"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
2 The Positions the Americans and Chinese Are In4 The Positions the Americans and Chinese Are InThe Positions the Americans and Chinese Are InChapter 7: US-China Relations and Wars2020-10-18JournalHistory has shown that the successes of all countries depend on sustaining the strengthening forces without producing the excesses that lead to their declines.  The really successful ones have been able to do that in a big way for 200-300 years.  None has been able to do it forever. Thus far in this book we looked at the history of the last 500 years focusing especially on the rise and decline cycles of the Dutch, British, and American reserve currency empires and the last 1,400 years of China’s dynasties, which has brought us up to the present.  The goal has been to put where we are in the context of the big-picture stories that got us here and to see the cause/effect patterns of how things work so that we can put where we are into better perspective.  Now we need to drop down and look at where we are in more detail, hopefully without losing sight of that big picture.  As we drop down, imperceptibly small things—TikTok, Huawei, Hong Kong sanctions, closing consulates, moving battleships, unprecedented monetary policies, political fights, social conflicts, and many others—will start to appear much larger, and we will find ourselves in a blizzard of them that comes at us every day.  Each warrants more than a chapter-long examination, which I don’t intend to do here, but I will touch on the major issues. Continue reading…