An essay from the history of American influence.

Ringo

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Jun 14, 2021
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Talking about the lure of American influence. The case of Japan allows our self-destructive friends to believe that if the Americans come, the country will experience an economic miracle. Let's get to the bottom of this.

I have no ambitions to cover the entire history of Japan in one tweet, but I will allow myself to mention that Americans arrived there in the middle of the 19th century.
I need this to point out how long Western elites have been good at PR.
If today they come in without knocking and in shoddy slippers under the aegis of urgent democracy for all, then the idea of progress served as an excuse, and it was somehow indecent to oppose it. Are they savages? At that time the British with their opium schemes were progressing in China, and the Americans sailed to Japan, which was closed in every sense, demonstrated the achievements of progress in weapons development, the Japanese looked at their antique guns and signed a "treaty of friendship", followed by trade treaties.
Japan was on its way to China, there was no competition there, and whalers could use an extra base in the Pacific. The Americans, who soon became bogged down in the civil war, could not capitalize, and other countries rushed into the hole they had made.

Even before World War I, Japan had one of the highest rates of economic growth on the planet. A talented people, accustomed to extracting wealth by their own labor in the face of scarcity of resources.
After World War II, Japan suffered a huge number of casualties, impoverished citizens, two uninhabitable cities, economic decline and colonization of the country by Western elites, which the Japanese rulers tried their best to prevent.
You could say they were lucky, there was nothing to take from them, China was finally leaning towards the Soviet Union, the States needed to raise an antagonist under its side. And the American occupation did bring the Japanese a democratic constitution, political stability, successful liberal reforms, and American money - the famous economic miracle. Plus, the marketers have washed up the communists - what could be better? Isn't this occupation so bad?

Japan literally flooded the world with automobiles, ships, optics, electrical equipment, radios, cameras, and televisions. It had technologically overtaken the United States and was about to become the world's first economy. And what happened next? That's right, the US discovered a threat to national security. And America was struck with a paranoid fear of the Japanese.

American industrialists, technological engineers and farmers appealed to Congress with demands to introduce protectionist measures, because European and Japanese goods were successfully displacing them both in foreign markets and inside America. The U.S. ran huge budget deficits while Germany and Japan ran surpluses.

In 1985, the G5 met in New York's Plaza Hotel, where the Americans decided that Germany and Japan must reduce the competitiveness of their economies, and Washington would henceforth regulate the exchange rates of their currencies. Fair competition has the right to exist as long as it works for the benefit of who knows who. Those who oppose free-market opponents. The countries under occupation had to agree. While Germany, which was already a member of the proto-EU, the European Monetary Union, and then received the GDR, coped, Japan did not.

As a consolation, the Japanese were given cheap loans, which were worse than nuclear weapons, and it is worth writing a separate thread about them. The country's industry, which became uncompetitive, shook, Japanese exports became more expensive, demand in Europe and the US fell, manufacturers began to cut jobs, but the real estate and stock market bubble burst.

Businessmen basked in luxury, ordinary citizens fell into euphoria, they invested in the ever-increasing price of shares in companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy and had no one to sell their products to. Shares were even sold in supermarkets. And then one day, when Japanese assets were subjected to a brutal sell-off and the Nikkei stock index collapsed, the bubble burst. Many Japanese lost their savings, about 30% of Japanese industry was bought up by Americans, and most importantly, the nation lost the drive it had enjoyed in the post-war years.

Japan's debt to this day is 263% of GDP, and according to analysis by Japanese economists, the country has no way to pay it off. So Japan is faltering under the forces of economic stagnation, chronic debt and nuclear catastrophe, and there of course appears the fourth horseman of the apocalypse. George Soros and the Goldman Sachs group have pounced on what's left of the mortally wounded economy and have once again struck gold. There are rumors that these same individuals were behind the Japanese stock market crash, but I have no proof. If you have any, please write.

