Category Archives: China

FRED REED: White Revivalist Movement Seems Dead On Arrival

China, Crime, Culture, Education, FRED REED, IMMIGRATION, Latin American, Race, Science, Technology

The Southwest to Latinos, the cities and culture to blacks, universities and laboratories to the Chinese, and a noticeable savor of curry in managerial ranks. This is America.

BY FRED REED

America’s racial circumstances, its lightning demographic transformation unimaginable a half century ago, runs apace, not just with Latinos filtering across the southern border, but with the federal government inexplicably importing people from Somalia and Afghanistan and, apparently, trying to intensify racial division. It is an astonishment of a high order, the best show in town. How, why, and whither?

A surprising number of people seem unfamiliar with the figures. America is about thirteen percent black, eighteen percent Latino, and something like six percent Asian, whatever that means. Over half of children eighteen and under are not white. Thus in an uncertain but small number of years, America will mostly not be white. This, like sunrise, is going to happen no matter what anyone thinks about it. Wow.

The southern border is largely open. Immigrants pour across the frontier, chiefly Central American, badly educated or actually illiterate, sometimes speaking only Indian languages. Mr. Trump once said that “Mexico is not sending its best.” This is true of all Latin American countries. Cardiac surgeons and systems programmers do not swim the Rio Bravo to pick oranges in Florida. While the influx of Mexicans has decreased with the improvement in the Mexican economy, the Central Americans arrive in droves. Along with them come Haitians, various Africans, and Afghans, groups even less qualified to become American. This seems likely to continue, at least during the administration of Biden.

So how does the racial map look? Latinos concentrated in the Southwest, where they seem certain to become the majority. In California they now outnumber whites. New Mexico, aptly named, seems poised to follow. These states were wrested from Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, so in a sense they are just returning to their origins. Some call it poetic justice. Be that as it may, it is happening, and the concentration in a few states gives Latinos power that they would not have if spread evenly across the country.

Blacks, following a different pattern, dominate America’s cities. Typically the downtown contains a sprawling, impoverished black ghetto, crime-ridden, hopeless, and dangerous, semiliterate, and very angry. Residents have little or no contact with the surrounding country. They exercise control either by electing the city government or just by numbers and intimidation. Philadelphia, Newark, Camden, Trenton, Washington, Richmond, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Jackson, and so on. For practical purposes, these cities are not under control of national or state government. Whites dare not walk in them. Black women, seemingly more able than the men to engage in organized effort, are now mayors in Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis.

Blacks exercise power out of proportion to their numbers in the population. The reasons are several. Blacks bloc vote. Their percentage of the vote in presidential elections is greater than the margin of victory. In the cities their high rates of crime drive out whites. Governments at all levels are afraid of blacks, who if crossed will riot, loot, and burn. Any attempt to crack down on crime would result in explosion, and everyone knows it, so law does not extend to these regions. In aggregate, these enclaves constitute a sort of distributed country within a country.

Further, blacks now control American culture and politics. This is manifest in the overwhelming presence of blacks in television, popular music, in the toppling of statues and renaming of buildings, military bases, and so on, in the search for systemic racism, the lowering of standards in almost everything, and insistence on racial quotas on boards of corporate directors and high-tech industry.

East Asians and, increasingly, Indians dominate America’s high-tech world. They are less conspicuous than blacks and Latinos, but the country grows rapidly more dependent on them. They make up around seventy percent of the very high-end high schools—Thomas Jefferson in Virginia, Brooklyn, Stuyvesant, Bronx. The pattern holds in the elite tech universities: CalTech, MIT, Harvard. Not only the students but the professors are heavily Asian.

Interestingly, India supplies a growing part of America’s brains. One telling example is that Indians are CEOs of IBM, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Adobe, and Mastercard, among others.

As US Schools Prioritize Diversity Over Merit, China Is Becoming the World’s STEM Leader

“First, and most obvious, is the deplorable state of our K-12 math education system. Far too few American public-school children are prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This leaves us increasingly dependent on a constant inflow of foreign talent, especially from mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and India. In a 2015 survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations Board, about 55 percent of all participating graduate students in mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering at US schools were found to be foreign nationals.”

