China’s multidecade ascent was aided by strong tailwinds that have now become headwinds. China’s government is concealing a serious economic slowdown and sliding back into brittle totalitarianism. The country is suffering severe resource scarcity and faces the worst peacetime demographic collapse in history. Not least, China is losing access to the welcoming world that enabled its advance.
Welcome to the age of “peak China.” Beijing is a strong revisionist power that wants to remake the world, but its time to do so is already running out. This realization should not inspire complacency in Washington—just the opposite. Once-rising powers frequently become aggressive when their fortunes fade and their enemies multiply. China is tracing an arc that often ends in tragedy: a dizzying rise followed by the specter of a hard fall. Read the rest of this entry »
Dave Brooks links a new report offering an usual taxonomy of today’s divided America. The study finds, counterintuitively, that the big division is between rich, old, white geezers on the Left and on the Right.
Every few years one research group or another produces a typology of the electorate. The researchers conduct thousands of interviews and identify the different clusters American voters fall into.
More in Common has just completed a large such typology. Itâ€™s one of the best Iâ€™ve seen because it understands that American politics is no longer about what health care plan you support. Itâ€™s about identity, psychology, moral foundations and the dynamics of tribal resentment.
The report, â€œHidden Tribes,â€ breaks Americans into seven groups, from left to right, with names like Traditional Liberals, Moderates, Politically Disengaged and so on. It wonâ€™t surprise you to learn that the most active groups are on the extremes â€” Progressive Activists on the left (8 percent of Americans) and Devoted Conservatives on the right (6 percent).
These two groups are the richest of all the groups. They are the whitest of the groups. Their members have among the highest education levels, and they report high levels of personal security.
We sometimes think of this as a populist moment. But thatâ€™s not true. My first big takeaway from â€œHidden Tribesâ€ is that our political conflict is primarily a rich, white civil war. Itâ€™s between privileged progressives and privileged conservatives.
John Davis reports that the Danish Government has been reduced to begging men, via advertising from the state travel agency, to have sex with Danish women.
Denmark, however, has fallen ill to a festering infection known as â€œfeminism.â€ It is the same illness that has taken hold of the rest of Scandanavia, Western Europe and the UK. Because of this gender infirmity, Denmarkâ€™s birth rate, and, its population growth, has been plummeting (as is true with most of Western Europe).
Feminism has given women in Denmark an immunity from civility, and, license to openly hate and ridicule men. For example, it is not uncommon for girls to be sitting on a bus, in a group, and have them openly point to a man and discuss how unattractive he is. The Danish legal system is set up so that once a woman has â€œbeen impregnatedâ€ by a man, the man is completely disposable in divorce, and, the manâ€™s role as a sperm donor is further degraded by requiring him to pay for the child for the rest of his life so that the impregnated woman may enjoy her fulfillment as a modern feminist.
Denmark still imposes all of the obligations of men that have survived medieval chivalry, yet, virtually sees men as nothing but completely disposable sperm donors (who are occasionally allowed to work in the Danish socialist job market).
Denmarkâ€™s feminist culture, laws and government view and treat men as nothing but disposable sperm donors.
The result is that only about 20% of Danish men are actively in the dating pool. Danish women are constantly complaining about not having enough men to satisfy their desires for sexual and social intercourse. Yet, Danish women will viciously guard their feminism, hatred of men, life plans to treat men as disposable, and the concept that men are irrelevant except to give the woman sperm, and, the child some semblance of legitimacy.
One with intellect, sensitivity, education (instead of the indoctrination that feminism requires) and human dignity might think that the solution to this problem would be to encourage women to learn something about human compassion, respect, human value beyond sex, and, the beauty of binding interpersonal relationships.
The Danish government doesnâ€™t have any of those problems . . . . Here is the Danish governmentâ€™s solution. This is just one advertisement of an intense propaganda campaign the Danish feminist government undertook to try to beg men to inseminate Danish women (for â€œMomâ€ and for â€œThe Stateâ€).
Spies Rejser is the Danish state travel agency.
