Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 05, 2021

U.S. Foreign Policy Blob Knows The Real Threat From China - Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It

Andrew Bacevich points to an interesting essay by Richard Hanania about the "threat" from China as perceived by the U.S. establishment.

China’s Real Threat Is to America’s Ruling Ideology

The author says that China, even as it is growing and has passed the U.S. economically, is not an enemy of the U.S. and no danger to U.S. or others' security:

While China is not blameless, one could reasonably make the argument that, from an international perspective, it has had easily the most peaceful rise to great power status of any nation of the last several hundred years.
...
Perhaps, as the McMasters of the world claim, this is all because Beijing is biding its time in hopes of world domination. Alternatively, China may be an inwardly focused civilization that, while it may have disputes with its neighbors, is not on a mission to fundamentally remake the world. While it would naturally prefer rules that favor it and resists any principles that would legitimize regime change supported from abroad, Beijing does not seek to fundamentally replace the U.N. or rewrite international law. Its strategy has mostly sought stability and growth within the rules of the system developed by Western democracies in the aftermath of the Second World War. While its current position of strength is recent, it has not yet broken from this precedent.

Nor does it, as far as is known, plan to do so.

Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth. That ideological argument was used to seek and kill various 'dictator' dragons abroad. China has proved them to be wrong. And therein lies the real danger to the U.S. establishment.

China's development over the last 40 years proves that it is not necessary to wage wars in foreign countries to be secure and to prosper. For U.S. ideologues that is a bad example that should not exist:

If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history—or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity—how can the American role in the world be justified? What will it say about the American system if the U.S. is no longer the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, having been surpassed by a country that became the dominant power in East Asia without even paying lip service to democratic ideals?

Ultimately, Americans themselves might begin asking themselves difficult questions about how well they have been served by their own system, including the sacrifices in blood and treasure they are regularly asked to make abroad.

That would be really bad as the monetary fodder in the trough the national security establishment is feasting from would suddenly be seen as an unnecessary waste. That is the real danger to the blob:

Ultimately, the danger for American elites is not that the U.S. may become less able to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Rather, it is that more Americans might begin to question the logic of U.S. global hegemony. Perhaps not every state is destined to become a liberal democracy, and nations with very different political systems can coexist peacefully, as many countries in East Asia do. Maybe the U.S. will not always be at the frontier of military and economic power, and the country that overtakes it may have completely different attitudes about the nature of the relationship between government and its citizens.

While most Americans will never experience a ride on a Chinese bullet train and remain oblivious in differences in areas like infrastructure quality, major accomplishments in highly visible frontiers like space travel or cancer treatment could drive home the extent to which the U.S. has fallen behind. Under such conditions, the best case scenario for most Americans would be a nightmare for many national security and bureaucratic elites: for the U.S. to give up on policing the world and instead turn inward and focus on finding out where exactly our institutions have gone wrong.

What then is the U.S. establishment going to do?

The U.S. rose to global supremacy on the back of two world wars which destroyed the industrial capacities of its main competitors while the wars hardly touched its own country. Could it arrange for a comparable event, by maybe instigating a conflict between Japan and China, that would again lead to a major destruction of global production capabilities while the U.S. stays on the sidelines?

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons, as another writer proposes, may be a way to get there:

What to do [about China]? There is one way to square the circle. The Biden administration should reconsider reflexive U.S. opposition to “friendly proliferation.”
...
Taiwan is in greatest need of such a weapon, but developing one would be highly destabilizing, since Beijing would be tempted to preempt the process. The alternative would be for Washington to fill Taiwan’s need, with a profound impact on Sino-American relations. Proliferation would not be a good solution—but it might be the least bad one.

No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States.
...
It is easier to know what not to do with China than what to do. Don’t go to war. Don’t stage a new cold war. Don’t sacrifice core values and basic interests. Don’t make the issue all about Washington. Don’t waste money and credibility on overambitious, unsustainable attempts at containment. Don’t attempt to dictate to the PRC.

But what to do? The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do. Including, perhaps, developing nuclear weapons.

I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Posted by b on January 5, 2021 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Total madness!

Posted by: namulith | Jan 5 2021 19:30 utc | 1

Fortunately the Taiwanese are smart enough not to use nuclear weapons.

Seems to me that China threatens mostly Big American companies - Google Facebook etc, and therefore the US stock market valuations that depend on huge growth expectations remaining credible.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 5 2021 19:32 utc | 2

thanks b... the idea to stop when digging a ditch for yourself is not something the usa has ever demonstrated in my memory.. it would be nice if the usa could change its approach on the world stage, but at this point i give it very low odds.. instead the usa will be forced to adjust to a different reality, much like all the innocent people in the usa left behind by a system that is broken.... the usa is becoming what it has failed to address and becoming a failed state... it seems like it is now on one of those china bullet trains to reach this failed state destination, as no other options are likely to be explored here forward...

i am presently reading a book by linda mcquaig given to me for christmas - the sport and prey of capitalists - .... essentially the capitalist template used in the usa the past 40 or more years is being pushed onto canada - privatization and allowing big finance firms like blackrock into the halls of canuck political power to decide the direction that we have to privatize our public institutions... again - we are back to the conversation that @pshycohistorian likes to focus on - public, verses private finance... these financial monoliths are dominating the landscape of the west... i don't know how we move forward and put them to rest... i suspect a financial collapse is the only way, and i am not convinced that the new system will be better then the last... the predators, although a small percentage on the planet, are especially focused on there desire for financial power and dominance.... is china headed in the same direction?? or russia?? i can't tell... as for canada, the future looks grim if one was to just read this book i refer to...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2021 19:40 utc | 3

Agree 100%. We can't expect the USA to suffer its own Shock Doctrine can we? The American Fantasy of World Savior is too engrained in Establishment thought to give up its American Exceptionalist, Unitary Super Power, Plunder for Profit, in the name of FREEDOM all while doing Blankfein's God's Work without a fight.

Imagine the horror, the horror I tell you, of American Introspection at the nation's utter failure at everything it pretended at.

Posted by: gottleb | Jan 5 2021 19:41 utc | 4

Isn't it going to be forbidden, in a couple of week, for any country to have nuclear weapons?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Prohibition_of_Nuclear_Weapons

As for China, I believe it's conclusively demonstrated the superiority of its sociopolitical model. Growing economy, growing prosperity, growing influence in the world, no wars.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jan 5 2021 19:45 utc | 5

"... Has Ideas Of How To Defeat It [China]"

Just ideas? Or maybe they have plans that they are already implementing?

Seems like the latter to me. But then I've been saying (repeatedly) that everything changed in 2013-14 when USA realized that the Russia-China Alliance had teeth.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2021 19:50 utc | 6

Some Chinese commenter here please help me, but, if I'm not mistaken, China has a doctrine that in the US thinktankland they call "China's Peaceful Development Doctrine". In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

So, the author from the Paladium Magazine is reinventing the wheel here, as China makes no secret of its global doctrine.

I maintain my opinion that nukes eliminate the prospect of another Kondratiev Cycle being forced on a world war. Nukes not only destroy infrastructure - it also destroy land and air themselves. It subtracts space from capitalism.

Posted by: vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7

Funny how USA always has a geopolitical move or suggestion that invites death and destruction to two or more other countries very far from US shores.

Must be profitable.

Nuclear bombs are passe. There is no 'day after' first use.

Missiles, drones, precision muntions,advanced jamming etc are the new army, navy, and airforce rolled into one.

All that is left is peace and cooperation.

But in reference to China and Taiwan - or any other pairing, for that matter - who would benefit from it?

Putting it another way, who would no longer benefit from it?

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 5 2021 20:09 utc | 8

"If universal democratization is not the ultimate endpoint of history—or even an imperative for development, peace, and prosperity—how can the American role in the world be justified?"