So:  The Southwest to Latinos, the cities and culture to blacks, universities and laboratories to the Chinese, and a noticeable savor of curry in managerial ranks. This is America.

Whites? In decline, both proportionately in the population and in dwindling numbers in science and engineering.  This is perhaps most conspicuous in the downgrading of mathematics in schools and universities as being racist.

There is among many whites opposition to what is sometimes called the browning of America. Various, often overlapping, groups with names like the Alt Right, White Nationalists, and Dissident Right. They express alarm over the colorizing of America. Large numbers of whites not formally involved with these groups strongly oppose immigration. Often they are supporters of Trump. Conservative romantics, they accept American founding myths vaguely related to reality and remember the security, amiability, and unity of the former America (which existed: I was there.) They see the country they knew fading, the poor academic performance of blacks and Latinos, crime high and rising, and point to race riots as evidence of decline. Oldsters among them remember a time when you could leave your bicycle anywhere and it would still be there when you came back.

This White Revivalist movement seems dead on arrival. For one thing, the Dissident Righters are in the impossible position of being against all people except whites and, not infrequently, express themselves as favoring only North European whites. This reduces them to political hobbyists, unable to compromise. Further, Latinos are simply not behaving badly enough to support a white racial consciousness. If there were going to be serious conflict between Anglos and Hispanics, California would be the place. Nobody seems interested. Asians? Few whites will be upset over Chinese programmers or Vietnamese wide-area engineers. Finally, white advocates seem to have no practical program beyond closing the border. Their other ideas, such as ending birthright citizenship, would have little effect or, like fantasies of dividing America into three racially pure countries, are impossible. Likewise, laws reinstating racial segregation or forbidding intermarriage have exactly zero chance of coming about. Likewise mass deportations of people who increasingly are citizens. Remember, they vote. For better or worse, the country seems destined to muddle along with what it has.

Whites of European origin, though still a majority, fade in influence. Blacks and Hispanics now have enough votes that neither Republicans nor Democrats can afford to trifle with them. While whites, Asians, and Latinos get along reasonably well, blacks get along with nobody. The attacks on Asians we hear about are all by blacks, who do not like Latinos, and who engage in the Knockout Game against whites. Black crime drives whites and middle-class blacks from the cities. Because the media downplay or conceal problems with blacks, many are unaware of the gravity of circumstances, of the illiteracy and hopelessness and fury in the big ghettos. They exist. Nothing is being done about them and probably nothing can be done.

If there comes a racial explosion in the United States, it will be between black and white. At present the media keep the lid on by concealing violence, and this may be the wisest course, though it is hard to see how it is any more than kicking the can down the road. The following links make depressing reading. Whatever one may think of the author, he seems to have the facts.

30 BLACK-ON-WHITE HOMICIDES, INCLUDING A MOTHER READING THE BIBLE TO HER BABY GIRL: Another Month In The Death Of White America (And Canada), by Kenn Gividen – The Unz Review

20 BLACK-ON-WHITE HOMICIDES: September 2021—Another Month In The Death Of White America (And Canada), by Kenn Gividen – The Unz Review

33 BLACK-ON-WHITE HOMICIDES, Including A Father And His Two Small Boys: December 2020—Another Month In The Death Of White America 33, by Kenn Gividen – The Unz Review

32 BLACK-ON-WHITE HOMICIDES, INCLUDING FIVE HOME INVASIONS: October 2021—Another Month In The Death Of White America, by Kenn Gividen – The Unz Review

Why is all of the foregoing not an accurate description of America today? Where leads the growing dependence on Asians for brainwork? The exodus of stores from cities because of crime? The very real enstupidation of the schools to hide the failings of minorities? The heavy-handed enforcement of centrally devised racial policies on people who don’t want them? Economic decline? You tell me.

https://fredoneverything.org/list/

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

******************************************

FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

FRED REED: Ukraine War: Brought About By America; Serves American Hegemony

Asia, China, Crime, Foreign Policy, FRED REED, Race, Russia, War

America has been pushing NATO … ever closer to Russian borders in what … is an obvious program of military encirclement. Also, Victoria Nuland looks like a fireplug with leprosy

BY FRED REED

Everybody and his goat are talking about the Ukraine. Why not me? You might ask, But Fred, what do you know about it? To which I would respond, Look, this is journalism. You don’t need to know anything, just wing it, preferably using words you can spell. Admittedly this is more of a limitation than it used to be. Anyway, here goes:

Why did Russia invade the Ukraine? Contrary to American media, the invasion was not unprovoked.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, America has been pushing NATO, which is a US sepoy operation, ever closer to Russian borders in what, to anyone who took fifth-grade geography, is an obvious program of military encirclement. Of the five countries other than Russia littoral to the Black Sea, three, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria, are now in NATO. America has been moving toward bringing in the Ukraine and Georgia. After Georgia would have come Azerbaijan, putting American forces on the Caspian with access to Iran and Kazakhstan. This is calculated aggression over the long term, obvious to the—what? Ten percent? Fifteen percent?—of Americans who know what the Caucasus is.

Putin has said, over and over, that Russia could not allow hostile military forces on its border any more than the US would allow Chinese military bases in Mexico or missile forces in Cuba. Washington kept pushing. Russia said, no more. In short, America brought on the war.

Among people who follow such things, there are two ways of looking at the invasion. First, that Washington thought Putin was bluffing, and he wasn’t. Second, that America intentionally forced Russia to choose between allowing NATO into the Ukraine, a major success for Washington’s world empire; or fighting, also a success for Washington as it would cause the results it has caused.

From the latter understanding, America pulled off, at least at first glance, an astonishing geopolitical victory over Russia. Nordstream II blocked, crippling sanctions placed on Russia, many of its banks kicked out of SWIFT, economic integration of Europe and Asia slowed or reversed, Germany to spend $113 billion on rearming (largely meaning buying American costume-jewelry weaponry), Europe forced to buy expensive American LNG, and Europe made dependent on America for energy. All this in a few days without loss of a single American soldier. This presumably at least in part engineered by Victoria Nuland who, though she looks like a fireplug with leprosy, seems effectively Machiavellian.

Next victim, China. Divide and conquer. Or at least that’s the theory. At the same time reinstate the JCPOA and use economic baubles to try to pry Iran away from Beijing.

Here we need some context. Everything Washington does internationally aims at maintaining America’s largely military near-hegemony over the world. This involves several elements:

First, military dominance. This includes the many hundreds of bases around the world, naval supremacy, and the huge military expenditure. Thy latter will be maintained at any cost to domestic needs, and apparently it is going to be increased.

Second, control of the world’s supply of energy. Washington is trying to starve Venezuela, with its vast reserves of petroleum, into submission. Submission means letting American-dominated oil majors exploit the country’s oil. Washington is doing the same with Iran and its enormous reserves. It has troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, has confiscated Syria’s oil lands, crushed Libya, and so on. Keeping the European vassals from buying more Russian gas through Nordstream II is part of this energy control and an important part.

Third, and crucial, keep Eurasia—note the “EU”—from coalescing into a vast continent-spanning trade zone, which is exactly what China contemplates in its BRI, Belt and Road initiative. This is too much subject for a few paragraphs, but some thoughts: China is a manufacturing juggernaut in explosive growth. Economic power is the basis of all power. China has the advantage of inner lines of communication: it can build rail, fiber optics, highways and pipelines in Asia, where America has little access. China has money because it has a for-profit economy, and America doesn’t. The pull of China’s gigantic market and manufactures was beginning to loosen America’s control of Europe. Eurasian integration had to be stopped.

Fourth, the dollar. Washington controls the dollar, the IMF, SWIFT, and in general the international financial system. It uses this control brutally as a weapon to impose sanctions, crippling the economies of such countries as Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and now Russia. Seeing this intimidates other countries. Washington may have gone too often to this well. Having made England, its chief bootlicker, confiscate Venezuela’s gold reserves, and now freezing Russia’s reserves, Washington has served notice that no country is secure from this treatment. Here I speculate freely, but this may prove America’s worst mistake since 1619 as it may greatly accelerate the search for other payment systems—CIPS from China, SPFS from Russia, and the upcoming digital yuan. Washington, methinks, is betting the farm.

