It is a spiritual journey of multiple lifetimes/incarnations seeking to understand the cosmos and the root cause of human sufferings.
Back cover text:
Tan Po Aran was a simple rice farmer living in a remote area somewhere in South East Asia, probably in West Java amongst the Inner Badui tribe. Faraway from any big city, they all lived harmoniously and happily together and so well aligned with their surrounding nature, the rice field. Nothing felt better than to be in the middle of the rice field surrounded by growing rice that undulates nicely when the wind blows. It reminded him of the antediluvian lifestyle he lived before as a Lemurian.
He died in 1932 at the age of 72. And as he left his body, he was engulfed by blissful loving energy. But suddenly he was overwhelmed by a very sad feeling as he picked up the vibrations of humanity heading for war, – the WW II. The sad feeling accompanied by tremendous compassionate energy was so great that pulled him back to incarnate as Bambang Pramana, – the author.
In his search for the root cause of human suffering, he was guided by one of his past incarnations as a 12th Century Chinese scholar, who was involved in establishing the Chinese civilisation based on virtue and harmony. It started with King Wen of the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). About a thousand years later the Tang Dynasty reached The Golden Age, which culminated during the Song Dynasty. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready. The China Golden Age was disrupted by Mongolian invasion, and The Ming Dynasty had to close their doors from the barbaric outside world.
Now the time has come, and the world will soon be ready for harmonious humanity, leaping from The Path of Separation based on power paradigm onto The Path of Unity based on love, wisdom and compassion.
This book is dedicated to those who are here to help create a better world for humanity.
Noble Prize in Physics 2022 has been awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zellinger for their groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states. Anders Irbäck, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics said: “It has become increasingly clear that a new kind of quantum technology is emerging. We can see that the laureates’ work with entangled states is of great importance, even beyond the fundamental questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics”
What is the fundamental philosophical interpretation of @Quantum Entanglement? @Was Einstein wrong? Some scientists might think that our Universe is so weird and unreal. But, so do the Hindus who call our Universe Maya, which means illusion.
The Ultimate Unification Theory unified Science and Spirituality, but not before unifying Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics by giving the elusive answer to the fundamental interpretation of Quantum Entanglement.
Referring to the Lorentz transformation formula Gamma Factor, the principle of Particle Accelerator where particles are accelerated close to the speed of light to make them bigger and live longer, to be easier detectable. As well as the Twin paradox and time dilation phenomena for movement close to the speed of light, the presentation is challenging our minds to think outside the box.
But this time it might be more challenging than The Heliocentric system introduced by Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd Century BC. It took humanity two millennia until the 16 – 17th Century AD to accept that The Earth is not the Centre of The Universe and that it rotates around The Sun.
Once this problem is resolved the presentation introduces the most ancient sacred symbols as a formula unifying the Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Realms.
It also introduces the Fundamental Cosmic Laws; The Law of ONE The Law of Polarization and The Law of Interactions (based on the principle of Resonance and Inductions)
PS: The Introduction of The Ultimate Unification Theory – The first public presentation, was dated July 1992 at The Fifth International Conference on Thinking, at James Cook University – Townsville, Australia. Thanks to my granddaughter Kimberly, who converted my old Powerpoint presentation file to a video format, I can now put it up on Youtube for a wider audience. (better late than never)
AS an Egyptian, I have been studying China intensely for the past year — its government, society, history, and transformation.
I’ve spoken to hundreds of Chinese and China-haters and heard everything they had to say. By now I’ve learned roughly as much about China as anyone can learn without knowing the language or living in the country, and I’ve reached my conclusion. China attracts a lot of haters, know-nothings and armchair experts.
The truth is that China is the greatest country on the face of the earth. It makes all other countries look insignificant and contemptible. It is the most brilliant, most industrious, most ambitious, most educated, meritocratic and technocratic, most modern, sophisticated, and civilised, and best-governed by far.
It is the first nonwhite, non-Western country to reach this status since the 1600s. The determination of this country is indescribable. Supernatural. There is no force that can stop it from accomplishing anything it wants to do.
Forty years ago a flush toilet in China was a luxury. Today it has its own Space Station. This is a tiny example of China’s capabilities.
It doesn’t matter who we are. Egyptians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Indians, Africans, even Americans. Next to the Chinese, we are pathetic. We can’t do what they do. We would have a mountain, an Everest of changes to make, and we would whine and bicker and fail at every one of them. China’s story since the 1980s has been one of an almost divine metamorphosis.
Next to China the entire Western world from Alaska to New Zealand has stagnated. Next to China the entire developing world from Brazil to Madagascar has progressed only at a crawl.
China is the mother of all gargantuan bullet trains. Every day it manages to create something new and astonishing. And unlike the United States, unlike the British Empire, unlike the French, Dutch, Germans, Spanish, Portuguese or any other Western nation that had its turn at being a superpower in the past four centuries, China doesn’t need to run anybody over or take something from somebody else, to rise majestically.
China is also standing up to the West all by herself. The West can’t believe their four-hundred-year-old global supremacy is being challenged. They hoped that the more China developed, the more it would submit to their influence, interests, and leadership. That didn’t happen. So now they will do anything possible, short of a nuclear war, to make China end.
Their goal is to destroy this country. That’s why, although the United States has killed several million people and turned several regions of the earth into hellscapes.
China is the worst fear of our planet’s Western masters. They want you to despise and dread a country that’s done nothing to you, that hasn’t invaded anyone, bombed or sanctioned anyone, that hasn’t overthrown any foreign government, or used its military on anything since 1979.
China is the only major country in the nonwhite developing world, to stand up to the West. To look it in the eye when challenged or threatened.
The Global South are simply Western puppets who submitted long ago. Even the most powerful ones. Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India.
The 1500s—1000s BC were Egypt’s time. Antiquity belonged to the Greeks and Romans. The 1700s belonged to France, and the 1800s to Britain. From 1945 to the present, the world has been under American overlordship. And they call it the Pax Americana but there isn’t much Pax in it.
There’s plenty of Pax if you’re in Europe or Australia. But the Middle East? Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and Yemen in the past 20 years. Latin America? They’ve destroyed that part of the world beyond any hope of recovery. Africa? It’s only been spared because of disinterest. The US sees Africa as nothing. The whole West does.
But in the twenty-first century, we are witnessing the rise of China. We are decades away from China becoming the greatest power on earth. This will be China’s time, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Attack China all you want, curse her and monger rumours and hysteria — but the truth is that none of your accusations are backed up by evidence. The Western press is under the thumb of Western governments that want to stay on top of the world for eternity. And the truth is that China is not affected by the noise and maneuvers of her enemies.
For her first thirty years, from 1949 to 1979, China was basically blockaded and isolated economically and politically by the West. It didn’t even have a seat in the UN General Assembly. And it was dirt-poor in those days, barely a speck of the global economy, a tiny fraction of Japan’s or Germany’s GDP — not even able to prevent famine. And it still didn’t submit to pressure or take any orders. Why on earth would it do that now?
