Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ken Moak — China’s Communist rulers not as bad as critics claim


Contrarian view of China.

Asia Times
China’s Communist rulers not as bad as critics claim
Ken Moak
Ken Moak taught economic theory, public policy and globalization at university level for 33 years. He co-authored a book titled China's Economic Rise and Its Global Impact (Palgrave McMillan, 2015). His latest book is titled, Developed Nations and the Impact of Globalization and it will be published by Palgrave McMillan Springer in 2017.

See also
Wanxiang America companies usually have four stakeholders: shareholder, employee, customer and the local community. "We have to balance among these four parties to make our companies successful," Ni told Xinhua.
"We are all together on the same boat. This is the Chinese culture. We're on the same boat, so we have to work together as a team." "The only way you can get people motivated is to respect them, give them the room to grow and award them when they have achieved," Ni stressed.
Rachel's satisfaction with her work echoed Ni's words: "I enjoy working here. I like my salary, I like my hours, I like Brent. He's an awesome boss." "Wanxiang is good to employees, they treat us with respect and they're loyal," Rachel told Xinhua.
The Chinese way. It's the Japanese way, too.

The American way? Top management and shareholders.

Xinhua
A day of an American working in Chinese company

60 comments:

GLH said...

The Chinese have a democracy whereas we have an oligarchy.

Bob said...

Well, the (South) Korean way is a blend between China and America. It has resulted in a culture of superlatives: #1 in alcohol consumption, #1 in suicides, and #1 in hours worked.

Auburn Parks said...

Yeah, dictatorships always respect the will of the people.

Great teamwork too, "do this or we'll arrest you".

Ahh yes the wonders of authortarian regimes.

At least in America the people could change the system if they wanted to by kicking the bums out until we find a suitable balance. (Yes, I know all about our corrupt campaign finance system and oligarchy, but that doesnt mean Americans couldnt vote the bums out if we actually wanted to. The problem being of course is that too many americans are perfectly fine with the way things are going right now.) What can the Chinese do if they dont like the Premier, fucking nothing.

How about the Chinese do something that would actually demonstrate teamwork and respect for workers and citizens, how about recognizing some simple human rights. Like freedom of speech or maybe assembly.

Oh and at least we dont let our billionaires run the joint directly, they just lease the congress critters, whereas in China the average wealth of the party representatives was like something ridiculous making our congress critters look like relative paupers.

Penguin pop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

If China had a democracy it would look like India. Basket case rife with corruption and "war lords."

Trying to impose a Western system on traditional societies is daft.

It took the West centuries to develop liberalism and now 18th c. liberalism is imploding in the West. Along with it, Western soft power is imploding and the West is increasing relying on military solutions.

Tom Hickey said...

Americans just voted Donald Trump into office but they were actually voting for Jim DeMint.

Another bait and switch, right after the Democrats bait and switch with Obama.

Tom Hickey said...

One of the China's greatest challenges is liberalizing too quickly and losing control.

Magpie said...

Oh and at least we dont let our billionaires run the joint directly

Really? :-)

Here's What Each Member Of Trump's $4.5 Billion Cabinet Is Worth
Dec 22, 2016, by Chase Peterson-Withorn
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2016/12/22/heres-how-much-trumps-cabinet-is-really-worth/

Interesting report, but a bit dated.

Penguin pop said...

Yeah the Chinese understand basics that dummy American politicians don't understand anymore and haven't understood for a long time. It would make no sense to go in the neocon route and force "liberal democracy" on the Chinese. It would completely alter and mess up their own culture and make it so all the good things they're doing with social programs and alternative energy would go to waste. They're not perfect for sure. They have issues with human rights on some levels and censorship, but I still agree with Tom's point here.

Penguin pop said...

Oh yeah, when I wanted to make this comment earlier, I was gonna bring up their huge pollution problem. I would assume that would partially be the result of a bit too much liberalization there, especially in the markets.

Auburn Parks said...

"If China had a democracy it would look like India. Basket case rife with corruption and "war lords."

yeah because chinese and indian cultures and society are exactly the same. Who knows how the chinese would handle a representative govt, certainly not me or you Tom. Pretty insulting to insinuate that Chinese are incapable of self govt.

"Trying to impose a Western system on traditional societies is daft"

Who is imposing anything on them? Certainly not the US. Liberal values if defined as private property rights, freedom of speech and assembly, equal application and protection of the law and due process, representative self govt are simply better than their opposites. From just a basic humanitarian POV, we should support China going more in this direction.

"It took the West centuries to develop liberalism and now 18th c. liberalism is imploding in the West."

Way too broad a brush. What on Earth do you mean specifically by implosion here? Trump is not an "implosion of western liberal society". Those values that I defined above as "liberal values" are not "imploding in the west" in any coherent way. If anything, society becomes more "liberal" as defined above all the time, any steps backwards are few and transitory.