I have written a lot, but it is impossible not to mention that the burden of remorse, the partial loss of national identity, the rapid Americanization of everyday life and social relations in a highly traditional society like Japan's has produced strange distortions in the mind.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Our jaws drop when modern Japanese thank the Americans for the nuclear bombings, which "did some good". They say that everything is right, we were developing bacteriological weapons, "death factories" were working, inhuman experiments on people were conducted. How do you get into people's brains?
Needless to say, as a result of the bombing, ordinary citizens died and died of cancer, while the head of Unit 731, Lieutenant General Shiro Ishii and other officers received immunity from persecution when they agreed to hand over all the developments of inhumane experiments to the American occupation administration?

This really isn't a story about a banana republic ruined and destroyed or an oil-rich African country.
This is a story about the fact that sovereignty does not lie on the road, wars are better not to lose, and mutually beneficial cooperation with the States from the position of a mephedrone whore always ends with the fact that sooner or later you will have to make a decision favorable to your Western partners, not you, at the cost of your own future.
By and large, only strong adversaries can be friends and cooperate with strong states.
 
Sometimes the thought comes to mind, to hell with sovereignty, let a pro-American government come into the country, there will be peace, prosperity, freedom inside the country and mutually beneficial cooperation with partners.
It's time to start looking at where these good intentions may lead. Let's not go in with a trump card and consider the example of fat countries where there is a lot to gain. Let's talk about simple bananas.

The dictator Jorge Ubico ruled Guatemala from 1931 to 1944. The United States supported his regime, and he gave free land in his country for plantations to the American corporation United Fruit Company and granted a number of other concessions to the States. Those who did not like the mutually beneficial cooperation were repressed, and workers' organizations were banned. The company became the largest exporter of tropical fruit from the Third World to the United States and Europe. Just the way you like it.

In 1944 the revolution happened, Jorge Ubico was overthrown, fled to Mexico, died in the US. We don't abandon our "sons of bitches." The new government tried to pursue a policy independent of the U.S. and passed laws on social insurance and protection of national resources. It even started building highways as an alternative to the railroad that the Americans used to haul the nation's subsoil away. And what do you think happened? That's right, the U.S. found communists in Guatemala. Opponents of the free market.

In 1951, Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of the country. This was the first peaceful transition of power in Guatemala. But he refused to send a contingent to Korea on U.S. orders, issued a decree nationalizing the United Fruit Company's uncultivated land by buying it out, and passed a law through the Guatemalan parliament that doubled wages for United Fruit Company workers.
The independent press could not get past the red menace and ran headlines reading "Communists seize control of Guatemala." The Voice of Liberation radio broadcast from Miami, posing as a local radio station.

They said the Soviet Union was supplying Guatemala with weapons by submarine. U.S. Secretary of State John Dulles, brother of the head of the CIA and, coincidentally, co-owner of the United Fruit Company, accused the president of Guatemala of establishing communist terror and conspiring to spread communism throughout the region.

And what begins? That's right, a special military operation. There are no wars in the world anymore. And it's not for bananas, but for democracy, Uncle Sam is not after profit, he's rich as it is.
Arbenz is overthrown and Castillo Armas is installed. Democracy is restored, the market has settled, the U.S. gets back the United Fruit Company lands, the amendments to the 1947 law giving additional rights to workers and labor unions are canceled, and by good tradition mass repressions against "communists" are carried out.

After a while, from historian Ronald Schneider, who has studied about 50,000 documents, people learn that the Arbenz regime was never under the influence of the Soviet Union, the reports of submarine arms shipments were fabricated, and the weapons themselves were planted by the CIA.

End of part 1.
 
The claim that Japan was "accustomed to extracting wealth by their own labor" before WW2 is a laughable exaggeration. Japan chose to enslave Koreans and Chinese and engage in a military expansion in order to gain oil and other resources. The Japanese military used American POW's as laborers in coal mines until they died.
 
Japan literally flooded the world with automobiles, ships, optics, electrical equipment, radios, cameras, and televisions. It had technologically overtaken the United States and was about to become the world's first economy. And what happened next? That's right, the US discovered a threat to national security. And America was struck with a paranoid fear of the Japanese.

Wow, that is a real mashup of things, from wildly different decades.

