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The capitalists are revolting over China Western hawks face an unlikely resistance

War is no longer good for business (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

War is no longer good for business (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)


June 6, 2023   5 mins

After marshalling Europe in its proxy war against Russia, America is now determined to repeat this success against China. Here, the consequences for Europe could be even more significant than the economic shock of the past year. Yet, despite a few grumbles from Macron and others, European leaders are largely playing along with this increasingly aggressive approach: at last week’s biannual US-EU Trade and Technology Council, both parties claimed to “see very much eye-to-eye” on the issue.

Below the surface, however, views are hardening against the EU’s efforts to emulate America’s hawkish approach, which includes economic decoupling (or “de-risking”, as it’s now called) and increasing Nato’s presence in the Indo-Pacific. Over the past four years, von der Leyen has worked tirelessly to keep Europe aligned with America’s aggressive geopolitical strategy, often appearing to prioritise Washington’s desires over Europe’s strategic interests. No wonder Politico dubbed her “Europe’s American president”.

On China, von der Leyen has taken an increasingly tough line, recently urging Europe to “de-risk” its relationship. The bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has echoed her tone, calling President Xi’s support of Russia “a blatant violation” of its UN commitments. Brussels is also devising a Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative, which would force European companies to ensure that EU social and human rights standards apply throughout their supply chain. Germany has already introduced a softer version of the rule, which currently applies only to 150 companies, though the number is set to rise to 15,000.

Already many European companies are pushing back against the measures, claiming that they place an excessive regulatory and bureaucratic burden on industry at a time of massive economic challenges. Unsurprisingly, German companies are leading the charge: China is the country’s largest trading partner, with total trade last year of nearly €300 billion. Europe’s economic powerhouse has already taken a heavy it from its decoupling from Russian gas and other commodities; with its economy in recession and an inflation rate of 7.2%, Germany cannot afford to lose China as well. The same can be said for the EU as a whole.

The fact that the von der Leyen insists on mimicking the American strategy despite the bloc’s deep interdependence with China highlights the extent to which the EU, wedded as it is to a subservient interpretation of the bloc’s relationship to the US, is now a threat to Europe’s core interests. As Wolfgang Münchau noted: “The EU economy is not built for Cold War-style relations because it has become too dependent on global supply chains… The underlying reality of modern-day Europe is that it cannot easily extricate itself from its relationship with China.”

In this context, it is hardly surprising that German businesses are pushing back against Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s call to weaken Germany’s economic relationship with China. Abandoning China is “unthinkable” for German industry, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius said in April, in comments that echoed across the country’s boardrooms — from Siemens to BASF to BMW, all of which have vowed to continue investing in the country. “We won’t give up on China,” Volkswagen’s chief financial officer made clear.

Yet while similar views are being expressed in Italy and France, China’s other two largest trading partners in the EU, it remains unclear whether this will translate into a decisive shift in Europe’s official China policy. For now, most national and EU leaders seem more interested in pleasing the US establishment than thinking about Europe’s long-term economic and geopolitical interests. However, European business leaders can count on some powerful allies in the US — not in Washington, but among fellow capitalists.

For in America, a similar revolt is brewing over the administration’s decoupling with China. Despite the fraying of Sino-American relations at the political level, several American CEOs have continued to visit China. While the bosses of J.P. Morgan, Starbucks, GM and Apple have all flown in since March, it was Elon Musk’s visit, which took place last week, that predictably caused the biggest shockwaves.

According to the Financial Times, “in just two days… Elon Musk had more top-level Chinese meetings than most Biden administration officials have had in months”, including with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. The foreign ministry quoted Musk as saying that he was willing to expand business in China and opposed a decoupling of the US and China economies, adding that he described the world’s two largest economies as “conjoined twins”. Musk’s trip coincided with that by J.P. Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, who in a speech in Shanghai called for “real engagement” between Washington and Beijing.

Such open defiance of Washington’s foreign policy stance by some of the most powerful CEOs in America represents a striking development. Critics of US-Western foreign policy and military interventionism have traditionally (and correctly) seen the latter as being essentially aimed at enforcing the Western-led global capitalist order — in other words, as being in the service of big business by opening up new markets, securing control of resources or intervening whenever Western business interests were threatened. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman put it in 1999: “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist — McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for [American corporations] is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

However, in light of the growing rifts between America’s economic and political elites, does this analytical framework still hold? It’s hard to see, after all, how the West’s aggressive US-led foreign policy — aimed at antagonising and militarising relations with China, the world’s second-largest consumer market and largest rare-earth mineral exporter, in the same fashion as it has with Russia — serves the “general interests” of Western capital, or even how it serves a strictly capitalist logic. How is Nato “helping McDonald’s”, to borrow Friedman’s phrase, by forcing it to exit Russia at a cost of more than $1 billion? No wonder major representatives of Western corporate interests aren’t peachy about the prospect of a new Cold War — not to mention an actual war with China, which would have devastating effects on the US and global economy.

However, their appeals today seem to fall on deaf ears in Washington and other Western national capitals. As Adam Tooze has observed: “The ‘peace interest’ anchored in the investment and trading connections of US big business with China has been expelled from centre stage. On the central axis of US strategy, big business has less influence today that at any time since the end of the Cold War”. Yet this begs the question: if US-Western foreign policy no longer serves the interests of big business, whose interests does it serve?

Well, there is really only one social class that stands to benefit from the militarisation of great-power relations: the military-industrial complex, Eisenhower’s description for the network of corporations and vested interests that revolve around a country’s defence and national security sector. What’s changed since the Sixties, however, is that these interests are no longer aligned with those of the Western corporate community — in fact, the two are diametrically opposed.

The paradox, of course, is that for decades big business has encouraged the continuous expansion of the military-industrial complex as a tool to promote its interests abroad. Yet in a Frankenstein-like twist of fate, the beast has been allowed to become so powerful that it has broken free from its masters — and is now turning against them, as Italian author David Colantoni shows in his book on the “armed class”. No longer is the military-industrial complex subordinated to the general interests of the capitalist class; rather, it is the latter that is increasingly subordinated to the interests of the military-industrial complex.

Now, the military-industrial complex follows a capitalist logic as well, of course: war, or even just the constant preparation for war, is clearly good for business. But, ultimately, it’s about more than just profits: it’s about ensuring the reproduction of the military class, which extends well beyond the big defence companies to include civilian auxiliaries in defence-related government agencies, think tanks, academia, and many others.

What’s slowly becoming clear, however, is that the old capitalist class doesn’t seem willing to go down without a fight. Indeed, we may be on the verge of a new historical class struggle: the owners of the means of production against the owners of the means of destruction. Whoever wins, the peculiar nature of this conflict should not be underestimated: the greatest resistance to the new Cold War isn’t coming from a global peace movement, but from the boardrooms of Western corporations. Faced with China’s supremacy, they have nothing to lose but their chains.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago

If China can make stuff better than elsewhere, a free capitalist system will ensure that companies will base there. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. China steels formulas, methods, and patents, which behavior is an offshoot of communist thinking (everything belongs to ‘the people’; they call it ‘sharing technology’ as a euphamism), protect and nurture their own industries while invading other lands with their companies, etc. Start a company in China? You must have a Chinese partner on the board and intrusive government oversight. In 5 years Chinese copycat companies will spring up and start producing locally. In 8 years those same companies will start exporting into your markets. And so it goes. Like any monopoly, their willing to except short-term losses for the sake of long-term gain. After driving all other competitors out of business, they can charge whatever they please, and create a true Chinese Century.

Last edited 1 year ago by Samuel Ross
Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

So China are having a lot of success. Clearly you think that their underhand methods are just not playing the ‘Good Old Boys’ game.
The USA will go down and down and down until they have to provoke a war – like all good democracies.
Their people are soft in body and soul, they don’t want to do physical work and they think they should rule the world, like Hollywood. Britain also behaved like this after WW2 but the self-deceit became obvious.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
1 year ago

And if Europe follows your advice, it will become more and more dependent on Chinese products. When it suddenly discovers that this includes critical parts of supply chains that now no longer haver any homegrown alternative, this will provoke a war.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

I haven’t given any advice. China will not be stopped by comments on UnHerd; it is a fact of life. I see only that most contributors see China’s way as ‘unsportsmanlike’ – they are not playing the game and are not behaving themselves.
Having seen many US factories and businesses, I know that blue-collar America has gone. Now we have blue-collar China. Meanwhile, in Europe and the US overeducated youngish people are creating silly niches for themselves – hence the LGBTQ+ social circles which are being created by the day. Who wants to work when they can create non-working niches for themselves?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

..either that or they’ll have to trade! duh!

