On Sparks Before the Prairie Fire

Photo by Katelynn & Jordan Hewlett (15 August 2020). Source. It inevitably will be asked why advanced industrial America has so violent a history, but this is not, I think, either as difficult or as interesting as another question: How could America have combined such a substantial degree of popular domestic violence with such a high […]

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Yes, We Are in an Ideological Competition With China

The Lowy Institute has a published an interactive debate titled “China and the Rules-Based Order.” I participated in the debate and wrote two small essays as a part of it. All participants were asked to describe the nature of Sino-American competition, Chinese intentions for the future of the “world order” and any possibilities for a […]

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When “Engagement” Backfired: The Story Behind Pro-Communist Private Enterprise

Image source Min Ye’s  The Belt Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China 1998–2018 is an interesting, if dense, examination of Chinese development politics. I dislike the jargon Ye has invented to convey her ideas, but am delighted with the evidence she marshals in support of her arguments. Ye wants to focus our understanding of […]

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This is Not The American Cultural Revolution

A book to read before making a poor analogy. Earlier this week I was interviewed by Erik Torenberg, for his podcast “Venture Stories.” The podcast was wide ranging; among other things, we discussed my posts “The World Twitter Made,” “On Cultures That Build,” “China Does Not Want Your Rules Based Order,” my on-going critique of […]

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The World That Twitter Made

  Allow me to explain something important about Twitter.    This something is obvious to anyone with more than 10,000 followers on the platform but not so readily apparent to those with only 500 or so. My girlfriend is in the latter category, and she struggles to understand my animus for for it. The difference […]

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Against Patrick Deneen (II)

Image Source In Michael Lotus and James Bennett’s America 3.0 an interesting observation is made about the nature of the American family: A less appreciated factor pushing assimilation [of immigrants] was the American legal system, which compelled people to adopt American marriage and inheritance practices. However attached immigrants may have been to their own practices, […]

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The World That China Wants (II): The Communist Case In Brief

Add caption One month ago I announced a series that would investigate “the world that China wants,” using Dan Tobin’s recent congressional testimony and Nadege Rolland’s recent research brief as the foundation of this discussion. My original plan was to dissect each of these documents at length. However, I put that aspect of the project […]

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So Begins a New Age of Instagram Diplomacy

As it is New Year’s Day I originally planned on writing a reflection up on the books I read in 2019 or something of that sort. Then I saw this: True beauty always touches the deep heart. Beautiful Nepal with history, diversity and nature deserves a visit. Wish #VisitNepal2020 successful! @yogesbhattarai२०२० नेपाल भ्रमाण वर्ष सफलताको […]

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Do Not Trust Journalists (A Mormon Example)

Do not trust journalists. This is a hard thing for me to write: I am a journalist. I regularly write dispatches from abroad for various media outlets, and the occasional opinion commentary to boot. Yet I have trouble trusting journalists. Especially those who are not transparent about how they developed their understanding of the issues […]

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