"Along with it, Western soft power is imploding and the West is increasing relying on military solutions."

Again with this insane exaggeration. Neither of these things are true. The west and every other part of the world has used military force forever. As if the war in Iraq or Afghanistan are somehow qualitatively different then the Korean war or Vietnam or Gulf War 1 or the dozens of other small scale actions the US has taken. A global empire has a lot of responsibilities and interests around the globe so of course there are going to be conflicts. International relations is inherently anarchic so somebody has to set and enforce the rules of the game. There aint no higher authority to appeal to. Dictators and terrorists dont just stop because you ask them nicely.

Auburn Parks said...

"Americans just voted Donald Trump into office but they were actually voting for Jim DeMint.

Another bait and switch, right after the Democrats bait and switch with Obama.

Neither of these things are evidence of the implosion of the west or liberal values

Noah Way said...

The Chinese don't want everyone to be like them, they want to learn from everyone and apply that to their own society.

The US doesn't want everyone to be like them, they just say that as a way to justify taking whatever they want from anyone the want to.

Auburn Parks said...

Magpie-

That is nothing compared to the Chinese party members.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/world/asia/in-chinas-legislature-the-rich-are-more-than-represented.html?_r=0

"Eighteen of the Chinese delegates have a net worth greater than the combined wealth of all 535 members of the United States Congress, the nine members of the Supreme Court and President Obama’s cabinet."

"the richest person in any of the United States government’s three branches, Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, would rank as only the 166th richest member at the meeting of China’s National People’s Congress"

Yes yes Trump has a few rich people but they are a tiny fraction of the Govt body.

"Among the 1,271 richest Chinese people tracked by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, a record 203, or more than one in seven, are delegates to the nation’s Parliament or its advisory body"

In percentage terms, the contrast with the United States is also stark. The 203 Chinese billionaires make up 4 percent of the more than 5,200 delegates to the meeting, with an average net worth of $2.3 billion. The richest 4 percent of the United States Congress, 22 people, have an average net worth of $124 million.

Their rich political critters are 20 times richer than our richest political critters on average!

Tom Hickey said...

Auburn, your citing the NYT as a reliable source reveals the Koop-Aid you'v been drinking.

Auburn Parks said...

"The Chinese don't want everyone to be like them, they want to learn from everyone and apply that to their own society."

Good lord man, how naive are you. Theyve fought wars against vietnam, India, South Korea and the US,

"December 1951 to 1953: Korean War (under the official banner of the Chinese People's Volunteers, although they are PLA regulars)
October 1962 to November 1962: Sino-Indian War
1969 to 1978: Sino-Soviet border conflict
January 17 to January 19, 1974: Battle of Hoang Sa, a sea battle with the South Vietnamese Navy near the disputed Xisha Islands
February 17 to March 16, 1979: Sino-Vietnamese War
1986: Border skirmishes with Vietnam"

They re claiming that the entire fucking south china sea is theirs that would be like us sayin gthe gulf of mexico is sovereign US territory.

What do you think they fight border conflicts because they are just so generous and respectful?

China has their very own sick version of "exceptionalism" with their middle kingdom ideology.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom-

Believing that everything written in the NYT is wrong just because its in the NYT shows you've drunk way too much kool aid

Auburn Parks said...

Penguin-

Whats with the conspiracy recklessness? Nobody is dreaming of doing a military invasion and overthrow of the CCP regime change style and nation building. And even if some crackpot nutter in a DC think tank is drawing up plans who cares, its not now and wont become US policy (absent WWIII if they start it). Americans only except military adventures against weak opponents where the combat and casulaties wont be very high. Which is certainly not the China case, or the Iran case which is why we wont be fighting Iran any time soon either.

Americans will not accept the draft unless we or one of our very close allies get attacked, and there is no way to fight Iran for example with our tiny 1 million man volunteer army (tiny in relation to our commitments globally). As their military would probably not just collapse like Saddam's.

IOW Americans seem to be fine with our military posture and actions overseas (at least in theory if not in execution) as long as it can be done within the manpower limits of our volunteer warrior class.

Tom Hickey said...

5Hurun Rich List 201

Doesn't look to me like China's rich have any more influence than America's rich.

The Hurun List is actually testimony to China's liberalization and market-based approach to wealth creation.

The US presstitutes picked up on one paragraph and blew it out of proportion, like "estimates" of Putin's wealth ranging from 40B to 200B.

Tom Hickey said...

They re claiming that the entire fucking south china sea is theirs that would be like us sayin gthe gulf of mexico is sovereign US territory.

You've heard of the Munroe Doctrine?