Note how the advertisement features a prominent man-hating feminist in the narrative in order to appease the fascist feminist lobby that controls the countryâ€™s social laws and norms.
Note how the advertisement relegates the man to a mere decoration and accessory and sperm donor.
â€œI should say a few words about politics too â€¦ Then I would talk about how Muslims are flooding, occupying, in clear verbs, destroying Europe, and how Europe relates to this, the suicidal liberalism and the stupid democracy â€¦ It always ends the same way: civilization reaches a certain stage of maturation where it is not only able to defend itself, but where it is in a seemingly incomprehensible worship of their own enemy.â€
David Infante has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Hipster is dead. The bad news is that he has been replaced by another intensely annoying type of millennial wussy, what he refers to as “the “Yuccie” (pronounced “Yucky”), i.e., young urban creatives.
[T]he hipster has to be dead, killed by a contradicted identity. When everyone is rejecting the mainstream, no one is. When everyone is a hipster, no one is a hipster. Hell, saying â€œthe hipster is deadâ€ is, itself, pretty much dead, a late-aughts victim of thinkpiecery and primetime cable namechecks.
And anyway, â€œhipsterâ€ doesnâ€™t line up culturally with who yuccies are. To use myself as an example again: I have no tattoos. My credit is good. Hell, Iâ€™ve got dental insurance. My basic, unwaxed mustache, like the rest of me, wouldnâ€™t have rated in the heady days of hipsterism. Hipsters themselves might have scorned me as a yuppie. But that isn’t right, either. â€œYuppieâ€ conjures Sharper Image catalogs, clean condos and piles of new money pulled from the pre-recession stock market. It doesnâ€™t capture the sense of creative entitlement that defines the yuccie.
Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. Weâ€™re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. We define ourselves by our purchases, just like both cohorts, sure. But not by price or taste level; we identify by price and taste level: $80 sweatpants, $16 six-packs of craft beer, trips to Charleston, Austin and Portland. How much it costs (high or low) is immaterial if the material bought validates our intellect.
Weâ€™re a big part of the reason that 43% of every millennial food dollar is spent in restaurants, instead of at home. After all, what product is more fraught with the politics of money and creativity than dinner? Itâ€™s gotta be Instagrammed.
You cross the yuppieâ€™s new money thirst for yachts and recognition with the hipsterâ€™s anti-ambition, smoke-laced individualism, sprinkle on a dose of millennial entitlement, and the yuccie is what you get.
We are what we hate
The Young Urban Creative. The yuccie. As far as trend-naming goes, this is on the punnier edge of the spectrum. Yuccies are yucky. Why?
Letâ€™s use me as an example again. Almost by definition, yuccies possess enormous privilege. My professional drift towards a creative field (writing) is an implicit statement of privilege. Being a yuccie is synonymous with the sort of self-centered cynicism that can only exist in the absence of hardship. Itâ€™s the convenience of being unburdened by conviction; itâ€™s the luxury of getting to pick your battles. In this context, cynicism is maybe the yuccieâ€™s most defining trait.
To wit, of all the reasons I enjoy being a writer, the single driving force behind my career trajectory has been validation. I write for validation: of my peers, of my parents, of the followers who retweet me, even of the commenters who say cruel things in my general direction beneath every piece Iâ€™ve ever published.
Donâ€™t get me wrong â€” I need the money, too, as much as any of my peers. But if I hadnâ€™t insisted on majoring in English, writing professionally and â€œexpressing myself,â€ I probably could have chosen a more lucrative path. But
I need to be told, repeatedly and at length, that I have valuable ideas. That my talent is singular. That Iâ€™m making a dent, the size and location of which is less important than fact that itâ€™s shaped like me.
Thatâ€™s the cynicism of privilege. Thatâ€™s what yuccieism is. Iâ€™m not ashamed of it, and you shouldnâ€™t be either if this sounds like you. But Iâ€™m not proud of it either. Like I said â€” itâ€™s a bit yucky.
Barack Obama did not need white coal miners’ votes to win in 2012.
