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USG Unleashes Gamer Genocide on Iran
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So apparently the US decided to step up its sanctions on the evil mullahs and gas killing animal Assad by banning the popular multiplayer video game League of Legends in those countries.

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran begin to boil over, the conflict has had an unexpected side effect. League of Legends, one of the most played video games of all time, has been blocked in Iran and Syria by the U.S. government.

After a U.S. military drone was shot down by the Iranian army earlier this week, the already tenuous relationship between the two countries has immediately soured even further—and Syria is also caught up in this penalty.

This is an extraordinary occurrence that hasn’t been seen in the esports sphere before.

Anyhow, apart from illustrating the schizophrenia of the USG – do they expect gamers to rise up against those regimes and do what the jihadists and MEK cultists couldn’t? do they expect this to make the boomers who run those countries sad? – this does raise an issue that is not entirely trivial.

I would wager that for a significant percentage of younger people around the world, their video games libraries are their most significant “investments” into the United States, and the foreigners they meet on multiplayer games constitute their main exposure to Americans and Westerners. In “Axis of Resistance” countries, such as Iran and Russia, this demographic will be significantly more Americanophile than the average for that country.

And they can lose access to all their content and connections should USG decide to sanction them, as happened to Crimean gamers in 2014.

As with other types of sanctions, the products in question don’t even have to be all-American to be banned because of the banal fact that the US is still the world’s single biggest market, and there are very few corporations that will be willing to go out to bat for Syrians, Iranians, and Crimeans if it means losing access to it. This is a case in point. League of Legends is developed by Riot Games, which is entirely owned by Tencent, the Chinese technology giant. In this sense, it is a microcosm of how China bows before American diktats not to import Iranian oil, despite their own strained relationship with Washington D.C. And if it isn’t acting boldly on something that directly concerns its own geopolitical interests, then it most certainly is not going to do anything to promote the consumer rights of people in the “Axis of Resistance.”

There are no obvious solutions to this. One can install a VPN, but that causes ping to go up, and some platforms, such as Steam, disallow using it to circumvent national restrictions and may permanently lock accounts found to be doing so. This is usually applied to Westerners who want to buy games at (much lower) East European prices. However, banning accounts from US-sanctioned countries would be entirely legal and predictable. There is also of course piracy. However, that isn’t entirely trivial either – the average video game these days is around ten times larger than a high quality movie, and more importantly, multiplayer games have sophisticated means of detecting pirate copies.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. The Chinese strategy so far has been to bide their time and keep getting stronger while letting the Americans do their American things. It has worked great so far. They are still pretty weak, relative to Globohomo, so they seem to keep doing it. But the returns on the strategy seem to be getting ever smaller.

    I’ve now heard why replacing ARM technology would be near impossible for China. The issue is compatibility. It’s basically impossible to ensure full compatibility with a different architecture. Shutting China out of ARM technology means permanently shutting them out of world markets.

  3. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    China’s luck is running out.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  4. LondonBob says:
    @reiner Tor

    Chinese can just dump treasuries and precipitate the inevitable debt crisis the US will suffer.

    The question is when will sanctions apply to a bigger market than they don’t, at this rate it won’t be far off? Probably what interests me is how much more subservient Europe is than even ten years ago. France and Germany were very vocal opposing the Iraq war, Thatcher telling the US to mind their own business when the gas pipeline was built in the eighties etc.

    Theory is the last tanker attacks may have been done by Israeli combat swimmers for the purpose of provoking war between the US and Iran, Iran having done the previous more low key attacks.

  5. @LondonBob

    Dumping treasuries is unfortunately not the Wunderwaffe many believe it to be. I’m not sure there are any easy Chinese options, and they still want an easy option, so something has to give. I don’t even think they have many options left, because the Americans obviously don’t want to let China grow to twice the size of the US economy. But I’m sure they will choose the correct solution, though only after exhausting all other options.

    Regarding European servility, I’ve long thought about maps in 3000 AD depicting Europe with the same color as the US, as some kind of colonies or provinces. After all, historical maps often depict the whole of Italy as part of Rome, when technically many cities were still independent or semi-independent.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  6. I recently tried to update my personal Windows envirnoment, by migrating to QEMU and a more powerful VM. I found out that my paid Windows 7, Office 2013, Creative Suite 6, AutoCAD, Matlab and a few others, failed to start on the new virtual machine and failed to reinstall. I think all the above serials are now blacklisted with their respective licensing servers.

    This is how I found these were all fake “perpetuity licenses”. I avoided upgrades, because, in all cases, the current versions are true subscriptions, with monthly payments. But it turned out that I was already renting them.

    Owning software has been an illusion for the last decade or so. Isn’t that the case for games as well? Gamers must be even more easy to swindle than Matlab users. I would have thought they were switched to subscriptions long time ago. Any illusion of ownership should have been gone.

    r/piracy has cracks for all the above.

  7. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Europe is to America what ancient Greece was to the old Romans.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  8. Ma Laoshi says:

    So much of the Chinese elite is now Western-educated. Nothing wrong with that in itself, and the technical skills they brought home seem just fine. But there’s a risk that you now think you understand the West just because you studied there. How could you, given that the English language was never your forte?

    Do you think the stories the West tells about itself in the Ivies are even remotely true? Did you really enjoy the education which the elite gives its own children? Or did you graduate with the education which trains the professional class to serve Western elites?

    It may sound a bit conspirational, but maybe you haven’t seen the system from the inside unless you’ve joined a synagogue during your studies. I’m guessing few of those bright, secular Chinese kids have done that.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  9. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Mitleser

    Oh, Japan did great–until their meteoric rise became an actual threat to the economic and technological dominance of Uncle Sam. At that point, an unseen foot stepped on the brake and Japan stagnated. 2+ decades have passed since then, and Japan is yet to recover; at this point, it is so far behind China in economic heft that maybe it doesn’t matter anymore.

    Mao did/allowed horrible things which caused great damage to China, but throughout he preserved China’s independence even in the face of nuclear blackmail. China’s subsequent rise wouldn’t have been possible without it, as we see from the IMF debt slaves in the non-Western world. We’re now negotiating to which extent it’s beneficial for China (and Russia) to play along in world markets, and at which point they start to erode their own sovereignty.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    , @Sean
    , @Thorfinnsson
  10. Yevardian says:

    This act will be remembered in history as the day the US finally stepped too far.

    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
  11. WHAT says:
    @Officegate

    Gamers have gog.com.
    And my Office`10 is working fine.

  12. Ma Laoshi says:
    @LondonBob

    >France and Germany were very vocal opposing the Iraq war
    For me too, 2003 is key in understanding, well, who we are. First thing to note is that we’re talking about the centre-right Chirac govt and Schroeder’s Social Democrats. So left/right party colors are totally irrelevant, and yet we’re still stuck with this outdated paradigm–because establishment media want us to be.

    If this had been a one-off thing, the Dark Throne might have even let it pass. But the two subsequent NATO summits, where basically the alliance had to define itself for the post-Soviet/terror era, ended without a final declaration due to fundamental disagreements. What did Kissinger say again about Chile, “I’ll be damned if I allow a perfectly good country to go communist”? So the screws were tightened, a lot, focusing on gleichschaltung of the media.

    Unfortunately, for me this is not even the dark part. We have seen that French and German voters wanted to share in the glory of Empire, spitting on the grave of De Gaulle. Europeans are not who they claim to be; I grew up among them if that counts for something. When the armored columns of the occupier thunder through Europe, less and less inclined to pay heed to our national borders, Eurotrash gets wet in the pants “Look how strong our master is!” The question why they serve a foreign master is beyond them; their minds have been defeated, at this point they differ from Ukrainians only in degree.

    • Agree: WHAT, Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Thorfinnsson
  13. WHAT says:

    On topic: good. DOTA-type games are terrible cancer, worse even than the Call of Duty IQ shredder, lol.

    • Agree: Kent Nationalist
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @El Dato
  14. @WHAT

    I’ve never played online video games at all, so I don’t care. What matters is the principle, especially the way China is behaving.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  15. WHAT says:
    @reiner Tor

    Backroom deals are always possible, so they will still have IP block access, ergo new smartphone generations and such.
    Besides, even their internal market should be enough to sustain, say, Huawei, Xiaomi and Oneplus, and then there is other Asia and Africa. I also wonder who actually owns AMD, seeing as Intel is an israeli company from the start, lol.

  16. Jason Liu says:
    @reiner Tor

    The hide and bide phase is over, there’s no going back to it. The CCP should’ve either waited longer or made more friends to counter the liberal democratic world order, but they totally dropped the ball and thought money was everything.

    Not only have we not improved relations with Asian neighbors, we seem to have alarmed the world and made more enemies. At this rate I’m about to become the first dissident to criticize China from a nationalist angle.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  17. Jason Liu says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Japan’s stagnation is largely because they met their economic capacity, as determined by population and land mass. If China doesn’t want to head down the same path we need to boost the birth rate now, using creative new means because all the ones tried by other countries have largely failed.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
    , @notanon
  18. @Officegate

    Gamers must be even more easy to swindle than Matlab users

    Matlab’s a bit like MapInfo – almost all paid, licenced installs are paid for by corporates. And Octave is to Matlab, what QGIS is to MapInfo; any technically competent practitioner prefers Octave/QGIS. Even corporates are wising up: they are beginning to understand that most shit that they do in a Matlab, can be done in Python or R – and good Python coders are worth paying for. (I’m migrating a bespoke managed funds analysis suite from Matlab to Python as my major side project over the next ten weeks).

    Also, I would be chary about widely available cracks for Matlab: all cracks are prime vectors for malware.

    There is only one software subscription that I consider worth the fee – to JetBrains, for PyCharm, DataGrip and IntelliJ (IntellJ can be configured to replace the shitful IDE within Matlab).

    • Replies: @Officegate
  19. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Jason Liu

    >At this rate I’m about to become the first dissident …
    No, that slot is taken! 🙂 Oh wait, I’m not exactly Chinese…

    Yes, I fully understand that China wants to check the US Navy in its own backyard. But the way in which they went about it–just take, and the little ‘uns should be grateful that China doesn’t take more, shattered the narrative of the peaceful rise of China. Now on the one hand a couple of rocks is small fries compared to the wholesale destruction if Iraq, but on the other hand: that’s exactly the point, a couple new friends would’ve been worth much more than those rocks.

    Peepee Escobar and others wax lyrical when China says it wants to settle matters through dialogue and quiet consultation, but they never seem to notice that China is only serious about it with parties stronger than them, or at least near peers. Against the weak, it’s a different story; maybe it’s just human nature?

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    , @Anon
  20. anon[268] • Disclaimer says:

    I would wager that for a significant percentage of younger people around the world, their video games libraries are their most significant “investments” into the United States, and the foreigners they meet on multiplayer games constitute their main exposure to Americans and Westerners.

    This is big Russian oversight.
    Imagine what would happen if Russia spent few billion dollars in developing their own games promoting Russian culture and Russian values.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_video_games_to_develop

    Imagine people all over the world playing instead of playing diverse LGBT heroes, played Russian heroes defending Russian Empire and fighting all forms of liberalism and homosexuality.

    What opportunity missed. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  21. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Jason Liu

    >we need to boost the birth rate now
    You mean copy the success formula of Egypt and Nigeria? Throw away the self-control which has put China light years ahead of India? You talk about China as “we”, but have you every been at a railway station there? The finiteness of natural resources means nothing to you? We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one it seems.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    , @Mitleser
  22. Ma Laoshi says:
    @anon

    Hey, you talk as if “Metro” and “Metro Last Light” never happened?! Respected, and successful, worldwide. They just had a bit more hip concept of Russianness than the bible freaks over at Russia Insider. In Metro, they’re kind/violent/brave/hateful/funny–in a word all different, i.e. human, which I think was a fine message even if it was unintentional.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  23. Curious says:
    @reiner Tor

    I’ve now heard why replacing ARM technology would be near impossible for China. The issue is compatibility. It’s basically impossible to ensure full compatibility with a different architecture.

    True.

    Shutting China out of ARM technology means permanently shutting them out of world markets.

    Which will never happen long-term. Huawei is one thing. China as a country is another. Don’t forget that Chinese OEMs are around 50% of all smartphone shipments and even non-Chinese OEMs are heavily reliant on them (such as Apple). The West may control the software but China controls the hardware. China getting shut out would mean that they might as well crash the global smartphone market. Nobody is going to replace them, nobody is even close.

