Facing the facts

The fact is, I may not be able to post regularly until September. I am that busy, with meetings through the night and a constant deluge of tasks, some annoying, others pretty exciting. I go on vacation next week and will try to get back into blogging. But I haven’t been able to read any of the blogs on my blogroll, or even the comments on my own blog, for about three weeks now, and it’s only going to get worse. All dressed up, with this fantastic new site design, and no place to go.

In the meantime, for some light reading, I recommend you check out this brief post and Kaiser Kuo’s excellent comment. For the record, Michael Ledeen is the Antichrist. That is unarguable.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 35 Comments

According to Bertrand Russell, there was a debate in the 1930s over whether the future of modern industial economies would be socialism, or fascism.

Russell said that any country that turned fascist would inevitably come to a bad end as fascism inevitably leads to self-destructive wars. He didn’t speculate whether these wars would be in the middle east, but you get the picture.

The problem with fascism, in my view, is that it’s institutionalized lunacy. Sure it’ll get you rapid rates of economic growth and allow nationalistic youth to march around waving flags and bashing foreigners, but the long-term isn’t pretty.

May 27, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

The more people get hung up on labels, I find the less intention they have to truly care about people and solving the problems. We’re sitting around here in our cozy homes discussing whether the label is correct or not? How awfully cold that is toward the people who are suffering under the regime, whether you call it this or that.

Murder, flagrant injustice, mocking the constitution, rampant and intentional lying, propped up on corruption, cowardly beyond compare, greedy beyond compare, bloodthirsty and callous, pompous and unthoughtful, cruel and superficial,

people might think evil is too extreme to describe this regime, but I think they just don’t know what I know, or for some reason, they do not want to know what I know, because they could find out.

May 27, 2008 @ 11:14 pm | Comment

You need to stop holding back, snow. Tell us what you really think.

Dale
http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/

May 28, 2008 @ 3:02 am | Comment

Snow wrote

“We’re sitting around here in our cozy homes discussing whether the label is correct or not.”

Comment:

I tried to look at this issue in the last thread. (Perhaps, my examples were too graphic?) What’s interesting to me is that people seem to base arguments/analyses on the emotional impact of words. For example, Nazism is bad because it has a heavily negative connotation. Fascism is less bad because it has a less heavy negative connotation. Genocide is bad because of its heavy negative connotation, but “integration” is less bad. Murder – Special Treatment; Torture – Enhanced Interrogation; Kidnapping – Rendition; Invasion – Liberation; Forced Labor- Education, etc, etc.

In other words, you can’t sanitize something by changing the name of what you call it. It’s terrifying that people are basing the desirability of certain policies/systems largely upon the relative emotional impact of the words used to describe those activities. Terrifying.

May 28, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Comment

In my university days, the majority of Fascist examples discussed were Spain under Franco, Portugal under Salazar, and a fair sample of Latin American regimes up to and including the Pinochet government. The Nazis were considered an aberration, and the more right wing in class openly sided with such regimes. Coincidentally, I once read a doctoral thesis by a Korean which compared the mass mobilization techniques of the Manchukuo Regime, and those of the both Kim Il-sung and Park Chung Hee regimes. His point was that the methods used in Fascist Manchukuo were later adopted by their successors. Recalling that Fascist Germany provided military equipment and training to Chiang’s KMT back during the days (pre-Long March)when the Communists were allied with them, it does not surprise me that certain common practices might remain. Both communism and fascism were movements which relied upon mobilization of the masses, though they differed as to their ends. Not everything was negative. Certainly the Ajumas who show up at 0530 every morning on Namsan mountain in Seoul to participate in organized athletics gain an advantage by staying fit, even if the practice can be traced to the Park Chung Hee years, and on back to the Japanese colonial experience. I apologize for not being able to cite that dissertation, as I shredded it before leaving Korea.

May 28, 2008 @ 11:26 am | Comment

@lirelou
“In my university days, the majority of Fascist examples discussed were Spain under Franco, Portugal under Salazar, and a fair sample of Latin American regimes up to and including the Pinochet government.”