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

I haven’t given any advice. China will not be stopped by comments on UnHerd; it is a fact of life. I see only that most contributors see China’s way as ‘unsportsmanlike’ – they are not playing the game and are not behaving themselves.
Having seen many US factories and businesses, I know that blue-collar America has gone. Now we have blue-collar China. Meanwhile, in Europe and the US overeducated youngish people are creating silly niches for themselves – hence the LGBTQ+ social circles which are being created by the day. Who wants to work when they can create non-working niches for themselves?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

..either that or they’ll have to trade! duh!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Curiously, in a (UK right-wing think tank) study, only 49% of Americans reckoned they live in a real democracy (which acts for the good of the people) whereas 70% of Chinese think they l8ve in a real democracy (as defined)… go figure, as the Yanks say.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
1 year ago

And if Europe follows your advice, it will become more and more dependent on Chinese products. When it suddenly discovers that this includes critical parts of supply chains that now no longer haver any homegrown alternative, this will provoke a war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Curiously, in a (UK right-wing think tank) study, only 49% of Americans reckoned they live in a real democracy (which acts for the good of the people) whereas 70% of Chinese think they l8ve in a real democracy (as defined)… go figure, as the Yanks say.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

When I started travelling to China to do business, this book was eye-opening – there are blue prints being executed in every industry that encapsulate your comments, all outlined in the book. Recommended reading – https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Billion-Customers-Lessons-Business/dp/074325841X

Last edited 1 year ago by Justin Clark
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I work in the cycle industry and Chinese-made stuff is invariably third rate cr*p. Taiwan on the other hand has a fine frame building industry and Japan makes the most elegant and exquisite cycle components on the planet. Japan takes Western designs and improves them; China makes bike-shaped objects and sells them by the thousand to Jack Ma and Amazon and Western department stores.
But that’s not really the issue – it’s the Chinese market that is really what matters. UK companies like Brompton Bicycle for instance would be severely damaged if they were no longer able to export to China where a large chunk of their market is now located.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

But West managed perfectly well without China till not long ago.
Globalisation was a choice; very bad one.
In short term Western business will make some profits in China. Long term it will not exist if we allow China cheat their way to domination.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Chinese cheats are aided and abetted big time by greedy, Western corporations interested only in a fast buck, with zero commitment to American workers or anything else American.. Then American consumers buy cheap Chinese goods with zero regard to American jobs.
No one to blame except themselves..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Chinese cheats are aided and abetted big time by greedy, Western corporations interested only in a fast buck, with zero commitment to American workers or anything else American.. Then American consumers buy cheap Chinese goods with zero regard to American jobs.
No one to blame except themselves..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

You forget that “made in Japan” used also mean terrible quality, mass-produced, cheap products.. see how that changed? The same will happen in China..

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

But West managed perfectly well without China till not long ago.
Globalisation was a choice; very bad one.
In short term Western business will make some profits in China. Long term it will not exist if we allow China cheat their way to domination.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

You forget that “made in Japan” used also mean terrible quality, mass-produced, cheap products.. see how that changed? The same will happen in China..

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

While I do agree that China is pretty cavalier about protecting intellectual property, I have found that most of the technology transfer has been done willingly by western firms seeking a foothold in the Chinese market. They came for the cheap labor and are staying to deliver products to the growing middle class. Western firms have forecasted much of their growth in the Chinese market while their supplier chains are very much intertwined and China reliant. Corporations have an obligation to their shareholders to seek increases in shareholder value so is it any wonder they are pushing back? Of course not but you don’t have to travel far in “middle America” to see the hollowed out country that was once a thriving example of industrial might.

Martin Lau
Martin Lau
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Rodolf

I have doubt on whether the transfer has been willingly. The Chinese government is not stupid; they have never specified their requirement of the transfer in any official document, but whenever the joint venture (which is part of the agreement for western companies to go into China) needs some approval, say, renewal of business registration, the officials would simply give the western companies hard time and “suggest” that things will go smooth upon the transfer.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Lau

That seems a bit unfair to the US.. but then some would say invading sovereign nations, bombing them into the middle ages, killing their populations, assassinating their leaders, toppling their governments and stealing their oil is also a little unfair? If only everyone played fair, eh? ..what a wonderful world…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Martin Lau

That seems a bit unfair to the US.. but then some would say invading sovereign nations, bombing them into the middle ages, killing their populations, assassinating their leaders, toppling their governments and stealing their oil is also a little unfair? If only everyone played fair, eh? ..what a wonderful world…

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Rodolf

So who are you blaming?
1. Greedy US corporations?
2. Unthinking American consumers?
3. Chinese playing the greedy, cheating game?

Martin Lau
Martin Lau
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Rodolf

I have doubt on whether the transfer has been willingly. The Chinese government is not stupid; they have never specified their requirement of the transfer in any official document, but whenever the joint venture (which is part of the agreement for western companies to go into China) needs some approval, say, renewal of business registration, the officials would simply give the western companies hard time and “suggest” that things will go smooth upon the transfer.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Rodolf

So who are you blaming?
1. Greedy US corporations?
2. Unthinking American consumers?
3. Chinese playing the greedy, cheating game?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Great post.
Author, like many others presents business relationships with China as sort of law of nature.
I am old enough to remember West doing perfectly well without China. Globalisation was a choice.
Business in the West doesn’t do long term.
There is nothing for the West in China dominated world.
We fought red peril and the same needs to be done about yellow one.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

…check under the bed! Run for your lives! the Reds are coming! …oh, no.. they’re staying within their sphere of influence (remember those?) ..oh, look: it’s the Yellow peril sweeping up from Mexico and down from Canada! Run for your lives! ..oh, no.. they too are staying at home within their sphere of influence.. but somebody is invading! ..and very far from their sphere of influence.. in fact thousands of miles from home! Bombing or invading over 100 sovereign countries, assassinating their leaders, toppling their governments, killing their people by the millions, stealing their oil.. OMG what country is doing that?? Does anyone know?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

…check under the bed! Run for your lives! the Reds are coming! …oh, no.. they’re staying within their sphere of influence (remember those?) ..oh, look: it’s the Yellow peril sweeping up from Mexico and down from Canada! Run for your lives! ..oh, no.. they too are staying at home within their sphere of influence.. but somebody is invading! ..and very far from their sphere of influence.. in fact thousands of miles from home! Bombing or invading over 100 sovereign countries, assassinating their leaders, toppling their governments, killing their people by the millions, stealing their oil.. OMG what country is doing that?? Does anyone know?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I’m not sure if you’re describing American bad actors or Chinese bad actors? The American start ups can stay at home and pay decent wages to American workers, can’t they?
If they choose instead to go for the cheaper option and avail of a low wage China economy then that makes those people traitors of a sort. And if the China partner takes over and exports cheap American ‘style’ goods back into the US then that makes those American traitors doubly responsible doesn’t it?
Of course, just like the greedy American businessmen ‘traitirs’ setting up in China, American consumers have the option of rejecting the ‘fake’ Chinese imports..
So, again, if they, the American consumers choose to buy the Chinese goods they too are ‘traitors’, right? In both instances the choice is with the Americans.. Nothing stopping them being ‘buy American’ heroes right? Nobody will be holding a gun to their heads, right?

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

So China are having a lot of success. Clearly you think that their underhand methods are just not playing the ‘Good Old Boys’ game.
The USA will go down and down and down until they have to provoke a war – like all good democracies.
Their people are soft in body and soul, they don’t want to do physical work and they think they should rule the world, like Hollywood. Britain also behaved like this after WW2 but the self-deceit became obvious.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

When I started travelling to China to do business, this book was eye-opening – there are blue prints being executed in every industry that encapsulate your comments, all outlined in the book. Recommended reading – https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Billion-Customers-Lessons-Business/dp/074325841X

Last edited 1 year ago by Justin Clark
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I work in the cycle industry and Chinese-made stuff is invariably third rate cr*p. Taiwan on the other hand has a fine frame building industry and Japan makes the most elegant and exquisite cycle components on the planet. Japan takes Western designs and improves them; China makes bike-shaped objects and sells them by the thousand to Jack Ma and Amazon and Western department stores.
But that’s not really the issue – it’s the Chinese market that is really what matters. UK companies like Brompton Bicycle for instance would be severely damaged if they were no longer able to export to China where a large chunk of their market is now located.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

While I do agree that China is pretty cavalier about protecting intellectual property, I have found that most of the technology transfer has been done willingly by western firms seeking a foothold in the Chinese market. They came for the cheap labor and are staying to deliver products to the growing middle class. Western firms have forecasted much of their growth in the Chinese market while their supplier chains are very much intertwined and China reliant. Corporations have an obligation to their shareholders to seek increases in shareholder value so is it any wonder they are pushing back? Of course not but you don’t have to travel far in “middle America” to see the hollowed out country that was once a thriving example of industrial might.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Great post.
Author, like many others presents business relationships with China as sort of law of nature.
I am old enough to remember West doing perfectly well without China. Globalisation was a choice.
Business in the West doesn’t do long term.
There is nothing for the West in China dominated world.
We fought red peril and the same needs to be done about yellow one.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I’m not sure if you’re describing American bad actors or Chinese bad actors? The American start ups can stay at home and pay decent wages to American workers, can’t they?
If they choose instead to go for the cheaper option and avail of a low wage China economy then that makes those people traitors of a sort. And if the China partner takes over and exports cheap American ‘style’ goods back into the US then that makes those American traitors doubly responsible doesn’t it?
Of course, just like the greedy American businessmen ‘traitirs’ setting up in China, American consumers have the option of rejecting the ‘fake’ Chinese imports..
So, again, if they, the American consumers choose to buy the Chinese goods they too are ‘traitors’, right? In both instances the choice is with the Americans.. Nothing stopping them being ‘buy American’ heroes right? Nobody will be holding a gun to their heads, right?

