7 Reasons Why #YangGang Is More Than Just A Meme

1. Prophecy

Here is who I predicted would institute basic income back in 2017:

Mainstream Republicans and Democrats are corrupt retards who care naught beyond more tax cuts for the oligarchs and gibsmedats for the ghettoes, respectively. So its likely that it will be some political outsider President who ends up instituting basic income. In practice, given their wealth and high IQ, this in turn probably means some Silicon Valley plutocrat.

So, those first two are basically Trump!2019 and Commissar Kamala, respectively.

Yang is not quite a plutocrat, so I’m not 100% sure he’ll win. And his tech background he’s more East Coast than Silicon Valley. But otherwise, that’s his bio to a tee.

2. The Alt Right has defected to #YangGang en masse.

I am not surprised to see this (except, perhaps, for the alacrity of the change) for reasons I wrote about it back in 2015:

Today, in Europe as in the US, the basis of the welfare state is the use of targeted programs to help low-income members of the population. It is also widely known that certain ethnic minorities are overrepresented, sometimes grossly overrepresented, as a share of the recipients. In net terms, one can also look at it as a transfer of resources from indigenous Whites towards Non-Asian Minorities. As the demographic sluicegates to the Third World get opened up, these trends can only accelerate.

Many Whites are resentful about this, even if it is not politically correct to talk too openly about it. There are formidable psychological barriers just to thinking about things in such explicit terms.

Then comes along the idea of Universal Basic Income, which is not only cool and progressive but also feeds on the majority’s repressed sense of Ethnic Genetic Interests.

No wonder that everybody is jumping aboard!

You can also listen to a 2017 podcast I did with Robert Stark (The Stark Truth) where iirc I made many of the same points.

Yang’s UBI only applies after deducting the value of existing social programs that one already benefits from. There will still be gibsmedats, but now everyone would be entitled to them!

3. Drumpf

This has been helped along by Trump deciding to adopt a POWERFUL program revolving around opposing socialism, LEGAL immigrants for factories, rants about abortion, and condemning Dems as the real anti-Semites.

Things that basically nobody apart from a few slobbering boomers even care about.

And this all comes after failing at everything else – on the Wall (zero miles built), on stemming illegal immigration, on protecting his lieutenants, on protecting his supporters from getting banned on social media. The only half-decent successes he’s had have been on trade.

Trump has even managed to lose the Neo-Nazis at The Daily Stormer to a Chinaman, a half-Samoan Hindu, and a strong Somali Muslim woman. Winning!

The vast majority of the “Alt Right” are bright enough to recognize that since the only choice they have is between Invade the World/Invite the World or Invite the World/Get $1,000, they’d rather opt for the latter.

4. Memes

Meanwhile, though the Alt Right might be spent as an independent political force, /pol/ remains unrivalled in its memetic power. In particular, as befits his cyberpunk visions, Yang has completely wrestled the vaporwave market away from Trump:


As we learned from 2016, you can’t win if you don’t control the memes of production.

Meanwhile, /r/The_Donald has purged everyone halfway interesting and dissenting, it’s gone from the powerful memetic force it was in 2016 to an online, Trumpist version of Komsomol. They are no longer cool. They are squares.

5. His message appeals to everyone who wants $1,000.

It’s also a very easy message to understand. Like, what could be simpler than this?

Yes, some besuited beigeocrats from the Economics Department of Podunk University will come on and argue that it’s unsustainable and will bankrupt the country. But they can’t prove any of that.

6. Yang appeals to Fishtown

Meanwhile, as I already noted, there is basically no SJWism in his platform above the bare minimum required to run as a Democratic candidate.

No mention of Black issues on either website – which hosts a more comprehensive policy platform than all the other candidates combined – or Twitter, with the exception of one page that actually focused on pay inequality between men and women.

Interestingly, he has Tweeted about White problems:

He says there’ll be gun control, but says he’ll be “reasonable” about it. Which probably means he doesn’t take it any more seriously than Obama. Thought if not, it’s hardly the end of the world… while I like gun rights, I have argued that technological developments will soon make gun control near inevitable.

He says he is open to immigration. Ok, sure, but get real. You have to say that as a Democrat, when the Overton Window has moved to such an extent that many of Democrats are now openly demanding the abolition of ICE.

Like it or not, but that Wall isn’t getting built. Deportation squads going to send illegals back by the trainload. American Latinos are in the US to stay*. As Ron Unz has pointed out, in the long-term, Latino baiting is a losing strategy. They are not that violent or dysfunctional relative to Whites, so the disparity between the apocalyptic horror stories that anti-immigration activists claim and reality quickly becomes big enough that ordinary people just start to ignore them.

In this context, you can’t (realistically) ask for anything much more ambitious than this:

  • Secure the southern border and drastically decrease the number of illegal entries into the US
  • Provide a new tier of long-term permanent residency for anyone who has been here illegally for a substantial amount of time so that they can come out of the shadows and enter the formal economy and become full members of the community.
    • This new tier would permit individuals to work and stay in the country, provided they pay their taxes and don’t get convicted of a felony.
    • This tier would put them on a longer, eighteen-year path to citizenship (the same amount of time it takes those born in the US to get full citizenship rights), reflecting our desire to bring them into our country but also their decision to circumvent legal immigration channels.
  • Invest heavily in an information campaign to inform immigrant communities of this new tier of residency, and deport any undocumented immigrant who doesn’t proactively enroll in the program

Yang is no radical by Democratic standards, which should play well with blue-collar normies who just want their $1,000. And he’ll be free to move even further to the center should he actually be nominated (or run as a third-party candidate), leaving Trump with his remaining core constituency of plutocrats and Israel Firsters.

Moreover, come to think of it, Universal Basic Income is a Wall.

When you know that your $1,000 depends on the productivity of the economy, then you sure wouldn’t want immigrants (legal or illegal) “in the largest numbers ever” for the (soon-to-be-automated) factories.

Though you would admittedly want many smart fractions/cognitive elites, including imported ones, to design and build all those robots that will get everyone their $1,000. Yang’s platform is consistent with that. He says that no foreign student should finish their degree without a US permanent residency. In this sense, he is a classic cognitive elitist. There are problems with cognitive elitism. Even so, it is still probably better to import cognitive elites than surly permanent underclasses.

7. “But he’s just a meme candidate who’ll get 0.6% of the vote”

PredictIt current has him around 10% chance of taking the Dem nomination.

Here are the searches for the top likeliest Dem nominees this past week:

  • Commissar Kamala: meh
  • Crazy Bernie: Solid, though existing cult + name recognition helps
  • #YangGang: Evidently *not* just a /pol/ meme
  • Creepy Joe: Temporarily inflated by his announcement, otherwise like Yang
  • Beto Who?
  • Pocahontas also in the doldrums

So he isn’t negligible at any rate.

Yang is going to do very well in the debates. He was on the US National Debate Team in 1992 that went to the World Championships in London.

Ideologically, he is going to squat in Biden’s position, effectively displacing him out of the race. But apart from his folksy charm, and lack of creepy vibes, he will also be offering $1,000 and no intervention.

The real competition will then be a threeway race between Bernie, Yang, and Kamala.

Bernie is too old and too white. He is four years older than in the last elections, when he was already one of the oldest candidates. And the country he is running in is less white. And Yang will siphon off some of his people. He will be left with the hard leftists like the Chapo Trap House demographic… and that’s pretty much it.

Commissar Kamala unites the SJWs and party establishment. I was sure she’d take the nomination. I still think she will. But Yang is going to make it difficult. If this was a white dude pushing UBI, things may have been problematic. But Yang is a Chinaman, so he should be able to siphon off many of Kamala’s minority supporters too.

Trump’s path to victory in 2020:

(1) No recession. (Leading indicators in China and Japan not looking good).

(2) Runs against Commissar Kamila (as opposed to Biden, Bernie, Beto, Yang, or probably even Warren) OR Yang/Gabbard runs as third party.

The really big unknown is whether Yang is interested in running as a third party candidate. (If he does, Kamala will get something like 30%, he’ll get 25%, and Trump will get 40%, winning the election.)

But he will still absolutely trounce Trump, if he gets the nomination. And I think there’s at least a real chance of that.

I will admit that I am sympathetic to Yang. I can’t help but like a politician who RT’s Quillette, has phone calls with Nick Bostrom, and quotes Peter Turchin. This is basically like catnip to me.

I also genuinely think he’ll be good for the US.

I think he’ll be bad for Russia, though if only to the extent that he seems to have standard (moderate) Democrat positions on it and would also repair relations with Europe.

On China, I don’t know. Depends on whether Chinese ethnocentrism or Taiwanese svidomism* win out. Initially, I thought the former was likelier, though I’ve since had second thoughts.

