A few moments ago, I read a review of a new book, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, and the following sentences jumped out at me:Whew, it's a "good" thing we've got stuff China wants! If third world China provides first world America with a little debt forgiveness then we can send them:This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class–communism’s establishment, or “uncivil society.” The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lessons....democratic politics must more or less inevitably degenerate into a mad scramble among interest groups seeking to corner ever-higher rents from their ability to swing votes; see my previous post Some Iron Laws of Political Economics for discussion. So, where does it end? Increasingly, it looks like the answer is “when the creditors of the resulting Ponzi scheme decide they’ve had enough”.
Under today’s conditions, given who’s holding the biggest wad of T-bonds, that decision will probably be made in Peking.
- Aircraft carrier battle groups
- The Dalai Lama
- Recognition of China's claims to Formosa (aka: Taiwan) and Tibet