Category Archives: Philosophy
This week on Facebook: Last week I wrote about Political Meritocracy & Authoritarian Democracy and would that global politics could be divided neatly between ‘the political good and the political bad’. One of the problems in trying to write objectively is that of history and the version of it that people choose to believe in. The justification for any conflict by one State with another is set by the victor in any conflict, in reality the contemporaneous reasons for conflicts are always subject changes driven by politics. These are used to disguise the economic and political justifications behind the conflict, with the victor and the vanquished each presenting their own version to it.
Such was the case when I wrote about the 2011 conflict in Libya — Sticks and Stones and looking back even further the 2003 conflict in Iraq that I wrote about in A Chilcot Retort! Both conflicts initiated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), whereby 29 North American and European countries signed a 1949 treaty to constitute a collective defence in response to an attack by any external party.
China’s actions in Xinjiang illustrates the power written into the constitution of the State and the significance that freedom of expression contributes to a democracy. Regardless of the State constitution it’s clear the all States propagate disinformation and it is only a constitutional right to freedom of expression that can exposes it and its initiators.
China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other: Kashgar, the largest Uighur city, has four camps, of which the largest is in Number 5 Middle School. A local security chief said in 2017 that “approximately 120,000” people were being held in the city. In Korla, in the middle of the province, a security official recently said the camps are so full that officials in them are begging the police to stop bringing people.
Xinjiang Authorities Subsidise Uighurs to Relocate to Han Districts of Urumqi: As part of a bid to promote ethnic “friendship” and stability following his appointment in August 2016, Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo initiated a new “become relatives” policy in October which aimed to assign a Han Chinese “relative” to each Uyghur household who would monitor the family’s adherence to Chinese rule and report its activities to the authorities.
China created a new terrorist threat by repressing secessionist fervour in its western frontier: In the 1940s, the Uighurs enlisted the help of the Soviet Union to create a separatist state, called the East Turkestan Republic. As close cultural and ethnic cousins of the Uighurs, the Turkish lent a hand in the administrative and cultural shaping of the republic. It didn’t last; five years later, the USSR’s loyalties switched to Chairman Mao, and the Russians helped The Communist People’s Liberation Army recapture the nascent state. In October 1949, East Turkestan was absorbed into Communist China.
Terror threats transform China’s Uighur heartland into security state: China says it faces a serious threat from Islamist extremists in this far Western Xinjiang region. Beijing accuses separatists among the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority there of stirring up tensions with the ethnic Han Chinese majority and plotting attacks elsewhere in China. A historic trading post, Kashgar is also central to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign and economic policy involving massive infrastructure spending linking China to Asia, the Middle East and beyond.
On Uighurs, Han, and general racial attitudes in China: Your mentioning the sign [“Han Chinese only”] in Xinjiang provides half the question. It’s pretty obvious why the Uighurs are angry, but that doesn’t explain why Han Chinese in Xinjiang are angry. I think that if you see this simply as a majority group trying to crush a minority group, then you miss the fact that the average Han Chinese in Xinjiang probably feels as oppressed and repressed as the Uighurs, and since they are competing for the same pool of jobs. Just because you are Han Chinese doesn’t mean that you are going to be in the Politburo.
Referenced Articles & Books: A book or pdf (usually free), or simply a url that may sometimes link to a download that is also usually free. Sometimes a link to JSTOR is used, this lets you set up a free account allowing you to have 6 (interchangeable) books stored that you can read online.
Han Migration to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Between State Schemes and Migrants’ Strategies (JSTOR): Post-1949 Han migration to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China is a hotly debated issue among Xinjiang scholars as well as among the population of the region itself. While it is often discussed as a large-scale historical process using statistical data, in this article I argue for a more differentiated view of Han migrants. I demonstrate that in the popular discourse, migrants are distinguished into numerous categories like Bingtuaners, Profit-Driven Migrants, Border Supporters, Qualified Personnel, Educated Youth and others. Accordingly, I argue that Han migrants to Xinjiang should not be understood as a homogeneous category of participants in a singular state project intended to establish state control over the region. High return rates demonstrate that state attempts to make Han migrants settle in Xinjiang are only partly successful and that migrants follow their own strategies when the situation permits, rather than fulfill the government’s plans. Individuals who have migrated since the 1980s are especially careful in their assessment of the economic incentives of settlement and many decide to remain mobile.
