Posts Tagged ‘south china sea’

War… What is it good for?

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, the utilitarian philosophy of Mo Ti has one facet that is applicable today, his argument… “Why fight over developed land, when there is so much undeveloped land that can be brought under cultivation, far cheaper than conquering a city?” The difference between cultivation and being accounted for is important here. The world today is all accounted for, not one acre is unaccounted for, even the great deserts and jungles are quantified and mapped. There is no unaccounted for land left on the planet, in terms of national boundaries, within those boundaries there is an enormous amount of uncultivated land, but none of it is unaccounted for. Where then is the unaccounted for land that can be brought under cultivation? In short, the “land” in space is unending. There are unlimited resources that can be exploited in space from asteroids like 16 Psyche, the Moon and even potentially habitable Trappist 1. So to paraphrase Mo Ti, why spend trillions of dollars to pulverize the world into a radioactive Hell, when there is so much unaccounted for and uncultivated land available?

The desire for more land, ideally already cultivated land, is what has driven most empires to attack their neighbors, rather than bring wild land within their boundaries under cultivation. The land already cultivated is usually better, enlargement by conquest brings notoriety, increase of one’s lands available for cultivation and increases the aggregate productive potential of the property under one’s control. Today however, with the national boundaries set, any war of conquest is seen the planet over for just what it is, war being the violent means of political ends, and political action always having a public relations aspect, the inevitable public revulsion at conquest must be factored in. That is potentially the only thing stopping China from enlarging it’s empire to include Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Myanmar, India and any other nation that boarders China. Those are all lands that are under cultivation and accounted for.

The “land” unaccounted for and uncultivated in space is very expensive to bring under cultivation. Estimates of a hundred billion dollars to bring a permanent Moon base online have been bandied about. So in the capitalist mindset, strictly pragmatic, one could even say utilitarian way of thinking, we weigh the benefits against the costs. In the benefits column of China’s attacking say, Taiwan, the gain would be a bit less than fourteen thousand square miles of property. The productive capacity would be utterly destroyed unless neutron bombs were used, which would still utterly devastate the productive capacity, since the population would have to be replaced, the replacements would have to acclimate themselves to the mean of production they have stolen. Plus the world reaction to the wholesale genocide by neutron bombs would vastly increase the likelihood of a world military reaction.

The cost in destroyed military equipment would be pretty easy to quantify, afterwards, very difficult before. A bad turn of events in a sea invasion, and that is what would have to take place, would be more difficult than the Normandy invasion due to the terrain, would drive up casualties drastically, and a good turn of events is what it would take to meet the casualty expectations. Considering just material the cost would be in the tens of billions, but the lost productivity of the men that would be lost is incalculable. Moreover, Taiwan would almost certainly retaliate in some way. The cost of that retaliation has to be considered as well. Counting in the cost of replacing the destroyed infrastructure as well as war material, loss of productive capacity due to infrastructure loss, not counting the potential world reaction could drive the cost up astronomically, that fourteen thousand square miles of ordinance tilled wasteland, would cost China well over one hundred billion dollars, if everything goes well.

The cost of setting up a manned moon base at the Moon’s south pole would cost the Chinese dramatically less than a NASA mission. Potentially an order of magnitude less for a variety of reasons too many to list. If it Cost China ten percent of that hundred billion, ten billion, the total cost in money would be the same, however, the gain would be exponentially greater. Multiply that fourteen thousand square miles by a double digit number for land on the Moon that is available, plus the first one at the South Pole gets a monopoly one the only know available water on the Moon, plus the technological gain that would translate into higher productive ability of every other industry, and the cost benefit becomes ever more stark in favor of bringing uncultivated land under cultivation.

