignorant Generation”). Racial issues also plague education, with white parents reluctant to send their children to schools with a large black population, and government-imposed zoning and rotation systems causing social problems. There is a high rate of drug use among teenagers. The potential crisis in education, if not addressed, will become a major problem.

In general, society has a relatively well-developed educational system, with education funding probably second only to military spending. Investment in education is the most important, valuable and rewarding investment for the progress and overall development of society. A modern society needs not only modern equipment, but also people who can create and master such equipment. Modernization of people is the most important indicator of modernization. Modernization of people is a systematic social project that must be started from a very young age. Who will do this arduous project, which cannot be stopped from generation to generation? It is done by the educational system of the society. One of the major defects of human beings is that the cultural knowledge and ethics acquired by the previous generation cannot be inherited and must be reacquired by the next generation. This is the biological certainty that education is crucial.

2. MIT • 1,100 Words

MIT, the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) [名的麻省理 工学院]. This is the old translation, but in the current translation, it should be translated as, “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” [麻 州工艺学院]. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next to the city of Boston. We were greeted by Professor Lucien Pye, President of the American Political Science Association. He is a professor in the political science department at MIT. Strange as it may sound, there is a political science department at MIT, just as there is a political science department at the Naval Academy (see Chapter 9, Section 5, “The U.S. Naval Academy”). The political science department at MIT is very strong, and Lucien Pye is a well-known political scientist. Incidentally, on many occasions, the development of the American political system and its political science have gone hand in hand.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a quintessentially American university. The university was founded in 1861 and enrolled in 1865. The Institute grew rapidly in World War II and after the war, a period in which its research grew more rapidly in conjunction with the needs of the war effort. At present there are five faculties: Faculty of Agriculture and Planning, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Management and Faculty of Science. The faculty focuses on science and technology and natural sciences, but also encompasses all humanities and social science disciplines. Because of the low enrollment in these disciplines, their quality is rather higher. MIT now has about 10,000 students, of which 4,500 are undergraduates and about 5,000 are graduate students. Fifty percent of the student body is in engineering and 20 percent is in science. The competition at this school is so fierce that students who are not elite cannot get into this school.

The budget of this school is staggering. The professor who received us said that the school’s annual budget is around one billion dollars, which is almost equivalent to the net income of Coca-Cola for one year. One of the professors at the reception was the director of the MIT Center for International Studies, and he said something about being “poor”: “Our annual budget is very small, very poor, not comparable to the other schools of the university, we only have \$2 million. ” Is \$2 million a small amount? This is a far cry from the concept of a Chinese professor. Certainly the budget of the dpeartment is small compared to the total budget of the college.

American universities, especially the prestigious ones, are indeed rich in the world. And because of this, universities have played an important function in spreading modernity. The modernization of the United States can be said to be nurtured from its thousands of universities. The young generation first learns about modernization in the universities, and most importantly, gains “modern awareness”. If a generation does not have a “modern consciousness”, it can only enjoy modernization, but not create it. The university has enough funds to make it a laboratory of modernization, and it is like everyone who enters the university falls into the “modernization tank”. So, when you leave the university, you have an indelible “modernization consciousness”. This is the role of higher education.

The most important function of higher education is not to produce excellence, but to equip each generation (note, generation) with a sense of modernity.

How will such a huge expense be paid for? Who pays for it? MIT is a private university. Most of the funding comes from outside sponsorships and donations. This is where the social mechanisms I talked about come into play.

MIT is a typical university because it reflects the characteristics of an American university. MIT professors refer to their institute as a “research university. What is a “research university”? They explain that the European university tradition focuses on the transmission of knowledge, while the American university focuses on the discovery of knowledge, which is the basic meaning of a “research university. MIT’s activities are centered around this goal. The entire institute is organized on a laboratory basis, with more than a thousand professors who teach and do research, and more than a thousand people who do support work.

In order to encourage innovation, they believe that the relationship between teachers and students is one of partnership, and therefore a new mutual relationship and a new way of working should be established to develop together with students. Students should be taught not to repeat the knowledge of the past but to embrace the future. This spirit is one of the fruits of the great tree of the American spirit. It is difficult to estimate how much of a role the university has played in America’s progress because it is so large. Universities have encouraged the spirit of innovation in generations of young people and have respected it and made it happen. This is the main driver of progress in any society. Without this atmosphere, it is difficult for society to progress. Especially education.

The most common problem for those involved in education is to see education as teaching what they already know and others don’t, which is a reasonable logic. However, one could have a better logic: to encourage the discovery of what neither the educator nor the educated know. One could say that this is the locomotive of human progress.

MIT’s education should be considered a success: seventy percent of the companies in the Boston area were started by students of this institute, mostly high technology companies. More than four thousand graduates teach at universities in countries around the world. People from all over the world also come to visit. As you walk around the campus, you can see majestic buildings standing next to the green lawn, and people of all colors coming out of these buildings. There are an unusually large number of students of Asian descent. This is the power of knowledge. MIT also has a specific non-discrimination policy: “MIT accepts students of any race, color, sex, or national origin who enjoy the rights, privileges, and programs generally accorded to students of the Institute.” This is also the power of knowledge.

MIT’s influence is spreading not only to American society, but to the entire world. It is spreading not only knowledge, but also the “American spirit”. Without a highly developed education, a nation cannot influence other nations and cannot truly stand among the nations of the world. Unlike industry, agriculture, and commerce, education cannot give people what these activities can give them, but it can provide what no other force can provide.

Of course, American universities are not without problems; on the contrary, they are plagued with problems. But the best students still stand out. Some professors are anxious about the future. However, at universities like MIT, the competition is so fierce that the second best thing doesn’t make it to the showcase.

3. Kennedy School of Government • 1,300 Words

There is a beautiful river in front of MIT – Charles River. In the evening, you can walk slowly along this river, looking at the sweet couples around you and the birds flying in the air, which gives you a feeling of relaxation. Another university that shares the Charles River with MIT is Harvard University, which is also a world-renowned institution. We visited Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The Kennedy School of Gov ernment has a beautiful, modern building. We were greeted by a professor here. He explained that the School of Government is different from the political science departments of universities in that it has its own unique goals and programs. Its main goal is to train people to serve in the public sector, hence the name “School of Government”.

This college received a grant from the Kennedy family, hence the name Kennedy School of Government. From this goal of the college, its relationship to political life becomes very close. Because its main goal is to train people for positions in the public sector, its students will directly influence governmental and institutional activities.

The Kennedy School of Government considers the government sector and the press, as well as all other areas, to be the public sector, but does not include sectors like private enterprise. The School is also not your typical administrative school, which focuses on administrative theory and basic knowledge education. The Kennedy School of Government focuses on education in public policy, on the development of generalists rather than specialists, and its curriculum is less theory-based and more practice-oriented.

I asked how their discipline differs from political science. The professor explained that the study of political science seeks an accurate portrayal of some behavior, while the college is concerned with analyzing the actual situation. He said they were already trying to distinguish between two concepts: one is public administration and the other is public management. While public administration studies how to make people and organizations more responsive, public management studies how to innovate, and they focus on two goals when training students.

Ability to do policy analysis, program evaluation, economic statistics, etc. on issues in the public domain.

Political knowledge, some knowledge of the political system and international politics.

Their research focuses on discovering how much room there is for exploitation of the political system, which requires students to be creative, sensitive, imaginative, integrated, and to have ideas. His summary is that the purpose is political and the foresight is scientific.

To tell the truth, this is the cadre school of America. Americans have the advantage of treating anything as an area that can be explored. This is also true in the field of politics. The phenomenon of studying political issues as an object like particles and celestial activities is most prevalent in the United States, and I am afraid that even Europeans cannot be so thorough. The traditional European conception is to treat politics as art. The American concept is that politics can be a technology. There are a number of colleges like the Kennedy School of Government. Many other university departments of political science are doing this as well. The training of government officials by private schools is also known worldwide, I’m afraid. This approach to politics, the technicalization of politics, brings both advantages and disadvantages. However, it has been effective in the training of public policy personnel, that is, civil officials and policy designers. This provides a solid foundation for the functioning of social institutions.

The United States is the country that has technicalized administration. One cannot serve in government without higher education and specialized training. Also, the political machinery itself, forces the government to address increasingly intricate social issues that otherwise cannot compete for votes. Hence the increasing depth and sophistication of research on a variety of specific issues. There are two important social effects that arise from this.

One of them is to provide the civil official system with a higher quality of reserve personnel who are strictly trained with specialized knowledge and necessary skills to provide any possible service for political rule, thus guaranteeing its longevity.

The second is to make government policy-making a science. Because government officials have such a training background, government policy is naturally made in accordance with these standards, and without these standards, it is not only unacceptable to the various departments within government, but also unacceptable to society. The pros and cons of existing government policies, which are studied by thousands of people every day, are clear. Those who may enter the government arena are educated to discover new policy areas, which in turn can be a catalyst for government decision-making.

As long as a government can formulate reasonable policies to solve social problems, it can survive. I am afraid that the long-debated question of why capitalism is “dying but not perishing, rotting but not decaying” may find some explanation here. This is the question of whether policy is a field that can be studied and developed.

The Kennedy School of Government is confident in its programs. One can see this in one of its programs. It has a program dedicated to training government analysts for developing countries. We can learn exactly how they do this by analyzing this program. This program is called the Edward S. Mason Program in Public Policy and Management.

They argue that in modern societies, every country faces unprecedented challenges and must manage a rapidly changing society and economy. The public sector has a critical role to play. To adapt to this change, public sector officials must acquire skills in policy analysis, decision-making and policy implementation. This program is designed to train senior officials from developing countries. It is planned to recruit about fifty students from developing countries each year. They are trained to have the analytical skills, managerial aptitude and ethical spirit necessary for outstanding public service. All three of these indicators are important.

Participants come from countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, have an average age of 37, and all have 12 years of work experience. The curriculum includes courses in English, mathematics, microeconomics, economics, computers, business and government, crime, energy and environment, health, housing and social development, human resources, international development, international security, journalism, politics, public policy, science and technology, transportation, urban economic development, agriculture, central banking, and more. The teaching method is mainly case based education with a very fine division of policy areas. In addition, field trips are organized to broaden students’ horizons by inviting political figures and scholars to give lectures and by organizing visits abroad to countries such as Mexico, Cuba, South Korea, Egypt, Morocco, Argentina, etc.

As you can see, the program is quite good, however, the tuition is also prohibitively high: \$35,012 per person, not including funds for study abroad. There is no funding for this program, so the students are responsible for their own funding. However, because of the reputation of the Kennedy School of Government, it has been able to recruit students every year. The college has made a small fortune as a result.

Public administration education in the United States has its share of problems. However, because it also has many aspects of success, it is naturally attractive. A large part of that appeal comes not from public sector success, but from economic success. People are sometimes a little myopic, thinking that economic success can replace everything else. That being said, however, the role of the public sector’s operations on its society cannot be ignored. Even more so the role of the policy education sector on the public sector’s operations cannot be ignored.

4. “Talent Factory” • 1,800 Words

The Maxwell School at Syracuse University in New York State is the premier educational institution for the training of public administration officials. It prepares students to enter federal and state government, as well as other levels of government, as key administrators in government. More than 20 U.S. ambassadors abroad are said to have graduated from the academy, as did the former ambassador to Pakistan who was recently involved in a plane crash with President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. In Washington, D.C., the academy has a legion of alumni. It has graduated not only in its home country, but also in many Third World countries.

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs was established in 1924 as the first school of public administration in the United States. Its primary purpose is to educate and train civil servants, and it has been in existence for more than 60 years. The college has become a major talent factory, sending a steady stream of talent to various government agencies.

The College is a comprehensive educational institution that includes the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Affairs, and Sociology. The College does not enroll undergraduate students in public administration, primarily because undergraduates lack a certain level of experience and exposure. Therefore, the College concentrates on training master’s students and in-service students in this program. About six doctoral students are recruited each year. These individuals generally do not do work in the government sector, but rather in the education sector.

MA (Master’s Degree) students are primarily trained to be professionals and enter the government sector. The federal and state governments often send employees to the college for further education. When I spoke with Professor Rosenblum at the college, there were many older people coming to hand in their assignments. I was puzzled at first, but then he explained that these students were employees of the federal government sent there to receive a year of training. He jokingly said that he should be polite to them because they all come from the Internal Revenue Service.

The function of such colleges is to provide high-quality personnel to policy departments and other institutions and to ensure the efficient functioning of the public administration system. Although these colleges are educational institutions, they constitute an informal and indispensable part of the political and administrative system.

We can look at how this school trains its students and what kind of knowledge structure it seeks to give them. The main courses offered by the School to Master of Public Administration students are as follows:

Computers and the Computerization the Public Sector:

Focuses on guiding students to know the basics of computers and how to use them in public administration, and helping them to actually operate them.

Introduction to Public Administration:

Guiding students through the basic problems of public administration, the fundamental issues facing public administration, and the methods of analysis of policies.

Organizational Theory:

Imparts knowledge about public sector organizations, especially how public organizations function and change, including the differences between public and private organizations, various ideas about organizations, individual and group decision making, organizational design and organizational environmental relationships.

Public Administration and Democracy:

Examines the place and role of public policy and and administration in the context of constitutional democracy, and examines the relationship between administrative values (e.g., efficiency, economy) and constitutional values (e.g., equality, liberty, and due process) through legal theory, and how administration can reconcile these two.

National Planning and Management:

Gives students the capacity to discuss the main difficulties of governance and the establishment and implementation of long-term planning. Covers the role of planning departments, forecasting tables, think tanks, multinational banks and companies, politicians, administrative elites. Social and political consequences of the national plan and preconditions.

Statistics:

Provides the basics of statistics, including descriptive statistics, trend analysis, data analysis, sampling, evaluation, and hypothesis prediction.

Research and Development Policy:

Provides knowledge of the institutions and players involved in policy-making and development, examining approaches to both, including innovation, invention, technology transfer, budget and tax policies.

Health Policy:

Discussing some of the fundamental policy issues in health, including private funding, reform, AIDS, and federal regulation of the health protection industry.

Development Economics:

A study of the main issues of Third World development, including a review of measures and theories of development. Also analyzes basic issues such as population, employment, agricultural development, industrialization, education, and food. Topics related to the international environment for Third World development, such as trade flows, investment, aid, and finance, are also analyzed.

Managerial Economics of Public Administration:

Teaches Students to use microeconomics to analyze public policy issues, and using economic concepts to analyze complex policy issues.

Public Science and Technology Development:

Examines the role of the public sector in science and technology development, analyzing special science and technology development policies and the relationship between government and industry.

Energy Principles, Issues, and options:

Research on energy policy and other topics related to energy policy.

Computer Applications for Public Managers:

A study of how to use computers to process information, design, and build organizational and information systems in the large public sector.

Public Personnel and Collective Bargaining:

Discussion of civil service reform, growth and decline of the public sector, compensation, performance appraisal, equal employment opportunity, laws relating to public personnel, etc.

Public Finance:

Analysis of Public finance, from budget, fiscal preparation, fiscal assessment, and adaptation, to implementation. Fiscal analysis also includes topics such as the economic attributes of the budget, intergovernmental tax relations, accounting, and fiscal reform.

Government and the Mass Media:

An analysis of the power relations and dependencies between government, the press, television, and cultural elites, the conflict between information and cultural policies in a democratic society, and government policies toward the press, communication, the arts, entertainment, and leisure activities.

Defense Policy:

Analyzes the military, economic, political and cultural characteristics of defense issues.

Quantitative Approaches to Public Policy Analysis:

Discusses several quantitative models in public policy analysis, such as cost-benefit analysis, linear programming theory, and decision theory.

Public Management and Policy Making:

Discusses the theory, practice, and techniques of policy making, including organizational design, government reform, organizational communication, information management, organizational evaluation, the art of leadership, and planning and management.

Health Service Management:

Discussion of medical management, medical organization, etc.

Marginal Economics of Public Administration:

Applying microeconomics to analyze public policy issues such as supply and demand, firm behavior, and market equilibrium.

Development Administration:

Examining the experiences and lessons learned from managing development programs over the past 25 years, analyzing the roles of those involved in development programs and administration, implementation of development programs, evaluation techniques, and other topics.

Public Personnel Management:

Analysis of the basic characteristics of the public personnel system and the environment in which this system operates, the basic procedures of public personnel, and the roles and functions of public personnel managers.

Local Government Finance in Developing Countries:

Discusses the functions and roles of local government, the demand for local government, the sources of local government finance, and the role of higher levels of government on local government.

Organizational Development:

Analysis of organizations and patterns of human behavior in organizations, including organizational structures and processes, organizational development and behavior, individual, group behavioral dynamics, identification of organizational problems, appropriate organizational interventions, management strategies, techniques to increase organizational effectiveness.

The above is part of the Master of Public Administration program. At the master’s level, the format of instruction is mostly discussion-based. Students are required to read a large amount of material before participating in the discussions, so that they can acquire as comprehensive a knowledge of the field and the available research. As an example, the course “National Planning and Management Competencies” requires students to read books such as.

Ideology and the Competitiveness of Nations by Lodge and Vogel

The Global Report 2000 and its Critique

The Power of Public Perception by Reich

Foresight by Ascher

A Practical Plan by Deyons

The Road to Slavery by Hayek

The Social Limits to Growth by Hirsh

Characteristics of the Reagan Years by Palmer

The Governance of Modern Democracy by Pahrendorf

Page Author: “Bailout and Economic Efficiency

The Growth of Productivity by Baumal

Between Dependence and Autonomy by Grieco

Seeking Safety by Wildavsky

Government and Spirituality by Tussman

The Lower Class by Auletta

Urban, Conversations with George Kennan

Controlling Nuclear Weapons by Dahl

One course requires students to read the above-mentioned books, and all courses add up to a more extensive and complete professional training for students in the training process. The rigorous training ensures the quality of the students. This is the key to the success of Maxwell College’s public administration program and one of the reasons why their students are trained to excel in the government sector.