The US media just went into a swoon over a Russian spy ship in international waters off the east coast of the US near a naval base.

Let's get some perspective here.

Tom Hickey said...

Theyve fought wars against vietnam, India, South Korea and the US

Border wars.

China entered the Korean war when the US approached the Chinese border and MacArthur was talking up nuking China and marching to Beijing.

Tom Hickey said...

Believing that everything written in the NYT is wrong just because its in the NYT shows you've drunk way too much kool aid

Once a source is caught lying, then one cannot be sure what's true and what's false from the source. That is the cost of getting caught out lying. I won't touch the NYT or the WA Po with a ten foot pole. They are toxic.

Auburn Parks said...

Tom-

The MOnroe doctrine is not at all the same thing, at least from one POV. Telling European colonial powers to colony on in the other hemishpere is not the same thing as claiming sovereign ownership over the south china sea.

The more appropriate analogy would be manifest destiny in that we basically claimed the present geogrpahical extent of the continental US before we were even capable of occupying the land. Sure that can be considered a sub-component of the Monroe doctrine so if thats what you meant then ignore this response.

So I guess I agree with your comment on a continental level but disagree on a hemispheric scale.

Fun side note: The only reason the the Monroe Doctrine meant anything at all for the hemisphere as a whole was because of British consent. We certainly didnt have the naval chops to stop europeans hemishpere wide in the 19th century. And the Brits were content with India and asia along with canada and the necessary island forts they already had for logistical purposes. It was kinda like, the US will provide the threat of soldiers while the british provided the naval deterrent (probably more important TBH)

Auburn Parks said...

"Doesn't look to me like China's rich have any more influence than America's rich."

Except for the you know the numbers and averages which you arent disputing.

"The Hurun List is actually testimony to China's liberalization and market-based approach to wealth creation.
"

Wait I thought western values and the liberal order are imploding. So are they working to create wealth or are they destroying society? Im confused

"The US presstitutes picked up on one paragraph and blew it out of proportion, like "estimates" of Putin's wealth ranging from 40B to 200B."

You ll notice that I simply referenced some dry numbers and didnt indluge in blowing up any proportions. So are the numbers wrong (the only reference I used) or do you just not like the commentary in the article (which I didnt read because I dont care)?

Auburn Parks said...

I mean Im certainly no great fan of the corporate media complex but logical fallacies (like you can dismiss anything just by virtue of where it came from) should always be avoided in the pursuit of honesty and rigor.

"The US media just went into a swoon over a Russian spy ship in international waters off the east coast of the US near a naval base.

Let's get some perspective here."

Yeah lets. What was the response by the Govt to that Russian ship? Did we claim sovereign ownership over water hundreds of miles off our coast? No. So I guess these two things arent the same after all.

Tom Hickey said...

The MOnroe doctrine is not at all the same thing, at least from one POV. Telling European colonial powers to colony on in the other hemishpere is not the same thing as claiming sovereign ownership over the south china sea.

It is almost exactly the same thing. China is telling the US as a former colonial power in the region and now a neocolonial power to butt out of its backyard and stop trying to bottle up its coast under the ruse of "freedom of navigation" in order to maintain control of the seas for the American Empire. Maybe Americans don't view it that way, but China does based on historical precedent and present behavior, with the US literally surrounding China and Russia militarily and testing their red lines.

Auburn Parks said...

"Border wars."

Yeah, miilitary conflict. I said that in response to Noah's comment which to me seemed to imply a naive assumption about the peacefulness and kindness of CHinese geo-politics. And it holds up rather well I think.

"China entered the Korean war when the US approached the Chinese border and MacArthur was talking up nuking China and marching to Beijing."

Yeah because those russian weapons just appeared magically in North Korea before Kim invaded, they didnt like you know cross Chinese territory from Russia on the railroads. Certianly Kim ignored Mao before the invasion even though he flew to MOscow to get Stalin's blessing, right. Kim asked the Soviets but couldnt care less about China's opinion. And thats not to mention the fact that China actually made their comment about entering the war before we even pushed the NK back across the 38th parallel after inchon. We just didnt listen or didnt care. So no China wasnt just some innocent bystander.

I mean the Inchon invasion happened on sept 15 51 and they invaded 1 month later, no way did they amass the estimated 300K troops on the Yalu in under a month as a response to the UN forces crossing the 38th.

Auburn Parks said...

"Once a source is caught lying, then one cannot be sure what's true and what's false from the source. That is the cost of getting caught out lying. I won't touch the NYT or the WA Po with a ten foot pole. They are toxic."

NO doubt their credibility is shoddy but I just used the dry numbers they copied and pasted from the NURAN report. So again, do you contest the numbers? If not, then what I said is true and I dont know why you are arguing with me about it.

Auburn Parks said...

