Utopia Temple
Main Forum Page Register an Account for Free! Calendar Frequently Asked Questions about this Board View New Posts Advanced Search Login
  Utopia Temple Forums > General Discussions > Respectable General Discussions

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Post New Thread Reply
Author Thread
Posts: 1355/2365
(10-May-2004 at 22:51)


The Arabs - Time to Grow Up? (OP/ED piece in the NYT/IHT)

once again, i read an article in the newspaper today - in the opinions and commentary section - the piqued my interest. probably because i talked about the very same thing with a friend down in the pub recently, and we came to similar conclusions; i had this kind of deja-vu feeling when i read this...
on the other hand, it is bordering on the racist. but then again, most of what he says can hardly be refuted.

anyway, enough of my pointless babble, here goes:

Quote:
(Source: IHT / NYT May 10, 2004 Editorials & Commentary)

Thomas L. Friedman: Arabs must overcome the curse of oil

I visited the Japanese cell phone company DoCoMo in Tokyo recently. A robot made by Honda gave me part of the tour, even bowing in perfect Japanese fashion. My visit there coincided with yet another suicide bomb attack against U.S. forces in Iraq. I could not help thinking: Why are the Japanese making robots into humans, while Muslim suicide squads are making humans into robots?

The answer has to do in part with the interaction between culture and natural resources. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China have relatively few natural resources like oil. As a result, in the modern age, their instinct is to look inward, assess their weaknesses, try to learn as much as they can from foreigners and then beat them at their own game. In order to beat the Westerners, they have even set aside many of their historical animosities so they can invest in each other's countries and get all the benefits of free trade.

The Arab world, alas, has been cursed with oil. For decades, too many Arab countries have opted to drill a sand dune for economic growth rather than drilling their own people - men and women - in order to tap their energy, creativity, intellect and entrepreneurship.

Arab countries barely trade with one another, and unlike Korea and Japan, rarely invent or patent anything. But rather than looking inward, assessing their development deficits, absorbing the best in modern knowledge that their money can buy and then trying to beat the West at its own game, the Arab world in too many cases has cut itself off, blamed the enduring Palestine conflict or colonialism for delaying reform, or found dignity in Pyrrhic victories like Falluja.

To be sure, there are exceptions. Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, Morocco and Tunisia are all engaged in real experiments with modernization, but the bigger states are really lost. A week ago we were treated again to absurd Saudi allegations that "Zionists" were behind the latest bombing in Saudi Arabia, because, said Saudi officials, "Zionists" clearly benefit from these acts. Someone ought to tell the Saudis this: Don't flatter yourselves. The only interest Israelis have in Saudi Arabia is flying over it to get to India and China - countries that actually trade and manufacture things other than hatred of "infidels."

The Bush team has made a mess in Iraq, but the pathologies of the Arab world have also contributed - and the sheer delight that some Arab media take in seeing Iraq go up in flames is evidence of that.

It's time for the Arab world to grow up - to stop dancing on burning American jeeps and claiming that this is some victory for Islam.

One thing about countries like Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, they may not have deserts but they know the difference between the mirage and the oasis - between victories that come from educating your population to innovate and "victories" that come from a one-night stand by suicidal maniacs like 9/11.

As I said, the Bush team has made a mess in Iraq. And I know that Abu Ghraib will be a lasting stain on the Pentagon leadership. But here's what else I know from visiting Iraq: There were a million acts of kindness, generosity and good will also extended by individual U.S. soldiers this past year - acts motivated purely by a desire to give Iraqis the best chance they've ever had at decent government and a better future. There are plenty of Iraqis and Arabs who know that.

Yes, we Americans need to look in a mirror and ask why we've become so radioactive. But the Arabs need to look in a mirror too. "They are using our mistakes to avoid their own necessity to change, reform and modernize," says the Mideast expert Stephen P. Cohen.

A senior Iraqi politician told me that he recently received a group of visiting Iranian journalists in his home. As they were leaving, he said, two young Iranian women in the group whispered to him: "Succeed for our sake."

Those Iranian women knew that if Iraqis could actually produce a decent, democratizing government it would pressure their own regime to start changing - which is why the Iranian, Syrian and Saudi regimes are all rooting for us to fail.

But you know what? Despite everything, we still have a chance to produce a decent outcome in Iraq, if we get our eye back on the ball.

