57

THE CHINA HOAX: Is China Being Framed?

Godfree Roberts

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
Noam Chomsky

I was researching Chinese censorship when – irony of ironies – I fell afoul of American censorship, providing an opportunity to update you on the state of the art under both regimes, starting at home, with the recent attempt to frame the President for crimes he did not commit.

Like many attempts to frame people, events and nations–Vietnam, Iraq, 9/11, JFK, Bin Laden–it was a State hoax, a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as truth. An atrocity story sustained by artful censorship and loud, proud, bold and brassy propaganda. An expensive, in-your-face, preposterous conspiracy, sustained for two years at great financial and reputational cost to the nation. Wildly ambitious, batshit crazy and so self-destructive as to boggle the mind, it was one of many propaganda-driven frame-ups, another of which in progress as you read these lines.

It checks all the boxes: big, bold, loud and proud, expensive, in-your-face, a preposterous hoax, daringly ambitious and utterly self-destructive.

The China Hoax frames China’s Confucian politics and economics as if they were – or should be – Roman. It explains why thousands of predictions of China’s collapse have been one hundred percent wrong for seventy years and why we keep repeating them, and why we think of China’s government as oppressively authoritarian when ninety-five percent of Chinese think it’s super. It also helps us see how the narrative is sustained by an almost totalitarian censorship regime.

It is well known that our censors–for that’s what they are–have silenced hundreds of thousands of Americans with National Security Letters[1] and, whenever those prove inadequate, have permanent authority to take control[2] of all American communications and information. If undesirable communications persist they can kidnap, imprison or execute the communicators[3] without fear of court trial or media criticism. Since China emerged as a threat to our hegemony six months ago they have tightened their control noticeably.

*

I bumped into them following a clue in Ann Lee’s story[4] about “A reporter and friend of Michael Massing[5], who worked at the Beijing office of The Wall Street Journal, who told Massing that the editors in Washington regularly changed material information and opinions in his articles. Given the twelve-hour time difference, by the time his stories went to press in the West, the editors had replaced all the Chinese interviews with statements from American talking heads who work at think tanks promoting anti-China perspectives.”

Congressional testimony from the CIA’s Victor Marchetti revealed the source of the talking heads’ funding: he told Congress that the Agency provided two hundred fifty million dollars annually[7], “To The Asia Foundation for anti-communist academicians to disseminate a negative vision of mainland China,” and paid journalists and publishers worldwide to do likewise.

I had always assumed that the government manipulates the news somehow and had I thought a little deeper I would have realized that, after spending billions on framing China, censors would eventually tire of pipsqueak consumers like me questioning their narrative.

Until two weeks ago my comments on China in mainstream media attracted thousands of responses (one-third angry) from millions of readers and provided priceless exposure for my upcoming book, I hoped. My readership stats climbed steadily until I received an email from Patrice Greanville on April 4 with a warning from Google:

When I forwarded it to him Patrice told me that, since Google downrated the Post as part of its fake news campaign it had become almost invisible in their searches.

The next day I received a message from the Financial Times (to which I also subscribed) informing me that my comments would be blocked thenceforth and, lo! they were:

I told another China-friendly FT commenter and he replied, “I was blocked last week.” When I checked the comment sections of China stories I found that positive comments had disappeared. One comment from a virulent China-basher, caught my eye, “Where are the wumao[8]? Have the fifty-centers given up?”

Three days later the leading comment plugin Disqus, which supports 750,000 websites and 35 million users, blocked me from a broad range of publications:

[foogallery id=”59449″]

I was also blocked from several university-run China sites and two established China news services, Sinocism and SupChina (to which I also subscribe), whose mission is to publish negative stories about China. Yet uncensored fora like Unz Review, Greanville Post and Quora demonstrate that there is high and growing interest in fact-based China news–and growing suspicion of a frame-up. There is also–as we see daily in these pages–a growing awareness of our own censorship regime though a lack of knowledge about its makeup and authority.

