Tuesday, September 4, 2007

China and the West - UC Podcast

I have so little knowledge and so little time to check things out. Just like anybody else I tend to take things for granted if media present it in some plausible fashion. The UC podcast about China and the West presents the facts thus:
China’s phenomenal economic growth is paralleled in scale and speed only by the rise of the United States between the Civil War and the First World War in 1914. Since 1978 the economy has grown ninefold, and is set to become the second largest within a decade. From inauspicious beginnings, China has become a $2 trillion economy because the Communist Party has channeled huge savings into investment, and encouraged millions of workers into its booming cities, the biggest migration in history.

So, in simple terms, is China going to take over the West as the major power (economic, political, cultural)? We tend to believe so. The podcast features Will Hutton as a speaker and he points out some huge weaknesses of China and its economy. In short, China has serious economic problems to tackle but hardly the means to do so. More fundamentally an efficacious social fabric, institutions, lack, to take this on. So, not only is China hardly capable of taking over, in spite of the presented figures, it needs proper address and it seems the West is urgently needing to get this straight.

Not only ignorant me, also policy makers seem to fall prey to the apparent rise of China and fail to see its problems and weaknesses.

War's effect on the soul - Shrinkrapradio #109

A veteran lives next door to me. He roams the street like a living corpse. He is heavily sedated, so the neighbors tell, otherwise his battle traumas will throw him in a frenzy. Unshaved and dressed in rags, he aimlessly wanders between the synagogue and his parents' house which is in the same apartment building where we live. His state is the result of the first Lebanon war which raged in the early eighties. For him it has been twenty years of living in a haze like this.

The latest guest on Shrinkrapradio, has written a book on how war affects the soul. His name is Edward Tick. The interview Dr. Dave conducts with him is representative, once more, of the best this podcast has to offer. And so we learn how war wounds us, not just the soldiers who fought the war, also everybody who is touched by war, who took it into his conscience that he lives through a time of war. And we begin adapting our lives to it. Even when the war is over, our souls tend to go on living in a state of war.

In other words, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But Dr. Tick doesn't regard this as a behavioral disorder, but rather an identity disorder. A wound to the soul - uncanny term for psychology. He also points out that the frequent occurrence of war and the awareness we carry through the generations of war being around, has caused us to seek it out. We must live war. However, we must not keep carrying it with us. We must be allowed to leave it behind. PTSD is the soul that has remained in the state of war. Just like my neighbor. Dr. Tick indicates to techniques and approaches that could take him out.