Of course, if we do fail, that will be our tragedy. But for the Arabs, it will be a huge lost opportunity - one that will only postpone their future another decade. Too bad so few of them have the courage to stand up and say that. I guess it must be another one of those "Zionist" plots.
i think he has a few excellent point.

what do you think?
#1  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Subterranean Add Subterranean to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Honorary Member
Posts: 2534/3991
(10-May-2004 at 22:59)


well written and good points. It points out that what arab leaders want to do and how they act is not what the populations gain most from or what they want. There are people in these boards who argue that the muslims don't want economic growth and that they prefer the despotic and unbeneficial rule they currently enjoy, well i say thats rubbish, the people tehre deserve better and through this many of the world current problems may be a lot closer to being resolved. However the leaders know with these advancments comes acees, freedom of information and steady streams of it, freedom from state control and eventually an overthrow of outdated and useless governments.

Getting banned is not smart, nor cool. - Swifty
#2  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Jasse Add Jasse to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
(Posted as BlackAurora)
(User is Banned)
Posts: 590/606
Donated $2.40
(10-May-2004 at 23:04)


I fully agree with the writer. I already had the feeling that if we could vest a healthy democratic environment in Iraq, other middle east countries would follow.

The media is giving us a wrong view of what is happening in Iraq. It's not all bad what happens there. The USA is still fighting, but in the meanwhile, schools are built, waterpipes are built to villages that were without water under the regime of Saddam, and in general, the Iraqi people are happy.

It doesn't take a lot of brains to see that democratic countries function better, especially when looking at Israel for example, and the other nations mentioned.

Dutch World Domination is inevitable...
Mail the Dutchie! | #LA IRC quotes on Lashback.org ! |Sossy's Boards !
U N D U T C H A B L E
The EvulurustestBlackAurora
#3  
View Public Profile Find more posts by TheNotoriousBA Add TheNotoriousBA to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 11/16
(10-May-2004 at 23:14)
Good point, Trade is the key to development. has ne1 been to the UAE, especially Dubai... In 10 years trade transformed that mostly desert area into a metropolis, the other arab countries should follow that as an example.
#4  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mythal Theory Add Mythal Theory to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 1815/4829
(11-May-2004 at 01:23)


I find it interesting that the columnist likes to qualify his statements with "Bush messed up Iraq" statements every few lines just so people dont mistake him as saying anything in support of Bush. I disagree with that assessment, but other than that the article makes a good point. The arab world needs to change its mentality before it can embrace prosperity.

I think that the arab situation closely parallels the situation in China at the turn of the century. China believed that since it was rich in resources, had high culture, and a long history that it had no use for anything western. When the imperialist powers broke China open, China realized its mistake and tried to modernize its weapons but while rejecting western values. However, they failed to realize that the western world's strength was not merely technology, but in the cultural values that involved the entire population in modernization (democracy). Hence China stagnated and was surpassed by Japan which recognized the merits of adapting parts of western culture.

Here the Arab world is rich in resources, has a culture based on Islam, and a long history, and like China they feel that gives them grounds to reject western influence. Similarly the Arab world has sought to modernize its weapons without changing its culture. This has led once again to conflict. If the Arab world is to be spared the same fate as China, the U.S. must be successful in instilling a true democracy in Iraq.
#5  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Royal Assassin3 Add Royal Assassin3 to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
(Posted as BlackAurora)
(User is Banned)
Posts: 596/606
Donated $2.40
(11-May-2004 at 03:11)


Fully agreed with the line RA is drawing towards China.

Although I think even the Arab world should be carefull with embrasing western standards. A lot of for example African countries have converted their social system towards a western standard directly from things like living in tribes and such. This conflicts. Also, the economy isn't very well there.


~600 Posts!~

Dutch World Domination is inevitable...
Mail the Dutchie! | #LA IRC quotes on Lashback.org ! |Sossy's Boards !
U N D U T C H A B L E
The EvulurustestBlackAurora

Last edited by BlackAurora, 11-May-2004 at 03:12.
Edit reason: 600 posts =]
#6  
View Public Profile Find more posts by TheNotoriousBA Add TheNotoriousBA to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 364/7006
(11-May-2004 at 05:30)


Quote:
well written and good points.
He only makes one point, though he makes it several times. 'More trade would help them get richer.' I think most people know that anyway.


Quote:
the people tehre deserve better and through this many of the world current problems may be a lot closer to being resolved.
How will that solve the current problems in African or South American countries? To maintain that the Middle East is the root of all problems sound very close to racism.



