There won’t be any surprises in this one for anyone who knows me at all well, but I’ll try to at least make it entertaining.
My very first lasting memory of a news event with political content took place on the afternoon of Sunday 21 January 1968. A B-52 with four hydrogen bombs aboard took off from Thule AFB and crashed somewhere in the Arctic, location unknown.
Ten days later, the Tet Offensive began.
Nine weeks and one day after that, Dr King was assassinated.
Nine weeks less one day after that, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated.
Twelve weeks to the day after that, I first saw real human blood shed live on television via cameras above the intersection of Michigan and Balbo as the Chicago police attacked demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention.
I was eight years old.
Some beliefs die hard, and, incredibly, it took most of a two-year stint in Hyde Park at the end of the ’70s to get it through my head that coercive governance is the problem. If you want the Federal government running anything, you’re an extra-special kind of stupid. If you think state governments are better, I direct you to the Ohio National Guard suppressing a demonstration with live fire from M-16s (Monday 4 May ’70). If you think local governments are better, I direct you to Daley’s goons bashing kids’ heads in (above). As I write these words, the Federal and state governments are, for the most part, botching vaccine distribution.
And we’re damned lucky at that. Most of the good our national government has done in the world has consisted in containing or destroying other governments that were worse. State apparatuses took a quarter of a billion lives during the twentieth century, the vast majority of them in areas under their own control.
Our luck may be running out: what Strauss and Howe called the Boomer generation’s “latent ruthlessness” has crept to the fore over the past three decades. No serious observer can doubt that after last Wednesday’s events, the Left wants to conduct a purge, and like their ideological forebears, they imagine themselves to be purifying the world and saving it from a deadly peril through vigorous State action.
As for those events, the child being father to the man, part of me merely wonders—What took people so long? That place should have been sacked and burnt by 1970. (Just think of the trouble we’d have been saved!)
Another, better-read part of me notes with grim amusement that the Left has belatedly discovered Haidt’s “sanctity/degradation” trigger among its moral modules: the wrong kind of people breaking into the US Capitol. I hasten to add that this is the reaction among the rank and file—the leadership is gleeful at the prospect of enabling a general crackdown.
Plenty of water has flowed beneath the metaphorical bridge in the last half-century, and I both think rather better of the GI/“Greatest” and Silent generations’ management styles now, and have begun to wonder if Strauss and Howe were, if anything, overoptimistic about the Boomers:
“Historically, aging Idealists have been attracted to words like ‘exterminate’ and ‘eradicate,’ words of apocalyptic finality. Add in the fiery passion of the more evangelical last-wavers, sharpen everyone’s moral conviction, reduce everyone’s level of tolerance, subtract the active presence of any adult Adaptives—and that is the leadership awaiting America, circa 2020. It is easy to picture aging Boomers as noble, self-sacrificing patriarchs—but just as easy to see these righteous Old Aquarians as the worst nightmare that could ever happen to the world. Other generations of spiritualist elders have had visions of apocalypse; this one will have the methods.”
Because the Boomers—and the relatively tiny stratum of upper-class Gen-Xers—have often been the opposite of self-sacrificing. SARS-CoV-2 is literally orders of magnitude deadlier to the elderly than it is to the young, and thereby disproportionately affects the highest-status members of society along with some of the most marginalized, a truly “complex payoff” in Talebian parlance. Cristina Cuomo, bathing in Clorox, renting a “pulsed electromagnetic field” machine, and arranging home visits by a doctor in a hazmat suit to administer infusions of, apparently, everything anybody could think of, was the archetype of the wealthy and powerful terrified by the prospect of death. As GK Chesterton nearly said, people who reject (or at any rate, fail to act upon) traditional beliefs don’t believe in nothing—they believe in anything.
Speaking of people who believe in anything, the twelve days of Christmas saw three, count ’em, three bizarre, destructive acts by conspiracy theorists: the Nashville bomber obsessed with lizardoid aliens and 5G, taking out E911 service in five area codes across three states; the Wisconsin anti-vaxxer ruining 570 doses of the Moderna vaccine; and of course the QAnon mob’s antics on Capitol Hill, which would have been pure comedy but for the deaths.
