When Martin Jacques in his book ‘When China Rules The World’ begins by quoting mostly IMF data and Goldman Sachs projections to underline his thesis that China will have overtaken the United States as the world’s major power in some fifteen years time we should already be cautious and all the more so when he uses arguments of Chinese “exclusiveness” to conclude that theirs will be a unique influence on the world. The thesis statement has already been revealed after only 25 of some 636 pages and already it would be better to follow the advise given to undergraduate foreign students at British universities; “You don’t read the books on the book list, at most you read the abstract.”
Nevertheless,, the book will be persevered with even if the expectations are that this particular reading exercise will be just one more where exposure to that sort of extreme wooly thinking where I will be tempted, time and time again, just to put the book down. No, it will be read through and who knows, perhaps anecdotes and assumptions will entertain enough to provide sustenance from Mr Jacques dunghill of facts.
Of course, the reader of this post might say; “hold on, hold on, you have only read 25 of some 636 pages” and that reader would not be entirely wrong. However, the seed of this book is in the thesis statement in those 25 pages and those twenty-five pages are no rosebud. Yes, it would appear that the confrontation with the 636 pages is going to be a confrontation with a dunghill. A dunghill, of course, is something on which, if left long enough, something will grow.
Expect me to get back to you, the reader of this post, in a couple of weeks time when the book is finished. However, do not expect me to be offering you much more than is being offered at the moment. The evidence would already appear to suggest that the author of this little “book review” is going to find himself in agreement with Seth Faison who says, “his (Mr Jacques’s) predictions about the future get more flimsy” as he gets more specific and another reviewer on the same Amazon website who says that he “was particularly annoyed at the attitude of the author and his assumptions about the readers assumptions.” while at another point maintains that “the author is inconsistent at times and does not draw conclusions based on the evidence he presents rather than the feelings that he has about the subject”.
Of course, if my criticism of Mr Jacques is that he assumes too much on the basis of a body of statistics supplied by the IMF and Goldman Sachs, it might be better if I too were not to assume ……yes, there I am making an ASS out of U (who were thinking of buying the book) and ME (who has condemned himself to reading it) and who knows Mr Jacques rather big book, ‘When China Rules The World’ might even surprise us all, even if that is highly unlikely. Oh and do you notice that on the front of my copy is an exclamation mark for some reason or another? Yes, a question mark would have been more appropriate.