Why do they call China the Middle Kingdom? There are two reasons for this: China was at the center of the world geographically, and China was at the center of the world in all other regards.
Both are true at many points throughout history. When you’re living in the Zhou Dynasty around 2200 BC, the world only has a circumference of a few miles, maybe 100 at the most.
But they know a lot in China, because unlike Western history, China never had this huge gap where civilization went off the rails. Only in the West do we like to stand on the edge of the abyss long enough for the foundation to crumble and crack and give out beneath us.
In China they had more sense, although there are periods of history that we don’t know much about – the burning of the books by Emperor Qin Shi Huang around 213 BC is a fine example of this. And don’t forget that the history of China is so incredibly longer than that of the West, for to make any kind of comparison you can’t use a country or even a continent – you have to use an idea.
While civilization was just an idea in the West – something they managed to grab onto for long periods of time, but which often flitted away on the breeze as well – in China it went on, and on, and on.
The name ‘China’ comes about from ‘Qin,’ which was the first state to unify the country way back in 221 BC. To say that’s when the country started, however, is like the West saying everything from Jesus to today never happened.
Serious societies were around in 5000 BC and much earlier, although if you go back much further it starts to get a bit sketchy. Of course these Chinese people weren’t using iPods like they are today, but they were writing. If you want to compare the level of ignorance in the world, China’s been literate a lot longer than the West.
But what are they like today? I get asked this occasionally, and I could tell stories all night to people. Many would listen, too. So here are a few things I think of when I think of China today.
Anyways, in China they use straight, flat pipes that just let that shit sit there and stink. It’s hot in southern China too, and boy, some of those bathrooms are bad.
If you’re a rich person you can’t avoid this. You could say that you’ll give an extra $10,000 to the contractor to play by the rules – hell, $1 million! – and the bastard would still cut corners. This is shady shit – and I’m not talking about what’s sitting in that pipe – and in the West we wouldn’t allow it. We’d stop it with our courts, but in China, you can pay those courts off, or officials, or whatever.
You see this a lot in business, which is the main source of the problem. Yep – capitalism. Don’t think for a second that this country is communist – it’s not. The Chinese call it “Communism with Chinese Characteristics.” Go read some of the poetry of Mao Zedong to learn where they come up with this amazing propaganda based on meaningless phrases.
Handbags are a fine example. I figured since I was writing this I’d go back and check out the Shenzhen Daily, which is the English-language newspaper in the city I used to live in. I was looking for a story on political corruption – which they report on sometimes – but instead I found one on fake Louis Vuitton handbags, $163 million worth of the damn things.
Those are just some of the things you’ll find in the richest city in the richest province in what’s quickly becoming the richest country in the world.
Shenzhen, China & GDP
Montana’s GDP in 2013 was $39.84 billion. I’m happy to see the governor go over to China, and he’s probably going to the right place. Beijing had a GDP of $318.1 billion in 2013. What’s more, that’s where the most corrupt members of the government are, the ones that can really help us get more business in Montana.
- Cars honk all the time;
- People constantly talk on their cell phone;
- Electric bikes and scooters dart about everywhere;
- Pollution is crazy;
- Food is really cheap;
- And more.
I could write more, but I’ve already written 6 pages and should probably just write a book. Anyways, I hope you liked this post about China in the 21st century.