-How their state apparatus functions
-How the Chinese state apparatus functions
-How much they are effortlessly surveilled by computers and how those aggregates are collated
In fact, I could go as far as saying nearly everyone in the world could fit into this category, but I will allow an extremely loose definition of “unaware” here to make sure that I’m not just trying to broadly define, like, 7.4 billion people. In essence, even a cursory understanding of these three categories instantly places you outside of the vast majority of people who have completely disconnected or haven’t bothered to learn these things. An important point I want to make here is that by no means does having this information make you superior; a hog led to slaughter with the anxiety of knowing it is about to be killed is likely just as, if not more terrified, than a hog being led down a corridor that stinks of death. We are all the hogs—if you are reading this in the English language (the only language I am fully capable of writing this in) you are overwhelmingly likely to be a hog as well. We are consumers, we eat, we are ignorant, chewing mouths taught to digest and regurgitate opinions about our consumption—like bile overflowing from a decadent meal of fois gras—and we have the nerve to ask how much we could maybe get so someone else could eat that bile? Maybe that bile is worth something?
The problem with swimming in an endless sea of vomit is that you very, very quickly lose the shorelines. The reality of the world is that China and America are two completely interdependent superpowers—but when you live in this other horrible Waterworld of Shit, the predominant refrain from young and old media is, for the large part, hysterical depictions of China doing exactly the same thing the West has done for years, but being more obvious about it because they don’t have to disguise it.
As a caveat, I am a Canadian, it’s Little America in almost every way—we love doing historic and ongoing genocides at home and abroad, we are an imperialist, extractionist country arm-in-arm with apartheid Israel and selling massive weapons of death to homicidal Saudi maniacs at the same time. The point being, this is par for the course as a Western nation, the deal signed by the “winners” of rapid industrialization who climbed up the mountain of skulls the fastest (the details of which were worked out with a few global wars) essentially assured that, from now on, there was one global hegemonic way of ruling, but you had to be chill about it, okay? It became clearer after the 80s and 90s, after financialization, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, after the credit-debit traps that destroyed much of the Global South economically and caused them to become defacto ruled over by the IMF— every major Western country functions identically to the prototyped and now fully-assembled neo-fascist American cliché. To live in any of these places is to live in the exact heartland of this winking ignorance of the cruelty you see at home and abroad on a nightmarishly frequent basis, and therefore, makes you almost entirely credulous participant in handwringing about the world beyond this cultural totality instead, because your horrors are already justified.
Additionally, the conceptual idea of freedom is so obnoxiously malleable that it can be changed to fit any argument—a lot of the time, this conceptual freedom is basically “the freedom to choose what I consume and how I consume it” and ends there. Freedom, somehow, doesn’t mean complete control of your life even in the libertarian sense—in a ruthless world of social ‘non-aggressors’ with extremely strong property rights, eventually the property is used as the chess-piece to preclude the social aspect of ‘aggression’ while also completely violating the ‘freedom’ or ‘rights’ or whatever of the so-called individual. Freedom, in a “socialist” sense, I suppose means freedom to be emancipated from exploitation; but in the minds of people who are easily able to pass the mental football of 'freedom', socialism is the overreach of the state so as to prevent freedom because it precludes individualism and meaningless competition. Benny Johnson standing in shorts and flip flops gawking at a Cuban supermarket shelf with hundreds of homogenously branded products. If the state is involved, freedom to consume on the ultimate terms of the individual doesn’t happen; of course, it’s also nonsense to say that after a half-century of aggressive American sanctions, a tiny island country’s restaurant wholesaler not having a variety of brands is the ‘everyday’ in a socialist state—it’s all just a confused mash of competing ideologies derailing and slamming themselves together in the world of culture—but this is how easy it is to completely bullshit to yourself and others about what life beyond the bubbles of present-day capitalist monoculture is, and why it’s way, way easier to just disconnect and say “fuck this” and become one of the millions of people to whom the world simply occurs.