So much for the world. Meanwhile, America seems to be sinking into irreversible decadence that muss eventually—I would say soon—affect its international position. As the world’s economic and, laggingly, technological center of gravity moves east to Asia, an internally collapsing America will be less able to maintain the empire. Consider:

Washington’s printing of money, equivalent to the debasing of the coinage characteristic of failing societies, has resulted in high inflation and a potentially catastrophic national debt. This will cause political perturbation as voters seek to find which of the two essentially identical parties will not behave like the other one. Unrest will grow. Trust abroad in the dollar will decrease.

America suffers from a massive and growing trade deficit, largely with China, about which nothing can be done, certainly not soon, because America no longer makes things it needs. Manufacturing cannot be brought back, except perhaps in niche markets like semiconductors, because the US no longer has the necessary engineers and trained work force, and American labor costs more than Chinese, so reshoring would increase inflation. The importation of cheap Chinese products keeps inflation down.

The heavy flow of national wealth into Wall Street and the military in addition to offshoring has led to real poverty in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and the rural Deep South. This has produced some 100,000 opioid deaths annually in despairing populations. Simultaneously large and growing homeless aggregations appear in LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, on and on, estimated at 60,000 in LA and 50,000 in New York, making the subways dangerous. Bush world conditions presumably do not make for political stability, as neither does the governmental inattention to them.

Crime is out of control, not a sign of a healthy polity. Some 700 homicides annually in Chicago, 300 in Baltimore, and similar numbers elsewhere are now routine, almost all of the killers and killed being black. To countries like Japan and South Korea this must seem barbaric. The situation is not First World.

America’s racial problem is grave. The southern border is open, the southwestern states either majority Latino or soon to be. This is not as bad as it could be as the races seem to get along, but it imposes heavy economic and other costs. At the same time across the country cities have huge black ghettos with appalling semiliteracy, no prospects for the young, all of this apparently irremediable. Racial attacks on whites  and Asians grow in number and so, almost everywhere, do racial killings, mostly by blacks. Governments at all levels fear blacks who they know will burn cities if provoked, which leads tax bases to flee from cities, making things worse.

This adds to potentially explosive resentment. There is a substantial White Nationalist movement, that wants no non-whites in America (a bit late for this), Republican Chambers of Commerce, that want more illegal Latinos for the cheap labor but won’t say so, and the high-tech sector, which wants more East Asian and Indian immigrants on which America, with a failing educational system, increasingly depends.

Overall, government is weak, unable to prevent crime, riots, and looting. Washington does not control, but is controlled, being a storefront operation for special interests. Elections do not change policy but only the division of the spoils. Presidents perform their three essential duties, protecting Wall Street, Israel, and the military budget, but not much else.

Schooling is being dumbed down in stark contrast with China. Excellence everywhere is discouraged in the name of equity. Native white talent dwindles in the elite schools, from high-end high schools through CalTech, as Asian majorities predominate. Measures of talent, such as SATs and Medcats, are dropped or downplayed. English grammar and arithmetic are dropped as racist. None of this seems likely to improve America’s future competitiveness.

Finally, the media are controlled. This allows Washington freedom of action abroad as enough of the public will believe anything they are told by television (The Russians are coming, the Chinese are coming, the Iranians are coming, the Guatemalans….) Internally censorship may keep the lid on, for now anyway, by keeping enough of the population from knowing what is going on. By preventing discussion of problems, or their mention, it assures that nothing will be done. I suspect this is having the effect of winding a spring.

Where is all of this leading?

Biden is playing as if this were 1960 and the US enjoyed rock solid military and economic superiority and the population were firmly behind him. This is the world he remembers, being an aging cold warrior. He seems to believe that he consequently can do what he pleases with no repercussions for America. This may be true, or true enough. Perhaps he believes that Russia will collapse in domestic rebellion or simply surrender to the US. It is not how I would bet.

