From Afghanistan to Wokeistan

That was a phenomenal essay! You really tilted my world view with this piece; with regard to Afghanistan, yes, but particularly with respect to China.
I don’t know enough about the subject to even attempt to rebut anything you wrote. I thought I knew enough; but now I think I don’t! That is a complement! I don’t know that what you wrote is necessarily undisputed, much less correct. But I do know that I can’t dispute what you wrote and, again, you gave me a new perspective I have never heard of, much less considered, before. Thank you!
So, is it safe to conclude you feel the danger of China “taking over the world” is overstated? That would be a relief. Not many reliefs in this world, right now, so it would be really nice to have one less thing to be seriously concerned about!

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It was instructive to see you summarize Mao’s cultural revolution (and all the people that passed away during this time) as “making mistakes.” Are you sure that is where you want to leave it?
Related: are you living in Shanghai right now?
Also: did you use a VPN during your time in Shanghai? If so, which VPN did you find most effective?
I get the sense that the western elites ARE incredibly jealous of the CCP’s social credit system, and they definitely want to institute it here. So we’ll get our very own version of China here in the West, if things continue down the path. What do you think of that possibility?
Can you tell us all about your experience with the CCP’s social credit system, and how helpful that is to the people in society?


You are so suspicious all the time. China is actually like heaven… just watch a few more videos and you will understand. How could this be bad?


I think it has relevance to your remaining open loop, your “(3)”

"as for (3), at this point in time, I really don't know what's the best course of action."
You can't know what the best course of action is, nor even make a solid guess, until you understand the nature and direction of the threat. If the nature of the threat is merely bad government, that is very different from enemies domestic...which is, in turn, very different from enemies foreign. If it is bad government, we should try to reform it -- not escalate nor flee. If it is enemies domestic, you should consider escalation or flight. If it is enemies foreign, well perhaps supporting another war is a good idea. So MOTIVE comes into scope. If you don't have MOTIVE correct, you will likely either act in the wrong direction or with the wrong MAGNITUDE. Which means, in this case, pretty much all your preparations may be worse than useless. I'm not trying to praise the article, nor to say you are somehow wrong in your dislike. But "means, MOTIVE, and opportunity" have long been recognized as the distinguishing fingerprints of an "accident" case worthy of deeper investigation. I am not the author of this article, but I suggest every one get clear on the importance of not being "gas lit" and -- if there is a premeditated "crime" (that's an absolutely *critical* question for appropriate action) -- getting really, really clear logically about the "motive". I personally have only very recently become completely convinced we are not victims of a "mistake". Then, after much consideration, I was forced to conclude the usual suspects of "money" and "power" are woefully inadequate as motive, given the global scope and twisted plot of this dystopian sf story we are being forced to react to. That has undone pretty much all (not quite all, but pretty much all) of my local "prepping" I have been doing for the last 20 years. I don't like to face that conclusion, as it means a lot of my effort was wasted (again, not all). But staying in Germany was really the wrong decision of those in Germany who didn't get "means, motive, and opportunity" right. Respectfully, -S

Mao’s cultural revolution, gang of four, famine created one of the biggest tragedies but I don’t want to keep pointing at their mistakes. We made equally big mistakes in India. World Bank lent money to India with the condition that Indra Gandhi had to implement mass sterilization of women during Emergency. She was used by the west for implementing some of the nastiest policies. Nobody is making noise about India right now because while most countries face demographic winter, India doesn’t have that problem. They need the Indians as tech workers (right word is digital laborers).
I lived in Shanghai in 2010. The workplace VPN was enough for me. I could access nearly all the sites that I wanted to.
When I visited different cities even by bus, govt official checked the passports. The current social credit system was not in place. Western Elites have always been about surveillance and control. They don’t need inspiration from China. Similar to the one child policy, it will take 15-20yrs for the real effects of social credit system to show up. It will be a global fight to curtail it.
I do like a few things that the CCP did in the recent months:

  1. Preventing their big-tech from sharing data outside the country.
  2. Crackdown on the actors, celebrity fan culture and effeminate behavior of actors.
  3. Restricting video gaming time for children and forcing online education companies to become non-profit.
  4. Reducing work hours for employees.
    I wish Indian government also did something similar. We have the same problems. (Celebrity fan culture issue hasn’t grown to the same proportion)

I think the comment by VTGothic is a better assessment than most.
Sad to say, Bitcoin requires massive amounts of electricity and a global Internet. Things you can barter with, and some precious metals, and things and tools you have on you and skills you have in your head, those may be more valuable.
Also, don’t forget drought tolerant, disease resistant pulses as a cover crop, for forage, and for food.


