The neoconservatives have long sought to have Russia destroyed, balkanized, and wide open for exploitation by U.S. financiers and multinationals. Russia is rich in natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. Have you ever wondered why the U.S. never discusses what will happen if there is regime change? Don’t you think it might want to consider who takes control of a nation with 6K+ nuclear weapons? No mention of it. Why? Because the U.S. wants it divided. If all hell breaks loose, that is the goal. It’s easier to sneak into a home when you have the owner distracted. Or you can play competitors against each other.
Protest the Biden Sanctions in Europe, which are designed to cause regime change, but also cause the wrecking of Europe, financially. Energy dependence on the U.S. is a goal, and for the European nations to become dependent on trade with the U.S. This means the value of the Euro will go down and the U.S. dollar will go up. These sanctions will cause energy prices to be so high that factories in Germany will go out of business. Scholz met with officials in Vietnam to move major factories there. This is also profitable for those who own stock in production, as labor costs will go down. But life for Europeans will become Detroit-like. Neoliberalism will eat social democracy. And they won’t like it. I can promise them that. So lose the Russophobia and save your own way of life!
Pressure right wing politicians to oppose any new funding to Ukraine, like Rand Paul was doing. Cut off the guns and the problem will take care of itself.
Protest in the streets!
Spread information about what is going on online. Raise awareness on social media.
Don’t focus on teams. Focus on results. The left is a disaster. It cannot stop this war or the sanctions. Focus on pressuring Trump to mobilize the right to oppose the war. This is realpolitik here. I hate Trump and don’t agree with him. But on the issue of stopping the war, only the right can do this. Noam Chomsky said only one person can bring both sides to the table and make a meaningful peace—”Donald J. Trump,” he said. This is pragmatism.
The neocons are pushing the Biden Administration to escalate this war. It might recognize Taiwan and use other provocations to start a war in Taiwan. They are seriously discussing using nuclear weapons. This includes the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, an imperialist hawk.
Biden is mentally gone to lunch—for good. He does what his handlers tell him to do. And now they are telling him to escalate the violence and increase aggression. Back Putin into a corner and he will strike out. In fact, psychologists who have analyzed his personality have said the same.
My father died in 2020. When I received the phone call and heard the words of his passing, my heart raced. I felt like I was going to vomit. There was a physical reaction but emotionally, I couldn’t process it. I kept trying to think my way out of it. But, when someone is dead, there is nothing you can do. “Where there is life, there is hope” has that meaning. You can always hope a person gets better. But when your father or mother has already passed on, that’s it. Past the point of no return.
It means you went your whole life being able to interact with your parent, and now, that is part of the past. You will never hear them say your name again. When both of your parents are gone, you feel like an orphan, no matter your age.
I went my whole life being a son, then a husband, and then a father. Now I am no longer a son. That part of my life is gone now. The first two months of my father’s passing was very rough. It was a very grief filled time. I would be doing okay and then I would just start crying. Something would trigger my memories and I would cry so hard I felt worn out, after. You are doing grief work. And it is most definitely work. Sadly, there are no shortcuts to this work. It is hard-earned. Very hard-earned.
Getting through the church services and calling hours is the worst. I hate small talk, and funerals are that sort of thing. But I got through it. You will get through it, too.
Even if you try hard not to do so, you will continue to live because your heart will continue to beat, even if you feel like it shouldn’t. Sadly, the most raw memories will not go away, but fade enough into the background of your life that you will regain normal functioning. It is like a fresh wound. At first, it hurts. The nerves are raw, and you will do anything to stop the pain. The first 3 weeks are the worst. But, in time, you will find a way to function again. The raw wound heals, and fills itself in. But a scar remains. You aren’t the same after a loss like that. It changes you, forever.
You will hear a song on the radio that reminds you of your dad. You will cry. It’s okay. Or you will look in the mirror and see your father, in our own reflection. And you will have compassion for him, more than you did as a kid. And then you will say a prayer for him, smile, remember that time he watched you play Mike Tyson’s Punchout on Nintendo, and how happy he was for you when you actually punched him out. You will be grateful for those times.
You’ll make it. You just need to survive for today. And tomorrow, do the same. When the freshness of the loss is with you, you want to pull your teeth out in grief. But you will survive if you let yourself survive. That’s what Dad would have wanted. You can do it. And you will do it.
You are chatting in the break room at work, and one of your friends, Doug, starts talking shit about a co-worker, Bradley. Bradley is a really nice person, but he is socially awkward. He seems to be very self-conscious. He struggles to make eye contact. Another person joins in, telling an embarrassing story about Bradley. Others at table laugh. You feel uncomfortable, but you don’t want to stand out. So you pretend to laugh.
Just as everyone is laughing, they look up to see that Bradley, who had been in the supply closet, heard everything. He was so mortified he didn’t look up. He ran down the hallway, into the men’s bathroom. He was crying and punching the side of the metal barriers in between the toilets. He punched the mirror and cut his hand. It is bleeding. You try to talk to him but he pushes you away.
“Get the fuck out of here,” he says.
Instead of having compassion, his co-workers continue to bully him. Each time, you are too afraid to speak up, because you are afraid they will target you. You don’t want to take that risk.
You are religious and it is Sunday
There’s an elderly man who returned home from the hospital. He tires easily and is struggling. You could help with his groceries on Sunday, which is your day off. But it would interfere with your church obligations, and your mother would give you a hard time if she didn’t see you at church. The elderly man ends up having to go into a nursing home, because nobody will help him, while he recovers. During that time, he become depressed, missing his home. You could have helped him.
At your cubicle at work, one of the nearby co-workers asks another, over coffee, what he thinks about the political situation in Ukraine. Bill tells Angela why he supports Ukraine. Angela seems to know a lot, and shares her perspective, which is pro-Russia.
“You must be a Kremlin Bot,” you say. “Somebody must have been brushing up on their “Putin propaganda.”
You feel pleased with yourself, fashioning yourself clever. You didn’t listen to anything she said. Truth is, you are afraid to question things more. You weren’t raised to do that. You don’t want to be uncomfortable, so you self-censor. The government never has to do it for you.
The most subtle dictatorship in the world?
Our sense of fear—fear of judgment, fear of not fitting in, and fear of “the other,” combined with subtle indifference, cause tremors—and sometimes earthquakes—of hardship and pain to real people, in real ways.
In the U.S., racism was literally required by people to fully participate in the economic system—at least in the South it was during the period of slavery and then through Segregation. The laws were written that reduced human beings to property that could be bought and sold. What could be more dehumanizing than that?
The plantation system was predicated on the “false hope” that even the most common white person could, one day, “if he worked hard like the plantation owners,” become a big shot plantation owner. Just like today, people think that if they work hard enough they can become the next Elon Musk. Will that happen? Not really. But that false hope is what gives rise to a brutal system of oppression—capitalism—that turns the people, the planet, and all things into commodities. The sacred is reduced to monetary units.
Part of the “logic” of the Southern plantation system of slavery was that there were strict hierarchies. And it sadistically played into the egos of poor white farmers, putting into their minds the notion that “I may be poor, but at least I’m better than a n—ger.”
The brutality of that system, one that required hate, hierarchy based on race, and dehumanizing others into commodities as labor packages, doesn’t die easy. It’s like denazification. It takes years and years to shed those twisted hates. For those hates which are really part of the culture, it can take several generations with concerted effort.
Until 12,000 years ago, human beings lived as hunter-gatherers under the condition of primitive communism. They lived in small bands, and people were often the same race and shared the same culture. If someone who didn’t look like the group showed up, that was something out of the ordinary. It might even mean danger, as in a foreign group coming to invade. Suspicion of those who were different served a survival advantage. Further, stereotyping people based on things like race is a mental shortcut. We know that during times of war or threat, groups of people become more conservative, more tribal, and less tolerant of dissent—trust me, I know. Supporting the Russians doesn’t make the herd too happy.
The problem we have now is that racism is a threat. Racial tensions can cause a society to have violence and division that tears at the social fabric and can destroy a nation. Racial tensions between nations can lead to war. And in an age of nuclear weapons, this poses an existential threat.
On a more personal level, human beings are individuals. We are more than the color of our skin. By judging people based on skin color instead of who we are as individuals, the “shortcut” of stereotypes can foolishly exclude people who qualify for good jobs, be good friends, and be good mates. Talent of all sorts in this world is in short supply. We need to cultivate it wherever we find it.
The U.S. Today
Despite having a black President, the U.S. still has racial problems and racial tensions. The negative effects of systemic racism do make a difference. For example, the effects of redlining are still with us. Having lived through the Obama Presidency and seeing the blatant racism he faced, it was ugly.
Racism is also why many oppose a stronger social safety net and universal healthcare—because they don’t want minorities to benefit from them. Is that fucking evil and shitty? You bet. Nations which are more homogenous and less diverse tend to favor a more robust social safety net and favor social democracy.
It’s hard to believe that people are still so hung up about race. But old habits die hard. Every generation hopes that it will be the last that knows racism. But we need to find a way to turn that hope into a reality.
Why Black People Face the Most Racism
I suspect it is cultural. Many cities remain divided by race and are not integrated. It is as if the two lived in different worlds. This leads to misunderstandings. And fear.
The U.S. is also a very paranoid and violent culture. My wife is white. Her family lives in the inner city. And I am not joking when I say the inner city. It’s the fucking ‘hood. My mother-in-law was having coffee on her front porch one day and a black guy stumbled on the front sidewalk, holding his stomach, which had a gunshot wound to it. He keeled over and died, right there. There was a pizza shop around the corner, and he tried to rob it. The owner pulled a gun and blasted him in the stomach. The guy headed out the front door and rounded the corner, to the front of my mother-in-law’s home.
My wife isn’t racist at all. Nor are her sisters. She grew up playing with black kids all the time. Sadly, over the years, the neighborhood also went downhill. Neoliberalism. One of the benefits of diversity programs at schools and workplaces is that it helps people to learn and mingle with those who are different from them. And that does serve an important function for society.
Even Hitler and Stepan Bandera had some “good Jews” they liked and spared. Racism in humans is a generalization, an abstraction, that people can hold in their minds, a shortcut, but one that is too general to be useful in many instances. The challenge is helping people to recognize that all members of any race or religion can be “good Jews,” “good blacks,” “good whites,” etc. But fighting the urge to take shortcuts of any type poses a bigger challenge for some than others. During times of threat or stress, people tend to resort back to more primitive tendencies. And this can be during the worst time possible, as usually threats can involve wars.
“It’s easy to hate The Big Bad Putin. He’s The Other. He’s the foreign wolf that preys upon the innocent little lamb, the Ukraine, that cuddly little democracy, headed by the lovable former comic, Mr. Penis Piano Player, Zelensky.
Mr. Putin is the King of Dirty Deeds, who threatens the world with nuclear holocaust and violence. So much destruction and death, all to fill the bottomless cup of greed and blood, as dictators and conquerors do.
But sometimes, there is more than meets the eye. Sometimes, if we look too quickly, we miss a thing or two. For the longest time, I had listened to Mr. Putin speak, but I never heard him. I don’t speak Russian. I never watched his face. I always found him to be a black box, almost robot-like. Wooden.
But this speech was an hour long. It was the most important one he has ever delivered. So I read the transcript from the Kremlin website. Then I decided to watch it by looking at his face and reading his body language. For the first time, I saw him speak with great intensity. This was with a passion that was uncharacteristic of him. He was brutally sincere. I listened to him speak of the history of the border with Ukraine. I was already familiar with this, as I am a student of Soviet history. I know very well the stories. And they are difficult ones.
I saw him speak of a history I already knew, but through his eyes, and through the intonation of his voice. He wasn’t wrong that Russia was under direct imperialist threat from the West. I am acquainted with that history. But I hadn’t heard it from Mr. Putin. This is a man who really does want to preserve his country from destruction at the hands of the West. And the West is playing for keeps. The fall of the Soviet Union was almost a genocide. Through the years, I have become friends with Russian people here on Quora. I have read about the pain they suffered after the collapse. And I know the struggles they experience, and the fear, as the U.S. will indeed stop at nothing to push Russia into the sea. I also have experienced Russophobia here on Quora, even though I am not Russian. I felt it. And, in the Western press, it is palpable.
The struggle against Ukraine is not new. It is a long and painful history for the Russian people, and for the Ukrainians. The war with the kulaks was one of survival. It was the conquest of grain.
Mr. Putin feels the pressure of preserving Russia from being pushed into the sea by NATO expansion. This is no fiction. Since 2014, the right wing coup in Ukraine changed the equation. The U.S. has been gorging the right wing, corrupt, oligarch-owned government there, with money. As such, Mr. Zelensky feels no compulsion to resolve the diplomatic issues related to the treatment of ethnic Russians in East Ukraine. More important, Mr. Zelensky since 2019 was approached by the Kremlin to make peace. He sent drones to kill. This is from the highly respected Foreign Affairs Journal, not some bullshit Russian propaganda.
Mr. Zelensky and the government there have used their positions to squeeze both the U.S. and Russia for more and more, in a bad faith relationship. In 2021, Mr. Putin asked the government again to enter diplomatic talks. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian government was told NATO would not be expanded. This promise was never kept. And then, in 1997, NATO was expanded out further.
Weapons and manpower has been sent to Russia’s borders. Mr. Putin informed the West in 2015 that the Ukraine, Finland, and Sweden must not become members of NATO, and that these are redline points for Russia, as this is a fundamental security issue, for the safety of her people. Again, this was ignored. In a bad faith move, renewed efforts are being made to bring the Ukraine into NATO, in addition, with talks for Sweden and Finland.
Mr. Putin is cornered. He saw what happened in Yugoslavia. It is inevitable for Russia if she is to survive. To make matters worse, in the Ukraine there is a huge neo-Nazi problem. This has been documented by numerous sources. There has been shelling and violence against ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine.
Mr. Putin is faced with the reality that if he doesn’t strike now, the Ukraine will get into NATO and be fully armed and there will be no turning back. He is also tasked with liberating the breakaway areas in Eastern Ukraine. He has tried for years to resolve this, but his efforts are in vain. And so, he is faced with acting for the preservation of his nation or giving up, like Gorbachev did. The latter is unacceptable. He will not let his people suffer that indignity again.
And so, he has chosen to act. He has chosen to act in such a way that civilian life is respected, at least as far as can be achieved in war. But make no mistake, he has made clear that he will succeed. whatever is required to do, he will. But failing is not an option. .
Further, Mr. Zelensky has acted in bad faith. A few days before the war, he disgustingly delivered a self-serving speech in Munich in which he attempted to guilt the U.S. into doing the paying and fighting for him. Mr. Zelensky has let his country be infested with Nazis. He is not himself a Nazi. And his government is right wing, but not Nazi. But the Azov militas are Nazis, and that is a fact. Attempts to lie about this by the liberals in the U.S. no less make it true.
Instead of giving up and going into exile in the face of overwhelming force, Mr. Zelensky has asked the elderly and the young to fight his battles for him. That is wrong. And it is nothing more than theatrics.
Mr. Putin has chosen to strike, while he still can, for the preservation of his country. Should he be ashamed of that? No.
In this life, there are those who choose to act, and those who choose to be defeated. Mr. Putin, with the support of Mr. Medvedev, have decided that they take a stand for the survival of Russia. And for that, there are no apologies.
War is a horrible and sad tragedy. The loss of innocent life is terrible. But the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr remarked that sometimes it is more sinful to not act than to act. Sometimes, there are no easy or good options. But we must stand for what must be done. In this case, Mr. Putin tried all available options, but the West would not budge. Mr. Putin watched as the U.S. hoard made its way around the globe, devouring Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other nations in its bloody maw. Mostly for oil. Mostly for riches.
Mr. Putin has made his choice.”
“Let us accept this as a sign from the Gods, and follow where they beckon, in vengeance on our double-dealing enemies. The die is cast.”
I have researched the Uyghur “Genocide” claims and they are supported by Gish gallup “data” that is nonsense. The point is to hurt China and keep it from growing, which the U.S. wants because it is a threat to American hegemony. There is some repression, but there is no genocide.
Blumenthal said this guy spends time slogging through buildings to pretend which is going to be the “concentration camp.” The propagandists go from there.
One of the tricks of the propagandists is to overwhelm you with bogus facts, figures, and data. Since you don’t know better, you think “I will trust them.” Don’t. They are full of shit. The claims related to IUD insertion are the best. Check those out! Totally unrealistic.
I learned this from researching the “Holodomor” and “communist mass killings.”
Here is an example of the anti-communist, biased sources used in Wikipedia. Robert Conquest was a British intelligence services propagandist who fashioned himself a “historian.” He worked under the Atlee government. He eventually got a medal from George W. Bush for his propaganda efforts.
Wikipedia is the biggest anti-communist, anti-Marxist Leninist pile o’ filth you will ever read.
Check out the parade of propagandists we have for the article on “Dekulakization.” Robert “I work for the British Intelligence Services Propaganda Dept” Conquest and his debunked book “Harvest of Sorrows,” “The Black Book of Communism” which has been debunked, Nicholas Werth is a whore of the Hoover Institution, which gets funding from—wait for it—a foundation which gets money from a rich Ukrainian nationalist.
The articles about Mao Zedong and Stalin are even worse. The Stalin one references Trotskyist scholars only and the Mao Zedong one references the propagandist Frank Dikotter (Mao killed a gazillion sparrows and caused a famine guy & guy who purposely mistranslates Chinese sayings by Mao to turn them into anticommunist propaganda phrases), and Mao’s former doctor who claimed Mao was filthy and promiscuous (both proven to be false).
Then if you debate anticommunists on Quora they read Wikipedia and mansplain to you why “communism killed a gazillion people.”
The FBI and CIA edit Wikipedia to make it more anti-communist.
Likewise, right wing groups, particularly cynical and manipulative Ukrainian nationalists and Polish nationalists push bullshit “genocides” to further an agenda using guilt tripping, shaming, and identity politics.
Dishonesty with their figures:
All coronavirus victims are “victims of communism?” Nope.
One of them, the “Victims of Communism,” is a total sham. It is U.S. government sponsored shill organization. It relies upon the debunked “Black Book of Communism” for credibility, which even its own co-authors have stepped away from. Also, the sources are from the Hoover Institution, a propaganda outlet pretending to be a “think-tank.” Ironically, its “fellows’ include actual atrocity collaborators like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Kissinger.
We don’t have proof of it. It is like Bigfoot. It might exist, but where is it? I have tried to get to the bottom of this, but I can’t find any definitive answer.
There are some who are convinced about this. I respect their passion. But after all these years, what do they have? Still waiting…
Genocide is a large scale, systematic attempt to wipe out a particular group of people, race, religion, etc. Those are serious claims. Biden just claimed the Russians are engaging in “genocide” in Ukraine. Even White House officials have said Biden is full of it. They keep backtracking on this guy, because his ability to filter is gone. He is suffering from dementia.
Let’s take a look…
More than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be in detention in “counter-extremism centres” in China’s far west, the vice chairperson of a United Nations anti-discrimination committee has said, citing credible reports.
Gay McDougall made the comments on Friday as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination started reviewing China‘s record over recent years in the Swiss city of Geneva.
Members were “deeply concerned” about reported detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, which have “turned the [Xinjiang] Uighur Autonomous Region into something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy – a sort of ‘no rights zone’,” McDougall said at the start of the two-day hearing.
“Another two million have been forced into so-called re-education camps for political and cultural indoctrination,” she added.
A Chinese delegation of some 50 officials made no comment.
China says Xinjiang faces a serious threat from rebels and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.
Earlier on Friday, Yu Jianhua, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said it was working towards equality and solidarity among all ethnic groups.
The Chinese delegation leader also highlighted economic progress and rising living standards among other things.
The session continues on Monday, with conclusions expected later.
In her remarks, McDougall said that most of these people have never been properly charged with a crime or tried in court.
While McDougall did not cite her sources, the numbers of people forced into detention and into re-education matched a report that the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders submitted to the committee.
Other groups have given far lower figures, however.
A submission by the Human Rights Watch advocacy group said there were “at least tens of thousands” in political education centres.
Amnesty International wrote that “at a minimum, tens of thousands, with some sources estimating hundreds of thousands” of Uighurs have been detained.
But UN’s McDougall said that members of the Uighur community and others Muslims were being treated as “enemies of the state” solely on the basis of their ethno-religious identity.
More than 100 Uighur students who returned to China from countries including Egypt and Turkey had been detained, with some dying in custody, she said.
McDougall also cited reports suggesting that Chinese authorities are persecuting people for using Muslim greetings, possessing halal food, or for having long beards or headscarves.
In addition, she pointed to reports of mass surveillance and the broad collection of DNA samples and iris scans in the Xinjiang.
Looks like we are looking more at tens of thousands who are detained. Of millions of people, is that unreasonable? Why would people be detained? Maybe because they really are plotting terrorism.
Let’s not gaslight. The history of terrorism by these people is real. And it was horrible.
There are claims about “illegal surveillance.” You mean like PRISM? Or like the whole goddamn surveillance state the U.S. does? It isn’t whataboutism to say that literally EVERY nation does surveillance. That seems like a human issue. Should it be curtailed? Yes. I think it should. I condemn that. People have a right to privacy. But let’s not engage in pearl clutching.
Chinese government is a “strict parent” model. People exchange some rights in exchange for a government that is professional, competent, and effective. While in the U.S. we elect corrupt goons like Trump to lead coups against us, the Chinese prefer a more indirect model. And it is working for them, considering the CCP has lifted over a billion people out of poverty, has eliminated homelessness, provides healthcare and education to all, and is now working to reduce inequality. I wish my government could do that. Or even keep me safe during COVID against right wingers who are trying to get the hospital system overwhelmed with sick people because they are anti-vaccers.
I used to respect the UN. But now it blocked the request by the Russian government to investigate the Bullshit Bucha Killings. Why? Because it has become Western dominated. It is not objective. So why would I trust it against China?
I have seen videos of the Uighur facilities where they work to provide people vocational training. They are working to reduce poverty and eliminate the sources of terrorism. Wow. How utterly…not dumb. Americans would never do that. Our solution is invading some country that has nothing to do with the original source of terrorism. We should have invaded Saudi Arabia and Egypt after 911. Instead we just went straight for the fucking oil. Fucking ghouls. 200K+ people died from that.
Human Rights Watch
This group claims to investigate human rights abuses and reports them to the UN. They raise a fit about the Uighurs all the time. Is this group biased against China?
HRW has been accused of evidence-gathering bias because it is said to be “credulous of civilian witnesses in places like Gaza and Afghanistan” but “skeptical of anyone in a uniform.” Its founder, Robert Bernstein, accused the organization of poor research methods and relying on “witnesses whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers.”
That doesn’t sound good.
HRW has been criticized for perceived bias by the national governments it has investigated for human rights abuses, by NGO Monitor, and by HRW’s founder, and former Chairman, Robert L. Bernstein. Bias allegations have included undue influence by United States government policy, and claims that HRW is biased against Israel (and focuses undue attention on the Arab–Israeli conflict). HRW has also been criticized for poor research methodology and lax fact-checking, and ignoring the human-rights abuses of less-open regimes. HRW has routinely publicly addressed, and often denies, criticism of its reporting and findings.
According to Democracy Now, HRW has also been criticized for having a ‘revolving door’ with the U.S. government, a charge which HRW disputes.
In 2020, the HRW Board of Directors discovered that Human Rights Watch accepted a $470,000 donation from Saudi real estate magnate Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, owner of a company HRW “had previously identified as complicit in labor rights abuse”, under the condition that the donation not be used to support LGBT advocacy in the Middle East and North Africa. The gift was returned and Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying that accepting the funding was a “deeply regrettable decision” in response to investigative reporting from The Intercept regarding the donation.
In August 2020, HRW executive director Kenneth Roth was sanctioned—together with the heads of four other U.S.-based democracy and human rights organizations and six U.S. Republican lawmakers—by the Chinese government for supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement in the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests. The leaders of the five organizations saw the sanctioning, whose details were unspecified, as a tit-for-tat measure in response to the earlier sanctioning by the U.S. of 11 Hong Kong officials. The latter step had in turn been a reaction to the enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law at the end of June. The New York Times reported in October 2021 that HRW left Hong Kong as a result of the Chinese sanctions, with the situation in Hong Kong henceforth to be monitored by the China team of HRW. The decision to leave came amid a wider crackdown on civil society groups in Hong Kong.
The reason I become skeptical is that the U.S. is dishonest. It uses NGO’s for political purposes all over the world to foment color revolutions using Gene Sharp methods. The Arab Spring was done this way. The result of the Arab Spring was a failed state in Libya. There are public slave markets downtown. I’m not kidding.https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/FDTD.pdf
In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, China has launched its own “war on terror.” Beijing now labels as terrorists those who are fighting for an independent state in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, which the separatists call “Eastern Turkestan.” The government considers these activists part of a network of international Islamic terror, with funding from the Middle East, training in Pakistan, and combat experience in Chechnya and Afghanistan.
In fact, separatist violence in Xinjiang is neither new nor driven primarily by outsiders. The region’s Uighurs, most of whom practice Sufi Islam and speak a Turkic language, have long had their national ambitions frustrated by Beijing. The latest wave of Uighur separatism has been inspired not by Osama bin Laden but by the unraveling of the Soviet Union, as militants seek to emulate the independence gained by some Muslim communities in Central Asia. For a decade now, Xinjiang has been rocked by demonstrations, bombings, and political assassinations. According to a recent government report, Uighur separatists were responsible for 200 attacks between 1990 and 2001, causing 162 deaths and injuring more than 440 people. In the largest single incident, in 1997, as many as 100 people may have been killed during a pro-independence uprising in the town of Ili, with the government and the separatists blaming each other for the fatalities. These incidents have occurred despite the best efforts of the Chinese authorities to suppress them. As part of their continuing “strike hard” campaign against crime, for example, Chinese police recently reported the arrest of 166 separatist “terrorists” and other “major criminals” in a series of raids carried out in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital.
The separatists have accused the regime of resorting to arbitrary arrest, torture, detention without public trial, and summary execution. The Chinese government, meanwhile, has alleged that members of a shadowy “Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement” have obtained funds and training from al Qaeda. As the security environment in Xinjiang grows increasingly tense, the conflict shows just how complicated such struggles can be, and how inadequate purely repressive approaches are in dealing with them.
BEG TO DIFFER
China’s Qing dynasty completed its annexation of what is now Xinjiang in 1759, and the region’s first demand for independence can be traced to an uprising by a local chieftain named Yakub Beg in 1865. He fought fierce battles against the armies of the Chinese court and even managed to secure, in return for trade concessions, diplomatic recognition from tsarist Russia and the United Kingdom. Although finally defeated in 1877, Beg’s campaign set a precedent by calling for Uighur independence based on appeals to religion and ethnicity.
With the end of China’s imperial era, the Uighurs (in combination with other local Muslim groups) twice briefly achieved statehood. From 1931 to 1934, and again from 1944 to 1949, separate regimes calling themselves the Eastern Turkestan Republic were set up in Xinjiang. The first, which started in the city of Hami, was crushed by a local warlord representing the government of the erstwhile Republic of China. The second, which centered on the districts of Ili, Altai, and Chugachak, was pressured into integrating with the People’s Republic of China shortly after the latter’s formation. For the next four decades, Xinjiang’s Communist rulers kept the lid on ethnic separatism in the region through iron-fisted control. But for many Uighurs the aspiration for a country of their own never went away.
Today the million-strong Uighur emigre community provides support for several separatist political organizations. Located across the globe, these organizations are not all radical; indeed, many do not advocate violence at all. The Washington, D.C.-based Eastern Turkestan National Freedom Center, for instance, lobbies members of Congress on behalf of the Uighur cause and publishes books and tapes on pan-Turkic nationalism for circulation inside Xinjiang. Meanwhile, the leader of the Europe-based Eastern Turkestan Union, Erkin Alptekin, prefers to organize conferences and work with Tibetan emigre groups seeking autonomy for their own homeland. In truth, whether or not they support the use of violent methods, the Xinjiang separatist groups both at home and abroad are too small, dispersed, and faceless to constitute a threat to Chinese control over the region. Beijing fears them nevertheless, because the mere possibility that they may cause disruption creates an impression of social instability in Xinjiang and dampens foreign investment.
The Chinese government has alleged that “more than a thousand” Xinjiang separatists have received terrorist training in Afghanistan and claims to have arrested a hundred foreign-trained terrorists who have made their way back to Xinjiang. But only one Uighur separatist organization, the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Party of Allah, appears conclusively to have operated in Afghanistan. Its identity was exposed when its putative leader, Alerkan Abula, was executed by the Chinese authorities in January 2001. Other groups, such as the East Turkestan Opposition Party, the Revolutionary Front of Eastern Turkestan, the Organization for Turkestan Freedom, and the Organization for the Liberation of Uighurstan, have links to small guerrilla cells based in the oasis towns of Xinjiang’s Taklimakan Desert. The guerrillas have raided government laboratories and warehouses for explosive materials and manufactured various types of bombs. The Turkey-based Organization for Turkestan Freedom, for example, claimed responsibility for the bombing of a bus in Beijing on March 7, 1997, injuring 30 people. The Chinese government also suspects this organization of attacks on the Chinese embassy in Ankara and the Chinese consulate in Istanbul that same year.
Despite the separatists’ efforts, China is unlikely to relinquish control of the province. With 18 million people, Xinjiang produces one-third of China’s cotton, and explorations in the Tarim Basin have revealed the country’s largest oil and gas reserves. The region borders Mongolia, Russia, several Central Asian republics, Pakistan, and India, making it a useful springboard for projecting Chinese influence abroad. And Beijing realizes that acquiescing to Uighur demands will only embolden separatists in Tibet and Taiwan.
The government has also invested a great deal in the region. As part of a grand scheme to develop China’s western areas, Beijing plans to spend more than 100 billion yuan ($12 billion) on 70 major projects in Xinjiang over the next five years, mostly to improve infrastructure. The government has recently completed a railway linking the remote western city of Kashgar to the rest of Xinjiang. And the regime is considering proposals for using foreign investment to build oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia across the Taklimakan Desert.
The U.S. action in Afghanistan presented a dilemma for the Uighurs. On the streets of Urumqi, Kashgar, and other cities in Xinjiang, opinions both for and against the U.S. antiterrorist effort could be heard. Many Uighurs expressed sympathy for their Taliban friends and fellow Muslims across the border in Afghanistan, who had provided sanctuary, arms, and training to Xinjiang separatist fighters over the years. Yet the Uighurs also had positive feelings toward the United States, which had occasionally spoken out against Beijing’s violations of their rights.
The September 11 attacks and the subsequent crisis also created a dilemma for China. They offered an opportunity for the government to reframe its battle with the Uighur separatists as part of a larger international struggle against terrorism. But the Afghan campaign raised other, less comfortable issues as well. As a result the Chinese response to the U.S. war on terror has been muted. China supported two UN Security Council resolutions that condemned global terrorism in general terms, but since then Beijing has remained notably silent, a reflection of its ambivalence.
On the one hand, China sees the U.S. fight against al Qaeda as helping to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of national governments. On the other, it worries about the legal and diplomatic repercussions of sanctioning such a clear violation of state sovereignty as the invasion of Afghanistan. It was fortunate for China that no UN resolution seeking to ratify the legality of the U.S.-led military campaign was introduced. A vote against such a resolution would have been seen by Washington as an unfriendly gesture, but a vote for could have set a precedent legitimizing the sort of intrusive foreign military interventions that China has generally opposed. And abstaining would have made the Chinese government look weak and indecisive in the fight against global terrorism.
The Chinese government has tried to equate America’s fight against Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda with its own battle against the separatists of Xinjiang. Beijing is signaling to Washington that it wants a free hand in dealing with what it perceives to be foreign-sponsored terrorists on its soil, just as the United States is doing at home and abroad. The Bush administration, however, has been reluctant to equate the fight against “terrorists with global reach” with domestic crackdowns against separatists in China and elsewhere. Rather, Washington has made it clear to the Chinese that nonviolent separatist activities cannot be classified as terrorism.
The problem is that some of the Xinjiang activists do in fact use violence to achieve their goals. Distinguishing between genuine counterterrorism and the repression of minority rights can thus be difficult, as can be determining which acts of terrorism are “international” and which are purely domestic. Foreign-backed militant separatism, a not uncommon phenomenon of which Uighur activism is an example, poses intellectual and legal problems as well as practical ones. Clear guidelines are needed to determine when political refugees can be extradited or punished for supporting separatism from beyond a country’s borders, for example, or when international law justifies the use of force against citizens who receive weapons, funding, and training from abroad. Otherwise, precedents might accumulate suggesting it is acceptable for some governments to go after foreign sources of terrorism, but not for others.
WHITHER THE UIGHURS?
What Beijing needs to recognize is that its own policies are the root causes of Uighur resentment. Rather than trying to stamp out the problem through force and repression alone, the Chinese government should instead do what it can to improve the conditions that fuel separatist feelings.
The government’s call to develop the west has accelerated migration by Han Chinese into Xinjiang, thereby exacerbating tensions. In 1949, the region was almost 90 percent Uighur; today, that figure has dropped to 45-50 percent. Many Uighurs do not speak Mandarin Chinese, which is usually the prerequisite for any good-paying job or government position, and few are as well educated as the immigrants. As a result, the Han dominate commerce in Xinjiang’s urban areas and are frequently seen by the locals as having the region’s best jobs in the government, the Communist Party, and the military. The Han also usually live in newer neighborhoods and go to informally segregated schools.
Rather than allowing the flow of immigration into Xinjiang to remain unchecked, the Chinese regime should regulate it so that immigrants do not compete unnecessarily with the locals for jobs, schools, or state services. Beijing should encourage public-sector corporations, oil companies, and government agencies to increase their hiring of ethnic minorities. Quotas for Uighur admission into colleges and government positions should also be expanded and enforced. The government must also allocate funds fairly among Han and Uighur neighborhoods. Cleaning up the area around China’s nuclear test site at Lop Nor in the Taklimakan Desert, where soil and groundwater pollution are causing birth defects and health problems among the local inhabitants, would be another important step.
Furthermore, as guaranteed in the Chinese constitution, the government must uphold religious freedom. Muslim Uighurs who openly practice their faith complain of harassment by the authorities. The regime must respect Muslim customs and allow the free functioning of mosques and religious schools, interfering only if they are found to be educating or harboring militants. Political changes are required as well: less gerrymandering in favor of Han Chinese among Xinjiang’s administrative units, more proportionate ethnic representation in party and government structures, and more  devolution of power from Beijing to the region.
Hunting down terrorists is only a partial solution to the violence in Xinjiang. Unless China listens to the Uighurs and treats them better, its troubled western region is unlikely to be calmed any time soon.
We don’t know about the repression. Obviously there is some. And it is likely to be tens of thousands detained without proper legal recourse. That should be remedied.
Are the Uighurs a violent and dangerous threat? Obviously. 200+ attacks is no joke. Don’t the Chinese people deserve to be safe? Do they not deserve to defend themselves?
It seems like the U.S. is actually just using these “genocide” claims in a cynical way to put pressure on China. “Human Rights Watch” is a revolving door NGO with little credibility.
Is there a “genocide”? There is no proof of that. None. So let’s not play games.
It seems like the Chinese are using their rehabilitation centers to work at fixing the underlying causes of terrorism, which include poverty and inequality.
“You must accept our fake genocide. If you question it, you are evil. It is already proven, even if it is not. Also applies to ‘atrocities’ like the fake Snake Island killings, the fake maternity hospital bombing, etc. You MUST accept this narrative or you are a bad person who deserves to be guilt manipulated by others into being publicly shamed and cancelled.”
Kind of like: “Do you support the troops?”
Real meaning: “Shut up and don’t question the war or you are a heartless bastard who doesn’t care about the well being of our soldiers.”
It is designed to guilt shame you into silence. It controls the narrative.
There is a lot of confusion about this term, primarily because the dementia-addled President of ours seems to have lost his metacognitive filter.
Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.
That is why we see this is a very serious claim, and not one to be used for propaganda purposes and as a provocation to escalate a war, as Biden does. Even his handlers agree he is wrong, as does President Macron and everyone else.
The Holocaust was a REAL genocide. Let’s never forget that. It is well documented. Turns out, the Germans were still Germans when they were Nazis, meaning they were super organized, precise, and documented everything. They weren’t able to destroy the records before the Allies closed in. Here on Quora, Alex Mann has a space dedicated to proving the Holocaust that is very detailed.
The Holodomor was a FAKE genocide, meaning it never happened. There was a famine. It was bad. But it was not intentional. Not even a little bit.
“Holocaust-like denier” is a propaganda term used to invoke a cognitive frame. It means “You are a bad person because you won’t agree to our fake Holodomor Ukrainian propaganda, even though you actually do believe in the Holocaust.” It is manipulative.
Let’s be clear about Alexander Finnegan’s views:
The Holocaust was real.
The Holodomor was not.
There is no Ukrainian genocide by Putin.
There were likely some illegal killings of civilians by Russian troops. I condemn these killings.
I support the use of chemical weapons against Azov Battalion members only. Never against regular troops or civilians.
I support the use of tactical nukes if necessary to win the war in Ukraine. But as a last resort.
I do not support the use of strategic nukes in Ukraine. If Russia’s survival is threatened, I do support the use of strategic nukes.
I am against Pol Pot. I am against his killings. They were exaggerated for propaganda purposes, but there were atrocities. I don’t support those. He was an agriculturalist with a genocidal flare.
I also condemn Suharto, who, with the help of the U.S., killed 500K+ communists and the media only focused on Pol Pot.
I do support the measures to root out Nazism as used by those after WWII in Germany. These measures worked. They are called denazification. I support that.
As you might be able to infer, the above has objective and subjective elements.
The infliction of violence on someone can be medically measured. That is the objective part. If you don’t inflict violence or injury, you cannot have been said to commit an “atrocity.”
What constitutes “extremely wicked” or “cruel” obviously is subjective. What you might consider cruel someone else might not.
Between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state.
“Armed conflict” is violent. Humans are primates. Primates who cannot peacefully resolve their differences resort to violence to force the other to do what they want.
Killing is violent. That’s the point. The problem we have is related to Western liberalism. Western liberalism is a religion, minus the Jesus. But it is a religion that has a worldview. The worldview is that “we are right” and “you are wrong.” It is moralized. No black and white. So our opponent, say, Saddam Hussein, is “literally Hitler.” We were told that if we refuse to invade Iraq we are “appeasers” like “Neville Chamberlin.” That Saddam would “use WMD’s” and “take over the Middle East.” We heard stories of multiple “atrocities,” such as “babies ripped from incubators.” I’m not kidding.
People bought this bullshit. Why? Because it uses your sense of empathy and caring against you. It weaponizes your good will. That, my friends, is cynical. It is manipulative. And it works.
