There he was, Chairman Mao, in my mailbox. He wore a dark green proletarian pajama top. Orange and red glory rays blazed in a halo around his head. Rendered in colored ink, he gazed out calmly from the cover of TIME Magazine. His inscrutable, Giaconda smile made me wonder if Leonardo’s famous subject was perhaps savoring the memory of mass murder.
“China’s New Revolution,” was the tag line. It’s a capitalist revolution, refreshingly free of bloodshed compared to Mao’s old revolution.
Inside we learn the People’s Republic of China “has embraced the modern world as never before.” According to TIME, every day this sweaty bear hug makes the Chinese more like us — the happy subjects of the Empire of IOU’s. They run to the arms of Economic Liberty with the same breathless eagerness that we of the Imperial race rush to embrace Central Planners and Unimaginable Debt.
The editors of TIME have little doubt that Chinese outlanders, like outlanders in Sarajevo, Kabul, and Baghdad, pine to be like the homelanders of Dayton, Detroit, and Paducah.
How like us are they? Well, China has its own Donald Trump, a real estate mogul named Wang Shi. TIME predicts he will be master of 60% of China’s housing market within the decade. “Eat your heart out, Donald,” quipped TIME’s headline writers. Meanwhile the Chinese pile into the fragile gondola of a debt-fueled real estate balloon, just like we do.
Like we do, they have flag-waving nationalist patriots. Kang Lingyi led a legion of internet hackers in cyber-attacks on U.S. government websites after we bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. “America wants to keep China down,” says Lingyi. “China doesn’t try to impose its human rights standards on America.” China doesn’t have to. The Department of Homeland Security strives tirelessly to impose China’s human rights standards on us with no urging from China at all.
Like the homeland, China now has celebrity artists, writers and lawyers who are not only rich but socially concerned. “Hot new filmmaker,” Xu Jinglei, wants “to show people that Chinese are just like everyone else.” Surely they are, but in much larger numbers.
Crusading lawyer, Zu Dan says, “A good lawyer should know not only how to make money…but also how to advance some mission related to social justice.” Mr. Dan is a pioneer striving to make his land like that of our own Sweet Land of Lawyers, top heavy with rich attorneys seeking symbiosis with society’s victims.
Li Shasha is a young best-selling writer. He dramatizes the plight of China’s urban poor, who have built prosperous cities but share only marginally in the prosperity. TIME does not find it ironic that the poor need an advocate in a country where the Dictatorship of the Proletariat has supposedly bulldozed the playing field flat for over 50 years.
Mao’s China featured only two classes of people. There were Communist Party hacks and dirt-poor peasants. Once the economy became sufficiently capitalist to feed and clothe more than party members, the gap between rich and poor widened. Society became more complex. Though the poorest Chinese may be farther from the top today than ever, they are also farther from the bottom than when the Communist Party enforced uniform destitution and starved peasants by the millions to “modernize.”
TIME worries, once again without irony, that “…high U.S. Officials…find China’s rise to be a source of anxiety.”
Why all this High Official nail biting? Well, shockingly, China “manipulates its currency…destroying U.S. jobs,” and “China is engaged in a crash program of modernization of its armed forces.” Heaven forefend!
China manipulates its currency by pegging its value to that of the U.S. Dollar. The Fed manipulates the dollar like a starlet squirming in the lap of an octogenarian millionaire. To match the American Empire’s military spending the Chinese would have to increase theirs 20 fold. Apparently, it’s China’s growing similarity to Imperial America — elsewhere heaped with fawning praise — that we should most fear.
TIME suggests that China could be a danger to Imperial America. But the Chinese are more likely to buy San Francisco than attack it. Why would they bomb their best customer’s house, when the can simply foreclose the mortgage?
The real danger is that when the Chinese figure out we are never going to pay up, they will try to dump the bales of IOUs we have given them. Fortunately, we owe them so much they can’t do that without destroying their own currency, which they have expanded with wild abandon using U.S. government debt as “reserves.”
Earlier empires sold conquered people into slavery to cover Imperial expenses. They insisted on payment in gold. The more enlightened American Empire borrows what it needs in paper from friend and foe alike. Imperial leaders use the borrowed money, in the words of Emperor George II, “…to spread freedom throughout the world.” The American Empire plunges recklessly into debt, putting up its own future as collateral. George II is irrigating fields of freedom in the outlands by sucking the homeland’s reservoir of freedom dry.
After TIME gushes in panting admiration that “All over China, peasants are speaking out on grass-roots concerns — and building a new civil society,” the editors wonder “Will China ever really be free?”
To the editors of TIME and the leaders of the Empire, the only freedom worth having is the freedom to vote. By that standard freedom in China is a lock. The Chinese will someday surely get to vote on something, no matter how meaningless. Just like we do.
The Chinese will have the advantage of choosing from dissembling hacks of a single party. We, on the other hand, have to sort out the dissembling hacks of two separate but essentially identical parties. They will be free, just like we are, to sell their votes to the candidate who offers the highest price. Then they will be free to go back to obeying orders. Free — like we are.