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago

If China can make stuff better than elsewhere, a free capitalist system will ensure that companies will base there. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. China steels formulas, methods, and patents, which behavior is an offshoot of communist thinking (everything belongs to ‘the people’; they call it ‘sharing technology’ as a euphamism), protect and nurture their own industries while invading other lands with their companies, etc. Start a company in China? You must have a Chinese partner on the board and intrusive government oversight. In 5 years Chinese copycat companies will spring up and start producing locally. In 8 years those same companies will start exporting into your markets. And so it goes. Like any monopoly, their willing to except short-term losses for the sake of long-term gain. After driving all other competitors out of business, they can charge whatever they please, and create a true Chinese Century.

Last edited 1 year ago by Samuel Ross
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago

People on the left have got to give up their Marxist influenced belief that there is such a thing as ‘the capitalist class’ with shared interests and a shared agenda. In the USA this has not been true for a long time now. They have 2 (at least 2) capitalist classes, and they hate each other like poison. Old capitalists were mostly industrialists and they had the Republican party to promote their interests. New capitalists are mostly in industries that do not make physical things — banking, Big Tech, Big Media. They took over the Democrat party, which left no place in the USA for the actual working class.
Old Industrialists used to be able to call the shots because they were the people with all the money. Now the Democrats have more than the Republicans.
The Big winner in this capitalist class vs capitalist class struggle over who controls the military industrial complex was the US Intelligence Services — the spooks. They aren’t servants of the people — or the important people — any more, they are running the show. And they are living proof of the axiom of ‘be careful what you wish for’ – those of us who thought that anything would be an improvement over government by the old military industrial complex, have discovered that rule by the international surveillance state turns out to be at least as bad, and by my reckoning, worse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Laura Creighton
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

They are all rotten to the core.. they stink to high heaven the lot of ’em. Evil b¤stards every one! theur political puppets too! A plague on all their houses I say! Dust off the guillotine Jean Paul!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

They are all rotten to the core.. they stink to high heaven the lot of ’em. Evil b¤stards every one! theur political puppets too! A plague on all their houses I say! Dust off the guillotine Jean Paul!

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 year ago

People on the left have got to give up their Marxist influenced belief that there is such a thing as ‘the capitalist class’ with shared interests and a shared agenda. In the USA this has not been true for a long time now. They have 2 (at least 2) capitalist classes, and they hate each other like poison. Old capitalists were mostly industrialists and they had the Republican party to promote their interests. New capitalists are mostly in industries that do not make physical things — banking, Big Tech, Big Media. They took over the Democrat party, which left no place in the USA for the actual working class.
Old Industrialists used to be able to call the shots because they were the people with all the money. Now the Democrats have more than the Republicans.
The Big winner in this capitalist class vs capitalist class struggle over who controls the military industrial complex was the US Intelligence Services — the spooks. They aren’t servants of the people — or the important people — any more, they are running the show. And they are living proof of the axiom of ‘be careful what you wish for’ – those of us who thought that anything would be an improvement over government by the old military industrial complex, have discovered that rule by the international surveillance state turns out to be at least as bad, and by my reckoning, worse.

Last edited 1 year ago by Laura Creighton
Graham Willis
Graham Willis
1 year ago

In the 50s through to the end of the cold war there was a higher degree of alignment between the interests of business and the interests of workers; the electorate. In the current system of globalisation that common interest has vanished, allowing the divergence foreign policy and big businesses interests.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

..can you list the architects?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

..can you list the architects?

Graham Willis
Graham Willis
1 year ago

In the 50s through to the end of the cold war there was a higher degree of alignment between the interests of business and the interests of workers; the electorate. In the current system of globalisation that common interest has vanished, allowing the divergence foreign policy and big businesses interests.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Really? The dreaded military-industrial complex is pushing all this?
How about the corruption-industrial complex, Hunter Biden, fixer-in-chief?
Or how about the idiot-industrial complex?

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

I find the concentration on Hunter Biden as the arch proponent of corruption somewhat strange. The chap is a nonentity who took what was a relatively piddling amount of money (not to me but in the other world of these matters) to have the Biden name on the board of a Ukrainian company – smells a bit unpleasant but not exactly, sadly, rare (think of Trump offspring and their spouses – or even aristocrats and MPs in the UK!). Is there any actual solid evidence, proof etc of any Biden raking in money hand-over-fist, or just a hate campaign based on nothing substantial? Please don’t downvote me if you don’t like that – just come up with something to contradict me, I’m all ears and would like to know!

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Price
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

It seems there is, just recently, in the hands of the FBI who are not parting with
some 17 incriminating documents.. apparently, not even for the House Judicial Committee!
But yes, you’ll find they are all rotten to the core: greedy pigs with their snouts in every trough, laughing all the way to the bank or while sipping Champagne on their yachts while ordinary folk go hungry, cold, jobless, homeless and hopeless on a steady diet of unmitigated propaganda.. Happy days eh?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

It seems there is, just recently, in the hands of the FBI who are not parting with
some 17 incriminating documents.. apparently, not even for the House Judicial Committee!
But yes, you’ll find they are all rotten to the core: greedy pigs with their snouts in every trough, laughing all the way to the bank or while sipping Champagne on their yachts while ordinary folk go hungry, cold, jobless, homeless and hopeless on a steady diet of unmitigated propaganda.. Happy days eh?

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

I find the concentration on Hunter Biden as the arch proponent of corruption somewhat strange. The chap is a nonentity who took what was a relatively piddling amount of money (not to me but in the other world of these matters) to have the Biden name on the board of a Ukrainian company – smells a bit unpleasant but not exactly, sadly, rare (think of Trump offspring and their spouses – or even aristocrats and MPs in the UK!). Is there any actual solid evidence, proof etc of any Biden raking in money hand-over-fist, or just a hate campaign based on nothing substantial? Please don’t downvote me if you don’t like that – just come up with something to contradict me, I’m all ears and would like to know!

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Price
Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Really? The dreaded military-industrial complex is pushing all this?
How about the corruption-industrial complex, Hunter Biden, fixer-in-chief?
Or how about the idiot-industrial complex?

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

“After marshalling Europe in its proxy war against Russia,”
Wow! Lost all credibility in sentence one. The US did not enlist Ukraine to attack Russia; THAT would be a proxy war. Ukraine was already at war with Russia (since 2014 really) and the US finally decided to help.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

This is true, but if the US has consistently encouraged an escalation of conflict, rather than negotiations, that can be a proxy war as well. Why isn’t the US encouraging a negotiated settlement? China, Israel and Turkey have all at least attempted some negotiations. Where’s the US?

Daniel Daraz
Daniel Daraz
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

>Why isn’t the US encouraging a negotiated settlement?

They are, by supporting the Ukrainians with arms (among other forms of support). Putin has shown a complete unwillingness to entertain any form of negotiated peace that doesn’t see Ukraine crippled and vulnerable to follow up invasions. Any attempt at negotiating right now would be a massive waste of time, as Ukraine and Russia have mutually incompatible minimum demands. The only way you’ll get a negotiated settlement at this point is if one side loses the will to continue the fight, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more dead bodies before this is over.

