Jeff on Jerm Warfare: all about China, past, present and future. The Sino-Colossus is unstoppable and is affecting your life. China Rising Radio Sinoland 230819


By Jeff J. Brown

Pictured above: Jerm and Jeff, from South Africa to Normandy.

Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff

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Jerm: You are just telling me a moment ago that you’ve been to South Africa.

Jeff J Brown: Oh, yeah, a lot. For three years.

Jerm: Tell me a bit about that.

Jeff: Believe it or not, I was in the bull semen business. Frozen bull semen for artificial insemination. And South Africa was my second biggest market after Saudi Arabia, of all places, because I was the regional director of marketing for the world’s number one bull semen exporting company, which is out of California. So, from 82 to 85, I traveled all over South Africa. And I would just rent a Volkswagen Jetta. I would stop in a local music store, buy 20 of the old magnetic cassettes of African music and just rock and roll for 2- or 3 weeks visiting farm after farm after farm all over the country.

And of course, this was during apartheid and so all of my clients were well-off white farmers. But it’s just it’s such an amazing country. It’s so beautiful and the people are so nice and the food is so good and the wine is good. And I think it’s a mini-Paradise. And I’d love to come back and see it again. It had a huge impact on me. I just had a wonderful, wonderful and I probably visited for the three years I was there. I probably visited 2 or 3 months a year. So, I was there for 6 to 9 months because it was my second biggest market. So, I spent a lot of time there and just ate it up.

Jerm: Well, if and when you do return, I’ll take you for lunch. And we’ll have wine.

Jeff: I’ll buy the wine.

Jerm: Now you’re in France, so there’s a little bit of rivalry in terms of wine. My wife and I were in France just a few years ago, and we thought that the wine was good, but not as great as what the marketing will have you believe. Am I biased?

Jeff: Well, I think you are. I’ll tell you about the wines. I think the wines that are overrated are the United States. They’re just expensive. 15, 20, $25 a bottle. It’s not worth it. I can buy a beautiful, beautiful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot here for 4 or €5. And it’s very good, very drinkable. And so, I have half a bottle of red wine Cabernet Sauvignon every night with my dinner and I really enjoy it. It’s been so long for South African wines. I mean, I just remember they were really good. I even brought back some. I was even bringing padded cases of it and paying extra baggage to bring it back to the United States when I went back just because of the novelty and it was really good. Let’s just say they’re equally good.

Jerm: You published a book called 44 Days Backpacking through China. I’m absolutely fascinated by your story. Take me back. Why did you do this?

Jeff: Well, my wife and I lived in China from 1990 to 1997. That was a completely different universe. It was just totally, totally different. We went bankrupt, unfortunately, in 2008 with the real estate rip-off and subprime real estate rip-off. In the United States, we lost everything and went bankrupt. And so, in 2010, we went back to China and stayed there until 2019. So, we were there for a total of 16 years and I just got back after spending a month there. And Jerm, why I took the trip of 44 days backpacking in China is it was an epiphany for me because, in the 1990s, China was, what I called the Deng Xiaoping Wild East Buckaroo Days.

It was naked, vulgar, street-level capitalism. Everybody was trying to rip everybody else off. Everybody was lying and cheating and stealing, trying to make a buck. It was street-level capitalism absolutely out of control. Of course, at the national level, they still had all their state-owned enterprises and big corporations. But on a day-to-day basis, it was a bit like a drug trip. It was extremely, extremely exciting, and stressful at the same time. So, that’s what we left in 1997. We came back in 2010 and I was just gob-smacked. It was like, “What the hell is going on here? This country has changed. The people have changed.

It’s like a whole nother world.” And we were in Beijing and it had developed infrastructurally and socioeconomically so much. And I kept saying to myself, “Well, I got to get out of Beijing. This is a fat city. This is the big capital. I want to get out and really see this amazing transformation. Is it only in Beijing because of the Olympics two years ago, or is it really something broader?” So, I picked out the six poorest provinces in China, and the whole trip was like 12,000 something kilometers. I did not take a plane. I took local trains. I hiked.

I took local buses and I went to these six very poor provinces, relatively poor and it was the same thing because I had already been to those been to those places back in the 1990s. And the transformation of the infrastructure was just as incredible. And the transformation of the people was just as incredible. And so, I started writing a blog when we first got there and I had an old Samsung pad and I was using that to write on during my travels and it ended up being 44 days. And when I got back, I thought I was going to write a blog, and when I got back it was already like 25 or 30,000 words.  And I said, “This isn’t a blog, this is a book.”

And so, I had taken hundreds of pictures, of course, talked to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people because I do read, read, speak, and write Chinese Mandarin. And so, I wrote 44 Days Backpacking in China. And it’s a geopolitical, cultural, and social travel log, history. It covers everything. And then I felt like I got things wrong in that book. I just had an uneasy feeling about some of my interpretations of Chinese history, especially since liberation in 1949. I went back and did a lot of research, and at the same time, I saw the World Trade Center Building Number Seven.

