Wed Nov 22nd, 2023 at 10:33:23 AM EST
Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech October 27, 1964
John Wayne and Victory Squad introducing Ronald Reagan as candidate for Governor of California.
What the West Gets Wrong About China | Harvard Review - May/June 2021 |
Many people have wrongly assumed that political freedom would follow new economic freedoms in China and that its economic growth would have to be built on the same foundations as in the West. The authors suggest that those assumptions are rooted in three essentially false beliefs about modern China: (1) Economics and democracy are two sides of the same coin; (2) authoritarian political systems can't be legitimate; and (3) the Chinese live, work, and invest like Westerners. But at every point since 1949 the Chinese Communist Party--central to the institutions, society, and daily experiences that shape all Chinese people--has stressed the importance of Chinese history and of Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Until Western companies and politicians understand this and revise their views, they will continue to get China wrong.
Economics and Democracy Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
Many Westerners assume that China is on the same development trajectory that Japan, Britain, Germany, and France embarked on in the immediate aftermath of World War II--the only difference being that the Chinese started much later than other Asian economies, such as South Korea and Malaysia, after a 40-year Maoist detour. According to this view, economic growth and increasing prosperity will cause China to move toward a more liberal model for both its economy and its politics, as did those countries.
It's a plausible narrative. As the author Yuval Noah Harari has pointed out, liberalism has had few competitors since the end of the Cold War, when both fascism and communism appeared defeated.
And the narrative has had some powerful supporters. In a speech in 2000 former U.S. President Bill Clinton declared, "By joining the WTO, China is not simply agreeing to import more of our products, it is agreeing to import one of democracy's most cherished values: economic freedom. When individuals have the power...to realize their dreams, they will demand a greater say."
But this argument overlooks some fundamental differences between China and the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, and France. Those countries have since 1945 been pluralist democracies with independent judiciaries. As a result, economic growth came in tandem with social progress (through, for example, legislation protecting individual choice and minority rights), which made it easy to imagine that they were two sides of a coin. The collapse of the USSR appeared to validate that belief, given that the Soviet regime's inability to deliver meaningful economic growth for its citizens contributed to its collapse: Russia's eventual integration into the global economy (perestroika) followed Mikhail Gorbachev's political reforms (glasnost).
China has also defied predictions that its authoritarianism would inhibit its capacity to innovate. It is a global leader in AI, biotech, and space exploration. Some of its technological successes have been driven by market forces: People wanted to buy goods or communicate more easily, and the likes of Alibaba and Tencent have helped them do just that. But much of the technological progress has come from a highly innovative and well-funded military that has invested heavily in China's burgeoning new industries. This, of course, mirrors the role of U.S. defense and intelligence spending in the development of Silicon Valley. But in China the consumer applications have come faster, making more obvious the link between government investment and products and services that benefit individuals. That's why ordinary Chinese people see Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Huawei, and TikTok as sources of national pride--international vanguards of Chinese success--rather than simply sources of jobs or GDP, as they might be viewed in the West.
Thus July 2020 polling data from the Ash Center at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government revealed 95% satisfaction with the Beijing government among Chinese citizens. Our own experiences on the ground in China confirm this. Most ordinary people we meet don't feel that the authoritarian state is solely oppressive, although it can be that; for them it also provides opportunity.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 24, 1997
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
IN ADDRESS ON CHINA AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST
Voice Of America
Of course, China will choose its own destiny. Yet by working with China and expanding areas of cooperation, dealing forthrightly with our differences, we can advance fundamental American interests and values.
First, the United States has a profound interest in promoting a peaceful, prosperous, and stable world. Our task will be much easier if China is a part of that process -- not only playing by the rules of international behavior, but helping to write and enforce them.
China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Its support was crucial for peacekeeping efforts in Cambodia and building international mandates to reverse Iraq's aggression against Kuwait and restore democracy to Haiti. As a neighbor of India and Pakistan, China will influence whether these great democracies move toward responsible cooperation both with each other and with China.
From the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea, China's need for a reliable and efficient supply of energy to fuel its growth can make it a force for stability in these strategically critical regions. Next week, President Jiang and I will discuss our visions of the future and the kind of strategic relationship we must have to promote cooperation, not conflict.
Second, the United States has a profound interest in peace and stability in Asia. Three times this century, Americans have fought and died in Asian wars -- 37,000 Americans still patrol the Cold War's last frontier, on the Korean DMZ. Territorial disputes that could flair in the crises affecting America require us to maintain a strong American security presence in Asia. We want China to be a powerful force for security and cooperation there.
The failures to protect America and US Embassies in East Africa, the attack on the WTC in 1993 and on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen changed the course of history of mankind in a very dramatic way.
The Clash of Civilization entertained by many writers, political analysts and exploited by many states to dramatically push through fascism privacy laws has corrupted government, its leaders and created a trust gap with "We The People" its leaders should serve.
Diversity Is Strength, Not A Threat
A dramatic outcome of today's election in The Netherlands 🇳🇱 would be another sign of a downturn in democratic values to rightwing populist pushing their agenda of aggression and narcissi ... lack of solidarity and community values. A divisive element equivalent to a toxic drink. It would be the Dutch version of a Boris Johnson or a Donald Trump. The triumph of 13 years governing by Mark Rutte. Heading towards a career as SG of NATO. Total destruction.
The Road to Trump Began with Reaganomics & the Loss of the Middle Class, Economist Says
Donald Trump's rise to the White House can be traced to President Reagan's economic policies that "hollowed out the middle class."
That's according to an economic historian who laid out a slew of sobering data on income, taxes, Chinese imports, debt and more that he connected to across-the-board tax cuts that began in 1980.
"(Reaganomics) paved the way for Trumpism," John Komlos, a former Duke economics professor and professor emeritus of economics and economic history at the University of Munich, said last week during a talk at the John Hope Franklin Center. "That to me is where our problems started, because it created a great amount of inequality."
Komlos cited "economic dislocations" in three Rustbelt states as one of the main reasons Trump won over voters who had gone for Barak Obama in 2008 and 2012.
This dislocation includes low and stagnating wages, increasing indebtedness, downward social mobility, declining relative incomes "and the hopelessness accompanying them while at the other end of the income distribution the economy was simply booming."
"People without a high school diploma, they are really hurting," Komlos said. "They are the ones that Donald Trump loves. Some people are doing marvelously, and other people are really behind the eight ball. And Trump would not have won otherwise."
Komlos said he's met people who support Trump simply for "vengeful reasons."
"I can understand that; the system didn't treat them well."