China will be the next global power. There’s nothing that can be done about that. The first stage is that its economy only needs to grow at 4.7 percent per year to become the world’s largest by 2035. That means the usual, historical bare-minimum of 6 percent is already overkill. The US can build as many bases as it wants, slap as many sanctions as it wants, recognise whatever bogus genocides it wants. That’s what it’s been doing all along. Has any of it made a difference? China can adapt to any situation. It took China a mere ten years to go from being barred by the US Congress from participating in the “International” Space Station, to building its own Space Station from zero.
See, the US has an $800-billion war budget, 800 military bases, 13,000 aircraft, 500 warships, 6,000 nukes — but it doesn’t have what China has: invincible national resolve. It takes the US about 5 years to renovate a bridge, and it takes China 43 hours. There’s simply no competing with that.
China doesn’t need to be a military superpower or empire. That was never part of the plan. US troops, God bless their souls, will continue sitting in their bases, scratching their balls, costing their government $800 billion a year to do nothing. Meanwhile, China will continue to actually develop.
That’s the part of the equation that America totally missed, because it has barely developed since Reagan’s day. China is a better place to live today than at any time in its previous 5,000 years; Americans saw their highest standard of living in the 1960s and those days will never come back.
So yes, China will be the next global power, and the Chinese are vastly superior to us in every way. This is a fact that everyone can attack but that nobody can change, like the theory of evolution.
Look at you silly buggers, talking about China like it’s going to be the next Nazi Germany. Even many Middle Easterners I know fit in this foolish category. Did you notice when the US invaded or overthrew the governments of 20 countries in the past 32 years (my lifetime)? Did you even know? You think just because you’re ready to forget all that because of Beyoncé and Game of Thrones and Snapchat and other US cultural exports, it didn’t happen.
The US is feeding me terror-bytes about Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, Tiananmen Square, Great Leap Forward! I don’t see any dead bodies, I can’t show you one invasion or one example of Chinese regime change, I can’t even find Hong Kong on a map or tell you one factual detail about Tiananmen Square, but the US State Department and all its media are telling me CHINA BAD!
Aren’t you at least curious to see what a world with a nonwhite, non-Western leader might look like, after 400 years? Because God knows that leader won’t be us. It won’t be Brazil or Africa, or the Middle East or India or Indonesia or Nigeria or Pakistan. We’re a mess.
China was a mess too. But we remain a mess many decades after we achieved independence, and the Chinese went their own way, disentangled their mess and created their destiny. We’re not made of what the Chinese are made of.
I see China as hope. Hope that a colonised, brutalised, primitive and humiliated country, can rise above its past — refuse to be weak any longer — rebuild itself from nothing, with iron resolve, and become too strong to be overrun by the West again!
Hope that a nonwhite, non-Western country can look deep within itself and find its own solutions to its problems — proving that (foolishly) trusting the West to guide us isn’t necessary! Proof that if we can do what the Chinese did, there will be no limits for us.
Imagine a world where the US, France, Britain, Australia, are no more important than Uzbekistan or Paraguay.
A world where the World Court might be headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the World Bank in New Delhi, the United Nations in Jakarta, the IMF in Cairo.
A world liberated from the US banking system and the dollar as its reserve currency, so that Washington can no longer tell 200 other countries who they can and can’t trade with.
A world where an American can be tried for war crimes at the Hague, not just an Iraqi or Liberian or Serb.
A world where we don’t hear about a non-Western-made vaccine and grunt to ourselves, Oh, it must be poison. A world where we don’t have to immigrate to the same countries that turned ours into hellholes, to work as sales clerks or taxi drivers, or even if we’re brilliantly employed — to drain our brains from our homelands in the best of cases, and use them to reinforce Western riches and supremacy in exchange for a fat paycheck, instead of using them to make our own countries semi-habitable.
When I hear that China has built its own Space Station, landed a rover on Mars, ended extreme poverty, built the Earth’s biggest city, dam, telescope, 5G network, highway, air purifier, or whatever the heck it is that will come tomorrow — I feel the same pride as if I were Chinese.
It’s not happening for all of us, but it’s happening for one of us and that’s a start. There’s got to be such a thing as developing-country nationalism — a common nationalism for all the countries that were colonised and plundered, and remain economically and politically captured by their ex-rulers.
A nationalism for the Global South. We are too divided, too brainwashed, too fooled and weak — most of us still worship the countries that destroyed us, are non-Western on the outside and Western on the inside, are hating and fearing and buying all the lies about the only one of us that’s made it, and are leaving our countries in droves to let them burn while we “make a better life for ourselves” in the West.
Do you want to live on a Western-dominated Earth for another 400 years? If you do, keep doing what you’re doing. But I don’t!
You know what’ll happen for all of us if America’s sick wishes come true and its global thuggery does make China collapse? Nothing. Eternal repetition of the status quo. More enslavement, hijacking of our resources and weak corrupt governments, neo-colonialism, invasion, regime change, sanctions, MISERY.
Haven’t we already seen this? Libya, Cuba, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Belarus, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, the Soviet Union. Rest in peace. Even FRANCE and JAPAN for God’s sake. What does the United States do when any other country says NO, or simply becomes too powerful, too good at honest competition?
Japan was a Western-style democracy crawling with US troops, with a US-authored pacifist constitution and almost no military and an extremely pro-US government and populace, and it STILL got crushed when it looked like it would become the #1 economy in the 80s.
I remember 10–15 years ago when China was still relatively poor and impotent, and Bush and Obama would talk about China as sweetly as swans. Obama happily had dinner with Xi Jinping in late 2015, called China a crucial partner of the United States, and said the US welcomed China’s rise; it was all horseshit. Today Biden, who was there with Obama in late 2015 as Vice-President, angrily rebukes a reporter who merely said that Biden and Xi were old friends.
America has taken off its mask.
China made it, it wasn’t supposed to make it, so now it must die. What a difference 5 years can make. China went from “crucial partner” to “number one threat.”
We should be helping and supporting China to keep climbing to the top, and giving her some serious solidarity as she withstands the new Cold War of Western imperialism. It’s been a long 400 years. China is the first non-Western country to even come close to reaching a status of ultimate global importance. She is akin to the first member of an impoverished family to go to university. That is our family of nations.
And when China gets to the top, believe me, it won’t be a repeat of the French, British, or American Empire. Not a single developing country on earth will be worse-off because of China becoming #1. There will be something good in this for all of us, so let’s wake up.
“Don’t worry about it,” he says. The popular Berkeley-educated entrepreneur smiles. “There is no solution,” he adds. “Because there is no problem.”
Eric X. Li (李世默) has become a folk-hero in China and a figure of fascination in the West because of his ability to deliver sophisticated, thought-provoking answers to complex geopolitical questions. His obvious intelligence and east-west background give him insights most commentators on either side lack.
Mired in hubris
Li doesn’t deny that China gets extremely bad press from the international media, which means, in practice, the media of the United States and Western Europe.