So let’s have a lot less fear and nonsense—and lashing out, especially with government as a cover for resentment—and a lot more of the opposing virtues. Dox yourself, early and often; and deliberately expose yourself to (additional) imperfectly managed risk. If your situation allows it, act directly to mitigate fear, and in any case, be alert to opportunities to swing for the fences.
Terroristic acts, including those carried out under color of law, are “best opposed by the spread of deeply held, life- and freedom-affirming values that supporters are willing to defend unconditionally.” American society provides an abundance of such values. We just need to remember them.
42 thoughts on “Smashing the State”
… have begun to wonder if Strauss and Howe were, if anything, overoptimistic about the Boomers:…
I finally grabbed a copy of the original tome (actually a paperback of the 1991 printing) after reading 4th Turning and a couple of the others that came out on Kindle. I suspect you are correct. The biggest problem is that, as with the Transcendentalists of the 1860s, we coming into a Crisis generational constellation at a time when we really don’t have any peer competition, especially military competition, or other obvious external object to on which to focus. Competition with China could be the focus but it has managed to co-opt enough of the American economic, social, and political elite that it isn’t fulfilling that role, and so the elite have turned inward to find a way to resolve the intra-generational tensions.
When first learned of target and level of organization in Nashville explosion, I thought: what would Jay say about it? Professionally, I mean. It seems too well organized for a random cook. Now you answered my unverbalized query, sort of.
Similarly, how certain are you that it was “QAnon antics” in DC? When multiple sources witnessed antifa thugs masquerading as Trump supporters?
As to the rest…being a person who rejected traditional beliefs about 50 yrs ago, and haven’t found a reason to change my mind – your prescription doesn’t attract.
I save these quotations for opportunities when they seem appropriate.
Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations. And since Theocracy is the worst, the nearer any government approaches to Theocracy the worse it will be. A metaphysic, held by the rulers with the force of a religion, is a bad sign. It forbids them, like the inquisitor, to admit any grain of truth or good in their opponents, It abrogates the ordinary rules of morality, and it gives a seemingly high, super-personal sanction to all the very ordinary human passions by which, like other men, the rulers will frequently be actuated. In a word, it forbids wholesome doubt. A political programme can never in reality be more than probably right.
“We” meaning the Dominion people, just elected a group of Theocrats, even if it is atheism.
I see that Dominion has sued Sydney Powell for $1.4 billion, with a “B.” I anticipate discovery. She is not one to cringe.
Tatyana, good to hear from you, and I’m honored that you would wonder about my reaction to Nashville.
Near as I can tell, what got blown up was (among other things) 185 2nd Ave N, building CLLI = NSVLTNMT. Notwithstanding the physical location, this facility involves service in Alabama (NPA 256) and Kentucky (NPA 270), as well as Tennessee (NPAs 615, 629, and 931). A source in the industry tells me “I am pretty sure it is a 911 selective router,” which would explain the interruptions in E911 service.
The story about the Nashville guy is so obviously BS. Someone crazy like that would have left a manifesto and an internet trail a mile wide.
Jay, I’ve been thinking about the Fourth Turning lately, too. Let’s look at the alternating current of crisis periods that Strauss and Howe describe over the last 500+ years of Anglo-American history:
The Wars of the Roses (1459-1487) – internecine conflict
The Armada Crisis (1569-1594) – foreign conflict
The Glorious Revolution (1675-1704) – internecine conflict
The American Revolution (1773-1794) – foreign conflict (from an American perspective, anyway – we know that it included its fair share of internecine conflict between Patriots and Tories)
The Civil War (1860-1865) – internecine conflict
The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1946) – foreign conflict, especially after 1940
Do I sense a pattern here? Historically we seem to be due for an internecine conflict, and this one has arrived right on time.
While I am not so sure it works that way, I note that of the 4 previous Crisis eras in American history, 3 had, at least, a large domestic component, and as I have had occasion to remark before, we avoided a serious fifth-column problem last time around only because Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union a few months before we entered the war; communist sympathizers in the US, and there were plenty of them, thereby became effectively loyal for the duration of the conflict. I’m afraid Christopher B (first comment) may be on to something.