However, in again, very vague terms, China did two things to upend this age-old Imperialist Winners pact, they rapidly industrialized from a fully feudal, agrarian nation to a modern economic superpower in 50 years, and then took a seat at the winner’s table. China built a staircase of human bodies ultimately equivalent to the West in the grand scheme of things, but they did it in a timescale never before seen on the face of the earth. To argue the ethics of modernization is another trap—it’s meaningless; we live in a world of cheap life and easy death. Arguing numbers and ratios is a pointless attempt to influence someone else who is utterly convinced there is a moral superiority to the way a certain country slaughtered its way to modernity that is completely opposite to your own. 9/11 is remembered with a severe reverence by almost every major public figure as COVID-19 kills the equivalent of a 9/11 every single day to the elderly and infirm for nearly an entire calendar year now—that’s the absurdity of buying into the macabre game of morally weighing the justifiability of mass death. How China operated then is irrelevant to what China is now—the world’s largest market capitalist country, purporting to be in the “first stage of Socialism”—with an ostensibly strong social cohesion which has now become the endless global seller to the perfect buyer.
I don’t want to be some fucking Orientalist weirdo who either writes off China’s social dynamic as either inscrutable or completely obvious to me; someone who does not read or speak Chinese, know a lot of Chinese people on an intimate level, or ever set foot even within a couple thousands of kilometres from China, but what is obvious is that the level of influence the state has on the cultural and social spheres of life in modern China is horrifying to Westerners precisely because it operates on an upfront level. In a way, it’s also predominantly because of the ideal of “political dominance” from the CPC; but oddly, the idea that the Democrats and Republicans (or Liberals, Conservatives, NDP; fill in your major bourgeois political parties here) and all the little tiny offshoot parties are simply factions of a larger fascistic, capitalist vanguard party is not entertained because those factional fights have cultural differences. This extends to every level, these cultural hang-ups and fights crawling feebly out from the social battery acid of neoliberalism easily disguises the hypocrisy of shrieking about surveillance or genocide or human rights abuses. It’s also equally as disingenuous to pretend that China doesn’t also detain and attempt to reshape cultural minorities because of the state’s obsessive need to maintain social cohesion and uniformity; but to mention this isn’t to give any of these state actors a ‘get out of crimes against humanity free’ card, it’s a pragmatic reality of people’s lives in different organizations of state power as it intersects with the social under completely unique historical material circumstances.
In America, you are surveilled constantly, but only occasionally is this information “allowed” to be viewed by the relevant authorities. This is the entire barrier and difference between what we perceive as a completely free, individualistic state, and something called a “communist police state” in common parlance. Social Credit which impacts train ticket availability for people who get caught smoking in the bathroom and plane ticket availability for people who rip off their employees among other obviously many other things are directly comparable to American institutions which function identically, but operate just enough in an obfuscated way so as to make them seem like completely different things. A Social Credit score is different from a Credit Score because one is adherence to a social system, and the other is adherence to wage-earning and the financial system! Never mind that the financial system directly intersects with every single facet of my social life in almost every way! China surveils its citizens with facial recognition technology. That certainly doesn’t happen in the West! Except when people find out it does, but luckily, it’s just plucky ol’ corporations exploiting and tracking you instead of a bureaucrat.
