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The Fatal Delusions of Western Man

“We got China wrong. Now what?” ran the headline over the column in the Washington Post.

“Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?” asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence.

America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People’s Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.

We deluded ourselves. It did not happen.

change_me

Xi Jinping just changed China’s constitution to allow him to be dictator for life. He continues to thieve intellectual property from U.S. companies and to occupy and fortify islets in the South China Sea, which Beijing now claims as entirely its own.

Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea as Chinese warplanes and warships circumnavigate Taiwan threatening its independence.

We today confront a Chinese Communist dictatorship and superpower that seeks to displace America as first power on earth, and to drive the U.S. military back across the Pacific.

Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?

The elites of both parties. Bush Republicans from the 1990s granted China most-favored-nation status and threw open America’s market.

Result: China has run up $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States. Her $375 billion trade surplus with us in 2017 far exceeded the entire Chinese defense budget.

We fed the tiger, and created a monster.

Why? What is in the mind of Western man that our leaders continue to adopt policies rooted in hopes unjustified by reality?

Recall. Stalin was a murderous tyrant unrivaled in history whose victims in 1939 were 1,000 times those of Adolf Hitler, with whom he eagerly partnered in return for the freedom to rape the Baltic States and bite off half of Poland.

When Hitler turned on Stalin, the Bolshevik butcher rushed to the West for aid. Churchill and FDR hailed him in encomiums that would have made Pericles blush. At Yalta, Churchill rose to toast the butcher:

“I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world. … We regard Marshal Stalin’s life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us.”

Returning home, Churchill assured a skeptical Parliament, “I know of no Government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government.”

George W. Bush, with the U.S. establishment united behind him, invaded Iraq with the goal of creating a Vermont in the Middle East that would be a beacon of democracy to the Arab and Islamic world.

Ex-Director of the NSA Gen. William Odom correctly called the U.S. invasion the greatest strategic blunder in American history. But Bush, un-chastened, went on to preach a crusade for democracy with the goal of “ending tyranny in our world.”

What is the root of these astounding beliefs—that Stalin would be a partner for peace, that if we built up Mao’s China she would become benign and benevolent, that we could reshape Islamic nations into replicas of Western democracies, that we could eradicate tyranny?

Today, we are replicating these historic follies.

After our victory in the Cold War, we not only plunged into the Middle East to remake it in our image, we issued war guarantees to every ex-member state of the Warsaw Pact, and threatened Russia with war if she ever intervened again in the Baltic Republics.

No Cold War president would have dreamed of issuing such an in-your-face challenge to a great nuclear power like Russia.

If Putin’s Russia does not become the pacifist nation it has never been, these guarantees will one day be called. And America will either back down — or face a nuclear confrontation.

Why would we risk something like this?

Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation.

Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers’ wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history.

But the greatest risk we are taking, based on utopianism, is the annual importation of well over a million legal and illegal immigrants, many from the failed states of the Third World, in the belief we can create a united, peaceful and harmonious land of 400 million, composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, tribe, creed, culture and language on earth.

Where is the historic evidence for the success of this experiment, the failure of which could mean the end of America as one nation and one people?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

 

38 Comments (Open | Close)

38 Comments To "The Fatal Delusions of Western Man"

#1 Comment By John On March 2, 2018 @ 2:38 am

Umm I think America, the USA ,the greatest nation on earth is proof that you can do this. All the while as the US was ascending to greatness nativists were warning about the immigrant. The Irish, the Italians, the Jews, the Chinese, the Swedes and on and on.

Lets look at Apple most valuable company on the planet founded by the son of a Syrian immigrant, Intel founded by a Hungarian, Google (Russian) and on and on. It isn’t even a recent phenomenon. Andrew Carnegie a Scottish immigrant founded what would become US steel and became the richest man in the world. Bell telephone another Scot.

America is a fantastic place attracting talent from around the world and providing fertile ground to allow talent, ambition and hard work to create wealth such as the world has never known.

Lighten up Pat, I know they are brown and eat funny food but they will do what immigrants before them have done. Have a little faith in America.

#2 Comment By bkh On March 2, 2018 @ 7:34 am

“America is a fantastic place attracting talent from around the world and providing fertile ground to allow talent, ambition and hard work to create wealth such as the world has never known.”

It is all about money for some? That steel industry is gone to China as is the phone making industry.

America is not being destroyed by immigration. America is being destroyed because it has turned its back on the great I Am. Just like Sodom and the other cities on the plains. Just like Judah before it was carried off to Babylon. There is no technology, political party, Hollywood star, or social justice issue that will save it. No one on the right or left will change it. If there ever was a time for rending garments and burlap and ashes in your personal life, it is now.