The level of management of a society is closely related to the level of its government officials. If the quality of government officials is poor and their ability is low, an efficient government management system cannot be formed, it does not have the prerequisites. On the contrary, with a highly trained team of officials, there is a foundation for efficient public administration. Public administration is inseparable from its civil service system. The civil service system is inseparable from the training of government personnel, because the purpose of the civil service system is not to recruit the best people in society, but to absorb the most talented people in society for government management. The civil service examination alone does not guarantee efficient government; no one is born with the talent for government administration. Rigorous educational training is the way to develop such talent. The training of specialized governmental personnel is directly related to the quality of the political and administrative system, and thus affects the overall development of the socio-political economy to a considerable extent. That is why I say that educational institutions specializing in the training of governmental personnel are an informal part of the governmental system.

In terms of training for public administrators, Maxwell’s courses are all more vocational, concentrating on the operational side of public administration. Public administration is concerned with the specific management of social affairs. In modern society, government has a wide range of responsibilities, from economy, culture, education, transportation, scientific and technological development, foreign trade to life, death, and environmental protection, which require public administrators to have expertise and skills in a variety of fields. Overly theoretical and academic training does not help the professional administrator. Professional administrators need knowledge and skills that are usable, workable and actionable. Public administration education can hardly be truly useful for social development without going in this direction.

5. U.S. Naval Academy • 1,500 Words

The U.S. Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, not far from Washington, DC. It is only about an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. Annapolis is also home to the Maryland State Government and State House. The building that houses the State House is the oldest of the buildings used by the government. It was here that General Washington shed his uniform and became a civilian president. That room is still preserved in its original state and is available for tours. This story sheds a lot of light, but here I just want to talk about the thoughts that came out of visiting the Navy Yard.

One of the items on the visit program was a lunch with a political science professor at the Naval Academy, which surprised us all – the Naval Academy has a special political science department? It was really good. The political science department has undergraduate and graduate students with a full political science department curriculum, just like a typical university political science department. I didn’t know if West Point or the U.S. Air Force Academy had a political science department. The professor sitting next to me told me that the Naval Academy political science department had about four or five hundred students, and that the professors were all civilian, like those at other universities. I wondered what the graduates of the Naval Academy’s political science department were doing. He replied, “To serve in the U.S. Navy as officers. In addition, the Naval Academy’s training takes into account not only the students’ recent future careers, but also their needs after they leave the military. Thus many students take courses in the political science department.” In a number of countries where military academies have political science courses but no political science departments, U.S. military academies focus on educating students in political science as a very important part of political socialization.

In many countries, the cause of political instability lies in the military. Especially in countries in Africa and Latin America, military intervention in politics is customary. The social function of U.S. military academies, which spread the basic principles and fundamental spirit of American politics, cannot be underestimated. In the United States, I am afraid that no one accepts military interference in politics, and no military personnel can do so. Of course, it would be too subjective to say that no one thinks this way. But the problem is that those who think about it cannot put it into action. Spreading the basic principles of a society among the military is a strategic measure for socio-political development. It is the same for democratic political development. In developing countries, the first step should be to spread the concept of democracy among military personnel. Even a developed country like the United States is not missing this link, let alone others.

The U.S. Naval Academy is known as the world’s first naval academy and claims to have the largest student housing in the world. The father of the United States Navy is buried under the chapel of this academy. The Naval Academy is located near the sea, with a vast azure landscape in the distance. I asked a woman professor who teaches in the political science department, “Do young Americans want to come here?” She said, “Many apply; tens of thousands apply every year and only a thousand or so can be recruited, so the quality of students is so high that even girls are willing to marry them.” Naval Academy cadets are required to wear uniforms, and we saw cadets dressed in snow-white, wearing white hats, with short haircuts and shaved beards, looking very spirited. The boys were all in high spirits, probably as a result of careful selection. The president of the academy is a vice admiral. The leadership of the Academy belongs to the military system, and the teaching of the Academy belongs to the civilian system, which is very clearly divided. This can probably be considered a feature.

The afternoon coincided with the U.S. Naval Academy’s football team playing another university’s team. The host invited us to go and we obeyed.

Football is the national sport of the United States, in the United States, often there is either conversation about football or no conversation at all. This is certainly a bit of an exaggeration. When we entered the stadium, we saw a huge crowd of people. On the opposite side of the stands sat the opposing crowd and cheerleaders, and a band. On this side sat a snowy white crowd of Naval Academy students. There were 1,500 freshmen below. Before the start of the game, the band played the national anthem and the whole crowd stood up, with many people singing. Then two people came out to speak. He spoke about the glory of the navy and said that those who contributed to the navy should be remembered for generations to come, citing the names of six naval officers who died in Vietnam. The whole audience stood up and the salute rang out six times. Each time it rang, the names of the six men were displayed on a banner underneath the stands and the entire audience observed a moment of silence. Years have passed since the Vietnam War, and they are still remembered. On major occasions, they are remembered. The purpose is to encourage a sense of honor.

Next, the game officially began, with cheerleaders from both sides making a lot of noise and first-year students from the Naval Academy lining the lawn in a long line to welcome their players to the field of play, where players from both sides fought for each other and were very intense. I see that football is very simple, there is no delicate tactics, players mainly rely on strength and speed. The key is to be able to catch and knock down the opponent. So the players on both sides are big and bold and rampant. However, according to people who are proficient in this sport, there is a great deal of tactical used in football.

After watching the game, three things in particular struck me.

One of them is the American focus on honor. Spectators on both sides are extremely concerned about scoring points. If the Naval Academy team scored, the Academy students would applaud and cheer enthusiastically. First-year students sitting below would run around the field to do push-ups, estimated to be in the hundreds, expressing a delight too great to localize. When the opposing team won the game, there would be a cheer in the opposing stands and the band would play a tune. Cheerleaders from both sides also kept drumming, permeated by a strong sense of honor.

The second is that Americans are all about strength. Football has tactics, but strictly speaking, there are no very subtle tactics, it’s mostly about strength. There is probably no sport in the world that has a higher ratio of players on the field to players than football. Football is about hitting hard and rushing hard to reach the line of scrimmage. It embodies the American spirit of using strength to get there fast. Americans have embraced this spirit in the military, politics, economics and many other areas.

The third is that Americans are very outspoken. I got this impression during a break in the stadium. During the break, the opposing university’s band came on to play, and at first the Naval Academy students were not impressed and got up in arms twice. Then the conductor of the opposing band said that they would play a tune specifically for the Navy to show their respect for it. They played a majestic tune, probably a naval anthem or something like that. All the stands on the Naval Academy side stood up, and all the audience on the other side stood up as well, a very touching scene. After the performance, both sides applauded and shouted enthusiastically. Just a moment ago, there were still saber-rattling, then all of a sudden they became cordial and enthusiastic.

The Naval Academy is a military academy, but we can see that it places great emphasis on enabling the spread of political spirit. At the same time, it focuses on cultivating a sense of honor among the younger generation in various activities, in fact, it makes the students receive the “national spirit” that has already been formed. Instead of treating the military academy as a mere military-technical academy, where only military technical training is provided, the purpose of education is first of all defined as the training of qualified citizens. From this, we can see that the young generation, no matter what kind of school they enter, whether it is a general university or a military academy, they have to be baptized with the American spirit. This is the first purpose of education, and all other purposes are secondary. From this viewpoint, it is easy to understand how the United States reproduces its own system.

6. Education Export • 1,500 Words

Sometimes the question is often asked: Why do so many people in the world today want to move to the United States, especially people from developing countries? Walking around the United States, one can often meet people from foreign countries discussing together how to obtain a green card and how to immigrate. This activity has become a profession, and a lucrative one at that. There are often advertisements in the newspapers that say, “This law firm specializes in green cards, no green card, full refund.”

In a number of countries, American culture, or more precisely the American way of life (since many people find it difficult to determine what American culture is), has a powerful influence. Lifestyle is a comprehensive concept that refers not only to people’s stereotypes in terms of clothing, food, housing, and habits, but also includes economic behavior, management styles, and political values, among others. What do people rely on to spread the dominant lifestyle of a society? Throughout history, various mean can be listed, such as military conquest, with the Roman Empire conquering the provinces and Fascism conquering its neighbors; then political relations, such as the relations between suzerain states and colonies; economic integration, with the formation of today’s world system and the massive exchange of relations such as international trade and finance; educational penetration, such as the Hellenistic era and the theological era of the Middle Ages. And so on. In these ways, military conquest is a form of coercion, and political relations are a form of power; neither of them can guarantee the penetration of a value into the hearts and minds of people; they can enforce a set of ideas, but they cannot make people really accept them with conviction and comply with them.

In today’s world, it is the latter two forces that play a dominant role. One is economic power. The development of economic forces reveals to people the most basic pursuits of human nature, which they can easily accept. The post-war economic development of the United States has been the main medium for the spread of its way of life. The second is the power of education. Education is a magical force that subliminally spreads to people the dominant beliefs of a society. This is true within a society as well as in a society’s relationship with the outside world.

Foreign students are found in large groups on university campuses. The number of foreign students is among the highest in the world. Education, which has become a wide channel for the American way of life to spread to the rest of the world. So in answering that question at the beginning, it is important to first think about how America influences other societies and how America spreads their ideas to foreign countries.

Many of the students who study in the United States come here with financial support from various organizations. A variety of institutions exist to encourage and assist people from other countries to come to the United States for education. There are few countries that can compare to the United States in terms of investment in this area. But these institutions play a role in spreading the American way of life and maintaining America’s international standing in a way that the Seventh Fleet and the Space Shuttle do not.

Let’s take a look at the largest non-profit international education organization in the United States: The Institute of Internationnal Education. Founded in 1919, the Institute’s main purpose is to help foreigners come to the United States to receive an education, and its main activities include:

Administer scholarships, grants and subsidies to enable people to study, conduct research and receive training outside their own country.

Organizing projects in international research and publishing research reports, results, guidelines, etc.

Providing information on international research through offices in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico and Thailand.

Organizing presentations and seminars on international educational issues and developments.

Provide funding and staffing services to agricultural and health centers around the world.

This is its main area of activity. The organization is well funded, with a financial outlay of more than \$100 million in 1986, and in 1987 it had 247 programs under its umbrella, financed by 145 entities, including governments, bilateral agencies, international organizations, foundations, universities and corporations. Its programs cover 152 countries and territories. From the point of view of training human resources, it provides facilities to approximately 10,000 people. This number is equivalent to the entire student body of a secondary university. Of these 10,000, 5,000 are foreign students pursuing degrees in the United States; 2,700 foreign students are training in non-degree programs or participating in vocational training programs, the vast majority of whom, with the exception of 200, are in the United States; 1,200 teaching assistants from various countries are working in various international centers; and 800 distinguished individuals from various countries are visiting scholars. It also funds school publications, research, seminars, presentations, professional development projects, etc., and 562 higher education institutions have received funding from it, and so on.

The above figures give a sense of the enormous power that such an organization alone can have in international educational output, and what a tremendous amount of power American educational output can constitute when added to other organizations. A significant amount of the IEA’s funding comes from the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Program is a government-created fund. Either way, the promotion of educational output is not only a concept and a program of an educational organization, but also a concept and a program of a government. This is a strategic choice in terms of long-term political development, both in terms of domestic and international politics. The potential benefits of exporting education far outweigh any vested interests in the economic sphere.

The Association for International Education has a number of specific programs, the main ones being the Fulbright Graduate Fellowship, which provides financial support exclusively to foreign students; the Latin American and Caribbean Fellowship, which provides funding primarily to Latin American countries; and the African Student Fellowship, the Asian Student Fellowship, and the European Student Fellowship. China-related programs include the Committee on International Relations Studies with the People’s Republic of China (CIRS), which is funded by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and others. In 1986, the Committee sponsored 26 Chinese students and seven visiting scholars. The Association’s activities range from art, music, technology, architecture, business management, human rights, agriculture, natural resources, and more. Through this wide variety of activities, students from other countries naturally embrace the American dominant lifestyle. They also embrace core values. The export of education influences the way of thinking, emotional orientation, psychological stereotypes, value choices and behavioral norms of a significant level of people. Many of the highly educated people here constitute the elite of the host country and play more or less critical roles in the political, economic, cultural, educational, scientific, technological and artistic fields of that country. The two basic functions of educational output are the transmission of knowledge and the emotional investment. The latter is a political capital that cannot be underestimated in any country.

In terms of political management, this political capital functions in two ways. In terms of domestic politics, the less pressure there is on any political and administrative system, the easier it is to exert itself. Pressure on a political system can come from within or from without. If external forces endorse and approve of a political system’s activities and choices, then the pressure on the political system will be greatly reduced. External forces of affirmation will also counteract internal forces of negation. If a political system encounters strong external opposition or lack of understanding, its internal pressures will also rise and the political system will be in trouble.

In the context of foreign politics, educational exports create a condition that no other force can provide, and that is an increased understanding abroad of the country’s foreign policy, an unparalleled atmosphere for the success of a country’s external political activity. The success of external political activity often lies not in whether the policy itself is reasonable, but in whether it is understood and accepted, and in whether it meets with the right international public opinion. The failure of the foreign policy of many countries lies not in the policy itself, but in the absence of the right cultural atmosphere.

Here is where the educational outlet comes into play: it expands the scope of understanding for a nation’s politics. To accept a country’s way of life and core values is to form the criteria by which to evaluate and think about issues in the terms most meaningful to them. The investment in this area is most valuable in terms of long-term political development.

7. The Furnace of Technology • 1,400 Words

Chicago is one of the mega cities in the United States. I drove to Chicago with a friend and it took five hours. We took the 80 freeway to the 55 freeway, which runs through downtown Chicago. On the busy highway, among the fast-moving convoy, like in New York, one feels a modern rhythm, a common feeling among Chinese people, the first time on the highway, there is an inexplicable sense of nervousness.

Chinese people and many people in developing countries are used to a slow pace of life, and when they are suddenly placed in a fast pace, there is a psychological and cultural discomfort, and even a physical discomfort. I call this the ” modernization stress reaction”. But in the United States to cannot travel without using the highway with a mandatory speed of traffic so that people quickly eliminate the ” modernization stress reaction”. Imagine what it would be like without this compulsion.

The question of whether a nation, as a whole, will have a “modernization stress reaction” in the process of modernization, what the consequences will be, and how to eliminate a nation’s “modernization stress reaction” is a problem facing developing countries.

We first visited the aquarium. Inside, like an ocean world, there are thousands of strange fish and marine life. People can learn more complete knowledge of marine life here. Then we went to the Field Museum of National History, which is actually a nature museum plus a history museum, a combination rarely seen in museums. On the one hand, there are thousands of plant and animal specimens, and on the other hand, there are artifacts of American history and some foreign history on display. The Indian artifacts and history displayed in this museum are extensive. There are also several huge totem poles standing in the lobby, which are probably some kind of indigenous cult objects of South America. There are even a few items from the Chinese Qing Dynasty on display, but not many. In terms of a natural and social museum, it is probably the first of its kind in the world.

The most interesting museum is not either of the above two museums, but the Museum of Science and Industry. This is a museum that covers a large area and has amazing displays, but is free to visit. As soon as you enter the hall, you can see that there are more children and teenagers than adults, which is perfectly in line with the objectives of this museum. The aim is to enable the young generation to develop a scientific and technological spirit and interest in the furnace of science and technology.

The museum is one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Chicago, visited by approximately four million people each year. The pavilion has seventy-five exhibition halls and more than 2,000 exhibition series through which it systematically demonstrates scientific principles, technological advances and industrial applications to its visitors. This pavilion differs from others in that it is designed with a special principle of audience participation. Visitors can push buttons, levers, etc., thus participating in the exhibits and having an unforgettable experience, especially for children and teenagers. Sometimes, at the push of a button, someone talks on the phone; sometimes, at the push of a button, there is a TV program; sometimes you can operate a machine tool; sometimes you can walk into a giant model of a heart to learn about the structure of the heart; sometimes you can get into a car driving simulator to drive a car; sometimes you can go underground to learn about the structure of the earth’s crust. And so on. The museum was founded by Julius Rosenwald and opened in 1933. It is located on the shores of beautiful Jackson Lake. It attracts thousands of people every day.

The following is a brief list of exhibits that will help you grasp this “furnace of technology”. The exhibition series here includes: airplanes from various eras, old-time typewriters, news, telephone and telegraph, agricultural machinery, urban construction, computers, oil, strata, audio-visual, basic science, industry, automobiles, chemistry, movies, medicine, bicycles, post and telecommunications, electricity, food, photography, money, energy, libraries, biology, human science, railroads, oceans, solar energy, and more. There should be everything. From the initial development of science and technology in ancient times to the latest achievements in modern science and technology, the space shuttle, computers, etc., nothing seems to be left out. The exhibit also features the U-505, a German submarine captured by the U.S. Army in World War II, and entering the exhibit is like entering the hall of science, a dazzling experience. This is a real “furnace of science”. The children are brought here by their parents and they stay here like fish in water. Their interest was fully mobilized by the various applications of light and electricity in the exhibition hall. It is not difficult to imagine the impact these impressions will have on their young minds.

Society is very focused on developing the science and technology needed for the development and progress of society as a whole. In order to achieve social development and progress, the first and foremost thing is to make the young generation grow up strong. In this regard, society as a whole has spared no expense. From elementary school to high school, young people are provided with excellent learning conditions, making the United States a “children’s paradise,” as some call it. This mechanism is a factor that cannot be ignored in the continued development and prosperity of society and is worth studying. In many societies, the focus of attention is not on the early stages of life, but on the middle and later stages. In terms of individual comfort in life, this is appropriate. But is it too late for the progress of society as a whole?

