A Hinge Moment of History

A Hinge Moment of History. By Mark Steyn.

The only major economic power to grow last year was China whose GDP is up by, I think, about 2.5 percent compared to declines everywhere else, including some actually catastrophic ones, such as 11% in the UK.

This decision to tank the entire global economy is something that strengthened China, the creator of the virus, and the exporter of the virus, and weakened any opposition to China — and that is how they began.

Domestic terrorism in the US is obviously propaganda:

This first year of the new weirdness ended with the United States government pretending that its principal threat is a domestic terrorism movement that does not exist.

This is the characterization of the so-called insurrection on January 6th. We were told two weeks later that there were going to be mass insurrections, not only in Washington but in every state capital. Montpelier, Vermont, for example, the smallest state capital in the Union, went into lockdown. There was no such insurrection at any of these state capitals. …

Who makes and enforces all these PC lies?

We are living in a blizzard of lies.

Perhaps that is the most disturbing feature of the last year: because most of us see far fewer people and go to far fewer places than we did a year ago, we are more dependent on acquainting ourselves with reality through the computer, which means that we are more dependent on a handful of woke billionaires to tell us what reality is.

They are far more open than ever that they get to determine what are the agreed facts. Google made an explicit announcement about this recently. They said that sometimes they would put warnings on things that are factually accurate because, even though they are true, they do not think it is in society’s interest for people to be seeing it. …

Everything now, is regulated by the state from above. We are now seeing, for example, influential voices. “The Guardian” newspaper in the UK for example, said the other day that whatever happens to the pandemic, and the COVID, and all the rest of us, they would like us to go into lockdown once every two years. It would supposedly be good for climate change. …

The tyranny is tightening fast:

What has changed this last year is that if you go back to what used to make you unpopular, they were things in which people had a serious emotional investment. For example, if you are transgender, and you see something on the Internet in which somebody says, “You’re just a bloke who’s wearing a dress.” I can understand how that would be something that would make you upset. I can understand people are touchy about that.

Even on the climate change, for example. If you genuinely think that the planet is going to fry in 12 years’ time or whatever; that sea levels are going to sweep over and wash away the Maldives, I can understand why you would get upset about that.

As recently as a year ago, the clampdowns on free speech, where Twitter or Facebook would delete your account or put a warning on you were about these kind of emotional issues. Something changed along the way, and now you will be banned or deleted or blocked or silenced simply for disagreeing with the official version of events.

Even on an emotionally uncontentious topic such as how best to handle a pandemic, you are not allowed to criticize the official version. I do not think there are experts. It is just groupthink enforced by a cabal of woke billionaires, who have more power than anyone else on the planet.

Are the Communist Chinese supplanting the American democrats?

The other thing that emerged during this year very quickly is that we are at a hinge moment of history. We were told a generation or two back that, by doing trade with China, China would become more like us. Instead, on issues such as free speech, we are becoming more like China.

American companies are afraid of offending China. American officials are afraid of offending China. We are adopting Chinese norms on issues such as free speech and basic disagreements with the government of China. …

For a brief moment in the spring, we were talking about something that mattered, which was the rise of China to global dominance. China was always seeing the long view, and it sees the last half-millennium as a Euro-American aberration. They see what’s happening now as the natural correction in which China resumes its role as the dominant power on the planet.

We tend to think in short terms. If you are an Anglophone, what happened at the end of the Second World War is that the British Empire ceded global leadership to its prodigal son, the American Republic. If you are a Frenchman, you think the last two centuries since the Battle of Trafalgar have been one continuous Anglo-American disaster.

If you are China, you take the long view. They are deadly serious about this half-millennium correction.

Relocating the world’s manufacturing to China was a strategic error:

What we learned in the spring is that everything we need comes from China. China, not only gives us the virus, we are also dependent on China to give us the personal protective equipment — all the masks and everything — that supposedly protect us from the virus.

China makes our aspirins. Good luck fighting a war against China over Taiwan because by the third day, China will have disrupted the supply chain of aspirins and suppositories. Our tech fighter pilots are all going to be flying into battle with splitting headaches and itchy posteriors.

China makes batteries. Everything that is with you right now is dependent on a battery, your telephone, your laptop, and all the rest of it. At first, the rationale was we are giving China our manufacturing. It is no longer practical for American workers to make widgets. … Suddenly for some reason, we are all talking about Huawei and 5G. It turns out that China snaffled the knowledge economy away from us as well. There is not much left for us except low-paid service jobs …

The consequences of public stupidity in the West are being felt now:

We are now living in the future. We’re living in the early stages of a future that is the direct consequence of poor public policy over the last couple of generations. We are not even aware of that. I would love it if we would talk about something important.

