Rotten Apples

On the evening of America’s ‘Election Day’ in November 2012, I was in line waiting for my drink at the coffee shop on the main floor of American University’s “School of International Service” (SIS) building where I ran into one of my professors who would later become my thesis adviser. I asked him what he thought about the election and who he thought would win, and his response was both interesting and one which I did not fully appreciate or understand at that time. He smirked, rolled his eyes, and said that it didn’t matter at all who won. 

What does matter, however, and what is quite intriguing is that about 40 percent of all the money that has ever been printed and put into circulation has been printed and put into circulation over the course of the last three years, according to a friend of mine who works in the investment banking world. This fact alone can explain the drastic rise of inflation over the course of the last few years, but there are many other factors which contribute to the rise of inflation, given that inflation does not have a singular and clearly identifiable cause. 

As mentioned before, control over the world’s energy and oil supply is considered by the economic and political establishment of the United States as the “Fifth Freedom.” Why the term “Fifth Freedom” is used is because there are essentially four other “freedoms” which constitute the basic essence, nature, or principles of a “free market” economy, namely, the free movement of goods, services, people, and capital. And as mentioned before, anyone who challenges or seeks to undermine this “Fifth Freedom” of the American system is considered a “rotten apple” who is ultimately dealt with based on the whims of the American “National Security Council” (NSC) in order to thwart such an attitude and such behavior from influencing others and spreading to other people. 

However, dealing with “rotten apples” and essentially killing and torturing them in places like Afghanistan and Iraq has not stopped an even bigger “rotten apple” from rising, and this “rotten apple” or “threat” is not just a “rotten apple,” but is essentially a monster which America created starting in the 1970’s, namely, China. But to China’s credit, China did not rise simply because the United States integrated China into the international economy during the 1970’s. What one must also consider is China’s culture, wisdom, and work ethic. As Malaysia’s former prime minister argued: “There is no Asian miracle.” He added:

“It is just the realization of an idea, an idea of how to manage an economic system. It is making the right choices, the right mixture of political and economic methods.”

Thus, the combination of culture, wisdom, and work ethic is essentially the recipe behind China’s rise over the last few decades. And as the Sinologist Howard French argued, there is basically no way to “contain” or stop China’s rise as an industrial and modern power, as long as the Chinese people keep this recipe of success intact. As Martin Jacques noted, China has been under a kind of pressure and strain in the past that was worse than the pressure and strain which American global hegemony has placed on it in the last few years. Thus, the idea that “containment” or “maximum pressure” would “contain” or stop China’s rise is ill-founded because of China’s history and past. In turn, it is perhaps preferable if one were to consider other means or options in avoiding a clash or perhaps even war with China as it continues its rise as an industrial and modern power over the course of the next few years and decades. 

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