Brian—see “Killdozer” … not the (excellent) Ted Sturgeon story, nor the (rather less excellent) movie based on it, but the incident in Granby, CO on Friday 4 June 2004. I think this is in the same category of attack.
“State apparatuses took a quarter of a billion lives during the twentieth century, the vast majority of them in areas under their own control.”
See e.g. the work of R. J. Rummel.
Few know this!
Incidentally, the Science News article I linked to is behind a paywall, but a non-paywalled version is here.
Few indeed, Lex.
Even fewer have pondered the numbers for abortion. In the U.S. alone, some 70 million done with protection of the state. What of the one child policy in China?
Lucretius: “Do I sense a pattern here?”
I have not read Strauss & Howe’s work, so I am not aware of how they chose that set of conflicts, which seems highly selective and (in places) mis-represented. For example, the Glorious Revolution would be better described as a successful Dutch invasion of England rather than as an internecine conflict; it got a positive write-up at the time from the winning side in religious disputes. The Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s, which some would argue were the first true World War, are completely ignored — as is the Crimean War. Also inexplicably ignored is World War I, which was from the US perspective truly a war of choice, and one which set Americans of German ancestry and English ancestry at odds with each other.
There is no question that there are important generational influences on history — but they are only one factor among many. There is probably a case that Americans have always been at war with each other. That was certainly true in tribal days before Columbus. It was true in the incessant fighting between European colonists and the Indians. American colonists were divided in the Revolution, and let’s not forget the Whiskey Rebellion after the English were sent packing. One could even argue that Vietnam was a US civil war which happened to be fought in someone else’s back yard.
Seen in that light, the current situation is simply the continuation of an endless struggle.
I direct you to the Ohio National Guard suppressing a demonstration with live fire from M-16s (Monday 4 May ’70).
Much later, it came out that leftists had fired pistols to inspire the NG troops to shoot. In other words, this was an op.
I direct you to Daley’s goons bashing kids’ heads in (above).
So the police used force against an early version of antifa. I find my sympathy lacking, especially knowing that the ideological compatriots of those demonstrators were busy fantasizing about the murder of millions of Americans. One of those people- Bill Ayers- was much later important in furthering the political career of Barack Obama.
…and of course the QAnon mob’s antics on Capitol Hill, which would have been pure comedy but for the deaths.
QAnon mob?? Surely this cannot be the recent pro-Trump rally where Trump’s supporters expressed their disagreement with the assertions of the political establishment? Whether or not the intrusion into the capitol was antifa-led or not, surely no one can disagree that the rally was mostly peaceful, lacking even a single fire.
Certainly it was more peaceful than the months of rioting from antifa, but also certainly the left doesn’t see it that way. As the saying goes, leftist violence is speech, and conservative speech is violence, in the eyes of the left. This is the who/whom idea- that is, who gets to do what to whom. The left believes they should be the ones shooting at demonstrators and bashing in heads, period. When they can’t, they’re driven to frothing, hateful hysteria, imagining that they’ve been wronged, much like how the plantation owners of the Antebellum South were enraged by abolitionists.
No serious observer can doubt that after last Wednesday’s events, the Left wants to conduct a purge, and like their ideological forebears, they imagine themselves to be purifying the world and saving it from a deadly peril through vigorous State action.
Wait, what?! That’s my line!!
It’s nice to see Strauss and Howe mentioned, because lately I’ve deliberately restrained myself from yammering on about The Fourth Turning. That said, I didn’t like Generations and thus I didn’t read The Fourth Turning when that book came out. Hence I was gobsmacked when I finally did, and I had trouble believing the book was actually published when it actually was. Gavin L., I humbly suggest you read it. I had your reaction, until I read the book.
The question is, are we the winners or losers, viewed from the future? Is the problem that antifa was able to violently riot for weeks on end, or that Trump supporters were able to protest in Washington? That google bans conservatives, or that it hasn’t banned enough?
I think my viewpoint is clear.
Is Trump even in charge right now? I think We The People need to be demanding evidence.
