View Poll Results: In the broadest of terms, which of the following most closely describes your geopolitical expectations for the post-US world order?

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42. You may not vote on this poll
  • A truly multipolar reorientation of geopolitics with few or no globally dominant “great powers.”

    9 21.43%
  • A division of the world into “spheres of influence” dominated by authoritarian powers (China, Russia, Iran, for example)

    10 23.81%
  • The US will remain globally dominant thanks to King Dollar and its sheer size, even if politically or militarily weaker relative to its turn of the century peak.

    13 30.95%
  • The EU will pull itself together, emerge from the US’ shadow, neutralize Russian interests on its doorstep, and Europe will once again carry the torch of the liberal/western world order.

    3 7.14%
  • Other (please explain)

    7 16.67%
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Thread: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

  1. #221

    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    An odd and subjective tangent juxtaposed to the rationalization of Germany’s push, as de facto leader of the EU, to cozy up to and bolster an expansionist totalitarian state in order to save her pet project from economic stagnation amid political fragmentation.
    Are you insinuating that Germany is a totalitarian state? Care to double down or "it's a just a joke?"

  2. #222
    Lord Thesaurian's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Mountain View Post
    Are you insinuating that Germany is a totalitarian state? Care to double down or "it's a just a joke?"
    Are you? I don’t see anything in the quote that does.

  3. #223
    Cope's Avatar 777777777777777
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    An odd and subjective tangent juxtaposed to the rationalization of Germany’s push, as de facto leader of the EU, to cozy up to and bolster an expansionist totalitarian state in order to save her pet project from economic stagnation amid political fragmentation.
    Even odder to claim that the US has only been a "flawed democracy since 2017" as if any of the fundamental electoral structures changed that year. Then again, it is at least being acknowledged that Trump's electoral victory - which occurred in 2016 - was democratically legitimate.

  4. #224

    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    An odd and subjective tangent juxtaposed to the rationalization of Germany’s push, as de facto leader of the EU, to cozy up to and bolster an expansionist totalitarian state in order to save her pet project from economic stagnation amid political fragmentation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cope View Post
    Even odder to claim that the US has only been a "flawed democracy since 2017" as if any of the fundamental electoral structures changed that year. Then again, it is at least being acknowledged that Trump's electoral victory - which occurred in 2016 - was democratically legitimate.
    I don't really follow the relevance, but I assume he was referring to the EIU Democracy Index.

    This is their rationale:

    Popular support for democracy remains strong in the US, whose citizens have always exhibited a fierce attachment to independence and national sovereignty. However, popular dissatisfaction with how democracy is working in practice, both in terms of government dysfunction and a lack of political representation by the two main parties, has grown in recent years. Political polarisation and partisanship have deepened, undermining the function of state institutions.

    The US has fallen steadily in the global rankings over the last decade, from 17th place in the 2010 Democracy Index to 25th in 2019. This mainly reflects a deterioration in the functioning of government category, which has been the US’s worst-scoring category since 2016, at 7.14. Public frustration with institutions has been building for years; according to Gallup polls, the number of Americans who approve of the way that Congress (the legislature) is handling its job fell to 21% in 2019, compared with 40% in 2000.

    The highly partisan nature of Washington politics has contributed to this trend. Republicans and Democrats are increasingly seen as being focused on blocking each other’s agenda, to the detriment of policymaking. This trend has worsened under the current administration. Rising partisan tensions have left Congress in a stalemate: the passage of the revised US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was the only piece of major legislation to get through the divided legislature in 2019.

    Mr Trump has not been the dealmaker he had boasted he would be, at least not on the domestic front. His response to the consistent hostility of the opposition to his presidency from day one has been to go on the offensive and up the ante. He has been deliberately provocative in an effort to rally his political and voter base, particularly on issues such as immigration and security. Having emerged unscathed from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, which found no evidence that the president’s 2016 campaign had co-ordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election and was unable to produce conclusive evidence that Mr Trump committed a crime regarding obstruction of justice, Mr Trump dismissed as a “hoax” and a “fraud” the impeachment case launched later in the year by the Democrats over his dealings with Ukraine. The Republican Party has closed ranks around him, and the fierce polarisation that has characterised Mr Trump’s presidency seems more entrenched than ever.