The US benefits immensely from being the hegemon of the current “rules based international order”, so I don’t see why they should be doing any favours to someone that explicitly wants to overthrow that order.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

Great post.
I would just add that, at least partially, interests of countries in the West are aligned with USA.
I have never seen convincing argument for world being dominated by China to be in the West interest.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Except China has no interest in dominating the West.. there are other ways to live apart from ‘dominating’ weaker states. Wherever the US (+UK) goes, death, destruction and economic devastation follow.. Wherever China goes, via the Belt and Road Initiative mutual prosperity follows.. the Global South (BRICS++) is fully behind Russia (except for a few, still fearful of brutal US retribution) and will be fully behind China as well: two powerful nations that have never done them any harm.. America is toast, the US Dollar is toast: US Hegemony is toast. The smart money is on the winners, Russia and China.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Except China has no interest in dominating the West.. there are other ways to live apart from ‘dominating’ weaker states. Wherever the US (+UK) goes, death, destruction and economic devastation follow.. Wherever China goes, via the Belt and Road Initiative mutual prosperity follows.. the Global South (BRICS++) is fully behind Russia (except for a few, still fearful of brutal US retribution) and will be fully behind China as well: two powerful nations that have never done them any harm.. America is toast, the US Dollar is toast: US Hegemony is toast. The smart money is on the winners, Russia and China.

james goater
james goater
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

Repeated attempts to upvote this excellent comment proved futile!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

You’ve got the wrong end of the stick there I’m afraid.. It is the US that needs an off ramp now.. The Ukraine army is exhausted not just from the fighting but OF SOLDIERS.. Russia is winning the war hands down and the US is now in a no win situation.. just like Afghanistan, there’s nothing for it now but to up sticks and clear off back the 7,000 miles to the US just as it did having wasted $trns and 20 years and numerous young lives in Afghanistan.. and all for what? ..to make obscenely rich MIC owners and investors even richer.. Russia can fight this war for another 20 years just to humiliate the US once again and recapture Ukraine.
I guess the US will take on China next in China’s own backyard for yet more humiliation.. of course the humiliations are of no importance to the warmongering hawks who always win by enriching their owners and investors while ordinary Americans fall for the same propaganda over and over and over again..

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

Great post.
I would just add that, at least partially, interests of countries in the West are aligned with USA.
I have never seen convincing argument for world being dominated by China to be in the West interest.

james goater
james goater
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

Repeated attempts to upvote this excellent comment proved futile!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Daraz

You’ve got the wrong end of the stick there I’m afraid.. It is the US that needs an off ramp now.. The Ukraine army is exhausted not just from the fighting but OF SOLDIERS.. Russia is winning the war hands down and the US is now in a no win situation.. just like Afghanistan, there’s nothing for it now but to up sticks and clear off back the 7,000 miles to the US just as it did having wasted $trns and 20 years and numerous young lives in Afghanistan.. and all for what? ..to make obscenely rich MIC owners and investors even richer.. Russia can fight this war for another 20 years just to humiliate the US once again and recapture Ukraine.
I guess the US will take on China next in China’s own backyard for yet more humiliation.. of course the humiliations are of no importance to the warmongering hawks who always win by enriching their owners and investors while ordinary Americans fall for the same propaganda over and over and over again..

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It is not in their interest to intervene in Europe, except by printing money to keep the war going. The US has two enemies and one is weakening itself by the day. The scenario is perfect.

William Paradise
William Paradise
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And how successful have China, Israel and Turkey been? Ukraine doesn’t want to give up an inch of land to Putin, and he’s not indicating any desire to negotiate. So the US is hoping Ukraine will force him to the table. Things have to play out further.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Wishful thinking, a million miles from the reality of the ground. Putin us playing a very clever game.. no one beats the Russians at the long game.. Napoleon and Hitler learned that the hard way.. now the US is doing likewise..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

Wishful thinking, a million miles from the reality of the ground. Putin us playing a very clever game.. no one beats the Russians at the long game.. Napoleon and Hitler learned that the hard way.. now the US is doing likewise..

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

…the only “negotiated settlement” on offer to Ukraine is one akin to that forced on Czechoslovakia in 1938. People need to get their heads round the fact that neither the Czar Putin nor the Celestial Emperor Xi live in the same moral universe as those of us in the West.
The Czar seeks the restoration of “All the Russias”…the Celestial Emperor of “The Middle Kingdom”…and both of them consider any means from threats through war to genocide to be acceptable instruments of policy…
…and as far as they are concerned efforts to negotiate compromise are nothing more than window dressing for fear, weakness and cowardice…

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago
Reply to  R S Foster

True.
How anyone here can downvote this is beyond any moral comprehension!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  R S Foster

Thank God others don’t have the morals of the West! Just ask the Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Somalis and a dozen other devastated countries thanks to Western ‘morals’.. 8 million dead and counting, infrastructure destroyed, economies ruined, people starving, oil and other resources stolen..
Such are the morals of the West!

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago
Reply to  R S Foster

True.
How anyone here can downvote this is beyond any moral comprehension!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  R S Foster

Thank God others don’t have the morals of the West! Just ask the Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Somalis and a dozen other devastated countries thanks to Western ‘morals’.. 8 million dead and counting, infrastructure destroyed, economies ruined, people starving, oil and other resources stolen..
Such are the morals of the West!

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Two reasons really….
The Ukrainian’s will not be satisfied with what they would get right now.If Putin thinks he can take Crimea without any penalty, and can attack Ukraine and walk away, albeit at a cost, with additional territory and Europe unwilling to admit Ukraine to NATO, then he knows he can sit back and wait for things to calm down, rebuild and then do it again. The only way to discourage him from doing this again, maybe with Poland or one of the Balkan states, is to make sure he gains nothing from it.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Pretty obvious to anyone apart from usual Russian stooges on here and elsewhere.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Always with the same tired old ad hominen attacks.. the usual responses from ignorant, gullible, idiots suckers for propaganda, blind to the blatantly obvious, unable to conduct a reasonable discussion, utterly divorced from the truth.. sad really.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Always with the same tired old ad hominen attacks.. the usual responses from ignorant, gullible, idiots suckers for propaganda, blind to the blatantly obvious, unable to conduct a reasonable discussion, utterly divorced from the truth.. sad really.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Pretty obvious to anyone apart from usual Russian stooges on here and elsewhere.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Because there is no common ground for any settlement.
What most people really mean is that Ukraine should surrender to Moscow.
That approach was tried with Hitler in Munich.
That worked really well long term.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The situation is utter different..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The situation is utter different..

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

BS!
Negotiating with Putin? That’s abandoning international law and order – and the good people of Russia and the Ukraine!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Was the invasion of Iraq in line with international law? ..or is international law only for the other guys?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Was the invasion of Iraq in line with international law? ..or is international law only for the other guys?

Daniel Daraz
Daniel Daraz
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

>Why isn’t the US encouraging a negotiated settlement?

They are, by supporting the Ukrainians with arms (among other forms of support). Putin has shown a complete unwillingness to entertain any form of negotiated peace that doesn’t see Ukraine crippled and vulnerable to follow up invasions. Any attempt at negotiating right now would be a massive waste of time, as Ukraine and Russia have mutually incompatible minimum demands. The only way you’ll get a negotiated settlement at this point is if one side loses the will to continue the fight, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more dead bodies before this is over.

The US benefits immensely from being the hegemon of the current “rules based international order”, so I don’t see why they should be doing any favours to someone that explicitly wants to overthrow that order.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It is not in their interest to intervene in Europe, except by printing money to keep the war going. The US has two enemies and one is weakening itself by the day. The scenario is perfect.

William Paradise
William Paradise
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And how successful have China, Israel and Turkey been? Ukraine doesn’t want to give up an inch of land to Putin, and he’s not indicating any desire to negotiate. So the US is hoping Ukraine will force him to the table. Things have to play out further.

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

…the only “negotiated settlement” on offer to Ukraine is one akin to that forced on Czechoslovakia in 1938. People need to get their heads round the fact that neither the Czar Putin nor the Celestial Emperor Xi live in the same moral universe as those of us in the West.
The Czar seeks the restoration of “All the Russias”…the Celestial Emperor of “The Middle Kingdom”…and both of them consider any means from threats through war to genocide to be acceptable instruments of policy…
…and as far as they are concerned efforts to negotiate compromise are nothing more than window dressing for fear, weakness and cowardice…

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Two reasons really….
The Ukrainian’s will not be satisfied with what they would get right now.If Putin thinks he can take Crimea without any penalty, and can attack Ukraine and walk away, albeit at a cost, with additional territory and Europe unwilling to admit Ukraine to NATO, then he knows he can sit back and wait for things to calm down, rebuild and then do it again. The only way to discourage him from doing this again, maybe with Poland or one of the Balkan states, is to make sure he gains nothing from it.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Because there is no common ground for any settlement.
What most people really mean is that Ukraine should surrender to Moscow.
That approach was tried with Hitler in Munich.
That worked really well long term.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

BS!
Negotiating with Putin? That’s abandoning international law and order – and the good people of Russia and the Ukraine!

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Totally agree – rolled my eyes then scrolled down to the comments.

Göran Rosenberg
Göran Rosenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Putinist propaganda at work. Amazing to see this stuff published in a UK outlet.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

It’s called discussion.. quite often two or more different points of view emerge.. you may be confusing this platform eith your hardresser’s..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

It’s called discussion.. quite often two or more different points of view emerge.. you may be confusing this platform eith your hardresser’s..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Ha ha.. God bless your naivety! The US under Nuland toppled the pro-Russian Ukrainian govt. and replaced it with hand-picked (by Nuland et al) Neo NatC types who DID INDEED attack Russians (within Donbas, Ukraine), killing 14,000 of them BEFORE Russian invaded to put a stop to it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

This is true, but if the US has consistently encouraged an escalation of conflict, rather than negotiations, that can be a proxy war as well. Why isn’t the US encouraging a negotiated settlement? China, Israel and Turkey have all at least attempted some negotiations. Where’s the US?

