Friday, 24 July 2020

Why Is The Left Not Opposing The West’s New Cold War With China?

Carve-Up: 120 years after the Eight-Power Intervention of 1900 the racist assumptions of the Western powers vis-à-vis China have hardly changed at all. They still arrogate to themselves the right to dispose of the future of the Chinese people as they see fit. There remains the same racist assumption that the West’s values and institutions are superior in every way to those of a civilisation that has endured for 3,000 years. The same hunger for profits that drove the British to force their opium into the lungs of the Chinese people at the point of a gun, continues to drive the Western capitalist elites.

ANTI-RACISM IS BIG at the moment – very big. Why, then, are so many on the left of politics, both here and overseas, climbing aboard the Western powers’ New Cold War Express? The European nations that profited most from the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the ruthless beneficiaries of the plantation system; the peoples who introduced the terms “white” and “black” to the world’s vocabulary; these are the racist capitalist imperialists the Left is lining up with against the Peoples Republic of China. Given that the Old Cold War brought the world to the very brink of nuclear annihilation, the idea of joining in the creation of a new one seems ever-so-slightly daft. Why can’t the Left see that?

The answer, sadly, is that the contemporary Left is almost entirely ignorant of geopolitics and the strict limitations it places on diplomatic action. Even when it comes to basic economics and its decisive influence on politics, the Left’s powers of analysis have atrophied to an astonishing degree. All that remains to those who still identify themselves as “left-wing” is the ersatz “morality” with which the Western powers are so adept at cloaking their attacks on geopolitical and economic rivals. China must become our enemy because of its treatment of Tibet, the persecution of the Uighurs, and the suppression of political dissent in Hong Kong.

Let’s deconstruct this analysis piece by piece – starting with Tibet.

In geopolitical terms, Tibet constitutes the “high ground” of Eurasia. Whenever the Chinese Empire was strong enough to assert its suzerainty over Tibet (which was most of the time) the Tibetan theocracy willingly paid homage to Beijing. In the nineteenth century, however, the British transformed Tibet into one of its many “protectorates”. In the “Great Game” (the euphemistic term employed to describe the imperial moves and counter-moves of the British and Russian empires for control of Central Asia) Tibet was seen by London as crucial to the protection of India’s northern flank. China, humbled in the same wars that secured the island of Hong Kong for Her Britannic Majesty, was in no position to resist.

Fast-forward to the middle of the twentieth century. The British Empire is in full retreat. India has won its independence. The Chinese Communist Party has driven the nationalist Kuomintang regime off the Chinese mainland and, with the support of its Soviet ally, is well-positioned to restore China’s suzerainty over Tibet. In geopolitical terms, the CCP has little choice. Acknowledging Tibet’s “independence”, would be interpreted by the Indians and the Soviets as an invitation to fill the power vacuum themselves. Accordingly, the Peoples Liberation Army occupies Tibet, dismantles its feudal Buddhist theocracy, and drives the Dalai Lama over the Himalayas to exile in India.

While the Communist Party retains power in Beijing, Tibet will remain under Chinese control. And, for as long as well-meaning new-agers in the West demand the restoration of the Dalai Lama, Beijing will do everything it can to smother Tibetan nationalism. Tragically, that means smothering the ancient religious culture which inspires the nationalists’ resistance. The louder the international clamour for an independent Tibet, the more determined the CCP becomes to transform the territory into just another Chinese province. Perhaps Richard Gere and his fellow travellers might like to think about that the next time they feel moved to raise the flag of “Free Tibet”?

An equal determination to crush the forces of religious nationalism is evident in Xinjiang, where the CCP has launched a massive campaign to neutralise the ability of the Islamic faith to arm – both literally and figuratively – the nascent movement for Uighur independence. With Xinjiang sharing its western border with five Islamic states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Beijing’s nervousness is understandable. The concentration of upwards of a million “suspect” Uighurs in massive high-rise complexes reflects the CCP’s longstanding belief in the superiority of coercive social-engineering over the much more costly alternative (in every sense) of full-scale military engagement and “pacification”.

Beijing has observed the philosophical cul-de-sacs into which the West’s policies of multicultural diversity and religious tolerance have driven it, and remains committed to enforcing a single, Han Chinese-derived definition of citizenship. That China’s official communist ideology now finds itself engaged in a no-holds-barred, hearts-and-minds struggle with the Islamic religion is in no way considered wrong or unfortunate. Rather, it is seen as a necessary and unavoidable confrontation between progressive and reactionary thinking. A vast “struggle session” from which, it is confidently assumed, the Chinese state will emerge stronger and more united than ever.