    On policy matters, Mr Trump’s unconventional, freewheeling approach has also strained working relations between the executive and legislative branches of the US government. Most of the major policy actions in 2019—including the escalation of the trade war with China, the abrupt redeployment of US troops from northern Syria and the killing of a senior Iranian general—were executed without consulting Congress. Moreover, Mr Trump has repeatedly called into question the independence and competence of the US judicial system, particularly when his policy directives have been opposed by the courts, most notably on immigration. Although we expect the US system of checks and balances to remain intact, these actions risk undermining public confidence in institutions further. The score for political culture was downgraded in the 2018 index as a result of these trends, and an upgrade is unlikely in 2020.

    The US scores relatively well for electoral process and pluralism, and its score for political participation remains higher than it was in the past, reflecting greater representation of women in the 116th Congress (2019-21).
    They rank some European countries higher and some lower, a few much lower.

    But I'd say take it all with a grain of salt:

    Few Japanese people may have noticed, but their country has just been relegated from the "Premier League" of democratic nations. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's recently published annual Democracy Index, Japan no longer belongs among the "full democracies." Its score has fallen from 8.08 in 2014 to 7.96 in 2015, which reduces its ranking from 20th place in 2014 to 23rd and pushes it into the inglorious category of "flawed democracies."

    Still, there is some consolation for Japan. It ranks narrowly ahead of Belgium and France, which are also apparently "flawed democracies." All three, however, can look down smugly on Singapore, which languishes in 74th position, barely above Albania. Not a single Asian country is a member of the "full democracy" club and both the U.S. and U.K. are close to demotion. Instead, the top 10 are dominated by northern European social democracies.

    How did the EIU come up with a scoring system that is supposedly accurate to two decimal places? What it did has the semblance of rigor. It asked various experts to answer 60 questions and assigned each reply a numerical value, with the weighted average deciding the ranking. Who are these experts? Nobody knows. Wikipedia dryly notes that the report does not reveal their number, nationality, credentials or even field of expertise.

    Some idea of where they are coming from can be gauged by the report's comments on individual countries. France, we learn, has been defenestrated because of a "deterioration in social cohesion." Those inveterate goodie-goodies, the Swedes, are on the naughty seat because of declining membership in political parties and more social discrimination. An important recent phenomenon, the growth in support for populist politicians, is not seen as a sign of democratic systems responding to shifts in public opinion. Rather, it is evidence of "discontent with democracy" itself and thus to be deplored.

    In other words, despite the appearance of scientific objectivity, the whole exercise of ranking a country's democratic credentials is as much riddled with biases, value judgments and hidden agendas as awarding Oscars to films or Michelin stars to restaurants -- which are also decided by groups of mysterious experts using criteria best known to themselves.
    Peter Tasker: The flawed 'science' behind democracy rankings
    Last edited by sumskilz; January 08, 2021 at 12:58 PM. Reason: fixed formatting
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


  5. #225

    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    Are you? I don’t see anything in the quote that does.
    I suppose so, my bad.

  6. #226
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz
    I don't really follow the relevance, but I assume he was referring to the EIU Democracy Index.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cope
    Even odder to claim that the US has only been a "flawed democracy since 2017" as if any of the fundamental electoral structures changed that year. Then again, it is at least being acknowledged that Trump's electoral victory - which occurred in 2016 - was democratically legitimate.
    I wonder where China lands on that index. Kek.

  7. #227
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    With its low birth rate and fast-ageing population, Europe is facing a demographic crisis, one that economists fear could hit growth and public finances.

