Thinking Big-China


I finished the 1980 book by  John Fraser entitled “The Chinese-Portrait of a People” discussing his years in China-1977-1979. These were critical years in Chinese history and when the opening of diplomatic relationships with the US were formalized under President James Earl Carter and Taiwan almost relegated to the history books as an historical aberration of the outcome of WWII and the Chinese Revolution which took place over two decades in the 30’s and 40’s. Fraser gives an unvarnished portrait of China’s strengths and weaknesses. So for $.50 in a thrift store filled in a major gap in my knowledge.

Now today’s headline as follows:

I don’t believe there are 25 cities in the world each with 25 million people but there surely will be by the end of the century. The US now has 10 cities with populations exceeding 1 million and China has about 175.  Tokyo, Lagos, Mexico City, Dacca, etc etc. are all huge entities. And growing fast as the world goes from 6.9 billion people to 9.9 billion by the end of the century.

Talk about issues of security, law enforcement, and emergency management for population blocks this large. Yet if the Maslov heirarchy of needs is correct there is at least a basic level of satisfaction for those needs in the existing mega-cities. The relationship of the Nation-state to the City-state is one that almost never is documented or analyzed by academics or political scientists or even sociologists. If the US federal government just had to deal with the 500 largest cities and administered its programs without paying for a creaky level of state administration its (the federal government) programs, functions, and activities might well be view as more efficient and effective. But instead we have the states that at the moment suffer at the hands of the federal government even while they survive on federal monies. The TEA PARTY to me is an anti-corruption party but only time will tell the strength of that appeal to the independents where real political power now lies in the US. Brand new US Senator Rand Paul has introduced a bill he says will save another $500 billion dollars but much of it is directed a what keeps our STATES or Cities going whether or not labeled as such. Again designing for sustainability would seem to make a city of 25 million or more, some already in known hazardous areas, would seem to indicate the toll of various hazards the rest of this century will be enormous. Look at Haiti where just the mass care of over 1 million on a daily basis is an enormous task for what exists of the Haitian government and international assisting organizations including NGOs.

I don’t know about other but large crowds make me uncomfortable. Never attended a Rock Concert.

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