Beating Malthus Down
There’re two ways to beat Malthus and his grim prophecy of unending suffering. You can out-produce him or you can fool him by artificially maintaining ZPG. The U.S. and its economic imitators have shown that free-market Capitalism can make your productivity increase at exponential rates, rates greater than the impact of your population growth, thus leading to the hope of, and actual happiness, through abundance. The People’s Republic of China has demonstrated that you can do it the other way as well, though, to be fair, they adopted free-market measures at the same time as population control policies. Their economic growth rate, however, has been unbelievable, exceeding even the decades long annual eight percent increase of GDP experienced by the renascent post-war Japan. How have they been able to do it without corruption eating up the excess? ans: Force!
Why doesn’t corruption eat up the US? ans: Force!
There is admittedly a difference in the application of force by the two entities. In the US force is applied by a legal system that allows all, the big and small, to protect the integrity of their contracts and property. That’s not to say that the crooks and pirates don’t find a way to squeeze us, but we can fight back, even in New Jersey. In China it depends on the wisdom and might of a central committee and its ideological pile-driver, total intimidation. It is tempting to pooh-pooh the virtues of the PRC’s governing structure, but you can’t argue with the kind of success they have been experiencing since the 80’s.
Our government’s policies have supported them as well, working on the hope that peace and freedom will follow economic well-being. The local emergence of party functionaries as robber barons, getting wealthy on the backs of the people, makes me worry sometimes that the warlords are returning, but I believe the balance is leaning toward the well-being of the long-suffering people of China. The central government at some point became enlightened. They saw that while the USSR failed, Hong Kong and Taiwan prospered. Mao was a monster, but the Kruschevs and the Gorbachevs of the PRC have learned to recognize type and how to control the totalitarian impulse. The only problem is the momentum of his memestorm, not to mention 5,000 years of brutalhistory. How to get from where they are to where we are is a very tricky question for them. While they visit our universities for a few years, the thinking types get to see how it could be. They can’t yet say what they think, but they can’t not think it. At home, they wallow in pollution, some of it the detritus of our own society, but they do not wallow in despair any longer. They can discern a path of stepping stones through the torrent of history to green fields of plenty on the far shore.
Now, why doesn’t it work in Nigeria? It’s got to do with the nature of the Force.12/16/2005 12:13 AM