We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Key to the party’s operations in Australia is collapsing the categories of Chinese Communist Party, China, and the Chinese people into a single organic whole—until the point where the party can be dropped from polite conversation altogether. The conflation means that critics of the party’s activities can be readily caricatured and attacked as anti-China, anti-Chinese, and Sinophobic—labels that polarize and kill productive conversation. And it is only a short logical step to claim all ethnic Chinese people as “sons and daughters of the motherland,” regardless of citizenship.

John Garnaut

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Alisa

    That regime is becoming more and more insidious by the moment. The FSB in Russia must be green with envy, realizing that this is at least a league above their own and even of their Cold War predecessor.

  • Mr Ed

    So the Communists do have a use for ‘cultural Marxism’ after all. Doubtless Mrs May is terrified of appearing Russophobic too.

    Of course in Australia, it has long been the case that Prime Ministers born overseas (e.g. in Wales) were a problem not for where they were from, but for what they did.

  • Paul Marks

    For many years both the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation and the intelligence arm of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been warning that the Chinese buying of land and key resources was military in nature – that this was not really “overseas private investment” to be welcomed. The governments of Australia and New Zealand may finally be taking action, but the government of Canada (led by the strange person Justin T. – who keeps dressing up in what he thinks are ethnic costumes) is more interested in the war on traditional pronouns that the struggle to survive against the People’s Republic of China.

    As for American libertarians – with a few exceptions, such as my friends Tim Starr, Bruce Cohen and Billy Beck, they are totally useless. Most American libertarians see no problem at all with running a vast trade deficit with the PRC (vast BORROWING to finance CONSUMPTION) and also see no problem with PRC “investment” in the United States – which they are unable (or unwilling) to see has the intent to SUBVERT.

    Treating Chinese “private companies” as independent of the Communist Party state is as insane as treating German “private companies” in the 1930s as independent of the National Socialist government, and “folk Germans” in their camp on Long Island as independent of the German government. There are many very brave and decent Chinese people – but they are NOT the sort of people who become millionaires in the PRC. To get wealthy and stay wealthy in the PRC a person has to be working with the military objectives of the PRC. The difference is that Nazi Germany was a relatively small country – the People’s Republic of China is huge and far more important economically, and modernising its military even as I type these word.

    And what is the political and military objective of the PRC? Very simple – as can be seen from watching Chinese English language television. The destruction of the West – as a rival civilisation and political system.

    Russia at least pretends to have competitive elections (to give people a choice of their rulers) and to place God (and natural law) above the state (even if this is just a pretence by the Putin regime) – the People’s Republic of Chinas makes no such pretence. The evil of the PRC is open and obvious, even the symbols of evil are openly displayed – they are “in your face” as it were.

  • Most American libertarians see no problem at all with running a vast trade deficit with the PRC (vast BORROWING to finance CONSUMPTION)

    Trade deficits with a given party are meaningless, Paul (I run a trade deficit with my local Waitrose supermarket as I buy stuff from them daily and they refuse to buy anything from me), and vast borrowing (even BORROWING) to finance consumption is bad, but it is also an utterly different issue.

  • bobby b

    “That regime is becoming more and more insidious by the moment.”

    And it started on such a high note, with Turnbull cutting out his own guy Tony Abbott’s heart for the job.

    Oh, wait, you meant China . . .

  • Mr Ecks

    Then hacking and ruining their shitty “social credit” computerised tyranny system would be a very suitable retaliation against Chinese socialist evil.

    Imagine if all their top brass were simultaneously declared to be persona non grata.


  • Julie near Chicago

    Indeed it is, Alisa. Thanks for the link.

    The piece is a book review of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? by a Graham Allison. Excerpt:

    ‘Destined for War’ strongly implies that to think that China will accept a role as a power second to the United States or will transform into a liberal democratic state is unrealistic and ignorant of its culture, history, and immense potential. Unless China stops rising or a war ruins them, American leadership will have to grapple with sharing global leadership. Empowered by a dominant economy, China could dictate terms of international trade and finance that buck current norms. As painful as any of this could be, Allison implores all to remember that the costs of war would undoubtedly be higher.

  • As painful as any of this could be, Allison implores all to remember that the costs of war would undoubtedly be higher.

    I’ve read a lot of 30s history in which the necessity of negotiating with the German chancellor was expressed in much those terms. The cost of a land war in China itself would indeed be far higher but our innate capacity to restrain China’s oceanic reach should not be doubted, nor should we grant the Chinese regime the long-term stability it pretends. We also have the advantage that they are far more frightened of war than Adolf (granted, that’s a low bar) and may be more frightened than we need be.

    As in the 30s of course, our leaders can be part of the problem. Precisely because of this, they should not be encouraged to ‘remember’ too much the cost of confrontation and too little the cost of yielding.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Interestingly enough, though they regularly play the ‘nasty Japan’ card, they seem to be copying from the Japanese program. Some of their delegates have visited Australia, and told us we should be more neutral. The Japanese did the same to Korea, and then invaded. I wonder if China wants to turn us into part of its’ new Co-prosperity sphere? If we became a province of China, they would have undisputed access to the Indian, Antarctic, and Pacific Oceans!

  • Bruce

    They are buying up high-grade farming and grazing land here every day. Then, there is their steady purchase of meat-works, port facilities and transport companies.

    In the “old days” this was called “vertical integration”; “paddock to plate”.

