Saturday, 13 November 2021

Sitting in my office, contemplating revolutions ...

View from my office chair, Siena One, Hong Kong
I’m contemplating revolutions from this angle: how many in human history have been successful? 

I’m reading “The Temptations of Tyranny” by Peter Hughes, how revolutionary agitators see their ideas collapse into their opposite.

And I’ve just read about revolutions proposed by Biden’s candidate to oversee US Banking, Saule Omarova, in “Thus spake Omarava”, by Matthew Continetti, which I got to via a Josh Kraushaar tweet: "Since January, America has slowly awakened to the reality that it elected Joe Biden president only to be governed by Elizabeth Warren.

And Omarova talks of revolutions by “... radically redefining the role of a central bank as the ultimate public platform for generating, modulating, and allocating financial resources in a democratic economy—the People's Ledger”.

Matthew Continetti makes a point that I relate to, having moved to China in 1976, straight out of Uni, where I was, of course, a leftie, and saw what ultimate leftism, aka socialism, aka Marxism, does to a people, to an economy: 

What's striking is that immigrants from the former Soviet Union and its satellites tend to be viscerally anti-communist and anti-socialist: Having lived under totalitarian regimes, they are especially attuned to infringements of personal and economic liberty and are mindful of human-rights abuses conducted in the name of "People's Republics.” [my emphasis]

One: run for a mile whenever you see something with the word “People’s”, with a capital “P”. It’s bad news.

Two: Omarava is not at all “viscerally anti-communist". Shestill in thrall to the Soviet Union, as Continetti and her Tweets show. Like the revolutionary agitators in Hughes piece above, the failure of Soviet Socialism, of Socialism in every country over all time since Marx, does not dim its shine for Omarava. Even this failure does not damage the certainty with which she clings to this zombie idea.

And Biden plans to put her in charge of the US dollar? And oversight of the FED??? As an OR said “she’s poison”. As Continetti said, she is "… an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.

But back to the original contemplation: how many revolutions in world history have been successful? The answer I have not, but its surely not a majority. You can wiki it, then its up to your priors how you decide which have been successful, or not. For example: is Chinas 1949 revolution successful, or not? Many would say Yes. Id be inclined to think No. The counterfactual is what if there had been a democracy all along, even after the corrupt Chiang Kai-shek version, might it not also have matured and squeezed out its corruption and given us a more open and tolerant China than the one we have today?