The Wallflowers are in many ways the opposite of the Pioneers. The latter generation produced a Pony Ma, while the Wallflowers are largely populated by those who want to work for him rather than become him.

It’s a generation that has a stronger preference for a paternalist state and opts for security over unnecessary risk-taking. Rather than feeling for the rocks to cross the river, the Wallflowers prefer having two feet solidly planted on the pavement, even if that means working for state-owned enterprises with lower salaries and limited career prospects.

This is also a generation of striking contradictions. Its members, especially the younger ones, are at once globalist and nativist, simultaneously pro-market and pro-state, and champion the free flow of goods but are skeptical of the free flow of ideas. For instance, the Wallflowers support content control more than any previous generation.

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