We Americans sense that we live in an empire of lies. We want to understand the people and systems which control our country and society. At a minimum, we want to know how and by whom we are ruled, and what that means for both the present and the future. But we can trust no source of information, because we know every channel of knowledge has been corrupted. Thus, inquiry usually ends in frustration, in obvious falsehoods peddled to us, or in esoteric conjectures which seem the more popular the more unlikely they are.
In August, however, N.S. Lyons (a pseudonym) offered a widely read novella-length essay at his Substack, The Upheaval. The article, titled “The China Convergence,” pulls together modern thinking on, and practice of, the managerial state, beginning with James Burnham’s classic 1941 study, The Managerial Revolution, and ending with Xi Jinping Thought. Lyons then ties this compelling analysis to both China and the United States, finding not only far more similarity than commonly believed, rather than any fundamental opposition in political structure, but also a convergence into “totalizing techno-administrative governance.” He then analyzes the implications of this convergence for our future, and in so doing, answers many of the questions we have about our country and society.
[This is the first two paragraphs of my article published at the excellent The American Conservative. You can read the entirety here, and you should read that magazine regularly, and subscribe.]