No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Totalitarians

Two classes of New Zealanders

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It’s been a staple of Leftist politics and language since the days of Marx at least, and of course it is a template that can be applied to events further back in history than his time, notably the French Revolution and the Glorious Revoluton of 1688.

Whatever names were given it in different time periods and situations – Feudal Lords vs Peasants, Business Owners vs Workers, Colonialists vs Colonised, Us vs The Other – it has always basically amounted to Oppressor and Oppressed.

I think two quotes are applicable here, the first being the complete one rather than the usual shortened version, since the second part is eerily close to where we are now and where we are going:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

In this situation we should also not look to George Orwell’s dark vision of Nineteen Eighty Four but a different future dystopia, one that has appealed to me more as the years have passed since the great Counter-Culture revolution of the 1960’s.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

I have of course made sure that the tags on this post are not just for the Labour Party, but also for National, ACT and the Greens.

Some proposed measures of totalitarianism and their application to an existing situation

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Like a lot of ideology and politics there are terms thrown around with gay abandon which, sooner or later, descend into fights about definitions.

One of the oldest such fights is around one of the original forms of totalitarianism, “communism”. Starting with whether we’re talking the Upper or Lower-case version. Of course the failures of Communism, starting as soon as people tried to put it into practice in the USSR in the 1920’s, effectively chewed away any respect one might have had for the theory, especially as all the apologists were steadily revealed as either liars or fools.

The final renunciation came in 1991 with the collapse of the originator of Communism In Practice, the USSR. Moreover, since it was the vaunted People themselves who did the renunciation, who promptly uncovered decades of lies about almost everything the regime had done, and who revealed just how abjectly useless, cruel, stupid and clownish the whole thing had been, the best possible emotion that appeared was not disgust and condemnation (although there was that), but laughter and ridicule.

As a result almost nobody calls themselves a communist nowadays. Almost. There’s still North Korea of course, but Real Communists denounce that as State Capitalism, even as the Hermit Kingdom also castigates its huge neighbour, China, as having lost the faith.

Meantime, the same sort of definitional fights are happening all over again with things like “Woke” (“nobody over 30 should use it”), Cancel Culture, Trans-issues and Critical Race Theory. The latter – now that pushback is happening – is being argued as merely another theory from the halls of academia: take no notice of what it has been turned into for US K-12 schools and corporate HR departments, where “White = Racist” is taught to little kids and senior managers alike.

Such things can’t be totalitarian, can they?

Rather than wasting time getting into definitional arguments framed by the people pushing all these theories and making excuses for them, the famous US economist Thomas Sowell, in his 1996 book, Knowledge And Decisions (which I strongly recommend be read) proposed seven features by which totalitarianism can be identifed. Note that most, but not all, of these can apply in bodies outside of the State.

  1. “the localization of evil in Jews, capitalists, or some other group – so that comprehensive political solutions to age-old human problems seem feasible within a reasonable time horizon by surgically removing the offending group, leaving a healthy body politic intact”.
  2. “the localization of wisdom, to explain why this miraculous cure has escaped so many minds for so many centuries, as well as explaining the necessity for superseding democratic institutions and beliefs”
  3. “a single scale of values by which priorities may arranged in every field of human endeavor, to be achieved ‘at all cost’”
  4. “the presupposition of sufficient knowledge to achieve whatever goal may be projected”
  5. “the urgency of the ‘problem’ to be ‘solved’ so that ruthlessness is the lesser of two evils”
  6. “a psychic identification with millions, whose opinions may nevertheless be disregarded and whose lives may be sacrificed in the cause, without feelings of guilt”
  7. the creation of “a self-enclosed system, to exclude alternative views and visions” and “convert questions of fact into questions of motive”

So let’s apply this to our current situation in New Zealand.

Looks like a good fit, and I didn’t even mention the $110 million of government-funded MSM support.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 24, 2021 at 5:25 pm

NKVD or Gestapo: which fits better?

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I’m going to add the following two photoshopped pictures to the media library of No Minister where they can be used by other authors here in their posts, since the rest of the NM collective focuses on New Zealand.