He has said very little on foreign policy in general, though an isolationist trend can just about be discerned. (In any case, both he, Bernie, and even Kamala are running on a largely anti-interventionist platform).

What he can be sure to take seriously (based on his familiarity with Bostrom’s work) is AI safety, which may turn out to be a rather central existential issue in the 21st century.

There is also a small and distinct (vs. negligible wrt everyone else) chance he will go full glorious autistic transhumanism and massively increase funding for stuff like radical life extension. That would be pretty cool.

So you know how in the Civilization strategy games that once the first country adopts Democracy, all the other countries start getting an unhappiness penalty for avoiding it?

I think it will be the same for UBI.

If UBI is a success in the US, other countries will come under overwhelming domestic pressure to adopt it as well.

People around the world will start asking why they don’t deserve $1,000 like Americans do. $1,000 will come to be seen as a basic human right like freedom, food, security, and fast Internet.

Yang’s UBI program would translate to annual payments equivalent to 20% of US GDP per capita – a poverty level existence, to be sure, but still sufficient for a fulfilling, no frills life somewhere deep in the boondocks, or in a shared house in one of its major cities (outside SF and NY, at any rate). This would translate to around 500-700 Euros in most EU countries. Ironically, the mere existence of UBI in the US may well do more for the cause of European immigration nationalism – via Europeans adopting UBI themselves – than the entirety of the Identitarian Right.

I think it would also play well in Russia. America’s existing “democracy promotion” efforts revolving around issues like Chechen LGBT rights, various low single digit approval freaks from Echo of Moscow, and the suffering of the Crimean people under the Russian boot have been total failures. But once UBI starts becoming actualized, Russians will start asking why assorted oligarchs who didn’t at least earn their own wealth, like Bezos, but actively looted it in the 1990s, should have all the money while they subside on $500 wages and $200 pensions. China is fast becoming one of the most automated places on the planet, and gains a couple of billionaires every week. Tolerated for now, but perhaps American UBI will accentuate the contradictions between that and its official Communism to a critical degree.

These are of course fanciful scenarios, and unlikely ones. Still, it would be the height of irony if non-interventionist UBI’ism ends up creating more political troubles for America’s geopolitical adversaries than all of its previous democracy promotion combined.

  • Petty nationalism.

Kimppis on Chinese Naval Power

This is a very good summary and syncs with how I view things.

To be fair, I respect Mr. Martyanov’s views and also read his blog regularly. It’s true as well that China’s SSN fleet remains a relative weakness, so even in my opinion he’s certainly correct there to an extent. However, I do think he hugely exaggerates those issues for several reasons.

For one thing, as Anatoly and others have already mentioned, it really doesn’t matter that much around the First Island Chain. Many people also don’t seem to know that China’s has by far the largest MODERN diesel sub fleet in the world. Modern Chinese surface combatants have proper ASW capabilities as well. Modern frigates and corvettes are being introduced in huge numbers. The less known Y-8Q maritime patrol aircraft, China’s answer to P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon is finally in active service, too.

This weird notion that “China still won’t have modern nuclear submarines by the year 3000” is just part of the overall “China can’t into (military) tech” meme, which still somehow keeps living on. Martyanov thinks that China is not even close to solving its remaining technological bottlenecks. I, on the other hand, argue that the Chinese are close, and that those issues will have been solved by 2025, or even more likely, a few years earlier.

In this context, I feel it’s important to mention China’s progress in aircraft engines. The “anti-Chinese” narrative here is very similar to the submarine one, but it’s possibly even more clearly false, as China isn’t quite as secretive about that sector, and/or the progress is more difficult to hide, for obvious reason. Many seem to simply think that China has not made major advancements in the field. Some even keep suggesting that the relatively slow progress is somehow indicative of some inherent racial/ideological limitations. But how is that really different from the development of basically most/all other countries and their aerospace sectors? Also several countries have actually successfully developed modern fighters, but without domestic engines to power them.

The meme that all (or almost all) Chinese military aircraft are supposedly equipped with Russian engines isn’t true at all. AFAIK, most, if not all J-series Flankers have Chinese engines (the backbone of China’s fighter fleet, hundreds of modern aircraft) and that the Chinese have already tested domestic engines on the 5th-gen J-20, so in reality China hasn’t been one of those aforementioned countries for some time. Russia remains only modestly ahead of China, maybe only by 5 years. 2025!

I also want to point out once more that China has already introduced improved variants of the Type 093 SSN years ago and that Russia has a single (I think?) post-Soviet SSN (Yasen) in active service. Now, it’s of course true that Russia needs a blue water navy and SLOCs much less than China and that upgraded “Soviet-era” boats remain very capable, but considering the fact that even the US Navy is still mostly equipped with “Soviet-era” boomers, it’s very debatable overall how “shitty” the Type 093 actually even is. Certainly the gap between the upgraded variants vs. both the NEWEST Russian and the US subs shouldn’t be more than “a generation.” Type 093 was China’s equivalent Los Angeles class, and the (soon!) upcoming Type 095 will be China’s answer to Virginia and Seawolf, as well as the Type 052D of Chinese nuclear attack subs. That’s it. This isn’t that complicated.

Your assessment might be even more “ambitious” than mine lol, though I certainly agree with 95% of it and I was going to post something similar (“fake edit”: I guess I did it anyway…).

Some additional points:

Yes, Type 055s are certainly “cruisers” according to the current American definition.

The “last” 4 carriers (by around 2030) will almost certainly be EMALS-equipped supercarriers.

Then there’s the relatively little known Type 075 class “large helicopter carriers,” or LHDs. I haven’t been following its progress recently, and to my surprise (actually, not really at this point) China is apparently building 3 (!! Jesus…) such ships simultaneously, at least according to some sources and English Wikipedia (so might still easily be BS). If true, you can probably add six 40,000 ton Type 075s to the list. And a reminder: only the US Navy is equipped with similarly large LHDs currently.

The current rate of 5 destroyers per year sounds insane, and I think something like 3-4 -> 60-80% of the US Navy by 2030 might be more realistic, though probably still more than enough in most scenarios, considering US “overextension.” That said, I think 5 is actually doable for China, and it would make a lot of sense. And of course China has a very large number of modern frigates and corvettes, whereas the US Navy is very top-heavy, an issue it’s trying to solve with the LCS program.

I can still remember all those not-so-old predictions from informed China watchers, maybe from 5-10 years ago. Back then most expected maybe 30 destroyers by 2030…

Overall it must be concluded that China’s declarations about acquiring a “world class navy by 2050” are basically a joke at this point. But even then the uniformed Western media seemed to take them kind of seriously lol. That combined with some unhealthy dose of wishful thinking. “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.” It still works.

Dream of the Civic Chamber

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Civic Chamber of Russia in my capacity as a blogger person to give my Very Important Opinions on a draft law being considered by some United Russia deputies to create “cyber militia” tasked with identifying and reporting illegal/extremist content on the Internet.

I obviously consider that a very bad idea and I wrote about why here:  https://akarlin.ru/2019/03/cybermilitia/

That text is also the formal written response that I sent off. I can’t be bothered recounting why here, but if you’re interested, just use Google Translate on the original article. Instead I am going to offer a couple of political observations.

Despite the imbecility of the law in question, and the thuggish attitudes of one of its sponsors (“Do you support terrorism and extremism?” he brusquely demanded to know of one of his critics), I nonetheless came away rather impressed with this institution, and rather hopeful about wider political trends.

  1. They invite a wide array of relevant people – social media representatives, security people, journalists, bloggers, etc. – to offer their critiques on new laws. The proceedings are live-streamed on their website. Nor are the people they invite toadies. Regarding that cyber militia law in particular, I estimate around 80% of the participants were critical or very critical. While the Chamber’s function is purely consultative, I can barely imagine that law going ahead – at least in anything resembling its original form – after the all round public drubbing it received. In that sense, one might even consider it a sort of check and balance.

  2. The critics included the Secretary of the Civic Chamber Valery Fadeev, who suggested it would be a slapstick repeat of the Soviets “chasing stilyagi” (a postwar youth movement that idolized Western popular culture, obviously to official disapproval) and explicitly compared it to the abuses under Article 282 (a “hate speech” law that was recently partially decriminalized). This is interesting, because Fadeev is also a senior official in the All-Russia People’s Front, a pro-Putin organization meant to coordinate relations between United Russia and Russia’s myriad NGOs and other associations.

This is all very encouraging as it suggests a rejection of sovokism at the (upper) levels of Russian society, both in and out of formal power – that is, at the levels that matter.

