National Affairs: The China Shock Doctrine


The West embraced neoliberalism in response to the crisis of the 1970s.

East Asia embraced the German Historical School of Economics.

After the Cold War, the West attempted to integrate China into the liberal world order by bringing it into the WTO and establishing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. See decades of trade deficits.

The result of this was the deindustrialization of Middle America and the emergence of China as a rival superpower.

In hindsight, this was all a huge mistake, but it worked in theory.

Mainstream conservatism is now in deep doodoo.

National Affairs:

“In October 10, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law “permanent normal trade relations,” or PNTR, with the People’s Republic of China. The move paved the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization one year later. We’ve been living with the consequences of that fateful decision ever since.

PNTR has been implicated in some of the most significant and distressing trends of American life in this century: millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs lost; declining family formation and rising deaths of despair; soaring real-estate prices and medieval levels of urban inequality; increased political polarization and populist movements, left and right; and faltering faith in the power of liberal democracy to respond to these and related challenges. To pin all this on a single trade agreement would be a step too far, of course. And yet the imprint of what’s come to be known as the “China shock” can be seen on all these trends, either through its first-order effects, or its reverberations through the body politic.

At the time, though, to oppose PNTR was to make company with the anti-globalization left. It was an unserious position for unserious people, the kind who read Noam Chomsky by night and opined about “neoliberalism” by day. In contrast, serious people understood that free trade with China would be a boon for American consumers, put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to democratize, and forestall any future conflict with the rising military power. Congress ultimately supported PNTR by a wide margin, bolstered by a record-breaking advertising blitz from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the support of more than three-fourths of Republican lawmakers. …”

It is shocking to read about this lack of faith in neoliberalism in Yuval Levin’s National Affairs at the American Enterprise Institute.

Normally, we see this kind of rhetoric about a philosophical commitment to historicism and the German Historical School of Economics on the more fringe far right blogs like Occidental Dissent.

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  1. Western leaders and elites created a monster they can no longer control. They were not able to absorb China and Russia into their “end of history” model of the New world order. In fact the opposite happened as they are the most opposed and resistant to it.

    You see how badly this has gone for them with Trump trying to reassert US dominance on trade and failing spectacularly at it. Remember when Trump wasn’t going to be beholden to all these plutocrats and was going to be able to do what was best for America? We saw how that turned out.

    The chickens are coming home to roost for their short sighted and arrogant “end of history” economic, trade and foreign policy model that men like Pat Buchanan warned in the 1990’s would end in disaster.

    • They tried hard with Russia through the use of corrupt drunken sot Yeltsin and the oligarchs.

      They truly believed that the Russian people were past the point of resistance after dealing with the collapse of communism thanks to the imbecile Gorbachev.

  2. With central planning, resource allocation and slave labor, the Chinese can overwhelm any industry or commercial sector they choose.

  3. “They tried hard with Russia through the use of corrupt drunken sot Yeltsin and the oligarchs.”

    “oligarchs”.?? You mean mobsters.
    They’ve taken 3/4 of the wealth of Russia and are still bleeding her.

  4. “It is shocking to read about this lack of faith in neoliberalism in Yuval Levin’s National Affairs at the American Enterprise Institute. ” – they are starting to realize that they aren’t going to be able to hop onto China’s back after they are done with the US.

  5. China is tied with Japan as the nation with the third highest average IQ at 105. The USA is tied for ninth with several other countries at an average IQ at 98.

    At this point, it’s only the European ability to ‘think outside of the box’ or abstract thought that keeps us ahead of the Far East Dragons in innovation.

    The Chinese have already cornered the market in the extremely valuable rare earth minerals that are necessary for just about every high technology application.

    • “China is tied with Japan as the nation with the third highest average IQ at 105. ”

      Beware of those numbers, they are false.

      The Chinese only take test scores from the best schools in Shanghai and extrapolate those to all of China, far from realistic.

      The Japanese numbers are skewed. For testing, the Japanese will send the 5 dumb kids in the class to do kitchen duty, thus skewing the results higher. (Israelis do much the same).

      In Asia, ‘saving face’ is everything.

    • “The Chinese have already cornered the market in the extremely valuable rare earth minerals that are necessary for just about every high technology application.” – the US used to produce 80% of the world supply of these things, but free traders allowed China to buy all of our mines and shut them down(and ship the tech back to China), the last one was during the Bush administration. Rare earths themselves are of course much easier to mine when you don’t care about pollution.

