‘You May Not Be Interested in War, but War Is Interested in You’

That witticism is attributed to the Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky, and the same applies to industrial policy, that is, government investment in industry. As a free marketeer I abhor industrial policy, except as a war measure. This is war, of sorts. I don’t think the United States and China will start shooting at each other at any time in the foreseeable future, but that isn’t the way this war will be fought. China is striving to dominate game-changing technologies starting with 5G broadband, but also including quantum computing, quantum communications, artificial intelligence, and others. If it succeeds, the United States will be poorer and weaker, and our alliances in Europe and Asia will crumble. We will resemble post-imperial Britain, a second-rate former great power.

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