China envy runs strong among America’s progressive elite. The Communist Party of China’s hold on power and centralized decision-making has long appealed to progressives infuriated with their inability to mandate solutions to global warming (and other progressive priorities).
Tom Friedman, an established bellwether of elite opinion, has been voicing this exasperation for more than a decade. Last weekend he reduced the genocide in Xinjiang to “bad stuff with the Uighurs,” of less concern than Chinese excellence in high-speed rail.Far too few Americans grasp the implications of such a view taking root among their own elite. Though more and more Americans are awakening to the challenges inherent in China’s growing economic, technological, and military capabilities, few understand the threat that China’s governing philosophy and structures pose to the US.As David Goldman has explained, though the CPC is nominally Communist, China is what it has been for millennia: an empire run by oligarchic mandarins. The appeal to an American elite that sees itself as a worthy meritocracy enamored of governance by bureaucratic experts is obvious.
Americans need to understand that beyond mere appeal and envy, there is a growing convergence of interests between China’s entrenched communist oligarchs and America’s emerging progressive oligarchs.Today’s China, like all imperial powers, seeks to exploit the resources of anyone and anything outside its central oligarchy to enhance the prosperity, prestige, and power of that center. As a result, the CPC doesn’t much care how foreigners organize their internal affairs as long as they remain subject to two imperial edicts: Don’t interfere with China’s exploitation of your resources, and don’t challenge the CPC’s virtue and wisdom.Those rules frame Chinese influence in the US. As Lee Smith recently outlined, China has employed another standard imperial trick to further that influence. It has invested heavily to create a formidable oligarchy of American enforcers.
Though penetration is far deeper among Democrats than Republicans, this oligarchy is bipartisan. It also extends to leading American names in industry, banking, entertainment and sports to create a tight alliance binding America’s progressives to China.Those enforcers understand what they’re paid to do. Unlike in earlier eras, when food and gold were the focus of imperial exploitation, the most valuable resource today is information.
China seeks to exploit American technical education, research, finance, and intellectual property. China’s payment for those public resources flows almost entirely to elite progressives and their institutions. For Americans outside the elite, China offers low-cost consumer goods and technology products.Because the exploitation of information resources and the provision of inexpensive goods both reduce US employment opportunities, America’s elite must stifle resentment that unemployed Americans express toward China….[ ]