"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
5 My Background7 My BackgroundMy BackgroundChapter 6: The Big Cycle of China and Its Currency2020-10-09Journal
In earlier chapters we saw how the Dutch and then the British each became the richest and most powerful reserve currency empire and then declined into relative insignificance in cycles that were driven by timeless and universal archetypical cause/effect relationships. Then we saw how the United States replaced them as the dominant world empire broadly following the same archetypical cyclical patterns driven by the same archetypical cause/effect relationships. We saw how some of its eight key powers rose and declined (i.e., education, economic competitiveness, shares of world trade and output), while others continued to excel (innovation and technology, reserve currency status, financial market center), and we looked at how a number of the other key drivers (e.g., money and debt cycles, wealth/values/political cycles, etc.) are transpiring in the US. In this chapter we will study China’s way of looking at its past and bring us up to this moment with the aid of objective statistical measures that help paint the picture objectively. As in the US chapter we will cover the older history superficially; the 220 years up until 1949 in a bit greater detail; and the last 40 years, when China evolved from relative insignificance to become a great rival power to the United States, in the most detail. That will complete our examination of the rises and declines of the leading empires over the last 500 years. Then, in the next chapter, we will look at US-China relations and wars as they now exist, and in the concluding chapter of this book, “The Future,” we will try to squint into the future.