We know that less than half of us trust our media and we know that, despite a Constitutional prohibition, we are censored. But we don’t know who our censors are, their goals or where to seek redress. Neither Congress, the Administration nor the courts are willing to admit the problem, which suggests that they are party to it.

Every year Reporters Without Borders[9] asks Western media experts to rank the world’s media freedom based on pluralism, independence, environment, self-censorship, legislation and transparency. In 2018, they ranked America’s media freedom a respectable forty-first, Singapore’s government-regulated media 154th and China’s ten times less free than leader Norway, at 176th.

Every year Edelman[10] surveys the world’s media consumers, asking how much they trust their media. Forty-two percent of Americans, fifty-two percent of Singaporeans and seventy-one percent of Chinese trust their national media.

Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew,[11] whose relationship to media is both notorious and enlightening, told the American Society of Newspaper Editors why this is so.

The Philippines press enjoys all the freedoms of the US system but fails the people: a wildly partisan press helped Philippines politicians flood the marketplace of ideas with junk and confuse and befuddle the people so that they could not see what their vital interests were in a developing country. And, because vital issues like economic growth and equitable distribution were seldom discussed, they were never tackled and the democratic system malfunctioned. Look at Taiwan and South Korea: their free press runs rampant and corruption runs riot. The critic itself is corrupt yet the theory is, if you have a free press, corruption disappears. Now I’m telling you, that’s not true. Freedom of the press, freedom of news critics, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.”

*

Politicians must use only such language as is proper for public speech and only speak of what is practical and proper to effect.”
Confucius, Analects 13.3.

The censorship scene in China could hardly be more different.

For two thousand years the Chief Censor has been a public intellectual and the incumbent, Wang Huning, is typical. He’s the most famous intellectual in a nation of intellectual-worshippers. His Master’s thesis, From Bodin to Maritain: On Sovereignty Theories Developed by the Western Bourgeoisie, won wide acclaim and millions watched him twice lead Fudan University to victory in the international Intercollegiate Debating Championships. After his PhD thesis, Comparative Political Analysis, became a famous book (one of twelve he’s authored) he became the youngest professor in Fudan’s history and headed its Law School until former President Jiang Zemin, quoting verbatim passages from his book, persuaded Wang to turn speechwriter. Jiang’s successor promoted him to the 25-man Politburo and his successor, President Xi, invited Wang to join his six man cabinet and his band of travelling companions. That makes three successive presidents who have esteemed him more than their predecessors.

Everyone knows Wang’s bio, his job description and the constitutional source of his authority: “Once a policy has been widely discussed, voted on and legislated, discussion is suspended while everyone unites to implement it.”

His online rules are commonsensical: no infringing, fake accounts, libel, disclosing trade secrets or invading privacy; no sending porn to attract users; no torture, violence, killing people or animals; no selling lethal weapons; no gambling, phishing, scamming or spreading viruses; no organizing crime, counterfeiting, false advertising, empty promises or bullying; no lotteries, rumor-mongering, promoting superstitions. No opposing the basic principles of the Constitution or national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and, of course, no divulging State secrets or endangering national security.

Wang’s part of a feedback loop helping to keep the leadership honest and his responsibilities are bidirectional: he must market leadership’s ideas to the citizenry and market their complaints to his colleagues.

As an intellectual he encourages free expression, says Harvard’s Gary King, “Contrary to much research and commentary, the purpose of the censorship program is not to suppress criticism of the State or the Communist Party. Indeed, despite widespread censorship of social critics, we find that when Chinese people write scathing criticisms of their government and its leaders the probability that their post will be censored does not increase. Instead, censored tweets were equally likely to be against the state, for the state, irrelevant, or factual reports about events. Negative, even vitriolic criticism of the state, its leaders and its policies are not more likely to be censored.”

Even investigative journalists[12], though as embattled in China as elsewhere, publish front-page exposes in mainstream media with strong public support.

