The Communists are taking over the world

communists

China is doing quite well for a communist country. (photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu)

By Anthony O. Alcantara

I had a nightmare recently. In the dream I got out of bed and got ready for my morning run. As I was walking briskly outside the condo, I passed a store where the radio was broadcasting the early morning news.

“China is set to overtake Japan as the 2nd biggest economy in the world next to the United States. It’s bound to happen this year or next year….”

I was flabbergasted. Isn’t China a communist country? Some say it’s a socialist country, but then the two systems are close cousins, right? Who cares?

When I arrived at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex for my run, I saw a group of people wearing green and holding placards saying, “Save the environment,” “Down with the polluters. Let the US and China breathe their own filthy air.”

The group’s leader said: “The US releases 6,200 tons of carbon dioxide and China is catching up with some 5,800 tons of carbon dioxide a year. And they’re not doing anything to save the environment.”

I thought China was still mainly an agricultural country. It’s likely that most people there don’t even know what carbon dioxide is, I told myself.

After my run, I passed by a newsstand where I caught a glimpse of a headline in the newspaper. “China is now the US’ largest lender.”

When I read further, I learned that China holds US$ 801.5 billion in Treasury bonds, making it the largest holder of America’s public debt.

Not only that. The Shanghai Stock Exchange has reached US$3 trillion in market capitalization, making it the world’s fifth largest exchange. The communist country is now also number 29 in the Global Competitiveness Index, with 37 Chinese companies in the 2009 Fortune Global 500.

Based on market capitalization, four of the world’s top 10 most valuable companies are in China, namely, PetroChina (rank 1 and the world’s most valuable oil company), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (rank 3 and the world’s most valuable bank), China Mobile (rank 5 and the world’s most valuable telecommunications company), and China Construction Bank (rank 7).

But still, the country still has a lot to improve on. Some 10 percent of the population live below the poverty line of US$1 per day.

“Good for them,” I told myself. “The Philippines is still stuck with 30 percent.”

Finally, I woke up. All that scary stuff about China was too much for me.

Everything was just a dream. Sadly, however, all the information about China is true.

The lesson? People discriminate not only against race but against ideas, too. Communism wasn’t supposed to work. And, indeed, in most aspects it failed. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the former USSR were glaring monuments to Communism’s failure.

But look at where China is now. It’s like a blemish in a beautiful landscape that we’d like to expunge.

Their system is imperfect and I wouldn’t want to discuss details here. The irony, however, remains.

Ideas and attitudes evolve. And it might be a good idea not to be too harsh in condemning ideas like we did with Communism decades ago, or even discriminate against race.

Just look at who’s sitting pretty in the Oval Office now.

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