Carl Schmitt + more stuff

7 minutes estimated reading time

Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt was a German jurist, legal theorist and political theorist. The common narrative around him is that he came up with the legal principles that justified most of Nazi Germany’s greatest excesses. His work has also been used to justify the Xi-era legal system in China with legal thinking leaning heavily on the work that Carl Schmitt did. But there is more to the Schmitt story than that.

Conservative state theory

While the current Communist Party of China thinkers see Schmitt as a like mind, the German legal system and Schmitt’s legal system would have appealed to China from the founding of modern China with the monarchy being deposed, through warlord era though to the leadership of the Kuomintang. Germany had consolidated into a modern nation and built an empire in a relatively short space of time thanks to its legal system and a conservative state theory.

Cautionary tale of the Weimar Republic

Post World War One, the Weimar Republic put checks and balances on the government through the courts, which was seen as a negative given the relative performance of the country. Into this political change came Carl Schmitt. Ryan Mitchell does a good job at bringing Carl Schmitt’s story to life and talk through his relevance to China through the years.

Moving forward to Xi-era China, the Weimar Republic that Carl Schmitt lived in looks like a living nightmare in the the same way that German Empire looked like an exemplar. Secondly, socialism didn’t provide an appropriate legal system for Communist China, so they adapted the German system that the Kuomintang had used previously with Chinese socialist characteristics that Hitler would have approved of.

Carl Schmitt comes across as a more complex figure than he has been recently portrayed.

Consumer behaviour

How to make friends as an adult | The Face – really interesting that The Face felt that they had to write this article. I made some of my long term friends in London during my late 20s and early 30s. Many of the readers will also have friends from college or university as well. It implies that they aren’t socialising at house parties, going to concerts, club nights or bars. Work also seems to be a spartan supply of friendships.


China’s Oct exports and imports contract, missing expectations | Reuters 


South Korea and Japan ask US to loosen EV tax credits requirements | DigiTimes 

BritishVolt sits on the brink … | EE News 


Machine-learning systems are problematic. That’s why tech bosses call them ‘AI’ | John Naughton | The Guardian 


‘China’s hottest woman’: the driving force behind crunchy chilli sensation Lao Gan Ma | China | The Guardian 

Asahi now sells hot bottled water in Japan as an alternative to coffee or tea | SoraNews24 – the amount of my Asian friends who carry around a thermos drinking bottle of hot water makes so much sense. More combini related content here.


Chartbook #168: Germany’s economic entanglement with China recommend reading with: Germany Can Afford to Spurn China | Foreign Policy 

Hong Kong

HSBC strains reach breaking point | Financial TimesLast week, a row between HSBC and its largest shareholder, Chinese insurance group Ping An, spilled into the public arena after Michael Huang, chair of the insurer’s asset management unit, told the Financial Times the bank should break itself up and be “far more aggressive” in its cost-cutting. The extraordinary dust-up, brewing in private for several years, according to people close to the bank, first came to light in the spring when it emerged that Ping An had told HSBC management they should pursue a break-up. HSBC has largely sat on its hands in the interim, fuelling growing frustration at Ping An. “The global finance model that once dominated and shaped the global financial industry in the last century is no longer competitive,” Huang told the Financial Times. “Just divesting a few small markets or businesses” would not be enough to address the challenges. He urged the bank to “adopt an open attitude by studying the relevant suggestions carefully and prudently [ . . .] rather than attempting to simply bypass and reject them”. Ouch


‘There’s not many left now’: census shines spotlight on Britain’s dwindling Irish community | Immigration and asylum | The GuardianThe Irish came in waves that started in the 19th century and continued through the Great Depression, the post-war boom, the swinging 60s, the Thatcher era and into the 21st century, one of the great migrations. Many were unskilled labourers, or navvies; others were plumbers, teachers, nurses, dentists, writers and entertainers. Some became famous – Oscar Wilde, Fiona Shaw, Graham Norton – or had children who became famous – Shane MacGowan, Morrissey, Piers Morgan. However, last week brought confirmation that the Irish community, for so long Britain’s biggest source of immigration, is withering. Census figures showed the number of Irish-born people living in England and Wales last year numbered 324,670, a fall of 80,000, or 20%, from a decade ago, when they numbered 407,357. The UK’s Office for National Statistics says this is a long-term trend that started in 1961, when the Irish-born population peaked at 683,000, more than double the current number. Once the biggest group of those born outside the UK, the Irish are now fifth behind India, Poland, Pakistan and Romania


Japan to sign military pact with UK as allies eye China threat | Financial Times 


The relationship between word count and engagement | Chartbeat BlogOur analysis shows that up to almost 4,000 words, the longer article, the more engaging it will be. If your articles are falling short of the benchmarks we’ve shared, a real-time optimization tool like our Heads Up Display can show you how far readers are scrolling and give you an opportunity to make changes at the point of exit. Beyond 4,000 words, variability in engaged time grows, but that doesn’t mean there’s a ceiling. As we see with our year-end list of the most engaging stories, unique topics can require more depth than daily reporting. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from covering them. It just means you’ll need to devote more attention to optimizing these pages for engaged time.

Airbnb Says Its Focus on Brand Marketing Instead of Search Is Working – WSJAirbnb Inc. said its strategy of slashing advertising spending, investing in brand marketing and lessening its reliance on search-engine marketing is continuing to pay off. Its marketing spending is now low enough that it doesn’t anticipate drastic reductions even if economic headwinds worsen next year, it said.– some really interesting feedback that implies Google has lost its position as the front door of the web despite dominance in both mobile and desktop browsers


$2.5 billion was stolen by blockchain attackers in the first three quarters of 2022 / Digital Information World 


Apple’s hope for record quarterly sales damped by Zhengzhou restrictionsApple continues to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, and expects lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than previously anticipated, adding that customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products. Apple said it is working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker. According to Barclays’ research notes, the COVID outbreak in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which accounts for 70% of worldwide iPhone production, is estimated to affect the output of 10-12 million iPhone Pro models for the fourth quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank Securities said in a research note that according to Apple’s 10-K document filed on October 28, the company had manufacturing purchase obligations of US$71.1 billion for the third quarter, up 65% annually and 30% quarterly – a sign leading Deutsche Bank Securities to believe that Apple forecasts better iPhone growth than last year. Manufacturing purchase obligations represent non-cancelable purchase orders of components ahead of unit sales and typically covers periods up to 150 days