And he and the GOP need to be fighting back much harder. They’ve totally surrendered the field. The image in my mind the past week has been the scene in Braveheart where the Scottish lords turn away and betray William Wallace. They should remember what happens next.
Trump needs to record a speech saying he is president, not Jack Dorsey, not Mark Zuckerberg, not Jeff Bezos, that no one ever voted for any of them, and give it to every GOP official at every level to post on all their own social media feeds. Make our new masters make their authoritarianism complete and transparent, if that’s the game they want to play. And of course any GOPer who refuses to share it is gone, naturally.
And of course, if this site gets shut down in the present purge, it’s been great talking to you all, and best of luck.
A few notes in defense of Strauss and Howe …
By 1991 they were well aware of the claim that they were overly selective and idiosyncratic in their analysis of events. While ‘everybody does it’ may not have cut it with your parental units, I think they do have a point that no history beyond a mere recitation of dates attempts to deal with every event in a time period equally or as part of a coherent philosophy.
While later generations may come different views of a particular event, like the Glorious Revolution, Strauss and Howe stress analysis of how the event was viewed by the people at the time. You could, for example, probably make a plausible case the American Revolution was continuance of decades of conflict between Britain and France in the New World, by selecting the events to emphasize, but that’s clearly not how the Founding Fathers saw it. Strauss and Howe are also dealing with events pretty much exclusively from the point of view of people living in America after they deal with the background of the original colonists. Their generations have a place as well as a time. How the English perceived the Glorious Revolution and the impact of the Napoleonic or Crimean Wars are only relevant to their history from that view point.
While WWI was an event with broad worldwide impact, I think they would make the same argument. WWI was not a direction changing event in the US the way WWII was later or the Civil War was earlier. It certainly impacted the generations living at the time but everybody pretty much took away vindication for the beliefs they had held in 1913. Similarly, was Vietnam divisive in a way that the still on-going Korean Conflict wasn’t because of the war, or because it became a flashpoint in a conflict that already existed? They are pretty clear that they consider intergenerational tension to be something that is not only shaped by events but also shapes responses to events as well.
They emphasize that age-based analysis often ignores the fact that people who are 40 years old in 2000 are not the same people who were 40 years old in 1980 but are the same people who were 20 in 1980. One snippet that caught my eye, because it deals with Gen-X that I belong to, was the increasing rates of substance abuse among late teens in the 1980s as Gen-X advanced into young adulthood. Fast forward to the early 2000s opioid crisis, and guess who shows up again? There are reasons why opioids specifically became an issue but if they had not existed, I think it’s probably there still would have been an addiction crisis among those transitioning into mid-life based on the earlier experience of Gen-X.
Xennady—Ordinarily I’d get a little snippy and want sourcing, but as things are, I don’t have to, because I was in a street demonstration in the 5700 block of University in late May of ’79 and personally witnessed someone setting off a firework to try to get the cops to shoot. Fortunately for me, it didn’t work, and in any case their service weapons were a long way from being M-16s.
Ironically, in the mid-’90s in Texas, I met a fellow Libertarian volunteer who had joined the Ohio National Guard to avoid Vietnam and was duly assigned to various big-city riots, and ended up at Kent State. There was plenty of managerial ineptitude to go around in those days, and I daresay there’s an analogy now with Big Tech’s freakout over ostensibly right-wing social media.
Back in early February of ’04, just after the Super Bowl XXXVIII “wardrobe malfunction,” I was in a meeting of some local (KS side of KC metro) very conservative activist types, and they—while feigning outrage—clearly expected an imminent backlash that would give them much of what they wanted. I doubt the present-day witch hunters will enjoy a surge of support for long. Too much (more) water is going to flow under that bridge before the autumn of ’22, much less ’24.
To Jay’s point, on a more positive note, the Democrats have been handed the House, Senate, and White House three times in my adult life – Carter in 1976, Clinton in 1992, and Obama in 2008. Each time within two or four years control had been pulled back – Reagan in 1980, Gingrich taking over the House in 1994 (and Senate to boot), and the GOP surge in 2010. While that has to be balanced against FDR and the Dems taking over in 1932 for seventeen years, I don’t think we’re quite in the Great Depression/WWII situation yet.