“Obviously I think the Western media is highly biased, I think we can all agree on that,” he says. But its self-righteousness is mired in “hubris”, he said – a term referring to a harmful level of pride.
This ultimately does more damage to itself and to Western society than it does to China, he believes.
“The Western media with its hubris has probably done more damage to Western power than any other institution in the last 30, 40 years,” he said.
An obvious example is the way the Western media worked hard to garner support for the US-led war against Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” – a tragic error that caused untold numbers of deaths in war crimes that have simply gone unpunished, as the world can see, but the press itself apparently cannot.
The media’s dramatic misrepresentation of modern China is simply the latest example of media decisions made that ultimately sap the Western press’s own credibility. “For 20 or 30 years, they’ve been telling the public that China would fail, that there’s no way the Communist Party will succeed,” he said.
For decades, the media led Westerners to believe that “history was on their side” and China was in danger of imminent collapse. Americans felt they didn’t need to worry at all. But what happened?
“Whoops! One morning they wake up and find China is so big and so successful,” he says.
The art of war
The present situation, he found, is actually covered in the Chinese classic The Art of War by Sun Tzu. To win a battle you have to “know thyself and know thine enemy”, he quotes.
The Western media presents China as a very dark place, an evil prison-like dystopia that is unrecognizable to anyone who has actually visited the country.
“They are misleading their own public and their own political elite,” he said.
The result is that the West doesn’t know itself or its rival. “And that’s going to make them lose, according to The Art of War,” Li says. But he quickly adds: “I’m not saying that China and the West are enemies; I’m just using that as an analogy.”
Shanghai-born Li is usually described as a Chinese venture capitalist or a media boss, which is accurate enough, as he is the founder of Chengwei Capital, a finance firm, and Guancha.cn, a popular Chinese media outlet.
Yet it is his articulateness and his insights that have made him a popular speaker around the world.
“The world needs new ideas,” Li says. “We need to offer alternatives to challenge predetermined Western concepts.”
Wrong side of history
Li has developed a hypothesis about why the Western narrative has become so harsh about China in recent years.
The subtext of Western reporting on China was always that the world’s most populous country is “at a crossroads” and would eventually choose Western liberal democracy for itself.
“And from 2012 on, China said: ‘No, no, no, we’re not getting on this path that you want us to get on.’ Yet they continue to succeed. Now to make matters worse for the West, Western liberal societies began to fail around the same time.”
Far from reality
Instead of responding to the unexpected situation with introspection, and learning from it, the West has instead embarked on a mission to paint China as a dark murderous dystopia.
“I think that the bad press is going to hurt the West more than it hurts China because it is blinding the Western public to what’s wrong with their own societies. And it’s portraying a China that’s so far from reality,” he continues.
Studies back him up, with surveys showing growing scepticism around the world about the Western media.
The implication was impossible to miss: by stubbornly failing to collapse on schedule, China had sent a powerful message to the world that they weren’t the ones “on the wrong side of history”. This discomforted the West. “So their narrative is in trouble. They can’t deal with it,” Li says.Loss of credibilityBut the self-centeredness of the international media has meant that it misses so much. So, for example, while plenty of surveys show how the Western media has lost credibility in the West, few people have noticed changing attitudes within China itself.Chinese people used to admire so much about the Western world. “They were sympathetic to some of the Western criticism about corruption, about the environment, about society’s ills, and even about some human rights issues,” he says.But in recent years, the international media’s misrepresentation of their country has been so dramatically different from what they experience every day of their lives that they are re-thinking things.The result is that “the Western media and elite have lost credibility inside China”. This is irreversible, he believes.
What’s next will be interesting
The interesting thing is to speculate how this difficult situation will progress.
“In the short term there’s no need for a solution,” Li says. “But longer term, I think Chinese intellectuals need to come up with conceptual frameworks that could carry us forward and carry the world forward for the good of the world.”
He looks to academics to find a way forwards. Education is always a positive thing.
One form of democracy
When it comes to politics, humanity needs to move beyond the simplistic idea that there’s only one type of democracy and everybody in the world must have it.
“What they really mean when they say ‘democracy’, is ‘liberal democracy’. What they really mean is that there is only one form of democracy,” Li points out.
There’s growing awareness worldwide that this is not how things really are.
“Liberalism, of course, is about values, but on the ground, in practice, liberalism is about procedures. There is a set of procedures, and if you follow those procedures, liberal procedures, then by definition you are democratic – even if you’re starving to death.”
And what if one society dares to think differently? “Even if your people are prosperous, your people’s lives are improving, your people have great expectations about the future – you are not democratic.”
So what would be a better measure of how well a society is run?
“I would say that democracy ought to be measured by outcome not procedure,” Li says. “I don’t care how many times you vote, if you can’t deliver a better life to your people, if you can’t protect them from a virus, you’re not democratic.”
It’s a powerful message for our times – and strongly backed by the pandemic statistics in the media around the world.
Including in the Western press.
This article was republished from Friday Everyday 22 July 2021. Click here to read the original article.
“Democracies” come in many shades of grey, from liberal to illiberal, authoritarian to “managed”, and more. A convergence of East and the West towards something akin to “post-democracy” might bring a much-improved world order, and a safer planet.
Conflicting Political Ideologies
Just because nations pursue differing political systems is no justification for hostility by one state against another. Nor can such hostility be justified on the grounds of race, history, language, culture, colour, religion or geography.
A fundamental requirement for membership of the EU is a guarantee of democracy. However, there is a wide variety of political systems, including monarchies and republics, among EU nations. Modern monarchies are parliamentary, but among the republics, some presidents are elected by direct popular vote; others by the parliament or by a special body. Some have unicameral systems with only a single chamber while others are bicameral with a lower house and an upper house.
According to a 2019 Freedom House report, Hungary is no longer a democracy and Poland is about to go down the same path. Both are members of the EU. Russia considers itself a “managed” democracy, whereas China, a one-party state, does not pretend to be a democracy (although it experiments extensively with democratic concepts).
Sovereignty requires that every state has the right to determine its own system of government, and that no outside power has the right to impose its views on, or to interfere with those of another state.
Beijing is constantly reminded of the 1989 Tiananmen Square disaster. On the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen Square, the Washington Post published an article, “From Tiananmen Square to Lafayette Square“, reporting on how protests had broken out in 380 cities across 50 US states, and that after demonstrations turned violent in Washington, police and military officers used riot shields, batons, and gas to clear protesters.
Of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China is the only one that has not fought any foreign wars, away from its borders since World War II. America, Russia, the UK, and France have done so.
In his book The False Promise of Liberal Order, Patrick Porter points to many American achievements brought about by illiberal means, including economic coercion and wars. Madeleine Albright proclaimed: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.”
America launched 188 military interventions between 1992 and 2017. The US waged war in Korea (killing 1 million Koreans and 400,000 Chinese), Vietnam (killing about one million combatants and 365,000 civilians), and in the Middle East.
Liberal order has become one of upholding liberal values through armed pacification – permanent war for permanent peace!
Good and effective government
Western obsession with ideological differences – liberal democracy versus a one-party state (such as China) – distracts from the real issue of providing good and effective government for the people. In his book The China Model, Daniel A. Bell analysis the merits and the flaws of both electoral democracies and political meritocracies and suggests that democracies can learn from meritocratic practices while meritocracies can learn from democratic practices.
Singapore and China are examples of political meritocracies.
In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman argues that contemporary representative democracy is tired, vindictive, paranoid, self-deceiving, clumsy and frequently ineffectual. He asks: “Why not replace it?” Runciman suggests that pragmatic 21st-century authoritarianism may be an alternative to contemporary democracy. Instead of short-term rewards, such authoritarianism offers long-term benefits. Plato argued that democracy means ruling by the ignorant and putting power in the hands of people who do not know what they are doing.
No rational person would want to be ruled by an incompetent leader lacking a basic understanding of the key issues. It is inconceivable that any society would accept medical treatment from someone with no medical training or take legal advice from a person who knows nothing about the law. Yet, in the most important role of all – the leadership of a nation – most democracies require no qualifications whatsoever. In 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the USA, the most advanced, richest, and powerful nation.
Under current US policy, President Trump – like all presidents in the atomic age – has the sole authority to unleash nuclear Armageddon on the world. One might think the process of running for president of the United States would weed out individuals who are unfit for this awesome responsibility. It does not.
The People’s Action Party (PAP) has ruled Singapore since 1965. Its leaders have high levels of education, expertise and experience. Singapore is not a “true” electoral democracy with free and fair elections. Its rise has been guided by meritocratically selected leaders. Lee Kuan Yew (former prime minister and founder of modern-day Singapore) graduated with a double first-class honours degree from Cambridge. His son (the current prime minister) graduated from the same university, scoring 12 more alphas than his nearest competitor. Singapore places a high premium on top class education.
China is learning from Singapore. The use of examinations as a mechanism to search for political talent has deep roots in Chinese culture where aspiring leaders are subject to demanding and competitive examinations. Only a tiny percentage of the very best make it to the top.
The China Model describes the Chinese system as democracy at the bottom, experimentation in the middle and meritocracy at the top. At the village level, committees are elected by the villagers themselves. Some East and South-East Asian nations have opted for a middle way between liberal Western democracy and authoritarian rule, preferring a form of managed democracy.
In his book When Trees Fall, Monkeys Scatter, Sydney University Professor John Keane reminds the reader that there are approximately 150,000 popular, mostly peaceful protests in China each year. He talks of “post-democracy” in China, freed from the curse of “free and fair” elections and showbiz democracy. He cautions against closed minds, saying that although the Chinese have a one-party political system, they have been experimenting with different forms of democracy “made in China”.
Blending Democracy and Meritocracy
Professor Keane suggests that the China model could turn out to be a better functioning model than those Western democracies that are bogged down in dysfunction, and he asks – “Might this be the future of democracy?”
It is surely possible for democracy and meritocracy to be successfully blended. Such a system would require that political leaders continue to be elected by the people, but that only suitably qualified candidates with the necessary expertise and experience to lead would be permitted to stand for election. There can be no one size fits all. A diversity of education (which might include history, science, law, economics, agriculture, foreign affairs, diplomacy, or medicine), talent and experience is required.
The single most impressive poverty alleviation achievement in human history has occurred in China. Nevertheless, it is likely that as wealth increases and Chinese living standards improve, there will be increased demands for greater freedom of speech and voter participation.
If the election of well-educated, trained and experienced leaders can be achieved in the democratic West, this will minimise the risk of incompetent leadership. As China evolves towards greater freedoms and political participation, it is likely to become more democratic.
A convergence of East and the West towards something akin to John Keane’s “post-democracy” might bring a much-improved world order, and a safer planet.
Michael Lyons is a Sydney lawyer. He researches and writes on geopolitics and the search for world peace. His writings are published at www.inmyopinion.co
Vltchek was born in Leningrad in 1962. Like many children of the Eastern Bloc at the time, he grew up being exposed to western media such as the Voice of America, and was indoctrinated to believe in the superiority of the western model.
It was not until he became a fully naturalised US citizen before he had his worldview challenged.
Nothing he learnt about the west through their propaganda prepared him for reality. As a resident of New York City, he was shocked to witness the drug abuse, rampant crime and poverty of Harlem. The 1986 US bombings of Libya would shatter his illusions that America was a peaceful nation.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Vltchek witnessed first-hand how western capitalism raped his motherland. Every imaginable public utility was privatised for the profits of a few. Those who sold out their country became oligarchs, amassed unimaginable fortunes, and did whatever they wanted, while the ordinary workers lost everything – their livelihoods, their futures, and in many cases, their lives.
What he’d witnessed shook him to his very core. So he set out to do something most people do not have the balls for – travel the world in search of wars and conflicts, document them on paper and film, and find out why the world is in such a state of suffering.
The man has been places and escaped death (and death sentences) over a dozen times – Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, and Peru just to name a few.
Watch this interview if you have time, his life story is simply incredible.
After years of covering conflicts around the world, he concluded that there is actually just one and only one problem that the planet has –
In 2013, Vitchek released a documentary he made about the Rwandan Genocide, called Rwanda Gambit. What appeared to be a regional conflict between the African nations of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo was really orchestrated by western capitalism over some precious mineral mines.
10 million people died, easily the deadliest genocide since WW2. Western media kept silent about it, while western businesses and governments profited.
Vltchek confessed that he became a communist as a result of his journalism. “I saw millions of refugees from once proud and wealthy (or from potentially wealthy) countries that were ruined by the West”, he wrote.
The current world order, Vltchek observed, is that of total supremacy of western civilisation, of white Americans and white Europeans, and every act of theirs simply furthers their own interests at the expense of everyone else’s (the “unpeople”, as per George Orwell’s 1984).
Not only has colonialism not disappeared after the 20th century, but it has actually worsened and evolved into a more subtle form – people outside of the west are not only subjugated by western political, economic and military might, but also through ideology and culture.
Westerners are painfully ignorant of all this, because of the effectiveness of their propaganda. For instance, Noam Chomsky talked about how American media censors the truth through a system based on what he calls “concision”. It’s not that they always cut your mic off (though it happens more than you think), they just give you three minutes to deliver your point, i.e. three sentences per person. This ensures that ideas that were already widely accepted would always triumph, because to explain a new or different point of view takes a lot of time.
Let’s test this out with a simple exercise. Pretend as if you, currently reading this answer (thanks for reading by the way, I know it’s long and boring), are going on a political talk show with me as guests. You want to place sanctions on China because of genocides in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. I want to argue that western media is lying.
We each have to deliver our messages in three sentences. You go first.
“China is the most totalitarian and brutal dictatorship on the planet right now. They are doing absolutely atrocious things to people in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. They are murdering them by the hundreds, shouldn’t we do something about it?”
