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America’s cultural revolution is just like Mao’s To many who survived the crackdown in China, events in the US are frighteningly familiar

Enthusiasts hold copies of 'White Fragility' to show that they're 'allies' (Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Enthusiasts hold copies of 'White Fragility' to show that they're 'allies' (Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images)


July 6, 2020   5 mins

After leaving China for America two decades ago, my father only returned to his homeland once. I had turned 18, and I think he wanted to show me something of his youth, of which he spoke little. In the dusty village where he grew up, we met an endless stream of old men who wanted to see the village’s prodigal son. Gifts were offered and extravagant greetings were swapped. Then, after each visitor had departed, my father would tell me, matter-of-factly, what they did to him during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The harmless-looking retired cadre, now an amiable old man who pinched my cheeks, had been the village party secretary who forced my father to perform manual labour — running after cows with a basket to pick up the droppings — because, as the son of a landlord, he could not be trusted with an education. The local businessman, now on his second wife and third Audi, had belonged to a gang of high school children who beat him for being descended from counter-revolutionaries.

Some of my father’s tormentors were blood relatives, who were especially keen to display their revolutionary credentials through violence, a situation that was sadly not uncommon: it was rumoured that Bo Xilai, who nearly supplanted Xi Jinping before being imprisoned, had broken his own father’s ribs as a Red Guard. Only the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 saved my father, who took the university entrance examinations a few years later, and never looked back.

Since the beginning of — shall we call it our 2020 cultural moment? — much ink has been spilled on whether there are similarities between the current protests-cum-riots and China’s Cultural Revolution. Even though some of its cheerleaders openly make the comparison, most commentators dismiss the idea, including UnHerd‘s Daniel Kalder.

To my father, and indeed to many of his contemporaries, the answer is clear. They had lived through it, and although they cannot put their finger on the why, they can feel a certain febrility in the air which reminded them of the events of half a century ago. But with their accented English and unfashionable politics (few, for some reason, are especially well-disposed toward the western Left), they have been largely excluded from the conversation. Or they could be biased, as western Marxist academics used to say of the testimonies of eastern European refugees who had been in Communist prisons.

As they say, history rhymes but does not repeat itself. There are a few notable differences between the Cultural Revolution and today’s protest movement. For one thing, the levers of political power in the US and the UK are still in the hands of conservatives, and President Trump hasn’t been shy in using the might of the American state against the protestors.

But no historical analogy is ever perfect, and to seek exactitude over verisimilitude is to miss the point. There are differences, yes, but when it comes to fundamentals, the two moments have much in common.

For instance, the Red Guards of 1968 often came from privileged backgrounds. The first groups emerged from the elite high schools and universities in Beijing and belonged to the generation that had been born immediately after the Communist takeover in 1949. Raised on stories of revolutionary heroism and bitterly disappointed at the fact they had missed their chance to display their Red credentials.

Hence, when Mao Zedong, for reasons of internecine party warfare, decided to claim — absurdly — that the Communist Party was filled with bourgeois counter-revolutionaries, the young students saw their chance to achieve revolutionary greatness. The Red Guards thus went out, seeking to root out imaginary class enemies from within.

Similarly, today’s revolutionary vanguard is also made up of young, well-educated people, a disproportionate number hailing from elite educational institutions and working within elite professions. They grew up at a time of unprecedented progress in race relations, but it meant the main action was already over when they were coming of age.

Thus, the idea that elite Anglo-American institutions are filled with closeted racists, absurd though it is to anyone who has worked in them, became an article of faith overnight. Whether it is in newsrooms, universities or progressive advocacy groups, the hunt for secret racists gives these would-be Selma marchers a sense of purpose.

Then as now, the initial response from the establishment was largely positive. After all, the cause they were asked to endorse was a worthy one, and any excesses could be dismissed as unrepresentative youthful zeal. Were they not simply seeking a better country, a better world? But the initial indulgence would soon backfire, as the movement spiralled outside of their control. Mobs have a logic of their own, and soon the legacy elites found they could no longer exert any control over the crowds they had cheered on.

Eventually, the movement’s slogans make their way downstream to non-elite institutions and popular discourse. In due course, no entity, however remote from the issue at hand, could refuse to make public statements in support of the movement. In China, no book, be it about astronomy or sewing patterns, could fail to contain an introduction with fulsome praise for Chairman Mao, complete with quotations from his collected works. Similarly, today businesses selling anything from teabags to maths degrees feel the need to bend the metaphorical knee to the protesters.