But to start things off, you are making the exact same mistake that a lot of people are now making in considering China. And that is primarily the "nation of origin" of most of those products. And for most of what you are talking about, that was not actually Japan.

First and foremost, the difference between early and late Showa era Japan was their idea about how a nation became powerful. In the first half, that was thought to have been through conquest. After all, that was how they thought the European nations got that way, and how things worked in their own history. They really did not have a "mercantilist" outlook, where they thought they could trade their way to prosperity. Their exports were not all that big, most of the goods like that was purely so they could meet their own needs. There were a few efforts at exports, but nothing like what they did in later decades.

And that was the entire idea behind the GEACPS. That they would control all of it, most importantly the raw materials they would need. They would monopolize them, exploit them, and then have a captive market in which to sell the finished products to. Because they had been such an insular culture and cut off from the world for centuries, so they really did not comprehend how nations like the US became powerful. Not through conquest, but primarily by trade. And their industry built up to take advantage of trade.

Now as for "technologically overtaken the United States", that was never really true and you are obviously trying to refer here to the late Showa era. However, here is the most important thing to think about. How much of what people think about during the era of Japanese dominance in electronics really came from Japan? I can honestly only think of a single item, and that is the CD. Everything else from radios and transistor radios to televisions, VCRs, computers, and most else they did not actually "invent". And a hell of a lot of that was often done as a cost reducing measure, or by artificially deflating their own currency in order to make favorable trade deals.

I remember first arriving in Japan when the exchange rate was roughly 200 yen to the US dollar. And yes, things were amazingly cheap. However, by the time I left that had been reduced to closer to what it is today, 100 yen to the dollar. And things were not so cheap anymore. The advantage of buying Japanese goods was simply no longer there, because they were no longer significantly cheaper than those made in the US. However, by that time it also largely did not matter because most of the US companies that made electronics had already gone out of business.

And the thing is, other than the CD Japan really has never done a lot when it comes to "originating" electronics. Primarily what they did was take an idea somebody else made, make it cheaper, then spit it back out. And for those that know how to look at things, this can really be seen. They have a highly conservative concept in what most would call "industrial engineering", and are very much of the school "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This is why every product they made that started as a cheap copy of US made products, they pretty much looked the same. Even the original Playstation which they tried to promote as being a more advanced game console was beige, with a door to raise to load a disk from the top. Because all game consoles were beige, with a cartridge you inserted in the top.

And before you think the NES was different, that is true. The cartridge was inserted horizontally from the front instead of vertically from the top. But that was also not designed in Japan. That was a design created by an American engineer to allow the Famicom to be sold in the US, he knew the original design would not sell here. And it took Microsoft with the X-Box to show that the game consoles did not need to be beige, and it should even be allowed to put them on their sides.

Now China is in very much the position of the early Showa era Japan. They are good at making things, but they are also much worse when it comes to copying them. Where as Japanese engineering combined with their almost insane care about perfection made some great things, most of the items that actually originate from China are very inferior to what they are trying to copy. Japan itself was in many ways the same, that is why they found innovative ways around issues. But most times, what they were attempting was little more than what many American engineers would call "Muntzing".
 
Talking about the lure of American influence. The case of Japan allows our self-destructive friends to believe that if the Americans come, the country will experience an economic miracle. Let's get to the bottom of this.

I have no ambitions to cover the entire history of Japan in one tweet, but I will allow myself to mention that Americans arrived there in the middle of the 19th century.
I need this to point out how long Western elites have been good at PR.
If today they come in without knocking and in shoddy slippers under the aegis of urgent democracy for all, then the idea of progress served as an excuse, and it was somehow indecent to oppose it. Are they savages? At that time the British with their opium schemes were progressing in China, and the Americans sailed to Japan, which was closed in every sense, demonstrated the achievements of progress in weapons development, the Japanese looked at their antique guns and signed a "treaty of friendship", followed by trade treaties.
Japan was on its way to China, there was no competition there, and whalers could use an extra base in the Pacific. The Americans, who soon became bogged down in the civil war, could not capitalize, and other countries rushed into the hole they had made.