Good question; but note that the question itself assumes that "universal democratization" HAS in fact been the point of our imperial endeavors around the world. As can be seen from our close and personal relationships with the Gulf monarchies, the Egyptian tyrant, the SE Asia wars, and many many other examples to mention over the decades past, this is manifestly not true.

The truth is that "universal democratization" and the so-called "rules-based order" post ww2 have ever only been a narrative justifying (first) imperial anti-socialism and (now) anti-localism. The truth is that what they are deathly afraid of is losing the all-important NARRATIVE. Because, as the article points out, once the narrative of the savior nation is lost, how can the expense in lives and treasure and thereby the feeding of the Mil-Sec-Think Tan Complex) possibly be justified.

Posted by: Caliman | Jan 5 2021 20:12 utc | 9

Given the gigantic problems facing the Outlaw US Empire that are detailed in the links I've posted today on the week-in-review thread, I'll add this interview that mostly covers its current domestic turmoil. Furthermore, given the massive skewing of economic data over the past 30 years, those sitting in DC haven't a clue as to the severity of the domestic crisis. From the interview:

"Colin Cavell: Failing to address the massive problems of unemployment and lack of jobs, failing to address the massive wealth gap between rich and poor, failing to ensure adequate healthcare to millions, failing to protect the American public during the course of the current Covid-19 pandemic, failing to address the festering racial divisions, especially with regards to the criminal justice system, and failing to instill a unified trust in the governing apparatus and ruling economic class, then, yes, Biden will preside over a collapsing economy, a divided country, and a distrustful citizenry, and thus open the door to either another term for an older Trump or some other demagogue or outright fascist to 'restore order'."

And all that's primed to worsen more before it improves any. And the international situation vastly differs from that of the Great Depression years with Fascism rising in Europe and Asia. Hudson in his talk and the Keiser's guest both mention the chasm opening economically between China and the Empire--they're heading in opposite directions as we've been discussing here for months. If the mainland got any inkling that Taiwan was going to be given nukes, it would be occupied the next day. Japan and RoK both want to be rid of their occupier which is preventing them from gaining economically by further engaging with China. And the same can be said for the EU. The bottom line is no nation shares the interests of the Outlaw US Empire excepting perhaps Poland and Ukraine--not even Occupied Palestine.

The Parasite has almost devoured its Host, and in the process has disarmed it. Those sitting in DC can't see that fact because the Parasite controls their collective brains, so we get treated to idiotic essays like the one at Foreign Policy b linked above. Obama chose to feed the Parasite in 2009 instead of having it executed. And that's why we are in deep bantha pudu today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:23 utc | 10

I think the main problem are the two different approaches taken by the US or Chinese, which are diametrically different. The Chinese seem to use a "Cumulative" approach, while the US is based on what I call "Winnowing" as a state. Take their respective attitudes towards the poor.

First the Chinese; Cumulative, we are all in this together. If everyone has a "job" be it ever-so lowly, selling food on a street corner for example, then for the Chinese this is a "plus". The person is more or less responsible for his own well being, is not a burden on the State for handouts, and could be (potentially) taxable etc. The object being that ALL Chinese then become positive factors in the society. They are also more motivated because they have a "place" in society. The recent case of Jack Ma and an IPO is not the opposite, but he was trying to get ahead by means that would have led to more unemployment - on the back of the Chinese Government. He was not adding to the cumulative good of the country. Only his own riches. (The Chinese do have billionaires and riches - but are constrained by Corporate credit ratings as explained on a previous - very interesting - thread. Thanks to: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2021 2:08 utc | 162. The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-001)

The US. The attitude is to beat out the chaff leaving only the "kernel". To "Winnow" the population leaving only the top. ie the poor are sidelined, they become a problem for the Government (needing support, food etc.). A net negative value to US society. (The Rich also get handouts from the Fed. as free money has become an habitude, but that is an another way of winnowing out the chaff - as others do NOT get the trillion dollar handouts) The poor have no "place" in a society that has rejected them and so are less motivated. They must fend for themselves and are expected to obey. If they do not there are always the police to enforce obedience.

"Cumulative = win-win", and "Winnowing = Only the top win".

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 5 2021 20:26 utc | 11

It always gets me when the American press says that there can't be peace without "democracy" and "liberalization."

Huh ... try 20 million dead in America's wars since WW II.

And as for "democracy," living in America I would love to see some of it.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Jan 5 2021 20:41 utc | 12

Stonebird @10--

Your "Winnowing" differs little from Zero-sum. The big problem is the Outlaw US Empire's initial storyline is greatly at odds with Zero-sum. As I've written many times at MoA, The Constitution's Preamble that's taught to all citizens says the government's purpose is to "form a more perfect Union...," and what's happening now--for several decades in reality--is the exact opposite. US politicians and business magnates from the Guilded Age knew very well that the way to keep the peace was for everyone to perceive they had a stake in the system. Neoliberalism's Zero-sum throws that rationale under the bus, which in turn has generated the current domestic turmoil. The one thing Trump failed to do was to promise to all Americans they'd have a stake in the system, which is essentially what Hitler and Mussolini told their masses. Trump intoned and shouted MAGA, but did nothing to show that he was serious about doing so. That's why he failed. And that's why the D leg of the Duopoly will also break. It's that break we must act upon when it occurs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 13

Caliman #8

I think the oligarchic death cult that manages USAi affairs is not the slightest bit interested in "universal democratization": just scan the homeland to see that. The death cult is only interested in wealth accumulating their way. Every year they go into a demented trance screaming about the evil of taxes. Whenever a crisis emerges or a bill goes to the House they scramble to append as many 'tax relief measures' as they can.

The USAi oligarchy and their death cult regulate as many US political candidates as possible to destroy any chance of a government introducing a universal education or universal health system that will need taxes to supply it. Look at what just happened with the #forcethevote attempt to get medicare for all to commence in the USAi. It was the best opportunity in a century to implement it and the only possible advocates totally ignored the initiative.

They became the FraudSquad instead: they used the M4All advocacy to get elected and then ignored their electorate.

Something like %70+ of the people approve of this and the best advocates bowed to the oligarchy death cult and have been since the day they were elected.

So what might the oligarchs think of Chinese people with their resounding support for the Communist Party of China? They will hate them with every bone in their body, they will be furious that this country resists and denies them a chance to plunder it - yet again. The oligarchic death cult will be extremely angry that a single country presents an excellent and achievable system of government and financial management and community betterment to all the other nations on earth.

The oligarchy death cult will do anything to destroy them. And they have the perfect compliant tool in the Biden Harris Presidency.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 5 2021 20:48 utc | 14

b - insightful perspectives.
But while I'd agree that China's threat to US ruling ideologies features foreign relations as the leading edge of conflict, the danger of a good alternative may be even greater as it concerns domestic policies.

If a reckoning comes for US ruling elites, the prosecution may begin with the offshoring of US jobs, broad-based prosperity, manufacturing and strategic infrastructure development. Indeed Trump's greatest threat might have been drawing a dotted line if not a solid one to the culprits.

Exhibit B becomes the Chinese model's successes in poverty eradication, general rises in broad-based prosperity, stunning growth in STEM capacities and jobs with futures and now, obviously, competence in public-health crisis management.

The next phase may be litigating the hollowing out of the MIC itself through the corruption of the national defense by a revolving door of staff officers, lobbyists, tankies, bureaucrats and legislators for-profit, for-show, for-corruption.

An additional phase, should the human race survive it, may be tribunals -- such as those of the Reign of Terror, in the event of revolution, or, in the event of war, along the lines of war-crimes tribunals under Chinese / Russian direction, once a suitable city in the smoldering ruins of the continental US equivalent to Nuremberg in German can be found.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 5 2021 20:50 utc | 15

It's not so much the American people but the people of the "blob" themselves who increasingly question American exceptionalism. That's why they become ever more crazy and aggressive. They compensate their (unconscious) self-doubts with fanatism.