The destruction of the old elite naturally creates opportunities for new ones. Indeed sometimes, the young would-be elites don’t even bother to hide their aims in ousting the old guard. At the Poetry Foundation, which sits on a pot of $250 million, the leadership was overthrown by a group of poets and assorted hangers-on who, in an open letter, called for the redistribution of the endowment to “those whose labor amassed those funds”, namely themselves. In China, meanwhile, Red Guards eventually took over the whole government, kicked out officials from their offices and put themselves in charge.

And there is of course the blatant denial of reality, the constant gaslighting which almost seems designed to ferret out people with any sanity left. In the midst of a global pandemic, thousands of epidemiologists and health scientists signed an open letter claiming that protesting took precedence over disease control. Even there lies a parallel: during the Cultural Revolution, marauding Red Guards created a cerebrospinal meningitis pandemic which killed 160,000 people. Then as now, making revolution trumped public health.

But the Cultural Revolution’s most enduring legacy in China was not the Year Zero-style iconoclasm, nor the systematic persecution of millions of people, but the destruction of the bonds of organic trust which hold together a society. Children denounced their parents, students their teachers, classmates each other. Chinese people today are wont to ascribe their low-trust society to the events of the 1960s, an interpretation with empirical backing.

In America, students aren’t beating their teachers to death yet, as they did in 1960s China. But university students have for some time been cancelling professors who refuse to toe the line on BLM. In high schools, students have set up social media accounts dedicated to exposing classmates guilty of wrong-think. In the casual words of Mx Anamika Arya, a 16-year old leading one such effort, “I don’t want people like that to keep getting jobs”.

On Twitter, Skai Jackson, a child actress with half a million followers, has been doxing teenagers in order to pressure universities to rescind their university admission offers for the same reasons. Meanwhile, on TikTok, Zoomers’ favourite social media platform, users have been posting videos of their unwoke parents, complete with teary denunciations.

Of course, the current folly might well end. People might come to their senses and realise that we live in the least racist society there has ever been, that the way to prevent another George Floyd killing is through reform of qualified immunity, not mindless destruction, and that racism is an indelible by-product of human frailty.

There may still be cause for optimism, eventually. The Red Guards were eventually liquidated and sent down to the countryside for manual labour, their precious university spots taken by worker-peasant-soldier students with better proletarian credentials. The Cultural Revolution ended up lasting for a mere decade and was followed by show trials and lustration of the ringleaders. All revolutions burn out eventually, and the revolutionaries themselves become victims of their own fervour — and with any luck we will see the same thing happen with America’s own cultural revolution.


Xiao Li is a pseudonym for an academic based in America.


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Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart
4 years ago

And note that to write this they have to use a pseudonym – to avoid being mobbed and canceled…

Samantha Carter
Samantha Carter
4 years ago

It’s really sad that he escaped to “Western freedom” for his son, only for his son to have to write under a pseudonym about how he is now seeing something similar happening in the USA but it’s so far gone already that you can’t state that fact without risking your career. Ugh!

I have a colleague from China that I’ve talked about the Cultural Revolution with before. I’ve been tempted to email him and ask him if he sees the similarities. He has expressed concern for the police state in China throwing him in jail if he ever had to go back, because he has criticized the regime online (hey “resist” folks, would any of you actually resist THAT regime, an actual all powerful police state? I didn’t think so, you only resist when you’re backed by the entire establishment, including pretty much every global corporation), so I figured he probably wouldn’t be the type to send my email to the NKVD for counter-revolutionary thinking…but then again, who knows? You can’t trust anyone. That’s where we are now. Thanks commies!

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

Please note my Comment above. I’m an old radical leftist who has 3 times been in immediate, and once not immediate, danger of my life over Civil Disobedience. I’m appalled at the violence and specious excuses that have become slogans.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago

It is a disturbing portent for our Republic.

Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson
4 years ago

Very good article, if slightly disquieting.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

It’s very disquieting, and confirms the concerns that many have had and tried to warn about for several years, e.g., Douglas Murray, Brendan O’Neill.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Lucy Smex

True. The NY Post op-eds and editorials have been, a little too quietly for my taste, warning about this for a long time.

Jo Jones
Jo Jones
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

Agreed. Why on earth would they go back?

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

More than slightly.

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

A very good article and I suspect someone could write a similar article comparing the actions of the BLM mob to McCarthyism. These mobs all share one thing, they detest anyone who doesn’t have the same opinion as them and they want to destroy those people!

We are already seeing a move away from the BLM organisation due to it’s extremist views. Football clubs and leagues are distancing themselves from the political view of “defund police” and the aim of smashing capitalism. Starmer and his shadow cabinet can’t run away fast enough after “taking the knee” only a few days ago and yesterday six F1 drivers didn’t kneel and it hardly raised a comment.

