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China’s useful idiots A new generation of intellectual patsies are lining up to do Beijing's dirty work

Showing solidarity for China's Uighurs, unlike the useful idiots. Credit: Dale DE LA REY / AFP/Getty

Showing solidarity for China's Uighurs, unlike the useful idiots. Credit: Dale DE LA REY / AFP/Getty


December 11, 2020   5 mins

For much of the 20th century, a section of the western intelligentsia deluded itself that something worthwhile was taking place in the Soviet Union. There were of course those well-known, even notorious intellectuals such as Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Bernard Shaw and HG Wells, who travelled east to pay obsequious tribute to the “new civilisation” (the Webbs’s words). However, there was a wider array of apologists who filtered through into the Labour Party, the trade unions and academia.

The romantic penumbra that surrounds the dictatorship in Cuba to this day is a good example of the moral leeway still granted to projects that are nominally socialist, or which seek to transform humanity in some way. As Leszek KoƂakowski put it, progressive hearts which are “bleeding to death when they hear about any, big or minor (and rightly condemnable) injustice in the US
 suddenly become wise historiosophists or cool rationalists when told about worse horrors of the new alternative society”.

But the Soviet Union has been gone for almost 30 years, and today’s Cuba is mainly of kitsch value, its youthful revolutionary heroes preserved as a piece of sixties nostalgie; its diminishing achievements — education (Fidelista indoctrination) and internationalist healthcare (Cuban doctors sent overseas have been likened to indentured labour) — implausibly trotted out to justify over half a century of dictatorship.

And so a new generation of political “seekers” have turned to China for their ideological sustenance.

Beyond the mere worship of money and power, there is not much to like about the government in Beijing. The programme of socialist modernisation launched four decades ago by Deng Xiaoping has produced an authoritarian state capitalism overseen by a dictatorship which censors the internet, bans independent trade unions and pursues an aggressively imperialist policy in the South China Sea.

What the Chinese regime shares with the Stalinist USSR is contempt for ethnic minorities and civil society. Over recent years China has arrested a million Uyghurs and Kazakhs and placed them in forced labour camps. As Nick Cohen writes for The Observer, evidence of their criminality includes “wearing a veil or headscarf” and the “avoidance of alcohol”.

The esteemed British historian Eric Hobsbawm was asked in an interview for Desert Island Discs in 1995 if communist utopia would have been worth the sacrifice of millions of lives. Yes, the historian replied. The most charitable interpretation of Hobsbawm’s remarks was that it was at least plausible in the 1930s to believe that Stalin’s USSR was the only alternative to a western capitalism which looked increasingly like the handmaiden of fascism. Of course even that is a stretch: there were plenty of individuals at the time who eschewed fascism without embracing Stalinist mass murder.

But does anyone truly believe that contemporary China is forging an egalitarian new civilisation? Income inequality in China exceeds that of the United States. Moreover, when it is not herding Uighurs into the Gulag, the Chinese Communist Party is busy suppressing young Chinese Marxists who have noticed the gap between official rhetoric and the corrupt and unequal reality.

Yet much like during the Cold War, a roll-call of useful idiots have faithfully stepped forward from deep within the cosseted bosom of western liberal democracy to defend China from criticism. Some, undoubtedly chasing clout on social media, have decided that “Muslims are treated better in Russia/China than in the United States”. This is concerning — the “journalist” in question has sixty six thousand followers — but easy to dismiss as inane online prattle. Still, behind the hot air merchants stand “progressive” organisations that have taken the decision to align themselves with the Chinese state while one of the biggest crimes of the 21st century unfolds.

The Morning Star, long an uncritical mouthpiece for authoritarian communism, describes evidence of Chinese persecution of the Uighurs as “laughably weak”, despite mountains of material from independent human rights organisations demonstrating the veracity of the claims. (The paper has history here: The Morning Star’s predecessor The Daily Worker faithfully toed the Soviet line, defending the pact with Hitler and the murderous show trials in Eastern Europe, while of course never mentioning the millions of people being worked to death in the Gulag). It is shameful that the British Left treat The Morning Star with reverence as an alternative to the capitalist press.

