China: World’s Leading Defender of Human Rights?

by Kevin Kennedy, May 20, 2016, CanadianPatriot.org

“Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance … I don’t know where that comes from. This is totally unacceptable,” Was part of the translated response of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a recent press conference with Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, when an iPolitics reporter audaciously asked why Canada is pursuing ties with a China which is ‘mistreating human rights advocates.’
CBC later released a scathing ‘analysis’ comparing President Xi to Chairman Mao, and citing Soros hit-squad Human Rights Watch saying, the regime “has unleashed an extraordinary assault on basic human rights and their defenders with a ferocity unseen in recent years …Senior Chinese leaders, perceiving a threat to their power, now explicitly reject the universality of human rights, characterizing these ideas as ‘foreign infiltration,’ and penalizing those who promote them.“

In response to a media attack on President Xi Jinping’s policies, Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded: “Do you know that China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty? And do you know [that] China is now the second-largest economy in the world from a very low foundation? …Do you think development is possible for China without protection of human rights? And do you know China has written protection and promotion of human rights into our constitution?”

Many people complain about the ‘human rights record’ in China, and ask how someone can align with such an ‘undemocratic,’ ‘cruel and corrupt regime.’ Many of these people seem to have a prejudice and an unmalleable memory, which is either frozen, or stuck in a feedback loop from past eras. These same people can’t seem to figure out the difference between Stalin’s USSR and Putin’s Russia. These same people often also identify with the position of the imperial west, who are seen to them as great liberators, and purveyors of freedom and democracy around the globe. These views may be as naive as believing that Obama and Putin mean the same thing when they talk about fighting ISIS, or that Obama and Xi mean the same thing when they talk about ‘cleaning up the environment.’
What’s more important is not the snapshot, but the dynamic. China is moving in the right direction on human rights, especially in four areas that affect human rights the most. China is leading the world on human rights in the following four ways:

1) Poverty Reduction

According to the The Guardian, 

China has lifted more people out of poverty than anywhere else in the world: its per capita income in increased fivefold between 1990 and 2000, from $200 to $1,000. Between 2000 and 2010, per capita income also rose by the same rate, from $1,000 to $5,000, moving China into the ranks of middle-income countries. Between 1990 and 2005, China’s progress accounted for more than three-quarters of global poverty reduction and is the reason why the world reached the UN millennium development goal of halving extreme poverty. This incredible success was delivered by a combination of a rapidly expanding labour market, driven by a protracted period of economic growth, and a series of government transfers such as the above urban subsidy, and the introduction of a rural pension.”

They will double their middle class to 600 million by 2020, and they will directly affect over two billion more with the One Belt One Road, also known as the New Silk Road, which is the number one national economic policy of China, as well as the BRICS development paradigm.

Perhaps the last great purveyor of economic freedom in the west, Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that, “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. – People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

So how can a China which is doing more towards these ends than any other nation, be at the same time, ‘crushing and suppressing’ it’s people?
China is even massively fighting pollution and corruption.  According to the Wall Street Journal:

In 2013, after Jinping’s rise to leadership, there were more than 182,000 corruption investigations on party members. The previous year had 20,000.”

Meanwhile, we in the west are moving in the wrong direction – look at the United States, which had the most prosperity to lose, and is in many ways being used as the model for other free market/monetarist countries, as they are increasingly subjugated by London/Wall Street/Troika money interests. Especially since the anti-American, singly continuous presidency of Bush/Cheney/Obama, the United States has torn up the constitution and the Bill of Rights.
As part of the “controlled disintegration” of the US economy and middle class, we see skyrocketing drug addiction(1), Overdoses(2), homelessness, joblessness, poverty, shortening life spans etc… We’re basically heading into a dark age full of doped up idiots who can’t seem think to save their lives, and won’t act in spite of a perilous threat exploding right in their drooling zombie faces (see appendix).  So where are we headed, and where are they(3) headed, and which ship would you want to be on if even half the above is true.

2) Infrastructure

China, through urbanization, has created a middle class(4) bigger  than the entire US population. The rural areas are still poor, but that can change with infrastructure like rail corridors. The New Silk Road as well as domestic projects have 100 km wide corridors that bring along the world’s best power plants, electricity & data transmission, oil, water, high speed rail, sub-networks to link in towns and villages, industrial agriculture, new cities including universities (5), hospitals, roads etc.. It will massively increase the living standards and connectivity of the underdeveloped regions and their peoples domestically and internationally, as well as many of the more remote and inland regions that had been ignored for a long time because they were inconvenient or lacking resources to loot.
The Chinese are building 330+ dams in 70+ countries, alleviating drought, flood, and hunger while only asking for fair repayment, and without imposing IMF-type ‘conditionalities’ such as; privatization, austerity, cancellation of food subsidies, mono-cropping, cash-cropping, cut-throat interest rates etc..
Also, China has universalized electrification in their country, and plans to eliminate poverty in their country by 2020.

3) Peace

What is more important than the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? What is more jeopardizing to those things than war? While NATO encircles Russia and China, intent on what Putin calls a “disarming instantaneous global strike”  with ABMs, Ohio Class subs, Bombers, and THAAD Missiles, each capable of delivering nuclear warheads to Russian and Chinese soil, China has reached out in cooperation to anyone willing to collaborate in win/win development deals, including the New Silk Road.
China is NOT threatening, or impeding anyone, they have only one foreign military base(6). They have no plans for imperial hegemony, despite being the quickly rising #2 economy in the world. In fact, Xi Jinping says:

China does not accept the logic that a strong country is bound to become hegemonic, and neither hegemony nor militarism is in the Chinese DNA … The notion of dominating international affairs belongs to a different age, and such attempts are doomed to failure,”

Here are a couple more telling quotes from the Chinese President:

The Chinese Nation has always held such beliefs as “Peace is most precious”, “Harmony without uniformity [and] universal love and non-aggression”

Six decades ago, in the course of decolonization that started at the end of the Second World War, the struggle for independence and liberation in Asia, Africa and Latin America surged. The newly independent countries longed for equality in international relations. Echoing this historical trend, China, India and Myanmar jointly initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, namely, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.” Xi

Of course, it is only sane to want a peaceful co-existence in a world where any war between the super powers would almost assuredly escalate to a nuclear shootout, but China is actually leading the way out, by 3 times offering for the US, and ‘relevant countries’ to join the New Silk Road via the Bering Strait, as part of a new paradigm where development is put first, where instead of the “Clash of Civilizations” where it is ‘each against all’ fighting over control of a dwindling resource base, you can instead have a community of sovereign nations, voluntarily engaging in win/win agreements building “towards the common aims of mankind” and in the Westphalian spirit of “the benefit of the other”

The global implications of the New Silk Road is shown above. This concept for a World Landbridge has been at the heart of the Schiller Institute’s organizating for over 30 years.

4) Technology

China will graduate 2000 fusion engineers by 2020.  They are currently preparing to mine the moon for Helium-3 (fusion fuel) of which there is enough on the moon to power the entire earth for 10,000 years at current usages. China is investing heavily in unlocking the keys of fusion, and recently made a huge breakthrough, achieving a plasma temperature of 90 million degrees for 102 seconds. Previous records were measured in the millionths or billionths of a second. Their goal is 180 million degrees for 10 minutes.
China wishes to share their discoveries in fusion research with the world. One example of this spirit is that they are participating in ITER, an international fusion research reactor.
There is a concrete pathway to commercial fusion energy. Scientists will tell you it is 100% possible if we commit to it. Please watch this 5 minute video on how we will get there, and why we haven’t yet.
Imagine if instead of fighting over artificially ‘scarce’ resources, we could desalinate all the ocean water we could ever need, we could give virtually free electricity to even the most remote peoples of the world, we could recycle every atom from every landfill and every kind of pollution in a fusion torch. we could explore the solar system and beyond. what about our ‘human rights’ to live as fully human, being capable, and free to explore our own creativity, and make a lasting contribution to the posterity of mankind? The forthcoming fusion economy makes this an attainable dream.
China is already heavily engaging their youth in their exploration of scientific frontiers like exploring (and detecting new cosmic rays) from the far side of the moon, and classical music. THAT is our future! Not fat brats on Ritalin and rock. If THEY inherit the world, there IS no future worth speaking of.
Far less important than the kind of rights that allow people to trample other peoples’ rights(7) and waste their lives on hedonistic indulgences, is the freedom to do good, and to contribute to the good, and to the future of mankind. This can lead to a future with abundance, which is a future without empire, and where war is unnecessary.
Do you think China would be better off if an Anglo-American color revolution accomplished it’s intended regime change, like most recently happened in Ukraine, Libya, and almost in Syria? How do those countries look as a result of “freedom and democracy”?
That might not be YOUR idea for China, but what you should realize is that one-sided rants against them are only helping to destroy the beautiful future they, and the BRICS are leading the world towards, and would lead to the same disastrous, yet intended ‘democratic’ regimes as are emerging under the names of Libya, Brazil, Ukraine and the “Islamic State”.
Can you hold an anti-Mao sign in Tienanmen square or on Social Media? I honestly don’t know. Let’s say you can’t. If that’s true today, I’ll bet it won’t be true in 5-10 years- as poverty lessens, and the empire collapses, and there is less chance of an uprising from the people who haven’t been reached yet by development, but have been reached by Soros’ twitter machine, or the CIA’s Facebook machine, or Google – who was caught helping Hillary Clinton to overthrow Assad. Google THAT!
However, on the other hand, if it’s true that you can speak freely in the US(8), UK or EU (you can’t) -or have honesty or integrity in our media (we don’t) or ‘human rights’ or economic justice- the fact is that we’re collapsing on all four fronts listed above, and China is improving greatly in all(9) fields. Are they perfect? Not at all. Are they moving in the right direction? I think I’ve proved that they are. Towards a ‘more perfect union.’
I think we need to follow the Chinese and Russian leadership, and accept their offer of mutual respect, trust, and prosperity and reject the false paradigm of scarcity, and conflict of the empire. I mean, in a nuclear armed world, that’s just common sense, isn’t it?


