In a recent Spectator article, Niall Ferguson worried about the infatuation that the ruling class of the West have for the Chinese system of governance & their clear desire to imitate it. Unfortunately, he fails to grasp the reason for this fanboi attraction. Ferguson draws the analogy with Cold War I, during which time he argues a process of “osmosis” threatened to make the US and the West generally more and more like the Soviet Union. But what is going on now is completely different. It is not an unthinking imitation driven by a need to compete, as it was in 1945-1991. It is a mixture of admiration (among the political class) and venality (among the corporate class). Both class’s affinity for the CCP model is anything but unconscious.
The West’s political class clearly envies the CCP’s autocratic powers, and strives to imitate them. This is most noticeable with respect to Covid policy, but it is not limited to that. Indeed, the political class fantasizes about using the extraordinary powers it seized based on the Covid pretext to reshape society generally. The most forthright of the fanboiz is Canada’s Justin Trudeau – the perfect useful idiot for the CCP. He openly admires the Chinese dictatorship because, doncha know, it allows them to dragoon people into going green (amongst other things). Although Trudeau is the most open in his admiration, it is clear that in the EU and the US the political class is just itching to embrace China-like policies, whether it is massive “infrastructure” spending, draconian restrictions on liberty in the name of public health, or a social credit system (disguised in the form of vaccine passports) or government cryptocurrencies which (a) China is racing to introduce in order to expand its social control, and (b) would almost certainly be non-anonymous to the government & linked with all manner of other personal informations. The Rosetta Stone to all ruling class policy initiatives is quite simple, and you can make sense of any policy by asking what most enhances the ruling class’s power, and what deprives you of the most liberty and personal sovereignty. The ruling class envies the party/state power in the Chinese system, and hence is anxious to ape it at every opportunity. That basic fact is missing in Ferguson’s article. Which is a shame.
Insofar as the corporate class is concerned, they are the 21st-century version of Lenin’s 20th-century aphorism about the capitalists who will sell communists the rope with which the latter will hang the former. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Frotting themselves cross-eyed over the Chinese market, Western corporatists (I won’t say capitalists) are perfectly willing to countenance the enslavement of billions. The ruling class and the corporate class crave power – the ability to control you, to coerce you. They see the power the CCP wields, and they want the same. Is not about emulating China to compete with China. It is about emulating China to emulate the domineering power of China’s political class. And to reprise Lenin again: “Who? Whom?” You are the whom.
The appropriate historical analogy here is not Cold War I, but the 1930s, when many in the Western ruling class openly admired the Italian Fascists, the German Nazis, and the Roosian Bolsheviks because of the untrammelled power that these movements possessed to reshape society. This power, free from the resistance of the great unwashed, is what the Western progressive political class desired, and desires, above all else. So they admired Mussolini & Hitler then, and admire Xi now.
Sinophilia (or more precisely, CCP-o-philia) is just the latest symptom of a very old disease. In plain sight, these people are the enemies of freedom. They are your enemies.
© 2021 DJM
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file