Although the United States is a commodity society and a money-oriented society, however, when it comes to science and technology education, they deeply understand how to spend money to get the most out of it. The Museum of Science and Industry is an example of this. Many museums charge a fee, but the Museum of Science and Industry is free, open daily, and the huge parking lot in front of the museum is also free. Education also has this characteristic, and although the tuition required for a college education is staggering, education below high school is free. People in many places see the museum as an institution with an educational function as well. In some non-commodified societies, activities are already moving toward being measured by monetary standards, while in a typically monetized society like the United States, efforts are made to keep some areas with basic educational functions non-commodified, not only as a choice, but as a policy that has to be done in a commodity economy, otherwise these activities would be crowded out by the commodity economy, a point worthy of note for society moving toward a commodity economy.

In the evening, when you climb the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world, and look out over the blue lake in the far distance and the interlocking buildings below, you can better appreciate the power of science and technology to create miracles. The progress of society requires the innovation of the younger generation; the innovation of the younger generation requires their full understanding of the progress that has been made, and only then can they build on that foundation. How can a person go a hundred feet further if he or she knows nothing about the creations of those who came before him or her? How can designers and builders be bold if they never know what a building is? It is because of the second highest tower that there is the highest, which is a simple truth.

All modernization achievements of society should be fully opened up so that society is a grand furnace of science and technology that smelts the spirit of modernization. In a society that keeps the achievements of modernization closed, it is the human spirit that is ultimately closed.

The process of transmission of modernization, and the function of education, reproduces a system on two levels. Education provides the recognition of the value rationality of that system, and the transmission of science and technology provides the material basis. Education and science and technology do not directly produce material goods, but they do create the future.

X. Active Intelligence

1. Thought Factory • 1,400 Words

Thought Factory [思想工厂] is a phrase I made up myself, but it is actually what is commonly referred to as “Think Tanks” [思想库]. In the United States, there are many different kinds of think tanks. In a sense, Americans are happy to see ideas as a product in themselves, and to select these goods on the basis of quality. Throughout the development of modern society, think tanks have played a significant role in helping to shape the development of society. This leads to the idea that the repository of ideas is of immense importance to society, especially in terms of social transmission and innovation.

In San Francisco, went to Stanford University, where the famous Hoover Institution is located, although it is not an integral part of Stanford University. Stanford’s architecture has a strong Spanish flavor, which is related to the history of the land. The Hoover Institution, however, has no such flavor. The Hoover Institution is known for its conservative outlook. Many professors jokingly call it reactionary. The ideological basis for Reagan’s ideas came from the Hoover Institution. Of course, the Hoover Institution is also full of great people, such as the famous political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset.

The Hoover Institution was founded in 1919. The basis of the US intelligence in the 1920s was information provided by the Soviet government. At that time, President Hoover offered assistance to the Soviet Union, which could not afford to pay, so the United States asked the Soviet Union to swap various intelligence with each other. I don’t know if this story is true or not. If it is true, it is a very far-sighted approach. After the victory in World War II, a large amount of intelligence was obtained from Japan. Later, a large amount of intelligence was obtained from China. The Hoover Institution has a relatively complete collection of this information. On the basis of these materials, the Hoover Institution gradually developed.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the best universities, on par with the venerable Harvard University. In Berkeley I visited the Institute for Governmental Studies. The director, Nelson B. Polsby, is also known as a political scientist. He said his idea was to make the Institute of Governmental Studies an institution that would have an impact on national policy. The Institute for Governmental Studies used to focus on California’s government, but in the future it wants to move to a national level. That means moving toward a national think tank.

Looking at these think tanks, I am struck by the fact that they have a role to play in the development of American society that cannot be underestimated. An article by R. Kent Weaver of the Brookings Institution comes to mind: “The Changing World of Think Tanks.” This article provides an overview of the development of think tanks and is worth a closer look.

There are many different definitions of think tanks and no definite answer. Generally speaking, a think tank is non-profit and independent. There are jokes, such as one by Peter Kelley, who said, “A think tank is an arrangement in which voluntary corporations, governments, or eccentric mega-rich give millions of dollars to support people who spend most of their time trying to get their names into print.” (I’m using the Chinese idiom in my translation; “lead printing” in Chinese eyes is formal publishing, but in fact in the United States both formal and informal lead printing is possible.) In general, there are two other characteristics of think tanks: first, they are “universities without students”; second, they are non-profit government research undertakers. In the United States, there is an “explosion” of think tanks; in 1988, the Washington D.C. telephone book listed 124 “institutes,” with a few well-known ones not included.

The role of the think tank:

What exactly the role of the think tank is, is also a debatable issue. Broadly speaking, the role of an think tank is (1) a source of policy ideas. An important task of the think tank is to identify and disseminate ideas that will not become policy in the short run and to bring about a gradual acceptance of these ideas by policy makers. (2) A source and evaluator of policy proposals. think tanks generally focus on advancing and evaluating particular policy proposals, and the method of evaluation is the publication of monographs or articles. That is why various think tanks focus heavily on publishing writings. Publications are the primary output of universities without students. Some research institutions also prepare materials for congressional legislation. (3) Evaluators of government programs. Think tank often evaluate government programs that are being implemented to see if they are working effectively and efficiently to achieve their goals. (4) A source of personnel. The think tank may also provide personnel and experts to the government, and a member of the think tank often becomes an administrator of a government department because he has studied the issue for a long time and has a more comprehensive knowledge.

Management of the think tank:

The management of a think tank includes many aspects. (1) Image. Think tank have traditionally maintained the image of nonpartisan research institutions that examine issues and present conclusions rather than defend conclusions that already exist. This does not mean, however, that think tanks are free of ideological overtones, as the Brookings Institution is often seen as a liberal Democratic think tank and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is often seen as a conservative Republican think tank. But that is not always the case, and there is a lot of “brain circulation” between the two institutions. The current president of the Brookings Institution has also sought to make the institution appear neutral. But some think tanks are outspoken, such as a cadre at the American Heritage Foundation who said, “We are the ideological commando of the conservative revolution.” (2) Membership management. Membership management includes several aspects: First, the decision to create a specialized staff or to commission outside scholars to conduct the research. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The second is how to enable researchers to learn to study policy issues, which are different from the study of academic subjects. Those who are strictly trained by universities may be better at researching academic topics but not policy topics, and thus should be excluded. There is also the question of whether to choose someone with an advanced university education or someone with extensive practical experience. Naturally, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. (3) Finance. Although the think tank is non-profit, its financial issues are particularly important. Without financial resources and without financial management, the think tank cannot continue. (4) Setting the agenda. The activities of a think tank need to be organized and scheduled, not just scattered, so how to set the agenda is an important issue in management. What policy areas to choose, one or two, or both, and how to establish the relationship between the various topics. And so on. (5) Results management, including the promotion of publications, expanding impact, etc.

Think tanks, intentionally or unintentionally, act as a kind of “social physician”. They constantly search for and identify problems in society and propose solutions to them, which is an indispensable condition for their survival and funding. In order to get funding, they have to be original or self-initiated. This mechanism drives them to look for policy issues. Many policy issues are found under such a mechanism.

However, whatever the impetus, they find policy issues that enable the study of problems that exist in society. When their findings are translated into government policy, they contribute to social improvement. Perhaps most think tanks have a clear concept of maintaining existing political systems, but what they do has precisely that effect.

The “social physician”, such as the think tank, diagnoses society, finds the symptoms, finds the principles, anticipates the consequences and prescribes the remedies. Their social function is self-explanatory. Most of the think tanks in the United States developed in the 1920s and 1930s, and after the war, they became very popular. This period was also a time of easing internal conflicts and high economic development in American capitalist society. Is there no connection between the two? I am afraid that it cannot be simply affirmed or denied.

Finally, I always feel that the translation of “thought bank” is not good, although it means this in English. The word “repository” always means to store something, but the idea repository not only stores, but also produces, so it is used as an idea factory. In the thought factory, there is a lot of active wisdom.

2. Brookings Institution • 1,500 Words

The Brookings Institution is housed in a classically styled building. The Brookings Institution has long been known as one of the most important think tanks in the United States, along with the RAND Corporation and the Hoover Institution, among others. The Brookings Institution was founded in 1927 as a merger of several institutes. One was the Institute of Government, established in 1916 as the first national private institution for the study of public policy issues; the second was the Institute of Economics, established in 1922; and the third was the Robert Brookings Institution of Economics and Government, established in 1924, which was an early experiment in training public officials.

The newly formed institution was named after Robert Somers Brookings (1850-1932). He was a St. Louis entrepreneur. The Brookings Institution is a private, not-for-profit organization, financed by a number of foundations, corporations, and individuals, plus grants, seminar registration fees, publication sales, and computer use fees. The Foundation also accepts government contracts to research some issues, but retains the right to publish. There is a Board of Directors that controls the activities of the Society and ensures the independence of the Society. The chairman of the board is the principal administrator, responsible for initiating and coordinating policy, proposing programs, selecting personnel, and holding discussions with government officials, members of Congress, business leaders, foundation officials, and other scholars.

Research topics are selected on the basis of: importance, timeliness, sources of information, means of investigation, staff and funding possibilities, and program relevance to Brookings’ goals. The Brookings Institution requires that each study be scholarly and suitable for public publication. The Brookings Institution itself claims to have no policy standing.

What is the purpose of the Brookings Institution? That is the famous quote by Robert Brookings printed on the title page of their 1987 annual report, “If we can stimulate people to think about these questions of law, government, economics, and social relations, we will have done more for humanity than any act of charity.” The Brookings Institution focuses on public policy issues, which fall into three broad categories: identifying policy issues with precision and integrity; bringing emerging issues to public attention; and studying the successes and failures of policies going in and learning from the past. Any research is about factual determinations, opinions that have merit, and proposed policies that are realistic.

We were at the Brookings Institution to discuss the relationship between scientific research and policy making with James D. Carroll, director of the program. He said that the Brookings Institution does not focus on whether it immediately influences policy-making or on immediate problems, which should be studied by experts in government. The Brookings Institution focuses on long-term research, on the study of trends in social development, and especially on the educational effects of research, so that society as a whole pays sufficient attention to a particular development to come to the analysis, which is the basis for the future development of sound policy. Many results are not used now, but one day people will think of using it, when the Brookings Institution has provided them, Carroll said.

The emphasis on long-term research and social research in general is a valued condition for the success of the Brookings Institution. If they all flock to study what the government wants to do now, I am afraid that one is not conducive to scientific research and the other is not conducive to social development.

The Brookings Institution’s research program is divided into several components.

Economic studies, devoted to issues in the development of the U.S. economy, such as how to increase productivity, how savings can be increased and put into production, how the U.S. can cooperate with other countries in terms of currency and taxation, how the world market can be opened to free trade, how the development of the Third World can be guaranteed, and how the quality of public services can be improved (e.g., health, education, etc.) to ensure that the U.S. is at the forefront of the world.

Foreign Policy Studies examines the changes in the world today, the internationalization of countries, their economic development, science and technology, investment transfers, transnational debt, and international competition, specifically listing the fact that China has joined the world economic system. The Brookings Institution believes that these developments call for new goals and substantial adjustments in the United States. In this regard, the Brookings Institution enjoys a reputation for a younger generation of U.S. experts on China We met with Harry Harding, in his forties, with a new book called China’s Second Revolution, devoted to China’s reforms, which provides a systematic intellectual background for understanding the changes taking place in China. This covers a wide range of studies, including the Soviet Union, China, Japan, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Government Studies, specializing in the relationship of governmental institutions to pressing social problems. The U.S. Constitution is two hundred years old, and in two hundred years the political system has remained largely unchanged, but society is evolving at a rapid pace.

Government studies addresses this issue. The main issues include government efficiency, government structure, government function, election laws, presidential nomination procedures, and the relationship between the President and Congress.

In addition, the Center has a computer center that processes and collects data. There is a Center for Public Policy Education, which is dedicated to holding seminars and inviting leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss issues. 3,000 senior individuals attended the Center’s events in fiscal year 1987, discussing a variety of issues ranging from the U.S. aviation program to the electronics industry to international terrorism.

This last point is also a characteristic of American society. Government officials or senior people in the private sector are willing to attend public events and give speeches. This has become a fashion, perhaps related to the nature of the political system, which often forces government officials to make brief appearances. Government officials are happy to explain their policies, which is an unparalleled communication that builds a basis for understanding them. Policies are often not understood because each person has their own particular life circumstances and problems. For a policy to be effective, it must be understood. In this regard, Americans speakers are affordable and, like in business, provide the most detailed explanations. In contrast, the political spirit of many societies is not so, but to avoid explanation. This is also a political art under certain conditions.

Another activity of the Brookings Institution is the organization of scholarly publications and journals. It publishes a journal called the Brookings Review. In addition, it publishes many books each year, and in fiscal year 1987, it published twenty-nine books and six volumes of essays. Brookings publishes high quality, somewhat masculine scholarly works, and in 1987, three books were named “Outstanding Scholarly Works 1986-1987” by Choice magazine, and other book awards are often given to these works. We met several scholars there, all of whom have written several scholarly monographs. Writing books is the main activity of scholars here.

The development of think tanks was one of the remarkable phenomena of American society in the twentieth century. Arguably, the most developed think tanks among Western countries are to be found in the United States. The basic American spirit is to turn ideas into an object that can be constantly improved and refined for people to choose from. This is the result of pragmatism and commercial spirit. In European societies, people’s cultural conceptions were, after all, that ideas had subjective tendencies and could not be arbitrarily chosen or amended. The development of a bank of ideas was not seen by the nineteenth-century French historian, Tocqueville, famous for his study of American politics. And to recognize the politics of American society today, one must recognize this. The spirit of commerce is most concerned with comparing goods with goods. It is no different in the pool of ideas, which also compete with each other. Since American political parties share the same ideology (of course this statement needs to be qualified: first, this refers to the two major political parties, Democratic and Republican, not to all political parties in the United States, such as the American Communist Party, etc.) Secondly, it only refers to the fact that the Democratic and Republican parties share the same ideology on the point of not engaging in socialism or communism; otherwise, the beliefs and values of the two parties are quite different), they are all faced with how to cope with crises and conflicts, so they are happy to choose the best. Such a mechanism is naturally beneficial in promoting the rationalization of government behavior. Although the conclusions of the think tank are sometimes violently opposed to current policies, they generally constitute a stabilizer of the system.

3. The Carter Center • 1,200 Words

There is a post-war tradition that after each president leaves office, a center named after that president is established, where documents and materials from that president’s presidency are stored, and relevant objects, such as gifts and items of significance received by the president, are displayed. Another essential element is the display of the president’s achievements. Presidential centers, or presidential libraries, cost approximately millions, if not tens of millions of dollars each, funded by government grants, or coupled with private donations. President Carter was a native of Georgia, so his center is located in Atlanta.

The Carter Center, a larger modern building, cost \$ 25 million. It is said that in addition to government funding, Carter also got a lot of money from other sources. The garden of the building is quite oriental. The entire building is divided into several parts.

The Carter Center, a semi-profit institution, aims to reduce social conflict, eliminate suffering and deepen interpersonal understanding through research and social efforts, which is what the Center itself claims to do. The Center also claims it is the only institution in the world in which a former president participates on a daily basis, and inside the Center is Jimmy Carter’s office.

The Carter Center at Emory University, in the same building as the Carter Center, organizes research, seminars and publications. This center conducts research in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Soviet-American relations, Africa, health, human rights, and conflict, and the researchers have very close ties to Emory University. Graduate students from Emory University also come here to do research. Most members of the Center are professors in the Department of Political Science at Emory University. Among them are well-known professors of political science, such as Karl W. Deutsch. The Center is also nationally known for its research on the Soviet Union, and Emory University has one of the nation’s number of satellite television program reception systems, which receives Soviet television programs 24 hours a day for analysis. One professor, Ellen Mickiewicz, whose research is said to have influenced the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

The Carter Center is home to a number of initiatives:

2000 Companies Worldwide, with the goal of promoting health and agriculture in developing countries.

Save the Children, which focuses on child care and is funded by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Jamie Carter Library and Museum, a library of roughly twenty-seven million documents for the study of the political situation during the Carter presidency. The museum is intended to be open to the public and to promote understanding of the presidency, and this component is handled by the National Archives.

What is important is that last statement: the purpose of the museum is to be accessible to the public and to promote understanding of the presidency. Such an institution is one of the various types of institutions that communicate to citizens the American spirit, beliefs, values, and tendencies of policy choices, and whose role is to socialize politics and spread political principles and political culture.

We can look at how the Carter Center does this. The museum begins by offering a film about the Constitution and presidential knowledge, interspersed with footage of Carter when he was president. The film starts with the War of Independence, talks about the creation of the Constitution, portrays the great achievements of President Washington and introduces political traditions, similar to a course on teaching American government. The film is available to anyone who comes to see it, free of charge. When you enter the museum to see it, you can see that the hall is divided into several sections, each focusing on one area of display and presentation, such as foreign affairs, environment, health, finance, etc. Each section has large photographs and descriptions and has one or two televisions. The TVs have several buttons with notes on the buttons, such as human rights, war, environment, etc. If a visitor is interested in any issue, just press the button and Carter’s image will appear on the TV screen to explain the background and guiding principles of this policy to the visitor. Most interestingly, there is also a TV video dedicated to children, a cartoon titled: “If you want to be the President of the United States.” The images are lively and entertaining and provide a vivid picture of the presidency. It is amazing that Americans are mindful of spreading the American spirit at all stages of a citizen’s development. This work is essential for any society to pursue institutional stability.