    While the global population overall is getting older, Europe is an extreme example of this trend, particularly in the continent’s south and east, which have been hit by record-low fertility rates and emigration. An analysis of the main demographic trends highlights the challenge faced by policymakers.

    https://www.ft.com/content/49e1e106-...c-f3fa4e77dd47
    With the eurozone economy stuck in a low growth, low inflation and low rates environment, it's really hard not to make 'Japanification' comparisons. If we're honest, the eurozone is probably already in the thick of it, which means rates are likely to remain lower for longer and every new crisis or recession will bring the bloc closer to more Japanification

    https://think.ing.com/articles/euroz...the-long-read/
    As our fair weather friends across the pond push for “strategic autonomy” from the US, it has become increasingly clear that the medium to long term plan of European leaders is to migrate away from the US economically and politically in favor of warmer relations with China, while continuing to freeride on US military defense for the foreseeable future. It is perhaps a logical step for an increasingly weak and stagnant political and economic project to try and save itself by leveraging the most attractive aspects of emergent rivals to the east and west. This mood seems to pervade not just leadership, but the public at large. According to a recent ECFR survey, large majorities of Europeans believe China will replace the US as the dominant global superpower within the next decade, and that European countries should remain neutral in the event of any conflict between US/China or US/Russia.

    https://ecfr.eu/publication/the-cris...idens-america/

    The problem with this outlook isn’t just the de facto rejection of “shared values” with the liberal American order in favor of closer alignment with what is officially described as a genocidal totalitarian state. A declined US may no longer enjoy a unipolar hegemony, but betting on China in a great power competition borders on idiotic for any western power, even from a pragmatic standpoint.

    A) Beijing’s interests are inherently local. As we’ve seen, the Politburo is only prepared to engage in the international community to the extent it can create an advantageous environment for its expansionist ambitions. The regime is neither interested in nor capable of replacing the US’ traditional role as an economic and political partner to Europe, and the latter is too weak to sustain an independent global framework.

    B) China’s industrial capacity could enable the PLA to outbuild the US in a hot war to rapidly recover from attrition damage, thanks to the country’s vast industrial base. However, China’s neighbors are unlikely to abandon the US security network in the Indo-Pacific, especially as Beijing becomes more belligerent. This dynamic would allow the US to take her time in scaling up an offensive war while leaning on regional allies to do alot of heavy lifting. In any such war, European interests would only be harmed by Chinese hegemony, as the latter is not at all interested in maintaining the free and open peacetime framework that has allowed East Asia to become a global economic powerhouse. The EU is in no position to do anything but depend on the US here as well.

    C) The EU is in no position to independently pursue economic or security interests on its doorstep in North Africa, Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Chinese interests in these areas are also diametrically opposed to Europe’s. Here too, the EU is entirely dependent on the US for sustainable support.

    D) China’s economy is also facing the same threats of stagnation and even more significant demographic decline problems than Europe, and its state-run economy will only compound these issues. This is partly what drives Chinese aggression, as it seeks to carve out spheres of influence abroad to sustain its rising security and welfare costs at home. By contrast, the US population is projected to grow 28% by 2050, and enjoy a more stable ratio of working age adults vs dependents (children and seniors) relative to Europe and China. While China has the sheer population size and military power to threaten the world order and carve out its own hegemony, those interests directly conflict with Europe’s, and hitching the EU wagon to a fellow candidate for long term stagnation is a lose-lose.

    There are takeaways here for the US as well. The political establishment in the US should understand the country’s long term advantages and liabilities to hold European brinkmanship in check. Allowing Europe to play both sides may be the path of least resistance, but if EU leaders continue to undermine US interests and cozy up to regimes that pose an existential threat to the US and our allies, there needs to be reciprocal reaction from the US to shift more support and resources to Asia instead as a counterbalance.

  8. #228
    Lord Thesaurian's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    An American epitaph
    The subtext to this madness is that the Democratic Congress, the new administration, the administrative state, and the political Left are obsessed with dismembering the presidential corpse of now-citizen Donald Trump.

    Apparently, they fear that one day he will rise from the infernal regions to wreak his revenge.

    Meanwhile, life in America goes on.

    Yet few of our leaders are very worried about the existential crises left unaddressed by their obsessions with the ghost of Trump.

    Take the debt. It is now nearly $28 trillion, and it is growing by almost $2 trillion a year. No one in D.C. talks about reducing the annual budget deficit. Nor do officials find ways to balance the budget. The idea of paying off the monstrous debt remains a fantasy.

