Monday 26 October 2009

Hey, we exist

“We are in the knowledge economy now. Products don’t matter. Anyone who wants anything can get it from somewhere in China…”

Hold on, professor, please. Where’s China? On another planet? Who are the Chinese? Robots? Products do matter in China, don’t they? And the Chinese do rise and fall by what they produce. They’re one in six of humanity and they aren’t in that knowledge economy yet, as aren’t we Indians, and all of South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.

(The Middle East is in the oil economy, so they’re out – never mind most Arab countries and almost all Arab people have nothing to do with oil.

By the way, what is ‘China’? Another brand like Ford, Coca-cola and Microsoft? Or a country with many different brands?)

Our professors are unfailingly fair to non-European students. Sometimes they try to preach, but back off when told ‘Doctor, heal thyself.’

However, they don’t realise how blatantly racist they can be in the way they think: “Those who are not in the West, don’t count!  You’re ok, but your country… it exists only as a source of raw material and labour (products), and as markets for commodity and semi-commodity products. Leave the thinking to us.”

This view may be very real, but it isn’t one we want to stay real for ever. So resentment builds up. It is in both sides’ interest that it doesn’t burst. 

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