I have been in China since the 2nd of July. I think a lot about the United States. I read the news from home and I watch CNN, BBC, and sometimes CCTV and RT. I also read China Daily. I think a lot about the United States and I cannot say that I am any less comfortable living life in China than I am living life in the United States. In fact, I am very comfortable here and very uncomfortable when thinking about home. I have written some about the way I am thinking about the thoughts I have had most of my life about democracy, about popular democracy. I was first in China 17 years ago. This trip I have visited several of the places I visited then and on subsequent trips over the years. This is my fourth time in China. Over the course of 17 years China has visibly developed, developed in amazing ways in terms of livability. I have now been, this trip, in at least four big cities (small cities here often have populations over one million), great cities with modern building and hundreds more filling the skyline, most of these high rise living units to accommodate more and more people in modern housing. The cities have fast and efficient metro systems and the street grid has been reworked ingeniously to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of cars owned by individuals. As I said before, one can, for what is a reasonable fair for good numbers of Chinese people, on trains that link the country together that travel at high speeds, safely and efficiently.
Literacy is growing. Educational institutions are increasing in number. Science and technological development projects are well funded and universities, colleges, and technical schools arise here as fast as franchise bad food places do in the United States.
There is much here that would make life in our country better. There is much here that causes me to think of the United States as a backward country. There is much here to make me think that while the Chinese system may not be what is best for us or, perhaps even the Chinese, it is a system that, despite what so many Americans think, a far more humane system than the one American’s consistently protect with their votes.
I may have reached the point where I do no longer believe in the American democracy. I may have said that before.
I am ever more convinced that a sensible and human democracy cannot exist if the people of the society are not capable of making sensible, sane, and humane decisions.
There is considerable evidence to show that the American people are not so capable. The members of the House Judiciary Committee were elected to office by American voters! We have idiots in office because members of the American voting public put them there.
So, if I contrast the two societies as I understand them now–not so well either to say I know for certain what they are about, but as much knowledge in hand as I ever have had to make judgments about them–I can say that the Chinese is considerably more pleasant maybe because of the attitudes I sense I am encountering on the streets that is one of life is pretty damned good. Is it? There is much about the places I have visited to say it is.