When China Rules the World
Having sold off a few hundred books during my period of downsizing and not being surrounded by stacks of books, I found myself reading less. The Kindle has turned that around. Most books are free, you just have to know how to find them.
When discussing China, I have no time for those who snort, "China is a communist country!" First, I would go further than what Jacques says in his book and say that I don't believe China is a communist country.
Certainly, it is not communist as the Soviet Union was. The Soviets never embraced capitalism as China has. Instead, Russia concentrated on an arms race to the detriment of its economy. China, only now that it has a world beating economy, is thinking of building up its armed forces. Not to compete, just to protect its economy.
I do agree with Jacques in that China is more in touch with its Confucian past than anything propounded by Mao. The Marxist ideology went with Mao's death in 1976. Instead, China today is not that different from the China of the emperors. Supremely confident that it is a superior civilisation to all others.
Also, that China is not westernising, any more than Japan has. The Far East is modernising not westernising. There is more than one way of becoming modern and it doesn't have to involve being like an American or European. Japan is no more democratic than China. Elections in Japan do no more than rubber stamp continuity. The Japanese civil service runs the country and the perpetual government's cabinet meets occasionally for ceremonial purposes rather than once a week, as in the west.
Democracy and capitalism do not necessarily go hand in hand. You do not need one to get the other. China's Confucian state relies on consensus. The people are happy regardless of what Western commentators try to tell people in the West. Demonstrations in China are more to alert the authorities of corruption rather than any desire for political change.
And what of us in the West? The future modern world will be in the East. We in the West are a footnote to the past. Rather than China westernising, the West will probably easternise, in the same way that we in Europe were Americanised following the Second World War.
Our gadgets, clothes and shoes are made in China. We see a more hard-line policing style that would not look out of place in Hong Kong. The European Union is anything but democratic. Our politicians are deferential to China and are at pains not to offend for fear of losing access to the Chinese market. We are dependent on China as we were once on America, if not more so. America and its dollar are finished, kept alive on a life support system that depends on China. History has moved on and we must too. Adapt to thrive.