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Earlier (2011): John Derbyshire On Understanding China And The Chinese [Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com] Having been writing about China for forty years, I was naturally interested to see what Trump and Biden had to say about the country in last Thursday’s debate. Answer: Nothing with any real insight... Read More
vdare-us-of-antifa
Last week marked the third anniversary of the ambushing of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville VA. The organizers of that rally—a lawful, peaceful demonstration for which the organizers had obtained a permit—were attacked by the anarchist mob, who had no intention of being lawful or peaceful and no permit. The city police, under... Read More
Well, from the lockdown. I hope readers are bearing up OK under confinement. The Derbs are keeping busy. Paid employment aside, she has her beloved flowers and innumerable contacts on WeChat, the ChiCom messaging app. I have home-improvement chores: this month, stripping out and rebuilding a bathroom closet for maximum accessible shelving—nearly 28 square feet... Read More
[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com] See, earlier: John Derbyshire: Time To Stop Importing An Immigrant Overclass; John Derbyshire: “Importing An Overclass”–The Email Bag As predicted in my 2001 China Diary—although somewhat sooner than I anticipated—the ChiComs have made their move on Hong Kong. That city is now under the... Read More
70a0f509-b712-415f-8c62-3d99756f6630_1_
[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com] See also: GOP Plans To Scapegoat China. But That Must Include ENDING CHINESE IMMIGRATION! One thing that, it seems to me, is much more apparent than it was three months ago: we are living in a bipolar world, or soon shall be. I know... Read More
[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com] On my occasional theme of educational nationalism, I'm pleased to see that Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas has suggested banning Chinese students from studying STEM subjects in our universities. He told Fox News:: The Senator is right, but late. We've educated so many Chinese... Read More
[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on VDARE.com] Much earlier, by John Derbyshire: Importing Sino-Fascism? September 13, 2000 The hope has been expressed—for example by Counter-Currents’s Greg Johnson, as I mentioned last week —that our current travails will open the eyes of Western electorates to what a really bad idea unrestrained, unquestioning... Read More
[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on VDARE.com.] It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and the coronavirus panic has some winners. The stock of Zoom video-conferencing software has been soaring, notwithstanding some bad publicity about its security features, or lack of them. Less well-publicized has been the bonanza for... Read More
I know you're all on tenterhooks waiting to hear what Radio Derb, the civilized world's most authoritative source of news and opinion, has to say…about what we should call the current flu pandemic! Wednesday our President squashed a distraught snowflake reporterette at his news conference: Snowflake: "Why do you keep calling this "the Chinese virus"?... Read More
Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com Earlier by John Derbyshire: America Catches Coronavirus Panic I'm going to bring you right in to the Derb household, actually Tuesday evening in the quiet lull after dinner. Mrs. Derbyshire is sitting in her favorite armchair fiddling with her smartphone. She has an account at... Read More
Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com Health hysteria goes viral. There are screaming headlines all over. Drudge Report: OUTBREAK OVERWHELMS … DOCTORS COLLAPSE … LOCKDOWN TOO LATE? … New York Post: VIDEOS SHOW "DIRE" SITUATIONS AT CHINESE HOSPITALS AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. That's the online version. My print edition says: A STATE... Read More
Above, modern China, and a homeless camp in San Francisco
I spent most of September in China, so last month's diary was all China, China, China. This month's won't be; but I do have a few afterthoughts to record. A few days after I returned, just when I thought I'd gotten China out of my system and was ready to concentrate on America and her... Read More
chinarocket
Earlier by Patrick J. Buchanan: Is China the Country of the Future? I still have China on my mind following last month's jaunt there. My conclusion: they’re going to eat our lunch—unless we have a “Sputnik Moment.” And even then, unlike in 1957, it’s not clear the U.S. can respond. Look at the flap involving... Read More
derbdoeschina
• Monday, September 9th: Leaving New York. We fly Air China from New York to Peking, a single 13½-hour flight. There is no way an economy-class flight that long can be enjoyable, but Air China don't do anything to make it wor
I like Pachelbel's Canon in D. Sure it's overplayed, but I like it, so I was stirred to action after hearing Prof. Greenberg pass some mildly snarky comments about it in one of his lectures. The precise action I was stirred to was, I used the Canon for sign-off music in my August 23rd podcast.... Read More
Regular readers of VDARE will be familiar with what Steve Sailer calls The World's Most Important Graph. That's the one that shows the U.N. population projections, by region, through the end of this century. If that's The World's Most Important Graph, I hereby nominate David Becker's "Global distribution of national IQs from psychometric measurements and... Read More
As mentioned in Radio Derb, the Mrs. and I took a break in Cancún, Mexico the first week of December. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time; nothing much out of the ordinary, just five days in a very nice hotel (this one) lounging on the beach and poolside, with side trips to Mayan ruins and... Read More
badthing-672x372
The Chinese sure can be exasperating. Paul Midler writes in his new book What’s Wrong with China: (Laowai is the common—informal, non-hostile—Chinese term for a foreigner, equivalent to Japanese gaijin. Pronunciation here. During my own China days in the early 1980s the usual expat term for the syndrome under discus
behindthescenes
On January 21st the Screen Actors Guild gave Gary Oldman their “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role” award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. The movie is about Churchill coming to power as Prime Minister in May 1940 and the events leading up to the evacuation from Dunkirk.... Read More
As deplorable as we Badwhites are, our medieval forebears were deplorabler. Here’s one: Geoffrey le Barbu (“the Bearded”), Count of Anjou, around a.d. 1065: Now that’s Badwhite! (Geoffrey, by the way, was a great-granduncle of the English King Henry II, first of the Plantagenet Dynasty. His younger brother, who rejoiced in the epithet Fulk the... Read More
oceanapart
I’ve met more than my share of famous people, just because I’ve lived mostly in big metropolises and hung around with journalists a lot. Among those encounters: one with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, back in 1984. I wrote up an account in a column back in 2003. Well, His Holiness is still among us... Read More
chinastillalmosttotallychinese
The current (November 19th-25th) issue of The Economist has a striking long article about Chinese — more precisely, ChiCom — nationalism. Bottom line: it’s racial. I’ve made this point myself, e.g. in my 2001 China Diary: (You can argue that it’s really ethnic, not racial. After 4,000 years of absorbing border tribes and enduring long... Read More
John Derbyshire teaching English (but not spying) in Communist China, Christmas 1982.
