Archive for the ‘World’ Category

The Worst Question

At news aggregator Real Clear World, Frank Ching’s recent article comparing the economic performance of the earth’s two demographic giants was given the tantalizing headline Why India Keeps Falling Behind China. There’s no sign of the “Why?” at the original, published in Taiwan’s China Post. No surprise there.

As Ching notes:

While India and China are both being hailed as rapidly developing emerging markets, the gap between the two countries is widening with India being left behind as China continues to power ahead. China’s growth in 2013 was 7.7 percent while that of India hit a low for the decade of 4.5 percent in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Despite being positioned for catch-up (i.e. being far poorer), India simply doesn’t grow as fast as China. “The average estimated productivity growth rate of China (5.9%) is more than double that of India (2.4%).” India hasn’t matched Chinese growth rates in any single year since the end of the Mao-era in the late 1970s, even after launching its own much-heralded market-oriented economic reform program in the early 1990s. Despite pulling itself from the dismal 3% “Hindu” growth rate, which was roughly doubled to a 5-6% range, China’s average 9.8% growth rate, sustained over three decades, has remained far out of reach.

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March 27, 2014admin 31 Comments »
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Quote notes (#68)

Pat Buchanan asks: Is Europe Cracking Up? His tour of disintegration takes in Ukraine, France, Britain, Belgium and Spain, but …

… the most startling news on the nationalist front last week came in Venice and the Veneto region, where 89 percent of a large turnout in a non-binding referendum voted to secede from Italy and re-establish the Venetian republic that vanished in 1866.

Exulted Luca Zaia of the separatist Northern League, “The will for secession is growing very strong. We are only at the Big Bang of the movement — but revolutions are born of hunger and we are now hungry. Venice can now escape.”

The proposed “Repubblica Veneta” would embrace five million inhabitants of Veneto. Should it succeed in seceding, Lombardy and Trentino would likely follow, bringing about a partition of Italy. Sardinia is also reportedly looking for an exit.

Buchanan’s preferred term ‘nationalism’ is ambiguous in this context, since it can mean either integration or disintegration. After all, it was Italian ‘nationalism’ that built this self-dismantling monster. Increasingly, it’s the fissile aspect — nationality as ethnic splintering and escape from something larger — that’s driving the process. How many micro-nationalities remain as yet undiscovered?

ADDED: A (libertarian-secessionist) voice from Italy.

March 26, 2014admin 27 Comments »
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Nihilism and Destiny

Readers of Nietzsche, or of Eugene Rose, are already familiar with the attribution of a cultural teleology to modernity, directed to the consummate realization of nihilism. Our contemporary crisis finds this theme re-animated within a geopolitical context by the work of Alexandr Dugin, who interprets it as a driver of concrete events — most specifically the antagonization of Russia by an imploding world liberal order. He writes:

There is one point in liberal ideology that has brought about a crisis within it: liberalism is profoundly nihilistic at its core. The set of values defended by liberalism is essentially linked to its main thesis: the primacy of liberty. But liberty in the liberal vision is an essentially negative category: it claims to be free from (as per John Stuart Mill), not to be free for something. […] … the enemies of the open society, which is synonymous with Western society post-1991, and which has become the norm for the rest of the world, are concrete. Its primary enemies are communism and fascism, both ideologies which emerged from the same Enlightenment philosophy, and which contained central, non-individualic concepts – class in Marxism, race in National Socialism, and the national State in fascism). So the source of liberalism’s conflict with the existing alternatives of modernity, fascism or communism, is quite obvious. Liberals claim to liberate society from fascism and communism, or from the two major permutations of explicitly non-individualistic modern totalitarianism. Liberalism’s struggle, when viewed as a part of the process of the liquidation of non-liberal societies, is quite meaningful: it acquires its meaning from the fact of the very existence of ideologies that explicitly deny the individual as society’s highest value. It is quite clear what the struggle opposes: liberation from its opposite. But the fact that liberty, as it is conceived by liberals, is an essentially negative category is not clearly perceived here. The enemy is present and is concrete. That very fact gives liberalism its solid content. Something other than the open society exists, and the fact of its existence is enough to justify the process of liberation.

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March 18, 2014admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , Political economy , World
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Confused Cato

By coincidence I was recalling this Cato-hosted essay by Peter Thiel, in which he states: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” It isn’t a message the Cato Institute is able to digest.

Consider this article by Juan Carlos Hidalgo (from the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity). Headlined ‘How socialism has destroyed Venezuela’ it tracks the descent of what “was once South America’s richest country” into a hellish, crime-wracked, economic ruin. Socialist insanity is, of course, the immediate cause. How, though, did socialism become Venezuelan public policy? This is a question Hidalgo seems unable to imagine, let alone answer.

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February 26, 2014admin 24 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy , World
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Exit Test

What can Exit do? It looks as if France is going to provide an important demonstration:

France has become a defeatist nation.

A striking indicator of this attitude is the massive emigration that the country has witnessed over the last decade, with nearly 2 million French citizens choosing to leave their country and take their chances in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States and other locales. The last such collective exodus from France came during the French Revolution, when a large part of the aristocracy left to await (futilely) the king’s return. Today’s migration isn’t politically motivated, however; it’s economic.