The Chinese are not naive about censorship. It is an honored public service, constitutionally and legislatively delimited, that operates in the glare of public scrutiny. Wang is often asked to explain his decisions[12] and I have yet to find accurate, useful or professional information blocked.

Deborah Fallows[13] found that over eighty percent of Chinese want their media regulated and eighty-five percent of those who do want the government doing it, as do most people in the world. Everyone everywhere trusts state outlets like the BBC twice as much as private media and seventy percent of Chinese trust their media – right in line with Singaporeans and their famously regulated media. If we want to find out what is really going on in our own country and abroad we must find ways to create trustworthy media, otherwise we’re fumbling in the dark.

For example, we’re told China steals our IP when there is zero evidence of theft and abundant evidence that they outspend us 4:1 on R&D.

That’s mad. If we don’t know that underinvestment in research cost us the 5G race, or that Chinese scientists do half of our domestic research, how can we respond effectively–or at all?

The China Hoax is a cruel joke and the joke’s on us.

Godfree Roberts received his doctorate from UMass, Amherst and is desperately trying to finish the manuscript for his forthcoming book, China’s Confucian Solution: How China beat poverty, hunger, homelessness, crime, inequality, government waste and corruption.

NOTES:

  • [1] National Security Letters are administrative subpoenas with gag orders enjoining recipients from divulging to anyone that they’ve been served.
  • [2] Executive Order 10995: Assigning Telecommunications Management Functions and EO 12472: Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions Act.
  • [3] In 2011 President Obama ordered the execution of Anwar al Awlaki, an American citizen, for preaching Wahabbism and separately executed his sixteen-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, all without trial.
  • [4] What the U.S. Can Learn from China, Ann Lee. 2012
  • [5] Former Executive Editor of The Columbia Journalism Review.
  • [6] The CIA and the cult of Intelligence, by V. Marchetti. 1976. The first book an American government censored prior to publication
  • [7] In 2019 US$
  • [8] An epithet flung at commenters who explain or justify Chinese policies. FP itself explains, “Wumao means ‘fifty cents’ in Chinese and is slang for web users who reliably take the government’s side. How to Spot a State-Funded Chinese Internet Troll. Foreign Policy, June 17, 2015.
  • [9] 2018 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX
  • [10] 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, January, 2018.
  • [11] A Third World Perspective on the Press. RH Lee Kwan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore. C-SPAN, APRIL 14, 1988
  • [12] Media Politics in China: Improvising Power under Authoritarianism by Maria Repnikova, C.U.P., July 15, 2017
  • [13] To complaints that he censored a viral essay, Beijing Has 20 Million People Pretending to Live Here, about the city being overrun by outsiders, he explained, “It polarizes relations between prosperous Beijingers and inflames ill feeling towards the vulnerable immigrants who sweep their streets.”
  • [14] Most Chinese Say They Approve of Government Internet Control, by Deborah Fallows, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Internet & American Life Project March 27, 2008
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Arby
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Where did the comments go?

Admin
Moderator
Admin

What comments are you referring to?

Arby
Reader

For a few days, I saw only a fraction of the comments that were here. My browser is Pale Moon. I see everything now. I have no idea what’s going on. I assumed it was on your end and would be corrected, since all of this is new. Perhaps it was my browser.

Maggie
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Maggie

Sorry, but I DO NOT like the new format.

Arby
Reader

Well, It’s off topic, but as long is that is out here; Whatever small annoyances present themselves with this format, it is very, very improved. I really have no complaints. It’s functional, my main concern. I don’t think it looks awful. It will take some getting used to, but it works well.

MLS
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MLS

‘I don’t think it looks awful’? – faint praise much? 😀

For me, OffG has always been one of the most lovely-looking sites I visit, and the new design is absolutely beautiful.

Maggie – what’s not to like? The old comments were ghastly and infuriating. These look pretty and have functionality too.

