- California’s fires (no mention of “property rights”) Claire McEachern, LARB
- Nationalism is not always the enemy of liberalism Asle Toje, American Interest
- Universal Love, said the Cactus Person Scott Alexander, Slate Star Codex
- Great list of recent low budget sci-fi flicks Nick Nielsen, Grand Strategy Annex
- Beyond the ideological lie: The revolution of 1989 thirty years later Daniel Mahoney, Law & Liberty
- Cheer the fall of the Wall Bryan Caplan, EconLog
- Don’t venerate the nation-state Dalibor Rohac, Standpoint
- Finally, a good idea comes out of Washington Jack Crowe, National Review
- History is, to some extent, inescapably nationalist Colin Kidd, History Today
- In praise of Jewish achievement Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times
- In defense of NIMBYism Addison del Mastro, American Conservative
- The way life comes at us Paul Griffiths, Commonweal
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.