This function of political socialization, which is relatively well developed in the United States, is an underlying factor in the stability of its society and political system. Every society should find ways to transmit its dominant values, and the stability of the system and the transmission of political ideals is impossible without a sound and effective set of mechanisms.

The basic function of a presidential library or center is not to preserve the archives (which of course has an undervalued role for future generations and history), but to spread values and beliefs. People come to visit the center in droves. The United States has mobilized various means to provide a sort of “political education”. One can imagine that Americans are well versed in this. Americans often say they believe in their institutions, but they believe in their beliefs.

I think Americans are more focused on defending and spreading beliefs than defending specific institutions in politics. The Constitution endures because it is an expression of American values and beliefs. Institutionally, this Constitution is not perfect. In political life, beliefs are more important than institutions because institutions are abstract and have to be embodied by people. Any institution that does not automatically manifest itself in the spirit of the people who embody it is weak.

So, presidential centers are politics, not history. As an example, before President Reagan left office, he was already choosing where to build the Reagan Center. It is said that Stanford University in California was chosen. Stanford University was not positive because the university is a politically neutral academic institution, and the Reagan Center was “politically oriented. The Reagan Center was subsequently not located on the Stanford campus.

One difference between the Carter Center and other presidential libraries or centers is that it has a joint research center with the Department of Political Science at Emory University, which in effect constitutes a think tank. Many high-ranking and prominent officials in politics, after leaving Washington and their official positions, have sought positions in various think tanks. Their experience in politics and their ties to the officialdom in turn drove the research results and thought products of the think tanks to intervene in the political process, thus promoting the development of society. The Carter Center has gathered a small group of scholars, mostly political scholars, which shows where the Center’s mission lies. The Carter Center’s research program, which covers both domestic and foreign politics, is also clear in its intentions and can be described as ambitious.

Scholars do research here on very generous terms, with all expenses provided by the Carter Center. Such centers, with the boldness and connections of former politicians, funding and grants from private industry, and the active intellect of scholars, play a role that is unmatched by the average think tank.

4. Defense Secretary Forum • 1,400 Words

The city of Atlanta is located in the south. At the time of the Civil War, Atlanta was a battleground where the Southern and Northern armies fought. The southern part of the city was not as prosperous as the northern part. Southerners still seem to hold a grudge against the Civil War, and the conversation is always about the war, as Northerners know well. I met people who heard I was going to Atlanta and told me that people there would be talking to you about the Civil War. As it happened, many people talked to me about the Civil War, saying that the war had destroyed Atlanta and that the city was now completely rebuilt. In Atlanta, we visited The Southern Center for International Studies. This center is one of the few international studies centers in the South, and is quite famous for organizing some sensational events.

The center is housed in a modest house, which has also just been purchased and is being renovated. W, the director of the center, told us about it: “The center is almost 20 years old and mainly organizes seminars on foreign affairs policy. The center has organized hundreds of experts and prominent figures to meet with the local business community, politics, academia and the general public. The Center’s predecessor, the Southern Council on International and Public Affairs, was founded in 1967 and reorganized in 1977 as a nonprofit, educational institution.”

What about it is educational? I was interested and asked him this question. He explained: “The South is a very important region, but for various reasons it is not as open to the world. Today’s technology has forced Americans to become members of an interdependent global community. It is impossible to make decisions without understanding today’s international community. The mission of the Center is to expose members and the public to this new environment by giving them first-hand ears to hear speeches on international economics, foreign policy, and the cultures of other countries, to hear from international experts, world leaders: to understand this international community. The Center itself has no policy leanings or policy positions.” That being said, no institution is without value choices, it’s just how they are expressed that varies.

The Center’s main activities include educational seminars, and the power of the Center can be seen in the fact that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, King Hussein of Jordan, Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and ambassadors from most countries have all been invited to give lectures here.

The Center holds an annual symposium with former Secretaries of State and Defense, which is broadcast nationally by the CBS television system and overseas by satellite from the News Service. The Center also organizes special panels to study a national, regional or global issues; conducts a continuous international business education program; and diners with world-renowned personalities. In addition, various seminars are held, etc. The Center publishes two journals, Global Review and Literature on International Issues.

The activities of this center are remarkable, and we can look at several of the events it organizes.

December 8th, 1987, Fifth Annual Meeting of Former Secretaries of State, with Rusk, Rogers, Kissinger, Vance, Muskie, and Hague, on the theme “The Making of U.S. Foreign Policy”

On January 19, 1988, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Han Xue, came to give a speech.

May 1988 60, Annual Meeting on Asia-Pacific, entitled: Washington-Beijing-Taiwan: Ten Years After Normalization of Relations.

On September 30, 1988, a seminar entitled “Recommendations for the Next Administration” brought together eight former Secretaries of Defense: McNamara, Clifford, Laird, Richardson, Schlesinger, Rothfeld, Brown, and Weinberg.

As you can see from the above activities, the energy of this center should not be underestimated. How many people are there in this center? The regular staff is about ten people. There are only two people in the resource room, which is responsible for the publication of “Documentation” (mainly a compilation of some photocopied articles, but very useful).

Where will the center’s activities be funded? This is a critical question. Funding comes from a variety of sources, some from grants, some from foundations, and some from dues. The Center’s membership is divided into many categories: international group, \$25,000 or more; business owners, \$10,000; sponsors, \$5,000; support, \$500; grants, \$250; general, \$100; and special, \$50. The special group includes students, members of educational institutions, representatives of the mass media and retirees.

Naturally, these funds alone are not enough. The main funding comes from foundations and corporations. W. says that there can’t be a single source of funding, and with a single source there is a risk of manipulation by those who give money. The problem is that there are too many people willing to give money. A lot of people are willing to give money to an institution as prestigious as the The Southern Center for International Studies. It’s an integral part of American culture. I talked earlier about the Brookings Institution, which gets its major funding from foundations or whatever.

In addition, the important success factor is that senior government officials are happy to do this kind of thing, and senior government officials who have left are willing to do this kind of thing. These latter people, in particular, feel a responsibility to speak out on internal and external policy. Americans are also willing to listen to government officials or leaders from other countries. A country cannot make policy without its own merit, but listening to more insights from different people allows them to better know their own. In the process, all those involved gain something. A common criterion for the merits of a policy is whether there are many or few people who oppose it. By learning more and having different insights, you can create policies that cover a wider range of people.

How will these famous people be received? Should they be paid? In most cases there is no need to pay because they are willing to participate in these events. Some people have to be paid. The key issue is to arrange their itinerary and schedule. From the first step they take out of their homes to the last step they take back home, the center has to make careful arrangements so that no mistakes are made. If something happens to these prominent people, the stakes are high. Sometimes private jets are used to transport them, and huge limousines with three doors on each side are essential.

We saw that the Southern International Research Center was only a private institution, but it was powerful enough to bring all the former Secretaries of State to the city of Atlanta to meet and make presentations, and to invite all the former Secretaries of Defense to Atlanta to make presentations, to analyze and discuss domestic and foreign policy, and to engage the public in those activities. So wisdom is active. Wisdom can better serve this community and this system. This shows that Americans have a strong notion of secularizing politics, a strong notion of demystification. People who have been in high office do not shun this type of activity, but actively support it. To put it bluntly, they are the ones who do not want to be lonely, and it is because they do not want to be lonely that the center can play a greater role.

Such centers are not unique. In addition to their own success, they also play a social role that cannot be underestimated. One of the goals of the centers is to promote public education. In fact, numerous such centers have spread American values to the general public through their activities. These institutions have been instrumental in the socialization of politics. Some of the basic policies of the government are disseminated to the public through such channels and are more widely accepted.

At the same time, the center also serves to disseminate ideas from all walks of life to decision makers. Imagine the effect that a television station will have when it is broadcast to the whole country. Policy issues often do not lie in the formulation of good, well-developed is certainly the basic, but more important is the ability to convince the public of the guiding ideology of policy development. Only when this is done, a policy can be implemented the fundamental conditions. The ineffectiveness of some policies is not the problem of the policy itself, but the problem of perception and public acceptance. The role played by such centers and institutions, especially in political life, cannot be underestimated. They are not the formal institutions of politics, but they play a role that government institutions cannot.

5. Regional Affairs Center • 1,400 Words

A large part of the overall development of American society consists of the development of various localities and communities. The development of a society cannot arise out of thin air, nor can the modernization and material civilization of a society arise out of thin air; it is predicated on the common development of the basic components of the society as a whole. It is not realistic to talk about macro development alone. Some third world countries, when formulating social development plans, tend to focus only on macro goals, without basing these goals on specific and detailed small goals, which are directly related to the immediate interests of each member of society. The achievement of small goals not only forms the basis of the overall social goals, but also constitutes the psychological mechanism for balanced social development and continuous progress.

One of the great characteristics of American society is that it is relatively balanced. There are differences between each small slice of the community, but not disparities, which is one of the most important indicators of being a developed country. Naturally, there are poor people and people who are incredibly poor, but the overall level of society can be described as developed level. The development of community politics is an essential condition for the balanced development of the community. Community development depends on a variety of factors, such as federal policies, state policies, residents’ attitudes, community structure, etc. However, how to focus on promoting community development is a major end.

Ohio is located in the Midwest, and I visited Miami University here for three days. The professors at the university told me that it is in the middle of the country and that people in the middle are much more conservative than people on the West and East coasts. New ideas tend to sprout from the East and West coasts and then slowly move toward the middle, and the further toward the middle, the weaker the momentum; so the central zone is less influenced by new ideas and more conservative, which is an interesting idea that can explain the socio-cultural differences. Natural societies are by no means clear-cut, and various ideas, traditional and modern, conservative and radical, are hotly debated. American society must not be conceived as “one size fits all”. The United States is geographically blessed with two coastlines, the east coast looking out over Europe and the west coast separating it from Asia. The most powerful economic and cultural forces are located on both coasts. China’s coastline is also the most developed, and if there were a west coast, I’m afraid China would not be the China of today.

There is one institution of interest at Miami University in Ohio. This is the Center for Public Administration and Regional Affairs. The important goal of this center is to conduct research on local government administration and to promote the development of local administration. I don’t know if there are any such institutions elsewhere, and this is an example of the integration of university research with local political development.

This center is supported by the state government, which is responsible for the main finances. This indicates that the state government seeks to improve local government management through the center’s research, education, and analysis, and to provide technical assistance to local governments. The main functions of the center are to provide technical support to local governments for management, to strengthen the capacity of local governments, to promote local economic development, to evaluate public programs and to conduct policy research, and to serve mainly county, city, village and town governments.

This program does a good job of linking high knowledge to concrete development. Local governments lack the expertise to estimate many problems and needs help from people. Universities have high knowledge and high technology, but no one is organized and will not automatically turn to local governments. In terms of national politics, the activities of local governments are not impressive enough for the titular university professor to notice. But if they are organized and promoted, good things will happen on their own.

The Center is usually invited by local governments to conduct various researches, and sometimes members of the Center also set up their own plans for the development of local governments and take the initiative to visit them. The Center has two permanent staff members and modern research equipment such as computers and laser printers. The center has a close relationship with the political science department of the university. Many of the research tasks are carried out by professors from the political science department or assisted by students from the political science department.

It is possible to look at the research work of the Center and obtain specific concepts.

Development of an economic data book for Butler County.

Conducting a citizen survey to provide for a parking plan for the City of Monroe.

Development of a tree planting plan for the City of West Carrollton.

Development of personnel forms and job surveys in Verfelde.

Developing Hamilton’s comprehensive economic development plan.

Cost and benefit analysis of emergency services in Monroe.

A survey of citizen attitudes towards the Celeste administration.

Editing and distribution of a reference manual for town directors.

Examining the impact of federal budget and tax policies on rural Ohio communities.

Holding public service seminars on common issues facing local governments.

Edited manuals on various economic and management issues.

So on and so forth, and in general the work is very detailed and specific. The Center’s studies do not deal with the general policy of the country, but it can be seen that they are very useful for the development of local governments.

One more specific analysis can be done on a research report. The final report completed by the Center is called the Preble County Economic Development Report. The main purpose of this report is to provide specific data on the social, economic, geographic, cultural, and demographic aspects of Preble County in order to attract entrepreneurs and capital for the economic development of the county.

The first part of the report provides a brief history of the county, followed by a description of the geographic location of the county, the distribution of towns within the county, the status of the highways, including the distances from the highways to major cities, such as 496 miles to Atlanta, 835 miles to Boston, 250 miles to Chicago, 223 miles to Detroit, and so on, with dozens of major cities listed, and the status of airports, including Nearby international airports and smaller airports in the county. A large section is devoted to population, government, convenience, housing, health, medical care, libraries, education, and a detailed description of the county’s six schools. These are all important statistics for attracting investment and labor. There are eight towns in the county, and detailed figures are available for each town’s population, budget, convenience, transportation, and economic indicators. Since this report is prepared by the University Research Center and has a certain authority, Preble County can achieve the set goals by distributing this information. On the other hand, this report provides a good condition for the county government to analyze its work and set development goals, killing two birds with one stone.

This center has taught us how to effectively organize and direct the flow of high knowledge and high technology from society to relatively disadvantaged areas, and how to effectively promote the balanced development of society as a whole. The state’s approach to guiding Ohio University is to use economic leverage. The state government pays for the establishment of centers, which are specialized, non-profit institutions whose task is to promote the development of local governments.

As I said at the beginning, the achievement of small goals in small communities is the basis for the achievement of large goals in large societies. On a macro level, it is possible to have space shuttles, artificial satellites, large computers, etc., but this is not the same as the balanced development of a society. Modernization is to a large extent not the former, but the ability of every ordinary person to live a better life. It is indeed a matter of perception, without which the design of social development will be different.

6. Knowledge Reservoir • 1,400 Words

The development of a society is inseparably related to the dissemination of knowledge, especially advanced knowledge. Summing up the process of human historical development, the emergence of new knowledge and new wisdom often does not mean social progress, but only the wide dissemination of new knowledge and new wisdom means social progress. Without a dissemination process, new knowledge and new wisdom will not become a powerful force to promote social progress.

There is no shortage of ideas in ancient China that were outstanding for their time, but none of them became the driving force behind the progress of this society, much to the sigh of relief. Ancient Chinese thought and culture had a unique position in the world and a comparable historical status with Western civilization, but it failed to lead to the simultaneous development of Chinese society and Western society. One of the key reasons lies in the absence of dissemination mechanisms. The development of Western societies, especially the development of high technology after World War II, are closely related to the dissemination of knowledge and ideas. The role of information dissemination in the evolution and development of Western societies cannot be underestimated.

The university library system, plays a leading role in disseminating knowledge and ideas in today’s society. My visits to the libraries of Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Missouri, University of Iowa, Miami University of Ohio, Yale University, Princeton University, University of Syracuse, University of Washington in Seattle, University of California-San Diego, Emory University, University of Michigan, and other schools have impressed upon me the role these libraries play in that the role that these libraries play in a community is significant. Together, the libraries of thousands of universities form an important part of the system of governance and functioning of society, as well as an omnipresent network for the dissemination of knowledge and wisdom.

Libraries are like a reservoir of knowledge, holding all kinds of knowledge and wisdom that have been created and developed by mankind throughout history. Naturally, a single university library cannot do this, but university libraries have a close cooperation with each other and realize this cooperation through modern science and technology. Libraries store the manna of knowledge and do not let it drain away. Everyone who feels a thirst for knowledge can go here and drink this manna.

University libraries generally make every effort to collect a wide variety of books, journals, newspapers, and other materials. Official publications are naturally included. Each library makes every effort to collect materials, both domestic and foreign. It is impossible for one library to collect all the foreign materials, but each library has its own focus. For example, some pay attention to the collection of Indian literature, while others pay attention to the collection of Soviet and Eastern European literature. The East Asia Library at Yale University has a large collection of Chinese materials, even unofficial publications. “The Red Guard tabloids of the Cultural Revolution are well preserved in many university libraries, providing a favorable data base for scholars to study this period of history today. I once asked a library director what the principle of collecting materials was. His answer was, “Collect as much as possible, we don’t know if they are useful today, maybe not, but they may be useful for future generations to study history.” The function of a library is not only to lend books to readers, but also to collect aggregate knowledge and become a reservoir of knowledge. Anyone who needs any knowledge can be satisfied here.

Libraries are like a network of aqueducts. There is a close cooperation between the university libraries. Libraries can communicate with each other. If a person cannot find a material or a book in one school’s library, he or she can borrow it from another school through the library. For articles in magazines, one can also ask the library to make copies at other schools. Libraries are also linked to each other through a computer system that allows access to the collections of many libraries at a single university library.

Many libraries have a computer network connection to the Library of Congress that allows them to pull materials, such as Congressional debate transcripts, directly from the Library of Congress and to print them out immediately. This network of channels connects not only the libraries, but everyone. This allows for the widest possible dissemination of knowledge. In a sense, the various libraries are like a system with greater “economies of scale”.

A library is like an open reservoir of knowledge in which everyone can swim. The progress of a society lies in the ability of each individual to receive and master the knowledge accumulated and created by that society. To achieve this goal to the maximum extent possible, it is necessary to make knowledge and ideas, whether they are the legacy of history or the creation of the present, easily and quickly available to everyone. Libraries of all types (not only university libraries), are open and accessible to anyone. All kinds of books, materials, newspapers, microfilms, and tools in the libraries are available. All materials in the library are open, and the entire stock of books is open and can be checked out by anyone. If you are a local resident or a member of the university, you can easily check out all kinds of collections. There is a comprehensive catalog system, but it is also accessible. Each library has a special section of government documents that can be checked out by any patron.