Quote:
The arab world needs to change its mentality before it can embrace prosperity.
have you read what he has written? 'To be sure, there are exceptions. Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, Morocco and Tunisia are all engaged in real experiments with modernization'. I think he should add Yemen to that list as well, but even without it how much of your 'Arab world' is left when you remove those exceptions?




Quote:
I already had the feeling that if we could vest a healthy democratic environment in Iraq, other middle east countries would follow.
Iraq has too much poverty to be a healthy democracy, at best it will just become yet another poor, corrupt, democracy - look at South America or Africa for some examples of countries in crisis that believed all the hype about free trade and democracy. That will not help anybody.



Quote:
I think that the arab situation closely parallels the situation in China at the turn of the century. China believed that since it was rich in resources, had high culture, and a long history that it had no use for anything western. When the imperialist powers broke China open, China realized its mistake and tried to modernize its weapons but while rejecting western values. However, they failed to realize that the western world's strength was not merely technology, but in the cultural values that involved the entire population in modernization (democracy). Hence China stagnated and was surpassed by Japan which recognized the merits of adapting parts of western culture.
That is so much BS I don't know where to start! It is not even close to reality. In very simple terms, Chinas early encounters with Western values and democracy where not very good, to put it mildly, and caused so much resentment that China turned to Communism.

As for being 'stagnant'....whose economy is growing the fastest, Japan or China?
#7  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Voice of Reason Add Voice of Reason to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 984/1474
(11-May-2004 at 05:54)
Quote:
I think that the arab situation closely parallels the situation in China at the turn of the century. China believed that since it was rich in resources, had high culture, and a long history that it had no use for anything western. When the imperialist powers broke China open, China realized its mistake and tried to modernize its weapons but while rejecting western values. However, they failed to realize that the western world's strength was not merely technology, but in the cultural values that involved the entire population in modernization (democracy). Hence China stagnated and was surpassed by Japan which recognized the merits of adapting parts of western culture.
I have to agree with your initial part that China was arrogant to a large extend to ingnore the threat of the greed lust of the invading western countries then that only have their self interest in their mind. However, i do not agreed with accepting blindly the western cultural values that will actually lead to the country modernisations. Different society have different culturals that suits them, eventhough there exist cultural values that work well for a country, it do not mean it will work well in another country. It all boils down to hard work, determinations and strong wills that will lead to a country being modernised.

As for generalising that arabs have themselves to be blamed for their own problems because they have oils simply is wrong. Before oils were found, arabs were on the peak in terms of culturals and technologies, even europe back then flock to Arabs to learn it. Do you actually think the current leaderships of most arabs states even have legitimacy over their own countrie? Or will they actually think of something to improve their society or do something to preserve their powers. I do not understand why some countries without democracy like saudi arabia can even be an allies of USA, while Iran with certain elements of democracy are branded as an axis of evils? Maybe the self interest part or what. We cant blame arabs as a wholes or muslims only, but the leaderships that is actually controlling everything that make them unable to progress. Changed their leaderships or let *nature* take it course in allowing democracy to take place, i do not think, arabs as a whole would love to be matyr simply. However that will be difficult, because of the *curse oils*, certain elements of the superpower of the world continues to profit from the current situations there.

forget about it...it is really dumb whether people will ever read it...
#8  
View Public Profile Find more posts by peipoh Add peipoh to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 526/673
(11-May-2004 at 06:06)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Voice of Reason) As for being 'stagnant'....whose economy is growing the fastest, Japan or China?
Maybe its because China finally is beginning to modernize? Which is the point of the article?

China's economy was definately stagnant when it held fully to its communist beliefs. Now that it has begun to evolve into a capitalistic market, it's economy is booming, thus proving the writer's point.

Last edited by UndeadSmoker, 11-May-2004 at 06:08.
#9  
View Public Profile Find more posts by UndeadSmoker Add UndeadSmoker to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 507/567
(11-May-2004 at 06:44)


I agree with Thomas Friedman about half the time. This happens to be on the "I agree" half...

As for the list of Arab countries, they're "experimenting". That doesn't mean they're there. And this still leaves out Saudi Arabia, Iran, and much of northern Africa.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
-- Kurt Vonnegut
#10  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Incoherent Add Incoherent to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 365/7006
(11-May-2004 at 07:52)


Quote:
China's economy was definately stagnant when it held fully to its communist beliefs. Now that it has begun to evolve into a capitalistic market, it's economy is booming, thus proving the writer's point.
maybe, if you define an economy only by how much trade it does with the USA.

