Soft Colonialism & Chinatown.

Let me thrash out a certain perspective. Chinatown is a global phenomenon, ubiquitous to major cities & towns. Although to me they contrast most strongly when set against a non-Asiatic culture, that is a personal ignorance. To bind together all these disparate locations, expatriate culture has lead to the construction of similar architecture, food, language and semi-segregation. These are small, semi-independent colonies and are scattered across the world.

At times Chinese migration was directed by a foreign gold rush. Many Chinatown’s were founded by greed, similar to a lot of European colonisation (& Russian, & African, & Australian-Aborigine, and so on & so forth). Some Chinatown’s were created due to fallout from significant, contemporary events, which is seen after W.T.C. attacks in the U.S.A. caused a domestic migration from New York City to Montville, Connecticut. Nevertheless, greed via business seems to be a significant factor in all Chinatown’s and this is a concept with a lot of reach. Not only does greed motivate the founders of the colony ‘to boldly go where no Chinese has gone before!’, it is directly relevant to instances of negative action; legal targeting, insidious rumours, coolie-slavery, etcetera.

Discourse on colonialism is dominated by the European forms. These forms are distinct from a soft colonialism. They are characterised by much larger movements of people, greater technological inconsistency between the colonisers & colonised, seizure of power across a larger geographic area, seizure of power in deeper social values, a central authority responsible for the colony before its founding, and much more violence. These traits belong to a ‘harder’ colonialism. Frequently a colony will send some type of remittance to the homeland and resources are diverted from the local populace. These two traits are common to both ‘hard’ & ‘soft’ colonialism, although in the latter it is lesser.

Hopefully consideration of Chinatown’s as a soft colonialism will reform perceptions of colonialism into a broader category, enable realistic criticisms of certain modern nations and feed curiosity.

The Resource of Public Discourse.

I like to describe the resources of public discourse thusly; attention, emotion, creative chances and action. Talk shows, panel shows and general media constantly circulate information throughout the community, according to various agendas and events. The subject of the popular public platforms will receive more attention, which feeds into expressions of emotion (eg. I care about this cause, I have more time for those people now, I never really got it before), feeds into a chance of someone creating a solution (eg. reduce the gender pay gap by asking women to negotiate wages), and it can feed into signing a petition, protest / solidarity march and what-not.

The circulation of information can indeed be circular. An example begins with those indigenous peoples of the world who face cycles of suffering which are an ongoing effect of colonisation. From the (what I imagine to be) perspective of a child, it is not immediately obvious that history is to blame for some social problems, nor that social projects specifically for minorities (instead of for problems) may be validated as an effort to break a cycle of suffering. Left to explain to themself, a child might learn a skin deep explanation to both predict and explain certain social issues, and that social projects specifically for minorities are simply a different expression of favouritism. As the child grows and learns the invisible explanation, the surface explanation is overcome, righteousness kicks in and this cycle repeats itself.
To briefly go deeper, a dogma, as opposed to a talking point, brooks no argument and readily produces contradictions (race-blind hiring set against racial benefits). A talking point allows the consistent explanation to be given, tweaks to the consistent explanation and immediate developments of the state of affairs alongside just arguing or joking, and it’s those last two which circulate the issue into smoko. These two paragraphs hopefully demonstrate a resource of public discourse, development & maintenance of the public opinion.

Most resources are limited in quantity, and this is true of the resource of public discourse. Each of us has only a finite time alive, and as attention requires life then our attention is a limited resource. As the developments of emotion, creative chance and action require that attention to begin, they are also limited. Competition for the limited resource of public attention comes from media personalities seeking to maintain their position, from advertising seeking to hold and manipulate it and from more places. Limitations of attention, perhaps by a limited broadcast time, means not all questions can be asked, conversation may be cut short, fuller explanations are inexpressible and so please be mindful of the balance of public discourse. Sometimes a dogma is a better response than a talking point.

