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Can America both challenge and coexist with China? How?

Martin Wolf, the Financial Times columnist says, “Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.”It is too late. America Cannot Challenge or Compete with China.China is ten times older, has ten times more smart people and its economy is one-third bigger and growing three times faster than America’s.People: Americans no longer feel the need for extra effort, while Chinese students have clear plans for their professional future and, as employees, willingly make the extra effort for their firms. American unions are adversarial and distrustful while China has the highest union participation on earth yet employees fully understand that businesses must make money to pay their salaries.Social harmony: Confucius, the great political scientist observed, “Rulers who led their people to the Realm of Lesser Prosperity, a xiaokang[1] lifestyle, were themselves pillars of courtesy, sincerity, justice and virtue while those who did not lost power and everyone regarded them as pests”. Low crime, no religious nonsense or Islamic violence. Companies can invest safely without fear of religious unrest, violence or robbery.Education: Chinese high school students graduate three years ahead of America’s. One-fourth of the world’s STEM workers are Chinese, an intellectual workforce eight times larger and growing six times faster than America’s. By 2025, China will have more technologically skilled workers than the entire OECD (USA, EU, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Turkey) combined. Two percent of Chinese–twenty-eight million people–have an IQ of 140 (‘gifted’), sufficient for membership in Mensa. The Chinese overall five point IQ advantage over Americans means that they have 300,000 people with 160 IQ, compared to 10,000 in the US. [Thanks to Frans Vandenbossche, Zakelijk China, scherp in beeld gebracht]. No country has so many smart, fast thinking people as China. Not just students or professionals, but ordinary people. To quote a friend who hires workers for factories in the US and China,“Manufacturing in the US is a nightmare. At our facility our only requirement for a assembler was a high school degree, US citizenship, passing a drug and criminal background check and then passing a simple assembly test: looking at an assembly engineering drawing and then putting the components together. While the vast majority of Americans were unable to complete the assembly test, in China they completed it in half the time and 100% of applicants passed. An assembler position in the US would average 30 interviews a day and get 29 rejections, not to mention all the HR hassles of assemblers walking off shift, excessive lateness, stealing from work, slow work speed and poor attitudes. The position starts at $12 an hour in flyover country which is pretty reasonable compared to other jobs that only require a GED and no prior work experience and offers medical, dental and annual raises with plenty of opportunity to move up in the company and earn the average salary for a Production Assembler, $33,029 in US, if they stayed for 5+ years.“Identical positions in China pays the same wages as other positions there with only a high school degree and no work experience. Yet the applicant quality is much higher, and this also applies to the white collar support professionals: schedulers, quality inspectors, equipment testers and calibrators, engineers, supply chain managers, account managers, sales. Their labor quality is simply higher. At the end of the day, high-end and middling manufacturing is not moving to either the US or Mexico because average people in flyover country are dumb as rocks.”Social Indicators: By 2021 every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care. 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of American kids and live longer, healthier lives and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China.Leadership: China has professional, non-factional government. President Trump observed, “Their leaders are much smarter than ours. It’s like taking the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and having them play your high school football team.” China’s government is forward-looking, decentralized, efficient and thrifty. The Government Entrance Examination selects the top 2% of graduates each year and success is the only avenue to power, responsibility (and even deification, since China’s Gods are democratically chosen and millions of pilgrims visit deified officials’ shrines each year). The 200 members of the State Council–all promoted on their ability to work cooperatively–have governed billions of people for a combined 5,000 years and their publicly available stats are jaw-dropping. Most have a PhD and an IQ over 140. Americans have little trust in their government and Gallup says 20 percent of them rank government as their most pressing problem and only 54 percent ‘consistently express a pro-democratic position’. The Chinese government, by contrast, is the most trusted on earth:Innovation: In 1999, Samuel Huntington warned,Civilizations grow because they have an instrument of expansion, a military, religious, political, or economic organization that accumulates surplus and invests it in productive innovations and they decline when they stop the application of surplus to new ways of doing things. In modern terms we say that the rate of investment decreases. This happens because the social groups controlling the surplus have a vested interest in using it for non-productive but ego-satisfying purposes which distribute the surpluses to consumption but do not provide more effective methods of production. Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order.The social groups controlling America’s surplus used it for non-productive, ego-satisfying purposes like wars, which distributed the surpluses to consumption but did not provide more effective methods of production. The the social group controlling China, the CCP, did the opposite:America failed to invest its surplus in productive innovations and China did. That’s why China is the world leader in 5G and most new technologies.China leads the world in basic research and in most technologies, especially hot areas. China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest producer of scientific research papers, making up almost a fifth of the total global output, according to a major new report.China dominates a global ranking of the most-cited research papers published in the 30 hottest technology fields. Though the U.S. accounted for 3.9 million research papers overall compared with 2.9 million from China, the Asian country produced the largest share in 23 of the 30 fields that drew the most interest.According to the Japan Science and Technology Agency, China now ranks as the most influential country in four of eight core scientific fields and is overtaking America in the other four.The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Ai2) examined not just the number of AI research papers coming from China but the quality of those papers—as judged by the number of citations they receive in other work. China will overtake the US in the most-cited 50% of research papers this year, the top 10% of research papers in 2020, and the top 1% by 2025. China is already ahead in the number of AI patents filed, AI venture capital invested, and research papers cited worldwide. The number of Chinese students studying AI and graduating from universities worldwide exceed the total number of other countries’ AI students combinedTAn Overview of Scientific and Scholarly Publishing says China has overtaken the US to become the world’s largest producer of scientific research papers, making up a fifth of the total global output,The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, ranked 167 universities and public research universities for the top 500 patent applications. 110 of the patents were from China, 20 from the United States and 19 from South Korea. China also dominates a global ranking of the most-cited research papers published in the 30 hottest technology fields.Finances: Since its economy is growing three times faster and all its debt is domestic, China’s debt burden is one-third of America’s, while the Financial Times says, “America will need to sell $12 Trillion of bonds in the coming decade..Who on earth–or in global finance–will buy this looming mountain of Treasuries, the US borrowing requirement even before Trump’s major upgrade of America’s weapons systems? ..These borrowing needs will all have to be financed in the context of already high global dollar debt exposure. One of America’s biggest hedge funds privately concluded that in five years’ time the Treasury will need to sell bonds equivalent to 25 per cent of gross domestic product, up from 15 per cent now. This level of debt has occurred just twice in the past 120 years, first during the second world war and then again during the 2008 financial crisis.”Infrastructure: New, automated highways, railways, airports, subways and ports and, next year, the world’s fastest, most advanced Internet and an entire city built around 5G.Inequality: Much of China’s GINI (inequality) gap is structural: their inland, rural populations have always been poorer than their urban, coastal cousins and, because the country couldn’t afford to build homes or cities fast enough, inlanders were held in place by residential hukous. But this aspect of inequality has been exaggerated because the cost of living in wealthy areas like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen is much greater because urban land prices–though not housing quality–are vastly higher. If we include the full range of goods and services whose price differ across areas (in rural areas basic foods cost half of Beijing’s), incomes from most rural areas should be increased by fifty percent to make them comparable.If we adjust for where people actually live, the difference shrinks even further. Until recently, demographers counted people’s hukous–where they were registered to live rather than where they actually lived–but migrant workers’ numbers rose to three hundred million in 2018, distorting the comparisons. In real life, the coastal provinces have millions more residents than their registered populations and the reverse holds for migrant-sending inland provinces so, as each person moved from China’s interior to the coast, measures of inequality rose because the migrant contributed to income in the coastal destination but was still counted as living in the origin, interior, area. Once this counting error was corrected, regional inequality in China was found to have declined at an average trend rate of 1.1 percent per year from 1978 to 2016. [Spatial Price Differences and Inequality in the People's Republic of China: Housing Market Evidence,” Asian Development Review, MIT Press].In 2018 President Xi announced that the country will spend 2021-2035 bringing both income and wealth levels closer to Finland’s, the world’s most equitable country.Hunger: There are more hungry people in America than in China:Influence: Gallup says that, despite America’s domination of world media, 34% of the world approves of China’s leadership compared to America’s 31% adding, “As the global balance of soft power continues to shift, it may prove even more difficult for the US to counter this