I recently watched the documentary series China: Time of Xi, which gives an insight into the rapid progress of China under the leadership of Xi Jinping. Sure, it is not the most critical account there could be — you could even say it has “state propaganda” written all over it — but it is fascinating nonetheless. Whatever you may think of China, it would be ludicrous to deny that this country has progressed by leaps and bounds. Let’s talk about this progress and how it compares to the West.
We can start with technological progress. To give you a few examples: Twenty years ago, Western countries built up the mobile telecommunications infrastructure in China. This was a German-Finnish project, with Siemens and Nokia being at the helm. In the present time, however, China’s Huawei was the first to roll out 6G networking. At a recent recruiting event by Huawei I was invited to attend, a company representative told the audience that Huawei has a lead of one to two years over its competition. Again, you may doubt these numbers, but you cannot plausibly make the point that Huawei is not in the lead. What happened to Siemens and Nokia in the area of telecommunications? They are no longer relevant. You can continue. Do the United States, England, France, or Australia have bullet trains that are a very compelling alternative to domestic air travel? No, they don’t. I vividly remember, when I was a wee little boy, that the German Green party extensively campaigned against technological progress. High-speed trains were very, very bad. No convincing argument was given, but that mattered as little back then as it matters in Western politics nowadays.
Technological development that only benefits part of society is a double-edged sword as, obviously, part of society is effectively cut off of progress. Yet, unlike the West, China makes a serious attempt to lift people out of poverty, and they are succeeding. In contrast, the last time I checked, the West has set up an elaborate system to not only consolidate but to grow the underclass by means of welfare and institutions that foster learned helplessness. All advanced Western societies have a permanent underclass where people have been living off the taxpayer for multiple generations. This is absolutely scandalous but, for whatever reason, it is not seen as a big problem compared to, for instance, man-made global warming. In the West, there is an infatuation with big, uncertain projects nobody really knows anything about, most certainly not the average politician with their bullshit university degrees if they even have a degree, as opposed to solving concrete problems right here, right now. In “China: Time of Xi”, concrete examples are shown of how people are lifted out of poverty, for instance by providing free schooling and housing to children. I almost shed a tear when I heard a teenage girl in that documentary say, “I want to work hard and become someone useful.” Meanwhile, we have been raising a generation of slackers in the West that shuns hard work, be it physical or intellectual. They probably view it as a violation of their “human rights” to have to work for a living.
Ask yourself, is your life in the West getting better or is it not? I live in a fairly big Western city. My habit is to stay in on Saturday and Sunday. When I reemerge on Monday morning, it is rare for me not to notice examples of weekend vandalism. On some Mondays, I count half a dozen or more trashed bus or tram stops on a single route. Why do our youth not spend their time productively and crack open their books as opposed to trashing public property? You may now fall prey to the broken-window fallacy and think that all that damage does not have any negative effect and, in fact, provides work for local tradesmen who fix the damage. Sure, if you enjoy sloppy reasoning, this sound like a perfectly fine argument. Yet, it ignores that each dollar can only be spent once. In the end, the taxpayer is footing the bill and the probably many billions of Euros that are spent in the West due to fixing the damage vandalism has caused can’t be spent on something else. This hits home, in particular, if you get a salary bump in December and realize, on your January pay slip, that a tax increase has already eaten up a chunk of that extra money. It really gives you that extra push to overdeliver on your projects at work.
I think you would have to be very optimistic to say that the West is stagnating. Quite frankly, if you don’t realize that the West is in a downward spiral, you need to get your head checked as we are at a level where debt is at record highs, assets are in a bubble, and IQ as well as life expectancy is trending downwards. Yet, instead of fixing our countries, our politicians prefer to fight imaginary dragons. Is your life today better than it was a few years ago, on a whole range of metrics? On some metrics, my life has improved, due my own effort, but I don’t think society as a whole has improved. I can’t even name a single metric within the sphere of activity of government in which I noticed an improvement. Safety, or the ever-increasing lack thereof, is a good example. Assume you want to buy a car. In my city, as well as in many other Western cities, car burnings are so common that you simply don’t want to bother getting a car. I’d love to buy myself car, but I don’t because the risk that it would get keyed, trashed, or set ablaze is just too high. (Thankfully, public transport is decent enough where I live, so it is easy for me to trick myself into believing that this restriction of my personal liberty is a positive.) If you think I’m paranoid, you need to do more research as we are long past the point where you only hear about car burnings in the news. Instead, it either happened to you, or a friend, or you’ve seen it happen. It’s a pandemic. I don’t see increased police presence, surveillance, or draconic punishments to caught perpetrators happening, so cars keep on burning. This affects my life as well as the wider economy. Yet, it’s somehow not a problem at all. It’s probably too mundane a task to keep our streets safe.
Now contrast this to how things go in China. Every single year things get better and better. Yes, even pollution in big cities has become less of an issue. The Chinese are on a huge upward trajectory. In terms of PPP-adjusted GDP, they are already the richest nation on the planet. On a personal level, it’s probably the case that there is no demographic as rich as the Chinese middle class because the relative purchasing power of their money is so high. To illustrate this, consider that a STEM-degree holder makes a comparable (nominal) amount of money in Beijing, China, and Berlin, Germany. Yet, the latter is saddled with a bizarrely high tax rate and higher local prices. He lives like a pauper while his Chinese counterpart lives like a king due to the very high real purchasing power of his money.
It is the goal of the Chinese government to lift its people out of poverty and create wealth for all. They are succeeding left, right, and center. In contrast, the idea of running a country to the benefit of its people is seemingly a grave insult to Western leaders. They much rather fight a few more stupid wars to funnel trillions of taxpayer money into the military-industrial complex, ignore the rural parts of their country, and don’t care about failing infrastructure and widespread societal decay. Yet, for all this bullshit you are paying more taxes year after year, while getting less and less in return. If countries were businesses, which country’s business plan would you back: the Western one or the Chinese one? I fully understand that it is painful to admit to yourself that your country has been failing you. Yet, that is exactly what has been happening. You’ve taken the “red pill” in other parts of your life, now take the political one as well!
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