The benefit of invading Taiwan and the slaughter of potentially millions of people is, the leaders of China would be known historically, possibly forever along with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Napoleon, Alexander, Xerxes, Cyrus the Great, Kublai Khan, etc… They will have been conquerors who expanded the boundaries of their empires by violence. The conquest of space benefits the people not the leaders, the conquest of Taiwan benefits the leaders, not the people. Remember, it is the interest of the leaders that the leaders serve, so while we can do a cost benefit analysis all day long and reach the same conclusion every time, those who make the decisions weigh the benefits differently. The dross floats to the top, that is why our leaders always rather wage war of conquest, than bring uncultivated land under cultivation.


John Pepin

The Chinese Empire

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that a light bulb burns brightest before it blows out. The current exceeds the filament’s ability to handle, the temperature of the filament goes up and so the light emitted goes up, while the filament is consumed. Once a critical threshold has been exceeded the filament breaks and the circuit goes open. China is the bulb of which I speak.

China today is an Empire in the traditional sense of the word. It contains within it’s boarders several distinct races and ethnic groups that are controlled by force, it has a hegemonic racial group and it is expansionistic both overtly and subvertly. The Communist Party, in whether in China or elsewhere, has no sympathy for the Right of Self Determination. China is truly an Empire in the most historical sense.

Empires can be ruled by emperors, aristocracies, democracies or republics, history has ready examples for any governmental structure. Athens ruled as a democracy, Rome ruled as a republic then as a tyranny. From The Seleucids to the Aztecs, history shows us that it is Empire that is the most common form of government, most people thorough history have suffered empire. But history also shows us that Empires reach critical mass and burn up, not unlike a filament burning out.

In the case of China, the Communist Party that has ruled, overtly, as a republic but in reality as an aristocracy. Their own actions have sown the seeds of the Empire’s destruction. One such mustard seed was the One Child Policy. The result of this evil and onerous law, foisted on the people of China, has created a huge disparity between men and women, a coming retirement collapse and inevitable social unrest.

When Romulus founded Rome and invited anyone who wanted to come and become a citizen he got mostly men. He knew that men make a strong, in the marshal sense, city, but not a long lived one. So he had a great celebration made to Bacchus. Then invited the Sabine people to it. Romulus then fed and entertained the Sabines until a predetermined time, when he stood and tugged on his robe in a certain way, the Roman men ran into the crowd and grabbed Sabine maidens. The Sabines ran in terror of their lives and only discovered later the loss of the maidens.

That the Romans went to such extremes to change the ratio of men and women in their society is important in this sense. The nature of people makes this so ala Schopenhauer on the will of the species from his book The World as Will and Idea. The men of China are no different than the men of ancient Rome. The Romans married the Sabine women and made them their wives. In fact the Sabine women stopped the final conflict between Rome and the Sabine people by throwing themselves between the armies and pleading their husbands and fathers to forgive. But the heartache and suffering of the families of the Sabine women were still felt. The heart ache that the men of China will inflict on someone will be no less felt.

In a very few years, there will be one worker supporting four retired people in China, due the One Child Policy. This will create huge economic tidal forces. Maybe the retired can be forced to work longer? No amount of threat can make someone who is no longer capable of working… work. Whipping will make a paraplegic only turn over. Cattle prods can not make a centenarian carry rocks. Demographics like economics is a dismal science. Mostly because it does not bend to the will of the tyrant like people tortured do.

Then there is the overt expansionist philosophy of the Chinese military. They claim the entire South China Sea and all bordering islands from the Philippines to Indonesia, parts of every nation that borders China as well. India is in direct odds over an Indian State that China claims. This expansionistic philosophy can only lead to war. War with Taiwan or some other unfortunate people unlucky enough to live on the boarder of an expansionistic Empire.

War of this kind always leads to the eventual collapse of the Empire. From Darius to Hitler wars of expansion have only led to heartache. The Mongols conquered more territory faster than any other Empire but was as short lived as it‘s expansion was quick. It flew apart like a defective bearing under load.

With all these stresses, not to mention some that are not entirely the fault of the Communist aristocracy, China has a tough row to hoe. The entire garden is littered with landmines. Most of which the Communist government placed to protect itself. But now have to hoe around. That might result in an bright light. At least for a few moments.