Created  May. 10, 2018           

The Collapse of 1127 AD Bianjing

CAPITAL OF THE NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY


Sub-headings:
The Premise

1127 AD Chinese Collapse
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A Current Observation
A Silly Idea

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The Premise
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The Capital city of Bianjing, China was not attacked by an invading army. Well, I playing you. it was attacked in a strategic way and largely desolated and conquered. But that is the obvious part. But how was it that no one saw it coming? The answer is that the Song Dynasty was so carried away with their success; so high and intoxicated with success, pleasure, entertainment, Luxury and more. they never noticed due to their intoxication. It was a huge prosperous city. Possibly the biggest in the world at the time. Perhaps only Venice was a rival. Everyone prospered. Yet in 1127, the entire city was cut off, starving out the people and river travel. And it never recovered. You need to know this story as the nation of the USA and many others are now in a predicament that could well cause the collapse of many big cites from which there will be no recovery. Not possible? That was what they would have said in Bianjing, China, too.

The USA already has Detroit to show for itself. Chicago is apt to follow. Much of California could suffer much the same. We should be concerned. But I suspect few are smart enough to be concerned. But just in case, I give the unfortunate account of Bianjing, China.


 1127 AD Chinese Collapse
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I discovered this account in a book, "Jews in China," Sidney Shapiro, Copyright 1984. covering pages 103 to 117. I make fair use of this account, based on the ominous warning and lesson it might convey to us, who may well be on our way to similar unfortunate fate. I do nothing for profit and never have. The account was written by Chinese Scholars and reported in Shapiro's book. I have also added a substantial commentary to the account, carefully distinguishing my text with red text and >>these<< for my text.


The Account of Bianjing        Authors   Jiang Qingxiang and Xiao Guoliang
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GLIMPSES OF THE URBAN ECONOMY OF BIANJING, CAPITAL OF THE NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY, 1981

Northern Song Dynasty 960-1127 AD

Jiang, born in 1915, is a professor and research fellow at the Institute of Economics in the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Xiao, born in 1947, is a research intern at the same Institute. Their joint article called:

"Cong Qin Ming Shang He Tu, He Dong Jing Meng Hua Lu, Kan Bei Song Bianjing de Chengshi Jingji."

The full title in English can be found in the Bibliography at the end of this volume.

I have shortened it somewhat to read: "Glimpses of the Urban Economy in Bianjing, Capital of the Northern Song Dynasty." Published in Zhong Guo Shehui Kexue (Social Sciences in China), Vol. 4, 1981.

The article says not a word about Israelites, but it does provide ample reason why the Jews should have chosen to settle in Kaifeng, or Bianjing as it was then called. In addition to Song dynasty writings, Jiang and Xiao cleverly utilize a famous Song painting to bring Bianjing colorfully to life.

The writers draw heavily on Dongjing Meng Hua Lu (Reminiscences of Dreamland Glories of the Eastern Capital), a book by Meng Yuanlao which appeared in 1147 in Linan (Hangzhou) twenty years after the Song court fled to the south, recalling nostalgically the former capital. It has been a classic source book for later historians.

As to the painting, it is a superb panorama, executed in meticulous detail of virtually every aspect of medieval life in Bianjing, from its suburbs to its teeming streets. Presently in the Palace Museum in Beijing, it measures 525 by 25.5 centimeters. The artist, Zhang Zeduan, though born in Shandong province, was raised in Kaifeng. He developed a painting style of his own which culminated in the early years of the 12th century in the masterly Qing Ming Shang He Tu (Riverside Scene at Clear and Bright Festival Time). A section of it is included here.

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The following are extracts from the Jiang and Xiao essay. The remarks in parentheses are mine (Shapiro).

The scroll painting Riverside Scene begins at the farms and gardens in the eastern suburbs of the Outer City, extends upstream (westward) along the Bian River, passes the Upper Tu Bridge outside the Tong Jin Bridge and the East Jiao Zi Gate, and ends at Bao Kang Gate Street, covering a length of three or four li (over a mile). Depicted are more than 770 people, 90 animals, 100 houses, public buildings and pavilions, and 20 river vessels. We see people rowing or towing boats, toting sedan chairs, driving carts, setting up market stalls, hawking their wares along the streets or simply loafing.

Riverside Scene is an animated reflection of a prosperous market economy, busy land and water transportation, and the close urban-rural relationships in Northern Song nearly 1,000 years ago. This artistic creation is more realistic than any photograph could be, a gem of pictorial history enabling a close study of the urban economy of the Northern Song Dynasty as epitomized by its capital, Bianjing.

Reminiscences is about 30,000 words long. It describes the economic and cultural life of the inhabitants of the capital, and goes into detail about such things as city walls, rivers, imperial palaces, government buildings, market places, scenic spots, merchandise on display, shops in streets and lanes, local customs, and living conditions.

Zhao Kuangyin, the first emperor of the Song Dynasty, ordered the capital reconstructed and enlarged to make it the "center of the realm," the "hub of the world" and a "strategic metropolis overlooking the four seas." What made this new emperor so enthusiastic about the old city? The reason can be found in an article by the poet Qin Guan (1049--1100).

Kaifeng, surrounded by level land in all directions, is a convergence of roads which connect it with Chu to the south, Han to the west, Zhao to the north, and Qi to the east. Neither great mountain ranges nor big rivers isolate it from the surrounding regions; in fact its communication with them is aided by the Bian and Cal and other rivers. These waterways teem with boats, the bow of one touching the stern of another, while men, carts and animals jam the roads in an endless flow from every corner of the country . . .

 . . . Correcting the strategic error of past dynasties of stationing troops at remote points, the present regime garrisons the capital with a heavy concentration of armed forces over one million strong. Supplying these troops is the government's responsibility, in contrast to the practice of the Tang Dynasty of making the peasantry shoulder the burden. But this could not be done if the capital was situated in a place without good communications.

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A regime that relies on its armed forces cannot afford to locate its capital in remote mountainous terrain, or on an open (riverless) plain.

>>Truth1: The location so accessible in all directions, should not have ever failed. It was an ideal situation/location. And given the importance of shipping, the river systems also make for a great conduct and exchange of trade. We must assume that many from foreign places came here, like the Muslims and Jews as the Chinese scholars make clear in this book. So what we have is an interconnected mutual economic dependence, which can be good or bad.

As the account continues, you will observe the intense and dense development of this city and its trade. It only take a little to bring it all crashing down. Armies are brought up. In erlier times, with less development and defense, emperors would buid and live in remote places. maybe they did not want to be seen living in oppulance and grandiosity. But as well, in remote, hard to apprach places, a king would feel safe.

So in the Song dynasty, the army troops, there to keep order among so many coming and going in trade, I assume, are stationed in the city and with roads and rivers and easy access to out lying areas. The Military was need to protect the life blood of the city of Kaifeng, its trade and commerce. Trade and commerce are really a form of drugs to a king/nation. They become addicted to the luxury, and raw resources for  weapons, armor, naval vessels, innovative technology, strategic resources. Power and status are also addictive. Moderation at a personal level, as well the ambitions for a nation, are usually very out of tough with good sence, modesty, and thrift. A king cares not, when he demands more in taxes or labor. he is far removed from the results to families, of his demands and ambitions.