While WWI was an event with broad worldwide impact, I think they would make the same argument. WWI was not a direction changing event in the US the way WWII was later or the Civil War was earlier. It certainly impacted the generations living at the time but everybody pretty much took away vindication for the beliefs they had held in 1913.
I disagree. I think we are living in the world that WWI created. First, the Germans were severely provoked by the Boer War and Britain’s high handed blockade of the Boers. The whole Boer War was an atrocity beginning with the Jamison Raid.
Tens of thousands of uitlanders had settled in the Transvaal following the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886. The influx threatened the political independence of the recently formed republic (negotiated at the 1884 London Convention, three years after the 1st Anglo-Boer War). Transvaal relied on revenue generated by the gold mines, but the government refused to grant the uitlanders the franchise and kept upping the period required to qualify for citizenship.
Sounds like our illegal immigrant problem.
The efforts of Germans to send aid to the Boers were frustrated by the British blockade. As a result, the Kaiser decided to build a High Seas Fleet. Britain’s normal ally was Germany, not France. The Prince of Wales was a Francophile and a libertine. He preferred the French.
Woodrow Wilson was a southern sympathizer who resegregated the US Civil Service. His administration was elected on “He Kept Us Out of War,” a year before he led the Congress to declare war. FDR could not have done it better. Wilson’s administration was Fascist and authoritarian.
Britain should have stayed out of WWI, which destroyed it. We should have done so, as well. The war debts led directly to The Great Depression. World War II was a continuation of WWI and history will record it as such, assuming any history will be written after the barbarians finish.
Christopher B: “Strauss and Howe stress analysis of how the event was viewed by the people at the time.”
An interesting question for a historian is how to know what people thought at the time — say, at the time the Dutch successfully invaded England?
Obviously, the historian can read books — which will mostly be books written by the winners: It was a Glorious Revolution, I tell you! Historians can read contemporaneous newspapers, which will mostly have been written by individuals with axes to grind. We see today how unrepresentative that can be. A future historian perusing fading copies of the 2020 New York Times would conclude that slavery was the top issue in the public’s mind, and that there were more people dying from Covid-19 than there were supporting President Trump.
The big advantage the historian has is knowing the long-term consequences of events. The Boston Tea Party had huge consequences — the Whiskey Rebellion did not. But that was probably not clear to people at the time. Bill Clinton demeaned the office of President by taking sexual advantage of a naive young female employee in the workplace during office hours (an illegal act!) and then lied about it to the American people (a high crime & misdemeanor) — and the consequences were … Zero. What will be the consequences of Chinese-controlled Democrats implementing massive electoral fraud in the 2020 election? Only time can tell.
Xennady: “Gavin L., I humbly suggest you read it [Fourth Turning]. I had your reaction, until I read the book.”
Thanks for the suggestion– I will follow up on it. I confess generally to being wary of books which seem rather too trendy, but it is worth paying attention to strong recommendations from people whose comments I respect.
Always glad to see your posts.
Yes, I understand it was a very important cluster. What I would like to hear, instead of dismissing the perpetrator as a crazie, is the analysis of the event. I’ll tell you of my suspicion (not my theory, but it seems believable to me):
that is was a test.
A test if it’s possible to quickly and totally leave vast masses of people in the enemy territory without means of communication. In case they couldn’t achieve it thru official channels.
But then now it looks like they are successful in their overtake of the official, legal institutions.
Yes, that would be the right thing to do for Trump – except after the wide-spread betrayal of GOP he probably understand that a gesture like that might backfire. They might (and most likely will) refuse him point blank. And he’ll end up looking even worse, more powerless than now.
It is nice to know’ya, too. [is, not was…yet]
We have to get things that have been hidden out in the open. Best to have the GOP quislings forced to show what they are, openly, and best for all the normies to get to see who is really running the country now.
And look at this day in history, lol:
“In 49 BC, perhaps on January 10, Julius Caesar led a single legion, Legio XIII Gemina, south over the Rubicon from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy to make his way to Rome. In doing so, he deliberately broke the law limiting his imperium, making armed conflict inevitable.”
