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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Two questions:

    1. Why would you assume that the our technological advantage will 'largely disappear' in the future? Isn't this a bit pessimistic considering the UK was responsible for inventing some of the most innovative inventions in the modern age such as the World Wide Web and fibre optics? The UK also has some of the most research intensive universities in the World, factoring in population we have the highest concentration in per capita basis.
    It's a numbers game unfortunately. The UK is just a tiny country. We are currently the 4th most populous developed country (not including Japan), but we are the 22nd most populous country overall. China alone will outcompete us in sheer numbers: there are hundreds of universities in China, plus many of China's best and brightest are educated in our own unis. And when (if) countries like Mexico, Turkey, India and Brazil start realising their potential we will be drowned.

    2. Have you considered maybe it's the different political system that some countries run, that prevents them from developing its resources? Take Angola for example, it is abundant in natural resources, enormous reserves of oil, gas and diamonds, good rainfall and fertile soil. It is also one of the poorest oil rich nations in the world.
    The meteoric rise of developing countries has taken a serious hit in recent months: China is slowing down drastically, India is going nowhere fast as it fails to live up to the promises of Modi, Brazil is facing various internal crises in the face of an economic slump, Russia is Russia, Indonesia is nowhere to be seen, and Mexico has its destructive drug war (which seems to be having less of an effect on its economy that you would think), so there does seem to be a major barrier to any non-Western country challenging the economic status quo in the very near future, and for many of them it is very much down to their government and failure to tackle social issues, rather than through demographic or natural resource deficits.

    Many countries have since shifted their manufacturing to China and replaced its manufacturing sector with Tertiary sectors such as finance and consultancy. This is due to China's willingness to accept low pay, bad working condition and the environmental impacts of dirty industries such as extraction of rare-earths. In essence they are willing to do the 'dirty job' other Western countries refuse to do for good reasons.

    As a result China is experiencing wide-spread air and water pollution, and the public have little confidence over the safety of its food produce. It may be glamorous to be the world's 3rd largest economy at the moment, but one question to ask is whether this growth is sustainable in the long term, and whether it is approaching a plateau because of its short-termism?
    None of those things are particularly disastrous, after all Western countries did exactly the same thing 100 years ago and suffered the same consequences but we cleaned up reasonably well. We still have India and Africa to shift manufacturing and mining to, China can just follow the same route that the West went down. That process has already partially begun in fact.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    Actually if you read one of my posts after that you'll see that I say that the UK also benefitted from the natural resources of its empire - which is not something we can get back.

    But, to answer your question directly: I'm sure that you have noticed this, but pretty much the entire planet has access to the internet and mobile phones. An advantage in steam engine design is no longer going to help us out. Technology jobs are being exported from the high income economies to the low income economies. Most high-tech manufacturing is done in South East Asia these days, large tech firms are setting up campuses in India to do their development work.

    The technology gap is getting tighter and tighter. After Gutenburg developed the printing press in Mainz, Germany, it took more than 20 years for a similar press to be set up in London. Something invented in London today can be copied in China tomorrow.
    My point is that the UK still has the capability to innovate proven by these recent inventions which effectively changed the world. Whether these technologies were offered on a licence or open-source is entirely the decision of the inventor. However it is relevant to note that British and American companies were the first to exploit the digital revolution, whilst large countries like China, India and Russia rarely produce any digital products of significance. Another notable recent British invention is graphene which we have only just started to unravel its unique properties and uses. One could say that Asian countries have the capability to invent these technologies, however past and recent history shows that it is usually the Western countries, with the UK being a particularly prominent example.

    Of course, that is true, political systems have failed whole nations. These systems may have been imposed from outside. But I think we can have hope for those states that they will eventually succeed in running their own affairs, and making the most of their natural resources.

    If the technology gap closes, resources on the earth are finite, political systems restructure… then the ultimate economic position of any state is to a large extent determined by its population.
    I'm afraid it doesn't always work out like this. China's poor governance and accountability to its own citizens have allowed Western countries to exploit its natural resources without any real consideration of its long-term sustainability. Some countries, whether we morally accept it or not, will be exploited and will never have its chance to prosper. In essence, some will never catch up.

