Foreign Affairs: How China Exports Authoritarianism. But FA ignores that Washington is almost a mirror image of Beijing

It’s pure surrealism that all cultural conservatives in Cold War 2 have in two regards more in common with communist China than we have in common with today’s “capitalist” (corporatist) authoritarian America: 1) China is anti-woke, and 2) China is anti-libertine.

Both the West and East are basically building the same Big Tech panopticons in their own hemispheres, but with different cultural characteristics. The surveillance regime in Russia is best for Christians in Europe. Absurdly and regrettably it’s just a fact that nationalistic and Confucian Beijing have culturally a better panopticon than the sick and rotten total surveillance system created by libertine and woke US/EU. But they are all evil, especially from the perspective of Jeffersonian democracy.

The FA article below also applies to a large degree to the surveillance systems, censorship of free speech and propaganda in Western entertainment seen in neoliberal globalized hybrid regimes in North America, EU and Australia.

Notice that the FA article recommends that Western states focus on “investments in technologies that can penetrate closed digital spaces and lend transparency to political processes”. To put that into perspective look at Starlink’s web of 42,000 satellites covering the entire planet. The relatively privatized 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) domain is the center of gravity of Cold War 2.

Aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines are soon dinosaurs compared to new AI robotic weapons invented the next decades. These revolutionary (spy) weapons will create so much paranoia in both the East and West that ordinary citizens will live in panopticons eternally justified by the need to stop hostile “technologies that can penetrate closed digital spaces”.

How China Exports Authoritarianism

“China does so less out of a desire to spread its ideology than to expand its influence and economic advantage. Its favored partners are not fervent adherents of Marxism-Leninism but rather officials, business leaders, media tycoons, and others who view the adoption of a nondemocratic governance model that concentrates power in the hands of the few—and shuts out the many—as a route to long-term influence. This preference for antidemocratic collaborators, coupled with China’s opaque and corrupt investment practices, further corrodes democratic institutions, as murky deals struck by Chinese banks and state-owned enterprises encourage a more corrupt and unaccountable class of political elites all too eager to undermine their country’s long-term prosperity in return for personal gain.”

” … A growing number of countries have drawn inspiration from China to pursue laws controlling social media or to build Internet firewalls modeled on China’s own “Great Firewall.”  China also provides increasingly sophisticated surveillance technology and internal security training to established authoritarian and fragile democratic governments, enabling them to better suppress dissent and control their own citizens. In countries such as Uganda and Zambia, CCP-linked organizations have shared technology and training with autocratic and autocratic-leaning governments, allowing them to monitor their citizens, muzzle media and civil society, and impose repressive Internet rules.”

“The CCP has also engaged in more explicit political intervention by interfering directly in the political processes of other sovereign countries to support China-friendly politicians and policies and by co-opting local civic groups and journalists to stymie negative portrayals of China’s international engagement and to protect its ties to corrupt local elites. These efforts are not intended to overthrow democracies or other ideologically dissimilar regimes but to help ensure that China-friendly policies and investment climates will prevail regardless of who is in power. Nevertheless, such efforts erode the accountability of leaders to their citizens, weaken the independence of the media and civil society, and ultimately tilt the playing field to favor illiberal leaders looking to import elements of China’s model of governance into their countries’ political systems. This kind of political encroachment maintains the form of a democratic system while hollowing out the actual substance of a functioning democracy from the inside, making the slide toward authoritarianism harder to detect.”

“It should come as no surprise that the CCP’s vision of successful governance has no room for independent checks on state power, such as a substantive civil society or healthy opposition. In the model that Beijing is selling and that more and more countries are buying, dissent is not a legitimate expression of individual interests but an attempt to sabotage collective nation-building efforts. Opposition, in other words, is not political participation but state subversion. …” (…)

” … They threaten to usher in an increasingly undemocratic world populated by regimes that are beholden to Beijing and unsympathetic to the interests of the United States and its allies. Such regimes would be less accountable to their populations, less committed to individual rights, less responsible to international institutions that uphold democratic norms and universal values, and more dedicated to controlling and suppressing information. In short, if Beijing isn’t trying to remake the world in its image, it is trying to make the world friendlier to its interests—and more welcoming to the rise of authoritarianism in general.” (…)

“The CCP’s challenge to democracy requires a concerted and well-resourced effort to shore up democratic institutions in vulnerable countries around the world. This effort should prioritize support for independent media and civil society, aggressive anticorruption and anti–money laundering measures, and investments in technologies that can penetrate closed digital spaces and lend transparency to political processes. …”

“Such efforts can work only if developed democracies rededicate themselves to making sure that their own political systems deliver: to retain its global appeal, citizen-centered governance that welcomes civil society must be seen as functional. …”

” … China is wielding its position as the host of the World Internet Conference, for instance, to legitimize its (very restricted) definition of Internet freedom. The United States and its allies need to do more than simply show up. They must undertake an aggressive and united effort to secure leadership in these critical organizations across the board. …”

” … may prove irrelevant if Beijing feels driven to reach into democratic societies, undercut their institutions, suppress and censor speech it deems offensive, and erode the foundations of liberal society the world over. …”

“The United States and its allies must shore up their defenses and push back against China by cultivating democracy at home as well as abroad. Failure to do so could imperil the current international order—and make the future unsafe for democracy.”

Biden is not a realist, as this FA article claims here. Neoliberal crusaders are just temporarily retreating and regrouping in order to later return with weapons based on superior 4IR tech. It’s in the DNA of modern multicultural America to police the world. Even Tim Pool, who is anti-war, advocates in favor of the US military continuing its occupation or control of areas near China, a long bellicose corporate trend which started in Asia before the Opium Wars.

Timcast:

China Threatens To Send WARSHIPS To US Territory, Gen. Milley Subverted And Weakened The US Military

I don’t mind if 4IR blows up. I say “better dead than red”. So that part of me which is Churchillian is not against America escalating Cold War 2. Escalate until 4IR explodes. But I’m old and don’t have kids. I’m also thoroughly disgusted by the libertine and woke states in the West. But everyone else who will miss today’s sleazy and tacky 4IR societies in the US and EU better think twice. But don’t worry too much about all that. It’s almost certain that greedy mafioso corporations in America will accept a compromise, a truce: a high-functioning mobster panopticon operates in the West and Beijing 1984 exists in the East.

Enjoy

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