Maximum openness is a prerequisite for the library to be most effective. Without this condition, the reservoir will become a pool of stagnant water and will not be socially effective. The purpose of building a reservoir is not to store water, but to irrigate it. The same is true of knowledge reservoirs.

The reservoir of knowledge not only plays the role of spreading knowledge and irrigating the brain, but also plays the role of intergenerational transmission of knowledge. The library accumulates the knowledge created by generations and at the same time realizes the intergenerational transmission of this knowledge. University libraries are equipped and managed to a certain level. Computer indexes, micro devices, and photocopiers in the library provide great convenience for accessing various materials. In the management ideology, the emphasis is placed on serving the reader, and everything is pursued for convenience so that the reader can find all the materials he is looking for.

What is the role of the library system in the management of a society? This is an intriguing question. The management of any society is, to a large extent, the management of knowledge. Political management, administrative management, economic management, and technical management are all ultimately human management. People are not abstract and mechanical objects, but subjects that can think and have opinions. The first thing that dominates human behavior is the human mind, a set of established culture and established concepts that people accept, and the creations that people make on this basis. All social progress and conflicts actually stem from the management of knowledge.

History also tells us that one of the major responsibilities facing political systems is managing knowledge. Knowledge determines the level of political development. In a sense, the structure of knowledge can lead to political progress or to political decline. Each leap in politics throughout history, or the metabolism of old politics and new politics, is related to the development or non-development of knowledge.

The way in which a society adopts to manage knowledge can explain to some extent the pattern of that society. Disseminating knowledge or spreading a certain kind of knowledge is not only a responsibility of education, but also a great responsibility and sometimes a heavy burden for politics.

American society uses a decentralized approach to managing knowledge. Naturally, no knowledge management can be completely depoliticized. But knowledge management in society is to a much greater extent detached from the administrative system. The administrative system, which formally does not bear this heavy responsibility, and the highly developed library system, which enables this method of management, bears the immensely heavy burden of disseminating knowledge in societies where the self-organization of the knowledge dissemination system is underdeveloped, not only for the purpose of disseminating knowledge, but also for the purpose of establishing a firm foundation for the administrative system. The significance of the adequate organization of the system of dissemination of knowledge to a high level for social and political management is obvious.

7. City Library • 1,400 Words

Iowa City is a small city with a population of about 15,000 people. It is primarily a college town, with about 35,000 college students. With a combined population of about 60,000, many people prefer to live in a small city like this rather than in a big city like New York or Chicago. Small cities are quiet, relaxed and simple. People in big cities naturally look down on people in small cities, but people in small cities do not always envy the big cities.

What’s the reason? In Developing countries, people are flocking to big cities. A small city of 50,000 to 60,000 people will never be able to retain talent there. But the University of Iowa has many famous mathematical professors who also love the atmosphere of life here and don’t want to move on. In addition to people’s psychological preferences, another important factor is the living conditions. The environment of social activities in small cities is not fundamentally different from that of big cities. We can start from the library here.

The library in Iowa City is quite good, with a full complement of equipment that a large library would normally have. The city library has a good collection of books, although it is not comparable to the University Library or the Library of Congress. The library has a good audio-visual system, in which people can borrow records, videos, and even movies, and can “dine-in”, using the library’s equipment in the library, or “take-out”, taking them home to watch.

The library is equipped with computers for public use and various facilities such as photocopiers. Unlike the university library, the aim of the public library is not to be used by scholars, so it has a large number of children’s books, which are intended for the families of citizens. Groups of children can be found in the library. The library has a small but significant number of newspapers and periodicals. It also has a variety of tools for finding out the addresses of universities, telephone numbers, and high schools in the country, for example. The library also has people dedicated to clipping and organizing materials, so patrons can find clippings on an issue relatively easily.

The library also offers another service to its patrons, which is to have all the job advertisements in one place, so that those who need to find a job can come here to check them out. What’s more, the library has many framed drawings, paintings and reproductions of famous paintings in fine frames, which are also available for loan. As long as you have a library card, you can borrow them for two or three months, hang them at home, and then come back to the library to exchange them. This is an original idea. So it is not only a library, but also a “picture” “book” library.

The entire library is computerized. The library has a central computer that is responsible for connecting all the terminals in the library. If a patron wants to check any book, just check the computer. The computers in the library have been carefully designed for the convenience of the patrons. These computer terminals do not have keyboards, only screens. All the computers, instructions are displayed at the bottom of the screen, the user just needs to use his finger to a certain instruction, the computer will operate according to the instruction. It seems to be a kind of inductive system. This design is especially beneficial to children, because children have difficulty remembering instructions. By providing a “visual touch” command system, the entire computer system can easily operate. In some places, the computer system does not work because most people do not know how to operate the computer. What is being done here is not that people obey computers, but that computers obey people.

Such a convenient library is free to the public. Anyone who lives in Iowa City can get a library card for free. If you are not a local citizen, you can also enjoy it for a fee. It is very easy to get a library card, just say where you live and show certain documents and you will get it immediately.

This library is just one aspect of the various amenities available in this small city. In most small towns, people do not feel significantly backward and people can enjoy all the fruits of modernity. This is an important aspect of social stability. A vexing social dilemma in many developing countries is how to reconcile the imbalance of political and economic development in different regions. Unbalanced political and economic development can lead to all kinds of contradictions. These contradictions are not artificial, but inevitable at a certain stage of social development. The question is whether these problems have been raised to the premise of political management and social coordination, so as to promote the balance of political and economic development in the country.

The imbalance in political and economic development can lead to competition for resources between regions, difficulties in management due to the movement of people, difficulties in overall development due to the over-concentration of talent in large cities, and so on. In fact, some changes in the third world countries also mean that the power of the poor regions seizes the richest regions of the country. Perhaps this could be included as a topic of political geography.

Iowa City, a small city, has several large shopping areas. What is available in New York or Washington stores, is available here. No one would want to go to New York or Chicago to buy anything in person. It’s also rare to see a “second hand dealer” or “backroom”, either dealing in drugs or other goods. Housing, utilities, and the tertiary sector are all quite well developed here. Living here will not feel inconvenient. Therefore, except for young people who have the idea of going out to make a living, the general public is emotionally stable. Some are even so stable that they have never been out of Iowa in their lives and do not know what New York or San Francisco is like.

What needs to be explored is why small cities can reach such a level.

One of them is the highly developed commodity economy. Most of the stores and tertiary facilities here are privately owned, and the commodity economy has led to the arrival of private businesses in each small town. As long as there are customers, the commodity economy will come. The stores in small towns have not only American products, but also products from all over the world, such as Japanese automobiles, Chinese textiles, and household goods from Taiwan and Hong Kong. This is the power of the commodity economy. The desire to make a fortune drives businessmen to expand their sales network as much as possible. If there were any forces that could restrict people from getting rich, small towns would not have developed.

The second is a highly developed transportation system. Each small town is generally connected to the national highway network, which provides access to any part of the country. This makes it easy for private businesses to invest in various parts of the country. Highways are built by national or state governments and provide the basics for businesses and personal livelihoods. This shows you where public investment is most important. If the government spent a lot of money building stores everywhere, I don’t think we would be here today.

The third is the huge production energy. Without high productivity to back it up, there will not be a sufficient influx of goods. Naturally, another condition in the United States was brought about by the world status of the dollar: products from all countries flocked to the American market. The development of high technology has also created the conditions for a booming market: the export of high technology and the import of a large number of sophisticated household goods.

The fourth is a strong management system. The development of American society today is also a gradual process, which has been formed only after so many years of accumulation. The governance system of small towns is generally based on popular elections. Each administration has to do a few things in order to be re-elected or to gain a reputation. This is how towns and social development accumulate. Popular elections provide relative assurance of the competence of managers, and those who are less competent are eliminated in the elections.

The modernization of American society is not based on big cities like New York, but on thousands of small towns, and big cities are just the top of the hill.

XI. Undercurrents of Crisis

1. Family Concept • 1,800 Words

The American concept of family or family organization, most of those who have been educated in Eastern culture do not agree and do not appreciate. The American concept of family is very different from what it was decades ago. Of course, there are millions of American families, and they vary. What we analyze is only the typical and representative mainstream American family concept.

It is important to have a union of a man and a woman to form a family. For most American men and women, this union does not interfere with the privacy of each of them. Many couples treat each other with respect and do not interfere with each other’s privacy. This pattern of relationship between them is not acceptable in China or Japan. Men and women are consultative on many issues, and it sounds like two people who don’t know each other very well are talking about one thing. Of course, there exist harmonious families.

The development of American conjugal life to this point is the result of a society that has long pursued individualism. Americans have been trained in this way since childhood and regard this value as more important than any other value. On the other hand, as a result of this long-term education, have become less adept at dealing with people and no longer live with them. I personally believe that this is a problem for the future of American society. Marriage does not break the fortress that is built in everyone’s heart, especially young couples. Older couples seem to need to rely on each other more and pay less attention to maintaining the inner barrier.

How is this barrier formed? It starts with the environment in which Americans are raised. I think many young couples are too individualistic and selfish to pay much attention to the support and education of their children, not like the Orientals, who expect their children to grow up, and not like the traditional Westerners who devote their hearts and souls to them. Very young children, not even a year old, are usually sent to a separate room, the American concept is that this allows the child to learn to have a private domain, to learn to have their own domain, on the other hand, can also protect the private domain of the parents. This is the beginning of children learning to be independent. Independence and individualism are highly valued by Americans. Parents instill this in their children and at the same time protect themselves. They do not want to lose this to themselves as a result of the birth of a child. Their innermost, perhaps unconscious, motivations push them to encourage their children to “go first” and “stand on their own two feet. In terms of social effects, this may have positive implications. Children are taught early on that they should make their own decisions and be responsible for their own actions. This allows parents to get rid of their children earlier.

Children start earning money at an early age and parents give them some money. Many very young children have bank accounts. children between the ages of 9 and 10 can deliver newspapers to their neighbors, and children between the ages of 13 and 18 can babysit for their neighbors. American society is a money society, and parents know that in order for their children to gain independence, they must force them to learn to deal with money.

At the age of 18 to 21, parents encourage their children to leave home and lead an independent life. Generally, children go out to earn their own living at this age. The relationship between children and their families after they go out is, from the Chinese perspective, very weak. You often hear stories about children calling their parents and telling them what time they will come and go on a certain day, and then they will leave. Young people entering society is like entering a battlefield, they can’t help but make a good living. This pressure also forces them to be incapable of taking care of their parents. I know people who love their parents, but they don’t have time to visit them often. I also know many people who are indifferent to the elderly. Many elderly people are living in nursing homes or whatever, and their children amount to no role. Regardless of the reason, it is extremely difficult for the giving daughter to support the elderly. What does the current situation of the elderly teach the young? What imprint will it leave on the young?

Parents usually don’t care about their children’s marriage either, it’s up to them. Children just bring their girlfriends or boyfriends home to meet with their parents. Americans are more casual in this regard, while the rich and famous may be more strict. Parents are also the same people. Young people usually have boyfriends or girlfriends in high school, and the concept of sex is more open, and parents have no objection to the opposite sex friends of their children at the age of 15 or 16. One teacher I knew brought her son and her son’s girlfriend into the classroom and introduced them to everyone. Her son was fifteen years old. I asked her what she thought about this relationship. She said she thought it was great that her son’s girlfriend was two years older than him, had her own car, and wouldn’t let her son drink or smoke. Accepting this fact is commonplace in America because that’s how parents come by it. The concept of girlfriends and boyfriends in no way implies marriage, which, of course, is possible.

Attitudes toward children arise for a variety of reasons, and I actually think many people love their children very much. However, the average family must let their children become independent early and cannot afford to provide for them, so they are unable to love. In turn, children love their parents, but parents cannot depend on their children for their old age, and children cannot afford it, so children cannot love either. This relationship has far-reaching consequences for society. Parents have to rely on the social security or welfare system in their old age, but not on their children. The elderly must build a life of their own. Chinese culture contains a strong element of raising children for old age, and filial piety is one of the basic concepts of Chinese culture. It is not that Americans do not want to have this concept, but they are unable to have it. One friend said that in addition to cultural factors, material conditions are also important. Raising children for old age is a product of agricultural civilization and is bound to diminish under the impact of industrial civilization.

The present of the elderly is the future of the young. This situation of the elderly influences the attitude of young parents towards the upbringing of their children. From the time they start to have children, they know in their hearts that the child cannot be relied upon in the future, that raising him is a unilateral obligation, and that in most cases they cannot expect anything in return. What kind of effect does this have on parents? It is no small challenge for parents to truly take on the responsibility of raising their children, i.e. to overcome their own individualism (not in a derogatory sense, but in reference to a cultural phenomenon), which has been passed on from generation to generation, and it is extremely difficult to choose a new beginning, which is a problem for the future.

Aristotle said more than 2,000 years ago that the family is the cell of society. In the years since the war, the cell, the family, has disintegrated in the United States. On the surface, the family is still the cell of society, but in reality, the real cell of society in the United States is the individual. Family organization and the concept of the family are accelerating this process of disintegration. The overly traditional family is too tightly bound to the individual and is not conducive to his or her development. But is an excessively loose family conducive to social progress? The family could have reconciled a number of interpersonal conflicts and relationships. After the family is divided, these conflicts will have to be left to society.

The government bears a heavy burden due to family fragmentation, from children’s education to elderly issues. This has become a major burden for economic and social development. But today, with the increasing fragmentation of family organization, this burden is likely to get bigger and bigger. All the government can provide is the material conditions; who will regulate the emotional problems? The fragmentation of the family has deprived society of many human feelings, which is also detrimental to a harmonious society.

Many people are also worried about the evolution of the family. One example of this is the neoconservative mindset. Neoconservatism emphasizes the role of the family, and many people want the family to pass on basic norms such as religion, morality, and ethics. But it is not easy to do so with such mechanisms in American society.

Whether society is better off with individuals as cells or with families as cells, and how families should be formed, have different ideas in different cultures. American society to this day still has the family as the base unit of society. But in spirit, the family is being hollowed out, while society has not yet developed a complete regulatory mechanism with the individual as the cell. Two final questions to ask.

Is human nature adapted to living a life with or without family emotions?

Is individualism an emotional choice or something that has to be accepted?

Does socio-economic development inevitably lead to the breakdown of the traditional family, as seems to be the path taken by American society. The dilemma is between modernization and traditional social structure. I was deeply impressed by the difficulty of this issue when I was in Singapore. Singapore is a Chinese society and a newly industrialized country. The primary problem encountered after economic development was the danger of family disintegration. Singapore sought to cushion the shock waves of modernization through Confucianism. The evolution of the concept of family and family organization is also a good reflection of Marcuse’s depiction of the “one-sided man”. Marcuse’s question for America is: Can a civilization of love and lust replace a civilization of technology? My question is: What kind of emotions should human society maintain in addition to sexuality?

2. The Ignorant Generation? • 1,300 Words

The education crisis of the young generation has become a worrying social issue. University education is of a considerable standard. The main reason is also that there is a wide range of universities available to young people, and talents are weeded out in universities, not before. But secondary education is a concern, and the standard of secondary (high school) education is surprisingly poor. A special program (Burning Questions) was broadcast on TV on October 4, entitled: Why are kids failing? It was shocking to watch. In one of the few developed countries like the United States, the standard of education is so poor that it is inconceivable to the average person.

The television program was divided into three segments: high school students, teachers, and parents. The basic knowledge of high school students was very narrow, and the TV reported the results of some tests. In terms of knowledge about their own country, 81 percent knew that the U.S. military’s participation in World War II began with Pearl Harbor, only 64 percent knew that the government is divided into legislative, judicial and executive branches and that there are checks and balances among them, and only 42 percent knew about the Monroe Doctrine. Only 20 percent knew that the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of blacks and whites was unconstitutional. In terms of world knowledge, high school students have even more problems. Most don’t know about international political leaders, but are familiar with popular singers like Jackson and Madonna, and only 25 percent know about Orwell’s book “1984. Americans see this as a serious problem, and of course there is an ideological element to it. In mathematics, too, it is amazing that only 60% of people know what 87% of 10 is. In geography, too, it is a “record” that 50% of the people cannot find out where Washington, D.C. is. I know an international student from Taiwan. He said that once an American student asked him where he was from and he said Taiwan, but to his surprise he asked a dumbfounding question, “Where in Europe is Taiwan?” Another international student from Panama also told me that the American college students’ concept of Panama is a canal with many houses on both sides, and they have no idea that Panama is a country.

Such issues, which have been discussed in the United States for a long time, cannot be written or calculated for Americans, and Americans themselves are worried. A man once told me that a friend he knew had a store where you could buy six bottles of Coca-Cola at a discount, such as 50 cents a bottle, and six bottles would only cost two dollars. An American came to buy it, and he introduced him to buy six bottles for two dollars, but the man just couldn’t do the math and said he would rather buy one bottle at a time. This is of course an extreme example. The October 3 Chicago Tribune reported that IBM, which has an adult literacy center, is implementing a program to teach adults to read and write, and that IBM offers classes three days a week with students ranging from 20 to retirement age. IBM’s purpose for this program is noteworthy. Dave Cox, manager of the IBM Adult Literacy Center, said, “We see adult illiteracy as a major economic problem. If we’re going to expand our economy and compete, we need to get a workforce that’s trained and able to be trained.”

Based on 1980 statistics, Illinois officials estimated that approximately 2 million people in the state could be considered virtually illiterate. This figure is estimated to be 750,000 for the city of Chicago. Across the United States, the magnitude of the problem is not hard to imagine. If the education system is not producing qualified people, the future development of the United States will be a very difficult problem, and one of the major reasons for Japan’s postwar economic success was the rigor of its education system. Today, Japan’s education system is still quite effective, and I am afraid that this is the biggest challenge facing the United States.