Beijing is no more willing to countenance a challenge to its sovereignty from the eastern extremity of the Peoples Republic than it is from its uttermost west. Indeed, the threat of an Islamic jihad breaking out in Xinjiang, and the year-long protests bedevilling the “Special Administrative Region” of Hong Kong, are viewed as evidence of a single, US-led, effort to divert and delay China’s re-emergence as the world’s dominant power. From the CCP’s perspective, the slightest indication of weakness on the part of the Chinese state will only encourage the West to apply new and greater pressures at other points of perceived vulnerability.

The story of Hong Kong is illustrative of the West’s long-term Chinese strategy. It has been an article of faith in Western capitals for many decades that the adoption of what they considered “capitalism” by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 would lead China inexorably towards “liberal democracy”. Far from being seen as proof that Beijing will do whatever it takes to avoid the fate of the Soviet Union, the West interpreted the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square as merely the first act in a drama that would expand and intensify until the inevitable triumph of human rights and freedoms. Hong Kong was supposed to show Beijing the way. In time the whole of China would embrace free speech and the rule of law.

What China saw was something quite different. “Liberal democracy”, as applied in what had been the Soviet Union, brought only territorial disintegration, corruption and Nato’s relentless advance to Russia’s suddenly buffer-less and strategically vulnerable borders. Boris Yeltsin, a boorish drunkard, epitomised the humiliation of the once proud Soviet state. He presided over a vicious kleptocracy while the life expectancy of the Russian people plummeted. That he won re-election was due almost entirely to the shameless intervention of American political fixers. If these were the blessings of liberal democracy, Beijing wanted none of them!

China’s national security apparatus was particularly determined to ward off any hint of the so-called “colour revolutions” which had swept Europe’s former socialist states. It familiarised itself with the tactics of these initially student-based “non-violent” protest movements. They noted how, when met with brutal state repression, these movements were able to blossom into society-wide uprisings. They also tracked the involvement of foreign advisers and their American funders.

What had worked in Belgrade, Tbilisi and Kiev would not be permitted to work in Hong Kong. While Washington waited impatiently for the arrival of the PLA – and another Tiananmen bloodbath – Beijing quietly prepared its new Security Law. Slowly, but unmistakably, the yellow ribbons and umbrellas of Hong Kong’s year of living dangerously are melting away.

In 1900, an eight-nation alliance of Western powers mounted a military intervention to suppress the popular revolutionary movement which was threatening to end foreign influence in China. Comprised of British, French, German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, Italian, United States and Japanese military units (along with state contingents from Australia) this 45,000-strong force subdued the revolutionaries, pillaged Beijing, and forced the Imperial Chinese government to meet the costs of their punitive expedition.

The moral tenor of this frankly and unapologetically imperialist intervention is best captured in the message sent to his troops by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II:

“A great task awaits you: You must see to it that a serious injustice is expiated. The Chinese have overturned the law of nations. Never before in world history have the sanctity of diplomats and the obligations of hospitality been subjected to such contempt. It is all the more outrageous that these crimes have been committed by a nation which prides itself on its ancient culture ….. When you come upon him, know this: Pardon will not be given. Prisoners will not be taken. Bear your weapons so that for a thousand years no Chinaman will dare even to squint at a German.”

120 years later, the racist assumptions of the Western powers vis-à-vis China have hardly changed at all. They still arrogate to themselves the right to dispose of the future of the Chinese people as they see fit. There remains the same racist assumption that the West’s values and institutions are superior in every way to those of a civilisation that has endured for 3,000 years. The same hunger for profits that drove the British to force their opium into the lungs of the Chinese people at the point of a gun, continues to drive the Western capitalist elites. Nothing is forbidden to those whose skins are white.

Such is the historical force alongside which the Western Left has chosen to position itself.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 24 July 2020.

32 comments:

Guerilla Surgeon said...

At the risk of a bit of whataboutism, the Chinese are just as racist – if not more than anyone in the West. Certainly those in power are. The Chinese Communist Party has unleashed a wave of chauvinism, which in its own way is just as bad as Western neo-imperialism.

And while I did explain the geopolitics of Tibet in these columns some time ago, to praise from a couple of conservatives if I remember correctly, it doesn't make it morally right. It's just realpolitik. The CCP like most dictators cannot cope with any rival systems of authority, not just political parties, but also religions.
Funny, I inherited a couple of Chinese vases years ago from an old friend. His family legend was that they came from the sack of Beijing. I asked an antiques expert, who said that they were common as muck, not worth more than a few bob, and no way did they come from the sack. I was a little relieved I must say my conscience might have led me to give them back if it were true. That was an egregious act that made some personal fortunes – at least for officers.
Interesting article on the Guardian today (the 24th) about the Chinese leadership if anyone's interested.

Wayne Mapp said...

While I accept your characterisation of both Tibet and Hong Kong, I am rather surprised that you are so dismissive of the situation of the Uighurs.

Has China raised any real evidence of an Uighurs independence movement? Have they really been able to justify the imprisonment of 1 million or more Uighurs? And the general level of repression of culture and religion?

I tend to be of the view that western nations should not characterise China as a new Stalinist Russia, or pre war Nazi Germany. But I do consider the treatment of the Uighurs to be particularly serious. There is just way too much evidence for it to be dismissed out of hand.

I imagine many on the Left are joining in the condemnation of China's treatment of the Uighurs, because of the memory of the way the Left excused Ukraine of the 1930's and excused the Stalin's gulags has left a deep historical scar. No-one on the Left today wants to take the risk of being be tarred with that brush.

I am rather surprised that Xi Jingping is doing what he doing in relation to the Uighurs. There is no way in the contemporary world that such a thing would not be found out. There is no way it can be seriously justified. Unless Xi Jingping changes tack on this issue, he is condemning China to being politically isolated. Maybe he doesn't care. However, China is not so powerful that it can blithely get way with such a thing without serious consequences.

If it is the case that the US and its close allies, Western Europe, Japan and India will all act in alignment in respect of China, then inevitably China will have to modify its behaviour. The countries that I mention have economies that are collectively more than 3 times larger than the economy of China and have about twice the population.

Right at the moment we do see these countries acting, at least to some extent, in concert. They all have their reasons, based on historical issues and on contemporary geopolitics.

New Zealand is going to be drawn in, at least to some extent. We are already seeing it.

Both the PM and the Foreign Minister have made statements about the Uighurs. Will there be some limitations on Hauwei? Probably, though it will be less than the other Five Eyes nations. More significantly, there will be some distancing on the political front. For the last 20 years China has been the nation that New Zealand has put the most effort into building a comprehensive political and economic relationship. I think there will be a slight easing of that effort. Probably fewer ministerial visits, fewer formal agreements. The PM is already more noticeably less engaged with China than either John Key or Helen Clark.

New Zealand won't slavishly follow the line of other Five Eyes nations. We will have better relations with China than the other four nations. But in my view New Zealand won't put same level of intensity of effort into the bilateral relationship as we have over the last 20 years. I think that will be the case irrespective of who is the government.

Kimbo said...

If you were a Chinese citizen in China and you attempted to criticise Chinese government policy and have your thoughts readily disseminated both locally and abroad as they are here on Bowalley Road, what would be the likely result? Or is asking that “racist” too, despite those freedoms being much more possible in both fact and extent in predominantly ethic-Chinese Taiwan and Singapore?

Just asking for a friend...

greywarbler said...

'The CCP like most dictators cannot cope with any rival systems of authority, not just political parties, but also religions.'
Unfortunately these different groups may be used to splinter off from the loyalty to the main country and be used as levers for trouble. If the USA and presumably the UK and Oz minded their own business and stopped doing the agent provocateur, then the Chinese might find that they could manage other troublemakers and relax a bit.

As for religions, the USA ones are aggressive at trying to evangelise to western religions, that can't be said to be free of politics. And with so many of USA religions being tax covers, with more interest in worshipping the Golden Calf, they are not primarily spiritually based. We should not forget that Hawaii was undermined by colonialist minded USA activists with a strong religious zeal.

Then there are ways of undermining a country as China noticed in the 1800s.
...Following the 1764 Battle of Buxar, the British East India Company (EIC) gained control of tax collection, along with the former Mughal emperors monopoly on the opium market, in the province of Bengal, this monopoly was formally incorporated into the company's activities via the East India Company Act, 1793.

The EIC was £28 million in debt as a result of the Indian war and the insatiable demand for Chinese tea in the UK market, which had to be paid for in silver. To redress the imbalance, the EIC began auctions of opium, offered in lieu of taxes, in Calcutta and saw its profits soar from the opium trade. Considering that importation of opium into China had been virtually banned by Chinese law, the East India Company established an elaborate trading scheme...


Anne Perry in her The Sunless Sea (about p230) has Gladstone commenting on the difficulties of trading with China, which had tea and porcelain that were sought after by UK but had to be paid in silver, in which they were lacking. They chose to look on China as savages because they refused to co-operate with western countries. The Chinese were haughty and the Brits determined and they found a way to get what they wanted, and with their superior naval power and heavy guns they brought China to its knees by trading in opium through roundabout systems, despite it being banned. Eventually the country was decimated by the drug. That's how Hong Kong and many other ports came under British control and also of other powers.

