Why China Loves Conservatives
by Eric Hendriks-Kim
"In China there is a great deal of love for Western conservative authors: The works of Samuel Huntington and Leo Strauss, for instance, are studied and admired by Chinese intellectuals and academics. And Chinese interpretations of American politics often parallel those of the American Right. These affinities undoubtedly have many causes, but one shared belief stands out: a profound sense that any society, and a healthy one in particular, is held together by an integral, holistic culture...
The Chinese term for North America’s identity politics—baizuo (“white Left”)—is strongly derogatory. It implies something like “the wild stuff lefty whites say these days.” Even scholars from China’s most liberal faction, such as intellectual historian Xu Jilin, judge North America’s baizuo to be excessive and divisive... To many of a certain age, such as the dissident artist Ai Weiwei, baizuo recalls Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966–76). The memory of its terror against “class enemies,” committed in the name of cultural equality, leaves these thinkers allergic to progressive hyper-idealism—the kind of idealism that believes egalitarian utopia would materialize if only critics and moderates did not stand in the way of historical progress. They recognize that thought pattern wherever it emerges, and they know that narrowmindedness, coercion, and worse come in its train. No more of that, please...
Indeed, the pseudo-solidarity of identity politics further atomizes the individual by undermining the legitimacy of inherited cultures. This outcome is not accidental. Progressive liberals seek to weaken the hold of larger cultural collectives by erasing them from their accounts of the social world, accounts they disseminate using their dominance in the West’s humanities and social science departments. Many conservatives in the West criticize this project, and Chinese intellectuals find themselves in agreement."
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"We are all bound to the throne of the Supreme Being by a flexible chain which restrains without enslaving us. The most wonderful aspect of the universal scheme of things is the action of free beings under divine guidance."
~ Joseph de Maistre
"Man in general, if reduced to himself, is too wicked to be free."
~ Joseph de Maistre
"Man in harmony with his Creator is sublime, and his action is creative; equally, once he separates himself from God and acts alone, he does not cease to be powerful, since this is the privilege of his nature, but his acts are negative and lead only to destruction."
~ Joseph de Maistre
The Enlightenment masked the rise of Universal Violence as “Universal Progress”
History was not a story of progress, but the story of violence becoming more universal, more destructive, and ever more violent. (The horrors of the twentieth century would undoubtedly cause Maistre to say “I told you so.”) The great façade pulled over the eyes of humans began with the Enlightenment. The great illusion of the Enlightenment, in Maistre’s eyes, was that it sacralized violence under the name of progress and liberty and thus perpetuated what he already knew: violence, not liberty, not equality, was the spirit of life. This was undoubtedly the case with the French Revolution where bloodshed, murder, and violence was ecstatically embraced as almost divine! Anything was acceptable to usher in the utopia that Rousseau had outlined in his works that had been taken up by the French Revolutionaries. It wrapped destruction and nihilism under the tent of construction. For Maistre, “Progress” was really the tearing down of all the barriers erected by humans to try and prevent each other from tearing one another limb from limb. The end result of this was the mass washing of human blood of the last 300 years. De Maistre would fundamentally agree with Nietzsche’s statement that the collapse of morality into nihilism, always in the name of “Progress,” would soak the earth with so much blood that humans wouldn’t be able to recover when they awoke to horrors of what they had done: “Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent?” Thus, with no guide, divine or temporal, with no order, divine or temporal, man is forever lost in the tragic abyss once he recognizes his depravity and destructive pride and desires.
Citing analysts, the Nikkei suggests that seeing how Russia has been hit by monetary sanctions by the West, "China and some other countries must be hurrying to reduce dependence on the dollar" (in preparation of their own self-preservation against sanctions).
Those familiar with China's gold buying patterns are aware that Beijing has made similar moves in the past. After keeping radio silent since 2009, Beijing shocked the market in 2015 when it disclosed it had boosted gold holdings by about 600 tons. It has not reported any activity since September 2019.
According to the analyst at the Nikkei, the PBOC (China central bank) likely bought a large portion of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation's gold holdings.
Non-western nations have been de-dollarizing since 2008, but especially rapidly as of recent. China has stood out here, by unloading substantial amounts of US bonds. It sold $121 billion in US debt, the equivalent of roughly 2,200 tons of gold, between the end of February — immediately after Russia's first attack on Ukraine — and the end of September (Q3), according to the latest TIC data.
Also, in March JPMorgan observed, "China... has started stockpiling commodities since 2019 and currently hold 80% of global copper inventories, 70% of corn, 51% of wheat, 46% of soybeans, 70% of crude oil, and over 20% of global aluminum inventories." And now, China is aggressively stockpiling every ounce of physical gold it can get its hands on, and it is doing so in an evasive way. It would seem as if they are trying to immunize themselves from US sanctions on their dollar reserves.
Almost like China is anticipating the same US sanctions which were placed on Russia, as it prepares for war of its own.
To recap, here's the big picture:
Central banks bought a net 399.3 tonnes of gold in the July-September (Q3) period, more than quadrupling on the year, according to the November report by industry group the World Gold Council. The latest amount marks a steep jump from 186 tonnes in the preceding quarter and 87.7 tonnes in the first quarter, while the year-to-date (since January) total alone surpasses any full year since 1967.
Buyers such as the central banks of Turkey, Uzbekistan and India reported purchases of 31.2 tons, 26.1 tons and 17.5 tons, respectively. Another 5 tons were purchased by Mozambique, Philippines, and Mongolia.
In total the reported amounts only add up to roughly 90 tons — meaning it is unclear who bought the remaining roughly 300 tons net. Not only that, but they are refusing to report it to the WGC — absolutely unheard of in such a quantity.
Unless you're China...
China is de-dollarizing in the shadows to prepare for war
Two weeks ago, ZH reported that a single anonymous buyer (a central bank) bought a record 300 tons of gold, roughly three quarters of what would be a record 399 tons of central bank gold purchases in the Q3 2022.
There is speculation that because China rarely discloses how much gold its central bank is buying (any number would be unreliable even if they did disclose it anyway), and because the country hasn’t reported any change in its gold hoard since 2019, that they may have been accumulating gold under the radar.
For China, the need to find an alternative to dollars, which dominate its reserves, has rarely been more urgent. Tensions with the US are high following measures taken against its semiconductor industry, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated to the world Washington’s willingness to sanction central bank reserves.
China has been paying close attention to the Ukrainian theater before launching its own ambitions.