influence”. China generates 20% of global GDP vs. America’s 15%, its imports and exports are in balance, its trading relationships are excellent, its currency fairly valued, its economy one third larger and growing three times faster, its manufacturing wages have reached parity with the US.Trade: China’s most significant trade relationships are Asia and Europe, with the US third. As Parag Khanna says, “Asia’s decoupling reflects the fact that America does not need the rest of the world for its survival. In geopolitics, that is a blessed condition but in geoeconomics it means the US is actually much more dispensible than it thinks. Indeed, China’s most significant trade relationships are first and foremost other Asians, followed by Europe, with the US third most important. From China’s standpoint, number three just launched a trade war against number one. It has taken one short generation for Asia to launch its decoupling from the US—and the coming generation will witness even more couplings among Asians themselves. “America first” sounds like a great idea, except when it actually means, “America alone.”Science and Technology. According to the Japan Science and Technology Agency, China is the most influential country in four of eight core scientific fields, tying with the U.S. The agency took the top 10% of the most referenced studies in each field, and determined the number of authors who were affiliated with the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, China or Japan. China ranked first in computer science, mathematics, materials science and engineering and is rapidly catching up in physics. The U.S. led in physics, environmental and earth sciences, basic life science and clinical medicine.China leads the world in most of the top 10 fields (and in each of the five areas in the top 10 tied to battery research). It accounted for more than 70% of all papers on photocatalysts and nucleic-acid-targeted cancer treatment, which ranked 12th and 14th. The U.S. led in three biotechnology fields, including No. 7 genome editing and No. 10 immunotherapy.China leads in all fields of civil engineering and of sustainable and renewable energy, in manufacturing, supercomputing, speech recognition, graphenics, thorium power, pebble bed reactors, genomics, thermal power, ASW missiles, drones, in-orbit satellite refueling, passive array radar, metamaterials, hyperspectral imaging, nanotechnology, UHV electricity transmission, HSR, speech recognition, radiotelescopy, hypersonic weapons, satellite quantum communications, quantum secure direct communications and quantum controls. “Approximately 72% of the academic patent families published in QIT since 2012 have been from Chinese universities. US universities are a distant second with 12%.” Patintformatics.: No country has so many intelligent, well trained, devoted engineers. China leads the world inquantum encrypted communications,5G telecommunications,CCTV and face recognition–which the NYPD usesSpace: China launched more space missions in 2018 than Russia.China is the world’s leading provider of UAVs and the largest manufacturer and exporter of light combat aircraft. Once it gets is WS-15 engine right it will be America’s equal in fighter technology.Ocean engineering equipment and hi-tech ships. China is the go-to builder for ships like LNG transporters and naval vessels that require technical expertise (the USN even approached it about building a floating dock) It designs, builds and operates the most powerful surface combatants afloat, the Type 55 cruiser.China leads in all aspects of railway engineering and wins the bulk of global rail contracts. The first of five low speed maglev lines has completed testing and two more will open this year.Energy-saving and new energy vehicles: China leads the world in batteries and electric cars and has more than 20 manufacturers innovating to survive.Power equipment: China leads the world in basic research and manufacturing of all renewable energy sources and nuclear energy and it installed more renewable and nuclear power last year than the rest of the world combined. It dominates the market for long distance UHV transmission.New materials like graphene and nanomaterials. China's share of the most cited nanoscience papers grows 22% annually and overtook the US in 2014. Its contribution–in quantity and quality–is now greater than the rest of the world’s combined. Most of the world’s graphene is manufactured, and most graphene startups are in China and the country is even with the US in nanomaterial development.Market Size: There are twice as many people in China than in the US and Europe combined and domestic consumption of China is growing 7% annually as 200 million rural people move into new cities. China will have abundant low salary workers in its western provinces for the next 15 years.Business flexibility: Chinese companies are flexible beyond imagination. They can change products, management, focus, or whatever, literally overnight. The Chinese are incredibly flexible and their culture has already outlived the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans. Western companies are hierarchically organised whereas in Chinese companies decisions are made fast, often on the phone.Thrift: Chinese companies and families have three trillion dollars in their savings accounts and 80% of homes have no mortgages. The country has no external debt and investment money is easy to find.Democracy. China is the world’s leading democracy. Electively, popularly, procedurally, operationally, substantively, financially, technologically, China is a democracy and America is not.Geography. China and its partner, Russia, dominate Eurasia morally, economically, geographically, technologically