#3 Comment By Dan Green On March 2, 2018 @ 7:58 am

Post WW 2, however that victory was cobbled together, by ourselves , the Brits, and the heavy toll the Russians paid, wearing down the Germans, the west adopted the Social Democratic Welfare Model as it’s banner. Western Democracies all pursue it, however these democracies our’s included cannot make it work. China and Russia know it won’t work in their ideologies.

#4 Comment By Youknowho On March 2, 2018 @ 8:29 am

Yes, America started going downhill after they accepted people from a failed coutry, with a religion that went against all we believed, violent, drunk, given to terrorism. No one ever wanted to hire them.

I am talking of course, about the Irish.

#5 Comment By El’geherg On March 2, 2018 @ 8:50 am

John,

” I know they are brown and eat funny food but they will do what immigrants before them have done.”

Except they aren’t. There is an enormous difference between people moving here to become Americans and make this their home and people coming here to milk the economic benefits to send back to their home country. Mexicans alone send over $20 billion back home every year. They don’t see themselves as Americans in the making, they are Mexicans here to make a better living than they can in their own country but they never consider this to be their home. You can argue that this is a positive or negative but pretending that Mexican illegals working to wire money back to Mexico are indistinguishable from 19th century European immigrants is dishonest.

#6 Comment By Kent On March 2, 2018 @ 8:54 am

“America is not being destroyed by immigration. America is being destroyed because it has turned its back on the great I Am.”

Nah, America outsourced its industrial capacity simply in order to break the back of labor unions so corporations could maximize shareholder value.

God has nothing to do with it.

#7 Comment By Frank On March 2, 2018 @ 9:02 am

Maybe that visit to Mao wasn’t such a good idea after all?

#8 Comment By Fred Bowman On March 2, 2018 @ 9:36 am

Pat, didn’t your old boss Richard Nixon open that door to China?

#9 Comment By Michael Kenny On March 2, 2018 @ 9:44 am

Without going into what Mr Buchanan means by “Western man”, what makes him think that such hopes and illusions are unique to any part of the human race? Of course, it doesn’t take him long to get to his usual point: Putin must be allowed to win in Ukraine, which, it would seem from the article, now extends to just about anywhere in Europe Putin cares to grab. Delenda est EU!

#10 Comment By Corwin On March 2, 2018 @ 10:22 am

You might want to check the article on Robert Bork just below this one. Cheap consumer prices and shareholder ‘value’ above all else have led us to this point and has been very noticeable to many of us going back to the ‘80s.

#11 Comment By Saad On March 2, 2018 @ 10:33 am

The West burdened itself with 2 murderous world wars and now must atone for their savagery for many generations to come. The ‘western man’ did this to himself.

#12 Comment By paradoctor On March 2, 2018 @ 10:48 am

America has limited influence on other countries. There’s this thing called “sovereignty”.

#13 Comment By john On March 2, 2018 @ 11:16 am

El’geherg

Except they aren’t. There is an enormous difference between people moving here to become Americans and make this their home and people coming here to milk the economic benefits to send back to their home country. “Mexicans alone send over $20 billion back home every year. They don’t see themselves as Americans in the making, they are Mexicans here to make a better living than they can in their own country but they never consider this to be their home. You can argue that this is a positive or negative but pretending that Mexican illegals working to wire money back to Mexico are indistinguishable from 19th century European immigrants is dishonest.”

I dunno, you think grandma didn’t pine for the “old country”? You think the previous immigrants didn’t send $ home?

I live in Si valley my son’s high school is about 40% kids of asian origin. Their parents were brought here to slave in the boardrooms and the executive suites of hi-tech companies. Some of the parents really are just off the boat, but the kids are great. They are except for how they look “typical” American in outlook and attitude. The only differences I see is they are harder working, and more ambitious an asset to this country. The parents may plan someday to move “back home” but those kids live here and it is a good thing.

#14 Comment By PAX On March 2, 2018 @ 12:27 pm

On the Middle East – I just read a piece on CNN by a David Miller – “Jared Kushner is listened to and respected by Israel, Saudia Arabia, and the Palestinians.” (paraphrasing) Reminds me of a WW2 Marine prisoner being interviewed about his POW captivity by Radio Tokyo. “We are treated great. Please tell this to the President, Congress and most of all the Marines.” Meaning what he was saying was garbage. Why does our mainstream media continue to trot out these deep government acolytes? We have no hope with these think-tank operatives fouling up the truth. Shame on CNN. How would the Palestinians respect an IDF supporter like Kushner? Ask who is suppressing them? The IDF.