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Totally agree – rolled my eyes then scrolled down to the comments.

Göran Rosenberg
Göran Rosenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Putinist propaganda at work. Amazing to see this stuff published in a UK outlet.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Ha ha.. God bless your naivety! The US under Nuland toppled the pro-Russian Ukrainian govt. and replaced it with hand-picked (by Nuland et al) Neo NatC types who DID INDEED attack Russians (within Donbas, Ukraine), killing 14,000 of them BEFORE Russian invaded to put a stop to it.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 year ago

“After marshalling Europe in its proxy war against Russia,”
Wow! Lost all credibility in sentence one. The US did not enlist Ukraine to attack Russia; THAT would be a proxy war. Ukraine was already at war with Russia (since 2014 really) and the US finally decided to help.

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

This is a brave article. Thank you for your perspective.
In times of great change, when global shifts are happening is a time when wise diplomacy is needed most. This might look like some European politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths. One side to America and one side to China, but the end result is that the people in their nations that they represent need to see and believe that they actually care about them. Not about the EU, or America, or China, but them. This is the part of that Macron and Schultz seem to be struggling with, because the pressure to be EU centric comes from nearly every piece of media. Yet the end result is that their people don’t like them, or their governance.
Same story in London. The government is disliked by the people, mainly because it does a terrible job and everyone is suffering because of it. A time will come for pragmatism. In fact, the time for pragmatism is here. The ones who govern cooutry-X will need to make sure the people know they are for them. These politicians have all kinds of voices, and pressures on them: Obey America, obey China, obey the EU, obey this special group, obey that special group… But the one voice they need to hear is: Are my roads good, are my schools good, is my healthcare good, can I afford fuel, and food, do I feel like I have a future?
The whole Davos great reset, environmental, and LGBT stuff is a voice they need to turn way down. If this makes them more like a populist, then so be it, but things have got to change. Things are changing. The EU governance has been terrible, in fact deadly, and it might be much more deadly if things don’t change. Politicians need to govern their nations in a way that blesses, protects, and guides them well. That means seek peace, and to bring an end this war! Stop green insanity, grow more beef, plant more crops, reform education, and healthcare, and all forms of corrupt government. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

This is a brave article. Thank you for your perspective.
In times of great change, when global shifts are happening is a time when wise diplomacy is needed most. This might look like some European politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths. One side to America and one side to China, but the end result is that the people in their nations that they represent need to see and believe that they actually care about them. Not about the EU, or America, or China, but them. This is the part of that Macron and Schultz seem to be struggling with, because the pressure to be EU centric comes from nearly every piece of media. Yet the end result is that their people don’t like them, or their governance.
Same story in London. The government is disliked by the people, mainly because it does a terrible job and everyone is suffering because of it. A time will come for pragmatism. In fact, the time for pragmatism is here. The ones who govern cooutry-X will need to make sure the people know they are for them. These politicians have all kinds of voices, and pressures on them: Obey America, obey China, obey the EU, obey this special group, obey that special group… But the one voice they need to hear is: Are my roads good, are my schools good, is my healthcare good, can I afford fuel, and food, do I feel like I have a future?
The whole Davos great reset, environmental, and LGBT stuff is a voice they need to turn way down. If this makes them more like a populist, then so be it, but things have got to change. Things are changing. The EU governance has been terrible, in fact deadly, and it might be much more deadly if things don’t change. Politicians need to govern their nations in a way that blesses, protects, and guides them well. That means seek peace, and to bring an end this war! Stop green insanity, grow more beef, plant more crops, reform education, and healthcare, and all forms of corrupt government. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve White
Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

So Musk thinks China and the US are “conjoined twins” and some big shot CEOs believe that decoupling from China is “unthinkable”.

China’s communist government has stated explicitly its opposition to: ‘constitutional democracy’, ‘universal values’, ‘civil society’, ‘neoliberalism (ie market-based economy), ‘the West’s idea of journalism, (ie free speech)’, ‘promoting historical nihilism’ (ie challenging the communists’ rewriting of history to fit their ideological narrative). They implore their payroll at all levels of government (including the management of communist party-controlled corporations) to ‘make work in the ideological sphere a high priority in your daily agenda’ and to ‘insist that the correct political orientation suffuse every domain and process in political engagement, form, substance, and technology’.

https://ia601406.us.archive.org/2/items/document-no.-9/Document%20No.%209.pdf

So whose side are you on, Western corporate leaders? The megalomaniac communists you deal with are not your friends, nor are they reliable medium to long term partners interested in trade for mutual gain. They are ideologues, interested only in maintaining their position in their party’s hierarchy and their party’s iron grip on the territory it controls. The very existence of your privately owned corporations represents a terrifying existential threat to them. So, as we have seen, they will screw you: gradually at a first, by stealing your tech and squeezing your margins, and then suddenly, by forcing you out altogether when they no longer need you. Time to start thinking the unthinkable.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Yes obvious really to anyone interested in longer perspective than 10 years.
Like Lenin said:
You (capitalists) will sell us a rope to hang you with.

Stan Konwiser
Stan Konwiser
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

“then suddenly, by forcing you out altogether when they no longer need you.” When that happens, the DAVOS crowd will be the first folks stripped of their wealth and send to the gulag. Just as Mao did to the intellectuals who put him in power in 1948.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

The attributes you list are alive and well in the West are they? ..like a British PM no one elected, a FPP system where 60% of votes don’t count, a senile US puppet president and a lunatic in the wings; prisoners incarcerated in Guantanimo Bay without trial and the most famous journalist, also without trial, tortured in gaol.. And now we’re to have anti TU, anti protest and even forced labour laws.. did I mention food banks and a crumbling health service? The terms kettle, pot and black cone to mind.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

..’ever hear of a guy called Julian Assange? How about the world’s no.1 megalomaniac D.Trump? and no.2 J.Biden! Here’s a finding from a right-wing, UK think tank: 49% of Americans believe they live in a real (for the people) democracy.. over 70% of Chinese respondents believe they do! Go figure! Maybe it stems from the CCP bringing 800,000,000 people out of poverty to relative prosperity despite US Hegemony, while labour incomes in the US have been stagnant for the last 30 years? ..hardly government by the people, if the people for the people is it?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Yes obvious really to anyone interested in longer perspective than 10 years.
Like Lenin said:
You (capitalists) will sell us a rope to hang you with.

Stan Konwiser
Stan Konwiser
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

“then suddenly, by forcing you out altogether when they no longer need you.” When that happens, the DAVOS crowd will be the first folks stripped of their wealth and send to the gulag. Just as Mao did to the intellectuals who put him in power in 1948.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

The attributes you list are alive and well in the West are they? ..like a British PM no one elected, a FPP system where 60% of votes don’t count, a senile US puppet president and a lunatic in the wings; prisoners incarcerated in Guantanimo Bay without trial and the most famous journalist, also without trial, tortured in gaol.. And now we’re to have anti TU, anti protest and even forced labour laws.. did I mention food banks and a crumbling health service? The terms kettle, pot and black cone to mind.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

..’ever hear of a guy called Julian Assange? How about the world’s no.1 megalomaniac D.Trump? and no.2 J.Biden! Here’s a finding from a right-wing, UK think tank: 49% of Americans believe they live in a real (for the people) democracy.. over 70% of Chinese respondents believe they do! Go figure! Maybe it stems from the CCP bringing 800,000,000 people out of poverty to relative prosperity despite US Hegemony, while labour incomes in the US have been stagnant for the last 30 years? ..hardly government by the people, if the people for the people is it?

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

So Musk thinks China and the US are “conjoined twins” and some big shot CEOs believe that decoupling from China is “unthinkable”.

