Disaster and Opportunity, by Jeff Thomas

I was a partner with a securities firm that was extraordinarily successful for most of its existence, perhaps because it got its start in 1932, the bottom of the Great Depression. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

The Mandarin word for “crisis” is weiqi. But weiqi is actually two words – the first, “wei,” meaning disaster and the second, “qi,” meaning opportunity.

For thousands of years, the Chinese people have understood that disaster and opportunity come in the same package. Whenever a period of dramatic change is unfolding, the Chinese people recognise that change, in addition to potentially bringing disaster, also presents opportunity.

To the western mind, crisis is a negative condition only, and as people wish to escape negativity as quickly as possible, westerners tend to support whatever leaders promise to make the problem go away quickly.

Of course, what this really leads to is a society in which those leaders who are the most trusted will be those who promise the easiest solution, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. So we have a culture of people who support the papering-over of problems.

The catch is that, whilst we can get away with papering-over as a temporary fix, when systemic problems have developed, papering-over only puts off the inevitable, as well as ensuring that, when the problem is finally addressed, it will be far greater.

For decades, westerners, particularly in the US, have voted for those candidates who promise “Hope and Change” and “Make America Great Again.”

Of course, these are paper-thin slogans that do not in any way bear scrutiny. In them, there is not even a suggestion of an actual plan.

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