In my mind, there is no fundamental difference now to being a citizen in any of these countries besides how utterly fucked you are when the rug gets pulled out from under you. Culture is the behemoth separating the new world of the next century, but these cultures are completely meaningless expressions that constantly change at an ever-evolving rate and do extraordinarily little in terms of elevating humanity. Being dirt poor in urban America is likely a hell worse than being an average peasant in modern China, but that was absolutely not true even 30 years ago. The timescales and changes soon will happen rapidly and probably peacefully, unless Sleepy Joe or the legions of devils in the wings of the Great Satan’s brigade are bold enough to pop off the doomsday clock before they finally die a normal death from being geriatric. But the coming ‘Chinese century’ or whatever other rhetoric that gets thrown around is simply picking a fight with time tested old Red Scare boogeymen. They’re blowing the dust off the Looney Tunes tapes and playing the classics. The average person doesn’t know who or what the fuck Falun Gong is, or what their beef with the CPC is, but you’ll get the Epoch Times delivered right to your door whether you like it or not. Every major news outlet credulously repeats that there are millions of Uyghurs being ground into bonemeal round-the-clock and nobody is doing anything to stop it. It all just seems like patently ridiculous theatre; and a boring, rehash of a show we've already seen plenty enough at that, by people who are begging to die in a hypothetically cataclysmic military confrontation, but it’s the straight-faced belief of even the most serious Western politicians! Maddening. We are terrified of our own shadow growing large in the sunset of the empire.
Edited by Gssh ()
this poster is out here with another front page article while their last one sits in the queue. where is justice
Thank you very much. I live to post. I will die to post.
Nevertheless, over the last year, a number of Western ecosocialists have turned to condemning China’s ecological trajectory. By far the most important work in this respect is Richard Smith’s China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse (Pluto, 2020). Smith is a founding member of System Change Not Climate Change and an MR author. In China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse, Smith pulls out all the stops in criticizing China on the environment. China is characterized, he says, by “blind denialism” with respect to the environment and is the chief force destroying the planet. Its “Stalinist-capitalist” system is “suicidal” and inherently more destructive of the Earth System than what he calls “normal capitalism.” China is presented as an “Environmental Rogue State” and the Chinese Communist Party is destined for “the dustbin of history.” Smith claims to utilize a “Marxist mode of production theorization,” but instead relies on out-of-date statistics, the charge that the current Chinese leadership is characterized by “sociopathic behavior,” and the notion that China is unique in the extent of its accumulation drive. Under “normal capitalism,” as in the West, we are told, environmental limits are imposed in part by the drive for profits. If profits decline, so does economic expansion and ecological destruction. In the case of China’s “iron-fisted dictatorship,” in contrast, it is the accumulation of wealth at the top that is the real driver of economic expansion, not mere profitability (apparently the Western ruling class under “normal capitalism” is not driven by a desire to accumulate wealth under all circumstances!), making China much more dangerous to the world environment (Smith, China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse, vi–vii, xii–xiii, 87–91, 183-–94).
Shortly after publishing his book, Smith published an article in Foreign Policy,
Its “Stalinist-capitalist” system is “suicidal” and inherently more destructive of the Earth System than what he calls “normal capitalism.”
Stalinism is a 4x multiplier to the Earth System's weakpoint, which was already prone to crits from my Normal Capitalism build, it's completely unbalanced in this tourney and frankly should've been patched out after the Sino-Soviet split.
hi op, i have been interpreting the constant use of the term "freedom", which does have these incredible mixed meanings in the west, as part of bewailing any threat to "white domination" and assertion of racial superiority - in the west people are "free", free to own slaves, free to pull wealth from periphery to core, the free to exploit: the freedom for the white to indulge their warrior spirit, because "freedom" is ultimately something essential within the western man - part of their noble essence. in that sense, the bush era slogan "they hate us for our freedoms" is in its own way perfectly true. anyway, cool to see people (you) writing again!
Thank you, I really do enjoy writing this kind of stuff, it allows me to take my thinking (which is scattershot and all over the place 99% of the time) and kind of slow it down; it really helps organize my thoughts, make them actually cogent, AND maybe manage to make them enjoyable to read in a longer format than a tweet; but also I'd ideally still like be able to have a discourse without it immediately being derailed by psychos.