The Chinese have had much to bear in the past from other countries and are unlikely to accede easily now to western arguments that are not beneficial to them. It is understandable and regrettable.

Odysseus said...

The issue is not China nor the Chinese people: it is the Chinese Communist Party which under Dictator for Life Xi Xinping is now showing its ruthless, aggressive and, quite simply, evil side. This is a regime that suppressed information about the emergence of COVID 19, then denied as late as 10 January that it could be transmitted between humans, a lie which WHO swallowed and repeated. This is a regime which facilitated the virus' spread globally while protecting key cities like Beijing and Shanghai from its initial onslaught. This is a regime that oppresses the people of Tibet and Hong Kong and imprisons the Uighur minority in concentration camps. This is a regime that oversees the harvesting of organs from political prisoners. This is a regime that threatens its neighbours and world peace in the South China Sea. It is time to give the Chinese Communist Party the cold shoulder and prepare our defences against its menaces.

Brendan McNeill said...

Chris,

While it's fashionable to cast whites as systemically racist, and pretend that racism is unique to whites, it reveals an ignorance of history and and even recent world events. Does anyone recall the Rwandan genocide? Hutu gangs searched out victims hiding in churches and school buildings. The militia murdered victims with machetes and rifles. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, about 70% of the country's Tutsi population. That is genocidal racism.

Can one talk openly about the Japanese treatment of 'others' or the Chinese for that matter in recent history?

And what is this 3000 year old Chinese civilisation of which you speak, or are you simply being provocative? The CCP is less than 100 years old, and has done its best to suppress ancient beliefs and traditions that went back thousands of years. The Chinese communist party is far from being an indigenous expression of ancient Chinese culture.

The treatment of the Uighurs is an expression of evil in the foul tradition of all communist dictatorships. Thankfully the Australian government is unafraid to place its values above pragmatic financial self interest. We could learn a good deal from them.

David Stone said...

@ Wayne
The international mood led by the US is radically more aggressive toward China now than during the last two administrations. The incumbent has to steer between the two, so a somewhat harder line is inevitable .
The organ harvesting aspect of China's Uighur story seems to have dropped out of the narrative lately, so that's an improvement.
But there must be some reason for the treatment of this group . Is it just that they want their independence? Or are they a marginalised population with societal reasons to want to fight for their independence?
Do you have any inside knowledge?
Or is the whole story American propaganda.
D J S

Jens Meder said...

Perhaps the Lefties of the West not opposing the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China still think like Stalin, who did not oppose the West's war against only partially "SociaLised" Germany in the hope of it leading to the destruction or substantial weakening of private enterprise based capitalism ?

They apparently still don't know, that pure Socialism, - i.e. public ownership of all the means of production - is straightforward (dictatorial) State Monopoly Capitalism

They don't acknowledge, that work alone without the saving and profitable utilization and ownership of capital can deliver only a pre-stone-age cave dwelling and hand-to-mouth survival based way of life.

Geoff Fischer said...

Guerilla Surgeon: "the Chinese are just as racist – if not more than anyone in the West."
He or she is saying that "the Chinese" (implying all Chinese) are just as racist as the most intransigent racist to be found anywhere in Europe, Britain, the United States of America, Australia or New Zealand. Presumably including New Zealand's very own Brenton Tarrant.
This is the kind of breath-taking claim which we have come to expect from the denizens of the New Zealand left as they flock to join President Trump in his campaign to take China down a notch or two.
If the New Zealand left was sincere in its professed concern for the Uighers, Tibetans and the people of Hong Kong, it would not stoop to racist smears on an entire people, and it would not be making common cause with the despicable Donald Trump. It would part company with the Five Eyes, and challenge the PRC from a position of moral strength. But the chances of that happening under a Labour government are pretty close to zero.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"He or she is saying that "the Chinese" (implying all Chinese) are just as racist as the most intransigent racist to be found anywhere in Europe, Britain, the United States of America, Australia or New Zealand. Presumably including New Zealand's very own Brenton Tarrant."


Er… No, it was exaggeration for effect.

But even so, I've seen Chinese mothers snatch their kids out of my way in fear, and if you happen to be black and on public transport, many people don't like to sit next to you. I've talked to a number of black people in China, and people who don't know them oftem give them a wide berth. I've not seen this in New Zealand yet.
Obviously not all are like this, and there is a certain novelty value to be had being a foreigner in China, but there is certainly a hierarchy of foreigners in the eyes of many Chinese.
And the Chinese leadership as I've said, is extremely chauvinistic and has a tradition of being so.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"While it's fashionable to cast whites as systemically racist, and pretend that racism is unique to whites".