These are the consistent forces that always slowly simmer in every empire that has ever existed. It does not take much for the kettle to start boiling and get out of control.<<

Qin Guan put his finger on the secret of why the new emperor kept Bianjing as his capital and rebuilt it. Zhao Kuangyin had been commander of the Imperial Guards during the previous dynasty, and seized the throne by a coup known as the Chenqiao Mutiny. He knew all too well that the army was the foundation of power, and so he concentrated an overwhelming proportion of his armed forces in the capital, thus "strengthening the trunk of the Tree of State while weakening its branches." (That is, not allowing generals of troops in other parts of the country to become so strong that they might be tempted to try coups of their own.) Bianjing suited the emperor's purposes perfectly, its network of land and water communications easily supplying his huge army with food and other provisions from neighboring areas.

According to historical records, the volume of goods flowing into the capital via the Bian River was beyond calculation. For instance, a passage in a report published in the "Economic Gazette" section of the History of the Song Dynasty, and submitted to the court by Censor Liang Tao in the fourth year of the Yuanyou period (1089), reads: "After dredging, the Bian River was connected with the Yangtze and the Huai, thus permitting direct transportation of huge volumes of merchandise on boats of every size from all points of the compass . . . The Bian River carries every year several million piculs of tribute rice, shipped from Hunan, Hubei and Zhejiang provinces via the Yangtze and the Huai rivers. And the products transported in from the southeastern area and other places are incalculable."

>>We are talking  about huge levels of trade and ever expanding, too. Expansion never seemed to stop. The horizon seemed endless. Added to this was that China had India to its left, and the Arabs went back and forth between the Mediterranean, via the Gulf of Aqaba in Egypt, serving Alexandria and Europe. Venice was a key trading partner with the Arabs/Muslims. And East of China were vast numbers of islands and Korea and Japan and upper Asia, all using the Pacific to conduct a very international trade, which almost always serves royalty and merchants more than it does the working class. But all benefitted from these enterprises.

The time we are talking about here is near to 1066 AD when William conquered England with a mass of ships and armies. Venice was a huge mercantile empire as well as a formidable navy, and a massive ship building and repair facility. Arabs were enjoying a lot of power and prosperity and advancing in knowledge. And the schism between the Western Roman Catholic allies and the Eastern Orthodox Churches in the East.

My point here is that the trade is staggering when you consider where all that trade in Kaifeng came from and where it is going to. The Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean opened up a lot of room for trade. And we can not leave out Africa, largely a market of the Arabs.<<

The river served both official and commercial shipping. . . . Although not as important as the Bian, the Huimin and Wuzhang rivers were also arteries for the transport of grain and merchandise.

With waterways serving as the main lines of communication with the provinces, boats and vessels occupied a prominent place in life in the capital, and even caught the attention of poets. Zhou Bangyan (1057--1121) describes a river spectacle in his "Ode to Biandu" (another term for Kaifeng, along with Bianliang and Bianjing) thus:

One thousand li, stern crowding bow, A hundred types of vessels flow,

Sails a-bulge when winds are fair,

In rain punt poles thrust everywhere.

Boatmen chanting, accents broad,

In twos and threes the craft sweep for'd, As trumpets blare,

Drums pound,

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And bells ring out

In clamorous sound.

No wonder Zhang Zeduan devoted almost one-third of his Riverside Scene to the vessels and men afloat. Through them, he shows us how the needs of the population and the armed forces were met and the prosperity of the capital was built.

(The authors estimate that during Northern Song, the population of Kaifeng Prefecture, which embraced the capital and sixteen surrounding counties, was about one and a third million, with roughly 100,000 troops garrisoning the city itself. They go on to detail who were the inhabitants and how they lived.)

>>Yeah, its not NYC at 9 million, but there was much less world population than there is now. Sailboats are far more vulnerable to storms than the ships of today. For its time, there was no other like it. Truth be told, China was a bigger national conglomerate than anything in the West by this time and for some time after, say up to about 1500 AD when Venice served a huge role in Business and commerce. China brought the West, Venice, Florence, and Genoa, in particular, Many astounding innovations and technologies in 1434. These would end up revealing a huge double continent now known as North and South America, which opened up a vast opportunity for Europe.<<

Bianjing was a rendezvous for the power elite, the nobles, the wealthy merchants. Wang Mingqing wrote at the time in his Yu Zhao Xin Zhi (A New Record of Illustrious Portraits): "Much in evidence are mansions of imperial concubines, members of the royalty, princes and dukes, and high-ranking officials." The Forbidden City occupied one-tenth of the total area of the Inner City, which contained whole "blocks of palaces" with "resplendently painted beams and carved pillars."

What's more ". . . everywhere were premises of the various departments of the central government, private homes of nobles and high officials, such as Minister of the Privy Council Deng, High Justice Liu, Imperial Son-in-Law Zhang, Queen Ming Jie, Grand Tutor Cai, and so on," wrote Meng Yuanlao in his Reminiscences. There were simply too many official residences for him to list them all, to say nothing of the big officials who over-ran the city.

>>Ah, the inevitable bloated bureaucracies. And the bigger they get, the more the little people have to bear a labor or tax burden that they have no say or choice in. This, too, could end up being a problem as it already is in many a big cities in the USA. Yet we seem quite unconcerned. Frugality is always the first thing to go. Modesty and restrain, too. And what if those in power were deliberately trying to break the back of the people to crush their spirit and make them agreeable to any terms offered by those in power? You'll see!<<

Apart from these were minor officials and their families. Lu Mengzheng of the Song Dynasty said: "The city being the site of the Imperial Court, the common people gather here to offer various services. That is why the place is so prosperous." Also present were those hoping to become minor functionaries—people who came to sit for the civil service examinations, and those seeking appointments to lesser posts . . . Reminiscences mentions that the inns along the city wall on the east of the Zhouqiao Bridge close by the Imperial Palace provided accommodations for small officials from the south on their visits to the capital.

>>As any city or nation grows, more levels of bureaucracy develop. When cities were small towns, frugality was important. The money was not there. But when it becomes a big city, many levels of accountability become difficult to keep track of. Worse, a city may turn to becoming greedy and ambitious or even pushed by higher levels of government or very big business and lobbyists, to jack taxes and fleece the people AND create laws and codes that require citizens to hire professionals and forbid citizens to do their own work on their houses or pay great fees for this and that, and ever growing taxes.

Eventually, this whole greedy, out of control, system collapses as we now see in many prominent USA cities. I will keep repeating this because our nation, the USA, has become a breeding ground for leftist, Marxist, Socialist believers who can not see past the nose their faces and think the pot of gold is endless and unlimited. They imagine that money just appears magically out of nowhere and is only for leftist socialist supporters.