    I think we should probably pray that China's economy is sustainable, or that it manages transition very well, because the alternative will have very poor outcomes for the rest of the planet - or at least the most developed economies.
    It is widely speculated that when China becomes unsustainable, India will be the next 'factory of the world'. The key requirement is a country where its citizen will knowingly accept a living standard that is less than Western standard.

    I think that sustainability is largely tied to the EU - certainly if you mean environmentally friendly. This is an issue we can only work on collectively, and have been successful in doing so. You know that the LEAVE campaigners constantly talk about the red tape they want to cut through - well what is that red tape? Is it obligations we have to protect the environment, is it quotas on fishing, is it sustainable agriculture...?
    I agree that for most parts, the EU's economic policies is sustainability-friendly, or at least with it in mind. However I would say that the UK is on the same league, if not one of the most sustainable. I also think it is the nation's will to support a sustainable future, therefore I would not assume that this would change whether we leave or remain in the EU.

    It is simplistic to say that the UK will fall to 22nd place. I'm not sure it is simplistic to say that this is the natural position, all other things being equal. If you read the initial references I gave you will see that there is a good argument that economic size is tied to population size. That's an obvious argument that you can see with China - creeping-up to, or even surpassing the USA, despite having much lower incomes per capita. You can also see this with the relative size of the Chinese or Indian economies in the past - they were the largest economies for hundreds of years.

    Your argument is that "all other things may not be equal". You are possibly correct. But even if you are, there is a great weight behind the populations of other states, where they can be much poorer than us on a per capita basis, but still have larger overall economies. Take a good look at the list of nations by population size - there are at least 7 whose populations are 2-3 times that of the UK, there are two that are around 4-6 times that of the UK and there are two that are 20+ times larger than the UK.

    There might be a different argument that economic clout is a factor of income per capita and overall size of the economy. But that isn't the argument that is being made by the Brexiteers. If we are relying upon economic size ranking alone, then I fear that is not a position that we can hold long term.

    Look at the references, the long term trend for the UK is a fall in rank.
    I still would not attribute that this is the 'natural position'. Although on a numerical basis it would be easier to achieve a high GDP when there are more labours available to produce, one must consider where the innovations are invented, the willingness to develop sustainably, and the credibility of a country's governance and currency. One question you might want to look into, is why Britain has been able to consistently 'punch above its weight' for such a long time despite its relatively small population. If this is the natural tendency, we have either been extremely lucky, or that we have different characteristics which enables us to develop our economy better. You may say that the UK used to be the most powerful economy in the world at the height of its power, however a fall to fifth place isn't so bad, all things considered. Some fluctuation can be expected however I highly doubt it would freefall to 22nd when history seems to suggest that there is a factor which kept Britain from being such a small entity in the past.

    Another point to address, is that the EU membership is not the be-all-and end-all of cooperation in trade. The EU's scope of influence extends beyond trade. There are organisations we are join like the EFTA and the EEA which I'm sure you can remember me mentioning a while ago. Being a part of a trading organisation will enable us to combine our 'bargaining power' without compromising on areas which has nothing to do with trade. You may argue that there are other conditions which we will need to accept, such as free movement of labour. I am personally not opposed to free movement of labour and the conditions of the EFTA or EEA.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    It's a numbers game unfortunately. The UK is just a tiny country. We are currently the 4th most populous developed country (not including Japan), but we are the 22nd most populous country overall. China alone will outcompete us in sheer numbers: there are hundreds of universities in China, plus many of China's best and brightest are educated in our own unis. And when (if) countries like Mexico, Turkey, India and Brazil start realising their potential we will be drowned.
    Then the real question is: where are the innovations in China? I don't want to say this in a matter-of-fact-like manner, but as a Chinese, from my observation China does not have an innovation culture. They are very good copiers though.

