Monday, April 13, 2020

The Grass Is Not Greener

There are people who worship every country and time but their own. They are fools and they are out in full force again.

China did such a better job than we did. They only have 3,500 deaths after quick, decisive action. We must learn their superior ways! Oops. Actually, they lied and there are suggestions of 40+ deaths. Nevermind.

South Korea. They stopped it cold. Look how good they did! We must learn their superior ways! Ooops, they didn't control it after all. Nevermnind.

California! California wasn't hit like all those other places. We must learn their superior ways! Oops, they were just earlier on the curve. Nevermind.

This is an old story. There is a tendency among a set of people to always look to other cultures and other times as superior. I suppose this comes from the adage that familiarity breeds contempt and the idea that the grass is always greener on the other side. The truth is that the grass is rarely greener, as people always discover. But that doesn't stop them from wanting to believe the next lawn is greener and the one after that.

Indeed, look back in history and you will see each of the following done in eerily similar echos:

1. Nazi Germany was seen as such an economic powerhouse that intellectuals in the left were sure we couldn't compete. Then we learned their economic strength was only a return to pre-depression levels and it was powered by slave labor. Whoops.

2. The Soviet Union was seen as such an economic dynamo because of the power of central planning and a unified public that even experts at the CIA were convinced they would bury us. Then we discovered that it was all for show and the real economy was so sclerotic it couldn't even deliver food to its people. Whoops.

3. Japan was going to crush us with their secretive business structures, their samurai code and their 1,000 year planning. Then Japan hit the recession that will never end and its birthrate collapsed. Now they can teach us nothing. Whoops.

4. The EU! An economic powerhouse of 400 million people will finally become the superpower the world needs to show us how leading from behind is the true way. Persuasion, not power! We were slowing going to fall behind and become irrelevant. And then it turned out that military strength did actually matter and the EU proved to be a eunuch on the world stage... third worlders laughed and ignored them. And then Greece imploded and exposed the Euro as wishful thinking. Now they can teach us nothing. Whoops.

5. China! China's going to pass us up and teach us round eyes good. They have wise central planning, a form of harnessed capitalism and a bazillion workers. China is the future... until it's not. China's economic miracle collapsed and the laws of economics caused their labor to become too expensive and now they are being eaten alive by their competitors in thee region. They're still on the worship list, but not for long. Offers to submit are becoming distinctly muted.

There's more too... mini versions. Brazil is the future! Until it collapsed. India! India is the future. Until you looked closely and found a country without an infrastructure. South Africa was the wave of the future... until other African countries left them standing in the corrupt dust.

It's not just countries either. The British have the enviable national health system! Which rations healthcare. Brazil can teach us about race and harmony... until reports came out that Brazil is rigidly racist. Every native culture can show us how to commune with nature, waste no animal and live in harmony. Every ancient Asian culture can teach us about inner peace.

BE LIKE SOMEONE ELSE! This is the battle cry of fools, and right now you are seeing these same people sell a fantasy version of what is going on in other places. What makes this interesting to me is that in the past, it's usually taken a decade or so for these people to discover that their fantasies are just fantasy, but now it's happening within days as the numbers expose their paradises as Potempkin villages of virus prevention.


tryanmax said...

Don't forget how Venezuela was going to show us how nationalizing natural resources can make every citizen unbelievably rich. Oops, nope, the government squandered everything and suppressed the complainers.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Yup, that too. It's honestly tiring. These fools think that anyone who isn't us is superior, and they always seem to get taking in by fancy uniforms, strong men and the allure of power bringing order. It's ridiculous.

ArgentGale said...

Right on all counts, Andrew. America is always the worst according to these people but it's cultural appropriation if we do pick up something from another culture. Not to mention Ideas that might actually be helpful, like the French breeder reactors for nuclear power, gets ignored. It'll be nice if this foolishness takes a good bite out of their credibility.

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