The biggest disease that is afflicting the USA is where no one can see the big broad picture of how everything inter-connects and when one place suffers in the Pyramid Scheme/Hierarchy, all the rest will suffer and if the the damage to a particular place is too great, the whole thing collapses. Can we learn from Kaifeng? . . . or not?<<

The third category included big and medium-sized landlords and former officials of the previous regime. In the fourth year of the Jingyou period (1037), Emperor Ren Zong issued a mandate which noted: "Of late many upper-class families have moved from other parts of the country to Henan province and to the capital in order to avoid paying taxes and providing men for labor service."

In Ode to the Imperial Capital, Yang Kan tells about the former officials:

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Emperor Tai Zu, by virtue of his military genius, and Emperor Tai Zong, thanks to his political and cultural accomplishments, conquered in succession the lands of Jiangbiao, Sudu, Nanyue, Dong Wu, Bing, Fen, Jing and Hu. The defeated kings were ordered into the capital, together with their disarmed soldiers, ministers and retainers.

Although these former monarchs and elite had lost their political power, they retained their wealth. They were quite content with idle, comfortable lives in the capital, parasitically battening on the labors of the common folk.

The fourth category was composed of rich traders and merchants. In the Records of Jing Kang, Ting Teqi said: "The capital is a rendezvous for rich traders and merchants from all parts of the country." During the Zhen Zong period (998-1022) Wang Dan said:

The long period of peace in the country has made it possible for landlords to enlarge their holdings by annexing farmlands. Free from taxation and the duty to provide unpaid laborers, they have made enormous profits. Many people in the capital have assets up to a million strings of cash. (Each string usually contained 1,000 copper coins, and varied in purchasing power from dynasty to dynasty. A rough estimation would be around one pre-World War II U.S. dollar per string.) Those possessing over 100,000 strings are to be met almost everywhere.

(A passage in the Reminiscences offers a glimpse of the shops that dealt in luxuries for the rich, and the affluent merchants who owned them).

To the east was Panlou Street, on the southern side of which was "Eagles' Inn," which accommodated only traders in hawks and falcons. Here also were shops selling pearls, silks, joss-sticks, medicinal herbs and mats. The street turns south into Jie Shen Lane, where trade in gold, silver and colored silks was transacted. The buildings, with broad open fronts, were awesome to the common people. A single deal could run into the astonishing sum of ten million strings of cash. These traders and merchants were doubtless multi-millionaires.

The greatest portion of the population embraced the countless middle and small merchants, handicraftsmen, pedlars, laborers, porters, servants, slaves, singers, story-tellers, prostitutes, vagabonds, beggars, and the like. These people of the lowest social strata are strikingly represented in Riverside Scene. Among the 770-odd figures spread over the length of the picture are boatmen, small merchants, artisans,

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Buddhist monks and nuns, Taoist priests, quacks, fortune tellers, and stall-keepers of every sort. Among the hurrying pedestrians are people toting loads on their backs and across their shoulders, sedan-chair carriers, cart haulers, horse-cart drivers, men hawking wares on wheelbarrows, and ragged figures begging along the street. There is a multifarious humanity for you!

A passage in Reminiscences goes into even greater detail about the many different kinds of laborers—carpenters, wall-painters and whitewashers, street-sweepers, scavengers, and odd-job men. We get some idea of the tremendous number of people engaged in small businesses and service trades.

>>I'll bring this up for other considerations. Wealth creates many divisions of labor, or levels if you prefer. Wages are not about supporting a family. The menial jobs are simplified and very boring, tedious, uninspiring, if not utterly demoralizing and spirit-crushing. Its just wrong to treat human or animal that way. But simplified jobs are said by those who make good money and hire, to be easy jobs that do not merit much in pay.

But lets go back a little further. Once upon a time, the ancestors of these service workers farmed their own land with some independence and their labor had a direct impact on their results. If it was boring, that was inevitable and could not be avoided. If a good quality harvest, they ate well and felt secure. They were their own bosses and if they wanted to take a break or linger at the kitchen table a little, talking, they could. Matters with the kids could be handled. Then they were forced to sell and become labor, they lost all their rights.

Now I know that some abuse their breaks or would be lazy at their own farms. But they should be allowed to experience the benefits or consequences of their own choices.

Once you are labor, it is impossible to avoid being demeaned and treated like crap. There is little meaningful difference between being a laborer to keep fed and alive, or being a slave to do so. Both positions suck!

But what few stop to consider is that constantly, all day long and every day, labor is treated with disrespect and humiliation. Their lives are not their own. Nor the minds, either, in many instances. Now I detest government mind control programming, which robs a person of their own mind for their own purposes. This is pure evil. But when you get down to it, a laborer whose labor consumes his thinking and attention throughout the labor, has in effect, lost the use of their bodies and minds for anything they might want to do. The entirety of their days and lives, and labor, belong to others who live more luxuriously at the expense of labor.

I am not a stupid leftist who thinks there is some solution to this problem. There is not. Humans are always ready to enslave others. That has been a fact of life from our first beginnings as a species. I have no remedy for it. You don't, either, you leftist bastards! So shut up!

But I will suggest this: Try to make use of any free moments in your life to think about things and ponder things, and make sense of things. Talk with others close to you about your ideas and listen to theirs.

Now what happens when levels of elite grow? It as long been said by crude talkers, which in private, I can be, myself; that sh!T only runs down hill. And it sucks to be on the bottom. Bad enough to answer to one boss. But answer to 7 levels at various different times with each of them being complete @$$holes and who often actually enjoy being as miserable and mean as they can be! Its a nightmare, isn't it?

This abuse turns into resentment that is suppressed . . . until the system breaks down. Then all hell breaks loose. It is this sentiment that represents the greatest danger should a city or nation or empire collapse.

To put it another way, We reap/harvest whatever it is we sow/plant. Being mean and demanding to each other is a very stupid thing to do, but we keep doing it. We don't give a damn about each other. It is a large part of our problems in life.

You want to change the world? Forget about Marxism and politics. Just try being nice to each other, and respectful. You will get more out of nice treatment than you will ever get out of a government or employer.<<

Now let us look at the consumption in this thriving city. The affluent were the greatest consumers of both necessities and luxuries. Take grain for instance. In 1008 tribute rice from various parts of the country amounted to seven million piculs. (One picul equals 133.3 lbs.) The devouring of porkers and other animals was also stupendous. Reminiscences notes: "Herds of swine to be slaughtered by private owners passed through Scarlet Sparrow Gate from dawn to dusk in streams each numbering tens of thousands." The well-off inhabitants of Bianjing were obviously big eaters.

If the quantity consumed was staggering, the quality was dazzling. Rich men, nobles, high officials, landlords, and wealthy merchants had practically unlimited purchasing power and could afford to be finicky in their tastes, always demanding the best. Extravagance prevailed. Apart from monthly gratuitous allowances of rice, officials received seasonal gifts of damask, spun silk, silk floss and piece goods. They had high monthly salaries, ranging from three hundred strings of cash to four hundred thousand, corresponding to their different official ranks—from petty functionary to prime minister--41 grades in all.