I hardly consider Franco’s Spain a fascist regime. They used that paraphernalia in the beginning, but actually, the real fascist party “the falange” was neutralized.
Franco just adapted his ways to keep his power using what was convinient each time.
About ideology, it was more a catholic traditional conservative one than anything else. The Spanish civil war was one extreme case of the confrontention between the two Spains: the catholic, traditional and conservative one against the liberal, agnostic or athesiut one.

Going back to the article about China. The term Fascist is a catchy one, but usually misapplied. I would rather use either authoritarian regime, statism or illustrated despotism.
What is China today?
A technocratic lead illustrated despotism that carefully leads the country to some brighter and freer future?
An oligarchy/nomenclature that realized that had to open its iron fits on though and economy control to avoid the country going down the trains but that will not doubt to put the country in jeopardy, even to the point of bloodshed, if they feel thew grip on power menaced?
Or something in between, no one exactly sure where?

May 28, 2008 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Russell said that any country that turned fascist would inevitably come to a bad end as fascism inevitably leads to self-destructive wars. He didn’t speculate whether these wars would be in the middle east, but you get the picture.

The problem with fascism, in my view, is that it’s institutionalized lunacy. Sure it’ll get you rapid rates of economic growth and allow nationalistic youth to march around waving flags and bashing foreigners, but the long-term isn’t pretty.

Don’t worry, Bush is leaving office soon.

May 28, 2008 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Cheap shot, ferin. Not to mention, stupid.

George Bush isn’t any more fascist than you are.

And you’re wrong about fascism getting you short-term rapid rates of growth. If that were true, Mao’s Great Leap Forward in the 50′s would have been a smashing success.

Oh wait. That was communism. Hmmm. Well, at least the Great Leap Forward had nationalistic youths marching around waving flags, so I was half right…

May 29, 2008 @ 1:58 am | Comment

you’re wrong about fascism getting you short-term rapid rates of growth.

Did I say that? I simply said your example is an argument for 10 more years of Chinese authoritarianism. Learn to weather criticism and maybe your logic will sharpen.

And you’re wrong about fascism getting you short-term rapid rates of growth. If that were true, Mao’s Great Leap Forward in the 50’s would have been a smashing success.

You’re also wrong about how suddenly installing a ridiculous democratic circus will improve things. If that were true, India would be paradise and George Bush would have been unable to completely destroy America in just two terms.

Well, at least the Great Leap Forward had nationalistic youths marching around waving flags, so I was half right…

So did the preface to the Iraq War. Are you going to make a point or not?

May 29, 2008 @ 2:18 am | Comment

rather, lirelou’s.

May 29, 2008 @ 2:20 am | Comment

You’re right, ferin. I give up.

Let’s all go back to Chairman Mao and the braindead fifties and sixties when we had neat things like communes and little red books and the inmates running the asylum. It was such an idyllic time. Everyone had plenty to eat and we were all so happy and nobody had to think because they locked up your brain for safekeeping…

Dale
http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/

May 29, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Comment

Nice straw man. The conditions are obviously different- China now is in the later stages of rebuilding after social upheaval, dynastic collapse, invasion, civil war and the Cold War.

The only chance of creating a Chinese Hitler or Mao 2.0 would be another invasion. The hype about “Chinese ultranationalism” is just you being duped (once again) by people who hedge on World War 3 or futures on death.

That’s the equivalent of someone taking footage of ANP (American Nazi Party) and offering it up as a representative sample of American society, and for weeks the comments here were awash with “China threat” bs.

I always knew who was drinking the neocon kool-aid, but it should be pretty clear to everyone now.

May 29, 2008 @ 2:52 am | Comment

I have freakin’ had it.

Go ahead and post your idiotic insults and offensive name-calling, one and all, and I will delete every single one of them.

As a matter of fact, I do believe with this new platform I can actually start banning some of you, for real.

I would like to be able to come to this site without reading a bunch of idiotic, immature garbage. I guess that’s too much to ask. So I will be deleting it as I find it.

May 29, 2008 @ 6:16 am | Comment

Here’s a video from “the early years”. One can see how some might aspire to such a well-ordered, stable, powerful, system of total domination.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLV–_D3YpM&feature=related

May 29, 2008 @ 7:40 am | Comment

Can you please ban BOB and the next person who compares modern China to the Third Reich?