"It is almost exactly the same thing. China is telling the US as a former colonial power in the region and now a neocolonial power to butt out of its backyard and stop trying to bottle up its coast under the ruse of "freedom of navigation" in order to maintain control of the seas for the American Empire. Maybe Americans don't view it that way, but China does based on historical precedent and present behavior, with the US literally surrounding China and Russia militarily and testing their red lines."

I cant understand why you dont see the difference between a political preference and a legal dispute.

America said nobody else could set up colonies, America is not setting up colonies in Asia (unless you want to define military bases as such, but then youre just diluting the word colony). British ships of war were all over the atlantic seaboard and we didnt like it either but we never claimed that all that ocean was exclusively ours.

We arent telling china they cant come into territory that is ours, China is doing that to everyone else. We are just ignoring their assertions as we should.

Tom Hickey said...

"Doesn't look to me like China's rich have any more influence than America's rich."

Except for the you know the numbers and averages which you arent disputing.


I don't know the numbers. The guy has gotten together some numbers in China that he thinks are in the ball park. I accept no numbers out of China because the place is not transparent. The numbers are estimates. But the numbers that he does provide don't give me any concern about big issues there.

What I see there is a lot of numbers that relate to the rich entrepreneurs and none specifically with respect to party members or politicians. A lot of the people are "advisors." China brings rich entrepreneurs in as advisors.

Trump is taking a similar approach in appointing really rich people to high office on the assumption that they don't need to feather their nests. Officials who have little will try to leverage their power to gain influence and eventually wealth, and politicians that don't have enough to self-finance have to spend most of their time sucking up to big donors, who don't give money for nothing. While there is no specific quid pro quo, which is illegal, no one believes that there are no strings attached to keeping the donations flowing.

There is a basic principle relating politics and economics: Inequality is directly proportional to self-augmenting networks and corruption at the top.

"The Hurun List is actually testimony to China's liberalization and market-based approach to wealth creation.
"

Wait I thought western values and the liberal order are imploding. So are they working to create wealth or are they destroying society? Im confused


In the West, Western values are now contested as traditionalists and liberals lock horns over social liberalism. Paradoxes of liberalism are also emerging that are calling the liberal enterprise into question, such as economic liberalism leading to oligarchy instead of being compatible with democracy.

In China liberalization has led to wealth creation but uneven distribution with inequality rising. China is starting to look more like the West wrt to measures like the Gini coefficient but also wrt GDP.

But China is also looking to the West and seeing the paradoxes of liberalism. The Chinese leadership wishes to avoid these in the process of further liberalization.

I expect the dialect of traditionalism and liberalism to come increasingly to the fore globally as traditional societies liberalize and liberal societies reach the limits of liberalism to the degree that the paradoxes persist and increase. This is going to result in a lot of conflicts.

Tom Hickey said...

"The US presstitutes picked up on one paragraph and blew it out of proportion, like "estimates" of Putin's wealth ranging from 40B to 200B."

You ll notice that I simply referenced some dry numbers and didnt indluge in blowing up any proportions. So are the numbers wrong (the only reference I used) or do you just not like the commentary in the article (which I didnt read because I dont care)?


I am not clicking on a NYT link, which I regard as clickbait. If you care to excerpt the relevant sections, I'll look at them here.

I was looking at the Hurun List that was cited as the source of the numbers. I don't see anything in the Hurun List to make me think that China has any kind of problem that the US doesn’t have. The US oligarchs contribute to both parties to ensure they have access. How do I know? Trump said that it is what he does. Do oligarchs get special treatment in China, too? Sure.

I am not saying that there is not a lot of corruption in China and India and most other countries. There is much less "corruption" in the US because much of it has been legalized and that which has not been legalized is not investigated and when it comes to light, it is not prosecuted.

Preet just said he did not bring charges against the folks that blew up finance and the economy because they had legal opinions saying that in the view of the authors of the opinions, what they did was legal. He said that a court would never convict them since they were acting on expert advice. Think of John Yoo's legal brief giving the Bush administration cover for torture. That's all it takes to get away with it.

I am not saying that China is great in any absolute sense but rather that the leadership is following a gradual path that is navigating some huge landmines and speeding up would be dangerous. They are doing a pretty good job as far as I can tell in achieving improvement while maintaining stability, which is what the vast majority of Chinese want. In fact, most would prefer stability over improvement.

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, the same thing applies in Korea now. If the US forcibly removes the NK government and militarizes the border of a unified Korea with China, there will be war. Not immediately most likely. China will wait until the right time to drive the colonialists home.

Tom Hickey said...

NO doubt their credibility is shoddy but I just used the dry numbers they copied and pasted from the NURAN report. So again, do you contest the numbers? If not, then what I said is true and I dont know why you are arguing with me about it.