Posted by: m | Jan 5 2021 20:51 utc | 16

USA upcoming false flag ?
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_89502.shtml

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 5 2021 20:55 utc | 17

The empire may be considering arming and provoking its vassals near China into nuclear war, but America would never consider anything so terrible as trying to cripple China with biological weapons! That would be just crazy!

Wouldn't it?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 5 2021 20:58 utc | 18

There are several levels of analysis here that are being muddled by theoretical ignorance.

The liberal theory says that political democracy and free markets create economic growth, responsible government, mutual gains from trade, economic interdependence, and a zone of peace, reinforced and cemented by multilateral institutions. The liberal zone of peace is threatened, though, by authoritarian regimes with state-run economies, and the former need to contain and overthrow the latter.

Realist theory starts with the state and the state-system, which is anarchic and thus produces conflicts over the balance of power. Defensive realists say that a prudent grand strategy would focus solely on territorial integrity and sovereignty, because any aggressive actions only produce balancing. Offensive realists say that hegemony is the only source of security and that great powers should go to war and wage the arms race to achieve it.

Marxists say that none of these dynamics are distant from the class relationships and competitive dynamics of capitalism and so both liberal and realist arguments turn out to be a crude apologia for imperialism -- for the class-based strategies of dominant states.

With this in mind, we can turn the US' China problem. As the article says, China poses no threat to the US state, nation and territory, so the defensive realist argument for containing China is groundless. Likewise, China's economic growth and stability in the absence of liberal democracy also undermines liberal arguments about the conditions of war and peace in the world. Finally, the balancing of China and Russia against US primacy strategies has undermined offensive realist fantasies of hegemony.

So, what is actually driving US aggression vis-a-vis China?

The only answer is that the long-term material interests of the American capitalist class are threatened by the emergence of a superior competitor, namely, China.

This is true in several respects, most of which I can't cover here.

But, China is building dense global relationships, and positioning itself as a central node of economic growth, technological prowess, social stability, manufacturing power, consumer demand, green innovation, and multilateral reliability.

The US is in deep trouble as a result. As the world becomes more China-centric, the major economic powers will stop funding US trade and government deficits. This will reduce the value of the dollar and diminish the global roles of the Treasury Dept and Federal Reserve, and of Wall Street. The US will fail to meet its debt obligations and the standard of living will plummet as debt-financed consumption winds down. The USG will face fiscal dilemmas, all of which pose serious problems: cut social programs and risk riots; cut the military and risk the empire; raise taxes and risk capital flight and economic stagnation. Given the dynamics of American domestic politics, these dilemmas will not be solved.

These are the underlying material fears of the US ruling class and they EXPLAIN the real drive to containment and war with China.

In short, Marxism is a better science of world politics than are liberalism and realism.

Posted by: Prof K | Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19

Nuclear Japan? Maybe. Nuclear South Korea? Maybe. It could be argued that both already are by virtue of the U.S. occupation of both.
Nuclear Taiwan? I don't see that happening, and any attempt to do so would offer China the perfect excuse to formally reabsorb that Chinese island.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jan 5 2021 21:16 utc | 20

American paranoia over China (and Russia) seeking to usurp the US and take over as world hegemon is pure paranoia and projection. It’s the western model of the world that considers it normal and desirable to have one country or ideology ruling the entire globe.

China has no history of using its power to force the world to accept it as sole ruler. The reason the US and the west are so paranoid about China et al is because they give themselves the "divine" right to force their ideology onto others, first with Christianity, a monotheistic religion that has converting the heathens, savages and infidels to its screed at the center of its philosophy, and then with liberalism + capitalism (now neoliberal rentier capitalism) and they, falsely, assume every country and ideology is like that.

American and western European foreign policy is a study in Psychological Projection 101. When imperialists like Porcine Pompeo and Lurch Kerry accuse other states of aggressive behavior, violating sovereignty and so forth, they are actually talking about their own country's actions.

Posted by: Dork | Jan 5 2021 21:39 utc | 21

In the US, now that corporations are people, and since the corporations and tools of finance are privately owned, the concept of democracy is a lie or myth if that offends you.

That is why I keep dragging the ideology discussion to the reality of public/private finance.

It comes down to risk management decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. In the West now those risk management decisions have a ROI skew which includes a profit component that does not exist in China risk management decisions.

We are in a civilization war because the West will not show well in a social system merit comparison...and the elite know this....hence the ongoing shit show to control the narrative.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2021 21:49 utc | 22

First off all....there is a difference between WAR and PIRACY
I did not see any bomb landing on US ground or soldier.
Second....free trade agreement is responsible for China economic succes.

Finally...bring back the production on US GROUND...that will kill China

WE are the one responsable...Stop blaming others.

Posted by: rolland rouillard | Jan 5 2021 21:54 utc | 23

Prof K@18 has a very optimistic scenario where China becomes the safe haven for capital and then other countries stop using the dollar as the world currency and t-bills are passed over in favor of the RMB and investors will prefer investing in Shanghai stock market because their money will be more liquid thereand something something will happen so that they (whoc?) won't finance US trade deficits. I don't understand this last, as it is entirely unclear in what sense US trade deficits are being financed. In fact, actual trade deficits aren't being financed. But then the balance of payments isn't just trade in goods, but financial services and US stock markets and yes, government treasuries are also part of that.

It is entirely unclear to me how socialist China, where as of now the ren min bi is not freely convertible, where the government has enormous influence on import and export of capital and capitalists are not only not guaranteed bailing out by the Reserve Bank but regulations are much more onerous than in the US especially with enforcement by prison sentences even for the wealthy...it is unclear to me how this China can replace the US as safe haven, at least while remaining some sort of socialist country at all, even in a NEP-is-the-road-to-socialism kind of way. Further, the US role as the safe haven was not just historically due to it's relative victory (as compared to its capitalist rivals,) in WWI and WWII, but due to its military power. The US pursues a policy of rule or ruin, and ruins selected easy targets on a regular basis (since Bush the senior at the latest,) just to keep the point vivid in everyone's minds. The dollar is not founded on US economic production/productivity but on blood. It is impossible to imagine today's China becoming a capitalist policeman guarding the gates of the bazaar and collecting backsheesh, so to speak. The Chinese capitalists would have to really take over and seriously re-organize Chinese society to do this.

This all sounds pie-in-the-sky at best, I think. Except that's prettifying the ideal, I think. I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jan 5 2021 22:10 utc | 24

@b

Letting Japan, South Korea and Taiwan(!) have their own nuclear weapons

The link is to an article by Doug Bandow, titled "America’s Asian Allies Need Their Own Nukes". Bandow recommends "friendly nuclear proliferation".

This is how far the US has decayed: that a respected journal like Foreign Policy should publish such insanity.

And yes, it's totally insane. The US is not the only country capable of proliferation. The day after Taiwan gets nuclear weapons, so will Mexico and Hezbollah. The day after that, so will many other countries. It's impossible to foresee all the consequences of irresponsible proliferation, but one outcome is the most likely: doomsday for humanity.

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 5 2021 22:31 utc | 25

It won't be the Muslims who destroy Israel, it will the Chinese and the Chinese will will do it without firing a shot.

Posted by: Robert Browning | Jan 5 2021 22:36 utc | 26

-// Another veteran diplomat, Victoria Nuland, will be nominated [by Biden] for the role of under secretary of State for political affairs, one of the people said. //-

Politico

Posted by: blues | Jan 5 2021 22:42 utc | 27

Lets look at what China plans to do over the next 5 years. The article provides a very broad explanation then links to some specifics at the bottom, the item about the Yangtze River Economic Belt being most important. I found this bit of reporting highly important:

"More specifically, these days the government uses the five-year plans to reinforce and complement the market dynamic by providing regulation and guidance. That includes providing the legal and social framework, such as issuing monetary and fiscal policies, providing public goods and services, such as building high-speed rails, and correcting for market failures like pollution."