But—and this is sheer speculation—it is not clear what would happen if Russia cut off gas and petroleum and wheat and such things as neon gas from Europe. The West is accustomed to bombing remote countries, not to going without. Would Russia collapse under privation before Europe decided it wanted to trade with Moscow after all?

If Biden and the hawks decide to play hardball with China, they may realize that America is an economic dependency of Beijing. If—again, very hypothetically—China cut off all trade with America, the US economy would die instantly. Almost everything on American shelves is made in China. An American public already very unhappy would explode, which it is on the point of doing for various reasons. Reflect on the Floyd riots. China would be hurt, but it has other markets and a nationalistic population more united than the American.

Them’s my thoughts, probably worth what you pay for them.

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

******************************************

FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

 

UPDATED (3/12/022): NEW COLUMN: True Story: Russia Finds WMD In Ukraine!

America, China, Democracy, Europe, Foreign Policy, Neoconservatism, Propaganda, Russia, War, WMD

NEW COLUMN IS “True Story: Russia Finds WMD In Ukraine!” It is on WND.COM, The Unz Review and The New American.

Excerpt:

… I had framed the duty of diplomacy and statesmanship at which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has failed so miserably and with such grave consequences for his countrymen as realpolitik.

Realpolitik is practical politics, the art of getting along, differences and all, in a real world in which reality, especially power differentials, is accepted and dealt with. The onus was on the Ukrainian president to practice realpolitik with his powerful neighbors, the Russians, I argued. Zelensky ought to have shown Putin respect and negotiated an agreement with him, one that would have appeased Russia with respect to Ukraine’s outsized, idiotic NATO and EU aspirations. Promise the Russians “a non-aligned, neutral Ukraine,” is how Col. Doug McGregor put it.

What I call realpolitik, political scientist John Mearsheimer terms “great-power politics.”

“When you’re a country like Ukraine and you live next door to a great power like Russia,” he posits, “you have to pay careful attention to what the Russians think, because if you take a stick and you poke them in the eye, they’re going to retaliate. … States in the Western hemisphere understand [great-power politics] full well with regard to the United States.”

With his fatigues, simplistic jingoism and facility with TV optics and social media—Zelensky certainly appeals to the war channel females (Fox News) and to distaff worldwide. But he has been worse than useless in the grander scheme of things. As Mearsheimer points out, matter-of-fact, Ukraine is going to lose more territory, its economy has been wrecked as are its cities and infrastructure in ruins. Eastern Europe is becoming more unstable. China and Russia have been thrust into each other’s arms.

The West claims the blame lies solely with Putin, to whom are attributed assorted phantasmagoric expansionist programs and projects. According to this angels-and-demons Disneyfied storyline, Putin plans on claiming the Baltic states of Eastern Europe “out of a longstanding desire to resuscitate the Soviet Empire,” even though the Russian president has disavowed the creation of a greater Russia and certainly doesn’t have the economic wherewithal to mount protracted invasions and occupations. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “True Story: Russia Finds WMD In Ukraine!,” is on WND.COM and The Unz Review for now.

UPDATED (3/11/022): Curiously, Ukraine the “free” and “democratic” had mounted, a la the USA, its own January 6 kind of offensive on its opposition, whom the Zelensky state had placed under house arrest. Check it out.

Coverage of Ukraine before the war is also instructive. Of course, nothing justifies a war of aggression, but a lot explains it.

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UPDATE (3/12/022):  Once a banal neocon; always one. Douglas Murray, ConInc darling of FoxNews, offers, on Fox News, not a balanced analysis of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, only the rah-rah, Zelensky’s sexy; Putin’s a commie nonsense. Murray’s fan boys continue to claim magnificence and originality for their boy. Nothing Douglas Murray says is magnificent or original or particularly inspiring. You could say that about, say, the late Christopher Hitchens. But this guy? What’s wrong with people! He always manages to miss the very important point. Like here: https://www.ilanamercer.com/2020/10/wake-systemic-anti-whiteness-deadly-witness-south-africa/

David and I were right about shallow Murray:
WATCH/READ:

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Musil Protege summed Douglas Murray up truly originally. Put it this way: Murray could not summon such prose as this:

A real poseur, no? Another soi disant Oakeshott heir who hasn’t yet heard that he was never in the will. A Mute-button pundit. His hectoring style has all the suavity of the schoolmarm of distant memory. 80 years ago he would have been teaching Silas Marner to 5th Graders.

