Archive for the ‘Asia’ category

The right pulls the race card

August 10, 2014

Traditionally the race card is something left wing progressives like to use whenever they are losing an argument with social conservatives. But times are a changin’ and today the economic right is increasingly using the race card to shut down progressive or populist debate on free trade, immigration and globalisation.

In New Zealand there’s currently a debate going on about the sale of large farms to Chinese investors. This policy is actively promoted by the mainstream centre right but opposed by a loose coalition of environmentalists, socialists and populists. The right has responded by labeling their opponents as “xenophobic racists” opposed to the idea of large-scale Asian investment. While the sale of large blocks of land to foreigners may or may not be a good thing from an economic point of view, there are indeed serious questions about whether it’s a good idea to sell large amount of land to investors from non-western countries. As well as the issue of corruption there is also the issue of whether such land buy-ups will result in increased pressure for the importation of Chinese labour to work on such farms. After all, low-wage third world labour from the Philippines and Melanesia is already being widely used on dairy farms and vineyards, with numerous reports of sub-standard wages and work conditions.

However, the economic right is not prepared to debate these issues and instead is resorting to the race card to try and shut down the debate altogether. If opinion polls are anything to go by this policy is clearly backfiring. Calling refugee-loving liberals “racist” sounds desperate and pathetic, and will only serve to further alienate social conservatives who are already feed up with the mammon obsessed policies of the mainstream centre right.

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East v West

September 15, 2012

Two years after a major earthquake, the New Zealand city of Christchurch has only managed to rebuild a modestly sized suburban library, meanwhile the Chinese has shown the world they can assemble a 30-story hotel in 15 days.

Admittedly this is a kitset hotel which has been manufactured off-site (which makes you wonder why the world doesn’t produce more manufactured kitset buildings) but it shows China’s vigour and determination when it comes to getting things done.  In contrast, the paralysed West seems to over complicate everything it attempts.

Another hole in the white privilege argument

June 26, 2012

Over at Oz Conservative, Mark Richardson highlights some fascinating stats on global economic development in an article about whiteness studies.

According to left liberal arguments, the economic success of Europeans has been based on exploiting other parts of the world, a process which began about 1550 with their colonial expansion into America and Asia.

However, there’s a big problem with this argument – Europe started pulling ahead of Asia as early as 1100 AD, 400 years before Europeans started conquering other parts of the world.

From what I’ve read of economic history, a major reason why Europe started to overtake Asia during the Middle Ages was labour scarcity. Europe’s less intensive style of agriculture and factors such as the Black Death meant that labour was a lot more expensive in Europe than Asia, so in Europe there was a much greater incentive to develop labour-saving technology. This is why Europeans in the Middle Ages were focusing more on things like water wheels and windmills and new types of ploughs, while East Asians were inventing more elite-orientated technologies like silk and porcelain.