First, a heads up that I wrote a short piece for The American Conservative last week on how US “national conservatives” have foreign policy ideals closer to what China talks up than they like to admit, and how a more clear self-understanding of “what they are for (national sovereignty and independence) and against (imperial power)” would help clarify and guide the NatCons’ genuine and justifiable wariness toward Beijing. You can read the whole thing here. The commenters on the piece completely misinterpreted the point, so please file any points of confusion in the comment thread below instead.
Separately, I see it only took Ray Dalio a matter of hours after my guarded praise of his new book to end up “beclowning himself” on television (as Bari Weiss put it) by fawning all over the Chinese regime. But what is the man to do? He did predict China is the future, and there’s still lots of money to be made...
Moving on, here are some items I read with interest over the last couple of weeks:
1. Ian Bremmer, “The Technopolar Moment: How Digital Powers Will Reshape the Global Order” (Foreign Affairs)
In a lengthy essay, Washington D.C. blob-yet-never-quite-ever-fully-accepted-by-the-blob personality Ian Bremmer argues that:
Most of the analysis of U.S.-Chinese technological competition, however, is stuck in a statist paradigm. It depicts technology companies as foot soldiers in a conflict between hostile countries. But technology companies are not mere tools in the hands of governments. None of their actions in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol insurrection, for instance, came at the behest of the government or law enforcement. These were private decisions made by for-profit companies exercising power over code, servers, and regulations under their control. These companies are increasingly shaping the global environment in which governments operate. They have huge influence over the technologies and services that will drive the next industrial revolution, determine how countries project economic and military power, shape the future of work, and redefine social contracts. It is time to start thinking of the biggest technology companies as similar to states. These companies exercise a form of sovereignty over a rapidly expanding realm that extends beyond the reach of regulators: digital space.
No, I don’t think that is right.