    Furthermore, China has made significant strides in semiconductor technology. If the West were to completely shut out China then what’s stopping them going rogue and just annexing Taiwan? The US isn’t going to risk nuclear war over Taipei, simple as. Taiwan has TSMC and other very advanced manufacturing. China would be, in a single stroke, on par with the best of the world in semiconductors.

    On top of this, various US corporations are already lobbying washington for going softer on Huawei. It isn’t Russia. China is deeply enmeshed in the high-tech value chains. A huge percentage of a company like Qualcomm’s revenue goes to Chinese companies (30% or more). Graham Budd, one of the senior execs of ARM went public in an interview a few days ago in Caixin and all but backtracked and said he was working hard to go back to Huawei. Remember: a single company. Now imagine the whole country.

    Anyone who seriously thinks that the US would ban China as a country from getting ARM licences is delusional. China has massive retaliatory power if it banded all the OEMs together and adopted a new OS. It could also destroy the supply chain for Apple and other Western OEMs easily. You’ve been gaslit by the Western MSM and peddling delusional fantasies.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Thorfinnsson
  24. Ma Laoshi says:
    @anon

    To follow up: people regularly rant “Yanks R stoopid” without pausing to consider if they might be top dog for a reason. How, for instance, about Hollywood being with the state, but not of the state? You tell your stories from the American [or, ehmmm, (((American)))] side, but in the end you’re still expected to turn a profit. So you better make sure your movies play the heartstrings, and look the part. Let’s face it, everybody else is still playing catch-up; more heavy-handedness will only make things worse.

    • Replies: @216
  25. Jason Liu says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    The easiest way to check the US Navy is to flip other Asian navies to our side instead of trying to fight every American ally, which is impossible. Just getting Japan alone to sit on the fence between the two powers would probably deter American aggression.

    I’m also willing to bet that alliance/friendship with countries around the South China Sea has more strategic value than the artificial islands, not to mention all the other benefits. But Beijing seems to have only two moves when it comes to diplomacy: Threaten them or buy them out. Neither are good strategies in the long run.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  26. Jason Liu says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Whatever benefits the one child policy had is no longer relevant today. I wish we had India’s fertility rate right now. China’s current demographic projections are grim to say the least. It’s gonna be such a crisis in 30~40 years, I’m willing to accept draconian measures if it means more babies.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  27. Mitleser says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Such self-control is going to be useless if the nation fails to reproduce.

  28. Mitleser says:
    @Jason Liu

    That is not quite true. BJ used to be more willing to compromise.

    China has nine maritime neighbors (including Taiwan) but no settled maritime boundaries, due in part to China’s unwillingness to specify its maritime claims. Only one partial exception to this imprecision exists: a boundary agreement with Vietnam to delimit the northern part of the Gulf of Tonkin…

    2. China made significant compromises. The 21 geographic points constituting the Sino-Vietnamese boundary in the Gulf of Tonkin divide it into two unequal parts, with 53.23 percent of the water lying on the Vietnamese side of the line. This compromise by China reflects the relative length of the Vietnamese coastline and the position of Bach Long Vi Island. That island was once the subject of a Sino-Vietnamese sovereignty dispute put to rest in 1957 when Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai dropped the Chinese claim. That strong Chinese leaders were once willing to make a deal over sovereignty that later facilitated a boundary resolution is a valuable precedent.

    6. China was in a more compromising mood in the 1990s. Between 1991 and 1999, China signed 11 boundary agreements that fully or partially settled seven disputes along its land borders. One of those was the Chinese land boundary with Vietnam, with which the maritime boundary agreement was associated. Unfortunately for China’s neighbors, that compromising mood is only a fond memory. Today China appears less vulnerable and more confrontational than in the wake of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and the diplomatic isolation that followed the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Nationalism concerning the East and South China Sea disputes is not new, nor is it necessarily more virulent or uncompromising, but China’s position has hardened and its capacity to enforce its claims and dictate terms of future settlements has increased.

    https://amti.csis.org/the-other-gulf-of-tonkin-incident-chinas-forgotten-maritime-compromise/

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    , @Ma Laoshi
  29. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Jason Liu

    >I wish we had India’s fertility rate right now.
    No can do: those are the numbers of a developing country; let’s hope China isn’t going back there. But isn’t the one-child policy being adjusted? To my eyes, the Chinese leadership is less calcified than the American one. Small wonder, they’re substantially younger these days after all.

    >The easiest way to check the US Navy is to flip other Asian navies to our side instead of trying to fight every American ally
    Stop the presses, two people online agree on something. 🙂 Yes China is going through these spasms. When there were protests in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, there was this Israeli-style spite “Why do we even bother, they all hate us anyway”. Then that Sichuan earthquake struck, and Chinese people see that it isn’t so simple. I think somebody that counts in Beijing understands they made a mistake with those rocks; they’re just not going to beat their chest about it on CCTV. The trade negotiations with the EU are a grown-up affair as far as I can tell, so at least they have that note in their register.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
  30. @Kratoklastes

    I haven’t used Matlab in many years. But my previous Windows environment had it, so I thought, who knows, maybe I will need it again.

    The point was that almost all of these programs whined about radically changing the computer, even if I imported most of the settings (MAC, partition table) from VirtualBox. Now Office and Creative Suite refuse to start even under the old VM. It’s been fairly depressing to see more than 1,000 dollars down the drain. I doubt those Syrian gamers lost as much in a day.

  31. Jason Liu says:
    @Mitleser

    But it’s not the 90s and Beijing must’ve thought they can take a harder stance now that China is richer. This is why China keeps losing trust in the region, even if trade goes up. It looks like an asshole in the eyes of our neighbors. Not to mention that a bigger country staking out a claim will always seem like the bully, even if the claim is legit. I don’t think the CCP took any of this into consideration.

    Ironically their ham-fisted method of securing the southern shipping lanes makes it MORE likely that disgruntled SEA countries like Vietnam or the Philippines will host US bases and help the US Navy choke off China’s maritime oil supply.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  32. Anon000 says:
    @anon

    Imagine what would happen if Russia spent few billion dollars in developing their own games promoting Russian culture and Russian values.

    [MORE]

  33. Jason Liu says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Is it? The CCP is looking awfully inflexible and rigid these days. Which is a pity, because the best advantage of being an autocracy is the ability to turn on a dime and outmaneuver democracies.

    The problem with these adolescent spasms is that trust and friendship are hard to regain. Even if China becomes perfect and charismatic tomorrow, people will still see us as cheats and bullies for generations to come. Not to mention a good number of Chinese nationalists are really more like chest-thumpers who just hate our neighbors.

    It’s going to take a suave, socially competent president to fix Chinese diplomacy and rally enough nations to stand against the liberal world order. But all I see on the horizon are paranoid, out of touch old men with no more soft power acumen than a cabbage.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
    , @Ma Laoshi
  34. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Mitleser

    Compromise–compromise with whom? Beijing can display completely different personas depending on who sits across the table. Which fits with my previous observations about “face”: only at the best of times does it imply mutual respect; other days of the week people will try to get you to defer to their superior face.

    I think Beijing has been much too soft on the US for a long while, contributing to their current problems. Like when Pres. Xi was at the White House early in Trump’s term, and got treated to the Syrian fireworks show. When asked to “help Trump by constraining Little Kim”, why wasn’t there a bit of “You’ll get nothing from me until those THAAD batteries are withdrawn from South Korea”. After all, that was the original destabilizing escalation, wasn’t it? As it went, the THAAD deployment is the new normal; not only were China’s protests ineffective, they never got their story out to begin with.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  35. In my experience the most “Americanophile” demographic in Russia are those who had no actual contact with Americans, cannot communicate in English and only know of the country from American movies and TV series they saw on Russian television.

    • Agree: Yevardian, WHAT
  36. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Jason Liu

    Hm. Well, even where I don’t agree with you completely, boy I do know what you’re talking about. I have no answer let alone a rebuttal; only some hypotheses. The first one is that these old men have little training in being contradicted at home; but this is the easy, obvious part.

    Second, there must be a thinking in Zhongnanhai “So what, Uncle Sam pisses on everyone nonstop, and the rubes always come back asking for more.” Yes but, pre-Trump, said Uncle took its propaganda very seriously worldwide. Also, and if it causes no offense, I keep coming back to the jewish question. I’m skeptical about the supernatural, but jews really seem able to hypnotize everybody else. Not only are they great storytellers, but I don’t think Beijing understands the enduring importance of religion–people are still willing to die for that stuff. So God’s people tip the scales to the American side, in a way which the CCP will not be able to comprehend, let alone copy.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  37. Beckow says:
    @Curious

    …China has massive retaliatory power if it banded all the OEMs together and adopted a new OS.

    Good points. It is not a Western interest for the world tech market to segment and relocalize. In late 90’s (after decades of relatively fragmented technology), US started to consolidate a one-world market with compatible and universal systems. Market values of the major Western companies from Microsoft to Amazon reflect that.

    That is not a natural state, it has been done because of willingness of all to adopt the new technologies with an understanding that they will benefit – and that those technologies, dollar currency, central institutions, etc… will treat everyone fairly. In the last few years that has ended. US – maybe out of desperation since they were slowly losing and were shown unable to fight actual wars – decided to use their inside control to fight its political battles. That is a disaster. Like in a divorce, both sides (or all sides) will be hurt, slowly separate, and the resulting enmity will harden. Washington had a good thing going and they are throwing it away.

  38. AaronB says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    but I don’t think Beijing understands the enduring importance of religion–people are still willing to die for that stuff. So God’s people tip the scales to the American side, in a way which the CCP will not be able to comprehend, let alone copy.

    An important and underappreciated point.

    Religion cannot be overestimated from the psychological point of view – it is sheer dynamite.

    But the one angle we too seldom consider in our rational age is the possibility of actual Divine favor – Karlin, to his credit, did actually consider this as a serious factor.

    It may be time to look past the merely psychological effect of religion – there are surely forces in the world we do not understand.

  39. I would thank the US if they cut off my country from League of Legends. Why don’t they ‘punish’ the Iranians next by cutting off internet pornography?

  40. @Ma Laoshi

    The biggest risk is that the elite starts to believe in the ‘liberal’ values taught by Western universities and they end up with a Chinese Gorbachev or businessmen (like the Huawei founder) who think China ought to bring in African immigrants

    Do you think the stories the West tells about itself in the Ivies are even remotely true? Did you really enjoy the education which the elite gives its own children? Or did you graduate with the education which trains the professional class to serve Western elites?

    It may sound a bit conspirational, but maybe you haven’t seen the system from the inside unless you’ve joined a synagogue during your studies. I’m guessing few of those bright, secular Chinese kids have done that.

    Barring the synagogue part, I do not think that is a distinction that exists.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  41. Mitleser says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    With weaker countries instead of the USA.

    The THAAD-deployment in SK is a good example of not doing that.
    Instead of the USA, SK was punished.
    It did neither prevent the deployment nor did it help China’s overall cause in SK.

    The PRC should provide alternatives to the USA, not encourage others stick with them because of a Chinese threat to their interests.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  42. @LondonBob

    The current Tory leadership contest exemplifies this; both Hunt and Johnson are US sycophants and as far as I know so was every single other candidate.

  43. anon[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    But the one angle we too seldom consider in our rational age is the possibility of actual Divine favor – Karlin, to his credit, did actually consider this as a serious factor.

    Exactly.
    There is no other explanation of otherwise inexplicable rise of China than divine favor.
    It turned out that Mao Zedong is indeed true god in human form, and Chinese people worship and pig blood sacrifices brought great blessing to China.

    People sacrificing animals, worshipping statues of Mao on the 121st anniversary of his birth

    https://shanghaiist.com/2014/12/27/mao-worship/

    • LOL: AaronB, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Pericles
  44. Ma Laoshi says:
    @AaronB

    >the possibility of actual Divine favor
    I’ll remain agnostic if that’s alright with you. Let me just observe: as obvious it is to me that Obama, Trump (duh), and yes Putin are all phonies, the dominant factions in Tel Aviv, in their zeal to set the entire Middle East (their home du jour) on fire, are revealing themselves to be true believers in Divine favor. Phoniness is unattractive, but in the final analysis, true believers scare me more.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Yevardian
  45. WHAT says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Out of a russian idea, aimed at russians.

    Kind of an exemplary dynamic here, lol.

  46. AaronB says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    It is perfectly all right with me if you remain agnostic.

    I am merely pointing out that Divine favor is an overlooked and neglected factor that rarely gets mentioned. And we don’t know enough about the world to definitively rule it out.

    Karlin mentioned it because the spiritual effects of moving back to his Orthodox homeland is having a salubrious effect on him.

    You say that true believers scare you – as they should. All potent forces are indeed inherently scary. God is scary – and should be.

    But if you’re going to scare easily, then might as well give up any grand hopes for China now, and settle down in comfortable mediocrity, as many Europeans have done, like German Reader and Reiner Tor and many others.

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  47. This is usually applied to Westerners who want to buy games at (much lower) East European prices.

    Region-tied prices are maybe the most lovely behaviour among so many lovely behaviours of Steam’s…

  48. Yevardian says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Netanyahu and his government are actually relatively pragmatic compared to many of the crazies in the Israeli parliament. Netanyahu himself certainly doesn’t strike me as religious. Though the difference is more just in tactics than the end goal.

  49. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    >The biggest risk is that the elite starts to believe in the ‘liberal’ values taught by Western universities
    Ah, a pet theme of mine. Best I know, the liberal articles of faith “free trade” and “free enterprise” originate with the British Empire. And now that the relevant archives are open for academic study, we know that these were deliberate propaganda slogans–and only meant as such. The real policy was (understood to be): support British companies and trip up rivals–violently if needed. After all, what else would’ve made sense for the national interest? It’s a curious syntax error that we still hand out Nobel Prizes based on these “values” which were never meant seriously to begin with.

    A key question to see if Western elites are serious about a certain dogma is: does Israel do it too? Higher education: yes. Mass immigration outside the tribe: no can do.

    >Barring the synagogue part, I do not think that is a distinction that exists.
    I think it does. Yes they sit in the same classrooms, they may even screw each other, but after hours the true elite hobnobs in Skull&Bones, country clubs, balls, fundraising dinners, on the yachts of their friends, etc. The true molding of the elite mind, the instinctive recognition of who is in and who’s out, happens substantially there.

  50. Mitleser says:
    @LondonBob

    But muh deal, muh export profits.
    Can’t have a deal if they dump treasuries or as many exports if their favorite market suffers from debt crisis.

    • Disagree: Thorfinnsson
  51. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    but they never seem to notice that China is only serious about it with parties stronger than them, or at least near peers. Against the weak, it’s a different story; maybe it’s just human nature?

    Yes it is. But while that which you speak out is the general principle, there’s still room, within adhesion to it, for variations in fairness, both formal (how the weaker parties are made to look) and informal (how much the more powerful party’s surplus of power is exploited).
    In other words, you can treat the less powerful as less powerful with or without respect; within, and without reason.

    So China and U.S. haven’t been treating smaller powers the same, although both treat smaller powers as smaller powers.

  52. @anon

    One of the largest issues with technology industries in general is that while establishment costs are substantial(and thus barriers), replication of the “product” is nearly free and as a result it creates overwhelming natural monopolies. I was just thinking about this and for example, Steam, essentially is capable of “deplatforming” entire games with ease because it doesn’t have any real competitors in the same space(yes, there’s GoG and a few others, but nothing that really replaces it).

    I would say if Russia wishes to compete on that, it would not be as much serious focus on “culture and values” as much as just developing a similar platform in a “protected swamp” with just enough differentiation for it to stand out(and that’s where “culture and values” could exit).

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @WHAT
  53. Ma Laoshi says:
    @AaronB

    >But if you’re going to scare easily
    “It’s alright to be scared; remember there’s no courage without fear”
    — Edge of Tomorrow

    @Yevardian
    >Netanyahu and his government are actually relatively pragmatic
    Oh for sure, Netanyahu is not scrupulous about saying his prayers or eating kosher. But his conception of Chosenness seems rock solid, even if it’s more a crude race thing rather than grounded in Torah. No contest about the Knesset Crazies, but Bibi is also careful to keep them around “See? I can’t compromise an inch without losing my coalition.” I think many people underestimate him just because they oppose him; those are different concepts.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  54. anon[112] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Do not laugh. Romans built the greatest empire in history while regularly sacrificing animals to the Gods.

    When they stopped, abandoned Gods of their ancestors, and embraced some crazy desert cult, everything went to shit.
    Lesson: Gods are real, and they want blood.
    Especially pig blood.
    It is all about the pig.

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  55. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    >They are made by Ukrainians
    I looked up 4A studios and you’re right, LOL! I knew this about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but in that case it was actually set in the Chernobyl restricted zone. How about a moral that you get further in life if you don’t go overboard with your politics?

  56. AaronB says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Yes, we should not shy away from what scares us, just because it’s scary. We’d never grow that way.

  57. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Mitleser

    >The THAAD-deployment in SK is a good example of not doing that.
    >Instead of the USA, SK was punished.
    >It did neither prevent the deployment nor did it help China’s overall cause in SK.
    Bingo! And what should have been communicated? “You are subservient slaves to the Dark Throne in a way that harms your interest; you’d be better off dealing with the world on your own terms.”

    With the Meng Wangzhou saga, Beijing again stepped in it by arresting some Canadian losers; but pressure on Canadian puppets predictably had no effect on decisions made by the puppet masters. Instead, the world saw that the Dragon was afraid to stare down Uncle Sam, so afterwards Uncle Sam was still top dog.

    The Chinese leadership gets insufficient training in persuasion, because domestically they can just tell people what’s what.

  58. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Jason Liu

    Another angle on how Beijing may be mistaken that it can copy the US in dealing with the midgets: again by taking Western teachings at face value, Beijing may misunderstand how silly it is to think of EU members or Japan as “US allies” or just countries. They’re poodles. The leadership has been molded, Moscow Party School style, from a young age in US institutions not just in Western thinking–but to see US interests as their own. Oh and US interests are their own: suitcases full of cash see to that, all done in a polished, legal way via speaking fees, corporate Board memberships, what have you. And if all else fails, the gloves come off, and that juvenile dream come true on Epstein’s pedophile island comes back to bite you at the worst possible moment.

    The expertise of the British Empire was never lost, it just moved overseas.

  59. Sean says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Once Britain and America were unbeatable in free trade they espoused it. As soon as Japan started to show it could beat Britain and America then tariffs went up and Japanese immigration was halted.

    America dealt with Japan and Germany post WW2 by paying for their defence while letting them run a mercantilist policy inside the Western blok. Germany and Japan got a good deal, but they are one tenth the size of China. America cannot play the liberal game with China, it’s too big..

    Iran is a poodle that the US wants back in the Western blok.

    • Replies: @joni
  60. China is dominated by a construction-industrial complex. Id rather it be dominated by a military-industrial one akin to the Soviet Union. I am more and more convinced that America can be defeated in a conventional war, a clear unequivocal defeat would basically shatter the mountain of inertia and status quoism that supports American power. China’s present industrial strength, if actually devoted to armament is sufficient. Unfortunately all the leaders post Deng have been sad to say, mercantile cowards. The roots of the American/Liberal empire ultimately lie in the coercive strength of it’s military, everyone should hold no illusions on this. The moment it dies, is the moment everyone stops giving a fuck about listening to what America has to say.

  61. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Duke of Qin

    >I am more and more convinced that America can be defeated in a conventional war
    For all I know you’re fluent in Caesar, Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu. And yet you’re missing out on the wisdom of Pirates of the Carribean, where Legolas said after the swords duel: “You pulled a gun on me, in a fair fight I’d always have beaten you!” “Well, that’s not much of a reason for me to fight fair, now is it?” Thanks heavens the Beijing leadership, for all its faults, understands better than the Duke of Qin what it is dealing with. A conventional war with the US will turn nuclear long before any American setbacks turn into decisive defeat.

    Yes, without claiming expertise on central banking and the like, I have also concluded that what backs up the US$ is ultimately not oil, but violence. So they’ve made sure that they are capable of planet-ending violence. It’s not an easy game to play right.

  62. Mitleser says:
    @Duke of Qin

    The military is only one pillar of the American-Liberal Empire.
    There are also tech, finance and market.
    They should not be underestimated.

    For instance, unlike Japan, Germany does not really need “protection” provided by the American military, but the American economy is after the European single market the most important for the German export-oriented economy, a major reason why Washington cannot be ignored by Berlin.

  63. @AaronB

    It takes real self-absorption and arrogance to imply that an omnipotent, omniscient all-good God cares especially about, let alone favors your race of a certain species on a certain planet in the universe. Wow. And real self-awareness to think that your God-given inherent superiority will be somehow an argument that persuades others from the non favored groups.

    Among other things, if God favored Jews, presumably they wouldn’t be miscegenating out of existence in the world outside Israel. Nor would they be beset by such a high rate of mental illness.

    Though He DID give the Ashkenazim the gift of substantial italian genes. Imagine what the chosen superior race would look like without that, what a Schande.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  64. @RadicalCenter

    One of the easy predictions is that total Jewish domination won’t last forever. (Though the other easy prediction is that there will be Jews around for a long time, probably as long as humans are around.)

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  65. anon[341] • Disclaimer says:

    “There are no obvious solutions to this.”

    Sure there are. China could start making competitive alternatives – products and platforms. “Choose my product or choose theirs, and they will ban you if you don’t bow to them.” What consumer would take a chance on the latter? Too bad China’s insular government doesn’t get that.

    “The CCP should’ve either waited longer or made more friends to counter the liberal democratic world order, but they totally dropped the ball and thought money was everything.”

    I’m not sure I’m ready to agree with that just yet. Time is definitely on China’s side here. I expect Trump to lose in 2020, and since the rich upperclass – totally citizens of the world & thoroughly anti-nationalist – controls the United States, it’s possible that short-sighted, greedy Western capitalists will go back to business as usual afterwards. In fact, lots of American corporations are stridently advocating against these tariffs. I think they will carry the day sometime soon. Most of these tariffs will go away in a Kamala Harris administration because they are thought to be geared towards supporting middle-class whites. POC don’t care about that group and neither does the Ruling Class.

    Also, the demographic situation in the US is definitely getting worse; that bodes poorly for competent leadership in the future. Example: There’s a mass invasion of low quality foreigners going on and nothing is being done about it because a cult of anti-white racism has gripped the country. Turns out, when you import too many foreigners, the native population can’t stop more of them from coming in – especially in a democracy – because said foreigners already present will say it’s racism (Kamala Harris just said something like that). The US can’t afford the myriad social programs for illegals and POC coming down the pipe while also funding a huge military, one that is increasingly difficult to find recruits for without also spending obscene amounts of money; it’s also plagued by low morale (the obesity rate has tripled for the average US soldier since GWB) and politically correct polices that undermine effectiveness. How much longer before this reparations talk going on turns into horrible economic polices fueled by POC envy? How much worse can it get when whites are no longer able to restrain this madness? Land appropriations? Corporate board affirmative action? Movie and video game representation quotas?

    Time is definitely on China’s side. Keep calm and don’t be baited into overreacting. China need not even defeat the US. The United States is doing that to themselves all on their own. I guess though it’s really all a matter of whether the US security deepstate is able to defeat the economic pozzstate. I suspect the latter will eventually win out due to demographics and growing disillusionment.

    “Not only have we not improved relations with Asian neighbors, we seem to have alarmed the world and made more enemies. At this rate I’m about to become the first dissident to criticize China from a nationalist angle.”

    Well, China’s foreign policy has been very poor outside of economic issues, most of which has happened naturally by entropy anyway. China needs several things to improve relations with Asian nations:

    1) Cultural soft-power. That means a high-quality video game market geared towards global export, and styled on the Japanese model of targeting Asian and European demographics over targeting low IQ POC. This also means investing in more movies and perhaps even attracting Hollywood talent to China to form a competing global industry. One advantage of relocating to a future China under more competent leadership may be, perhaps, a somewhat freer climate to make certain products in China for Western export than there is in the US currently – those that appeal to traditional demographics and lack hateful western politics. I think China might want to accomplish this by subsidizing Western companies to relocate or film in China or use Chinese tech companies for SFX.

