Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What the Collapse of the Ming Dynasty Can Tell Us About American Decline

Noah Smith writes:
One big reason the Ming stagnated was probably isolationism; the Ming government periodically banned private shipping, burning privately owned ships and forcibly relocating coastal populations away from the sea. Though the policy was ostensibly to curb piracy (which it failed to do), the Ming shipping ban was part of a larger policy of hostility toward trade and foreign travel that grew over time and carried over into the later Qing dynasty...Another likely reason for the Ming's decline was disrespect of science. Continuing a trend that had begun in earlier dynasties, the Ming education system de-emphasized science and technical studies, and instead forced aspiring bureaucrats to learn "Confucianist" philosophy....
 Americans are turning away en masse from science, technology, and mathematics fields. We tell ourselves "I'm just not a math person," conveniently avoiding the hard mental work that Europeans and Asians take for granted. Our world-beating universities and tech companies now import huge percentages of their Ph.D. students and engineers, much as Ming China once imported Jesuit mathematicians. The worst part is that after their degrees are finished, many of those Ph.D. students leave America, due to our restrictive immigration system.
Read the full article here.

Trade is very important.  It probably is what resulted in homo sapiens, beating out Neanderthals (SEE: The Hayekian Explanation for Why We Beat Out Neanderthals). War, invasions and the impositions of sanctions are the opposite of trade. The more the U.S.continues on such a path, the more it will suffocate itself.

1 comment:

  1. Are you saying the political terrorists are Neanderthals?