China’s communist government has stated explicitly its opposition to: ‘constitutional democracy’, ‘universal values’, ‘civil society’, ‘neoliberalism (ie market-based economy), ‘the West’s idea of journalism, (ie free speech)’, ‘promoting historical nihilism’ (ie challenging the communists’ rewriting of history to fit their ideological narrative). They implore their payroll at all levels of government (including the management of communist party-controlled corporations) to ‘make work in the ideological sphere a high priority in your daily agenda’ and to ‘insist that the correct political orientation suffuse every domain and process in political engagement, form, substance, and technology’.

https://ia601406.us.archive.org/2/items/document-no.-9/Document%20No.%209.pdf

So whose side are you on, Western corporate leaders? The megalomaniac communists you deal with are not your friends, nor are they reliable medium to long term partners interested in trade for mutual gain. They are ideologues, interested only in maintaining their position in their party’s hierarchy and their party’s iron grip on the territory it controls. The very existence of your privately owned corporations represents a terrifying existential threat to them. So, as we have seen, they will screw you: gradually at a first, by stealing your tech and squeezing your margins, and then suddenly, by forcing you out altogether when they no longer need you. Time to start thinking the unthinkable.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

This reads like some of the rubbish from anti-American commentators during the Bush years. The CEO’s and businesses in question are only concerned with making money. They don’t care if their materials from China come from a modern state of the art factory in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou or a concentration camp in Xinjiang. The rest of us perhaps do tend to worry when every little thing we buy from our clothes to our pet food bowls have “Made in China” written on them.

All the West needs to do is contain China for 10-20 years and the latter’s population collapse will take care of the rest. In the meantime, we just have to endure Beijing’s tantrums.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You are absolutely correct. Even the US flags have ‘Made in China’ printed on them. The US just has to keep the war in the Ukraine going to exhaust one enemy and the other will implode.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You are absolutely correct. Even the US flags have ‘Made in China’ printed on them. The US just has to keep the war in the Ukraine going to exhaust one enemy and the other will implode.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
1 year ago

This reads like some of the rubbish from anti-American commentators during the Bush years. The CEO’s and businesses in question are only concerned with making money. They don’t care if their materials from China come from a modern state of the art factory in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou or a concentration camp in Xinjiang. The rest of us perhaps do tend to worry when every little thing we buy from our clothes to our pet food bowls have “Made in China” written on them.

All the West needs to do is contain China for 10-20 years and the latter’s population collapse will take care of the rest. In the meantime, we just have to endure Beijing’s tantrums.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Another predictably awful article from Fazi. As ever crudely trying to force fit whatever news he can filter to support some specious pre-determined narrative he’s trying to push (the usual back to front approach).
At this point, the statistics tell me it’s simply not worth reading the next one.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

To be fair he describes real phenomenon; short termism and stupidity of even top businessman.
Where we differ with him is which approach is better.
He thinks that business pushback on China decoupling policy is great idea.
But we would know this from his previous delusional articles.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

To be fair he describes real phenomenon; short termism and stupidity of even top businessman.
Where we differ with him is which approach is better.
He thinks that business pushback on China decoupling policy is great idea.
But we would know this from his previous delusional articles.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Another predictably awful article from Fazi. As ever crudely trying to force fit whatever news he can filter to support some specious pre-determined narrative he’s trying to push (the usual back to front approach).
At this point, the statistics tell me it’s simply not worth reading the next one.

David Shipley
David Shipley
1 year ago

There is nothing surprising about big global businesses wanting to do business in China regardless of the geopolitical consequences, or indeed the longer term effects on their own business models. After all their executives’ remuneration is based on a mixture of the stock price and quarterly earnings, so why should they care about any wider considerations?

David Shipley
David Shipley
1 year ago

There is nothing surprising about big global businesses wanting to do business in China regardless of the geopolitical consequences, or indeed the longer term effects on their own business models. After all their executives’ remuneration is based on a mixture of the stock price and quarterly earnings, so why should they care about any wider considerations?

B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago

It’s adorable that the EU thinks it has a relevant opinion in geopolitical matters.

B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago

It’s adorable that the EU thinks it has a relevant opinion in geopolitical matters.

Mark E Roberts
Mark E Roberts
1 year ago

So the West lacks the will to stop feeding the totalitarian CCP, which amounts to submission by these so-called free states to the 21st-century version of WWII Axis powers, rather than accepting the economic challenges of ceasing to support a police state controlling 18% of world population and evincing every intention of dominating the world?

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark E Roberts
Mark E Roberts
Mark E Roberts
1 year ago

So the West lacks the will to stop feeding the totalitarian CCP, which amounts to submission by these so-called free states to the 21st-century version of WWII Axis powers, rather than accepting the economic challenges of ceasing to support a police state controlling 18% of world population and evincing every intention of dominating the world?

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark E Roberts
Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

The author makes this way too complicated.
Here is the choice….
Either you ride along with the US or you ride along with China. Europe lacks the cohesion, the military strength or the economic power to resist one or the other.
The US will use its size and power to heavily influence and occasionally coerce you. In return you get your defense largely paid for, access to the US markets, and a senior partner that largely sees the world as you do.
China will use its size and power to demand that you conform to their world view. It will extract from you every penny it can and it will use its economic leverage to force you to comply with its wishes and to give up your IP. It will give you just enough access to their market to keep you quiet but will demand, as they always have, a portion of what you do there and access to your IP. It may even insist at some point on the right to monitor your population. It will not provide you with military defense and in fact may use its new friend to the east, Russia, as a surrogate to threaten you.
Europe is getting too old and too fractured, it lacks the military or the economic power to stand outside the spheres of one side or the other. Neutrality is not going to be an option when you need to integrate with one or the others economies. Neither side will let Europe sit in the middle and play both sides. Eventually Europe’s hand will be forced.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago

The author makes this way too complicated.
Here is the choice….
Either you ride along with the US or you ride along with China. Europe lacks the cohesion, the military strength or the economic power to resist one or the other.
The US will use its size and power to heavily influence and occasionally coerce you. In return you get your defense largely paid for, access to the US markets, and a senior partner that largely sees the world as you do.
China will use its size and power to demand that you conform to their world view. It will extract from you every penny it can and it will use its economic leverage to force you to comply with its wishes and to give up your IP. It will give you just enough access to their market to keep you quiet but will demand, as they always have, a portion of what you do there and access to your IP. It may even insist at some point on the right to monitor your population. It will not provide you with military defense and in fact may use its new friend to the east, Russia, as a surrogate to threaten you.
Europe is getting too old and too fractured, it lacks the military or the economic power to stand outside the spheres of one side or the other. Neutrality is not going to be an option when you need to integrate with one or the others economies. Neither side will let Europe sit in the middle and play both sides. Eventually Europe’s hand will be forced.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Globalization has resulted in cheap, throw-away goods, and Uber lined the pockets of finance, tech, and politicians. It was a scam from the get-go that has resulted in decimating almost every country’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities. It is a true example of how greed always wins, initially.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago

Globalization has resulted in cheap, throw-away goods, and Uber lined the pockets of finance, tech, and politicians. It was a scam from the get-go that has resulted in decimating almost every country’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities. It is a true example of how greed always wins, initially.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Interesting. In Australia, we had some strange, media-centric political-business conflicts under our penultimate PM, Scott Morrison, a China hawk who blew up our exceptionally good relationship with China. Morrison had, in addition to the rationale described by Thomas with the EU, a covert religious agenda. Namely, the CCP vs Morrison’s strong brand of Evangelical Christianity, a motivation he actively shared with like-minded US China-hawk legislators.
Anyhow, there was Australia’s wealthiest mining and green energy tycoon, Andrew Forrest, working in the public spotlight with China’s trade Consul to Australia, trying sensibly (and in vain) to prevent what became a total disaster in Australia’s primary exports to trade. Thanks to Scott Morrison, our PM, who having served our country so poorly, was voted offstage in the next election.
The same PM who was briefly cheered by the Australian public in their Stasi Covid mindset for locking up the world’s #1 tennis player, here having been invited to play in the Australian Open. And who as a consequence caused Serbia to have to ban Rio Tinto’s long-planned lithium mine in their country.
Meanwhile, guess who promptly took over the trade Australia lost by adhering to the confrontational US foreign policy? US companies. Within weeks.
Idiot political class.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/chinese-consul-general-crashes-hunt-s-press-conference-20200429-p54oa6.html

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Keen to understand who downvoted and why. Our primary industries people, solid centre conservative, voted our government out. So, who and what are you?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

It wasn’t me ! But now I’ve read your comment, I’ve added an extra one for you.
I don’t think using language like “Stasi Covid mindset” really helps sell your case.
I’m not convinced about the “total disaster to trade” you claim, since in the same comment you also report that the trade lost with China was immediately replaced by new trade with the US. Can both those statements be true ? Are the US paying less than the Chinese for the same goods ? Are the Chinese in some way better/more lucrative customers than the US ?
Australia is a long standing ally of the USA and reliant on the US for defence and intelligence cooperation. That’s no doubt partly historical, but also cultural (Anglosphere). Is teaming up with China and going against the US going to work out better for Australia ? Is that what most Australians really want ?
I guess you’re the man on the ground in Aus and have your finger on the pulse. But I’d be very surprised.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

” in the same comment you also report that the trade lost with China was immediately replaced by new trade with the US. Can both those statements be true?” Perhaps I was unclear. The trade Australia lost with China was taken by the US – that is, it became the US’s trade with China, not with Australia. No contradiction. The US took the lost Australian trade with China.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

” in the same comment you also report that the trade lost with China was immediately replaced by new trade with the US. Can both those statements be true?” Perhaps I was unclear. The trade Australia lost with China was taken by the US – that is, it became the US’s trade with China, not with Australia. No contradiction. The US took the lost Australian trade with China.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

It wasn’t me ! But now I’ve read your comment, I’ve added an extra one for you.
I don’t think using language like “Stasi Covid mindset” really helps sell your case.
I’m not convinced about the “total disaster to trade” you claim, since in the same comment you also report that the trade lost with China was immediately replaced by new trade with the US. Can both those statements be true ? Are the US paying less than the Chinese for the same goods ? Are the Chinese in some way better/more lucrative customers than the US ?
Australia is a long standing ally of the USA and reliant on the US for defence and intelligence cooperation. That’s no doubt partly historical, but also cultural (Anglosphere). Is teaming up with China and going against the US going to work out better for Australia ? Is that what most Australians really want ?
I guess you’re the man on the ground in Aus and have your finger on the pulse. But I’d be very surprised.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

I didn’t downvote either. I actually took no issue with the Stasi reference but took issue with the “Evangelical reference.”