The truth is we are a society that detests extremists and BLM are extremist. Just as “stop the war” brought out big crowds but faded to a left wing irrelevance when their political views became apparent, I expect BLM will fade quickly as protesters realise its policies are about stirring up racial division to achieve political ends that are similar to the “cultural revolution”.

Bill Gaffney
Bill Gaffney
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Soros paid off media.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Excellent comment.

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I think you need to divide the nation into two. There is a small, radical and very vocal group of virtue signallers who Starmer and his cronies on the left are obsessed with. They live on Twitter and appear on TV a lot. Then there is the rest of us, who used to be called the silent majority, who hate this stuff.

Starmer, like Milliband before him, can’t resist a bandwagon he thinks will get them positive news coverage on BBC, ITN, Sky and Channel 4 . The small print is ignored. My bet is Starmer had no idea what BLM stood for when he “took the knee”, he did it because there was a camera close by and the photo op beckoned.

The majority of us look at BLM, ER, extremist Trans activities, even CND and Stop the War coalition and we can smell there is something off, something that doesn’t sit well in our life where you treat people the way we want to be treated not prostrate ourselves for cheap political points. We are not extremists or racists and we don’t tolerate those treats in others. We believe the UK is a good place to live for everyone, it has faults (but what country doesn’t) but hard work is more important than treats such as skin colour or the gender you claim. That’s why so many of Labour’s supports live inside the M25 ring.

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

You’re conflating society and the press.

Mike H
Mike H
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

You’re conflating society and the press. Labour won a lot of votes (but not enough to get close to winning) because their actual written policies weren’t that extreme. Most fear of Corbyn was driven by assumptions about what he would really want to do when in power rather than the stated goals in the manifesto. That’s not to say those fears were wrong, but e.g. “renationalise the railways” isn’t perceived as particularly extreme by most people (though I disagree with it!).

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike H

IRA supporter John McDonnell is probably more dangerous than Corbyn.

Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

The leadership of the Labour Party acted like sheep. Pardon me if I don’t vote for them.

Peter KE
Peter KE
4 years ago

Good article. The thugs we have on our streets of BLM, Extinction Rebellion, aggressive Transgender women have no place in our society with attacks on police, people and property. Our police, civil service and parliamentarians need to toughen up and get sanctions applied that hurt and have these groups running for the hills.

Su Mac
Su Mac
4 years ago

Bloody right. This time reminds me so much of reading Wild Swans and watching the film The Killing Fields, especially those descriptions of young female cadres screaming in the faces of old teachers and neighbours. Unfortunately, most of the current participants are too ignorant to know enough about those events and the 100 million victims of communism globally. Their socialist school and university leaders do little to puncture their bubble of communism fandom.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
4 years ago

A big DUH here. It’s the same oppressive, violent ideology driving what’s happening now due to decades of Marxist subversion in America since the 1930’s from the Frankfurt School, the Russians and the Chinese. The Cold War never ended, the Soviets won. They’re enjoying Western style prosperity while we rot and crumble into a third world country since everyone became obsessed with first sex and free love and drugs (see the excellent article on Front Page Mag “Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives) and now skin color and sex organs. When was the last time America fixed roads, schools, built new cities or towns to account for massive population growth? Who’s going to build buildings, frail millennials that need safe spaces? (Yes I am one.) We’re in the Weimar Republic right now and next is the facist takeover. We are doomed and have been for the last 100 years or so. There is no coming out of this alive for America.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  pirh zapusti

WOW.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago

Yes. And I have said for a couple of years that the Woke Wave mostly closely resembles the Cultural Revolution in its nature and tactics.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago

Mid way into the brilliant, 1963 Kubrick film, ‘Dr Strangelove’, the mythical US President, Merkin Muffley says ” I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolph Hitler”, to which General ‘Buck’ Turgison (USAAF) replies ” perhaps it might be better Mr President if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the History books”.
Leaving aside the inaccuracy of the Adolph remark ( Stalin and Mao were far greater killers), this is where we are now.
China must be destroyed now, or to put it more bluntly ‘ Nuke China Now’ (NCN). China is a clear and present danger and future generations will curse us if we do not act now. The US currently has the military advantage, but not for long. It is a Darwinian imperative that ‘we’ NCN.
They (China) will not, as “useful woke idiots” believe, change by some extraordinary process of osmosis. This is the “big one”, World domination, we cannot fail the as yet, unborn generations.
Given his unorthodox background, Mr Trump may well prove to be our Redeemer.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Nuke China Now! Really? Surely it has not quite come to that yet?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

‘We’ should have done it twenty years ago. Now it is almost too late.
‘Our’ theatre allies, Taiwan, S Korea, and Japan will be impossible to adequately defend.
For nearly forty years we have waxed fat on ‘our’ symbiotic relationship with China, as have they. The ridiculous, not to say arrogant notion, that somehow they would “see the light” and become “like us ” has turned out to be utter nonsense.

