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Chinese mass-indoctrination camps evoke Cultural Revolution (apnews.com)
113 points by pulisse 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments



Reeducation camps, mass surveillance, the Social Credit System - China has made last century's dystopian fiction its playbook.


WSJ did a piece about Xianjiang: Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State

https://www.wsj.com/video/life-inside-chinas-total-surveilla...


.


You've gotta be kidding me. What in "western politics" is the equivalent of detaining free adult citizens charged with no crime, with no evidence toward any imminent threat, denied legal representation and speedy trial, in the hundreds of thousands?


It may not be happening to people you particularly care about so it may escape your notice, but headlines and social media posts with videos of this happening appear with regularity.


Can you post even one counter-example, please, for everyone's edification?


Here you go[0], this man was abducted by the FBI and held for 5 months without charges or evidence of imminent wrongdoing. His life was utterly destroyed in the process.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/11/rakem-balogun-...


It sounds like the person in this case went through the normal court system whose processes resulted in his release. Probably the biggest shame in this case was not releasing him on bail. Tell me if I'm missing something!


Please think through the fact pattern presented in that article.

The FBI raided a man's home on the basis of Facebook posts that the agency itself admitted couldn't be characterized as threats to any person or organization. They nevertheless held him without bail for five months while they attempted to find evidence to justify a charge of abetting terrorism or the like. They couldn't come up with anything. In the end they charged him with unlawful gun possession, but that charge was specious enough that it thrown out by a judge before even going to trial. In the meantime the man lost his job and his home.

This wasn't the normal functioning of law enforcement. This was abuse of law enforcement to punish politically disfavored speech (which speech, I repeat, the law-enforcement agency in question conceded was non-threatening).


The FBI was granted a search warrant by a judge based on evidence they presented. At the very least this is a process that involves multiple branches of the government.

The decision to deny bail was based on logic that they provided in open court. I'll let you look at their logic and decide for yourself whether it makes sense.

This is at least a reasonable system even if it needs some adjustments to get closer to justice.

I referenced the following two URLs:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/30/is-a-court-case-in-texas...

https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20180131h16


> The FBI was granted a search warrant by a judge based on evidence they presented. At the very least this is a process that involves multiple branches of the government.

I'm not sure why that is a justification. The Chinese security services clearly got the authority to act as they did to. It doesn't make it right.


That comment was in response to the previous poster saying the FBI raided the persons house. I wanted to put it in context: the judge agreed to let the FBI raid the persons house based on evidence. There is a system in place to prevent the FBI from arbitrarily raiding people's houses.

It's a justification because they had to provide evidence to a judge who had to assess it given our laws. What better system should I expect? If it's not a system problem and so there's a particular failing in this case, please point it out.

How was the authority given to the Chinese security services? This is a very important detail, because you can setup systems with checks and balances and laws or you can give carte blanche.


That's not "abducted", that's "arrested".

It is a travesty, I'll agree. But words have meanings, and "abducted" is not what that was.


America has the Patriot act. It isn't used to detain many people, but the government definitely has the ability to do it if they want.


ICE deportations.


You missed the "charged with no crime" part.

(Yes, you can pick a nit about whether that's really a "crime", and you can argue about whether it should be. It's still illegal, under the existing law, for those people to be here.)


(And the "citizens" part).


We do the same thing, we just create laws out of thin air first. Black people smoke marijuana? Make marijuana illegal! Now we can put them in prison!


Yep and also China of today was created by western powers. Mao Zhedong came out of Yale, the home of Sull and Bones. It’s not like a bunch of Chinese farmers decided that they wanted this government.

This is the model for the next world-wide government after China wipes the USA off the map as planned. Most people can’t deal with this information, despite the fact that it is staring them right in the face. “Made in China” is a curse that people have accepted though, so as usual they get exactly what they deserve.


You do realize Mao Zedong didn't go to Yale right? His affilation with Yale was pretty loose at best. His father was a Chinese farmer too.

The "China of Today" one could say was created by Western Powers would be Taiwan, but even Taiwan had it's foundings on anti-Western sentiments (Chiang Kai-Shek despised Western democracy).


Sure. They just put him in charge of their school paper over there for no reason where ‘he edited its student magazine, re-focusing it on "thought reorientation," ‘ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale-China_Association#Early_y...

You can also read an article about it on Yales website titled “Yale spurs Maos emergence“.

I wish I were wrong about the direction things are heading in, but I'm not.


Care to carify? What would be the European equivalent of the Social Credit program?


Getting denied a bank account/job/housing rental/... for no clear reason and with no way to appeal is becoming increasingly common, and seems to have all the same negatives as the social credit program - if anything worse, since at least you can see your "social credit" score and have some idea of how to improve it.


if anything worse, since at least you can see your "social credit" score

Travel restrictions or ineligibiliy for universities. Public shaming via automated voice messages or displays, denouncing you as dishonest. You don't think that's worse?

Also note that in Germany, the right to be informed about any data companies may have on you has been law for a while. The EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation becomes enforceable next week.


Ineligibility for universities for opaque reasons happens in the west too. So does unaccountable public shaming - I don't think it being done manually rather than automatically makes it better. Knowing what information companies have on you doesn't actually help any - it means you know the inputs to their model, but not how they relate to the output.

Freedom of movement and GDPR are good things. The EU is not (yet) China. But the social credit score is not the bogeyman people make it out to be - or, to the extent that it is, it's already here.


> Ineligibility for universities for opaque reasons happens in the west too. So does unaccountable public shaming - I don't think it being done manually rather than automatically makes it better. Knowing what information companies have on you doesn't actually help any - it means you know the inputs to their model, but not how they relate to the output.

In the West, are those things engineered by the government on a mass scale to coerce political support for the regime and silence dissent?


No, on the whole. There is no grand conspiracy, just a lot of people looking for a quiet life, avoiding rocking the boat, and slightly favouring people like themselves. But the end result is almost the same.


Credit score is a private system where your ability to pay for things is assessed so loans are not given to people that don't pay them back. I don't see how that is anything like a government run "social credit" system. Also, you avoid even having a credit score if you just pay cash for everything.


> Credit score is a private system where your ability to pay for things is assessed so loans are not given to people that don't pay them back. I don't see how that is anything like a government run "social credit" system.

I've never understood this American notion that just because a private company is doing something that makes it fine. If you can't get a loan and can't find out why, what difference does it make whether it was the government or a private entity that blocked you?

> Also, you avoid even having a credit score if you just pay cash for everything.

Sure, but at that point you're unable to participate in much of society, just like someone without a social credit score.


"just because a private company is doing something that makes it fine" I didn't say that was what made it fine. I just said it is very different from a system that is government run and applies to everyone. Paying cash does not mean you're unable to participate in much of society. You can still use online services and do almost any transaction. Also, the outcome of a very bad credit score is that you have to pay cash for everything since nobody trusts that you will pay. The outcome of "social credit" is prison camp.


> I've never understood this American notion that just because a private company is doing something that makes it fine. If you can't get a loan and can't find out why, what difference does it make whether it was the government or a private entity that blocked you?

A lot, actually. It might help you to understand if you realize it's not really about the loan. It's about the political control that such opaque denials can be used to implement. A private company, especially a large public one, has a lot fewer incentives for exerting political control over its customers than an authoritarian government over its people. The private company actually has a lot of incentives for not doing so, since that kind of thing can alienate customers.


A company's interests are superficially different from a government's - they don't care about which party is in power, sure. But they have much the same interests at a deeper level of: keeping existing power structures in place, not letting weirdos mess everything up.


> A company's interests are superficially different from a government's - they don't care about which party is in power, sure. But they have much the same interests at a deeper level of: keeping existing power structures in place, not letting weirdos mess everything up.

You're reaching too far for an equivalence. Yes they have "deeper," more esoteric interests, but having them limited to those rather than supporting a party-regime is a far better situation.

Private company credit scores are better than government social credit scores, even though they're not totally neutral in idealistic way. The difference is big enough for them to be entirely different animals.


> Getting denied a bank account/job/housing rental/... for no clear reason and with no way to appeal is becoming increasingly common, and seems to have all the same negatives as the social credit program - if anything worse, since at least you can see your "social credit" score and have some idea of how to improve it.

You seem to be confused about the salient differences between the social credit system and Western credit scores. Focusing on the fact that you can be "denied...for no clear reason or way to appeal" to draw an equivalence entirely misses the point.

What's novel and scary about the social credit system is that political actions like criticizing the government or associating with activists could hurt your score. It's not scoped to financial activity like western systems. If I have a low FICO score, I'm 100% certain that it's not because I didn't vote for Trump.


> What's novel and scary about the social credit system is that political actions like criticizing the government or associating with activists could hurt your score. It's not scoped to financial activity like western systems. If I have a low FICO score, I'm 100% certain that it's not because I didn't vote for Trump.

What gives you that certainty?

I worked on this stuff in the finance industry a few years back. Even at that stage we were taking any available data and throwing it into opaque machine learning models, and using those to make lending decisions. There was no nefarious intent, but it's not like we had (or cared to have) any way to exclude political affiliation effects either.


If I had an arrest at a protest that was expunged officially but still recorded by third parties, would that probably affect lending decisions?


Would it explicitly be taken into account? No. Would being the kind of person who'd get arrested at a protest be something our models could infer? Yes, though not at a high level of confidence. Would the specific fact of having been arrested have an effect? Probably not, unless they've got much better in the last few years. Would being the protesting sort affect lending decisions? If there was a correlation with non-repayment, yes, if not, no. We genuinely didn't care one way or another about that kind of thing, all we cared about was that the black box model could accurately predict how likely you were to default.


Invisible data brokers trading the personal details of consumers for credit decisions, audience targeting (redlining by lack of awareness instead of explicit rejection), etc.


It’s unspoken, but it exists. Attended private school? Well-connected father? Donate to a political party? Yup, you’re good to do whatever you want!

There is a trend in resume writing right now to include “rich people hobbies” such as skiing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, etc. because they signal affluence and make you more likely to be hired.

Same shit as a social credit system, just a bit more hidden.


The public school system is absolutely not a re-education camp, you loon.


You're right, it's a child's first and main source of inculturation. No re- about it.


China has these schools too, so it seems even if they’re equivalent to the west, they are not effective enough at indoctrination, so more remedial indoctrinstion is needed...

But honestly, do you think ours and their systems are equivalently indoctrinational?



> It depends on who you are

Correction: it depended on who you are.

Those schools have been closed and have been repudiated at the highest levels of the Canadian government:

> On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology, on behalf of the sitting Cabinet, in front of an audience of Indigenous delegates, and in an address that was broadcast nationally on the CBC, for the past governments' policies of assimilation.[78][79] The Prime Minister apologized not only for the known excesses of the residential school system, but for the creation of the system itself. Harper delivered the speech in the House of Commons; the procedural device of a Committee of the Whole was used, so that Indigenous leaders, who were not Members of Parliament, could be allowed to respond to the apology on the floor of the House.


And yet the resulting intergenerational trauma lives on.

The echoes of these abuses continue long after the abuse itself ends.

Lots of similarities, actually. Both systems were designed to destroy a culture seen as backwards by the powers that be.


> Lots of similarities, actually. Both systems were designed to destroy a culture seen as backwards by the powers that be.

Yeah, except one occurred in the past and is now condemned; the other is a present, newly-created reality.


The last school was closed in the far distant year of 1996. Do you really think Canada in 2018 is that far removed from 1996? What exactly happened in that intervening period that will prevent such an atrocity in the future?


Maybe the fact that students learn about how horrible it was as part of the curriculum during middle school? Also, the school in 1996 was nothing like the schools in the early 1900s, why would you use that as support?


> The last school was closed in the far distant year of 1996. Do you really think Canada in 2018 is that far removed from 1996? What exactly happened in that intervening period that will prevent such an atrocity in the future?

Do you think the school in 1996 was doing the same things as the schools in, say, 1896? Don't you think it's more reasonable to see the 1996 closure as the end (or near the end) of a longer, continuous process, not a binary state change?

Unsurprisingly, things are more complicated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_sc...


Read the article. Let me know where in western public schools they ask people to denounce their family on threat of starvation.


It's possible to indoctrinate without violence, you know that. It's possible for educational institutions to be ideologically motivated and coercive without starving their subjects. In fact, perhaps the it's the case that the more effective such institutions are the less violent they have to be.

Thankfully, enlightened western nations like Canada have not been so cruel since the distant, distant year of 1996 [0].

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_...


No, it's a warehousing system to keep children watched and fed while their parents work.


I agree and I find it interesting that teachers are wanting more money for less work...

My 8 year old son who is in the third grade has spent all year 'studying' for the SOL (Standards of Learning) test. All day everyday for the last year nothing but SOL 'prep'. He sits on a Chromebook all day. All of his work is done on a Chromebook, his teacher doesn't even have to grade the assignments it's automatically done by the application. The teacher doesn't even come up with the lesson plan, it's all pushed by the school system. No deviation.

The only reason he has to 'attend' school is because his mother and I work full time. I've considered working remote and just homeschooling my son but I worry about him missing out on the social aspect of school. but that's a double edge sword also.

One last kicker. I never signed anything that would allow my son to use a chromebook or consent to google data mining my son who is under the age of 13. But alas I am sure google has a whole profile built around him and his classmates...


I think we both agree that American public education isn’t in a good state of affairs - but through personal experience I know just how much work it is to do a proper job at teaching. It’s at least 70 hours a week of work just to tread water.

So yes, teachers are underpaid and overworked, and I believe that’s partially causing our system to be so mediocre - it’s hard to hire talented teachers who have time and energy to do a good job when the job is so exhausting and financially unrewarding.


No, it was deviced as a system after child labour became illegal to keep jobless children out of the streets practicing delinquency.

This is the uncharitable, slightly tongue in cheek interpretation of events.

obelix_ 5 months ago [flagged]

Yup they really need to be feeding their population the Kardashians, WWE, Alex Jones, super hero movies and space operas the whole day.


Are you implying that government funds that media? Or that people need to be told what they should enjoy?


i don't entirely disagree with some aspects of such a cultural critique, but i don't think such things are all that differentiating. you really don't believe that there isn't some moral equivalent of say, the kardashians in china?

simonh 5 months ago [flagged]

I'm sorry the actual choices free people make seem to disappoint you so much. What do you think should be done about it?


"Free people" as in, attention high-jacked, rent paying, sugar'd up, Temporarily Embarrassed Millionaires represented by purchasable politicians? What is freedom today anyway? We don't work for a company anymore, we work for share holders. We don't pay eachother for housing anymore, we pay banks. We don't choose what we eat anymore, we are seduced. We don't spend our time anymore, companies sell our time and attention for us.

At the very least freedom should come with "being well informed", however we are informed by commercials nowadays. Is this freedom?


Deconstructing freedom might be a fun exercise, it is, however, completely unrelated if it comes to criticising dystopian state oppression. (Which the linked article is about.)

Torture & forced reeducation camps are wrong regardless of some other wrongness somewhere else.


This I agree with. I'm just saying that the free choices of people in the western world are probably not as free as they could be. Is utopia a more regulated place? This feels like a dirty proposition to my capitalist (minus the tumors it has been growing lately) mind. But the seeds of doubt have been placed...


Fair enough, but what’s stopping you from doing something about it? I mean except for other individual free citizens generally not happening to agree with you.


To be honest I just like posting hard statements that I think are logical conclusions but would like to see proven false with even better arguments :)


The thing is, it’s coming across as implicit support for an oppressive totalitarian regime.


So when exactly were the olden days you’re hardening back to that were so much better?


They do that, too.


FYI the Chinese government literally pays ppl to sit in massive internet cafes and camp out on various internet forums. They comment about how great China is and how anything bad in China is made not bad by something similar happening in the West.


> FYI the Chinese government literally pays ppl to sit in massive internet cafes and camp out on various internet forums. They comment about how great China is and how anything bad in China is made not bad by something similar happening in the West.

They're called the "50 Cent Army" or "50 Cent Party."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party

The details of the contemporary Chinese censorship regime are actually pretty interesting. It's not as simple as just banning content and keywords they don't like, even with the benefit of the great firewall.


It's like the leaders of China read 1984 and thought: those are pretty good ideas!


Mix in Brave New World and you have a perfect work instruction.


"Leading to what a U.S. commission on China last month said is “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”" Oh the irony.


I think I'm following you, but I'm not sure. You're referring to the incarceration of African Americans and poor people today? Or Japanese-Americans during WWII? Or Native Americans under Jackson? Also, AP is referring to counts; percents are needed.


Why is this ironic? Are we talking about Japanese internment camps from almost a century ago?


I believe they're referring to the premise that US prisons are overwhelmingly filled with innocent, non-violent offenders, with the majority specifically consisting of black and hispanic men.

The US has a real negative mark there and deserves the flack that it gets for it.

However, while China seems to be racing toward some terrifying authoritarian nightmare with its Xi dictatorship and bringing back camps, the US incarceration rate has been declining for a decade. It has been rolled back to 1995-1996 levels and is on an aggressive downward slope.

Most likely with the continued legalization / de-criminalization of marijuana, the US will see its incarceration rate continue to plunge for the next 10-20 years. The prison explosion began around 1978-1979. In another ten years we should have the incarceration rate back down to late 1980s levels. That would still be 2x higher than the late 1970s levels, and a lot more work would still need to be done. For reference, peak incarceration was around 2007, and was about 5x what the rate was in the late 1970s (per capita).

Both political parties have widespread agreement that the failed US policies of mass-incarceration have to be reversed / ended.


Maybe non-violent, but innocent? Innocent of what? If they are innocent, then perhaps some statistics on how many innocent people are imprisoned?


It could also refer to Gaza. I'm not the OP though.


> "Leading to what a U.S. commission on China last month said is “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”" Oh the irony.

You really need specify exactly what you're referring to, otherwise there can be no discussion and your comment is content-less snark.

I'm guessing that you're referring to the high numbers of African Americans imprisoned in the US. However, the situations are clearly not comparable. These camps appear to be the result of high-level Chinese government policy that explicitly targets this ethic group. There are no contemporary parallels in the US. If you think there are, do you think Obama was in on it? The US situation is unfortunate, but it's more the result of poverty and lower-level racism, not a policy to imprison blacks.

It's exceedingly frustrating that whenever there's an article about Chinese human rights abuses, there are dozens of comments that seem to just want to deflect attention from them. We never actually end up talking about China, just the US.


> The US situation is unfortunate, but it's more the result of poverty and low-level racism, not racially tinged policy.

Is this just your conclusion, or the conclusion of anyone who has studied mass incarceration in the United States?


> do you think Obama was in on it?

i find it fascinating how to some folks, pointing at obama's ethnic background is apparently some kind of knockdown argument.


> i find it fascinating how to some folks, pointing at obama's ethnic background is apparently some kind of knockdown argument.

It's pretty close to a knockdown argument against someone whose position is US government policy is to imprison black people on account of their ethnicity.

The great-grandparent comment may have been suggesting that. However, she was too vague to be sure.


So I think most people would describe mass incarceration as a systemic issue, not one that any individual president or administration is wholly responsible for. The President is not an absolute monarch who can impose their will all throughout the US government...

That being said, it's just plain easy to find actual incidences where US policy was explicitly racist in it's intent and effect.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-rich...

> "You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities," Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."


> It's pretty close to a knockdown argument against someone whose position is US government policy is to imprison black people on account of their ethnicity.

it's not, not even slightly, as far as i can tell. what makes you feel this is the case?


> it's not, not even slightly, as far as i can tell. what makes you feel this is the case?

If there was a high level policy to explicitly imprison African Americans (rather than one that disproportionately imprisons blacks because of complicated circumstances), it's hard to believe a black president would support it or allow it to continue.


