Administrative State, American History, Charles, Political Discussion & Analysis, Social Behavior
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“The China Convergence” (N. S. Lyons)

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.]


  1. Thucydides says

    Your reference in the American Conservative article should be to John Dewey, not Thomas Dewey.

  2. We adopted the Mandarin system we get the same results. The Techno Mandarin system will get the same results with a couple of potential twists;

    1. Bad propagate faster.
    2. Much easier to filter bad from Emperor and Treasury and keep Rice Bowls filled longer.
    3. As peoples confuse talk for action free and utterly meaningless speech make safety valve against actual change.
    4. All is right in heaven and earth until it isn’t, keep jet fueled.
    6. Divergence not Diversity, no tell Big Guy.

    No apologies for pidgin as Chinese on approved hate list.

    Here to show compliance with something or diversify.

    3. 由於人們將言論與自由行動混為一談,而完全毫無意義的言論成為了阻礙實際變革的安全閥。
    1. Bùliáng chuánbò sùdù gèng kuài.
    2. Gèng róngyì guòlǜ huángdì hé cáizhèng bù de huàidōngxī, bìng bǎochí fànwǎn shèng mǎn de shíjiān gèng zhǎng.
    3. Yóuyú rénmen jiāng yánlùn yǔ zìyóu xíngdòng hùnwéiyītán, ér wánquán háo wú yìyì de yánlùn chéngwéile zǔ’ài shíjì biàngé de ānquán fá.
    4. Tiānshàng dìxià yīqiè dōu hǎo, zhídào qíngkuàng bù miào wéizhǐ, bǎochí fēijī rányóu chōngzú.

    6. 分歧而非多樣性,不告訴大人物
    6. Fēnqí ér fēi duōyàng xìng, bù gàosù dàrénwù

  3. William P. Baumgarth says

    The Worthy House, I believe, has the best book reviews on line: exploring a variety of interesting tomes on subjects across the ordinary disciplinary borders, treated respectfully but with analytical precision, and no guess work required to discern the reviewer’s thoughtful assessments.

  4. Natureboi says

    This is stupid. Lyons clearly doesn’t know anything about modern China or the Chinese people. Or perhaps he has spoken only to the English-speaking, Westernized, “democracy activists”. You know – feminists and fags.

    Talk to working people from China and they like their government. Far from “communist” since the rule of “The Little Bottle”, if anything they’d like a bit more government control. In general, however, the past 50 years have been extremely good to them and they are quite happy with the results. They would like the whiny minority of East coast intellectuals to shut the hell up and get with the program.

    The West isn’t becoming anything like China. The Middle Kingdom is a nation. It is ruled by Han people, who want what is materially good for Han people, and will do what is necessary to give Han people what they want. The West is ruled by rootless cosmopolitans who hate Westerners.

    China has a thriving religious culture. It’s not Christian, but it is deeply Confucian. Buddhist shrines are packed (visiting a Buddhist shrine is for most Han people an act of filial piety, in other words they do Buddhist worship for Confucian reasons). National holidays focused on ancestor worship and family are a huge deal. In contrast, the post-Christian West is deeply anti-Christian.

    I don’t care how long someone spends writing about our present discontents; if he doesn’t recognize this fundamental difference he’s a moron.

    Note: Lyons sounded familiar so I looked up his work at City Journal. I see a hamfisted piece capitalizing on the Canadian trucker “protest” full of references to “Virtuals” and “Physicals”. This man is a buffoon. Nobody who has done anything real simplifies issues to stupid and arbitrary dichotomies like that.

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