    The meteoric rise of developing countries has taken a serious hit in recent months: China is slowing down drastically, India is going nowhere fast as it fails to live up to the promises of Modi, Brazil is facing various internal crises in the face of an economic slump, Russia is Russia, Indonesia is nowhere to be seen, and Mexico has its destructive drug war (which seems to be having less of an effect on its economy that you would think), so there does seem to be a major barrier to any non-Western country challenging the economic status quo in the very near future, and for many of them it is very much down to their government and failure to tackle social issues, rather than through demographic or natural resource deficits.
    I agree. A country's development is very much down to its political system. A corrupt system usually takes a long time to gravitate to personal freedom, which is the default nature of human societies.

    None of those things are particularly disastrous, after all Western countries did exactly the same thing 100 years ago and suffered the same consequences but we cleaned up reasonably well. We still have India and Africa to shift manufacturing and mining to, China can just follow the same route that the West went down. That process has already partially begun in fact.
    The scale of pollution in China is on a unprecedented scale in human history. The UK's industrial revolution is actually relatively clean if you consider the scope of resources being extracted. China's willingness to extract rare-earths using cheap, unsafe techniques is proving disastrous to its rivers and drinking water. I have been to Beijing, Xiamen and Shenzhen, all of these cities are heavily polluted. Smog is a regular occurrence and water must be boiled before drinking.

    I highly doubt they would transition any time soon, nor does the government have any desire to.
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    Small countries do not have to be in a union . New Zealand has the same GDP per capita as the UK and unemployment rate.

    What they have to be is associated very closely with bigger counties (Australia) or in a Union.

    Norway, Iceland and Switzerland - the same is true.

    There is no escaping from globalisation.

    Eventually we will be citizens of the earth - Earthlings.

    It will happen because that is the direction were heading.

    Clearly, as a graduate I would like to work in the USA or Canada, or Chile or whereever, no strings attached.

    The new EU treaty with the USA (due to happen 2018) will allow free trade and more free movement.
    It is happening. If we pull out, bang goes your job in New York
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    (Original post by midnightice)
    Where is the significant economic growth in the world? Is it in Europe? No, Europe will get worse with the inevitable implosion of the French and Italian economies still to come. So trade should focus on growing markets, yes?
    If France and Italy are going to implode, so is Spain, ourselves and definitely the USA. None will happen. You are right the growth will not necessarily come from the EU but the EU is still important buying 45% of our stuff compared to China (2.5%). If we double output to China we are still only on 5%. Also, the effort to sell into markets like China is massive. Cultural, political and language prevent all but the largest or most persistent companies trading. However you or I could set a company tomorrow and trade anywhere in the EU with no barriers or paperwork. The US is a great market but depending what you are trying to sell, the difficulty to get into that market can similarly by prohibitive.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    A "fact" often used by the LEAVE campaign to indicate the UK's apparent position/strength in the world is that it is the fifth largest economy in the world. All indicators appear to show that this is true. But the questions I ask myself are:....
    Its all very amusing but this referendum is about whether the UK should leave the EU. All those senior figures in the Tory Party who pushed for the referendum were clear that it was obvious that a substantial number of EU countries would unite in the next decade of two (EMU Stage 1 is already complete) and the UK would be faced with a sudden choice of joining them in political union or leaving.

    So the referendum is about denying an independent country to future generations. The Remain campaign is hoping to scare or bribe this generation into this act of utter selfishness.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Then the real question is: where are the innovations in China? I don't want to say this in a matter-of-fact-like manner, but as a Chinese, from my observation China does not have an innovation culture. They are very good copiers though.
    They used to be some of the best innovators in the world before the modern period - they invented gunpowder and paper after all. The new generation of Western educated, upper middle class Chinese people is barely out of school, give them time. I've seen what uneducated rural Chinese people are capable of - you hear stories of farmers creating robots out of scrap car engines, and that sort of thing, so its not like Chinese people are incapable of innovating. Japan also has a 'conformist', rote learning-intensive culture and education system but that didn't stop them from innovating.

