Taiping Rebellion would not have been possible in today’s AI surveillance regime in China

Common people are sheep. Millions of poor people die each year in developing countries, without rebelling. The “silent majority” is insignificant and irrelevant as long as average citizens lack a charismatic rebel figure to lead them in a fight against the government. Beijing today says it fears a new Hong Xiuquan, the religious nutcase who led the Taiping Rebellion which killed between 20-50 million people, cf Britannica or Stephen R. Platt. One may assume that’s why CCP has zero tolerance for religious minorities like Falun Gong.

CCP now got an unprecedented surveillance state (together with UK and US). Earlier leaders in the past could only dream of having such monitoring powers. It should therefore be easy for Xi to quickly spot any rebel leader and neutralize him before a rebellion grows noticeably. This means that CCP has less reason to fear bad times in China, including bad weather caused by external pressures. In 2030 or 2040 however it’s possible that the AI of Silicon Valley, based on superior semiconductors, hijacks the entire online surveillance system in China.

Why don’t I criticize the leaders of China in the same way I give Washington a lot of flak?

Firstly, if I had not been disillusioned, if I had still been a “neocon”, I would have supported the overthrow of Xi and Putin, and all dictators of the world, but that’s not my dream any longer, not after realizing that states in the West have become crooked hybrid authoritarian regimes.

Secondly, I’m now a moderate nationalist, a 70% realist, so reluctantly accept that not all societies are able to establish constitutional democracies. What happens in China is either an internal affair or an Asian matter. A corrupt and decadent West should stay out of the East. We need to clean up our own house, and use purely defensive cobalt nukes as deterrence.

Thirdly, I have always considered nuclear authoritarian regimes to be (relatively) hopeless cases which can’t be much improved anyway if the goal is to spread universal human rights and individualistic freedom. Leaders of constitutional democracies claim to be “enlightened” and have “the moral high ground” when it comes to universal ethics, so criticizing their failures has a better chance of success than wasting time on pointing out the obvious: that Xi and Putin are dictators.

Fourthly, since all four empires (EU, US, China and Russia) are authoritarian, in their own ways, I subjectively and aesthetically prefer surveillance regimes which are not libertine, not woke. Russia and China are anti-libertine, anti-woke.

But if Hollywood and Silicon Valley return to moderate liberality and moderate cultural conservatism I will naturally go back to supporting the West Coast again.

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