So, someone sent me the little clip of the 42-story building going down in freefall. And I’m a certified science teacher and I’m like going, “That’s not possible”. So, I started digging into the West and what I ended up learning is, is that I could not really see China as China is and the people, without knowing the true face of the West. And unfortunately, it’s not a pretty picture. It was painful to discover everything I learned about the West. And that ended up being the book called “China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations”.

And the first 100 pages are all about the West and how the awful things that the West has done and continues to do. And then we continued to travel and go around and I wrote the third book called “The Big Red Book on China”. I can’t remember the subtitle Revolution, History, Revolution, and something else. And so, I’ve actually written what’s called the China Trilogy, the three books about China. I was able to finally channel what the Chinese think and believe, and feel in their voice.

And that’s not something that very, very many foreigners can do or have tried to do. And so, I think the three books are just, it’s, a lot of people say the trilogy is like a degree in Chinese Studies because they’re all quite different. 44 days is cultural and social and kind of everyday stuff, languages and clothing and history and everything. China Rising is very political. And then Big Red book on China really gets into the history of China, especially from 1949 onward, and I really get into that.

So that’s what happened. I just got back. I was there for the month of May after three years because we left in 2019. And of course, Covid put the kibosh on any travel. And I’m not injected with the vaccine. And so, it really made traveling and even just living here in France a living hell because we were pariahs. But now, I finally got to travel. And so, I went back for the entire month of May, almost, 26 days, something like that. So, China is my muse. And when I got finished writing 44 Days Backpacking in China, I realized I couldn’t stop writing.

And so, I started this website. At first, it was called 44 Days. And then Patrick Greanville of the Greanville Post took my website and he actually hosts it and we changed the name to China Rising Radio Sinoland and I’ve written hundreds of articles hundreds and hundreds of articles. Since then, I’ve done hundreds of interviews as a guest and host. Most of them focused on China. So, China is my muse. And I think it’s the greatest show on Earth. And it’s just difficult to comprehend if you don’t go there and see it with your own eyes.

I must humbly confess that in 1990 I was your typical Western asshole. I had all the answers. I knew everything. I had all the answers for the Chinese for all their problems. And it’s not racial racism but it’s just this sense of superiority that the West is morally superior, technologically superior, culturally superior. And to be honest with you, I was a real asshole all back for those seven years even though I worked there and I learned the language fluently. I was a shithead. And I really feel bad about my behavior back then.

And that’s what China Rising, the second book did, it ripped the scales of that superiority off of my eyes. Because studying the West, it brought the West down from the heights of heaven to being just a good old-fashioned colonial empire. And so, that was very, very, very painful. I mean, I was crying at times. It was just so difficult to accept it was like, wow we’re not God. And so, at that point, I really began to understand China. And so, to be honest with you, I mean, 44 Days, you just got to read the book. It was an amazing trip.

I mean, I saw stuff that most, I mean I don’t think I saw more than maybe ten foreigners the whole time I was out there. And most of it was out in the West. 94% of the people in China live on about 50% of the land to the East. And it’s incredibly beautiful. it’s as big as the United States or Canada. It’s fantabulous, beautiful and the culture goes back 5,000 years. And I went to museums and ancient sites and cultural sites. And I really got into geology. I went to national parks. And it was a fun trip and it’s kind of hard to cram it all in.

But I can just tell you that China is an amazing country. It’s got like 55 minorities. And so, I went through all these minority areas. I was in the mountains. I was in valleys, rivers, deserts you name it, forests. I did all of that in 44 days. And it’s just unbelievable. And I would like to maybe go back and see some of those places again after being gone for so long just to see how much they’ve changed. But I really dug into the history, the culture, the food, the clothing, the languages, the economy, the socioeconomic factors, and how the people interact and relate to each other and live together.

And since I speak, read, and write the language fluently, I have a level of understanding that even though I was an asshole back then. I have a level of understanding that 99% of foreigners can’t achieve. And I talked to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. And so, what can I say? In fact, it’s actually sold pretty well. And there are actually used copies on Amazon if you don’t want to buy a new copy. And it’s quite a read. I mean, it is quite a read and I put a lot of humor into it. It’s funny at times.

And I think it’s a wonderful introduction. Even though I did make some mistakes about the Mao Era, which I regret. I really regret it. But I corrected those mistakes about the Mao era in China Rising after I found out how awful the West is and I could more fairly compare the two. That was a catharsis to reassess the Mao era and the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. And I did that in China Rising. So, there are some historical mistakes in 44 Days about the Mao era but otherwise, it’s 98% 98.5 or 99% accurate.

Jerm: What were some of the things you believe you got wrong about the Mao era?

Jeff: Well, here’s what happened. I was in this boondock’s town. I’m trying to think it’s in the South of Sichuan. I was coming off the Tibet Plateau. I was up at like 3500m and I was coming off the Tibetan Plateau and heading down to Lake Lugu, which is at 2000m and where the Mosuo people live, where it’s matriarchal. The women run the show in this minority tribe and it was basically, it’s a trucking town. It’s a place where truckers stop, hire a prostitute, have sex drink, have a good time, and then move on with their trucks.