If you switch on the news, if you watch TV, if you listen to the radio, if you go in the Internet, you would think that the most critical issues facing the world today are a pampered, third-rate actress whining to Oprah that she was never taught how to curtsy properly.

We do not talk about anything important even as China is snaffling the world out from under us. …

Right now, we are witnessing a non-stop continuous transfer of power to a country that is serious about using that power. This is China’s moment. Take it as someone who grew up, in large part, in a great power in decline. There’s no real explicit handover day. People, in hindsight, expect to pinpoint the day that the baton was passed.

No one in Britain was aware of it at that time. The term the British Empire was used seriously basically until Suez, the Anglo-French-Israeli operation [in 1956] against Nasser’s Egypt that Washington decided to scuttle. At that point, after that, it was hard to use the phrase the British Empire with a straight face, because it was obvious it was no longer any such thing.

You only see, in hindsight, the moment it occurred. My great worry is that actually, the transfer to China has already happened. The baton has already been passed. We just haven’t formally acknowledged that yet. …

Election fraud, USA 2020:

I do not think that Joe Biden “won the election.” I don’t think it is a question of “widespread fraud.” I think the way the system works with the Electoral College, you only need actually to spread fraud in six key cities in six key states.

I’m actually disgusted by the attitude of the courts, all the way from the rinky dink little judge in your local county courthouse, all the way up to Chief Justice John Roberts, when they say that, “Oh, well, all this is moot. There isn’t sufficient fraud to have changed the result.” …

Denmark, in its history, has never actually had a plausible accusation of any kind of electoral fraud. As we know, in the United States, in cities like Philadelphia, this is a tradition that has long roots and goes back 150 years.

You know this, that if you wake up in the morning if you’re in some hotel and you switch on the radio, and there’s a new story about how they’re delaying announcing the result because some ballot boxes arrived in the middle of the night, you know that’s either a story about an election in Sudan or the United States.

In Canada, in Slovenia, in the Netherlands, in Australia, ballot boxes do not get driven around. It’s one of the most basic things. Jimmy Carter and his UN advisors wouldn’t be able to certify an election in which ballot boxes are being moved around. The whole principle of functioning election integrity is that votes are counted where they’re cast.

There are all sorts of disturbing elements that have been allowed to go on far too long here. The upshot is that half the country does not think that Joe Biden “won that election.” …

If you have no basic election integrity, essentially, all the other issues are irrelevant. …

The Internet was great until the current monopolists ruined it:

Big Tech has essentially wrecked the internet.

If you go back to recently for example, that business on New Year’s Eve in Cologne a couple of years ago, thousands of women, got sexually assaulted by gangs of young Muslim men on Silvesternacht in Germany. Not just in Cologne, but in other German cities and I believe in Swiss cities as well.

There was nothing about it in the German newspapers and on German state TV, radio, and whatnot. It only emerged over the next few days via Facebook. Without Facebook, that story would never have come out.

What has changed now is that Facebook would clamp down on that story. … it was well-understood that in Germany as in Egypt, Facebook somehow weakened state power and provided a workaround to state power. Now Facebook is working with state power. The first place these Big Tech guys learned to do this was with China.

A hundred and whatever it was now…. Standard Oil was broken up because of its control over the oil business. Facebook and Google and Apple have far more control over their business than Standard Oil did 110 years ago. …

Deal with China on covid, or there will be more bioweapons:

There is no point in doing all the masking and social distancing and the small shrunken lives with no concerts, no theater, no normal events, in which the citizenry congregate to celebrate, if we’re not going to take action against China for what it did in Wuhan by closing Wuhan to the rest of China, but keeping international departures flying out to Rome and Madrid and Paris and Seattle and Vancouver and all the rest of it. None of it is worth doing unless you’re going to take action against the country that, by conscious choice, exported it to almost 200 nations and territories. If you are not taking action against China, all this stuff we are doing at home to punish ourselves is an absolute, complete waste of time.

When Australia criticized China, China played smash-mouth, and beat Australia down and pummeled them into the ground. From my mind, there was not enough support for Australia, either from its Commonwealth colleagues or from Europe or America over Australia standing up to China. ….

Yes Dr Seuss is rubbish, but free speech matters:

My whole view is that unless you are prepared to surrender everything, surrender nothing. I find myself defending things I do not even like. Dr. Seuss is rubbish. His rhymes are doggerel. He is a complete waste of time.

If they are now trying to argue that for example, the bow tie of the Cat in The Hat is a dog whistle to fans of 19th century minstrelsy, as they did a year or two back, then I find myself having to defend Dr. Seuss. Again, this is all rubbish that we should not even be talking about. We have self-moronized to the point beyond our ability to survive.

Well, some have. Snip snip.