But The Morning Star is not the only culprit; new organisations are springing up to do Beijing’s dirty work. Today we have the “Progressive International”, launched in 2020 by prominent leftist luminaries including the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, as well as Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein (among others). The Progressive International says it wants to “defeat a rising authoritarian nationalism”, yet it has aligned itself uncritically with the Qiao Collective, a vehicle for the promotion of Chinese imperialism combined with the sort of authoritarian nationalist groups that the Progressive International were ostensibly founded to oppose. The Qiao Collective brooks no criticism of the CCP and either denies the persecution of Uighur Muslims, or portrays their oppression as a function of legitimate “anti-terrorism” policy by Beijing.

Together with denial and obfuscation when it comes to the projection of Chinese power, the Qiao Collective pushes Chinese state media which depicts western nations as in the grip of strife and malfeasance. The Russian television station RT has long deployed a similar tactic. Western audiences are urged to scrutinise their own governments and to “Question More” — until RT turns its attention to Russia, when this critical approach is replaced by the party line from the Kremlin.

This glaring double standard is evident to anyone who isn’t trying to make a name for themselves as an anti-American talking head. Just as the Soviet Union accused the West of “warmongering” (sometimes justifiably, as in Vietnam) while it sent armies to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa to prop up bloody dictators, the Chinese State and its obsequious mouthpieces extol the virtues of racial justice in the US, while incarcerating a million Muslims in concentration camps.

It is perhaps understandable, although no less egregious for it, that the Chinese state should seek to downplay its misdeeds and calumnies. Stranger is the spectacle of progressive-minded commentators credulously lining up to offer the Chinese state their support.

Depressingly, a permanent feature of politics seems to be a stubborn rump of ideologues whose criticism of their own government co-exists with a need to develop a corresponding loyalty to another unit. Orwell called this phenomenon “transferred nationalism”. For Orwell, transference has an important political function: “It makes it possible for [the transferer] to be much more nationalistic — more vulgar, more silly, more malignant, more dishonest — than he could ever be on behalf of his native country, or any unit of which he had real knowledge.”

Authoritarian, rapaciously capitalist China is merely the latest “camp” that stands ready to be embraced by those who are temperamentally inclined to transference. “We examined the source data on the claims of millions of Uyghurs in so-called concentration camps,” said Max Blumenthal, the American left-winger and son of a former aide to Bill Clinton, on RT earlier this year. “We haven’t seen the evidence for these massive claims,” he added.

Blumenthal is the founder and editor of the far-Left news site The Grayzone. In the past, The Grayzone has supported grisly dictatorships in Syria and Venezuela for no reason other than the latter’s opposition to western liberal democracy. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespeople Hua Chunying and Lijian Zhao have both approvingly tweeted a Grayzone article which sought to rubbish claims that China is persecuting its Uighur population.

The Max Blumenthals of the world may be base and cynical (Blumenthal’s politics took a 180 turn following a 2015 trip to the Kremlin), but in this postmodern age, it’s apparent that people still yearn to be part of something bigger than the self. Materialism and solipsistic self-betterment are not enough though. They have limited appeal next to the desire — felt in the days when Wells visited the USSR, and even more strongly felt today — to be part of a world historical struggle between good and evil. Whether or not this quasi-religious impulse is transposed onto an atheistic communist tyranny is largely beside the point. The search for a tyrannical fatherland, a steady ideological pole to cling onto in tumultuous times, continues unabated.

With the emergence of the contemporary pro-China useful idiot in mind, it is worth paraphrasing the dissident Russian revolutionary Victor Serge, himself a believer at one time in the big idea of communism, who noticed: “when there are no more worthwhile banners, people start to march behind worthless ones”.


James Bloodworth is a journalist and author of Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain, which was longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2019.