    I agree. A country's development is very much down to its political system. A corrupt system usually takes a long time to gravitate to personal freedom, which is the default nature of human societies.
    I think that's a little over-optimistic. Corruption can remain indefinitely, personal freedom in political terms (albeit often governed by extreme social conditioning on what is considered 'acceptable') is only the default nature of underdeveloped and decentralised human societies. We have left those far behind, we have a new type of society now where people are educated and universally literate, and connected to people across time and space in a way that they never were before. But the same technology and developments that allow for informed and functional democracy also allow for a level of Totalitarianism unmatched in human history.

    The scale of pollution in China is on a unprecedented scale in human history. The UK's industrial revolution is actually relatively clean if you consider the scope of resources being extracted. China's willingness to extract rare-earths using cheap, unsafe techniques is proving disastrous to its rivers and drinking water. I have been to Beijing, Xiamen and Shenzhen, all of these cities are heavily polluted. Smog is a regular occurrence and water must be boiled before drinking.

    I highly doubt they would transition any time soon, nor does the government have any desire to.
    I have been to cites even worse polluted than Chinese cities (namely Indian ones), and they are still not as bad as London was in the Victorian period in many ways. It will take time but eventually they will be cleaned up, nobody wants to live in a city with sewage and industrial waste flowing freely in the streets and where you can't see more than 200m because of the smog. Asian megacities are very new developments, there hasn't been any time yet to develop the necessary infrastructure and regulation, but it will happen eventually. The government of China has a considerable desire to reduce air pollution and major Chinese cities are already like Switzerland compared to Indian ones in terms of basic sanitation. As far as I know there aren't any major slums in Beijing or Shanghai comparable to Mumbai or Manila - poor areas yes, but very few large illegal shanty towns with absolutely zero public services.
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    (Original post by Armpits)
    And are you seriously making the argument that blah blah blah
    No. It's called a question.

    It's that thing you do when you're not sure of an answer so you ask somebody, rather than assume knowledge.

    The guy before you seemed to understand that and managed to, unlike you, avoid the maddeningly condescending tone you've dropped to.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    They used to be some of the best innovators in the world before the modern period - they invented gunpowder and paper after all. The new generation of Western educated, upper middle class Chinese people is barely out of school, give them time. I've seen what uneducated rural Chinese people are capable of - you hear stories of farmers creating robots out of scrap car engines, and that sort of thing, so its not like Chinese people are incapable of innovating. Japan also has a 'conformist', rote learning-intensive culture and education system but that didn't stop them from innovating.
    China had also endured one of the most brutal civil wars in history and suffered the consequences of the 'Cultural Revolution'. Books were burnt and academics were killed or force into exile, oppositions muted. Give them time and they chose to regress its progress back for hundreds of years. In theory every human is capable of innovating, however it's the political system and the culture of a country's population that provides the environment for innovation. China had produced very few significant inventions in Modern times, and given its population it is correct to say that right now, they do not have an innovation culture.


    I think that's a little over-optimistic. Corruption can remain indefinitely, personal freedom in political terms (albeit often governed by extreme social conditioning on what is considered 'acceptable' is only the default nature of underdeveloped and decentralised human societies. We have left those far behind, we have a new type of society now where people are educated and universally literate, and connected to people across time and space in a way that they never were before. But the same technology and developments that allow for informed and functional democracy also allow for a level of Totalitarianism unmatched in human history.
    Personal freedom is a principle which respects an individual's choice under a rule of law decided by popular mandate. This is upheld by most Western countries, which are the most educated countries. In essence we have not left it behind, but instead persuaded the world to adopt these values to different extents. Overall if you look back at recent history, the world has gravitated towards freedom, totalitarianism is not as extreme as they used to before the digital era. For example, Communism in Russia and China is nowhere near as extreme as the regimes of Stalin and Mao.