So, it’s a rough town. It was Xi…?, I can’t remember. Anyway, it’s in the southwest corner of Sichuan. And I got out of my hotel, which had little packages of lubricant for sex and prophylactics and little sex toys. And that was really interesting. And then, of course, and then I had women calling me, prostitutes and I called the desk and said, “Listen, I’m not interested. I’m a married man.” And so anyway, I was out walking around on the streets and I see this restaurant and it’s called the Cultural Revolution Restaurant.

And I go into it and it’s all decorated like the Cultural Revolution, and a little bit of the Great Leap Forward, just to kind of a kitschy pastiche of the Mao era and pictures of Mao and pictures of people working together and camping cups and really simple because it was supposed to be like when the city kids went out to the countryside to work. And I was sitting there and it didn’t really sink into me until I got back. And that visit was one of the catalysts that got me to write China Rising. I’m sitting there, I’m going, I got back and I’m going.

“But Mao killed 80 million people. He was a butcher. He was an evil genocidal maniac. He had claws and he had fangs and green moss between his teeth. And he was a horrible, horrible person.” Because that’s what we have been told in the West. And so, this cognitive dissonance of everything that I’ve been brainwashed with about Communist China and Mao and the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. And then I’m going but the Chinese are not stupid. Why do they love this guy?

And then I never really thought about it until then but then all of a sudden, well, on my travels, Mao is everywhere. Mao posters, Mao pins, Mao statues, Mao, everything in 44 Days. Mao is everywhere. And when I got back to Beijing, I started noticing all the Mao paraphernalia in daily life, which I guess I’d just kind of filtered out earlier. And I’m going, how can the Chinese love someone who supposedly destroyed the country twice? The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution killed 80 million people, had long lists, and slaughtered every one of them.

It’s not possible. So, I knew at that point that the Chinese knew something about Mao that the West didn’t. And that the Chinese had a different understanding of Mao Zedong than what the West had brainwashed me into believing. So, what I did at that point is I started doing massive research. I started doing research in French, English, and Chinese. And I come to find out that, in fact, the Cultural Revolution and there are a lot of moving parts. But the Great Leap Forward is not what the West portrays it, as a gigantic failure and a famine that killed 30 or 40 million people or 50 million people or whatever.

It’s not true. I think it’s China Rising or is it Big Red Book on China? Anyway, it’s basically a gigantic lie, just like the Tiananmen Square protests. The whole shtick that there was a massacre of thousands of students and blood on the streets. And that’s a complete and total fabrication. I found out that the propaganda against the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution is gigantic lies, a myth that’s perpetrated by the West. And I really get into it. I get into it some in China Rising. But I really got into the nitty-gritty of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution and the Big Red Book on China.

And I just totally debunk everything that the West says about him and now I say it with absolute sincerity about Mao Zedong. And since then, I went to his hometown in Hunan and have seen so much more even since I’ve written the books. I’ve just seen so much stuff about post-liberation history. But for Mao Zedong:

I say never has one leader done so much for so many people in so little time.

And that’s the truth. And all I can do is just tell people to read my books.

And if you don’t want to buy my books, get on my website,  and read my articles. Just search Mao on my website and I’ve got all kinds of stuff. So that’s the bad part about 44 Days is I was still sucked into that you know that Mao was a bloodthirsty butcher. And I believed all that, it’s called scar literature, all this like Frank Dikötter and all these what’s called scar literature where they write the most lurid, exaggerated lies to just, it’s almost like pornography. And I was still buying into that when I wrote 44 Days. And I regret that. And that was corrected in my second book, China Rising.

Jerm: The Uyghur Genocide is also fabricated?

Jeff: Oh, it’s a complete and total fabrication. I mean, even there are internal documents on Wikileaks the US diplomatic communiques. They say it’s not true, but it’s just what I call the West’s Big Lie Propaganda Machine is so effective and so ruthlessly efficient at brainwashing the vast majority of people on Earth. And so that’s why I keep writing and interviewing and trying to just educate people about what really is going on in China. And yeah, it’s not true.

Tibet, all that, the riots they had what in 2008 right before the Olympics, that was all CIA, the Dalai Lama is a paid CIA agent. He gets over $1 million a year from the CIA. His brother was a trained terrorist. It’s all in my books. I did all this did thousands of hours of research discovering all this. And that’s what caused my huge sea change and transformation, along with the finding out about all the false flags, the 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan and the Boston Marathon and all these just blatant false flags that are used to manipulate the people and turn them into sheeple, basically. And unfortunately, it works.

Jerm: Why do you think there is this incredible animosity from the West towards China?

Jeff: That’s a wonderful question, Jerm. And you really have to go back several hundred years and I’ll be brief. But from the time that the Portuguese got to what is now today, Hong Kong in 1516 I think it was 1517, Catholic monks, that were the first contact in the, I’m sure there was contact earlier because, with the Silk Roads, China went all the way to Europe with the Silk Roads as far as I mean, the Chinese were trading with the Romans during the Roman Empire. So, there was contact back then.

But in terms of the 1500s, it was the Portuguese. And then after that, there was this huge interest in the 1500s to the 1600s, there was this massive interest in China, in Europe. Of course, this was before the United States. So, they didn’t even exist. And everything Chinese was wonderful. Confucious for people like Voltaire and Leibnitz were huge fans, philosophers in Europe were promoting Chinese Confucianism and Daoism and the West was importing massive amounts of furniture and clocks and silk clothing and paintings, and porcelain, and tea.