J_Bloodworth

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Damon Young
Damon Young
3 years ago

One thing that sets China apart from the examples cited in the article is that because of its expansionist capitalist side, it has co-opted business elites throughout the west. To my knowledge the Soviets could never do this and were limited to ideological outreach. The Chinese performance is far more effective – vocal and influential business and academic representatives who are deeply involved in Chinese markets understand the need to maintain harmony between their state and the PRC and apply serious pressure in areas nothing to do with their business (e.g. please don’t mention Uighurs, Covid). Australia and NZ are examples of how deep this influence runs…

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Damon Young

Yes but it could only have started if the capitalist classes allowed China to grow in the first place. And now we are where we are.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  Damon Young

Ah, money to be made from a new Chinese consumer created by a government exploiting workers to create products the world was willing to buy. The benefits from the workers has flowed into the financial world and the government of China wants to keep it that way. At least the workers get a better diet and housing rather than staving in their fields. The social safety net in China is work makes you happy. And they have places for those who aren’t happy.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Not all Chinese workers are happy and well looked after by the state. The villagers and peasants conditions do not seem to habe improved.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

You miss the joke he is using. ‘Work makes you happy’ (as in not working and we will make you unhappy indeed)

LilaJean Wagner
LilaJean Wagner
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

The quote is actually a shadow of the words over the concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Damon Young

Also the colonial side where China bribes some Gov guys to grant resource exploitation rights. Then builds infrastructure like roads, ports, plant, and such, and a couple civic projects, all to be paid back on royalties. Then China uses 100% Chinese labour who live in work camps to build and do the mining and transporting and so on so no real local labour or training benefits. Then they use the royalties from the resource extraction to pay themselves back for the infrastructure, and so China gets it all. Land Labour and Capital. Plus the resources sent back to China to feed their satanic mills to sell to the world at subsidized prices.

Not quite how Russia did it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Of course, perhaps the biggest ‘useful idiot’ has been, for some decades. Joe Biden. Or Beijing Joe. Or Xo Bi Den, as someone has wittily called him.

For those how don’t know – because the MSM will never tall you this – The Chinese gave his son’s ‘investment vehicle’ 1.5 billion after Biden had flown his son to China on Air Force 2.
Anyway, the Feds are now investigating Hunter Biden for tax and wire fraud etc so we’ll see what happens.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The tax fraud was related to a six million dollar payment from a front company for the Chinese army.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

There was also a Chinese energy company involved at some point. And that’s before you get on to the millions Hunter took from the Ukrainian energy company and his father’s role – admitted by his father on camera – in the firing of the prosecutor investigating that company. Then there’s the 3.5 million Hunter took from the ex-wife of the Moscow mayor. It’s endless.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

To make the story perfect in a James Bond villanish way, there is also a large diamond given as a ‘gift’ to Hunter in the mix, and ‘10% for the big guy’.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Far from being the sign of a deadly secret about to be shared, the phrase -“the MSM will never tell you this”Is a pretty good warning that what follows is a half-baked fabrication.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Astonishing to find people still believe all the swill that is offered by MSM. Leaving politics aside, one of the things that has exposed this on a grand scale is the Covid pandemic, where we have witnessed biased, ignorant reporting and no-platforming of inconvenient experts and scientists. Sadly for MSM, thinking people locked up at home for months were going to tumble to their agendas in their millions.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

I didn’t say you should believe everything you read, but those “letting you in” on a conspiracy are usually talking even worse tripe.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Suspect a lot of soul-searching went on during lockdown, the early post lockdown phase could be one of disillusionment.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago

One of the things people believe from the MSM is the claim about the Uighers. Which is almost certainly exaggerated.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

What do you base that comment on? See Amnesty International’s reports.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

Thinking people locked up in their home? Nothing at compared to all to the unthinking locked up by fear in their homes. The UK section of the Daily Mail is almost universally pro mask and lockdown. Today a story was of a family being kicked off an airline as the 2 year old would not keep her mask on. 90% of the post up arrows were to say how horrid the parents were to put everyone on the plane at risk with an unmasked child!

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I’m pretty sure there are hundreds of American politicians who used their power to facilitate deals with China (and other countries) for people they know.