For Christ's sake Brendan, the system is systemically racist. It's all in the name. And it definitely is a thing in many societies not just white ones. If you'd studied some of that sociology you conservatives purport to despise you might not make such broad generalisations. And I've never come across anyone who claims that only white people are or can be racist except members of one lunatic fringe or another. Sigh.

kiwidave said...

Race or the history of engagement with China is not a basis for the current concerns.
I don't find it surprising at all that leftists are concerned; apart from the incursions/indignities/oppression/genocide being perpetrated by Beijing there's the ongoing assault on the pay, prospects and power of western workers thanks to China's mercantilist, protectionist policies. Wall street and the Party of Davos have profited handsomely from their demise and are deeply opposed to Trump's realignment for that reason.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi GS

I accept that you may "never have come across anyone who claims that only white people are or can be racist except the lunatic fringe."

The problem we face today is that the "Lunatic Fringe" as you so aptly describe them, are not the fringe anymore, but have gone mainstream. Critical Race Theory, or CRT is now the meta-narrative that is animating our universities, and large corporations.

Below I have linked to a documentary that shows in stark terms how left leaning Dr. Bret Weinstein and his wife were forced out of Evergreen University in the USA - a liberal arts college for the 'crime' of refusing to admit their inherent with racism: Now I can tell you with absolute certainty that CRT is the lens through which major corporations including Microsoft, CISCO, LinkedIn and many many others, now understand human relationships in the workplace.

Furthermore, I can also advise you that in the 10 ten most popular books on Amazon, includes such gems as : White Fragility by
Robin DiAngelo, (who features in the videos) and coming in at number 11 this week: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

CRT is the new orthodoxy.

The videos below are reasonably short, use actually footage from the University meetings and will be shocking for anyone who has not been to university in the last 20 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH2WeWgcSMk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0W9QbkX8Cs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vyBLCqyUes

Patricia said...

Perhaps the CCP stands for the Chinese Civilisation Party

Andrew Nichols said...

I'm tired of the kneejerk western habit of succumbing to the decades long US led bogeyman creation replete with faux concerns about Red menace, Domino Theories Moslem hordes, New Hitlers yaddyadda. This is nothing more than Big Power willy waving akin to the leadup to WW1, where declining empires jockeyed for influence with emergent ones. And look where that led.

We on the left are well aware of the shortcomings of China and surely even you surely havent forgotten that it was the Greens under Norman that were at the forefront of protests when Xi visited during the Key Regime era..all the while the Govt business moguls and the Labour Party were wining and dining the visitors...on the other side of that screen of buses.

Odysseus said...

@ Geoff Fischer: "New Zealand's very own Brenton Tarrant". Tarrant was not a New Zealander, he was an itinerant Australian. We are prohibited by the State from reading his own account of his motivations for his heinous crime. Nevertheless what little was reported in the local media immediately after the massacre suggested he was an eco-extremist who greatly admired the Chinese Communist Party's style of government. He also attacked members of a religion which embraces many races; the two are not synonymous. Perhaps we will get a clearer understanding of what happened in Christchurch on 15 March last year when the Royal Commission of Inquiry delivers its report. We are owed this at the very least.

kiwidave said...

Chris "There remains the same racist assumption that the West’s values and institutions are superior in every way..."
And there's a perverse undercurrent of contempt for Western Civilisation within the modern left (oikophobia as Sir Roger Scruton christened it) evident even in the institutions charged with the conveyance of it's values, history and knowledge.
I've copied below an interesting and relevant comment on this subject from a commentator on Quillette, C D Eastmannagle.

kiwidave said...

Greg Wolf’s survey of European architectural classicism is very much in the latter day humanist tradition of trying to cut down and/or diminish this civilizational tradition, as part of anti anti-Imperialist/colonialist narrative that presently keeps its acolytes in stipends, academic make-work and morally ascendant virtue wallowing, by plucking gloriously groveling humility, atonement and defeat from the jaws of discredited old hegemonism and pride, arising out of a uniquely unprecedented and sustained period of victory, power, prestige, wealth, knowledge growth, elaborate institutional development and cultural efflorescence that lasted almost half a millennium…and leaving behind a stupendous, albeit an inevitably faulted legacy, that we call modern times.

However, to keep things in perspective, until the rise and rise of Europe, there were plenty of other regions that could boast bigger and better at some time in their history. I am principally thinking China where the Forbidden City palace complex in Beijing was up till after WW2, three times the size of.its nearest European rival.

