Tuesday, September 19, 2006

China's influence seen more positive than the US or Russia

China's influence seen more positive than the US or Russia
Bevin Chu
September 18, 2006

Comment: Mainland China's "live and let live" international policy has resulted in China being perceived more positively than the "Benevolent Global Hegemon," better known as the United States. The Bush II regime's arrogant, anything but humble "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists" international policy, diametrically opposed to the anti-interventionist philosopy of America's Founding Fathers, has incurred the wrath of almost every nation on the planet. The BBC World Service Poll has put the lie to the Neocon Chickenhawks' baseless and unfounded "China Threat Theory."

BBC World Service Poll - [mainland] Chinese Influence

China's influence seen more positive than the US or Russia.

China's influence on the world is seen as positive by more people than is the case for the US or Russia, according to a new BBC World Service poll.

In total, 48% of people polled in 22 countries said China's role was mainly positive. Only 30% saw it as mainly negative.

The majority of respondents were also positive about the [nominally] communist [but in fact capitalist] nation's growing economic power.

Even in neighbouring Asian countries, which have historically been suspicious of China's dominance, opinions were relatively benign.

An exception was Japan, where only 22% of people polled said China had a mainly positive influence.

[This hardly comes as a surprise to long time Asia watchers. Rabid Sinophobia has been rampant ever since the Meiji Restoration and the rise of race-based Japanese fascism.]

Most Japanese respondents expressed no opinion, with only 25% saying China's role was negative.

The survey of 22,953 people was conducted for the BBC World Service by the polling organisation GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (Pipa) at the University of Maryland.

Steven Kull, director of Pipa, said: "It is quite remarkable that with its growing economic power, China is viewed as so benign, especially by its Asian neighbours."

"However, this cordial view... does appear to depend on China restraining itself from seeking to convert its burgeoning economic power into a threatening military presence."

Economic growth

In 17 of the 22 nations polled, more people thought China had a positive influence than a negative influence.

China came out favourably when the results were compared with similar questions looking at the global influence of Russia and the US.

An average of 38% of respondents saw the US as having a positive influence, with just 36% saying the same for Russia.

Indeed China, at 48%, is almost on a par with Great Britain, which scored 50%.

China's growing economic power is also seen as positive in the majority of nations polled.

Even in Mexico - whose manufacturers are often in direct competition with those in China - 54% of people polled were positive about China's economic rise.

But China's growing military might appears to be a less welcome aspect of its increasing global standing.

Only 24% of respondents said a rise in China's military power was a positive development, while 59% said it was negative.

Among the most concerned nations were Australia, Japan and the US, as well as many European nations.

[In fact, mainland China's military purchases have been undertaken highly reluctantly, as they are a net drain on China's continued economic development. Mainland China's military expenditures have been a purely defensive measure against cynical and jealous joint US/Japanese efforts to Balkanize China and prevent her from joining the ranks of prosperous First World nations.]

The EU is currently considering lifting its embargo on arms sales to China.

A BBC correspondent in Beijing, Tony Cheng, says China has rarely felt the need to look beyond its borders for reassurance in the past.

But China is opening up. Widespread use of the internet and expansion of the mass media have brought the rest of the world into ordinary people's homes for the first time.

According to our correspondent, there is therefore an increasing concern about how the country is perceived, with Chinese citizens aware that progress will only come if they engage with the rest of the global community.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Terrorism by the Weak is Retaliation for Imperialism by the Strong

Terrorism by the Weak is Retaliation for Imperialism by the Strong
Bevin Chu
September 11, 2006

CNN TV coverage of 9/11

Many Americans actually believe that "America" was an innocent victim on September 11, 2001.

Many Americans were innocent. But "America" was not.

The term Americans refers to individuals. Many individual Americans were totally innocent. Among them were Quakers and other staunch opponents of foreign military aggression.

But "America" was anything but innocent. Many Americans approved and authorized past acts of US government aggression in the Middle East, particularly on behalf of Israel.

9/11 was retaliation for these past acts of aggression.

On 9/11 "collateral damage" occurred, just as collateral damage occurred in previous US aggressions.

Many Americans can't permit themselves to accept the reality that 9/11 was a case of karmic payback, of "what goes around, comes around."

They cling desperately to Bush II administration twaddle that "They hate us for our freedoms."

As I wrote back in September 2001, neutral Switzerland and Sweden, who are not meddling in the Middle East, are as free or freer as the US.

Why didn't the terrorists target Zurich and Stockholm if "freedom" was what they hated? Zurich and Stockholm are certainly much closer and more convenient targets than New York City and Washington, DC.

As long as the neocolonialists and neoimperialists who dictate America's foreign policy refuse to wake up to reality, as long as they stubbornly refuse to admit their aggression against the Muslim world, 9/11 type events will continue happening.

"America under Attack, Pentagon open for business today"

Note the CNN headline, "America under attack," and the subtitle, "Pentagon open for business today." If truth in news reporting were the rule rather than the exception, the CNN headline would read "America under counterattack," and the subtitle would read "Pentagon engaging in foreign aggression as usual."

Terrorism by the weak is retaliation for imperialism by the strong.

Eventually, a nuclear device will probably be successfully detonated in a major US city, despite all the freedom nullifying police state measures imposed by the Bush II administration.

Eventually, the freedoms that Bush insists "they hate us for" will disappear, and not
even Bush will be able to persuade us that the terrorists "hate us for our freedoms."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Suspend the President, Investigate Wrongdoing

Suspend the President, Investigate Wrongdoing
Bevin Chu
September 06, 2006

Suspend the President, Investigate Wrongdoing
A Proclamation

For the past year, ever since Chen Shui-bian's "one wife, two secretaries, three teachers, and four families" were implicated in a string of corruption and bribery cases, society has been in turmoil. Since no one but the president has the authority to approve National Affairs Confidential Expenses, the National Affairs Confidential Expenses scandal has implicated Chen Shui-bian personally as well.

Recently, Shih Ming-teh initiated a "Million Man Movement to Depose Chen." Within one week, the movement received NT$100,000,000 (US$3,000,000) in contributions. Obviously the people want Chen to respond to the public and account for his role in this string of scandals.

And yet, despite majority skepticism with Chen Shui-bian's leadership, despite widespread social discontent, despite "Down with A-Bian" mass movements wherever one turns, Chen has had the temerity to run away, insisting that he is "engaging in foreign diplomacy and affirming the nation's sovereignty."

Based on the conduct and behavior of judicial and prosecutorial entities engaged in the investigation of the president and the first family over the past year, an overwhelming majority of citizens feel that as long as President Chen remains in office, judicial and prosecutorial entities will never be able to prosecute these cases fairly and impartially.

Thefore, the Democratic Action Alliance demands that Vice-president Annette Lu immediately suspend the president, assume his duties, and subject Chen Shui-bian to a judicial investigation.

If the result of a judicial investigation proves that Chen Shui-bian is innocent, he can be immediately reinstated.

If on the other hand Chen Shui-bian is found to be guilty, there would be no reason for him to remain in office. Vice-president Annette Lu would then be officially sworn in as president, in accordance with normal constitutional procedures.

The Democratic Action Alliance feels that this approach to breaking the current domestic political deadlock and avoiding a national crisis, is the most direct, is the least costly, and will have the fewest side effects.

Therefore the Democratic Action Alliance proclaims that:

1. Each of the opposition parties should immediately endorse the above recommendation

2. Vice-president Lu should, with the larger picture in mind, make clear her position prior to President Chen's return

3. The military should refrain from intervening in this process in any way, for any reason

4. Finally, the Democratic Progressive Party should decide whether it wishes to draw a clear line of distinction between itself and Chen Shui-bian, or whether it wishes to continue abetting first family corruption, only to be disowned by the public

At this watershed moment in history, the ruling and opposition parties must each assume responsibility for their decisions. If the ruling and opposition parties are unwilling to consider the larger picture, if they allow Chen Shui-bian's corrupt regime to continue defying the will of the people, they will pay a heavy political price. Vice-president Lu, ruling party leaders, and opposition party leaders, must all assume responsibility for their behavior.

The All People's Action Alliance to depose Chen Shui-bian
Chief Convener: Huang Kuang-kuo
Chief Executive: Chang Ya-chung

A Project of the Democratic Action Alliance

Translator: Bevin Chu

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Founding Fathers' Next Step

The Founding Fathers' Next Step
Bevin Chu
September 04, 2006

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

A great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It had its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all parts of a civilized community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their laws; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost every thing which is ascribed to government.
-- Thomas Paine, from the Rights of Man

Read what Paine wrote. I mean really read what Paine wrote.

"order ... is not the effect of government ... It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished."

"the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government ... society performs for itself almost every thing which is ascribed to government."

Let's be sticklers for semantic precision. Anarchy means, literally, "no government." Anarchy does not mean "chaos." Anarchy does not mean "disorder." Anarchy means merely "the absence of government." Nothing more, nothing less.

As Paine pointed out, order existed prior to government, and would continue to exist even in the absence of government.

As Paine pointed out, civil society can do for itself essentially everything that we credit to government.

Sounds pretty damned anarchistic to me.

How does it sound to you?

Authoritarian conservatives in the GOP like to cast themselves as "defenders of traditional American values," even as "champions of democracy."

The problem with the authoritarian conservatives' ahistorical spin control is that the "traditional American values," i.e., the values held sacred by America's Founding Fathers, were never authoritarian, conservative, or democratic.

America's Founding Fathers were free-thinking radicals whose values were anything but authoritarian, anything but conservative, anything but "democratic."

As the above quote from Founding Father Thomas Paine makes quite clear, America's Founding Fathers were borderline anarchists.

Hell, forget the qualifier, "borderline." They were anarchists.

America's Founding Fathers settled for a constitutional republic only because they thought it was the most they could get away with. Had they been more familiar with the successful precedent of medieval Iceland and other anarchist societies, they would surely have authored a market anarchist constitution rather than a republican constitution.

Anyone who professes to champion the Founding Fathers' "traditional American values" is obligated to first acknowledge what the Founding Fathers valued, before blindly declaring that they are "champions of democracy" and "Jeffersonian democrats."

The Founding Fathers were not "champions of democracy." They despised democracy, and considered it the worst political system ever devised.

Benjamin Franklin, who said "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" was certainly no democrat.

The Founding Fathers hoped that the structural safeguards embodied in a constitutional republic's basic law, its constitution, would prevent the emergence of mob rule, i.e, democracy.

They were pessimistic about the long term efficacy of the safeguards they created.

As George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address of 1796,

"In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels ... I dare not hope ... that they will ... prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations."

They were right to be pessimistic.

As we, their intellectual heirs have discovered,
constitutional republics gradually degenerate into democracies, and democracies rapidly degenerate into dictatorships.

To wit, George W. Bush's recent outburst before his cabinet members:

Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Those of us who consider ourselves the Founding Fathers' intellectual heirs, must take up where the Founding Fathers left off.

We must do what the Founding Fathers would be doing if they were alive to see what has been done to the great republic they founded, often in their name.

We must take the Founding Fathers' underlying and overarching political agenda to its logical next step.

We must popularize, and in the course of time, implement market anarchism.