    This also means a well-financed global media apparatus to compete with the BBC. China should use Western talent the way RT does to promote this media apparatus to the world. Perhaps this would also include a competitor to YouTube aimed at the West.

    2) Western brain drain efforts. China should be importing high-quality whites from the US, especially from the scientific and entertainment industries. This will give China a “global” and “tolerant” feel without really changing any of the demographics considering China’s population size; better a few whites than Africans anyway. There are many ways China could accomplish this: large scientific projects like particle accelerators open to the public could attract world-wide talent, especially European talent; a space agency that cooperates with surrounding Asian nations; a movie studio made for Western export and geared towards attracting Western talent that may feel artistically oppressed under the current moral paradigm in the US; …

    3) Territorial concessions. China should be floating the idea of giving up territorial claims in exchange for nations canceling defense arrangements (basing rights) and arms sales with the US. Other countries may not do so right away, but at least floating the idea might create some division between the US and allied Asian partners in the present.

    4) An arms export market that provides high-quality weapons, including air/naval defense and fighter aircraft, made available for export (perhaps subsidized) to surrounding Asian nations. China’s strategy should be to effectively deplatform the US from that market / corner it while also giving partners weapons they feel gives them a deterrent to China as well. This will make them comfortable pursuing relations with China and acting independently of the US.

    5) Aggressive efforts to open bases in the Middle East (Iran), Africa (South Africa), South America (Venezuela) in order to take the heat off their immediate neighborhood. This will force the empire to continue spending exorbitant amounts of money competing with China. I wonder how long the empire’s changing demographics will tolerate this as POC are sure to demand expensive free social programs in the future. Further, this will set an example for other nations to compromise – make nice or the enemy of your enemy may make nice with China and get lots of shiny weapons to fight you with.

    6) A competitive export industry for high-quality, domestically produced, products aimed at replacing American competitors – better commercial aircraft, better automobiles, better internet, better personal computers, …

    7) Well-financed NGOs in the West that agitate for anti-war positions, anti-military spending, and – perhaps – for native European populations against the Ruling Class and/or POC invaders against the capitalist upperclass.

    8) Formal mutual defense and economic arrangements modeled on NATO. This kind of cooperation would go far beyond BRICs and would involve mutual defense exercises between allied navies and airforces, along with a joint command and an arms industry subsidized by China. This would go along with basing rights in some of those countries. I recommend partnerships with Russia, South Africa, and Iran – with naval bases in the latter two and a promise to protect their territorial integrity from American aggression.

    “If China doesn’t want to head down the same path we need to boost the birth rate now, using creative new means”

    Why? Look at the TFRs of China’s competitors. They are also very low and converging to the Chinese TFR. Sure, there parts of the world where populations are exploding, but those areas are mostly African and we all know they aren’t going to give China any trouble due to low IQ.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  66. @reiner Tor

    China began asserting itself prematurely, I suspect because of the dynamics of internal political competition within the CCP and their embrace of nationalist historical grievances for legitimacy. This began with Hu’s “Peaceful Rise” rhetoric, but gained much more traction under Xi. China’s South China Sea Policy is a great example, as to a lesser extent is its Belt and Road Initiative (even if this initiative is actually stupid and self-defeating and as such ought not to be opposed by Washington).

    With the exception of the United States itself, rising powers seem to be largely unable to avoid premature assertion. But then the USA was also uniquely blessed geographically, which can’t be said of China.

    Shutting China out of ARM is only the beginning imo. The global economy is going to bifurcate, with most trade between the two sides limited to commodities. How long before Washington starts insisting on COCOM-style restrictions on exports of German and Japanese capital goods to China?

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    , @Mr. Hack
  67. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    France and Germany were very vocal opposing the Iraq war”

    The public was behind the antiwar stance of France and Germany .
    Iraq war proved them to be right and correct .
    But something happened in those 2 countries after that .

    That change from anti war politicians to pro war pro US war in ME tell us something about the deep state and the influences of the foreign powers in shaping the realities in those 2 countries.

  68. @LondonBob

    No, China cannot do this.

    China’s holdings of Treasuries are equivalent to approximately two days volume on the Treasury market. Major Chinese sales would certainly cause bond prices to fall and interest rates to rise, but this does not mean the Dollar would collapse as permabears have long incorrectly maintained. The US would have the following options in the event of China offloading Treasuries:

    • Increase (historically low) interest rates
    • Reduce demand (by for instance cutting the budget deficit)
    • Increase exports (Dollar devaluation, open season arms exports, bully clients into purchases, etc.)
    • Open market purchases by the FED

    Additionally, if China sells its holdings it’s not like they simply disappears. The purchasers would have to sell other assets in order to purchase the Treasuries.

    China in turn would still have a large current account surplus and would need to make adjustments such as:

    • Invest surpluses in non-Treasury Dollar assets, meaning no impact on American interest rates
    • Invest surpluses in other developed economies, which might resist this
    • Invest surpluses in developing economies, exposing itself to losses
    • Reduce its current account surplus, which either means increased imports or increased domestic unemployment

    It should also be noted that since China cannot depend on FED swap lines unlike American vassal states, which would in turn make its financial system vulnerable to Dollar shortages. While China nominally has capital controls, the Chinese private sector frequently borrows in Dollars regardless.

    Michael Pettis wrote a good article on this recently: https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/79218

    The idea that Chinese reserves are a doomsday threat to America is a myth propagated by financially illiterate permabears and anti-Americans. I am sure the Chinese themselves are aware of this too.

    Taking the long view, China can internationalize its currency and make its domestic assets attractive to foreigners and thus compete with the Dollar as a reserve currency. This would reduce, though not eliminate, the ability of America to offshore its deficits and attract any amount of foreign capital it requires. But as we Americans ourselves know, being a reserve currency issuer also has substantial downsides and would not be welcomed by China’s “construction-industrial complex” (h/t Duke of Qin).

    It would also require deep reforms of the Chinese economic, financial, and legal systems in ways that might not be acceptable to the CCP.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @anon
    , @LondonBob
  69. @Officegate

    A lot of MSFT licenses end up being invalidated because they were purchased with stolen credit cards or were illegitimately sold volume licenses. You can always cheaply acquire new licenses from Bonanza criminals, and if you simply don’t want to worry about it you can pay full retail instead. Office 2019, despite MSFT’s antipathy to perpetual licenses, is available for purchase.

    No experience with Matlab, but it can of course be pirated.

    My Adobe CS6 licenses from early in the decade continue to work just fine.

    • Replies: @g2k
  70. @Ma Laoshi

    Japan’s per capita GDP continued to grow during the so-called “Lost Decades” and unemployment remained low. Japan has made a political choice to reduce the productivity of their service and agricultural sectors, reducing potential output.

    The banal fact is that the Japanese workforce peaked in size over twenty years ago. Per capita GDP is comparable to America’s prosperous European vassals, and output per worker is if anything higher given Japan’s gray demographics.

    Washington did act decisively to stop the Japanese threat in “tech” and aerospace, but ended up tolerating Japanese dominance in many industries like automobiles (US industry was just prevented from collapsing), high-tech materials, capital goods, power semiconductors, and tires.

    And the way the Japanese aerospace threat was neutralized was by integrating it into our own industrial base, hardly a great victory.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  71. @Ma Laoshi

    I suspect this is a generational issue. Schroeder and especially Chirac were educated prior to the Americanization of their country’s educational institutions. Current European leadership is composed of post-68 leaders who have similar educational and cultural backgrounds to American leaders and don’t identify their own countries as having independent cultures and interests.

    Angela Merkel is the odd one out here in that she’s fairly old and was educated in East Germany, but as a female she’s a natural conformist and weathervane.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  72. g2k says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    No experience with Matlab, but it can of course be pirated.

    Use sage instead, it’s faster.

  73. Mitleser says:
    @anon

    Merkel who was more pro-war got elected in 2005 and the French leadership wanted more support, hence fully rejoining NATO in 2009.

    This was less deep state and more generation change with people whose political rise to national leadership started during the American-Liberal unipolar era finally taking over.

  74. @Curious

    China has an outsized fraction of electronics assembly, which can be relocated quickly. Once you move upstream in the value chain there’s very little that’s Chinese, especially outside of Huawei’s products. There are no Chinese equivalents to Qualcomm, Intel, ARM, nVidia, or even Corning. Most important IP and even manufacturing in tech is concentrated in the USA, Europe, Japan, and South Korea.

    In addition to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan hardly being a guaranteed cake walk (https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/25/taiwan-can-win-a-war-with-china/), controlling Taiwan’s foundry industry is less impressive than it seems. TSMC and the other Taiwanese foundries are dependent on imported capital goods and refined materials from the USA, Europe, and Japan.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Curious
  75. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Merkel was educated in the GDR, but she only entered politics when this German state was already a goner. She spent almost her whole political career at the top of the federal CDU, the main German party that is more pro-Washington than the other.

  76. Why does China have such a big domestic video games industry?

    Why is everything it produces terrible with no foreign appeal?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @EldnahYm
  77. @Kent Nationalist

    China bypassed the PC era and went directly to mobile peasantry.

    This has certain advantages, such as in FinTech, but dooms their games industry to mediocrity.

    Its high time smartphones were prohibited by international treaty. Ron Unz should fire the first shot by denying access to this website to mobile peasants. I’m always disgusted when someone reveals he’s browsing, or worse, commenting from a handset.

    • Agree: Yevardian
  78. @reiner Tor

    One of the easy predictions is that total Jewish domination won’t last forever. (Though the other easy prediction is that there will be Jews around for a long time, probably as long as humans are around.)

    It is interlinked, the means of their survival is also what usually causes their (all-too-temporary) downfalls. Unfortunately, it has been a part of them for so long that one would have to be quite panglossian to hope that they can ever outgrow it.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  79. Mitleser says:
    @anon

    I expect Trump to lose in 2020, and since the rich upperclass – totally citizens of the world & thoroughly anti-nationalist – controls the United States, it’s possible that short-sighted, greedy Western capitalists will go back to business as usual afterwards. In fact, lots of American corporations are stridently advocating against these tariffs. I think they will carry the day sometime soon. Most of these tariffs will go away in a Kamala Harris administration because they are thought to be geared towards supporting middle-class whites. POC don’t care about that group and neither does the Ruling Class.

    How much longer before this reparations talk going on turns into horrible economic polices fueled by POC envy? How much worse can it get when whites are no longer able to restrain this madness? Land appropriations? Corporate board affirmative action? Movie and video game representation quotas?

    Reminder that Chinese are white.

    In fact, when complexion was mentioned by an early Western traveller or missionary or ambassador (and it very often wasn’t, because skin colour as a racial marker was not fully in place until the 19th century), East Asians were almost always called white, particularly during the period of first modern contact in the 16th century. And on a number of occasions, even more revealingly, the people were termed “as white as we are”.

    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2184754/chinese-were-white-until-white-men-called-them-yellow

    They are going to pay too.

  80. The console ban is one of the shittier decisions made by the Party. The fortunate part is that some games are ported to PC (purchasable on Steam) and thus one can connect one’s laptop to a TV and buy a controller in Hong Kong to partially bypass this.

    The unfortunate part is that there are far too many peasants playing pseudo-games on their phones. This is what we have electroshock psychotherapy for.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  81. Pericles says:
    @anon

    Not the first time. For example, the god invoked by (some) Japanese students was a historical person.

    Sugawara no Michizane [August 1, 845 – March 26, 903] … was a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian Period of Japan. He is regarded as an excellent poet, particularly in Kanshi poetry, and is today revered in Shinto as the god of learning, Tenman-Tenjin (天満天神, often shortened to Tenjin).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugawara_no_Michizane
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenjin_(kami)

  82. Mitleser says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    In addition to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan hardly being a guaranteed cake walk (https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/25/taiwan-can-win-a-war-with-china/)

    One year later, the same author basically admitted that Taiwan is screwed.
    They have neither enough manpower, morale and ammunition for a decent defense.

    Two weeks ago The National Interest published an important, hard-nosed essay by Wendell Minnick. I have had the opportunity to meet Minnick before. His knowledge of and long experience with the ROC Armed Forces (the “guojun” 國軍) has few equals. His assessment on Taiwanese defense preparations is unsparing:

    Taiwan’s military brass are very cognizant of the China threat; it is Taipei’s political leadership that has forced the military to reduce military readiness over the past twenty years. Public lethargy and a lack of confidence in the military has drained the armed forces of manpower and morale. And it is this lethargy, along with the unwillingness of Taiwan’s political elites to communicate this imminent threat to the public, that must be addressed.