There's a vast difference in focus between China and the West--China's sharply focused on its development in ways the West isn't whatsoever, and it makes certain its citizenry knows that and everyone's working as a team--every job has its own value and is important. The best explanation I have is that China is doing while the West is watching and not doing; therefore, China continues to grow ahead of those standing watching with their jaws agape.

China outnumbers the Outlaw US Empire by more than one billion people. That's a huge team working together to advance their nation and themselves. Within the Empire, at least 30% of the labor force is idle and not even counted for unemployment purposes since they aren't actively looking for non-existent jobs while about 24% of the active labor force is unemployed. That's 54% of your human capital that's not being used at all to better themselves and their nation. Honestly, which one has the better outlook?

The enemies of the USA reside within it. Yeah, I've said that before and the evidence continues to prove I'm correct.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 22:57 utc | 28

All of this makes me think about the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century according to Vladimir Putin: The fall of the Soviet Union. Not because of the shrink of the Russian Empire, but for the loss of an equal to the USA in the international stage. That would make the remaining superpower to have some sort of delusional sense of destiny, as seen in Fukuyama's 'End of History'.
How the situation evolves in a timeframe of 5-10 years in the future is hard to evaluate given the many factors that will influence the outcome but IMO, the only thing that can be taken for granted is the further the USA gets weaker, the more dangerous it becomes for the future of Humanity.
My first post at MoA, keep on with the good work :)

Posted by: Leftraru | Jan 5 2021 23:05 utc | 29

I would add that the threat China poses isn't just ideological - it is operational.
The US derives enormous benefit from the US dollar as reserve currency; from the USD as alternative savings vehicle of choice by foreigners against their own currency; by all manner of favorable international institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
Secondly, China isn't some bare assed Middle Eastern terrorists or Central Asian mountain tribes. It has more people, it will or already has a larger economy and it is proceeding apace with technology development.
This is very different than Russia or even the Soviet Union, for example.
The West was always far bigger, wealthier and productive than the Soviet Union - this enabled all sorts of strategies like outspending on defense, buying job lots of puppet politicians in vassal states, etc.
This won't work with a China that is a bigger supplier as well as all of the other size-related advantages already noted.
Can the American oligarchs stand being 2nd fiddle in the medium term? Certainly in the long term? Would their domestic and foreign empires hold up?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2021 23:14 utc | 30

Sputnik publishes its own analysis, which relies rather heavily on Beijing-based American commentator Thomas Pauken who has his own credibility issues as readers will discover at the article's conclusion.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 23:35 utc | 31

Putin and Xi have made it very clear....

WWIII will last 20 minutes....

Russians will become martyrs... The population of the NATO countries will be fried and burnt to a crisp...

What is so difficult about understanding that???

As for Taiwan.....

Were it to begin a Nuke program, would be invested and occupied within 24 hours, while USN ships lay at the bottom of their berths. That is, sunk.

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 5 2021 23:41 utc | 32

"democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth"
Well, anyone with any notion of history before 1800 knows this is absolute bullshit and those aren't linked at all.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 6 2021 0:04 utc | 33

Bang on, Clueless Joe @31.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 6 2021 0:17 utc | 34

The affairs of humans are paltry compared to the vast changes that are taking place in nature: the Sixth Mass Extinction resulting from our destruction of habitat and the stability of the climate system. As methane has begun erupting from the enormous stores in the Arctic, accelerating the forcing and ice melt, we continue on our merry way oblivious to the fate that awaits us in the near future. Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature’s revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species — humans.

Posted by: nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 35

Here is some constructive China/US analysis from Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and republished on John Menadue's Australian site:

https://johnmenadue.com/europe-and-chinas-year-end-breakthrough/


Posted by: Paul | Jan 6 2021 0:32 utc | 36

The United States should think creatively about new approaches to old problems. One way to do so is to stop hectoring partners and preventing them from doing what they want to do.

Unless, of course, they want to become friends with China—this should be prevented at all costs!

Posted by: S | Jan 6 2021 0:58 utc | 37

amerika's corrupt and undemocratic system of government will bring itself undone long before it could succeed in any attempt to disrupt China's system.
The stupid two party both the same just tell different lies farce is tearing the population apart, that's not going to get better it will get much much worse. In fact I suspect the 'prez-elect' is desperately hoping that the rethugs win both senate seats in Georgia as that provides him with a way to avoid following up on his vague minutely left of center campaign promises.

He may be outta luck cos at this stage with about 25% counted the Dems have a lead in both races. Still that's mostly urban electorates and as I understand 'urban' has become amerikan code for unwhite, so if the dems are trying to fluff this contest it will be by Dems failing to turn out the rural african american vote that saves creepy joe from embarrassment. We shall see cos the state dems may not agree to that.

Anyway the lack of a shared dialog between amerikans is getting worse as we see even here at moa where some of these fools come over all hysterical about quite minor issues. You get that when it is barely possible to pull a cigarette paper between dem & rethug policies on the big stuff, so all that is left are the same deliberately selected emotive issues such as abortion & capital punishment that both parties have been encouraging the citizens to obsess over for the last 60 years.

Those fools will go into a civil war over the emotive, totally irrelevant to living in a functioning society, issues which have been beaten up & propagandised for so long, and that will be the end of the threat to the rest of the world amerika poses.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 6 2021 1:21 utc | 39

@steven t johnson #23:

I don't believe a reformed capitalist world system is even possible. Capitalists ultimately depend on their states in their rivalries. There inevitably comes a point when the states must resolve conflicts with wars. The pursuit of a multipolar world is a pursuit of a world safe for war, not a pursuit of peace.

Ergo, we must pursue a socialist multipolar world.

Posted by: S | Jan 6 2021 1:28 utc | 40

An USA wich is not leader of the world is not possible. This is the central myth. Growing toward that or beeing it. But without that there is no imaginable USA. I come for myself to the conclusion, a multipolar world will cause breakup. As unit of one country it is just not agreement capable.

Posted by: rico rose | Jan 6 2021 1:33 utc | 41

In 1941, during WWII, Harry Truman wanted a brutal and prolonged conflict in order to inflict as much death and destruction in Europe as possible, declaring:

"If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and in that way let them kill as many as possible."

The US - or at least its ruling elite as expressed by one of its key leaders and subsequent president - wanted the brutal war to continue for as long as possible, so that as many Russians and Germans as possible would be killed, (with other Europeans, including Jews, as inevitable collateral casualties in that process,) so that the US could then step in at the very end to dominate war-destroyed Europe.

Following the same playbook, the US warmongering/plundering elite would love it if they could pit Russia vs. China, Europe vs Russia, India vs. China, Japan vs. China, etc. So long as Eurasia is divided instead of cooperating with itself, the US remains the hegemon. Even better if a destructive war breaks out over there, that the US would sustain from over here, and step in as the noble saviours at the last minute to plunder the spoils.

-

The threat of the example that China happens to provide is not just about preserving America's ruling ideology ("universal democratization", "democracy", "freedom", etc.,) but also about preserving US-led geopolitical hegemony and US-led plutocracy.

The US-spouted ideology is a tool for its hegemony that in turn is a tool for its plutocracy to continue to enrich itself through plunder.

Any example of a country that serves its people, let alone one that does so without foreign wars and regime change subversion, cannot be allowed by a plutocracy that sustains itself through wars, subversion, parasitism, and plunder.

