"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

To steal J. Nordingler's words: a sickening light

Not to flog a dead horse, but this (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hUZamhqvPGVrYZpGq_clUpC7
dAUgties) - tangentally, I'll admit - to something I touched a little on yesterday; namely, that our current attitude toward various countries has been subject to a perverse inversion recently. Now comes this tidbit of news, that the Empire State Building, one of the most distinctive structures in America and a symbol of our free market and free society, will be bathed in red and yellow lights tonight to honor the 60th anniversary of communist China. Here are some highlights from the last sixty years which we'll be commemorating:

-the Great Leap Forward, China's version of Russia's Five Year Plans. 36 million people died.
-invasion of Tibet in 1950. Tens of thousands are killed in the invasion and ensuing revolt.
-1989 Tienanmen Square massacre of democracy protestors; hundreds are killed by Chinese tanks.
-material and military support of communist movements in Vietnam, North Korea, Laos and Cambodia, resulting in the deaths of millions and the repression of the surviving population.
-class system which treats Chinese peasants little better than serfs, overtaxing them while reserving development and infrastructure for urban areas.
-widespread censorship, restricted freedom of speech, and virtually no freedom of religion.
-gulag prison system similar to that of Soviet Russia.

Happy 60th birthday, People's Republic. And to all those protestors, dissidents, political prisoners, and ordinary men and women who've suffered and died under 60 years of communism and authoritarianism, you're right: those lights on the Empire State Building are telling you to pound sand.


The Accidental Blogger said...

Lenin said that the capitalists of the West would sell the rope to the communists who would use it to hang them.... The PRC owns $1.5 trillion of the US debt. Most of the computers we are using to communicate and much of the goods that make up our daily lives are now produced in that country by multi-national corporations. What a sad state of affairs.

Geoffrey Britain said...

It's not the amoral capitalists who are 'honoring' China's represive government with colored lights on the Empire State Building.

It's liberals, Stalin's 'useful idiots' who see communism through roes-colored glasses...and socialism through an idealism that ignores the reality of unintended consequences that socialism invariably brings.

As for the 1.5 trillion in debt, It's based upon cheap labor. In 20-40 years robotics and A.I. will make their labor force obsolete.

Why ship it from China when you can make it cheaper in the US and save on shipping expenses, both for raw materials and getting product to market?

The Accidental Blogger said...

Just as a clarification, and this is awkward, but my father left the above comment after I had logged on to my computer at home.

Cincinnatus said...

No worries A.B. (let me know if you like this better, I feel like T.A.B. could be interpreted alternately as condescending or a drug reference), I actually thought it was a striking point. It IS disturbing to think that an authoritarian nation has such powerful economic leverage over us. However, as frightening as the thought of the Peoples' Republic one day cashing that debt in is, we should remember that owning that debt is essentially a pact of mutually assured destruction; if China decided to collapse our system by making a run on our banks, it would devastate them as well, since their largest market would have evaporated. Owning such a large sum means our economic strength is in their interest as well. As for manufacturing all our goods, I don't see that as being a huge problem, since the intellectual capital behind those goods - microchip research, software development, etc. - still lives in the West. China might be able to build a computer, but they don't have the equivalent of a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs pushing the envelope of creativity. Finally, I'd point out that yeah, we might be selling communists our own noose in theory; in fact, in the century-long competition between those two systems, it's the communist who has either been defeated or forced to adopt more and more of the capitalist system. The USSR did not adapt, and fell; states like the Peoples' Republic and Vietnam have slowly incorporated free market elements to ensure their own survival.