  1. Heroine addiction is increasing by 50% per year
  2. Now the leading cause of accidental death
  3. China
  4. Middle class- 1/3 of income or more is disposable
  5. BRICS citizens can go to BRICS universities for free
  6. For peacekeeping and dealing with pirates in Djibouti, near Somalia and the gulf of Aden, the
  7. Like Americans mistakenly think their nation was founded on. “I can do whatever I want, I’m an American!” -was the battle cry of a disgruntled visitor, while tearing up our political sign IN CANADA!
  8. Remember how Occupy Wall St. was broken up
  9. The above



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Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 2:56 AM

Reblogged this on Taking Sides.

Jul 26, 2017 10:45 PM

Building dams is damn problematic.

Jul 26, 2017 1:53 PM

Quite frankly, I am concerned by some of the views expressed here: basically endorsing China’s debt fuelled expansionist extractivist exploitative resource draining business model. OK, it’s better than the American Imperium expansionist model: but that is little endorsement. It still beggars the question: what planet are you living on???
Why are people rushing to sign their own eco-suicidal note? For instance, those dam projects – Kevin doesn’t even consider the environmental impact – such as the functional extinction of the Irrawaddy River dolphin. The hydrology, clean water, and fishing rights of those downstream don’t tend to fair as well as those of the client nation. Hydrocarbons??? Anyone who thinks that the continued and accelerated extractivism and burning of hydrocarbons is not a problem: is part of the problem, IMO.
We need life-commons – fresh water and clean air – not artificially cheap planned obsolescent goods that get returned as E-waste to Guiyu; to end up as lead and cadmium in the blood of the workforce after only a 12-month contract plan. Consumerism costs the earth.
One can hardly blame China for the more aggressive militaristic and terrorist policies of the US-NATO Imperium: but it would do well to consider the long term consequences, none the less. One might consider how far US AFRICOM-NATO would be willing to go to prevent a BRICS appropriation of Africa’s mineral rights??? The kidnap of Chibok children, forced immiseration, forced migration, famine, and avoidable death of “beautiful babies”- don’t seem to be deterrents to Imperial strategic resource denial.
If people can’t see the writing on the wall: here is what it says. As resources deplete, friction ignites between those who compete. We are seeing the factionalization of the Pax Americana Old Order; and the emergence of the Pax Sinica New Order. The historical precedent is pre-1914 Europe: behind closed doors battle lines were drawn and alliances made for the events that shaped the rest of the 20th century. And now: the 21st century. Another World War? For what? For the bragging rights to burn the last drop of oil and gas in a desertified flora-and-fauna-less toxic wasteland???
This is not the way to peace: but war. Or planetary destruction. A war that has already started: financially and economically. Will it ever go hot? Not necessarily. In line with my earlier comment (lost in moderation) China is a modern Debt Zombie walking. The more it expands, the greater its economic outreach – the greater the knock-on effect when its economy “readjusts”. Thinking outwith the eco-genocidal boom-and-bust Capitalist debt bubble is required for a lasting peace. Degrowth, living within our ecological means, fostering human happiness with less, investing in the life-affirming means of comfortable survival with minimal environmental impact: these are the pre-requisites of a lasting Pax Humana, IMO.

Jul 26, 2017 10:33 PM
Reply to  BigB

Thank you for providing the neo-malthusian, British Imperial point of view for contrast. This is very helpful. To the Citizens of Off Guardian: I put it to you: Should we move towards a collective soft-kill suicide, (as) slowly (as possible) running down our resources unto extinction? Or should we cast off the shackles of small-minded myopia and cynicism in favor of transcending these self-enforced boundaries, breaking through into a new paradigm where we don’t have to fight over scarce resources, but instead, use our creative abilities to create abundant resources, living in peace and harmony in a world of plenty? For those who understand the economic principles that make this possible, the contrary opinion is absurd.
JFK said, “Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world–or to make it the last.”
BigB, you talk of forced migration and famine, but do you understand how these things are truly eliminated? Can you feed a family in Ethiopia with a solar panel covered farm area? Or should they just have one solar panel and one light? Did you know that giving an average African a fridge would triple their energy consumption? It’s just %6 of what Americans, and people like you take for granted every day. If we went to a ‘degrowth’ paradigm, like the west is embracing, the potential – slum then the potential population will plummet, and lifespans will shrink. This is because carrying capacity depends on production (food, medicine, energy, ideas etc..) and the infrastructure that distributes it. There is no stopping point where mankind is arrested in this development, so long as we continually increase the energy throughput, and per person & per km^2 efficiency of the labor/energies employed – through technology.
So what will be the ‘adjustment’ to China’s ‘unbelievable debt bubble’? Well, one economist says that as a result of the BRI, the entire eastern hemisphere will double or triple it’s GDP. When NASA executed on it’s Apollo program, did it get a direct payoff in terms of advertisements, or selling products, or charging admissions? No. Was it worth it? Unquestionably. You can thank them for the microchips in the computer you’re complaining on, for one. For another thing, the immediate, direct effect on the economy was a value ratio of over 12 to one for every dollar spent. The indirect benefits over the years since have been immeasurable for the world over.
Will the BRI pay for itself directly in terms of toll fees, debt repayment, or fees for energy or water from dams? No. From an accounting perspective, it makes no sense. From a human perspective, it is ingenious. What is far more important than money, is that probably billions of people will gain prosperity, food security, longevity, electrification, cultural exchange and development, clean water, access to world markets and trade, peace and stability, and a future. How can you put a price tag on that?
China’s model is anything but ‘expansionist, extractivist, exploitative…’ etc. and this study demonstrates that:
“McKinsey consultants has just published a pathbreaking study on the Chinese economic engagement in Africa. McKinsey estimates that about 10,000 Chinese firms are active in Africa—about 90% of them privately-owned—of which they studied about 1,000 in eight countries. They note that since the year 2000, China has catapulted from being a small investor in Africa, to becoming its biggest economic partner by far. Nearly a third of the Chinese firms in Africa are involved in manufacturing, a quarter in services, about twenty percent in trade, and twenty percent in real-estate and construction. Twelve percent of African industrial production—about half a trillion dollars worth—is handled by Chinese firms. Chinese firms fill nearly half of Africa’s internationally-contracted construction market. Seventy-four percent of the Chinese firms in Africa said they feel optimistic about the future there, and most have made investments that represent a long-term commitment to Africa, rather than in trading or contracting activities.
In the Chinese companies surveyed, 89 percent of the employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up to the estimated 10,000 total Chinese firms in Africa, this suggests that Chinese-owned businesses employ several million Africans. Nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provide some kind of skills training. In construction and manufacturing, half of the firms offer apprenticeship training.
Half of the firms had introduced a new product or service to the local market, and one-third had introduced new technology. In some cases, Chinese firms had lowered prices for existing products and services by as much as 40 percent through improved technology and efficiencies of scale.
Under “areas for significant improvement,” McKinsey says that by value, only 47 percent of the Chinese firms’ purchases were from local African firms. Another “area for improvement” is that only 44 percent of local managers at the Chinese companies were African, although some firms had driven their local managerial employment above 80 percent.
Something new under the Sun, is it not?”
As for hydracarbons, they are currently a necessary stepping block towards a first world, and fully human existence. One that you’ve benefitted from greatly, and would be begging for if it was taken away. They have many benefits, including making plant life (food) more plentiful, and less water-intensive. This also makes the climate more temperate where these, which are the proper use of solar energy, absorb solar radiation and provide shade, while also holding moisture at the top layers, where it can be recycled overhead in water cycles (cloud/precipitation cycles) an average of 2.5 times. Areas where this activity increases are temperate, and lush.
The typical anti-human, pro-genocide/depopulation mentality which you exhibit, is reprehensible to those who see through it. Calling CO2, a building block of life, a pollutant, and denouncing it is an affront on civilization. This is best illustrated by Obama’s words, when addressing South Africa- he said
“if you think about all the youth… here in africa.. if everybody’s raising living standards to the point where everybody’s got a car… air conditioning, and… a big house, well the planet will boil over, unless we find new ways of producing energy” is Obama for nuclear energy, fission or fusion? NO! He is for energy sources like wind and solar that you can barely break even on in terms of energy invested/returned. This is genocidal.
If you want to take care of the environment, you have to increase mankind’s ability to affect it, not decrease it. We need to go towards nuclear energy, especially fusion, which would enable us to recycle every atom in every landfill. See- Fusion Torch.
I’ve tried to address most of your points, and the ones I missed, are answered in the article, or below, in the comments.

Jul 26, 2017 10:38 PM

Here’s a great video about why infrastructure is way more important than making profits directly from infrastructure (and PPPs)

20 min.

