Superpowers

And no, I’m not talking about the ability to turn invisible, though that would be very useful sometimes…

I’m talking about global superpowers, of Cold War proportions. I mentioned in a recent post that the world is taking notice of Asia now that China is the second largest economy in the world, even though the country that previously held that position was also Asian (Japan). Which begs the question, why? Why was Japan no big deal and now it’s China everyone goes “Oh, hello Asia!”

And I’ve come to the conclusion that we just like big things. We like big pizzas, we like big houses and apparently some of us like big butts. And it’s coming to light that we like big countries. We even like America. There I said it. No matter how much they screw everything up and pretend that the rest of the world is theirs to treat how they like, and no matter how stupid some of their citizens appear to be, we like them. We like them cause they’ve given us McDonald’s and Hollywood, and as long as they continue their mud slinging competition with the Middle East we feel safe because we secretly are dumb enough to believe them when they say that’s where all the bad guys in the world come from. And now that China’s gotten big, we like them too.

For decades we’ve bought our cars from Japan, our tea from India, our electronics from Korea and our McDonald’s Happy Meal toys from China. For decades China has had a greater population than any other country in the world. The reason we’ve only decided now just how awesome the Chinese are is partly cause they built a stadium that looks like a bird’s nest and partly cause we no longer think everything made there will break within an hour of purchase. A little bit is cause we think they’ll be useful for warding America off if it starts to get trigger happy. But mostly it’s because we’re happy to get off our high horse about democracy as soon as any country with a different approach to politics starts looking like they might throw us some bread crumbs.

Certainly China’s tight governmental grip on so many aspects of life is concerning. It shows us for who we really are that we’ve stopped caring cause the Chinese are going to buy all our things now. On the surface, we’re extremely passionate about democracy. We’re extremely upset that Frank Bainimarama (or Bananarama as I like to call him) is ruling Fiji through the military. We won’t stand for it when North Korea sink a South Korean Ship. But if China want to restrict religious freedom to government-approved churches and control what their people can see on the internet, well that’s ok as long as you’re buying our meat. We care about democracy. We care about freedom. We care more about money.

I love the Chinese and I’d really love to visit China one day. I think Karl Marx had some good ideas (and some terrible ones). I just don’t understand how we’ve suddenly “forgotten” that China is actually a communist country and though it’s changed over the years, there are still some points that it should be pressured on. We’ve got $$ in our eyes. Are we really this shallow?

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