This week on Facebook: Last week Murray N. Rothbard wrote in the introduction to La Boetie’s Discourse that, How can a free and very different world be brought about? How in the world can we get from here to there, from a world of tyranny to a world of freedom? This prompted me to republish the following quotation made fifty-seven years ago by Aldous Huxley at Berkely University:
It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. (Aldous Huxley – Berkeley 1962)
This week on Facebook: Last week I wrote that Peter Drucker’s thoughts will remain an important part of the debate on the legitimacy and functions of the corporation but as part of a world increasingly different from that in which he developed his ideas. While the developed world may now eschew religion (in any form), it constantly seeks to find some philosophical thoughts to replace it with and those philosophical thoughts of Drucker’s are no exception. Collectively I think that the internet, and in particular the social media, always provides a means of finding or creating a notional truth. Those in a search of a truth to lead their life by, and which concurs with their notions of social responsibility, become zealots in advocating such truth when they find it. I have a very dystopian view of a future, one in which I find myself increasingly cynical regarding the use that Drucker’s views on social change have been put to by the private sector and public administrations. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Last week in It’s only money! I quoted Peter Drucker, for those who may not be familiar with his works, and perhaps the younger millennials in particular, this week is devoted to my take on the man. On his death (aged 95) in 2005 he was described by a Bloomberg Business Week article as The Man Who Invented Management, I much prefer the subheading ‘Why Peter Drucker’s ideas still matter’. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I was going to add a comment to Colin’s remark that life without quality of life has no value, instead it made wonder what was meant by a quality of life. The remark was made in response to Charles’ post Do English Courts Really Believe in the Sanctity of Life? It seems to me that the sanctity of life and the quality of life are both ethical issues in which some may find, or seek, a correlation. However, I found that the sanctity of life focused more on a spiritual connection, which certainly leads to a personal view. A search for a quality of life was more objective but the questions raised could apply to either. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I thought the quote that Freedom meant freedom from material want too difficult to answer although I did try, but notions of freedom and material wants come with such a variance that any general answer would be virtually impossible and any specific answer dependant on how the quote was interpreted. This became apparent from an interesting exchange that developed between Colin and Scott in response to my published article on Monday. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I was going to use an article on David Rieff’s book/essay In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies in my post on forgetfulness but decided against its inclusion. What I did find interesting though were the reviews of Rieff’s short work received (it is clearly an essay rather than a book). There is — to my mind — a significance in the references to historic memories that the authors selectively chose to include in their reviews and in those that they did not mention. Particularly the impact that their education had in fostering historical memory and the contemporary ironies it creates. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: Modern mediums of communication, especially the euphemistically termed ‘social – media’ (of which this medium is a part) expose us all to what many consider to be the abuse of free expression. It is paradoxical that the Human Rights Act 1998, in guaranteeing the freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 10 of the ECHR, is now regularly used in attempts to curb this freedom. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook is Easter week, arriving early this year by beginning on Easter Sunday March the 27th last, this being the earliest date it can arrive on until 2035. An act of Parliament passed in 1928 allowed for Easter Sunday to be fixed and in 1990 the Vatican approved a proposal for a fixed date. Something that is yet to be achieved for this most important Christian festival, above all others a time of Christian forgiveness, following as it does those — now rare — traditions of fasting, prayer, and contemplations over Lent. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook I posted six abstracts taken from a 1968 paper by T. E. Utley with the title What Laws May Cure. Some Eighteen years later, in 1986, Justice Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court of The United States. Both men held morality central to their tenet and were both pragmatic conservatives, but whereas the former was concerned with politics formulating the law, the latter was concerned with the law dispensing justice. Discovering Justice Scalia’s views on morality and the law seems an apt moment to reintroduce the views of T.E. Utley¹.
Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure Read more of this post
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