Guilt manipulation is used to control and silence you. “Don’t you support the troops?”
Translation: “Don’t question the war or you are a heartless bastard.”
It is done with the fake Holodomor. If you call out the bullshit, you are a “enabler of atrocities,” who “support children being killed (the most vile form of guilt tripping),” the “rape of women,” blah, blah, blah.
It invokes a cognitive frame related to the Holocaust, which actually did happen. It is called transition. You invoke one frame to shift to another.
Holocaust shifts to Holodomor.
Guilt manipulation and emotional hijacking. It is irrational. Things exist or they do not exist. But your sense of good or bad is unrelated to the objective existence of something. You average person literally cannot reason. They are told what to think. The upper-middle classes can think, but they are heavily indoctrinated by “respectable” Western liberal media outlets like the oligarch Bezos owned “Washington Post.” David Ignatius is literally the voice of the U.S. propaganda state.
The use of the term “atrocity” has become propagandized. It is used to control the masses and quell dissent while enabling escalation of war. It is a provocation. The reality in Ukraine is that the Russians likely did some killings. But we don’t know the details, and the UK blocked an investigation at the UN. As we speak, there are no released autopsy reports. No forensic evidence from independent bodies. Nothing. Why? Because the West doesn’t care. It is a red herring.
The biggest shill ever has been the vilification of communism. For example, the Hoover Institution was created and funded by Ukrainian far right bourgeoise. They “escaped” from communism. This propaganda outlet funds war criminals like Kissinger and Rumsfeld. It has funded the “Mao killed the sparrows so we all died” Frank Dikotter, the literal British Intelligence agent Robert Conquest, who worked for the Atlee government in Britain. He used to feed propaganda to media outlets directly. He created the “Butcher Stalin” narrative that persists to this day. He received an award from President Bush for his propaganda efforts. Look it up.
(also known as: discrediting, smear tactics, appeal to ethos [form of])
Description: To commit a preemptive ad hominem (abusive) attack against an opponent. That is, to prime the audience with adverse information about the opponent from the start, in an attempt to make your claim more acceptable or discount the credibility of your opponent’s claim.
Adverse information (be it true or false) about person 1 is presented.
Therefore, the claim(s) of person 1 will be false.
Tim: Boss, you heard my side of the story why I think Bill should be fired and not me. Now, I am sure Bill is going to come to you with some pathetic attempt to weasel out of this lie that he has created.
Explanation: Tim is poisoning the well by priming his boss by attacking Bill’s character, and setting up any defense Bill might present as “pathetic”. Tim is using this fallacious tactic here, but if the boss were to accept Tim’s advice about Bill, she would be committing the fallacy.
I hope I presented my argument clearly. Now, my opponent will attempt to refute my argument by his own fallacious, incoherent, illogical version of history.
Explanation: Not a very nice setup for the opponent. As an audience member, if you allow any of this “poison” to affect how you evaluate the opponent’s argument, you are guilty of fallacious reasoning.
Exception: Remember that if a person states facts relevant to the argument, it is not an ad hominem (abusive) attack. In the first example, if the other “poison” were left out, no fallacy would be committed.
Tim: Boss, you heard my side of the story why I think Bill should be fired and not me. Now, I am sure Bill is going to come to you with his side of the story, but please keep in mind that we have two witnesses to the event who both agree that Bill was the one who told the client that she had ugly children.
Variation: The appeal to ethos involves rejection of an argument based on a character attack of the person making the argument.
Gertie: Tony says that the movie starts at 8:00 tonight. Jane: Well, Tony is misogynist pig! Gertie: Hmm, we better double check that time then.
Fun Fact: To understand how powerful priming the audience with adverse information can be, consider the Rosenhan experiment where eight mentally healthy students and researchers briefly feigned auditory hallucinations in order to get admitted to psychiatric hospitals. After admission, they said they were no longer having hallucinations and acted normally. One of the patients, who was also a student, was taking notes for the experiment which was interpreted as pathological “writing behavior” by one of the hospital staff.
Walton, D. (1998). Ad Hominem Arguments. University of Alabama Press.
Atheism has committed less atrocities than others. But don’t overly focus on the ideology. History and context matters, too. Too much reductionism loses the focus.
The most genocidal ideology ever created has been Nazism, which is ethno-nationalism.
“Rules-Based Order”: The Western elites use neoliberalism to profit the bourgeoisie while imposing austerity on the populace. Who the fuck are you to decide what the “rules” are for China? Uppity Western pretentious ghouls.
“International Community”: means “sit down, shut up, and do what you are told, even if it is against the well being of your own people.” The “members” are the obedient vassals of the U.S.
“New World Order”: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
“Kremlin propaganda”: Anything or anyone who disagrees with Western style neoliberalism and liberal democracy. Using “poison the well” propaganda techniques against dissenters and critics.
“Freedom and democracy”: Freedom for slave owners and property owners. In the modern sense, wealthy stock-holders.
“Harmony” and “unity”: Shut up and do what you are told. Disagreeing is not okay.
“Disinformation”: Disagreeing with the conventional Western narrative.
“Domestic terrorist”: Disagreeing with the Western liberal elites who set the agenda. Anti-capitalists.
“Chinese Aggression”: China pursuing its logical national interests.
After Russia is wrecked from regime change and our multinational corporations rape and pillage it, we can then leave the people for dead and focus on wrecking China. That is the crown jewel.
Brzezinski on U.S. vs China Relations
Open admission of what awaits for China.
Soros openly discusses his attacks against China using his foundations. It’s not a “hidden conspiracy of the right” if you openly admit to doing something. Nor does “anti-Semitism” have anything to do with it. That’s a red herring.
What the strategists “recommend” the U.S. do to China:
This list is actually more reasonable than one might expect for the U.S.:
More attention may need to be paid to the many creative ways in which Beijing could direct military action to gain positional advantages in a long-term competition.
U.S. policy should aim to weaken the force of Chinese criticisms by demonstrating responsive, effective U.S. leadership, thereby reducing the incentive for other countries to back Beijing’s efforts to renovate international organizations in ways that harm U.S. interests.
The U.S. Department of Defense may need to maintain a significant presence in the Middle East as a means of bolstering the U.S. position in the Indo-Pacific.
Closer coordination between competitive strategies, both within and outside the Indo-Pacific, will become even more essential.
Strengthening U.S. conventional capabilities and investing in a technologically advanced future force remain critical tasks, but military diplomacy may grow in importance.
As the competition intensifies, U.S. military planners may need to expand the portfolio of possible contingencies involving China beyond such traditional hotspots as Taiwan.
The appeal and feasibility of Chinese military efforts to resolve longstanding issues, such as Taiwan, may need to be reexamined through the lens of the broader competition.
The development of a strategy that includes some degree of reassurance and cooperation could help stabilize the competition and reduce risks of miscalculation and dangerous incidents.
To maximize deterrence and the protection of U.S. interests, the defense and foreign policy dimensions of any U.S. competitive strategy may need to be even more closely coordinated.
Then we having something more dangerous:
The report describes four possible scenarios for China at mid-century—triumphant, ascendant, stagnant and imploding—with the middle two most likely. If China proves ascendant, the U.S. military should anticipate increased risk to already threatened forward-based forces in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well as a loss of the ability to operate routinely in the air and sea space above and in the Western Pacific.
The report recommends that the U.S Army be prepared for a China whose role on the Asia-Pacific and global stages grows steadily. To prepare for military conflict in such circumstances, the U.S. Army should optimize its abilities to deter hostilities, get troops and equipment to hotspots quickly, operate from forward bases, and work with allied forces.
The United States could field more robust cyber and network attack capabilities and other means to counter China’s unmanned aircraft systems, the authors assert. The capacity to respond quickly and effectively to China’s burgeoning reconnaissance-strike system will play an important role in determining the extent to which China’s leadership remains risk averse when considering military options to resolve regional disputes.
