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Eric X Li Compares Democracy With China

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Very interesting 20 minutes that might make you think about things from a different perspective

Do comment

I effect, it is not the doctrine itself, but the spirit in which it is implemented which is the key - in terms of the genral benefit for the majoirty.

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I'm not sure comparisons at this particular point in time are relevant. China is in the middle of installing the technology that the developed countries have had for decades or centuries - no wonder their living standards are rising. Imagine what would happen if extraterrestrials handed the EU, USA and Japan the blueprints for a teleporter, a food replicator and a cold fusion device.

Let's see what happens when China finishes catching up technologically.

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Imagine what would happen if extraterrestrials handed the EU, USA and Japan the blueprints for a teleporter, a food replicator and a cold fusion device.

I do sometimes, and usually conclude that we'd pretty much trash the planet beyond repair.

If someone ever did come up with cheap, limitless energy we'd all ultimately be better off if they ditched it.

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one of chinas biggest exports was the idea of meritocracy.

in the west society used to be dominated aristocracy. in China you had to pass exams and only the best could take positions of power.

those ideas were imported and the British empire was the first country to take it into the western world. people were employed based on educational status, the idea of getting qualifications as a screening process and using competency as a measure for business and government was taken on.

civil servants had to pass exams to prove you were fit for purpose in taking up positions in government, and that system was brought into the civilian world, with arguably the first modern business organisation, the east india company.

china use to be the wealthiest country in the world by far, then it lost its way a bit, but now its back with a bang.

there is certainly more than one way of doing things. socialism generally doesnt suit anglo saxon culture, but it can certainly suit other cultures.

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Very interesting 20 minutes that might make you think about things from a different perspective

Do comment

Haven't watched this particular video (yet) but...

Many of the TED talks I've seen seem to share an underlying technocratic, globalist theme.

If you're the kind of person who fancies himself as a member of the global elite, the prospect of the Chinese model being rolled out across the world would probably give you a roaring chubby.

Worth remembering though that individuality is ingrained in Western culture, just as much as it has been played down historically in Asian countries.

Compare the Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and their emphasis on personal accountability and redemption, with the Asian religions which seem to be all about striving for ultimate annihilation of individual identity.

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I effect, it is not the doctrine itself, but the spirit in which it is implemented which is the key - in terms of the genral benefit for the majoirty.

wiki: Enlightened Absolutism

Enlightened absolutism (also called by later historians benevolent despotism or enlightened despotism) is a form of absolute monarchy or despotism in which rulers were influenced by the Enlightenment. Enlightened monarchs embraced the principles of the Enlightenment, especially its emphasis upon rationality, and applied them to their territories. They tended to allow religious toleration, freedom of speech and the press, and the right to hold private property. Most fostered the arts, sciences, and education.

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Haven't watched this particular video (yet) but...

Many of the TED talks I've seen seem to share an underlying technocratic, globalist theme.

If you're the kind of person who fancies himself as a member of the global elite, the prospect of the Chinese model being rolled out across the world would probably give you a roaring chubby.

Worth remembering though that individuality is ingrained in Western culture, just as much as it has been played down historically in Asian countries.

Compare the Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and their emphasis on personal accountability and redemption, with the Asian religions which seem to be all about striving for ultimate annihilation of individual identity.

That's a really thought-provoking post, thanks.

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I like China, and I think democracy is in general overrated, but just because the system seems to be coming good now, you've still got to bear in mind that it caused poverty and misery for the first 30 or 40 years, and still does do evil things. It just depends who gets to be in charge.

The video makes good points about the Chinese government being more of a meritocracy than the west, and that western politicians basically have no experience of running things, while in China, only those who do a good job actually get promoted. I think it might be similar in France, though.

One of the interesting differences between the western powers China is that "we" mostly do our evil to other people and countries, while China (and Russia etc, seems to go along with the communist states) inflict their evil on their own populations. From a purely selfish point of view, I am content at the moment to be a citizen of the West.

Edit: i should have said, "I am content to have lived my life up to now in the West". It's possible we are nearing a crossover point, where the governments of the west are actually less representative of their peoples than the Chinese dictators.

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House price bubble. Massive endemic corruption. Out of control shadow banking system. Incredible bureaucracy around setting up new businesses (need to make sure you pay certain people to sit around and collect money). Highly intrusive electronic surveillance. Yep, what's not to like.

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Didnt watch the video, the man is a well known CCP shill. The idea of the CCP being a meritocracy is laughable - the party has a large number of princelings - those whose parents were 1st generation CCP. The current president is one, the reason Bo Xilai isn't dead is because he is another. Promotion is based on metrics like GDP (easily games for short term benefit, the next guy can pick up the mess). Hu Jintao got noticed when he savagely put down a rebellion in Tibet. Being willing to kill is very much a plus for the politburo.

CCP is slow to respond, its workings are arcane, its primary purpose is preserving its own privilege. Yes they have done ok on the back of a massive investment bubble, let's see where they are in 10 - 20 years. The idea that they offer a workable alternative to our mess is laughable. Spare me the shite.

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If you had watched the video, or read Li's works, you would know that he doesn't propose that the Chinese system is in any way a workable alternative to 'western style democracy'

He simply proposes that such democracy is not the cure to all of any society's problems and goes on to support that by using China as his example

Then - almost humbly at times - he suggests that those in western democracies that tout their own style of democracy as the cure to all of a society's ills are, likely, mistaken and maybe didn't order to tout quite so hard.

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Didnt watch the video, the man is a well known CCP shill. The idea of the CCP being a meritocracy is laughable - the party has a large number of princelings - those whose parents were 1st generation CCP.

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The idea that they offer a workable alternative to our mess is laughable. Spare me the shite.

i'm not interested enough to watch again, but he does cite figures, and I think it was actually an extremely low percentage that were children of former leaders.

I agree that thier main function is to further their own privelege, but is that any different from what is going on here these days?

Does one man one vote make any sense in, say, Afghanistan these days? Egypt?

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I'm not sure comparisons at this particular point in time are relevant. China is in the middle of installing the technology that the developed countries have had for decades or centuries - no wonder their living standards are rising. Imagine what would happen if extraterrestrials handed the EU, USA and Japan the blueprints for a teleporter, a food replicator and a cold fusion device.

Oddly enough, I frequently contemplate this.

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