And it just went on and on and on. And so, from about 1550 until about 1680, China was the bee’s knees, as we say, or the cat’s meow, as we joke in the United States. And in the 1680s, we were in the Age of Enlightenment. And the West finally got the printing press, which of course was invented in China 300 years earlier. But everybody thinks that of course, it was Gutenberg. It was actually the Koreans who beat the Chinese by 30 years for metal movable type. But for several hundred years, China had wood and clay and porcelain movable type way before the Europeans.

But anyway, people, even common people in Europe were learning to read. There was a massive amount of flow because of colonialism. People were leaving the country. People were coming back. And there was a real sense of unease among European elites. People were starting to question religion. And it was the Age of Enlightenment. It was just people were starting to think a bit for themselves. And the elites were really, really worried. And there were among the common people, all the bad things that were happening in the colonies, the brutality, the genocide, the expropriation, and the mass theft of resources.

That information was coming back into Europe and causing the common people to question what the hell was going on. So, of course, the Catholic Church, and then, of course, we had the Protestant Church at that time. They decided I mean I don’t think they all got together in a group like at the Vatican and made this decision. But there was a consensus among the elites, among the monarchies, among the nobles, among the churches, something had to be done to bring the people of Europe together cohesively.

And of course, what has the West been doing to bring the people together cohesively in the West? What have we been doing for 3,000 fricking years? We find enemies. And so, believe it or not, in the 1680s, guess who became the bugaboo, the evil that had to be resisted? Islam. Islam became demonized in the 1680s all across Europe and at the same time, China became a nonentity and became nothing. It’s almost like right now, we can’t listen to Tchaikovsky or read Tolstoy in the West.

It was pretty much China that was completely devalued. Everything that the Chinese had helped the Europeans develop with their incredible technology that was hundreds of years ahead of the West. All of a sudden, the West invented all this. They just expropriated everything that the Chinese had given the Europeans for the last 200 years. They expropriated all that and claimed it as their own, sui generis. And since that time the idea of all these shibboleths about the Yellow Peril and the Asians and all these exaggerations about their behavior and everything began to increase.

So, basically, the foundation of where we are today where the West has a deeply ingrained fear and loathing of Chinese people is due to what happened then. And it’s just down to fear and racism. The Yellow Peril goes back to the early 19th century. And then, of course, China for the first time in 5,000 years was weak and the Qing Dynasty was weak. And the British took everything that the Chinese taught them the rudder, sails, guns, compass, paper, and everything that the Chinese had given them, they use cannons and military equipment, which was 300 years ahead of the West.

The West expropriated all that from the Chinese. The British were able to bring the Qing dynasty to its knees during the Opium Wars. They were flooding the country with opium, and they were able to continue to do that until 1949 with the liberation of the People’s Liberation Army and the Communist Party. And so, for 110 years, the West raped and plundered one of the greatest civilizations in human history, and they got away with it for 110 years. And since then, the world has changed. It’s no longer the case.

Unfortunately, Jerm, the problem is that today, Westerners, their vision of who China is and what China is, and who the Chinese are is based on that 110-year period which the Chinese call the Century of Humiliation. And they think that’s what the Chinese are. They think that’s how the Chinese are. They completely forgot that before that, for 5,000 years, China was hundreds and sometimes even in terms of technology, even thousands of years ahead of the rest of the world, technologically, innovation, invention, agriculture, and industry.

They were so far ahead of the rest of the world. That’s all been forgotten. And so, people keep glomming onto this idea that the Chinese are like where they were in 1890 and it’s just not true. The Chinese are back. The Chinese are back. And roaring like a lion on the world stage. They’ve always been number one. There was a time in the 1200s, 1300s. In that period, China had 50% of the world’s population. They had 50% of the world’s GDP, and they had over 80% of the metropolitan population.

And so that’s how big and badass China was before Western colonialism got its hooks into it from 1839 to 1949, and they’re back and they’re changing the world and there’s nothing that the West can do to stop them. It’s unbelievable what’s going on there. And I saw that in May. It’s just it’s just mind-boggling. It’s a colossus. It’s like if Europe is Earth, China is the solar system. If the West is Earth, China is the solar system. It is so massive and so colossal that it’s moving at the speed of a bullet into the 22nd century. And nothing’s going to stop them. They can’t be stopped.

Jerm: In your travels through China, what were some of the big differences that you noticed between Chinese culture and let’s say American or Western culture?

Jeff: That’s a very good question. We have to understand Western society is based on morals. Western governance is based on morals. The problem with morals is, is that if my morals are different from your morals, then I think you should adopt my morals. And if you don’t adopt my morals, I’m going to kill you or take your country away from you. This is basically largely due to religion. Look at Catholicism. And then we had the Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the great schism in 1054.