Toward the end of Northern Song during the Cong Ning period (1102--1106) when Cai Jing was premier, his favorite ministers, like Wu Juhou and Zhang Kangguou, received subsidies for food which, in effect, doubled their salaries. They further supplemented their official incomes by embezzlement, bribe-taking, blackmail and extortion, with the ordinary people as their victims.

Not only could they and their families live in luxury, but they had enormous amounts of cash left over to spend in unbridled extravagance and the pursuit of pleasure.

>>Are you getting the picture?  Extreme decadence and corruption brought the dynasty down. The Emperor did it to himself and his favorites joined him in doing the same.<<

>>Now I guts ta ask, How would you feel if you were given bland food while the person sitting near you has wonderful tasty food? Would you wish you could have some? But now the tricky part! What if instead, you had the good food and the person beside you had the tasteless junk? What would you do? Would you share with the other, taking half theirs and giving half yours or at least some sort of sharing? You will note that various levels of people were paid and treated according to their rank. Do lots of things for the king and he rewards you with special perks. But simply treat all people the same and you will go nowhere. So everyone becomes an @$$-kisser and a suck-up. Some call it false flattery. Some like the clinical "sychophant."Some describe it in graphic debasing sexual metaphors that are meant to be very unbecoming. But they do seem rather accurate and justified.

We all assume that whatever we got, it is our entitlement. Some might think they are not getting what they deserve but they know they will not be able to change it. The real problem with humans is that they can look upon the mistreatment and suffering of both people and animals and think nothing either. "Its not my problem, you say!" But I disagree. The state of the human race is what it is because we do not care about other people. Just ourselves. That, really, is why we have the lives we do. We as a species, are our own worst enemies.

And this is why we have societal collapses, and wars. Rewards based societies are evil. But we are stuck with them, sadly. Humans are natural groveling people-worshipers. But that is what is wrong with our species, along with not being allowed our own land for a family and independence.

The problem with people at the top is that there is no one to reign them in or make them accountable, except fate and destiny. Think of the many empires that have come and went. All of them did these very same things. The pattern never varies. Our corrupt nature destroys even the very rich and powerful. It never fails! Ever! But as you read this, no one at the top would ever believe that this will soon be their fate as well. I am most grateful to the 2 Chinese scholars and Sidney Shapiro for this published study. While the subject of Jews in China is interesting, the real value in this book, surely is in these 15 pages of 103-117.<<

Meng Yuanlao, in his preface to Reminiscences, writes:

Wherever you went in the fashionable streets, brothels met the eye—pavilions draped with embroidered and pearl-studded curtains. Ornately carved carriages vied for parking space before them, while dandies on horseback raced across the imperial high-

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way. You caught glimpses of women resplendent in gold and jade ornaments, their silk perfumed apparel filling the air with fragrance. Through their windows floated pleasing melodies and cajoling laughter.

Teahouses and wineshops were gay with instrumental music. The metropolis was the mart for all things precious and expensive and the venue of those who sought them. Its shops were spread with rare goods from every corner of the country, its restaurants offered sumptuous dishes famed at home and abroad . . .

With the capital, a political and economic center, setting an example of profligacy and waste, inevitably other cities followed suit. As Chen Sunyu remarked:

The provincials imitate the capital's style of living, and what is the capital? A nest of oddities, a hotbed of falsities. Bizarre garments and weird utensils displayed in the Court in the morning, by evening appear in imitation in the marketplace and on the streets. Within a month they are in great demand all over the land.

In the last years of Northern Song, with Emperor Hui Zong personally taking the lead, upper class' indulgences reached inordinate proportions. According to Yuan Jiang of the Song Dynasty, ladies in the capital constantly changed their fashions in dresses and hair adornments. No price was too high for gold and jade ornaments, and a pair of stockings or a collar might cost a thousand coppers. Lovely and expensive garments were put on for only a few days, then cast aside. Though hardly worn, they were already out of style.

Consumption in Bianjing was enormous in quantity, luxurious in quality and costly in price. To satisfy such human appetites and vanities, it was necessary to bring in commodities from distant parts of the country and even from abroad. This gave great impetus to the market and to the development of the economy.

>>As I had said earlier, wealthy and luxury are addictions, obsessions and compulsions. Extravagance and vanity! They can never get enough. It is always the elite that cause their own demise and destruction. It sure is not the poor. The Bronze Age Collapse destroyed the wealth, technology and luxury, the main purposes and goals of trading, truth be told. So after the fall, simplicity, humility, and temperance once again reigned supreme. We are at our best when we are content with simple small joys and pleasures. We only pursue more and more extravagant, when we are no longer content and look for something more and something better, and something far more exciting. That begins a new cycle of escalation and preoccupation with trade and commerce.

This cycle of trade is an attempt to find an inner peace or a greater high that is not possible. The real problem is the lack inside us from not being loved enough or following the right course in life. As an example, men love female beauty. They will rick all for that ultimate high. Greater Beauty! More frequent encounters! More variety and experimentation! then the brain, in its own subtle way, begins shutting down the degree of high and intoxication, trying to get us to back off and lay off, but the addict only wants more.

This is also the problem with wealth and luxury. Their pursuit is often to elevate those who pursue it, to distinguish themselves over others, and get more attention and recognition. Many youtube channels are the result of pursuing notoriety and attention, even status.

Getting ultra high and seeking out novelty and not looking inward as to what really might be lacking inside, is the start of our demise. Life on the farm should be enough, along with family and friends. But God will have to heal our broken disrupted nature to truly fix this. It is NOT within our own power to do so.<<

There were wholesale and retail markets. . . . They fell into several categories: morning, daytime, evening, seasonal, and periodic. Most shops mentioned in Reminiscences were daytime shops, such as Tang's Gold and Silver Smithery, the Wenzhou Laquerware Store, the Bai Zhong Yuan Drugstore, Liang's Pearl Mart . . .

Night markets had been prohibited by feudal governments until Northern Song, when they became so popular and prosperous that the first emperor of that dynasty, Zhao Kuangyin, felt obliged to issue an edict in 965, reading: "Night markets may stay open in the capital, but only until the third watch" (midnight). Business was brisk, especially

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during the reign of Emperor Hui Zong in the Zhenghe and Xuanhe periods (1111--1126). As Reminiscences described it:

The night market in and around Scarlet Sparrow Gate Street was so crowded with horses and carts that people could not get through or even stop anywhere . . . The streets overflowed with stalls and shops selling rice gruel, and stewed and preserved meats. On the square below the King Tower were stalls with tables where you could sit down to a meal of badger or fox meat, or chicken if you preferred. If you still were not satisfied, you could stroll over to Mei or Lu's cafe where you could have delicious goose, duck, chicken or rabbit, pork entrails or lungs, buns with eel stuffing, chicken skin, kidneys, or any sort of hodgepodge. Delicacies were cheap, too, costing only 15 coppers each . . .