Jul 27, 2017 10:13 AM

“China’s model is anything but ‘expansionist, extractivist, exploitative…’”
@nhp: let’s walk through my basic assumptions for the hard of thinking:
Expansionist: To stave off its own internal debt problem (explained in comment below): China’s economy is required to grow. The current rate of expansion is 8% nominal PA. Let’s look at the effect of compounding on that. At 8% PA: China’s economy will have to double in 12.5 years; quadrupling in 25 years. This I call expansionist.
Extractivist: China, already the world’s largest hydrocarbon importer, will have to double its imports in 12.5 years, and quadruple in 25 years. Along with all the other raw materials. This I call extractivist.
[We might as well deal with fusion now. The perennial fusion joke: fusion was 30 years away… 30 years ago. Norm’s dealt with the scalability of conventional nuclear below.]
Exploitative; (resource draining): So, even if China enters into mutually beneficial partnership deals for its resources: what about the planet? With waste and pollution set to double then quadruple??? It’s not just about what we take out of the earth: it’s about what we put back in… This I call exploitative.
As you brought up Malthus: currently 16% of world population consumes 80% of the worlds resources [World Resources Institute.] In terms of resource depletion, what happens as we raise the world population into “middle class”??? In terms of global GDP [GGDP]: the same principals apply. To bring 84% of the population into an energy rich technocratic peace and prosperity requires a doubling of GGDP every 25 years; quadrupling in 50 years (based on 3.68% [call it 4%] projected annual rate – Statista.) It’s not me that is condemning people to death: it is the current world system that is eco-genocidal. I’ve referenced the ‘unbelievable bubble’ below. Your (un-named) economist forecasts an expansion and growth of wealth – at what cost would be a failure???
Intensive (hydrocarbon) farming: 10 fuel calories in each food calorie, just to grow [Michael Pollan]; more to process and distribute; petro-chemical fertilizers leaching into the watercourse; organo-phosphate weedkillers killing the farmers and the biome; hydrological depletion; soil erosion; GHG emmissions; etc. No thanks, the world can sustain itself with organic agriculture.
I could go on, but your not going to take it from me that the world needs less, not more. A fair and equitable distribution of wealth and resource; a reorganization based on localism and neo-self-sufficiency. The alternative literally costs the earth. QED.

Jul 27, 2017 1:34 PM

I have problems with this speech, not least the views expressed at the beginning. I do not believe we have become a new species, we have become more able to use our huge brains to invent new technologies that have advanced our living standards.
My main point of agreement is the need for dense energy sources. I still have no idea why money is flowing into wind and solar when new, safer nuclear and other tech should have been and be the focus. Whatever happened to Fleischmann and Pons’ work and other such work? Thrown in the public bin but I bet the work has been continued somewhere. We have the brains, why is this so difficult we can only come up with an old tech (windmills) and a high input and maintenance tech such as solar which both require huge swathes of land or expensive, difficult to install and maintain marine based plants to provide electricity? How many solar and wind plants will we need to power our lifestyles and electric cars/buses? I for one don’t want to go back to a low power, cold world, I want safe, powerful, cheap electricity that everyone in the world can benefit from that has a low environmental footprint and cost.

Jul 27, 2017 3:06 PM
Reply to  Manda

@Manda: The driver of resource depletion is the theo-classical economic growth cycle – driven by debt (aka neoliberalism.) The way money is created (debt+ interest); forces the economy to increase by at least the rate of interest-inflation each year. Contrary to popular opinion (TINA, BAU mantras) this is NOT the only way it could be. I tried to highlight the problem of compounding in the current system above. It literally forces us to squander whatever finite resources we have at an accelerating pace. It is the most insane principle: especially when you figure in the multi-trillion dollar global military resource acquisition and protection racket. The US military alone is the biggest polluter on the planet – fighting wars, sponsoring terrorist proxies, etc – wasting resources to acquire more resources???
With more enlightened thinking; policy making; and forward planning – we could use what resources we have to transition smoothly into the future. The major obstacles to this are a whole systems analysis and knowledge base: and policy makers and thinkers that aren’t paid to maintain the current system or extend it. Maybe as young economists trained by Steve Keen or Michael Hudson gain leverage? No one wants to go back to the Stone Age… Time to treat what we have as precious… Not as an expendable resource that only has utility as short term profit…

Jul 27, 2017 4:45 PM
Reply to  BigB

” Time to treat what we have as precious… Not as an expendable resource that only has utility as short term profit…”
I obviously gave the wrong impression with my comment. My main point is we have the brains and ability to move to a new sustainable and respectful paradigm and we have the brains to discover, research and implement new technologies that provide all we need in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way and for me new safe, effective, sustainable and cheap power sources are a major key.
China is using mainly AIIB to fund much of this infrastructure at low interest rates, as far as I am aware it is wanting governments to also commit and is not expecting private interest Rentiers to be much involved due to poor rate of return and length of investment term.
Of course debt is involved but at low interest around 2.5% IIRC and without the egregious neoliberal privatization of public asset conditions and the debt is to service the real economy/infrastructure not financial sector.
I may be way off base but I see Belt and Road as an attempt to move away from the neoliberal and colonial, exploitative consensus.
I see economies and communities lifted through education, infrastructure, training, economic development and then local projects can also flower. We could start local but how long would a new localized paradigm exist in the current political and economic structure?
If Corbyn is elected I hope he does or has been consulting Michael Hudson foremost. He knows the current system inside out and has a knowledge of the history of debt and how it is used for oppression and how to deal with it. I am optimistic but know a change in system needs us all 100% behind it or the established order will crush it.
I am still looking for two videos I watched of Chinese speakers explaining their plans and philosophy behind it. Of course it may all be an inscrutable plot to dominate the world and exploit people for profit of the few and maintain the status quo, I don’t feel that though. Of course the root of our problems is the top down corporate and exploitative financial systems and they need to change, I just see a way to get there differently from you I suspect.

Jul 27, 2017 6:58 PM
Reply to  Manda

I posted a link below on the financing of OBOR. China can’t afford it unilaterally, and is trying to bring in European banks. As we know from Greece, these banks lending patterns can be predatory. China’s problem is not future debt, but the debt it has already accumulated, which makes it a modern debt-Zombie-to-be, according to Steve Keen. I would like to think we could move to a sustainable and respectful paradigm without precipitating another financial crisis. Given that China is already overburdened with debt, a $5tn (for the first five years) project seems speculative to me.

Jul 27, 2017 8:56 PM
Reply to  BigB

If China is to be a Zombie there wont be a substantial belt and road network then…
Hudson says we are already in a slow crash but of course if China goes under it will likely become a major crash and fast/sudden.
China aside, I doubt we can avoid a crash sooner or later without a new approach and debt write offs but neoliberals are extreme ideologues and they are the ones in power.
Sorry, I missed your latest post when I posted my one below.

Jul 28, 2017 10:09 AM
Reply to  BigB

Many have stated that China’s debt will overwhelm its economy and the whole edifice will come crashing down.
I’d like to remind you that PRC is the worlds largest creditor and it has more US debt than anyone outside the FED.
All PCR debt can be reclaimed by slowly selling US bonds. Alternatively they could sell off some of their gold, after all they own more than anyone on the planet.

Jul 28, 2017 3:39 PM
Reply to  CF

I posted a link in an earlier comment (below). The PBOC could sell US Bonds, but it would be left holding USD – which as I understand it is why they bought the Bonds in the first place (to soak up ForEx reserves)? The problem is not Government debt though, but that PRIVATE debt is running at 182% GDP. The money is in a giant property bubble: that can’t be recycled int the productive economy. Hence, debt-Zombie-to-be.

Jul 27, 2017 7:34 PM
Reply to  Manda

Andre Vltchek in an interview on UK Column News with poor connection. “China, the kindest nation on earth”. First interview on the show talking about Philippines.
We all have our own perspectives and I respect Vltchek very much. He spends his life travelling the world documenting struggles against Empire.

Jul 28, 2017 7:32 AM
Reply to  Manda

This is a good speech straight from the horse’s mouth about the ‘Project of the Century’ from the Chinese President – Xi – Delivered at the most important Conference of Our Time – the Belt and Road Forum- This year in Beijing

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 3:41 PM
Reply to  Manda

Nuclear energy is anything but safe, powerful, and cheap as a fuel for generating electricity.
A resource where readers can find information on the issue:
Just as a sample of the quality of the information you will find at the FAIRWINDS website, you can read or listen to this “Tritium Exposé,” here.
About Dr. Ian Fairlie, who in that podcast is being interviewed by FAIRWINDS:

Dr. Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment. He has a degree in radiation biology from Bart’s Hospital in London and did his doctoral studies at Imperial College in London and Princeton University, concerning the radiological hazards of nuclear fuel reprocessing. Ian was formerly with the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs specializing in radiation risks from nuclear power stations. From 2000 to 2004, he was head of the Secretariat to the UK Government’s CERRIE Committee examining radiation risk of internal emitters. Since retiring from government service, he has acted as consultant to the European Parliament

Source: see the foregoing “link.”

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 2:27 AM

Infrastructure, yes. Raising productivity, yes — to ensure reliability and redundancy for essentials, and ultimately to lessen the burden of work so as eventually to reduce the length of the workday or necessary labour-time . . . For profit production, no — because technological innovation in the service of profits renders “incomes” or “a predictable and adequate share in the goods and services produced by collective labour.” Consumerism, no, on account of the unnecessary spoliation of material resources and the environment.
Now to view the video . . .

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 2:30 AM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

Correction: “For profit production, no — because technological innovation in the service of profits renders “incomes” (or “a predictable and adequate share in the goods and services produced by collective labour”) precarious . . .