Glad to hear you know about the “biggest tragedy” which earlier you referred to as “a mistake.” This “biggest tragedy” (which apparently we shouldn’t dwell on for too long) was an emergent property of an absolute dictatorship and a philosophy which says “the Elites know best.” And when they just make shit up all on their own, and it has horrific consequences, the elites do not suffer in the slightest. Mao didn’t suffer at all. In fact, he’s been rehabilitated, better than ever. Statues, temples, etc.
Has this government (dictatorship) and philosophy (“elites know best”) changed in China, do you think? I heard Xi talk about a “long march” a year or so ago. Who does that sound like, again? June 24, 2014. 39 years ago today, Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, received the power to rule by decree from the Indian president. She immediately declared a state of emergency, suspending numerous civil liberties. This freed her government to forcibly sterilize millions of Indian men and women in the 21 months that followed.
So it sounds like - in India, and China, and let's not forget Nazi Germany, when people have absolute power (seemingly independent of race, religion, and culture), they often really misuse it, and it can lead to some pretty horrific outcomes. When you have absolute power, you can arrange things to make it easy for your group to do well, and you can imprison or kill all who disagree. This seems to be the case in China. It is also the case in the US, but to a lesser extent. It turns out, degree really does matter. At least to the people that live under the regime. I get the sense that China of 11 years ago under Hu Jintao was a very different place than it is now under Xi. You are fortunate to have lived in China during the good times. I agree that Western Elites (and the CCP) - really elites everywhere - have been about surveillance and control. Just that in the West we have been able to keep them more in check. Not totally and less so every day. But if you notice, you don't need a VPN to access sites around the world in Western countries. You did need a VPN to do this when you were in China. Why do you think that is? So I take it you're not in favor of the CCP social credit system? Is there anything the people can do to stop the CCP from implementing it ever more strictly? What's the "feedback process" from the Chinese people to the CCP? My sense is, if you engage in "feedback" in China, you're tossed in prison for at least 7 years for "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble." As for the things that the CCP did in recent months - well there's the seizing of Hong Kong. That's a plus. It keeps those Hong Kongers from getting uppity and electing the people they want to govern them. I get the sense you believe the CCP is a good model going forward of how to properly govern a country. (please correct me if I'm wrong there). I view it as very good luck that there hasn't been a Mao-rerun (minus the lab-leaked virus, of course) under the current ruler Xi. Power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely. CCP appears to have absolute power. Hmm.

Are we actually going to argue about the CCP, in this day and age? Mao killed how many of his own people to install the communist dictatorship? Estimates range from about 50 MILLION to upward of 100 MILLION. Let that sink in. 50 MILLION human beings…fathers, sons, mothers, daughters. Wiped off the face of the earth for communism.
Mao made Adolf Hitler look like nothing. The only person in the history of the world who may have killed as many people was Stalin in his communist revolution. Why do communist revolution result in so many people dying? Because anyone who objects or resists is murdered. All that is left are those who are too afraid or too indoctrinated to ever resist. And thats what you still have in China today.
Chinese people can’t own land, can’t criticize their government publicly, hell they’re not even suppose to be on the internet thats why you need a VPN. China is a monstrous shit-hole, born in atrocity, that crushes the human spirit. I cant believe anyone in their right mind would even suggest that anyone should look to China in any regard other than pity.


I understand who said what about Islam. As I said religion has been interpreted and misinterpreted through history for a variety of reasons. It seems gratuitous to me since you neglected to give a full picture of jihad. Of course you were just thinking of your narrative. I get it. That said you were also unconsciously feeding the Islamophobia that is in vogue at the moment among a certain class of , shall he be kind and say “misinformed” Amerikaans.
My research does not support the nutritional advantages you ascribe to potatoes. This plus the fact that they are nightshades makes them less appealing as a staple. But hey it’s your garden and your body.
I am btw not “back”. I am watching the videos as they are very informative and scan the posts. Most of them are not worth the bandwidth , but you seem to always offer perspectives of interest. My time is extremely limited and choose not to engage in wasteful and fruitless endeavors. At one time I thought it would be useful to discuss crypto here. Unfortunately virtually every post was hijacked by analog trolls who kept repeating the same tired FUD over and over again. I should have known better and followed Mark Rees out the door.
The complete lack of interest or discussion from the site owner/owners? is very telling. What do you think would happen if the owner would to begin an honest exploration and discussion here? If he promoted crypto like gold how many new adopters would there be? There are tons of followers here. Could be in the thousands.
Anyway nice to catch up with you. Off to important things. BTW Raoul Pal has a new series on Real Vision all about ceypto. Well worth it.