On the bright side, this will not be a ‘boots on the ground war’, just a few geeks pressing buttons in front of video screens somewhere under the Rocky Mts, and the incomparable US Navy Submarine Service, plus a few B-1 Bombers. Cheer up, ‘we’ are going to win. ‘We’ always do.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Don’t worry. The Democrats and RINOs are gonna stop President Trump from withdrawing US troops from Germany so all is well. Seriously.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Actually, the two films that seem to genuinely relate to the trajectory down which our country has descended are “Wild in the Streets” and (most presciently) “Bébé’s Kids”. I recommend everyone on Unherd watch both. The former, with its generational hatreds (think about it next time someone you don’t even know contemptuously calls you a “Boomer”) and the latter, with its neutering of the police, should ring a bell.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Sieger

Many thanks, I have never heard of either, but will follow your advice.
Incidentally I rather enjoy the accolade ‘Boomer’. It serves to remind me of how fortunate I have been to bask in the munificence of the Pax Americana for these many years.

Bill Gaffney
Bill Gaffney
4 years ago

Speculative tripe! We, of my age and disposition, are not sheep! If the idiot criminals who are now “rampaging” continue much longer there will be a revolution. One by those of us who went through the sixties and soon realized what fools we be (then). Also, we have personal means of defense. Some little criminal Big C Communist tries to beat me, HeSheIt better have a POC sown into their drawers to call to come pick up the rotting corpse.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill Gaffney

I don’t see how it’s speculative. The Communist takeover of America has been well documented, starting with reading of the Communist plan for America into the congressional record in 1963. Most of those original 45 goals have already been achieved.

D Glover
D Glover
4 years ago
Reply to  Bill Gaffney

No, old people don’t stage revolution.
And they don’t have illegal firearms, either. I believe it’s the young drug dealers who have those.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

LOL.

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
4 years ago

We are genetically engineered to strive and fight for a cause – any cause – especially when we are young.
What happens when there aren’t sufficient problems around ? Answer: take a topical issue and fan the flames like mad.
The flames die out eventually leaving ashes.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Lee Johnson

“The flames die out”? Maybe. But with how many charred corpses and ruined lives? And how much permanent damage to the Constitution and the Republic for which it stands/stood?

Me The first
Me The first
4 years ago

We already see the left eating the left

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Me The first

No such luck, really. Just the extreme left destroying the pseudo-moderate left.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

Let’s hope that it takes less than 10 years.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

Let’s hope that it takes less than 10 years.

Mad Mockingbird
Mad Mockingbird
4 years ago

I am reminded very much of Eric Hoffer’s The Ordeal of Change with its themes of purpose, intellectuals vs real men(women) of action, how mass movements very quickly get out of the control of the intellectuals who start them and much more of relevance. I highly recommend getting a hold of a copy.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago

Has he indeed? Where could I find this ‘apology’?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Many thanks. Rather like FB I have rather given up on MSM.
I’m surprised that David Starkey didn’t just remain silent. Always the best policy in these situations.
I supposed he thought he was “damned if he did” and “damned if he didn’t “?.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I couldn’t agree more!
Free speech is free speech, it’s axiomatic.

Yes, I well remember a young David Starkey years ago, as the ‘Prosecution Council’ in the TV drama, “The Trial of Richard III” or some such. He was the then the ‘angry young man’ from Cambridge”.

However over the years his acerbic comments and vicious humour have done much in this country, to keep alive the notion of free speech, whilst providing rather good comedy as he ‘flayed alive’ woke after woke.

How sad to see him fall to the wretched legions of Woke morons who infest this country, like some form of Medieval Plague.

I cannot really comprehend it. He has done exceedingly well, made a small fortune and hasn’t killed anybody. His scholarship is impeccable, and he has none of the ‘virtue’ posturing of say Simon Shama or Mary Beard.

Let’s hope he a very stiff drink and recants! I for one, will be the first to ‘forgive’ him.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Don’t know why he bothered to apologize. He must have known it would not make a difference. Unless he genuinely meant it but pro forma and/or extorted apologies are, by definition, insincere.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

“Dr Starkey has been fond of using off-the-cuff ill-mannered remarks as part of his popular image for years” — that is no longer tolerable in the US or the UK. People should realize that. And the media should, but won’t (to avoid the crosshairs of the radical Left and its totalitarian progressive handmaidens) make it clear that such idiosyncrasies are now punished most harshly.

kaptainhammer
kaptainhammer
4 years ago

Well this bodes well…

henk korbee
henk korbee
4 years ago

Up to now I haven’t read nor heard anything from this article about BLM in the Netherlands. Kneeling is up, not kneeling is down, black is up white is down. One refused to kneel and he is blamed for it except by some. Mentioning that BLM is founded by marxism-leninism in my surroundings isn’t believed, on the contrary I am the wrong guy telling strange stories about black. Chinese refugees has to realize that in the sixties the red book of Mao was very popular among the progressives/liberals whatever you will call it. The slogan was to change government from inside and to my opinion that is now erupting as the one crisis after the other is unfolding, into the extreme of lockdowns, warnings more deadlier viruses are on the track, second wave. That BLM came shortly after covid19 was a surprise and was maybe planned before. Still it is quiet but the moment government can’t pay anymore pensions even the elder ones will start protesting as their dreams have gone with covid19

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago

“The Cultural Revolution has been officially labeled a ‘mistake’ of Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four, who launched the initial 1966 campaign against ‘capitalist roader’ officials. In the ensuing mayhem, qualified professionals like teachers and doctors were locked up in ‘cow pens’, while schools and universities were closed and health services fell into disarray under the supervision of ‘revolutionaries’.” — OK, but the only difference between the Cultural Revolution in China and the ones occurring in the US (most violently), Canada, and parts of Western Europe is that “schools and universities” (really borstals and indoctrination centers) are in no danger of being closed. Those institutions are actively pushing the totalitarian progressivism we are witnessing and, to add insult to injury, they do so at the taxpayers’ expense!

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago

“In China, meanwhile, Red Guards eventually took over the whole government, kicked out officials from their offices and put themselves in charge.” — Important to know, realize, or remember, that the Democrats did the same thing in Rhode Island in 1935 in the USA’s first (and apparently only successful but let’s see what the Dems keep trying to do with Trump) coup. Only difference is that it was “bloodless”, to use the same sanguinary adjective with which the incident has been linked for posterity, “The Bloodless Revolution of 1935”.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago

It is sad to realize that the Communist Party in China at least acknowledged that the Cultural Revolution was a disaster. If the day comes when the Cultural Revolution going on now in the West ever ends, I don’t think those responsible will have the intelligence or honesty to ever even acknowledge the same thing.

David Barnett
David Barnett
4 years ago

Not quite. He apologised for the word “damn”. He stands by the substance of what he said.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

That is nonsense, David Barnett. It was a craven but pointless apology. Waste of time as the mob doesn’t accept mea culpas and he now has the scarlet “H” (for heretic) cyber-stamped all over himself. Just waiting for Room 101.

David Barnett
David Barnett
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Sieger

I agree the apology was pointless for the reason you cite.

I was just trying to correct the impression that Dr Starkey was apologising for the substance of his statement. His point was correct, and he did not apologise for making it, just for the language (to which only the box-ticking tonally challenged could object).

tangosmurfen
tangosmurfen
4 years ago

Remember the deeds of Deng Xiaoping. He took refuge at an army base where the Red Guard could not reach him. When Mao died he used the support of the army to take control of China and take a gruesome revenge on the Reds.
Let us hope that the USA has an army that just like the Peoples Army of China is prepared to stand up for civilisation.

Riichard Landes
Riichard Landes
3 years ago

what about the public shaming rituals. struggle sessions. isn’t there a parallel (altho less savage) with the public shaming that goes on in social media?

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
3 years ago

I’ve been ousted from VT’s Liberty Union Party( Google it). Called a “transphobic bigot” by a faction that supports the looting and wants to use the ostensibly non-violent Party as a cover for organizing violence. And media and politicians here are ignoring it.

johnjweyland
johnjweyland
4 years ago

racism starts with the 1% claiming to be superior

David Lawler
David Lawler
4 years ago
Reply to  johnjweyland

Like how guardian readers claim be be superior to the rest of us?

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

As a Yank, I am not an expert on The Guardian. Obviously, any paper that employes Glenn Greenwald … However, it does seem that The Guardian has more integrity than either the NY Times or The Washington Post — in neither of which can I imagine the article we are posting about seeing the light of day, even as an op-ed piece.