The brilliant lights in the wineshops were dazzling. Even more so were the beautifully dressed prostitutes, some in the wineshops drinking with the revelers and others sauntering outside. Charming minxes, all . . .

Truly these booming markets turned Bianjing night into day. It is said, with only slight exaggeration, that when mosquitoes were at their worst, they never bothered you in the market places. The oily vapors rising from innumerable frying pans drove them away! 

Clothes, articles for daily use and luxuries were for sale also in the "ghost market." In front of the Panlou Wineshop at the southeastern corner of the Inner City ". . . sellers of clothing, calligraphy scrolls and paintings, curios and jades, arrived at the marketplace before daylight. . . . At sunrise they vanished as quickly as they appeared, and for this reason the place was called the 'ghost market.' For instance, near the Panlou Wineshop while the night was deep and dark, the teahouses were brightly lit for the ghost market trade in clothes, paintings and garlands. All disappeared at the peep of dawn."

(Such markets existed for centuries all over China in the old days. Here stolen goods were disposed of, or people from formerly well-to-do families down on their luck came surreptitiously to sell their valuables.)

>>I note the obsession with shopping and buying, a sort of compulsive disorder, almost like it was boredom or desperation. Think about Black Friday after Thanks-giving! Pure madness and insanity! I have been watching videos on malls that are now abandoned. We still have ours, in southern Maine, but its often not that busy. I wondered why this had all come to be. It finally dawned on me. Teens used to go to the Mall in crowds. No more teens. What happened?

It's easy. In the 90s and 1st 10 years after 2000 parents had disposable income and would give it to their kids, perhaps out of guilt or stupidity. But the parents don't have enough money to do that anymore. And teens don't work part time jobs as much anymore like my generation and peers did. We are heading for a major crisis and crash, just like Bianjing. America shopped for recreation or to get high, or break up monotony, but they no longer can afford it.

But soon, the crunch will reach higher levels of income and when it does, the crash will accelerate drastically, as shopping will take out most retail and send us belly up. Then many places will start to look like Detroit or L.A. or San Fran. Its coming. The rich will be the cause of it, too. They will not share. They would rather die and they will and we along with them. The Bronze Age Collapse all over again. And add Kaifeng to that, too.<<

The seasonal markets, which catered to the various festivals, were a merry scene. For example, the Drum and Fan Market opened just before the Dragon Boat Festival, when drums were needed to spur on the paddlers and fans to cool the heated spectators. Trinkets, gadgets and toys were displayed at the Skillful Handicraftsmen's Mart, for the festival called the Seventh Night of the Seventh Month. According to legend, only then could the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl (actually

111  GLIMPSES OF THE URBAN ECONOMY OF BIANJING

two constellations) meet and exchange small gifts to pledge their undying love.

A typical example of the periodic markets was the temple fair held in the Xiangguo Monastery in the Inner City. Reminiscences brings this fair to life:

The Monastery threw open all its gates five times a month to admit streams of shoppers. From the broad grounds inside the Front Gate rose a cacophonous chorus of rare birds in cages, cats in baskets, dogs straining at the leash, and other animals chained for sale. In the courtyard inside the Second and Third Gates were tents and sheds and awning-covered stalls where traders sold rush-cushions, bamboo-mats, screens, curtains, basins, spit­toons, saddles, bows, swords, fruits, salted meats . .  

In the square next to the Hall of Buddhas, Taoist Priest Meng sold his special recipe honey-preserved fruits, Zhao Wenxiu displayed writing brushes of his own handiwork, and Pan Gu offered special ink sticks. Along the corridor on either side, nuns, stand­ing behind stalls, sold embroideries, stockings, collars, embroidery patterns, bridal headgear, hats, false haircoils, silk threads, etc., in every color and shade.

In front of the Zhisheng Gate, behind the Hall of Buddhas, scholars browsed among books, paintings, calligraphy scrolls and curios. Retired and dismissed officials timidly beseeched onlookers to buy the scented herbs and native products brought from their home towns. Superstitious folk in the backyard of the monastery sought charms, incantations and talismans, or to have their fortunes told.

Here all humanity met—the hoi polloi, merchants big and small, handicraftsmen, important and petty officials, monks, priests and nuns. They filled the temple to overflowing, even though the main court with its two corridors alone was reportedly spacious enough for 10,000 persons.

Of all the trades in the capital, wineshops, restaurants, amusement houses, and brothels were the most prosperous. According to Reminis­cences, wineshops and eating places accounted for more than fifty percent of the 100-odd trades. Inside the city there were 72 first-rate restaurants with enticing names such as Plenty, High Sun, Cool Breeze, Celebration, Kindness and Harmony, Fairies Rendezvous . . . There is a passage in Reminiscences about Plenty, the most popular of these first-class restaurants:

During the Xuanhe period (1119--25) Plenty was expanded into five 3-storied buildings facing one another, all connected by railed

112                          JEWS IN OLD CHINA

bridges spanning the top floors. The gate of the front building facing the street was hung with a horizontal embroidered banner, bearing the name Plenty. The doorway of the gate was draped with a pearl-studded silk screen. All the halls and rooms were flooded with light.

Second-class restaurants, known as jiaodian, were everywhere in Bianjing. They catered to upper and middle class patrons, selling tasty dishes to go with wine. In 1027 Emperor Ren Zong issued a mandate which read: "If the Bai Fan Lou Wineshop will undertake to collect and pay the tax into the Imperial Treasury on behalf of the others, it shall be designated as the sole wine distributor for 3,000 selected jiaodian wineshops in the capital." This affords us some idea of the vast number of wineshops operating in Bianjing.

The back streets and lanes were proud of their third-class teashops and eateries.

Reminiscences mentions only a few—Cao's Eating House, Shi's Squash Soup Kitchen, Wang's Steamed Buns, Ting's Teahouse, Li's Northern-Style Eating House, Jin's Southern-Style Food Shop, Zheng's Deep-Fried Dough-Cakes, Haizhou Zhang's Sesame Seed Buns, Ma Dang's Soup Shop . . . Families engaged in business did not usually cook, but bought their meals at these wineshops and teahouses which lined the back lanes.

>>What you can see just above is that anyone engaged in day to day business, in any of the 3 classes, ate well, had others do many things for them. You can see the separation of classes. We have the same in the USA, but it is a little subtle but still readily visible. Understand that part of the addiction danger is that one is blind, or blinded by the sub-conscious. They do not see the warning signs. They are far removed from what life is like on the very bottom of the social classes. Even the lowest class ate well and did not have to attend to meals or their preparation. They could attend to business without worrying about meals or anything else. hardly a care in the world. Its very unrealistic if not a completely lost connection with reality. Much like a drug addict!<<

Bianjing had a large number of amusement grounds and brothels. In Riverside Scene, on the corner of the crossroads in the Old City, sitting in a shed below a large awning, is a crowd of elderly people listening to an old man telling an ancient tale, probably some heroic legend or folklore anecdote. Professional story-tellers were very popular.