Where are legions that will stand up to Zuckerberg, Bezos, Cook, et al?
“Bill Clinton demeaned the office of President by taking sexual advantage of a naive young female employee in the workplace during office hours”
Power is a serious aphrodisiac. So many leaders of nations, organizations and businesses have indulged their passions in the offices they hold, that I’m a bit amazed at the puritan attacks on Clinton. Kennedy was legendary.
Humans tend to see pasterns in everything. Its part of the way the brain and visual cortex operate. Its useful to keep this in mind, when taken by one that looks like it means something.
Hating one another is not going to solve anything, it will just create more problems.
Mark Steyn’s obituary for Kathy Shaidle, whose blog I read most days, has a good comment on Canadians.
The trouble with falling in with hipsters is that they’re all, whether passionately or more carelessly, of the left. And so Kathy was a leftie:
Like most Canadians, I was steeped in reflexive anti-Americanism. Only after 9/11 did I go out of my way to learn that many of the horrible things I’d been told all my life about the United States of America (from liberal US sources, not just the CBC) simply weren’t true.
So much for the troll.
Ordinarily I’d get a little snippy and want sourcing…
I’m fine with that. I’d have an excuse to express my opinions about capital-L libertarians. My sources, for good or ill, are things I’ve seen on the internet, backed up by my meatspace experience.
I doubt the present-day witch hunters will enjoy a surge of support for long.
I doubt they have much support even now, any more than communists had in any country they took over. What they do have is endless money deployed on their behalf by wealthy leftists and a willingness to use violence against their enemies.
What we have- right now, anyway- is a political party that despises the people who vote for it, led by wealthy grifters who spent four years striving to undermine an elected president who ran on principles that they supposedly endorsed, topped off with what had to be a widespread bipartisan conspiracy to subvert the recent election.
That ain’t good.
Thanks for the suggestion…
Thank you for the kind words, which I reciprocate.
Extremely minor nit: the Ohio National Guard was still armed with M-1s in 1970, not M-16s.
I would not refer to Martin Luther King as “Dr.” He blatantly plagiarized his doctoral dissertation, as confirmed by Boston University after an investigation. The investigation concluded after his assassination, and so revoking his Ph.D. was moot, and also … uh … inexpedient.
}}} What of the one child policy in China?
One of the most stupid, dangerous fucking things in all human history.
Given idiotic Chinese traditionalist (and senseless) preferences for males, it means that China has been skewed towards excess males (smarter parents kept their daughters, knowing they’d easily be able to marry above their natural station).
An excess of males tends to lead to jingoism, as among the benefits of wars are:
1 – use up excess males
2 – plunder for the survivors
3 – competition for females
About the only saving grace, here, is that China could nominally compete in business rather than war. Suspecting it’ll be a combo of the two, however, hence the modern saber-rattling.
OBH: “About the only saving grace, here, is that China could nominally compete in business rather than war.”
Look around you, sir. The Chinese-made iPhones and Chinese-made medications and Chinese-made everything, versus the 60,000+ former US factories now in China and jobless US former workers lost in despair & drugs. All while China runs Pelosi and Beijing Biden.
China has been at economic war with the US for over two decades — but our Political Class has been too busy holding their hands out for Chinese kickbacks to notice. China is well on the way to winning their economic war on the US. Look at the US trade deficit with China and ask yourself — What happens to Biden’s America if (when?) the Chinese embargo the US?
China has been at economic war with the US for over two decades — but our Political Class has been too busy holding their hands out for Chinese kickbacks to notice.
I would date the origin of the “Economic War” to Bush I’s dispatch of Brent Scowcroft to China to reassure the CCP that we did not object to the massacre of 10,000 democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. Then they knew there was no will to oppose any action they took, such as the trade war.
Be aware that Ann Althouse has become quite worried about Google, which hosts her blog via “Blogger,” surveilling her comments looking for “rules violations.”
That one child policy did a couple of other things to China.