Richard Budd
Richard Budd
3 years ago

asdf

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Budd
Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Budd

But the links between businesses and capitalist parties and China will be written out of history now. And the blame will be on the “left”.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Budd

True enough, but then you mention the education and research industry attached…Well China is plundering the World’s intellectual creativity because the Lefty education system allows it, fosters it, from some ideological reason of all must be treated the same, even enemies of the state deserve equal access to top university and industry research and data.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

We spent the four years hearing about baseless accusations of Russian collusion only to have perhaps elected a president with demonstrable shady ties to China.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

In the last century there were three monstrous regimes who killed tens of millions of their own citizens, the Nazis, the CPSU and the CCP. Only the latter is still in power and most people no knowledge of their past crimes and turn a blind eye to their current ones.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

And when I think of the irresponsibility in not locking down Wuhan along with China I remind myself of Mao and some 20+M dead. A few dead to achieve victory is just fine. Perhaps it goes along with the ends justifying the means.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

or you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Mao was slaughtering and destroying multi Millions in the 1970s!!! In the very time these lefty intellectuals were so cool with Communism, and openly, the ‘Cultural Revolution’.

I also would mention Pol Pot as being part of the gang.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

Good article. In times of globalism it is important to be aware that bits and peaces of the Chinese model are already being implemented worldwide, democracies are, more and more, only democracies by name. They only represent the terror of the majority, nothing else. Governments around the globe are participating eagerly in the battle against so called fake news which battle, not surprisingly so, will only lead to more censorship. This will result in a situation that is hardly any different from the current Chinese policy regarding the internet. The corona-crisis right now is the main driver behind the future track and trace society. The Chinese model will become our future, maybe in the western case a bit more corporate than state driven but who cares. Safety and comfort is what people want and that’s what the majority will get.

Simon H
Simon H
3 years ago

Everyone needs something to fight for, it gives meaning to life. Gone are the days where we fought for female emancipation, civil rights, freeing ourselves from the yoke of serfdom, now we fight the very people who gave us these freedoms and support those who would take them away in the blink of an eye. Too much free time nowadays, nothing worthy to fight for anymore. As the author highlights, when there are no more worthy banners to march behind, a worthless one will suffice.

Peter Ian Staker
Peter Ian Staker
3 years ago

“when there are no more worthwhile banners, people start to march behind worthless ones”

Yes, you could say much of the BLM beliefs and conspiracy theories have there basis in the need to fight for something important. Meanwhile, conservatism is not as radical but often more necessary.

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago

A little surprised that this article doesn’t mention Martin Jacques, surely the original ‘useful idiot’ when it comes to western apologists for the CCP – have a look at this gem from the Guardian last December (just as, unbeknownst to us, Covid was revving up in Wuhan and preparing to take over the world). Not a mention of the Uyghurs, concentration camps, forced labour, mass surveillance… truly nauseating.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

Martin Jacques is unhinged. He has his audience but he went mad hating Hong Kong when his Malaysian Indian wife died unexpectedly in HK and he was convinced that it was due to racism.

Geoff Haigh
Geoff Haigh
3 years ago

The CCP is ruthless against all minorities and any Chinese citizens that dare to question the party and religiously follow its dictates. There is a very large, growing community of Christians in China which has to operate largely as an underground church to keep out of the clutches of the party and their persecution of Christians.There is an official Catholic Church in China but it has been sold out by the present Pope so he can say there is a Catholic presence in China. These sold out churches have to have a portrait of Chairman Xi right up at the front of Church where the alter should be the centre of focus. Anybody who has seen the brutal suppression in Hong Kong should have no doubts of what this Regime is turning very nasty.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Capital hypocrisy western governments and corporations were the useful idiots.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  Teo

Yes, those writing anti-CCP propaganda need to stop worrying about the poor little old Left, and look at the serious culprits. I guess knee-jerk reflexes die hard.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

An excellent polemic Mr Bloodworth, that unambiguously targets China as a clear and present danger to the Western World, and not before time.
You ask the question “does anyone truly believe that contemporary China is forging an egalitarian new civilisation?” Well yes, Eugene Norman on this forum, certainly believes that, and perhaps some others like him.
I was slightly surprised there was no mention of Tibet. Presumably it has been completely ingested by China, and there is nothing left to salvage?
Finally while you rightly castigate the likes of the loathsome Eric Hobsbawm & Co, there are also many overtly right wing capitalists, who have been collaborating with China for years. You should perhaps turn you attention to them, shame is a marvellous weapon if wielded properly.