Theatres drew capacity audiences. According to Reminiscences:

At the southern end of the street, Sang's Amusement Center stood. Near the north end were over 50 theatres. Among the larger ones were the Lotus Flower, Peony Stage, and Elephant Garden. This last seated several thousand.

Most theaters gave variety shows, including story telling, acrobatics, short skits, shadow plays, dancing, singing, instrumental music, poetry recitals, and obscene comedies. Around the theatres, says Reminiscences, was a motley assortment of "medicine pedlars, fortune tellers, second-hand clothing vendors, gamblers, food sellers, barbers, and ballad singers. So entrancing were they that persons wandering among them didn't even notice the approach of evening . . . Rain or shine, day after day, the lively Amusement Center swarmed with common humanity."

>>Every diversion and distraction you could ask for. Nothing but pursuit of entertainment. Serious concerns? I doubt it. Really, our own lives have lots of entertainment from TV, movies, the Net, cellphones and tablets. Are we really in touch with serious concerns? Or do we prefer to avoid any thinking of those things? How much are we like Biangjing? I don't think we are all that different. And that is the problem in 2018 & forward.<<

Next in degree of activity came depots and warehouses, which were run either privately or by the government. Reminiscences notes that

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there were about 50 storehouses for rice and wheat in the capital, and about 20 hay yards near the New City. Some government-run ware­houses were available for private merchandise as well as government provisions.

There were also many private warehouses, an example being Shisan­jan Lou, the largest warehouse in the city. Goods and merchandise were piled up inside it mountain high, and the owner netted an average annual profit of tens of thousands of strings of cash. These warehouses and depots provided storage facilities for traders from the provinces, and reflected Bianjing's prosperity.

As the main commercial center of China during Song, Bianjing attracted merchants and traders from all over the country and from abroad. In Riverside Scene we see leaving the Eastern Corner Gate a caravan of camels with traders from Central Asia trudging behind. Having completed their transactions in the capital, the men are now going home. It was through these merchants and their "ships of the desert" that Northern Song was able to establish close trade relations with such (Central Asian) kingdoms as Western Xia and Western Liao. A passage in Reminiscences describes some of these outlanders as they appeared at an imperial morning audience, one New Year's day

The emissary from Great Liao wore a golden hat with a broad rim curling upwards like a lotus leaf, a fitted purple robe, and gold-thread-plaited boots. The deputy emissary was clad in Han style in a robe bound at the waist with a gold-threaded belt. Both the emissary and the deputy emissary of the Xia State wore golden hats, short and close-fitting scarlet robes and gold-thread­plaited boots. They bowed with crossed hands . . . The Huihes (Uygurs) had long beards and high noses, and wore turbans and caps. The Khotans wore flower-patterned gold-threaded felt hats and gold-threaded robes with belts around their waists. They brought their wives and children with them, all riding camels with jingling bronze bells, to pay tribute to the Song Court.

Nominally, these emissaries came to present tribute to the Song emperor. In fact, they engaged in a busy trade. Along their routes, they picked up merchandise which they sold in the capital for a substantial profit, collaborating secretly with Han interpreters and courtiers. Though politically there was only hostility between the Hans and Liaos and Xia, the commercial relations channelled through the emissaries were smooth enough. It may therefore be said that as early as the Northern Song Dynasty the Hans and the northern ethnic minorities already belonged to a common economic community.

Traders from the south in Bianjing outnumbered those from the north, as the commodity economy was more developed in the south of

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China. These included, according to Reminiscences, traders from Korea, Kampuchea and other countries in southeast Asia, and from Dashi (Arabia). It is recorded in history that Dashi envoys travelled to China twenty-four times during the Song Dynasty, and "of them, many were merchants coming as emissaries."

Traders of all categories had their respective guilds, organized by the government to facilitate the collection of taxes and dues. Chinese guilds were very different from those in Western Europe, which were formed by the merchants and handicraftsmen themselves, and were, from the very start, an antithesis to the feudal economy.

Ironically, once organized, even these feudalistic Chinese guilds joined together with the trades and professions to protect their own interests and oppose arbitrary fleecing by the feudal government. During the Northern Song, the guilds in Bianjing registered a strong protest against extra levies forced upon them by local officials in addition to the taxes authorized by the Court.

>>I like this paragraph for what it reveals. Traders and Merchants have always fought with governments and kings over taxes and fees. Merchants have always longed to be exempted from the taxes and tribute of kingdoms. And though not specifically stated, you can be assured that traders and merchants stuck together and had deals with each other, though I am also sure they would keep their deals and relationships secret.

The concept or belief in "free markets" has never existed and never could. Business men will always unite and protect their interests, which are always in opposition to governments and rulers AND the customers of the sellers. It is inevitable and natural. These concepts are important to understand, in order to figure out how the world really works. In our time, big banking and business have long ago installed puppet governments that the people imagine they choose, though in reality, the banking and business interests pick who you get to vote for. Governments serve their masters in banking and business. No more selfish kings to "bully and tax" those "poor merchants and bankers.

But as well, banker and sellers never reveal that they are the puppet masters. In fact, businesses and corporations never let anyone know who their friends and allies are. Everyting is done in secret. Kept from public knowlege! This essay, likely unintentionally, reveal a little bit of this alliance of traders against "selfish emperors" and governments. This is a very important and long standing struggle between the 2 parties.

But the irony in our day is that big business owns and controls all the political leaders and though corporations pay little in taxes, they make their puppets in office, charge outrageous taxes on the average citizen, to serve the interests of big business. And not the governed citizens. And free markets are actually tightly and secretly controlled by the united interests of big business just like it was in Bianjing.<<

The formation of the guilds also raised the social status of merchants, especially those of the elite among them. The traditional contempt for merchants began to give way to respect. Some officials even resigned their posts and went into business.

>>It was understood by most that merchants and traders were treacherous liars and deceivers and if they could, they would cheat or bribe. But one could not deny the capacity for profit that being a trader afforded so many joined the merchant traders. Money and wealth are always the easiest way to corrupt hearts and souls. Money and wealth, if you have enough of it, can get you anything you want. But you have to get past the united army of the merchant cooperatives/guilds. You will have to make a deal with them before you can be one of them. They decide your fate, always. They own the world now.

And truth be told, as this is a website about God, Satan controls all big business and all governments. You'll have to make a deal with him if you want more than just being at the bottom of the barrel. But it will cost you more than you receive in return.<<

Prosperity in Bianjing's market trade stimulated the growth of the economy and brought about new types of commodity exchange—renting and hiring, and selling on credit. 

According to Reminiscences sedan-chairs were no longer used exclusively by the Empress. They were rented also by the elite and commoners for going to the Court, or for weddings and other occasions. The chairs with their entourage, and even apparel for the carriers, could all be rented. There were also carriages for six, hired both by commoners and high-born ladies alike.

All the paraphernalia for a funeral could also be hired, including the guide, a "Fan Xiang" (image of an ugly god whose four fearful eyes searched out evil spirits and drove them away from the grave), the hearse, crepe garments, ribbons and pennants.

