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About 33 minutes into the last Ricochet Podcast, Bret Stephens added his voice to the chorus suggesting we shouldn’t overly fret about China because their economic numbers are rigged and their production levels are nowhere close to our own, however quickly they are improving. Alright, let’s suppose that China’s economy is truly lackluster. Does that make it less of a diplomatic and military threat?
The Soviet Union was doomed from the start for the simple reason that communism doesn’t work. The USSR survived by claiming territories and sucking the life out of its members, which it could only do for so long. It’s economy never had a chance in the long run.
But that inevitability didn’t matter for half a century.
Americans across the nation constructed bomb shelters. We kept bombers in the air at all times so the Soviets would be certain that we could retaliate if they attacked American soil with nuclear weapons. We fought proxy wars in Asia and South America. Soviet spies infiltrated our government and media. The US invested countless resources in technological competition to maintain military advantages. Conservatives’ most revered president in living memory made defeating the Soviet Union his top priority.
Production isn’t everything. It’s significant, but it does not by itself determine global influence.
That said, I doubt China is presently a threat to our homeland. But it can upset our interests abroad and weaken our position in the world. That’s worth a little fretting.