FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st Century

Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book by that name,  80 years after it was first published, still has millions of followers and practitioners round the globe. Stripped to its barest form, it’s no more than clever use of psychology to manipulate other people to serve one’s own purpose : to persuade others to one’s point of view and exercise influence over them. At best, it’s a benign version of Machiavellianism.

In China, some have said in jest that one could govern a nation just by applying half of what’s in the Analects. Though that’s hyperbole, there’s a ring of truth to it. A central tenet in the Analects is “Junzi”, which defies translation as much would be lost in the process. Loosely and roughly put, Junzi is a learned, morally upright and scrupulous, and highly-principled person who walks the talk, subscribes to fair play, respects others, and won’t take what’s not his by force or foul means.

Confucianism puts a great store by social harmony. The concept of “Datong”, or loosely Great Harmony, contains elements of egalitarianism, helping others, and peace. That philosophy has traces of Daoism as well as Confucius’ contemporary, Mozi’s non-aggression. It predated communism and Utopianism by some two millennia.  Sun Yat-sen’s “A world shared equally by all” was a modern rendition of Datong. Xi Jinping has refined it in recent years to “A community of shared future for mankind”. This has biblical echo in Ecclesiastes 9 : “A common destiny awaits all”.

In the context of state-to-state relations, Datong is reflected in China’s foreign policies of mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and peaceful co-existence.

The colonial abuses and atrocities of plunder, rape and exploitation of the colonised didn’t survive the post-WW2 struggle for independence by the colonies for obvious reasons. Increasingly too, the empire’s zero-sum and winner-takes-all world order enforced by force of arms is fast unravelling. China’s win-win formula and community of shared destiny are coming to the fore as the new narrative and alternative to the empire’s carrying a big stick and using it to punish those who fall out of line or simply refuse to toe the line.

China is perceived as an existential threat to American hegemony not so much on account of China’s economic ascendancy or military prowess. But because China offers a new alternative to global order based on peace and economic development that militates against the Wolfowitz Doctrine. The empire has been pulling all the stops to contain or disrupt China’s re-emergence. From outright trade embargoes imposed on the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, CIA’s covert operations in Tibet, repeated attempts of colour revolution (of which the Tiananmen Incident was a failed attempt), more than 200 military bases in the Pacific to encircle China, Obama’s Pivot to Asia, Trump’s threat to wage a trade war against China, and continuing efforts to sabotage the Belt and Road Initiative.

China’s rise is inexorable, and the empire’s containment and shit-stirring will come to naught. It’s not because China is strong. But because China’s Datong alternative has found sympathy and takers in many sovereign states which have grown utterly sick and tired of being bullied and subjugated by the hegemon. Just as Obama’s Pivot to Asia has failed miserably, so will Trump’s America First policy and the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

China-backed BRI has swept across Eurasia and further afield in Africa and South America, merely 4 years after it hit the road. Through BRI, China has turned foes into friends. President Duterte of the Philippines has pivoted to China, frustrating America’s ploy to raise tension in South China Sea. So has Nepal, long under the stranglehold of aspiring South Asian hegemon India,  after the Communist coalition won the  election by a landslide last week. All this because they see it beneficial to hitch a ride on the BRI train, a historic opportunity to develop their economies.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
Norman Solomon
Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War
Torsten Bewernitz – Gabriel Kuhn
Syndicalism for the Twenty-First Century: From Unionism to Class-Struggle Militancy
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo
Thomas Knapp
NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.
Forrest Hylton
Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show
M. G. Piety
A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration
Ellen Isaacs
The Audacity of Hypocrisy
Monika Zgustova
Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia
Manuel García, Jr.
From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours
Binoy Kampmark
Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble
Jill Richardson
Marijuana and the Myth of the “Gateway Drug”
Muzamil Bhat
Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses
Gaither Stewart
War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
Farzana Versey
What Religion is Your Nationalism?
Clark T. Scott
The Focus on Trump Reveals the Democrat Model
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Do Bernie’s Supporters Know What “Not Me, Us” Means? Does Bernie?
Peter Harley
Aldo Leopold, Revisited
Winslow Myers
A Presidential Speech the World Needs to Hear
Christopher Brauchli
The Chosen One
Jim Britell
Misconceptions About Lobbying Representatives and Agencies
Ted Rall
Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does
Mel Gurtov
Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the Insecurity of China’s Leadership
Nicky Reid
Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion
Tom H. Hastings
Cross-Generational Power to Change
John Kendall Hawkins
1619: The Mighty Whitey Arrives
Julian Rose
Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone
David Yearsley
Parasitic Sounds
Elliot Sperber
Class War is Chemical War
December 05, 2019
Colin Todhunter
Don’t Look, Don’t See: Time for Honest Media Reporting on Impacts of Pesticides
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail