I am sharing this story, not because I agree with everything said there, but because it asks questions – some answered correctly, some incorrectly, some unanswered. Questions that Westerners would seldom, if ever, consider for themselves – and so it is an important document. Perhaps, in the current circumstances, though it would hardly have been written for any other, vitally important. I recommend you read it.
I should perhaps also declare that I am pro-Russia, pro-China, and very much anti-America, all for a variety of reasons that I don’t intend, or have the time , to explain here. So you may not see this in the same light as I do. But it will at least do you good to test that theory.
I should also say that I think my own country, Australia, is more than a little foolish to continue to harness its pony to the US buggy-cart. A less desirable, less trustworthy, less honourable, less reliable, though more despised partner would be difficult to find.
“Has coronavirus shown us the limits of democracy, as life in the West mimics China?” – Stan Grant – vice-chancellor’s chair of Australian/Indigenous Belonging at Charles Sturt University and a journalist – via Australian ABC News
My final comment on this is that most nations, Westerners included, have generally (other than unruly Americans) taken to a higher level of authoritarianism more readily (and I’m sure that has been noticed) than perhaps could have been expected. They have allowed themselves to be figuratively locked up in their own homes, kept in some level of isolation, and had their freedom of movement to some extent curtailed. All without much of a murmur in protest and with indiscretions heavily stamped on by authorities.
That is remarkable, and for the common good as well as for the protection of the individual. Is that something we needed to see for ourselves? How compliant we can be? Is that something we needed? A little authoritarianism? A break from the mindless drudgery of daily life? A reason to stay home? Has that been good for us? Has it shown us that the important things we normally do are after all not so important as we thought they were? Has it shown us there may be a different way to live? Have we seen the thing we called ‘freedom’ is not really what we thought it was? Is it somehow relaxing to have decision making taken out of our hands? Do we actually need a ‘job’, or can we get by without? Would we like to get by without? Could we get by without? If we changed our way of life to accomodate that?
All these questions. Have you asked any of them of yourself? Or have you just been sheltering from a storm raging outside? Only you know that.
I am not going to say any more because I also want to fuse in here another, partly related story.
This is about a Western journalist, Chris Buckley, Australian born and working for the New York Times in Beijing. Well, he was, until recently. His press card has not been renewed by Chinese authorities. It actually expired in February, so the aurthorities have not been quick to kick ot ‘force’ him out or as the title over-dramatically expresses, or ‘exile’ as expressed elsewhere. It is simply a matter of his services as a foreign journalist were no longer required, or should I say tolerated. It says more about the person, his scruples and motives, and perhaps his twisted pro-Western/anti-Chinese viewpoint and more of an interest in what his employers think their readership should see than in the real situations he reports on, than it does about the authorities – or the truth.
The Western ‘Press’ are naturally trying to beat up this situation as being Chinese authoritarianism gone mad. Nothing could be further from the truth. No country, Western ones included, will tolerate for long a regime of lies and unjust inuendo by foreigners working in their country and bad-mouthing the host nation’ s authorities as a matter of course or, at a minimum, unnecessarily distorting the truth – which is exactly what the NYT is famed for in recent years. China is just exercising its prerogative to not stand for such behaviour on their own soil. Who could blame them?