The China Question

Note: Lots of doings to start the week. I have a review of the classic musical My Fair Lady up behind the green door. There is some new audio on G. Gordon Liddy and the Matt Gaetz case as well. The regular Taki post is up here. Today at 1:00 PM I will be on Guide to Kulchur to discuss The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


A popular topic among Sinophiles since the installation of Joe Biden as president is the possibility of war with China over the status of Taiwan. The Chinese have been obsessed with Taiwan since Mao. With the American empire in sharp decline and the Biden regime unpopular at home and abroad, now could be the perfect time for the Chinese to make their move. As John Derbyshire is fond of pointing out, “Taiwan is like two feet from China … We are eight thousand miles away.”

While there is little doubt that China could retake Taiwan whenever it likes, the cost would be extremely high. For starters, Taiwan and the US have been preparing for such a move for generations. Some of the most sophisticated early warning systems on earth are installed in Taiwan specifically keep an eye on China. There is the very strong possibility that Taiwan has underground missile systems capable of reaching targets on the mainland in the event of an attack by China.

Whether or not the US would actually go to war to defend Taiwan is debatable, but that is the official position. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia are also technically committed to the defense of Taiwan. An all-out assault on Taiwan could very well result in attacks on Chinese infrastructure along the coast. It would most certainly result in massive economic retaliation. The Chinese regime would be forced to explain to her people why they are suddenly poor again.

Of course, the Chinese could counter with attacks on Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia. Her navy is the largest in the world now, even if it lacks the forward capability of the American empire. It could deliver attacks on her neighbors, including Hawaii. In an all-out war, she could attack the west coast of the United States with submarine based missiles. The point is, China is not Iraq, some pipsqueak the US military can kick around without consequences.

That reality, however, is why such a full-blown confrontation is unlikely. Despite what many believe, China is hooked on the dollar like the rest of the world. She cannot afford war with the US at this time. The reason the Chinese flooded the American election system with cash in 2020 is the Trump administration was causing real problems for the Chinese with their trade policies. No one can be sure if the Covid plague China unleashed was an accident, but you cannot rule it out.

The point being is that an economic war with the American empire would be catastrophic for the Chinese economy. The usual suspects love crowing about the Chinese economy, but her per capita GDP is $10,839. That is down there with Costa Rica and Bulgaria. China has a lot of poor people. The rich people she has are obligated to make sure those poor are provided with the basics. The iron rice bowl is a real thing, and the Chinese regime takes it very seriously.

There is also the fact that China is smart. She can take the long view with Taiwan as she knows in a generation the American empire will be gone. Given the physical condition of the ruling class and the mental condition of the probable successors, the American empire will be out of Asia in a decade. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia all know this and have been planning accordingly. China can just bide her time and Taiwan will come to her, hat in hand.

There is also the possibility this happens much quicker. It is clear to the world that Joe Biden is non compos mentis. Whoever is calling the shots is not bothering to consult the White House. This is why there is a crisis in the Ukraine. Someone from the semi-permanent ruling class encouraged Kiev to declare her intention to retake the Crimea, which has resulted in a stand-off with the Russians, who have no intention of allowing Ukraine to make any moves on the Crimea.

Then there is the dispute over Nord Stream 2, the new natural gas pipeline being built to supply western Europe. Shadowy financial interests in the American empire have been trying to stop this project for a long time. Biden administration figures have been dispatched to Europe to deliver a message from those shadowy financial interests that the Washington regime will pull out all the stops to prevent this project. This is further undermining the credibility of the Biden regime.

From the Chinese perspective, she has no reason to make any moves on Taiwan, as the puppet government in Washington is unlikely to stagger on much longer. Despite the claims by regime media, the world fully grasps the reality of the situation. The American regime is in deep crisis. The American empire is the sick man of the world right now and everyone is just waiting for the inevitable. History shows that the end comes much sooner than the patient ever expects.

The point of all this is that China has no reason to force a confrontation with the American empire over Taiwan. Through bribery, maneuvering and the general incompetence of the American ruling elite, China can quietly dictate policy to the regime in Washington. If she is patient, this reality will become clear to her neighbors in the region, and they will peacefully detach from the American empire and align with the Chinese empire. There is no need to fight the inevitable.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Sermon On The Net

This being Good Friday, I thought a show about Christianity and the dissident right would be a good topic. I was torn on how I wanted to do it, so it did not come out as well as I hoped. I had a few ideas on how to approach the subject, but I could not settle on one, so I ended up coming at it from a few different angles. In retrospect, I should have mulled it over a bit longer to get my thoughts in order. On the other hand, it means I can revisit the topic at some point in the future.

One of the odd things about dissident politics is that our side of the great divide has different tribes that probably would not find common cause if not for having been driven off the public stage. Thirty years ago, the “secular right” was not all that fond of the religious right. They even setup a site for themselves as a refuge from those Bible-wielding conservatives. It looks like they ran out of steam a couple of years ago, which is fitting given the circumstances of the moment.

It seems like there is an opportunity for the two main wings of the dissident right to find common cause again. If you look at the main players in the new free speech movement, for example, they tend to be men of faith. The American First crowd is very proudly Christian, even though they do not get into the details of what that means. On the other hand, the authority of the secular wing is rooted in biological reality. The quantifiable differences in people are the starting point for many dissidents.