That means, unfortunately, we in the West will continue to be force-fed a barrage of propaganda from our establishment media so that people can't perceive that example, (and are even made to reject it as evil,) lest they start questioning the corrupt, plutocratic system they live in.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jan 6 2021 2:56 utc | 42

Been thinking about what u said, rr 39..
Canada waits with baited breath... the burned out remains of empire’s creche, negotiating for commerlcial union with their long traditional north-south continental neighbors. Perhaps the midwest could share in monopolizing grains ...
Or the sea coasts with the fisheries..... otherwise, i don’t see it.
I think we are going to collapse to local economy, and maybe build bacl to anational economy, after some time. I don’t know when.

Posted by: James joseph | Jan 6 2021 3:11 utc | 43

@ nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33:

Your Brainwashing is complete, you have swallowed the green pill and happily pay your carbon taxes and live in the fear artificially inserted into your sub/conscious having trusted proven liars and and having failed to verify things for yourself or trust your own senses. All thinking is filtered through your gree-coloured glasses.

You have swallowed wholly the manufactured-for-the-masses groupthink propaganda and espouse it from the core of your very soul, shout it from the mountaintops. Be the chickenlittle that you are and just come out and say, it will be cathartic and will feel good - THE SKY IS FALLING!

You and your ilk are fools, and are dangerously fascistic, climate fatalist totalitarians and you will not be satisfied until any and all opposing views/data/freedom of thought are outlawed.

Posted by: Blues guy | Jan 6 2021 3:16 utc | 44

many comments mention "oligarchs" - and their power, nationally and internationally. I see a serious danger of the "Oligarchic Internationale" (a wordplay on the marxist 19th. century "Workers Internationale" with their slogan "Workers of the world, Unite! I say that for the very few MoA readers who are too young or not educated in history or economy, apology to the most MoA readers). The Oligarchs of the world (be it USA, China, Russia, Israel, and from wherever they may creep) are de facto already in an "Internationale" type organization - they say silently "Oligarchs of the World - Unite!" and they don't want a big war , which would upset the status quo. They will try to keep it for themselves and their offspring with very forceful means - Internationally enforced. Smaller proxi-wars may happen, but no WW 3, in my laymen's opinion.

Posted by: bystander04 | Jan 6 2021 3:53 utc | 45

In a nutshell...
Chinese survival vs gringo hegemony.

pssst,
There's this dirty little secret,
FUKUS is very safe ! ;-)
https://apjjf.org/2014/12/36/Vince-Scappatura/4178/article.html

Posted by: denk | Jan 6 2021 4:24 utc | 46

@39 rico rose and #41 James joseph - and others.

I've been pondering lately this one question: what is the point of even having a country if the advantages to the ordinary citizen of having a country are no longer maintained?

In the US, if we can't get the federal government to act on behalf of the people, maybe the only answer is to discard that government. In the USA, this can be done, lawfully and peacefully (although with high drama, for sure) by the States acting in agreement to dissolve the Union.

The United States acts under a certain hindrance by having two levels of government, but this is also a great treasure as well. The top layer of government can go away, and the people will still have a sovereignty-based government to live under, and to be represented by, and to engage with.

So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios.

~~

And rico rose, your point about the multi polar world is very important I think. When you say "a multipolar world will cause breakup", I suggest that a multipolar world will better allow breakup. It's kind of the same thing, the same result from two different ends: from one end, the Demonstration Effect from the rest of the world including China showing to the US populace that there is a much better way to live, and from the US end, the general dissatisfaction growing among that populace as the federal government continues to be useless.

It could take a short decade at most, I reckon, for the rest of the world to be so impressive that US media can't hide it from the people any longer, and for US oligarchy to be so lawless and ravaging that the people simply can't take it anymore.

In a softer world that follows the example of Asia, and especially given the natural borders of North America anyway, there is no great threat from armed invasion to any of the States, even if each one were to stand alone. Many states would form new unions, but even so, the citizenry in place in each state possesses the firepower to resist any invasion, I suggest.

So if there's no defense to be provided for, all that's left is the welfare of the citizens to be provided for. And 2020 has shown dramatically that, while the federal government has abandoned that sense of provisioning, the States and their people still care passionately about this very thing.

~~

Apparently the calls for "secession" are arising again in the US, or so I've heard. It's a crude concept at the moment, and there is no right of secession. But there is every right to amend the Constitution, by a 3/4 majority of the States, and to dissolve the present Union, in order to create a "more perfect" arrangement.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

@43 Bystander04

China has many billionaires, but I don't think they have the degree of power over the Chinese government and society implied by the term "oligarch". Jack Ma may be the richest man in China, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese government from quite effectively cutting him down to size.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7555623/jack-ma-alibaba-china-billionaire/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-launches-antitrust-investigation-tech-giant-alibaba-n1252325

Posted by: Fnord13 | Jan 6 2021 4:57 utc | 48

The pandemic is the final nail into the coffin of the Western Empire. Asia and South Pacific nations functioned as they should and their public health systems are controlling the virus but must enforce quarantines on the infected world to continue their ascension.

It is now a multi-polar world. The exploitative capitalism of the West intentionally destroyed democracy and good governance to increase profits. Reality has bitten back. The remains of the former public health system are corrupt and incompetent as exemplified by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The virus basically spread unhindered in the USA and UK. The difficulty is that in times of stress human being revert to tribal beliefs. The reality of the change in power dynamics will be denied by Western decision makers. The truth is that if the West cannot control a virus, it will never address the existential crises; climate change, rising inequality and perpetual war.

Mankind will only survive if it learns how to live on a finite planet in peace.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jan 6 2021 5:02 utc | 49


I expect that this and other such ideas will soon proliferate.

Nice pun.

So, in short, they've run out of ideas and decided to go full retard.

I can already see the shape of 2021 to come. It's going to be a shitshow on an interplanetary scale.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 6 2021 5:03 utc | 50

Posted by: nocovery | Jan 6 2021 0:18 utc | 33

No worry, Nature will take care of itself after we humans have disposed of ourselves. I deplore our general destruction of the environment we live in and the misuse/abuse of resources, but humans are not as strong as we think we are. We may cause considerable damage to the mega fauna and flora, and severely damage ecosystems, but our current war against the planet is one we cannot win and should not even be trying to (capitalism and its God Mammon, again). Life will go on with or without us. Evolution is a fact of life, whether our religions, corporate board rooms, genetics manipulation corps or biological weapons departments understand that or not.

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Jan 6 2021 5:18 utc | 51

@nocovery

Faster than expected, abrupt climate disruption is nature’s revolution to clear the earth of the invasive species — humans.

We're not an invasive species, but I broadly agree. The best thing to happen to the beautiful planet in the last million years would be the extinction of the smart pest, Homo S. Too bad I won't be around to enjoy a people free Earth.

Posted by: Adam | Jan 6 2021 6:25 utc | 52

I usually read MoA in the morning, yet today it late pm. Your article reminded me of an earlier article read this morning re USA and China Wages comparison. Here is the article pay particular attention to the graph. Pretty much sums it up in that China have an expansionist economy while the USA has (with exception to the Financial rubbish posing as assets) a contraction economy. Globalisation and Austerity from Reagan_nomics/Thatcher_nomics from the "70's have lead the west into the debt ridden marsh we are in now. Yet the lesson of an expansionist economy (which all western economies have done in the past) escapes the thinking of those who supposedly matter. Personally I think the world needs a lot more "Musk's (creating massive employment in making new tech cars and rockets plus solar) and a lot less Bezios's and Jack Maa's (Alibaba china) (Using others products and screwing them on margins to increase his wealth)
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/01/05/michael-pascoe-wages-graph-globalisation/

Posted by: KamMan | Jan 6 2021 6:41 utc | 53

karlof1 | Jan 5 2021 20:45 utc | 12


I agreee that the US is almost easier to define. Zero-sum or winnowing, both are reductive traits. ie the population gets sidelined.