I can tell you that in America there is no overlap between Evangelical Christianity and Stasi Bureacracy. They’re Antithetical to each other. I did watch the Australian lockdowns with horror and the last thing I thought was… Those Marxist Evangelicals are at it again!

Last edited 1 year ago by T Bone
Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Of course not. I work with deeply convicted Protestant Christians, who are the best people I know. No, they aren’t in the least Stasi.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Of course not. I work with deeply convicted Protestant Christians, who are the best people I know. No, they aren’t in the least Stasi.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Many good points but, long term, policy of making China stronger is not in the West interest.
I would even go further. With dominant China Australia has no future.
China has many people and few resources.
Australia has huge landmass, many resources and few people.
What would stop dominant China invading you?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Of course Australia has a future without China. Just as it had one before Mao’s death. There are plenty of other customers for Australia’s resources. As demonstrated in the past year.
China certainly does not have the naval capability to invade Australia today. Plus the US Navy would be in the way.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Just because the US invades a country at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean every country has to do the same.. China isn’t into invasions – history will tell you that.. yeah, yeah I know: Tibet.. apart from Tibet, what did Chinese invasions ever do for us.. The US count is 149 attacks.. vs China’s 1. If my country wasn’t white, Christian and oilless I’d be rooting for China.. far less dangerous! Just ask the countries with lots of oil, and non Christian brown people!

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I’d disagree with that and believe we would all be at peace if Australia were not forced to choose between China and the US, just as most Asian countries feel. There is a strong underlying impetus toward a widespread new nonaligned movement.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Of course Australia has a future without China. Just as it had one before Mao’s death. There are plenty of other customers for Australia’s resources. As demonstrated in the past year.
China certainly does not have the naval capability to invade Australia today. Plus the US Navy would be in the way.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Just because the US invades a country at the drop of a hat doesn’t mean every country has to do the same.. China isn’t into invasions – history will tell you that.. yeah, yeah I know: Tibet.. apart from Tibet, what did Chinese invasions ever do for us.. The US count is 149 attacks.. vs China’s 1. If my country wasn’t white, Christian and oilless I’d be rooting for China.. far less dangerous! Just ask the countries with lots of oil, and non Christian brown people!

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I’d disagree with that and believe we would all be at peace if Australia were not forced to choose between China and the US, just as most Asian countries feel. There is a strong underlying impetus toward a widespread new nonaligned movement.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

If you go to bed wth Yanks you’ll wake up screwed.. that, I can guarantee.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Keen to understand who downvoted and why. Our primary industries people, solid centre conservative, voted our government out. So, who and what are you?

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

I didn’t downvote either. I actually took no issue with the Stasi reference but took issue with the “Evangelical reference.”

I can tell you that in America there is no overlap between Evangelical Christianity and Stasi Bureacracy. They’re Antithetical to each other. I did watch the Australian lockdowns with horror and the last thing I thought was… Those Marxist Evangelicals are at it again!

Last edited 1 year ago by T Bone
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Many good points but, long term, policy of making China stronger is not in the West interest.
I would even go further. With dominant China Australia has no future.
China has many people and few resources.
Australia has huge landmass, many resources and few people.
What would stop dominant China invading you?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

If you go to bed wth Yanks you’ll wake up screwed.. that, I can guarantee.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Interesting. In Australia, we had some strange, media-centric political-business conflicts under our penultimate PM, Scott Morrison, a China hawk who blew up our exceptionally good relationship with China. Morrison had, in addition to the rationale described by Thomas with the EU, a covert religious agenda. Namely, the CCP vs Morrison’s strong brand of Evangelical Christianity, a motivation he actively shared with like-minded US China-hawk legislators.
Anyhow, there was Australia’s wealthiest mining and green energy tycoon, Andrew Forrest, working in the public spotlight with China’s trade Consul to Australia, trying sensibly (and in vain) to prevent what became a total disaster in Australia’s primary exports to trade. Thanks to Scott Morrison, our PM, who having served our country so poorly, was voted offstage in the next election.
The same PM who was briefly cheered by the Australian public in their Stasi Covid mindset for locking up the world’s #1 tennis player, here having been invited to play in the Australian Open. And who as a consequence caused Serbia to have to ban Rio Tinto’s long-planned lithium mine in their country.
Meanwhile, guess who promptly took over the trade Australia lost by adhering to the confrontational US foreign policy? US companies. Within weeks.
Idiot political class.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/chinese-consul-general-crashes-hunt-s-press-conference-20200429-p54oa6.html

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…struggling to see how the long term interests of any free people can be served by kow-towing to the Celestial Emperor Xi…any more than by becoming Serfs of Czar Putin of all the Russias…I’d nearly love an article from Mr Fazi about the alternative course he feels we should pursue in the face of bloodthirsty and quite possibly genocidal tyrants…just roll over and obey orders in the interests of a quiet and comfortable life, maybe?

R S Foster
R S Foster
1 year ago

…struggling to see how the long term interests of any free people can be served by kow-towing to the Celestial Emperor Xi…any more than by becoming Serfs of Czar Putin of all the Russias…I’d nearly love an article from Mr Fazi about the alternative course he feels we should pursue in the face of bloodthirsty and quite possibly genocidal tyrants…just roll over and obey orders in the interests of a quiet and comfortable life, maybe?

james elliott
james elliott
1 year ago

I’ve never understood idiots like Fazi. A man so obviously rooting for China as an earlier iteration of his identikit persona would have rooted gor the Soviets.

What on earth do you imagine the Chinese would do with you if they ever did defeat the West, Thomas?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  james elliott

To be fair, there were many intellectuals in the West rooting for Stalin, so he just follows tradition of Lenin “useful idiots”.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  james elliott

To be fair, there were many intellectuals in the West rooting for Stalin, so he just follows tradition of Lenin “useful idiots”.

james elliott
james elliott
1 year ago

I’ve never understood idiots like Fazi. A man so obviously rooting for China as an earlier iteration of his identikit persona would have rooted gor the Soviets.

What on earth do you imagine the Chinese would do with you if they ever did defeat the West, Thomas?

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

While it may be coherent for a Socialist to apply the Hermetic formula of colliding two binary opposites like Financial Capital and Military Capital into a synthesis; any analysis that ignores the role of the UN and WEF isn’t a complete analysis.

Supply Chains are being driven or… limited by the 2030 Agenda. Capital Markets are being restrained and Monopolized by the Socialist Sustainability Order. So let’s consider the new evolutuonary Synthesis: Monopoly Capitalism is Stakeholder Capitalism, Stakeholder Capitalism is State Capitalism and State Capitalism is anything but Capitalism. It’s a Global Command Economy.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

While it may be coherent for a Socialist to apply the Hermetic formula of colliding two binary opposites like Financial Capital and Military Capital into a synthesis; any analysis that ignores the role of the UN and WEF isn’t a complete analysis.