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 5:09 AM

“We need to go towards nuclear energy . . .”
Why nuclear power will never supply the world’s energy needs May 11, 2011 by Lisa Zyga
To quote:
Quote begins:
The 440 commercial nuclear reactors in use worldwide are currently helping to minimize our consumption of fossil fuels, but how much bigger can nuclear power get? In an analysis to be published in a future issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE, Derek Abbott, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia, has concluded that nuclear power cannot be globally scaled to supply the world’s energy needs for numerous reasons. The results suggest that we’re likely better off investing in other energy solutions that are truly scalable.
As Abbott notes in his study, global power consumption today is about 15 terawatts (TW). Currently, the global nuclear power supply capacity is only 375 gigawatts (GW). In order to examine the large-scale limits of nuclear power, Abbott estimates that to supply 15 TW with nuclear only, we would need about 15,000 nuclear reactors. In his analysis, Abbott explores the consequences of building, operating, and decommissioning 15,000 reactors on the Earth, looking at factors such as the amount of land required, radioactive waste, accident rate, risk of proliferation into weapons, uranium abundance and extraction, and the exotic metals used to build the reactors themselves.
“A nuclear power station is resource-hungry and, apart from the fuel, uses many rare metals in its construction,” Abbott told PhysOrg.com. “The dream of a utopia where the world is powered off fission or fusion reactors is simply unattainable. Even a supply of as little as 1 TW stretches resources considerably.”
His findings, some of which are based on the results of previous studies, are summarized below.
Land and location: One nuclear reactor plant requires about 20.5 km2 (7.9 mi2) of land to accommodate the nuclear power station itself, its exclusion zone, its enrichment plant, ore processing, and supporting infrastructure. Secondly, nuclear reactors need to be located near a massive body of coolant water, but away from dense population zones and natural disaster zones. Simply finding 15,000 locations on Earth that fulfill these requirements is extremely challenging.
Lifetime: Every nuclear power station needs to be decommissioned after 40-60 years of operation due to neutron embrittlement – cracks that develop on the metal surfaces due to radiation. If nuclear stations need to be replaced every 50 years on average, then with 15,000 nuclear power stations, one station would need to be built and another decommissioned somewhere in the world every day. Currently, it takes 6-12 years to build a nuclear station, and up to 20 years to decommission one, making this rate of replacement unrealistic.
Nuclear waste: Although nuclear technology has been around for 60 years, there is still no universally agreed mode of disposal. It’s uncertain whether burying the spent fuel and the spent reactor vessels (which are also highly radioactive) may cause radioactive leakage into groundwater or the environment via geological movement.
Accident rate: To date, there have been 11 nuclear accidents at the level of a full or partial core-melt. These accidents are not the minor accidents that can be avoided with improved safety technology; they are rare events that are not even possible to model in a system as complex as a nuclear station, and arise from unforeseen pathways and unpredictable circumstances (such as the Fukushima accident). Considering that these 11 accidents occurred during a cumulated total of 14,000 reactor-years of nuclear operations, scaling up to 15,000 reactors would mean we would have a major accident somewhere in the world every month.
Proliferation: The more nuclear power stations, the greater the likelihood that materials and expertise for making nuclear weapons may proliferate. Although reactors have proliferation resistance measures, maintaining accountability for 15,000 reactor sites worldwide would be nearly impossible.
Uranium abundance: At the current rate of uranium consumption with conventional reactors, the world supply of viable uranium, which is the most common nuclear fuel, will last for 80 years. Scaling consumption up to 15 TW, the viable uranium supply will last for less than 5 years. (Viable uranium is the uranium that exists in a high enough ore concentration so that extracting the ore is economically justified.)
Uranium extraction from seawater: Uranium is most often mined from the Earth’s crust, but it can also be extracted from seawater, which contains large quantities of uranium (3.3 ppb, or 4.6 trillion kg). Theoretically, that amount would last for 5,700 years using conventional reactors to supply 15 TW of power. (In fast breeder reactors, which extend the use of uranium by a factor of 60, the uranium could last for 300,000 years. However, Abbott argues that these reactors’ complexity and cost makes them uncompetitive.) Moreover, as uranium is extracted, the uranium concentration of seawater decreases, so that greater and greater quantities of water are needed to be processed in order to extract the same amount of uranium. Abbott calculates that the volume of seawater that would need to be processed would become economically impractical in much less than 30 years.
Exotic metals: The nuclear containment vessel is made of a variety of exotic rare metals that control and contain the nuclear reaction: hafnium as a neutron absorber, beryllium as a neutron reflector, zirconium for cladding, and niobium to alloy steel and make it last 40-60 years against neutron embrittlement. Extracting these metals raises issues involving cost, sustainability, and environmental impact. In addition, these metals have many competing industrial uses; for example, hafnium is used in microchips and beryllium by the semiconductor industry. If a nuclear reactor is built every day, the global supply of these exotic metals needed to build nuclear containment vessels would quickly run down and create a mineral resource crisis. This is a new argument that Abbott puts on the table, which places resource limits on all future-generation nuclear reactors, whether they are fueled by thorium or uranium.
quote ends.
You can read the rest of the article “here“.
There is enough energy in the world to satisfy human needs without it having to be either nuclear fission or fusion.
Of course, the nuclear industry would have us believe otherwise. After all, the prestige and inflated salaries of the nuclear technocrats very much depend upon convincing the sources of “public” funding that all of the public largesses will in time contribute immeasurably to the quality of “all” of our lives, exactly as the logic of capitalism has done and does, well, if not in the business of creating all of “that” necessary “infrastructure” that makes turning a profit possible, and certainly not for the vast majority who are its wage slaves, then for the corporate elites and billionaires.
The new humanist paradigm: yeah, right.

Jul 28, 2017 7:27 AM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

much like the Malthusians and environmentalists that predicted we would run out of resources ages ago, you are failing to account for the ever-changing technological and scientific environment that is always changing our relationship to our environment. not long ago, Uranium was just a rock in the ground, and we were close to running out of trees to burn for fuel. not long from now, tress will mostly just be used for furniture, and oil will mostly be used for plastics. Uranium will be used at virtually 100% efficiency, and we will use it to kick start the last leap towards fusion energy.
If you want to see just one example of how all of the above problems are solved, many of which aren’t problems of technology to begin with, but problems of management and intentional mismanagement- please check out this concept – which could be built any day – for a Gen 4+ reactor that is 100% meltdown proof, small, cheap, 100% efficient etc..

And if that’s too far off for you, China is about to start exporting mass amounts of their new Gen. 4 HTGR reactor cores.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 2:27 PM

I guess you missed the purport of Derek Abbott’s critique of the sociability of both nuclear fission and fusion. No matter.
Question: what to do about tritium? Hydrogen, which is the chemical form of tritium, is something that is impossible to “contain.” Furthermore, it binds to oxygen, to form tritiated water, which then can become (and does become) organically bound, incorporated even in DNA, where this short range Beta emitter can and does wreak havoc. But I guess you were too busy or blinkered to follow up the link (above) to the FAIRWINDS interview with Dr. Ian Fairlie. So you see, TNHP, there are “limits” to what can be done in a world where “structure” dictates “imperatives.”
To address your fixation on Malthus: of course, human population is nowhere near in its numbers to what the carrying capacity of the earth is. Mechanized agricultural yields are currently some 2000 times those of peasant means, and roughly half of the world presently subsists on labor intensive agriculture. And certainly, there are in principle other possible and unexpected technological refinements that might be invented and introduced to further increase agricultural yields. Suffice it to say that a mere multiplication of currently existing means and methods is more than sufficient to meet the needs of human numbers far in excess of our current 7 or 8 billions souls. But does this mean there is no limit to the number of humans who can comfortably live on this planet? Don’t be stupid in your purports.
And then how do you propose to reconcile your rich heritage of “American political economy” with your intended goal of liberating mankind’s creative potential for technological innovation, when the one thing that stands in the way of such a “revolution” is precisely your rich heritage of “American political economy?”
Profit seeking under capital is what drives innovation. But not in the way that you imagine. Innovation introduced by the impulse to “more profit” reduces to the economic myopia of the private firm that sees the solution to a shrinking profit margin in the guise of increasing productivity, that is to say, producing the same or greater volumes of commodities by reducing the necessary labour-time in the overall production process. Always, this rationalization of production results in unemployment, either directly in the firm rationalizing its operations or indirectly in the operations of its competitors that it competitively undercuts in the market. But every time production is in this way increased in a “for profit” environment, the purchasing power in the overall economy has been incrementally reduced by the amount of wages that used to be paid to the furloughed labor that can no longer spend those wages. Multiply this process by all of the competing concerns in a “for profit” economy, and you can intuit the chronic and necessary trend of shrinking profits with which businesses are always having to contend. Furthermore and besides, even if “for profit” business didn’t continuously have to competitively rationalize its operations merely to keep its head above the waterline of insolvency, because the sum total of all wages paid out to the working class is the collective purchasing power on which capital relies to make its profit, and wages are a “cost of production,” only an idiologue can fail to understand that in the course production and exchange under a capitalist regime, businesses somewhere must always go bankrupt, eventually in their numbers accumulating to crisis proportions. And that is exactly what we observe happening, eh. And then what happens under these crisis conditions, when a lack of profit opportunities becomes the rule? Means and methods of producing are neither rationalized nor even maintained: output is reduced, and real needs go unmet for an inability to generate a profit. In these conditions, which are actually chronic and general in “for profit” economies, capital actually stands in the way of necessary technological innovation or merely of only deploying already existing means and methods.
Your rich heritage of “American political economy” is really a steaming mountain of bull, TNHP.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 2:29 PM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

Of course, that’s:
I guess you missed the purport of Derek Abbott’s critique of the scalability of both nuclear fission and fusion. No matter.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 8:08 PM

All that follows is a quote:
Quote begins:
[. . .] thorium-232 is very long lived (half-life: 14 billion years) and its decay products will build up over time in the spent fuel. This will make the spent fuel quite radiotoxic, in addition to all the fission products in it. It should also be noted that inhalation of a unit of radioactivity of thorium-232 or thorium-228 (which is also present as a decay product of thorium-232) produces a far higher dose, especially to certain organs, than the inhalation of uranium containing the same amount of radioactivity. For instance, the bone surface dose from breathing an amount (mass) of insoluble thorium is about 200 times that of breathing the same mass of uranium. 1
[. . .]
On the question of safety, here is how the Union of Concerned Scientists in its Statement on Thorium Fueled Reactors, answers:
Some people believe that liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which would use a high-temperature liquid fuel made of molten salt, would be significantly safer than current-generation reactors. However, such reactors have major flaws. There are serious safety issues associated with the retention of fission products in the fuel, and it is not clear these problems can be effectively resolved. Such reactors also present proliferation and nuclear terrorism risks because they involve the continuous separation, or “reprocessing,” of the fuel to remove fission products and to efficiently produce U-233, which is a nuclear weapon-usable material. Moreover, disposal of the used fuel has turned out to be a major challenge. Stabilization and disposal of the remains of the very small “Molten Salt Reactor Experiment” that operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up. 2
[. . .]
Thorium 232 is not fissile, that means it can’t split and create power. Thorium 232 needs a uranium reactor to get it started by sending out neutrons that the thorium 232 can absorb. When that happens, the thorium 232 changes to U233, which is fissile. So behind every thorium reactor there still is uranium and plutonium that must be disposed of.
quote ends.
Source: Thorium Reactors
See, all the problems are solved . . . All>/b> of them . . .