May 29, 2008 @ 9:49 am | Comment

@lisa

Does the platform has a ranking system or similar? Maybe like in slashdot. It could help to make the better comments more visible and keep worst out of the way unless someone want to see them. Also a short of “karma” system like in slashdot could be useful
I do not know how much administration work could that mean though

If too much work, simpler ways maybe available. A voting option to allow participants to vote for most relevant comments, or a option to mark offensive comments. With that info people may find the best comments faster… and comment on them, and keep worst comment out of the way but still visible.

Just a thought

May 29, 2008 @ 9:55 am | Comment

@ferin
“Can you please ban BOB and the next person who compares modern China to the Third Reich?”

Ha ha ha. That was a good one ferin. Clever answer.

May 29, 2008 @ 9:59 am | Comment

It looks so modern, so prosperous. Impressive. Positive. Upbeat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwO30VlJscY&feature=related

May 29, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Comment

What a fucking retard. You should be lynched.

May 29, 2008 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

Bob, stop being a jerk. Ferin, you too.

May 29, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Comment

There’s nothing untoward about any of my posts on this thread. Moreover, they are on topic. It’s important to engage people in rational discussion rather than engaging in verbal bashing and name calling. You can’t just call someone the “anti-Christ” or a “jerk”, or “fxxxcking retard” and call for them to be “banned” or “lynched” just because you don’t like what he/she is saying.

May 29, 2008 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

The video clips from the 1930s are disturbing. They are especially disturbing, perhaps, because we can see in them images that we recognize around us today. I’m sorry that this is the situation, but it’s a situation not of my making. It’s good to see such films since such footage may shake up people’s thinking a bit.

May 29, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Comment

Stop with the intellectual dishonesty. China is NOTHING like Nazi Germany. In fact, all European nations outside of Scandinavia and their colonies (Australia, Canada, America, Siberia, Argentina, Uruguay, South Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand) are more like Nazis than anyone else.

You should start getting scared when non-East Asians are being killed in the streets.

May 29, 2008 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

*Southern Brazil, sorry

May 29, 2008 @ 10:45 pm | Comment

Richard is nicer than I am. If the name-calling starts up again I will delete comments. Please keep the conversations civil. I would also appreciate a halt to over-generalizing, which is intellectually insulting and dishonest.

May 29, 2008 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

Wow! Struck a nerve. Touchy people on this blog.

http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/

May 30, 2008 @ 12:24 am | Comment

Apparently, giving money donations directly to the Chinese government may not have been a great idea. Oh well, I’m sure at leat 5% of it got to the people. Maybe…

http://www.teachabroadchina.com/china-earthquake-donation-money/

May 30, 2008 @ 9:07 am | Comment

If that’s true and word gets out, heads will roll and that will only be the beginning.

It might start a total smackdown on corrupt local officials worldwide.

May 30, 2008 @ 9:44 am | Comment

ferin wrote: “China is NOTHING like Nazi Germany.”

Comment: In a liberal democracy, Justice = Fairness.

In a fascist, or authoritarian system (whatever you want to call it), Justice = might makes right. Many Chinese seem to subscribe to the notion that Might Makes Right.

May 30, 2008 @ 10:01 am | Comment

In a fascist, or authoritarian system (whatever you want to call it), Justice = might makes right. Many Americans seem to subscribe to the notion that Might Makes Right.

May 30, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Comment

oops, I meant *nationwide obviously

May 30, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Comment

ferin wrote:

“Many Americans seem to subscribe to the notion that Might Makes Right.”

correction: “Some Americans seem to subscribe to the notion that Might Makes Right.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOhUfdL0ifM

May 30, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Comment

correction: “Some Chinese seem to subscribe to the notion that Might Makes Right.”

Just shut up already.

May 30, 2008 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

>Just shut up already.

NO U

Wow, the posting quality here has deteriorated rapidly. Hell, even /n/ is less of a trollpit IMHO.

June 3, 2008 @ 9:43 pm | Comment

Ferin, I can’t let you talk like that here. I actually think you have a point, but when you make it so idiotically you completely lose any credibility you may have.

Richard

June 5, 2008 @ 7:08 am | Comment

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