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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

‘China’s Old Silk Road Revival’

Click here if you wish to access this post directly from 21st Century Wire
EDITOR’S NOTE: China’s international trade and infrastructural expansion is influencing geopolitical events from Asia, to the Middle East, all the way to eastern Europe’s Balkan states. The West could only dream of making the sort of capital investments being made by China across Eurasia at the moment. How will the Western powers react to, and eventually accommodate this formidable emerging international force?

“In its heyday, the ancient Silk Road was Eurasia’s most important trade route, connecting two rich continents to facilitate trade and cultural exchange. Modern-day China has seen near constant economic growth. It boasts of several record figures, including the highest number of skyscrapers and the longest railroads. Five years ago, the government announced a new plan, “One Belt, One Road”, an initiative to revive the Silk Road. The strategy seeks to help China play a bigger role in global affairs through developing an infrastructure that will unite the countries of the two continents under a cohesive economic area. Many ancient Chinese cities that were once outposts along the Silk Road, desert oases or transport hubs are now rapidly transforming themselves into megacities, so that they can, once again, service and profit from the trade route. New businesses are opening, facilitated by the development of a reliable transport system, which in turn brings greater tourist flow. Some cities are also grated the status of special economic area, offering attractive tax incentives to foreign investors.”

It is likely this video was designed for Western audiences--but then, maybe not. You can see how the narrator's emphasis is on the success of entrepreneurs, development, skyscrapers, cars, etc. Although other informed people such as Jeff J. Brown, who lives and works in China, insist that state owned industries dominate the economy and the government is under the strict control of the Chinese Communist Party, China now has billionaire entrepreneurs who likely are very influential regarding China's future. What is worrisome for me is that today's entrepreneurs are likely tomorrow's ruling capitalist class with all the Western tendencies of such a powerful class to be self-serving and anti-democratic. Besides that, what endows members of the Chinese Communist Party with wisdom to serve an educated Chinese people rather than themselves?

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