In the before times, the secular wing always chaffed at the rhetoric of Christian conservatives, mostly out of ignorance. People drawn to secular politics tend not to be comfortable with the topics in religion. Today, Christians tend to be uncomfortable with the langue of most dissidents. Talk of evolution is alienating to them, because they have been conditioned to view it as an enemy of their faith. Our side of the great divide is an uneasy alliance of people who do not entirely trust one another.

That is the main point of the show this week. Secular people need to get more comfortable talking about religion, but dissident Christians need to reexamine their hostility to certain dissident topics. The fact is a large majority of white people consider themselves Christians. On the other hand, a large majority of dissidents long for a return to tradition. There is no reason why religion should not be an integral part of dissident politics, even if many dissidents are not religious.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.


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Promotions: The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is like a tea, but it has a milder flavor. It’s hot here in Lagos, so I’ve been drinking it cold. It is a great summer beverage.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Evolution
  • 22:00: Camp Counselor Z
  • 42:00: Meaning & Purpose

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Full Show On Spreaker

Full Show On YouTube

The Last Link

Way back in the early days of the conservative movement, it was assumed that Federal spending was both unsustainable and damaging to the country. Cutting the size and scope of government was their thing. The tool they eventually settled on to reduce Federal spending was taxes. If they made high taxes so unpopular with the public, the Left could not keep raising taxes. If they could not raise taxes to cover their spending, they would eventually have to yield to the mathematics.

Obviously, that never happened. The big tax reforms of the 1980’s did simplify taxes and lower rates on rich people, but revenues remained stable. At the same time, spending kept growing. One of the unspoken truths of fiscal policy is the percent of GDP that is consumed by Federal taxes does not change much of time. The range is between 15% to 18%, depending on when tax policy was changed. This is the logic of the flat tax. One rate, no deductions and no more IRS.

Spending, of course, keeps going up, no matter who is in office. Despite their rhetoric, the Republicans are the big spenders. In the 1980’s they had to spend on the military to win the Cold War. In the Bush years it was the crusades against Islam. It is only when a Democrat is in the White House that the Republicans get tight-fisted, and even that is mostly ceremonial, as we have seen with the last Covid bill. It turns out that there is no relationship between taxes and spending.

Another shibboleth of conservatives is that eventually the bond markets will force a haircut on the government. The so-called bond vigilantes will drive up interest rates, which will make borrowing more expensive. The theory here is that there is a hard limit on debt. Once that limit is reached, spending must go down or taxes must go up in order to reconcile the books. Like the belief that taxes will curtail spending, faith in the mythological bond vigilantes has been misplaced.

Of course, you can go back further and find arguments from the hard money crowd about the limits of fiat currency. There was an argument in the old days that said fiat currency not only unleashes spending and inflation, but it eventually makes the money worthless, thus bankrupting the state. We have been off the gold standard for a very long time now and none of the predictions came true. The spending continues, the borrowing continues, and the money creation continues.

The gold bugs have now moved to crypto currency as the savior. Once everyone is using digital money that is outside the control of the state, then we end up with a de facto gold standard. That will force fiscal discipline on the state, which means radically reducing spending. The fact that this will never happen has so far not dimmed the enthusiasm, but like all of the other schemes to cut spending, this one will prove no match for the animal cunning of the ruling class.

There is another theory related to money. The monetarists have always argued that sound monetary policy would impose discipline on the state. Since central banks are independent of the state, they can maintain a stable money supply. While not the same as a gold standard, sound monetary policy has similar effects. That has turned out to be a myth as well. The Fed is now captive to the spending frenzy of Washington, finding new ways to underwrite trillions in new outlays.

Now, there are those who will keep lighting candles for their favorite theory. The gold bugs, for example, are sure hyperinflation is around the next corner. The bond vigilantes are similarly sure the next crisis will confirm their theory. The truth is though, none of these theories turned out to be true. The official debt is $28T, but that excludes things like Social Security. The real debt obligations of the Federal government are incalculable. No one knows and no one seems to care.

The lesson of the last half century is one the monetarists learned from the battles over the gold standard. If the ruler is so corrupt you need hard money to control him, your ruler is corrupt enough to find a way around the limits of hard money. It turns out our rulers are more than capable of conniving around every limit put before them. They have reached levels of corruption that were though impossible half a century ago. The display being put on now suggest they are just getting warmed up.

This rather shabby track record should raise a question. That is, is the field of economics just pseudoscientific nonsense? It has lots of complexity and lots of very clever solutions to the complex problems it unearths, but outside of the most basic of concepts like supply and demand, economics is not very useful. In all of the important things, it turns out to be wrong. Astrologers have a better record than economists, because they know they are grifters, not scientists.

Putting that aside, the lesson here is that contra the libertarians, economics is downstream from politics. No amount of fiddling with the tax code can fix the defects of the political class. Even further, the right people in a corrupt system cannot correct the defects of the corrupt system. This is why the people come and go in Washington, but the corruption rolls on unimpeded. In the great chain of causality, economics is the last link in that chain. It is the final effect of a chain of many causes.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.