    Even if Taiwan procures all of its dreams and desires from the U.S. government, then the question becomes: who will fly them, drive them, sail them and fire them.

    According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the current estimate of personnel officially stands at 215,000. Many critics argue that this is the bare minimum needed to repel the first wave of a Chinese invasion.
    Now remember, that is the minimum.

    The reduction to 215,000 was the result of the 2011–2014 Jing-cui streamlining program, which was extended to 2015. Fortunately, the follow-up Yung-gu plan was canceled. It would have further reduced the number from 215,000 to 175,000 and eliminated conscription entirely, opting for an all-volunteer force.
    Now, recruiters face a real nightmare. Last year the big brains in the presidential office cut pensions 30 percent, with plans to further reduce it 50 percent.

    Even though Yung-gu is temporarily on hold, the official current number, 215,000, is an outright lie. The actual number of operational active duty personnel is devastating.

    There are actually only 188,000 in total and if you exclude civilian employees, noncombat personnel, those on leave, and cadets, the actual number of warfighters is 152,280; 81 percent of the authorized strength levels needed for fending off an invasion.

    As a general rule, Taiwan has about one-third to one-half of the munitions it needs for two-days of aerial combat; it plans to place an emergency order with the United States when a war is on the horizon. In 1996, during the height of the Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis, emergency orders were sent to Washington for a wide array of missiles and bombs, but quickly canceled when the crisis ended.

    https://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2019/03/who-is-to-blame-for-taiwans-military.html

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  83. WHAT says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    PUTLER should just buy CD Project and get all this stuff turnkey-style.

  84. @Mitleser

    I agree that with Taiwan’s present defense planning (or lack thereof) that the military balance of power across the Straits is shifting strongly in the PRC’s favor.

    But at present I would not bet on a PRC victory (nor against it). Taiwanese forces have the capability to deal substantial damage to any invasion fleet, and any PRC forces that land on the island would likely face determined and well-armed resistance as well.

    5-10 years from now a successful defense of Taiwan will no doubt require immediate assistance by US and/or Japanese forces unless something changes drastically in Taiwan.

    The apparent unwillingness of the Taiwanese to defend themselves, while simultaneously embracing “nationalism”, is one reason why I favor the island’s sale to the PRC.

  85. @Hyperborean

    Consoles are inferior platforms used only by filthy, unwashed peasants.

    The party made the correct decision.

    Other countries should also ban consoles and send existing console gamers to reeducation camps.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  86. Anon[169] • Disclaimer says:
    @Duke of Qin

    The roots of the American/Liberal empire ultimately lie in the coercive strength of it’s military, everyone should hold no illusions on this.

    And that’s true of the dollar and its “stability” as well, of course.
    However, when you talk countries who have not tens, but hundreds of atom bombs, it’s no longer about who defeats and who is defeated, nobody can go “all-in” any more.
    One of the superpowers could devise an unthought-of new weapon far outgunning the atom bomb, and then things would change…

  87. anon[350] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    China’s holdings of Treasuries are equivalent to approximately two days volume on the Treasury market.

    https://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

    They own about 1.2 trillion out of 20 ish trillion total.

    Regardless, the idea that the US is dependent on China owning US Treasuries is uninformed. So agree Thorfinnsson. Their are enough real dangers.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  88. Yevardian says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    with the exception of the United States itself, rising powers seem to be largely unable to avoid premature assertion

    Didn’t the US have a bunch of bungled attempts to conquer Cuba, enforce the Monroe Doctrine, and invade Canada in its early history?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  89. @Yevardian

    The US unsuccessfully invaded Canada in 1776 and 1812. The US wasn’t the rising power yet–it was still very small. And after the War of 1812, it wisely left Canada and other British possessions in the Western hemisphere alone.

    The bungled attempt to conquer Cuba was the Bay of Pigs operation in 1961. The US had previously successfully invaded Cuba during the Spanish-American War, when it was a rising power (but gained the diplomatic support of numerous European powers).

    The Monroe Doctrine was largely successful, in part because it explicitly respected existing European possessions. The only “violation” was the comical French invasion of Mexico during America’s Civil War. President Theodoore Roosevelt also explicitly refused to use American naval power to protect Latin American deadbeat debtors from European gunboat diplomacy.

    Generally America was able to rise easily because it wasn’t in Europe and had no significant geopolitical ambitions outside of North America until after it was already by far the world’s strongest economy.

    The European powers screwed up massively in allowing this to happen. The British in particular had a number of pretexts they could’ve used to dismember America.

  90. EldnahYm says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Those two questions just about answer each other. Most consumer products in China are low quality compared to the products China exports. But China is itself a huge market, and in many ways it’s closed off to outsiders. So Chinese companies, even lower quality ones, have a big market at home.

    Over time the quality of Chinese goods in the domestic market will continue to improve of course.

  91. This is just more proof that gamers truly are the most oppressed minority

    • LOL: Thorfinnsson
  92. 216 says:
    @Ma Laoshi

    Hollywood receives considerable gov’t subsidies, exemption from accounting practices, and hands-off treatment for the degeneracy that is commonplace.

    The film industry was so powerful that it won itself an exemption from New Deal minimum wage laws.

    And movies that feature the Pentagon positively receive Pentagon assistance with production, free of charge. See: Captain Marvel

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
    , @Thorfinnsson
  93. @anon

    Spanish still sacrifice bulls. Muslims sacrifice chickens on Eid al-adha, n sacrifice camels in untold numbers by strict ritual every year during the Hajj.

    There is no objective reason why an expanding confident society should not sacrifice animals as a little on the side insurance for success.

    I don’t know any who sacrificed pigs, tho.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    , @ia
  94. Bliss says:

    Well, not a gamer. But I googled best gamers 2019 and was surprised to find that esports is not dominated by East Asians at least not at the very top. For example, in the highest paying video game competitions, Dota 2, the top ten current players by ancestry are 3 MENAs, 3 Nordics, 2 South Asians, 1 Anglo-American and 1 Southern Slav:

    https://www.esportsearnings.com/games/231-dota-2/top-players

    1. Iranian
    2. Jordanian
    3. Danish
    4. Bulgarian
    5. Finnish
    6. Pakistani
    7. Finnish
    8. Lebanese
    9. Indian
    10. American

    • Replies: @Bliss
    , @Bliss
    , @The Alarmist
  95. Bliss says:
    @Bliss

    Of the next 90 on that list over 50 look to be East Asians, going by names. So at least half of the top 100 players of Dota 2 are East Asians. Yet none cracked the top 10. What’s holding them back?

    Btw, the best at playing fighting esports is an african-american Dominique McLean:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SonicFox

    Dominique McLean, better known by his alias SonicFox (born March 2, 1998), is an American professional esports player of several fighting games. He is recognized for his versatility to pick up a new game or character and master it for professional play relatively quickly. He has won four Evolution Championship Series (EVO) events, among other tournament wins, and is the highest paid fighting game esports player in the world as of December 28, 2018, with over $500,000 in earnings. He was named Esports Player of the Year at The Game Awards 2018.

  96. @reiner Tor

    > Shutting China out of ARM technology means permanently shutting them out of world markets.

    Like the fiasco of shutting Huawei out of European and Asian markets?

    Legally Huawei and the ARM-Chinese JV controlled by the Chinese have perpetual ARM license up to this point. Huawei already has products using those self designed multi-cores 64 bits ARM server chips. The difference is future development. How market significant will that be when the new ARM tech loses half of their market base? That will not stop China forking the ARM tech in a different direction. What will the ARM Holding consortium owners of Softbank, Saudi and other hedge funds do? Will they move the ARM Holding HQ to Switzerland or do they want to write off their investment?

    Qualcomm also had injected their knowledgebase for server chip technology into a Chinese JV with the Chinese as the majority managing partner and they already has a product the StarDragon out in China. Qualcomm had direct licensing disputes with Apple and Apple turns to Intel for products based on Qualcomm patents. Qualcomm is unable to stop that except threatening about access to future Qualcomm innovations.

    Though US can force many companies to stop dealing with China that wont stop China dealing with those companies. For example US still regularly pay the rent for Quantanamo but Cuba never cashes those cheques.

  97. Bliss says:
    @Bliss

    in the highest paying video game competitions, Dota 2, the top ten current players by ancestry are

    Correction: that was a list of “the top players in esports who earned the most prize money”.

    Of those 10 guys 9 made over 3 million dollars. The 10th guy made 2.95 million

  98. Ma Laoshi says:
    @216

    Yes, these and other practices are what I tried to summarize saying “with the govt, but not of the govt”. The Pentagram’s Hollywood liaison office has a bigger budget than several real-world militaries if I have it right. Though just as important may be the shared mindset, just like with the “serious” media, that they’re all in it together to help the Empire. Maybe Russians could learn something from that.

  99. LondonBob says:
    @anon

    As you point out China is the largest foreign holder, and prices are set at the margin. Volume is really a meaningless statistic, especially for a liquid highly traded market. At times of stress volume disappears.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/21/goldman-sachs-the-fiscal-outlook-for-the-us-is-not-good.html

    US debt dynamics are so dire, akin to Italy really, that they can’t afford a misstep. Italy has a more functional government too.

  100. @Thorfinnsson

    Playing videogames is why death camps were invented in the first place. Anyone using electronics to play games should be immediately gassed and cremated, and then articles should be written by Ron Unz that they were never born in the first place.

    • Agree: Thorfinnsson
  101. @Thorfinnsson

    I think Bismarck was correct when he said that the most important fact of the 20th century would be that both the British and the Americans speak English. In other words, the massive ethnic and/or cultural affiliation of America with the British is what made the latter reluctant to treat the emerging America the way they probably would’ve treated any other similar power. Similarly, probably that’s why America didn’t dismember Britain and simply annex Canada as soon as it became possible for them. (I guess during WW1 they could easily have done this.)

    So, both sides being Anglo-Saxon meant they appeared less threatening to each other than they actually were based on abilities, and that assessment was correct in that neither side ever developed the intent to threaten the other. So in this case, basing threat assessments on intent instead of abilities was correct. In any other case, it wouldn’t have been correct, but wouldn’t have been done either.

  102. @Bliss

    So at least half of the top 100 players of Dota 2 are East Asians. Yet none cracked the top 10. What’s holding them back?

    It must be stereotype threat.

  103. LondonBob says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I don’t think the dollar would collapse, it would obviously weaken, there would be a fiscal crisis that would require substantial retrenchment. Neither raising rates nor inflating the currency are exactly cost free, quite the opposite and those would be the dire choices facing the US. In the long run the USD would remorselessly decline as other former reserve currencies did when they lost their position.

    If the largest holder in a stock starts liquidating their holding, and the market knows this, the share price tanks. Good reason market participants make great efforts to disguise their purchases and sales, probably the hardest part for institutional investors. Emotion and sentiment are strong drivers in short term market direction. I expect Chinese holdings of Treasuries to flat line or decline, the Russians have wisely moved out of Treasuries and in to other debt instruments and gold.

    What is remarkable is to compare the US to British fiscal position. Britain having been in a worse financial position at the onset on the GFC.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-budget-deficit-grew-39-in-first-eight-months-of-fiscal-year-11560362539

    https://www.ft.com/content/fc22a2fe-45a0-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  104. @anon

    The public was behind the antiwar stance of France and Germany .
    Iraq war proved them to be right and correct .
    But something happened in those 2 countries after that .

    George Bush was nominally a white male Christian republican from Texas who ran an oil company. A perfect character for trendy leftists to hate. The war could be framed as motivated by imperialism, racism, corporate profit, Christian bigotry etc.

    Then…

    Democrat elected. Black Muslim to boot.

    Don’t care about war anymore. Kill as many brown people as you want. Go ahed and bomb Libya while your at it, Madam Hillary.

    Here’s an example of why lefties of the era could oppose him so easily:

    George W Bush Jr Salvation Testimony
    This is a video of G. W. Bush Jr.’s salvation testimony that he gave during the 1999 Iowa Debate

    • Replies: @Ma Laoshi
  105. @Thorfinnsson

    Answer also acceptable:
    “Muh GDP”

  106. notanon says:

    seems very foolish to me – i think gamer-jihadists will prove to be much more dangerous than the standard kind.