This departing population consists disproportionately of young people — 70% of the migrants are under 40 — and advanced-degree holders, who do their studies in France but offer their skills elsewhere. The migrants, discouraged by the economy’s comparatively low salaries and persistently high unemployment — currently at 10.9% — have only grown in number since Socialist Francois Hollande became president.

The young and enterprising in France soon realize that elsewhere — in London, say — obstacles to success are fewer and opportunities greater. The British capital is now France’s sixth-largest city, with 200,000 to 400,000 emigres.

The exile rolls also include hundreds of thousands of French retirees, presumably well-off, who are spending at least part of their golden years in other countries. Tired of France’s high cost of living, they seek out more welcoming environments.

My beloved country, in other words, has been losing not only its dynamic and intelligent young people but also older people with some money. I’m not sure that this social model can work over the long term.

It will be extremely interesting to see.

February 24, 2014admin 32 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn , Political economy , World
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2014 Prognoses +

Since predictions solicit feedback from reality they constrain dishonesty, and indicate where correction is needed. This is an outline of what Outside in anticipates from the year.

World

Punctual catastrophes resist remotely confident prediction, unless negative ones. Neither Artificial Intelligence explosion nor Drexlerian nanotechnology will impact in 2014. Nuclear fusion will not be (de-)cracked. A super-volcano will not destroy what remains of human civilization. Global influenza epidemic? Mega-meteorite strike? A malign black swan of cataclysmic scale? — nobody knows.

The three potential catastrophes of greatest prominence heading into 2014 are Asia Pacific war; Sunni-Shia nuclear confrontation; and US dollar (or Japanese Yen) collapse. The probability that any one of these crosses the crisis threshold this year is substantially less than 50% (but possibly greater than 10%). If any does, the chance of a cascading disaster involving one or both of the others spikes dramatically. The probability of a secondary, but still major crisis, is of course far larger (i.e. likely).

The doctrinal neoreactionary prediction for the year is continued, steadily accelerating, general collapse, with an intensity broadly correlated to democratic progress. There will be no economic recovery, or significant resolution of international security issues. All the fixes on offer are fake. In the developed world, underlying human capital deterioration will subvert every proposed remedy, dragged downwards by morbid cultural variations on a remorseless dysgenic theme. The default fascist solution will be undermined by Internet-enabled exit options, exacerbated by inter-state non-cooperation. The Cathedral will fray, but not snap.

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January 15, 2014admin 9 Comments »
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Sudan Back-Track

The Cathedral’s brilliant new plan — colonialism.

(Some initial ‘discomfort‘ (via))

January 8, 2014admin 8 Comments »
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Quote notes (#52)

… why does the American MSM almost never mention tribes, except occasionally as an afterthought, and never speak about how countries like Libya are organized socially, and how that affects their politics? There are so many examples of this that it cannot simply be a coincidence. This is not the place to go into detail, but it comes down, I think, to a form of political correctness that tacitly prohibits any mention of what might be taken even to imply that Libyans (or Yemenis or Syrians or Egyptians, or Pashtuns, or…) might in some way be pre-modern, as we understand the term. (Actually, they’re less aptly described as pre-modern than simply as different, but lowest-common-denominator Enlightenment universalism is very bad at acknowledging the dignity of difference.) That kind of appellation is considered just this side of racist in the higher etiquette of American Enlightenment liberalism, deeply dented, as it has been, by the nonsense of anti-“Orientalism” regnant now for more than a generation in academe. Yes, it was at university where our elite press reporters and their august editors learned this stuff.

December 31, 2013admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations , World
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Handling China

Handle’s epic walk-through of Edward Luttwak on the rise of China is simply magnificent. If the Chinese foreign policy establishment doesn’t put it on a study list, the world is a more dangerous place than it needs to be. It says impressive things about Luttwak that his work is able to prompt commentary of such astounding quality. (Yes, it’s long, but you have to read it.)

As a Sinophile, and even (far more reservedly) a sympathizer with the post-Mao PRC regime, it’s disturbing to me how convincing I find this analysis. China really could blow itself up, along with a big chunk of the world’s sole truly dynamic region, by mis-playing its excellent foreign policy hand (in pretty much exactly the way Handle lays out). In particular, its ability to avoid the disastrous course of Germany’s rise is the most pressing question of the age, and the signs so far are not remotely encouraging. Having dug itself quite unnecessarily into a trap of increasingly embittered anti-China balancing, 2013 looks very clearly to have been the worst year since the beginning of Reform and Opening for Chinese geo-strategic decision making.

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December 20, 2013admin 46 Comments »
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Join the Dots

Walter Russell Mead muses on identitarian blood-letting.

First the sermon:

The eastern Congo and the African Great Lakes are remote places, and many people might wonder why Americans or the world at large should care much about what goes on there. The short answer is that the people who live there are made in God’s image as much as anybody else and they are infinitely dear to him, and to remain indifferent to the suffering of people there is to fail in our clear duty to our Creator and to some degree to betray our own humanity.

Then the analysis:

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December 19, 2013admin 19 Comments »
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