    Instead, our elected representatives argue over whether to borrow another $1 trillion or more likely $2 trillion, without worry of where it comes from or how it will be repaid.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of billions of dollars and countless hours of once-productive labor are diverted to unproductive ideological censorship, career canceling, and indoctrination.

    Our allies, such as democratic France, warn America that it is cannibalizing itself — and becoming dangerous to others. Our enemies, such as the totalitarian Chinese, are delighted with our suicidal wokeness.

    The cost is not just the expense of cleaning up the billions of dollars of destruction from the summer riots, the thousands of memorials and statues destroyed and defaced, the hundreds of schools and buildings to be renamed.

    Far more consequential is the suppression of creative thinking — from humanistic study to scientific research.

    Something similarly frightening is now occurring in the United States. Scholars, journalists, artists, and educators feel they must mouth politically correct platitudes. They constantly hedge their public discourse in fear of career cancellation. They strain to synchronize their research with some approved woke ideology to save their livelihoods.

    When professors must write “diversity statements” and hire, promote, and fire on the basis of race, the model is not the U.S. Constitution, but something out of contemporary China.

    No one pays much attention that our capital is now weaponized with soldiers in camouflage and barbed wire.

    Joe Biden has signaled that all new pipeline construction is over. Fracking on public lands is taboo. The border is to become wide open. Federal immigration law is now effectively nullified.


    Iran is bankrupt, isolated, and roundly despised by most of the countries in the Middle East. Now America is doing its best to resuscitate the most radical and anti-American regime in the world — at the expense of our allies in the Arab world, Israel, and America’s own interests.

    While we are busy devouring each other, China is smiling because once-feared American capitalists have become laughable Keystone Cops.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/...merica-sleeps/

  9. #229
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Take the debt. It is now nearly $28 trillion, and it is growing by almost $2 trillion a year. No one in D.C. talks about reducing the annual budget deficit. Nor do officials find ways to balance the budget. The idea of paying off the monstrous debt remains a fantasy.
    Not the time to worry about it. Rates are low why would care about paying it off?

    Instead, our elected representatives argue over whether to borrow another $1 trillion or more likely $2 trillion, without worry of where it comes from or how it will be repaid
    You refinance it again you don't worry about debt in a recession.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of billions of dollars and countless hours of once-productive labor are diverted to unproductive ideological censorship, career canceling, and indoctrination.
    Where?

    The cost is not just the expense of cleaning up the billions of dollars of destruction from the summer riots, the thousands of memorials and statues destroyed and defaced, the hundreds of schools and buildings to be renamed.
    Outside of few bits of overreach I'm pressed to find thousand of memorials that need repair.

    When professors must write “diversity statements” and hire, promote, and fire on the basis of race, the model is not the U.S. Constitution, but something out of contemporary China.
    The later does not follow from the former

    Far more consequential is the suppression of creative thinking — from humanistic study to scientific research.
    You know concrete example would help.

    Something similarly frightening is now occurring in the United States. Scholars, journalists, artists, and educators feel they must mouth politically correct platitudes. They constantly hedge their public discourse in fear of career cancellation. They strain to synchronize their research with some approved woke ideology to save their livelihoods.
    Does woke ideology include climate change denial and the pressure Trump put on science to alter research to that view?

    Joe Biden has signaled that all new pipeline construction is over. Fracking on public lands is taboo. The border is to become wide open. Federal immigration law is now effectively nullified.
    Wow what aver statement in every way

    Iran is bankrupt, isolated, and roundly despised by most of the countries in the Middle East. Now America is doing its best to resuscitate the most radical and anti-American regime in the world — at the expense of our allies in the Arab world, Israel, and America’s own interests.
    Well outside of Israel I'm not sure I count many US allies in the Middle east. Such as they are they are often just as odious as Iran.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

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    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  10. #230
    Lord Thesaurian's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Also on Monday, two Congressional Democrats wrote a stern letter to CEO Jeff Bezos about Amazon’s role in politics. If you took seriously the party’s promises to defend “democratic norms,” you might expect Democratic politicians would express concern about the world’s third-largest company by market capitalization trying to suppress a book on a contested political issue.

