juliet: (round the world)
(Disclaimer in advance: this following is largely speculation/rambling on my part based on very little direct experience and similarly little information. Factual correction more than welcome, as well as any other thoughts generally.)

Also it got a bit long )

I am aware that this is a ramble, without conclusion. In part this is because I simply don't know enough - enough political history, enough political theory, enough political present - to come to any conclusions[6]. And in part it's because I'm not sure there are any conclusions available. If forced to make a prediction, I think my tentative one would be: things will continue to change gradually at the bottom and in practice, and less so at the top and in theory. I think there probably will come a point when the current system cracks under the contradictions; but with the potential global political/economic changes we're facing, it's far from clear how inevitable that is, or whether it'll be overtaken by other things.

[0] A side-note: last time I headed off to Foreign for any length of time was India in 2002, and I didn't take a phone or Walkman (this was pre-MP3 player, or at least pre-me-having-MP3 -player), as I was concerned about waving Western tech around, inviting theft, etc etc. This time, phones & MP3 players, or possibly phones that are MP3 players, are ubiquitous. I'm sure this isn't entirely true in, say, rural Chinese villages or similar, but it's a very obvious change nevertheless.
[1] At least it does until you've nationalised enough banks. Man, that is all very weird.
[2] Well. For "might" read "would", as at least some of you will know from bitter personal experience ;-)
[3] Which I would strongly recommend. I gather that his book "A Bright Shining Lie", about the US & the Vietnam War (which he covered extensively at the time as an on-the-ground journalist in the South), is famous, & after reading this one I intend to locate & read it. "Two Cities" is about him returning to Hanoi & Saigon in 1989, and the changes and lack of changes that he saw.
[4] One of the great things about taking the train - you get to see things!
[5] I also made many interesting observations about field/plot shapes & how this relates to hand-cultivation! Which I will refrain from sharing with people who aren't interested i.e. nearly everyone, I expect.
[6] Reading suggestions welcome; and I promise that this is the last footnote.
juliet: (round the world)
(Disclaimer in advance: this following is largely speculation/rambling on my part based on very little direct experience and similarly little information. Factual correction more than welcome, as well as any other thoughts generally.)

Also it got a bit long )

I am aware that this is a ramble, without conclusion. In part this is because I simply don't know enough - enough political history, enough political theory, enough political present - to come to any conclusions[6]. And in part it's because I'm not sure there are any conclusions available. If forced to make a prediction, I think my tentative one would be: things will continue to change gradually at the bottom and in practice, and less so at the top and in theory. I think there probably will come a point when the current system cracks under the contradictions; but with the potential global political/economic changes we're facing, it's far from clear how inevitable that is, or whether it'll be overtaken by other things.

[0] A side-note: last time I headed off to Foreign for any length of time was India in 2002, and I didn't take a phone or Walkman (this was pre-MP3 player, or at least pre-me-having-MP3 -player), as I was concerned about waving Western tech around, inviting theft, etc etc. This time, phones & MP3 players, or possibly phones that are MP3 players, are ubiquitous. I'm sure this isn't entirely true in, say, rural Chinese villages or similar, but it's a very obvious change nevertheless.
[1] At least it does until you've nationalised enough banks. Man, that is all very weird.
[2] Well. For "might" read "would", as at least some of you will know from bitter personal experience ;-)
[3] Which I would strongly recommend. I gather that his book "A Bright Shining Lie", about the US & the Vietnam War (which he covered extensively at the time as an on-the-ground journalist in the South), is famous, & after reading this one I intend to locate & read it. "Two Cities" is about him returning to Hanoi & Saigon in 1989, and the changes and lack of changes that he saw.
[4] One of the great things about taking the train - you get to see things!
[5] I also made many interesting observations about field/plot shapes & how this relates to hand-cultivation! Which I will refrain from sharing with people who aren't interested i.e. nearly everyone, I expect.
[6] Reading suggestions welcome; and I promise that this is the last footnote.

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