Jul 26, 2017 10:12 AM

The parameters of what defines human rights seem rather familiar? Adherents of the ‘five year plan’ mentality seldom understand what it is we actually need. No doubt scores of Chinese children will be taught to revere such and denounce those that question….rather like the rest of those nations espousing what they term, human rights.

Michael Tanner
Michael Tanner
Jul 26, 2017 7:31 AM

excellent work by kevin kennedy indeed … chinas human rights endeavour is in the macro scale, its about the wellbeing overall human race; energy, infrastructure, macro-economics, peace, progress, prosperity for the masses etc etc … western human rights is essentially about individuals; free speech, free choice, political freedom, sexual freedom etc etc … when was the last time anyone heard the developed countries like the us, the eu, japan or anyone else talk about lifting the living standard of the african nations and actually do something about it ???
make no mistake, the west in general has genuine concern about true human rights and are often violating the very rights they claimed to advocate – who the hell sponsored saudi arabia to the seats on unhrc and unwrc ??? the us and the eu … and all the destruction and killings around the world inflicted by the west while screaming human rights and complaining about others …
the last question is when is a small individual sacrifice too big for the greater good of others ??? granted all sacrifice and harms are bad but point of contention here is its so easy to willfully blow it out of all proportion to disparage others, just like what the journo did during the news conference and the cbc hit piece …

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
Jul 26, 2017 4:58 AM

Great piece, thank you. Belief in “human rights” is a kind of secular religion in the West and it is heretical to suggest that Western countries are not bastions of enlightenment and freedom.
Wars and economic sanctions that have killed over a million people since the 1990s are justified using human rights rhetoric. It has become a cliche for Westen leaders to condescendingly lecture their non-Western counterparts on the importance of respecting “human rights” as defined by the West of course. It is compulsory for journalists reporting from “enemy'” states like Syria or when interviewing their leaders to rudely interrupt and inject accusatory, and often idiotic, questions cobbled together from Foreign Office and DoS talking points. Channel 4 recently did a segment from Aleppo and their hack kept interrupting the local MP he was interviewing and made a fool of himself with “yes but what about people who say Assad is the devil?” type questions.
So ingrained is the notion of the West as a bastion of human rights that people who have never set foot outside their country of birth “know” how “lucky” they are to have. been born in a “free” country. Even people who have no home and no job and struggle to get by “know” how “good” they have it. Ditto the person working for a minimum wage with no benefitss, no job security, no time to socialize or relax on their own and always on the brink of destitution.
Destitution is the stick wielded by the “elites” who manipulate society and enrich themselves on the backs of others. (The carrot is “if you believe in yourself and work hard you too can become filthy rich”). In times past driving a bus or working as a cashier were viable career options for people so inclined and paid a living wage. Nowadays every kid wants to be a billionaire or a porn star, preferably both. Slight exaggeration but it is undeniable that Western society is moving in a neo-feudal direction with a sliver of obscenely rich people at the top, followed by a small layer of technocrats who serve them and the other 80% who must compete fiercely with one another to keep their heads above water. Very dehumanizing but hey freedom of expression and/or speech are the most important human rights ever, right?
Speaking of which, the vast majority of people spend more time at work than they do with their families, lovers or friends. And at work many have no rights whatsoever. But they are “free” to fuck off and find another job if they don’t like being treated like a disposable wealth-generating machine. They are “free” to get drunk and vent about their prick of a boss or not having had a pay increase in years (and hope one of their colleagues/competitors doesn’t rat them out).
People who are dehumanized also tend to dehumanize others and they get caught up in a vicious cycle of misery and emotional constipation. Repressing ones humanity is a necessary precondition for surviving in a corporate workplace. Thriving in such an environment requires one to actively dehumanize others as well. Where is the freedom here? But thinking about this stuff is verboten so let’s tell ourselves how good we have it here compared to places like China.
To the people who like to point fingers at Syria, China, Russia, Iran etc. and criticize their “record on human rights” I would say consider from where you are getting your information about these countries. If they say yes, but it can’t be denied that these states places more restrictions on people than the liberal democracies do I would say how do you think your government would react if it is under overt or covert attack from foreign powers that have openly stated they want to destroy your country and its society as it exists today and install a puppet regime that serves the interests of those same foreign powers?
Take Syria, which has been under overt and covert attack, primarily by Israel and the United States, for over 40 years. These rogue states have done everything in their power to desroy that country….from sponsoring Sunni Islamist radicals, paying NGOs to foment violent dissent, using the CIA to create artificial rifts and playing two sides off one another…to hiring mercenary religious zealots to violently overthrow the state and engage in murder and mayhem. And, of course, punative economic sanctions which make it almost impossible for the Syrian government to access foreign markets and buy essential equipment and supplies needed to deliver services to its citizens and keep the infrastructure in working order. All these things are well-documented.
The West and its meddling and warmongering are preventing Syria and other countries from running their own affairs as they see fit. And when under attack from hostile forces that have infiltrated civil society, every country must be extra vigilant and place limits on its citizens’ freedom to dissent and organize groups opposing to the government. The self-righteous CBC and its China-bashing would do well to remember how the first Trudeau government in the 1970s reacted to the threat from a tiny Quebec separatist group (the FLQ) that used terrorist tactics to send its message. They killed one or two people I think…they were amateurs with next to no popular support. Yet the government enacted the War Measures Act, which put the army on streets and Quebec under martial law. So dumping on China and Syria and all the other enemies created by Washington DC for protecting their countries from destruction is disingenuous at best.
Bonus: A look at a much loved (by the West) Chinese “dissident.” Judge for yourselves is this guy is a rational and reasonable champion of “human rights.”
Every so-called dissident championed by Western governments and media is typically a lousy human being: Liu Xiaobo

Jul 26, 2017 11:05 PM
Reply to  Eric Blair

You make a lot of good points. I have been learning in recent months, perhaps years (I lose my sense of time), that even as someone who pays attention and has sensitive bullcrap sensors, I’m still amazed by how much crap I probably have floating around in my brain, put there by our ‘benefactors’ in power and their tools.
There’s a few things I would point out though. I’m turned off by counter arguments from the real Left that are completely one-sided. True, there’s often the obligatory (for people like me who make arguments like this) ‘China’ (or your US-targetted country of choice) ‘is not perfect, but…’ Instead of a ‘but’, I’d like to see an actual, factual, balanced report.
And bravado, which wasn’t terribly in evidence in your post, but often is in articles and commentary like this, is a bad idea. Never, never mislead the people. It isn’t good for them and it will only hurt your rep in the long run. A high regard for simple, as opposed to worldly, honesty will ensure that the progressive’s reportage will be the best that it can be. In my opinion.

Dead World Walking
Dead World Walking
Jul 25, 2017 11:47 PM

600 million middle class?
That is frightening.
While it is the right of every human being to have enough good food to eat, a warm house to live in, a good education and a fulfilling occupation, none of us have the right to be rabid consumers.
The Earth has limits.
We have exceeded those limits.
The children of the Chinese and Indian middle classes are doomed, like the rest of us, to inherit a wasteland

Jul 26, 2017 10:37 PM

Why there really are no limits to growth
5 min. Vid. about the same thing, explained from the scientific perspective of Energy Flux Density

Jul 27, 2017 1:55 PM

The message is above my head. I cannot understand it or relate it to my world.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 4:06 PM
Reply to  Manda

In a word, Manda, it’s bullshit. It’s not above your head, it’s simply beyond comprehension.
W.C. Fields put it exactly right: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” You have to give it to America: it is unsurpassed in the art,
Hard to tell, though, whether TNHP has been taken in or whether he/she is merely on a mission, so to speak . . .