>against someone whose position is US government policy is to imprison black people on account of their ethnicity

Can you provide a source for this wild claim?


That's not even a claim.


> Can you provide a source for this wild claim?

The commenter I responded to was so vague, that they could have been making that claim. After all, they were likely drawing parallels between the situation in the OP and the US.

But who knows what they really thought; they never clarified. I called that out at the time and in every comment since.


Not the GP but you really should avoid being deliberately obtuse. Also, I agree whataboutism is a problem, but most of us live in the US. It makes sense that we would talk about our own country.

Lastly, you are wildly off the mark regarding racialized drug policies in the US. Just two references:

https://www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarceration/racial-dispar...

https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-rich...


> but most of us live in the US. It makes sense that we would talk about our own country.

In an article about Chinese human rights abuses? At the most charitable, needing to make everything about the US is a form of political narcissism.

If you want to talk about US problems, post an on-topic article and talk about them there.


I’m proud to be American and proud to think about how America measures up to other countries. My belief in America’s virtues is strong enough that I’m comfortable using other countries’ problems to discuss American problems. (It’s almost like this is one reason to read world news.)

Calling this “political narcissism” is thinly veiled political solipsism. I’m amazed to read that here—do you just put your thoughts about the country in which you live in a little box, separate from everything else? It’s not like you can’t ignore these threads if you’d like; most of us can walk and chew gum at the same time.

It sounds to me like you have some deep-seated insecurities that I really don’t think you should have. I think you should address these before you go around whining about other people’s attempt to discuss things.


> It sounds to me like you have some deep-seated insecurities that I really don’t think you should have. I think you should address these before you go around whining about other people’s attempt to discuss things.

How condescending.

I have a deep-seated frustration that threads on this and similar topics become trainwreck full of derails and distraction. I'd be surprised if the majority of comments in this thread even discussed China or the situation there, rather than use it as a jumping off point derail to a US topic. As far as I can tell, I'm the only person to have used the term Xinjiang in this entire thread. This is in a post about Xinjiang.

Just to emphasize: this thread is such a trainwreck that it dropped like a rock off the front page. That does no one any good.

> It’s almost like this is one reason to read world news.

A better reason to read world news is to understand and discuss the world, not to compulsively engage in domestic topics.


When I see things like this I can't help but consider that China is some 400% larger than the US, in a slightly smaller landmass than we have, all while bordering 14 different nations - including several hotspots of Islamic extremism such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm certainly not defending China, but I simultaneously find it difficult to condemn them.

How would we cope with a similar situation? And as a deeper and deeper divide is drawn within our nation - in no small part based on political extremism, I can't help but think that our current system is ultimately headed towards a climax that's not going to have a happy ending. And we live in a nation that ought be a million times easier to manage according to most measurable factors.


> How would we cope with a similar situation?

I've heard China described as one of the last classical empires. All the others, such as the British Empire, Ottoman Empire, Soviet Empire have dissolved.

So "our" solution would be independence for the imperial possessions.


Are you suggesting that as the US population increases you'd expect to see states starting to secede from the nation? Or that that would be a productive solution to whatever problems we may face in the coming years? For China the areas outside the mainland such as Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are already effectively independent and in any case are tangential to the issue here.


I'm saying Xinjiang and Tibet are akin to the Philippines, India, and Greece: conquests that should get their independence. The latter independence movements had varying degrees of conflict, but I think few argue that those countries should still be ruled by their former foreign masters.


Stories like this make me wonder if people in Taiwan and Hong Kong have some serious concerns about the future for themselves and their children. I haven't picked up much sense of concern from anyone in the West, but if China's long term behavior pans out to resemble that of the USA in terms of forcing its will upon others I'd think they'd be first in line for reeducation.


Hong Kong is probably kind of screwed, but Taiwan and China are still two separate countries (regardless of their constitutional claims as well as other countries diplomatic relations). But yeah you're right this sort of thing is unlikely to help any arguments for potential future unification.


The US has not done border-expanding territorialism like China has in a very very long time. Perhaps the US should, since everyone apparently thinks it is happening anyways.


I thought I read something in the newspaper once suggesting the US had applied some "diplomatic influence" to a sovereign nation one time. Perhaps I'm misremembering.


What major territories has the US annexed, or tried to annex, since it became the global superpower post WW2?

Germany? No. France? No. Japan? No. South Korea? No. South Vietnam? No. The Philippines? No. Canada? No. Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Mexico? No. Panama? No. Grenada? No.

China just violently annexed territory 4x the size of France from its neighbors. Nobody did a thing about it (and nobody is going to do a thing about it), the world just stood aside and watched. The UN barely wagged its finger at them.


One might argue that "forcing its will" can manifest in forms other than annexation of land. There is a bit of a rumor going around about the US meddling in the affairs of other countries, but maybe that's just another one of those conspiracy theories.


The US doesn't need to annex them, it just violently installs a capitalist government and then US companies buy everything.


What if this works? It seems like China is trying to fight a psychological war this time instead of with weapons as the Russians successfully did recently in Chechnya. Maybe we are seeing the first time a religion/ideology has been forced on Muslims. All other previous attempts at subduing Muslims have been by genocide and brutal war, so this would be a first in world history if it works. It would open a new chapter in the history of propaganda, behaviorism and religion. We could have a post-war society where wars are fought with psychology. Like some mash-up of 1984 and the Foundation Trilogy.


[flagged]


You're invoking a logical fallacy know as whataboutism[0]. The actions of the west cannot justify the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands by the chinese government.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism


The parent didn't justify anything.


Whataboutism is more about distraction than justification:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism#Methods:

> "[Whataboutism] functions as a diversionary tactic to distract the opponent from their original criticism. Thus, the technique is used to avoid directly refuting or disproving the opponent's initial argument."


i believe they were refering to the part in the previous post that said "a logical fallacy". to be a logical fallacy requires that something be used in a logical construction (hence the name). this is where "justify" has relevance.

for example, ad hominem is not a "logical fallacy" unless it is used in some kind of logical construct (such as a syllogism). it's not necessarily a "logical fallacy" to just simply insult someone in some subjective or qualitative way.


In 1971, England began interning thousands of Irish who opposed the English army in the six counties of north Ireland. The New York Times wrote editorials calling the interned without trial "diehards" and "uncompromising bigots". A few months later, a march for their civil rights through Derry was met by gunfire as 14 unarmed men were shot by the British.

It's strange (well, not really) how easily we see sympathy or shrugging when the English speaking West interns without trial, or incarcerates Muslim radicals under torture, or mass incarcerates its former slave population etc., then dabs a handkerchief for Muslim radicals in China. It reminds me of the tears shed in Washington DC for the Muslim terrorists blowing up Chechnya in 1999, and 2000. That kind of slowed down in 2001.

I suppose this is "whataboutism", which is amazement at Western professionals who pontificate about far-off lands of competitors, when the westerners have done or are doing worse.


The British did not make captured IRA members renounce Catholicism, nor the Americans make Guantanamo internees "erase their Islamic beliefs and reshape their very identities". Here is an article from the CBC, if you can't bear to see an American outlet report on the issue. Or are the Canadians complicit with their actions as well?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/china-internment-camps-1.466668...


And here we see it...the British intern people like Michael Farrell without a trial, and he is said to be a "captured IRA member" and so forth. He's still alive actually, acting as a lawyer for refugees. You people still have to invent lies for why you interned people like him, shot unarmed people in the street that protested the internment etc.

But the Chinese are the real bad guys. It's why the British had to burn his winter palace at the end of the Opium wars.


I think worse than "whataboutism" is the conflation of all westerners as one.


It's nice, don't you think, that we here in the West are free to analyze the many disgraceful parts of our history, question our culture, criticize our leaders, insult our icons, etc., without fear of being imprisoned or killed for our beliefs. This is a luxury sadly not available to people living in (or near) China.

That's where your whataboutism really exposes your twisted thinking.




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