However, I also think that part of "our" problem is that the comments and viewpoint, are generally all "western-centric" and not enough attention is paid to the fundamental differences in attitudes. Chinese are being "gifted" with US preoccupations to show that they are basically the same as those of the US itself. ie. The US is right-superior in its attitudes and so others STILL try to copy-steal-follow it. Something that is becoming visibly not true. Which is why my comment also mentioned the "cumulative" Chinese attitude. It being probably more important to understand why China is on the ascendant.

Note that "Democracy", "communism" or whatever, all have the same stated object of population input and therefore good for the masses. It is when their lofty ideals are no longer seen to be true, (and are not true in practice?) that the edifice cracks. (Ie, part of the USSR collapse corresponds with the rise of the Nomenklatura of only 750'000 people with the right to vote etc. It worked as long as it worked, but fell through when the mass realised they were NOT getting their part somewhere)

Sorry, Very short reply, as I have problems with internet to resolve, with a bit of luck and perseverance I may be able to continue later today.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 6 2021 8:51 utc | 54

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Exactly right. The second largest problem in the world just now is the Government of the US. Breaking up the US would effectively get rid of the problem. Then we could deal with climate change more effectively.

The current hatred and division between red and blue, the lack of effective health services, the deterioration of infrastructure, the future demise of dollar power and thus lack of funding for the military all give me cause to hope that break up will happen. Lets all do our best to make it so.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Jan 6 2021 9:24 utc | 55

@Canadian Cents #42
It shouldn't surprise you; Truman was closely associated with the Pendergast political machine (Kansas City mob).
His Attorney General was closely involved in serious corruption in the IRS and DOJ-Tax division.
He dropped the bomb and was a nasty person in general.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 6 2021 9:26 utc | 56

Meanwhile, Assange is denied bail. Something tells me that, even if not extradite, they plan to hold him in prison indefinitely - if not American, British would do just as well.

Posted by: Aule | Jan 6 2021 11:57 utc | 57

Wow! When did MoA give up all rationality? The US has long since dug its own grave and long since guaranteed its unviability as a superpower. Everything from here is downward, as long as it clings to the mad idea of supremacy. And the longer it continues to deny reality the bigger and more brutal the bang when it finally collapses - or it disappears in its own nuclear conflagration.

The US produces virtually nothing, except over-priced and disfunctional weapons. Everything else that it has is stolen. It does not have the capability to reverse that trend - that horse has long since bolted and disappeared over the horizon. Unlike the US, countries like China and Russia create genuine wealth through their own productive efforts, and they have the military and economic means to ensure that the US cannot strangle them. The economic advantages of China and Russia will only increase compared to the US, and everything the US is doing to sabotage their efforts only makes them stronger and the US weaker.

Nuclear weapons to Taiwan??? Only SuperMorons could entertain the notion for more than 2 seconds (and there are plenty such supermorons at the Foreign Policy Institute, that's part of what got the US to this status in the first place). If the US gives nuclear weapons to Taiwan they will be giving nuclear weapons directly to China. China would know about it before it happens, and long before they could be operational Taiwan would cease to be Taiwan and would be a province of Mainland China. Not to see that China has that capability - and the resolution to carry it out - is sheer idiotic blindness.

Even if Taiwan could install such nuclear weapons before China takes over, where would they hide them? The stupidity of thinking a tiny one-point nation on China's borders can seriously threaten the entirety of nuclear-armed China - in alliance with Russia - defies fantasy. Doing so requires not "superior weapons" (which the US does not have anyway, that prize belongs to China's ally Russia) but superior idiocy and superior self-deception.

The US is on a bullet train to self-destruction. Stopping that train is impossible without making changes in the past that were not made - unless it gives up 100% of its ambitions to supremacy and becomes a minor self-sufficient village minding its own business. That is its only chance.

Instead of waffling about and navel-gazing over such tiresome fantasies of the US exceptionalists, MoA would do much better to concentrate on the serious issues that confront the world today - like confronting the damage wreaked on society worldwide by the hyper-unbalanced madness of covid policies; the direction of political changes in Europe; the ever continuing instability in the Middle East; signs of latent possible resurgence of society in Latin America (cf Bolivia etc); containment of the US madness; etc.

Posted by: BM | Jan 6 2021 12:41 utc | 58

So here's a proposal from each State to the Federal establishment: you discorporate, we keep all our monies, and all federal properties within our borders convey to us. You fuck off: we'll get by without you somehow; don't worry about us - and adios.
Posted by: Grieved | Jan 6 2021 4:42 utc | 47

Sounds good to me! One specific form of the "village" alternative I mentioned above, in another name.

Posted by: BM | Jan 6 2021 12:48 utc | 59

I have wondered how we can go to war with actual bombing and stuff like that with China because many many items that we use every day are purchased from factories in China, having been manufactured there by, it seems to me, "American" (now, of course, multinational) companies. Think apple. Or Ralph Loren. Or any item at the Dollar Store. Have you looked at the labels on your purchases? In addition, we buy all kinds of medicinal products from China. And socks. The US and China are intertwined in many ways.

I thought the MAGA theme of Pres. Trump was to lessen the immense difference in trade amounts - we buy tons of stuff from China but they do not buy that much from us - by imposing tariffs on good imported from China and demanding that "American" companies agree to manufacture in the US again. I thought, well, fat chance.

It is a problem. I am not a "better red than dead or dead than red" or whatever it is, but I cannot see the point of blowing up the world because we can't be the king of it.

Pres. Trump never struck me as a war monger although he has been surrounded by them.

Posted by: lizzie dw | Jan 6 2021 13:28 utc | 60

Posted by: Prof K | Jan 5 2021 21:07 utc | 19

Well said Prof K, you hit the nail on its head.

Posted by: BM | Jan 6 2021 13:33 utc | 61

A superlative article from Alistair Crooke:

America’s Epiphany Moment

The big ‘domino’ has fallen: Red America; and Brexit is a second. Does anyone believe that this American epiphany; this exploding of American delusions, will leave Europe untouched? Or, that other states will not observe it too, and understand from it that the past need to submit their own cultures to European moral scrutiny is over?

Posted by: BM | Jan 6 2021 14:26 utc | 62

We claim our enemies fear us for the same reason that we actually fear China. Experts say, Russia 'invaded' Ukraine because Putin was terrified about having an example of a free and prosperous country on their border and Russians would ask themselves, why can't we have that?'

Talk about projection.

Even so, why can't we coexist?
Most Americans don't travel, Neocons can do what they do best, just lie about other countries and say that China is a starving mess and we are #1. Who in the U.S. would know, who in the MSM would bother to find out otherwise. No set of facts would convince us otherwise.

China could voluntarily decide to go to their own graduate schools and stop going to the U.S. because it's a waste of time and money.
Neocons: 'we banned Communist Chinese students protect our valuable IP'

China could surpass our economy to the point where hovercraft is commonplace.
Neocons: 'Communist China is destroying their environment, our kerosene scooters and trucks are the best thing in the world'

The average fool in the U.S. would never know how backward we had become (or maybe are, I don't travel either)
I guess that is too passive, Neocons have to justify their paycheck.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jan 6 2021 14:44 utc | 63

The Degradation of American Democracy — And the Court

Foreword by Michael J. Klarman

[...] Freedom House, which researches and advocates for democracy around the world, lowered the United States on the organization’s scale of zero to 100 measuring political rights and civil liberties from ninety-four in 2010 to eighty-six in 2017. The decline in the United States’ rating exceeded that of other Western democracies.

...