Jul 27, 2017 6:26 PM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

It’s not for mere mortals to understand, Norm. It means we’re going to harness fusion and colonize the stars. You have to drink a particular brand of Larouche Fool Aid to get it. See PsyBorg’s comment below.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 27, 2017 7:36 PM
Reply to  BigB

Never really paid any attention to the “Larouchies” for their religious espousal of what they call “American Political Economy.” And I agree with PsyBorg, the article does have some interest . . . “BUT . ..”
China’s misfortune, like Russia’s, is that it seems to have taken a capitalist turn . . .
That may be strategic, however, with the “CCP” remaining both politically ascendant and very much still committed to socialism (and communism) in the longer term . . .
Political revolution may happen quickly, wherein the machinery of state power is wrested from a ruling class by a subordinate class; but ‘social revolution’ — real alterations in a society’s ‘social relations,’ that is to say, in the customary relations between as yet existing social classes or persistent ideological factions — is the work of generations.
In the meantime, life must go on. You must work with what and who you are even as you strive to transform yourself, and you must do it in the world such as it is, a thing with an inertia of its own, quite stubbornly resistant to change, always a bit reactionary or at least conservative . . .
So the situation is difficult to read . . . Suffice it to say that China is currently going through a period in which its economy is under the sway of capital, with all the dislocations and miseries that entails for the popular masses, and because capital is currently the dominant logic of the economy, the danger is that China is in the process of reverting back to a condition in which capitalism was ideologically and politically hegemonic.

Jul 27, 2017 11:17 PM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

“China’s misfortune, like Russia’s, is that it seems to have taken a capitalist turn . . .
That may be strategic, however, with the “CCP” remaining both politically ascendant and very much still committed to socialism (and communism) in the longer term . .. ”
I think industrial capitalism isn’t the most pressing problem. it’s the modern virulent form of financial capitalism and wealth (land/assets) accumulation that extract rent that is the deadly disease. I do fear that China and Russia may not have the know how to combat (assuming they wish to) the Anglo/American/western system of financialization of the real economy and banking system with long experience of how to engineer it. I have heard Hudson describe Putin as a neoliberal, .
I just found this transcript of Hudson’s speech at a conference in China 2015. “The Paradox of Financialized Industrialization”.
I note at the time Hudson took the view that the ‘west’ was looking to China to rescue their system…

Jul 28, 2017 2:14 PM
Reply to  Manda

@Manda; @Norman: mine might be a singular contrarian view… But the bottom line is: can capitalism raise 7.5 billion people (or 11.2 bn by 2100) into middle class wealth – without first destroying the biosphere??? Is that even a desirable outcome??? Does humanity even want a Western Liberal Democratic Middle Class future???
Call me a Luddite, but if the answer to any of these questions is no, we need a different way: and can’t be content to wait and see.
In citing Hudson, Manda has hit the nail on the head. We are being conned, by an international monopolistic rentier oligopoly of power – the real ‘Invisible Hand’ behind the ‘free’ market. Financialized Industrialized Capitalism makes money out of money (M-M’): essentially taxing and diminishing the sovereign wealth of nations. The people and the environment are externalities. Can such a system ever enrich us???
The question being posed here is: can China ‘infiltrate’ and redeem the system by a stealth “social revolution” from within? Probably not. Not while the Yuan is pegged to; and co-finances the Dollar: in turn, keeping the Yuan undervalued. If BRICS-SCO move to a parallel banking structure (floating the Yuan): the risk is that the Yuan would appreciate, and destroy Chinas manufacturing export trade. India would become (overnight) the world’s manufacturing hub. It looks to me as though China is part of the “International Rules-Based Order”: or NWO as it was formerly known.
I don’t expect to convince anyone; or even expect my POV to be popular (outside my own head) – but how an equitable world should look can be envisaged by applying a broadened version of John Rawls’ ” Veil of Ignorance” thought experiment. Taking it to its logical conclusion globally, my answer would roughly translate as eco-socialism. If that means that we all have to make do with less, bring it on. I’m not expecting to go mainstream any time soon! Maybe after a few more rounds of the boom-and-bust rollercoaster: on which the very few take the rest for a ride!!!

Jul 28, 2017 5:43 PM
Reply to  BigB

“Call me a Luddite, but if the answer to any of these questions is no, we need a different way: and can’t be content to wait and see.”
I admire Luddites… they saw how the capitalists took all the benefits from technology for themselves and cast the employed wealth producers aside to benefit only themselves.
I don’t believe capitalism is capable of raising any of us as it has panned out and the stage we are now at. Capitalism was always going to pollute and even destroy earth without strict and strictly enforced controls. I am completely on board we need a new system. I see a major, even nuclear, war as the most imminent possible danger especially as the financial system is so fragile built on a pile of sewage that cannot support anything more than a feather and many in charge of the war machine are out of control extremists drunk with their own hubris.
I am not saying “wait and see” I am arguing the belt and road may be something to get behind as a step to a better and more sustainable world prompted by this article. I don’t see a way to make a huge leap straight into another paradigm without a major and catastrophic event which could cause suffering and destruction never seen before and then a rebuilding with different perspective. I may be very wrong and much is hope and a feeling, I admit, as my understanding of all the factors in motion is very limited. The real tragedy I see is the financial, economic, money systems etc. are all a human construct, we could do anything we want with them, all we need is the collective will and the vision.
My greatest fear is a possible nuclear war as a potential destroyer of much life and viability on our planet.
I don’t want the earth destroyed and polluted anymore than you do, I just want science, ingenuity and technology to be de politicized and freed from elite control so we can be free to dream, imagine, research, are free to collectively chose what limits to impose on it and put science and technology to use to enhance our lives and halt or greatly ameliorate how we extract and use resources. Then perhaps we can find ways to reduce our dependence on or techniques of resource extraction by new science that enables new ways to recycle, regenerate, new materials, new power sources etc. in ways that are balanced with and are more harmonious with our earth.
My mind doesn’t accept Einstein for eg. is the limit of our knowledge. For me ‘settled science’ isn’t real science it’s a dead end. That’s not to say I don’t believe in self evident ‘truths’ because I do, perhaps there are always new ways to understand even those though?
I will go away and read the link you embedded. I don’t think our wishes and hopes are different at all. You will likely be the most realistic re Belt and Road and China…

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 6:25 PM
Reply to  BigB

I agree that the consumerism of the West is suicidal, both ecologically and culturally. That isn’t the way to go. On that point, you won’t get a counter-argument from me.
And while I have read and think that I understand Micheal Hudson, he remains for my taste too much within the purview of for-profit production, just as does Steve Keen and Richard Werner.
There is no question that what these economists propose by way of de-financializing the capitalist economy would work to revive and keep the “productive” economy ticking and, what seems to run somewhat counter to your economic ethos, growing(!).
Therefore, what I note about these economists is that what they seek to fine tune is fundamentally a capitalist economy, albeit mitigated in its functional incoherence by public finance whose function is basically to make up the shortfall between the sum of all wages as the aggregate purchasing power in the economy and the sum of all costs of production, which, because wages are themselves a cost of production, always exceeds the aggregate purchasing power in the system, and thus leaves even perfectly viable and useful businesses vulnerable to economic crises and bankruptcy.
In other words, Hudson, Keen and Werner do not offer a substantive critique of consumerism, and their proposed “fixes” do not resolve the fundamental issue of the commodification of labour, that is to say, of “wage slavery,” which is the root of the exploitation and socially undemocratic character of capital.
The road out of the impasse that is capitalism is through a) socialism and then b) on to communism.
I conceive socialism as a period of deliberate transition between the currently existing institutional practices of capitalism and those of communistic nature, a time when the activities of production and distribution would be completely socialized on society wide basis.
To get an idea of what the latter might entail in the broadest possible terms, merely consider how large scale production facilities under our current economy are organized: you have departments that specialize in only some aspects of the overall process, and though there is some book-keeping that happens between departments in order to coordinate activities and to budget or allocate resources “internally,” there is no ‘real’ buying and selling that takes place between the various branch departments of the firm (the business cartel is merely an expanded form of this model). Money only enters into the operation when the organization as a whole interacts with other firms as distinct market participants and to disburse “wages” to labour. Socialized production on a society wide basis would simply be an economy in which the whole was but a single enterprise, no money required although book-keeping operations would be in order to maintain coordination between the various departments of the economy as a whole. The goal, of course, would be to ensure an equitable satisfaction of human needs for all without discrimination, and the only motivation for introducing technological innovations would be: a) to increase the volume of crucial but scarce goods; or b) to reduce labour-time so as to create more opportunities for the greatest number of people for cultural pursuits, however one might define these pursuits. That in broad terms sketches the ecnomic “logic” or “dynamic” of communistic production.
The socialist phase between the capital era and the communist one would in many ways continue to resemble what we have in terms of the need for and function of “money.” But there would be a change: money would be de-commodified as such, i.e., you could not hoard it or trade it or use it to speculate, and as credits, it would stand in only as a representation of “hours of work;” and, of course, large scale and essential industries could not be privately owned.
Thus between firms in the as yet existing market, what would be exchanged would be “value” as an expression of only “hours of work required to produce items or units of goods and services.” The allocation of “time credits” among people working for a “firm” would be calculated on the total of the hours collectively worked by all the people in the firm simply divided by the number of people. Everyone involved would receive the same number of credits and thus would have access to an equal share in the collective product of society.
Socialism and capitalism are in this sense not very different from one another: labour as such remains commodified, since people still work for a “time-wage,” but with the de-commodification of “money” and the quashing of private ownership in the means of production, the opportunity for profit and the consequent accumulation of disproportionate wealth and economic and political power is eliminated, Society becomes more democratic and egalitarian. The wage culture, however, continues to persist and must eventually also be quashed. It becomes possible to do this at the point where the whole of the economy has been integrated into something akin to a single cartel, but one owned by the entire community in equal shares and principally geared to the satisfaction of needs, including the need for leisure, without which human existence is much diminished . . .
Pie in the sky, I know. But we need to have a direction if we really want to get somewhere . . .

