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The new Washington consensus

posted at 12:24:38 UTC via ft.com

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If you like time warps, read Bill Clinton’s 2000 speech urging Congress to admit China into the World Trade Organization. China’s entry would enrich Americans and help convert China to freedom, he said. “There’s no question China has been trying to crack down on the internet,” Clinton conceded to laughter. “Good luck! That’s sort of like trying to nail jello to the wall.” 

Less than a quarter of a century later, China lives behind a Great Firewall and the Washington consensus has long since been declared dead. That term, which was coined by a British economist in 1989, consisted of free market maxims. Its guarantor was the US and its crack troops were the World Bank and the IMF. The ten-point list was exclusively economic. Geopolitics had lost its relevance since the end of the Cold War.

The past is another world. The goal of integrating China has been replaced with a debate about how to dis-integrate China. Contrast Clinton’s speech — the high noon of the Washington consensus — with this week’s G7 foreign minister’s meeting, which was focused on disengaging from China. Compare the marginalised status of the IMF and World Bank in today’s global economy with the hegemonic Bretton Woods bodies of the 1990s. 

The new Washington consensus is different to the old in three key respects. First, Washington is no longer the uncontested Rome of today’s world. It has competition from Beijing. The new consensus is thus largely confined to Washington itself rather than the swaggering US that set the global standards after the end of the Cold War. It is an American political consensus with Donald Trump its harshest exponent. He talks of how trade with China has created “American carnage” and led to the “rape” of America. Joe Biden’s language is far gentler but his enforcement is more rigorous. Biden’s policy is Trumpism with a human face.

Second, the new consensus is geopolitical. It does have economic tools, such as reshoring supply chains, prioritising resilience over efficiency, and industrial policy. But these are largely means to a national security end, which is to contain China. The old consensus was a positive sum game; if one country got richer others did too. The new one is zero sum; one country’s growth comes at the expense of another’s.

The third difference is that the new consensus is as pessimistic as the old one was optimistic. In that sense it is less intuitively American than what it replaced. The spirit of can-do has given way to a roster of can’t-dos. Today’s US cannot make trade deals, cannot negotiate global digital rules, cannot abide by WTO rulings and cannot support Bretton Woods reforms. Washington has lost faith in economic multilateralism.

Will the new consensus be effective? The ultimate test is whether China can variously be contained, engaged, competed and cajoled into accepting the US-led order. Today’s Washington subscribes to all of these approaches, some of which are more sophisticated than others. Biden himself focuses more on competition than cajoling. His aim is not to decouple from China but to create what Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, calls a “small yard” with a “high fence”. 

That means America will continue to trade with China except in goods that can be used to upgrade China’s military, which means high-end semiconductors and anything that boosts China’s AI ambitions. It is not obvious where you can safely draw that line, which suggests Sullivan’s small yard will expand over time. Compared to the China hawks outside the Biden administration, however, Sullivan’s approach is nuanced and flexible. Yet it still begs the question: how can China be squeezed into a US-led order in which America itself has stopped believing?

Biden has not yet given a clear answer to that question because it is so hard. He wants to deprive China of the means to reach military parity with America without provoking a US-China conflict or global economic retrenchment. A full-scale decoupling would make everyone poorer and create an Orwellian world of hostile blocs. A return to the status quo ante — what Clinton was extolling — would accelerate China’s rise.

The middle way between the old Washington consensus and the new is to preserve what was good about the old, rather than to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Of course history did not end. By the same token, however, the future has yet to be written. No power will be its sole author. But America still has an outsized say on whether the script will be dark or light.

edward.luce@ft.com

 

The new Washington consensus  Financial Times “trumpism” – Google News

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Kehillas Hollywood Hills seemed like a godsend to Brian Mandel when it opened in 2021. It was only a few blocks from his home, so the walk on Shabbat did not aggravate the neuropathy in his feet. He loves to chant Torah and became part of the little shul’s regular rotation. 

 

But in January, the rabbi told Mandel that he and his husband were no longer welcome in the Orthodox congregation. So every Shabbat, instead of davening inside, Mandel perches 20 feet from the entrance with handwritten protest placards. 

 

My colleague Louis Keene spent time with Mandel in Florida last month and has a special report on his story and what it says about Orthodoxy and homosexuality.

 

Don’t ask, don’t tell: Mandel, 53, and his husband of 10 years wore their rings to shul but told anyone who asked that they were roommates and best friends. He said the rabbi seemed to understand the situation, at one point telling them, “you’ll always be welcome here.” But on Jan. 9, Mandel said, the rabbi told him that some members had expressed discomfort with the couple’s presence, and that after consulting with his own rabbi, he had decided to bar them from services.

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Mandel said he and his husband live ‘a standard modern Orthodox life.’ (Alie Skowronski)

Broader context: Though some Orthodox shuls now welcome queer members, Mandel is hardly alone in facing such rejection. A transgender woman was ousted from her teaching job at a yeshiva in September. A rabbinical student was ousted the day after his boyfriend proposed to him in public. Yeshiva University has been embroiled in a legal battle over its refusal to recognize an LGBTQ+ student club. 

