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REVIEW: Curtis Ellis's Posthumous 'Pandemonium' Book is a Must Read for Chinese Communist Party Skeptics.
While Ellis left us a few years back, his latest book will echo for decades.
Curtis Ellis adored America until the day he passed away, in February 2021.
More than any obituary could offer, or eulogy attest, Curtis’s own, posthumously published book, Pandemonium: China’s Global Strategy to Cripple America, is a fitting tribute to a life led with America’s “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” firmly at heart.
Ellis, survived by his beloved Maxine Albert, spent decades shaking the Washington establishment by the lapels over the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence. If D.C. staffers were required to pass an ‘Ellis America First Test’ before embarking on a career in politics or policy, America would be a far safer and more prosperous place.
The book is short, and prefaced by former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who described Curtis’s vision as very American merger of “common decency, common sense, and common cause.”
The text provides an excellent primer for those attempting to understand how America found itself in an abusive relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, pointing the finger of blame squarely at the long-standing foreign policy apparatus’s foolishness, and greed.
At the center of this story is none other than current President Joe Biden, who is reported to have argued against then-Senator Paul Wellstone’s claim that U.S. manufacturing would be destroyed by corporations outsourcing to China.
Biden dismissed it:
"Nor do I see a collapse of the American manufacturing economy, as China, a nation with the impact on the world economy about the size of the Netherlands, suddenly becomes our major economic competitor."
– Senator Joe Biden, 2000
And even if you’re somewhat of a China expert, Ellis’s book has something to teach. Maybe a long-forgotten anecdote, or quotation, as above. Or perhaps a means by which to better understand the behavior of your antagonists, as below:
The CCP manipulates the self-interest of its targets to make them its unwitting agents.
Rarely do you hear one of these agents of influence say, "I've thought about and you know what, that Communist Party of China is great--we oughta let it run the show! Everyone get on board!"
Instead, they'll say something along the lines of "doing business with the CCP is good ol' free market capitalism," or "we need a peaceful and harmonious world," or "this is what any reasonable person would advocate.”
It’s true. And Curtis would have learned all of this the hard way, in the face of the Chinese-funded lobbyists when he worked on Capitol Hill, and indeed when he worked in President Trump’s Presidential Transition Team.
Curtis Ellis backs up his arguments in Pandemonium with reference to America’s founders and their perspectives on “America First,” as well as shattering some free market shibboleths (especially about Adam Smith), along the way. His conclusion is a new Declaration of Independence for the United States. Not from political bonds, but from the economic shackles placed upon it by the Chinese Communist Party, and America’s willing political class.
We will long miss Curtis Ellis, and I am grateful he left us this work.