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China incline USA decline?

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coberst
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coberst
Posted 11/23/09 - 10:26 AM:
Subject: China incline USA decline?
China incline USA decline?

America now has an open society but few Americans have the Critical Thinking skills and intellectual sophistication required to maintain that status. The question becomes: "can a democracy survive in a world where technology is driving change at a very rapid pace?” Darwin informs us that if a species cannot adapt to its changing environment that species will soon become toast.

I suspect that China represents an example of how such a fact plays out. China, an authoritarian form of capitalism, is likely destined to become the dominant power in the 21st century because an authoritarian system can better adapt to a rapidly changing world. America displays a nation unable to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Karl Popper argues, in his book The Open Society and Its Enemies, that all ideology shares a common characteristic; a belief in infallibility.

The concept Popper illustrates in this book sounds much like the concept of a liberal democracy but his concept is more epistemological than political. It is based upon our imperfect comprehension of reality more than our structure of society. Such infallibility is an impossibility, which leads such ideological practitioners to use force to substantiate their views and such repression brings about a closed society.

Popper proposed that the open society is constructed on the recognition that our comprehension of reality is not perfect—there is realty beyond our comprehension and our will cannot compensate for that lack of comprehension. Even though the will of the power structure can manipulate the opinions of the citizens sooner or later reality will defeat the will. Truth does matter and success will not always override truth—truth being reality.
Zum
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Zum
Posted 11/23/09 - 11:46 AM:

"...an authoritative system can better adapt to a rapidly changing world..."

It does not seem to me that authoritarianism in and of itself would necessarily have that capacity, although China might manage it for a time. Anyone can think of authoritarian systems that have failed to adapt to changing conditions, or even current conditions, if by "adapt" you mean, installing new technology and becoming major players in the world drama. Authoritarianism functions from a single, or limited, source of power, and this can be handy at times; but of course authoritarianism needs to expend much of its energy and clout in keeping all the powerless, unrepresented individuals and factions in line. Cumbersome.

Can you explain the point further?

The U.S. has a history, not only of adaptation, but even of leadership in a rapidly changing world. If the U.S. is and was then an open society, how do explain the foregoing in terms of your statements about the U.S.'s incapacity to adapt now?

Your point seems to rest on these perceptions: A changing society requires quick adaptation, which demands analytic and pragmatic skills. Few people possess such skills. Thus a society run by the few is efficient, and thus more suitable during times of swift social and technological change, than a society run by (or through) many.

But it seems to me that in reality the game board is more complex than that, and that there are a lot more pieces.


Monk2400
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Posted 11/23/09 - 4:06 PM:

The ironic thing is that China, as a society, insofar as we can truly identify it under a single grouping, has only persisted and been successful (to the degree that it has) by refusing quick changes. China, relative to other emerging nations in the 20th century, was rather slow to get up to speed. Its strength is in maintaining the status quo, not gearing up for massive change.

Not only that, to an authoritative government, change is the enemy. Change requires freedom, liberty, free-thinking, and an exploration of the artificially defined (or enforced) boundaries of the society. What kind of intellectual and moral freedom is 'allowed' in China today? Increasingly very little, as those same 'authorities' cling to their power.

A society with the size and scope of China will not need to 'adapt' to changing world conditions, because it will cause the world to change to suit itself. China IS the world, and to do business with them, you must become like them, not the other way around. And technology has nothing to do with it. Its all about financing. The Chinese have their fingers in every single pie. They basically own the USA. So there's the model to 'adapt' to the world--buy it out and force it to bend to your will.

8)
coberst
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coberst
Posted 11/23/09 - 4:07 PM:

Zum wrote:
"...an authoritative system can better adapt to a rapidly changing world..."

It does not seem to me that authoritarianism in and of itself would necessarily have that capacity, although China might manage it for a time. Anyone can think of authoritarian systems that have failed to adapt to changing conditions, or even current conditions, if by "adapt" you mean, installing new technology and becoming major players in the world drama. Authoritarianism functions from a single, or limited, source of power, and this can be handy at times; but of course authoritarianism needs to expend much of its energy and clout in keeping all the powerless, unrepresented individuals and factions in line. Cumbersome.

Can you explain the point further?





The US cannot respond with long range thinking because the citizens will not sacrifice today for something that will not arrive immediately. US citizens don’t have the sophistication or Critical Thinking skills to understand the problems that we face. Because they do not understand these problems they will not understand what they must accept to solve the problems. China is an authoritarian society. If the leadership has the skills and sophistication they can move immediately to meet the problems that arise as a result of change in the world situation.
libertygrl
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Posted 11/24/09 - 12:31 PM:

"The standard answer is that we need better leaders. The real answer is that we need better citizens."

-- www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/...inion/22friedman.html?_r=2
Zum
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Zum
Posted 11/29/09 - 2:29 PM:

I think I want to respond to the posts, then read the thread...then maybe respond to it.

Regarding the U.S., it has made colossal, world-class mistakes; it has done awful stuff and awfully dumb stuff and persisted in it, backing out only when forced out. Many U.S. citizens have little information and no critical thinking skills you'd notice, and don't want any. AND the U.S. has at times somehow managed to act in extraordinary accord and has stood behind its projects and prevailed. It has at times performed what, for a country, could be called hairpin turns in theory and policy.

The really weird thing is the way the ambiance here can alter completely from time to time, making the U.S. quite suddenly seem a different reality.

We've also seen big, seemingly-invincible political complexes crash.

One thing, which the former posts implicitly acknowledge, is that a country is only linguistically an "it." This makes predictions problematic. However, I think we can run if-this, then-that imaginary scenarios, and make intelligent guesses.
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