>>Notice how eager everyone is to imitate the rich and royalty. You could put on appearance with rented sedan chairs carried by commoners. Rent clothes. You can put on an elaborate wedding or funeral, just like the rich do! How about that! you can be royalty for a day. I just got to ask, though. Why would you want to put on a phony show and display of decadence and corruption?

I have read recently how some in upper middle class people, in order to impress their new neighbors, will rent furniture and whatever for a party and then have it all taken back a day or two later. They don't have enough money to buy furniture and the like. But they want to be like everyone else or even be like those far above them in status. Absolutely ridiculous.

But given how much we are starting to look like those of Binajing, who ended up poor, bankrupt, and desolate.<<

Those who had to travel long distances on business, found horses for hire on street corners and in front of the market. There were even places where one could rent furniture and utensils, such as tables, chairs, bowls, plates, dishes, chopsticks, spoons and drinking vessels, for large banquets or funeral dinners. Cooks, too, could be hired at a reasonable price for special feasts in gardens, pavilions or monasteries. Boats were available for outings on the lake.

The hire and rental system put expensive services and commodities within reach of ordinary people. Needless to say, this stimulated the production and consumption of commodities.

>>So now the common people want to imitate the rich. Ain't that sweet. So now the poor want to behave like drug addicts. But it was the rich who sell their lifestyle to the poor and the poor are too stupid to see thru it and they fall for it. But always, it is the rich who break away from morals and restraint and go crazy and everyone goes along with it. That is the situation we are in now.

Nobody stood fast to morals, sanity, reason, restraint and moderation. Humans just can not be content in the simple things of life like loving their children and guiding them and instructing them. Instead, they get all crazy. Are we any longer capable of recognizing sanity, much less live it?<<

115  GLIMPSES OF THE URBAN ECONOMY OF BIANJING

Business on credit was an important aspect of the development of commodity exchange. In 1022 Emperor Zhen Zong issued an edict

The Commercial Tax Bureau of the capital shall see to it that all travelling merchants be notified that hereafter ordinary goods shall be bought or sold for cash only. For high priced goods, or goods in large quantity, necessitating deferred payment, the buyer shall get three to five persons of property to guarantee payment by signing with him a bond fixing a date of payment. They shall be required to make payment if the buyer fails to do so on the date agreed. If only the buyer signs the bond, without guarantors, the government will not hear the case in the event of default. If the guarantors actually have no property, and are collaborating with the middleman to deceive the seller, both the guarantors and the middleman shall be prosecuted according to law.

>>Credit is yet another evil. The Emperor tried to reign it in, making sure others put their own property at stake for guaranteeing a loan. Above shows that everyone was cheating when it came to credit and sponsors. Its very easy to get credit. It takes no restraint to sign for credit. In many ways, it a legal form of stealing. "Yes, I will pay it back" and then skip town or say, Gee, I don't have the money or the goods I bought with the money. Our society is drowning in this type of credit and default.

Credit is the easy cheating way of living it up briefly. It is clearly an obsessive compulsive greedy Irrational behavior, buying what you do not have money for. Living beyond your means or buying what you do not need, but think you want and just got to have. If that is not insanity, then what is?<<

This imperial edict was, in substance, a law regulating purchase and sales on credit. The bond was a prototype of the modern promissory note. The credit system acknowledged assets and liabilities in the relations between buyer and seller. Money now was not only a measure of values, a means of circulation and accumulation. It had also become a means of payment within a credit system. This last function, in China, had its origins in Bianjing when it was the capital of Northern Song.

Throughout the 220 years from when Bianjing became the capital of the Later Liang of the Five Dynasties in 907 till the collapse of the Northern Song in 1127, each dynasty, especially the Northern Song, made successive efforts to improve the city. Bianjing flourished primarily because it was the capital. Its decline and desolation likewise resulted from the collapse of the imperial dynasty.

The Song government through heavy taxes, forced labor and rents, extorted tremendous wealth, as well as grain and goods, from the people of the villages and towns throughout the country.

It was this which created the huge purchasing power of the royalty and the elite. Bianjing had little independent urban production, and relied on supplies shipped in from the outside on the Bian and other rivers. Its economic boom was built on shifting sands and would collapse the moment any social or political change occurred.

This change came in the form of a military defeat suffered by the Song in the second year of the Jingkang period (1127).

>>The outrageous, extravagant greed of the royalty and elites, so caught up in their luxury, financed by the lower classes taxed to death, cause them to not notice the rise of another rival power. All they cared about was themselves and keeping their lifestyle going, not recognizing that that very lifestyle could not continue to last if they keep on being extravagant and greedy. They were in denial. They could not bring themselves to see the inevitable failure of out of control greed and taxation of the weak and helpless at the bottom of society. <<

According to historical records, beginning in the eleventh month of the previous year, Jin (Golden Tartar) troops besieged the capital for the second time, cutting the city off from the outside and depriving it of supplies of tribute and commercial grain. By the 19th of the twelfth

116                          JEWS IN OLD CHINA

month ". . . the price of rice in the city rose to 3,000 coppers per dou (peck), and the streets and lanes were littered with the corpses of the starved." By the fourth month of 1127 the Jin army sacked the city, looting public and private property, and kidnapping Emperor Qin Zong and his father Hui Zong, as well as many other members of the royal family.

>>While Bianjing was living it up, an enemy was plotting their demise. The elite were getting high and never saw it coming. It was just going to magically go on forever, they thought . . . or wanted to think. One might wonder, rather than pour all their money and resources into living it up; and instead, fund some merchant ventures to other surrounding nations and peoples, to see if some one appears as if they are trying to grow, militarily.

Or why was the Song government not at least a little bit concerned that someone might notice their tremendous wealth and want to plunder it. With traded extending far out into the world, they were bound to get attention sooner or later.

And how wise was keeping all their troops in the city? I would have thought, why don't we examine how best to destroy our own city, as if we were the enemy plotting against us? If we can see or find any weaknesses, we can figure out ways to thwart those attempts. But they were all too busy having lots of fun and not giving some serious thought and research to potential invaders, that any sensible empire contemplates and that many empires fail to do, who are not sensible.

Truth be said, and truth be told (I am Truth1, right?) the real cause of the fall of the Song dynasty was luxury and extreme success. And it was just too easy to bleed the citizens to support and expand business and profits. The elite became drugged with wealth and its excesses.

Every empire goes thru a cycle of starting out with some good values and merit, and then success, then corruption and stagnation, and then decline and lastly, collapse and/or defeat.  ----    And all of this because they do not take care to guard the values they started out with. The temptations that come with success are hard to resist. Our inability as a species makes it impossible to hold off corruption in those who rule. Great power makes rulers unaccountable to nearly anyone. Abuse of the masses is just too easy and has no barriers.<<

The Jins appointed Zhang Bangchang, as leader of the surrender advocates, as puppet emperor. Another son of Hui Zong fled south, leaving the old capital in ruins, and established a Southern Song capital in Linan (Hangzhou), where he assumed sovereignty as Emperor Gao Zong. The end of the Northern Song was complete. Zhuang Jiyu, an eyewitness, wrote:

From Xuchang to Bianjing for thousands of li (a unit of distance) not even a chicken or dog remains. Wells are filled with corpses and the water is undrinkable. Once busy crossroads are now covered with weeds and underbrush. No one is left to gather the beans and millet in the fields, and the pears and dates on the trees.