    (or at least the small percentage capable of becoming cyberpunk style hacker-seal hybrids)

  107. @Sin City Milla

    There is no objective reason why an expanding confident society should not sacrifice animals as a little on the side insurance for success.

    What about Moloch, WCGW?

    Hillary Clinton Email Archive…HONDURAS: MAYBE, MAYBE

    With fingers crossed, the old rabbit’s foot out of the box in the attic, I will be sacrificing a chicken in the backyard to Moloch . . .

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  108. @Thorfinnsson

    The Monroe Doctrine was largely successful

    For whom? Not for any western hemisphere nation that wasn’t the US or Canada, and now that sort dimbulb jingoism is coming back to bite us hard.

    Generally America was able to rise easily because it wasn’t in Europe

    What are the two things that made America great? Not liberty and industriousness, but the Atlantic and the Pacific.

  109. LondonBob says:
    @reiner Tor

    Even the British government has taken the Chinese side in the dispute over Huawei and the Asian development bank. We can see the way the wind blows and that is why the Chancellor went to the BRI.

    https://www.ft.com/content/a791f700-6812-11e9-9adc-98bf1d35a056

    Hopefully the Chinese can sell some Treasuries and buy some Gilts instead, we might post a surplus if the interest costs come down enough.

  110. LondonBob says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    High IQ, the Injuns also had that geography.

  111. notanon says:
    @Jason Liu

    If China doesn’t want to head down the same path we need to boost the birth rate now

    this accepts the false neoliberal paradigm.

    you can *easily* boost demand by sharing out the proceeds of productivity growth between capital and labor (as was the case in the US from c. 1920 to c. 1970).

    when capital takes it all (as has been the case in the West for the last 40 years) then the only way to boost demand is with more people.

    China’s problem is they can’t do this (share out the wealth thus creating massive internal demand via a 1950s US style middle class) because half “their” factories are owned by western corporations who would move them to cheaper countries.

    They’d need to nationalize them all first to stop them leaving – which might be tricky.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  112. Yevardian says:
    @reiner Tor

    Similarly, probably that’s why America didn’t dismember Britain and simply annex Canada as soon as it became possible for them. (I guess during WW1 they could easily have done this.)

    I want to see this timeline. Imagine the Pentagon’s billions funding Welsh, Australian and Quebecois seperatist terrorism..

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  113. Curious says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You know very little about tech. Huawei has homegrown SoCs which are on par with Qualcomm already. They were banned from getting Nvidia/Intel/AMD technology by the Obama administration to prevent them mastering their own supercomputer. What did they do? Created the world’s fastest supercomputer anyway. China invests more in AI than the US does and in many areas, such as face recognition tech, they are already leading. The list goes on and on.

    The whole “China is just cheap labour assembly” hasn’t been true for many years now. You’re just a retarded burger with a Boomer brain.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  114. notanon says:

    imo

    1) Wall St. is betraying US from the inside

    2) the current trade war isn’t anything to do with US interests; it’s neocons wanting China to stay out of their desired war with Iran.

    if the neocons don’t get their war they’ll give up and join Wall St. in destroying the US*.

    all China has to do is wait and play just nice enough with western corporations inside China for them to stay put until the US is too weak to retaliate when China nationalizes them.

    blocking a US attack on Iran by sending a few hundred dudes on a training exercise to Iran would speed things up a bit as it won’t cause a reaction cos Wall St. won’t allow it and (after a few month’s rage) it would speed up the neocon’s switch to full-on anti-US acceleration (which deep down is what they want to do anyway).

    #

    (*the reparations thing is an example of how they’re going to do it. if white americans accept the banking mafia will just come up with something else that is harder to swallow. if white americans refuse the media will incite more white children getting thrown off balconies. the banking mafia and their media are going to keep ramping up the ethnic conflict until America goes up in flames.)

  115. Ma Laoshi says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Then…

    Democrat elected. Black Muslim to boot.

    Don’t care about war anymore. Kill as many brown people as you want. Go ahed and bomb Libya while your at it, Madam Hillary.

    So important this; personalities and symbols matter. The celebrity generals probably were largely opposed to Obama’s spiel of gays in the Armies of Mordor etc, but now in hindsight I see how O got liberals to march in lockstep behind the war machine–maybe an entire generation of them. Russian TV was just gloating about it without any idea of what was going on (after all, not even their bosses understand the USA), but Obama was the generals’ best friend.

  116. Max Payne says:

    Wow. I didn’t even know Iranians & Syrians played League of Legends. Totally lost respect for those countries now. I hope Israel and America bomb them back to the stone age.

    As for multiplayer… I don’t know how feasible it is NOW but when Warcraft 3 (and WoW) got leaked before their launch there were a handful of user-hosted ‘battle.nets’ to play online. I don’t recall who hosted it and how it was able to handle so many players (as we did play a few 4v4) but there is always hope. Yeah it sucks you can’t play with the rest of the world but whatever. Its fucking LoL, no loss really.

    When the US blocks porn websites… now that… THAT will cause a revolution that will topple governments.

    • LOL: The Alarmist
  117. @Bliss

    Blacks are well known to be prominent among fighting game fans (lol). Except Super Smash Brothers, for some reason.

    • Replies: @Bliss
  118. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Brits and Americans sharing a language was not that important.

    Why does the Prime Minister think it does her good to be seen with that global embarrassment, Donald Trump? Why do politicians and media commentators in Britain prattle about how the ‘Special Relationship’ between Britain and the USA is still flourishing?

    This is dangerous fantasy. The United States is not, and never has been, our special friend. Sometimes it has been our ally. Sometimes it has been very close to being our enemy, especially in Ireland (almost all the time) and during the Suez Crisis in 1956, when the US Navy’s chiefs discussed opening fire on the Royal Navy.

    I don’t complain about this. The USA does what we should do. It looks after itself first. It is a separate country with different interests from ours. It is not a Big England. We owe them a lot of money. We defaulted on our enormous First World War debts to the US (£866 million at the time, worth about £225 billion at today’s values) back in 1934. Contrary to popular belief, we have never paid this back. We only very recently paid our Second World War debts to America.

    For the best explanation of the relations between the two countries, read what President Woodrow Wilson said at a banquet at Buckingham Palace on December 27, 1918, soon after our joint victory over Germany six weeks before.

    ‘You must not speak of us who come over here as cousins, still less as brothers; we are neither. Neither must you think of us as Anglo-Saxons, for that term can no longer be rightly applied to the people of the US. Nor must too much importance in this connection be attached to the fact that English is our common language… no, there are only two things which can establish and maintain closer relations between your country and mine: they are community of ideals and interests.’

    I do wish that everyone in British politics, journalism and diplomacy would read and remember these words. Wilson was a fairly nasty piece of work who made a terrible mess of Europe and pretty much caused the Second World War. But he spoke the truth.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5320887/Hitchens-desperate-Donalds-doormat.html

    Britain did not try to dismember the USA because London was focused on Greater Eurasia.
    The Americas were secondary.
    As long as Washington was not trying to take over the British Empire there, they would not be bothered.

    For Washington, greater Eurasia was secondary and their last war against the British taught them to be more careful.
    In fact, London was useful to them because it was the true enforcer of the Monroe Doctrine, keeping the other Europeans from expanding in the western Hemisphere.

    In addition, the British Empire and the USA were close economic partners.

  119. anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    I wonder if it’s possible for America to be too distracted by self created problems in the Middle East that over the next 20 years China continues to enjoy the time and space to build up its strength and economy. Over the next 20 years China could go from 70% to 200% of US GDP.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  120. @reiner Tor

    I disagree.

    Britain did try to undermine America and Americans were very suspicious of this until after the Civil War; for instance with the North-East territories, with an independent California and Texas and even with the Confederacy, which was very popular among British politicians and strategists who were only restrained by abolitionist activism. They did try to limit American intrusion into places like China, but for the most part there is no real reason for conflict because America is very far from places that mattered to Britain (India).

    There is just no reason for the US (with current borders) to have gone to war with anyone else because they are already huge, have all the resources they could possibly want, have no ethnic diaspora and are not threatened by anyone.

    The ethnic solidarity was more important not in preventing a British-American war but in getting Americans involved in the First World War (and to a lesser extent the Second World War).

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  121. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    China’s South China Sea Policy is a great example, as to a lesser extent is its Belt and Road Initiative (even if this initiative is actually stupid and self-defeating and as such ought not to be opposed by Washington).

    Why so? Doesn’t the recreation and vast extension of the Silk Road not only lend legitimacy to China as a great world economic power, but also provide it with a myriad of practical trade opportunities not only in Eurasia but even beyond?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  122. In this sense, it is a microcosm of how China bows before American diktats not to import Iranian oil, despite their own strained relationship with Washington D.C.

    Really? Did I miss something? I heard not so many years ago that Iran was China’s second-largest oil-supplier. When did China cut them off? And who did they replace Iran with?

  123. @Kent Nationalist

    Nothing says “hipness” like the Ukraine.

  124. @Mitleser

    Hitchens’s writing there is a work of delusional crankery. To suggest that Wilson made a mess of Europe at Versailles ….. Good Lord, what stinking, filthy Franco-English revisionism that is. The crazy secular liberals in the French government were the ones who tried to steal the Rhineland from Germany, after all. The French and British, not America, were the ones who re-interpreted Wilson’s “access to the sea” to mean that Poland HAD to have the Danzig corridor, instead of some kind of peaceful trade arrangement. etc, etc, etc

    Wilson was a naive idealist. The worst and most mendacious thing he did was empower Masaryk and Benes to create Czechoslovakia, despite the protests of the Slovaks (e.g. Monsignor Hlinka) and anyone with any brains. But Wilson’s mendacity pales in comparison to Britain and especially France. Any other interpretation of Versailles, like that of Hitchens, is self-serving English deceit meant to make themselves feel better about their killing 116,000 American soldiers in a final push to break Germany and foolishly pin all the blame and guilt on it for a war that was created by the 1914 ineptitude of multiple politicians in the Entente countries.

    Hitchens needs to learn to write less nonsense. I have ZERO patience for any Englishman or Francophone who tries to blame Versailles on America or Wilson. And I HATE Wilson. But lies are worse than him.

    Read ‘Desperate Deception’ by Thomas E. Mahl. Britain and America’s intermingled elites were the same parasites cut from the same cloth. And they still are.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @reiner Tor
  125. Mitleser says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    The crazy secular liberals in the French government were the ones who tried to steal the Rhineland from Germany, after all.

    And Washington stopped them? That was not necessarily a good thing.

    “Thankfully Hitchens can’t write any more bullshit like that, though I hope he rests in peace.”

  126. @reiner Tor

    You probably had to live in NYC to get the joke, but Al Golstein had a classic bit on his Manhattan Cable show, Midnight Blue, about how the Chinese were going to bury us with take-out menus, which arrived in the hundreds every week on our doorsteps, particularly if you were not in a doorman-building.

  127. @LondonBob

    When the Confederates invaded Pennsylvania in 1863, they were astounded by the prosperity of the farms.

    The farmers themselves lived quite modestly, as a virtuous man ought to live. Their homes were solid but totally unpretentious. But their barns were, in the words of the rebels, “fat” with successful crops.

    It takes industrious and honest men to make fine land into a garden.

  128. @Bliss

    Nothing, this is a problem of data volitilty. DotA 2 payouts are skewed by TI tournament, which constitute the bulk of player revenue and player career lifespans. Win the next TI and you are on the top of the list.

    Also Chinese teams go through roster changes at an accelerated rate. Even a winning team will disband and reform with entirely new players after a single season. Western players are more likely to stick around with one team for a longer time, so more opportunity for a player to rack up winnings. Concentrated talent on a few teams, but weaker league overall.

  129. @Mitleser

    And Washington stopped them? That was not necessarily a good thing.

    Washington hardly “stopped” them. What stopped them was the civil resistance of the German people, and probably pressure from London. England, for all its stupid handling of Germany otherwise, was not inclined to see France consistently invading the Rhineland and assaulting German civilians. America’s government, after Wilson, did not meddle much again in European affairs until Roosevelt.

    And how the hell was it not a good thing that France did not take the Rhineland?

    Unless your contention is that might entirely makes right. Have fun with that, Thrasymachus.