Paul Waldman argues that democrats can win presidential elections via the gentry/welfare minorities/hipsters alliance. They may not get most white working class votes, but they only need to pick up a small percentage of those and they win.
Few questions in American political debate recur with the regularity of this one: Can Democrats win the white working class?
As soon as itâ€™s time to start contemplating the next election, commentators begin to ask this question, demanding of Democrats that they explain why this time will be different and theyâ€™ll be able to win over those white voters. Iâ€™m going to argue that Democrats donâ€™t have to win the white working class, so they shouldnâ€™t worry themselves too much about it. …
hereâ€™s the good news for Clinton: It doesnâ€™t matter. She doesnâ€™t need to win the white vote, working-class or otherwise, in order to become president. The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won a majority of the white vote was 1964. Yet theyâ€™ve managed to win five elections since then.
We spend so much time contemplating what different demographic groups find appealing and repellent that itâ€™s almost as though we forget that a vote is a vote. For instance, Democrats are often scolded for their unpopularity among voters in rural areas and small towns, because of a mythos that says those are the most virtuous and true Americans and therefore their votes are somehow more desirable than those of people who live in suburbs and cities. But they arenâ€™t. The vote of a tattooed 20-something hipster in Des Moines is no less helpful than that of the 60-something farmer who lives a hundred miles north.
Demographics, of course, are obviously important. For instance, Republicansâ€™ struggles with Hispanic voters are meaningful because theyâ€™ve managed to alienate all of those voters at once, and that has ended up costing them millions of votes. But is there something Hillary Clinton (or some other Democrat) could do that would cause huge numbers of working-class white voters to vote differently than they had before? Probably not. The plain truth is that sheâ€™s likely to get more of their votes than Barack Obama did just because sheâ€™s white (though not so many more that it will make her unbeatable). But there isnâ€™t some magical key to unlocking the votes of that entire demographic category that can be found and deployed.
What Democrats need to do is offer an agenda, particularly on the economy, that appeals to a broad spectrum of Americans. Thatâ€™s both simple and complicated. But if and when they put that agenda together, lots of white working class voters still wonâ€™t respond, because theyâ€™re Republicans. And thatâ€™s okay. Democrats donâ€™t need them all. What they need is about the same proportion of those votes that they got in the last couple of presidential elections. More would be nice, but the same amount would work fine. Because you may remember who won those elections.
I am looking at Millenials from the POV of a member of one of the most pessimistic and ironic generations that has ever roamed the earthâ€”Generation Xâ€”so when I hear Millenials being so damaged by â€œcyber-bullyingâ€ that it becomes a gateway to suicideâ€”itâ€™s difficult for me to process. And even my boyfriend agrees that Generation Wuss is overly sensitive, especially when dealing with criticism. When Generation Wuss creates something they have so many outlets to display it that it often goes out into the world unfettered, unedited, posted everywhere, and because of this freedom a lot of the content displayed is rushed and kind of shitty and thatâ€™s OKâ€”itâ€™s just the nature of the world nowâ€”but when Millennials are criticized for this content they seem to collapse into a shame spiral and the person criticizing them is automatically labeled a hater, a contrarian, a troll. And then you have to look at the generation that raised them, that coddled them in praiseâ€”gold medals for everyone, four stars for just showing upâ€”and tried to shield them from the dark side of life, and in turn created a generation that appears to be super confident and positive about things but when the least bit of darkness enters into their realm they become paralyzed and unable to process it.
And even Ross Douthat begins to recognize in the distance the final stop at end of the rail line of progressive modernism.
Itâ€™s a near-universal law that modernity reduces fertility. …
American fertility plunged with the stock market in 2008, and it hasnâ€™t recovered. Last week, the Pew Research Center reported that U.S. birthrates hit the lowest rate ever recorded in 2011, with just 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. (The rate was 71 per 1,000 in 1990.) For the first time in recent memory, Americans are having fewer babies than the French or British. …
Beneath… policy debates, though, lie cultural forces that no legislator can really hope to change. The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion â€” a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. Itâ€™s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.