Even before World War I, Japan had one of the highest rates of economic growth on the planet. A talented people, accustomed to extracting wealth by their own labor in the face of scarcity of resources.
After World War II, Japan suffered a huge number of casualties, impoverished citizens, two uninhabitable cities, economic decline and colonization of the country by Western elites, which the Japanese rulers tried their best to prevent.
You could say they were lucky, there was nothing to take from them, China was finally leaning towards the Soviet Union, the States needed to raise an antagonist under its side. And the American occupation did bring the Japanese a democratic constitution, political stability, successful liberal reforms, and American money - the famous economic miracle. Plus, the marketers have washed up the communists - what could be better? Isn't this occupation so bad?

Japan literally flooded the world with automobiles, ships, optics, electrical equipment, radios, cameras, and televisions. It had technologically overtaken the United States and was about to become the world's first economy. And what happened next? That's right, the US discovered a threat to national security. And America was struck with a paranoid fear of the Japanese.

American industrialists, technological engineers and farmers appealed to Congress with demands to introduce protectionist measures, because European and Japanese goods were successfully displacing them both in foreign markets and inside America. The U.S. ran huge budget deficits while Germany and Japan ran surpluses.

In 1985, the G5 met in New York's Plaza Hotel, where the Americans decided that Germany and Japan must reduce the competitiveness of their economies, and Washington would henceforth regulate the exchange rates of their currencies. Fair competition has the right to exist as long as it works for the benefit of who knows who. Those who oppose free-market opponents. The countries under occupation had to agree. While Germany, which was already a member of the proto-EU, the European Monetary Union, and then received the GDR, coped, Japan did not.

As a consolation, the Japanese were given cheap loans, which were worse than nuclear weapons, and it is worth writing a separate thread about them. The country's industry, which became uncompetitive, shook, Japanese exports became more expensive, demand in Europe and the US fell, manufacturers began to cut jobs, but the real estate and stock market bubble burst.

Businessmen basked in luxury, ordinary citizens fell into euphoria, they invested in the ever-increasing price of shares in companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy and had no one to sell their products to. Shares were even sold in supermarkets. And then one day, when Japanese assets were subjected to a brutal sell-off and the Nikkei stock index collapsed, the bubble burst. Many Japanese lost their savings, about 30% of Japanese industry was bought up by Americans, and most importantly, the nation lost the drive it had enjoyed in the post-war years.

Japan's debt to this day is 263% of GDP, and according to analysis by Japanese economists, the country has no way to pay it off. So Japan is faltering under the forces of economic stagnation, chronic debt and nuclear catastrophe, and there of course appears the fourth horseman of the apocalypse. George Soros and the Goldman Sachs group have pounced on what's left of the mortally wounded economy and have once again struck gold. There are rumors that these same individuals were behind the Japanese stock market crash, but I have no proof. If you have any, please write.

I have written a lot, but it is impossible not to mention that the burden of remorse, the partial loss of national identity, the rapid Americanization of everyday life and social relations in a highly traditional society like Japan's has produced strange distortions in the mind.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Our jaws drop when modern Japanese thank the Americans for the nuclear bombings, which "did some good". They say that everything is right, we were developing bacteriological weapons, "death factories" were working, inhuman experiments on people were conducted. How do you get into people's brains?
Needless to say, as a result of the bombing, ordinary citizens died and died of cancer, while the head of Unit 731, Lieutenant General Shiro Ishii and other officers received immunity from persecution when they agreed to hand over all the developments of inhumane experiments to the American occupation administration?

This really isn't a story about a banana republic ruined and destroyed or an oil-rich African country.
This is a story about the fact that sovereignty does not lie on the road, wars are better not to lose, and mutually beneficial cooperation with the States from the position of a mephedrone whore always ends with the fact that sooner or later you will have to make a decision favorable to your Western partners, not you, at the cost of your own future.
By and large, only strong adversaries can be friends and cooperate with strong states.
I just can't make sense of that. The Japanese are killing themselves. That much I know. The birthrate, the Kodokushi (孤独死) or lonely death(f people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time), the religious zealotry. We are to blame in some respects. Japan welcomed W Edwards Deming and he revolutionized their economy. He wanted to do it for us but the pollitical help was not there.
 