Also I definitely agree with that basic definition of the 'white domination' rhetoric; in a country that has in no serious way reckoned with its past as an imperialist, slavery-founded state run by mass murderers which still lives with the obvious, domestic signs of systemic white supremacy to this day, the very founding genocidal thesis of the settler-colonial mindset is defacto baked into the modern American idioms of "defenders of the free world," "protectors of democracy," etc. I took a lot of the idea of the political battering ram of "freedom" from Harvey's work, and your remark about that Bush-era slogan dovetails perfectly with the way that white supremacist American idiom has turned that genocidal domestic rhetoric into a cover for endless plunder and consumption abroad as well.
Edited by wheatdevil ()
anyway, sorry im actually just piggybacking on your efforts to say tangentially related words, but, as this is now the only good website remaining online i will do it anyway
this is now the only good website remaining online
anyway, sorry im actually just piggybacking on your efforts to say tangentially related words, but, as this is now the only good website remaining online i will do it anyway
I am genuinely very pleased to have an open dialogue with anyone on this forum about whatever I'm posting, it's the only place where I could write something like that without-- at least immediately-- getting quoted with "wow, okay, a LOT to unpack here" from a 17-year-old. Feel free to piggyback or add on whatever comes into your mind.
that the psyche or however you want to describe it of "western man" is defined by the division of the world into is superior (civilised) and inferior (savage) parts: the western is the modern, the colonial is the savage, living their blood drenched life. The west is defined in superiority to the bestial other. In this way china represents an actual source of horror
I would absolutely agree, and you can see the multiple ways this mindset manifests itself but cannot be said outright when it malignantly becomes the lens through which people perceive history, geopolitics, race, etc.
The experience of being black in America is being the perpetual "other" within the heartland. The horror of having to come to grips that in the minds of a settler is that they live among this "savage inferior"; but unlike the natives who were easily and effectively wiped out and pushed away, black Americans are fully culturally assimilated (another revulsion point for racists, "I'm sorry, she has a, ahem, wet ass p-word?") and thus contradict the idea that they somehow unequal as humans, so there has to be other forms of public domination and delineating this 'quiet' racial hierarchy. China is a unique new twist to this narrative-- it's an admixture of the "savage" archetype, but there is an Orientalist flavour to China in that, of course, China may be a modern economic superpower, but culturally they must be animals. Sure, the Orient may be full of gold, begging the West to come extract it, but these "savages" are clever because we haven't fully subjugated them. It's pretty sickening to me to see the general conclusion of this narrative to be "China is culturally backwards and it cannot be helped, and that's why (insert historical event here)". It's pretty incredible that people keep falling for that line of thinking, but it's intellectually easy! Way easier to fall back into this ignorant colonialist mindset because we in the imperial core are educated to think this way by default, and it's generally pretty fucking hard to learn to read and functionally understand other cultures without personally seeking them out.
But a United $naKKKe$ guy from the Atlantic Council decided that wasn't effective Sinophobic propaganda and has strong-armed the WHO team to scrap their findings. This was done with a publicity offensive in the form of a big-name letter, from a bunch of what appear to be involved parties...
...and it takes until paragraph 7 for the Wall Street Journal story to mention that, of the people pressuring the WHO to advance their Sinophobic propaganda about COVID being cooked up in a lab,
In a way, it’s also predominantly because of the ideal of “political dominance” from the CPC; but oddly, the idea that the Democrats and Republicans (or Liberals, Conservatives, NDP; fill in your major bourgeois political parties here) and all the little tiny offshoot parties are simply factions of a larger fascistic, capitalist vanguard party is not entertained because those factional fights have cultural differences.
The WHO must call COVID the CCP Virus, or me and two dozen cranks will write another letter that will get reported on by major newspapers for some mysterious reason.