More than thirty years ago, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, reflecting on a wave of democratization that had swept the world beginning in the 1970s, concluded that liberal democracy had become inevitable — the logical endpoint in the evolutionary trajectory of the modern state. However, over roughly the last fifteen years, Freedom House has recorded erosion in levels of freedom in once-strong democracies such as Hungary, India, the Philippines, Poland, and Turkey. Governments in these countries have shut down independent media, assailed and incarcerated independent journalists, packed courts and bureaucracies with their supporters, dismantled independent institutions of civil society, and vilified racial and religious minorities to distract attention from problems they cannot solve.

Many Americans cannot imagine the erosion of their own democracy. The United States has the longest-standing constitution in the world, a strong middle class, high levels of wealth and education, and deeply entrenched democratic institutions and mores. Yet the United States is not immune from world trends of declining democratization. In addition to the developments already noted, research shows that younger Americans are much less committed to democracy than their elders are. Among Americans born in the 1980s, only twenty-nine percent believe that living in a democracy is “essential,” as compared with seventy-one percent of those born in the 1930s.

This Foreword examines the recent degradation of American democracy, seeks explanations for it, and canvasses the Supreme Court’s contribution to it.

https://harvardlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/134-Harv.-L.-Rev.-1.pdf

Posted by: Mao | Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64

Posted by: Mao | Jan 6 2021 14:48 utc | 64

The title


The Degradation of American Democracy — And the Court

Could more honestly be written:


The Degradation of the American Illusion of Democracy — And the Court

Unless by "American Democracy" we are referring to something defined more by its illusory nature than its reality.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 6 2021 15:49 utc | 65

ANSWER TO: "vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7 ":

In Chinese the call it the "Celestial Ascension" [Doctrine] or something like that. And yes, it requires socialism in order to make sense (the demonstration as to why the doctrine is socialist is too long to put it here, but it is).

Having studied Chinese language and history in Europe and China for years since 1972 and practiced as a teacher, interpreter and guide, I have never come accross any Mainland or Táiwan Chinese text or person who have used the expression "Celestial Ascention" in the Chinese language to describe what's been goin on the last fourty years. WHere have You picked up this belief, Herr Jan?

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:11 utc | 66

Heard it from a Brazilian scholar who once told me, a long time ago (don't even remember the exact term). Never heard it ever since.

But my point is: China's geopolitical doctrine is not secret/cryptic. You only have to know where to find it (and, preferably, know how to read Chinese). China never hid the fact it is socialist (Market Socialism with Chinese Characteristics is the official name of the system) and never hid the fact that it has a geopolitical doctrine that is in accordance with its system (i.e. also a socialist geopolitical doctrine).

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2021 16:22 utc | 67

Dear Jan ;
As for the expression "Celestial ascention" (vk | Jan 5 2021 20:00 utc | 7), this mai be av mistranslation of various chinese expressions for "natural rise" ('tiānrán shēngqilai' or 'qiántiān-dìngde shēngzhǎng' both meaning "coming naturally". Many other possibilities, byt the semi.religious or semi-imperial associatons of "celestial" are definitely never heard in CHina nowadays. s

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68

@Tolled As #68
You should be aware that black has many views which are literally unique.
It is also clear that few, if any, of them are based on first hand knowledge or experience.
“Socialism with market characteristics” is something Deng brought in - it certainly was not CCP ideology before that.
Having visited China many times as a fluent speaker starting in the early ‘80s, the difference between the present day ideology and the past is stark.
But not to someone who has never been there and doesn’t have good discernment in secondary sources to boot.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 6 2021 16:40 utc | 69

@ Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Jan 6 2021 16:23 utc | 68

Maybe the Brazilian scholar was too creative.

Either way, the consecrated term in English is a surprisingly good translation ("China's Peaceful Development/Rise/Development Doctrine"), which is also colloquially called "win-win". But the doctrine is actually much more complex than that term suggests.

Posted by: vk | Jan 6 2021 16:43 utc | 70

One should google the background of that Richard Hanania person.

Supposedly he is currently a postdoc fellow at Columbia University, and alredy serves as President of some 4 letter institute/stink tank tere that was just set up in 2020[!!].

Before that he got a PhD (political sci) from UCLA (2017-2019?);

before that he got a JD from U. Chicago.

Quite the pedigree. Three top private or out-of-state high tuition schools in expensive cost of living places. Likely his education was *state-sponsored*.

But which State? CIA? Mossad? Who's paying his bills?

Posted by: Gm | Jan 6 2021 17:07 utc | 71

#71 was me [grrr. Cellphone auto-correct]

Posted by: gm | Jan 6 2021 17:19 utc | 72

@47 grieved yes, I like federalism as the basic concept because it works in booth directions if needed. Towards unity but keeping the option of separation. Why not having California as member of the Paris declaration alone. It opens the door for development for problems to early to call. The negotiation process staying open for undecided parts. That is what multipolar means in the core and I guess the only hope for the USA as a nation.
Germany is similar structured. The central government is only allowed to work from own power in defence and foreign relations. For almost everything else it have to use the organs of 15 strong states. Also the source of statehood is coming from them. It is a bit covered right now by EU and covid but there are deep contradiction inside of Germany. If EU, also because of German influence a federation, fails maybe not the old country come up again. I see big chance of totally different structures.

Posted by: rico rose | Jan 6 2021 17:27 utc | 73

Stonebird @54--

Global Times article, "US politics in reality ‘more interesting than House of Cards,’ entertains Chinese amid pandemic," is absolutely fascinating and revealing--essentially, Chinese are roaring with laughter at the Emperor without clothing. This long excerpt helps explain:

"'Nobody knows more about trending on Weibo better than me,' an internet user mocked Trump via a Weibo comment, adding that 'Weibo would face huge losses after Trump steps down' since the entertainment will largely subside.

"Chinese experts said Americans or other Westerners might not understand why Chinese people are just curious about but don't admire US democracy, but instead treat it as a variety show which is much more interesting than House of Cards. In fact, Chinese people are pretty familiar with the US election and most of them can objectively observe and compare it with the Chinese national conditions.

"House of Cards is the most famous US TV series viewed in China that has helped many Chinese people learn about how US politicians struggle and vie for power. Now Chinese people might learn that the scriptwriters of this TV series have actually underestimated how much drama really occurs in US politics.

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards, Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

"House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories."

"Some experts of US studies said that in House of Cards, Chinese audiences have learned that US politicians have a very vague bottom line. As long as they can make gains, they will betray anyone. In reality, Trump has just proven that there is no bottom line at all, as he empowers his family members in the White House as much as he wants, and uses presidential authority to pardon many people with close connections to him.

"House of Cards tells the audience that mainstream media outlets are influential and can impact politics, but in reality, Trump shows that he can use social media networks to undermine the influence of mainstream media and the conservative new media can even consolidate Trump's base by selling anti-intellectual information or conspiracy theories." [My Emphasis]

So the longstanding rule that Truth is Stranger than Fiction is again being proven true in China. Most importantly, the chaos within the Outlaw US Empire is serving as education for Chinese and other people globally showing quite graphically the absolute dysfunction of its political system.

I haven't watched House of Cards or Game of Thrones, but I did just recently watch a considerable portion of The Hunger Games. Combine reality with their stories and we'll need to adjust our evaluation of Hollywood propaganda. Add the persecution of Julian Assange for revealing capital crimes--something he'd be rewarded for doing in China--into this mix and there's no way the Neoliberal West is ever going to win Chinese hearts and minds; rather, the opposite's occurring at a rapid pace.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74

Cool.
I hope Vlad is preparing diplomatic cables that in such a case he will friendly proliferate to Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Posted by: michael | Jan 6 2021 18:35 utc | 75

c1ue @56, thanks, knew that Truman unnecessarily dropped the atomic bomb on civilians twice, but didn't know those other details about him. The point is, given the foreignpolicy.com writer that suggests "creatively" encouraging seeding "friendly proliferation" of nuclear arms to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan with the expecation that that would induce China to "react badly to," it seems that the same sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies as Truman expressed are still very much present in the US ruling foreign policy elite.