    But the letter is a demand for more ideological censorship. “Our country’s public discourse is plagued by misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies,” write Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney. They quote a claim that right-wing media is “much more susceptible,” and demand to know why Amazon’s Fire TV carries certain conservative programs.

    The House also released a memorandum ahead of the hearing that appears to give orders to mainstream news sources. “Despite criticism, many traditional media outlets continue to allow for the disinformation in an attempt to follow journalistic standards and present multiple viewpoints on a news story,” the Committee avers. Got that, newspaper editors? Please adjust your coverage to the liking of Congressional Democrats.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-censorship-is-accelerating-11614036293
    Before long it might be tougher to make the case that the US is in the business of containing communism.

  11. #231

    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    In the short-term to medium-term the USA will remain the sole globally dominant power, barring a civil war, revolution, or major nationwide insurgency.

    The USA will continue its long-term decline and sometime between 2050 and 2100 regional great powers will begin to emerge, such as China, India, Russia, possibly Iran, etc., nations along those lines.

    The EU is going to slowly collapse and fade. The EU is nothing serious and cannot pull itself together; it is a farce.
    "God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself." Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma (33° AASR)


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  12. #232
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    As a bipartisan commission of 15 technologists, national security professionals, business executives, and academic leaders, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) is delivering an uncomfortable message: America is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era. This is the tough reality we must face. And it is this reality that demands comprehensive, whole-of-nation action. Our final report presents a strategy to defend against AI threats, responsibly employ AI for national security, and win the broader technology competition for the sake of our prosperity, security, and welfare. The U.S. government cannot do this alone. It needs committed partners in industry, academia, and civil society. And America needs to enlist its oldest allies and new partners to build a safer and freer world for the AI era.

    https://www.nscai.gov/wp-content/upl...-Digital-1.pdf

  13. #233
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Henry Luce wrote in 1941 "Once we cease to distract ourselves with lifeless arguments of about isolationism, we shall be amazed to discover that there is already an immense American internationalism.American jazz, Hollyood movies ; American slang; american machines and patented products, are in fact the only things that every community in the wolrd, from Zanzibar to Hamburg, recognizes in common.Blindly, untentionally, acidentally and in spite of ourselves, we are already a world power in all the trivial ways-in very human ways" ("The American Century", 1941)

    A French critic, Emily Rosenberg, in response to American insistence that cultural exports as much trade fostered a peaceful international order (!!!...) remarked that Americans assumed that "The only way to ensure peace is to Americanize the thoughts, languages and the soul of foreigners". ( in "Spreading the American Dream")

    Cultural diplomacy and propaganda played always important roles the the East/West competition. What the future will bring to the world? I'm not particularly worried, why should I? After all, Churchill was correct when in 1943 he described the empires of the future as "Empires of the Mind":"The power to control language offers far better prizes than taking away people's provinces or lands or grinding them down in exploitation. The empires of the future are the empires of the mind".
    Bloomberg’s anticipatory anxiety worries about the American future,but there are merits in some aspects of some things they say,
    China Rise to Global Superpower Is a Restoration.
    - China’s inexorable rise to superpower is history repeating itself

    The problem starts in high school. Mine, in Clifton, N.J., offered the option of U.S. history or U.S. history. We learned about other parts of the world only when they drifted into the American narrative. China made an occasional cameo: John Hay’s Open Door Policy, or Chiang Kai-shek’s World War II alliance against Japan. A lot of us were probably taught history in a similar manner—through the prism of our own story.
    Prisms, though, distort. It just so happens Americans encountered China at one of the darkest points in its history. China in the 19th and early 20th centuries was politically decrepit, militarily inept, economically archaic, and, as Westerners saw it, socially backward. We were left with an image of the country that at best was an unmodern realm of quaint rice paddies and silk-robed mandarins; at worst, a war-torn basket case drenched in destitution and decay. Sure, we all know something of China’s glittering past—of bejeweled emperors, their grand palaces, and the engineering genius of the Great Wall. But that China is beyond our prism.

    That skews the way we describe and discuss China today. We call it an “emerging market,” which it is within the boundaries of our own view. But twist the prism, and Chinese poverty is a fairly recent aberration. The country had consistently been one of the world’s largest economies over the past 2,000 years—and still was well into the 19th century.