    The point is that if the French and British had treated post-Wilhelmite Germany fairly, instead of trying to bury it in guilt, then the governments preceding Hitler might have actually been able to keep the country stable.

    If the English want to pretend that it was an appropriate policy to attempt to dismember Germany after World War 1, then they deserve to be ruled by the American empire that cruelly steps on all our liberty.

    I edited out the part about Hitchens’ being dead. Yes, I thought it was Christopher we were talking about. I didn’t click the link, to see which Hitchens it was, until after I read the block quote. But somehow I am proud of my ignorance of moronic British talking heads.

    With that said, ideas of American-British cultural affinity generally come about mostly when leaders in each country want to use an alliance for their own goals.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  130. joni says:
    @Sean

    Did Britain really have free trade (or even capitalism)? It seems like the whole point of the British Empire was to micromanage all resources of the colonies and bring them back to the center. The colonies really couldn’t trade with one another freely.

    They created one of the least stable systems in history because it ended in two world wars. Britain’s American colonies also broke away for this very reason, so it is ironic that the United States has become everything its founders hated. It will unfortunately come apart very violently too.

  131. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Poland HAD to have the Danzig corridor

    From an ethnic point of view, I think Germany retained some mixed areas, so giving Poland access to the see by giving it Gdynia (whose port the Poles built in the interwar years) was certainly correct. Until Gdynia was built, and in light of the fact that Germany, after all, lost the war, I think it was also justifiable to give Poland military control over Danzig, however, I would have limited that military control to a set period of time (say, twenty years) instead of perpetuity. After which a Saar-type plebiscite could’ve decided its fate.

    Even so, the borders probably favored the German side slightly more (i.e. some Polish-speaking areas in Germany; albeit in East Prussia, the Masurians preferred Germany and were treated as Germans even after the war; it was ambiguous in Silesia either, but somewhat favorable to Germany), so I think giving Poland control over the corridor was the correct decision.

    Germans resented this, but I don’t think they’d have gone to war for it, if they received Austria (and maybe the Sudeten, too), unless of course with Hitler.

    • Replies: @Vendetta
  132. This is a good thing, right? It means their gamers will be relegated to lesser, more rudimentary games and won’t be able to keep up with Team America in future e-sports events at the Olympics and, more importantly, in the inevitable cyber wars of the future.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  133. @joni

    Would breaking up Germany into separate states again have been such an evil crime? It does not seem like a very bad thing to enforce separation (better than putting Germans under the rule of another ethnic group).

    Whether or not it would have been effective is a different question.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  134. Mitleser says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    And how the hell was it not a good thing that France did not take the Rhineland?

    VT failed because it was too harsh for a proper reconciliation, but not harsh enough to keep Germany down. France taking over the Rhineland could have ensured the latter.

  135. @Bliss

    The problem here is that you “googled” it. If you had searched on Baidu, you’d have gotten a bit more variety.

  136. @Kent Nationalist

    Would breaking up Germany into separate states again have been such an evil crime?

    Would Germans still have a claim on Mallorca as the 17th Bundesland?

  137. @The Alarmist

    Probably more importantly, it means a lot less Iranians playing League and instead angrily shitposting on 8chan to create memes – the ultimate form of warfare, I’m told.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  138. @Oleaginous Outrager

    What are the two things that made America great? Not liberty and industriousness, but the Atlantic and the Pacific.

    >crosses atlantic in ships
    >plants colonies on atlantic coast
    >conquers land from natives
    >settles land westward
    >reaches pacific ocean
    >colonized, conquered and settled entire continent
    >lol losers only success because protected by oceans

  139. @Daniel Chieh

    They might just start the Iranian version of PersianKitty.com.

  140. @216

    Exemption from accounting practices? What are you talking about?

    Hollywood is now largely controlled by publicly traded corporations. I doubt the SEC gives tinsel town a free pass.

    If you believe they are getting a pass for whatever reason, I suggest you report the entities in question to the IRS. Tipsters get part of any back taxes evaded as a result of tax fraud.

  141. Vendetta says:
    @reiner Tor

    The world would have been better served if Germany had been allowed to keep Danzig and Poland had been given control of Lithuania instead as their route to the sea.

    Got to respect those rights of small nations though!

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  142. El Dato says:
    @WHAT

    It is being played pretty well by Elon Musk’s OpenAI, so why try harder?

  143. @reiner Tor

    US political culture also traditionally frowned on overt imperialism. America’s 19th century expansion was across largely unsettled territory. The All-Mexico annexationist faction was soundly defeated in the Senate after the victorious Mexican War, and the Spanish-American War was extremely controversial and opposed by many prominent Americans (e.g. Andrew Carnegie).

    Southerners were generally in favor of expansion anywhere, but they were crushed in the Civil War.

    On an opportunistic basis it would’ve made good sense for America to join the Central Powers in WW1. I’m not aware of that idea even having been considered. There was Gallup polling in WW2 before America got involved, and while most Americans favored neutrality there was also considerable pro-British sentiment. There was close to zero pro-German sentiment.

    Neither the US nor Britain threatened each other territorially ever again after the War of 1812 (aside from the diplomatic dispute about the Oregon Country–America had a maximalist “54’40” or Fight!” faction), but American power eclipsing British power was one of the causes of the collapse of the British Empire. Even during the war FDR frequently pressured Churchill to make promises about postwar decolonization.

    With the benefit of hindsight it was therefore an error for Britain to permit America’s rise unmolested. Of course, public opinion in Britain might not have accepted war on those grounds. Palmerston was favorably disposed to intervening in the American Civil War, but refused to do so because British public opinion was strongly (and irrationally) against slavery.

  144. @LondonBob

    The Dollar lost 50% of its value as a result of the 1986 Plaza Accord, which took place at a time of high deficits and high interests rates.

    There was no fiscal crisis.

    Obviously there is always a cost, but permabears predicting Dollar Doom have been consistently wrong for decades and are likely to remain wrong.

    China’s holdings of Treasuries have reduced from their peak and have been flat for many years now. This is because they have all the reserves they require, just as Japan does.

    Russia has massively diversified out of Dollar reserves for good and obvious reasons–they may not be permitted to use them in the event of a crisis. Unfortunately they still haven’t properly cracked down on private sector Dollar borrowing.

    The US has pursued a more expansionary fiscal policy in the aftermath of the GFC than Britain, whose conservative governments have been more influenced by austerity politics. The results are mixed. More growth, but also more public sector debt.

    • Replies: @JL
  145. @Oleaginous Outrager

    Why would American foreign policy be expected to promote the interests of non-American nations?

    The Monroe Policy was a success for America.

    I also find it very difficult to see how the doctrine of President James Monroe is responsible for present immigration (I assume this is what you’re referring to).

  146. @notanon

    Prior to the “Great Compression” in the mid-20th century the USA had inequality comparable to today and no issues with demand growth.

    Rich people buy stuff too.

    It’s just a distributional question. Greater equality was politically prudent in the context of the World Wars, the Cold War, and concentrated labor power. Those factors no longer exist, so unsurprisingly egalitarian economics were tossed out by the oligarchy.

    More people, within Malthusian limits, is always desirable in the context of power politics. More people means more workers and more soldiers.

    • Replies: @notanon
  147. @Yevardian

    One of many reasons to despise Bill Clinton is that he failed to take the golden opportunity in 1995 to destroy the disgusting Canuckist Entity once and for all. Instead he lent his prestige (which was real in Quebec) in support of the integrity of the Canadian Confederation.

  148. @Curious

    Probably you don’t normally read my comments, so your reaction is understandable (though I did explicitly single out Huawei as advanced).

    I’m not someone who thinks that Chinese can’t innovate or that they’re doomed to some middle income trap.

    Chinese engineering, science, and technology are all progressing strongly and indeed in certain areas they lead the world.

    But it’s a fact that today China’s position in the global value chain is decidedly not top tier. Note that the comment I responded to cited Chinese smartphone assembly. Supply chains can thus be moved out of China, whereas they could not be moved out of Japan.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  149. @anonymous

    This is certainly what happened in the preceding thirty years.

    Washington gave away the store to China while pursuing futile wars in the Middle East.

    Bill Clinton was simply openly bribed the Chinese, and the W administration abandoned its policy of
    strongly confronting China after 9-11.

  150. @Kent Nationalist

    Britain didn’t even extend official recognition to the Republic of Texas, which was earnestly sought by President Mirabeau Lamar

  151. @Mr. Hack

    Investments must be profitable or they’re simply squandered capital. The BRI is simply an extension of China’s domestic “construction-industrial complex” to the rest of the world, with a thin varnish of geopolitics painted over. The BRI is likely to be the greatest misallocation of capital in world history, exceeding even the Soviet “development” of Siberia.

    They’ve already poured $70bn in counting in the black hole that is Pakistan for instance.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/06/bri-china-belt-road-initiative-blunder/

    Obviously some projects make sense, like the Power of Siberia pipeline.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @anonymous
  152. @joni

    The British Empire was devoted to liberal capitalism during its zenith, but not during its rise to power. Hence why Friedrich List described their doctrine of free trade as kicking out the ladder under others.

    A big part of the reason, incidentally, was to allow cheap food from overseas into Britain in order to pay factory workers cheap wages.

    Britain permitted American and German goods to enter its domestic market without tariff competition while those two countries enjoyed massive tariff walls. Even retaliatory tariffs against protected markets (the “Big Revolver” policy) were rejected.

    One consequence of this was that Britain entered the First World War without much of a chemicals industry.

    It wasn’t until the Great Depression that this was finally abandoned. Neville Chamberlain (then Chancellor of the Exchequer) finally realized his father’s dream (in reduced form) with the enactment of Imperial Preference.

  153. Mitleser says:
    @Jason Liu

  154. Epigon says:

    What should China invest in that would offer better returns?
    I have a feeling they allocated enough funds in crucial areas that throwing additional resources at them wouldn’t change anything.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Thorfinnsson
  155. SafeNow says:

    A game that many young people play in many countries, notably Russia and its former satellites, is chess. In Armenia, it is a required subject in school. When I was visiting the huge, famous, Chess House in Yerevan, Armenia a few years ago, kids were happily arriving with their chess workbooks for their lessons and games. The above is not the case in Iran or Syria. By the way, it is difficult for me to reconcile the notion of Putin as a crude monster with the fact that he visits with the national chess team.

  156. Mitleser says:
    @Epigon

  157. @Epigon

    If China wanted better returns they certainly wouldn’t invest their reserves in sovereign debt.

    The question is what could China invest in which would offer comparable stability, liquidity, and safety.

    If it didn’t invest in Treasuries, that basically means the sovereign debt of other first world countries. These debt markets aren’t as large and are less useful for hedging against currency risk and capital flight (since China’s trade and private sector foreign borrowing are mostly in Dollars).

    Many also yield even less than Treasuries do. Bunds and JGBs for instance yield around…zero.

    There is also gold (which China does purchase), but this yields zero and is more volatile. As recent shenanigans with Venezuela demonstrate, the safety is somewhat dubious at least as far as gold for immediate settlement goes (i.e. gold not stored in Mainland China itself).

  158. notanon says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    the point i’m addressing is

    If China doesn’t want to head down the same path we need to boost the birth rate now

    which is the standard neoliberal argument that raw population numbers are needed for growth

    (and a con to promote open borders imo).

    i’m saying if you have a fixed population size and productivity growth then if you share out the productivity growth between capital and labor you can get growth with the same population size.

    (this wasn’t possible for most of history cos they didn’t have the kind of productivity growth seen since the industrial revolution)

    nb i’m not promoting equality as i don’t think that’s optimal either. i’m saying if different layers of society have different patterns of demand and saving then there will be an optimal distribution of those layers.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  159. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Gamer genocide?

    Cool with me, we can look forward to loads of gamer holocaust memorials all over the world and mass of gamer holocaust movies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Holocaust_films

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Holocaust_memorials_and_museums

  160. @notanon

    I think the trouble is that “neoliberals” tend to fixate on the top-line GDP growth figure of aggregate GDP.

    This makes sense for assessing overall national power, but not so much for societal well-being. Or, contrary to myth, profits. Investors typically overpay for growth stories, and a rising population increases investment needs. The two equity markets in the past generation with the strongest growth in earnings per share are Sweden and Switzerland, not countries we associate with fast population growth.