A high-ranking US Army officer has resigned and given up his pension after almost 20 years of service because of what he called President Biden’s “unethical, immoral and tyrannical” vaccine mandate.

Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague said in a resignation letter tweeted by his wife, Katie Phipps Hague, that he was resigning from his 19-year career primarily because of the Pentagon requirement that all US military members be jabbed by mid-September.…

China is a monstrous shit-hole, born in atrocity, that crushes the human spirit.
Actually, I don't think that's very fair. I have a bunch of Chinese friends at work and they're nice, fun people. Some of them openly talk down about the CCP. As much as governments may try to crush the human spirit, they do not succeed, and that's a good thing.

Please understand the context of my comments. I rarely write comments because time is a constraint for me. I have a full-time job and I am pursuing studies fulltime.
This time, I felt compelled to respond to Chris’s msg because this bias against Chinese and Russians has gone out of control thanks to the mainstream propaganda. The inventory of weapons Chris published is not complete. It doesn’t list the number of landmines buried in the country – trust me there are plenty. Let’s pray that they get all the International help they need to get back on their feet. There is no need to add fuel to the fire and create more mistrust.
My second response was again to Chris’s msg where he share the US geological survey about $ 1Trillion worth mineral deposits. Henry Kissinger created a document NSSM 200 in the 70s with the focus on everything that needed to be done to control the population in resource rich countries. Using that, West created havoc in nearly every continent. West has to stop eyeing the wealth of other countries. There is plenty in the West for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. Let’s check that greed. China is paying for the resources they need and helping other countries it turn.
My response to DKN was to provide the real historical context for the Afghan situation. I didn’t say much about China because to get the full picture one has to go to events that started two centuries ago. Before Mao’s communism, there was a bigger tragedy – Century of humiliation when the Eight Nation Alliance destroyed China and forced them to cede or lease Hongkong, Macau, Taiwan, Dalian, Jiaozhou Bay, Manchuria, Sakhalin and some others. I feel terrible that British used few thousand Indian soldiers in this massacre. It happened when British was ruling India and had recruited locals in the troops. I962 Sino-India war was instigated by the British and last year’s drama was again the cabal instigating it.
Events of this nature create intergenerational trauma. As long as trauma remains in the body, they will keep making mistakes. My prayer is that they get to keep their territories without interference from others and have the space to heal themselves.
As for VPN, for corporate work we have a mandate to use VPN in any country we are in including US. And one is allowed to use laptop for personal work during International travel and Expat assignments. Surveillance question is lot more tricky. Cyber Warfare requires Cyber Surveillance. Indian Govt is also struggling with defining boundaries and we are making plenty of mistakes. Other countries are facing the same dilemma.
We have a choice to focus on other’s weakness or work on ours. The first one reduces our power and second one builds our power. My generation of Indians had the privilege of growing up with very inspiring songs. I am sharing it below as it helps in seeing the world in a different light. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
This will be my last comment since School and homeworks have started :-)

Thanks for your response, but you wrote a lot of words, none of which addressed my central point: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And Xi has absolute power. And that will corrupt him - and those who support him - absolutely.
In such situations, hoping that the latest dictator (Xi, Mao, Hitler, or Endira - during your emergency) will be benevolent “this time” … appears to be a triumph of hope over experience.
Moral of the story: if you want to avoid mass death, avoid dictatorships and Oligarchies too. This group includes the much-beloved CCP (a combination dictatorship-Oligarchy), whose mistakes (oopsie!) ended up killing tens of millions. A “century of humiliation” 100 years ago does NOT justify what Mao did in the 60s to his own people.
What sorts of mass death will Oligarchy-Dictator Xi engage in? Perhaps we’re seeing this unfold right now. I seem to recall him banning domestic travel out of Wuhan, but permitting international flights, back in early 2020. And of course there’s Xinjiang, and the “organs on demand” industry too.
Seriously. Avoid dictatorships. And Oligarchy too. Because - power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Common people need to have a strong “feedback mechanism” to government and oligarchy which will result in a check to their power.
Otherwise … the common people end up with mass death.


