Last night, a friend hosted dinner at her dad's penthouse. He's is a famous architect whose CV includes Xintiandi and Qianmen historical redevelopments.
He once said "culture follows commerce" during a talk about commercial urban development. I asked him what he thought the future of China would look like and what the major factors impacting society would be. He said until China allows permanent land ownership, private citizens will not have the incentive to contribute to improving society. Perhaps as someone who works in media, or who comes from the privileged "free world", it had never occurred to me to think of land ownership, something so basic, yet obvious, as the main key to a better society. I focused instead on the detrimental effects of poor IP law on originality and creativity.
He added the American War of Independence was fought over land rights, not personal freedoms. The most major issue of contemporary Chinese defense, the South China Sea dispute, is territorial. In this light, nearly major battle throughout history is over land...
Which reminded me of the theory that everything people do in life is for love.
Land vs. Love.
I am also reminded of essays from art critic Dave Hickey in which he argues everyone is a pirate or farmer. Pirates disrupt, farmers maintain status quo.
In search of love or land...
Pirates flow over the seas. Pirates destroy.
Farmers tend over the land. Farmers conserve.
There can be no creation and therefore nothing to conserve without disruption and destruction. There can be nothing to disrupt and destroy if nothing has been conserved.
Every society requires both elements to enact a healthy, self-regenerating life cycle.
70-80% of the population (or higher) is S (sensing on Myers Briggs). The remaining minority is N (intuitive). S are definitely farmers. But at the moment, it would seem China has mostly S with no farm and not enough N.