and militarily. Between them China and Russia have the world’s largest reserves of natural resources. China remains self-sufficient in food and Russia literally has more arable land than it knows what to do with. As Zbigniew Brzezinski warned, “A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions… control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania (Australia) geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia and most of the world’s physical wealth is there too, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.” [The Grand Chessboard].Economic Development and Industrial Capacity. China has twice America’s industrial capacity and its factories are half the age of American factories.Home Ownership: One of the most important social stabilizers is home ownership and China is the world leader in this area:Military Preparedness. Chinese missiles outrange American missiles–usually by 100%–in every category, from A2A to ICBMs. Tough its military spending consumes half America’s discretionary budget, it is losing five wars, has lost the Black Sea and the Middle East and is close to losing the entire Eurasian continent. The bills for those wars are coming due. And, as Winston Churchill put it, “Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” The PLA on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world–at half the cost of America’s defense budget. By 2025, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will have 4 aircraft carriers, 3 Type 075 landing helicopter docks, each carrying 30 attack helicopters, and 10 Type 071 amphibious transport docks, 16 Type 055 guided missile cruisers, 18 Type 052D guided missile destroyers, 6 Type 052C air defence destroyers, 4 Type 052B multirole missile destroyers, 32 Type 054A multi-role frigates, 6 Type 054B multi-role frigates and 80 Type 056/56A corvettes as well as 6 Type 901 fast combat support ships and 12 Type 903 replenishment ships. The underwater fleet will include 11 Type 039 diesel-electric attack submarines, 12 Type 039 AIP diesel-electric attack submarines, 21 Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarines, 8 Type 094 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, 10 Type 095 nuclear-powered attack submarines and 6 Type 096 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.Ideology. The US has no coherent ideology while China’s Confucian ideology is 2,500 years old. China’s elite, the ninety-million members of the Communist Party, have sworn to ‘bear the people’s hardships first and enjoy its fruits last’.Diplomacy. Without threats or coercion, China has created the SCO, the largest security alliance on earth; the AIIB, the largest international finance agency; the BRI, an ambitious trading program with 130 member nations; and the upcoming RCEP will dwarf all trading alliances. The majority of Germans want to distance themselves from the United States and nearly half of then consider China to be a more reliable partner for Germany than the US. Our media’s efforts to diminish China’s soft power are failing, as Europe’s decision to retain Huawei indicates.The Future. The Chinese have a strong belief in the future and willingly sacrifice time and effort for the next generation. The Chinese are feeling as America did in the 60s, and their wages and wealth have doubled every decade for seventy years. By 2025, nine Chinese provinces will enjoy higher average incomes than average Americans.By 2035 China’s manufacturing will reach ‘an intermediate level among world manufacturing powers,’ with greatly improved ability to make key breakthroughs and ‘significantly increase overall competitiveness.’ By 2049 China expects to ‘lead the world’s manufacturing powers, with the capability to lead innovation and possess competitive advantages in major manufacturing areas, and will develop advanced technology and industrial systems.”Kishore Mahbubani, former President of the UN Security Council, says, “The key question the West must ask is: how was the relative over-performance of Western societies in the second half of the 20th century replaced by underperformance in the 21st century? The answer will not come from looking at China. It will come from looking in the mirror."The size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world. –Lee Kwan Yew.[1] Lesser Prosperity.

Is the 4-hour work week still relevant in 2021?

On seeing your question, I looked up the date of the last edition of the book… and as far as I can tell it was 2008, one year after the original publishing date.If my memory serves me well, that was the year I read Jeff Jarvis' new book "What would Google do?" Back in 2008, we were all enthralled by the possibility for positive change that the energy of the internet seemed so promising… and Google still held themselves to the maxim, "Do no evil". Things have changed.As we all know the internet world moves fast, and so any strategies and tactics offered up to us mere mortals would need regular updates to remain timely and valid. And so the question is, what's changed since 2008? And what do we mean by "relevant"?What's not "relevant" in 2021?For many people pursuing more nomadic lifestyles, the book contains strategies and principles that are still possible to use, even if some of the tactics are out of date (and if we ignore the unknown impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel).The most out-dated aspect of the book today, it seems to me, is the central ethos of an 'outsource your life' approach to work. Pandemic life has taught us the hard way that "essential workers" are far more valuable to society than their outsourced or zero-hours contract pay rates would suggest. Socially, the notion