Jul 29, 2017 7:53 AM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

Thanks for the response: I agree with the increased threat of war (see above.) I also agree about Hudson and Keen: I guess they only see that their responsibility ends with “fixing” the economy? A debt jubilee would be a reset: how we continue from there would be for policy makers: I think we know what they will do. Maybe Keen will go further now he is crowdfunded??? I presume they are constrained in part by their professorships???
The way I conceive that global society should look: it follows that if we can’t grow the economy indefinitely and employ the trickle down lie – what wealth is created needs to be distributed equitably (according to need.) Here, John Rawls’ Principles of Justice apply. The way I would express this: we need to look after the least of us, first. Wealth should “diffuse up.” Any inequality the system could sustain should not compromise the needs and right to life of the lowliest (who, in reality, is as sacred as the “greatest!!”) I saw a blogger who calculated the equally distributed wealth of each of us would be something like $11k: not much room for inequality in my world!!! I know a child dying right now of cholera in the Yemen (so US and UK arms dealers can turn a buck) would take it.

Jul 29, 2017 12:13 PM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

I agree Hudson, Keen and Werner concentrate on critique of where we are now and suggestion of ways to improve the current situation. The critique is useful though in my opinion to spread understanding to wider and wider audiences. Werner is currently trying to get a local non profit bank off the ground to service the local community and SMEs on a German model.
I also agree Socialism is the route to other/another more equitable system/s not least because it ameliorates the current hardships being imposed via austerity.
I am unable to reply to BigB but waned to say that for me the idea of constant economic growth is a false and dangerous belief. We have to move to a balanced system. To me that doesn’t mean stagnation but vibrant and ever changing.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 29, 2017 6:10 PM
Reply to  Manda

Excellent essay by Hudson. Nothing at all to quibble with, there. And so I do concur with you, Manda, that in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, the industrial or wage labour dynamic may not be the most pressing issue. Thank you for that link. Re-reading Hudson, after having set his work aside for far too long, and reading that particular piece for the first time, is giving me pause . . .

Jul 25, 2017 10:55 PM
Kevin Morris
Kevin Morris
Jul 25, 2017 8:12 PM

I am no fan of the US, but see no reason in whitewashing the actions of the People’s Republic of China.
China has one of the highest execution rates in the world and it is only relatively recently that it has stopped dislocating the jaw of prisoners awaiting execution in order that they don’t call out at the execution ground. Nowadays, prisoners awaiting execution are frequently tissue typed in order that their organs might be sold on the open market. At executions ambulances stand by in order that the deceased organs might be harvested.
It is almost impossible for Tibetans to receive a secondary education in their own language. Some years ago, the International Commission of Jurists accused China of genocide in Tibet. With Han Chinese receiving generous financial inducements to settle in what the Chinese refer to as ‘the western treasure land’, Tibetans are now a minority in their own country. People risk imprisonment and torture for many years for carrying a photograph of the Dalai Lama who is regarded by many Tibetans as their leader. Meanwhile, Tibetans in the former Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo, now subsumed into provinces of China proper, frequently set fire to themselves in despair at their treatment.
China has done incalculable damage to the flora and fauna of Tibet, and having done attempts to blame nomads whose lifestyle altered little for millennia and did no damage, forcing them into inactivity and breeze block shacks. Much of China’s nuclear waste is dumped in Tibet, whilst massive mineral extraction has destroyed many areas. China now plans re-routing rivers that rise on the Tibetan plateau into desertified regions of north west China. As part of this project, it is intended to built a huge hydroelectric dam. Since almost all of Asia’s rivers rise on the Tibetan plateau several Asian countries are extremely concerned at what this will do to rivers that are those country’s lifeblood.
Yes, like Father Ted, we liberals tend to think of the Chinese as ‘a great bunch of lads’, as indeed many are, but that shouldn’t lead us to indulge in willful blindness about what the Chinese Communist Party is up to and with little by way of scrutiny from a civil society or the rule of law. The real fear is that with the imminent collapse of the US, we might end up replacing one form of barbarity with another, courtesy of the PRC.
I suspect that very few of we liberals would greatly appreciate that.

Anna Zimmerman
Anna Zimmerman
Jul 26, 2017 9:39 AM
Reply to  Kevin Morris

Well said. It is simplistic to think that because the US and its Western allies have (undoubtedly) done so much evil, we should automatically whitewash the crimes of the other side. Human rights violations have always been the inevitable corollary of concentrated power, where retaining this power becomes the overwhelming priority of the elite. It is concentrated power that we should fight against, regardless of skin colour, gender, creed, ethnicity or political ideology.

Jul 26, 2017 2:21 PM
Reply to  Anna Zimmerman

Agreed. The “we’re just as bad” argument can only go so far. Instead of trying to polarize opinion into black or white – how about two blacks make a very big black outlook?

Jul 27, 2017 9:27 PM
Reply to  Anna Zimmerman

*When I post this (again on a different computer and isp) I get a msg saying that it’s a duplicate. Therefore, it may show up again. I almost think that that’s the only way to have the disappeared post appear. Forgive me if that happens.
Not only that, I don’t see how states that want to go their own way, and not be under the global dictatorship of the United States, can do so when the entire world is caught in the global capitalist system designed by the US and dominated by it. It is important to note the way the US dominates. It’s by rule-breaking. We should know this by now. But not only do those leaders (Saddam, Gaddaffi, Moddadegh, Assad, Chavez and Maduro for example) who want independence from uncle Sam’s “leadership” still want to play by his rules, by employing ‘his’ money system, but they act as though they are in a parallel universe, where there’s an honorable uncle Sam, where they can win if they play their cards right. There is only this universe, with a lawless, vicious American superpower in it, and you can NOT win when that superpower, who is the biggest, baddest player, is ready, willing and able to break the rules the minute its deep state thinks its class might lose if its agents don’t break those rules! Iran is under sanctions – that should not be legal, which is another way of saying that they are lawless. Russia is under sanctions and the devious Magnitsky Act. Syria is under sanctions. The sanctions that killed half a million Iraqi children were stamped “legal” – by the lawless, bloodspilling, Constitution-breaking United States.
That’s bad enough. But you can’t even opt out of the money system. Uncle Sam won’t let anyone have freedom from his dictatorship. That being the case, How can anyone truly have independence in this dark world? Not that anyone is trying to – while they pretend that they can. To my mind, a genuine effort would involve not just getting out of uncle Sam’s money system, but getting out of money altogether!
Also, There’s things I don’t get. Socialism (by which I mean worker ownership ‘and’ independence from the global dictatorship of the US and all imperialism) isn’t divorced from money, as far as I know. (When I ask about it, I never get an answer. One time, I got another question, as an answer, from someone on ZNet, which I just ingored, partly because I didn’t really understand the question.) Personally, I don’t believe for a minute that if a large part of humankind, say for example the 400 million strong Arab bloc (that isn’t one but could have been), succeeded in keeping uncle Sam out and using its natural resources to benefit all Arabs, firstly, and managed to run its own economy and have control over its monetary policy etc, it would end up benevolent or different than its competitors. (What Stephen Gowans’s book, “Washington’s Long War On Syria,” shows me is not that the realization of the secular, national Arab leaders’ [who Washington is one by one disappearing] goal of being part of a powerful Arab bloc in the same league as the other blocs means salvation for humankind, but only fairness and a welcome absence of the destruction of regime change that we see now; but not freedom from the imperfection that leads people to self-modify into monsters who oppress and exploit others.) That Arabs have been victims of rampaging lawless imperial powers and others doesn’t change their fundamental, imperfect, character as human beings. (What do you call imposing a dress code on every single female in the country?)
Those are still imperfect human beings. And they are, in fact, too without God (even if they are as decent as imperfect humans can be) and are therefore lacking his blessing (as is the rest of the world), without which success can’t be achieved. (As the Christian Bible notes, at Pslam 127:1, “Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that the workers have worked hard on it.”) Reasonable, rational Arab nationalists (‘nationalist’ being a difficult term because there’s so many bad examples of “nationalism”), who were free to run their own affairs, could not, on their own, ensure that they would not end up imitating the lawless, violent imperial powers. Maybe not immediately. Nevertheless. Just by having a money system, they are doomed, in my view. Let alone the reality, as far as I am aware, that no leader or state that contemplates or contemplated socialism (all of the Arab leaders I listed above) envisioned cutting itself off from the wider world. Trade means integration into the global money system. And you are right back to the problem of lawless, vicious uncle Sam. And if it wasn’t him, it would just be another godless state – while this dark world is with us.

Jul 26, 2017 9:52 PM
Reply to  Kevin Morris

You’ve been reading too much CIA Atlanticist lies spread through Epoch Times and Falun Gong cult agitators. Occupy your mind!

Jul 27, 2017 2:12 PM
Reply to  Kevin Morris

“I am no fan of the US, but see no reason in whitewashing the actions of the People’s Republic of China.”
A fair point but where does it get us? Has US/west got a vision of ending destructive wars and promoting global co operation and respectful collaboration with the aim of ending poverty and raising us all so we can all enjoy better, more fulfilled lives and be freer to create? I don’t buy the argument that China is expansionist but am aware projects such as the one proposed can be co opted by Rentier and ideological interests.
My argument has always been if we cannot control our own governments/elites how can we hope to modify others? Besides that, what gives us the right to judge other countries and cultures based on our ‘values’ looking through our cultural eyes? ‘We’ kill and repress foreigners by the million, destroy millions of lives and are constantly subverting foreign countries in numerous ways but the fact we don’t routinely kill our own any longer gives us the right to judge?