    “Investment” is both a military and economic term.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Thirty years ago, we thought the Japanese were going to buy the farm. Then the Japanese economy stalled. They never developed a Silicon valley. Many people think that it might be caused by fear of loss of face- so the individual is too afraid to take a risk.
    Will the Chinese also face the same inhibition about risk and innovation? Then China will stall, or never be at the front of Civilisation.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    My fear is that while the chinese may never attain the same appetite and capacity for risk and innovation as the West did, they may very well enslave the West to gain that ability.

  • The Chinese are incapable of innovation. Copying yes, innovation no. I’ll believe China is about to take over the world commercially when an airline from a functioning country buys a fleet of Chinese-made aircraft instead of a Boeing or Airbus.

  • Alisa


    I’ll believe China is about to take over the world commercially when an airline from a functioning country buys a fleet of Chinese-made aircraft instead of a Boeing or Airbus.

    Indeed – that is why my real worry is that they will try to take over militarily, with the commercial inroads laying merely the ground for that. Which I guess echoes TWG’s point above.

    Niall, I also got a whiff of appeasement from that article, but it is an interesting read just the same.

  • Yes indeed, Alisa (March 13, 2018 at 10:34 am). I had already read the article, but did so again when you linked it – well worth thinking about. The end of the paragraph you quoted from it focussed my mind on why, at my first reading, my interest had not quite gelled into agreement.

    Re your comment on my recent post, thanks for feeling my pain but in fact the pain is less because I really do believe that post’s point: the PC hurt their own thinking yet more than they do our speaking – and may yet be defeated thereby (says Niall ever-the-optimist Kilmartin 🙂 ).

  • bobby b

    Robin Williams, when asked why Germans aren’t funny, replied “Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?”

    Given the past hundred years, it might be assumed that the Chinese have killed all of their free-thinking innovative people. I wonder how long it takes that gene to re-propagate across the population.

  • Alisa

    (says Niall ever-the-optimist Kilmartin 🙂 )

    People tell me I’m too optimistic in general, but the truth is that it’s just my version of realism 🙂

  • pete

    Why should people show gratitude for economic dependence of the type between China and Australia?

    Such dependence is usually a two-way, mutually beneficial thing, with no gratitude required from either side.

    It is about money.

  • Pete, these people think nations trade with nations, rather than people trade with people. It is baked into the metacontext. They are fascists (in the ethno-fascist sense, and kinda-sorta in the economic sense too) masquerading as communists, and everything revolves around the state. Non-statist perspectives simply will not compute. I’ve had similar discussions with Russians who could not separate disparaging remarks about Putin with disparaging remarks about Russia (not that I don’t have a few of the latter too, but then same is true of my views of UK, USA etc. etc.). They literally cannot understand what is being said as it makes no sense to them on an axiomatic level.

  • Michael Jennings

    I think when Australians trade with China, almost all the Chinese trading partners are state owned or very closely state connected in one way or another. This is not ideal.

    On the other hand, the Chinese are buying coal and iron ore from Australia because they need the coal and iron ore. If they stopped buying it, they would hurt themselves as much as they would hurt the Australians.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – the borrowing to finance consumption imports is not a “different issue”. But I thank you for not indulging in Laird style Enron talk about how it is fine because it is balanced on the capital account (smoke and mirrors). The wild borrowing must stop – an economy is based on WORK (making things) NOT consumption. The work must come first – the consumption afterwards, and the work must be MORE than the consumption (in order to fund investment for the future – via Real Savings, i.e. not consuming everything).

    If a nation such as the United States even imports (mass imports – not a few specialist products) steel (actually there are hundreds of different sorts of steel – but I am simplifying) when it has the natural resources in the United States and used to be the biggest steel maker in the world – then it is fucked (no apology for bad language). But the real point is how to restore domestic production – and that can only done sustainably by rolling back such things as the pro union laws, NOT by putting taxes on imports. Putting taxes on imports is DODGING THE REAL ISSUE – this being why is American industry in such a mess in the first place. And why has American culture turned from REAL SAVINGS and WORK towards wild and unsustainable consumption.

    So the choice Americans are offered is between Donald Trump’s wrong answer to the crises – and the pretence by the establishment that there is no crises at all. That the destruction of basic industries does not matter because the population can all work as YouTube personalities or some-such (or in the credit bubble farce that is “financial services” – or the government bureaucracy itself).

    Still turning back to China.

    I did not name the idiots who thought that economic reform would, eventually, lead to political reform in the PRC.

    One of those idiots was me – Paul Marks. I was utterly wrong.

  • Perry – the borrowing to finance consumption imports is not a “different issue”.

    The reason it is a different issue, Paul, is that borrowing to finance consumption of overpriced rubbish British Leyland cars is in no way less harmful economically than financing consumption imports (& moreover you get less goodies for the same funny-money money). Where the funny-money gets spent is not the same issue.

  • Paul Marks

    When President Donald Trump says that if America does not have such industries as steel and aluminium the country will fall he is CORRECT. Those who think that the United States does not need to worry about the decline of such things as the steel industry just see the world so differently to me that any further discussion, on this matter, with them is going to go no where.

    However, President Trump method for reserving the relative decline of basic American industries, taxes on imports, is fundamentally wrong. This is because what needs to be done to restore the basic industries is HARD – repealing the pro union laws, the “anti trust” laws, the vast number of Federal welfare schemes and on-and-on.

    Taxes on imports is the easy approach – easy and WRONG (as the easy option normally is). But at least President Trump sees the problem (the crises) – the establishment elite do not.