  6. From that essay:

    The great American economist Walter Heller once quipped that an economist is someone who sees an idea work in practice but, before believing it, asks to see it work in theory.

    That reminds me of a Steve Sailer post titled “How immigration can hurt a country, in theory, not just in reality.”

  7. “The Chinese have already cornered the market in the extremely valuable rare earth minerals ”

    Only because they have used market manipulation to bankrupt competition.

    America has plenty of rare earths, Mountain Pass Mine could provide all needed to the western world but China bankrupted Molycorp by artificially low prices to ruin Moly.

    • Chinese companies are going to mine Africa for every last mineral resource on the continent, and nobody is going to stop them.

      The 21st Century will be the Chinese century.

  8. To a certain extent neither the modern world or the contemporary Nation-State will long survive. By the end of the 21st century China will have surpassed the United States as the world dominant military and economic power. The image of a 23rd century multiracial crew jetting around the universe like Star Trek will not come to fruition unless the ships are solidly Chinese! To many the answer is the Ethno-State. Such a political structure is certainly more stable than the Nation-State construct but is not enough. Sometimes in the latter part of the 21st century or the early 22nd second century the Anglo-Sphere will have to come together as one political entity in some type of United Anglo-Saxon Confederation. This will not be the British Empire 2.0 in order to exploit the non-white world via colonies but will be formed strictly for self-preservation and advancement and will include what white areas are left of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are going to think big then think big and outside merely the South or the United States Then we can really say think racially and act globally!

  9. Sorry, I left out Great Britain. They to should be part of the Confederation. Many it is time to think outside the box and jettison petty nationalism altogether in favor of the greater nationalism of the race.

    • Heartland Separatist,

      I would include Argentina and Uruguay before GB/cuck island as future areas for White survival.

      From South Africa to both brother wars during the twentieth century in Europe, the inhabitants of the U.K. have been on the wrong side of history. What’s past is prologue.

  10. Really great and interesting comments here! China is experiencing its’ own chaos, though. Currency manipulations aren’t working for them anymore, poor public investments (like ghost cities) are a giant economic drain, the loss of even a portion of the US market could seriously wound their economy, etc. It’s not all rosy for the organ-harvesters.

    • The “ghost city” thing is a boomer meme. China has intelligent public infrastructure planning, designed for a country of over a billion. It just looks strange because in the west we don’t have any sort of planning at all, other than politicians planning to give overbid contracts to their brother-in-law’s construction company.

      • “Boomer meme?” Local governments in China (according to the Financial Times, a paper often giving the PRC favorable coverage) get 35% of their income from real estate, and the national gov’t is trying to keep up the overinflated GDP numbers through continually pumping currency and infrastructure spending into their economy. They’re doing the New Deal’s make-work schemes writ large, with Keynesian currency overprinting besides. But there’s no actual value in it, if it’s being financed by debt for no real purpose. So, you’re way, way off here.

        Your understanding of planning, too, seems to be based on your own odd assumptions instead of facts. I’ve known urban planners in the Minneapolis metro area. They’re often looking decades into the future. That’s what they’re trained to do: plan ahead for projected needs. Like everywhere else in the world (including China), though, the immediate needs of politicians and their cronies can foil those plans.

      • Definitely not a boomer meme, I have seen it firsthand outside Shanghai. If anyone had actually spent any amount of time in China around the 99% they would never, ever think China will take over the world. It’s a joke.

        • @deep South

          Is the construction quality as some claim, bad concrete mixes etc.?
          How about the ‘trophy’ properties, are they high quality?

  11. The PRC although damaged much by western interference, it has been moving in a positive direction in the past year. First they reconciled with the Vatican re-establishing communion between Rome and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Recent economic and political measures expose and correct much of the damage done Making China Great Again. On the contrary the Republic of China, founded by Chinese freemason traitor to the west Chiang Kai-shek has become westernized with full LGBT included via Democratic Progressive Party. the US has pulled out industries from PRC to it’s homeland, but has started another war using anarchist terrorism in HK and imposing sanctions with (((bi-partisan))) support. Today the People’s Republic of China, is a revival of Reorganized National Government. Comrade Wang Jingwei’s ghost lives on! ????

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