China has a huge internal market, and traded with Soviet Russia quite happily. Their economy was doing well enough to build a nuclear arsenal; not exactly stagnant.


Quote:
Maybe its because China finally is beginning to modernize? Which is the point of the article?
I was responding to RA3s opinion that Japan is doing better than China because they have democracy.

As for the point of the article, China is still Communist and doing OK, isn't that a good argument for the Middle East NOT turning democratic?


Quote:
As for the list of Arab countries, they're "experimenting". That doesn't mean they're there.
I would 'experiment' with it too. What do you suggest they do?


Quote:
And this still leaves out Saudi Arabia, Iran, and much of northern Africa.
I suppose it depends how far West and South you want your Middle East to go. If you want to drag countries in the African Continent into your Middle East by including Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, you should also include Israel and Turkey. That still leaves him with only 6 countries to grumble about out of possible 15.

Middle East Map 2

Middle East Map 1
#11  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Voice of Reason Add Voice of Reason to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 508/567
(11-May-2004 at 08:01)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Voice of Reason)
I would 'experiment' with it too. What do you suggest they do?
I agree, just pointing out the semantic difference there.

Quote:
I suppose it depends how far West and South you want your Middle East to go. If you want to drag countries in the African Continent into your Middle East by including Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, you should also include Israel and Turkey. That still leaves him with only 6 countries to grumble about out of possible 15.
Well, he said Morocco, so I assumed he defined the Middle East to include Mediterranean Africa, as is sometimes done.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
-- Kurt Vonnegut
#12  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Incoherent Add Incoherent to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 2512/8194
(11-May-2004 at 08:17)
Quote:
The Arab world, alas, has been cursed with oil. For decades, too many Arab countries have opted to drill a sand dune for economic growth rather than drilling their own people - men and women - in order to tap their energy, creativity, intellect and entrepreneurship.
What Friedman forgets to mention is how Western powers seeking cheap oil has been supporting any dictators that keeps the pumps flowing and help get rid of anyone whom they don't like. He is right that oil is a curse, but not only because of the temptation within the countries themselves but because of the meddling from the outside you become the target of.

So what is Friedman's suggestion? That Western powers invade yet another time to put in a new set of puppets, claiming that this time they will work for the Iraqi people rather than for their foreign masters. Yeah, right.

As for the "Zionist plot". Is it really a coincidence that Richard Perle used to work as a speech writer for Nethanyahu in Israel and argued for the necessity of convincing USA to invade Iraq back then too?
#13  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Bernel Add Bernel to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 367/7006
(11-May-2004 at 10:12)


Quote:
Well, he said Morocco, so I assumed he defined the Middle East to include Mediterranean Africa, as is sometimes done.
That is true, and he mentioned Tunisia as well. I agree that these places do have a Middle Eastern look about them, not suprisingly given their history, but the same logic would drag Spain into the Middle East.
#14  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Voice of Reason Add Voice of Reason to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 561/1022
Donated $1.20
(11-May-2004 at 10:54)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Voice of Reason)

maybe, if you define an economy only by how much trade it does with the USA.
Quite often that's the case, as America is one of the primary importers of goods, and China one of the primary exporters. So trade between China and the US is very beneficial to China.

Quote:
China has a huge internal market, and traded with Soviet Russia quite happily. Their economy was doing well enough to build a nuclear arsenal; not exactly stagnant.
And China didn't have the infrastructure to take advantage of the internal market. The trade between Russia wasn't the most profitable, and it certainly didn't trickle down. By comparison to recent times the Chinese economy was stagnating. China allowed some forms of market based economics (and this was because of it's booming economy??), and the Chinese expansion of the recent years is the result.

Quote:
I was responding to RA3s opinion that Japan is doing better than China because they have democracy.
It is. When Japan's economy opened up post-WW2, it boomed for a decade. Japan found it's niche (high quality-high price goods) and built itself a very powerful economic machine. True, it fell in the early 1990's with the Asian crash, and never really recovered, but that was the fault of successive governments who failed to weed out bad loans and banks, not because of capitalism.