The story of "Archaeoraptor" is an object lesson in Western theft of Chinese discoveries (in this case, somewhere between two and five of them assembled into one fake) and the way that bourgeois hobbyists have hijacked science in the United States, buying up fossils fake or real and withholding them from any institution that fails to go down on their egos. In this case, it was a pair named Stephen and Sylvia Czerkas, one of those notorious wealthy-horror power couples you're bound to find in shitholes such as Hollywood or Utah. The Czerkases were hyperactive amateurs with no qualifications and too much money; they played paleontologist in their backyard like Marie Antoinette played at being a milkmaid. Stephen Czerkas had conned his way into some influence with United States academia by dangling fossils from his private collection in front of prominent noses, effectively extorting paleontologists' cooperation with the implied threat he'd bought illegally smuggled specimens at auction that could destroy or confirm the theories on which they'd built their careers. When Stevie's latest exciting purchase started to smell like shit to third parties consulted by the couple's hired team, the Czerkases leaned hard on the scientists they'd roped into writing up the "new species" to shut up and play along.
The hoax, then the crimes of the rich stiffs behind it, were ultimately exposed by two Chinese nationals, Xu Xing and Qiang Ji. Xu, a Chinese paleontologist otherwise working in Beijing, was part of the Czerkases' team and had his name attached to the unpublished paper, until he realized that another species he was studying at the same time had contributed the tail to "Archaeoraptor". He then wrote a letter for publication that sunk "Archaeoraptor" for all time, but, in a telling display, it didn't do the same for the Czerkases. Qiang Ji, another Chinese expert, informed the press that a post-"Archaeoraptor" exhibit the con-artist couple were presenting—hosted by publicly-funded U.S. museums some years(!) after the "Archaeoraptor" hoax—included a bunch of other Chinese fossils already known to have been smuggled out of the country. The Czerkases claimed they'd turn them back over to China in 2007, but ten years later, the two were still showing them off, this time in the United Kingdom, historical capital of This Type of Shit.
Where COVID comes in is how the "Archaeoraptor" story was told back in 1999-2000, when it first threatened to humiliate the English-language popular press. Lucky for them, the sexiest, most pressing issue on the mind of the pre-9/11 imperialist court reporter at CNN, the Times or Atlantic Monthly was how the Chinese "sleeping dragon" would soon rise up and devour the "free world". Red China, they warned, was the next big thing, the Home of the Original Brainwashing equipped with a growing economy and bloodthirsty golden hordes beyond counting, and it would enslave the planet in some undefined but frighteningly small number of years unless Whitey took some undefined but drastic action to counter it. So the "Archaeoraptor" story was spun, by the English-language news press that had literally perpetrated the hoax, as a tale of shoddy Chinese knock-off products and the cutthroat, China-funded (They Could Only Assume...!) underworld of fossil smuggling, where Fu Manchu types stroked their six-foot-long mustaches under the glow of paper lanterns, gluing rocks together for a few measly dollars they'd no doubt burn away in the opium pipe by morning.
So if you disagree with what's implied by "anti-Sinitic" up top there, the myth deployed here definitely depicts the Chinese as a bunch of shifty merchant types who play-act as educated professionals to grub shekels from virtuous crackers abroad, but are, in truth, the skulking, duplicitous rapists of the ivory-skinned maiden Reason, with no trick they won't play and no lie they won't tell to cover up their self-serving, incompetent, simultaneously-dangerously-competent conspiracies against the West. Or, in the absence of a story that better fits the propaganda, We Can Only Assume, right...? I guess this is less deja vu than the sensation that the same event has been playing out non-stop for as long as I can remember.
Lucky for them, the sexiest, most pressing issue on the mind of the pre-9/11 imperialist court reporter at CNN, the Times or Atlantic Monthly was how the Chinese "sleeping dragon" would soon rise up and devour the "free world".
Yang Jeichi opening statement partly reads ... “China follows UN rules and system, not rules of a few countries which advocate that’s the rules-based world and international order. China has its form of democracy and the U.S has its own form.”— nathanking (@nathanking) March 18, 2021
also the Western media's blatant censorship of their responses is going to give me an aneurysm.
a shouting match in Anchorage with the Chinese