Thirty-three years ago I was teaching English at a college in provincial China. This was the early post-Mao period, and foreigners were a rarity outside the big cities. I think I was the only one resident in that town since the Russians had left twenty years previously. I was on friendly terms with some of... Read More
The thorny tangles of identity, ethnicity, nation, and race, are made thornier under a state ideology based on utopian fantasies and the denial of reality. Sound familiar? It should; it’s what we write about here at VDARE.com. As a mind-clearing exercise, it helps to occasionally step back from our domestic broils to look at how... Read More
Hong Kong, in long historical perspective.
History is full of strange folds, wrinkles, and repetitions. Consider for example the following true story. There was once a great empire of the despotic-bureaucratic sort. It had enjoyed centuries of glory; but at last came corruption, political paralysis, foreign incursions, and fragmentation. As the empire entered its long decline, a much smaller nation of... Read More
… to politics in a postindustrial society.
Wednesday this week marks the 25th anniversary of the Chinese army’s retaking Tiananmen Square from anti-regime protestors, an event known to Chinese by the date as “6/4.” The first thing to be said about this is that if, like me, you welcome summer by reading a good thick middlebrow novel, here’s just the thing. Not... Read More
[This is the text of a talk I gave to the American Renaissanceconference on April 26th, 2014. The talk was organized around PowerPoint slides, links to which are scattered through the text. As is always the case, the delivered talk differed somewhat from the text here. AmRen will be posting the talk on on their... Read More
Hard Road Home, by Ye Fu
Taking humanity at large, perhaps the greatest service any person of our time could perform for future generations would be to bring rational, consensual government to China. That such a populous nation, with such high general levels of industriousness and intelligence, and with such a glittering cultural legacy, should be ruled by a clique of... Read More
Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China, Stephen Roach
China forecasting is a mug’s game. The terrible example before us all is Gordon Chang, who in 2001 published a book titled The Coming Collapse of China, which predicted that within five to ten years the Communist Party would be chased out of power amid social and economic breakdown. (I reviewed the book here.) As... Read More
Are the ChiComs feeling their oats? Exhibit A: British Prime Minister David Cameron spent the first three days of this week in China. The Communists greeted him withsneering arrogance. The Global Times, a major Party propagandaorgan, honked that: Another Communist Party organ, the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, invited to submit questions to Cameron,... Read More
And can China get along fine without it?
So where are we with this democracy business? Last time I brought it up I left you with Robert A. Heinlein’s time traveler: It’s not clear that American democracy, as it has developed to the present, really is so wonderful. One of our big political parties somehow manages to market itself as the party of... Read More
I was slow on the uptake in understanding Chinese communism’s awfulness. I’d been a lefty in my student days without knowing anything much about China. Toward the end of those days, female Chinese author Han Suyin published A Crippled Tree, an account of her parents’ lives in early 20th-century China written from a standpoint of... Read More
I don’t have sufficient experience or knowledge to call myself an Old China Hand, but I can claim to be something of an authority on China punditry—an Old “Old China Hand” Hand, as it were. I think I’ve read ’em all at some time or other in the past forty years, from Matteo Ricciand the... Read More
It's a world-wide phenomenon.
The war between the sexes is fought on many fronts, some of them very far away. There’s a report from one of those fronts in the January 2013 issue of The China Journal. The writer is Katherine A. Mason, billed as “Lecturer in Health and Societies in the Department of History and Sociology of Science... Read More
Who will own the 21st century?