China is a universe unto itself. India is as well to a lesser fashion in my opinion.
Things are radically different in China now than in 2010. If you were a Foreigner then, you could move about with relative ease as long as you kept your nose clean and didn’t flash cash. Xi arrived and began to flex around 2012-13. All kinds of oppressive policies came into play.
From people on the ground in C 2021, some natives, other foreigners (married to nationals) things are like Mao 2.0. No public transport or shopping without two vaccine doses, a health pass that’s green, and a high enough social credit score. Be deficit in any of the categories and no freedom for you.
The grasslands and farmlands are being fenced off to be “rented” to farmers. No livestock for personal use. Most land owners have been relocated to the cities. Conditions were so bad for migrant workers in 2011, they stopped coming to the cities. Now there’s still poor souls sent overseas to work for the CCP on Belt and Road projects. Their passports are held so they can’t leave, the bosses with hold their pay until they return to C, and the locals refuse them access to medical care or schools for the kids.
Remember the Middle Kingdom believes they have the right to control the world through the Confucian “eldest rules” premise. As the longest current continuous civilization, they are destined to win in their minds. Lots of people so they can take a strategic hit and lose a few million and be fine. They are long game players.
Despite all this, the country is swimming in debt, the social structure is teetering, and the average person isn’t happy about their life. The possible war scenario allows expansion of territories and annexation of assets. Quicker than the Belt and Road traps. With no social safety nets, the elderly tsunami of one grandchild for 4 grandparents and 2 parents is already causing problems. The endless system of bribes requires the pooling of the family’s assets just to give one kid an education, a job, and an apartment.
If you have Chinese friends who’ve been born in a Westernized nation, they aren’t typical of the thinking/behavior on the mainland. If they came over as teens or early 20’s, they’ll love the freedoms of the Western life, but will be different people when they go back. Part of it is the familial duty, other parts are the need to conform due to the power of local CCP, police, etc. to throw you into a black jail for no reason from which few return intact.
If you’ve not seen their channels try laowhy86 or serpentza. Both are Caucasian males who lived in China and married Chinese women. They’ve now relocated to the USA due to antagonism from CCP. They loved the country, but talk about all the changes and why they had to flee.


Are you reporting personal observations from living on the mainland?
You state “the average person isn’t happy about their life” in China but that is not my observation. My observation from this year is very different from yours, as the average person in the cities of mainland China is very happy with removal of corruption and increased prospects, having moved into the middle class. I noticed a bifurcation of attitudes between visiting/returning Chinese from America and those on the mainland, with respect to surveillance and other things that you mentioned. Also, I note that movement of people is now highly controlled in many countries and not just China.
I have seen the videos from the English teachers whom you cite and who returned from China after the immigration status of English teachers changed (dropped…they explained this in an older video wherein they also explained how they did extensive news reporting within the extreme Western provinces, and some guys back East west ballistic on them). I note in this context that Japan used to have many English teachers here as well during the bubble period (late 1980s) but had to go home when their services were not in such big demand. Case in point is that private cram schools have been abolished after the CCP decided that people were spending too much money and time seeking special status and did not like what happened to S Korea in this context. It seems that the CCP has been working hard to get the world to go the way they want, and another case in point is that many of the basic chips designed/manufactured/and then sold in the West to build out the internet of things are so complicated and unknown to American engineers that the basic operations (outside of published software operations) generally are opaque. Things are really, really changing and China seems to hold the keys. It is important to understand China, in all aspects, even if it means traveling there during these perilous times.
A lot of roads lead to China nowadays, since they have become the new hegemon, and I look forward to hearing CMs observations on this subject. It is very important to understand this hegemon. It will be interesting to debate the tradeoff or quandary of how the these major changes may be responses to a world that is shifting from exponential growth back to stationary phase “growth.” As for me, I fear the dark ages and am convinced that we must create our own locally made and distributed energy, food, etc. to survive and thrive.
I probably will not respond to blow back from my comments. I really want to see data, facts, and not slander.


No blowback here.
I have traveled in China, lived with Chinese families and continue to have connections in China.
What you have posted is simply accurate.
And like yourself, I am not going to reply to blowback. I know what I know from personal observation. I am not going to argue about it any more than I would argue with someone who tells me that taking Ivermectin will land me in the hospital.


As a nation, geo-strategically, China is resource-poor, and it has a bunch of nations as neighbors that don’t particularly like it (Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Russia), some of them reasonably powerful. It isn’t a historical naval power, all of its “wealth” and resources comes from seaborne commerce, and if the US Navy stops patrolling the sea lanes, it is really unclear how China will both protect its exports, and obtain resources. Pax Americana is what allows China to prosper.
I don’t get the sense that China does a lot of innovation. Except for surveillance gear, I mean. Innovation requires independent thought. Mostly, the CCP doesn’t seem to like that sort of thing too much. (Japan also falls into this category. They’re great at optimizing manufacturing processes and improving quality, but they don’t seem to invent many new things.) Have I missed some major mainlander innovations? Note: “making things cheaper” isn’t innovation.
In terms of chips, my understanding is that Taiwan produces the chips - at least the latest gen chips. China’s chip-making ability is several generations old. Again, my understanding. China does assembly, not chip manufacturing. When Trump cut off Huawei, it was a really big deal since the mainland didn’t have the tech to produce the latest generation chipsets.
My sense from my friends in Hong Kong: they aren’t happy. Neither are my friends in Taiwan. Neither group wants to live under CCP rule. If the closest people (who are ethnically Chinese - some of whom can even speak the same language) don’t really like the CCP very much, what does that say?
And my mainlander friend - he seems really unhappy. Almost like he’s in prison. Can’t talk the way he used to be able to talk, at least not in public. He’s totally changed - and things have just grown progressively worse as the years pass. Just 4 years ago things were totally different. But I only have one datapoint.
The pandemic will (I’m guessing) cause a debt bubble pop. No idea how China will handle it. I’m guessing there will be a certain amount of capital flight.
And of course my understanding is that the CCP is a totally authoritarian government. If any of you (Mots, Mike) can tell me how ordinary Chinese people can offer “feedback” to the government without getting thrown in prison for 7 years, I’d love to hear how they did it. Definitely the US is moving closer to the CCP (“insurrectionists”) - but we aren’t quite there yet. Not quite. Is moving in that direction a good idea? I don’t think so. Do you?
And of course there’s the Xinjiang camps, and the “organs on demand” which gives you a sense as to what the “limits to power” are on the CCP itself. There don’t seem to be any. You may be ok with this. I am not.
I definitely believe that the Western Oligarchs are insanely jealous of the grip the CCP has over its own population, and they are sparing no expense to move the US into that same model.
I don’t think that’s a good thing, I think it is a bad thing. A disaster, at least for the common people.
Please let me know if you think my comments, which may disagree with your worldview, are “blowback.” Even better - let me know if I’ve said anything that’s factually inaccurate.


From all that I read and hear I believe you are wrong about china. 90% of the animosity toward China from its neighbors has been instilled by the US. They either need to oppose China or the US will oppose them. Most of those countries are already dealing heavily with CHina. Even Taiwan is anxious to deal with china it is only the logistics as to how and how much that is.
China has quite a bit of resources and Russia, Chinas neighbor, has Massive resources that they are more than happy to sell/trade with CHina. The perceived resource constraints/demand around China comes from the fact that they make EVERYTHING for the rest of the world. The resources China acquires is then shipped around the world and becomes the necessary resources of the world. By the way they pay fair market value for most of those raw resources as opposed to…
I communicate often with many in China and just about all of them appreciate the people over profit mentality over the Western way. Any in CHina or Hong Kong who complain about CHina are those who want to get rich and want no impediments to that single minded goal.
Please listen to anything Michael Hudson has to say on the subject as he is the authority. Here is a short but sweet refute of pretty much all of what you just wrote Dave; Starts at 15:00


Ahhh, wonderful China, with its people over profits mentality. Along with show trials that land Christians in prison for decades, Uyghurs who get to enjoy their non-material lives in a camp atmosphere, Falun Gong who are allowed the privilege of providing organs to the Party faithful and anyone else with money, and those pesky Tibetans, can’t forget them. Yes, a wonderful vision of the future……


I hear a completely different message from China, and they are not friends with Taiwan - they recently cancelled all travel there just before the covid flu broke out inadvertently doing them a favour.
Their nine-dash link practically claims Philippine beaches and generally guarantees a large alliance against them, very classy too how Chinese officials were gloating over the nuclear attack on Japan… In conclusion the CCP are not nice people.
I’d recommend watching ADVChina if you want to learn about them, there’s a lot of info that rarely gets on the msm.