Then we’d know how it works out
All this talk about a wall reminds me of something I told you years ago that I’ll retell now.
For thousands of years, China was invaded by the north by:
- The Xiongnu (aka Attila the Hun) between 133 BC to 89 AD.
- The Jurchen between 960–1279AD, and they won (!) ruling China for over a century.
- The Manchus, who invaded from the north and controlled China for over three centuries, 1644 to 1912.
It goes on.
In any case, some bright-eyed fella hit on the idea to build a wall. And for the next 1,800 years, they did just that at the cost of $13 billion to $65 billion. Finishing it at 13,170 miles, which is over five times the distance from NYC to LA.
When it was done, they kept an eye on that wall.
Then in 1839, the Opium Wars started – in the south – by a buncha white dudes. It never entered China’s imagination that (a) white dudes from (b) the south might try to invade. Cause it never happened before.
And guess what, they had no significant army, no significant navy, and no firepower of any consequence for the task to come. Because when you spend all your scratch on something to fix yesterday’s problem, when tomorrow’s problem comes, you’re in a lotta trouble.
The builders of the wall never had the imagination to think they could be invaded from anywhere but the north, and the arrogance to think that if they couldn’t imagine it, no one else could.
China paid for their myopia: Once the new invaders came, they sliced the country up into a buncha little colonies that only started to be sorted out a hundred years – and millions of dead Chinese – later, with WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam war, and whatever this insanity is with North Korea.
It’s still being sorted out as China pushes into the South China Sea.
My point is that China trained itself to respond to yesterday’s threat with yesterday’s technology, blowing out its funds while doing it.
A great wall was easily defeated in 1839. 178 years later, a fool is going to try the same thing again, expecting a different result.