I read the Hurun report start to finish and other material on their site. I see nothing to raise eyebrows about wrt to money in Chinese politics. As in the West and elsewhere, rich people get access.

Tom Hickey said...

America said nobody else could set up colonies, America is not setting up colonies in Asia (unless you want to define military bases as such, but then youre just diluting the word colony). British ships of war were all over the atlantic seaboard and we didnt like it either but we never claimed that all that ocean was exclusively ours.

The Philippines is a former US colony and it remains a US vassal states. The US trying to get Duarte to go proxy for the US in challenging China in the South China Sea. Duarte is saying to forget it. The future lies with China in Asia and not the US. The US will take Duarte out eventually.

China has claimed those boundaries for centuries. What many don't understand is the strategic significance for China of those islands and reefs. They hem China in and make China's coast vulnerable. This is completely unacceptable for China strategically and China has declared that this is a red line for them and they will fight over it now if the US pushes over their red lines.

The so-called "legal" issue is an artifact of the West that China did not contribute to and doesn't not agree with. It will fight over this as a matter of national interest.

Bob said...

Corruption would destroy China as effectively as it is destroying America. If the CCP don't get a handle on corruption, it will be their downfall. No miracle cures exist.

If I were very wealthy, choosing to live in China might be an option. But as an ordinary worker/citizen, I would not want to live there. It would not be in my self-interest. How about you?

GLH said...

" I won't touch the NYT or the WA Po with a ten foot pole. They are toxic."
Agreed, but don't forget CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC. After the lies they told in the election I can't even believe that they are telling the truth about the weather, which to a large extent they are the weather news. I remember the days that the weather was never discussed on the evening news, now that is their main topic.

Auburn Parks said...

"China has claimed those boundaries for centuries. What many don't understand is the strategic significance for China of those islands and reefs. They hem China in and make China's coast vulnerable. This is completely unacceptable for China strategically and China has declared that this is a red line for them and they will fight over it now if the US pushes over their red lines."

So what Tom, just because something makes a country uncomfortable doesnt mean they get to gobble it up as sovereign territory. What they want in the SCS is a scam and they shouldnt be allowed to get away with it. Just like we shouldnt let Russia or the US or Saddam (1991) conquer\annex territory through intimidation and force we shouldnt let China either.

Why bring up the phillippines? We are not talking about 100 years ago were talking about today. They are irrelevant. If I wanted to talk about our pasts, I would bring up the worst possible history that shows just the level of terror the CHinese are willing go to and tolerate aka the cultural revolution. But I didnt bring up what happened in the 50s and 60s because it doesnt matter to the quewstion about the south china sea. Just like phillippines.

Tom Hickey said...

If I were very wealthy, choosing to live in China might be an option. But as an ordinary worker/citizen, I would not want to live there. It would not be in my self-interest. How about you?

Children of several friends of mine took jobs in China in US companies owing to the opportunity to start at a level that would take years to reach in the US. They married there, had (bilingual) kids, and are settled in. My friends, who have visited them in China, say they like living there very much. One guy just came back to the US to check out colleges here for his oldest daughter, who will be starting college in the fall.

Another friend of mine decided to teach English as a second language there and in his sixties met the love of his life.

So I get positive accounts.

Another friend who goes there to teach university level courses on occasion in a six week stretch in Beijing hates the pollution but otherwise likes it.

Another friend of mine's sister is a designer that works in Shanghai. She loves it there. She also has a condo in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she vacations.

These people are not "very wealthy."

Tom Hickey said...

So what Tom, just because something makes a country uncomfortable doesnt mean they get to gobble it up as sovereign territory. What they want in the SCS is a scam and they shouldnt be allowed to get away with it. Just like we shouldnt let Russia or the US or Saddam (1991) conquer\annex territory through intimidation and force we shouldnt let China either.

Why bring up the phillippines? We are not talking about 100 years ago were talking about today. They are irrelevant. If I wanted to talk about our pasts, I would bring up the worst possible history that shows just the level of terror the CHinese are willing go to and tolerate aka the cultural revolution. But I didnt bring up what happened in the 50s and 60s because it doesnt matter to the quewstion about the south china sea. Just like phillippines.


Same type of thinking on the Chinese side for as good or better reasons from their POV. They hate the West as much as the West hates them.This is a recipe for war, which neither side really wants other than the hardliners who want a go at each other. The American hardliners because USA, USA, USA, and the Chinese hardliners to take revenge on the West for a century of humiliation.

The good thing is that it would cost both countries dearly and so the more level-heads are restraining the hardliners, as evidence by the generally positive visit of Tillerson and the Chinese reception.

