China is the country with the most can-do spirit in the world

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

This convinced Dan Wang that China is the country with the most can-do spirit in the world:

Every segment of society mobilized to contain the pandemic. One manufacturer expressed astonishment to me at how slowly western counterparts moved. US companies had to ask whether making masks aligned with the company’s core competence. Chinese companies simply decided that making money is their core competence, and therefore they should be making masks. The State Council reported that between March and May, China exported 70 billion masks and nearly 100,000 ventilators. Some of these masks had problems early on, but the manufacturers learned and fixed them or were culled by regulatory action, and China’s exports were able to grow when no one else could restart production. Soon enough, masks were big enough to be seen in the export data.

It’s obvious that the authorities in Wuhan screwed up big, but it’s also the case that the central government organized an effective response to virus containment. It’s not just the manufacturers: the consumer internet companies leapt into action in a way that their US peers did not. Francis Fukuyama states that high-trust societies have “spontaneous sociability,” in which people are able to organize more quickly, initiate action, and sacrifice for the common good. On each of these metrics, I submit that China should receive high marks.

As every discussion on China grows more strident, and as every proposition about it has to be vested with sentiment, I submit that it’s all the more important to be able to see things as they are. That entails having coming to terms not just with a rise of its repressive capabilities, but also with its growing commercial and institutional strengths. US elites have abandoned the idea that China would liberalize nicely. They should put another idea to bed: that this authoritarian system, riddled with weaknesses, is on the brink of collapse. The country’s strengths are real and improving while the government becomes more nasty towards its critics and the rest of the world.


It’s difficult to draw a clear line from tighter speech restrictions to worse economic outcomes. Greater censorship over the last decade has coincided with still-impressive levels of economic growth as well as the growing competitiveness of many more companies. And I think it’s worth considering that the authoritarianism of the late-Prussian and early-German state coincided with the creation of the modern research university as well as fantastic advances in chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering.

But there’s more on-the-ground evidence that ordinary people are growing nervous. In so many settings, one has to tread on eggshells in a public discussion in China, with organizers taking pains to remind audience members of sensitivities. Sometimes even in private, people beg off with an embarrassed laugh that they can’t discuss a subject due to unspecified difficulties. WeChat blocks sensitive keywords, which today includes “decoupling” and “sanctions.” It’s now inconvenient to use the app for professional conversations, and I’ve been pretty insistent to my contacts to use Signal instead. And since I brought up Germany, I wonder if the right analogy for China today is as a successful East Germany.


  1. Gavin Longmuir says:

    It is difficult to criticize the CCP for censorship when in the US the media refuse to mention any of the concerns about potential election fraud and even the elected President can be silenced by Deep State allies of China Joe Biden.

    We should not let ourselves be distracted by the conversations among the Best & Brightest on the upper decks. Focus instead on what is happening down in the economic engine room.

    There, it is absolutely obvious that the Fascism into which the West has descended is no match for the Fascism into which the CCP has evolved. The big difference between China and the Rest of the World today is — Competence! They have it; our increasingly self-selected rulers do not.

    We do not have to become like China — but we need to learn from them. More focus on production, less focus on transgendered bathrooms.

    Epstein did not kill himself, and Beijing Biden did not get 80+ Million valid votes.

  2. Kirk says:

    @ Gavin,

    You really need to take a deep breath, and then go back and re-examine much of the literature and the newspaper/magazines of the 1930s, paying careful and specific attention to the maudlin pronouncements of the various “experts” vis-a-vis the superiority of the German/Italian fascist state.

    All that “rapid decision-making” and “focus” they looked at in wonder, and suggested we emulate? In the event, remember what that resulted in with regards to war production and all the rest. Wishful thinking and ideology is no substitute for the dose of reality you get from market signal and not having the ideologues in charge.

    Shall we review the “success” rate of things like Japan’s MITI? Do remember that those were the geniuses that wanted Honda to stay out of automobile production, and who have sponsored God alone knows how many various and sundry now-forgotten industrial “initiatives”. Remember how Japan was going to eat our lunch in supercomputing, and wind up owning the world…?


    The root problem we have is that the ideologues have taken over, and are running things everywhere. You make a decision based on ideology and not reality? You’re probably still fortunate enough to be on the part of the curve where you’ve got the money and power to do that, but it’s inevitable that you’re going to find out that the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in three generations is still a valid observation. Most of our elite are the second- or third-generation along that curve, and they’re the ones who’re going to father that next generation of failures working menial jobs. It’s just a reality, I’m afraid–The CCP is going to go the same way, and probably a hell of a lot faster than anyone expects. And, for the same reason–Look at the fundamentals and the demographics: How long can they keep all the balls up in the air, before they start crashing to earth?

    Same with our elites. They’re incompetent in the face of changing modern times, and they know that. This crap going on right now is the result of fear, fear of the unknown, and fear of lost status once their BS becomes clear. It’s a con game, and one the rubes are beginning to recognize.

    Trump isn’t the problem, nor is this fantasy “Trumpism”. What they’re really afraid of is what Trump represents, which is an awakening realization that the elite is simultaneously screwing the majority, and is essentially incompetent. If they were competent, they’d have embraced and co-opted Trump, in much the same way that the Republican elite did the Tea Party. Thing is, they didn’t, for whatever reason, and here we are. The reality of what we’re going through is the panicked flailing about of an “elite” that realizes that the game is nearly up, and that they are going to have to pay the piper, one way or the other. They want to keep the scam going, but with the looming national debt crisis that’s coming, and everything else? They’re going to be left holding the bag, and it won’t be pretty.

    I expect that the National Mall is likely to display the dangling corpses of politicians and unelected bureaucrats in my lifetime. These people are truly too stupid, self-interested, and short-sighted to allow any other outcome. Trump should have been a wake-up call to the boiler operator, telling them that the relief valve wasn’t working, and it was time to do some drastic maintenance. Instead, they blocked the valve off, painted over the pressure gauge, and are standing around waiting for the “FOOOOM”.

    Dumbasses. All of them, Democrat and “Republican”, most of whom really ought to be labeled “Republican in name, Democrat in action…”.

  3. Paul from Canada says:

    Mussolini didn’t actually make the trains run on time, he just said he had done so and had the secret police arrest anyone who dared to disagree……

  4. Kirk says:

    Pretty much, Paul. Any time you get an historical period going where people are all looking at the “Man on a Horse” and offering themselves up to tyranny, it’s always, always based on PR and lies.

    Hell, you look at the Nazis and Hitler, by way of Tooze? You learn that it was all a mirage, a false front based on a massive con, more akin to an organized crime bust-out operation.

    Which, when you stop and look at it, is exactly what is going on in America, today: A bust-out. The points of congruence and the signs are obvious, when you know what to look for.

  5. bruce says:

    The US establishment is not incompetent or cowardly. They have been dedicated to the cause of lower wages through higher immigration or by any means necessary for fifty years and they have made real sacrifices and taken real chances to succeed. Mitch Mcconnell gave up the Senate Majority.

  6. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Kirk: “The CCP is going to go the same way, and probably a hell of a lot faster than anyone expects.”

    History tells us that is the way to bet in the longer term. Rise-plateau-decline pretty much describes every organization known to man.

    Prof. Charles Handy pushed the concept of the Sigmoid Curve, essentially describing the rise & fall of every organization. He suggested the only way an organization could avoid that fate was to reinvent itself — start new lines of activity while it was still on the way up and had resources to spare.

    There may be an argument that Mao had sensed something of the same impending “Decline & Fall” syndrome developing in Communist China when he launched the Red Guards to shake up an increasingly entrenched Communist bureaucracy. The movement did rip a hole in China’s nomenklatura, but can’t really be judged to have been a success overall.