Quote:
As for the point of the article, China is still Communist and doing OK, isn't that a good argument for the Middle East NOT turning democratic?
China's cultural, political and military policies are Communist. China's economic policy is not. China's economy is growing because it incorporates some aspects of capitalism. And if it was reformed more, China would do even better in the long run.

Noble Lady Sarak ~~ King Was Throne Away
The most extragant idea that a politican can have is to believe that it is enough for a people to march into a foreign country, for that country to adopt its laws and constitution. No-one likes armed missionaries; and nature and prudence both teach us to repel armed missionaries as enemies.
~ Maximilien Robespierre; January 1792
#15  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Sarak Add Sarak to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
(Posted as Light Wolf)
Posts: 188/361
(11-May-2004 at 10:55)
so many good point i have to re read it to sort them out

Signature suspended by Swifty for violating the forum's rules. Innapropriate.
#16  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Canis lupus mac Add Canis lupus mac to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 64/129
(11-May-2004 at 11:54)
there is need for a deeper look at the oil problem. till 1973 most part of the oil extraction in the arab countries was made by western companies. and they sold it really cheap to their refineries. that resulted in cheap oil in the west wich allowed a rapid economic growth. the mean time, the arab states got low income from it (actually they had incomes from taxes not from the actual oil selling). that changed though in 1973 and in the next oil crisis in 1979. in 1973 arabs nationalised their oil resources and imposed an embargo on the western countries. part of it was due to support of the west to israel. after the embrago was lifted the oil price remained at a 4 (four) times higher level than before. and the western economies still worked! that is the actual moment when arabs started to make money out of oil. and it's only 30 years ago. western countries spent hundreds of years to get where they are and they also had a lot of cheap resources from colonies.
on the other hand... i don't think imposing them democracy is good. if they don't want it... why should we impose it ? it's their problem what do they do there. and if it's about supporint democracy... it also shuld be done in saudi arabia. but that does not happen. why ? cause the saudi governement is aly to US. and their alliance is more important than democracy.
iraq... who sustained sadam to power ? US.
iran... there was democracy. but the islamic revolution overthrew it. since they want islamism... why would we impose them something else ?
kuwait... maybe the closest US aly in the region. women have no rights to vote. and that is tolerated.

i do agree though that the arab leaders could have done more to modernise their countries. but i don't think we should impose them to do it. turks modernised on their own. chinese are doing it too. i think it's only a matter of time till people realise they need to do it.


NEVER underestimate the power of STUPIDITY!
#17  
View Public Profile Find more posts by ScoobyTheWise Add ScoobyTheWise to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 2517/8194
(11-May-2004 at 12:15)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Sarak)
When Japan's economy opened up post-WW2, it boomed for a decade. Japan found it's niche (high quality-high price goods) and built itself a very powerful economic machine.
Directly after WW II no one thought Japanese economy would recover quickly. Their early niche was not high quality, but cheap, pirated copies of Western goods. When they wanted to make matches they went so far as to rename a city "Trollhattan" så that they could truthfully write "made in Trollhattan" on the box. (The Swedish city is called "Trollhättan", but how many foreigners would note the difference?) Only after having produced cheap junk for a few decades did they get advanced enough to start producing their own high-tech. The pattern has then repeated itself in South Korea and China, and if you go back a century it was USA that pirated from the large European companies. (This is worth keeping in mind when our industries today scream bloody murder when poor countries infinge on their patents and copyrights.)
Quote:
True, it fell in the early 1990's with the Asian crash, and never really recovered, but that was the fault of successive governments who failed to weed out bad loans and banks, not because of capitalism.
I've always found it amusing how everything good is supposed to be due to "capitalism" while everything bad is blamed on the government. Doesn't companies have any responsibility themselves? Besides, governments are part of capitalism. Without governments you have anarchy, which is a very different system.
Quote:
China's cultural, political and military policies are Communist. China's economic policy is not. China's economy is growing because it incorporates some aspects of capitalism. And if it was reformed more, China would do even better in the long run.
I'd love to see your definition of communism that allows you to call China communist today. What is communist military policy, and in which way does it differ from any other? Is it the idea that the military should finance itself? That is more uniquely Chinese than communist, and besides I think China has to a large extent abandoned it.
#18  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Bernel Add Bernel to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 368/7006
(11-May-2004 at 12:49)


Quote:
Quite often that's the case, as America is one of the primary importers of goods, and China one of the primary exporters. So trade between China and the US is very beneficial to China.
You may like to think that only the USA matters, but they account for a relatively small amount of Chinas total exports.


