A country needs to appeal to its elites at least

Throughout the history it was always that 1% of the population who made profound changes in our civilization. The people in power may change from time to time, but the importance of the elite class to a country stays the same. But if a country could not even hold its elites, what kind of future does the country have?

Imagine the sad life beyond this glamorous picture of China

I am talking specifically to my country, China, a renowned economic miracle of the 21st century. While every money-drilling businessman is dashing into China for the gold rush, every desperate Chinese intelligentsia would do everything he/she could to get out of the country. You are probably not aware of the latter one, but definitely heard of the former phenomenon. Especially in such an economic downturn in the West, people even see China as the ultimate savior for the misery Europeans have got themselves into. To a normal Chinese, especially for guys who have extensive experience and understanding of both China and the west like myself, China is a sad place. Emotionally, when the place makes people sad, you just want to leave it behind.

Why is China a sad place? A reactionary like myself would first argue about the complete loss of Chinese Classic culture in modern Chinese society. I for one despise all the peasantry and impetuosity that have immersed this country and would never be fine to live as one of them. Normal folks who worry about seven days a week, four weeks a month, would be sad about how little money they could earn from their double hard-working everyday life and how insecure their society makes them feel still in return. The milk powder scandal, the railway scandal, the hospital scandal, the construction scandal… Too many to believe what and to who they could trust. So parents tell their kids, “son, study hard and go abroad, once you could settle down in a good place, never come back!“.

I am not exaggerating here at all. Young people like myself grew up in a sentiment that excelling in school in order to go abroad is the only future for us. The modern Chinese society is too disheartening for a concerning individual to stay. So the next thing you know Western top institutions, top law firms, top IT companies, top banks, are full of those people who actually wanted to leave China for good. This is what we call the new wave of Chinese immigration in the past two decades. Since 1979, there are in total almost 2 million Chinese kids going abroad for higher education in the West. And guess what? Merely 600,000 returned afterwards. The emigration of those one and half million top of the top intellectuals are an incurable loss to China. This is what we call “the Brain Drain”.

So like those annoying clannish peasants who dare to illegally immigrate to the West to open a lousy Chinese restaurant or a convenient store, the intellectuals want out as well. But the mega escape doesn’t stop there. In a recent study, the rich, along with the ones in power in China, want out, too. That’d be a bit too much to lose. Like it or not, those are the guys who are actually enjoying the economic miracle in China. They are the new power of the country and by all means they should stay at the place where they have unlimited access to resources and power. But they want out as well.

That really puzzles me. I get that modern China sucks for ordinary Chinese, sucks for intellectuals. But I never thought those business magnates and high official profiles would think their life suck too in China. In a merchantist culture specially for the taste of corporate scam, political bribery, and most of all, those rich oligarch poker faces, modern China could not even appeal to those money-drilling merchants and officials in power? That is fundamentally ironic.

I also get that those people might feel insecure of their new status and wealth in China, where back-stabbing is common as blurring “Wish you getting rich” on the Chinese New Year and lying is normal as eating rice. So the same kind of people who topped those games are hoping to dodge away from those rules themselves.

It doesn’t matter if China promise more money to those smart ones who went abroad or force some rich guys from taking away the gold. The elites lost their faith in the country. The most urgent assignment for the current Chinese regime is to set up a better image to be appealing to its own people. And that could require something more than sending 20 astronauts at the same time. A country needs to be appealing to its elite at least, otherwise there will be no hope.

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25 comments

  1. What’s worse is that those kids who went to the West will leave a decadent lifestyle, have few kids and spend their days doing leftist shit.
    The West drains the East brains and throws them away.

  2. China is a crowded country with no capital. It would be a shithole to live in regardless of culture. In countries where its not such a shithole, like Japan, people stay put.

    1. China has way larger scale than that of Japan. It is partially a shithole, unless you want to be a darn hermit in the middle of vast mountains in China. But I don’t think the problem is not the lack of capital though.

      It was not a shithole to live in back in the days, and it was still pretty crowded in the old days. Back then 90% of population were peasants knowing nothing but growing plants. Definitely not many money-drilling scams like nowadays.

      The first wave of intellectual who went to the West in the first half of 20th century showed a drastic different attitude towards China than the new wave of intellectuals after 1979. Intellectuals back then mostly desire to return to China to make a better country of their own. Economically, the situation back then was a lot shittier than the China nowadays.

      1. Impressive point.

        The beautiful flip side to this, however, is that things can be reversed. If they love China, they will stay, even if they would make more money abroad for the foreseeable future.

        Money comes in second, even if people have been taught to imagine that it comes in first. If people love China for its soul, they will stay.

  3. It is all relative. Back in the day, during Tenanman protests, there were rumor that the upper echelon of the ruling class like Deng made provisions to leave China should things get out of control. Ultimately, they stayed.

    The elites in China today may go through the same motion of immigration to other countries, but ultimately, most will return as the opportunities are still good in China.

    Hopefully, this is a phase that will pass as the West also is decaying.

    1. “The elites in China today may go through the same motion of immigration to other countries, but ultimately, most will return as the opportunities are still good in China.”

      That’s what I am thinking at the moment. The only reason why I am still keeping my useless Chinese passport with me all these years. I am hoping for a good chance to return.

  4. @the slitty eye – “So parents tell their kids, ‘son, study hard and go abroad, once you could settle down in a good place, never come back!’.”

    yeah, that’s not a good place for any nation to be in. =/ brain drain.

  5. I think it’s the system that needs to be fixed in order to appeal to the graduates and stay in China.

    Also agree the first half of the 20th Century was a pretty dark period for China but culturally it was more vibrant then than it is now.

  6. @hbd chick: it’s not only brain drain, those billionaires want out, too. guess it’d be gold drain as well….
    @JC yea, I have very high respect for the Chinese intellectuals in the first 20th century. There is a lot to be fixed in the whole system in China, I do hope for the best, though.

      1. The bad time for China. Looks to me like the emmigration wave in Europe back in the days. The loss of intellectuals

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  8. the complete loss of Chinese Classic culture in modern Chinese society
    This is incredibly sad. Is this the common understanding? Do you know how it was lost?

    I was under the impression that some still remains, but from what you are saying it would seem that it only remains in the nooks and crannies of society, much like in Russia after 1917-193x. And the cause might be the same — “nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout”.

    1. Well, it dies in mainstream society, replaced by the money-worshiping peasantry from the bottom of the Chinese society. The remaining few intellectuals in China are so full of western leftism contamination. Very very few adhere to the Chinese Classic culture.

      “Do you know how it was lost?”
      It was starting to go down after the May-Four Movement, but at least remain largely strong before 1949. With commie ideology, one should completely toss away the old things to embrace socialism. There goes the rest, and finally: totally smashed by the Cultural Revolution in the 60-70s.

      “much like in Russia after 1917-193x. And the cause might be the same”
      Russian culture died long time ago. The awesome literature and music, even the Russian orthodox Christianism, gone. Nowadays the state of Russia is not that much different to that of China, a country full of money-worshiper and gold-digging whores.

  9. If part of the Chinese elite is trying hard to leave the country and the culture has degraded to this point… how long before the Chinese elite sells out its people like the West’s elite has?

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