What's happening in Intra Asia



As the regulatory state grows larger, the entrepreneurial spirit is extinguished

As China sinks into the economic morass that usually afflicts communist projects, so too has its major role in the western economies, though more so in the Americas than in Europe. This has been accelerated by the decoupling in which as foreign direct investment in China fades, no longer is it or will it be the engine of growth it once was.

What the increasingly socialist Western world ignores is the degree to which China became more prosperous in direct proportion to the degree it became less socialist. Thus, its export-led economy generated riches because the West bought what China made. This is no longer the case and nor is it likely to be the case in future given the tighter communist control and shrinking business confidence.

The implications for the West appear to be twofold; a) the westbound trade from Asia will be larger than the eastbound trade to the Americas and b) each trade will become smaller than it once was because of re-shoring, nearshoring and homeshoring of factory production. The Americas are more naturally self-sufficient industrially, while Europe is not, and more dependent on imports from the Far East.

But dealing with the larger Asia-Europe trade lane, there is now the threat to safe passage through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal where Yemeni rockets have been raining down. This has driven up insurance rates and diverted ships to the much longer and more costly Cape route around South Africa.

Some readers are old enough to remember when the Suez Canal was closed for eight years during a fit of pique on Egypt's part when it lost the Six-Day War to Israel in 1967.

Western relations with Red China are cooling as Beijing becomes more traditionally communist, crushing individual liberties that were growing since the days of Deng Xiaoping.

While the West was ready to cut China some slack as it edged towards rule of law through commercial arbitration, it was less forgiving of a society that was becoming increasingly authoritarian and threatening neighbours.

Yet a competence and confidence of the Chinese people has remained high and this has been the only thing that commends China sourcing of manufactures. But with the government dragging the people down with new restrictions, bans and mandates, the admitted strengths of the Chinese were not enough to slow the decoupling trend.

All of which has made Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and more importantly, India and Bangladesh, more attractive as a source of manufactures. Their competence and confidence would grow over time, and their governments would allow people to set their own priorities rather than attempting to build a new socialist man while engaging in a never ending class war.

It is ironic that that these free-enterprising people are conscripted in a classic communist class war, while at the same time the Western world faces a class war from a supposedly capitalist regime, intellectually led by Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum.

The WEF's views are enacted in rules and regulations with the least possible input from elected legislatures. What's more, the West's permanent civil service, the core of the Deep State, are unduly influenced, if not actually controlled, by companies they supposedly regulate. 

Perhaps unwittingly, these Eastern and Western forces are working to similar ends. They are at peace today, but may be at war tomorrow. One suspects such conflicts will be wars like those described in George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four", in which their importance lies not in whether one side wins or loses, but whether they create sustainable  emergencies serious enough to justify detailed and perpetual social control.

Yet the Deep State has encountered difficulties. It had its Gramsci Plan to parallel the German's World War I Schlieffen Plan, which had put the German invasion of France on a schedule. Antonio Gramsci's plan to take over the Western World was not by opposing and overthrowing Western institutions as Marx advised, but by joining these organisations, and taking them over, a process called the "long march through the institutions".

For the last 40, 50 years Gramsci Plan worked well. They took over the universities, themselves serving as the filtration services for the media and bureaucracy. So by 1980 one could safely say newsrooms were dominated by the Parliamentary left. Soon it was much the same in the civil service and the judiciary.  These developments were occurring against a background of an electorate that was 50:50 split right and left judging by electoral results.

The Deep State, not being a conspiracy but rather an amorphous collection of like-minded bodies, are vulnerable to siloed group think, of going a bridge too far. What looked cool to the in-crowd like attempting to normalise transgender operations or the whole range of queer behavior, seriously sickened the out-crowd.

Because Deep State showed itself for what it was too soon, masculine revulsion elected Donald Trump. But with the Deep State sabotaging all it could, there wasn't much the Trump Administration could do in office, except in foreign affairs where he made yards because the Deep State played no crucial role in the deals he made. Thus he moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, working out a new NAFTA deal, effecting a major tax cut, the signing the Abraham Accords furthering a Middle East peace, and getting out of the Paris Climate Accords.

What the siloed left, locked into their own echo chambers, failed to realise is how unhinged they had become. Measures that under normal circumstances would be considered unethical, were deemed in the hysterical mood of the time, to be okay if applied to Trump.

But there was resistance from the Canadian truckers convoy, massive protests of German, Dutch and French farmers who besieged national capitals and British Brexiteers who were in widespread revolt against the Deep State.

Of all the weapons of which the Deep State was most proud, was the undisputed control of legacy media. They had achieved that beyond their wildest dreams. But it was to prove nearly useless, rather like tanks in the Russo-Ukraine war. They just seem to get blown up by artillery and drone strikes.

Great news sources of the past - CNN and the New York Times - were now just Democratic Party mouth pieces, and known to be so and regarded as such.

Of the future, one can be reasonably sure that there will be less production and less international trade. That is, if nothing comes to change the mood as Trump did, bucking up consumer confidence, and making the West great again. Which is precisely what the left does not want.


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Given the present mood, and the growth of the Deep State, the author takes a gloomy view that world trade volumes will slide. Do you agree?

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