But the US approaching the red lines of Russia, China, and Iran simultaneously, which each of those countries views as preparation for attack on all three, is a harbinger of WWIII, a war that would engulf Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Throw NK in the mix, too.

Auburn Parks said...

Well personally Tom i certainly don't hate the Chinese. IM Just an intellectually honest person by NatuRE So because I would reject United States claiming the Gulf of Mexico as our exclusive Sovereign territory I applied the exact same standards and logic to myself and my country as I do to the Chinese.

So you can either think it's okay if America was to do this exact same thing in the Gulf of Mexico but it's not OK for China. Which would be hypocritical.

You can say that China should be able to claim the South China Sea as their Sovereign territory but you disagree that the Americans should be able to do the same to the Gulf of Mexico. AlSo hypocritical and dishonest.

You can say that both China and the USA deserve to be able to claim these giant water bodies as their Sovereign exclusive territories which would just be a recipe for carving up the oceans and a disaster in my opinion.

Or you can hold the position that neither China United States or any other countries should be able to claim exclusive Sovereign use and control over enormous water bodies.

Personally I go with option numeral 4 which one do you support tom cuz it's not entirely clear right now which of these options you support

Bob said...

These people are not "very wealthy."

I should clarify. I would consider living in China if I did not have to work - in other words, if I were financially secure. Your friends have adapted culturally and have built family connections, which is an entirely different matter. They could be working in factories and living in poverty, yet still choose to remain.

Belize is a country I would move to in order to work. There are other countries on my "list", but China is not one of them. If I were financially secure, cultural and political factors would not concern me as much.

I'm interested to know if you have acquaintances who have chosen to live in South Korea.

Tom Hickey said...

I'm interested to know if you have acquaintances who have chosen to live in South Korea.

No.

Tom Hickey said...

Personally I go with option numeral 4 which one do you support tom cuz it's not entirely clear right now which of these options you support

I subscribe to option 5 — complete demilitarization.

he US has militarized the sea and air and now is seeking to control both space and cyberspace, in its effort to dominate the world. This is the underlying problem.

The US has to back off global hegemony, end NATO and Asian military alliances and focus on national defense instead. The US should go back to a draft and conscript military and end the policy of a standing army and foreign bases for forward projection of power.

The major powers causing global destabilization are the US, UK and France. They need to get over neoliberalism, neo-imperialism, and neocolonialism and focus on their own domestic agendas instead of exporting instability.

The militaries need to be downsized, the intelligence services ended, and the military-industrial complex turned to civilian use.

Not to do so is the path to instability in which the potential for nuclear conflict is high. The present course is insanity, and it doesn't address the actual problems that the US and world are facing, none of which can be resolved militarily.

The first step in this would be the US and allies withdrawing from proximity to other countries red lines and drawing their own red lines in accordance with the need to defend the homeland.

Having seen what this behavior led to in Europe, the US founding fathers warned against what the US is now fully engaged in.

Auburn Parks said...

Ah yes the glorious naivete of peaceniks tjn believing hat bullies will stop if.you just ask them nicely.

If by militarize you mean that the USA has a military then you are correct and so.does everybody else. Its not our fault that a modest
amount of defense spending of less then 5% of GDP allows us to have a larger military then everyone else solely by the virtue of our economic size.

Yeah I'll pass on leaving the world to.its own devices as history has shown again and again that vacuums will be filled and we may not like the filler.

Thinking about your position very carefully I'm actually sure you're right Isis would go away if we just got rid of our military and they would just give all the land back and respect the religious differences of.others.

Come to think of it North Korea can definitely be trusted. The Rwandan definitely didn't kill and genocide almost a million of those of people. Milosevic would have stopped murdering all those Muslims just asked nicely. Hitler and Stalin were both of great guys and they would have definitely listen if only we didn't have a military.

Bob said...

Auburn,
There used to be a distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression.

Tom Hickey said...

Its not our fault that a modest amount of defense spending of less then 5% of GDP allows us to have a larger military then everyone else solely by the virtue of our economic size.

ROFLMAO!

Auburn Parks said...

Whats funny about that Tom?

5% of GDP is not an exorbitant amount to spend on a nation's military.

And will you please answer the question about whether you think it is OK for countries to cordon off massive bodies of water as their sovereign territory.

Is it ok for the US to do that?
China?
UK?
Everybody?
Nobody?

Please ansewr this simple question thanks.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob-

When did that distinction go away?

And its a pretty crappy distinction if you think about as there is a big difference between defense of your homeland and defense of your interests which could be just about anything and waters down the term.

Gulf war 1991 was a defensive war for the US under defense of interests doctrine
same with Korea and vietnam

Hell you could even argue that both afghanistan and Iraq 2 were defensive wars as its in the best interests of the US to not have countries harboring terrorists and its definitely in our interests and the world's interest to perfectly frank for Saddam to be dead and gone.

