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October 21, 2010


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NATO will stagger along as long as the USA provides most of the muscle (and hence dollars) for defense or wars against the Musselmen.

"The American public, with the memory of a kicked dog, is ready to re-entrust power to the Party that Wrecked America."

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are so forgetful and easily swayed by TV... No one seems to be thinking how to improve living standards for everyone, just how decisions will influence their own well being in the SHORT term.

Sweet post Jon. Very much on target.
This is your key sentence for me:

"State capitalism, instead, offers the most powerful challenging idea that American free-market capitalism has ever confronted."

Yep. They will eat our lunch within the decade.
We've got no chance and here's why: The Chinese won't tolerate anything akin to a Fox News Network or Limbaugh hate radio jeopardizing their focus on science, global warming, and social improvements.

A Murdoch (or a Murdoch Chinese wannabe) will never be allowed to pump China full of hate and split the people down the middle in a worthless culture war. The Chinese have zero tolerance for that. And if a Limbaugh-like Chinese bigot ever began to rail anti-science venom on the radio, they'd gut him in a Hong Kong minute and leave in the street with his genitals stuffed in his mouth.

Simply put, the Chinese won't tolerate the freedom to amp up and broadcast nonsense. And I say: Good on them. Who in the hell needs that kind of freedom?

And so within a decade China will become the world's largest economy. And that moment will prove devastating to the American psyche. But not as devastating as when the Chinese start sending people to Mars. No amount of anti-science shouting will be able to push back against our palpable humiliation when that happens. Even the tattooed morons and the teabaggers, cheering the defeat of the latest Chinese tagteam pro-wrestlers on Fox TV, will know that victory to be the mere stuff of sour grapes.

Nope. We'll know the truth deep in our bones then.
There are Chinese on Mars! And what do we have?
Free speech for Murdoch and Limbaugh. Yay!

Bumped onto your spot about 6 months ago, and am addicted to your stuff. I'm on the Texas border -- brush country -- and can relate to your border subjects, and the treatment of brown people, so I've got a natural interest.

But this stuff -- Chinese State Capitalism and what it means to the USA is straight out good analysis coupled with good writing.

Spot on, except for the "Party that Wrecked America" part. The Dems have wrecked it just as thoroughly over the years. Unions began losing strength under Jimmy Carter - remember the air traffic controllers? As long as we have our two-party system, which from the beginning has been engineered to keep a multiplicity of ideas from the political debate, we will not have true choices -- nor voices -- from the real left.

How many Americans have walked the streets of Shenzen, Guangzhou, Shanghi, Beijing, Nanjing, and/or Jinan?

It is impossible to fully comprehend China without experiencing it first-hand.

In lieu of visiting China, the film "Manufactured Landscapes" (2006) is highly recommended.


Unions lost their strength under Carter due to the deregulation of the airlines and trucking industry (in addition to the corruption). The air traffic controllers were gutted by Reagan.

It's useful to remember that China was the last major communist nation left standing after the Cold War. Communism didn't collapse because of corruption or the inherent contradiction within an ideological conceit (dictatorship of the proletariat). Rather, communism became pragmatic (Deng Xiaoping's famous metaphor: "black cat, white cat, as long as it catches mice it is a good cat"). The Chinese character is revealed here by its willingness to forge consensus while allowing careful loosening of hidebound principles.

This is something the American right has already begun to co-opt with its idealization of authoritarianism and free-market fundamentalism. But ideologues cannot force Americans into a national character they don't possess. The village system in China is as internalized psychologically as the American frontier is for us. Whether we like it or not, these are collective traits to live out on the world stage.

If the Chinese appear to be winning, it's partly because their history ultimately strengthened a primary character virtue: patience. Maybe prosperity will soften and spoil them as it has us. I suspect the very long views of Chinese thinkers, from Sun Tzu to Confucius to Mao and now to its next leader, Xi Jinping will continue to prevail. History is not a contest and the Chinese know better than to bully and swagger for the sake of transient glory.

Thanks for the rec, Rate Crimes...


"I suspect the very long views of Chinese thinkers, from Sun Tzu to Confucius to Mao and now to its next leader, Xi Jinping will continue to prevail. "

Yes quite so. As I suspect the short, misguided (even terroristic) views of Rush Limbaugh will continue to prevail in this country. Allow me to quote:

"The four corners of deceit: government, academia, science and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper."

"Limbaugh has told his listeners that “science has become a home for displaced socialists and communists”, has called climate-change science “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.
Keep in mind that Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the Republican Party, and has a vast radio umbrella covering the nation. And then let me know what kind of a country you think we can build with leadership like that.

Note: Both Limbaugh quotes from an editorial in the Journal Nature:

Koreyel, you're preaching to my choir here so I don't really have much more to say. We're always talking here, mostly out of frustration, with the white reaction to changing demographics. It's the dominant story politically and culturally in America.

One problem Americans have is a sense of identity that's both much more individualistic and, at the same time, anxious. White, Christian, culturally homogeneous America is being eclipsed by something much more diverse. It's this reaction to change that drives demogogues like Beck and Limbaugh. It's a war they can't win but they can do extraordinary damage to the nation in the meantime. They're succeeding amazingly well at this project. It's fascinating to watch conservative intellectuals straddle opposite goal posts here. On the one hand, they celebrate the free market in all its creatively destructive potential, and on the other, they preach social conservatism in order to keep the victims of this destruction from noticing the multinational corporations that ultimately benefit. Limbaugh's astonishing cynicism about American institutions underscores how rhetorically violent the reaction is. I doubt we're going work through this without experiencing actual violence, possibly in the near future.

Jon, I have been reading your posts for a while and enjoy all of them. I have a question though why you are always talking bad about the Midwest. The midwest is not all that conservative. It is a very swing area and states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan are solid blue states that haven't voted republican at the presidential level since the 80s.

My other question is what do you think would happen if a Watts type incident happened in a West Phoenix neighborhood (like Maryvale). Would it send a message to the kookocracy telling them to leave the hispanic community alone or would it make things worse and cause even more backlash?

I love the Midwest. Spent nearly a decade in Ohio and went to graduate school there. The Midwest has much more political diversity than Arizona (to put it mildly). But Arizona got millions of right-wing Midwesterners in the Big Sort.

As for Watts in Maryvale. If it happened, it would only reinforce the bunker mentality of the Kooks. And aside from the Zoot Suit Riots in LA in the 1940s, Hispanics don't riot.

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