Talking about the lure of American influence. The case of Japan allows our self-destructive friends to believe that if the Americans come, the country will experience an economic miracle. Let's get to the bottom of this.

The American occupation was largely beneficial for Japanese society. Firstly, American occupiers dismantled Japan's class system and redistributed agricultural lands to poor peasants, which made Japanese society more egalitarian. General MacArthur was a liberator. The Japanese regarded MacArthur as the highest human being, just below god.

0


When President Harry S Truman abruptly fired MacArthur in 1951, in a dispute over the Korean War, the Japanese lined the route to the airport, many holding banners reading, "Goodbye General MacArthur, we still love you."

Japan literally flooded the world with automobiles, ships, optics, electrical equipment, radios, cameras, and televisions. It had technologically overtaken the United States and was about to become the world's first economy. And what happened next? That's right, the US discovered a threat to national security. And America was struck with a paranoid fear of the Japanese.

Secondly, the economic miracle was all thanks to America that opened up its markets to Japanese imports. There was a considerable domestic backlash to Japan's economic success in the 1980s and Washington stopped subsidizing the Japanese economy in the late 1980s, which resulted in the Lost Decades of economic stagnation. The economic miracle was artificially created by Washington to demonstrate the superiority of capitalism to the Communist Bloc.

the Kodokushi (孤独死) or lonely death(f people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time)

Elderly people often die of natural causes and remain undiscovered for months because they were living alone without anyone taking care of them. It is a completely different matter that has nothing to do with America.
 
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The Japanese are killing themselves.

Japanese is interesting in that it is the only major culture on the planet that has no prohibition against suicide. Even their religion supports it in certain circumstances. And not even in the form of the Judea-Christian-Islamic form of martyrism, but to alleviate shame or guilt. Get fired or lose your business, suicide is an accepted way to relieve the guilt and shame. Or failing a class, failure to get into a school you wanted, their culture actually accepts suicide for those reasons. And they are typically at or near the top for global suicide.

But you can't blame that on anything even remotely "modern". That has simply been their culture for thousands of years.
 
Secondly, the economic miracle was all thanks to America that opened up its markets to Japanese imports. There was a considerable domestic backlash to Japan's economic success in the 1980s and Washington stopped subsidizing the Japanese economy in the late 1980s, which resulted in the Lost Decades of economic stagnation.

I would say that is close, but primarily it was due to changes in global economics.

One of the things that really boosted Japan after the war was their industrialization. Shifting from war materials to export products and seeing the world wide market for them. Before WWII they had never really been interested in actual commerce, other than in their own territories. Their production was not unlike that of the Soviet Union and China until the 1980s. Almost entirely for internal use, only a few things (porcelain, silk, optics) for export.

And without having to support a massive war industry, they retooled for consumer goods. Originally for their own use, then increasingly for export. Most do not realize that Toyota was originally a textile company that made looms, but got into the auto industry in the 1930s to provide cars for the Japanese market as a sideline. Yamaha was an instrument company (hence their logo being three tuning forks), that was making airplane propellers for the Japanese military during the war. Their factories were destroyed, so they retooled to build motors that could be bolted onto bicycles.

Honda started the same way, making engine parts (mostly piston rings), and after the war making engines to bolt onto bicycles (converting 50cc engines made to power military radios). And for almost 2 decades they fulfilled the role of China today. Making cheap knock-off copies of consumer goods made elsewhere. However, with the advent of the transistor and their own ingenuity that rapidly changed in the 1970s. Originally by increasing the transistor count in early radios to improve the fidelity, then in making their own designs in televisions in order to avoid paying to license patents.

