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The Left’s Culture War Rebranding

Technically, you could call it a victory. But what was expected to be a historic blue wave in 2020 turned out to be barely a ripple. Despite many polls predicting a blowout, Democrats only narrowly defeated a president widely believed to have mismanaged a pandemic that has killed over a quarter-million Americans and cratered the…

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Liberal Fundamentalism: A Sociology of Wokeness

Six years on from the events at Ferguson, Missouri, and the explosion of cultural radicalism that Matthew Yglesias calls the “Great Awokening,” it’s now possible to see the woke movement for what it is: a decentered liberal ideology whose moral innovators impel it toward fundamentalism. The Awokening’s roots are more liberal than socialist. At this…

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The New Superfluous Men

It may seem quaint to recall the hand-wringing that accompanied the cancellation of the South by Southwest music and film festival back in March 2020. Yet one of the documentaries slated to premier there has nevertheless resonated in a post-Covid world. Focusing on five young men who channel their alienation into offensive internet humor, Alex…

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The Forest for the Trees: Billionaires in the Wilderness

In America over the last fifty years, class divisions have widened in both economic and social terms. Gone are the days when the upper, middle, and working classes attended the same churches and participated in the same civic organizations. Gone too are the days when most American children attended the same schools…

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Regime Change with Chinese Characteristics

There is something a little unsettling about a nation that deliberately sets about increasing its “soft power.” Soft power, in the classic 1990 formulation by the Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye, is a nation’s ability to persuade other countries to follow its lead willingly, thanks to the appeal of its culture, political values…

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A New Cultural Cold War?

With or without Covid-19, the United States and China were headed for a clash. The economic fallout from the pandemic will merely accelerate developments that had already been set in mo­tion by the rise of China as a strategic and technological rival. Nor does this seem likely to end when Trump leaves office, whether that…

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Nonliberal Capitalism: The Exception or the Rule?

Branko Milanović’s Capitalism, Alone is not a thick book, but its title and subtitle hint at its ambition. Epigraphs from Aristotle, Plato, Marx, Adam Smith, and Max Weber do the same. Milanović varyingly plays the unsentimental historian, the scientific-minded economist, the policy wonk, the sociologist, and the moralist…

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Foxconn’s Rise and Labor’s Fall in Global China

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing U.S.-China “trade war,” many multinational corporations are reconsidering the opportunities and risks of global supply chains, particularly those based in China. Within China, another long-festering ques­tion is growing more acute on the ground, even though it has faded from international view. Hundreds of millions of Chinese workers, toiling…

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Misunderstanding Investment in the United States and China

America and China have very different views of the role of invest­ment in creating economic growth. In America, we believe in shareholder value. Companies should invest in activities that have high rates of return, which will maximize productivity and growth. The job of government is to get out of the way. China believes the opposite.…

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Trade Wars Are Strategic Sector Wars

Trade Wars Are Class Wars is an excellent guide to one kind of trade war, the competition for limited global consumer demand, a trade war which is indeed a class war within nations. About the other kind of trade war, the competition among nations for strategic indus­tries, the book has nothing to say. Those seeking guidance on this issue must look elsewhere…

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