Bob said...

Auburn,
The Swiss seem to have a clear vision of what defense of the homeland is about. And the Finns, and probably the Russians. Even North Korea appears to be in a defensive crouch, if only out of practicality.

Washington has watered down the distinction to less than worthless.

Bob said...

5% of GDP with a balanced budget may be exorbitant. I'd be upset if Canada spent that much.

Tom Hickey said...

Whats funny about that Tom?

The size of a country's military should be determined as a % of GDP? Well, that's the first time I have heard that argued. The argument is always in terms of need, not capacity.

5% of GDP is not an exorbitant amount to spend on a nation's military.

When the country can't afford infrastructure improvement or even needed repair and is cutting social programs, R&D, etc. to allocate available resources in completion with the private sector for military use that is not only not needed for defense but is resulting in global instability and an extinction threat?

And will you please answer the question about whether you think it is OK for countries to cordon off massive bodies of water as their sovereign territory.

I answered it already. The seas should be demilitarized. Air space, too. There should be no military or intelligence technology in space, including common & control.

If countries don't want to go there directly, then the limits should be extended gradually, e.g., the limit for international waters should be greatly extended. 200 miles has been suggested. There should also be a more extended demilitarized zone and no intelligence zone of many more hundreds of miles, say 500 miles.

But the points of contention are the straits. Now the US strategy is to control the straits in order to control sea traffic. This will have to be decided internationally, but the reality is that it is likely to remain contentious in key areas like the Straits of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz. But right now, the US reserves the right to dominate there.

Auburn Parks said...

"The size of a country's military should be determined as a % of GDP? Well, that's the first time I have heard that argued. The argument is always in terms of need, not capacity."

Its not my fault thats the first time youve heard of something that obvious. Needs and capacities are intrinsically linked. If you define your needs in such away that you need to commit 20% of you national production each year (UK with its navy was about that high for 2 centuries and their domestic people potentially suffered as a result, I say potentially because you'd have to compare it to the GDP that would have happened if they didnt have all those colonies they stole all that wealth from and the monopoly on merchant shipping. You cant do a net analysis by looking at only one side of an issue), its highly likely that you're wasting productive potential that could be used at home. But if your needs only require a modest commitment of your national resources each year like 5%, then Id say thats not unreasonable. Sure some people might prefer 2-3%, but we'd still be spending more then everyone else with that amount.

"When the country can't afford infrastructure improvement or even needed repair and is cutting social programs, R&D, etc. to allocate available resources in completion with the private sector for military use that is not only not needed for defense but is resulting in global instability and an extinction threat?"

Seriously? You're going all sound money on me now? We have an unlimited supply of money so we can afford anything we want. And we have plenty of real resources to put to use aka we're not dedicating an excessive amount (relatively) towards military spending.

"I answered it already. The seas should be demilitarized. Air space, too. There should be no military or intelligence technology in space, including common & control.
"

I didnnt asak you about some fantasy world you have in your head. I asked you about claiming as your own exclusive sovereign territory enormous swathes of the ocean. This is what China is trying to do, they are not trying to set up some international system like you've described.

So once again, we'll you please answer my simple question. Thank you.

"But the points of contention are the straits. Now the US strategy is to control the straits in order to control sea traffic. This will have to be decided internationally, but the reality is that it is likely to remain contentious in key areas like the Straits of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz. But right now, the US reserves the right to dominate there."

Im sure what you really meant here is that the US prevents anyone else from controlling the critical leverage points and using it against the world. As the US has deomstrated many decades of honorable stewardship of the world's oceans. Thankfully.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob-

If I were a Canadian and had the US guarantee I too would be pissed as that would be just damn wasteful and unnecessary. Not everyone can be Canada or switzerland. Probably not the best idea to use North Korea as an example of anything you admire, or do you think they invaded Seoul and killed all those people defensively.

Tom Hickey said...

Its not my fault thats the first time youve heard of something that obvious. Needs and capacities are intrinsically linked.

China is now ahead of the US on a PPP basis and soon will surpass the US in USD value of GDP. As China pulls ahead and spends 5% of its GDP on military the US will be dwarfed.

Thankfully China doesn't think that way and will only expand its military sufficiently to gain parity with the US. But if the US engages in an arms race, then China will bury the US.

US strategists know this, of course, which is why they want to "do" China while they think they still can.

Tom Hickey said...

I didnnt asak you about some fantasy world you have in your head. I asked you about claiming as your own exclusive sovereign territory enormous swathes of the ocean. This is what China is trying to do, they are not trying to set up some international system like you've described.

So once again, we'll you please answer my simple question. Thank you.


These disputes are more complicated than "sovereignty over the South China Sea."

