More than a Virus got out of China

About a year since I first heard of the mysterious and scary virus from China the world has changed. Without getting into theories of manufactured vs natural or escaped vs released, one thing has been very clear.

There has been a _massive_ increase in the political soft power of China.

Forty years ago, the US and some other western countries, made a huge bet that trade with China would ultimately make China more like the West. Now, along with the coronavirus expanding out of China the Chinese method of government has been exported as well.

A year ago, the idea of governments being able to shut down economies by decree and prevent people from freely associating and to detain them in medical quarantine (with no symptoms of any disease) or tell them that they have to cover their face or can’t leave their homes indefinitely or their children can’t go to school was unthinkable.

And now it’s routine. With each passing day the old reality fades a bit more.

This represents a fundamental shift of the relationship between government and citizen and will not go away once the virus does without concerted citizen effort to reign in the unaccountable power of government. If that doesn’t happen the social damage will take years (or generations) to undo.

Biden’s barrage of executive orders comes from the same ideological place that mask mandates and the Uyghur concentration camps do. Governments order and citizens obey.

No one talks anymore about the concentration camps the Chinese government runs to deal with an inconvenient religious minority because we’ve all accepted the basic premise underlying the creation of the camps.

We’re all Chinese now.

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