Sunday on Facebook: Last week I posted a video from an interview with Zhang Weiwei on his book ‘The China Wave’ and an article from Zhang Weiwei on ‘Meritocracy versus Democracy’. They were both very informative, especially in promoting the idealism of the Chinese meritocratic system of government. I concluded that public administration in a meritocratic system of government differs very little from that of a demos driven democratic system, the differences lying in their notional definitions democracy.
Written four years ago the following reprise is not entirely tongue in cheek but may well represent my innate cynicism that irrespective of the politics represented ‘mandarin‘, is not the purview of the Chinese. The following ‘Lessons in Mandarin’, may point to the inscrutability and clear consciousness of all (supposedly meaningful) exchanges.
This week on Facebook: ‘The Inscrutable Chinese¹’ is a western expression that is rarely used these days and amongst those of my generation (who may have understood its true intent), it was more often used to represent someone whom could not possibly be understood by any occidental. So, “Who are the Chinese?” Read more of this post
If you were to ask me how many bicycles there were in Beijing, I would give you the honest answer – I have absolutely no idea. I do know, however, that the bike has been a Beijing icon for decades, and it will be for years to come. Are There Really Nine Million Bicycles in Beijing?
This week on Facebook: To my mind it is clear that global hegemony, both politically economically and militarily, is what the Chinese expect gain from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Until now known as the OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, its threat to Western Democracy should not be underestimated. ‘Crises and chaos’ is how the State media in China Xinhua described Western democracy.
China has absolutely no need to import the failing party political systems of other countries. 2017 Communist Party Congress.
This week on Facebook: When I first read about The Great Firewall of China I concluded that it was a model that most States would try to find a way of emulating, the rationale being that it was the first step towards securing the political supremacy of a governing oligarchy under the pretext of a democracy. Now China has launched The New Silk Road¹ (OBOR: One Belt One Road) and notionally democratic governments find themselves not only having to consider a trade war with China, but to seriously consider China’s political model as representative of the future. Read more of this post
The inexorable rise of the Nanny State explains the raison d’être of the political class. The sentiments expressed below in The Traveller; or, a Prospect of Society are particularly true today. Although written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1764, the law has increasingly become a vehicle for restraint by the State¹·²·³.
In every government, though terrors reign,Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,How small, of all that human hearts endure,That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
This week on Facebook: The connection between inequality and economic growth is mostly lost on the indigent and those prospering in a paternalistic and what is often called the Nanny State¹. Nevertheless, it is clear that the majority of people are willing to sacrifice personal and moral freedoms in pursuit of the perceived benefits of living in a paternalistic Nanny State.
This is particularly true in the UK where a majority tyranny is exercised compelling the acceptance of State control, where those on the political left and right mostly argue about the fiscal policy needed to stimulate economic growth, with opposing policies that advocate an end to Government Spending and Austerity versus those of avoiding a Sovereign Default. Both sides finding themselves hoist on the petard of an ever increasing commitment to a Welfare State, which makes their proposed welfare system limited by Sovereign Debt, thwarting any political desire for the effective implementation of all their fiscal policies. Read more of this post
Next week on Facebook I intend to write about the Nanny State and while use of the term ‘Nanny State’ may be new in 1898 Woodrow Wilson was to write in his book The State; Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, No student of history can wisely censure those who protest against state paternalism.
Next Wednesday’s article is an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Three Cheers for the Nanny State”, that dismisses principled concerns about paternalism and presents arguments in favour of it¹. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I used to blog a lot on a now defunct site called My Telegraph, as did a chap who I think called himself Atrium. Eventually Atrium disappeared in a fit of pique, I think it was because he had such little response to his many cri de coeur regarding his opinions. Observing Atrium was a salutary lesson that taught me a lot about blogging and I think I understand why he left My Telegraph in such a huff. It was (at least in a large part) an ‘age’ thing, Atrium was most probably in my peer group, retired and clearly with a lot of time to spend on the social media. He had forgotten that as a younger man, when in a job and less time on his hands, any talk of putting the world to rights was invariably euphemistic and tempered by a blind faith that the democracy of our public administration lay in hands of the electorate.
My piquancy (I would hope) is not only tempered by an ever increasing understanding of the social media but also by the limitations to my curmudgeonliness. However, a recent article in MoneyWeek with the title ‘A Credit Score That Judges Your Politics’ (see Monday’s article) caused me to have an Atrium moment, a cri de coeur if you will. Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay—or not (see Tuesday’s article). Think of the world that you are already living in!
Evening Standard 07 Oct 1969
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