In addition to intellectual education, serious problems exist in the area of ethics and values. The situation of young people in this area is also worrying. The key factor is the loss of faith and ethics among the young generation. Conservatives are very disgusted by this. The summary of this TV show is that children lack values, discipline and goals.

What are the reasons?

Teachers responded that teachers’ salaries are too low and their treatment is too bad, and that they can’t keep people in high schools, and that they all want to move. Parents respond that they are too busy working, don’t have time to take care of their children, and can’t make enough money. The question is, is this a problem that can be solved by increased federal funding? Partially, but not completely. The American mind is prone to think about grants.

I was watching this TV program in a moderate level family where the owner had a daughter who was a high school student and another daughter’s classmate. After watching the TV show, we discussed the issue. The daughter said, “It’s true that this phenomenon exists in the United States, but in my school the problem is not as serious and the students do much better. The students’ lack of knowledge of geography may be related to the fact that life is so privileged that they don’t need to go to another country to get comfortable living conditions. Different people have different choices about values, discipline and goals.” Her classmate said:- “This problem is especially evident in big cities and poor areas, where many people can’t write or read, and they think that studying doesn’t make immediate money, while dealing drugs or doing something does. There is no immediate benefit to getting more education, and that’s a big reason why.” This high school student is one who has thought about this issue.

In a commodity economy, the power of money is irresistible. Without a force to guide it, people will be profit-oriented. This will eventually lead to serious social problems. Many developing countries are also in such a predicament. To develop the economy, we need to first mobilize the monetary mechanism to guide people’s energy. When the economy has developed, the need for high-tech high technology, only to find it difficult to find such talent, because the monetary power will tend to make people look for simple labor to earn money, rather than complex labor. This is a lesson for developing countries to learn from.

“Problems that money can solve, wisdom must be able to solve. But what wisdom cannot solve, money must not solve.”

This owner’s comment expresses more prominently the seriousness of the problem. Of course, this is an absolutist statement. The problem can only be solved by combining wisdom and money. The problem in developing countries is not primarily the amount of wisdom or currency in absolute terms, but how the two are combined. He said:-“Youth have no values, discipline and purpose, mainly because their parents have none either.” This statement points out where the worries of the educated class lie. This generation was made by the past generation, and the next generation will be made by this one, and the end is conceivable.

If the transmission of basic knowledge is problematic, how can the basic values and beliefs of society be transmitted? How can they be socialized? This is the greatest challenge not only to American society and economy, but also to American politics. The rise of neoconservatism suggests that this concern has reached considerable proportions.

3. Stray Teenagers • 1,400 Words

What has been the impact of the change in the concept of the family, and the loosening of its organization, in society, and has it contributed to social development, or the opposite? This question deserves to be studied. The development of individualism has resulted in concerns about who will take family responsibilities seriously. A frequent problem for young couples is how to resolve family responsibilities. In small and medium-sized cities and families in the countryside, I think the concept of family is still relatively strong. Those with higher education are also clearer about family responsibilities. Although the American social mechanism makes it clear that children are not dependent, responsible parents still do their part to raise their children to adulthood.

However, the concept of individualism and private domain is so deeply rooted that it also hangs over family relationships. I think this family spirit – individualism and private domain – makes family relationships more difficult to adjust, and there is more Tension in the family. It is difficult for parents to manage older children, even though the parents may be right. Parents sometimes have difficulty considering the wishes of their children because they have to maintain their own private sphere. Problems can arise between couples for the same reasons.

The divorce rate in the United States is high, and many of the reasons for this are not social or other issues, but rather the spirituality of the individual. The Academy Award-winning film “Kramer vs. Kramer” profoundly reflects the problems posed by this spiritual condition. What is notable is not the stated reason for Joanna’s departure, but the husband’s attitude toward his children. This inner spirit in the family brings a lot of problems: high divorce rate, many single parents, many stray teenagers, etc. Let’s look at the problem of stray teenagers.

The concept of stray teenagers is a Singaporean concept, similar to the Chinese term “escaping the night” and the Beijing vernacular “shabushabu night”. Family problems first affect the teenage generation, and family conflicts lead to teenage runaways, making it a major problem in society. The reason why I think this issue is important is that youth is the future of a society. If you lose a generation of youth, you lose the future. What is the future of society? The answer also lies in the growth of the young generation. Birch Bayh, chairman of the Senate Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, said in 1976, “Our youth are the nation’s most valuable resource.” Society can certainly produce a large number of elites. But a society needs elites as much as it needs masses. If the masses are the “Beat Generation,” how can society progress?

From the combination of family, we go to the stray juvenile, just to trace the function of family from the phenomenon of stray juvenile. At hand is the book written by Arnold P. Rubin, Juvenile Delinquency: The Stray Teenager in America. This book was published in 1976. Although it was published 12 years ago, it still has value.

The number of juvenile delinquents in the United States was estimated at 1 million per year in 1975, which is a conservative figure. In 1973, police authorities caught 265,000 juvenile runaways. Runaways are children and teenagers who have run away from home without parental consent. The youngest children were around 10 years old. We can look at some of the causes and consequences of juvenile runaways described by Rubin.

Terri, “The main reason I ran away was because there was too much tension at home.” Terri, 17, says she didn’t want to go back because there was too much tension at home. Nor did she want to go to school, where she couldn’t learn anything useful.

Randy, 17, from Florida, “My father put me on a bus and told me, don’t let me see you again.” He says he ran away because, “My parents wanted to get rid of the burden and …they thought there was something wrong with my head.” He and his sister were adopted.

Cassie, San Diego, who began straying at age 13, says she couldn’t stay with her stepfather, who was an alcoholic. Her father beat her, “One day I came home an hour late and walked home with a friend and he tried to beat my friend and my mother stopped him. He hit me with a belt and asked me why I was late coming home and came with a knife, and my mother stopped him.”

Rick, 12 years old, Rick’s parents do not live together and he has not seen his mother for seven years. He lives with his father and grandparents, all three of whom are alcoholics. His father beat him up when he drank.

Shirley, from a very comfortable family, “My mother had very bad health, the house was a mess, and she wanted people to notice her, sometimes beating me to achieve this.” When she returned home after two runs, her father told her she couldn’t live at home, and she ran away from home and lived on the street for about a month.

Burkholder, 15, was killed in New York by what police said was her “customer. She had been caught by the police for prostitution. But she convinced the police department that she was 19 years old and a first-time sex worker, and they let her go. She was killed the next night.

White Clay, who was caught in prostitution after running away, was later murdered. The reason was that her father left home ten years ago without telling her, and her family was trapped in poverty and could not help but rely on government funding. She wanted to get out of that situation.

I have only casually given a few of the various examples mentioned by Rubin. As you can see, most cases are caused by family tension, whatever the cause of the tension. Of course, there are also some children who run away because their parents do not buy hi-fi equipment or other reasons. But the deeper reason lies in the inability of many families to achieve true inner harmony. How can there be true harmony when everyone wants to have individualism and private spheres. Individualism and private domains are important values in American society, but are they beneficial and harmless within any limits? Even the best things are bound to go the other way if they are allowed to proliferate without limits. In the United States, the work sector generally pays little attention to the private sphere of the individual. Should the same be true of families? Or does it require some kind of reconciliation?

Wandering teenagers reflect at least a lack of attraction for families. This social problem also implies two problems of social development.

For one thing, there is a tendency to weaken the social function of the family. The family is an important place to educate the young generation and to coordinate a part of the conflicts in society. Due to the evolution of family relations, a large number of youth problems are presented to the society. The government spends tens of millions of dollars every year for the matter of stray teenagers alone. Accordingly, the government has established organizations and facilities such as shelters for stray teenagers. This has actually increased the pressure on society, increased government spending, and increased interpersonal tensions.

The second is whether adolescents, having grown up in this environment from a young age, can have the psychological structure needed for the healthy development of a society. The path that adolescents should take, while not compulsive, should not be left to chance. Such a large number of adolescents living in such an atmosphere has a poor prognosis for a society. In fact, a large number of stray teenagers are involved in crime or become the target of crime and lose their educational opportunities. The rapid development of Japanese society is closely related to the fact that Japan has a complete juvenile correctional mechanism. It may be that the Japanese approach is unacceptable from the viewpoint of Western culture, but the success of Japan shows that the opposite path can mean failure. Every society should find good mechanisms to reach this goal. Will future generations in the United States still be able to hold up the American shelf? Many Americans doubt it.

The development of a society depends, of course, on political institutions, business, finance, science and technology, and culture, but also on the basic organization – the family. The question is how to reconcile the evolving social spirit with the family.

This determines the magnitude of socio-political coordination.

4. Non-Toxic United States • 1,800 Words

The concept of America, in today’s world, must be associated with drugs, so it is called “No Drugs, No America”. Drugs have become an insurmountable problem in American society. The Reagan administration has recently launched a strong offensive against drug trafficking, but it is difficult to say how effective it will be. Criminal groups have organized themselves around the drug trade and are using every trick in the book to get around the government’s anti-drug organizations. Drugs enter the United States through a variety of channels. In some cities, it is easy to get a pack of drugs, and they are peddled on the streets. Many people become addicted to drugs and end up getting caught up in them and can’t get out. Some people are addicted to drugs and cannot help but be swayed by criminal syndicates, and young girls thus have to sell their bodies for drugs.

Drugs are encroaching on the United States with a force that, I fear, exceeds the various forces that have impacted the country throughout history. The proliferation of drugs also poses a powerful challenge to the institutions of society. The ability to curb and curtail the proliferation of drugs is a test of social institutions and even of the moral spirit.

The proliferation of drugs affects the physical and mental health of youth first and foremost. Teenage drug use is exceptionally high. I saw a movie about how a high school principal goes about running a dirty school with a black high school student as his main opponent. He had a group of students embracing and openly dealing drugs in the school’s restrooms. They set up a poisonous attack on this principal and demolished the principal’s motorcycle. Finally, several men came with guns to kill the principal. When he was almost killed, the principal was accidentally saved and the student was arrested by the police. When the police car drove away, he stared at the principal with two dead eyes and a chilling look of resignation. There is naturally artistic processing in this, but I’m afraid it’s not far from the actual process in some serious cases. The tentacles of drug organizations have long reached out to all corners of society, especially places where youth are concentrated. It may be better in small towns, but it is even worse in big cities.

Let’s look at an article in the May 1987 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, a magazine. The title is “Children and Drugs. The author begins by quoting a letter from President Reagan to the magazine: “Drugs threaten every American family and our own way of life. Drugs deprive young people of the education they need and prevent ten out of every thousand Americans from working. Drugs are closely linked to crime, destroying property, raising insurance rates, straining police departments and law enforcement officers of all kinds, and causing us enormous damage. Our economic damage can be measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but how do you measure the damage of a nation whose lives are ruined?” These words are indicative of the serious challenges the United States has encountered.

What is the state of drug use among youth? This magazine surveyed several young people. One of them responded as follows.

Tim Osiecki: “I started using drugs when I left elementary school and entered middle school. I found a lot of drugs in this school, maybe because I knew some of the older kids and the kids from the inner city. Some of the people I knew did drugs, and at first I wasn’t interested. Then I started doing Marijuana, and soon the stuff stopped working. Then I met kids from very rich families. They introduced me to expensive drugs, like cocaine. I used it and since then cocaine has been an inseparable part of my life.”

After a teenager gets into the habit of using drugs in society, school or wherever, he or she cannot extricate himself or herself from the mire. There are many different kinds of drugs. Some are medical drugs, but overdose can be addictive and harmful to the body. The names of drugs are: Heroin, morphine, Codeine, methadone, Cocaine, barbiturates, Amphetamines, LSD, DMT, mescaline, Psilocybin, Alcohol, etc.

There are countless drug crimes committed by teenagers who have gone from drug use to crime. Numerous movies and television have been produced and uncountable fictional stories have been written around this subject. One movie was about a couple of high school students who got their hands on a small box of drugs and wanted to sell them. After contacting another gang, they arranged to meet somewhere, but found that the other gang was armed with a deadly weapon and wanted to kill them, so they hastily drew their guns so that they would not be in danger. The other two students found out they had a small box of drugs and tried to rob them. This day they brought a gun, just in time to meet another gang also came to rob, a three-way battle ensued, two people died. One of the two students was killed, and the other fled to run over the brother of the leader of the group of students who had the drugs, and was himself put in a juvenile reformatory. The latter, desperate for revenge for the death of his brother, deliberately raped the former’s girlfriend and ended up in a juvenile facility as well. The two of them fought in the juvenile reformatory. Finally, one night, the latter knocked out the guards and stormed into the former’s room and engaged in a fight to the death, resulting in a bloody fight in which both were injured. They were both underage teenagers.

Naturally, drug addiction is not limited to teenagers; there are plenty of drug addicts among adults to catch. The problem is that these people are addicted to drugs from their teenage years. Drug addiction can have serious consequences, mainly in the physical and mental aspects, it is entirely possible to make a person depressed, weak, anxious, and finally destroy a person’s normal mental state, and sometimes even lead to death.

There are also different views on drug abuse. Thomas S. Szasz, for example, wrote an article arguing that: most people are against drug abuse and believe that coercive policies are needed because drugs are too dangerous. But he argues that each person can damage and kill himself, which is a fundamental aspect of human freedom. Self-destruction can be seen as a sin and punished by informal means, but it cannot be seen as a crime or a mental illness that can be controlled by police force. Therefore it is absurd to prevent an adult from possessing drugs. Weapons and sharp edges are more dangerous, but no one prohibits them. It is a right. So adults cannot be denied the right to possess and use drugs, even though most people don’t use them. This is a classic contrarian notion.

This idea is not the mainstream now. The mainstream is advocating for effective government action against drug trafficking and drug use. That said, it cannot be claimed that this argument is not valid. Because guns and ammunition are indeed more dangerous than drugs, they can be sold openly in the United States. A gun can kill a person; a bag of drugs cannot kill a person as long as the person is not using it. Americans believe that gun ownership is a civil right, so why can’t drugs be owned? This is a puzzle that Americans have not yet solved. In fact, it is also a challenge to the margin of human rights. What is the margin of freedom that can be granted to each person in social life? This is the practical question. It is unrealistic to say that a person can enjoy full rights. Locke, Rousseau, and others discussed issues that they failed to address practically and that people today still fail to address practically. I am afraid that we still need to do some re-conceptualization of human beings.

Why is drug use a major challenge to the United States? Herein lies the problem. Americans believe in the right of each individual to determine his or her own destiny, a right to personal freedom that cannot be taken away. This right evolved gradually, after World War II, from the right to vote, the right to racial equality, and the right to equality between men and women in the political sphere, to the later right to sexual freedom, the right to pursue one’s own lifestyle (e.g., hippies, etc.), etc. All of this was accepted by Americans. Now comes the right to take drugs, and Americans cannot accept it. Because accepting it would mean the downfall of the nation or a significant part of the nation. Whether there is a solid philosophical foundation in the American system to support this anti-drug initiative, it is too early to say. The opposite philosophical foundation is there. Americans are now mostly in favor of anti-drug policy. This is a factual and emotional choice, a public opinion. What does the future hold?

Sexual Freedom? Was it ever considered unethical as well?

The challenges posed by drug use are not primarily in the realm of philosophy; few people are interested in such abstract and esoteric questions, if they have not developed certain conditions. The challenges posed by drug use also include: What motivates people to use drugs? The answer for many drug users is that they feel bored, empty, in a trance, and depressed, so they use drugs for a boost. According to one psychiatrist’s analysis, one third of Americans have one or more mental problems. So, what are the causes of this phenomenon? In this way we have to go into a vast perspective. People live in a certain social environment, an environment that includes family, school, business, culture, education, politics, law, and other aspects. Is this environment producing drug addicts or eliminating them? The number of drug addicts is increasing with each passing day. Anti-drug purging is only a negative means, because it is only for the results. But how easy is it to change the causes that produce the results? We are well aware of the harmful effects that drug use can have on a nation. After the mid-nineteenth century, opium was imported into China in large quantities, and the harm it produced can be said to still exist today, and as history, will have long-lasting effects. Most Americans who oppose drug use worry about their children, a few worry about the development of society as a whole, and individuals think even farther. Farther is the hardest thing to accept.

5. Triads • 1,500 Words

Mafia organizations or criminal groups are powerful and tightly organized in American society. Those who have seen the film “The Godfather” have an understanding of the Mafia organization and the brutal rivalry between the groups. Those who have seen “Family Honor” have an understanding of the activities and methods of the Mafia. Various other forms of literature often take this as a theme. The mafia organization is a headache. While most of what we see is literature, there are artistically processed renderings. In fact, in real life, the existence of the mafia does become a major problem in this society, constituting a great threat to this affluent society and the greatest challenge to this social system.

An article in the Nov. 25 issue of The New York Times about two drug cartels was a chilling read. The two cartels, one named Bloods and one named Crips, are based in California. They have taken advantage of a well-developed highway system to build well organized violent and drug trafficking organizations across the country. The organization grew from California on the West Coast to Baltimore and Washington on the East Coast, expanding from large cities to smaller ones. The main function of this network was to sell cocaine. These two organizations grew to almost every state and eight hundred locations. The drug trafficking organizations were carefully run and became a kind of organization with good management.

Drug trafficking organizations are not only expanding their forces, but are also well equipped. Drug enforcement agencies are often beaten to death because they are not as well armed as drug trafficking organizations. These organizations are equipped with light and heavy weapons, and when they get into trouble, they put up a big fight.

Once these organizations come to a new city, they often do not come quietly, but make a big splash, driving expensive and luxurious minivans and wearing bejeweled clothes.