    That’s why Westerners who visited China were awestruck by riches exceeding anything they’d witnessed in Europe. When the first Portuguese seafarers made their way to Guangzhou in the early 16th century, they gasped at silk flags as large as sails. “Such is the wealth of that country,” reads one contemporary Portuguese account, “such is its vast supply of silk, that they squander gold leaf and silk on these flags where we use cheap colors and coarse linen cloth.”

    Rather than something startling, China’s growth into the world’s second-largest economy is a return to the norm. So is the critical role it plays in modern manufacturing and trade. We grouse that China has “stolen” our factories and fret over how much stuff at Target is “Made in China.” Historically, though, the country had been a major manufacturing center and premier exporter, capable of producing valuable goods on a mind-boggling scale. The Song dynasty (960-1279) experienced a near-industrial revolution seven centuries before England’s.

    Silk and porcelain, both Chinese inventions, were among the world’s first truly global consumer products, the iPhones of their age. Centuries before Vasco da Gama felt his way to India in 1498, China was the beating heart of a global economic system, with trade links stretching from South China, across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
    We also talk of the “rise of China” as if it’s astonishing and unique. Yet China has “risen” many times before.

    A much better way to describe the country’s 21st century ascent is as a “restoration,” not so unlike the many imperial restorations of the past. The current regime, though not a dynasty topped by an emperor (at least officially), is rebuilding the traditional pillars of Chinese greatness—economic, political, military, and (less successfully) culturally—much like the Tang, Song, or Ming dynasties had in their day.
    Thinking of modern China’s growing power as a restoration forces a shift in how we contend with it. We in the West discuss how to fit China into the global political and economic order we created. But China was never going to be content being a mere cog in the Western machine.

    The first step in dealing with a Chinese restoration is to accept that China wants to be and most likely will be a global superpower. The notion that the U.S. can “stop” China is a nonstarter.
    Washington can slow things up by withholding technology and disrupting trade. But the Chinese believe that, based on their history, they have a right to be a superpower, and an approach meant to “keep China down,” as they see it, will generate conflict but few tangible results. Similarly, efforts to compel China to “play by the rules,” as in our rules, are almost equally hopeless. The Chinese perceive the Western world order as an imposition on an East Asia they’d usually dominated, so they’re far more likely to assert their own rules than follow ours.
    A better route is to allow China more diplomatic space in areas where it doesn’t fundamentally damage U.S. interests.
    (...) from a policy standpoint, it’s wiser to recognize the historical trends propelling it forward and rejigger the world order to address Chinese aspirations (though not its autocracy). It won’t be easy. But neither is denying history.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
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    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

  14. #234
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    The idea that, rather than exhibiting overt authoritarian expansionism, Beijing is merely returning to its “rightful” place as the center of the world, is a deliberately crafted piece of CCP propaganda. The narrative of restoration and revival of ancient Chinese imperial glory isn’t unique to the CCP by any means. However, the Politburo and especially the administration of Xi Jinping has weaponized the narrative, both to manufacture legitimacy for the CCP as a sort of ultimate imperial dynasty, and to delegitimize critics.
    Xi Jinping is directing a vast ideological war across multiple theaters—politics, culture, ethics, economy, strategy, and foreign relations. Among its most intense flashpoints is historiography, particularly of China’s last empire, the Qing, which ruled from 1636 to 1912. Historians, whether foreign or domestic, who resist Xi’s determination to design a past that serves his ideology have been targeted repeatedly by state propaganda organs. A new editorial suggests that this attack on Qing specialists is escalating.

    Xi’s strategy in remixing history is to draw selectively from the Nationalist and Communist historiographies, throw in some volatile nationalism, and resolutely suppress the implications of the new globalized and comparative historiography. The primary historical design shop is the Party History Research Office of the CCP Central Committee.

    But it is not foreign historians or diplomats who need to be—or can be—convinced by Xi’s version of history. The intended audience is in China. Denunciations of “nihilism” have become louder as Xi pushes his programs for reification of Chinese “tradition.” The party history factory has identified historiography as a primary field of battle between the CCP and its enemies and exhorts Chinese historians to “strike” more frequently and more forcefully against foreign colleagues.

