Thursday, 9 June 2011

Japan, China, Rome, Libya, Afganistan, the UK.............

There are increasing numbers of bloggers and web commentators asking when will the people in the UK wake up to what is happening to democracy in our country and say Enough is Enough. We are spending £Millions on bombing Libya and our troops are being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq but at home the political elite are becoming even more removed from the realities of life. A 19% increase in gas prices might not cause big increasers in heating bills in the summer months but the effects will hit hard next winter.

Unfortunately, I doubt it will be in my lifetime that the people in the UK will reach the point of saying enough is enough.

Materially most people are still much, much better off than they were even just 20 years ago. It is everyone's "right" these days to have central heating, colour TV, mobile phone, internet, McDonalds or a takeaway on every street corner, cheap clothes, reality TV and the chance to be famous for a day. Until things get a lot, lot worse then there is little chance they will ever get better. Ultimately the wealth of the world will be concentrated into a few incredibly wealth families, these people will own EVERYTHING. There will be a small professional class who run everything and a vast mass the rest of us who are given bread and circuses to keep us happy. Social mobility will be zero and you will be born to your station in life.

The Japanese had a stable society based on ridged rank for generations, only toppled by western influences. The Chinese had a stable society for 1,000s of years based on everyone knowing their rank. The basic unit was the family but the principle went from the very top where the Emperor’s family were the ultimate and right down to the lowest peasant in the fields. The father had authority over the wife who had authority over the children. Boys had authority over the girls and the elder children had authority over the younger children. Even in youth, however, younger boys had authority over elder girls. If a grandfather was still alive, he was the most important member of the family with a grandmother the most important woman.

Chinese civilization survived largely unchanged for thousands of years while the West suffered through multiple collapses. Confucianism may not match our modern ideas about gender equality and individual liberty, but the longevity of the hierarchy it produced is still followed by hundreds of millions of Chinese today. The threat to Chinese society now comes from outside influences just as it was Commander Perry, gunboats and outside influences that pulled down the Japanese.

Therefore, the lessons from history are clear. When societies get rotten enough they fall to vigorous and more ambitions outsiders who come in and take over. Even the Roman Empire did not collapse from within; it needed the barbarian tribes to pull it down. However, when the same small group owns the whole world then where will outside influences come from to topple the system?

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