Xi: the least incompetent of the autocrats

The National Interest has a story headlined “The Coronavirus Crisis and the Chimera of Authoritarian Competence“. I expected to read about failure of Putin, Bolsonaro, Trump and other autocrats to contain the pandemic. But it was all about China.

China is the only autocracy that has had a serious pandemic and controlled it. Xi has told lies and suppressed info, just like all the other autocrats, but at least he hasn’t denied the severity of the problem and actively undermined measures to control it.

Lots of democracies have achieved the same outcome at lower cost, but the article mentions only Taiwan by name.

What makes it truly bizarre is that one of the authors is a Republican member of Congress. He has had more than three years to observe the chimera of authoritarian competence failing at first hand.

A Twitter thread posted using Spooler

60 thoughts on “Xi: the least incompetent of the autocrats

  1. What did you expect from this glossy mouthpiece of America First propaganda?

  2. I hope that after the pandemic is over, a team comprising the best available experts is brought together and generously resourced to study everything that needs to be studied about the pandemic, so that policy makers are best placed to prepare for the next.

    Of course a huge part of such a study would be a review of policy successes and failures. Since Taiwan is prima facie the most outstanding example of policy success, the WHO, which has shown itself to compromised by China, is ill-placed to do the work that must be done.

  3. I hope that after the pandemic is over, a team comprising the best available experts is brought together and generously resourced to study everything that needs to be studied about the pandemic, so that policy makers are best placed to prepare for the next.

    Why only one team? Wouldn’t it be better to have multiple teams of experts working independently?

  4. What lie has Xi told? You could at least give details of the lie rather than just assert it in such a gratuitous manner. I know there is a widespread view of “cover up”, but as far as I can tell, it was a genuine mistake, not a deliberate lie. Whereas the US state secretary recently made a bare faced lie about the origins of Covid -19 being mans made when there is no evidence of this.

  5. @1 Oddly enough, TNI published me for a while, which is why I’m on their mailing list.

    @Hugo And, since the US is the worst failure, mistakes there need careful study also. Perhaps the Biden Administration will undertake the necessary inquiry.

  6. An online Australian betting agency today has Trump at $1.91 and Biden at $2.20 for the Presidency. So there’s money to be made if there is to be a Biden Administration! $2.20 corresponds to a probability of 45.5% and $1.91 to 52.4%. The balance is made up of other possibilities.

  7. The best-performing country anywhere is an autocracy – Vietnam. It has fewer infections (288 today) than Taiwan and no deaths (the big 0). Like Taiwan, it has prior experience with epidemics and like Taiwan, it disbelieved Chinese lies – closing off travel to that country early and disregarding Chinese/WHO assurances that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission,

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/viet-nam/.

    A major variable determining the effectiveness of national responses to the epidemic was closing off travel to China. At the time the WHO and China were criticizing countries for closing off travel from China, China itself was exporting the virus everywhere. The WHO later abandoned these nonsensical views while China, having gained control over the virus in Whan, introduced its own bans on travel into China to stop the importation of the virus.

    BTW I was astonished to read yesterday that the UK has still not imposed quarantining of those entering the UK by plane. They say they will think of doing this at the start of next month. The vIUK’s response is one of the worst of any country and they still seem prepared to “muddle along” and make a mess of things.

  8. I don’t think Vietnam is an autocracy. If so, who is the autocrat? The issue here isn’t really democracy vs oligarchy so much as one-man (I use the gender advisedly) rule vs a division of power.

    “A major variable determining the effectiveness of national responses to the epidemic was closing off travel to China.”

    Even more important for Australia was closing off travel to and from the US. Of course, no one could admit doing this, so nothing happened until NZ came up with the solution of closing off all travel, which we promptly followed.

    I was also astonished by the UK failure to quarantine.

  9. We now know the virus was in France in mid November, about the same time it was being noticed in China. Both countries had six weeks to realize they had a novel coronavirus but only one did, and notified the WHO on 31st December. Even after that notification it took France another month to find their first case. This timeline completely blows away the narrative of chinese lies and incompetence. I hope these new facts will be reflected in future discussion of this issue of competence.