The Terrorist Attack in New Zealand

Here is Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto. He comes off as a living repository of /pol/ memes.

Personally, I think we need to punish the enablers of Far Right terrorism. Well past time the hateful anti-Semite PewDiePie was kicked off YouTube and Putler got more sanctions.

EDIT 2019.03.18: Seems there is a concerned campaign to get the manifesto and video off the Internet. Moreover, according to New Zealand police, sharing the video could get you more jail time than Brenton Tarrant will get for killing any one of those Muslims.


Mussolini Did Nothing Wrong

Every so often some Berlusconi Bro praises Mussolini to some extent or another and invites a flurry of condemnation from the handshakeworthy set. This has just happened with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. And then, of course, there was Matteo Salvini’s approving quotation of the Italian dictator last year.

From what I can figure out, though, he really didn’t do anything wrong – at least not substantially more so than any other countries at the time.

  • A grand total of nine people were executed for political crimes during his entire rule from 1922-1943. These were handed out exclusively for murder and political terror.
    • For comparison, that’s around SIX orders of magnitude lower than for the USSR [~700,000 political executions firmly established; probably around a million overall]. Over those twenty years, evil Italian fascists executed someone about once every three years; heroic Soviets executed someone once every 15 minutes.
    • This is in the context of frequent assassination attempts against Mussolini (e.g. five in 1926 alone).
    • It’s also comparable to the rate of politicized executions in the Western democracies, e.g. Sacco and Vanzetti (1927) would doubtless qualify.
  • There were 4,500 people convicted of political crimes in Fascist Italy.
    • This compares to 4 million people convicted of political crimes in the Soviet Gulag from 1921-1953. Difference of three orders of magnitude.
    • Conditions in Italy were incomparably better. Gramsci wrote his books from a comfortable jail. The leader of the Italian Communists, Amadeo Bordiga, was sent into exile for three years, and was left in peace after his release. Reality is, Fascist Italy was a much nicer and safer place even for Communists than many actual Communist regimes.
    • The Western democracies did not imprison crimethinkers in any significant numbers, so Italy was worse in this respect. But the chasm between it and the Nazis/Soviets, vs. between the West, was much narrower.
  • But what about the Jews?
    • While they did just fine under the early Fascist regime, they started getting kicked out from areas like journalism and academia from the late 1930s, largely under Nazi pressure.
    • This is regrettable, but not even in the same universe as Nazi Germany itself; or for that matter the Soviet Union, where the old bourgeois and aristocracy – “former people” – were not just barred from areas like higher education (in favor of – yes – Jews*), but actively persecuted and eventually murdered. And even in the West, it is well known that were plenty of both formal and informal barriers to Jewish upwards mobility erected by America’s then WASP elites.
    • The Italian military under Mussolini specifically prevented Germans from deporting Jews in their zones of control in foreign countries such as France and Croatia, to say nothing of Italy itself. Deportations did not begin until the overthrow of Mussolini and Italy’s partial occupation by Nazi Germany.
  • Territorial aggression: Yes, Italy got greedy. But snapping up rival countries’ territories was fair game by the standards of 1930s Europe, including on the part of otherwise “fluffy” countries such as Poland that took full advantage of Czechoslovakia’s dismemberment in 1938.
  • Fascist Italy’s biggest actual crime – which, ironically, basically everyone ignores – may have been Yekatit 12, the extermination of about 20,000 of the Ethiopian intelligentsia after the attempted assassination of the head of the Italian occupation forces.
    • This is basically a week’s work for Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.
    • About a year’s work for Franco’s Spain, for that matter.
    • Comparable in magnitude to the Kenyan civilian casualties from the British suppression of the Mau Mau Uprising in the 1950s.

A German would have to be a psychopath to apologize for Hitler. A Russian would have to be not just a psychopath, but a cuckolded retard, to apologize for Lenin or Stalin.

A Spaniard can apologize for Franco, given the alternatives on offer, but it should come with many caveats. He did kill many, many more people than Mussolini, though most of this was in the context of a brutal civil war. Francoist Spain’s main saving grace and retrospective PR salvation with respect to Fascist Italy was that it did not end up allying with Hitler.

However, Italians have no particular need to be ashamed of Mussolini. Even if the claim that he made the trains run on time is an urban legend.