And then we had the Protestants coming along later. And unfortunately, in the West, it’s religiously based. My God, my Jesus, my Bible, all these different Bibles. It’s all based on moral, moral superiority, which is why the West, I think, has had a lot of problems over the last 3,000 years. And in China, society and culture are based on ethics, not morals. It’s based on ethics. And there’s only one rule in ethics. Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done to you. And that is Chinese culture. The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you want others to do unto you. And the way they govern, the way they the leaders. And I’m not saying it’s been a Paradise for the last 5,000 years, it’s had a lot of wars and stuff. But still, there is this imperative among the leaders, among even the emperors, the elites, the nobles, the bourgeois, the rich people, and on down to the peasants. There is this sense of obligation to treat people right. And that makes all the difference. And it’s so successful compared to the Western model of morals, is that in 200 A.D. when Rome the Roman Empire was at its absolute greatest extent.

That was actually the end of the Han Dynasty in China. The first unified well, actually the Qin was the first, right before, well 200 BC it finally got unified. Then the Han dynasty in 200 A.D. the Roman Empire, they were in England. They were in France. They were in Spain. They were in North Africa. They were in Egypt. They were all over the Middle East, all over the Mediterranean. And at that time, China at that time, compared to the Roman Empire, had six times as much land mass and nine times as many people.

Think about that. Why would China have six times as much land mass and nine times as many people compared to the greatest empire in Western Civilization? Well, that’s because they have an overriding sense of obligation to take care of the people and to take care of each other.  That’s why in my book – China Rising, I juxtapose a picture of the emperor of the Shang Dynasty in 1700 BC, with Karl Marx and I did it on purpose to just point out that China has always been communist.

There’s always been this communalism and sharing and helping each other and working together. And of course, there’s been wars. Of course, there’s been a lot of horrible things that have happened over history but the gravity to pull all of that back towards the Golden Rule is always there. And it is today. And that’s why Mao Zedong, his famous motto was “Serve the People”. Well, that actually goes back to the Tang Dynasty from 600 to 900. Leaders back then were saying, “Serve the people. If the people don’t eat, I don’t eat.

If the people don’t have a house, I don’t have a house. If people are not happy, then I can’t be happy.” And that’s why emperors have felt that sense of duty going back for thousands of years. So that’s the biggest difference. After Mao died in 76 and Deng Xiaoping basically opened and let loose the dogs of capitalism. From the early 1980s until the 1990s, it was a fucking, not a nice place. It was dog-eat-dog at the street level. And as I said, it was just like. It was awful. You couldn’t trust anybody. But that’s the exception to the rule.

Because they were trying to be capitalists in capitalism, you screw everybody and lie and cheat and steal to get rich. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. And so other than that period, and then finally when they got the Beijing Olympics in 2008, they were, I wrote about this, you could read about it in the media. We can’t keep this up. We can’t have this kind of behavior for the Beijing Olympics. And so, they started a lot of public campaigns and a lot of public propaganda service campaigns.

And they started changing policies and they started to smooth over the god-awful concrete jungle capitalism that they had from the 80s into early 2000s. So those are some of the big differences. It’s even more pronounced now. I mean, when I went back in May, I just got back. I spent, like I said they don’t even lock their motorbikes. They leave their helmets on their motorbikes. It’s just so honest. And so even about a third of the old-fashioned bikes like you and I used to ride when we were kids, about a third of them are not even locked.

And people are just leaving stuff out. There’s no crime. There’s no street crime. There’s no theft. I mean, it’s really become very Confucian and very Daoist and very, very Buddhist which those never went away, by the way. But you can really feel it now. And it’s just so relaxing now and so easy. And people are calm and although Beijing is kind of like the New York of China. It’s really hard-nosed. It’s kind of a hard-nosed city. But everywhere I went to Changsha in Hunan and I went to Zhuhai across the Pearl River Delta from Shenzhen. I was in Shenzhen. And it’s just amazing to see. It’s just amazing to see.

Jerm: When you were traveling, did you notice a strong sense of community and family?

Jeff: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I’ve actually written about this and in one of my books, I think either that or in an article I wrote on my website, I put a triangle of social hierarchy comparing the West to China. And in the West, especially in America, what’s at the top of the pyramid? Me! Me, myself, and I. I’m Marlboro Man. And then after and in the United States especially but it’s better here in Europe. There’s more of a sense of family, but it’s being destroyed by all this Wokeism and it’s just awful.

But anyway, me, kind of sort of family. Got sort of even less community city, a state, and then the country, and then the leaders in the government are at the bottom of the pyramid. They’re distrusted and they should distrust them because they’ve been evil for most of the last 3,000 years. The leadership and the government are down at the bottom of the pyramid in the West. You invert that and in China, the government and the leaders are at the top. They are number one. And then next comes family.

Next comes family. Still to this day, many if not most households in China are three generations. If you have children, grandma and grandpa move in. You still have a three-generation family, if not full-time, they at least come a lot during the early years of the child. So, you’ve got trust in the leaders. You’ve got the country up at the top and the leaders trust the people. The leaders in the West don’t trust their people and the people don’t trust their leaders. Here in China, they trust each other to do the right thing. The Golden Rule.

And so then below that, you’ve got the family, and then you can go through your community, your local community, your city, your region, or your state. And then guess who’s at the bottom of the shit heap? Me. You come last, pal. You don’t count for shit in China as an individual. Everything is community-based. And the Chinese do not like Marlboro men. They do not like them. They do not do well. There is a real sense of duty and an obligation to society, to family, and to the country. They’re super, super patriotic, super nationalist and they believe in their leaders.