The report, conducted for the U.S. Army, is based on a review of Chinese and Western literature on the PRC’s long-term strategic development and security plans and objectives, official statements by high-level Chinese officials and institutions, speeches by paramount leaders, white papers published by the Ministry of National Defense and other PRC government agencies, authoritative People’s Liberation Army (PLA) texts, as well as Western and other non-Chinese analyses of these documents.
Dima Vorobiev used to live in the Soviet Union. He worked for the government in the propaganda ministry. He has knowledge about Soviet propaganda and communism as it existed in the Soviet Union. Unless someone has lived that experience, it would not make sense to question his experience of the Soviet Union, communism, and propaganda. His entries are always interesting and well written. I enjoy reading them.
Dima is not a communist. He has clearly stated this. He has stated that he isn’t interested in Russia becoming communist again. While it worked out well for him, he does not believe communism worked well for his country.
I did not live in the Soviet Union. I have not lived in a communist country. I am a communist, or more precisely, a Marxist Leninist. I acknowledge the purges, the political repression, the restrictions on the freedom of speech, owning a business, and being able to leave the country whenever one wants. I have addressed these issues in my writings.
Let’s pretend that the U.S. collapsed. It then became communist. I start writing on Quora about my experience of the U.S. when it was capitalist. My job is a lawyer, so I would discuss what it was like practicing law in a capitalist nation. Then someone from Cuba who is a capitalist starts writing. My family has money. So capitalism personally has worked out great for me. I have lived a fairly good life compared to people in the inner city or rural Appalachia. But I am a communist. I am because I don’t believe capitalism has worked out well for the poor in the U.S. I would prefer that capitalism be swept away and communism take its place.
Now imagine the person from Cuba (a capitalist living in a communist country) tells me, using facts and figures, how much better America was under capitalism. He tells me I misunderstood capitalism. Or he says that America was never really capitalist because of crony capitalism. He says that a pure capitalist nation would be better than the U.S. How would I respond?
First, if he gave me facts and figures about how capitalism was working out in America better than I recognized, I would accept them if they were true facts and figures. These are different from opinions. If he said that I was “wrong” for not liking capitalism then we have a problem. This is not a fact. It is an opinion. If I responded that I saw the suffering experienced by those in a capitalist society such as people dying from not receiving medical care due to cost, homelessness, or racism due to the commodification of people then I have the right to this opinion. If I responded to the Cuban by saying that capitalism always devolves into crony capitalism because of the nature of competition in a capitalist society that promotes greed, then this is also an opinion (that I believe is right). He and I would argue about that. But that is a political argument, not one based on him needing to live in a capitalist nation to know.
Then someone posts a question: “Who is right about capitalism, Alexander Finnegan or Cuban guy?”
My response would be like Dima’s.
Facts about capitalism are objective. So long as the sources are good then no debate there.
We are going to have different perspectives about capitalism on the abstract level. This is not experiential. It is ideological.
I wouldn’t say the Cuban guy is “wrong” about capitalism so long as the Cuban guy doesn’t attempt to tell me what my experience “should have been.” Only I can answer that question.
If the Cuban guy said that capitalism could work so long as it is not tainted by crony capitalism as it happened in the U.S. I would disagree with him based on my understanding of capitalism because I couldn’t “experience” the U.S. without crony capitalism any more than he could. Obviously I could also talk about my experience of capitalism in the U.S. (whether or not it was crony capitalist or capitalist).
So there is no “X is right, Y is wrong about communism” given these factors as it relates specifically to X and Y.
“Who is right about communism?” is an abstract political question. It is not empirical. Therefore, the question cannot be answered empirically. The answer demands an abstract political argument.
Finally, there are differences in political orientation. Dima is conservative, and this colors his approach to politics. I am a leftist, so this colors my approach. We have different views of human nature and the world. This is a big factor. This is a fundamental orientation difference, rooted in entirely different values.
This man’s experience growing up in the Soviet Union vs post Soviet Russia is upvoted by dozens of Russians. His experience coincides with the facts on paper which I often describe. So Dima’s “experience” is not the end all, be all of the matter.
At the beginning of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the early humans wake up to find the monolith. They nervously approach it, not sure what to make of it. It fascinates them, so they get closer and poke at it, but then they cower away. They are intrigued, terrified, fascinated, and mystified by it. It is alien to them. It is so beyond their range of comprehension, it is literally beyond anything they could imagine. It is alien to them. They don’t know what to make of it. Their best guesses are not even close. It is an entirely different paradigm. It represents the next leap forward of human existence, and they don’t know it yet. It is far beyond anything they could even imagine—and it is their only hope of survival. I see this same phenomenon on how people approach communism. There is no difference. Communism is the monolith. You can be looking right at it, standing right next to it, in fact, but you can’t see it.
In many ways Dima and I are the direct opposites of each other.
Dima lived in a socialist society but didn’t believe in socialism. But he was paid to make others believe it. To this day he clearly hates socialism.
I lived in a capitalist society but don’t believe in capitalism. I am not paid anything to support socialism. But I do believe in socialism and work to bring about a socialist society. I am paid nothing. To this day I hate capitalism.
Which one you prefer remains your own choice.
Imagine if the U.S. collapsed and became socialist. If someone asked me about what life was like under capitalism, what do you think I would say? This is the position from which Dima is coming.
EDIT: Dima’s propaganda was mostly images that I have seen. If you read my actual answers you would see that I am quoting Lenin, Marx, Stalin and others directly. I am not relying on Russian government secondary sources. So you actually know nothing of my work. The claim that I am merely regurgitating Dima’s propaganda is ironically propaganda in and of itself. I rely on Western academics like Getty, Harris, and others. They are certainly not Russian propagandists. It is amazing how people feel fit to make criticisms of my work without troubling themselves to even see whom I am quoting, and it wasn’t Dima. I don’t speak Russian. I reused photos, but my work is far more academic than simple propaganda photos.
EDIT: Interesting conversation that kept getting deleted:
Here is a refrain that I keep getting about how I rely on unreliable Soviet statistics. Totally wrong. Here is the original meme and check the response:
I suppose this meme was produced by Dima Vorobiev, too, right? LOL.
Disinformation is common during times of peace. Robert Conquest was a British intelligence services agent who spent his career as a propagandist dressed up as a “historian.” He worked for the Atlee government. Early in his career, he fed disinformation to the BBC and other outlets, which they published.
Then he decided to create anti-communist propaganda. He focused on the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. He was the one who created the narrative of the Big Bad Stalin™ who was an omniscient dictator who killed 60+ million people. Conquest always took the biggest number and doubled or tripled it. Even he would have to revise his numbers after the Soviet archives were opened briefly under Yeltsin. He had to do it to save face.
In the modern era, the governments in the West even openly admit to pumping out disinformation, which they call “unverified” information. But anything can be unverified, because it is. They can let the imagination run wild. And they do.
Two techniques are huge now.The first is calling everything “apologism.” It is a poison the well technique, which taints anything your opposition says. It forces you to self-censor. You become your own slave master, one who likes to keep you dumb. Vladimir Putin could say 2+2=4 and he would be wrong, just because he is a “Kremlin bot” and “Russian apologist,” right?
The second is vilification. Your enemy is ALL bad, evil, “capable of anything.” Also, “unhinged,” “Hitler,” etc.
There are some disinformation nuggets out now directly from the intelligence services.
The primary one is that Putin has cancer.
Another, is that he, like Saddam Hussein, conveniently has:
“Lost the plot”
“Trying to conquer the world”
“Has a small penis/Napoleon complex/short man syndrome”
These are the ones used against me since I challenged the Western narrative and offered critical support for Putin and Russia. My position is to end the Biden sanctions which will deindustrialize Europe. This would quickly end the war as the Russians would run out of weapons. Failing that, I would like the Russians to prevail so Russia is not destroyed and a multipolar order is created.
Because it is easy to get confused. People are largely motivated by fear, anger, or the search for power. Those who are hungry for power and psychopaths are willing to also engage in Machiavellian means to climb the pile of skulls. Some are members of the Dark Triad.
