Friday, August 27, 2004
Beautiful column by John Derbyshire about WWI.
I'm one of those who tended to make China-Germany comparisons, and I agree with Derb's reasons for faulting the analogy. The other analogy I tended to make is China today vs. Japan in the early years of its empire-building. But both analogies have big problems, I don't deny it.
One demurral on the subject of demographics, though: yes, China is now at below-replacement fertility, and as such should be reluctant to start wars that will cost lots of people. But: China still has lots and lots of people to spare. And, specifically, it has a hugely imbalanced sex ratio, due to the murder of newborn girls. 50 million unmarried young men can create a lot of trouble.