However, while China was long unquestionably the largest economy in the world and boasted a very sophisticated culture that in some ways rivalled that of Europe until the Industrial Revolution, the Chinese mandarin rulers of this civilizational behemoth were humiliatingly overtaken by industrialized societies with relatively quite small populations that had embraced the enormous leverages of capitalism, which is something that for a variety of reasons they couldn’t and wouldn’t do, even when faced with regime annihilation…

The fact is Greg that European capitalism has been an unrepeated and unrivalled singularity until the middle twentieth century, which enables you to be surrounded by a cornucopia of tools, facilities, health security and longevity that not even a Chinese emperor could have hoped to get.

And speaking of emperors Greg, there are exquisite portraits of Ming emperors that you can see by browsing the internet, but they have an almost cartoon like quality about them when you compare them to the richly textured verisimilitude, control of light, perspective and capacity to project absolute power, of Hans Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII, done at roughly the same time.

And in that singular moment of European painting is encapsulated what it was about European society that made it not merely special, but world changing and fundamentally in advance of any of its neighbours in all respects of its operations…And I mean everything, humanist bad mouthing notwithstanding.

I think post modernist cultural relativism is an aggressive form of cultural dementia that now needs to be taken to another place for some long overdue anthropological therapy, so that we can get back our now hijacked cultural space and see it objectively…free from gratuitous and defamatory attack that only serves to compromise it as a unifying force in an increasingly complex and potentially fissiparous multicultural society.

greywarbler said...

Mr Fischer your ideas are so wet they are soggy.
If the New Zealand left was sincere in its professed concern for the Uighers, Tibetans and the people of Hong Kong, it would not stoop to racist smears on an entire people, and it would not be making common cause with the despicable Donald Trump. It would part company with the Five Eyes, and challenge the PRC from a position of moral strength. But the chances of that happening under a Labour government are pretty close to zero.

Diplomacy was developed because countries have to try and get on with each other, small and large. The large ones are not as nice as elephants which as the saying goes, sit anywhere they want. The small ones like us, have to stand within a ball-shaped surveillance post as everyone wants a piece of us from every direction. No government, Labour or National, advised pragmatically with some morality topping, spouts in public as you have suggested. Though we need to have freedom to be more robust amongst ourselves and attempt quiet diplomacy if there is some desire for change and a desire to understand the nature of another country's zeitgeist.

greywarbler said...

Brendan McNeil
The treatment of the Uighurs is an expression of evil in the foul tradition of all communist dictatorships. Thankfully the Australian government is unafraid to place its values above pragmatic financial self interest. We could learn a good deal from them.

'The Australian government....values...above pragmatic financial self interest.' Hah. That's all I have to say. You have a sweet, trusting nature Brendan, But I advise to keep safe, don't take lollies from a stranger.

Geoff Fischer said...

I suggest that "exaggeration for effect" is not appropriate when writing or talking critically about Chinese, Mexicans, Polynesians, blacks or any other ethnic group.
Call me woke if you like, but in flirting with racism the New Zealand left is playing with fire.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Geoff Fisher "exaggeration for effect is not appropriate when writing or talking critically about Chinese, Mexicans, Polynesians, blacks or any other ethnic group. – that seems a little politically correct? Still, I have experienced it firsthand, and I have talked to other people who have experienced firsthand, which is probably more than you've done. And if you don't believe me, here's an article from an extreme right racist website that says pretty much the same thing. Oh – sorry to disappoint it's the Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/25/coronavirus-exposed-china-history-racism-africans-guangzhou

PS – I would never call you "woke" – I never use the word being way over 30.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Oh Brendan. Sometimes I do despair – greywarbler called you sweet and trusting – I possibly go with naïve. That college is an experimental university founded in the late 1960s. It is not in fact mainstream. But even if it was, you only get half the story. I'll post a link to the rest of it when I've finished.
Unfortunately Brendan you and many conservatives have a habit of doing this – finding an outlier and then associating everyone remotely to the left of Genghis Khan with it. It's particularly annoying with American conservatives with whom I sometimes correspond. They will find one member of the BLM movement for instance who says they are Marxist, and all of a sudden it's "you people" and let's arm ourselves the revolution is coming. Might I suggest you are doing the same thing? Christ it's not that long ago since some arse on this site called me a communist and then slunk away like a whipped cur when I asked them to produce evidence from my posts. Put it this way Brendan, it's a little similar to when I mistakenly accused you of being a fundamentalist Christian. Although to be honest, if you could produce me a right-wing thinker who been so accurate in their predictions as Karl Marx I'd be surprised. But we don't all follow his prescription for Utopia.

