Category Archives: Political
This week on Facebook: It could be thought odd, even hypocritical, that NATO (as led by the USA) is so selective and clearly so inept at using military force to spread democracy. Democracy, it now appears, being as inconsequential to the USA as it is to communist China! Tibet was invaded by China in 1950, the Tibetan government in Lhasa appealed for help to both Britain and the United States (both NATO members) but non was given.
The Free Tibet campaign still has many adherents, unlike last week’s post ‘Democracy in Xinjiang‘ when the USSR’s loyalties switched to Chairman Mao and the Russians helped the communist People’s Liberation Army recapture Uighur East Turkestan. In 1949 East Turkistan became Xinjiang when it was once again integrated into Communist China. China’s expansion westward is reminiscent of Japan’s reasons for its empirical expansion during world war II. To the Chinese, there is the added dimension of interpreting their cultural history and the memory of the humiliation inflicted on China by western economic and military hegemony in Asia. Read more of this post
- Sunday on Facebook: My wife’s paper has just arrived with the self congratulatory front page headline of, New Law To Tackle Moped Muggers. I wasn’t aware that we needed a new law, I thought that such people were already breaking the law. The problem seems to be in apprehending those responsible for breaking the law. Making new laws brings no comfort to my wife who now imagines a mugger being every moped rider and is now pressurising me to install more home security.
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)
Sunday on Facebook: Last week I posted a video from an interview with Zhang Weiwei on his book ‘The China Wave’ and an article from Zhang Weiwei on ‘Meritocracy versus Democracy’. They were both very informative, especially in promoting the idealism of the Chinese meritocratic system of government. I concluded that public administration in a meritocratic system of government differs very little from that of a demos driven democratic system, the differences lying in their notional definitions democracy.
Written four years ago the following reprise is not entirely tongue in cheek but may well represent my innate cynicism that irrespective of the politics represented ‘mandarin‘, is not the purview of the Chinese. The following ‘Lessons in Mandarin’, may point to the inscrutability and clear consciousness of all (supposedly meaningful) exchanges.
This week on Facebook: To my mind it is clear that global hegemony, both politically economically and militarily, is what the Chinese expect gain from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Until now known as the OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, its threat to Western Democracy should not be underestimated. ‘Crises and chaos’ is how the State media in China Xinhua described Western democracy.
China has absolutely no need to import the failing party political systems of other countries. 2017 Communist Party Congress.
The inexorable rise of the Nanny State explains the raison d’être of the political class. The sentiments expressed below in The Traveller; or, a Prospect of Society are particularly true today. Although written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1764, the law has increasingly become a vehicle for restraint by the State¹·²·³.
In every government, though terrors reign,Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,How small, of all that human hearts endure,That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
This week on Facebook: The connection between inequality and economic growth is mostly lost on the indigent and those prospering in a paternalistic and what is often called the Nanny State¹. Nevertheless, it is clear that the majority of people are willing to sacrifice personal and moral freedoms in pursuit of the perceived benefits of living in a paternalistic Nanny State.
This is particularly true in the UK where a majority tyranny is exercised compelling the acceptance of State control, where those on the political left and right mostly argue about the fiscal policy needed to stimulate economic growth, with opposing policies that advocate an end to Government Spending and Austerity versus those of avoiding a Sovereign Default. Both sides finding themselves hoist on the petard of an ever increasing commitment to a Welfare State, which makes their proposed welfare system limited by Sovereign Debt, thwarting any political desire for the effective implementation of all their fiscal policies. Read more of this post
This week on Facebook: I used to blog a lot on a now defunct site called My Telegraph, as did a chap who I think called himself Atrium. Eventually Atrium disappeared in a fit of pique, I think it was because he had such little response to his many cri de coeur regarding his opinions. Observing Atrium was a salutary lesson that taught me a lot about blogging and I think I understand why he left My Telegraph in such a huff. It was (at least in a large part) an ‘age’ thing, Atrium was most probably in my peer group, retired and clearly with a lot of time to spend on the social media. He had forgotten that as a younger man, when in a job and less time on his hands, any talk of putting the world to rights was invariably euphemistic and tempered by a blind faith that the democracy of our public administration lay in hands of the electorate.
My piquancy (I would hope) is not only tempered by an ever increasing understanding of the social media but also by the limitations to my curmudgeonliness. However, a recent article in MoneyWeek with the title ‘A Credit Score That Judges Your Politics’ (see Monday’s article) caused me to have an Atrium moment, a cri de coeur if you will. Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay—or not (see Tuesday’s article). Think of the world that you are already living in!
The following is a brief extract from ‘Big Brother Loves You!’ by Detlev Schlichter in which he rails against fiat money and the creation of debt something that I touched on in A Universal Debt. Commenting on the trend towards interventionist policies and assertive state action, The Economist and the Financial Times talk of the trend towards ‘repression’ and ‘national capitalism’ in crisis management. The public believe that greedy bankers and ‘unfettered capitalism’ brought about this crisis. Yet cheap credit through state fiat money and the systematic subsidisation of the housing market, are not features of the free market but of politics. Read more of this post
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