    I have been to cites even worse polluted than Chinese cities (namely Indian ones), and they are still not as bad as London was in the Victorian period in many ways. It will take time but eventually they will be cleaned up, nobody wants to live in a city with sewage and industrial waste flowing freely in the streets and where you can't see more than 200m because of the smog. Asian megacities are very new developments, there hasn't been any time yet to develop the necessary infrastructure and regulation, but it will happen eventually. The government of China has a considerable desire to reduce air pollution and major Chinese cities are already like Switzerland compared to Indian ones in terms of basic sanitation. As far as I know there aren't any major slums in Beijing or Shanghai comparable to Mumbai or Manila - poor areas yes, but very few large illegal shanty towns with absolutely zero public services.
    I have yet been to India so I am not able to compare it with China, however I can assure you for some areas the harm done will take at least two centuries to clear up. The government is not willing to act upon environmental warnings and frankly they do not need to. Their desire is to promote economic growth at a maximum rate so that more money can circulate the economy and more bribes they can receive from businesses. Most government officials had already gained foreign citizenship by investment, so when the time comes and China becomes inhabitable they can easily migrate to another country with their vast wealth.

    Also let's not forget that the attraction for Western to base their manufacturing in China is due to its low cost. Safer, cleaner manufacturing and raw materials extraction techniques requires high capital, running and management costs. China's entire economy is dependent on Western countries' manufacturing demands, however its pollution level is threatening its long term development in the future. It is in a awkward position right now, because sacrificing either aspect would result in a negative effect on its economy.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    China had also endured one of the most brutal civil wars in history and suffered the consequences of the 'Cultural Revolution'. Books were burnt and academics were killed or force into exile, oppositions muted. Give them time and they chose to regress its progress back for hundreds of years.
    The same is true of Germany and they seem to be doing OK.

    Overall if you look back at recent history, the world has gravitated towards freedom, totalitarianism is not as extreme as they used to before the digital era. For example, Communism in Russia and China is nowhere near as extreme as the regimes of Stalin and Mao.
    Russia had stopped being a Communist country by the beginning of the digital era, and China has relaxed its Totalitarian tendencies in some ways (with the exception of censorship of the internet). There has not really been a country that has attempted to use the power of modern technology to impose Totalitarianism yet.

    The government is not willing to act upon environmental warnings and frankly they do not need to. Their desire is to promote economic growth at a maximum rate so that more money can circulate the economy and more bribes they can receive from businesses. Most government officials had already gained foreign citizenship by investment, so when the time comes and China becomes inhabitable they can easily migrate to another country with their vast wealth.
    That's a little too cynical to be realistic. The entire governing class of China is not going to uproot to Europe or America, where they have no power or future beyond what their money can buy them.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    The same is true of Germany and they seem to be doing OK.
    Germany had not been in a civil war, the Holocaust is a genocide which did not involve an element of violent resistance. They also did not engage in cultural suicide such as the 'Cultural Revolution', for which intellect is frowned upon and the uneducated class becomes the ruler of a nation. In fact, technology advanced tremendously in Germany during those times for right or wrong reasons.

    Russia had stopped being a Communist country by the beginning of the digital era, and China has relaxed its Totalitarian tendencies in some ways (with the exception of censorship of the internet). There has not really been a country that has attempted to use the power of modern technology to impose Totalitarianism yet.
    I hate to keep referring back to China, but coincidentally China is an example of a government's attempt to exploit the power of technology to impose totalitarian regimes. The Great Firewall of China is a famous example, it restricts the internet access of ordinary Chinese citizens so that the government can focus on censoring a limited range of web space. Social media platforms like Weibo is under close censorship that can be witnessed specifically on sensitive anniversary events such as the Tiananmen protest 1989 on 4th June. Despite the event showing that there is widespread opposition of the government's policies, there is no opposition on the platform.