This passage gives us an idea of the extent of the devastation of the Huang and Huai River valleys, the two main economic regions of the time.

During the early years of Southern Song, Fan Chengda (1126-93), a noted poet, was dispatched as an emissary to the Jins. After passing Bianjing, he noted:

The New (Outer) City was mostly in ruins. Some places had been converted into fields and put to the plough. In the Old (Inner) City a few markets lingered on. Here and there were tall edifices—the empty hulks of devastated palaces, pavilions and temples.

With the decline and fall of Bianjing, the Bian River, once the main artery of the Northern Song, silted and dried up, turning eventually into a stinking ditch. The Bianjing depicted so minutely by Zhang Zeduan in Riverside Scene, and recalled so vividly by Meng Yuanlao in his Reminiscences, was no more.

>>What you are reading here is the complete collapse of a huge city. It sounds a lot like the city of Detroit, Michigan. Or Los Angeles sidewalks covered with tents and plastic tarps of the poor living on the sidewalks. Or San Francisco streets covered in trash and human dung. Major Cities in a number of places are either poverty ridden, or nearly empty. Most moved on. Malls all across the USA are empty and abandoned.

Most of all, this sounds like the desolated nations of the late Bronze Age collapse. This is the end of the story, really. The elites set the pace for a nation and their decadence and selfishness destroy them every time and yet, they never learn from it, that you have to set a limit somewhere and stick to it. They never do! The wealthy can not act in their own best long term interests, like any of us.

Really, wealth and prosperity are things that humans do not handle well. Greek historians noted that modest living was the peak of a nation and wealth and prosperity were its demise. This was so for the Persians and Medes. Livy noted this in the case of Rome, too. And soon, it will be our destiny as well. We can not avoid our own fallen nature. It never deviates from it's consistent reliable pattern.<<

But its heyday left indelible impressions on the minds of many. The publication of Reminiscences had an important influence on the people of the time, spurring their efforts to oppose the invaders and recover their land. Today it facilitates our study of the socio-economic history of the Northern Song Dynasty. For the same reason, Riverside Scene is also much valued by scholars at home and abroad.

(From the foregoing one can readily see why Israelites of the 12th century should have chosen Kaifeng, or Bianjing, as a place of permanent abode. Its bustling commerce and prosperity offered many opportunities to earn a livelihood. As the cosmopolitan capital, as a center of 

117  GLIMPSES OF THE URBAN ECONOMY OF BIANJING

learning and the arts, it was attractive to the intellectuals. Foreigners were no novelty; in fact there was considerable trade with non-Chinese. Indeed, Kaifeng proved to be an ideal site for a long-term community of Jews. Not only in Northern Song, but during all the succeeding dynasties, they lived relatively unmolested, even flourishing for a time, until they gradually forgot their own traditions and were culturally and physically assimilated into the overwhelming mass of Chinese society.)

<< End of Book excerpt  pages 103-117.



A Current Observation
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I would like to point out that Jews in Kaifeng were pressured into conforming with Chinese culture and custom. In fact, if you wanted to be accepted and promoted in China, you had to conform to Chinese ways, language, etc. this eventually caused Jews in Kaifeng to adapt and become Chinese and no longer recognized as Jewish in time. Normally, in many nations, Jews remain distinct and those host nations allow that. And that is how Jews eventually take over most of the nations they reside in, with the help of their international networks of Jews, often in mercantile trade, commerce, and banking/finance.

Just like the Song dynasty, they eventually go too far and cause a collapse that takes them down, as well as everyone else. Its just human nature at work.

It is the tolerance of nations that bring about their demise. Immigrants are not required to be, say, Americans speaking English and living like Americans do, respecting our culture and becoming one of us. The result is that we shall soon no longer be Americans, but some mongrel mixture that may end up having far less values than we had when we were American.

I do pay special respect to people like the Amish or Hutterites. While they are not perfect, or free from flaws, they do well at staying out of the world's or nation's affairs, letting those people do as they please. All the Amish as is that they may continue in their own isolated communities and ways of life.

What happens too many times is that immigrants come into a nation, breed like rabbits, and take over, and the stupid natives just stand and let the infiltrators take over. So my opinion would be that Americans are too stupid to deserve to survive and should be prepared to die off as it is only fitting that only the fittest should survive and that is not Americas. I'm just being honest.

But if it were done right, America would allow very few immigrants and would demand that any seeking immigration should have plenty to offer in IQ and skill and be taught all that they must do and that will be expected of them and if not done for at least 10 years, they could be expelled from the nation. They would be required to fully become American in most respects, especially speaking the English language. This is the only way you can preserve your heritage. Or maybe you hate your heritage. Then go find another you do like and blend in.

As an example, many Mexicans want to live in the US. They love our level of wealthy and prosperity, that our values have enabled. But they want to keep their Mexican values which are being welfare sponging, cheating, dishonest free-loaders who are or think they are or should be, entitled. Just because! This attitude will guarantee that they will soon be living in poverty stricken Mexico again, very soon, even though they are in the territory of the USA. And they seem incapable of understanding this. Their way fails. Our way had done well . . . until the 60s when welfare became an entitlement at the expense of high taxes from those who do not want welfare dished out at their expense. But They are forced into it because the government enslaves them by force of law and the military.

Do the Mexicans want to become like us? No! Not at all! They hate us! So our fate is sealed. The USA will soon collapse, just like the Bronze Age did, and just like Bianjing did. The party is almost over because we can not learn from history. History always repeats itself. It never fails . . . and we always fail.

A Silly Idea
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I do not believe in rebellion or resistance due to the Bible's command to respect and obey the powers that be in politics and government, and to not meddle in political affairs. And this I recommend to all, to avoid trouble. God knows that Satan rules all governments and does not like trouble makers. But I have a suggestion. Write and thank your political representatives for subverting our nation and its values and general welfare and securing the demise of our heritage of over 200 years with immigration designed in all likelihood to accomplish the demise via unbridled immigration and welfare of bums and losers. I doubt you will get a reply and one is not necessary. Be aware that government watchdogs will not like your attitude, but then again, what have you go to lose, really? After all, you are praising them for their actions. They should have nothing to fear from someone supporting their actions and praising them. Am I wrong?

Besides, in the honest words of the Borg: "Resistance is futile!" Its not just the Borg that say that. God says it, too. God wants the bad guys for Himself to destroy as He sees fit, and he does not want anyone interfering with what He reserves for Himself. If you like life, do not get in His way.


Another article very similar to this one, in many ways, will interest you if you liked this article above.

The California Exodus - Bronze Age End


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