China sentences of the day

With the Internet, too much information leaks out about the failings of governments. Thus, they are unable to “rule by persuasion” and are increasingly reduced to relying on sheer force. As a provocative example, Gurri believes that the Chinese government now is more dependent on force than it would be without the Internet.

That is from Arnold Kling reviewing Martin Gurri’s forthcoming The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium.


Solve for the equilibrium.

A welcome breath of sarcasm and sanity.

China already has the Great Firewall. A change here and there and now you have an even more censored internet. Makes Trump's crusade against net neutrality look like child's play.

Net Neutrality in the Obama sense (presumably what you're referring to) does not mean at all what you seem to think. That version of Net Neutrality, and what Trump is "crusading" against is a cost transfer from donors and industry (FAANG, see Obama's Netflix series) onto consumers (people, average users).

But "Net Neutrality" sounds so good and fair!

Wrong. You have this backwards. Under Trump, the cost transfers go from content creators who drive a good bargain and consumers looking for value to the monopolistic middle men like Comcast, ATT, Verizon. As a consumer, FAANG gives me very competitive prices and quality product (ex. Google search is the best and is free, Amazon is incredible too) while Comcast charges among the highest prices anywhere (US telecom is high in general) with some of the slowest broadband in the modern world (Lithuania ranks above us).

You are incorrect, we are back to status quo, current arrangement. No real changes, no major price changes. The Obama-era arrangement would've lowered prices for FAANG by mandate, and consumers would likely see subsequent price rises in FAANG and also ISP level. FAANG wouldn't have suddenly lowered prices.

Also you're entirely conflating issues comparing the US broadband infrastructure to Lithuania. A better comparison is US to Russia or Australia or China, Lithuania and Estonia and other tiny countries truly are not a good comparison.

“rule by persuasion”

It was never that. It was 'we've been able to keep hidden how bad we are at this government thing and how personally corrupt we are from you so its been easier to get you to just go along'..

That is certainly a large part of it. On the flip side, state-sponsored internet propaganda is also a thing.

Voter fraud has destroyed our country. How can there be a split between house and senate results without massive Dem voter fraud? Mathematically impossible

The Democrats won the Senate 41 million votes (D) to 31 million votes (R), and yet Seats were R+3.

Massive structural fraud!

That analysis is simply too retarded for words.

It isn't analysis, it is a rueful joke.

I understand the origins of the structural imbalance, and that it is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Still I think it is a fair assessment, that if we looked out at some other country and saw a party lose three to four, and yet still maintain control of their upper legislature, we would not see that is a well functioning democracy.

But partisanship is a hell of a thing.

Which party do you mean that keeps losing?

"if we look at some other country" is probably near to the source of the problem. The USA political structure was designed around not "a country" but rather a collections of states with a common governance. Other countries do see themselves and their political institutions evolved/designed around that understanding: a single unit.

That all changes after the civil war in the USA but the structure remained in place. Not sure the solution is to move further towards the federal position but clearly there is a neurosis present.

There is a whole lot of path dependency involved, starting with small eastern states in the ending with big western ones.

Obviously that is the way it will remain for our lifetimes, but I would hope that if you were starting with a clean sheet of paper you would not say "Delaware should be a state and Texas should be a state, and Wyoming should be a state."

There is a lot you can do to respect regions while better balancing population.

s/in the ending/and ending/

Maybe that is a good question for the politically informed:

Is the United States the only country that never renormalized its States, or Provinces, or whatever as it filled its final boundaries?

From my rudimentary understanding, I think we're the odd man out relative to other developed nations, having these big and small compartments equally represented.

The US has also had an extremely long history, from the very beginning of the country (an realistically, even before then), of resisting centralization. The US is singular in this regard, except maybe Switzerland. Greater centralization correlates with the "one man-one vote" principle, where absolute majorities in votes, rather than discrete representative bodes, are controlling for governance.

And this won't change anytime soon. America is too big, too diverse, too pluralistic, too different to function as a democracy unless these sometimes directly competing interests are weighted and centralization is resisted: the first Progressive Era faltered and failed with the halfway measure of the New Deal in large part because centralization was their ambition. The US isn't France, Denmark, or Germany, and we shouldn't want the US to function like Russia, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia, other large territory-diverse society-centralized countries.

By the way, I hope you are embarrassed by the way the Nitwit has spent all night on Twitter congratulating himself for a big win.

As the House goes blue, and as the Senate goes blue 4:3, but only hangs on "+R" for those structural reasons.

Dem massive voter fraud is the only thing that won the house. The Rs did well despite many Dem voters voting 2, or 3 times yesterday.