FRED REED: Plumbing The Chinese Dijjywan

Asia, Business, China, Economy, FRED REED, Government, Trade

“… When America cuts a country off from SWIFT … the blow is economically devastating. The mere threat of disconnection intimidates. Consequently many countries would like to have an alternative to [spiteful American economic strong-arming via] SWIFT.”

By Fred Reed

Normally I write about things I know. In the case of digital currencies, and in particular the digital yuan (hereinafter dijjywan) I write about something that piques my curiosity. So little seems to be known that it is difficult to find anything definitive. Yet the question is so important, digital currencies so new, the implications so sweeping, that discussion seems a good idea. The following therefore is a sort of declarative question, a listing of ideas from many sources, perhaps sometimes wrong, about which I hope readers can enlighten me. To avoid endless qualifications and caveats, I write affirmatively things that I don’t really know. Correction and thoughts welcome.

Some things to know: The dijjywan, being rolled out in the Winter Olympics, is not a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, intended to maintain anonymity of users: all transactions are or can be known to Beijing. A dijjywan account is not a bank account, though it is administered by PBOC, the People’s Bank of China.  You don’t need to have a bank account to use it. It does not earn interest. You cannot speculate in dijjywan any more than you can with normal yuan, because the digital yuan is the normal yuan, but in digital form. A dijjywan account does not provide access to credit. It is as close to being physical currency as you can get without being physical currency. Transactions are instantaneous and final.

So how does it work? As an individual, you will download an app that China calls a digital wallet to your cellphone, as you would any app. This is currently being done in China. You do a face scan and the system gives you a unique QR code. You now have a dijjywan account. No bureaucracy, filling out of forms, demands for identification, or examination of financial history. There is nothing new or Star Wars about this. Everyone in China has already done it to use WeChat Pay or Alipay.  Some eighty percent of retail transactions in China are made by cellphone app, making acceptance there likely.

Suppose that you are in Kathmandu and I am in Cancun and you want to send me five hundred dijjywan. You call up the app, go to contacts, tap Fred, type in 500, and hit send. Five seconds later in Mexico, I have the money. (I made that up, but it is close to payments I have seen made in Chengdu.) For practical purposes instantaneous, no bureaucracy.

Interesting question: What would easy, convenient, fast transfer of funds by cellphone do to Western Union? What would it do to debit cards from Mastercard and visa? American credit-card companies get a percentage of every sale. If China, as a tactic of economic warfare, did not take a rake-off or took a smaller one, what would this do to Visa and Mastercard? Merchants would certainly favor a system that cost them less.

When China goes cashless with the dijjywan, which is its stated intention, it will improve efficiency within China but have no great effect in the outside world.  Who outside of China would want to use a Chinese digital currency?

Perhaps lots of people. There being many Chinese tourists in Cancun, hotels and restaurants would like to grab business from Chinese who didn’t want to bother with currency conversion. Mexico likely would be happy to have the money come into the country.  People in Zimbabwe, whose currency is worthless anywhere else, and who might worry that Harare would print even more money and destroy their savings, would be happy with dijjywan that could be taken out of the country or spent internationally online. Such a nation, if it wanted a stable currency, might make the dijjywan the national currency, or a national currency, as Panama and Ecuador do with the dollar. People without bank accounts, estimated at two billion, would find it useful. The result would be a distributed all-yuan Sinocentric financial ecosystem.

The Chinese currency would appeal to the many countries that do not want American influence over their finances. Dijjywan would be a reliable store of value for, say, people in Brazilian favelas as robbery would be nearly impossible: An armed robber could force his victim to transfer money to his phone, but this would create a record in the Chinese cloud of time, place, amount, and identity of both parties. The authorities could simply extract the stolen lucre and replace it with the rightful owner, and freeze the thief’s account. Digital policing of this sort has been mentioned by Chinese authorities.