Supply Chains are being driven or… limited by the 2030 Agenda. Capital Markets are being restrained and Monopolized by the Socialist Sustainability Order. So let’s consider the new evolutuonary Synthesis: Monopoly Capitalism is Stakeholder Capitalism, Stakeholder Capitalism is State Capitalism and State Capitalism is anything but Capitalism. It’s a Global Command Economy.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

Unfortunately, there’s a parrallel with the police in the US. Protected by a history of court rulings, they’ve won a right of near-impunity. They’re hiding in their cars, only coming out to shoot someone. The numbers are horrific. (The media and the activists only talk about Black victims, but there are far more non-Black ones.)
Back in the day, a person shot by the police was dragged off to the hospital and then to jail. These days it’s straight to the morgue. They shoot to kill, and keep shooting til the deed is done.
Yet with every election cycle they’re showered with goodies: helicopters, infantry fighting vehicles and now a massive “training” facility, where they can go play paintball and drink beers and practice shooting people. Hundreds of acres, right in the middle of a popular nature preserve.
The politicians know what needs to be done but won’t, like parents who have lost control of their manipulative child. If the child doesn’t get what he wants that’s when the trouble really starts! So the kid gets showered with goodies and the parents just keep their heads down.
Our Government is failing to serve our interests. As Fazi implies, we need to be very careful that they don’t get dragged into war with China, like they got dragged into war with their own people.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago

Unfortunately, there’s a parrallel with the police in the US. Protected by a history of court rulings, they’ve won a right of near-impunity. They’re hiding in their cars, only coming out to shoot someone. The numbers are horrific. (The media and the activists only talk about Black victims, but there are far more non-Black ones.)
Back in the day, a person shot by the police was dragged off to the hospital and then to jail. These days it’s straight to the morgue. They shoot to kill, and keep shooting til the deed is done.
Yet with every election cycle they’re showered with goodies: helicopters, infantry fighting vehicles and now a massive “training” facility, where they can go play paintball and drink beers and practice shooting people. Hundreds of acres, right in the middle of a popular nature preserve.
The politicians know what needs to be done but won’t, like parents who have lost control of their manipulative child. If the child doesn’t get what he wants that’s when the trouble really starts! So the kid gets showered with goodies and the parents just keep their heads down.
Our Government is failing to serve our interests. As Fazi implies, we need to be very careful that they don’t get dragged into war with China, like they got dragged into war with their own people.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
Richard Heller
Richard Heller
1 year ago

The brilliant business leaders described by Thomas Fazi beating a path to mainland China do not seem to have realized that its régime is a totalitarian tyranny like no other in human history, exercising pervasive daily surveillance and control over all of its subjects. It has been likened fairly to a huge electronic prison camp, with instant rewards for inmates judged trusty and instant punishment for those not.
Apart from the ethical and reputational disadvantages of seeking favours from such a régime it is a terrible environment for Western business. The Chinese Communist party is the ultimate controller of any major Chinese counterpart. It sets the terms for any business relationships in mainland China and can change them at will in its favour. The lines of authority and control within the party and its régime are opaque and constantly changing. Merely to keep track of them is a major unpredictable cost for Western business, which faces a constant risk of cultivating (and bribing) the wrong facilitators and patrons.
All success in Western businesses rests on the same basic foundations, notably security of title to property, whether physical or conceptual and intellectual, the enforceability of contracts, the resolution of disputes by genuinely independent courts and tribunals, honest and consistent public administration. In short, the rule of law. Although often falsely distinguished from them, business rights have no meaning independently of basic human rights. If a régime is free to terrorize and torment its own subjects it is free to do the same to executives of foreign businesses. If a régime does not allow freedom of expression and exercises total control over its media, foreign businesses in dispute with it have no opportunity to make their own case to its people and will themselves be vilified in those media. And so on…
These foundations of business success do not exist in Communist China. They cannot exist because they would threaten the régime’s control over its own people. They would entail treating those people as autonomous and independent, able to make choices other than total obedience to it.
Business leaders may imagine that engagement and trade with Communist China will inevitably lead it to align itself more closely with Western values and business methods. This theory did not work well with Hitler’s Germany or apartheid South Africa, nor in more modern times with Putin’s Russia, nor indeed with the recent Golden Age of relationships with China. In all of these cases, the régime accepted all any advantages of engagement and trade with little or no reciprocation, and its behaviours became more repugnant and dangerous.

Richard Heller
Richard Heller
1 year ago

The brilliant business leaders described by Thomas Fazi beating a path to mainland China do not seem to have realized that its régime is a totalitarian tyranny like no other in human history, exercising pervasive daily surveillance and control over all of its subjects. It has been likened fairly to a huge electronic prison camp, with instant rewards for inmates judged trusty and instant punishment for those not.
Apart from the ethical and reputational disadvantages of seeking favours from such a régime it is a terrible environment for Western business. The Chinese Communist party is the ultimate controller of any major Chinese counterpart. It sets the terms for any business relationships in mainland China and can change them at will in its favour. The lines of authority and control within the party and its régime are opaque and constantly changing. Merely to keep track of them is a major unpredictable cost for Western business, which faces a constant risk of cultivating (and bribing) the wrong facilitators and patrons.
All success in Western businesses rests on the same basic foundations, notably security of title to property, whether physical or conceptual and intellectual, the enforceability of contracts, the resolution of disputes by genuinely independent courts and tribunals, honest and consistent public administration. In short, the rule of law. Although often falsely distinguished from them, business rights have no meaning independently of basic human rights. If a régime is free to terrorize and torment its own subjects it is free to do the same to executives of foreign businesses. If a régime does not allow freedom of expression and exercises total control over its media, foreign businesses in dispute with it have no opportunity to make their own case to its people and will themselves be vilified in those media. And so on…
These foundations of business success do not exist in Communist China. They cannot exist because they would threaten the régime’s control over its own people. They would entail treating those people as autonomous and independent, able to make choices other than total obedience to it.
Business leaders may imagine that engagement and trade with Communist China will inevitably lead it to align itself more closely with Western values and business methods. This theory did not work well with Hitler’s Germany or apartheid South Africa, nor in more modern times with Putin’s Russia, nor indeed with the recent Golden Age of relationships with China. In all of these cases, the régime accepted all any advantages of engagement and trade with little or no reciprocation, and its behaviours became more repugnant and dangerous.

JR Hartley
JR Hartley
1 year ago

“they place an excessive regulatory and bureaucratic burden on industry at a time of massive economic challenges” meaning, lowers profits by substituting cheap, China-made goods (and don’t ask the hard questions about worker’s rights, pay, etc) with more expensive locally produced items, whose purchase helps support the wider society.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

So, yet another rift between powerful American factions! …big military money vs big non military corporations. Yes, indeed, it will be interesting to see how that works out.. if the latter flee the homeland it will create even more rust belts and more disaffected gun-totin’ Proud Boy types.. I can’t see that ending well..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Surely AI has made China redundant?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Why ? AI doesn’t really automate manufacturing and eliminate labour any more than it is already. It’s the lower tiers of office/service jobs that are most at risk. Those are mainly in the West.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Maybe today, but AI must advance?

Incidentally what about all those TV ads showing some breed of French motor car being built by robots and then singed off “Picasso”?

Isn’t that the future for most manufacturing?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Yes, AI will damage China but this process was unavoidable anyway with 3D printing etc making manufacturing less labour intensive.
But West will be disrupted more because of impact of AI on service industries.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Yes, AI will damage China but this process was unavoidable anyway with 3D printing etc making manufacturing less labour intensive.
But West will be disrupted more because of impact of AI on service industries.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not just lower tiers. My partner who owns the law firm thinks that even with current version of AI she can loose one junior lawyer in 5.
Similar with barristers doing bog standard research and opinion writing.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Maybe today, but AI must advance?

Incidentally what about all those TV ads showing some breed of French motor car being built by robots and then singed off “Picasso”?

Isn’t that the future for most manufacturing?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not just lower tiers. My partner who owns the law firm thinks that even with current version of AI she can loose one junior lawyer in 5.
Similar with barristers doing bog standard research and opinion writing.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Why ? AI doesn’t really automate manufacturing and eliminate labour any more than it is already. It’s the lower tiers of office/service jobs that are most at risk. Those are mainly in the West.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Surely AI has made China redundant?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Rather than worry about Communist warmongering, the west need to realise that the coming younger Chinese demograph will ” outgrow” communism, as the rulers die out, and a new truly democratic capitalist China will really put the west back into economic history!

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Surely that’s an outcome we should be hoping for – a free and democratic China – and the sort of “problem” we want.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

I have a number of younger Chinese friends. Anecdotal evidence of course, but they are not at all interested in changing the system or challenging the CCP. Hong Kong may be different, but on the mainland one-party rule appears embedded as simply the way things are done, just as over here Parliamentary democracy with 5 year elections is what we expect.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Yes, as we remember ww1 was not between completely different economic and political systems.
Then let’s hope that demography weakens China first.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Surely that’s an outcome we should be hoping for – a free and democratic China – and the sort of “problem” we want.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

I have a number of younger Chinese friends. Anecdotal evidence of course, but they are not at all interested in changing the system or challenging the CCP. Hong Kong may be different, but on the mainland one-party rule appears embedded as simply the way things are done, just as over here Parliamentary democracy with 5 year elections is what we expect.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Yes, as we remember ww1 was not between completely different economic and political systems.
Then let’s hope that demography weakens China first.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Rather than worry about Communist warmongering, the west need to realise that the coming younger Chinese demograph will ” outgrow” communism, as the rulers die out, and a new truly democratic capitalist China will really put the west back into economic history!