Weren't all the candidates in CA Ds? So not really a fair comparison?

It is legal to leave things blank in California.

If you are Republican facing two Democrats on the ballot, wouldn't you do that?

No, you vote for the least bad (if you are optimistic), Or you vote for the worse candidate hoping things get worse to provoke change. When you get stuck at a restaurant you don't like, do you mope and refuse to eat? Or just order the burger and hope next time you get to choose where to eat.

President Bolsonaro will never be defeated in midterms.

No, it is not. May President Bolsonaro rule for ten thousand years, ten thousand years and ten thousand ten thousand years.

I hope so. I’m a big Bolsonaro supporter I just know his penis is smaller than Trump’s.

No, it is not. Those are fake news.

Are you seriously arguing that Bolsonaro’s penis is bigger than Trump’s?


No Trump’s is way bigger. I study this stuff carefully, I know.

Hey J, want to be my goddess tonite?

If this study is true, can you imagine how bad Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao or Hitler would have been had the internet been invented? Whew!

See Churchill's Finest Hour speech:
..."new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science."

Too much information or too much false information? In the U.S., lots of false information on the internet produced an authoritarian president and a cooperative Congress. Indeed, Trump has threatened criminal sanctions against those who criticize him or his government, and I don't doubt that his followers would approve. As for China, it places a high value on order and stability: periods of disorder and instability led to foreign domination of China. That's not an excuse for oppression, just an acknowledgment of history. The recent crackdown on corruption in China is intended to generate confidence in the economic system in China, loss of confidence leading to disorder and instability. The U.S. has experienced a loss of confidence in the system as the result of perceived corruption in the financial sector that has gone unpunished, the loss of confidence contributing to the election of an authoritarian president who thrives on chaos.

IS there even a grain of truth in the first bit of what you've said? We don;t have an authoritarian president, false news almost led to his loss, and our previous president used the powers of the IRS and FBI and the Intelligence Community to stifle journalists (FBI), stifle opposition political groups (IRS), and investigate political opponents through a shell game financed by the DNC (Intel Community).

Thus far we moved away from authoritarianism, though the US House of Reps just went to a majority authoritarian party.

"We don;t have an authoritarian president"

Yeah you do. There are still checks and balances, but they are definitely not to Mr. Trump's liking.

In the U.S., lots of false information on the internet produced about an authoritarian president and a cooperative Congress.

Missed a word

Yeah pretty much everything the lamestream media says about Trump is fake news. Tyler is no exception.

So that explains the Boxer Rebellion and the Cultural Revolution. Too much internet.

"Rule by force" is only half of the equation, "rule by deflection" is the other half. If embarrassing information about their government is leaking into the internet, citizens may either choose to demand better of their government, setting up the rule by force dynamic, or compare their government's failings to other potential forms of government. Hence the sufficiently easier task of ruling some subset of population by deflection.

I guess the gentle persuasion of Tiananmen Square in 1989 is no longer effective.

Another thinker intoxicated with a theory that explains it all.

I alone can explain it all.

>dependent on force

Yeah, right. They're not garden-variety, viciously-brutal socialists.

They're just "dependent on force." Much like some nations are dependent on gas imports, say.

Yeah, this claim is kind of strange. The Chinese pulled off the cruelties of the Cultural Revolution without much technology at all, really with anti-technology as a theme.

There might have been a moment with the growth of the internet and social media in China where everyone hoped for expanding democracy. Instead we have an adaptation by the dictatorship to regulate and use the new technology.

And that represents the real risk going forward, that a totalitarian state would become internet adept.

In other news, keeping a person drugged makes them easier to control.

How does this shit pass for scholarship?

Was part of being poor at governance the arbitrary application of force upon those who see the flaws?

Seems like the alternative to using force might be to fix the failings of government -- or at least acknowledge the problems and offer plans on how to address them. Of course that would imply China and the CPC is at it's core a non-authoritarian system, which it is not.

Sounds good to me. Let the revolution begin.

It seems as though the post is implying this is a worse state than before, due to increasing use of force, but I don't see it that way. If the actual state of government they're living under is unacceptable, and causes people to revolt, arguing they should instead be kept ignorant so as to be complacent is the same as arguing for putting them in the matrix.
Since the government is keeping you in that state against your will, and enforcing it with the power of State (guns) I don't see how it's not "force".

How on earth can this be "demonstrated" rather than "argued"? Yes, it is plausible that this effect exists. Also plausible that networks increase information gathering for government in ways that reduce "reliance on force". And a number of other channels.

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