    Overall growth is also relevant for debts and pensions. A stagnant or shrinking population will have more difficulty paying for future obligations, all else equal.

    • Replies: @notanon
  161. @Vendetta

    Lithuania was inhabited by Lithuanians. The corridor was inhabited mostly by Poles.

  162. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Sure, ‘investments must be profitable or they’re simply squandered capital’, however the project is far from finished and even the author of the article that you’ve cited declares: ‘As the Belt and Road Initiative is only five years old (and many of its main members have been involved for a far shorter time) its full results cannot yet be judged.’ but I get what you’re trying to say, perhaps China needs to maintain its focus more on completing the trifecta in Europe and not waste valuable time and resources getting perhaps bogged down for geopolitical reasons in South East Asia. Like China, the author of the piece also ignores the role of Europe within this Eurasian behemoth. The original idea as I recall, was to provide more and better railroad links to cart goods back and forth between China and Europe, still an admirable goal IMHO.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  163. @Mr. Hack

    The basic problem with rail transport between China and Europe is that ocean freight is much cheaper, and air freight is much faster.

    There is a military case for the rail corridor, but for it to be viable in a blockade scenario China would need to massively subsidize it in peacetime in order for it to develop the required capacity. Consider how many wagon loads would be needed to transport as many containers as a single Maersk Triple E container ship.

    As things stand now Chinese entities simply push their pet projects abroad and brand them as “Belt and Road” to gain official sanction. Two different Chinese provinces for instance are building competing and unnecessary deep water container ports adjacent to each other on the Malayan Peninsula at present. And then you have comical projects like the Kenyan Standard Gauge Railroad, the revenues of which can’t even cover interest payments let alone principal.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  164. Bliss says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Which is worse, that or this?

    https://nypost.com/2018/08/26/video-game-tournament-shooting-suspect-identified/

    A losing player opened fire on his fellow video-gamers at a Madden NFL 19 tournament Sunday in Florida, killing two people, authorities said — as the horror played out live online.

    Just before the first of a dozen shots rang out at around 1:30 p.m., the camera caught a laser dot creeping up the torso of Eli Clayton, aka “Trueboy,” who was in the middle of a match at the GLHF Game Bar in the Jacksonville Landing open-air mall.

    The camera cuts away from him as screams fill the air and one of the gamer’s controllers abruptly disconnects.

    “Oh f–k! What did he shoot me with?!” one victim yells between shots in the clip, as the carnage unfolds out of frame.

    By the time gunman David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, ended his rampage, two people were dead — including Clayton — and another 11 were hurt, nine with gunshot wounds, according to local TV station News4Jax.

    The other fatality was Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, W. Va., according to The Miami Herald.

    The gunman took his own life afterward, cops said.

    Katz snapped and began targeting his rivals after being defeated earlier in the tournament, fellow gamer Steven “Steveyj” Javaurski told the Los Angeles Times.

    The psycho shooter:

    His victims, killed out of jealousy:

    • LOL: Yevardian
  165. ia says:
    @Sin City Milla

    There is no objective reason why an expanding confident society should not sacrifice animals as a little on the side insurance for success.

    Especially when the animals can’t fight back.

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  166. @Thorfinnsson

    There is a military case for the rail corridor

    The military case could be made for a rail corridor to connect with potential allies or neutral powers. But in a shooting war Europe will likely be an enemy. I would expect sanctions against China even if Europe didn’t join the war.

    So the military case is for the corridor to reach Russia, Central Asia, Iran, some Southeast Asian countries, and maybe a few others. The corridor to Europe will likely have zero utility.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  167. @reiner Tor

    Also, even on the off chance that Europe is not an enemy, it will be Russia’s/Central Asia’s connections to China that will be the real bottleneck.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  168. @Anatoly Karlin

    In light of the fact that there’s a break-of-gauge between Poland and Belarus it doesn’t seem like rail connections to Europe would be of much use in a Sino-American conflict in which Russia provides support to China.

  169. JL says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Unfortunately they still haven’t properly cracked down on private sector Dollar borrowing.

    I’m not sure this is either feasible or even really necessary. Russia doesn’t have currency controls, the very concept is anathema to the people who manage the country’s finances. Furthermore, corporations have made a lot of progress in the past five years cleaning up their balance sheets, and properly matching the currency they borrow in with revenue streams. It used to be that Russia’s foreign currency reserves roughly matched the sum of private and public sector foreign currency debt, but that ratio has come way down (I haven’t checked it in a while, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was half or less).

    I suppose the CBR could signal to the private sector that they will get no relief for foreign currency debt in the event of a crisis. Probably the best way to accomplish the reduction of USD debt would be to develop domestic pools of capital, employed effectively, while being a bit looser with monetary policy. For whatever reason, though, the political will to do this seems close to nonexistent, which is a shame because it restricts Russia’s flexibility on the geopolitical stage.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  170. @JL

    Russia ran into severe trouble during the GFC and 2014-2015 owing to private sector Dollar borrowing. During the GFC the Bank of Russia allegedly applied for a swap line with the FED, but this was rejected by the State Dept (which had to approve all swap lines).

    Russia has indeed deleveraged substantially since the Rouble collapse in 2014 (which I suspect was orchestrated by the United States), but the threat can always reemerge. The Bank of Russia, while still maintaining large foreign reserves (https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/), has reduced its Dollar reserves.

    Russia maintains high interest rates, and since Russia has no capital controls this means the private sector freely borrows abroad.

    I’m relatively liberal on economics compared to a lot on this site, but foreign currency risk is a special case that must be closely supervised by authorities. Even American vassal states in Western Europe can run into trouble with this as we saw during the GFC.

    In light of the fact that Russia has a substantial current account surplus and modest demand for investment, in principle it should be able to develop low-cost domestic capital pools.

  171. anonymous[152] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    There is a great need for infrastructure across the world especially in Eurasia. And there is some ability to pay for it by Eurasian borrowers. Chinese construction contractors can earn profits from building the infrastructure. Chinese state lending enables the infrastructure to be built and Chinese contractors to get the contracts. The state lending is only modestly subsidized because near commercial interest rates are charged in most cases. A small part of BRI is aid or very low interest loans. Most of the loans can be repaid so the losses won’t be huge (this is admittedly simply my assumption but I think reasonable as I’ll explain below). And all along the way China can pick up soft power dividends by being seen by the masses and elites throughout Eurasia as the model and builder of a brighter national economy that is broadly inclusive in benefits.

    You single out specific projects and the CPEC as huge mistakes.

    1. China Pakistan Economic Corridor – The amount of lending and investment over the long term is $70 billion. The full amount has not been disbursed. Pakistan is in shambles but still enjoys moderate growth currently and in the future. (India’s real GDP growth figures probably equal Pakistan’s growth, although India’s fiscal health is far better than Pakistan.) Most of the lending for CPEC is in power generation. Power projects are badly needed to stabilize the country, which is China’s only official ally so far. And again the $70 billion is mainly in loans. Advancing loans with near-commercial interest rates is not comparable to the mistake of providing annual transfers (e.g. gas subsidies to Ukraine).

    2. Dual Malaysian ports – Haven’t heard about this case. There are like 1,000+ infrastructure projects that are part of the BRI so odd cases like this aren’t representative. In any case South China Sea countries like Malaysia should be the destination for a turbo concentration of BRI resources considering geopolitical needs.

    3. Kenya Standard Gauge Railway – The project was a bad idea. And worse, quite a bit of the loan was subsidized at very low interest rates. The project was done at the insistence of the Kenyan side, which envisioned the new railway to nourish dreams of industrialization. The railway will be unprofitable but the loan could eventually be paid off after several delays and re-negotiations (sales taxes have been raised in Kenya to pay for the railway). Kenya has one of the best 5 economic track records in sub-Sahara Africa.

    Incidentally, Tanzania is also constructing its own standard gauge railway. It is financed in part by Turkey and a private lender. Chinese state lenders might be absent because Tanzania is less creditworthy. After all the most robust African economy is Ethiopia, which is where another railway has been constructed and financed by China.

    However, stringent the lending criteria to African borrowers has been, the inclusion of East Africa in the BRI is bad strategy. Africa has a dim economic future and won’t be influential on the international stage. It’s also far away from China. BRI resources should instead go to Eurasian countries like Malaysia and Poland.

    4. The Belt and Road is deliberately vague and meant to be a brand name. The intention is to include just about any Chinese economic activity by state owned enterprises, state banks, and state investment funds as part of the program. The idea is to create the impression in people around Eurasia of the Chinese state offering a giant win-win bargain package. Some private investors trying to acquire assets abroad and overcome the strict foreign exchange controls in China will try to randomly link the project to the BRI to get official sanction. However otherwise the vagueness and kitchen sink inclusion does not illustrate the program going astray.

    5. However BRI is headed in a bad direction. The order of the day is to expand it to cover many more countries. I thought East Africa was already a stretch but all of Africa might be included. Plus all of Latin America too. I think 120+ countries have already joined Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which indicates contemplating the eventual inclusion of every non-rich country under the BRI (and even some rich countries in Europe like Luxembourg, which is very enthusiastic about BRI participation both for financial settlements and air cargo logistics).

    The big problem with covering most of the world is that the resources of BRI will be stretched so thin that in a lot of places its impact won’t be noticed. This is already happening in Poland where 2 years ago there was a lot of enthusiasm for BRI. Now not much at all. It’s not because of Fort Trump. Poles are asking where are the results of previous engagement? Not much has gone on. The money lent for the Kenyan railway should have been better spent for a big project in Poland to at least sustain the narrative. With inclusion of most of the world, BRI might diminish in significance in most of the world.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  172. Mitleser says:
    @anonymous

    2. Dual Malaysian ports – Haven’t heard about this case.

    In 2013, Guangxi and affiliated business interests agreed with Malaysia’s Pahang state government to upgrade Kuantan port, including by developing a cross-country railway, road links and a US$3.4 billion industrial park. Guangxi subsequently leveraged BRI to expand its involvement. However, in September 2015, Guangdong province signed a rival agreement with Malaysia’s Malacca state, including a US$4.6 billion industrial park and a US$10 billion port upgrade.

    There is little economic rationale for developing two world-class ports on the Malay Peninsula. These projects reflect not a coherent master plan but rather competitive, sub-national dynamics in both countries. Moreover, these micro-level dynamics clearly do not–indeed, cannot–add up to a coherent, macro-level network of infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, statistical analysis reveals no correlation between Vision and Actions [the official policy document guiding the BRI] six ‘corridors’ and projects on the ground, suggesting that the plan is failing even to guide investment activity in a broad sense. [6]

    https://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-utterly-dysfunctional-belt-and-road.html

  173. Interesting:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-26/survey-americans-have-remarkably-ignorant-attitude-toward-nukes-and-north-korea

    The survey found a large knowledge deficit in responders regarding nuclear weapons, with a majority reporting an unrealistic amount of confidence in both the US military’s ability to eliminate all of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal in a preemptive strike and in its ability to shoot down North Korean missiles using current missile defense systems. This inaccurate perspective was significantly higher among Trump supporters.

    While the study found that a majority of Americans would prefer to de-escalate against North Korea if given the choice, a jarring number of them would be willing to use nuclear weapons at the drop of a hat, and believe it’s possible to do so at relatively little risk to Americans.

    “As we have previously found, the US public exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians,” write the report’s authors.

  174. @Duke of Qin

    Conventional war where? In Taiwan? In South Korea? I also think that’s totally possible.

    How do you feel about military budget cuts under Deng. They slashed the R&D of the passenger aircraft 运十 that had already test flied in the 80s because it was spearheaded by Gang of Four. Those dumbasses only began to wake up after, from what I read, US cut off GPS in late 90s, which China used to conduct missile tests in the Taiwan Strait area. Now Beidou is out.

    我想起抗美援朝是中国立国之战,你说的没错,军事决定一切,现在的世界格局大多还是源于二战的结果。

  175. @Hippopotamusdrome

    I think she has her blood sacrifice manual mixed up. Moloch is marmots on Thursdays, chickens are Santaria on Fridays. Or is that backwards?

  176. @ia

    Neither can fleas, termites, or bacteria when we ritually kill them, (Ga)ia. Selfish creatures that we are, we don’t even wait for a commandment from God before we slaughter these helpless little animals.

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