China is much more democratic than the West. For thousands of years there’s a saying in China, “If the emperor is not doing a good job, we’re just going to get us some bamboo stakes and storm the emperor’s palace and let’s get us a new leader.” They were actually able to depose an emperor one he lost the Heavenly Mandate, they had a lot more political power than ever in the West. They stormed the palace and demanded that a new emperor be put in place. And if that guy didn’t do the right job, storm it again until they got the right guy. And the obligation of the leadership is to maintain the cohesiveness of the country’s borders, in other words, stop invaders and to stop invaders and to avoid war at all costs.

Jerm: Sovereignty.

Jeff: Yeah, sovereignty. And in fact, an axiom in the Chinese military is “The greatest generals.” Well, first off, the axiom is “The greatest leaders are the ones that never have to go to war and the greatest generals are the ones that never have to go into battle.” They figure out how to avoid fighting at all costs. Also, one of the great axioms in the Chinese military is “If all else fails, retreat.” They don’t have this Western maniac, like what they’re doing to the Ukrainians in Ukraine just slaughtering them like dogs, just pushing people into the meat grinder.

That’s not the way the Chinese ever tried to fight. They tried to avoid it at all costs. So, that’s why they had six times as much land and nine times as many people in 200 A.D. and that’s why they have 1.5 billion people today. And humans are a resource. And so that is a massive resource for China, all of their people. And it just shows how successful their governance model is compared to the West.

Jerm: Is this way of looking at the world wired into the Chinese people or is it forced or imposed from the top?

Jeff: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, it’s not. This is something that goes back thousands of years. It’s actually the Chinese who for much of its history, they were the ones that had low taxes. Let’s at least go back to the 1500s and 1600s. It was the Chinese that had low taxes, small governments, leave the people alone. One of Confucius’s maxims is “Let the people govern themselves, and if you trust the people and if you as a leader are a role model of probity, honesty, hard work, care, and concern, that will be reflected in the people, and the people will take care of themselves.”

It was the Chinese that had low taxes. It was the Chinese that had a small government all back during this time when the English were saying they were low tariff, there were the Chinese who had low tariffs. It was the Chinese that basically had a liberal economic model. So, this has been hardwired into the Chinese. Like I say when I juxtapose that, it was done tongue in cheek. But when I juxtapose that picture of Karl Marx and the emperor of the Shang Dynasty going 1700 and something BC it was there for a reason, is that communism is so natural to the Chinese. They don’t even question it. It’s just they’ve been doing it for millennia.

Jerm: It’s also not this great evil because communism has got a very bad reputation in the West.

Jeff: Well, you know what I really love right now, Jerm? I love the fact that China is a communist-socialist country and it’s got fuck-you money. It’s got so much goddamn money. It is so fucking rich. It is so powerful. And it’s the first communist-socialist country, at least in modern times, since the 19th century, who’s got fuck-you money. And they can tell the West “Fuck you”. We don’t need you. And that’s what’s happening now. I mean, the West has burned all of its bridges. I mean, Blinken and Biden and Macron and Sunak and Schultz and Germany and all this madness of self-destruction in the West and Wokeism and complete and total social-cultural meltdown.

The Chinese don’t need them anymore and they are so unassailable. Their military is better than the United States and Europe. The only one that could even challenge it is Russia. And Russia and China are now locked, like brothers in arms. And they’re so rich and they’re so powerful, they can just sit back and watch the West just collapse and they can just bide their time. They have low inflation. Joblessness is a bit of a problem right now, but it’s nothing like compared to Europe at least. They actually build things.

Their GDP is built on production and materials and things and stuff and technology and innovation and invention. And so, the West’s economic model is based on financialization, debt, war, Wall Street, which all get counted into the GDP. You just go spend one week in China and tell me that the US economy is bigger than China’s? It’s just no comparison. I mean it’s just massive the economy in China and people are working and hustling and producing things and they’re hard-working and they don’t complain very much. And it’s just a totally different mindset.

Jerm: But we all know why, though. We all know why. If they don’t work, they’re all going to get shot, right?

Jeff: Oh, I can tell you I’ve written some really great stuff. I’ve written some really great articles on my website. China’s democracy is so much better for the people than the West’s elitist, aristocratic, bogus electoral democracy. The Chinese have learned for thousands of years that if they don’t like something, they complain to the government. For thousands of years, the Chinese and it still happens to this day, they can go into their government office and register a complaint.

And now with social media, who is the biggest polling organization in the world doing surveys and polls? The Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party. Because they want to know what the people think and feel. Every law, every regulation that is promulgated in China, and even back during the Mao era, they didn’t have Internet, so they would post them on boards in the villages all over the country. And I actually took pictures to show people this is how they used to communicate for even going back thousands of years.

They put notices up for the people to know what’s going on. And so, if the people are against something, it’s not going to pass. And I’ll just give you two examples. The Chinese got really pissed off in the last few years about two things. One is personal information. They started realizing that Tencent, which is WeChat, and then Alibaba and Baidu. BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent), three of the biggest high-tech corporations in the world, these behemoths were abusing the data that they were gathering on their citizens.