“You see, most things we’ve been told about China by the mainstream media isn’t actually true. There are no genocides in Hong Kong, and the camps in Xinjiang are for re-education. It is about stopping people from being radicalised into acts of terrorism, and providing them with work skills…”
DING DING DING, time’s up.
Guess what the American audience is going to walk away thinking? They are gonna side with you, of course. Now if I had more time to explain myself, by showing evidence that debunks your claims, and exploring the west’s long history of disinformation (e.g. WMDs in Iraq), I might be able to change a few minds.
But the system isn’t fair, so your claims win automatically because they already conform to mainstream perception and need no further explanation. Over time, anyone who thinks differently to the mainstream is reduced to “unpeople”. That is why you never see any pro-China advocates on American national television, or any major western network. Even the ones online are reduced to paid shills/”wumaos” or brainwashed fanatics, i.e. “unpeople”.
Thus completes the great western firewall. The way western media censors information and spreads its propaganda is nothing short of ingenious. It works, far better than anything China has to offer.
Which is why I applaud Vltchek for being one of the few prominent western journalists who was openly pro-China. He had recently visited both Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and in both cases, he exposed the invisible hand of western imperialism at work in the narrative.
He was greatly inspired by the success of Cuba as a communist nation, and believed China could learn a lot from them. Though when it comes to the ultimate question – what can truly lift humanity out of suffering and into a better future – his answer was China/the Chinese model (something I personally disagree with).
The westerners, he observed, are some of the most closed-minded and dogmatic people around, while also being some of the least informed and least capable of critical thinking. A world led by the west is therefore one with no hope and no future.
A westerner with a platform and influence being this openly pro-China and anti-west, at this critical stage of world history, is certain to face many perils. In a sense, I guess Vltchek always knew death was coming for him, one way or another. Four months before he died, he had this to say:
Look, the worst thing that can happen to you is that you’ll die. I’m 56, and I’ve lived maybe 15 or 20 lifetimes already, and I enjoyed my life tremendously…If I describe what’s happening in the world, I’m protecting in many ways millions of people, and I have to do it because if I don’t, I’ll just not be able to face the mirror in the morning, that’s as simple as that.
Attached below are his articles and other publications. May his knowledge and journalistic spirit never die.
China’s Communist “Dictatorship” Lifts 700 Million Chinese Citizens Out Of Poverty: Yet India is Adored by Western Pundits, While China is Demonized and Sanctioned
“The first human right is the right to life.” Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Counselor of the People’s Republic of China
Twelve years ago United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Jomo Kwame Sunderam presented the 2008 “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific,” at a press briefing, disclosing, on page 124 the staggering fact that:
“With limited resources, farmers depend on borrowed money to purchase seeds and other inputs to farm their land. A drop in their farm income could lead to indebtedness. In India, for example, the distress in rural areas is reflected in the high number of suicides by farmers: 86,922 during 2001-2005 (Government of India, 2007).”
There was very little – indeed virtually no press coverage or official investigation into this horrifying fact until 2014: in an article by Jonathan Kennedy entitled: “New evidence of suicide epidemic among India’s ‘marginalised’ farmers” he states:
“In 2010, 187,000 Indians killed themselves – one fifth of all global suicides….. Latest statistical research finds strong causal links between areas with the most suicides and areas where impoverished farmers are trying to grow crops that suffer from wild price fluctuations due to India’s relatively recent shift to free market economics.” “It is often forgotten that over 833 million people – almost 70% of the Indian population – still live in rural areas. A large proportion of these rural inhabitants have not benefited from the economic growth of the past twenty years. In fact, liberalization has brought about a crisis in the agricultural sector that has pushed many small-scale cash crops farmers into debt and in many cases to suicide.”
So much for the capitalist paradise Trump promises North Korea’s Socialist leader Kim Jung Un.
On February 22, 2014 Ellen Barry in the New York Times headlined: “After Farmers Commit Suicide, Debts Fall on Families in India,” with impoverished widows called ‘whores.” In June, 2014, AP headlined: “Raped, murdered girls reveal horrific risks for India’s poor”: UNICEF estimates that almost 594 million – nearly 50 percent of India’s population – defecates in the open, with the situation particularly acute in impoverished rural areas such as the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh….The abduction, gang-rape and lynching of two teenage girls as they went to relieve themselves last Tuesday have added a terrifying new dimension to their daily ordeal.”
Finally, six years later, within the masquerade making possible the blaming of Covid-19 as the cause of despair, the New York Times deliberately confused the facts and stated: “Lockdown Sows Death Among India’s Farmers,” stating:
“India has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. In 2019, a total of 10,281 farmers and farm laborers died by suicide across the country, according to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau. Taking one’s own life is still a crime in India, and experts have said for years that the actual numbers are far higher because most people fear the stigma of reporting. “
This sparse attention to the horrors suffered by destitute Indians, often ignored even at the United Nations specialized agencies, grossly contrasts with the overwhelming focus on ostensible human rights abuses of which China is accused by the Western media, and within the UN Security Council.
India’s current Prime Minister Modi hails from the political party implicated in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the great leader of India’s independence from Great Britain. It seems clear that Modi is determined to return India to the Western hands that enslaved her until 1947. Modi is a very obedient servant in pleasing India’s former masters. A brief description of Britain’s genocidal policy toward colonial India is given in Susan Butler’s masterpiece: “Roosevelt and Stalin, Portrait of a Partnership”, (page 327, Knopf edition):
“British rule over India was every bit as brutal as Stalin’s rule over Russia….In November, 1941 Churchill instituted a scorched-earth policy in Bengal that came to be known as the Denial Policy. Soldiers were ordered to seize all the rice they could find: they stripped silos and storehouses, took seed crops…Soldiers also impounded all industrial and pleasure transport, all boats, including Bengali fishermen’s boats, all bicycles, including those used by the population to get to work. Their store of rice gone, denied transport to search for food, Bengalis began starving to death in ever increasing numbers….On October 16, 1942, a cyclone and tidal wave hit Bengal, ruining fields, houses, and the ability of the people to go on with their lives. In the face of this disaster, rice denial continued as British policy…As a result 13 percent of the population of Bengal died of starvation. Because Indians were not permitted to travel abroad and had no access to international telephone or telegraph, and their leaders were in jail, there was no way for Bengalis to make their plight known to the world….After the tidal wave, FDR replaced Johnson with William Phillips, State’s most competent diplomat, as his personal representative. He directed Phillips to push his philosophy ‘favoring freedom for all dependant peoples at the earliest possible date.’ By the time of Phillip’s arrival, late in 1942, Indians in great number, led by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, completely outraged by British high-handedness, had rebelled, and the viceroy had retaliated by killing ten thousand Indians and putting ninety thousand in jail. Twenty-five thousand members of the Congress Party, including Nehru and Gandhi, who were being held incommunicado, remained in jail. Phillip’s request to interview them was denied. Told Nehru, whom he despised, was fasting, Churchill commented ‘We had no objection to his fasting to death..He is a thoroughly evil force, hostile to us in every fiber’…Churchill claimed that the fighting was caused by bad blood between the Hindus and the Muslims, which was not true. In fact, as it had done in the past, British policy was to foster enmity between the two groups. ‘I am not at all attracted by the prospect of one united India, which will show us the door,’ he admitted.” (Most Palestinians and Israelis with whom I have spoken attribute the source of their ongoing disastrous conflict to Britain’s Machiavellian policy of ‘Divide and Conquer’) “Phillips minced no words in his report to FDR: ‘Many of the rural areas in Bengal are foodless, with the villagers wandering into the cities to die there of starvation. Deaths from starvation on the streets of Calcutta are reported to have become so numerous that prominent European members of the community have addressed open letters to the municipal authorities requesting that more adequate means be found for the removal of the corpses.’…John Colville, Churchill’s private secretary, recorded in his diary: ‘The PM said the Hindus were a foul race protected by their mere pullulation from the doom that is their due, and he wished, Bert Harris, marshal of the air force could send some of his surplus bombers to destroy them.’ Modern estimates are that at least 1 million and perhaps as many as 3 million died.”
According to Dr. Sashi Tharoor, former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations,
“Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does.”
Perhaps, because India is now following the orders of her former slaveholder, Western imperialism, the horrifying number of suicides of their destitute farmers, the degradation of the women (innumerable gang rapes and murders of impoverished girls) receive little attention in the corridors of power at the United Nations, subsumed under general toothless resolutions upholding the rights of women.
By contrast, China has become the whipping boy of the Western Media which, overlooking the horrific human rights abuses of millions of impoverished Indians, is shedding incessant, ad nauseum crocodile tears about the condition of the Uighurs in China, and the “innocent protesters” in Hong Kong.
Massive evidence produced by Bashir Ja’afari, Ambassador of Syria to the United Nations, documents the fact that each year Saudi Arabia finances the travel of 5,000 Uighurs from Xingjiang, China to the Mecca pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, during which they are indoctrinated in Islamic extremism and jihad. These Uighurs are hosted for a month longer than other pilgrims, until their expertise in jihad is completed, and are then returned to China for the purpose of fomenting separatist movements and committing terrorist actions, which the Chinese government is attempting to prevent and from which the Chinese government is attempting to protect its population. The re-education camps, which are the ostensibly “undemocratic” means by which China is attempting to reintegrate these “Manchurian candidates” into Chinese society are the current target of Western concern with ostensible “human rights abuses” in China, while the West, itself is diverting attention from the egregious domestic human rights abuses occurring with impunity within these arrogant Western countries themselves. (George Floyd’s public strangulation is only one example of this ongoing atrocity, which occurs massively, and with impunity).
China is a huge country, comprised of 56 nationalities. It is most probable, and possibly indisputable, that there are hostile foreign interests in fomenting the disintegration of China, a rising herculean socialist economic power, and reducing it to the tragic weakness, and destitution to which the fifteen countries formerly comprising the Soviet Union were condemned.
The Uighur jihadists certainly fulfill their mission, as early as 2013 there was a terrorist bombing in Beijing’s center, and subsequent violent extremist actions elsewhere in China. The sophisticated Chinese, benefiting from a 5,000 year old civilization, recognized the hostile geostrategic policies underlying this new scourge of terrorism in their country, and have now taken action to prevent this horrific epidemic from causing further chaotic explosions on their territory. The re-education camps in Xingjiang are defensive measures, and have not provoked epidemics of suicide, as have the free-market economic policies in capitalist India, “the world’s largest democracy.”
US President Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2020 was an undisguised and brazen declaration of overt hostility toward China, now the world’s largest challenge to the US claim to “greatness.” The constant attack against China, with fabrications of human rights abuses against the country that has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, (while the US is pushing millions of people into poverty, with its trillion dollar investment in nuclear weapons, while American people are in massively increasing numbers starving, homeless, and lacking the medical equipment and resources that would contain and control the spread of Covid -19) is so conspicuously hypocritical that it should be obvious to even a casual observer. It is a testament to the overpowering indoctrination of masses of people in the USA and Western Europe that the inability (or rigid refusal) to recognize this blatant obfuscation continues through this very minute.
Increasingly frustrated and volatile protesters against racism and inequality in the West are denigrated and battered – or murdered, while anti-communist protesters in Hong Kong are lionized. The Orwellian character of this brainwashing is tragic, and an illustration of what a brilliant psychiatrist in Cambridge, Massachusetts recently said to me: “I have concluded that the human species does not know how to take care of itself, and as a result, may not survive.”
Introducing the opening of the UN General Debate, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized: “We are moving in a very dangerous direction. Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture—each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities. Such a divide risks inevitably turning into a geostrategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs.”
Remarks by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the China-US Think Tanks Media Forum.
Distinguished Guests, Friends, Greetings to you all.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on the opening of the Forum. I also wish to use this opportunity to thank and pay tribute to the people from all sectors who have long been committed to China-US relations. I want to thank Dr Kissinger for supporting this Forum. Every time I talked with him, I was most impressed by his profound, strategic thinking on the world and on China-US relations.
Today’s Forum is highly important. As we speak, COVID-19 is raging across the globe. People’s lives are under grave threat. The world economy is in deep recession. The undercurrent against international cooperation is gathering momentum. Unilateralism and bullying are forcing their way in the world. An international disorder is more possible than ever.
More alarmingly, China-US relations, one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world, is faced with the most severe challenge since the establishment of diplomatic ties. Some in the US with ideological biases are resorting to all possible means to portray China as an adversary, and even an enemy. They seek relentlessly to frustrate and contain China’s development, and to impede interactions between China and the US.
Will the giant ship of China-US relations be able to stay on the right course in the future after more than four decades of voyage? The question matters not only to the interests of the Chinese and American peoples, but also to the future of the world and humanity.
How to set things right and get China-US relations back on track toward long-term, sound and steady development? I would like to offer three observations.
First, China and the US should not seek to remodel each other. Instead, they must work together to find ways to peaceful coexistence of different systems and civilizations.
Every country takes its development path on the basis of its cultural and historic traditions. China’s path of socialism with Chinese characteristics suits its own national conditions, and it is the choice of the Chinese people. Facts have proved that this has been the way out of poverty and backwardness for the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and that it has enabled the Chinese nation to make important contribution again to the progress of mankind. International public opinion surveys have indicated over and again that Chinese people’s approval ratings of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the government rank the highest worldwide. No one has the right to rebuff the development path of other countries. And no country will remold its own system to the liking of other countries. After all, it should be the people of the country concerned to adjudicate whether their country’s choice of system and path is right or not.