Quote:
And China didn't have the infrastructure to take advantage of the internal market. The trade between Russia wasn't the most profitable, and it certainly didn't trickle down.
They have the infrastructure where they need it. In the Eastern coastal area it is very good, but there is little point building a load of new roads in Western farming area where nobody owns cars.


Quote:
By comparison to recent times the Chinese economy was stagnating.
Comparatively stagnating? The economy was slower yes, but as it was growing you cannot say it was even 'comparatively' stagnant.


Quote:
China allowed some forms of market based economics (and this was because of it's booming economy??), and the Chinese expansion of the recent years is the result.
Market based economics never stopped. Stopping a Chinaman from trading is like stopping a fish from swimming! The percieved differance you see is only that China is exporting more to the West.

The China government had a policy of self sufficiency; they wanted to be able to close China to the outside world and still survive. That obstructed exports. I am not sure if it still a policy or not.


Quote:
When Japan's economy opened up post-WW2, it boomed for a decade. Japan found it's niche (high quality-high price goods) and built itself a very powerful economic machine. True, it fell in the early 1990's with the Asian crash, and never really recovered, but that was the fault of successive governments who failed to weed out bad loans and banks, not because of capitalism.
When Japan boomed, it was a triumph of Western capitalism. But when it stops booming, that is not a failure of Western capitalism?


Quote:
China's economy is growing because it incorporates some aspects of capitalism. And if it was reformed more, China would do even better in the long run.
You have a mixed up view of China.

Chinas economy is growing because they decided it had to grow and took the neccesary steps. It is not that they couldn't do it until some Western man came along and showed them how......

If you had any familiarity with the country, you would realise how wide of the mark your comment is - getting a Chinaman to make money is easy; it is controlling him that is difficult. Hell,when it rains about a million umberella sellers grow out of the pavement! What 'aspects of capitalism' do you believe they have recently incorporated into this millenia old trading nation?

If you are using 'reform' as a euphemism for 'Western democracy' is it unlikely to go that far in the near future. China as a whole is not ready for it, and IMO the Chinese character/culture is more suited to living in a mild form of Communism.


Quote:
I'd love to see your definition of communism that allows you to call China communist today.
China is communist. In some ways. A bit. Beneath the surface....it keeps popping up in unexpected places. Shop assistants have numbers instead of names. Foreigners can't register for a mobile phone contract, only pay-as-you-go. It is a long way removed from Korean or Soviet style communism though.
#19  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Voice of Reason Add Voice of Reason to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
(User is Banned)
Posts: 363/473
(11-May-2004 at 13:32)
I find the opinion work to be too simplistic.


My explanation for more or less democratic is:
Some of the arab countries mentioned Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Dubai (Morocco and Tunisia are not really that arab), don't have much oil. The oil is a source of great wealth, and is controled by a few in goverment. From wealth comes power, they can invest in military, bribe the people and finance their prefered activities, wich can make them popular or allow them to hold control by force.

What happens is that in democracies the vote is in the hands of the majority of people, but so is the power, in japan the power of the country is located in each of his workers ability to produce wealth and finance the activities.
In Saudi Arabia, the wealth is in the hands of those wich control the oil. Oil is the main source of income but only requires a fraction of the people to extract it.
So when the power is in the hands of many, it is more likelly (although not certain) that democracy can be established, when the wealth and power is in the hand of a few, then it is harder to set things around.
I would point out, that women in western countries, only started gaining the right to vote, when they started gaining power and being responsible for the wealth generated.

Remaining with the same example, if women don't work, and don't control a part of society, if they want the vote, what will they do? Vote against the goverment?
If women work, and posess control, they can go on strike, making others suffer until they get what they want.

You should note that what many dictators usually do is to get a hold of the power. Control the mass media so they have the power to influence people rather then leaving it at large, if people can not unite then they will be less powerfull then if they acted together and coordenated. Milosevich for instance, early took control of the media and used it in his favour.

"The supreme victory is to win without doing battle."- Sun Tzu
"Even if all the experts agreed they might still be wrong!"-so say the experts
"A wise man is impartial but not neutral a fool is neutral but not impartial."-don't know who said it
#20  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mr Xens Add Mr Xens to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump:


All times are GMT+1. The time now is 12:25.

Powered by vBulletin (modified)
Copyright ©2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.