Heard of the ‘Butterfly Effect’ in chaos theory?
It is commonly explained by this concept – when a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon forest (or anywhere), it could cause a storm somewhere else in the world. This ripple effect purports that a small change at one place can result in a big difference in another place some time later.
The Butterfly Effect is used widely in climate study where the probabilities of weather changes are infinite, thus making exact predictions extremely difficult.
But so is life, and so is politics.
Today, the USA Presidential Elections will take place. We know it is Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney. Both are baby boomers born in 1961 and 1947 respectively. Obama is a late boomer. Romney is an early boomer, like George W Bush and Bill Clinton.
There are not many significant differences between a late and early boomer but the gap of over a decade creates subtle differences in the leadership styles. Of course, there will be checks and balance in the political structure to prevent any extreme handling of power.
Personally I feel that a country needs more than four years to reap any benefits from leadership changes, especially if one is plagued with problems at the start. Ten years is a good duration as it is in China.
This week, the Chinese Communist Party will be making a leadership transition. Both present leaders, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao were born in 1942, the ‘silent generation’ according to Wikipedia definition of generations. Both men will be transferring their powers to a new team of leaders. Many have speculated that the top posts will be filled by Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhang DeJiang. All three men are baby boomers.
But I don’t think China bothers whether one is a baby boomer or not. It is more considerable whether one lived through the Chinese Civil War and experienced the Cultural Revolution first-hand or from the eyes of a child.
Which brings me to ponder how these two great economies will ever come to see eye-to-eye? It is like two different operating systems trying to sync with each other. There are some similar protocols but everything inside is dramatically different.
So what if two giant butterflies flap their different giant wings in different parts of the world at the same time? Will there be one massive change or millions of little transformations all over the globe?
We will know the results tomorrow or next week but can only feel the effect months or years later.