Anyway, here's the part of the story that your YouTube friend didn't tell you.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/evergreen-state-college-another-side_b_598cd293e4b090964295e8fc

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi GS

Jesus instructs his disciples to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” but it seems I’ll just have to settle for “sweet, trusting and naïve”. (*chuckle*)

Given the Huffington Post and its contributors are known for their fierce objectivity and absence of political bias I will have to accept their narrative against Left leaning Professor Bret Weinstein without question. However, I do think you would benefit from actually viewing the videos to observe for yourself who was acting aggressively who was not. Much of the video material was provided by the students themselves who loaded it up to their social media accounts.

But look, this is a rapidly unfolding story that is not being covered well by the mainstream media. We keep hearing about the ‘mostly peaceful’ riots that are taking place in daily in Portland, and also in Seattle, New York, and many other cities around the world. These riots against racism almost always end in violence against the police and the destruction of property. They are not being led by the ‘far right’ or ‘white supremacists’ or the like. They are almost exclusively the domain of the Left as they seek to tear down injustice by means of violence and injustice.

Jesus had something to say about that as well. (Matthew 26:52)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There are always two sides to every story Brendan. The "riots" for instance – interestingly enough most unbiased sources say that 99% of the demonstrators are peaceful and occasionally a few of them get out of hand, or maybe it's just criminals taking advantage of the situation. But Fox news and all those "fair and balanced" sources stress nothing but riots it's as if everyone is rioting and that's simply not true. I've used the magic of that there interweb thingy to talk to people in Portland, and they've told me that it was perfectly peaceful until Trump sent his thugs into kidnap people off the streets.

What is true, and what is well-known is that the extreme right are targeting universities, and using the whole idea of "freedom of speech" to insinuate themselves onto the campuses and make converts.
I watched one of the videos Brendan but to be honest after I spent hours looking at Kiwi Dave's right wing pundits in an effort to see some sense in them, because he'd asked me to, I just haven't the time to waste any more. If we talking about bias, some of those are outright crazy. The problem is of course that for months afterwards your YouTube recommendations consist of 50% right wing nutcases like Jordan Peterson and so on. I simply can't........ can't.......... be arsed.
But as I said, conservatives always find the most extreme spokesperson for anything and assume that everyone thinks like them. I notice you haven't spoken to that.
(Matthew 10:34)

Geoff Fischer said...

Odysseus: I don't know how long one has to be resident in New Zealand in order to be considered a New Zealander. The previous National government seemed to settle on about 8 days. I personally don't have a view on it.
I merely believe that Tarrant is "New Zealand's Brenton Tarrant" because, if justice is served, he will remain in New Zealand for the rest of his life. Hopefully the repatriation precedent set in the case of Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur will not be applied to him.
Is he a racist?
As you point out, most New Zealanders "are prohibited by the State from reading his own account of his motivations for his heinous crime".
On the other hand I would not have categorized him as a racist without good evidence to that effect.
Within a few months you will know whatever your government feels you should be allowed to know about Brenton Tarrant. If that proves insufficient to answer your questions, just ask around your acquaintance. Someone among them will have access to the original documents.

thesorrow&thepity said...

The first paragraph is very boilerplate leftwing self-flagellation about the "evil West"... because China doesn't have the corpses of slaves in the foundations of any of its famous structural achievements.
Here's a simple question; if this is what the CCP does to its own countrymen.... what would they do to us if they held the whip hand?

An article that puts a fine honey soy glaze over forced sterilisations & concentration camps, with much the same naivety as of its forebear, which fantasied about "Jacinda being an honest broker" between the Uighurs & the CCP (because the Chinese really really love it when foreigners interfere in their internal affairs).

It's long overdue to call out & stand up to Chinese aggression.
Those who believe they'll earn a treat for Kowtowing to their CCP overlords are simply appeasers & Quislings

Geoff Fischer said...

For the benefit of "Guerilla Surgeon"
I am not denying that the PRC is subject to a totalitarian system of government.
I am not denying any of the connotations of that reality.
I am not denying that Chinese people can be racist.
I am saying that:
certain elements in the New Zealand state, in deference to their "partners" in the Five Eyes alliance, wish to provoke an economic, political, and possibly military conflict with the PRC
and
there are many people on the left, like Guerilla Surgeon, who are willing to assist them in that objective by using "exaggeration for effect" in denigrating people of Chinese ethnicity.
This is all in accordance with the game plan which New Zealand's "security chiefs" laid out three years ago.
It may serve the interests of the colonial regime (although even that is debatable) but it is not in the interests of the people of Aotearoa, or any peoples anywhere in the world.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"certain elements in the New Zealand state, in deference to their "partners" in the Five Eyes alliance, wish to provoke an economic, political, and possibly military conflict with the PRC"

Quite possibly. But there are also others on the left who want to minimise the racism inherent in Chinese society and government for reasons of their own. I prefer to use my free speech which you all cherish of course, to point this out.