However, until the mid-1980s they were maintaining their export trade by artificially deflating their own currency in order to encourage exports. When I first went to Japan, the exchange rate was still around ¥250 to $1.00. So things out in town ranging from a beer to a boombox were very cheap. However, by the time I left Japan it had dropped to around ¥130. That meant that things were almost 50% more expensive, and we stopped buying as much off-base. They were still frantically trying to keep the value of their currency down in that time period, primarily by investing huge sums of money in US real estate. They bought the Mobile building in New York, they bought Rockefeller Center, they bought the Biltmore in LA, and companies like Firestone, Columbia Pictures, and more.

That was all intended to keep their own currency low and the US currency high, in order to make their products cheaper. But they could only do that for so long, and they were finally forces to stop pushing down the exchange rates after getting caught dumping semiconductors onto the global market and the Asian Economic Slump. And within a few years, China and South Korea had taken their place as the largest exporters in the region.

One thing about Japan and Korea is that they are not just copycat nations. They actually do have the ability to actually create new things, and not simply copy what others make. The CD started entirely as a Japanese product, as did the Walkman, and the Betamax. And in much the same way a US leather goods company became a major electronics firm in the US, a Japanese playing card company became a major electronics firm in Japan. And they are still making original products that have a global market.

Something that as of yet China has been completely unable to do. Go back 4 decades, and you bought a cheap "portable stereo" from Korea if you could not afford the Japanese ones. Now, Korea is in its own right a major originator nation. The bottom of the heap cheap TV maker of the 1980s (Goldstar) is now an industry leader in electronics known as "LG" (Lucky-Goldstar). And they and Samsung are industry leaders in many areas.

Meanwhile, China's own industry is still cranking out 4 decade old copies of the original Famicon-Nintendo consoles.
 
The American occupation was largely beneficial for Japanese society. Firstly, American occupiers dismantled Japan's class system and redistributed agricultural lands to poor peasants, which made Japanese society more egalitarian. General MacArthur was a liberator. The Japanese regarded MacArthur as the highest human being, just below god.

0


When President Harry S Truman abruptly fired MacArthur in 1951, in a dispute over the Korean War, the Japanese lined the route to the airport, many holding banners reading, "Goodbye General MacArthur, we still love you."



Secondly, the economic miracle was all thanks to America that opened up its markets to Japanese imports. There was a considerable domestic backlash to Japan's economic success in the 1980s and Washington stopped subsidizing the Japanese economy in the late 1980s, which resulted in the Lost Decades of economic stagnation. The economic miracle was artificially created by Washington to demonstrate the superiority of capitalism to the Communist Bloc.



Elderly people often die of natural causes and remain undiscovered for months because they were living alone without anyone taking care of them. It is a completely different matter that has nothing to do with America.
Hmmm, this will bamboozle those who don't see your selectivity.
The hero of the recovery was E Edwards Deming

``Demingism'' was born in Japan in 1950, when the New York University professor, with a Ph.D. from Yale, began teaching the Japanese his statistical quality control and total quality management theories. Deming's methods, his theories of listening to ideas of production workers and of pushing authority to lower levels of a company, are credited these days for Japan's postwar recovery.

The loneliness phenomenon that you dismiss is OFTEN cited by actual demographers though

More than two in ten report loneliness or social isolation in the U.K. and the U.S., double the share in Japan. More than a fifth of adults in the United States (22 percent) and the UnitedKingdom (23 percent) as well as one in ten adults (nine percent) in Japan say they often oralways feel lonely, feel that they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others,and many of them say their loneliness has had a negative impact on various aspects of their life.For example, across countries, about half or more reporting loneliness say it has had a negativeimpact on their personal relationships or their physical health. While loneliness is often thought ofas a problem mainly affecting the elderly, the majority of people reporting loneliness in eachcountry are under age 50. They’re also much more likely to be single or divorced than others.

Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey​

 
I just can't make sense of that. The Japanese are killing themselves. That much I know. The birthrate, the Kodokushi (孤独死) or lonely death(f people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time), the religious zealotry. We are to blame in some respects. Japan welcomed W Edwards Deming and he revolutionized their economy. He wanted to do it for us but the pollitical help was not there.
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"The religious zealotry"?

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