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 4:59 AM
Reply to  Manda

I’d go just a tad further and say that the so-called foreigners “we” murder are very much “our own.”
It all depends upon the way in which you construct and privilege the various dimensions of your identity: if you privilege your “tribe” over an imagined “other,” then there are foreigners “we” murder and “our own” that “we” don’t, “us” and “them;” but if you privilege your humanness above all else, you see yourself in everyone else while also being able to recognize humankind’s universal susceptibility to narrow and parochial interests, and thus see people mostly in terms of class divisions, as being actively either oppressed or oppressing, and this, rather than nationality or ethnicity or color or gender or whatever, becomes the primary basis of how you define “us” and “them.”
The whole world is now capitalist. It divides between ruling minorities and an overwhelming majority ruled by those expert and organized minorities, a majority ruthlessly exploited and oppressed, targeted for expropriation and mass murder, everywhere maintained in a state of permanent economic subordination and dependence.
We (should) know who “we” truly are: in “our” millions, they do not hesitate to destroy and rape us.
A half-a-million children? “We think the price is worth it.”

Jul 28, 2017 12:54 PM
Reply to  Norman Pilon

Great comment/rebuttal with which I entirely agree. I feel exposed for falling into the trap of using the terms used to oppress us. We in the west and other wealthy countries only avoid the most egregious aspects of violent repression because we are currently the source of funding and insurance for actions everywhere to repress and exploit for the benefit of the oppressors and maintenance of the system..
I see/saw identity politics as a major current stumbling block to keeping class as the main focus but perhaps the us/them home/foreign is the biggest block of all to keeping class as the focus? I have certainly been prompted to do more thinking, observing and soul searching so thank you.

Jul 28, 2017 2:08 PM
Reply to  Manda

I have been reminded of points I was originally going to make in reply but decided to take the lesson as the point.
This article highlights the repression I believe we at the heart of the capitalist empire are increasingly experiencing… quote: ” As Thucydides noted, when the crisis deepens, the methods of controlling empire will come home and be used to control the domestic population at the centre of empire. Force will play an increasing role vis-à-vis fraud.”
I do believe there is a marked difference between the extent of decay (elite panic/inability to manage the system) in our sphere in comparison to the powerful countries that adopted capitalism more recently. I believe decay is far, far more advanced at home. I point to one obvious indicator, the quality of politicians now in office. I do believe there are two separate and different capitalist spheres despite how elites co operate in many ways.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 28, 2017 3:27 PM
Reply to  Manda

I agree with you: there are qualitative differences between “capitalist regimes.” And there are elements within existing capitalist societies that are genuinely progressive.
Those progressive aspects are what need to be preserved and elaborated, as for example: generalizing the “collectively organized (or socialized) mode of production” of the firm to the whole of society, so as to eliminate destructive competition between variously productive segments; preserving the spirit of innovation so as to reduce labor-time, not to necessarily produce more or, as is now done, to increase profit margins, but to reduce the length of the workday for all, to lessen the toil to which men and women must be subjected to keep our bodies and souls together; preserving and enhancing all existing institutions providing services essential to human welfare, i.e., public health initiatives, like hospitals and clinics and food inspection, and sewage and water treatment facilities, and so on; keeping the element of formal education alive and increasing its accessibility to all and sundry, so as to preserve and enhance our cultural and scientific heritage; etc., etc. . . .
In other words, we want to realize the values of The Enlightenment which had in part informed the spirit of the original Bourgeois Revolutions, but minus the liberty to — through a class monopoly over the means of finance and production and distribution and violence — exploit and oppress others, rather to emphasize the bit about the “equality” of all men and women as a “right” in all respects, not merely formally and abstractly or in the so-called “eyes of the law.”

Jul 25, 2017 5:55 PM

I really don’t know how the US and its vassals have the nerve to accuse anyone of a violation of human rights. At the present time the Anglo-American armed and funded ally, Saudi Arabia, is conducting an unrestricted bombing campaign against Yemen, the poorest country in the middle-east. Apart from the thousands of deaths and injuries caused directly by the bombing, there is now a large-scale cholera epidemic taking place due to the destruction of vital infrastructures such as sewage and clean water. This amounts to what can only be described as bacteriological warfare. What sort of people are these exactly? Cannibals might be apposite as a description.

Jul 25, 2017 5:45 PM

““Harmony without uniformity [and] universal love and non-aggression”
I love this part of that quote…. “Harmony without uniformity” Says it all for me.
I think it is time for many more articles about the future we humans can have rather than endlessly chewing over all the horrors our ’empire’ has been and still is wreaking around the world and now on us in the west as well as judging countries/societies/cultures most know nothing about beyond MSM propaganda.
It’s time to look to a real global future of harmony, collaboration and respect.
This article really lifted me, thanks.

Jul 25, 2017 5:32 PM

Just found out this week that the US was part of a war crimes tribunal. (Wait till I stop laughing). If the USA can be part of a war crimes tribunal, China is the best Human Rights defender on the planet.

Jul 25, 2017 5:21 PM

Just how did the Chinese raise all those people out of poverty? By creating an “unbelievable” debt bubble. I must admit, when I read such information coming from Forbes and Bloomberg analysts; I was less than convinced. When Prof Steve Keen says that China is a modern “Debt-Zombie-To-Be”: I have to take it onboard. All that infrastructure (‘Ghost Cities’) – created to offset the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) – actually represents the mother of all real estate bubbles.
According to Keen: China faces the modern “Debt Junkies Dilemma” – create more debt or go “Cold Turkey” now – to offset a more devastating crash later. So China’s obsession with building and expansion is as much about existential angst as benevolence. If it can’t expand its market share at 6.9% PQ (8% nominal) – it would face a “sudden readjustment”. With China projected to account for 18% of world GDP this year – that could have repercussions for all of us.
Of course, this is not happening in a vacuum. China faces competition from India and the US; and we know the US don’t fight fair. Through their own indebtedness, China can’t fund OBOR alone. With the BIS, Yellen, Carnage, and Draghi all sounding the death knell for the age of cheap credit – it begs the question – who is going to buy all those manufactured goods???
[And if you think putting the squeeze on China amounts to US led financial warfare, you’d probably be right.]
So, I’m afraid, this article needs to be tempered with a heavy dose of realism. The idea that OBOR will emancipate the world is rather dependant on how the Politburo deals with their ticking debt time bomb.

Anna Zimmerman
Anna Zimmerman
Jul 25, 2017 5:14 PM

I am not a China or Russia basher, but my heart sinks when I contemplate all this infrastructure development which will expand the Western idea of ‘development’ ie more waste, more resource depletion, more pollution and more destruction of wildlife. We don’t need more Western ‘development’ – we need a different conception of development which focuses on sustainability, autonomy and localism, and re-orientation away from the consumerism that has polluted the entire world. I fail to see that Chinese people aping the destructiveness and greed of the West constitutes genuine progress. This does not mean a rejection of infrastructure projects per se, but a more judicious approach, rather than merely assuming that more is better, which this article is definitely guilty of.

Jul 26, 2017 2:30 PM
Reply to  Anna Zimmerman

Anna: your comment is a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t see things as you and I: but is ordered by the minority to facilitate the unbridled and unconscionable “pursuit of happiness”. Nothing is inevitable, but let’s hope the survivors find a better way! 🙂

Anna Zimmerman
Anna Zimmerman
Jul 26, 2017 8:41 PM
Reply to  BigB

Thank you for your support BigB – I second all your comments too.
Whilst I can understand the desire to overlook the shortcomings of one’s enemy’s enemy (and I certainly do regard the US establishment as an enemy), we will need to do better than that if we want to be a viable species.

Jul 26, 2017 11:35 PM
Reply to  Anna Zimmerman

I’ve always favoured the First Nations-Ghandi ethos of Trusteeship and Custodianship: particularly of the land, water, sea, and air (as opposed to Private Property Rights.) We should leave ecosphere in a healthier condition for each successive generation… The land and its resources are not ours: they were loaned to us by the Children… Oh well, it was a quaint notion… Pity it never caught on… 🙁
“If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?” Chief Seattle.

Jul 26, 2017 11:44 PM
Reply to  Anna Zimmerman

While Kevin Kennedy’s article is certainly very selective and biased, you do have to consider that a long-distance high-speed rail network from London to Madrid to Beijing and maybe even Singapore could be cheaper and perhaps more environmentally friendly than flying from those two European cities to the Asian cities.
While those 330+ dams being built by China in 70+ countries might not all be needed and some would certainly be wasteful and in the long term environmentally harmful even, some of those dams, if managed properly, could turn out to be long-term assets: the artificial lakes they create could be used to preserve endangered riverine species and ecosystems that help clean the water. Communities whose livelihoods might otherwise be ruined by dam construction could help to maintain those ecosystems. What happens after the Chinese build the dams is up to the governments and agencies that are responsible for the dams.

Jul 25, 2017 2:56 PM

What a great and enlightening article .Thank you so much.I will save this link and use the next time I come across a China basher .

Jul 25, 2017 2:46 PM

China has developed friendly relations with several Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, and Iran – but historically China is a colonial power like Russia, Britain, France, and United states. China is still occupying Muslim Uyghur land known as Eastern Turkistan.
American Jewish author and poet Gershon W. Hepner describes Uyghurs’ plight in the following poem:
In China, Moslems called the Uyghurs
are fighting to be free
of rule by Han Chinese. It figures
that they want liberty,
just like the other captive nations
the Han now rule, Tibet
the largest, but their expectations
aren’t likely to be met.
The Han call freedom fighters in
both places terrorists,
and almost certainly will win
by force of arms and fists,
but no one cares about these Asians
here in the West, because
we fear our vital trade relations
might suffer, with a loss
of our prosperity, and let
the Chinese use their terror
in both East Turkestan, Tibet,
committing a grave error
based on our need to save the dollar
from falling, which it might
if we grew hot beneath the collar,
declaring might ain’t right.
It seems we need Han Chinese more
than they need us, and so
we can’t show them that we feel sore
about the Uyghurs’ woe.

Jul 25, 2017 2:37 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.