But I thought I’d give readers an opportunity to debate which one is the more suitable.

First up is the classic: Der Führer Jacinda.

We all know this one. That armband swastika really jumps out at you and the Nazis are the go-to boogeyman in every fictional TV show and movie that deals with the past century, or connects our present – and sometimes our future – with totalitarian regimes.

But I always feel that this comparison is too easy, even if in our present situation we have a government using the private sector to work its will.

So to our second choice. General Secretary Adern.

Personally this one is my preference simply to balance up the totalitarian comparison game. Admittedly we’re also more into the dreary world of the Stasi than the mass murdering NKVD, given how New Zealand is operating with the use of willing Informeller Mitarbeiters.

I suppose Jacinda in a Mao suit might be even more appropriate, given how we kowtow to the CCP nowadays. I’ll talk to the photoshop artist.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 23, 2021 at 6:38 am

You can start practicing now

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Using this online version of the game, Papers Please.

Whichever side of the fence you’re going to be on, the one presenting the papers or the one examining them.

The NZ Police might like to consider letting their officers play this game so they can be ready for work on the Southern and Northern borders of Auckland city.

You play the role of a serious man – an inspector on the border between countries that are enemies. The events take place in 1982 in a fictional state Arstotzka. The main character gets the job on the border and controls the immigration process. All the migrants are trying to enter the territory of your country, but not all of them do. The reason is pretty simple – after the war ended, the enemies keep on trying to sneak on these territories. Each day, they will enter your office one by one, showing their documents, and trying to convince you that they can be trusted. Be careful – the task is to distinguish evil guys from ordinary people, keep the villains away, and let people enter. The more migrants you check, the higher you rating becomes. Not only you grow as a professional and get more chances to become the best worker. Also, you receive in-game cash for every session. This cash is spendable and you are the one to decide how to use them. The choice is yours!

Written by Tom Hunter

October 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm

I was informed that these were OTT comparisons to NZ

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Vaccine certificate will be central to the new ‘traffic-light’ system – RNZ

It is that sort of comparison that causes the opponents of the current Lockdowns to be ridiculed. And no, you won’t be able to convince me that basically I am (and just about everyone I know) is just the same as the Nazi SS.

It’s certainly time to re-visit this goodie, even if she has resigned, because luckily you’ll still be able to laugh without a vaccine certificate.

New Zealand is more frightened than Britain

I came across a fascinating, sad article today about the “post-Covid” world of Britain’s population, The Most Frightened Nation.

It lists a number of the things done in that country over the last two years in The War Against Covid-19.

First up are some examples of the propaganda used by the Tory government:

The most heavy-handed of the government’s several advertising campaigns—which together have constituted the real “blitz”—was “Look them in the eyes . . . and tell them you’re doing all you can to stop the spread of Covid-19.” Posters showed rheumy patients staring into the camera looking soulfully woeful while muzzled by oxygen masks. These images alternated with exhausted nurses in full PPE regalia.

No wonder other health care experts began getting worried about patients not turning up to hospitals, even when they had urgent problems.

The numbingly repeated “Stay Home/ Protect the NHS/ Save Lives” tagline chevroned each podium during the government’s televised Covid briefings…It took a surprisingly long while for media wags to observe that the purpose of the NHS is to protect the people, not the other way around. The government might as well have warned the populace to avoid expressing bellicose sentiments about foreigners so as to “protect the Army.”

Further into the pandemic, that monotonous coronavirus motto morphed to the catchily asonant “Hands/Face/Space”—a slogan that would be right at home in a nursery school and parallels the efficacy of “duck and cover.” By this point, viral transmission from surfaces allegedly accounted for only about one in 10,000 cases; real-world evidence that masks make any substantial contribution to the curtailment of infection remained conspicuously scant; and the virus was known to be communicated by fine aerosols that can circulate aloft for hours, making the government’s two-meter social distancing requirement arbitrary and unscientific.