Which nation will own the 21st century? The leading candidates are the USA and China. Few people would admit any others into the competition, but I’d be a tad more careful. History takes some odd turns. Who in the year 612 AD would have prophesied that the 7th century would belong to the Arabs? To... Read More
Such Is This [email protected], by Hu Fayun
There has never been a good time to be an honest writer in Communist China, but the present is an exceptionally bad time. Spooked by the "Arab Spring" and jostling for position in next year's scheduled leadership changes, the Party bosses have been coming down hard on every kind of independent thinking. The cases of... Read More
Address to the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society, Bodrum, Turkey
————————— Good morning, Ladies and Gentl
Not so much a Wirtschaftswunder as a Staatskunstswunder.
You think the 2012 Republican field is lackluster? Check out these party animals. The "party" in that last sentence is of course the Chinese Communist Party. The gents in the picture are the Standing Committee (changwu weiyuanhui, lit. "everyday affairs committee") of the Central Politburo (zhongyang zhengzhiju, lit. "central political bureau") of the CCP. They... Read More
Terrorism and self-determination.
Sometimes you write a column just so you can for ever after refer people to it. "Oh, that subject/point/complaint/theory/argument? I tackled/countered/responded to/exploded/demolished that back in July '11 — here's the link." Well, this is one of those. Back in — heaven help me! — 1999 I wrote a column for the Weekly Standard about Uighurs.... Read More
Lang Lang's patriotism, and Obama's.
This week's storm in a teacup was Chinese pianist Lang Lang's playing of the Chinese song "My Motherland" at a state dinner for some visiting Chinese functionaries. The song is a gushy old patriotic thing — you can inspect the lyrics here and see it sung in its original movie setting here — from the... Read More
The new Internet?
This week's state visit of Hu Jintao, China's "president" — I would prefer to say "head apparatchik," since "president" implies an elected position, which is not the case — has fired off another round of China-up? / China-down? speculation in the press. In the present climate of American national foreboding, the speculation comes paired with... Read More
Tom Friedman gushes over the Chinese dictatorship.
Thomas Friedman has been to China again, and seems to have experienced another Lincoln Steffens moment. More than one such, in fact. In his January 10 New York Times column Tom was swooning over the new high-speed rail link between Peking and Shanghai — five hours to cover 700 miles. "By comparison, Amtrak trains require... Read More
Out of Mao's Shadow, by Philip P. Pan
Reading Philip Pan's fine book — somewhat late: it came out in June last year: I am sorry — I was reminded of one of those caustic jokes that used to circulate in Brezhnev's U.S.S.R. Coming up to its 60th birthday, Communist China has not actually run out of bullets, any more than the U.S.S.R.... Read More
Atatürk got it right.
The current constitution of the People's Republic of China, adopted in December 1982, tells us that: "The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-national state." That is pretty darn close to the dictionary definition of an empire: "an extended territory usu. comprising a group of nations, states, or peoples under the control or domination... Read More
Poorly Made in China, by Paul Midler
Is China really a modern country? Can China be a modern country? Paul Midler's book leaves you wondering. After studying Chinese at college, Midler lived and worked in China through the 1990s before returning to the U.S.A. to take a business degree. In 2001 he went back to China, setting himself up as a consultant... Read More
A wasted century?
When, thirty years ago, Deng Xiaoping authorized a retreat from the Maoist command economy, he called his plan "Socialism with Chinese characteristics." After a spell of cautious experimentation, Deng's schema blossomed into the export-led, double-digit-growth Chinese economy we have become familiar with this past couple of decades. Now, with thedeepening world-wide recession, China watchers are... Read More
The Man Who Loved China, by Simon Winchester
One of my schoolmasters was fond of saying that there are only two worthwhile forms of worldly immortality: to get a poem in the Oxford Book of English Verse, or to have a mathematical theorem named after you. The British scholar Joseph Needham (1900-1995) was no better than a passable amateur poet, judging by the... Read More
The Poems of Mao Zedong, edited and translated by William Barnstone
The Belgian sinologist Pierre Ryckmans (pen-name "Simon Leys") was once asked for his opinion of Mao Tse-tung's poetry. He replied: "Well, if poetry were painting, I would say that Mao was better than Hitler … but not as good as Churchill." Ryckmans' quip[*] suggests the moral dilemma in confronting Mao's poetry. Imagine yourself at an... Read More
Those little pork pies.
The various petty deceptions that have come to light at the Beijing Olympics — the computer-generated "fireworks", the bogus "ethnic minority" dancers, the little girl who lip-synced because the kid with the voice wasn't cute enough, thesuspiciously preteen look of some of the "16-year-olds" on the gals' gymnastics squad … What's going on here? Or,... Read More
Olympic Dreams, by Xu Guoqi
A favorite piece of expat lore among foreigners in early 20th-century China concerned the Chinese government official who called on some Western friends one hot day just as they were starting a game of tennis. They invited him to watch, so he took a seat in the shade, had a servant bring him some green... Read More
John Derbyshire
About John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.