Arby
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You did notice that the main thrust of my comment was ‘very’ favorable toward the new design, Right? Can I have an opinion about it? Does it have to be exactly the same as yours?

George Cornell
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George Cornell

Very informative. Thanks.

BigB
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BigB

China is being framed all right – as a negentropic neoliberal hopium. I’m supremely interested in the dynamic of West v East framing. If West is bad, to which there can be no counter-argument – then China must be better? Absolutely true: but what about the ultimate truth – the whole system – West and East is financially suicidal and exponentially omnicidal? And the expansionist, extractivist progress-theology imaginal is leading where? Who the fuck wants 5G? Or fintech financialisation of everything – including humanity and nature. Or AI-redundancy for the global workforce. Orwellian progress is regress …leading us exponentially into… Read more »

Arby
Reader

Why is 5G is a good thing? One view that helps me to understand that 5G is only good for machines can be found in this article: “Verizon Video Features Employees Explaining How They Are Ignoring “The Precautionary Principle” to Unleash Harmful 5G Technology All Over The World.” by BN Frank (Activist Post) – https://www.activistpost.com/2018/07/verizon-video-features-employees-explaining-how-they-are-ignoring-the-precautionary-principle-to-unleash-harmful-5g-technology-all-over-the-world.html Maybe the author also got his rosy view of JFK from Reporters Without Borders. Check out this article by ? (21st Century Wire) about Vanessa Beeley’s Swiss Press Club presentation titled “Vanessa Beeley Presents Exposé on White Helmets at Swiss Press Club in Geneva.” –… Read more »

Agate
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Agate

I always read Godfrey Robert’s articles whenever I see them. Although I don’t agree 100% with everything he says I must applaud and thank his efforts to explain and clarify things about China. The level of China bashing has increased a lot and is a close second to Jew bashing if you will. Even in places like Unz where people are supposed to be seeking for facts and truth it’s like a knee-jerk reaction to bash the author and anything chinese. For goodness sake, no country, culture or anything is 100% all good or bad. I for one just want… Read more »

George Cornell
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George Cornell

I think it is second to none, now.

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Rhisiart Gwilym

It’s a bit disconcerting on the new layout when, looking for the comments, you have to scroll past an ad. for Patreon, with a plea for money couched in USD denomination. I thought OffG was a home-grown Brit outfit. No need to join in the current knee-jerk prostration in Britain to all things US by dumping our own currency, is there? Especially since the USD is now on a terminal, accelerating dive down the tubes as ‘world reserve currency’, as the Anglozionst empire declines irreversibly against the rise of Russo-Chinese global imperialism. And be warned: Patreon is crooked. They have… Read more »

Ray Raven
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Ray Raven

The ‘two-way speech bubbles’ symbol (for comments) adjacent to the date at the top of the article is the short-cut link to the comments section at the bottom of the page.

UreKismet
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UreKismet

Hmm,I have no doubt that Godfree Roberts speaks facts, which is illuminating for many, as well as needed,but as the citizen of a small state I prefer to regard all large powerful sovereign entities with the old hairy eyeball because AFAIK overly large states especially those with centralised decision making eg the USA and the PRC cannot effectively meet the needs of all citizens. But that is for the citizens of those states to deal with, my main concern is when those large states begin using their size to interfere in the lives of non-citizens, people who are content being… Read more »

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The Chinese hierarchy, like every other hierarchy around the world, wants two things.
Unassailable power and compliant masses.
Whatever it takes.

George Cornell
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George Cornell

Are you cursing human nature?

Godfree Roberts
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Godfree Roberts

Confucian hierarchy has lasted 2200 years because it’s a non-hereditary meritocracy of compassion. If that sounds hard to believe, consider this: the 90 million members of the current hierarchy contribute $1 billion in annual dues and one trillion volunteer hours. They brought 400 million people from agricultural backwardness into modernity in just thirty years – a process of industrialization that took over 200 years in Europe. If that sounds hard to believe, look at the current evidence: next year every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care and 500,000,000… Read more »

Arby
Reader

All of which says, at the least, that there’s a discussion to be had here. But I hardly believe in China’s ruling class which has been complicit with the West (as in powerful, capitalist special interests and their political tools) in exploiting their own workforce.

