習近平は何を求めているのか。 中国の指導者は母国を世界の歴史上、最も重要で、最大の国になることを決意している。(2)

At the core of these national goals is a civilizational creed that sees China as the center of the universe. In the Chinese language, the word for China, zhong guo (中国), means “Middle Kingdom.” “Middle” refers not to the space between other, rival kingdoms, but to all that lies between heaven and earth. As Lee summarized the worldview shared by hundreds of Chinese officials who sought his advice, they “recall a world in which China was dominant and other states related to them as supplicants to a superior, as vassals that came to Beijing bearing tribute.” In this narrative, the rise of the West in recent centuries is a historical anomaly, reflecting China’s technological and military weakness when it faced dominant imperial powers during a “century of humiliation” from roughly 1839 to 1949. Xi Jinping has promised his fellow citizens: no more. 

bearing tribute:ベアリングの軸受

What is Xi Jinping’s program of action for restoring China to this lost position of grandeur? According to Xi’s political mentor Lee, a nation’s leader must “paint his vision of their future to his people, translate that vision into policies which he must convince the people are worth supporting, and finally galvanize them to help him in their implementation.” Having painted a bold vision of the China Dream, Xi is aggressively mobilizing supporters to execute a hugely ambitious agenda of action advancing on four related fronts. 


As the primary driver of the entire venture, Xi’s first imperative in realizing the China Dream is to re-legitimize a strong Chinese Communist Party to serve as the vanguard and guardian of the Chinese state. Shortly after taking office, Xi told his Politburo colleagues that “winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CCP’s survival or extinction.” And he bluntly warned them: “Corruption could kill the party.” Quoting Confucius, he vowed to “govern with virtue and keep order through punishments.” This was not an idle threat. Xi launched an anticorruption campaign of unprecedented scale led by his closest associate, Wang Qishan. 


The effort was dubbed the “tigers and flies” campaign since it promised to ensnare corrupt officials whether they were mere low-level “flies” or high-ranking “tigers.” Under Wang, 18 task forces headed by trusted lieutenants report directly to Xi. Since 2012, more than 900,000 party members have been disciplined and 42,000 expelled and prosecuted in criminal courts. Among those have been 170 high-level “tigers,” including dozens of high-ranking military officers, 18 sitting or former members of the 150-person Central Committee, and even former members of the Standing Committee. 


And in contrast to Gorbachev’s glasnost—openness to ideas—Xi has demanded ideological conformity, tightening control over political discourse. At the same time, Xi has moved to cement the party’s centrality in China’s governance. Deng sought to separate party from government, and strengthen China’s state bureaucracy vis-a-vis the party. Xi has flatly rejected that idea. Shortly after Xi took power, an op-ed in the state-run People’s Daily crystallized his position: “The key to running things well in China and realizing the China Dream lies in the party.” 


Second, Xi must continue to make China wealthy again. He knows the Chinese people’s support for CCP rule still depends largely on its ability to deliver levels of economic growth no other nation has achieved. But continuing China’s extraordinary economic performance will require perpetuating a unique high-wire act. Xi is acutely wary of the middle-income trap that has ensnared many developing countries as rising wages erase their competitive edge in manufacturing, and his unambiguous promise of 6.5 percent growth per year through 2021 demands what some have described as “sustaining the unsustainable.” 

high-wire :綱渡り的な

However, there is general agreement about what China must do to continue growing at that pace for many years to come. The key elements are stated in China’s most recent five-year economic plan, including: accelerating the transition to domestic consumption-driven demand; restructuring or closing inefficient state-owned enterprises; strengthening the base of science and technology to advance innovation; promoting Chinese entrepreneurship; and avoiding unsustainable levels of debt. 

Given the scope and ambition of Xi’s plan, most Western economists and many investors are bearish that he can deliver. But many of these economists and investors have lost money betting against China for the past 30 years. As the former chair of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, Martin Feldstein, puts it: “Not all of these policies have to succeed. ... If enough of them succeed well enough, 6.5 percent growth over the next few years might not be out of reach.” 

enough of:十分な数の

Third, Xi is making China proud again. Economic growth alone is not enough: Even as Deng’s market reforms broadened rapid economic growth after 1989, the party struggled to articulate its raison d’etre when its titular communism was in name only. Why should the Chinese people allow it to govern them? The party’s answer is a renewed sense of national identity that can be widely embraced with pride among a billion Chinese. 

raison d’etre :存在理由

Where once Mao’s Cultural Revolution tried to wipe out China’s ancient past and replace it with communism’s “new socialist man,” Xi has increasingly portrayed the party as the inheritor and successor to a 5,000-year-old Chinese empire brought low only by the marauding West. The phrase wuwang guochi (勿忘国耻), or “never forget our national humiliation,” has become a mantra that nurtures a patriotism grounded in victimhood and infused with a demand for payback. As the Financial Times’s former Beijing bureau chief Geoff Dyer has explained, “The Communist Party has faced a slow-burning threat to its legitimacy ever since it dumped Marx for the market.” Thus the party has evoked past humiliations at the hands of Japan and the West “to create a sense of unity that had been fracturing, and to define a Chinese identity fundamentally at odds with American modernity.” 


This approach is working. During the 1990s when many Western intellectuals were celebrating the “end of history” with the apparent triumph of market-based democracies, a number of observers believed that China, too, was on a path to democratic government. Today, few in China would say that political freedoms are more important than reclaiming China’s international standing and national pride. As Lee put it pointedly, “If you believe that there is going to be a revolution of some sort in China for democracy, you are wrong. Where are the students of Tiananmen now?” He answered bluntly: “They are irrelevant. The Chinese people want a revived China.” 

Finally, Xi has pledged to make China strong again. He believes that a military that is “able to fight and win wars” is essential to realizing every other component of the China Dream. “To achieve the great revival of the Chinese nation,” he has argued, “we must ensure there is unison between a prosperous country and strong military.” While all great powers build strong militaries, this “Strong Army Dream” is especially important to China as it seeks to overcome its humiliation at the hands of foreign powers. 


Despite all the other challenges on his agenda, Xi is simultaneously reorganizing and rebuilding China’s armed forces in a manner that Russia’s foremost expert on the Chinese military, Andrei Kokoshin, calls “unprecedented in scale and depth.” He has cracked down on graft in the military and overhauled its internally focused organization to focus on joint warfighting operations against external enemies. 




swingby_blog at 08:55コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


習近平は何を求めているのか。 中国の指導者は母国を世界の歴史上、最も重要で、最大の国になることを決意している。

What Xi Jinping Wants
China’s leader is determined to turn his country into “the biggest player in the history of the world.” Can he do it while avoiding a dangerous collision with America?
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump.
GRAHAM ALLISON MAY 31, 2017  Atlantic


Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump.

What does China’s President Xi Jinping want? Four years before Donald Trump became president, Xi became the leader of China and announced an epic vision to, in effect, “make China great again”—calling for “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” 

in effect:事実上

Xi is so convinced he will succeed in this quest that he has blatantly flouted a cardinal rule for political survival: Never state a target objective and a specific date in the same sentence. Within a month of becoming China’s leader in 2012, Xi specified deadlines for meeting each of his “Two Centennial Goals.” First, China will build a “moderately prosperous society” by doubling its 2010 per capita GDP to $10,000 by 2021, when it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. 


Second, it will become a “fully developed, rich, and powerful” nation by the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049. If China reaches the first goal— which it is on course to do—the IMF estimates that its economy will be 40 percent larger than that of the U.S. (measured in terms of purchasing power parity). If China meets the second target by 2049, its economy will be triple America's. 

What does China’s dramatic transformation mean for the United States and the global balance of power? Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, who before his death in 2015 was the world’s premier China-watcher, had a pointed answer about China’s stunning trajectory over the past 40 years: “The size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.” 

displacement :移動させること

Lee’s analysis of what was happening in China, as well as the wider world, made him a sought-after strategic counselor to presidents and prime ministers on every continent—including every American head of state from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Lee spent thousands of hours in direct conversations with Chinese presidents, prime ministers, cabinet officers, and rising leaders of his “neighbor to the North.”

sought-after :引く手あまたの
neighbor to the North:ロシアのことか

Every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping has called him “mentor,” a term of ultimate respect in Chinese culture. And Lee, who shared his insights with me for a book I co-authored in 2013, had seen up close China’s convulsions from the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in the 1960s to Deng’s capitalist pivot in the 1980s. Indeed, he had established serious working relationships with many of the people who governed China, including China’s future president, Xi Jinping. 


Lee foresaw the 21st century as a “contest for supremacy in Asia.” And as Xi rose to the presidency in 2012, Lee announced to the world that this competition was accelerating. Among all foreign observers, Lee was the first to say of this largely unknown technocrat, “Watch this man.” 


Many politicians and officials in Washington still pretend that China is just another big player. Lee knew Xi well, however, and understood that China’s unbounded aspiration was driven by an indomitable determination to reclaim past greatness. Ask most China scholars whether Xi and his colleagues seriously believe that China can displace the United States as the predominant power in Asia in the foreseeable future. They will duck the question with phrases like “It’s complicated ... on the one hand ... but on the other ...” When I put this question to Lee during a meeting shortly before his death, his eyes widened with incredulity, as if to ask, “Are you kidding?” He answered directly: “Of course. Why not? How could they not aspire to be number one in Asia and in time the world?” 

indomitable :不屈の

The structural stress between a rising China and a ruling America is already severe. Decreasing the risk of a catastrophic collision neither side wants begins with a clear assessment of Beijing’s ends and means. When he took office, Xi Jinping declared his overarching ambition for China in a single phrase: “The greatest Chinese dream is the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” His “China Dream” combines prosperity and power — equal parts Theodore Roosevelt’s muscular vision of an American century and Franklin Roosevelt’s dynamic New Deal. It captures the intense yearning of a billion Chinese: to be rich, to be powerful, and to be respected. Xi exudes confidence that in his lifetime China can realize all three by sustaining its economic miracle, fostering a patriotic citizenry, and bowing to no other power in world affairs. 

ends and means:目的と手段

How will Xi “make China great again”? After studying the man, listening to his words, and speaking to those who understand him best, I believe for Xi this means: 

Returning China to the predominance it enjoyed in Asia before the West intruded; Reestablishing control over the territories the Communist Party considers to be “greater China,” including not just Xinjiang and Tibet on the mainland, but Hong Kong and Taiwan; Recovering its historic sphere of influence along its borders and in the adjacent seas so that others give it the deference great nations have always demanded; Commanding the respect of other great powers in the councils of the world.





swingby_blog at 20:20コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



How China’s Approach Beats the West’s in Africa
Stephan Richter
SEPTEMBER 03, 2012


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent 10-day tour across Africa represented a strategic caving-in of sorts. In many of the places she visited, the Chinese had gotten there first. In fact, China is everywhere in Africa these days, both exploiting the continent’s vast natural riches and pursuing infrastructure projects long promised but never quite delivered by the West. 

caving-in :屈服する

Building railroads from inland areas to the coast, with the eventual prospect of a network that spans sub-Saharan Africa? Putting in highways at affordable prices across the continent? Constructing state-of-the-art office complexes, within budgets that African nations can afford? 

These are all goals that African leaders have pursued for a long time. In the past, a toxic combination of corruption, murky ties between ex-colonizing countries (and their business elites) and the new rulers, and overly complex planning structures derailed project after project. Given the ability to deliver projects on time and on budget, the Chinese offer Africa’s governments and people a clean-cut deal: If you work with us, we will build it — period. No ifs, ands, or buts. 


Given that Africa’s economic growth has long been stunted by the lack of a dependable internal transportation infrastructure — within countries and among them — this is more than a tempting offer. It represents an opportunity of historic proportions. 


Yes, the continent has airports and cell phones galore, but due to the wholly insufficient rail and highway infrastructure, trade is still hampered in a manner reminiscent of Europe before 1820. In that sense, the initiatives undertaken by the Chinese in Africa now are the historical equivalent of what the Napoleonic wars brought to a country like Germany. They are a long overdue wake-up call to get rid of outdated traditions in order to advance to the age of modern commerce and trade. 


Without making light of the drawbacks of how the Chinese operate, including the fact that they rely mostly on their own workforces even for projects deep in Africa’s interior, theirs is a vision that is very distinct from that of the West over the past 50 years.The formula the West applied to post-independence, post-1960 Africa was one that focused on democracy-building over market-building. The Chinese approach it just the other way around. And whatever the preferences of Westerners, it is clearly Africans who have to make the choice of whether to go with democracy first or markets first. 


In the abstract, it is always preferable to focus on democratic structures. However, in countries where poverty is still rampant, an uncomfortable counterargument can be made, based on the track record of the past 50 years. In much of Africa, political growth remains as stunted as economic development. Political maturity — in the sense of a robust enough democracy for elections to result in actual power change — for the most part only works in countries like Ghana, where economic development is already advanced and broad-based. 


Focusing on market-building first can empower a budding middle class — which provides a check to the vestiges of often clan-based political and economic feudalism. In this approach, economic development leads political development. That is pretty much how things transpired in Europe over the centuries. There, economic empowerment led the merchant classes to demand increased political rights, which eventually put the continent on the road to full-blown democracy. 


For Westerners. it is confounding to see that theirs somehow ended up being the “ideological” approach. Focusing on ideology, mind you, was supposed to be the Communists’ gig, due to their inability to offer anything meaningful in terms of material goods. 


And yet, it was the United States that peddled democracy and human rights — a.k.a., broadly speaking, ideology. Faced with the negative fallout of that, Secretary Clinton has recently sought out a more balanced approach, focusing on business (and opportunity) over human rights (and hectoring). 

a.k.a.:also known as 別名

Meanwhile, the Chinese have kept building bridges, railroads, and conference centers. Ironically, it is the Chinese — not the Americans — who can make a compelling case that their focus in Africa has been not on spreading ideology but on the practical business of securing natural resources and creating future customers and trading partners. 


Such a customer focus, of course, runs fully counter to Marxist doctrine. Better yet, the Chinese can call on the estimable Adam Smith as the crown witness for their strategy in Africa. In assessing the economic strategies of great empires, he wrote: 

crown witness:検察側証人

To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is however a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers — but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers. 

shopkeepers:英国民 小売商人

And indeed, as the African continent proves, the Chinese Communist Party is spreading its wings around the world via commercial, rather than military, means. It is thus very much a government influenced by shopkeepers, one that uses their vast range of activities for its own alliance-building purposes. 




swingby_blog at 21:43コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



The Forces Driving Democratic Recession
By Jay Ogilvy
May 24, 2017  stratfor


Protesters hungry for democracy take to the streets of Hong Kong, where election outcomes are tightly controlled by China. Liberal democracy around the world has found itself in decline.

Liberal democracy is in retreat across the globe. Following decades of expansion since the 1950s, the spread of democracy hit a wall in the new millennium. Freedom House, using carefully crafted metrics, has measured a decline in democracy and freedom worldwide. Definitions are important: Does the fact of elections, even where the outcome is autocratically determined, qualify a country as a democracy? By most measures and definitions, there are now about 25 fewer democratic countries than there were at the turn of the millennium. 

Freedom House:フリーダム・ハウスは1941年にナチ・ドイツに対抗して自由と民主主義を監視する機関として設立された。また毎年世界人権状況白書を発行している。

Founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy Larry Diamond wrote a 2015 paper, "Facing up to the Democratic Recession." Diamond asks, reasonably enough, "Why have freedom and democracy been regressing in many countries? The most important and pervasive answer is, in brief, bad governance." But this tells us very little. How and why has governance been so bad? 


Diamond's Stanford colleague, Francis Fukuyama was once so confident that democracy had definitively defeated its two main rivals, fascism and communism, that he famously stuck his neck out claiming "the end of history." This year, 2017, Fukuyama stated in an interview with Edward Luce, author of the just published book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, "Everything I've been working on for the past year suddenly feels trivial. The only topic I can think about is the future of liberal democracy." Fukuyama fears that the global democratic recession may turn into a global democratic depression. 

stìck [shòot] one's néck òut:自ら危ない目に遭うようなことをする[言う].

There are a number of reasons, not just one, for the recent democratic recession. With Luce's help, I'll enumerate a few, but toward the end, I'll take issue with Luce and others regarding the influence of artificial intelligence technologies on the future of work, employment and politics. 


Globalization, Immigration, Populism and Inequality
As Luce and others have noted, these four phenomena are interrelated. Part of globalization is about trade, but when people as well as goods cross borders, whether as travelers or refugees, then lives are touched and customs challenged. As is clear from both Brexit and Donald Trump's victory, part of the pressure toward populism comes from lower- and middle-income, less educated people who feel their lives and jobs are threatened by immigrants and low-wage workers in other countries. To repeat myself yet again, for the rich, the world is their oyster; for the poor, the world is their competitor. 

yet again:何度も繰り返した後にさらにもう一度

Hillary Clinton may well have lost the election as a result of her use of a single word: deplorables. In England, they call them "the left-behinds," a phrase that figured centrally in a column not about England but about Islam and the post-Colonial legacy in Asia. When the gap between rich and poor yawns wide, when the middle class gets hollowed out, when economic insecurity strains the social contract, then populists call for a strongman to stand up to the corrupt elite, and democracy suffers. Luce quotes American sociologist Barrington Moore: "No bourgeoisie, no democracy." 


Though Luce doesn't lump them together as I do here, he captures the pace of change over recent decades in three different fivefold increases: "Since 1970, Asia's per-capita incomes have increased fivefold." "The asset value of the world's leading billionaires has risen fivefold since 1988." "Following China's WTO accession in 2001, America's trade deficit with China has leapt almost fivefold." These three fivefold increases are not unrelated. 


While the four phenomena under this subtitle — globalization, immigration, populism and inequality — are tightly interrelated in self-reinforcing feedback loops, there are other factors behind the democratic recession that can be identified more discretely. 


The Iraq War and Its Legacy
Luce doesn't mince words: "It is hard to overstate the damage the Iraq War did to America's global soft power — and to the credibility of the West's democratic mission." 

not mince:率直に言う

And the damage continues: "[I]n the eyes of the Islamists, Trump has simply dropped the pretense. The West was always at war with Islam. Trump has removed the mask. At a moment when ISIS is on the military retreat in Iraq and Syria, Trump has made their drive for fresh recruits much easier."  Democracy, it turns out, is difficult to promote at the end of a gun.

fresh recruits:新兵

China and the Economic Recession
These two phenomena are importantly linked precisely to the extent that undemocratic China did not suffer economically nearly as much as the world's democracies. Is there a lesson here for countries in Africa, where none qualify as effectively functioning democracies and many are receiving aid and investment from China?  Luce quotes Andrew Nathan, a leading China-watcher: "By demonstrating that advanced modernization can be combined with authoritarian rule, the Chinese regime has given hope to authoritarian rulers everywhere." 

So, to briefly summarize Luce before taking issue with what he has to say about technology, all of these factors, not just one, have come together to create a kind of perfect storm for democracy: globalization, immigration, populism, inequality, the Iraq War and its legacy, China, and the economic recession. These are some of the reasons for the "bad governance" that Diamond invokes. 


The Threat of Technological Unemployment
Luce is hardly alone in noting that new technologies, particularly robots with artificial intelligence (AI), pose a greater threat to low-skilled workers than do foreigners. "The latter-day effects of globalization have shaken Western solidarity. The future of artificial intelligence poses challenges that are likely to be orders of magnitude greater." 


Orders of magnitude greater? Granted, the newest wave of automation poses a threat to employment in ways that earlier technological advances did not, but accurately estimating the scale of the threat is important. Why? Because of the connection between (un)employment and populism: "Europe and America's populist right wants to turn the clock back to the days when men were men and the West ruled. It is prepared to sacrifice the gains of globalization — and risk conflict with China — to protect jobs that have already vanished. Populists have little to say about automation, though it is a far larger threat to people's jobs than trade." 

When I say that Luce is not alone in his fear of what artificial intelligence can do to eliminate jobs, I'm thinking not only about figures like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, who have voiced their fears about AI, but also the fascinating and very popular work of Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-seller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and, just recently, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. 

Like Luce, Musk and Hawking, Harari is alarmed at the prospect of technologically caused unemployment. But Harari's rationale is even more radical. Taking the very long view from 70,000 years ago in his first book, in his latest volume he contemplates a not-too-distant future featuring nothing less than the obsolescence of humanity as we know it. 


The stakes for politics are high: "When genetic engineering and artificial intelligence reveal their full potential, liberalism, democracy and free markets might become as obsolete as flint knives, tape cassettes, Islam and communism."  Harari's books are thought-provoking. No wonder they are popular. The writing is witty and often perceptive. But like Luce, I think he seriously overestimates the potential of artificial intelligence and therefore also overestimates the degree of its threat to democracy. 

genetic engineering:遺伝子工学
No wonder:あたり前だ

Harari draws on a particular strand of techno-utopian post-humanist literature that is more controversial than he makes it sound. According to some but hardly all researchers in Silicon Valley, there is certainly nothing like a soul inside the brain. Not even a mind. Not even a self. According to some, but hardly all researchers, we are nothing but stacks of algorithms running on wetware rather than silicon. Harari buys into the computational metaphor for how the brain works, but the computational metaphor is contested by many, from philosophers like Hubert Dreyfus and John Searle to anthropologists like Terrence Deacon and polymath genius inventor of virtual reality Jaron Lanier, whose book You Are Not a Gadget states its thesis in its title. 


The debate between humanists and post-humanists is profound. It is ultimately about what it is to be a human being. Is there something special about us? If not a soul, then something else? What differentiates us from other animals? Or from our computers? Answers to such questions have political import because they touch on issues of human dignity and human rights, and/or the rights of animals. Given his eagerness to demystify humanism, it's not surprising that Harari is much preoccupied with the suffering of farm animals. 

farm animals:家畜 1945年8月17日に刊行されたジョージ・オーウェルの小説。動物たちが飲んだくれの農場主を追い出して理想的な共和国を築こうとするが、指導者の豚が独裁者と化し、恐怖政治へ変貌していく過程を描く。

But Harari presents us with too stark a choice when it comes to our understanding of ourselves as human beings: Either we buy into the new religion of humanism and use it to stoke the old religious fires, OR we accept a scientific materialism that robs the world of all transcendent purpose and meaning. 


An Alternate Path? 
But there is a third way. The science of emergent systems, particularly Deacon's big book, Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter, offers an up-from-the-bottom, perfectly naturalistic account of how purpose and meaning come to be in a universe that, prior to the emergence of life, was utterly without purpose. 


Again, why is this such a big deal, and therefore why are the questions raised by Harari so important? Think of this third path of emergence as a philosophically profound and scientifically respectable response to the deep anxieties of the "deplorables" and "left-behinds." Their old time religion is under siege in the new world. They are suspicious of science and evolution. They have a basic intuition that there is something wrong with the scientific and godless values of the elites, and in an important sense they are right. The artificial intelligence-driven, post-humanist future promoted by Ray Kurzweil and others is a cold, cold place. 


Harari criticizes thinkers like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Pinker who on the one hand embrace the coldness of the computational metaphor for mind but on the other preserve a humanistic warmth by performing, "breathtaking intellectual somersaults that miraculously land them back in the eighteenth century [with] … Locke, Rousseau and Jefferson." 


"However once the heretical scientific insights are translated into everyday technology, routine activities and economic structures, it will become increasingly difficult to sustain this double-game, and we — or our heirs — will probably require a brand-new package of religious beliefs and political institutions." High stakes indeed. We owe Harari a debt for drawing out the potential political implications of artificial intelligence technology. Fortunately for most of us, AI is not as smart as Harari makes it sound. Fast, yes. Massively capacious, for sure. But as Searle and Deacon show in different but definitive ways, the "intelligence" achieved by AI is something quite other than human intelligence. We may not be obsolete all that soon. So our current package of religious beliefs and political institutions may last us longer than Luce or Harari would have us believe. 


民主主義が退化しているという議論のなかで、人類とか宗教とかもっと大きな世界を意識して、この現実を、そして最近出現してきた人工知能を見極める必要がある。人間の知性をどう考えるのかといった視点で見て行くと、現在の民主主義はGlobalization, Immigration, Populism and Inequalityの4つの現象が相互に関わり合っていることがわかる。こうした現象の背後にあるものは人類の歴史を辿ってそもそも我々が求めるべきものは何かということだ。技術がどんなに進歩しても、我々人間としての本来求むべきものはかわらない。



swingby_blog at 22:23コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


失業 救われなかった仕事(2)

Autor's research shows that American workers who lost their manufacturing jobs as a result of trade shocks, like competition from Chinese imports, are likely to make less money and collect more disability benefits over the ensuing decade. He predicts a similar fate for the women and men at Rexnord. "Unless they get very lucky, there won't be another employer out there saying, 'Great, I can use a few more ball-bearings guys,'" says Autor. 


Even the rescued Carrier jobs may be vulnerable. In an interview about the deal with CNBC in December, UTC chairman and CEO Greg Hayes said a $16 million investment to automate tasks in the plant would ultimately reduce the workforce. And the company is moving ahead with the closure of another plant in Huntington, Ind., which workers had hoped would be included in the Trump deal. When it shutters by early next year, some 700 people will be laid off. "There's no easy way out of this," says Georgetown's Carnevale, who served on national workplace commissions under Presidents Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. 

So far, the Trump Administration's most notable move on trade has been pulling the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 2016 free-trade agreement among a dozen countries including Australia and Japan. The President also rolled back Obama-era environmental and workplace safety reporting regulations in the name of spurring job growth. In addition, he has appointed a number of business-friendly Cabinet Secretaries. 

Cabinet Secretaries:閣僚

But after pledging to put an end to the nation's economic carnage, Trump has softened some of his most aggressive stances on trade. The President no longer publicly calls China a currency manipulator, a sign that he recognizes the value of the strategic relationship between the world's two largest economies. And after consulting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, he has agreed not to terminate NAFTA, though he does want to renegotiate the sweeping trade agreement among the three nations that has been in place since 1994. Nor, despite his Rexnord tweet, has Trump backed including the border adjustment tax, a levy on domestic sales and imports favored by House Speaker Paul Ryan, as part of the GOP tax-reform effort. 

levy :課税

Nevertheless, manufacturers see cause for optimism. The U.S. economy has added some 41,000 manufacturing jobs since February, and large firms such as GM and Hyundai have announced new investments in U.S. factories--often with the White House's encouragement. Thanks in part to regulatory changes and proposed tax cuts, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) says 93% of member companies it surveyed have a positive outlook on the economy--a 20-year high. "What manufacturers see is an agenda from the federal level that is focused on growth," says Jay Timmons, NAM's president and CEO. 

Many economists are far more skeptical. They say the nature of manufacturing work has fundamentally changed and they don't believe tax cuts and protectionism can deliver a Rust Belt revival. "Those are not the policy solutions of the future," says John Van Reenen, a professor of applied economics at MIT. Pointing to the U.S. trade wars of the 1930s that worsened the Great Depression, he says, "Those are the policy failures of the past." 


The trend lines are apparent in a Congressional Research Service report released in early May, which shows that the number of manufacturing workers with graduate degrees increased 35% between 2000 and 2016, while the percentage of workers with just a high school diploma fell by more than a third. "Even if increased manufacturing output leads to additional employment," the report concludes, "it is likely to generate little of the routine production work historically performed by workers with lower education levels."

Kyle Beaman and his wife Phyllis, at home in Indianapolis; Beaman, 62, lost his job in April Inzajeano Latif for TIME 

At Rexnord, the layoffs have started to come in waves, every few weeks bringing news of more colleagues lost. "It's like buying a ticket for the Titanic when you know the ending," says Brian Reed, who has worked at the plant for 24 years. "You get up every day, and it's just miserable." Rexnord is offering severance packages of one week's pay for every year worked at the company. Employees who have worked there at least 15 years and whose age and years of service add up to 75 can start drawing on their pension as soon as they're laid off. Everyone else has to hang on until they turn 65. 

severance :解雇の退職手当

While they wait, the plant has been cleaved by the debate over training their replacements. John Leonard, 56, and Mark Elliott, 52, worked side by side for more than two decades, spending more time together than they did with their families. Elliott accepted the offer. Leonard thought they needed to refuse to help out with training as long-shot leverage to save their gigs. The friends stopped talking for two months as a result. "It's all about the money," Elliott says of his choice. The Mexican workers, he says, "didn't steal those jobs." 

long-shot leverage:望みの薄い投資

For others, it's a matter of putting pride ahead of paying the mortgage. "It's just a moral issue," says Reed. "You're helping the company that ripped the life from under you be successful." As employee John Sullender explains it, "They've knocked us down as far as we can be knocked down. I have enough dignity--I'm not going to do that." 


Between sips of whiskey at his friend's place, Brian Bousum takes the more diplomatic view. He turned down the training offer--but not because he couldn't use the money. Bousum lost that nice house after his divorce, and after breaking up with his girlfriend he has temporarily become a middle-aged couch surfer. He will likely be laid off just months before being able to tap into his pension. 

couch surfer:知り合いの家に泊まり歩く若者

"How can you blame them for getting every damn dime out of the company they can get?" Bousum asks. And though he couldn't bring himself to teach his replacement the skills he's developed over more than 20 years, he knows this isn't the Mexican workers' fault. "It can't be easy for them to be in a place where most people don't care for them," Bousum says. 

What he'll miss most about Rexnord is working alongside his son, taking a moment to pray together every day. There is some government money available for retraining, but Bousum is skeptical about his ability to transition as a middle-aged machinist with a high school diploma. Though for decades, that was good enough. 

After voting twice for Barack Obama, Bousum pulled the lever for Trump. He liked that Trump was at least talking about reviving American manufacturing and restoring the middle class. Now, Bousum is praying for Trump to make good--even if he knows the faith may not be rewarded."I still have hope that something will change, something will happen," Bousum says. "Donald Trump's a millionaire. He doesn't have to worry about hope and faith. But a blue collar guy like me, if you don't have hope and faith, what do you got?" 




swingby_blog at 21:26コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


失業 救われなかった仕事

The Jobs That Weren't Saved
Sean Gregory / Indianapolis
May 18, 2017



Deep bags sag under Brian Bousum's eyes as he sips whiskey and water in a friend's apartment on a recent Sunday evening. Fifty-one years old, he has spent the past two decades operating screw machines and setting up drill presses at the Rexnord ball-bearing plant on the west side of Indianapolis, a mile from the Carrier factory made famous by President Trump. 

drill press:ボール盤
Carrier factory :Carrier, the HVAC company that since 1979 has been a subsidiary of the larger United Technologies conglomerate, announced several months ago that it was going to close two facilities in Indiana and shift production to a new plant the company is building in Mexico. The move was telegraphed well in advance as part of the company’s obligations to its workforce, but in a practical sense that only made the sting worse. The plants weren't closing because Carrier was losing money hand over fist or because the products they made were obsolete. It was simply cold-hearted medium-term economic planning — it would be cheaper to do it in Mexico. 

On the campaign trail, the Carrier plant closures became a signature talking point for Donald Trump. He argued that it was one concrete example of the overwhelming harm done to American interests by bad trade deals. And as liberal economist Dean Baker writes, it is roughly correct that facilitating the relocation of industrial activity from the US to Mexico was one of the goals of the NAFTA deal. Then this week came some amazing news: Trump, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, convinced Carrier to stay in Indiana. It was a huge PR coup for Trump and set the stage for a triumphant public event in Indiana on Thursday.

For a guy who didn't go to college, he says, the work is hard to beat: the union offered job security and enough overtime to make up to $75,000 a year, a salary that enabled him to buy his own home with an in-ground pool. Bousum's son joined him at the plant after graduating from high school. 

beat :解決する
job security :雇用の保障
in-ground pool:自家製のプール

By the end of the summer, however, they'll both be out of a job. Rexnord, a $1.9 billion company based in Milwaukee, is closing the Indianapolis plant and moving its operations to Mexico. There, labor costs about $3 an hour, rather than the $25 Rexnord pays its longest-serving union employees in Indiana. The move will put more than 300 Americans out of work. Before that happens, some of the workers here are taking advantage of Rexnord's offer of an extra $4 to $10 an hour to train their Mexican replacements. Others are too pained and too proud. 

The outsourcing of America's factory jobs is nothing new, of course. Since 1999, the nation's manufacturing workforce has dropped 28%, from 17.3 million jobs to 12.4 million, as companies flee to countries with cheaper labor costs. Between 2001 and 2016, the U.S. had a net loss of nearly 54,000 manufacturing businesses. In those that remain, more and more work is being done by robots and advanced computers, which are usually overseen by engineers, programmers and others with at least four-year college degrees. 

"This is a runaway train," says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "In the end, technology and global markets improve productivity and benefit all of us. Sadly, it hurts some of us even more." 


Donald Trump promised to make the pain stop, and he owes his election in part to the Midwestern factory workers who believed he would make good on the pledge. "I absolutely got sucked into this message," says Rexnord machinist Gary Canter, 46, who has started delivering pizza for Papa John's three nights a week to sock away extra money before his impending layoff. For Bousum, the rationale was simple: "I voted for Trump based on the fact that he could save our jobs." 

sock away:金を溜め込む

What Donald Trump Got Wrong About Unemployment 
They had reason to hope in early December, just weeks after Trump's victory, when the President-elect announced a deal with nearby heating- and cooling-equipment manufacturer Carrier to keep 1,100 jobs in Indianapolis rather than move them to Mexico (although some 300 of those "saved" jobs were white collar positions that were never slated to move). The next day, Trump turned his ire toward Rexnord, which had already announced its relocation plan. 


"Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers," the President-elect tweeted. "This is happening all over our country. No more!" More than five months later, Rexnord is pressing ahead with its move. Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana, who has discussed the closure with the President, cautions that a last-minute reprieve is unlikely. "I don't want to create false hope," Donnelly tells TIME. 

press ahead:困難を排しながらすすめる

"This has been a very difficult decision and we understand its impact on our associates, their families and the Indianapolis community," Rexnord said in a statement. But the company, which netted $68 million in the 2016 fiscal year, noted that "difficult decisions are a part of today's business environment. To be a viable company that contributes to economic growth, we must meet customers' needs with high-quality products at competitive prices." 

viable :成長可能な

If Trump's Carrier deal was a reminder of how the bully pulpit could be used to make the private sector bend, Rexnord's closure shows its limits--and offers a lesson in the challenges of reversing a global economic trend decades in the making. When Trump tweeted about Rexnord again, on May 7, he said the deal to leave the country was made during his predecessor's Administration, and alluded to levying "big" taxes on the Mexico-made goods the company will sell in the U.S. 

in the making:発展過程にある

But that will not revive an entire way of life in the Midwest--or address the host of knotty economic, social and political issues that come with its demise. "The blue collar life is all I've known," Bousum says, drawing from his glass of whiskey. "How the hell am I going to survive?" 

host :多数の

Rexnord Plant at dusk - Indianapolis.JPG
After 58 years of manufacturing bearings at this plant in west Indianapolis, Rexnord is moving its operations to Monterrey, Mexico Inzajeano Latif for TIME 

Every workplace has a third place, where colleagues go to celebrate a promotion, toast a retirement or simply blow off steam. For many at Carrier and Rexnord, that place is Sully's, a sports bar across from the Carrier plant, where long-necks run $1 on special. Between shifts recently, TJ Bray and Kyle Beaman settled into a booth there to unwind. Beaman, 62, worked in quality control at Rexnord, while Bray, 33, started working at Carrier 15 years ago, one day before his high school graduation. 

a third place:3番目の場所
blow off steam:憂さを晴らす

A year ago, Bray thought he would be the one out of a job. Carrier's parent company, United Technologies (UTC), announced plans to close its Indianapolis plant and move its jobs to Monterrey, Mexico. Then Trump got involved. At campaign rallies, the candidate relentlessly hammered the company as a job killer, turning Carrier into a symbol of the devastation he said globalization had wreaked on the nation's workers. 


After Trump was elected, UTC, which has done billions of dollars in business with the Department of Defense, agreed to keep union jobs in Indianapolis in exchange for a tax-incentive package and, presumably, an end to the President's barrage. "I am thankful to the President for what he did," says Bray. But even grateful workers worry that their paychecks may not survive future rounds of automation or cost cutting. Torrie Bennett, a 13-year plant veteran, says the mood at Carrier now "is like being in an ugly relationship. They've said they want to leave you. So you're on guard." 


Trump's intervention reinforced the expectation that he can prevent other companies from moving manufacturing jobs overseas. Asked what he would say to the President if he had the chance, Beaman, who worked his last day at Rexnord in April, is frank: "Can you help us? If you can't help us, be man enough to tell us. A lot of people are banking on this. Donald Trump, can you save us?" 


America's manufacturing roots reach back almost to the dawn of the nation. Samuel Slater, a cotton spinner's apprentice from England, opened what's considered to be America's first textile factory in Pawtucket, R.I., in 1790. Nine children pushed foot treadles to make spindles of yarn. From that tiny operation grew tens of thousands of factories making everything from the cement lining the Erie Canal to the tracks for the transcontinental railroad to the assembly-line Model Ts that ushered in the automobile age. 


By 1943, in the midst of World War II, nearly 4 in 10 of America's nonagricultural workers were employed in manufacturing, producing steel, ships and aircraft for the U.S. war effort; later, such workers produced homes, cars and air conditioners for the ascendant postwar middle class. The jobs were often steady and unionized, the pay good, and the requirements rarely more than a high school diploma and a solid work ethic. 

work ethic:労働倫理・労働意欲

Don Zering, Rexnord’s union rep, at the United Steelworkers Local 1999; he’s worked at the company for 44 years Inzajeano Latif for TIME 


But all that started to die in the early 1980s. Some 19.5 million Americans held manufacturing jobs in 1979, an all-time high. By 1983, the figure was already down to about 16.7 million. By 2024, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 7.1% of Americans will work in manufacturing. 

The reasons are many, but the prime culprits are globalization and automation. In 1991, China accounted for 2.3% of the world's manufacturing exports. In 2001, the country joined the World Trade Organization, and by 2013, China's share of global exports was 18.8%, according to a 2016 study in the Annual Review of Economics. Countries such as Mexico and the Philippines have also increased their exports. Labor in these markets tends to be substantially cheaper than in the U.S., and trade deals like NAFTA make it easy for American companies to produce goods in far-flung locales. 


Man walking in center of road, carrying suitcase and jacket, rear view

To economists, however, America's shrinking manufacturing jobs have less to do with free trade than with robots. The U.S. still produces world-class airplanes, car parts and heavy machinery. Companies just need fewer people to make them. The result, according to the Brookings Institution, is that whereas it took 25 jobs to generate $1 million in manufacturing output in 1980, today it takes just 6.5 jobs. Many of the nation's factories are more productive than ever, and there is growing demand for workers in so-called advanced manufacturing roles. From 2013 to 2015, 132,000 such jobs were added, according to Brookings. 

But these positions increasingly require specialized technical training after high school, with preference often going to those with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. And the work will be less about fitting pieces together manually than overseeing the robots that do it. Today, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group, robots perform about 10% of manufacturing work around the world. By 2025, they are projected to account for about 25%. "High-skill workers in factories will be managing processes," says David Autor, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "rather than showing off manual dexterity." 




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