One particular view has been floating around in recent years, alleging that the success of China’s path will be a blow and threat to the Western system and path. This claim is inconsistent with facts, and we do not agree with it. Aggression and expansion are never in the genes of the Chinese nation throughout its 5,000 years of history. China does not replicate any model of other countries, nor does it export its own to others. We never ask other countries to copy what we do. More than 2,500 years ago, our forefathers advocated that “All living things can grow in harmony without hurting one another, and different ways can run in parallel without interfering with one another”. This is part of the Oriental philosophy, which remains highly relevant today. The American people have long pursued equality, inclusiveness and diversity. The world should not be viewed in binary thinking, and differences in systems should not lead to a zero-sum game. China will not, and cannot, be another US. The right approach should be to respect, appreciate, learn from, and reinforce each other. In its reform and opening-up, China has learned a lot of useful experience from developed countries. Likewise, some of China’s successful experiences have also been quite relevant for some countries in tackling their current challenges. In this diverse world, China and the US, despite their different social systems, have much to offer each other and could well co-exist peacefully.
Second, China’s US policy remains unchanged. We are still willing to grow China-US relations with goodwill and sincerity.
Some friends in the US might have become suspicious or even wary of a growing China. I’d like to stress here again that China never intends to challenge or replace the US, or have full confrontation with the US. What we care most about is to improve the livelihood of our people. What we deem as the most important is to realize national renewal of the Chinese nation. And what we hope for most is to maintain peace and stability of the world. To this end, China has maintained a highly stable and consistent policy toward the US. And China stands ready to develop a China-US relationship featuring no conflict and confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation based on coordination, cooperation and stability.
To achieve that goal, China and the US must work in the same direction, respect international law and international rules, and engage in equal dialogue and consultation. While the US unscrupulously encircles and smears China around the world, and meddles in China’s domestic affairs, it should not demand unrealistically that China show understanding and support to the US in bilateral and global affairs. As an independent sovereign country, China has every right to uphold its sovereignty, security and development interests, safeguard the achievements that the Chinese people have made through hard work, and reject any bullying and injustice imposed on it.
Third, it is important to have a correct view of the historical experience of China-US relations, and stay the course of dialogue and cooperation.
Some in the US have claimed that the engagement policy over the past decades has been a failure, and that the US has been ripped off in its cooperation with China. That is a comment that disrespects history and conflicts with the fact.
China and the US were allies who fought side by side during WWII. In the 1970s, the two sides reopened the door toward establishing diplomatic ties on the basis of respecting the different systems of each other. That our dialogue and cooperation have come a long way is attributable to the political wisdom and strenuous efforts by one generation after another. It reveals the inherent law of China-US relations, and also represents the trend of the times.
In the past 40 years and more since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and the US have made the best use of their complementarity, and their interests have become highly integrated. China’s success is attributable to its opening-up to and cooperation with the US and the world. And China’s development has provided the US with sustained growth impetus and a huge market. From regional hotspots to counter-terrorism and nonproliferation, from international financial crisis to disease prevention and control, China and the US have jointly accomplished many great things to the benefit of not only the two countries but also the world.
Some say that China-US relations will not be able to return to its past. But that should not mean ignoring the history altogether and starting all over again, let alone impractical decoupling. It should mean building on past achievements and keeping pace with the times. As you may have noted, despite the impact of COVID-19, 74 percent of US businesses in China said they plan to make more investment here. Recently, 191 agricultural organizations sent a joint letter to President Donald J. Trump, calling for continued implementation of the phase one trade agreement. Many US universities have openly expressed their support for closer China-US educational exchanges. And many global leaders have called on China and the US to increase dialogue and cooperation and avoid confrontation and decoupling. These are the advice we must heed. More important, they are also the goals we must work for.
Friends,President Xi Jinping has underlined on many occasions that we have a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship a success, and none whatsoever to wreck it. As long as both sides have the positive will to improve and grow this relationship, we will find ways to steer this relationship out of the difficulties and bring it back to the right track. To that end, I want to make three suggestions for you to discuss:
First, activate and open all the channels of dialogue. The current China policy of the US is based on ill-informed strategic miscalculation, and is fraught with emotions and whims and McCarthyist bigotry. Its suspicion about China, totally uncalled-for, has reached a point of paranoia. It seems as if every Chinese investment is politically driven, every Chinese student is a spy, and every cooperation initiative is a scheme with hidden agenda. If the US lacks confidence, openness and inclusiveness to such an extent, and chooses to conjure up “China Threats” of various kinds, its paranoia may turn into self-fulfilling prophecies at the end of the day.
Only communication can dispel falsehoods. Only dialogue can prevent miscalculation. Slandering others does not clear one’s own name, and finger-pointing cannot resolve any problems. Let me reaffirm that China’s door to dialogue remains open. As long as the US is ready, we can restore and restart the dialogue mechanisms at all levels and in all areas. All issues can be put on the table. And all differences can be addressed properly through dialogue. In the meantime, as long as the US does not set restrictions, we are also ready to promote exchanges and interactions between government departments, localities and social sectors, so as to enable the two peoples to know and understand more of each other.
Second, review and agree on the lists of interactions. Given the inter-connectedness and complexity of issues, it is useful for the two sides to sit down together, run over them, and draw up the following three lists:
The first is a list of cooperation areas. It should specify all areas, bilateral and global, where China and the US need to and can work together. The longer this list goes, the better. Cooperation on this list should be immune to the impact of other issues.
The second is a list of dialogues. It should itemize the issues of differences that could be solved through dialogues. They should be designated to the existing dialogue mechanisms and platforms as soon as possible.
The third is a list of issues that need proper management. It should identify the few tough issues that the two countries have little chance to agree on in the near future. The two sides should manage them well in the spirit of seeking common ground while putting aside differences, so as to minimize their impact on and harm to the overall China-US relations.
I encourage the think tanks of the two countries to start exploring the three lists ahead of others.
Third, focus and cooperate on COVID-19 response. Nothing is more precious than human lives. Nothing is more pressing than saving lives. We have deep sympathies for the American people for their unfortunate experiences, and have provided the US an enormous amount of badly-needed medical supplies. In the face of the virus, cooperation should be the first-order priority. China is ready to share with the US information about COVID-19 prevention and containment as well as our response experience. And we are also ready to have closer exchanges with the US on diagnostics and therapeutics, vaccines, and economic recovery.
The US, for its part, should immediately stop its acts of politicization and stigmatization. It should work with China to promote a global response to save more lives and live up to our international responsibility as two major countries.
Friends,There is an ancient Chinese axiom, which says, “Practice enriches knowledge, and more knowledge leads to better practice.”
The China-US relationship is one of the world’s most important bilateral relations. There needs to be more positive messages and energy from this relationship. I hope the US will develop more objective and cool-headed perceptions about China, and a more rational and pragmatic China policy. This is in the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American peoples. It is also what the world expects from the two countries.
When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it violating human rights.
When we had a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet. When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.
When we build our industries, you call us polluters.
When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.
When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.
When you invade countries for oil, you call it liberation.
When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech. When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed xenophobes.
“Do you understand us, we asked”? “Of course we do”, you said, “We have Fox News and CNN and The Economist.”
And today in 2020, we are doing our best to cope with an unknown virus epidemic, but nothing we do is good enough to please you.