    “Firmly grasp the right to speak of the history of the Qing dynasty.” The editorial states that too many Chinese historians have fallen under the sway of foreign nihilists, producing a gusher of new scholarship on the Qing that in ideological potency has nevertheless been “far from sufficient to meet the needs of the party and the people.” It prescribes a “Qing history research system with Chinese characteristics, Chinese tastes, and Chinese style”—the essentializing narrative that Xi uses to glamorize himself and his foreign ventures.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/29...s-own-history/
    This is part of a larger effort by the CCP to merge party politics with the very concept of Chinese cultural identity:

    In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has undertaken an official rehabilitation of imperial China’s preeminent social philosopher Kong Zi, better known in the West as “Confucius.” Once a target of official condemnation in Mao-era China as a relic of the country’s feudal past and as an obstacle to the Party’s vision of social transformation, Confucius has been revived in official propaganda as a national icon of China’s traditional culture, as well as a symbol of the Party’s concern for public welfare.

    Due to its high suitability to the public relations needs of the Party, “CCP Confucianism” is likely to remain a staple of Chinese Government-sponsored propaganda in the years ahead. It remains to be seen, however, how much influence this emerging state-sponsored philosophy will actually have – either in terms of reassuring foreign audiences, or of convincing China’s own citizens of the government’s commitment to public welfare and social justice.

    The CCP finds Confucianism attractive for the same reasons that Chinese imperial dynasties found it attractive: It provides an ideological pillar of support for the ruling political order, while simultaneously allowing the regime opportunities to dress itself in the themes of benevolence and humanitarianism. It remains to be seen whether or not this evolving ideology will have a significant impact on Chinese society – but whether it does or not, the themes of CCP Confucianism are likely to remain an important element of the Chinese Government’s propaganda efforts for many years to come.

    https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/f...ival_Paper.pdf
    The irony of this narrative is that it represents a tacit admission by the Politburo that the regime cannot hope to long endure in the communist framework it had exterminated tens of millions to construct and enforce. What the Party lacks is the very thing the it sought to destroy: Chinese culture itself. While it is formulated for a domestic audience, the manufactured narrative has naturally lent itself to anti-American and/or pro-CCP ideologues outside China, who view the rise of authoritarian communist China with genuine admiration and/or gleeful schadenfreude pent up over a long time spent yearning for the end of American hegemony, regardless of who or what replaces it.

    The reality, however, is not so much that China is rising to greatness, but that US decline has left a power vacuum the Politburo is eager to fill. While the latter may or may not ultimately succeed in its ambitions, the challenges America faces are almost entirely self-inflicted, rather than a consequence of successful machinations by the Politburo. This means that what America may lack isn’t power or wealth, but rather, the will to maintain its global responsibilities and advantages.
    China’s economic growth over the past three decades has been spectacular, even miraculous. Yet the veneer of double-digit growth rates has masked gaping liabilities that limit China’s ability to close the wealth gap with the United States. China has achieved high growth at high costs, and now the costs are rising while growth is slowing. As I explain in a recent book, data that accounts for these costs reveal that the United States is several times wealthier than China, and the gap appears to be growing by trillions of dollars every year.1 This conclusion may surprise many people, given that China has a bigger GDP, a higher investment rate, larger trade flows, and a higher economic growth rate than the United States.

    China lags far behind the United States economically; and even though the gap appears to be growing larger, the conven- tional wisdom among scholars, pundits, and the public is that China is an economic juggernaut set to overtake America as the world’s dominant power. This conventional wisdom is not only wrong, but dangerous.

    https://86de914a-9e9a-4665-8023-8e7d...f1aca392ca.pdf

  15. #235
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    ‘The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

    That quote, attributed to Lenin, was a colorful metaphor for what Marxists call the internal contradictions of capitalism. Belief in the inherent inevitability of the West’s imminent collapse sustained the Soviet Communists right up to the moment in 1989 when their own system proved more self-annihilating than anything capitalism could muster.

