We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 27, 2016

China and Europe: Reconnecting Across a New Silk Road

Click here to access article by Xiangming Chen and Julia Mardeusz from The European Financial Review.

This article gives us a report on the accomplishments of the "new silk road", a major project that China, which to my surprise, has already begun. The young authors seem all a "gaga" over this development. I see it as more worrisome for two reasons. 

Ever since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping took control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China has launched a broad policy in pursuit of economic development. To accomplish this they have opened China to the outside world, particularly to Western capitalist countries, under a "one country, two systems" policy. This combines capitalist development under the control of the CCP. Western capitalist development was obtained by offering China's cheap labor and other inducements to foreign corporations to build factories in China as a method to obtain high technology of the West while improving China's economy. Since then the CCP has pursued a peaceful strategy that attempts to use economic development as a method to deal with conflicts both internal to China and external in foreign relations. 

This general policy has succeeded beyond even the CCP's wildest dreams. However, the risk has always been that the capitalist pursuit of profit by any means would have a corrupting influence on China and the CCP. Although China is strongly supporting renewable energies and implementing changes to improve the environment, they appear to be promoting economic development that favors production for profit as a major priority over sustainability. This report does nothing to allay that concern. 

Another concern is that has come with China's success is a threat to the Empire's clear intention to impose their hegemony on the world. This has resulted in the Empire's "pivot to Asia [China]" foreign policy which seems to be posing another threat to world peace.

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