The West Needs a Management Change

Martin Wolf in the FT: How the west should judge a rising China
Western models are discredited

The Chinese elite is right: they are, alas. The dominant view among the rest used to be that the west was interventionist, selfish and hypocritical, but competent. After the financial crisis and the rise of populism, the ability of the west to run its economic and political systems well has come into doubt. For those who believe in democracy and the market economy as expressions of individual freedom, these failures are distressing. They can only be dealt with by reforms. Unfortunately, what the west is getting instead is unproductive rage.
The rage comes from negative social mood. It will pass after a time. Whether it is used productively or not remains to be seen.

As for the rest of the world: they don't see populism, Trump and Brexit as failures. I have no doubt Mr. Wolf travels the world and hears how these are all troubling signs of the West's decline. But he's living in an echo chamber. He talks to people who are part of the global U.S. system. If you are well traveled, you no doubt have discovered the "international class" of people. They have almost all the same opinions save for a few local issues. An Argentine and British globalist will agree on nearly everything except the Falklands. And they are both threatened by nationalists in Argentina and Britain who are much more similar politically (not culturally or linguistically) because they both struggle with globalist opposition.

Focused more tightly on the West, there are those (most of the left and center-right, aka the establishment) who think the problems for the West include too few machete wielding savages, low rates of welfare use, low crime rates and lack of ethnic/religious tensions that border on small scale civil war. The Chinese call these people Baizuo (白左). They cannot fathom why the West's leaders implement such stupid and suicidal policies. I spoke to one Chinese man who was upset about a trip to London. He wanted to see England and instead he saw Karachi. To these people, the West's leaders are sticking forks in electrical sockets. Where it's possible to exploit the system they will do it, but there is no joy in it, only befuddlement at the stupidity of Baizuo. The "rest of the world's" reaction to Trump's election was, "the Americans have won an election!" The U.S. was going to start acting like a normal country again.
China does not want to run the world

On this point, we can express doubts. For the first time, China will become a great power within a global civilisation. Like all great powers before it, China will surely wish to arrange the global order and the behaviour of other states (and private organisations, too) to its liking. China also has many neighbours, many of them historically allied to the US. It is already trying to expand its influence, notably in the South China Sea. It is also trying to influence behaviour, not least of all Chinese students, abroad. All this represents the inevitable extension of Chinese power abroad.
In a popularity contest, the West will beat China. Hands down. Even at its worst, the West is preferred. Today, Africans are already chafing at Chinese neo-colonialism. As for the West, Come Back, Colonialism, All Is Forgiven.

China will not surpass the West unless the West collapses or ceases to be the West. Both are possible. If the West collapses and turns inward for a rebuilding phase, China will not rise to world leader. It will hold its position as the West falls. It will be most powerful nation, but not a replacement of the USA. There will be no hegemon.

As for making the West non-Western, the establishment in the West is effectively engaged in population replacement similar to China in Tibet and Xinjiang. (Baizuo and the CCP do have some things in common.) The establishment seeks suicidal destruction and if they remain in charge, that is the inevitable future for the West.

Baizuo are unwilling to assert Western values. Even in their own countries, they will not demand assimilation from foreigners. Hollywood is wholly-owned Baizuo territory and it already bends the knee to Beijing. Corporations will follow the dictates of the most assertive government. Germany sets online speech rules for Facebook, Beijing determines the content of Hollywood movies. Corporations will not preserve rights and do not consider themselves citizens of any nations.

China is already "running the world" because it is assertive and Baizuo are passive. In Vancouver, it was Canadians of Chinese descent who spoke loudest against foreigners (mostly Chinese) buying up property: Douglas Todd: Vancouver's ethnic Chinese irked by inequality, tax avoidance. Baizuo will not speak up and if Anglo or French Canadians speak up, the Baizuo will call them racists and use their political power to destroy their lives.
US goals in trade talks are incomprehensible
China is right: they are ridiculous. But within them are genuinely important issues, notably intellectual property.

China will survive these attacks
This is almost certainly true. Unless the US breaks all its commitments and seeks to impose an economic embargo on China, the current friction will not halt Chinese progress, although it may slow it. A greater threat to China would lie in the domestic reaction to a far more hostile external environment. The likely response would be yet tighter political and economic control, rather than the needed shift towards a more market-oriented, more private-sector-led and more consumption-driven economy.
He should read Luttwak if he hasn't. These two paragraphs explain a brilliant strategy and my suspicion is Luttwak is advising someone in the White House. Start from the primary goal of slowing China's economy with an equally important goal of avoiding military conflict. Ginning up domestic forces that slow China's growth for you is the best possible outcome.

It's not all bad news though. There's a bright spot in, of all places, Seattle. ZH: Amazon, Starbucks Furious After Seattle Passes Controversial "Homeless Tax"
John Kelly, senior vice president, Global Public Affairs & Social Impact at Starbucks, said in a statement.

"This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside.

If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction.

This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter."
That last sentence reads like a Trump speech. Switch illegally parked RV to illegal alien and families seeking shelter to natives, and it's the same argument that Trump makes and every Trump voter thinks. Of course the Baizuo will say those people are evil racist Nazis, but in truth, they're making the same exact formulation. Trump voters aren't racist haters, they're exasperated. The Western establishment fails repeatedly without accountability, they ignore the plight of their own citizens, all while lecturing on their own moral superiority to those very same citizens because those citizens are "selfish." If you think Amazon and Starbucks (and other Seattle voters or businesses) are having a normal and sane reaction, if you see nothing wrong in that paragraph from John Kelly, and you still think there's something evil or racist or xenophobic about Trump, Brexit and the surging nationalism and populism, then you're biased. You aren't seeing the world objectively. You're probably a Baizuo.

China is not a threat and not a concern for an assertive West that exudes confidence in its own civilization. But the West is run by Baizuo who are passive, think the West is evil, and pump this message through media and universities 24/7. They are asking to be conquered. To defend itself, the West must first defeat its own political establishment.

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