The people rose up. There is a phone number in China you can call. There are websites you can go to and register complaints. And they are dealt with. I even did it. In Shenzhen, we had a, I don’t want to get into the details, but we had a snafu about how the traffic was flowing on one of the streets next to where we were living. Well, I actually went down to my local city hall, made the complaint, showing them photographs of what needed to be done. And three weeks later, it was fixed. So, everything in China is consensual.

It’s bottom-up. It comes from the bottom. It comes from the people. It’s consensual and it is cooperative. And if the people don’t want it, it’s not going to happen. And if the people want something, they’re going to get it. So, what the Chinese people got were incredible laws controlling how these big companies were using their personal information. They cut them off at the knees. They cut these tech companies down, fined them billions of dollars, and practically moved the Chinese government into these big tech companies.

And they’re watching them like a hawk and they still are. In fact, they just fined Alibaba almost $1 billion today. And so now, my personal information in China is much safer than anywhere in the West. The second one was facial recognition. Again, the Chinese were getting a little spooked about the pervasive use of facial recognition. I even had an experience where I wrote about how I actually looked into a camera to go into a museum out in the middle of bumfuck nowhere in Hunan. And it actually recognized my face.

I couldn’t believe it. But anyway, now there also massive laws to control the use of images, people’s images, people’s faces, et cetera. Facial recognition is all out in the open. This is what we’re doing with your images. It’s all public. It’s all out there for everybody to see. Of course, they’re using facial recognition, but it’s been explained to the people what they’re using it for. Now it’s being reduced. They’re catching tens of thousands of bad guys and criminals and so now the people are supporting facial recognition, but they got what they wanted.

They got some explanation and some reinforcement. And this goes on and on and on and on. I can just show you example after example where the Chinese want something and they get it, like the Social Credit Score. They love it, they were sick and tired of the lawlessness and the thievery and the lying and the cheating and the stealing going on during the Deng Xiaoping Wild East Buckaroo days. And they wanted some normalcy back in their life. They were the ones that demanded the Social Credit System. And it works beautifully. I have a social credit score. I can go on my phone right here, open up Alipay. And I can tell you, my score. It’s 574. Good, but it’s not great.

Jerm: What does that mean?

Jeff: Well, it goes up to 800, I think. If it drops below 400, you’ve done some bad things. And I don’t use it. If I borrowed money in China and paid my bills, if I did more things, my score would go up.

Jerm: What are examples, sorry, what are examples of some of those bad things?

Jeff: Like a deadbeat husband not paying his alimony, a deadbeat father not paying child support, not paying your taxes, getting caught committing a crime. If you get caught pickpocketing or shoplifting or if you drive negligently, if you drive while intoxicated, all of that will lower your score. And as your score goes down lower and lower, then you start losing privileges. You can’t fly first class or business class on an airplane. You may not even be able to leave the country until you get your act together and start being more responsible towards society.

Or internally, you may not get to ride a high-speed train. You have to ride a local train because you have disrespected the Chinese people. It’s mainly not for the individual. The social credit score is mainly for businesses and bureaucrats. They want to root out and they are ruthlessly rooting out corrupt officials, and corrupt Communist Party members. They are rooting out crooked CEOs, corrupt CEOs, and companies that get caught jigging the jiggling numbers, committing fraud, putting out a crap products knowingly putting out a crap product, et cetera.

Well, first off, all those government officials are going to get disciplined or lose their jobs. There was a guy just this week, he got caught holding hands with one of his employees walking in public, and he was 50, she was 30, and they worked at this big Chinese energy state-owned company. They both lost their jobs. He got kicked out of the Communist Party of China. So, that’s another thing Jerm you just brought up. That’s been very important. A huge difference. In Chinese culture, Accountability to yourself and accountability to society, your family, and your community are paramount.

Whereas as you can see in the West, accountability is to be avoided and to be evaded shrugging off responsibility and pushing it off onto somebody else. That’s a huge difference. So, it’s just a different kettle of fish. And I’ll give you and it’s just more relaxing than here in the West. I remember a few years ago, my daughter was back. We were back here in France and we were on the Champs-Elysees and we are drinking coffee in a tony cafe on the Champs-Elysees and she had been back for about three weeks here in France.

She actually went with us in 2010, graduated from Beijing Normal University, and speaks, reads, and writes fluent Chinese. And we were sitting there. She was going “Daddy, why do I feel so much freer in China? Why do I feel like I have much more freedom in China than I do here?” And she’s right. You have this sense of where you can just kind of relax and have freedom not having to worry about getting raped or robbed or stolen or attacked. There’s none of that.

My daughter could walk down the street in a miniskirt at midnight in Beijing and no one would mess with her. And they’re not going to mess with a Chinese woman either. So, there’s this real sense of not having to worry about your safety, not having to worry about your belongings. You can relax. There are no homeless people. There are no beggars. The subways and the buses are spotless. You could eat off the floors. It’s nice, it’s clean. It’s relaxing. It’s nice.

Jerm: It’s a stark difference to say living here in South Africa where there’s no accountability, huge amounts of murder and rape, police violence, brutality to farmers, the list just goes on.

