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China is changing the geopolitical climate. Canada has to mitigate, and adapt
MAY 16, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | EDITORIAL.

So what’s Canada to do? In the long run, Canadian governments dealing with Beijing need to keep four things in mind.

China is more threat than opportunity. Unlike our other major trading partners, China is not a democratic, rule-of-law country. There was once hope China could behave as a rule-of-law country internationally, even as it remained a dictatorship at home. There was also a belief that China’s economic advances would lead to an opening up of its political system. That hasn’t happened. If anything, the Xi Jinping regime is turning back the clock on individual freedoms.

That lack of Chinese political liberalization is at the root of what is fast turning into a new Cold War. Among the problems: In a world of liberalized trade, the rules end up benefiting the totalitarian state, since its companies can access the protections of our legal system, while our companies are subject to perfectly legal shakedowns in China.

China is not our enemy. But it is not our friend. There was once a fantasy that friendship would be as easy as establishing personal connections with Beijing’s ruling circle. They would surely melt at the mention of the sainted memory of Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who followed Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic and murderer of millions.

Mao wasn’t a sentimental man and neither are his heirs.

To counterbalance China, we need allies. Canada has long worked to build multilateral alliances to give us a bit of leverage when dealing with our giant neighbour, the United States. The giant across the ocean presents a similar, but more troubling, challenge. The good news is we have natural allies. That list includes the U.S., at least in the post-Trump world. It includes the European Union. And it includes China’s worried democratic neighbours: Japan and South Korea.

We need to avoid becoming trade-dependent on China. We have natural allies who want to do likewise. That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be about. That’s what pursuing greater and freer trade with Japan and South Korea is about.

Canada should never aim to shut down trade with China. But we have to make sure the future doesn’t leave us without room to manoeuvre, or to push back.
adaptability  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  China_rising  delusions  disillusioned  editorials  geopolitics  hostages  Huawei  kidnappings  Meng_Wanzhou  multilateralism  predatory_practices  reprisals  rogue_actors  threats  totalitarian  TPP  Xi_Jinping 
may 2019 by jerryking
The Exploding Communist Inevitable
From the early days of Senezh’s formation, in the later 1960s, they sought inspiration by attending seminars on the mass festivals from 1918 to 1920, festivals that were conceived as first steps towards a theatre of the future that would take place on the streets, engendering widespread creativity and active participation in the social whole. // see The Embrace of Unreason for the flip side of this
festival  totalitarian  design  communism  gesamtkunstwerk 
april 2019 by yorksranter
Gramscian damage | Armed and Dangerous
By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
fascism  socialism  disinformation  civilWar  communism  totalitarian  propaganda  gramsci  islam 
october 2018 by Jswindle
Standing Up to Tyranny | City Journal
"As Taylor points out, Benda’s name will be forever associated with a 1978 samizdat essay, “The Parallel Polis,” and an even more penetrating 1985 sequel, “The Meaning, Context, and Legacy of the Parallel Polis” (chapters 11 and 19 in this volume). Havel famously called on his fellow citizens “to live in truth” and to reject the ideological lies at the heart of “really existing socialism.” That was the paradoxical source of “The Power of the Powerless,” to cite Havel’s most influential samizdat essay. Benda appreciated the existential vulnerability of a state founded on limitless ideological mendacity. But he argued for taking things a step further. Havel was right about the “natural resistance of life to totalitarianism”—that was a great ground of hope. But resistance could be contained—if not crushed—by the ideological state. What was also needed was a self-conscious effort to build an incipient civil society—parallel structures “in areas such as the economy, education, and culture.” Samizdat showed the way, and underground writing about literature, theater, music, and film revealed the beginnings of a truly independent thought that owed nothing to the repulsive orthodoxies of the Communist party-state.

Benda placed particular hopes in “new endeavors such as underground educational seminars.” In the 1985 essay, he highlighted how the totalitarian state would self-consciously have to destroy these new civic initiatives. If an incipient civil society could “constantly conquer new territory,” a “morally dangerous” situation would arise for an increasingly ossified totalitarian state that was losing its self-confidence. And when the moment of crisis came, society would listen to the “sufficiently clear” and “sufficiently authoritative” articulations of the civic and political culture arising out of—and growing strength from—the “parallel polis.” The ideological Emperor would truly have no clothes, its impotence revealed for all to see. As it turns out, Benda’s prognostications proved prophetic. With Havel, he saw the hidden vulnerabilities of a seemingly all-powerful ideological state. The two men were the most far-seeing theorists of Czech dissidence. "
totalitarian  politics  cold.war 
september 2018 by lukemperez
Soviet Week: One Hundred Years of Insanity – Tablet Magazine
America’s greatest Marxist theoretician, Sidney Hook, identified Communism’s catastrophic cultism and the devastating splits it would cause in worldwide labor movements, and yet the Bolshevik mystique endured. Why?
marxism  russia  authoritarianism  totalitarian  communism 
october 2017 by Jswindle
Of Dotards and Dithyrambs | City Journal
A single North Korean passed me in the square. “Do you speak English?” he asked as we approached one another. I was astonished, not only by the clarity of his enunciation, but by the fact that he spoke to me at all. Spontaneous communication with foreigners was forbidden and very dangerous for North Koreans. 
“Yes,” I replied.
“I am a student of the Foreign Languages Institute,” he continued. “Reading Dickens and Shakespeare is the greatest, the only, joy of my life.”
I think I understood at once what he meant. In Dickens and Shakespeare, even the poorest and most downtrodden person speaks in his own voice. His utterances are at least his own, and are the product of his own brain. In North Korea, with its endless speeches in the most rigid of langues de bois, to speak in your own voice was impossible. All speech is either compulsory or forbidden.
north-korea  literature  English  language  reading  totalitarian 
september 2017 by StJohnBosco
Nine Books to Understand the Collectivist Right - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world
The fast and furious rise of the alt-right in Europe, the UK, and the US has caught many people intellectually off-guard. I can speak for myself in this respect. My education and reading prepared me well to understand the statism of the left. My instincts became finely tuned. The threat to liberty from the right was always an abstraction: something that happened in history but had no present relevance.
statism  extremism  totalitarian 
september 2017 by Jswindle
State within a state - Wikipedia
Useful intro + many links to example deep states, current and past
police  totalitarian  state  reference  deep  government  russia  soviet 
march 2017 by csrollyson
::.Václav Havel.::Power of the Powerless
Edit: 9-27-18: Now must use:

Section VIII finished.

Section IX: Regaining personal responsibility as a citizen. Morality automatically attains political significance in the post-totalitarian regime.

Section X: Allowing the loss of freedom for others puts one's own in jeopardy. "These movements for the most part originate elsewhere, in the far broader area of the "pre-political," where living within a lie confronts living within the truth, that is, where the demands of the post-totalitarian system conflict with the real aims of life."

Contrast the "shock" mentioned here to the 2016 election, if the voters are viewed as operating in the "hidden sphere".

Section XI: In such a regime, people are drawn much more to things speaking to their ability to live as human beings, that is, with dignity, than to abstract political ideals. Consequently, many of the new ideas may sprout from "non-political" people instead of politicians used to operating in the prior political sphere.

Section XII:
Opposition, definition 2: "every attempt to live within the truth, from the greengrocer's refusal to put the slogan in his window to a freely written poem; in other words, everything in which the genuine aims of life go beyond the limits placed on them by the aims of the system."

Cf the branding of someone as a member of the opposition and some of the current labels used by those on opposite political parties. Clearly defining in what sense "opposition" is used is important; one should not have to define oneself in relation to something they are against, instead of for what they support. (reword)

Section XIII:
Criticism of the term "dissident". It should not be viewed as a profession, nor are they "rejecting" anything except the living within a lie.
It gives the mistaken impression that only these "special" people can live like this, or that only these people disagree with the current system.
These "dissidents" are not concerned with just themselves but with society as a whole, including especially those people who cannot speak up. As such, the former should not be separated from the latter.

Section XIV
The example of \v{S} working at a brewery. He wanted to actually do the job well and make good beer, but many of his superiors were not enthusiastic. When he wrote why things were going wrong to the manager's superior, he was kicked out and moved to a much lower position. He became a "dissident" only through acting on his sense of responsibility, and it did not have to happen that way.

Section XV: The greengrocer need not "just" refuse to do certain things. He may also reach out to those in his close community who are like minded.

The "independent life of society"
"It includes everything from self-education and thinking about the world, through free creative activity and its communication to others, to the most varied free, civic attitudes, including instances of independent social self-organization. In short, it is an area in which living within the truth becomes articulate and materializes in a visible way."

Viewing any "dissident" movement as only a possible subcomponent of the many people working to live in the truth. "samizdat" (originally from the Russian) as self-publishing or copying of literature banned by the state.
Viewing "dissent" as any actual work done in service of the truth.

Beginning section XVI
communism  socialism  czech  havel  thought  dissent  post-totalitarian  totalitarian  truth 
december 2016 by mpcasey
That Alt-Right Ain’t Right |
A century ago, cowardly, power-worshipping intellectuals sought some solution to the perceived problem of free markets and individualism becoming more popular in Western nations. Some of those intellectuals became socialists and some fascists. These two forces were never opposites. They were competitors for the loyalty of the same disgruntled, confused masses. The socialists wanted government to be new glue holding society together, and the fascists added race to the glue recipe. Both groups were terrible.
capitalism  totalitarian  socialism  leftwing  altRight 
may 2016 by Jswindle

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