Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 22 - For the Sake of Truth.
page 145

Story 22 - For the Sake of Truth.

      The next morning we were off to Beijing. A float plane took us to Poyang, connecting with the 10:30 flight to Wuhan. Four hours later we on the evening flight to Beijing, on a Boing 797 no less. Jacky's department had a place arranged for us in a government compound, something like a hotel for government business which appeared to be operated by the army. The place was clean, the service efficient, the atmosphere courteous. It was simple accommodation, but sufficient.
      The official meeting started at eight in the morning.
      Unlike western style business meetings, our meeting was almost a private affair. There were only a dozen people in the room, including us, that is: myself, Ross, Steve, and Ushi. To my surprise, English was an acceptable language. I should have expected this. After all, our visit to Beijing was sponsored by the economic development department that Jacky was a part of.
      Once the formalities were dispensed with, a heavy set young Chinese man addressed us abruptly and asked why we were insulting China, the country that gave us refuge, by saying that China is in a rut.
      "Because you are in a rut," I defended us, since I had made this statement in the first place. "You are in a rut compared to your real potential," I said to him gently. "That is the truth. The statement was not meant as an insult. In fact, we are here to help you to get out of that rut."
      The fat man just laughed. "We have achieved an economic miracle during the last few decades. We have created a modern transportation system; decent housing for our people; we are self-sufficient in food production; we feed a quarter of the world's people with only eighteen percent of the world's arable land; and we have build the biggest railway network in the world for our continuing economic development. You call this being in a rut? We have even begun to build brand new cities for our people. We are not in a rut. America is in a rut."
      Steve began to laugh too. "America isn't in rut," he replied. "America is dead. It stopped living thirty-five years ago. China is a dynamo compared to that. Still, China is in a rut, and is dangerously close to falling into the same trap that killed America."
      Steve told the man that we were the richest and biggest economy in the world thirty-five years ago, of which there is virtually nothing left. He told him that China was drifting into the same rut that killed America. "In some respect you are already in it," he added. "You have adopted far too many of America's modern idiotic paradigms, the very same which have killed us."
      The fat man shook his head. "What paradigms? What are you blabbering about? America has a robust economy. It has sky high stock market values."
      "What paradigms?" I repeated. "Lots of them. Take for instance the paradigm that money is wealth. This paradigm will be killing you too, because there is no truth in it."
      "You are a stupid little ex-diplomat, not an economist," said the heavy set man who appeared to be some sort of authority on economic matters. "What do you know about anything?" he added. "Money is wealth; period! Everybody knows that."
      "You just proved my point," I said quietly. "The point is, that you are indeed already stuck in that rut. The wealth of society is in its productive capacity, and in the utilization of it for its self-development. That alone makes a society rich, and it has made you rich so that you can build new cities. Nothing else does make a people truly rich. Money has nothing to do with the wealth of a society. That is ancient wisdom, my friend. People found this out in the 1300s. In 1345 the entire European financial system collapsed. Puff, and it was gone. Suddenly people had nothing. Everything had been geared to money. Once this was gone, nothing worked anymore, because people thought that money is wealth, which they didn't have anymore. Consequently, nothing much was being produced anymore. The entire economy disintegrated just because the fondi's financial empire had collapsed. This collapse shouldn't have had a physical effect, but it did. The collapse had a devastating effect on the physical economy. But it wasn't the financial collapse, really, that shut the economy down. The people did that. The people themselves shut their own economy down, because they didn't see its real wealth which is in its productive capability. Had they understood this crucial point, they would have found a way to keep the economy going without the fondi's money. They could have created their own currency or devised a different system for exchanging real value for real value. As it was, they didn't do that. They shut everything down. People starved. They became biologically weak; walking shells; and when the black death plaque was brought in, it spread like wildfire and killed half the population. The devastation was so heavy in some areas that there weren't enough people left alive to bury the dead."

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada