This book on China is compelling and invites comparison with the US.
I should refrain instead, it is VERY hard to get it right, but some speculative warnings. There is something tragic about both China and the US. China is easy to underestimate, but it has a solid place in historical evolution as the eonic effect shows, it created Zen Buddhism, where the US is far more fragile in the long run. It could lose its economic powerhouse status in a blink and then confront its real legacy of democratic hope and utterly dismal record of capitalist mayhem, imperialism and genocide, covert fascism, and racism. The US preaches democracy where it doesn’t really exist. History moves on from its democratic failures, we could end like Athens in limbo after 400 BCE. The US, like Russia was marginal to the eonic series but became an open field for the English (and French) transition zones and just around the end of the modern transition becomes the bearer for especially the English modernity. The US will gain a huge plus to its legacy in the defeat of slavery, but so far still mired in racism. I am by no means equipped for this judgment and the Chinese case is almost too tricky to discuss. I have been critical here on the grounds of its faux communism, but as the book suggests that outer appearance is the second coming, or third, of manderin exam-sifted elites with trappings of Marx/Engels. More study needed here. With China one hardly knows what one is seeing.
One should definitely set down some notes, toward a final judgment, as a scare tactic at least. And as an aside denounce the damage done by Darwinism. People have truly come to believe they are in a social darwinist struggle of men and nations, but that is not true. In classical occidental antiquity we see that the Darwinian survivors don’t advance but degrade civilization: look at the starting point: the great Greek flowering, followed by the slow but steady social darwinist victory of the Romans and what an ugly endpoint, a cul de sac. Note that something had to intervene in history to repair the damage of the Darwinian struggle. That’s the puzzle of Christianity whose own legacy is also problematical. And it is not a question of theism. Christianity was almost as flawed as a religion as the Rome world was as a pack of wolves.
Enough: we can’t move to a conclusion. But the US has no grounds for complacency.
The idea that China is going to sino-form the whole planet is provocative in the extreme. China is in no position to do much of anything: it can’t even handle Tiber or the Uighuirs, so have a tragedy in motion. The socialist is a failed outcome in China. The future must redefine socialism all over again.
I think the title is wrong here, but the book is a highly useful perspective, however correct, on the enigma of China, its history, and distinct characteristics.