of exploiting 'cheap labour' no longer seems so 'clever' even to financially-driven entrepreneurs and the boards of big businesses, as their consumers and customers now find it distasteful.It's a matter for your conscience where you stand on these things, but increasingly the public 'sentiment' is influencing consumer choices and so thankfully this is starting to change the business logic behind "doing the right thing".So what CAN we still learn from the 4-hour work week in 2021?Rather than exploring any specific strategies and tactics in the book, I think the lesson I've taken away retrospectively, is at a "meta-learning" level.What Tim Ferriss is brilliant at is deconstructing systems, whether they be market- or technology-related systems, or systems related to learning and behaviour change. So the book is a good case study for what I would frame as "riding waves".I first came across the idea of riding internet waves a few years back. The New Zealand based marketer Sean D'Souza told me, on a training course of his I'd attended in Washington, that most successful entrepreneurs he knew (including himself) had ridden waves, whether by luck or judgment (truthfully, usually a bit of both).Any casual observer of surfers knows that you can't just jump on a big wave because you have seen other surfers on it. It makes no sense to think that way. Instead, you have to learn to read the waves in order to ride them. You have to catch waves early, but learning about the topology of the shallow waters and how wind and waves and the sea bed are interacting. Skilled surfers know how to 'read' a location, and learn how to read the water.That's really the lesson I took away from Tim Ferriss, all those years ago. I didn't have this wave metaphor in my head back then, but I felt its energy nonetheless - as many did.The thing about the 4-hour Work Week is that it's a good example of a book that explained a new technology wave in 2008, which has long since washed ashore. Underlying principles still hold valid, as they often do, but how those principles manifest today looks different.The bad news, is that by the time a book has been written about a new wave, it's usually too late to jump on early!

What caused the downfall of the UK Labour Party?

The Labour party no longer fits the modern world.Anarchy and conservatismIn 1790, the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke published Reflections on the Revolution in France. In this seminal letter, he condemned what he saw as the excesses of the French revolutionaries, and predicted that the revolution would produce not liberty, but tyranny.His words, below, summarise the situation in his own day, but to me, they also speak remarkably well to the current state of politics in the UK, in 2021:“In viewing this tragi-comic scene, the most opposite passions necessarily succeed, and sometimes mix with each other in the mind; alternate contempt and indignation; alternate laughter and tears; alternate scorn and horror,” he wrote.“Already there appears a poverty of conception, a coarseness and vulgarity in all the proceedings of the assembly and of all their instructors. Their liberty is not liberal. Their science is presumptuous ignorance. Their humanity is savage and brutal.”Burke predicted that a popular general would become master of the whole Republic - a prediction that came true with the accession of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. He also predicted that the radical change sought by the revolutionaries would only produce further problems - a claim that was soon vindicated by the lengthy and destructive Napoleonic wars.The problem, according to Burke, was that “there are no rights without corresponding duties, or without some strict qualifications"."When men play God, presently they behave like devils".Labour’s downfall: proximate causesAt first glance, Labour fell because it consistently failed to elect a leader with the necessary popular appeal; because it failed to win over the media; and because it made the wrong decisions, most notably on Brexit.But the real problem is deeper: why did Labour fail in these ways?One of the biggest reasons is that Momentum took over the Labour party and installed Jeremy Corbyn as leader in 2015. They did so after Ed Milliband changed the leadership rules so that the leader would be elected by members rather than MPs. This reform was intended to make politics more democratic, but in its effect it had the opposite effect.MPs are elected by the people of the constituencies they represent; whereas Labour party members are a tiny minority of the population.Already in 2010, a mere 1% of the population belonged to a political party. That includes both Labour and the Conservatives combined. This is where we connect with the deeper problem in the UK’s democracy.The world has changedIn the 21st century, society no longer looks the same as it did in 1900, when Labour was founded. Labour was created to advocate the rights of working class people. It was a mass-movement that could call on millions of supporters. Through the trade unions, Labour pushed for better working conditions, better pay, and social security. Its crowning achievement was the foundation of the NHS in 1945.But in the 21st century, the unions are dead; party membership for all parties combined is less than 1%; we now have globalisation; markets are interconnected, companies are international, and free-trade is the universal doctrine of the West and its allies. Capitalism is firmly entrenched, and Communism (its opposite) has effectively not existed since 1991.Without the threat of Communism, elites have increasingly pushed back against workers’ rights and have pursued a neo-conservative