Public discourse is a society wide resource to which we should all have recourse. An ability to determine what is discussed is at least as powerful as determining how it is discussed, and so there is a never ending battle over the hot topic & public enemy number 1. I believe a good discussion should include a relative position of the subject, and a relative position of social justice campaigns could undermine their impact. Positioning an issue within a broader context could also result in better distribution of the resource of public discourse.

A Society of Sub-Cultures.

*I’d rather be wearing white in desert sunlight!

Consider the dynamic between proletariat and bourgeois, from the communist framework of course. It strikes one as reasonable that members of the proletariat would seek to become bourgeois, and so this class would criticise the revolution if it restricts their dreams o private property. There are castles for sale (bloody aristocrats eat cake whilst citizens of DPRK eat grass). If they were all to become culture centres and tourist traps, what effect would be seen in those with secret, selfish wishes? On their motivation? Their social engagement?

This type of selfish desire is harnessed in an effective manner in our society, by the form of monetary value and taxation. Not to say there is no room for improvement. This acceptance of selfish desire, and this method of harnessing it for the greater good, enhance some aspects of community, although if private property is the problem these dynamics only repeat the problem. Anyway, there is no need for all citizens to go to a mosque, church or stupa, to be taught a spirituality which encourages selflessness and kindness. How else can the plethora of cultures and sub-cultures coexist?

Secularism is another facet of pre-existing ideology which holds influence over this state of affairs. Some communities desire to be the supreme social power, and have all state affairs organised and developed by their principles. So, for example, an Islamist and a Apostolic Christian may agree about peace on earth, but would they do agree about the prayers which should be said before class? Secularism, although it does diminish the dream of overwhelming religion / culture, means that only the secular code shall be placed above the divine code and then mostly in matters in the public domain. Proslytising and preaching can occur in personal domains, which appears to give breathing room to the dream of religious dominance.

As a certain form of economic structure (capitalism) and a certain form of governance (secular) spreads and deepens around the globe, individuals (born in the right place to the right parents, more than ever before) are free to pursue their own ends, and by so doing inch the larger community forwards. Value systems and individual projects are not uniform and do not have to be. However, limits of what can be selfishly pursued (monopoly control of all high fructose corn syrup or mangos) and which value systems must be excluded (WWII Japanese rape culture, WWII USA nuclear weapons usage) are exceeding a certain boundary, one most deserving of respect.

A minimum (prison) standard should be guaranteed, all else is competition. I believe it is better to share some standards of capitalism and secularism than it is to raise them. This leads me again to the question of whether current leading communities can remain so only as long as the global order remains stable. So to say it differently, if all people everywhere were given the wealth of the average Qatari on their 18th birthday, would inflation collapse the global networks of markets, the networks of production and distribution?

Latin America, 4-Day Work Week, Climate Change & Capitalism.

Recently the government of Venezuela called for a 4-day work week. This curious fact came to me through openDemocracy. The goal is to reduce power consumption due to low dam levels and reliance on hydro-power, auguring rolling blackouts as a near immediate occurence. Regardless, a 4-day work week is a goal worth working towards.

This can be associated with climate change, as rain is an aspect of the climate, and it has changed. Whether this change is due to industrial influence on natural patterns, like the Yellow River running red, or micro-organisms altering the global atmosphere  or a part of a cyclic change, does not get mentioned. Regardless, both sides of the climate debate should agree that we want to stay in the present Ice Age and discuss what to do to achieve this instead of laying the blame.

The Venezuela power crisis has given more momentum to the cause of developing an effective method of power transportation. Advancement in this domain would improve environmental impacts, business costs and industry efficiency. If discovered and disseminated early, it would enable developing nations to move directly to a better civil infrastructure which would be superior to the efficiencies of modern nations.