    The larger truth is that the people who control America’s leading cultural institutions and now its government have been eagerly manufacturing ideological rope for the Chinese hangman, and they’ve stepped up production over the past year.

    The intellectual movement to which they subscribe has been the force behind the planned destruction—figuratively and literally—of the principal pillars of America’s authority in the world: the idea that the greatest nation on the planet was founded on universal ideals of human freedom and dignity. Instead, it insists, like those Chinese Communists, that all along this claim to a unique status in the world has been a fraud, mere sloganeering behind which America has been—and remains—a force for repression and exploitation.

    And of course it’s in the fanatical insistence on the qualities that divide rather than unite Americans—race, sexual orientation and multifarious “gender”—as the principal characteristics of identity. How bitterly ironic that Marxist theories of structural oppression that were discredited by the experience of America’s ideological adversaries in the last century are now rampant in the most influential strata of American society in this one. Lenin may get the last laugh.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/western...pe-11616433858

  16. #236
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Oakland’s program will limit participation strictly to Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, in a nod to the legacy of the Black Panther Party, the political movement that was founded in Oakland in the 1960s. White households in Oakland make, on average, about three times more annually than Black households, according to the Oakland Equity Index.

    “Guaranteed income has been a goal of the Black Panther platform since its founding,” said Jesus Gerena, the chief executive of Family Independence Initiative, which is partnering with the program in Oakland. “Direct investment in the community in response to systemic injustices isn’t new.”

    To be eligible for the Oakland scheme, people must have at least one child under 18 and income at or below 50% of the area median income – about $59,000 a year for a family of three.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...income-program
    Yet another systemically racist and flagrantly unconstitutional program that openly violates the Civil Rights Act, this one from the party platform of militant Maoist racial nationalists. The courts, so far, stand idly by.

  17. #237

    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Since it is privately funded, it may not violate the Constitution or CRA. Though, if the city is administering or over-seeing it that could cause a problem.
    Could lead to interesting court cases.

  18. #238
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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Infidel144 View Post
    Since it is privately funded, it may not violate the Constitution or CRA. Though, if the city is administering or over-seeing it that could cause a problem.
    Could lead to interesting court cases.
    I’m no lawyer but the organization running the program definitely receives “government” funding according to their financials, and it’s administered by the city. If nothing else, I’m fairly certain “I can racially discriminate however I want because it’s my private business” hasn’t worked up to now, but then, it is literally impossible for POC to be racist, so maybe there’s an exception here...

    https://www.fii.org/wp-content/uploa...ents-FINAL.pdf

    Anyway, this is just the latest of multiple pending and active state and local aid programs that explicitly and exclusively discriminate based on race. The pandemic and Floyd are being used as justification. Pretty incredible to see how tyranny just manifests before our eyes like this. The face of decline.

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    Default Re: On US Isolationism, Expectations for the Post-US World Order

    Apologists for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are saying this doesn’t add up to more than the status quo, and thus shouldn’t interfere with renewed U.S. courtship of Iran. Don’t believe them. This is a big deal that advances the strategic interests of both sides—at the expense of the U.S. and stability in the Middle East.

    The deal helps Iran dodge American sanctions, and the cash infusion will ease economic pressure on the ruling mullahs. Iran will have a long-time buyer for its oil exports that were reduced by U.S. sanctions. The foreign-exchange income, if that’s how the payments are made, will finance the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and proxy forces in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

    All of this shows the folly of believing that letting adversaries dominate their regions will have benign consequences the U.S. can ignore. American isolationists on the right and left want to grant Russia, China and Iran “spheres of influence” and have the U.S. retreat.

    But the more powerful they become in their regions, the more these adversaries are likely to cooperate on a global scale to undermine American economic and security interests. Think Iran and Russia in Syria; or China and Russia evading United Nations sanctions to aid North Korea; or China and Russia working through Cuba to prop up Venezuela’s regime.

    If Mr. Biden wants to restore the rules-based global order, the U.S. and its allies will have to do it. They can start by dropping illusions about the designs of their adversaries.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-chi...is-11617059716
    Reagan put it best:


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