  • Yury Slezkine in The Jewish Century (2004): “The art historian A. Anisimov wrote to a colleague in Prague (in November 1923), “Out of 100 applicants to Moscow University, 78 are Jews; thus, if the Russian university is now in Prague, the Jewish one is in Moscow.” The father of a student about to be “purged” for alien origins wrote to a friend or relative in Serbia: “Pavel and his friends are awaiting their fate. But it’s clear that only the Jerusalem academics and the Communists, Party members generally, are going to stay.” And according to the wife of a Leningrad University professor, “in all the institutions, only workers and Israelites are admitted; the life of the intelligentsia is very hard.”

US College Admissions Scandal is Reminiscent of Russian Realities

In my 2011 series comparing life in the US, Britain, and Russia, I wrote the following about university admissions:

Overall, university admissions are probably the most meritocratic in the UK. In Russia, though the system is supposed to be meritocratic, it is skewed by corruption, for it is not unknown for applicants to bribe admissions staff at the more prestigious universities, and certainly the children of oligarchs or powerful politicians – no matter their intellectual aptitude – experience few problems in getting into schools like Moscow State University or MGIMO. However, direct bribes have become more difficult in recent years, due to the national standardization of the exam system. The US is in between. Though direct corruption is as unheard of as in the UK, the system itself is rigged in favor of the rich and influential. The most egregious example of this is the open discrimination in favor of legacies, the children of former alumni of the university. The more your parents “donate” to the alma mater, the better their children’s chances of getting in. This reminds me of a Simpsons episode where the nuclear power tycoon Mr. Burns takes out his checkbook to negotiate a place in Harvard for his ne’er-do-well son Larry.

Man: Well, frankly, test scores like Larry’s would call for a very generous contribution. For example, a score of 400 would require a donation of new football uniforms, 300, a new dormitory, and in Larry’s case, we would need an international airport.
Woman: Yale could use an international airport, Mr. Burns.
Burns: Are you mad? I’m not made of airports!

This would be considered pretty repellent by Europeans (and most Americans too), but is only counted as corruption by the former. There are two other major examples of discrimination in university admissions to US colleges. First, good athletes – primarily American football players, rowers, and lacrosse players – are much more likely to get in with poor grades, as they bring their university money and recognition (this is also common in Oxbridge, UK, for rowers). Second, there is positive discrimination* based on race: due to their poorer academic performance in schools, African-Americans** and Hispanics have an easier time getting in on poor grades than whites or Asians. (Jews have a great time of it. Though they have the highest grades of any ethnicity, they are counted as whites for the purpose of university admissions.)

This is the sort of quid pro quo that got President Kushner into Harvard.

However, if the recent news are anything to go by, the US system has degraded closer to Russia’s level, in which the former sheen of legality has been replaced by outright bribery and outsider test-taking.

Riddell took SAT and ACT exams for students between 2012 and this past February, according to a criminal complaint.

He was paid $10,000 per test, prosecutors said.

It wasn’t immediately clear, in charging documents, exactly how many tests Riddell took, but prosecutors are seeking to recover almost $450,000 forfeiture from the former college tennis player.


On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced the indictments of dozens of wealthy parents, including the Emmy-winning actress Felicity Huffman, for employing various forms of bribery and fraud to get their kids into highly selective schools. Some of them allegedly paid college coaches, including at Yale and Stanford, to lie and say that their children were special recruits for sports that the kids didn’t even play. Others allegedly paid exam administrators to let someone smarter take tests for their children. Millions of dollars changed hands.

Now I am not saying that Russia and the US are comparable, because they are not. Prevalence is certainly much greater in Russia. And American violations actually lead to criminal investigations (which you can’t exactly do in Russia, where the rot starts at the very top; e.g., Putin’s “PhD” is plagiarized).

Still, this does seem to indicate a sort of gradual convergence in institutional quality and social/moral mores, as whatever it was that made the West special – its rule of law, or historic selection for prosocial traits, or whatever else it is – continue breaking down.

I suppose one benefit is that more such cases will help reveal modern academia for the empty, useless, non-human capital increasing, pure signalling enterprise it is so far as 90% of the population is concerned.

Flying Has Become Far Safer

The Boeing 737 Max’s current failure rate of ~1% of all airframes in the mere three years it has been flying commercially is, obviously, astoundingly bad. But it’s worth noting that this comes on the back of astounding improvements in air safety over the past century.

According to Steven Pinker’s data in Enlightenment Now, it is 100x safer (!) to fly today than it was in the 1970s.

