Modernization has been a dream of China’s for a century. After the Great Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government joined most developing countries in treating modernization as its goal. China’s achievements on this path, such as its fast GDP growth, have amazed the world. However, the price has been extremely high, including environmental problems, an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and growing disenchantment with growth within the populace as a whole. Is there any alternative to the current form of modernization? “Constructive postmodern thinking proposes such an alternative.”81 Kang Ouyang, a leading Marxist scholar in China and vice president of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, has explored the positive and negative sides of modernization. For him the negative includes: treating economic growth as the ultimate goal; neglecting ecology, the value of tradition, and aesthetic wisdom as complements to scientific knowledge; rejection of the positive role that religion can play in human life; and overemphasis on individuality at the expense of community.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Saudi Arabia is a US ally, and a very close one indeed. Its petrodollar deal, its prime strategic location and its ability to move vast amounts of wealth around behind a veil of total government opacity in the facilitation of sociopathic agendas has made it a priceless asset in the US-centralized empire’s relentless quest for global domination. This remains true in spite of whatever particular quibbles that empire might happen to have with MBS, and in spite of any journalists’ unfortunate encounters with any bone saws.
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BINOY KAMPMARK—The tension between modern trends and conservative institutionalism was only artificially demonstrated at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Black spiritualism tagged on to exaggerated feminist values mixed with traditional forms certainly gave an impression of difference, but these were daubs rather than extensive splashes. The trick worked for some, not least the selection of Curry as wedding pastor, “an important move,” assessed Jonah Waterhouse, “as Meghan Markle is the first notable African American member of the British royal family.” Markle, it has already been forgotten, is not there to inflict change upon the institution of monarchy, but be changed by it.
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PAUL MITCHELL—oday, US actress Rachel Meghan Markle marries His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David, Prince of Wales—otherwise known as Prince Harry. In what is being billed as a breakthrough for feminism, Markle will proceed unaccompanied down the aisle of St. George’s chapel, Windsor Castle, where she will be met by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.