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

One set of disputes is over who owns territory (various islands, shoals), fishing rights, undersea oil and gas, etc. These are contentious issues, but not so contentious as to go to war over. China is saying that the adjacent countries directly involved that assert claims should negotiate this without US interference. I agree with that view.

The other dispute is with the US over militarization of the sea. The red line for China is what China perceives as US attempt to contain China militarily with the US fleet and forward bases. China well remembers the cause of Japan striking Pearl Harbor being the US embargo of Japan

How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor

China is positioning itself to thwart that by building land bases on the periphery and telling the US that it will go to war over this if that is what the US chooses.

From what I can determine, China is not disputing the right of navigation for trade through the South China Sea. The dispute is not about right of passage through the South China Sea for ordinary purposes like trade. China uses the South China Sea itself for trade, both imports and exports.

China does object to militarization of the area by the US fleet, and it is responding by building out this military there. Normal response, it seems to me.

I don't think that there is a legal principle or jurisdiction capable of determining this. The US now has to decide if its is worth going war over. In my view that would be stupid.

The reality is that China is drawing red lines and telling the US not to cross them or there will be war. The US is going to have to decide whether it wants to go to war 5000 miles away.

The wiser course would be for the US to cease provoking China militarily, as well as other countries like Russia and Iran.

It's not like this is an isolated case. There are other parties to disputes like this in the area. Russia and Japan have disputed ownership of some tiny island for some time and now are trying to resolve it.

Auburn Parks said...

"China is now ahead of the US on a PPP basis and soon will surpass the US in USD value of GDP. As China pulls ahead and spends 5% of its GDP on military the US will be dwarfed.
"

No shit thats why its an absolute national security necessity that we grow at 3% + per year as thats the only way we'll be able to maintain our relative position long term. Maybe China continues growing for decades, but thheir demographics look like China will more closely resemble Japan or western europe than the US. By 2100 China is projected to be at like 1.2 \1.3 billion people while the US is projected to be around 500 million, so we can close that relative gap too. IOW in 2100 its more likely than not that the US will be more powerful relative to every other country than it is right now (with the possible exception of maybe China).

"Thankfully China doesn't think that way and will only expand its military sufficiently to gain parity with the US. But if the US engages in an arms race, then China will bury the US.

Yeah good luck with that belief about CHina. I dont know where you people get your ideas about CHina's pacifism. Ill place my bets on the dynamism of the US model over the authoritarian dictatorship Chinese model so Im more than willing to take that bet.

I think its laughable that you think US strategists want to "do" china (if you are using this in a military context), as there is no evdience for that.

Auburn Parks said...

The US navy has always sailed wherever it wants in international waters so your idea of "militarization" is just wrong. The US isnt doing anything different than it ever has, its CHina that is claiming sovereignty over the shole area. And of course they say they only want to deal with the local players because then they can push them all around, which is why the rest of the players appeal to the US because they cant counter China on their own.

I cant believe you think its ok for a single nation to claim exclusive control over huge parts of the ocean. So you would be OK if the US did that in the gulf of mexico then?

Tom Hickey said...

I cant believe you think its ok for a single nation to claim exclusive control over huge parts of the ocean. So you would be OK if the US did that in the gulf of mexico then?

It's not a matter of being "being OK." The question is, are you willing to go to war over this? I am not.

U.S. Reviews Nuclear Strike Survival for Russia and China

<a href="http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/war-between-the-us-china-would-be-world-war-iii-might-be-A War Between the U.S. and China Would Be World War III (And Might Be Hard to Shut Off)http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/war-between-the-us-china-would-be-world-war-iii-might-be-19287</a>

Tom Hickey said...

The jumbled link above is

A War Between the U.S. and China Would Be World War III (And Might Be Hard to Shut Off)

Tom Hickey said...

Seriously? You're going all sound money on me now? We have an unlimited supply of money so we can afford anything we want. And we have plenty of real resources to put to use aka we're not dedicating an excessive amount (relatively) towards military spending.

I am not talking about affordability. We all know that is not an issue.

The issue is availability of real resources. Military use of real resources is rivalrous and exclusionary. This commits real resources of a nation — personnel, technology, materials, energy, etc — to use that is non-productive wrt the economy, since the output is not produced for consumption or as capital goods for investment. Those real resources are flushed as far as the domestic economy goes.

Jobs are created but the wages do not correspond to anything produced for sale in the economy, so the funds that are spent into the economy are inflationary.

This means that the population has fewer real resources and has to contend with inflation as a result, which means that monetary or fiscal policy will be brought to bear to reduce inflation through economic contraction.

A military is necessary for defense but a larger military than is needed for defense is wasteful and inefficient economically.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
— Dwight D. Eisenhower, From a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953