Godfree Roberts
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Godfree Roberts

China’s ruling class has not been complicit with the West (as in powerful, capitalist special interests and their political tools) in exploiting their own workforce. Quite the contrary. Because it’s a non-hereditary meritocracy, China doesn’t have a ruling class. And, far from exploiting them, China’s leaders have doubled workers’ wages every decade for 70 years with the result that, by 2021 every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health- and old age care.  That same year 500,000,000 urban Chinese will have more net worth and disposable income than the average American, their mothers… Read more »

Arby
Reader

I’m not a China expert. I’m just someone who pays attention. But what does that mean? That means that I have to go by what others are reporting. And how do I know who’s bullcrapping me and who isn’t? Because I’ve been paying attention, I have a fairly good idea who ‘would’ bullcrap me, which is not a guarantee of course (and most of those whose work I find useful, fail in some manner, or up and one day go entirely over to the dark side). It’s actually still very difficult, in the absence of a ‘lot’ of reportage on… Read more »

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

IT sounds like a kiss off but it’s not: 99% of what you’ve read about modern China is bullshit. Massacres, starvation, exploitation, brutal crackdowns, financial collapses, insecure governments, democracy advocates, human rights fighters…. The CIA’s Victor Marchetti testified that the Agency provided $250,000,000 annually to The Asia Foundation for ‘anti-communist academicians to disseminate a negative vision of mainland China’. That’s just for academics, who are cheap! journalists and publishers made out like banditti. They guy who wrote ‘Mao’s Great Famine’ got $2,000,000. We are living in a fools’ paradise. China is already ahead of us scientifically, technologically, socially, morally, legally… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Sorry, Godfree: China’s meteoric rise is only good if you believe in pointless neoliberal expansionism. An expansionism that comes with hidden social and financial costs. The financial costs being around $40tn in hidden debt. That is deliberately hidden, by transferring ‘off-book’ into shadow banking. Source: the PBOC China financial stability report – FY2017 and FY2018. The disclosure is on page 48 of the first report. Back then, it was 109% of on-book debt. So, take China’s debt, and double it to $92tn. China has an everything bubble that it is going to be “painful” to recover from. That is central… Read more »

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

As a percentage of total bank assets, Chinese shadow banks rank below world average.

Shadow banking accounts for 180% of American bank assets, 160% of Netherland’s, 50% of Britain’s and 40% of China’s.

Shadow banks are universal and useful and, if anyone can control them, China can.

Here’s a shadow banking chart from the US Financial Stability Board:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ELMh2CKph49NFy7ZBfVAdLwsZEf0GO15

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

‘Meritocracy of compassion’
An oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one.
With status through education comes arrogance. It’s a human pandemic among the middle class.

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

“With status through education comes arrogance. It’s a human pandemic among the middle class.”

It is pandemic in our socially and emotionally immature Roman society. In Confucian society, higher education is designed to mature the student.

They study Confucius as a meditation upon compassion with the intention of internalizing and practicing it. The evidence that they do practice it is in my reply to the question above.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Your circle of highly educated Chinese friends may follow Confucianism Godfrey, but from what I’ve gleaned the average middle class Chinese ( like most of their kind around the world) are ambitious, rabid materialists who love to jet around the planet.

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

Agreed. But they’re smart enough not to allow such people to enter government.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Sorry I misspelled your name Godfree.
I have no doubt that China is a far more egalitarian society than most.
But a benevolent government?
It beggars belief.