 

Double standard: Orthodox leaders point to the Torah’s prohibition on gay male sex. But those who advocate for inclusion note that synagogues do not generally police their members’ observance of other aspects of Jewish law. Some Jews drive to services, for example. And rabbis do not routinely quiz congregants about how they keep kosher. “They don’t know anything that takes place in our home,” Mandel told Louis. 

 

Dire straits: Mandel, who is diabetic, said that after the shul shunned him, he thought about overdosing on insulin. “When did Judaism become this way?” he asked. “I’m thinking, the Nazis prevented my grandparents from davening. And now Orthodox Jews are preventing me from davening.”

Read the story ➤

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Annina Walt and Max Hubacher in ‘Labyrinth of Peace.’ (Sava Hlavacek)

In new WWII series, Switzerland isn’t so neutral: Labyrinth of Peace follows the stories of a Swiss family grappling with the moral dilemmas of their postwar home as they encounter Jews and their Nazi persecutors. In a rave review, Simi Horwitz writes that “the acting is superior, the pacing swift, and within their narrative parameters the creators expose an unforgiving brutality and turn the myth of Swiss neutrality on its head.” Read the story ➤

 

Remembering the Hasidic Elvis: Michoel Schnitzler, who died of a heart attack on Saturday at age 62, breathed new life into Hasidic music and became its first modern-day celebrity. “He reached a level of popularity, especially among young people, never before seen in the ultra-orthodox world for anyone who isn’t a rabbi,” writes Meyer Labin, a Yiddish journalist. Read his appreciation ➤

 

Short reads…

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WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

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Evan Gershkovich, a Jewish journalist arrested on espionage charges, in a Moscow court Tuesday. (Getty)

🇷🇺  Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, the son of Jewish Soviet emigres, appeared in a Moscow court on Tuesday, the first time he had been seen in public for weeks. Gershkovich, who has denied the espionage charges against him, faces up to 20 years in prison. Meanwhile, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian Jewish dissident, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for treason. (CNNWSJJTA)

 

🎤  House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is slated to address the Knesset in Jerusalem on May 1. It will be the second time in history a U.S. House Speaker has done so; Newt Gingrich spoke there in 1998. (Twitter)

 

🔥  Multiple people who carried torches and shouted “Jews will not replace us” at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, were recently indicted as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. In 2021, a jury awarded $25.3 million in damages to people who were injured in the rally and had filed a civil lawsuit. (AP)  

 

🤝  The United Kingdom’s Liberal and Reform movements are merging after more than 120 years as separate entities. The new group will be called Progressive Judaism. (JTA)  

 

🇮🇱  Israeli officials organizing the country’s 75th Independence Day ceremony next week are preparing to cut to segments recorded in rehearsals if protests erupt over the government’s proposed plan to overhaul the judiciary. (Haaretz)

 

🐮  A cow wandered into a hardware store in central Israel on Tuesday, and caused thousands of shekels in damage as its hooves slipped on the smooth floor. (Times of Israel)

 

Random factoid: “The Supreme Court is now less trusted than organized religion,” according to data compiled by The New York Times.

 

Shiva call: Gloria Dea (née Metzner), who began performing magic at age 5 and later became the first person to perform a magic act at a Las Vegas casino, died at 100.

What else we’re reading: Gov. Ron DeSantis takes steps to attract center-right Jewish voters to his unannounced presidential bid … Religious pop star singing of ‘God and faith’ wins over secular Israel … Transgender rights has replaced same-sex marriage as a rallying cry for the religious right.

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ON THE CALENDAR

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On this day in history (1872): Alice Saloman, who pioneered the field of modern social work, was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Berlin. Writing her doctoral dissertation at the turn of the 20th century on the wage gap between women and men, Saloman was ahead of her time. Though she attended a Protestant school as a young girl, “Salomon was always inspired by her Yiddishkeit,” Forward contributor Benjamin Irvy wrote in a 2017 article. And when the Nazis demanded that Salomon ban Jews from the social work school she founded, she closed the school instead.

In honor of National Banana Day, check out this recipe for, I kid you not, banana charoset.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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(Matthew Litman)

It was a surreal scene in Times Square on Tuesday when the tourist spot’s famous Naked Cowboy stood in front of a recreation of a cattle car that was used to transport Jews to the concentration camps, placed there in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day. “This is the crossroads of the world,” said one of the organizers of the exhibit. “So if your goal is to increase awareness, this is the place you want to be.” See more photos from the event ➤

 

Thanks to PJ Grisar, Matthew Litman, Sarah Nachimson, Jodi Rudoren and Talya Zax for contributing to today’s newsletter. You can reach the “Forwarding” team at editorial@forward.com.

 

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The post This gay Orthodox Jew was banned from his synagogue. Now he’s fighting back. appeared first on The Forward.

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The foreign ministers of the Group of 7 nations affirmed their shared visions on Russia’s war on Ukraine and China’s assertiveness after talk flared this month over different strategies.

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Ukraine shouldn’t expect that it would lead to a quick cessation of hostilities. Moscow still maintains its numerical advantage with its large stockpile of old weapons.

The post Russia Faces Difficulties in Production of New Weapons due to Western Sanctions first appeared on The Puerto Rico Times – The News And Times.

JPMorgan is separately suing former private banking chief Jes Staley, claiming he concealed what he knew about Epstein and should cover losses it may …

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