October 16, 2021

The Uncommon Reality of Xi’s Common Prosperity

For most of the 20th century, Westerners had one word to sum up any thoughts they may have had about China: inscrutable. Several decades of globalization have radically changed that perception. Fully integrated into the world economy, China plays a dominant role today and is expected to become the world’s largest economy by the end of the decade. Westerners may find it worrisome, but they no longer see China as inscrutable.

For Western thinkers, when an entity finds its place in a system, the system’s structured categories serve to situate and ultimately define the substance of the entity. Now that China is subjected to the rules of the global economy, analysts believe they understand it. Influenced by the analytical model inherited from Aristotle’s metaphysics that distinguishes between substance (or essence) and accidence (or variable features), today’s analysts dismiss…

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