It caused a crash in births that is giving them a rapidly aging population. Their median age went from about 20 in 1970 to 37 in 2015. The US median started out higher at 28 in 1970 but was roughly the same by 2015. The percentage of Chinese over 65 is expected to double by about 2050 to 25% of their population while the US population over 65 will be about 22% at the same point.
There’s probably no way for them to recover from the demographic collapse at this point. It doesn’t matter how many man you have around, one woman can only make one baby every 9 months.
Christopher B — Can I share a personal encounter with China’s One Child Policy? Anecdote, not data.
I spent a month in China on a business project, embedded with a great group of Chinese people. Population density is high, as expected. Most people in the cities live in 30 story high apartment blocks set around clean tidy safe pedestrian precincts, parks, and shopping malls — much of the housing is fairly new. Sitting outside Starbucks in the pedestrian precinct in the evening, I expected to see lots of groups of roving surplus young men because of the One Child policy — but there was almost nothing of that. Instead, there was a seemingly endless parade of gaggles of giggling young women, along with lots of family groups (man & woman with young children). Lots of jobs that I would have expected to be held by some of those surplus young men were actually filled by women — underground train drivers, mass transit station security, even street sweepers.
One time, in a High Speed Rail station, I saw a group of 5 fit young men, dressed in jeans & T-shirts like everyone else but carrying obviously military back packs. That was about the only group of young men moving together that I saw. Where are all the surplus young males? Maybe they are all playing video games or off in army training camps or stuck in remote construction sites (amazing amount of construction in progress!), but there was nothing like the aimless gangs of young males roaming the streets of Seattle or Los Angeles.
It was difficult to get clear answers, but it seems the One Child Policy had lots of loopholes and was enforced differently in different places at different times. One of the Chinese ladies I worked with had 2 sisters, all three of them in their 40s. Sometimes it seemed the policy was taken to mean “only one male child”, while second marriages were allowed another child.
No obvious signs of a large surplus of male Chinese. It is another one of those cases of — Who am I going to believe? Government Statistics or my lying eyes?
“Be aware that Ann Althouse has become quite worried about Google, which hosts her blog via “Blogger,” surveilling her comments looking for “rules violations.”
I am a bit surprised that no one has a useful ISP that is not some huge corporation. Tier 1 networks are varied and you can get Tier 2 networks from them and set up your own stuff. That the right wing is held hostage by the few easy hosting arrangements is funny, but disturbing.
Well, if we’re speaking in anecdotes, I knew a Chinese grad student ~20 years ago who had come to the US with his wife and child, and they had a second child in the US. He was terrified he wouldn’t be able to find a job in the US and would have to go back to China, where he would be severely punished for having a second child.
Made me look it up:
As of 2019 about 50.1% male to 49.9% female so it’s not likely you could tell by looking at random street scenes. The difference is about 30 million below parity. The deficit is larger than that because normally there will be a small surplus of females.
Fertility has dropped out of sight to 1.7:
This is to be expected because the women now have something to do besides have babies. Children have gone from being a valuable source of labor on the farm to an expensive luxury. This is completely predictable. The wild card is the gender ratio will have an amplifying effect on what was going to happen anyway. India has a similar problem brewing.
Wars have probably passed the point where they are an effective or economical means of population control. It costs quite a lot of money to put a single soldier in a position to get killed while 10-20 times as many will be occupied behind the lines in no particular danger but cashing pay checks all the same. It costs even more if you have to provide him with a $100 million airplane.
MCS: “Made me look it up:
Government statistics. We can trust them with our lives.
A surprising related snippet. I doubt if many Chicago Boyz watch the TV game show “Family Feud”; I don’t, but I know someone who does. The game is based on guessing how an identified group of 100 people answered the question. In this case, the reference group was 100 married women, and the question was “How much do you trust the government, on a scale of 1 to 10” (1 being low). Close to half the married women answered “1”. It seems that skepticism about government is widespread. That means there is still hope!
Married women. Women who trust the govt less are more likely to marry, and vice versa.
Wars have probably passed the point where they are an effective or economical means of population control.
David Goldman has said the same thing about fertility in Iran. Also, he estimates that 30% of military age men must be killed to end a war. That, of course, applies to the aggressor. The US in WWII had very low casualties.
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