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

Our media has relied on belief and rarely presents facts. As Victor Marchetti’s testimony, above, makes clear, our media actively filter out good news about China and replace it with innuendo and anecdotes that serve their purpose. I don’t know if there ever was a long-term goal behind that practice, but now it’s biting us on the ass: they’re so far ahead and have so much momentum that there’s no chance of catching them. You’ll see much more of their progress revealed between now and June 1, 2021, when they will change course and become much more socialistic. Here’s my… Read more »

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

This article, the whole thing, it’s bullshit. How can you have an article on Chinese censorship without mentioning China’s Social Credit Score System. It’s no f**king wonder that 95% of Chinese people give a big thumbs up to China and everything it does and stands for, if they don’t kiss its ass they can’t buy a f**king train ticket or get a job! LOL Read this link and cry with laughter and fear all at once. China’s Social Credit System is…..the future of everywhere. https://www.businessinsider.com/china-social-credit-system-punishments-and-rewards-explained-2018-4?r=US&IR=T Make no mistake, 5G is all about bringing this kind of sick system to the… Read more »

Arby
Reader

That’s something like I said.

Yarkob
Reader
Yarkob

i’m not sure a “business insider” article cuts the mustard around here. you did read this article, right? you just proved the authors point nicely

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Please let me know which parts of the article I linked to are not true. I was making the point that the author is trying to sell us the Chinese Utopia, by informing us how positively the Chinese respond to questions about their government, when there is a dystopian system in place which punishes them if they do not support the government or show signs of dissent. He fails to mention this, qhich is totally disingenuous. No wonder they responded positively. I thought the article on business insider (a website I couldn’t give a flying horse’s ass about) was fine,… Read more »

Arby
Reader

I’m also concerned about a James Corbett report on how Nicolas Maduro is thinking of using a similar social credit system in Venezuela. I hope that James is wrong. If not, there goes Maduro’s credibility. Noam Chomsky, who the author quotes favorably, has some spicy things to say about that social credit system.

Martin Usher
Reader
Martin Usher

Whatever your feelings about the social credit system 5G is just a communication technology, or rather, a suite of communication technologies, its essentially no different from 3G or 4GLTE in what it does. The point about under investment is, regrettably, true; we in the US have dropped the ball somewhat, resulting in the deployment of something marketed as ‘5G E’, with the ‘E’ supposedly standing for ‘Evolution’ but in the words of the head of one of the associations charged with developing and deploying international standards really means ‘Ersatz’. (Estimates of how far we are behind vary from two to… Read more »

Arby
Reader

You’re supporting a social credit system? Really? Who are you?

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

If there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear. On this basis, we must have full transparent, independent, health and safety testing BEFORE this crap is foisted upon the public. This is basic common sense, anyone who says otherwise is a brainwashed, stupid moron. Once installed, our bodies will be subject to millimeter waveforms 24/7, no escape, anyhwere. F**k that. It is not just a communication system. First and foremost it is a surveillance system, with a badge on it which says “I am a communications system”, enough to fool people who have been dog trained to submit… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

As a matter of fact, Godfree Roberts has indeed written an article on China’s Social Credit system which would be worth reposting on Off-Guardian.org in its own right ATL, as it’s rather long.

Social Credit, Datong Dreams

Some of the BTL discussion at the Unz Review website is worth reading as well.

Arby
Reader

The author has put a positive spin on something that I think normal people would find horrifying. We don’t agree with censorship because we understand that 1. it’s wrong on principle and 2. Who are the censors? Same thing with regard to China’s social credit system. The censors here are just as virtuous (to go by their claims) and have the same positive social goal (to go by their claims) as Roberts’s Chinese ruling class. I think there’s a lesson in that fact. I don’t know about China’s ruling class the way I know about the US ruling class (even… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Your issue with China’s Social Credit scheme is that the Chinese are creating a virtual social experiment that will effectively recreate and shape anew the country’s legal system, commerce and social conduct from the bottom up (that is, from point of view of everyday people’s lives), as opposed to recreating and shaping the society from the top down according to a particular set of values and principles which expects everyone – let’s see, that would be some 1.3 billion people belonging to no fewer than 50 different ethnic groups and who historically have believed in many different religions and belief… Read more »