Then there were the police actions, some of which I caught a year ago (The Police could be worse):

Derbyshire police drones photographed a couple hiking in the wilderness with their golden Labrador with no one else in sight, and then published the shot on Twitter with the strapline “WALKING YOUR DOG IN THE PEAK DISTRICT / NOT ESSENTIAL.”

In January, two women who had driven five miles to go for a socially distanced walk were surrounded by so many police that one of them “thought someone had been murdered.” The women were fined £200 each because driving out of your local area for exercise was “not in the spirit of the lockdown” and the hot drinks they were carrying were not allowed because they were classed as “a picnic.”

What if you’ve neglected to fill out a form at the airport or filled it out incorrectly? That’ll be another £10,000, thank you. A ten-grand fine is more than enough to destroy the average Briton. Fortunately, the courts, the last bastion of sanity and due process, have voided convictions for violating Covid restrictions wholesale.

Well yes, but the main driver of such things is that the process is the punishment. You may emerge with no charges, let alone convictions but The Powers That Be know they’ve hurt you, which will make you more compliant. It’s a form of psychological torture increasingly approved of by our Police and governments because it works and leaves no visible marks.

Of course none of this would work without the assistance of Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter.

Only three days into the first lockdown, the Northamptonshire force alone had received “dozens and dozens” of public reports about, for instance, neighbors who had been out for a second run in one day (more “guidance,” not law). By early April 2020, a full 11 percent of Derbyshire’s 2,300 daily calls were to rat out lockdown flouters. Last autumn, Johnson encouraged local councils to hire citizen “Covid marshals” to bully and harass the noncompliant.

The article also goes into the insanity of the rules that can lead to fines. My favourite being the debates over whether a Scotch egg counted as a “substantial meal”.

But here’s the kicker to all this, and it actually comes at the start of the article, where it quotes an Ipsos MORI poll conducted in July, which I’ll bullet point here:

  • 27% of Britons want to impose a government-mandated nationwide curfew of 10 PM—not then in force—“until the pandemic was under control worldwide” When will that be?
  • 19% would impose such a curfew “permanently, regardless of the risk from Covid-19.”
  • 64% want Britain’s mask mandate in shops and on public transport to remain a legal requirement for the duration of the global pandemic
  • 51% want to be masked by law, forever. 
  • 35% want to confine any Briton who returns from a foreign country, vaccinated or not, to a ten-day home quarantine—permanently, Covid or no Covid.
  • 46% would require a vaccine passport in order to travel abroad—permanently, Covid or no Covid.
  • 36% want to be required to check in at pubs and restaurants with a National Health Service contact-tracing app forever.
  • 34% want social distancing in “theatres, pubs and sports grounds,” regardless of any risk of Covid, forever.
  • 26% of Britons would summarily close all casinos and nightclubs forever.

But read the whole article.

I wonder what such a poll would show about New Zealand. Judging from the comments I’ve seen here, on neighbourhood groups, and left wing blogs

I know that part of their concern is working alongside unvaccinated co-workers…I know many people who are very uncomfortable about the idea of travelling on airlines with unvaccinated people. 

… I think we’re at least in the same ballpark as Britain.

Part of me likes to think that, as with wartime regulations, censorship and the like, this too shall will pass. But the other part notes that, around the world, “victory” constantly slips away with this virus, leaving the masks and the lockdowns and the behaviour behind, vaccinated or not.

I also note the old adage that while you can replace governments you can’t replace a people.

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On the note of how the Police could be worse, here’s Australia, again. Muldoon and the Police of his time would have loved to have had this tech during the 1981 Springbok Tour protests.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm

The advantages of lagging the world

For more than a century New Zealanders liked to think of themselves leading the world, mainly as a result of employment and welfare reforms introduced by the late 19th century Liberal government.

But the attitude persisted long after the Second World War, and this was not solely the preserve of patriots but often people from overseas. I vividly recall reading the section on my country in the set of Encyclopedias I had as a child in the 1970’s. It was not the famous Britannica series but some competitor, rather US-centric and dated from the early 1960’s I’d guess. Lots of glossy colour photos (the fabulous one of the Mike H-Bomb test was there).

About New Zealand it said right up front that we were “perhaps the best governed nation in the world“. Even at a tender age I felt some pride upon reading that and the culture around me often reinforced the idea that we were world leaders in many ways, with Public Healthcare reforms in the 1930’s, the MOW, dam building, and stories of Hamilton jetboats, the flying farmer Richard Pearse, physicist Earnest Rutherford, and JPL scientist Bill Pickering. This cultural pride even continued with the Rogernomics reforms of the 1980’s; even though it was actually following in the trail of Reagan and Thatcher, we held ourselves to have been bolder and gone further, as revolutionary leaders do.

The funny thing is that a good chunk of New Zealanders suddenly decided that they didn’t like us being revolutionary and leading the world, at least when it came to reducing the size, power and control of government. People began to mutter that perhaps we should lag the world!

However, the World Leader stuff, especially from those opposed to Rogernomics, returned with things like Gay Marriage laws; it seems that reducing the size, power and control of government is acceptable only when it comes to bedroom issues of sex and drugs.

Everything else in one’s life is up for grabs by the government, as is increasingly the case with every passing year.

Which brings us to our government’s response to Covid-19. The local Left have of course gloried in the sunny praise that has poured down upon Jacinda from around the world as she danced with baby Neve at the news that our L4 Lockdown had “crushed” the virus.

But there was also, once again, vast and ongoing approval from the Left for increasing the size, power and control of government. Funny that.

Sadly for Jacinda and her acolytes, reality has caught up with the limits of government power and control, and in the second wave caused by the ever-mutating little beastie, the idea of “crushing” it has been officially scrapped. There has been much wailing (Dreams and their deaths), crying (Surrendering to the virus) and gnashing of teeth (Delta’s Week Of Doom).

But perhaps this is a good thing as it allows us to look around the world at nations that are ahead of us in moving through this pandemic and its consequences.

Sweden is back to normal, having departed from it very little. Much is made of their “thousands of Covid deaths”, but the politicians, epidemiologists, and most importantly the people of that nation don’t seem to think they did wrong (aside from not sufficiently protecting rest homes early on), and given the praise they’ve had over decades for their caring culture, society and welfare systems, it’s rather hard to say that they’re monsters who didn’t care if granny died.

Lithuania has shown us another possible Covid future and it’s a dystopia.

There are other stories of course.

Disruptive weather? ATC (Air Traffic Control) issues? The main focus was the airport of Jacksonville in Florida and people quickly established that temperatures there were in the mid-70’s (F) with sunny skies and winds at 5mph. Not likely a reason for cancelling 1800 flights. Southwest is possibly the best run domestic airline in the USA. Known for flying only Boeing 737’s (R&M and training made simple), staff and pilots who crack wise over the intercom with passengers, no seat booking (yet no fights as people board and grab what’s available), efficient, reliable and low cost.

What could possibly have gone wrong?

Airline travel blog, One Mile at a Time, had the inside scoop:

It seems that there could be something further going on. It’s my understanding that a huge number of Southwest pilots have called in sick this weekend, much more than usual. It’s anyone’s guess what the cause of that is, but it follows the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on Friday asking a court to block the airline from requiring vaccination, in anticipation of an upcoming federal mandate.

But if you think it’s just those shitty Southern parts of the USA (controlled by Republicans) well…

Oregon Nurses Get Ready to Walk Over Forced Covid Vaccines:

While [Oregon Nurses Association board president Lynda] Pond said more than 90% of ONA nurses are vaccinated, in recent weeks large health care systems like Kaiser Permanente and Legacy Health have put thousands of staff across the country on leave because of they don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“85% of the nurses at OHSU have indicated that they are unable to use vacation time or take a mental health day because there are not enough nurses to cover for those requests. 92% of nurses at OHSU report experiencing mental exhaustion,” said Calzia.

Perhaps the most concerning statistic, Calzia said, was that 60% of OHSU’s nurses are considering leaving the profession. He said that percentage is reflected at the national and state levels too.

While the ONA union is likely using this argument to bargain for wage increases, there is no doubt that the departure of even 10% of nurses is putting a huge strain on the Oregon healthcare system, not to mention trying to entice people into the profession to replace those retiring. And it should be noted that the ONA is downplaying the number of Oregon nurses walking out and citing national figures so as not to show up their best friend, Governor Kate Brown, who imposed these mandates in August and is already facing consequences in her state’s police and firefighters.

Of the three futures, Sweden, Lithunania, and the USA, I regard Lithuania as the likely one for New Zealand because of our frightened, compliant people (aside from the criminals). Decades ago the historian Keith Jackson tagged us as “the Prussians of the South Pacific”, something the 60’s Left used as scathing disparagement. We’re about to find out how true that is and how much the same Left approve of it.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 12, 2021 at 10:26 am

Our future in New Zealand?

With increasing talk of vaccine mandates, from both Labour and National, I thought it would be interesting to see if there are any such things at a nation-wide level around the world, rather than just what is happening in Los Angeles and NYC (Vaccine Passports backfire on Mayor DeBlasio):

Black Lives Matter’s Greater New York chapter plans to protest Carmine’s restaurant in New York City following reports that a hostess tangled with a group of black women over COVID-19 vaccination cards. The group is also claiming that the city’s vaccine passport is racist.

Something like 70%+ of NYC’s Blacks are not vaccinated so it’s Jim Crow 2.0

But it turns out that there is an entire nation that’s pulling this stunt. Lithuania.

That is a series of Tweets from some guy called Gluboco Lietuva, describing life after one month under a strict, society-wide Covid Pass regime, apparently the first in Europe. You can click on the link for the full list but here are three samples:

Employment:

My wife and I have been suspended without pay for 4 weeks. We can’t return to our jobs. Not sure our employers would let us back. Even if they did, our colleagues despise us, wish on social media for our death.

We can’t find new jobs in our professions. My wife and I have very different jobs in very different fields. But all jobs in both our fields now require the Covid Pass. No Pass, no job.

Food:

We’re not allowed to buy food in the local supermarket. We may only shop in small stores with street-facing entrances which mainly sell food,pharma,glasses/contacts, or farming/pet supplies. In our area, that effectively limits us to one small, expensive convenience store.

We now buy food in old Soviet-style markets: outdoors, in parking lots, products sold on street, tiny tables, or from back of cars. Produce, eggs, cheese, meat, fish. Cash only. No Pass required. Not as convenient as a supermarket. But it works for now. Life finds a way.

Heh. I don’t know whether that last line is a deliberate shout out to Jurassic Park or not, but some reference to the movie Witness and its Amish community would be appropriate.

Dentists, Libraries (with their kids), craft stores, toy stores, hardware stores, … everything. It also should be noted that it ultimately won’t work. These people are not going to submit.

This pressure to submit is everywhere. And it’s overwhelming. Our ability to survive has been destroyed. But no matter the suffering imposed and the hardships we must endure, we will never accept the descent into the authoritarianism which the Covid Pass represents.

Government approval to exist in society. Banishment based on arbitrary rules. Recording of all people’s movements. That’s not health; it’s control and power. This new authoritarian control will only grow to ban ever more behavior as bureaucrats push to expand their power.

It’s also interesting to see how the politicians shifted the goalposts as they became more desperate to achieve their goals, whether a certain vaccination rate or Covid-Zero.

You would think that a nation that suffered under the control of first the Nazis and then the USSR for decades, would have a deep cultural attachment to freedom, but perhaps the cultural marks were too heavily scarred the other way.

At a minimum you think they’d know that this is what happens with society-wide Central Government Command and Control efforts. As they fail, sooner or later the Wreckers and Saboteurs must be found. There will also be victims even among those who do comply. I’ll put this here since Facebook and Twitter have already begun censoring it:

Jessica Berg Wilson, 37, of Seattle, Wash., passed away unexpectedly Sept. 7, 2021 from COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) surrounded by her loving family. Jessica was an exceptionally healthy and vibrant 37-year-old young mother [two daughters, Bridget (5) and Clara (3)] with no underlying health conditions.

During the last weeks of her life, however, the world turned dark with heavy-handed vaccine mandates. Local and state governments were determined to strip away her right to consult her wisdom and enjoy her freedom. She had been vehemently opposed to taking the vaccine, knowing she was in good health and of a young age and thus not at risk for serious illness. In her mind, the known and unknown risks of the unproven vaccine were more of a threat. But, slowly, day by day, her freedom to choose was stripped away. Her passion to be actively involved in her children’s education—which included being a Room Mom—was, once again, blocked by government mandate. Ultimately, those who closed doors and separated mothers from their children prevailed. 

Still, at least the grandparents are alive to enjoy their grandkids, so there’s that.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 10, 2021 at 11:01 am

“There is providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America”

That famous quote is from the creator of the German nation, Bismarck, and it was uttered back in the 19th century.

Since then there have been more than a few situations which have proved that the USA does seem like a lucky country.

The disasters that have hit the nation in the last twenty years, starting with the 9/11 attacks, passing through the GFC and now the Covid mess, have certainly been damaging to the fabric of America. But perhaps worse has been the incredible decline in the quality of education at all levels, with the metastatic spread of hideous ideas like Critical Theory (and all it’s mutations) into the non-academic world: even sport has been politicised as the 1960’s Counter Culture New Left’s motto of “everything is political” has become an everyday truth.

As Abraham Lincoln once opined:

“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years.

No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”

Leaving aside that last point for another post and looking instead at the “approach of danger” from the outside world the obvious threat is the rising power of China. A decade ago it was an economic threat, but China’s behaviour in the last few years has turned it into a geo-political / military one. There has also been increased trumpeting by the Chinese themselves about “The Chinese 21st Century” and so forth. Clearly they’re feeling their oats.

This feeling in China was much bolstered by Biden’s recent rout in Afghanistan. Former WSJ Brett Stephens (and committed Never-Trumper) summed it up well in a superb essay, The Post-Pax-Americana World:

Our incompetence matched our fecklessness, and our fecklessness matched our untrustworthiness. To say this is how great powers fall would be an insult to the great powers of the past, which fell under greater strain, for weightier reasons

First, our Afghan fiasco is forcing traditional American allies to reassess the wisdom of their reliance on Washington. This is not just a matter of our tattered credibility (more about which below). It’s also one of capability and competence. It’s difficult to think of any aspect of the Afghan withdrawal, beginning with Biden’s judgment, predictions, and execution, that might inspire a geopolitical opponent to respect, much less fear, the American president as a canny global statesman.

Second, the fiasco is an invitation to our adversaries to view the remainder of the Biden administration as neither a nuisance nor a threat, but rather as a possibly unique three-year window of strategic opportunity. . . .

The real goal is to dislodge America, firmly and for good, as the dominant power in global affairs.

Others were more harsh, with Mark Steyn headlining one column as Dead Superpower Walking. Again, there are internal US issues that may play a larger role than the foreign policy issues that Stephens and others are writing about.

Even before recent events the USA had – typical of its history – been slow to respond to China. President Obama talked of a “pivot” to the Pacific but it never amounted to much. President Trump went active on things like military posture and readiness with a peer in mind, plus pressure on economic, diplomatic and other pressure points:

In late 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed a law that bans the trading of securities in foreign companies whose audit working papers can’t be inspected by U.S. regulators for three years in a row. 

U.S. securities regulators have started a countdown that will force many Chinese companies to leave American stock exchanges, after a long impasse between Washington and Beijing over access to the companies’ audit records.

The action will accelerate the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies and affect investors that own securities in more than 200 U.S.-listed Chinese companies with a combined market value of roughly $2 trillion.

Under President Biden there has been the dramatic announcement of the new AUKUS pact, complete with Australia getting nuclear submarines as part of the deal.

But there have also been a series of recent events inside China that give hope to those of us who prefer a Pax Americana in the 21st century, and unlike the hopes and dreams of the last thirty years, these changes have decidedly not been in a more liberal direction. It began with large companies and their CEO’s:

With market-trembling new rules and investigations, Beijing’s crackdown on its most prominent companies has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life, wiping billions of dollars from Chinese and Hong Kong-listed stocks and bamboozling investment sages.

From after-school tutoring to music streaming apps, and shopping to bike-sharing, stellar firms have been hit as Beijing tightens the leash on corporations, citing national security and antitrust concerns.

In 2020 Jake Ma, the founder and multi-billionaire founder of online trading giant Alibaba, was basically sent to a golfing gulag, forced out of public life. At the same time the CCP suspended the blockbuster IPO of China’s Ant Group ($36 billion wiped). But this has also begun to spread into other aspects of Chinese life, with the once famous actress Zhao Wei (also a director and billionaire businesswoman) basically wiped from the Chinese Internet, just one of a number of crackdowns to bring the entertainment industry in check and curb the influence of celebrities and the ‘fandom culture’”.

But it was this news reported by the China Media Project (H/T Instapundit), that really caught my attention. A random Red Chinese blogging peon, Li Guangman, put up his reaction to all this:

This change will wash away all the dust, and the capital market will no longer be a paradise for capitalists to grow rich overnight,” he writes. “The cultural market will no longer be a paradise for effeminate stars, and the press will no longer be a place for the worship of Western culture.” The author’s next line reeks of Maoist nostalgia: “The red has returned, the heroes have returned, and the grit and valor have returned.”

Well big whoop you might say. In itself, the “intellectual” orgasms of an obscure Maoist diehard blogger mean nothing more than a blazing-eyed Chris Trotter eruption or a over-vigorous Martyn Bradbury wank here in NZ. Even in China, a Maoist dickhead like Li is in the minority. We’ve got them here in the West as well.

What does mean something is how the Xi regime reacted to this little blog, which suddenly went viral:

But this post, though attributed to Li’s own public account, “Li Guangman Freezing Point Commentary”, was shared on the websites of eight major Party-state media on August 29, and on scores of commercial sites, all with the same headline: “Everyone Can Sense That a Profound Change is Underway!”

In the social media comment sections this week, the concern has been palpable. “A movement has begun,” one user commented underneath a Weibo post on the Li Guangman article. “They’re blowing a wind to see what fish they can stir up,” said another. A third comment was more portentous: “History is being repeated,” it said

It certainly is. One of the critical triggers of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution was the publication of dazibao (“big character poster”) on May 25, 1966, by Nie Yuanzi, a student at Beijing University. The poster denounced professors, administrators and others for their supposed embrace of Western bourgeois values and lack of revolutionary spirit. The actual revolution was started by Mao just three months later.

The last few years of Xi Jinping’s rule have shown increasingly Maoist tendencies across a range of areas, of which all this is merely the latest. Welcome to Xi’s Cultural Revolution 2.0.

Now – Thucydides Trap’s aside – this is actually good news for the USA and the West in general. If the Chinese Communist imbeciles want to reverse the flow of history back to the good old days of Mao, that actually means a reversal of prosperity and eventually economic power, followed by military power. Not to mention the loss of free-thinking minds in all areas of Chinese life, which may result in a military that looks a lot like the Japanese circa 1931-1945; powerful, dangerous, but ultimately doomed.

America may once again luck out, thanks – once again – to the fanatical stupidity of its enemies.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 3, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Throw another granny on the tarmac

That’ll be the new phrase for Australia, rather than the famous 1980’s line run by Aussie comedian Paul Hogan in US TV advertisements promoting tourism to The Lucky Country.

Those of course ran in the wake of the famous 1983 America’s Cup victory by Australia and the huge 1986 movie hit that made Hogan a global star, Crocodile Dundee.

But that was a long time ago. As the famous phrase has it: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

I’m tempted to find out if my three Lefty friends in Melbourne support all this. They almost certainly voted for Dan Andrews and his Labour Party, so it’s likely they do. A big part of me does not want to know.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 30, 2021 at 2:00 pm