"because China doesn't have the corpses of slaves in the foundations of any of its famous structural achievements."

Those that believe this have never heard of the great Wall of China obviously. You could perhaps stop ascribing this ignorance to everyone on the left however.

greywarbler said...

The extreme right are targeting universities. I think that is probable, they are targeting everything that attempts to see through their pernicious and poisonous propaganda. Referring to some USA universities that have strayed away from straight academia there is a lively book that looks at the phenomenon which ends up in murder, and is just about right fare for the present time of world brouhaha.

An English Baroness Jack Troutbeck is involved, along with her parrot, and manages to scupper the deadly academics. It's by Ruth Dudley Edwards called Murdering Americans Might have to be ordered from your library, and her books seem to have largely vanished from public domain here.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/131277.Murdering_Americans

Unknown said...

Thank you, Chris, for your very important commentary and for your follow-up piece appearing in The Daily Blog on July 30. I live in Vancouver, Canada. Along with the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Canada is closely joined with the Trump regime in pursuing an aggressive cold war against China. Such bedfellows! That includes Canada's assistance to the Trump regime in seeking to railroad the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, Meng Wanzhou, into the U.S. judicial and prison gulag on accusations (dating more than ten years ago) that Huawei circumvented the immoral and internationally illegal U.S. sanctions against Iran. She was detained by Canadian police and border agents at the Vancouver airport on Dec 4, 2018 and has been under arrest ever since, fighting a threatened extradition to the U.S. Sadly, your article's analysis of the failings of the Western left with respect to China applies to the broad silence of Canada's political left (such as it is) to this international act of kidnapping. You can follow the news of Meng Wanzhou's legal battle on the 'Canada news' headlines page of my website.
The threats and moves against China by the Western imperialist countries raises the same fundamental issue as with the West's earlier new cold war against Russia, launched at the time of the right-wing coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and the subsequent decision by referendum of the people of Crimea to secede from this Ukraine--namely, what is the exact character of the economic and social formations of China and Russia? Are they 'imperialist', as misguided leftists, including those of the International Socialists' tradition, believe and argue (without the slightest effort to substantiate their case)? Or are they historically unique and unprecedented examples of state capitalism? Even if Russia and/or China are deemed to be 'imperialist', it would still be wrong for left-wing thinkers to adopt a 'plague on all their houses' stance in the face of the West's economic embargos and threatened military interventions. The military threats happen to include the renewal of a nuclear arms race being spearheaded by successive U.S. regimes--first Obama, now Trump. How can serious leftists be indifferent to the very real threats of nuclear warfare which U.S. plicy (and that of its lapdog allies) present so acutely? It boggles the mind. But it so happens that the phrase 'imperialist' (the charge never amounts to more than phraseology) is factually inaccurate. I recommend two essays on the subject:
* The myth of ‘Russian imperialism’: In defense of Lenin’s analyses, by Renfrey Clarke and Roger Annis, Feb 29, 2016
https://socialistincanada.ca/the-myth-of-russian-imperialism-in-defense-of-lenins-analyses/
* Lenin’s theory of imperialism: A defence of its relevance in the 21st century, by Sam King, winter 2015-16 (specifically addressing the claim of a Chinese 'imperialism')
https://marxistleftreview.org/articles/lenins-theory-of-imperialism-a-defence-of-its-relevance-in-the-21st-century/
Best wishes,
Roger Annis
https://socialistincanada.ca/

Geoff Fischer said...

Slightly off-topic, but since I commented above "Hopefully the repatriation precedent set in the case of Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur will not be applied to (Brenton Tarrant)" it is pertinent to note that the New Zealand public are now being prepared for just such a move.
In the media, the high cost of keeping Tarrant in prison is being cited as a reason to "send him home". The Prime Minister, on the other hand, asserts that he would only be repatriated to Australia in deference to the sensitivities of his surviving victims.
But why would Australia want him? Simply because just as the DGSE had an interest in Prieur and Mafart, ASIO has a very strong interest in Tarrant. Evidently ASIO wants him back home, and that being the case I would be very surprised if he does in fact serve out his sentence in a New Zealand penal institution.