Progressives can’t wish away human nature.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: H. G. Wells’s famous prediction that the First World War would be the “war to end all wars” was met with skepticism by the British prime minister. “This war, like the next war,” David Lloyd George quipped in the summer of 1916, “is a war to end war.” History, he sighed, is not shaped by wishful thinking.
“The lessons of history endure, because human nature never changed.”
— J. Rufus Fears
Two decades later, Lloyd George would be proven right. And yet, in the intervening period, it was Wells’s sentiment that prevailed. The horrors of the trenches having made rationalization imperative, a popular and holistic narrative was developed. The Great War, Woodrow Wilson quixotically argued, had finally managed to “make the world safe for democracy” and, in doing so, had served an invaluable purpose. Henceforth, human beings would remember the valuable lesson that had been written in so much blood, coming together in mutual understanding to, as Wells rather dramatically put it,“exorcise a world-madness and end an age.” And that, it was thought, would be that. Read the rest of this entry »
China is preparing to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in purchasing power parity terms (using China’s grossly exaggerated economic figures). Already its economy is supposedly 80% the size of the US, and if current growth rate differentials persist, it could possibly take China only about four more years to surpass the US .
At market exchange rates, China’s GDP is much smaller, and is expected to remain less than the US until 2028. This is hardly surprising. After all, China has four times as many people as the US; if every Chinese worker were to earn the US minimum wage, its GDP would be larger than the US. That is not a very high bar. With that economic size comes military power and global cultural clout.
China’s awe-inspiring rise is often framed as the return to a historical norm. A common belief is that…
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