#15 Comment By vax11 On March 2, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

You really believe, the US actually _won_ the Cold War? I think, that is weird – and certainly not helpful to face the problems we have all over the world today.
If the US do not stop dreaming of dominating the whole world as a single power – and does not accept that other nations will not simply obey, not bow to the US – we are all at a very high risk – much more dangerous than the Cuba crisis, I am sure.
Best regards from Germany.

#16 Comment By David On March 2, 2018 @ 2:34 pm

“America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People’s Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.”

Maybe the political elites of both parties and a few think-tankers did actually believe this, and if so they were ignorant fools. It was not “the mind of western man” which got us into this. The impetus for open trade relations with China did not come from the political class or their political objectives. It came from corporations which wanted cheap labor (they got it) and sales growth (some did). Cui bono?

The promise of a steadily opening political system in China was an empty rationalization, paid for by those who stood to gain a few pieces of silver. I’m disappointed that anyone still believes that it was ever anything else.

#17 Comment By b. On March 2, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

America is not being destroyed by immigration.

It is being destroyed by a massive profit extraction con of debt-financed “national securities” war spending justified to ensure access to markets “freed” at gunpoint.

Putin can point to an increase of average life expectancy for Russia’s citizens, following the impact of Yeltsin’s import of Clintonian public-private “partnerships”.

I wonder how the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse of our abandoned rural wastelands are doing so far, and whether Trump will ever do anything at all to reverse the trends in average life expectancy for the demographics that is – wrongly, I believe – blamed for having voted him into office?

Oligarchy kills, abroad and at home.

#18 Comment By William Foster On March 2, 2018 @ 3:46 pm

“Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?”

That would be your late boss Richard Nixon.

#19 Comment By Lenny On March 2, 2018 @ 4:48 pm

If China is the threat why is Trump targeting everybody with tariffs?
tariffs that affect China the least ?

#20 Comment By Cynthia McLean On March 2, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

What an odd rant — it starts out hammering China and ends up essentially saying the Statue of Liberty should be sent back to France. Why blame hard-working Chinese for “stealing” US jobs when, in fact, it was greedy US corporations and investors who sold out US workers by outsourcing their jobs? As for those poor immigrants who send money home to their poorer families, the US agriculture sector will wither and die without below-minimum-wage workers in the fields.

#21 Comment By KS On March 2, 2018 @ 7:12 pm

What is the problem with China?

Why do you care if America is no 1 or no 2? Is your life so poor that being no 1 is the only joy you get?

If China is no 1, we will cope, and life will go on. Some other benefits, chinese food is great and the women are gorgeous.

#22 Comment By Bella On March 2, 2018 @ 9:01 pm

“America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People’s Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.”

Our economic engagement was driven by greed stemming from cheap labor and new markets and has nothing to do with coexistence or goodwill.

#23 Comment By EngineerScotty On March 3, 2018 @ 12:36 am

Funny.

Wasn’t the Chinese making silly videos the other day concerning nuclear bombs raining down on Florida.

Not to defend Beijing, but Pat seems to have a huge blind spot.

#24 Comment By Sam On March 3, 2018 @ 2:46 am

All empires die eventually. Comparative history may have gone out of fashion when we were on the rise, but it was never discredited. We are a declining power that made the great strategic blunder of alienating the two rising powers in the world. Antagonizing Russia and China guarantees that the American decline will be much more painful than it had to be. Future Americans will curse Mattis and Coats.

#25 Comment By TruSkeptik On March 3, 2018 @ 10:23 am

Let’s all calm down because “change” is inevitable, is it not? The great epochal cycles of history are perfect, unchanged, and unchallenged. No matter how much hand wringing or back slapping we do, no nation, not even The United States, stays on top for long. Deal with it realistically rather than dramatically for a change. Greatness is ephemeral.

#26 Comment By Jerry Syder On March 3, 2018 @ 11:42 am

Buchanan raises up some good arguments. Twenty-five years ago I read about ‘idiot savants’ from Harvard Business School going to Russia to reform their economic system. These same economists pushed for open and free trade with China and everywhere else. They were the new darlings of the post cold war world. We now have trillions in debt and hundreds of billions in deficits with the world. How did these idiots ever get to graduate?

#27 Comment By William R. Carr On March 3, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

Once again I picked up my little red copy of “Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung” again the other day. And again it made things very clear. Our presidents and representatives should have read that little red book. It shows very well how China “knew it’s enemy”. We were so self-absorbed in ourselves — our visions of global dominance. They knew us. But we did not know them. They had time. We didn’t. We played their game and they played ours. And we lost. As American consumers were made to build China into a formidable power.

#28 Comment By Youknowho On March 3, 2018 @ 7:47 pm

The idea of economic engagement to reduce tensions makes sense.

We are now a big market for the Chinese.

No one wants to annhilate one’s customers. Just get as much out of them as you can.