Along with the WWII example, the US induced and sustained a brutal war in Afghanistan in 1979 for its own hegemonic/plutocratic interests:

In 1979, the US began to covertly foster Wahhabi extremism in Afghanistan (another case of "friendly proliferation") to, in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, "induce" a brutal war in order to inflict on "the USSR its Vietnam war," at the casual expense of thoroughly destroying the country and society of the people of Afghanistan for decades.

Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former CIA director under George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, stated in his 1996 memoirs "From the Shadows" that American intelligence services began to aid the opposing factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment in 1979.

That confirms what Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter and also an adviser to Barack Obama, stated in a 1988 interview:

"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979."

"But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."

"That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap [..] The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war [..]"

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, in Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

There's a country run by sociopathic/psychopathic elements that has a pattern of inducing conflicts and brutally destructive wars to disrupt constructive cooperation and development.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jan 6 2021 19:27 utc | 76

karlof1 | Jan 6 2021 17:51 utc | 74

The truth is out - Hollywood only makes "tele-reality shows" with a bit of extra gloss on them for export. The Chinese have the right idea.

I should have realised that since we have been living the "Twitter era", that variety has become our spice of life, and Shakespeare's "all the worlds a stage" was just a realistic appraisal that we would become a comedy skit. I like the idea, I never did appreciate melodramas or horror films either....

PS. Biden apparently doesn't "tweet", so will we regress to "silent movies"? He can at least do some of the actions. Keystone cops anyone?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 6 2021 20:08 utc | 77

So it doesn't occur to this idiot that if the USA engages in "friendly proliferation" then both Russia and China will do the same?

This is the central problem with American foreign policy "experts" - they are so shallow that they never consider that every action they propose will lead to a reaction from those that they target.

Here, consider this vapid statement: "No doubt, a nuclear-armed China would react badly to better-armed neighbors, but it is no happier with a more involved United States."

F**k me.

Look, dude, this is very simple: if the USA gave nukes to (say) Taiwan then China would consider that all niceties are out the window and will look to give nukes to some country on the USA's doorstep.

You know: Cuba, or Venezuela. Or both.

How smart would that "least bad solution" look then?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 6 2021 22:04 utc | 78

Just when you think Falun Gong propaganda can't get any dumber:

"CCP soldiers can be killed by their superiors using remote control device on their digital combat. This is to uphold their dignity when need, the CCP says"

I'm not even to start on just how laughably asinine that premise is.

Posted by: J W | Jan 7 2021 1:49 utc | 79

WHO's Tedros 'very disappointed' China hasn't granted entry to coronavirus experts

January 5th 2021: ZURICH/GENEVA (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that China has still not authorised the entry of a team of international experts to examine the origins of the coronavirus.

Posted by: Antonym | Jan 7 2021 3:54 utc | 80

"Various U.S. influenced political scientists have claimed that democratization and liberalization is a necessary precursor for peace and economic growth."

They're necessary for countries to be dissolved by neoliberalism and pose no threat to global capital or the dictates of the US state department. They're precursors to national suicide. Turn every country into an increasingly ungovernable, low trust, demoralised Brazil. 270m people and a decent GDP but nobody cares what Brazil has to say. And nobody ever will.

Posted by: Altai | Jan 7 2021 6:00 utc | 81

Judging by the assertions of US imperial foreign policy elites, America has truly gone insane.

The same America that wages wars of aggression based on US lies about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction or threatens Iran based on US lies about Iran's nuclear program, now wants to proliferate Weapons of Mass Destruction to Japan or Taiwan.

Be careful America, you will open up a Pandora's Box that you will destroy you.

It would be very interesting if China helped Cuba or Venezuela develop a nuclear deterrent against America and the clear and present threats that the USA represents to these nations.

At base, Americans and their crime partners believe they have a Manifest Destiny to dominate and rule the world.

This is what they really mean when they spout their Goebbelsian deceptions about Liberal Democracy and Freedom.

As a result, the Americans psychologically project the USA's own world dominance delusions onto any nation (like China, Russia, or Iran) that resists this Orwellian American version of Democracy and Freedom.

It's truly lunatic.

Indeed, America is the living embodiment of the dictum that Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Insane.

https://williamblum.org/

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 7 2021 8:03 utc | 82

J W | Jan 7 2021 1:49 utc | 79

Reminds me that during the first world war, officers and sergeants stood BEHIND the men going over the top and shot those that wouldn't - in the back.

That was one of the main reasons for so many "officer" losses in the French ranks. Another was the difference in "rotation" periods. Officers only did about 3 months (if my memory is correct,) and the ranks did something like the double of that. So Officers didn't know their men and the soldiers only saw young new officers, basically incapable, arriving to shoot them in the back. Not exactly good for morale.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 7 2021 8:06 utc | 83

https://palladiummag.com/2020/12/14/chinas-real-threat-is-to-americas-ruling-ideology/

FINALLY ! Somebody "gets" it. The contrast between China and the US is becoming intolerable for the Deep State/1%. The US is failing and China is succeeding. The answer is not more weapons. The answer is to fix the US.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 7 2021 15:11 utc | 84

rolland rouillard | Jan 5 2021 21:54 utc | 23

Finally...bring back the production on US GROUND...that will kill China

This is a common Myth, a fantasy. The fraction of China's trade that goes to and from the USA is about 3%. A 3% loss will not "kill" China. At a time when China was MUCH weaker than it is now, the USA embargoed trade with China and did all it could to prevent other countries trading with China. China survived and grew stronger.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 10 2021 20:36 utc | 85

Every discussion about China's economic growth ignores the mechanism that was used. In the 1970's not just American, but all western democracies lusted after what they saw was a potentially huge new market in China. China put in place a policy that said in effect, we will allow western companies to come to china but they have to bring us their technology, their modern manufacturing plants, and train us in its use. They gave no guarantees that western companies would get access to the Chinese markets, they gave no market access guarantees and avoided talking about intellectual property rights, and China has, and still has no formal legal system under which western companies can sue China or Chinese companies. What China offered was low cost manufacturing of western products. It was the CEO's and boards of directors that gave China their manufacturing facilities. It was not China stealing anything, Western CEO's and Boards of Directors shipped manufacturing jobs to China and that is how China in 30 years went from a backwards country to a technology savvy and highly educated country. So the people crying and whinging about "China" need only look to the greed and stupidity of Wall Street, the Harvard boys, and their own Captains of industry who took the manufacturing jobs and plants to China. In a real world they would be traitors. Instead western politicians blame China. They blame China to divert attention from how they were complicit in damaging their own people and industry by letting this transfer occur. China has a huge economy, extremely well eductated engineers, chemists, technicians, and produces more PHD's that the rest of the world combined. It is the new reality. China may still copy western technology but it is quite capable of doing high tech innovation on its own. So if you have lost a manufacturing job, look to the greedy and stupid manangemnt of your own corporations, they did it to you.

Posted by: Grtbluyonder | Jan 11 2021 2:23 utc | 86

Posted by: Grtbluyonder | Jan 11 2021 2:23 utc | 86

and China has, and still has no formal legal system under which western companies can sue China or Chinese companies.


This is no longer true, as one high profile test case has proven:


Michael Jordan Comes Out Victorious In Trademark Case In China's Supreme Court
Supreme People’s Court—the highest court in China ruled in favor of Michael Jordan after a long trademark battle with Chinese company Qiaodan Sports.

Michael McCann
Apr 14, 2020

https://www.si.com/nba/2020/04/14/michael-jordan-copyright-lawsuit-case-china

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 13 2021 13:51 utc | 87

The comments to this entry are closed.