Nightcap

  1. What the Germans are reading R Jay Magill Jr, American Interest
  2. American conservatives have an assimilation problem Shikha Dalmia, the Week
  3. The technology trap Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  4. It’s not China that’s bellicose, it’s the CCP Aaron Sarin, Quillette

Nightcap

  1. When Europeans came to Asian shores Chris Nierstrasz, Aeon
  2. The origins of the military-intellectual complex Daniel Bessner, New Republic
  3. Notes from the Islamic Republic of Iran Bill Merritt, Liberty
  4. Switzerland’s little-known fifth language Molly Harris, BBC

Nightcap

  1. Freedom isn’t free Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
  2. The embarrassment of riches Brian Doherty, Reason
  3. American hegemony and imperial control Emma Ashford, War on the Rocks
  4. On prison nurseries Naomi Schaefer Riley, National Affairs

Venezuela, still going down

Venezuela crisis seems far from being solved, and the country now is entering into actual civil war. Some thoughts on that:

Contrary to leftist conspiracy theory and popular belief, the CIA does not interfere in other countries every other week. The last major US intervention to take down a government in a big country was in Iran in 1953. In the long run, considering the Iranian Revolution of 1979, it didn’t go too well. Therefore, it is understandable that today people in the White House are cautious.

Also contrary to popular belief and leftist conspiracy theory, the US hasn’t interfered much in Latin America in the past seventy years or so. Interventions in Central America and the Caribean were commonplace in the first decades of the 20th century (mostly during the progressivist government of Woodrow Wilson) but mostly cooled down in the 1930s.

Latin America in general and Venezuela, in particular, has little democratic experience, and this has nothing to do with outside forces. The counties in the region simply tented to make bad choices, rejecting classical liberalism in favor of mercantilism and political centralization.

Internationally, I believe that John Mearsheimer presented the most convincing theory to date: all countries desire to be superpowers. That’s the best way to feel safe in an anarchic world. However, given the dimensions of our planet and the current state of our technology, it is impossible for any country to be a global hegemon. Given that, they try the next best thing: to be regional hegemons and to stop other countries from being hegemons in their regions. The US is clearly the hegemon in the American continent. China and Russia are not happy with that and will try anything to change it. In the last few decades, both countries invested heavily in Venezuela, including its military capabilities.

On a regional level, Brazil could balance Venezuela to some extent. But it can’t, because the Worker’s Party trashed the country, while at the same time helped Venezuela. Brazil is too busy solving its own problems.

Sadly, Venezuela is by itself. While Nicolas Maduro has oil to buy his generals, and they don’t suffer from a conscience crisis, the humanitarian crisis will endure.

Nightcap

  1. Is this the end of the American Century? Adam Tooze, London Review of Books
  2. The case for a Shi’a Century Fitzroy Morrissey, History Today
  3. The ‘Caliphate’ Is Gone. Where’s the ‘Caliph’? Kathy Gilsinan, the Atlantic
  4. Europe’s media has an actual bias problem Bill Wirtz, American Conservative

Nightcap

  1. The US constitution and populism, left and right Ilya Somin, Volokh Conspiracy
  2. Macron calls for the EU superstate Nathan Pinkoski, Law & Liberty
  3. Polybius as the father of Applied History Iskander Rehman, War on the Rocks
  4. Rome and Carthage in the Histories of Polybius Barry Stocker, NOL

Nightcap

  1. The elusive Byzantine Empire Dionysios Stathakopoulos, History Today
  2. Dragged Across Concrete – a review David Hughes, Quillette
  3. An archive of atrocities Mark Mazower, New York Review of Books
  4. A conservative foreign policy Jared Morgan McKinney, Modern Age