Jeff: Yeah, I can show you the film footage. Well, first off, the cops in China don’t even carry guns. They don’t even have guns. It’s like the good old days with the British bobbies. That didn’t last very long with all the false flags with the London Subway, which was a false flag that gave them the excuse to start carrying guns. They don’t even have guns. There’s no violence on the streets. And I can show you film footage of like drunk guy or somebody who’s mentally ill or maybe they forgot to take their medication or they’re depressed or whatever.

And he’s out there on the street with a butcher knife chasing people. You know, how long he’d live in South Africa or Europe these days or anywhere, in the West, he’d get his brains blown out in about two seconds. Well, in China, the cops are sitting there like they don’t want to hurt the guy. And they’re like, they’re dodging him and going doing all these maneuvers so that they can try to catch him.

And then what’s even most amazing, Jerm, the public joins in and they’re grabbing chairs and they’re grabbing things that they can use to pin the guy to push the guy into a corner. And they finally get him down. And there’s four or five citizens and there’s a couple of cops who finally get this guy down. That doesn’t happen in the West. And also, another interesting thing is that recidivism in China is like, if they go to prison, the recidivism meaning the chances of them going back into prison after they’ve served their time and they’ve been actually reformed in China.

The recidivism in China is about 7%. The recidivism in the West is anywhere from 60 to 70 to 80% there back in the slammer real fast. In China, they actually do reform and educate and give them skills. And it’s just a total, it’s just a people-oriented, people supported, bottom-up, consensual democracy and the people are working together, trying to help each other. And, of course, there’s arguments and, of course, there’s stuff that happens. But it’s just nothing, nothing like in the West. It’s like a parallel universe.

Jerm: Why do you choose not to live in China?

Jeff: Well, first off, I’m 69. I’m a member of Club 69. So, health insurance is an issue. I’m a dual national meaning I have an American passport and a French passport. Here in France, we still have socialist medicine postwar socialist medicine. We still have, probably even though it’s being bastardized and destroyed by neoliberal austerity since 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty but it’s still the best medical system in the world. And in order for me to keep it, I don’t pay anything, my wife and I pay about €104 a month for mutual health insurance.

And after that, we don’t pay anything. All of our medications are paid for. I’ve got I’ve had skin cancers and surgeries and stuff, all kinds of tests, and everything is done. Just everything. All the medications are paid for. I only take thyroid. But I’m just saying, we have a wonderful health system and I have to stay here 181 days a year to keep it. And France is a nice place to live. The food’s good. The wine’s good. The cheese is good. The people are nice. It’s beautiful. It’s going to hell in a handbasket like the rest of the West.

But at least until I die, it’s still a very nice place to live. So, my goal is, is to try to do pretty much six months in China and six months here. Because if I go live in China then I have to get private health insurance. I turn 70 next year. The cost of health insurance is going to go through the roof. Here I’ve got my universal health card. I go to the pharmacy. I hand it to them and I don’t pay a damn thing. If I had a heart attack tomorrow, if I had a car accident, if I got burned, if I got cancer, I cannot guarantee that that won’t happen.

My cost here in France, goose egg zero. Nothing. €104 a month for my wife and me together. We basically have zero deductible, zero co-pay for everything. Everything. So, that’s why I mean, if I were 30, well, even back earlier, I would try to live there full time but I can’t give up the French health insurance, the health system is just too valuable at my age. But I’m going to try to get back six months a year. I’m going back in September. I’m going to spend a month and I’m going to Shenzhen and I’m going to Hefei in Anhui and I’m going to go to a rural wedding, which is going to be really cool.

And then I’m going to go to Huangshan Yellow Mountain UNESCO National Park, and then I’m going to go to Zhangjiajie UNESCO World Park, which is what inspired Avatar with the floating mountains and the floating things in space. And I’m going to go down to Guilin and see the beautiful gumdrop-shaped mountains on the Li River. So, I’m going to get back as often as I can.

Jerm: How can I follow your work?

Jeff: However, if you just search Jeff J. Brown 44 days, Jeff J. Brown China Rising and you’ll find me. So far, I’m amazed that they have not censored me. I mean, I’m getting over 5 million page views a year and I’m shocked that I have not been censored. Right now, you can see in Google, my name and “China Rising 44 days” and my website will immediately pop up anywhere. So, even if you forget , you can still find me.

Jerm: Jeff J. Brown, thank you for joining me in the trenches.

Jeff: Well, I am so happy to be with someone from the Republic of South Africa, because I love your country, I love your people and I love equally South African Wine.

Jerm: Good man.

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Do yourself, your friends, family and colleagues a favor, to make sure all of you are Sino-smart: 

Google ebooks (Epub) and audiobooks:

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass

China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations

BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution

Amazon print and ebooks (Kindle):

44 Days Backpacking in China: The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass

China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations

BIG Red Book on China: Chinese History, Culture and Revolution

Author page:

Praise for The China Trilogy:


Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History



JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

Jeff can be reached at China Rising, je**@br***********.com, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat (+86-19806711824/Mr_Professor_Brown, and Line/Signal/Telegram/Whatsapp: +33-612458821.

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