Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sinophobia: the Drums of War

Sinophobia (anti-Chinese bigotry) is the great socially acceptable form of bigotry you can openly display in America today - endorsed in the news media without anyone batting an eyelash, appearing even in campaign speeches from both major political parties. It may seem like just some cultural phenomenon not worth being concerned about, harmless fun until "politically correct" liberal killjoys speak up, but bigotry is how war is made possible. We all see each other as human beings, until we agree to separate ourselves into groups. Then soldiers can find excuses to part with their humanity and kill.

Whatever America's shortcomings, it still has the world's largest economy - for now. The greatest driver of all our military action since World War 2, including the cold war, has been perceived threats to our economic might. (Even a mere economic idea - communism, for which I am no apologist - was worth taking up arms against, just because it is a fundamental rejection of capitalism, and that frightens us.) The economies of the rising superpowers of India and China will rival ours in just a few short decades. Do not buy the idea (articulated in the documentary I.O.U.S.A.) that China and the U.S. are too economically interdependent to ever go to war - economists were making the same argument about the modern nations of Europe until 1914, as pointed out by Niall Ferguson in his book The Ascent of Money.

Vigilance about bigotry isn't a trifling matter for uptight hall monitors of "political correctness". It's a duty for those who desire peace, who do not want to see our children and grandchildren kill each other over the end of an empire.