    There is a further argument that Chairman Xi has been trying a smarter form of the same trick with his anti-corruption initiatives. Will that deal with the problem of the “Princelings”? — the Chinese version of the likes of Chelsea Clinton. Only time will tell.

    Whatever the long term may bring, the near term problem for the US is obvious — a loss of productive capacity which has destroyed jobs and tax revenue, and left us with an unsustainable Trade Deficit. Of course, Beijing Biden has no interest in taking any action to correct that problem — which means that, for the next decade, it would be smart not to bet against China.

  7. VXXC says:

    China is far away and not an enemy unless we insist.
    Our problems are American, our elites are passing as they lived – badly.

    China has had 3000 years to come up with their system and philosophy of governance, sure it works well enough. It is not without justice or tolerance, but that’s not our problem or our business.

    Our problem and our business is our elites.

    What outcome we will see, but they suck at tyranny worse than they do at democracy. These trembling geriatrics and these hysterical women and men in name only MINOS are the real Congress. Now surrounded by troops from the provinces as tens of thousands of Regulars and Marines sit idle on base- that Big Army decided to stay on the FOB and not leave the wire surprises none.

    How awful this will be is opaque. My own dilemma resolved in favor of keeping faith with my comrades is; serve the dishonorable or abandon comrades in hour of need. I choose my comrades and to only do the good, not do the evil,

    Figure out where I am yet?

    Perfect capsulation of our elites; a choice of the greater or lesser dishonor.

    I chose the corporeal over the abstract.

  8. Sam J. says:

    “…The big difference between China and the Rest of the World today is — Competence! They have it; our increasingly self-selected rulers do not…”

    The people who run this country are not the people who founded it and the people who built it. Anyone who pretends that those who formerly ran the country are the problem are nothing but damn liars. The people that run this country are only interested in looting it and driving the whole thing in a master slave relationship where the people on top own everything and the rest are peasants.

    They’re only slightly beginning to see that they have mortally wounded the US and that other countries will not let them run them onto the ground so successfully. I hope like the greedy assed Roman Senators in the past they have their whole heritage ground into dust to never rise again.

    Kirk says,”…paying careful and specific attention to the maudlin pronouncements of the various “experts” vis-a-vis the superiority of the German/Italian fascist state…”

    During the central bank produced depression in the west farmers were hanging themselves in their barns while German workers were going on paid vacations to the beach. Hitler took control of the banks from the Jews and the country immediately recovered after being mired in the most grinding humiliating poverty imaginable. All they had to do was stop the parasitism of the Jews to recover. I bet the vast amount of people on the whole damn planet could do the same if we just threw the Jews into the ocean and let them sink.

    “…In the event, remember what that resulted in with regards to war production and all the rest. Wishful thinking and ideology is no substitute for the dose of reality you get from market signal and not having the ideologues in charge…”

    Germany and Italy fought almost the whole entire planet and those they fought against had vast almost unbelievable resources compared to them. That kirk says it’s all down to “management” styles is nothing but complete nonsense. He is feeding you propaganda. He is deliberately lying to you because the Germans “almost” kicked the Jews out forever. They came close. I’m not rooting for the Nazis but I damn sure wonder if all our Men didn’t fight on the wrong side. In fact I think the odds are better than 90% that we really screwed up and fought for the wrong side.

    Everyone of any sense at all knows all war time production was no difference at all from the fascist. It was all top down demand economy. NO “choice”, “market signal”s involved at all. And the silly assed totally dumb idea that the Roosevelt administration “and not having the ideologues”, no ideologues???? That’s so far fetched you might be better spending your life hunting alien abductees than believing that. It would certainly be more fruitful.

    So pretending that somehow, “we were different” you know right off the bat he’s telling you lies.

