Qianlong, Mao Zhe Dong and the Modern GlobalisationIn 1793 England sent a large trade delegation to Peking. Lord Macartney led the delegation. Three ships were filled with all the best products, which English industry and handicraft could offer. There were binoculars, guns, clocks, comfortable coaches and cloths of all kinds.
The goal of the delegation was to convince the Emperor Qianlong and his advisors about the benefits of opening China's borders to trade with England.
The expedition failed. The Emperor answered, that China did not need the English products.
During the sixties and seventies, Mao Zhe Dong kept the borders of China sealed against trade with the West.
We love to characterize Qianlong and Mao Zhe Dong as political and economic ignorants, who refused to recognize the obvious advantages of international trade. But the fact was, that they knew, that China could not compete, so they would, logically, not open the borders.
Today the situation is reversed. It is becoming increasingly clear, that the West cannot compete with the low cost in the East. The situation really requires a restriction of the free global trade in order to save our industrial power. However, we have our brains filled with cloudy ideas about freedom and free markets, globalisation and laissez-faire, which all prevent us from thinking clearly and logically.
"China Shakes the World" by James Kynge Published by Houghton Mifflin Company 2006.
Already in 2003, Alan Tonelson could state, that the critics of globalisation were right: Why Globalization Critics Were Right All Along - americaneconomicalert.org
In 1993 the U.S. "Foreign Affairs Magazine" brought an article by Samuel P. Huntington, entitled "The Clash of Civilizations?" Which predicted that the Cold War would be replaced by the clash of civilizations. The article triggered a major debate. He elaborated his views in a book, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order", which came in 1996.
We like to imagine our selves as part of a progressive cultural globalization, which will result in a Global Uni-culture that will draw the best from all the world's indigenous civilizations. In a not so distant future, we imagine, will young people in the whole world wear the same jeans, drink the same cola, eat the same pizza and listen to the same kind of international pop music. It would be quite natural, we think.
But Huntington has a different opinion. The meeting with the others will rather make us appreciate our own culture, religion and history more, and this will set the agenda for the future of international politics.
It is no coincidence that expatriate Danes often feel their national identity stronger than other Danes, who have lived their entire lives surrounded by fellow Danes.
See Huntington's original article from 1993 in full length: (pdf) The Clash of Civilizations? - Unipa-IT
Se also: The Macartney Embassy to China 1792-1794(pdf) - The Bronx High School of Science
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