I’ve become convinced the next major event that’ll be used to further centralize power and escalate domestic authoritarianism will center around U.S.-China tensions. We haven’t witnessed this “event” yet, but there’s a good chance it’ll occur within the next year or two. Currently, the front runner appears to be a major aggressive move by China into Hong Kong, but it could be anything really. Taiwan, the South China Sea, currency, economic or cyber warfare; the flash points are numerous and growing by the day. Something is going to snap and when it does we better be prepared to not act like mindless imbeciles for the fourth time this century.
When that day arrives, and it’s likely not too far off, certain factions will try to sell you on the monstrous idea that we must become more like China to defeat China. We’ll be told we need more centralization, more authoritarianism, and less freedom and civil liberties or China will win. Such talk is nonsense and the wise way to respond is to reject the worst aspects of the Chinese system and head the other way.
– From my 2019 piece: Two Paths Forward with China – The Good and The Bad
As the clownish farce that is Russiagate slinks back into the psyop dumpster from which it emerged, an even more destructive narrative has metastasized following the U.S. government’s incompetent response to covid-19.
It was clear to me from the start that Russiagate was a nonsensical narrative wildly embraced by a variety of powerful people in the wake of Trump’s election merely to serve their own ends. For establishment Democrats, it was a way to pretend Hillary Clinton didn’t actually lose because she was a wretched status quo candidate with a destructive track record, but she lost due to “foreign meddling.” This allowed those involved in her campaign to deflect blame, but it also short-circuited any discussion of the merits of populism and widespread voter dissatisfaction (within both parties) percolating throughout the land. It was a fairytale invented by people intentionally putting their heads in the sand in order to avoid confrontation with political reality and to keep their cushy gravy-train of entrenched corruption going.
Russiagate was likewise embraced by the national security state (imperial apparatus) for similar reasons. Like establishment Democrats, the national security state also wanted to prevent the narrative that the status quo was rejected in the 2016 election from spreading. It was incentivized to pretend Hillary’s loss was the result of gullible Americans being duped by crafty Russians in order to manufacture the idea that U.S. society was healthy and normal if not for some external enemy.
Another primary driver for the national security state was to punish Russia for acting like a sovereign state as opposed to a colony of U.S. empire in recent years. Russia has been an increasingly serious thorn in the side of unipolarism advocates over the past decade by performing acts such as buying gold, providing safe harbor for Edward Snowden, and thwarting the dreams of regime change in Syria. Such acts could not go unpunished.
So Russiagate served its purpose. It wasted our time for much of Trump’s first term and it helped prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic nomination. Now we get Chinagate.
When the premier empire on the planet starts blaming external enemies for its internal problems, you know it’s almost always an excuse to let your own elites off the hook and further erode civil liberties. While it appears the novel coronavirus covid-19 did in fact come from China, and China tried to discourage other countries from taking decisive action in the early days, our internal political actors blaming China for their own lack of preparation and timely reaction is patently ridiculous.
The entire world saw China shutdown the entire city of Wuhan shuttering factories and the economy. Anyone with two eyes and half a brain could see they were ACTING as if this were very serious. I bought masks, hand sanitizer, lysol wipes at the end of January. Why didn’t State? https://t.co/oECvvxbV0K
— Stacy Herbrrrt (@stacyherbert) April 23, 2020
If Stacy and myself were able to see the situation clearly and respond early, why couldn’t our government? This isn’t rocket science. The Chinese were acting as if the world had ended in cities across the country and we’re supposed to believe U.S. leaders simply listened to what the CCP was saying as opposed to what they were doing? How does that make any sense?
It makes even less sense considering the Trump administration has been in an explicit cold war with China for almost two years. This concept that the American national security state just took China’s word for what was going on in the early days is preposterous. So what’s going on here? Similar to Russiagate, the increased focus on directing our ten minutes of hate at the Chinese provides cover for the elites, but Chinagate is far more dangerous because the narrative will prove far more convincing for many Americans.
Although Russiagate was rapidly embraced by people with severe Trump Derangement Syndrome, most people just didn’t buy into it or care. Only the most dimwitted amongst us actually believed the Russians were responsible for our major problems at home, but when it comes to China the argument can be far more persuasive because many aspects of the economic relationship between the U.S. and China are in fact problematic. Specifically, the U.S. transformed itself from a nation of producers and builders into a nation of debt-driven consumption slaves over the past five decades. While China played a key role in this process, it wasn’t the driver.
Did China force the U.S. to abandon gold convertibility in 1971, thus beginning the transition from an industrial empire into a financial one? Did China convince us to repeal Glass-Steagall, or lie about WMD in Iraq? Did China put a gun to our manufacturing executives’ heads and force them to offshore manufacturing, or did the executives do that with greed filled eyes while earning billions upon billions from labor arbitrage? China may have directly benefited from five decades of avarice-driven policy crimes committed by American “elites,” but they didn’t cause them. They are entirely homegrown.
Yep, the only people who benefit from the external enemy obsession are the people who actually wrecked this country.
Our own “elites.” https://t.co/bYZDH3cflW
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) April 18, 2020
Chinagate is far more dangerous than Russiagate because very serious fundamental problems within the U.S.-China economic relationship do exist. I don’t deny this, and I’m in favor of actual policies that would incentivize the American people to become producers and builders as opposed to castrated debt zombies. The problem is many of the people ratcheting up the volume on the evils of China (I don’t deny the abundance of evil) aren’t interested in bringing liberty and production back to America. Rather, they’re trying to take away more of your freedoms, economically and politically.
Wall Street and the national security state (empire) ransacked and hollowed out this country. It wasn’t your neighbor, it wasn’t immigrants and it wasn’t an external enemy.
Know who did this and never forget it.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) April 22, 2020
The same people who’ve been in charge of the country for the entire 21st century remain in charge. Presidential politics is pure theater in an empire. Think about it, the same people who brought you endless war, the surveillance panopticon and perpetual Wall Street crime and bailouts are supposed to take on China? The same China that made so many of them fabulously wealthy? Give me a fucking break.
The elitist agenda isn’t to use anger at China to bring freedom and production to our shores, but to use heightened emotional fear to tighten their domestic power grip. The idea is to use Chinese authoritarianism as a model for the U.S.
The post covid-19 elitist wet dream here is pretty transparent. Convince everyone to be a compliant farm animal on an imperial plantation.
To defeat China and all.
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) April 27, 2020
Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are already coming out of their snake holes to advocate for exactly that. We saw this a few days ago when Harvard Law Professor and former George W. Bush administration lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, explicitly called for Chinese-like censorship of speech on the internet.
In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.
By all means advocate for a reshuffling of the relationship between the U.S. and China that will lead to more freedom, resilience and economic vitality at home and I’ll support it, but don’t tell me we need to become China in order to defeat China. If we’re dumb enough to fall for that, we’ll get exactly what we deserve. Good and hard.