We quarantined the infected area but your CNN publishes a dirty article telling us that’s “too aggressive”, and that we are “violating human rights” and making “a blueprint for racial segregation”. But if we didn’t do that, you would condemn us for not taking stronger measures.(1)
So what do you really want from us?
Enough is enough. Enough hypocrisy for this one world.
China’s leaders don’t need to be directed by the USA, and Americans are not entitled to teach China about “peace” or “human rights” or anything else.
And why isn’t this earth big enough for all of us?
It is now clear, not only in the USA but also beyond its borders, that US efforts to quietly oust the Assad regime in Syria have failed. Washington’s original mission of “protecting the civilian population” in Syria quickly turned into “fighting terrorism,” but this, of course, primarily meant engagement with the very same jihadists from […]
Through the use of fire as a weapon of war, 85,000 hectares of grain were burnt in 2019, and the Syrian government was forced to import 2.7 million tons to cover the losses. According to UN statistics, Syria suffered severe food shortages and some 6.5 million people were considered food insecure in 2019.
Today, the eradication of Syrian agriculture and the White House’s revival of the Vietnam “scorched earth” tactic have become the US military strategy in Syria. All this should be addressed by international public and legal organizations, and Washington should be officially charged with war crimes in Syria, as well as the murder of thousands of peaceful citizens of the country by American forces.
Compare hundreds of millions of Asians’ serene response to the coronavirus crisis with the West’s fear, panic and hysteria
By PEPE ESCOBAR – APRIL 13, 2020 – Asia Times
This picture taken on March 17 shows a masked Chinese prophet Confucius statue, part of a collection by Taiwan sculptor Lin Hsin-lai, in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan. Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh
As the Raging Twenties unleash a radical reconfiguration of the planet, coronavirus (literally “crowned poison”) has for all practical purposes served a poisoned chalice of fear and panic to myriad, mostly Western, latitudes.
Berlin-based, South Korean-born philosopher Byung-Chul Han has forcefully argued the victors are the “Asian states like Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore that have an authoritarian mentality which comes from their cultural tradition [of] Confucianism.”
Han added: “People are less rebellious and more obedient than in Europe. They trust the state more. Daily life is much more organized. Above all, to confront the virus Asians are strongly committed to digital surveillance. The epidemics in Asia are fought not only by virologists and epidemiologists, but also by computer scientists and big data specialists.”
That’s a reductionist view and plenty of nuances should apply. Take South Korea, which is not “authoritarian.” It’s as democratic as top Western liberal powers. What we had in a nut-shell was the civic-mindedness of the overwhelming majority of the population reacting to sound, competent government policies.
Seoul went for fast mobilization of scientific expertise; immediate massive testing; extensive contact tracing; and social distancing, as well. But, crucially, most of it voluntary, not imposed by the central power. Because these moves were organically integrated, South Korea did not need to restrict movement drastically or to close down airports.
Hong Kong’s success is due in large part to a superb health care system. People in the frontline, with institutional memory of recent epidemics such as SARS, were willing to go on strike if serious measures were not adopted. Success was also due in large part to myriad professional links between Hong Kong’s and Taiwan’s healthcare and public health systems.
Barbarism with human face
Then there’s Big Data. Han argues that in neither China nor other East Asian nations is there enough critical analysis in relation to digital vigilance and Big Data. But that also has to do with culture, because East Asia is about collectivism, and individualism is not on the forefront.
Well, that’s way more nuanced. Across the region, digital progress is pragmatically evaluated in terms of effectiveness. Wuhan deployed Big Data via thousands of investigative teams, searching for possibly infected individuals, choosing who had to be under observation and who had to be quarantined. Borrowing from Foucault, we can call it digital biopolitics.
Where Han is correct is when he says that the pandemic may redefine the concept of sovereignty: “The sovereign is the one who resorts to data. When Europe proclaims a state of alarm or closes borders, it’s still chained to old models of sovereignty.”
The response across the EU, including especially the European Commission in Brussels, has been appalling. Glaring evidence of powerlessness and lack of any serious preparations have appeared even though the EU had a head start.
The first instinct was to close borders; hoard whatever puny equipment was available; and, then, social Darwinist-style, it was every nation for itself, with battered Italy left totally to itself.
The severity of the crisis especially in Italy and Spain, with elders left to die to the “benefit” of the young, was due to a very specific EU political economy choice: the austerity diktat imposed across the eurozone. It’s as if, in a macabre way, Italy and Spain are paying literally in blood to remain part of a currency, the euro, which they should never have adopted in the first place.
As for France, read here for a relatively decent summary of the disaster in the EU’s second-largest economy.
Going forward, Slavoj Zizek gloomily predicts for the West “a new barbarism with a human face, ruthless survivalist measures enforced with regret and even sympathy, but legitimized by expert opinions.”
In contrast, Han predicts China will now be able to sell its digital police state as a model of success against the pandemic. “China will display the superiority of its system even more proudly.”
Alexander Dugin ventures way beyond anyone else. He’s already conceptualizing the notion of a state in mutation (like the virus) turning into a “military-medical dictatorship,” just as we’re witnessing the collapse of the global liberal world in real time.
Enter the triad
I offer, as a working hypothesis, that the Asia triad of Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu has been absolutely essential in shaping the perception and serene response of hundreds of millions of people across various Asian nations to Covid-19. Compare this with the prevalent fear, panic and hysteria mostly fed by the corporate media across the West.
The Tao (“the way”) as configured by Lao Tzu is about how to live in harmony with the world. Being confined necessarily leads to delving into yin instead of yang, slowing down and embarking on a great deal of reflection.
Yes, it’s all about culture, but culture rooted in ancient philosophy, and practiced in everyday life. That’s how we can see wu wei – “action of non-action” – applied to how to deal with a quarantine. “Action of non-action” means action without intent. Rather than fighting against the vicissitudes of life, as in confronting a pandemic, we should allow things to take their natural course.
That’s much easier when we know this teaching of the Tao: “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.”
It also helps to know that “life is a series of natural and spontaneous choices. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Buddhism runs in parallel to the Tao: “All conditioned things are impermanent. When one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”
And to keep our vicissitudes in perspective, it helps to know: “Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”
As far as keeping much-needed perspective, nothing beats, “the root of suffering is attachment.”
And then, there’s the ultimate perspective: “Some do not understand that we must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.”
Confucius has been an overarching presence across the Covid-19 frontline, as an astonishing 700 million Chinese citizens were kept for weeks under different forms of quarantine.
We can easily imagine them clinging to a few pearls of wisdom, such as: “Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.” Or “he who learns, but does not think, is lost. He who thinks, but does not learn, is in great danger.”
Most of all, in an hour of extreme turbulence, it brings comfort to know that, “the strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”
And in terms of fighting a dangerous and invisible enemy on the ground, it helps to know this rule of thumb: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
So what would be the ultimate insight a serene East can offer to the West in such hard times? It’s so simple, and it’s all in the Tao: “From caring comes courage.”