29 August 2017

The Longing of the Ages

Once again, what an unprecedentedly glorious world we live in. So vastly superior to any previous age, civilization, culture, nation, religion, therapeutic formula, etc, one can think of. With the possible exception of China in the Ch'in Dynasty. Oh, and the Beijing-centered, global-reach Neo-Ch'in Dynasty gathering momentum even now, as we speak.

I say that with no small confidence, in spite of the political turmoil, if not low-intensity civil-war conditions, currently engulfing places like the United States. Or rather - let me see here - is it because of those same conditions, that the world is so much better and wiser than ever before. I forget. Local communities throughout the US, convulsed by hate and misunderstanding (though deliberate mutual incomprehension might be an apter phrase): - maybe those are just unfortunate concomitants, or even the necessary collateral damage, of Global Aggregate Progress. Why, just you wait. There may yet prove to be a direct, unvarying proportion between
(1) my willingness to hate my neighbor politically, and
(2) my real, profitable connectedness to non-neighbors half-way round the globe.

You still don't believe me. Seriously, what other Age than ours could have succeeded in raising both India and China - and from the all-but-total prostration of that unspeakably vile Mid-Twentieth Century - to the threshold, if not the heights of - what? Global-reach Economic Superpowers? ("Lifted WHOLE CIVILIZATIONS out of poverty we did.") And all within the span of little more than a generation. And at an advancing pace even now, as we text.

Whew. China and India, both practically on top of the world. Besides being globally-connected. Now if only someone could get them to start peacefully and patiently connecting with each other. And in such a way as to help them see some small part of their, yes, common, and mutual, interests. Particularly with respect to certain (no doubt mostly stable and quiet) backyards they both have. Places like Central Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Or regarding certain long-term dangers they both face, in common with a hopefully one-day (dare I suggest it?) more sensible, eastward-looking Iran and Russia. Dangers starting with a post-ISIS - and globally much smarter - Sunni jihadism. One that's already been known to despise most generously and impartially both Hindus and Confucianists - not to mention just about every other variety of Indian and Chinese out there, including the "lukewarm" Muslim kind.

"Oh but now wait a minute: Haven't jihadists been known to be sometimes - I mean, well, USEFUL - albeit marginally or indirectly - at loosening those awful strangleholds of national/regional/local sovereignty? And so advancing the tide of globalization? And in precisely such crude impenetrable places as the borderlands of China, India, Russia? OK, well, maybe not exactly useful to everybody. But surely to those who count the most: Globally-minded Yanks, Brits, Euros, Saudis, at least some mainland Chinese and Pakistanis . . ."

Thus far the Establishment globalist view, as I understand it. But to return to China and India:

Might that just be the glorious fate of two once-and-future-mighty civilization-states: to be locked in a more or less permanent contest for elbow-superiority? After all, in any radically-interconnected globe, it stands to reason that even civilizations may overlap and interpenetrate. Well then, if neighboring individuals and local communities can nowadays more or less peacefully hate each other, and all without prejudice to higher global efficiency and productivity (all for the sake of a Higher Love, of course), how much more may neighboring civilizations . . .

Or, finally (and to take a worse-case scenario): Is mounting Sino-Indian tension merely one of the many prices to be paid for real, radical global connectedness - including an ongoing willingness to risk nuclear confrontation. Or even, occasionally, nuclear destruction? Help me here . . .

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