This has happened even as flights have become far more affordable. Inflation-adjusted price of LA-NY flights in the 1970s was around $1,500. Today – $200 (even if there’s no blackjack, hookers, and leg room these days).

Bad Investment

Book Density & IQ

Found this convenient summary table of the amount of books people had in their adolescence based on the PIAAC surveys.

Sikora, Joanna, M. D. R. Evans, and Jonathan Kelley. 2019. “Scholarly Culture: How Books in Adolescence Enhance Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Technology Skills in 31 Societies.” Social Science Research 77 (January): 1–15.

The Scandinavians are highest at around ~200 books; Anglos, Germanics, and Slavs tend to have ~150; strangely, Japanese and Koreans – only ~100 (Singapore especially is an outlier at just 52); the Meds around 80. Lowest is Turkey at just 27, joint second is Chile at 52; also the lowest IQ countries in this sample.

Heiner Rindermann in Cognitive Capitalism:

The number of books is the third best parental indicator of children’s intelligence (rBo = .25; Section 3.4.5) and at the international level the correlation is very high with cognitive ability (rBo = .70; Table 10.5) – much higher than any attribute of instruction or schools. The average number of books at home can be used as a proxy of national cognitive ability. Looking at the numbers taken from student assessment studies (see Appendix and Table A.3) the average for Latin America at home is 28 books, in Brazil 34 books, approximately a quarter to a third compared to Britain with 102 or Scandinavia with 111 books.

See also Steve Sailer’s commentary on (the paucity of) books in Mexico.

That said, I expect these correlations to start collapsing soon, if they haven’t already, as the most developed/higher IQ countries start shifting to e-books amongst the younger generations.

Tracking China’s Naval Power

It is pretty evident that Chinese naval power is growing by leaps and bounds, with a lot of qualitative literature about it:

There have been fewer articles looking at the quantitative side of things, though NextBigFuture does point out that PLAN is slated to overtake USN in warship numbers by 2030.

However, a more accurate measure of relative naval power is warship tonnage.

Now ironically, while there are plenty of these figures for the buildup to both the World Wars – at least they are commonly cited in history books – I have been much less successful at finding analogous tallies for modern navies.

For the post-1990 era, this is the best I have been able to find:

Crisher, Brian Benjamin, and Mark Souva. 2014. “Power at Sea: A Naval Power Dataset, 1865–2011.International Interactions 40 (4): 602–29.

So as of 2010, China was at around 16% of the US level: 429,000 tons to 2,765,000 tons.

But it has been picking up pace since then. When your GDP doubles every eight years or so, it’s not long before you begin to see explosive growth even keeping the share of military spending constant.

According to these graphics from the IISS, in 2012-14, China constructed as many ships as the US, and twice as many in 2015-2017 (in terms of tonnage).

Note that since the US Navy is so much bigger, as well as much older on average, it will also be losing much more tonnage in terms of depreciation every year. In other words, while the US would have been standing still during this time in terms of gross tonnage, China would have added most of the ~625,000 tons it inducted during 2012-2017 to its aggregate total.

Considering a further 50,000 (?) tons of production 2011, plus whatever the figure is for 2018, we can safely conclude that Chinese warship tonnage should now be solidly above 1,000,000 tons and approaching 40% of the US level.

It would also mean that China has gone from rough naval parity with Russia around 2010 to exceeding it twice over, while also becoming much newer and more modern.

If it continues at this pace – increasing production by a mere 33% relative to 2015-17, and then leveling off at one million tons every six years – this will further double PLAN tonnage to 2 million tons by ~2024, and enable it to overtake the USN as early as the late 2020s. (Perhaps Trump’s recent boost to military spending will stave it off to 2030… big difference).

This happens to be even earlier than the original date of ~2040 that I estimated for US-Chinese naval convergence (though those estimates were not based on tonnage, but factors such as cumulative naval spending minus depreciation, and technology).

But whether the crossover point will be closer to 2030 or 2040 isn’t really all that germane. The USN is spread out all over the world; PLAN can concentrate off the Chinese seaboard, within range of its fighters, missiles, and air defense assets both on the coasts and on its artificial islands. I think that so far as any conflict over Taiwan or the Spratly Islands is concerned, we could be looking at emerging Chinese dominance as early as the mid-2020s.

No wonder that Bannon was talking about how there needs to be a war with China within the next 5 years, or 10 at the maximum. There’s not much time left for US naval dominance in the West Pacific.