Al Tinonint
Al Tinonint
3 years ago

I had a look at the Progressive International website, mentioned above. Its lead page states “

Our activities are divided across three pillars:” The third of which is:
“Wire: Publishing Grass Roots and Critical Perspectives”.

So, what is the “Grass Roots and Critical Perspectives” of those who read
the articles, the people actually at the grass roots?

We don’t know. Why?

Because this grass roots progressive organ doesn’t allow comments from its
actual grass roots readers. It does, most heartily, encourage them to donate to it. But
not, definitely not, to pass comment on any of its propaganda.

“O, brave new world that has such people in’t!”

.

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago

No mention here of Martin Jacques. Very surprising. he is a real Beijing booster, if there ever was one. The Progressive is never going to be reliable ally, since these leftist organisations have no party line and little internal discipline. The article also seems to have the quaint idea that China is communist. It’s an authoritarian state capitalist meritocracy, and, in Ian Drury’s words, ‘doing very well’. Capitalist firms constitute about 60% of turnover, independent organisations (including, and especially, trade unions) are not allowed. But, ultimately, the political dog wags the capitalist tail. As such, it is a different animal to neoliberal or corporate capitalism as we have experienced in the West. A rival model, in fact. And as such deserves, and even gets, in some quarters, a more intelligent discussion.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Davis

it’s not a “rival model” anyone who values their personal freedom would want to live under. Rival model my ass.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

I have long taken an interest in Russia and used to watch a lot of RT. James reminded me of why I have largely abandoned it. It’s maybe a little excessive to say that all you get is the party line from the Kremlin, but it certainly doesn’t play fair. The Max Blumenthal interview on RT was with Afshan Rattansi on his show “Going Underground”. It had its moments when I was still watching it, and he interviewed Conservatives even if he thought Corbyn was the Messiah (sorry, poor choice of metaphor, but you know what I mean), but he was basically a PLO lapdog who hated Israel. Also, he never mentioned Winston Churchill without a sneer. The last straw for me with RT was when Peter Lavelle on Crosstalk dismissed the mountain of evidence that the People’s Republic of China showed either gross incompetence or deliberate malevolence in letting COVID-19 spread rapidly outside its borders. Lavelle called this “playing the blame game”. Before I stopped watching I noticed that Sophie Shevardnadze, the granddaughter of the great Eduard Shevardnadze, had reformatted her interview show to pretty much avoid political interviews. Maybe James or a reader knows something about that. My guess was that Sophie found RT was maybe interfering more with how she conducted her political interviews and she chose to revamp her show so it wouldn’t be a problem.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

I have not watched a lot of RT of late due to no Foxtel, however like Unherd I was able to hear a full range of opinions on one station and that is a rarity indeed. Some of the program’s I loved. Some I laughed, but it was all there for me to choose. I have the app now and read some of their stuff. Still variety it seems.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago

I remember not so long ago China was our friend. Cuddly, lovely China. Working for a pittance. Sending us cheap goods. Buying up our nations and destroying our cultures. Jordan Peterson (I am a fan) was carried away with how capitalism had made so many Chinese wealthier than at any other time. Celebrations all round. As was obvious to some of us brain dead individuals some time back, Free Trade and Neo Liberal Economics were thier Trojan Horse. The useful idiots are those continuing to supply them with all they need to dominate The West.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago

Good article, but the author seems unable to shake loose from that final tie to the left – the belief that Nazism and socialism are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Note: …there were plenty of people at the time who eschewed fascism without embracing Stalinist mass murder. Perhaps, James, that was because they realized it was the same thing.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
3 years ago

Orwell called this phenomenon “transferred nationalism”.

I’ve long thought how odd it is that some of the most nationalistic – and brutal – of leaders have come from outside that nation. Stalin was a Georgian from the outer fringes of the the Russian Empire, who came to despise anyone else from those fringes. Hitler was born in another empire – the Austro-Hungarian – but came to espouse the ultimate nationalist state. And Napoleon was a conscript from the remote – and non-Francophone – island of Corsica, who went on to become the great French patriot.