The Chinese will not threaten us with nuclear missiles, because they know that the dead do not buy trinkets Made in China

#29 Comment By EngineerScotty On March 3, 2018 @ 11:10 pm

And now it appears that Trump is jealous of Xi’s new gig.

#30 Comment By ERJ On March 4, 2018 @ 6:43 am

You’re being too short-sighted here, Pat. Most of these immigrant kids will grow up to become our next innovators, professionals, and service workers. Tax payers all of them, and no different from how it’s always been. Two generations ago, my grandparents didn’t even speak English and died fairly poor, having struggled and sacrificed for most of their lives. However, their descendants, myself included, are college educated, living comfortably middle class lives, and in some cases, are much more than comfortable. We take care of our kids, go to work, mow our lawns, and have barbecues with the neighbors. In short, we’re all just Americans now.

#31 Comment By JM On March 4, 2018 @ 9:12 am

As a longtime democrat, I’ve always thought Trump was a fool who doesn’t deserve to be in the White House. But the last few days, Trump has finally spoken the truth about trade, and actually had the guts to play hardball with our foreign friends on the obscene auto trade deficit. He even spoke the truth about the decision to go to war in Iraq. And he almost had the testicular fortitude to tell the NRA to take a hike. He has many annoying qualities for sure, but in terms of getting the big issues right, he’s the smartest president we’ve had in 50 years.

#32 Comment By JM On March 4, 2018 @ 9:33 am

China’s “rise” is the result of financialization and debt. The great free trade experiment is almost over, and when the facade finally crumbles, China will suffer more than anyone else.

#33 Comment By joe On March 4, 2018 @ 2:13 pm

John:
You are hilarious. I can’t even determine if you’re serious. The asians came here “to slave in the boardrooms”. Oh yes. Is the AC too cold? They have a tough work life, like brutal heat, picking produce 12 hours a day. Its easy for people who come here, regardless from what part of the world, who are economically advantaged, to more easily identify with american culture. I’m of immigrant stock from southern europe. The family made a america home and sent money to the country of our origin. In short, your views are wrong.

#34 Comment By Ilves Clearwell On March 4, 2018 @ 8:53 pm

Excellent article, very concise.
The problem is the American naivete, consisting of 2 components:
1. Everybody in the world things as I do.
2. If I am nice to everybody, everybody will be nice to me.

#35 Comment By ScottA On March 4, 2018 @ 9:04 pm

Some sayings about the perils of greed:

“Capitalists will sell you the rope you use to hang them with”.

“We are sewn with the seeds of our own destruction”.

China views us as a “paper tiger”.

For some good articles about China’s growing military power see [1].

Also see [2] for their Eastern Arsenal blog.

#36 Comment By Dr. Diprospan On March 5, 2018 @ 9:02 am

Delusions happen when erroneous definitions are formulated.
“We fed the tiger, and created a monster.”
Nothing of the sort. A well-fed tiger is a fairly non-aggressive animal.
“Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea threatening independence of Taiwan.”
Taiwan’s independence is artificial, like Korea’s division. Naturally, nationalism will prevail over ideological barriers sooner or later. Like no other, Mr. Buchanan is well aware of this. “Stalin was a murderous tyrant, the Bolshevik butcher.”
Stalin was not a butcher. Stalin was a cruel leader, worthy of his country and his time. Equal among equals.
“We got China wrong. Now what?” Nothing. After a while, the new rules will be worked out at the meeting of the three outstanding nationalist leaders.
“Xi Jinping just changed China’s constitution to allow him to be dictator for life”. It’s amazing how the modern economy works miracles to prolong active human longevity. So recently, 81 year old former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi vigorously returned to politics.
In 2024 Donald Tramp will turn 78 years old.
Who knows if the 45th President of America will not be able to repeat the record of the political longevity of the 32nd US President? about whom Stalin responded as “undoubtedly the most powerful figure among all the captains of the modern capitalist world”, pointing to his “initiative, courage, resoluteness.”

#37 Comment By Lion On March 16, 2018 @ 12:06 am

It is easy to blame others.
US spends trillions upon trillions on military.
How much of these trillions went missing to corrupted officials, how much went to Afghan, Iraqi etc. countries – wars? China was investing in commercial development. US ( not all American people ) was investing in pride to be able to walk around with their nose pointing to the sky and boast of how well they their weapons can kill.
Just imagine if all that money was invested on jobs and starting businesses, invested on training unemployed to learn another profession etc. Better through that money onto your own people than into middle east wars. With China you got goods in return – with Iraq, Afghanistan, what did you get?

#38 Comment By Lion On March 16, 2018 @ 12:10 am

spelling mistake
throw — not through