    That's a little too cynical to be realistic. The entire governing class of China is not going to uproot to Europe or America, where they have no power or future beyond what their money can buy them.
    I strongly urge you to read more on China's corruption and the family backgrounds of their top officials. My friend's family is a co-owner of a computer motherboard manufacturing company in China. Bribery is essential to operate their business in China, usually in forms of expensive gifts and extravagant banquets.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    The same is true of Germany and they seem to be doing OK.
    I agree with Copperknickers. China is hopeless at innovation right now. For years their education system (bizarrely idealised by idiots like Gove and Morgan) involves rows and rows of silent students listening to the information provided by their teacher without question. It is that desire to question the status quo that gives countries like the UK and USA the edge. In China everyone just accepts that that is that and gets on with it.

    I did a training course for my team of Chinese developers a few years ago. They asked no questions. I could have been telling complete lies and they still wouldn't have challenged me. Getting over this will be a huge challenge for China whilst back in the UK we are seeing creativity in the classroom replaced by learning pointless grammar rules by wrote. And all so that we can do a bit better in international tests so that Gove can have a hard on over it.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I agree with Copperknickers. China is hopeless at innovation right now. For years their education system (bizarrely idealised by idiots like Gove and Morgan) involves rows and rows of silent students listening to the information provided by their teacher without question. It is that desire to question the status quo that gives countries like the UK and USA the edge. In China everyone just accepts that that is that and gets on with it.

    I did a training course for my team of Chinese developers a few years ago. They asked no questions. I could have been telling complete lies and they still wouldn't have challenged me. Getting over this will be a huge challenge for China whilst back in the UK we are seeing creativity in the classroom replaced by learning pointless grammar rules by wrote. And all so that we can do a bit better in international tests so that Gove can have a hard on over it.

    You might have misread my argument, my view is exactly same as yours whereas Copperknickers believes the opposite. :yes:

    From a first person point of view (being of Chinese descent) I can confirm that China does not have the innovation culture of most western countries.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Germany had not been in a civil war, the Holocaust is a genocide which did not involve an element of violent resistance.

    They also did not engage in cultural suicide such as the 'Cultural Revolution', for which intellect is frowned upon and the uneducated class becomes the ruler of a nation. In fact, technology advanced tremendously in Germany during those times for right or wrong reasons.
    I've been noticing this trend more and more recently: the Holocaust was one of the worst crimes against humanity ever committed and has shaped the world's history in many ways, but it has recently somehow managed to acquire a status in people's minds above the larger event of which it was only a very small part, namely the Second World War. There were actually more Germans killed as a result of Hitler's actions than Jews, in gross terms, though obviously in large part as a result of their own actions (those who voted for and supported Hitler). Whole cities were destroyed, millions of civilians were displaced, the country basically had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Plus of course the likes of Einstein and other Jewish and non-Jewish scientists were driven out of the country before the war even started by political pressure.

    And you are wrong if you think the Nazis were some kind of educated and intellectual movement. They weren't illiterate peasants like many of the Maoists but they were hardly educated bourgeois intellectuals, they burned books and killed and imprisoned intellectuals who didn't toe the line. Indeed Joseph Goebbels is quoted as saying: "“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”. Technology did not really advance in Nazi Germany, with the exception of military technology.

    I strongly urge you to read more on China's corruption and the family backgrounds of their top officials. My friend's family is a co-owner of a computer motherboard manufacturing company in China. Bribery is essential to operate their business in China, usually in forms of expensive gifts and extravagant banquets.
    I am familiar with the culture of bribery in China but it doesn't address my point: it's common for politicians the world over, even in the UK, to try to wring out as much money as they possibly can through bending or breaking the rules. It's another thing to claim they are actively trying to destroy their own country, including the security of their own positions and power base, to the extent that they don't even care if the whole country becomes an uninhabitle burning ruin.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    I've been noticing this trend more and more recently: the Holocaust was one of the worst crimes against humanity ever committed and has shaped the world's history in many ways, but it has recently somehow managed to acquire a status in people's minds above the larger event of which it was only a very small part, namely the Second World War. There were actually more Germans killed as a result of Hitler's actions than Jews, in gross terms, though obviously in large part as a result of their own actions (those who voted for and supported Hitler). Whole cities were destroyed, millions of civilians were displaced, the country basically had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Plus of course the likes of Einstein and other Jewish and non-Jewish scientists were driven out of the country before the war even started by political pressure.