God help the Russians or Chinese – or any other non-western state – if any of these modern day Quislings ever land on their shores!

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago

This piece by James Bloodworth is one left-wing sectist arguing about the stances on China taken by other left-wing sectists. I wonder whether Mr Bloodworth has ever visited China or, specifically, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as it is named. I have visited both.

When Mr Bloodworth says that “socialist modernisation launched four decades ago by Deng Xiaoping has produced an authoritarian state capitalism overseen by a dictatorship” what would he prefer? The previous state of China under Mao and the cultural revolution?

Those of us who actually understand China and not only the latest superficial Western media fads recognise that western countries need to deal with China in realistic terms, and take it as it is. The neocolonial mentality pervasive among so many western journalists, on the right as well as on the left, that they know better is a naive and foolish one. We recognise the overwhelming evidence communist China has historically treated ethnic minorities better than Han Chinese, including as regards family size, university admissions quotas and central government spending. Yes, that has changed under Xi Jinping who, unlike his two predecessors as Chinese president, is an extreme centraliser and, arguably, a Han chauvinist.

However, those of us from colonised countries recognise that what China is doing in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is not very different from what westerners were doing during the lifetimes of many alive today. At worst it is of the same nature as what Australia did to aboriginal populations up to the 1960s. Indeed, since 2007 the Australian government has applied special laws to aboriginal communities, including bans on alcohol, quarantining of a percentage of welfare payments and increased police powers including extended powers of arrest.

There is much criticism forcible abortion, contraception and sterilisation policies applied to the Uyghur population. I share that criticism but it ignores the fact that what is been done to the Uyghurs now was done to the Han Chinese for many years. The difference is that those restrictive family planning rules were not applied to Uyghurs until almost twenty years after they were applied to the Han Chinese. From the late 1980s until 2000 the Uyghur birth rate was twice the Han Chinese birth rate. In May 2014, Xi Jinping stated that “all ethnicities must have converging birth policies”. It was after that the Chinese government took dramatic measures to cut the Uyghur birth rate. I abhor what China is doing to the Uyghurs, but I also abhored China’s forcible abortion policy when practised on the Han Chinese back in the 1990s when western NGOs were funding it and the western media ignored those groups who opposed it.

I do not see any political “seekers” turning to China for their ideological sustenance. But then I do not mix in the left-wing sect circles that Mr Bloodworth does. I do see plenty of people, including some commenters on this site, who are sufficiently educated and experienced that they have become cynical about the superficial news fads pursued by a relatively low-IQ low-information western media complex.

hijiki7777
hijiki7777
3 years ago

I remember Eric Hobsbawn being interviewed on Desert Island Discs and I do not recall him saying that the deaths of millions was justification for a socialist Utopia in what was then the Soviet Union. Maybe I missed it, but do you have a link to a transcript where he said that?
It is also worth noting I think that Noam Chomsky has signed a petition condemning the persecution of the Uigers and other minorities in China; https://concernedscholars.h

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

The Late Show, BBC, 1994, Interview with Michael Ignatieff.
It’s still on YouTube.

fu.saisee
fu.saisee
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

The YouTube vid is here — https://youtu.be/Nnd2Pu9NNPw
@ 10:50
(though do give him his due and listen to the whole of his reasoning for saying this… )

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

Noam likes the Communist subjugation of the Peoples, but dislikes it being done in a way which makes bad photo opps.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago

We should be very wary about a new Cold War. This one we can’t win. And unlike the Soviet Union China is the other side of the world.

Also anybody feel it’s a bit off that we are being lectured now about China’s abuses. Where was the hostility to China when the western, particularly American capitalist classes, were exporting the entire manufacturing base to china? Shouting free trade and libertarian dogma is where they were, pathologising resistance as socialist, or nationalist, and futile. When Matt Riddly talks about capitalism and globalism raising billions out of poverty in the last few decades he was referring mostly to China. The Economist praised China as reformist for decades, until it caught up in GDP. The conservatives wanted to be China’s best friends in Europe.

That was still communist China, Authoritarian, hostile to ethnic minorities and with a one child policy. Heirs to Mao.