Intriguing, though not related to China: America is dabbling with the idea of a digital dollar. If America went cashless (granted, not likely before the heat death of the sun), the illegal drug trade would disappear overnight. In retail transactions, on which the trade depends, with the friendly corner crack merchant, the identities of both buyer and seller would be recorded. This would not be good for business.  Dealers could easily be detected. No arrests would be needed, as freezing their dijjywan account would suffice. Since accounts depend on face recognition, the dealer could not set up another account. Totalitarianism has its appeals.

Digital-currency accounts would be programmable. If a country went on an anti-booze crusade, people could be prevented from buying more than a certain amount of liquor per month. China has pointed out the virtues of the dijjywan in stopping money laundering. These ideas justifiably upset civil libertarians, but they represent an upside to the downside. What would be the social effects of ending the drug business in black ghettoes?

The possibilities for surveillance and social control are obvious but, since China is going all-digital anyway, alarm is unlikely to have much effect. Perhaps worth noting is that America is going fast in the same direction, with much of  the surveillance and censorship ‘being done by semigovernmental enterprises such as Google and Twitter. With many countries considering digital currencies, it appears that we will fairly soon have them anyway. And, if history is a guide, the likelihood is that most people would accept surveillance as the price of convenience.

But let’s get to the serious stuff: America’s financial sanctions on countries it doesn’t like. As perhaps most people know, international payments, as for example for oil, go through the SWIFT financial payment system, headquartered in Brussels, supposedly independent but in fact under American control. It is the only practical way for countries to do business with each other. When America cuts a country off from SWIFT, as it has with Venezuela, Iran, and Cuba, the blow is economically devastating. The mere threat of disconnection intimidates. Consequently many countries would like to have an alternative to SWIFT. So where does the dijjywan come in?

Note that the digital yuan is scalable. In principle it is as easy to send a million as a hundred dijjywan, making it practical as a means of paying for, say, petroleum from sanctioned countries. Further—read this carefully: dijjywan transactions are completely independent of Washington, completely independent—eeek!—of SWIFT, and, thanks to heavy encryption, opaque to the US. This threatens America’s ability to strongarm other countries and, if widely adopted, would result in a major diminution of US power in the world.  It may be that China has thought of this. The US certainly has.

Why could a tobacconist in Paris not buy five thousand dollars of cohiba cigars from Cuba, or China a tanker of oil from Venezuela, or any business in Europe goods to or from Iran, or from each other, in dijjywan? The US might make it difficult for sanctioned countries to convert dijjywan to other currencies, but this would simply force those countries to trade more with China.

China has said repeatedly that, why, no, it has no thought of using the dijjywan for international settlement payments. As Deutsch Bank says, it is being set up for domestic use. However, China is working with—whatever exactly that means—Hongkong, Thailand, and the UAE for just this purpose. Why the UAE? Not because China wants to further retail sales to the Emirates by Alibaba, since they have the aggregate population of a large city bus. But they have oil. Interesting. Let us remember that China very, very much wants to internationalize the yuan.

A concern mentioned by the Treasury Department, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute,  is that there could result a distributed Sinocentric financial ecosystem independent of the West. Many countries that trade heavily with China, or have poor relations with America, might come aboard. The Central Asian stans, the BRICS, Latin American countries tired of being under the US boot. China might make use of the dijjywan a requirement for loans and participation in the BRI. It would not be either the dijjywan or the dollar as countries could use both.

American officials often say complacently that the yuan accounts for only a small percentage of international commerce and that the dijjywan is no threat to the dollar’s hegemony. Perhaps. But the world’s economic and technological center of gravity is moving to the east, a market as huge as China’s has persuasive powers all of its own, many countries want to avoid American domination, and the digital yuan is something entirely new. I don’t think anyone really knows what effects we will see.

Thoughtful comments welcome and, again, I throw these ideas out in search of enlightenment, not because I regard myself as an authority.

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

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FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

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