China is a very poor country. But it has more population than the Western world, more population than the African world, about the same or more than the Indian world, less population than the Muslim world, and perhaps most importantly, greater racial and cultural homogeneity than any other people other than the japanese – and that’s coupled with a ‘self righteous’ military, a history and culture of monolithic bureaucracy; no history whatsoever of what we call ‘rule of law’ or individual rights (sovereignty), or peerage; And a severe ‘chip on its shoulder’ for having been backward, and the loser of modern wars, and the poor choice of communism, which is contrary to the Chinese cultural ‘mythos’ that china is the ‘Center of the World’.
So while it is easy for china to ‘catch up from behind’ using authoritarianism, it is very hard to produce a constantly competitive, and constantly evolving economy given ‘chinese characteristics’. (WHich I won’t go into)
Can china use her central bureaucracy to concentrate capital in industry and military to achieve by threat, bribery, and obstruction, that which the west achieved by technical innovation, economic expansion, and ‘dragging the world out of ignorance, superstition, tyranny, poverty, and disease?’
Of course she can.
And there are more nations in this world that do not want meritocracy than do so. And china, russia, and islam, seem poised to conflict with the west, india, and christian africa.
I think the period of the west’s ideals has ended and the future belongs to non-market nations.
Democracy, Liberty, Innovation, Individualism, are western if not scandinavian (english) preoccupations.
The north sea people are, quite honestly, sons of cattle raiders, pirates, vikings, and warriors. It’s a materialistic heritage.
Most people had no such luxury.