These people often do not carry ID cards and do not peddle on the streets. They are ambitious and come to a place, mainly to build a sales network and order contracts, as if they were doing a serious business.

Two criminals were recently caught in Missouri with 1,100 pounds of cocaine, worth a lot of money.

It’s impossible to say exactly how many people are in these two organizations. In Los Angeles County, the number is around 700, mostly black. Across the country, the lineup is strong, there are about 2,700 cadres in all. Denver has about 700. Oklahoma City has about 60, plus the 30 or so that have been captured. Kansas City also has quite a few. There are large numbers wherever they operate.

They are well organized and unscrupulous. They sell drugs in the streets and alleys and intimidate people from reporting to the police. In Omaha, there is a residential area known as “Vietnam” because of the frequent shootouts and bloodshed.

Another recently published book is titled Mafia Enforcer: A True Story of Life and Death in the Mob. The authors are Thomas Lerner and Cecil Kirby. The former is a well-known journalist who specializes in writing about the inside of criminal activities and is well known in the U.S. He has won various awards and is an expert on organized crime. The latter is a repentant crime syndicate member. The crime syndicate offered a huge reward of \$100,000 for his head. He is heavily protected by the police department, under an alias and anonymous. The book, dictated by Cecil Kirby and recorded and written by Thomas Lerner, exposes the inside of the underworld in a thrilling way.

Let’s just look at the organizational chart of the criminal groups they outline at the top of the book. One type of crime group is the family type, such as the Mafia. At the top is the council, below it is the boss, below the boss is the small boss, below the small boss is the head (Caporegima). Below the head are the soldiers (Soldiers), whose duty is to enforce discipline by means of threats, attacks and assassinations, while carrying out the orders of the leadership. Criminal groups simultaneously form a vast network with various types of people and organizations. The mafia generally engages in two types of activities: one is legal, such as banks, bars, clubs, food production, unions, insurance, real estate, restaurants, entertainment, and everything else; the other is illegal, such as alcohol, assault, explosions, bribery, export, kidnapping, assassination, prostitution, theft, etc.

Another type of organization is the non-family type called the Motorcycle Gang, which has a national leadership: President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc. Under them are Sergeant at Arms, War Lord, Road Captain, who are responsible for the control of the members and the control of non-members, by means of beatings, assassinations, etc. They had a wide range of contacts with all three social groups. There are also two types of activities: legal activities include car trading, bars, entertainment, clubs, food, motorcycle trading, real estate, restaurants, freight, construction, antiques, etc. Illegal activities are the same as those of the Mafia.

Such organizations are well-organized, incredibly energetic, and dominate a large portion of American society. The White House governs American society, and the mob organizations also govern a large part of American society, but this part is dark. We can look at a scene depicted in this book (Chapter 5, the girl who sells her body).

“They often beat some women to death to protect themselves because they thought they might turn out to be informers, and that was one reason why many girls disappeared. Those who disappeared were either tortured or murdered. They were mutilated, crucified or thrown into the wasteland where wild animals ate the bodies without leaving a trace. The girls also disappeared for other reasons. Sometimes they worked as prostitutes or escort dancers in low-class bars, becoming too old and useless at the age of 16 or 18. Some because they wanted to get rid of the clubs that owned them, some because they didn’t turn in the money they were required to turn in, and some simply because they didn’t earn enough money.”

Reading a chapter like this, one wonders, is this America? Yes, this is America. This is the other side of the coin. The government recognizes that these criminal groups threaten society. in 1985, FBI statistics showed that the four largest criminal groups had 3,800 members, not including eight hundred smaller groups. Today, the power of criminal organizations and the Mafia has grown so much that it has become one of society’s biggest headaches.

The existence of criminal organizations constitutes a major challenge to the system. The emergence of organized crime is itself indicative of an institutional vulnerability. Naturally, it cannot be said that any one system can completely avoid crime. But the development of criminal groups to a large national organization is really something to think about. There are loopholes in the system in this regard. To be clear: the hole I am talking about here refers only to the space through which something can pass, and there is no specific setting. In this respect.

For one thing, the American concept is that guilt is punished and innocence is not cared for; the law is put there and only when the law is broken is it pursued. Perhaps this is an important principle of the political system, no one’s behavior can be criminalized and prohibited at the outset, to wait and see what happens. However, activities such as organized crime can no longer be controlled and criminalized when they become too numerous. The situation in the United States is a case in point.

Second, the American concept is that it is a right for anyone to organize themselves. This is also a basic principle of the political system. The activities of political parties in the United States make are the result of the operation of this principle. However, if association is allowed, then anyone can associate. Society can only punish individuals who commit crimes, and is powerless to deal with these organizations. These organizations often have both legal and illegal aspects, making it difficult for those who want to outlaw them to achieve their goals for a number of reasons.

These two issues are potential problems for the U.S. political system. The criminal organizations put them in plain view. Any society that designs its institutions runs into these kinds of problems, where what it wants to prohibit cannot be prohibited because of decisions it wants to allow, and what it does not want to give can only be given because of decisions it wants to give. If there was, is, or will be a problem with the American system, it is here. The American political system is a very successful one in terms of giving and allowing, but it is not a commendable one in terms of prohibiting and preventing. Americans try to stop a lot of things, but it often backfires, and the more things they try to prohibit, the more they end up with.

6. Beggar’s Kingdom • 1,500 Words

Victor Hugo’s monumental “Notre Dame de Paris” depicts the suffering and life of beggars in Paris, France at a time when the images of Quasimodo and Esmeralda were unforgettable. The film based on Hugo’s “Notre Dame de Paris” shows the vivid image of Quasimodo. This image is so vivid that people see him as a typical image of the lower class. Strangely enough, when walking in the United States today, which is the first country of the twentieth century with the greatest wealth, one always feels that there are many people who resemble this image. They are dirty, filthy, poorly dressed, dull-eyed, slow-moving, and with a pathetic look on their faces that they cannot forget. Such a number of people, constitute the twentieth century in the United States of the eighties beggar kingdom, also constitute a major social problems in the United States.

The official newspaper term for these people is Homeless, which means people who do not have a place to live. As the number of homeless people grows, the issue is becoming more and more important to both the government and newspapers. Government spokespersons often talk about it. As you walk around cities, large and small, you can see large numbers of homeless people. They are either sitting on the side of the street, dumbfounded, asking for money, curled up in some corner or doorway to sleep, or walking slowly with a large pile of rags on their backs.Here are a few examples of this problem that I have seen with my own eyes.

Washington, D.C., August 1988. A British political scientist invited me to dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. We agreed to walk from the Washington Hilton, where we were staying, to the restaurant and to see Washington at night. We left the Hilton at 7 p.m. and walked down one of the busiest streets downtown. A black man stopped us and asked if we had any change. This was my first time encountering Homeless, and on the way to and from dinner that night, we encountered no less than 10 Homeless people and asked for money. The probability is very high.

New York, December 1988. New York probably has a higher concentration of such people. That night a friend drove to New York with me and was going to stay at a friend’s house. Not being familiar with the streets of New York, the car drove into Harlem. This is one of the highest crime areas in New York. It was already midnight. Just seeing groups of people at every street corner, some loud, some drinking, a panic-inducing atmosphere surrounded us. After asking a friend about it the next day, knowing that we passed through Harlem the night before, I could not help but a cold sweat.

December 1988, New York. When I went to a friend’s house and walked to the door of the building where he lived, I saw a man sitting on the steps, eating. He was disheveled and had a pile of tattered luggage next to him. I couldn’t help but be alert and hesitant to go in. It turned out that the person looked up first and turned out to be an old woman. She said, “Don’t hurt me, I’m homeless, I’m just sitting here to eat, I won’t do anything else.” Hearing her words, a great compassion flooded my heart.

Berkeley, January 1988. I was a visiting scholar at the East Asian Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and I had to walk through a shopping street every day at lunchtime. There were a lot of people asking for money on this street. In a doorway on one side of the street, for several days in a row we saw old newspapers and cardboard on the floor, along with a mess of shredded paper, where someone was sleeping every night, covered in rags. Although we did not see the man, we can imagine what kind of image he had.

There are many such stories, and I’m afraid any person in the U.S. would have experienced them. As winter approaches, there is a particular concentration of homeless people in cities on the West Coast. In front of San Francisco’s City Hall, there are hordes of homeless people. In the streets of Seattle, homeless people gather in stations and public places. New York’s train station toilets were filled with groups of homeless people demanding money, scaring the average person from using the outhouse; Greyhound station was no less impressive. on January 20, 1989, the day Bush was sworn in as the 41st president, during his impassioned speech, television intercut a scene of a homeless man covered in a pile of refuse sleeping on the ground. This shows how serious the problem has become.

The January 16, 1989 issue of the New York Times had a front page article discussing the social problems posed by Homelessness. The story is about a small village called Elmsford that has become the “capital” of homelessness in Westchester County. The village has a total of 3,300 permanent residents, but 378 homeless people. They live in four motels there. New York State law says that anyone who needs emergency shelter should be provided with it. So the county’s welfare department arranges these things. Of the 378 people, only nine were from the village, and most were from other places, such as Boston, Louisiana, and Oregon. Westchester County spent \$54 million to house them in 1988 and plans to spend \$64 million this year. The concentration of homeless people in this area has caused anxiety among the locals, a decline in the quality of life, an increase in crime, an increase in fighting, and a fear that their former peace will be shattered. Many people are ready to leave for other places. Here we can see the kind of social problems and conflicts that homelessness can bring. Elmsford is only a very small community, but is experiencing trouble from such a large number of homeless people. What about the entire United States combined?

Why are there homeless people? This is a question that cannot be answered simply. Some people think that it is because they want to, and many homeless people look young and strong, and they prefer to beg rather than get a job. Many people do not show sympathy for such people. Others believe that the release of some mentally ill people who were not aggressive not long ago is the main reason why the ranks of the homeless have grown. They are mentally ill and are not likely to engage in work, and their families or relatives are not willing to take care of them, so many of them fall into homelessness.

Seriously, don’t be surprised to see dysfunctional people on the street in the US, because there are too many. There are also people who analyze it in terms of the Vietnam War and believe that many of the homeless are Vietnam veterans who took drugs to support their will in the Vietnam War and as a result could not pull themselves together and destroyed their physical and mental health and could not work like normal people and had to go down this road. And so on and so forth.

This phenomenon is quite perplexing. It is a challenge to the American system and the American spirit. On the one hand, there is a great abundance of goods, and on the other hand, there are a great number of people who are destitute. In terms of wealth itself, the United States is not like some developing countries. Those countries have scarce resources that cannot be distributed in such a way as to meet the basic needs of all. The problem with distributing the wealth of society in a way that would be sufficient to provide a decent life for all homeless people is that such a distribution is difficult to develop under this system and is not consistent with the nature of the system.

One might argue that homelessness has nothing to do with the system. Well, American culture and the American spirit do not provide the conditions to solve this problem either. A number of government and private institutions are indeed working to address the problem, but how easy is it to talk about? The homeless themselves, for whatever reason, may be their own or society’s, but the existence of this phenomenon is a challenge to society. The U.S. is not considered a poor, backward country because of these problems; it is still considered a number one developed country. However, the United States is better known for having these phenomena.

No society is perfect, and no political and administrative administration can be perfect in every way. A good political and administrative system is not one that is designed to be seamless from the start, but one that is able to develop and grow in response to the problems that keep popping up. Naturally, the key lies in its ability to do so, and that ability must be consistent with the internal logic of how their systems work.

7. Black Challenge • 1,600 Words

The “black challenge,” or “black storm,” I am referring to the black issue. The social and political problems caused by blacks have become a headache and a serious challenge to society. Some people have compared the black issue to the biggest social problem, saying that it will eventually become a fatal problem. In the United States, it can be deeply felt that there is some truth in this statement.

The Martin Luther King Center is located in the city of Atlanta. I went to visit the center. Compared to the Carter Center, the Martin Luther King Center is small and dilapidated, partly because it was built earlier. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prominent black civil rights leader. Up until the 1960s, black issues and racial discrimination were still very much a problem. There were schools that only whites could go to, cars that only whites could ride in, hotels that only white people could stay in, and areas that only whites could live in, and blacks had no status and no money. During that era, there was massive unrest and violence to break this segregation, and the federal government had to deploy the military to protect black students from going to white schools. Despite court rulings that segregation was unconstitutional, racial discrimination persisted in real life. It has been more than twenty years since then, and although the living condition of blacks has improved, the problem of blacks has become more and more serious.

A Chinese student at Emory University told me, “In the South, even though blacks have been emancipated since the Civil War, the status of blacks is still very low.” The cause of the Civil War was whether to abolish or preserve slavery. What we know as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” depicts the status of blacks at that time. One of President Lincoln’s major achievements was to accomplish this goal: the emancipation of black slaves. More than a hundred years later, blacks were no longer slaves, but blacks still did not have the social status that whites enjoyed.

He said there is one county near the city of Atlanta where racial discrimination is particularly severe. To this day, this county is against black people living there. It is said that there are no black people there. Any black person who lives there is ostracized. Anti-racist groups have repeatedly supported black people who have the guts to live there and have been beaten out. Last year an anti-racist group organized a march in that county to protest this attitude and got beaten up by people from that county. It was later reported in the press and caused a national outrage, with people from all over the country showing solidarity with the group and coming to the march, making the police department very nervous. When the people of the county saw that there were many people opposing them, they did not dare to take action because of the anger of the people. However, the people who opposed racial discrimination could only march a little bit and did not achieve any lasting results. To this day, the county still discriminates against blacks.

Today, in most places there are no longer clearly defined policies that discriminate against blacks, and there are even provisions to the contrary: government agencies, etc. must hire blacks. Some whites feel that this is upside down discrimination because sometimes whites are more capable of filling a position than blacks, but because of the requirement to hire blacks, whites are put in an unfair competitive position.

However, this is only a superficial phenomenon. In the hearts of many white people, the psychology of hating black people is very strong. For example, in some white residential areas, if blacks live there, many whites will move out. With blacks living there, housing prices would fall because whites would not want to come and live there. This fact causes blacks and whites to live in largely separate neighborhoods. Every major city has a black neighborhood, which is generally a backward and dirty area. Some blacks get millions of dollars and still can’t be in the upper class of whites. The American superficiality is beautiful, and there is no racial discrimination on the surface, but in fact it is deep-rooted.

The social status of the black people is lower, and the cultural level is also lower, and the economic situation is even worse. People in the street will meet a lot of poor people asking for money, most of them are black, Washington, such a surprisingly large number of people, and the prosperous city is too incongruous; in the street square will see many people selling art, most of them are black; can also see the recruitment office and the relief office queue of people, most of them are black; wandering the streets homeless people, most of them are black; dressed in rags, unkempt people, most of them are also Black people. Of course, there are also white people who are in such a state of disarray, but the number is smaller. When sightseers see such conditions, they are naturally wary.

Black neighborhoods are most typical of the plight of black people. I have been to black neighborhoods in San Francisco, New York, New Haven, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and the impression is extremely bad. Generally speaking, they are more dirty and poor than the areas where white people live, and it is obvious that they are poor areas. In front of many households, there are some lazy black people sitting. Young people stand in groups on the street, people’s hearts beat. New York’s black neighborhoods are especially bad, and the crime rate in them is extremely high. A friend told me that once an American took him to visit a black neighborhood in New York and halfway through, a police car was shortly in hot pursuit behind them. They thought they had violated a traffic rule. When they stopped, the cop asked if they knew what was ahead of them and they said yes. The police officer said to be more careful. They both dared to drive quickly through the black area and did not dare to come down. He said if the car broke down, there was no telling what was going to happen.

The black population is living in extremely poor conditions, and after desperate times, most of them take the path of crime. The crime situation of the whole society can be ranked among the top in the world, and blacks are especially strong. I heard a lot of stories about black people robbing Chinese people. A friend said that once he accompanied a colleague to a restaurant and met two black people on the stairs with knives demanding money. A Chinese student told me that crime is rampant on Forty-second Street in New York, and the Chinese Consulate in New York is just down the street. The criminals specialize in robbing Chinese people of their money. The NYPD had to put mounted police in front of the consulate, and the general police were no longer enough (though I did not see any mounted police in front of the Chinese Consulate General in New York). This was in broad daylight.

There is a plethora of outstanding figures among blacks who have also become icons of social admiration: athletes, singers, basketball players, softball players, boxers, and football players. But the overall status of blacks has not changed.

The problems of the black population have constituted a cycle, a loop that is difficult to untangle. Blacks as a whole are less literate, economically inferior, have no control over childbirth, and the welfare system provides for children to receive government assistance. Blacks have a higher fertility rate than whites. Black children do not have access to a good living environment or a good education. Because the previous generation was not well educated and did not receive some basic values, children were not naturally educated and nurtured. Growing up in the environment of black neighborhoods, they are subconsciously and psychologically unbalanced. Generations of blacks grow up without good skills and education, and thus are unable to work in technically demanding positions. Many children have no parents or only one parent, often only their mother. Many children are born to Child mothers, i.e., they become pregnant and have children at the age of 14 or 15. How can such children get a good education. This situation is not uncommon in the black community. When they grow up, they can only work in lower level jobs and do not receive higher financial remuneration. A few struggled to get out of this predicament, but then struggled to be accepted by the white society. This passes from generation to generation, making the snowball of black problems grow bigger and bigger.

The black challenge is threatening society and the system. So far, the system has been weak or powerless to deal with this problem. As a result of the system’s inaction, a wave of anti-blackness is emerging, in the sense of what neoconservatives call “inverted discrimination. Apartheid is history, but the black challenge is growing. The days of the KKK are behind us, but we cannot say that they are gone. If society fails to find fundamental ways to improve the situation of blacks, it is likely to end up with more violent anti-black actions. It is a human weakness that when a problem cannot be solved, the most convenient option is to strongly oppose it.