So there is a self-selection bias. However, even if you aren’t a psychopath, being a tyrant has its own playbook. Most tyrants behave the same way because these methods work. Those who don’t follow the playbook are overthrown. So it is not “psychopathic” per se, but those who are both psychopaths and tyrants have few problems doing what is needed to rule without a conscience getting in the way.
Notice how many psychopathic traits seem to overlap with the playbook of tyrants.
For example, let’s pretend you are a tyrant who finds out your uncle is having secret talks to foment a coup against you. You know this because your secret police are following him and have his phones tapped. There is no doubt he is up to no good.
What do you do? What if he become loud and hell bent on getting rid of you? Do you put him in jail after a trial? Do you have him killed? Or do you let him continue and see what happens?
It depends, doesn’t it? A psychopath would just go based on logic and not look back. But a non-psychopath might decide to have him put on trial. What if there is a technical error and he goes free, and then starts up more trouble? What then? Your life and the millions of others might depend upon it. Libya without Gaddafi is a failed state with public slave markets. Life is pretty terrible for Libyans now.
The Tyrant’s Playbook
I am not endorsing these, btw. I am just listing them.
You have to be savvy:
Have a secret police to spy on your political friends and enemies—especially your friends. If they are betraying you, you need to know asap. If they are up to things which might provide you political leverage or for blackmail purposes, you need that. For example, you may find out that the “happily married” rival government official who has been opposing you is actually happy because he is fucking his secretary. Might want to get some photographic proof of that. Or a religious leader who is criticizing you happens to be anti-gay—while having a side boyfriend without his wife’s knowledge. For the right price, his boyfriend might be willing to “expose” that. Knowledge is power. And you want to be a god.
You need to always tell the truth, even when you lie.
Make sure the military is directly controlled by you and nobody else. Your power comes from the use of state controlled violence. Don’t forget that.
As Machiavelli made clear, love is fickle, but fear is forever. If you have to choose between one vs the other, go with fear. It is a strong motivator. And one that is easier to induce.
Groups of citizens who attempt an insurrection must be dealt with immediately, fully, and with absolute brutality. Somebody fucks with you, you tear off their heads completely, and make sure everybody sees you do it, so they know not to fuck with you.
No society on Earth has complete freedom of speech. Yours shouldn’t be the first.
Uppity academics and journalists must be first nicely reminded of their professional responsibility—which is primarily to maintain peace and order of the state, in harmony with its leadership. Criticism isn’t harmony.
Voting is essential. I’ll do the counting.
The ends justify the means. We don’t want to limit ourselves.
You’ll see what I want you to see. Nothing more.
The people will always forgive mistakes while winning, so long as you win. But they will despise you for losing, even if you played by the rules. So you should win, no matter the cost. Losing is not an option.
Use both the carrot and the stick. People want to win your approval. But they should always be trained to fear your punishment.
Paranoid is good. That keeps you alive. Better to be too paranoid than not paranoid enough.
As Sun Tzu said: “Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.”
Control the past and you control the future. Rewrite history and teach that in schools.
Never trust yes-men. They don’t have your best interest in mind.
Use the power of visuals and sound to help guide your audience to the truth—the truth is the benevolence of your rule.
Filmmakers, artists, musicians, and others should be your best friends. Their assistance is the best propaganda in the world. Make sure they don’t regret “showing you kindness,” if you know what I mean.
Violence and cunning are your best friends.
Limit your aggression. Hitler failed because he didn’t know when to quit. Franco and Pinochet knew their limits, and they stayed in power, long term. Be a Franco, not a Hitler.
The above are gleaned from Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” the writings of Sun Tzu, the lives of various dictators, and history.
That he is a convenient scapegoat for the failures of the Democrats.
It all goes back to 2016. The Democrats had hoped for a coronation of a certain someone, but things went sidewards…
Turns out, people preferred this guy. Someone with a little more humanity…
Gaddafi had an agreement with the U.S. that if he abandoned his WMD program, he would be secure from Western assaults. Obama scrapped that idea. Hillary, as Secretary of State, reveled in his murder by French backed rebels.
Turns out, the fix was in. No matter how well Bernie did in the primaries, superdelegates had already pledged their votes to Clinton. The game was rigged. In fact, this is no speculation. The DNC admitted in court that it rigged the primaries.
The 2016 Democratic National Convention was more akin to a Satanic Black Mass, one in which Bernie Sanders was offered as a sacrifice to Satan. It was a ghoulish celebration of identity politics, one in which the old white male Jew was sacrificed before the altar of wokeness to feed the blood of the Demonic Clinton. I cried my eyes out to see how the Democratic Party had sunken so low. I promised to vote for anyone but her.
Donald Trump was considered a dream candidate for Clinton. He couldn’t win, right? Wrong. The morning of the election, NPR was already predicting Clinton’s likelihood of winning at 87%.
“It’s her turn” said Connie Schultz, nasty wife of Senator Sherrod Brown, Bitcoin-hater.
Shultz argued that her cohort was “entitled” to win the Presidency, after all those nasty, horrible white males had dominated the Presidency for so long.
Nobody is entitled to be President. Last time I checked, it was about merit, not the presence of a penis or not.
Trump is deplorable. Nasty, rude, narcissistic. But Hillary is a psychopath. She promised to continue funding the Syrian jihadi’s who were ripping Syria apart. Hillary never found a war she didn’t like, and she promised to go “eye to eye” with Vladimir Putin.
Translation: She would push things right to the edge.
American politics is always about choosing the lesser evil. It could get no worse than a psychopath with no sense of fear. I have always been very opposed to the arming of jihadi’s and Obama’s murderous imperial foreign policies. Obama is one of the biggest mass killers of the last 50 years.
And then the election results came in. Hillary lost. Turns out, people don’t like it when you make elections about identity politics. Especially when the deciding voters are white, working class guys that Hillary promised to put out of work in the coal mines of West Virginia.
Turns out, “go learn computers” is not too appealing.
Trump may have been horrible, but at least he promised not to eliminate their jobs. And he didn’t talk to them like they were pieces of shit. Nor did he promise to take us to the edge of nuclear oblivion.
MSNBC presenter stops reporting to remind viewers: ‘You’re not dead and you haven’t gone to hell’
It took about 5 seconds for the Democrats to start looking for excuses. How could it be that Americans could vote for Trump? It couldn’t have been their identity politics, nasty, mean, unappealing candidate, Hillary Clinton. It had to be…
The Big Bad Putin™
He must have engineered it! Turns out, the Democrats were finding the Russkies everywhere!
Democrats lost here? Putin
Democrats lost there? Putin
In France, during the height of the French protests, guess who they blamed? Putin! I’m not kidding.
Whatever happened, Hillary Clinton lost because she was a shitty candidate. Her husband, Bill, had even offered to help advise her campaign. He told her to lose the identity politics angle and focus on the economy. She told him, “no.”
The voters disagreed.
Now, Joe Biden, the dementia-addled President, is leading us to the brink with his proxy war on Putin. How much of this is designed to improve his failing polling numbers? Whatever the case, his foreign policy agenda is disastrous. And the Biden Sanctions will lead to the deindustrialization of Germany, which is the plan. Industry cannot continue without affordable energy. Biden is working to stop the import of oil and coal to Germany. It will be a death sentence for the middle classes of Europe. But that’s the plan. It is a neoliberal assault on Europe. Detroit comes to Europe. This was the idea all along. Add to it “regime change” in Moscow, paid for by Ukrainian lives, as they “fight to the last Ukrainian.” The goal is to cause the fall of Putin, a power vacuum, and the collapse of Russia, causing it to balkanize. Meanwhile, the U.S. has supported N.G.O’s that foment color revolutions in encircling nations of Russia. As the whole thing comes crashing down, U.S. financiers and multinationals can swoop in and steal the natural resources and take advantage of these markets. Nobody cares what happens to the Russians themselves.