Arby
Reader

Chinese citizens can make their own choices within their social credit system? Okay. But when the State doesn’t like what you’re saying, what are the consequences of that, because ‘that’ is the issue? Once the State punishes you for your decisions, Will you feel free to stick to your principles afterward? Julian Assange was free to leave the embassy at any time according to (dead) liberals… You and the author here want people to simply agree with you. You have no time for other views or for serious discussion, unless it’s discussion that supports your position. Forgive me for being… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Well if I scare the crap out of you along with China’s social credit system, that seems to be your problem. I’m only asking if the real issue with the social credit system is whether it encourages self-censorship or encourages people gaming the system by trying to score brownie points in some areas to gain advantages in others; or if it encourages people to internalise the values and principles it claims to uphold, such as honesty. In other words, if people grow up with the social credit system, and then travel to countries where similar systems don’t operate, would these… Read more »

Arby
Reader

I agree with The Greanville Post staff on the Unz Review. They don’t deserve censorship, but they ‘are’ on the Right.

Jen
Reader
Jen

The Unz Review has published articles by John Pilger, among others. Are you going to avoid reading anything by John Pilger from now on, because he has been published there?

Perhaps you should go back to reading a reliable “Leftist” media outlet … like The Guardian?

Arby
Reader

Whoa! Did I say that I wouldn’t read Unz Review material? I have never been a Guardian reader (except maybe when one someone, in a forum like Off Guardian, linked to something written there), and will never be a reader of the Guardian. But, go ahead and go crazy and make up facts. It’s a free universe. I remember a Jen here who was fairly level-headed. These are strange times.

If we don’t inform ourselves and each other then we are ruining ourselves. I, for one, have no intention of going that route.

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Hard evidence that 5G has most certainly not been tested for health and safety, from the US Senate and telcoms big fish

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Here’s a great vid, telling it like it is.

KarenEliot
Reader
KarenEliot

Thank you, very interesting, but I would have to dispute this phrase near the end: “Everyone everywhere trusts state outlets like the BBC twice as much as private media “ I can only speak for myself. My trust in the Official State Broadcaster is no higher, and indeed rather a lot lower, than the credibility I’d attach to private media. (No honourable exception for the den of vipers run by the Scott Trust). At least a shitty rag like The Sun doesn’t pretend to be objective and eschews the smoke and mirrors put out to try and obscure the out-and-out… Read more »

Godfree Roberts
Reader
Godfree Roberts

I’ve recently suffered the same loss of faith in the ABC. It’s China-bashing is atrocious.

Have those state media really sold out or are we just better informed these days?

DomesticExtremist
Reader
DomesticExtremist

Have those state media really sold out or are we just better informed these days?

Excellent question.
Prior to the internet, those state funded or state regulated media were our sole window on the world.
A lucky few who had access to overseas information were able to discover that other narrative versions of the same events were available – I got my first inklings that the BBC was unreliable when I lived in France in the 90s.
With the internet came an explosion in alternative views, some outlandish but many offering the thing our overlords dislike the most – nuance.

Gerda Halvorsen
Reader
Gerda Halvorsen

I second KarenEliot. I used to also hold the BBC up as the most trustworthy of all news outlets. I don’t remember the exact moment when all this changed, but it became more and more noticeable around the time of David Kelly’s death that something was wrong. Silly me, I used to have a high opinion of The Guardian as well. Now to try to interpret what is happening around the planet I have to look in ten or twenty places in the four languages I am comfortable reading, and try to figure it out by myself…

Arby
Reader

Keep doing what you’re doing, because there’s no other way for you to get a handle on things. Alternative doesn’t automatically mean better. And progressive can be fake or can be progressive today and traitorous tomorrow. And even when the label of progressive is attached to some individual or org, they are not going to be right about everything. (And sometimes their blind spots are serious.) I’ve seen enough of that to be sure of that.