    The same lying bullshit the Jews try to cram down our throats constantly day after day after day after day. Of course now comes the “ooohh you’re anti-semite and a nazi” and I say you don’t have to be a Nazi or a anti-semite to notice the Jews are blowing up your buildings in the middle of our cities, looting the living fuck out every last penny, nickel and dime in the country. Using their central bank to print endless amounts of cash, buy up all our industry and loot, steal and outsource all the production of our country(and then the fuck-wits have the gall to complain about the Chinese on their big propaganda networks). Add to that, if it wasn’t enough, use everything in their power to to import as many incompatible and unsympathetic people they can from all over the planet. Give them financial aid Whites don’t get, while they pay for it, and the final insult literally steal the damn elections and democracy from our country.

    I’ve really had it with the constant gaslighting from the Jews. They are the absolute worst on the face of planet earth and have no empathy or care in the world for anyone but themselves. It’s not a surprise that every time they do what they are doing, right now, here in the US, and they have done over and over and over and every single time people eventually go apeshit on them because they just can not be tolerated. They are evil. A fucking evil psychopathic pack of animals that prey on others.

    “…Shall we review the “success” rate of things like Japan’s MITI?…”

    Now he’s just feeding you more lies. More bullshit. More gas-lighting. The Japanese have not let they Jews tell them a damn thing so of course the Jews MUST hate them as much as they can and constantly lie about them.
    If we do “review the success” we will find they did a kick ass job. There’s a very good video on this that explains the nature of the Japanese economy and explains why it has now ceased to have quite the growth rate it dd before. The reason is the US pressured Japan to change their banks nature, which was straight up facist, to a central bank model modeled after the US and of course then it began to falter. Watch the movie. Very informative.

    It’s also VERY pertinent that they have a big time declining and aging population but DO NOT have the same level of GNP decline. Would that we were doing so well.

    The Jews may be tactically excellent but in the long run they are idiots because they are so greedy and odious that in the end no one can bear to have them around. The constant lying to no end when others, and even they know they are lying doesn’t help.

    Every time I hear more of this gaslightng I can not help but think of of that movie “Empire of Dust: China in Africa” (2011) where the Chinese guy in Africa who referring to the goings on of the Africans and says,”It’s so tiresome”. They’re talking about the Africans here but it’s no different from the Jews. They never LEARN A DAMN THING. It’s always the same exploitative behavior and the same damn lies over and over.

  9. Obaid says:

    YouTube is automatically deleting comments which contain particular Chinese-language phrases related to criticism of the country’s judgment Communist Party (CCP).

    For more than a year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has actually methodically avoided a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin, choosing rather to commit enormous resources to deceit and disinformation. Nearly two million individuals have passed away. Their families should have to know the reality. Only through openness can we discover what triggered this pandemic and how to prevent the next one.

    The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus– known as SARS-CoV-2– was transmitted initially to human beings. We have not figured out whether the outbreak started through contact with contaminated animals or was the outcome of an accident at a lab in Wuhan, China.

    The infection might have emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals, spreading in a pattern consistent with a natural epidemic. Additionally, a laboratory accident might resemble a natural break out if the preliminary direct exposure consisted of just a couple of people and was compounded by asymptomatic infection. Researchers in China have actually researched animal-derived coronaviruses under conditions that increased the risk for unintentional and potentially unwitting direct exposure.

  10. Harry Jones says:

    As they say in China, I’m just out buying soy sauce.

  11. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Obaid: “Nearly two million individuals have passed away. Their families should have to know the reality.”

    Reality is that around sixty million individuals have passed away worldwide in the last year. Some of them tested positive for Covid-19. Some of those actually had the disease — mostly people who were already old & sick. That is reality.

    Reality is that the huge damage has been done not by the virus, which is comparable to a bad flu year. The huge damage has been done by the Political Class and their Lock Downs. That is reality.

    A year ago, when there was great uncertainty, there was a case for Lock Downs. But the Political Class has continued with destructive Lock Downs long after it became clear that they were doing more harm to more people than the virus. That is reality.

    The only country which has come out ahead from the Covid Scam is China. That is reality. The individual who has most benefitted from the Lock Downs is China Joe Biden. That is reality.

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