Almost every society has a similar problem, where some people are considered “inferior”. But there may be different reasons for this problem, some from cultural differences, some from historical origins, some from customs, and some from the system. For the United States, the main reason is the system, so the black problem is a challenge to this social system.

8. Indigenous Situation • 1,300 Words

One of the major reasons the United States was a colony was that the land was already inhabited and owned by Europeans when they came across the ocean to the New World. These were the Indians. The earliest natives date back 10,000 years. in 1925, a black cowboy named George McJunkin found a pile of half-burned beast bones in the New Mexico area. According to scientists later analysis, these beasts were killed by hunters 10,000 years ago. Before this, it was generally believed that the indigenous history was only a few thousand years. So who were these people? Where did they come from?

Since 1925, scientists have proven that indigenous people have lived on the American continent for at least 20,000 years. However, there are conflicting accounts of how they reached the American continent. One way is that during the Ice Age, there was no sea water in the Bering Strait and people could cross the Strait by land. The earliest natives may have come from Asia. The Indians look very similar to the Mongolians in terms of their appearance. There is some truth in this statement. However, some scientists are not convinced. Indian scholars, in particular, argue that such a theory denies the Indians’ original ownership of American lands, since they also migrated from other lands. Where the Indians actually came from is a mystery, I’m afraid.

The arrival of Europeans in the Americas created a clash of two cultures. The Europeans disdained the Indian culture and denounced it as inferior. The book America: Peoples and Values contrasts the differences between these two cultures. Indian culture includes elements of general culture: (1) ways of providing food, clothing, and shelter; (2) religious practices; (3) artistic creations; (4) group organization; and (5) means of transmitting culture. In Indian culture, these components have their own variety of special cultural phenomena. But Indians do not have Civilization, which is only available in Europe. Civilization includes: (1) advanced technology, such as the use of metals; (2) highly developed organization of life, such as cities; (3) intellectual achievements, such as calendars, writing, etc.; (4) division of labor. These latter, the Indians did not have.

From a European cultural perspective, contempt for the Indians was natural. It was only after the 1960s that people began to learn to respect different cultures. Naturally, respecting a different culture is not the same as looking down on it. Americans today have this attitude toward many cultures. They are outwardly polite and respectful of a set of different cultures, but in reality they despise it including, one might say, Japanese culture.

In fact, the Indians of the Americas have amazing cultural achievements, such as the Mayan culture, Aztec culture, Inca culture and so on. But what is the reason why these cultures did not develop into modern civilization is, I am afraid, an unsolved mystery.

In 1492, when Columbus arrived in the Americas, he mistook the Caribbean islands for “India” and called the people of those places “Indians”. Later, he found out that it was a big mistake, so he made a mistake and called them Indians. If he had mistaken England for India, he would have changed his mind.

When Europeans came to the American continent, they clashed with the Indians. It is said that Europeans brought various diseases to the American continent. The Europeans developed sets of medicines to deal with various diseases, while the Indians did not. At that time, the mortality rate in the villages was around 80 to 90 percent. Limirich said that in 1831. The famous French scholar Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “Heaven did not make them civilized, they were doomed to die.” White Americans today do not hold such a blatant notion as they did in the past, but another notion exists: God did not make them rich, they are doomed to poverty. Yes, a very strong notion.

For the first time, there was a good relationship between Europeans and Indians. But those were the Europeans who first came to do business, not the settlers. Just like the Europeans who initially did business with the Chinese. Initially the Europeans provided horses and guns to some of the Indians to support their expansion into the interior. Indian social organization and power relations were reorganized. Initially, the Indians also welcomed the Europeans in a friendly manner. At that time, the Europeans needed the Indians for things like food. The Indians did not need the Europeans.

However, one of the important reasons the Indians later had to rely on Europeans was trade. Trade gradually made the self-sufficient tribes dependent on the outside world. Dependence on products made by Europeans, such as wine and the like. The Indians could not help but work for European goods in order to get them. They were tied to debt. Thomas Jefferson said, “We catch a wolf by the ear, and can neither control it nor let it go without danger.” This was spoken in 1820, and the wolf was the Indian. Today, I’m afraid that feeling no longer exists.

For a long time afterwards, European settlers began to dispossess the Indians of their lands in large numbers, driving and killing them. A long and bloody war between the whites and the Indians began. There are numerous films and documents in the United States today that depict these scenes. Until finally, reservations were established to keep the Indians within certain boundaries. Just like people did with some animals – nature reserves were established.

White attitudes toward Indians have historically been stranger and different from their treatment of blacks. After the Civil War, a constitutional amendment affirmed the rights of blacks. Before blacks were emancipated, blacks were counted in the House of Representatives as only three-fifths of the population. The amendment affirmed the same rights for blacks, but did not include Indians. For a long time, Indians could not testify in court, own property, vote, or leave the reservation. Whites treated Indians and blacks differently. With blacks, whites long denied them access to the fruits of civilization, and schools, churches, stores, restaurants, and public places were closed to blacks. With Indian children, on the other hand, it was different. They were required by law to accept the white system, and Indian children were forced to be sent to school. There were churches on the reservations. The whites wanted the Indians to accept the white system and way of life, very much like the domestication of wild animals. This difference in the treatment of Indians and blacks by the whites was that the Indians were native and owners of the land; while the blacks were outsiders. Although there was little difference between the two in terms of social status, the Indians were the real Americans, and the problem for the Europeans was how to make the real Americans “identify with their country”.

To this day, Indian issues remain a problem for society. There are now about 500,000 Indians in the United States. Their situation is mostly not comparable to the average. Alcoholism is high due to disappointment and pessimism. The suicide rate among young Indians is 10 percent higher than the average.

Fifty percent of the population is unemployed, and 80 percent is dependent on government assistance. The Indians still cannot be said to identify with the Anglo-Saxon culture or the dominant culture. They have their own culture and their own language. Indians are generally not well educated and have difficulty competing for jobs off the reservation. A few Indians came to the cities, but they would return to their places of residence and psychologically identify with their own culture.

Indians were not as numerous as blacks, so they were not as much of a practical challenge to society. They are, however, a challenge to American civilization, i.e., why European settlers failed to assimilate Indians for such a long time. I don’t think it’s a technical problem here, but a psychological one. As in a number of places where the American culture is fully displayed, its anti-American sentiment is much stronger.

9. Spiritual Crisis • 1,700 Words

Is there a spiritual crisis in American society? Some people do not think about these questions. The high level of economic development has made it impossible for people to explore the developments behind the surface. It is naturally difficult for people outside of American society to explore what lies behind the glitz and glamour, and it is hard enough to deal with the dizzying array of sights and sounds presented to us. This is especially true when a society is highly developed economically. However, people who live in our land and our people are often more willing to think about this issue. Those who are willing to think about this issue are often people who have reached a certain age or have certain thoughts. What kind of spiritual state exists after the highly developed materialistic scenery of society? Many thinkers, known as conservatives, believe that there is a spiritual crisis.

A recent and controversial book is The Closing of The American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished The Souls of Today’s Students. Allan Bloom, a member of the John M. Olin Center for the Investigation of the Theory and Practice of Democracy at the University of Chicago and a professor at the Council on Social Thought, has translated Plato’s The Ideal State and Rousseau’s Émile. The publication of this book was hotly debated and strongly resonated. Many saw it as a banner for conservatism, with particularly strong reactions from the black movement and feminists, because the ideas Bloom espoused were in many ways contrary to the black human rights movement and the feminist movement. But there were also many who cried out in favor of it, and Reagan is said to have thought it was a good book, and I asked several professors at the university who also thought it was a good book.

What is Bloom’s main argument? Bloom’s main idea is that today’s university education no longer enables its subjects to grasp the traditional values that founded Western society. The development of the university in modern times is increasingly moving towards a kind of cultural relativism and spiritual openness. Cultural relativism requires spiritual openness. But implicit in this cultural relativism is the logic that there are no absolute values in the world and that everything is acceptable or unacceptable. This notion becomes a virtue. Bloom believes that every educational system has a moral goal, and that the educational system seeks to achieve this goal and to reflect it in the curriculum.

In the 1950s, education in the United States was pursuing this goal. Cultural relativism succeeded in destroying the idea of Western centrism, but at the same time weakened the status of Western culture. Dominated by this spirit, university education resulted in young people with no concept of the past and no view of the future. The universities responsible for conducting higher education do not provide knowledge of the glorious history of Western philosophy and literature. Students are unable to understand the order of nature and man’s place in it through this knowledge. Universities do not provide the self-awareness needed for a serious learning process.

What is the result?

The younger generation knows very little about the classic works of Western history. Bloom said that once in class he asked his students what book had impressed them most, and surprisingly none could name a masterpiece. One person said the Bible, but this book is not taught in college. Students sometimes go to see movies such as Gandhi and Thomas More, but these movies, in Bloom’s opinion, are artificially and artistically manipulated. Students watch “Kramer vs. Kramer” to learn about divorce and sexuality, but few saw “Anna Karenina” or “The Red and the Black” as indispensable in their own lives. Feminists are the enemies of the classic writings (learn why feminists oppose Bloom here).

Bloom argues that the struggles against elitism and racism in the 1960s and 1970s had little impact on students’ relationship with the book. Those activists rarely attacked classical writings. But all literature is gendered, and how could writers of the past, Socrates, Plato, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Tolstoy, Stendhal, have the ideas of today’s feminism. With many forces at work, the classical masterpieces have become yesterday’s flowers.

The young generation is increasingly indifferent to the best of Western music, and even if they go to listen to this music, they lack the necessary inspiration and passion. Although the twentieth century can be described as the century of music, and the young generation is incomparably fascinated by music, they are fascinated by rock and modern music, and classical music has died among the younger generation. Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Mozart, Wagner, etc., have increasingly fallen into disfavor. Western education has traditionally focused on the place of music in education, believing that music can cultivate the temperament, as Socrates and Plato discussed. What will it mean now that education has lost its musical side?

The young generation has also lost the basic qualities needed to live as a complete human being in society. They are processed in the modern society with new qualities that are compatible with the new social pattern and at the same time imply a certain crisis. The young generation became self-centered, students who could not be called bad, but neither could they be called noble and sublime. The overheated development of individualism inevitably leads to the decline of the family and the growth of individual-centrism. The work that still interests students is Camus’ The Stranger, and it is needless to say what this implies.

The sexual revolution and feminism posed endless challenges to human creativity. Sexual liberation was a rebellion against the Puritan tradition, but the immediate consequence of sexual liberation was the understanding of happiness as carnal relaxation and the recognition that carnal desire was not something dangerous. These two movements severely impacted the traditional Western values. At the same time, the young generation became separateners, where everyone is separated from each other. Bloom called them social solitaries. The most visible symbol of this separateness is divorce. The high divorce rate indicates that more and more Americans do not want to live together. Love has become very foreign to students. They have had sex since childhood and develop sexual relationships so easily that the emotion of love has become so indifferent that this valuable emotion is missing from human relationships.

Bloom cites numerous facts to illustrate what he calls the end of the American spirit. He himself was an advocate of promoting the cultural traditions and civilization of the West. He celebrates the cultural and spiritual creations of Plato, Socrates, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Shakespeare, Bacon, and others, and advocates the use of these legacies to extend the spirit of Western civilization and culture. He discusses such fundamental ideas as the state of nature and the state of society, the self, creativity, culture, and values. Most of the arguments and thesis come from the classic writers of Western history. Bloom has a special affinity for French culture, perhaps because of his translation of the book Emile. His approval and familiarity with French culture can be seen at times in the book.

Bloom calls this general trend of development Nihilism. Nihilism has become the American way, which is a fatal shock to cultural development and the American spirit, and as a result of this development, the American value system is declining and the entire democratic system is taking a huge hit. Bloom agrees with Tocqueville’s notion that Tocqueville had considered the university to have an important place in American democratic politics. According to Tocqueville, the greatest danger of democracy lies in the enslavement of public opinion, and the requirement of democracy is that each person can self-determine his or her own attitude. Democracy frees man from traditional political coercion, religion, and other dogmas. Man is free, but man has to be able to judge himself. And the decline of the traditional value system of the West will eventually hit democracy. There is no value system in society that can be used as a value system to guide individual decisions, and university education does not provide such a system. There is a very close relationship between ideas and social development, and when ideas end, so do the social institutions and ways of behaving guided by such ideas.

Bloom’s view naturally belongs to the conservative view, which is not enough in the view of some advocates of progress, because society always has to progress and the old things always have to be eliminated. What is noteworthy is the question he raises. It is a fact that the American spirit is facing serious challenges, and it is also a fact that the younger generation is ignorant of traditional Western values. And to what extent will this change in the spiritual sphere affect the development and management of society? The existence and functioning of any social system can never be validated by the letter of the law alone; it is first and foremost a matter of people believing in these fundamental values and being guided by them in the way they behave. If the value system collapses, how can the social system be sustained?

In many societies, the problem often lies not in the institutions, but in the decline of the value system. A society without a core value system encounters the greatest political coordination and management difficulties. Here people often encounter a dilemma: on the one hand, social progress requires a new value system, breaking the shackles of the old one; on the other hand, social harmony and institutional stability require maintaining the core part of a society’s value system, otherwise a society’s value system will come to an end, and it is inevitable that the whole society will fall into chaos and moral crisis.

This leads to another dilemma: if society is left to develop naturally, traditional values will be difficult to preserve, and the trend of social development will always be to constantly eliminate the past, the new generation will inevitably have no concept of the past, and without education there will be no continuity. If it is democratic and people choose, the new generation can hardly say how they feel about the past, and the result of the choice is often self-explanatory. Who, then, will perform this social function?

Everyone who thinks about social stability and development, I am afraid, must first think about this issue.

10. Empire of the Sun • 2,300 Words

There is a recent movie called “Empire of the Sun” that depicts the relationship between the Japanese invasion forces and a group of Westerners in Shanghai during World War II. The Westerners were imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II, guarded by a squad of Japanese soldiers, tortured, starved, and humiliated in their human dignity. The American director made such a film at a time when the Japanese economy was making triumphant inroads into American soil and world markets. It is difficult to guess the director’s intention. But the film at least warns that the Japanese have different values from the West, that the Japanese are fierce and cruel, and that the Japanese do not recognize the basic values and beliefs of human beings. Whether this means that the Japanese and the West are winning on another battlefield – the economic field – is something that people need to think about for themselves.

Japan’s economic success has been hailed as a miracle. The Japanese themselves were proud of it. In World War II, Japan was defeated and its territory was occupied. However, looking at the development of human history, Japan leaped up to become the world’s leading economic power in a fairly short period of time. Naturally, we cannot talk about political and military powers at the moment. Some Japanese aspire to this, and while it is not possible to talk about it yet, it is not impossible in the future. To sum up the experience of human social development, the power of a strong country is: first in military power, second in economic power, and third in political art. The Japanese do not lack the latter two, but the former is bound by the constitution, though the constitution is only a piece of paper, which is also made by people. What one generation believes in, the next generation is not sure to believe. As soon as the feng shui turns, the situation will be very different.

The Empire of the Sun was forcing America’s hand. The strength of the Japanese economy impressed the Americans, and before World War II came to an end, Benedict, the famous cultural anthropologist, wrote a sensational book called The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. The book contains a fine analysis and insight into Japanese culture, but not without the flavor of a superior people looking at an inferior people. It was like a zoologist describing the habits of gorillas or golden monkeys, detailed and accurate, but in no way envious. A few decades later, another American wrote a book called Japan as Number One. The author is Harvard professor Ezra Vogel. This book is not in any way a zoologist’s experience, and it is full of praise and envy. This shift is quite dramatic.

On November 28, 1988, an unnamed Japanese man bought a Picasso painting from 1905 at a London auction house and paid more than \$38 million, setting a record price for a work of 20th century art, the third highest price in the world for a painting. This shows the strength of the Japanese. Japan’s economic invasion of the United States far exceeded the indiscriminate bombing of that one day in Pearl Harbor. In the streets of the United States, there are Japanese cars, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and so on. In the electrical stores, it is even more Japanese, a wide range of Japanese electrical products, all kinds of things. The Japanese are buying property in the United States. San Francisco is full of Japanese people, and Honolulu is said to have become the world of Japanese people. Japanese people buy houses and pay cash. Due to the arrival of the Japanese, housing prices have risen sharply, and Americans who do not have money can only look forward to housing. The tall buildings of IBM in Atlanta were taken into Japanese ownership. I visited one of the best gardens in the country in St. Louis and ended up seeing a large portion of the Japanese garden. The Sears Tower in Chicago, the world’s tallest building, was recently up for sale and there was concern that it would go to the Japanese. A friend told me that some Japanese people buy houses without ever asking for a price first, wandering around the city, and when they see a house they like, they just click and let someone get it. Japanese investment in the United States has increased greatly. Many Japanese products are produced on American soil. The shadow of the Empire of the Sun is looming over the United States.

Let’s look at some serious numbers. Japan’s population (1985) was 120 million compared to 289 million for the United States. Japan’s land mass is over 377,000 square kilometers, compared to 9,372,000 square kilometers for the U.S. Japan is a fraction of the U.S. GNP (Gross National Product) in 1987 was \$2,385 billion for Japan and \$4,488 billion for the U.S. The total value of trade was \$379 billion for Japan and \$677 billion for the United States. In terms of the ratio of land area to population, the difference between GNP and total trade value is not significant. Japan’s trade (1987) accounts for 36.5% of total exports and only 21% of imports to the U.S., while the U.S. (1986) accounts for only 11.9% of total exports and 22.4% of imports to Japan. Investment is also high, and Japan now has factories in many U.S. states. In terms of GNP per ca