Theory vs practice

It’s not a good sign that every argument in support of the USA’s continued global ascendancy is based on pure theory:

In a recently published book, Why Nations Fail, economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”—parasitic and corrupt—and predict that Chinese economic growth will soon falter and decline, while America’s “inclusive” governing institutions have taken us from strength to strength. They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world. The glowing tributes this book has received from a vast array of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including six Nobel laureates in economics, testifies to the widespread popularity of this optimistic message.

First, there is no ruling elite as extractive and parasitic, and few as observably corrupt, as the current US ruling elite.. Second, these theoretical strengths are mostly imaginary and based on the historical American posterity rather than actual US demographics. Consider the reality:

Over the last few years one of the most ambitious Chinese projects has been a plan to create the world’s largest and most advanced network of high-speed rail transport, an effort that absorbed a remarkable $200 billion of government investment. The result was the construction of over 6,000 miles of track, a total probably now greater than that of all the world’s other nations combined.

Meanwhile, America has no high-speed rail whatsoever, despite decades of debate and vast amounts of time and money spent on lobbying, hearings, political campaigns, planning efforts, and environmental-impact reports. China’s high-speed rail system may be far from perfect, but it actually exists, while America’s does not. Annual Chinese ridership now totals over 25 million trips per year.

Of course, the most significant development of the last decade is one that has gone almost entirely unnoticed by everyone, which is of course, the Chinese rejection of one faction of the US ruling elite’s gracious offer to transfer the benefits of their wise and impartial guidance from the USA to China. It would appear the Chinese elite is content with their extant extractive abilities.

It increasingly appears that Ron Unz had it right back in 2012 when he cast his vote with Richard Lynn:

Richard Lynn, a prominent British scholar, has been correct in predicting for a decade or longer that the global dominance of the European-derived peoples is rapidly drawing to its end and within the foreseeable future the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands.

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, hope that other dark meat tastes a lot better than it looks.