The Ruling Party is “Crazy as a S- -thouse Rat”
Mao Zedong was victorious over Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in China’s civil war. Chairman Mao soon issued a dictat with few rivals for ambitious nation building and ultimate folly. His myopic vision pictured a revival of the Middle kingdom to world class status. To Mao, a much greater population count was the path to this goal.
The word went out starting in 1949 that every Chinese woman birthing four or more offspring would hereby be known as “hero mother” and be awarded favor and privilege. Fecundity erupted and the population of China zoomed from 540 million to 940 million in thirty feverish years.
Then Mao died.
His successors surveyed the teeming hordes resultant and searched frantically for a safe and sane antidote to all this burgeoning fruitfulness. Two were found. One safe, if draconian; the other appeared sane and progressive but would teeter on the brink of the draconian several decades later. The world knows of the “one child” policy but little about its pedigree and the fact that only Han Chinese were subject to it. Non-Han minorities were exempt. A safe enough notion, all in all; perhaps a tad too drastic.
The progressive “free market” policy, was the sane solution that would eventually result, among other astounding happenings, acres of the Middle Kingdom being paved over with four lane highways. This was in order to accommodate the over one million cars being produced each month. As default, world leadership in “Happy Motoring” thanks to Great Wall Motors and other motor car manufacturers. Alas, China came late to the world’s gala and we know how some of us binge to catch up.
The ruling Party elite, slightly heady from the binge themselves, were careful to not allow the circus atmosphere to undermine the seat of power. Five year plan followed five year plan, fixedly. Until… The fate of China is unknown but perhaps not unknowable. It has made a heroic leap forward in the global rush to potential disaster. Coming from well behind it has made conspicuous consumption of commodities and energy its first choice from Column A on the world menu. From Column B it has chosen global amnesia i.e., ignoring at everyone’s peril the lessons of recent history. These cynical choices have kept the regime in power long past its expiration date.
Amazingly, this historical coup which gave China such a large share of the world’s treasure was done without firing a shot; except, of course, at the occasional regime protester. We, in the great I.O.U.S.A., on the other hand, shoot each other pell-mell then scout abroad for likely Africans or Middle-Easterners to use for target practice.
Every nation can choose it’s own comfort level. Apparently in China the Party has chosen to include some toxicity in the mix. It’s okay to choose that city residents will need surgical masks to ward off particulate matter being inhaled. It’s okay to choose to allow smog so dense on the six lane highways motorists cannot see two car lengths ahead. It’s okay if spring floods bring rivers full of diseased pig carcasses down from the interior.
It’s okay to become the worlds most prolific consumer of cement and structural steel to build empty cities with empty roads leading to them. What’s not okay is for the Party elites to ignore the impact of their billion plus, car obsessed constituents being indulged and encouraged in every excess. Ignoring the rising peril all about, they enable this folly in order to retain power.
Just two sets of numbers should have been to the Chinese leadership a clanging tocsin to change policy right now at all cost. World population at present is seven billion and growing which translates into the Planet being asked to provide roughly ten and one half billion meals every day. Thanks for your help, Chairman Mao.
Worse yet. One billion: the number of motor vehicles on the world’s roads. That was in 2010 and the number which must be accommodated and kept in fuel is expected to reach two billion by 2020. Thanks Party elites for preserving your power ahead of the welfare of humanity.
I toyed with “crazy as a loon”, nah. How about “mad as a hatter”? Nope. “Nutty as a fruitcake”. No go. I’ve decided that decades of craven power politics have brought the Party elite to where nothing less than “crazy as a shithouse rat” is applicable.