Now that China is a potential military threat (but only to its near abroad and US hegemony) and an economic threat not to workers but to US capitalists it’s the new great enemy. We have always been at war with EastAsia.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

“This one we can’t win”. Nonsense Eugene, pull yourself together, that’s pathetic defeatist talk, and you know it.

As for “China is the other side of world”. So what? Have you not heard of ICBM’s, both submarine and land launched? China will be vaporised in less than two hours, with no US casualties to speak of.

It time for the US to “Lock and Load” as they say, for all our sakes.

Martin Davis
Martin Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Are you an idiot? Is this April 1st? Is this a sort of knee-jerk over compensation for Eugene’s simplicities? Even a small nuclear war would be exceedingly disruptive, let alone the catastrophe you envisage.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Davis

Gosh, what a vulgar young chap you are! Perhaps I should ask you the same question, but I already know the answer.

You must be one of those male hysterics who believes in all that MAD nonsense? You should speak to your farther, who as I recall is made of sterner stuff.

You recall Mao’s view of Nuclear War?
Do you think the present crowd are any better?

Do you know anything about Nuclear War, or is your expertise mainly concerned with Sugar Beet? This is not meant as an insult but merely a query. No one would deny there will be huge casualties, it is axiomatic in such a conflict. What is of paramount importance is where those casualties are inflicted. Currently that will be China.

Although I am not a disciple of this new Green Cult, I gather that a reduction in the world’s population of say two billion, would be rather advantageous in many ways, or would you disagree?

.

Andy Clark
Andy Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Presumably the reason a reduction of 2 billion would be advantageous is that it would alleviate the problems of environmental pressures. Perhaps also less folk that you think you don’t like, though for any individual you haven’t met that might be a bit of a harsh view.

But then isn’t that also defeatist talk, just of a different sort, when there are by definition better, if not so easy solutions. After all, murder doesn’t sound like a best solution other than in limited set of cases.

I mean, sure, 2 billion less people does sound on the face of it like less pressures and problems, but the more difficult challenge of solving energy, environmental, and political matters isn’t inevitably one that is beyond us. Let’s not be lazy about our ambitions.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Clark

“War is the father of all things”.

LilaJean Wagner
LilaJean Wagner
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Of course you’ve never heard of MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction. We don’t need to start a world-wide conflagration.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

It is not a question of if, but when.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

“Can’t win?” – Of course it can be won, but not militarily. Trump with his tariffs was a first try, but the ultimate is restoration of manufacturing via modernization to compete fairly. The Chinese model of state subsidy along with unfair labor fails as labor becomes less a factor. But as long as finance can create profit from simple transactions capital deployment gets trapped in finance not production. The state can affect that by suitable tax policy but politicians are afraid of their doners.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Invoking Orwell to support a totalitarian dictatorship is quite…. Orwellian.

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago

Anti Americanism has completely undermined the Western Left.
The left’s thought leaders and advocates have become buffoons as they dance for their ideology.
This story is another monument to the Lefts intellectual corruption.

That being said one should not get too whipped out about the Uighurs. They were made by the Chinese state in the 18th century when they were empowered to genocide the Buddhist Mongol Oirats of XinJiang and take their land. They are being unmade now Islamists have been foolish enough to reveal themselves within the Uighur community.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

Harry Potter
Harry Potter
3 years ago

it’s imperial Ching exterminated the Dzungars.
There’re another ethnic of Muslims in China called “Hui”. They’re not targeted because they’re sinicized Chinese Muslims.

Dan Poynton
Dan Poynton
3 years ago

I know The Grayzone and Max Blumenthal lean drunkenly left at times, but is he really as bad as painted here – “base and cynical”? Yes, his appraisal of the Uighur situation seems delusional and dangerous, but if this assessment of him is legitimate it is indeed a depressing thing to learn today.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan Poynton

Short answer: Yes.

fu.saisee
fu.saisee
3 years ago

Thanks James. I live here in Hong Kong and lived many years in China, and wondering how could it be that I’ve only just now heard about “The Qiao Collective”.
Thanks for putting me in the picture. I’d suggest they’re more dangerous than BLM, (the organisation, not the sentiment)