Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

Same old same

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The 17th Meeting of the Chinese Communist Party is in the books.  Peak propaganda month has come and gone.  The spells have been cast.  A hefty dose of political platitudes, a touch of shibboleth, and a pinch of frivolity sit stewing in the magic Chinese cauldron.

It was captivating.  A lot of pageantry.  Day-long speeches.  Red.  Red everywhere.  Token representatives being awarded token gestures.  Grande, no doubt; it was grand with an e.  The motto, a la Hu Jintao, was something along the lines of: “Continued growth with social justice and social equality.”  Pundits beamed smiles of approval, nodded like bobbleheads, then waxed poetic on the success of the alternative development model provided by China.

It reminded me of when every American slapped an American flag bumper sticker on their SUV on 9/12.

In a rare moment of objective journalism, one commentator pointed out foreign politicians ought to hesitate before emulating the Middle Kingdom.  This was a particular model, he said,  only capable of taking root in China, for Chinese.  By that, he meant, only in a country whose culture has been beat into submission, one prone to follow rules without examination, one vengefully on a course to reclaim centuries old glory, or one willing to sacrifice hundreds of millions for the sake of a few thousand, only in this type of country does the China Model apply.  The host stopped asking him questions.

I like a lot of things China is proposing.  They sound great.  They give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.  Like a back rub before you go to sleep; but then the bitch steals you’re wallet and flees the scene.  I cannot help feeling social equality is IMPOSSIBLE here.  The “experiment”– the word chosen to describe China’s rabid bite into capitalism– that let very few grow very wealthy in a very short period of time has created the worst enemy to social justice and equality:  the Haves.

The Haves are not prone to lofty ideals like justice and equality.  Rendering the Haves marginally equal to the Havenots would be an injustice to the Haves.  Take their money, take their power, and you are talking about taking what they feel is their just claim.  No political party creates an uber-elite and gently erodes it into submission.  So the CPC buried its largest problems– the environment, sustainable growth, access to education/healthcare/jobs– under blanket prosaism.

China is capable.  While I fear others taking the same drastic measures to achieve growth, I am in awe bearing witness to the potential of China.  It don’t speak about it, it be about it, as Mos Def would say.  If China wants to improve something, it happens.  I saw that firsthand in my trip to the Shaoxing International Textile Expo this weekend.  Within a decade, China created an international center for a robust, thriving industry out of a measly country town.  It is the byproducts of growth, the fineprint, the collateral damage that worries me.

I am rooting for China.  Because I have to; I want to.  Because the world has to.  Because America is so full of shit nowadays that it no longer provides the necessary contributions to global world order.  This is the direction this ship is headed.  And if there is one thing China has shown itself capable of doing, it is riding out the storms.


Written by Miles

October 24, 2007 at 8:45 am

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