The New York Times ran an op-ed on Xi Jinping, China’s assumed heir apparent to the CCP chair and presidential throne, last Sunday. Though deeply cynical of China as a whole, the writer describes why many Chinese view Xi as a strong “advocate of ordinary people’s interests.” That is if, of course, you consider this somehow relatively ordinary:
When Mr. Xi was 9, his father, Xi Zhongxun, who had fought in the Communist revolution, was purged from the party by Mao. The father was detained and imprisoned and spent 16 years in a labor camp, plunging the family into poverty. During the Cultural Revolution, a 15-year-old Mr. Xi was banished to a poverty-stricken village in northern China where, for seven years, he labored with peasants, eating corn chaff bread and sleeping in a flea-infested bed.
From flea-infested to leader of a world superpower. Now, that, my friends, is an “Only in China” story.
Used to be, growing up, one would hear the phrase “Only in America” like it was going out of style. Turns out, it was.
“Only in America” has lost most of its moxie. I mean, what was the last great OiA headliner? Obama, right. “Black elected president! Only in America!” Like no one had ever heard of the African continent before.
Not to take away from Barack’s humble upbringings, but he certainly didn’t suffer through the hardships of Xi Jinping’s family. Which also isn’t to say that many families have not, considering most Chinese families did suffer a similar fate in those dark years.
I guess, what I am getting at here, is that the motherland of opportunity has relocated. If I were going to ask you where the next dirt-poor peasant would rise to the cream of the crop, would you bet on it happening in America or China? That’s the question.
My money is on China. I think it’s safe to say most would agree. Part of that, undoubtedly, is due to the fact that China is still in its Rockefeller Revolution. But is that the only reason?
I’d like to say that the road to riches is a a little less rocky in China at the moment, but that just isn’t the case either. Poor, rural Chinese face just as rough, if not a rougher road to success than their peers in the US. A farmer’s child in China is born with literally next to nothing.
Hmm, it’s a tightrope argument here. One could fall of on either side and really offend someone/a billion people. So, I guess I’ll leave the questions to you…
What is that makes China feel like more is possible there than in the US? Is it solely the economy? Can an argument be made for cultural differences? How much of it comes down to parents and sacrifice for their children? What about ambition, determination, laziness, and entitlement, where would you chart them in a comparison?
All I know is this: Google “Only in America” and you get 2,120,000,000 hits. Google “Only in China” and you get 2,190,000,000.
That’s 70,000,o00 more reasons to think “Only in China” might be only the beginning.