    And you are wrong if you think the Nazis were some kind of educated and intellectual movement. They weren't illiterate peasants like many of the Maoists but they were hardly educated bourgeois intellectuals, they burned books and killed and imprisoned intellectuals who didn't toe the line. Indeed Joseph Goebbels is quoted as saying: "“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”. Technology did not really advance in Nazi Germany, with the exception of military technology.
    I was stating that it is not relevant to compare China with Germany, considering that Germany was not involved in a civil war. This was the context we were discussing.

    I did not say that Nazism was an educated movement, however there is no denying that Germany's technology advanced rapidly during that era. You excluded military technology from your consideration, however this should be included as it comprises automotive and aeronautical advances, not to mention other areas such as medicine.

    The great difference between Germany and China in comparison is that China was actively opposing technology and intellect whilst Germany valued them.

    I am familiar with the culture of bribery in China but it doesn't address my point: it's common for politicians the world over, even in the UK, to try to wring out as much money as they possibly can through bending or breaking the rules. It's another thing to claim they are actively trying to destroy their own country, including the security of their own positions and power base, to the extent that they don't even care if the whole country becomes an uninhabitle burning ruin.
    I don't think you can compare the scale of China's corruption with the UK. This is an outrageous comparison. To be quite frank it is also insulting to many Chinese people who have witnessed and experienced the corruptions firsthand. If you discuss that to my grandparents they would feel extremely uneasy with your views given that they have witnessed it and worked hard to escape the system.

    The power base in China changes approximately every 15 years. Even within the same Communist party there are different factions each pitting against others for ruling power. I would not be surprised if they only have 15-years plan for their policies.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    I think that it is essentially saying that global economic position is linked to population size, and the development of technology. As technology spreads to less developed economies the balance shifts to populations size.
    Surely your theory only works if "technology" is a single, static advance? Doesn't it make more sense that the traditional developed countries will likely be a springboard for future innovation and technological advancement that can potentially mean they remain ahead of the curve on this issue?
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    I was stating that it is not relevant to compare China with Germany, considering that Germany was not involved in a civil war. This was the context we were discussing.
    What difference does it make whether it was a civil war or an inter-country war? A war is a war.

    I did not say that Nazism was an educated movement,
    You said "[Nazi Germany] did not engage in cultural suicide such as the 'Cultural Revolution', in which intellect is frowned upon and the uneducated class becomes the ruler of a nation."

    In other words, that Nazi Germany was led by cultured and educated people who did not frown upon intellect. As I have demonstrated, that is not true to any meaningful extent. By the standards of an urbanised and wealthy country with near universal literacy such as Germany in the 1930s, the leading Nazis were generally not especially well-educated. Gustav Stresemann, one of the leading figures of the Social Democratic party which led Germany for most of the 1920s, had a doctorate, for example.

    The great difference between Germany and China in comparison is that China was actively opposing technology and intellect whilst Germany valued them.
    I refer you to the above - Nazi Germany certainly valued advances in infrastructure, aeronautics, and other militarily useful advances, but it also caused a mass exodus of scientists and persecuted and outspokenly demonised intellectual pursuits.

    I don't think you can compare the scale of China's corruption with the UK. This is an outrageous comparison. To be quite frank it is also insulting to many Chinese people who have witnessed and experienced the corruptions firsthand. If you discuss that to my grandparents they would feel extremely uneasy with your views given that they have witnessed it and worked hard to escape the system.
    That's a matter of perspective. The UK is one of the centres of global money laundering and houses the headquarters of major offices of several hundred major corporations who are directly responsible for the destruction of the environment and exploitation of the populaces of dozens of developing countries. Not to mention the war in Iraq and other questionable global pursuits. Most of it can't really be called 'corruption' since corruption implies abuse of the system. Whereas the UK does not so much abuse the system as underpins and facilitates it.

    But in terms of domestic and visible corruption of government officials and the effect it has on the British people, then you are correct - the UK is largely free from that sort of corruption when compared with a country such as China. My point was that corruption is one thing, deliberate destruction of your own country is another.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    What difference does it make whether it was a civil war or an inter-country war? A war is a war.
    A civil war was the context I was using when I first discussed China lack of innovation and its tendency to fight against their own people. This is entirely relevant because if you compare civil wars with just any war, then you are changing the nature of the discussion into whether wars in general affect a country's technological advancement. This would start another totally different debate. Given that the context is different it is not applicable to use Germany as a comparison with China in this analysis.

    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    You said "[Nazi Germany] did not engage in cultural suicide such as the 'Cultural Revolution', in which intellect is frowned upon and the uneducated class becomes the ruler of a nation."

    In other words, that Nazi Germany was led by cultured and educated people who did not frown upon intellect. As I have demonstrated, that is not true to any meaningful extent. By the standards of an urbanised and wealthy country with near universal literacy such as Germany in the 1930s, the leading Nazis were generally not especially well-educated. Gustav Stresemann, one of the leading figures of the Social Democratic party which led Germany for most of the 1920s, had a doctorate, for example.

    I refer you to the above - Nazi Germany certainly valued advances in infrastructure, aeronautics, and other militarily useful advances, but it also caused a mass exodus of scientists and persecuted and outspokenly demonised intellectual pursuits.
    Again I did not say that Nazism was an educated movement. Technology is politically neutral in its purest nature. I stated that Nazism, despite its evil ideology, encouraged technology and innovation while China actively discouraged these under Maoism. This is proven by the technological advancements by the Germans during this era, for right or wrong motivations. You can have an uneducated government but as long as the government does not discourage innovation, technology can still thrive. This was the case with Nazism.


    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    That's a matter of perspective. The UK is one of the centres of global money laundering and houses the headquarters of major offices of several hundred major corporations who are directly responsible for the destruction of the environment and exploitation of the populaces of dozens of developing countries. Not to mention the war in Iraq and other questionable global pursuits. Most of it can't really be called 'corruption' since corruption implies abuse of the system. Whereas the UK does not so much abuse the system as underpins and facilitates it.

    But in terms of domestic and visible corruption of government officials and the effect it has on the British people, then you are correct - the UK is largely free from that sort of corruption when compared with a country such as China. My point was that corruption is one thing, deliberate destruction of your own country is another.
    I understand it is a matter of perspective. I should clarify that it is my perspective and of many Chinese people that I know, who have experienced the corruption firsthand, that we believe the government is actively exploiting the country's resources without consideration of its long term sustainability.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    A civil war was the context I was using when I first discussed China lack of innovation and its tendency to fight against their own people.
    China is a civilisation more than a country. Arguably you should be comparing it to Europe rather than to a specific European state. Europeans have been fighting each other since the dawn of human settlement there (in fact, before it, if you count Neanderthals as Europeans), and it didn't hurt their progress through the Modern period. If anything it helped it. I don't think civil wars have any bearing on innovation.

    Again I did not say that Nazism was an educated movement. Technology is politically neutral in its purest nature. I stated that Nazism, despite its evil ideology, encouraged technology and innovation while China actively discouraged these under Maoism. This is proven by the technological advancements by the Germans during this era, for right or wrong motivations. You can have an uneducated government but as long as the government does not discourage innovation, technology can still thrive. This was the case with Nazism.
    You have backtracked hugely since your original statement: now that you have removed the parts I disagreed with, I agree with all of the above, except the fact that you 'did not say that Nazism was an educated movement' - you did say exactly that.

    I understand it is a matter of perspective. I should clarify that it is my perspective and of many Chinese people that I know, who have experienced the corruption firsthand, that we believe the government is actively exploiting the country's resources without consideration of its long term sustainability.
    That is a more credible way of thinking about it compared to what you said before (perhaps I was taking you too literally - not having a consideration for the long-term consequences of your greed is still not the same as deliberately planning to make it uninhabitable).
 
 
 
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