Foundation for the Study of Individualism

A Non-profit, Educational and Research Organization Since 1972 [formerly, “School of Communication”]

“Cogito ergo sum”—I think, therefore I am—Descartes, 1637

Welcome to Brown’s Commentaries

US-China Policy

by Gordon F. Brown

Here are five thoughts regarding a logical connection in China-US relationships. I assume that any idea has been spoken by someone at sometime in history. What distinguishes one’s thoughts, as I see it, is their preference over other thoughts—those ideas one currently focuses on and would wish to have passed to the next generation.

1. China and the US are often viewed as having contrary political positions. This leads to a sense of mistrust and an “us versus them” beginning point for communications. From this perspective, each side can see its own safety dependent upon having the power to dominate the other side.

It would be desirable if there was an idea that could organize the histories of China and the US as complementary rather than confrontational. Examples include the yin-yang, male-female, and day-and- night concepts. Blend into this the Socratic idea that the growth of a nation parallels the growth of the individual.

2. The yin-yang idea here is deductive and inductive reasoning, respectively. While each can be seen as distinct from each other, and even contradictory; these two types of logic can be seen as complementary—as in the scientific method. Each nourishes the other and provides a system of checks-and-balances.

3. China can be seen as orchestrated around a deductive model of top-down control. Ideally, such an approach would be most applicable when dealing with a very large population where basic survival is at issue, such as food, shelter, medical care, and security. A central authority (whole) organizes the actions of the individual citizens (parts) to achieve common goals.

The US , in contrast, can be seen as primarily employing an inductive model. Individual freedom is paramount and is consistent with the physical and social circumstances of its founding. Individuals (parts) combine their mutual self-interest to create a service-oriented government (whole) to integrate those interests.

4. One can see a historically developing maturational process. China develops and refines the deductive, yin; and the US develops and refines the inductive, yang. Once each is specifically understood and implemented, the next step of maturity may be to combine the two into a process as is found in the scientific method. Arguably, each type of logic would have to be developed separately before the two could be pragmatically and rationally combined into a single over-arching process.

5. Human experience can be seen as always involving interaction between distinct parts. This interaction gives rise to the idea of a relationship—and, a theory of relativity. One can see such a relationship-theory making significant contributions to understanding the maturational process of (a) individuals and their family and (b) citizens and their government. The terminus is individual freedom maximized through government guidance.