agenda. Companies were privatised, regulations were cut back, and ordinary people saw their living standards begin to stagnate and then go into reverse.Unfortunately, most of the people affected were the young, but they don’t vote; and they are demographically outnumbered by older people, who benefit from the status quo. So nothing was done about the housing crisis and other related issues such as student debt, poor pay, poor productivity, and so on.The financial crisis of 2008 and the massive cuts to government spending since then further eroded and hollowed out society and the middle class. Meanwhile the media was almost completely owned by right wing advocates pushing an overt political agenda.The result of all this has been the resurgence of the Conservatives, the decline, failure and irrelevance of Labour, and the pushing of a hard-right agenda, including Brexit.ValuesLabour stands in defence of the principles of the Enlightenment: liberty, equality, fraternity, progress, secularism and constitutional government.The opposites of these values are authority, hierarchy, nationalism, racial superiority, tradition, religion, absolutism, monarchy and aristocracy. These values are sometimes, though not entirely accurately, attributed to the Conservative party.The original values of the Enlightenment were championed (in different ways) by people like Voltaire, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseu, Immanuel Kant, Montesquieu, Rene Descartes, David Hume, Adam Smith, Denis Diderot, Mary Wollstonecraft and many others in the 17th and 18th centuries.But not everyone agreed with revolution. While the ideal of liberty was popular to many, some thinkers (such as Edmund Burke) warned that too much radicalism might lead to anarchy.The Conservative party today: decadence, degeneration and anti-intellectualismIronically, today’s Conservative party would achieve the impressive feat of angering both Edmund Burke (one of the most influential conservative figures of all time), and his opponent, one of the founding fathers of liberalism, Thomas Paine, who wrote a rebuttal to Burke’s argument. Paine believed in the revolution and felt that resistance to unjust authority was justified when there was no other way.To be clear, both of them believed in liberty; the disagreement was primarily in to what extent they believed in radical change versus gradual change; and their view of the French revolutionaries.Today’s Tories represent both the irrational, raging, savage mob that Edmund Burke criticised; and paradoxically, the embodiment of aristocratic, hierarchical, absolutist, entitled privilege that Thomas Paine opposed.In essence, what has happened through Brexit is that the rich, entitled, regressive elite has used its money to fund newspapers to fool the uneducated, unthinking mob into voting for Brexit, using the carrot of racist bigotry and deluded patriotism to mislead them into voting against their own interests. Heavy misinformation, lies, propaganda, scaremongering and dirty, cheating tactics were used to obtain victory and to smear the opposition.Hence, we have a government that combines the worst possible elements of both worlds: unaccountable privilege and inequality, combined with the fierce passions and unthinking savagery of the unintelligent mob.Aftermath/conclusionI left the UK in December 2020.According to data published in January 2021, at least 1.3 million people left the UK between July 2019 and September 2020. Accurate figures for the entirety of the period from June 2016 to the present (February 2021) are hard to find. But in its most recent figures, the UK has already suffered its worst economic decline since the Great Frost of 1709. London has also suffered the biggest drop in its population since the Second World War. And not to mention the UK having one of the worst Coronavirus death rates in the developed world.I do not write all of this out of desire to lambast the UK, but rather, to excoriate those responsible for its decline.Writing nearly 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato warned against democracy, on the grounds that it could all too easily descend into mob-rule, directed by unscrupulous demagogues who would lead the ship of state to ruin, in pursuit of their own self-serving interests.It is no coincidence, of course, that it was the assembly of Athens that voted to put to death the philosopher Socrates, widely renowned as one of the greatest minds of the age, for the crime of disrespecting the gods. It was also the demagogues Alcibiades and Nicias that were responsible for the disastrous expedition to Sicily in 415 BC, which led to Athens’ downfall and defeat in the Peloponnesian War.The UK is at present governed by an unholy alliance of the most entitled, corrupt and incompetent elements of the aristocracy, supported by the most ignorant, anti-intellectual and belligerent of the demos (the people).Perhaps, at length, in some future date, England may recover. But it will likely do so after Scotland and Northern Ireland have split away. Even Wales’ loyalty is subject to rising nationalist fervour. The Union, in which I was born and raised, seems to have reached the limits of its endurance. A Union of 300 years, dashed on the rocks of narrow self-interest and folly.Such is the price, of an ignorant, prejudiced section of the populace, who, at the direction of dishonest media, allowed themselves to be deceived by the falsehoods presented by fools, narcissists, charlatans and snake oil salesmen. Greater is the misfortunate, that everyone else must suffer, for the failures of the misguided.I hope for a better future for the UK. One can always hope.

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