A highly enlightening deep dive into how China (and Xi and the CCP) engages in the culture war. Levine paints a very persuasive picture of how the Xi regime operates from the inside to protect itself from Western liberal ‘seepage’ into its own ideological sphere, while taking the struggle for ideas to the declining West across a variety of fronts. Especially useful is the discussion of Xi’s chief source of ideas, Wang Huning, who already saw the trajectory of the West’s decline in his book “America Against America.” Our nihilistic youth culture with its toxic brew of race- and gender-propelled identity politics is precisely what Xi wants to keep out of the minds of his population. At the same time, he wants to win the culture war, which for him and his regime is not distinct from but part and parcel of the economic war, by supplanting our consumerist decadence and lack of will with a revitalized combination of traditional Confucianism and muscular socialism/communitarianism. As an uninformed reader, I must say that Xi‘s position, proactive, well thought out, and already far along in the field, seems scarily strong under the circumstances. He understands and takes advantage of the fact, better than our more narrowly focused pundits and commentators, that everything is downstream from culture. Bottom line: this is a piece that anyone who wants to have an accurate sense of how things are moving big-picture geopolitically should definitely read.

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Chinese culture? IDK. China has an imperial culture befitting an empire. The are 279 major dialects in China. Does anybody speak Mandarin at home? The regional divisions in China are unlike anything we have in the US. They are both linguistic and surprisingly sort of racial.

All Mao did with his cultural revolution is kill what remained of pride and familiarity with Chinese ways and customs. China is more Western than people realize. The incredibly stupid one child per family was nothing more than China apeing the West. They weren't thinking about China and the future.

I travel to China frequently for business. The Chinese don't trust their government. They don't feel kinship with the parts that make the whole.

I suspect Xi worries day and night about how the internet is dissolving any power the rulers used to have to shape Chinese thinking. We think and Xi wishes the great Chinese firewall works. But it doesn't. There are millions and Millions of VPNs running day and night throughout China. If.. big if, they catch you, it's a fine. People are not afraid of being caught. I don't think the country or the economy can function without a real global internet. The western web is all before them.

Xi has too much domestic trouble to start war adventures. It's all upside to make your enemies fear you. It's crazy to get into fights you won't and can't win. We should open our eyes to the inherent weakness of the Chinese empire and realize we hold the trump cards.

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So, the "white left" is an outgrowth of progressive left-liberalism. But I experience it as the top-down policy of the western educated class.

The Chinese answer to this is Wang-ism: Marxism plus Confucianism. Top-down.

Note that the current "far-right" populism in the west is an organic movement against the top-down "white left."

I wonder what an organic populism against top-down Wang-ism would look like.

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From the CCP: ““postmodernism, deconstructionism, and the decentering theories of the cultural left, which aim to destroy the ideological authority of the [liberal-democratic] world empire from within,” are “undoubtedly destroying the civilizational foundations” of the West—and therefore its global power and influence.”

It’s sad they understand the problem better than most in the west.

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