Fred Reed on China

Fred Reed (click link for his biography) recently spent two weeks in China, visiting Chengdu and its environs.  He has posted three essays about his experiences and impressions on his blog, Fred on Everything.  They’re well worth the time to read.

5+

Users who have liked this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar

Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

4 thoughts on “Fred Reed on China”

  1. I read the last linked piece and I gotta say, he paints an interesting picture juxtaposing the two countries. One of the things that stuck out to me was his depiction of life in China being “normal,” meaning as long as you don’t besmirch the state you can go clubbing, start a business, and live the Dulce Gobanna lifestyle. Well this is exactly how life is here in the US. If you are not on board with globalist, Leftwing policies/culture as dictated to us by the political media, Hollywood, and DC, then you are cast out of the society. Ask the guy from Duck Dynasty, the guy from Mozilla who was kicked out of his own company and went on to start Brave, and President Trump. I don’t think there is too much daylight in this regard between China and the United States.

    The other thing that stood out was his explanation of China creating an empire through commerce where the US has created one through coercion and military force. I think he glosses over quite a few things that China does in this regard–like development projects in Africa where only Chinese nationals are hired and the contracts are enforced through small contingents of the PLA. But the US employs coercion on a grand scale to facilitate economic deals in many respects. The difference is that the PLA is employed to protect the Chinese projects where the US military is employed to force US projects. I think the difference is clear–China cannot possibly project power in the same way the US can, so they have to go about things differently.

    0

  2. Robert A. McReynolds:
    The difference is that the PLA is employed to protect the Chinese projects where the US military is employed to force US projects. I think the difference is clear–China cannot possibly project power in the same way the US can, so they have to go about things differently.

    It seems to me that what China is doing in Africa isn’t all that different from what the British East India Company was doing in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Starting from a focus on trade, it expanded into securing access to resources, labour, and markets through deals and sometime overt conquest of local powers.  But, in general, if a goal could be accomplished commercially, that’s how they did it, although they had the British fleet and their own private army available when enforcement became necessary.

    Countries in Africa are getting “development assistance” and infrastructure from China in much the same deal as local rulers in India.  Given how miserably post-colonial regimes in Africa have bungled things, this may not be such a bad deal for their populations.

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
  3. I’ve been reading Fred off and on since I was a teenager.  I disagree with him quite a bit on several things, but he’s a great writer. His piece ridiculing Left “military reformers” made a big impact on my thinking, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’m a reform-minded man about the military and weapons procurement myself, but that’s because I want weapons that work effectively and can be purchased in quantity. Lots of these clowns have no real interest in the troops, per se, they just want to spend any savings on Medicare for All or whatever it is the Left wants this week. Fred’s takedown of the likes of Pierre Sprey (whose 15 minutes should have been up a looooong time ago) and Dina Rasor was outstanding.  He understands that mockery is the best weapon.

    In 1985 she published a book, a risk which few Reformers should take. In the book (“The Pentagon Underground”), she tells of going with a congressional delegation to Fort Hood, Texas, in 1981 to see the M1. She tells of getting into the driver’s seat, low in the front of the hull, and discovering — lo! The Army had designed the tank for midgets! There wasn’t enough room for people of normal size. For example, her head bumped against the turret. Why, she gasped, one of our boys might be knocked out.

    Ever vigilant, Rasor ferreted out another manifestation of the tanks excessive tininess. She is only 5’6″ tall, she writes, yet “I later had a crew member close the hatch while I was in the driver’s seat. In order to fit, I had to dig my chin into my chest and put myself in an almost impossible driving position.”

    I had the same problem until I adjusted the seat.”

    You can read that very piece, published in the Washington Post back in 1987, here.

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar
  4. 1) Fred Reed’s article will help me sell a vacation to China (someday) to my wife !

    3) Reed has the same conclusion as as I do regarding the dangers of “social justice” in U.S.A. schools. New York State Education is winning the race to bottom — most money spent pe student, worst academic outcomes, and very socially just … yuck.

    2) Real journalism is the first step to discovering what is going on so Thank You John Walker and Fred Reed.

    2+

    Users who have liked this comment:

    • avatar
    • avatar

Leave a Reply