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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 17-Mar-06
China's People's National Congress paralyzed by ideology

Web Log - March, 2006

China's People's National Congress paralyzed by ideology

China's top officials were unable to stop from committing a "historic error" when they were unable to agree on a plan to end the country's mass riots.

Two months ago that China's Prime Minister warned that the country was already becoming unstable, thanks to a "historic error" caused by corruption in local governments -- where local governments simply confiscate local peasants' lands for their own purposes, without properly compensating the peasants. A recession which caused massive unemployment might well be the trigger leading to a massive rebellion. According to China's Ministry of Public Security, there were 87,000 mass incidents in China in 2005, up from 74,000 in 2004 and 58,000 in 2003. "Mass incidents" are "public order disturbances, obstructions of justice, gathering of mobs and stirring up of trouble."

These increasing numbers of mass riots are like 9/11 in America. They're causing a great deal of anxiety, especially since China has a history of national rebellions that kill tens of millions of people. So the desire is high to find a way to reduce the number of regional riots.

The solution was felt to be a new law that would protect peasants' property rights and require adequate compensation for confiscation of land. The new law was to be passed at the recent meeting of the National People's Congress. But the meeting ended Tuesday with no such law being passed.

Instead, the Congress broke down on ideological grounds. On one side, the "capitalists" wanted peasants to have the right to sell their property on the open market, and to receive proper compensation when the government confiscates their property; on the other side, the "socialists" wanted land to "belong to the people," with no property rights for peasants, just like in the good ol' days of Mao Zedong.

Thanks to the ideological arguments, the National People's Congress is paralyzed, unable to move. This is a theme that I've repeated often in the last year: Israel is becoming increasingly dysfunctional following the loss of Ariel Sharon, just as the Palestinians are becoming increasingly dysfunctional following the death of Yasser Arafat. France rejected the proposed EU constitution on a generational vote. In America, personal savings have plummeted to Great Depression levels, and public debt is growing exponentially, and Washington politicians are paralyzed by moronic political name-calling.

This kind of paralysis is happening around the world to companies that fought in World War II. This paralysis part of the cyclic pattern that occurs to every nation every 80 years or so, when they approach a new crisis war.

To understand why it happens, here's why it's happening in America: The G.I. generation that won World War II vowed that nothing like that should ever happen again and, in particular, their children should never have to fight in any such war. They believed (incorrectly) that if they had killed Hitler in 1935, then there would have been no WW II, and they decided that they must stop Communism before it leads to a new world war. This policy led to the Vietnam War. However, the kids in the Boomer generation, born after the war, had no such fear of Communism. This caused a "generation gap," and they rioted and humiliated their G.I. parents during America's "generational awakening" period in the 1960s-70s.

The same kind of generation gap happened in every country that had fought in World War II. For example, they were called "'68ers" in France and Germany because of the massive riots in 1968. There was an "awakening era" and a generation gap in country after country. The isues may have differed from country to country, but there was always a generation gap, and intergenerational rioting and political fighting.

This generation gap showed itself in other ways. In particular, Boomers kept complaining and arguing, but never actually did anything, since they left it up to their G.I. parents to take care of things. In the 1980s, the Republicans and the Democrats cooperated with each other to change the Social Security system to make it a sounder system. After that, they cooperated again to specify new rules to control the budget deficit. And in 1996, Democratic President Bill Clinton cooperated with the Republican congress to eliminate the welfare entitlement. This was all accomplished by those in the G.I. generation.

Today, the G.I. generation is gone. Public debt is increasing exponentially, but the Boomers can't do anything but call each other names, since they don't know how to actually do anything, and they assume that everything will automatically be taken care of for them. The people in Generation X, the generation just behind the Boomers that grew up in the 60s and 70s, hate the Boomers' uselessness, but the GenXers don't know how to do anything either. So the result is the near-total paralysis we see. And the same thing is happening in all the countries that fought in WW II.

There is one generation that can do something -- it's the millennials, born in the 1980s and 1990s. They have no fear of anything, but they're furious at any poverty, bigotry or other injustice that they suffer. That's why kids are rioting in Paris, in the Gaza Strip, in Pakistan, in India, in China, in Indonesia, and in many other countries. Their Boomer and Xer parents are paralyzed, and can't do anything to stop the violence.

This violence is growing, and at some point it will spiral out of control in some country.

From the point of Generational Dynamics, the world is headed for a "clash of civilizations" world war with near 100% certainty. It could begin next week, next month, next year or thereafter, but as world tensions mount, it's likely to begin sooner rather than later. (17-Mar-06) Permanent Link
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