Forbes hosts an article about this crisis. There is not a single word about a 4-day work week being a reasonable goal of government. It boggles my mind that a reasonable solution to poverty is, & I quote,
“The right way is to give poor people more money so that they can buy whatever it is at that market price.”
Yes, wealth  which enters the economy at the bottom of the socio-economic scale will turn a lot more wheels than wealth which enters at say, the banking sector. However there are surely more effective, easier structural tools of government, such as price fixing, than redistributing wealth from billionaires. Price fixing is ridiculed in the article as a useless economic tool and redistributive taxation is apparently the solution. Market clearing price is mentioned, compare it to price gouging, an effect of monopolies which can form in spite of taxation due to lack of regulation (such as price fixing). Price gouging is not unlikely to occur in the Venezuelan crisis, as it is a common occurrence in times of crisis.

A better tomorrow should be for more to lead the good life, rather than for business to grow. A 4-day work week should be applauded, despite the crisis, and support thought of to make it possible outside of ecological catastrophe &/ socialist stupidity.

This article is indicative of the elite dictating the terms to the many. Business in America can do well, but not without exploiting dollar a day workers (seriously) in Bangladesh. It is well and good to say the rich should give to the poor, even unwillingly so if the government must act with taxation. How though, should the government of Bangladesh move a fraction of the wealth of billionaires, to the local paupers? It speaks of the dystopia of capitalism that a 4-day work week is not a goal, but instead seen as a problem to be ended with laissez-faire markets. As I have said before, a minimum standard should be essential to modern government. As mechanisation, computerisation, and industrial performance advance, it is becoming increasingly possible that the normal standard of work is what the people want it to be, and not what the birth lottery dictates.

On Righteousness, Conversation & Democracy.

A fundamental engine of democracy is found in the dynamic of the desire to be right (consistency) and the desire to connect (immediacy). Righteousness of any sort is decided by humans. Belief in a divine being communicating a moral code still requires a human mind to decide to trust that it itself can interpret the moral code. Removal of a divine being changes nothing, righteousness is a decision by the human mind to trust in a moral code. A moral code gains traction by the amount of visible support from others.

Humans are social animals, we are meant to be in a group of some unclear size and have an inherent instinct to connect. We enjoy conversation. We enjoy the fleeting sense of hierarchy which emerges from correction, most commonly the correction of another although occasionally the correction of ourselves. We enjoy conversation, and conversation draws righteousness from immediacy of moral code & consistency of moral code.

So our conversations, whether of a serious or casual nature, our conversations have a dynamic of righteousness. Of course, there is spontaneity, other forms of playfulness, emotional release, personal revelation and so very much more to conversations than solely righteousness. Nevertheless, the dynamic constrained within our instinct to connect and our enjoyment of righteousness help to propagate good ideas through our society, improve political opinion of the citizen and the political structure of the institutes locally present.

Between Competition & Cooperation.

When considering something of a social nature, particularly between groups or hypotheticals, it can be immediately & consistently useful to assess by two values, competition & cooperation. It would seem reasonable to me that the most important agreements are a detailed balance of these, with relevant terminology. It extends from the personal to the larger, less spoken agreements. As a change of perspective, to a simpler way, it is refreshing and may perhaps invigorate your interest to investigate an arena.


The current economic system, in my opinion, is much more simply described as competition. Indeed, this is the enshrining feature in some definitions. This competition appears to have frequent unhealthy results which capitalists would describe as some unfortunate re-ordering of the economic system to a new balance of supply & demand with whatever tweaks they want to throw in. Communists hold a similar perspective, except with a cyclic nature, and an attitude of evolution.

Observe economic ideas in the light of competition & cooperation. A brief mention, consider the outcomes of laissez-faire capitalism as 1: infinite and of communism as 1:1. What would 1:100 look like?


A question could be raised about global agreement on international standards, forms of co-operation upon a competitive arena. It is consistent to develop an idea of an international standards from the pre existing ideas of person, community, and state. Nearly all people agree to live without public violence, although violence is a realistic part of our nature. This co-operation about violence extends beyond a pair, a mob, a nation to the international arena, where standards of war and human rights represent an elevating consistency from the individual to globe.