1. A Leftist view of the upcoming SCOTUS religion cases Ian Millhiser, Vox
  2. Are Chinese students in favor of free speech? Hernández & Zhang, New York Times
  3. Paul Volcker: The man who vanquished gold Joseph Salerno, Mises Wire
  4. John Batchelor interviews Richard Epstein on impeachment Podcast


  1. Is this a new era of far right terrorism? Hoffman & Ware, War on the Rocks
  2. Great news on US-China trade talks Behsudi & White, Politico
  3. Chinese porn preferences Katrien Jacobs, Berfrois
  4. Denmark’s own “Lawrence of Arabia” Frederic Wehrey, New York Review of Books

China’s upcoming troubles: class or nation?

Hopefully you caught Joel Kotkin’s thoughtful essay on China’s looming class struggle (it was in a nightcap from a few days back). Kotkin is a geographer at the University of Chapman.

I think he’s wrong, of course. He’s not wrong about China’s continuing troubles (I agree with him that things will only get worse), but on how these troubles will really begin to flare up. I don’t see class as the major issue, I see nationalism as China’s biggest fault line (and have since at least 2013).

Here’s how I’ve laid it out in my head. Think of Hong Kong and Taiwan, two places that are Chinese but not part of the People’s Republic. Beijing has lots of problems with both polities. Is class or nation a better gauge to use here? Nation! Nobody in Beijing is harping on the riches accrued by democratic Chinese polities. The Communists are drumming up nationalistic furor instead. Nationalism is the better tool to use to understand contemporary China.

Here’s the kicker, though. In order to drum up nationalistic furor, you’ve got have a nation, correct? The problem for China is that it has several dozen nations within its borders (here’s that 2013 post again), and nationalism in China favors the Han ethnic group over the others. The harder Beijing leans on nationalism, then, the more it squeezes out non-Han ethnic groups from its coalition of the willing. And Beijing is leaning hard on nationalism. It’s going to have to lean harder, too, since liberty is apparently not on the table.

Porn Preferences in China

I’ve always said you can tell a lot about a culture by their sexual mores (Montesquieu would agree!). From Shanghaiist:

That Japanese porn, both gay and straight, is more popular than anything else is perhaps not surprising. Very little pornography is produced within mainland China (though some is), and China’s obsession with AV stars is well known. What’s interesting is the racial homogeneity of the top 10. Chinese porn watchers don’t appear to be very interested in anyone not of asian heritage, a mild xenophobia that’s shared with Korea and Japan, both of which also prefer to watch asians getting fucked or doing the fucking.

Pardon their French. There is more:

Of China’s neighbours, only India and Kazakhstan search for members of other races getting their sex on.

Do read the whole thing. There is a link at the end to a Buzzfeed article showing the top porn searches for all countries.