[ This post is a continuation from Part 1 on Great Nations. ]
There are new nations rising from the ashes. Undoubtedly, China is one, and South Korea is another. I predict there will be many more to come as nations become more developed. Future nation states will rise from the southern hemisphere, South, South-East and East Asia, and perhaps eventually Africa. Europe and North America and Japan have had its turn.
Today, there are far fewer products being made in the U.S.A. and the western world. There are only a few items I own with this label. What we are seeing far more of today is the label, “Made in China.”
We ask ourselves, where have the good ol’ days gone? We hear the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Nothing wrong with that. No doubt, America has had its days of greatness. Many products used to be produced in America and proudly stamped, “Made in the USA.” My father remembers those days. England used to be a great industrial nation. Germany and Japan are still strong but we are constantly look behind our backs and seeing other nations gaining ground.
Sadly, though, I do not foresee a total return to those good ol’ days of American made products. The cost of production is far too high and the value of world currencies do not help. I do not doubt America’s potential to produce top quality products. America still has the know-how and technology to succeed. However, what is most concerning is the spiritual condition of America’s national soul.
I am old enough to remember when America’s vehicles were considered unreliable and were not built to last, e.g., Ford’s vehicles were sadly referred to as: “Frequently On Repair Dock”. How true is this of many American-made products today? I don’t know. There used to be an innate desire in Americans to produce excellence but sadly it does not run throughout most of American society. Rather than producing quality and providing workers with good salary and benefits, corporate America is largely driven by profit and cost-cutting measures to benefit the bottom-line; hence, today’s desire of many people for Japanese-made and German-made vehicles like Lexus, Mercedes, and BMWs. It might seem surprising that some North Americans and most Europeans have never driven American-made vehicles.
I stated in a previous post, China is ramping up their production and innovation. As strong as they already are, I believe they have the potential to become even better. It might take a decade or two, but they will become one of the premier powerhouses in the world. Many predict that China will eventually overtake the United States in G.D.P. by this next decade. It has already become an innovation power-house. China is pouring billions into Research & Development. As I read about technology internationally, I’m learning about how they are now one of the top leaders (if not the top) in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G networks, electric vehicles (EV), including solar energy and rechargeable batteries. I predict they will soon become the top providers of 5G technology in the world and artificial intelligence (hence America’s fear of Huawei).
It might just be a matter of time when China will improve and eventually overtake America in quality of production. Japan has already done so in many respects but have seemed to reached a plateau. My father remembers the days when Japanese products were also considered inferior products. That changed as Japan improved. Being younger, I only have memories of Japanese products being top-notch quality. Today, South Korea is gaining ground on Japan. Future generations will foreseeably consider Korean-made and even Chinese-made products as top-quality.
Chinese society and Chinese people are a people who vigorously strive for excellence. There is a deep-seated desire to become number one. One day, I was shocked to hear from my own daughter’s mouth, who is now only 11 years old, that she thinks China wants to become the world’s number one nation. I asked her where she got that impression? “Oh I don’t know”… or “I just know.” She likely picked it up from watching YouTube videos. I’ve seen a few myself. This is the impression that today’s younger generations have of China. It wasn’t like this when I was growing up. China was poor and looked down upon as a hopeless socialist basket-case country. Today, that’s changed.
In the future, perhaps a hundred years down the road, Chinese people might yearn to remember their good ol’ days too. China’s younger population will eventually decline and its overall population will shrink. Demographics experts predict trouble will begin looming on China’s horizon in about 30 years from now due to population shrinkage.
Today, however, China has a grand opportunity to make history. However, history will be remembered only if a nation becomes a spiritually strong people. How can this take shape? ( Read the next post. )