On the Loss of Western Public Spirit and Its Influence on Politics


Our Brexit think tank (it has been engaged in various interesting discussions on various political issues mainly in the UK and the EU, which usually exceed my salary level). An article on Unherd Does the CCP control the extinction rebellion? It became a basic discussion about the role of the state in the West and China and Japan. This observation of David opened the debate:

The answer seems to be no, but it seems to be a well-researched and well-sourced survey of good ecological opinions on buying in China. Yes, of course others are doing the same thing, but it is interesting to see China’s soft power (if that is the case) play a role.

This led to the observation of PlutoniumKun, who pays close attention to new things in China first-hand and second-hand, on how the Chinese government exerts influence and control… Just like the corporate funders of NGOs, they understand how groups and people should be Behavior, but are more willing to publicly stand out, such as the billionaire Jack Ma or the recent tennis player Peng Shuai.

Clive spent some of his childhood in Japan and read Japanese. He pointed out that it is difficult to understand the Chinese people’s view of the government:

Don’t worry, I’ve spent my entire life trying to get a direct answer from Japanese people I know about their views on their government—it’s much less than asking a Chinese person, and there may be questions about understanding them. The government’s view-only in a few cases do I receive anything that I can really deal with…

This makes me wonder, and I also want to know, due to the recent lack of first-hand first-person exposure, all I can do is whether this is how many people in Asia think of their government. I don’t think Asians really see politics as the same thing the British see. On the one hand, in the UK, politics and economy are separated. Of course, they interact. There is a lot of overlap. But in Japan (and I doubt China), politics is a branch of business. When a political question is asked, every Japanese I have spoken to will respond with a business or economic tendency to answer what the answer might be and what the question is at work. Again, maybe this is just a convenient deflection to avoid anything like wandering in a potential minefield.

Based on my short-term experience with Japanese people, I asked:

But isn’t this part because of Japan’s high degree of social cohesion? I know that the younger generation is notoriously more selfish and doesn’t care about the elderly, but serious depreciation of public services like subways, Shinkansen, and medical treatment are not accomplished overnight, so “politics” is largely limited to business? Yes, rural services have been cut, but this is done in the context of rural population decline, so it can be rationalized as not a real decline in itself, but a necessary rationalization of the system.

In other words, aren’t issues like public services and social safety nets political? How can they do business?

From Clive again:

This is an important difference in concept.

In the West, of course in the Anglo circle, we have been affected by atomization for a long time, so that we now also suffer from Stockholm syndrome-we can’t imagine that anything else exists or may exist.

But talking to people who have not systematically integrated into the culture in this way, you will realize that many other support networks are possible. Family (they will not respond to requests only with warm words and sympathy, if that is the case, but with substance), workplace (not throw you out in the blink of an eye, but try to help you keep your job, otherwise Will really try to put you elsewhere), faith groups and churches (all British Muslims I know say that they donate 10% of their required income to their mosques. I have no reason to doubt this. On the other hand, The mosque supports their community. I have seen their accounts. Some people have more than 100 million pounds in the bank and pay millions of dollars every year for housing, welfare, employment, medical care and teaching. A cup of coffee, the community organizes and gets support, even if it’s just an investment of time, it usually doesn’t come from funds from residents and so on.

It is even difficult to assume such a thing without the surface. This is our universal norm, just like you are a naive child. But in Japan and elsewhere, as you said, this social cohesion is at least alive, if not as rude and healthy as it used to be.

But in the West, we have nothing, or almost nothing. All we have is the country. So we inevitably have completely different expectations of the country-I think this is unhealthy and unrealistic. Because we have nowhere to go and no one can rely on, we are totally dependent on what has become a monopoly supplier. Reliance on a single source of everything is never a good idea. Even if it is impeccable altruism, it cannot be perfect. If it fails us and we have nothing else to rely on, we have no choice but to get into trouble. Altruism is difficult to maintain-the tendency to fall into exploitation or coercion is almost inevitable.

However, we have no choice but to continuously put the bucket in the well marked “Status”. Because there is no other well that can be put into our demand bucket. As other wells dry up or become poisoned, we are putting more and more buckets into the remaining wells, and each time we draw less and less food (other or almost everyone has the same problem).

This is not the case in Japan. In any area of ??life, the state is not the only supplier. Medical care, social security, public transportation, housing, etc. are mixed models. There are regulations in some countries, but health care is not free at the time of delivery. Clinicians are privately employed in their own clinics or health care providers. Unemployment assistance relies on some private savings or help from family members to generate even living allowances. The railway and bus services are pieced together by a number of private companies. These companies have received some state subsidies, but none (except for a very small number) are publicly owned and there is no social housing (it is expected that developers will provide some cheap but micro Micro apartment).

Private capital is essentially involved in all of this. Without even entering these debates, the state should take full responsibility in any of these areas. This will be a curse. If it happens, it will indicate that the social contract has failed, or if it has not failed, it will be incapacitated, because the state will disintegrate it by imposing such a big impact on it.

In short, “public-private partnership” is not a dirty word (or dirty phrase). Therefore, the question always becomes, what is the interface of social elements and what is the scope of business? I have never encountered any desire of the Japanese to exclude the strong military business. It can be inferred that this is because companies still have trust factors in fulfilling their social obligations. The implicit meaning is that it is a two-way street. People think that companies should make a fair contribution. But this is two-price. Use the word in the engineering sense, and in turn, extend politeness (I use this word deliberately) to the business for input. This is a concession situation. The essence of the give and take relationship is that you must always allow and promote the other party or group to give. Therefore, for Japanese, when considering something, it is natural to ask “I want to know, what will the companies here give?”.No, emphasize this point because it subtly, “What, I want to know Can or should Is the business dedicated here? “

Unfortunately, this deep cognitive capture reflects the success of the United States’ long-term plan to instill a pro-commercial attitude, which means that companies have the right to pursue profits without being bound by social obligations. Milton Friedman (Milton Friedman) clearly put forward an idea that is absolutely not enshrined in the law, that is, the company exists to serve shareholders. In fact, equity is a residual claim: creditors, suppliers, tax officials, payments to workers, regulatory fees, and fines all rank at the top of the payment hierarchy.

Japan has never accepted this model. Entrepreneurs are respected not to get rich, but to create jobs. Japan’s most powerful companies, their trading companies, and their banks will obviously not make a profit, because as we all know, their profits will come at the expense of business activities.

It is difficult to understand how to fight such a deep indoctrination, especially as inequality erupts, this indoctrination has become more intense.



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