Lexus’ and Olive Trees in China

The massive force that is globalization collides with traditional forces in this photo: an old woman pulls a cart loaded with scrapped wood on a busy streetcorner.

The collision has certainly made for interesting scenes in Nanjing, a coastal city near Shanghai. Capitalism is alive and well here—as attested by the Gucci and Italian Leather stores in the seven story shopping malls.

I worry, though, that it is the type of capitalism that put thousands in abject poverty as factory workers in Nineteenth century England. Will China see it’s middle class—perhaps the biggest in history—grow richer at the expense of the poor? Perhaps, but I am still maintaining hope that eventually cultural and traditional forces will not allow it. I guess I am just hoping that transparence can be improved and then maintained while providing a unique model to the world. Because (and regardless of the best efforts of the modern right-wing) it remains that conservatism and compassion do not go hand in hand . One is an economic theory—the other a principle of morality. Compassion can appear within capitalism, as it often does in America, but it is not required nor does it help the system.

Where will the Chinese go as they feel the powerful tug to abandon traditional values?


5 thoughts on “Lexus’ and Olive Trees in China

  1. Good observation and you bring up some really good questions, I have Chinese teacher told me once that education is the key for the Chinese to have compassion by education I don’t mean they need to get as much school as they could. It is hard to explain I hope you don’t mind I am reading your blog.

    1. Well! J had told me that he likes your stuff too but he is too busy to come check it out but keep it up tho. How’s China?

  2. I know I am crashing your blog, so I hope you don’t get too mad. I admire your compassion for people Parker and I am glad you get to experience China.

    A few comments on your post: China is a communist country, would you not agree? I mean nothing happens without the permission of the government (i.e. I heard you cannot even access facebook). Of course China allows companies to sell there products with restrictions but I would not come close to calling this capatilism. Although you are correct that conservatism and compassion are seperate things liberals and conservatisms both believe in compassion but in different ways. Liberals believe that people should be forced to give to whoever the government deems worthy of it’s giving. Conservatives believe the individual should be free to decide what to do whith thier own money. There are bad conservatives out their (as thier are liberals) who are selfish and greedy and don’t take care of the less fortunate. I just believe that I can do better in helping others the way I decide to do it. When government is involved, they decide who gets it and then corruption comes into play and much of the money ‘taken’ from the people is misplaced into places it was not intended. Even when the U.S government did not have the power it has today, America has always been the most compassionate country in the world (in dollars and in service).

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