  10. On Harry’s point about shutting down travel from China, I note with considerable disgust that the New York Times and Washington Post were running opinion pieces that criticised Trump for (partially) shutting down travel from China because it was supposedly ineffective and xenophobic and would be unfair on the tourist industry. That move was the one thing Trump got right, the only problem being that he didn’t do it a fortnight earlier and include all countries with significant travel links to China at the same time.

    Vietnam does appear to have done amazingly well. Maybe we can learn from them as well. Vietnam’s distrust, fear and hatred of China certainly helped. A touch of xenophobia, although unfashionable, is sometimes wise.

  11. Hugo, we already knew all the basic information we needed to know to stop the virus from spreading at the start of the year. The question is, why were we so slow to respond? If we can figure that out, maybe we can work out what the hell Italy was thinking given their country has a median age of 46. (Well, it would be lower now, I guess…) I think I may already know what went wrong with the United States, but I am unable to articulate it using polite language.

  12. Chumpai, things certainly look bad in Russia. Even if they stomp on it as hard and as effectively as Germany finally got around to doing, they are going to have maybe 5,000+ deaths. While I hope they do smash the virus as effectively as the Germans, I have to admit I have several particles of doubt that they will.

  13. Faustus again:

    This timeline completely blows away the narrative of chinese lies and incompetence.

    Mainland China lacks a right to free speech, lacks an independent media and the truth is valued far less than the propaganda needs of the fascist Chinese Communist Party. China has a history of doing horrible things then lying about it. Truth tellers face threats from CCP jack-booted thugs at best but also murder, torture and imprisonment.

    Currently the whistleblower in the Chinese SARS 1 cover-up, Dr Jiang Yanyong, is under house arrest. The heroic whistleblower in the SARS-CoV-2 case is dead, possibly murdered at the behest of the CCP.

    It seems likely that SARS-CoV-2 didn’t originate in a Wuhan wet market. The bat species that has been implicated lives 900 km from the market and the market doesn’t sell bats. No evidence of an intermediate host exists. Meanwhile, a lab that works with bat viruses is located 300 metre away from the market. Moreover, there are now reports of Chinese labs that work with bat viruses altering records.

    The Chinese government is making bellicose threats against any nation that so much as suggests an independent investigation to establish the truth about SARS-CoV-2, which stinks to high heaven of yet another Chinese CCP coverup. Also:

    Beijing also moved quickly to shut down scientific research. Last month China’s State Council ordered universities and research institutions to implement strict management of all scientific papers concerning the coronavirus, especially those dealing with its origin. Political vetting is now required before publication is permitted.

  14. Ugh, I’ll try again-

    Faustus:

    This timeline completely blows away the narrative of chinese lies and incompetence.

    Mainland China lacks a right to free speech, lacks an independent media and the truth is valued far less than the propaganda needs of the fascist Chinese Communist Party. China has a history of doing horrible things then lying about it. Truth tellers face threats from CCP jack-booted thugs at best but also murder, torture and imprisonment.

    Currently the whistleblower in the Chinese SARS 1 cover-up, Dr Jiang Yanyong, is under house arrest. The heroic whistleblower in the SARS-CoV-2 case is dead, possibly murdered at the behest of the CCP.

    It seems likely that SARS-CoV-2 didn’t originate in a Wuhan wet market. The bat species that has been implicated lives 900 km from the market and the market doesn’t sell bats. No evidence of an intermediate host exists. Meanwhile, a lab that works with bat viruses is located 300 metre away from the market. Moreover, there are now reports of Chinese labs that work with bat viruses altering records.

    The Chinese government is making bellicose threats against any nation that so much as suggests an independent investigation to establish the truth about SARS-CoV-2, which stinks to high heaven of yet another Chinese CCP coverup. Also:

    Beijing also moved quickly to shut down scientific research. Last month China’s State Council ordered universities and research institutions to implement strict management of all scientific papers concerning the coronavirus, especially those dealing with its origin. Political vetting is now required before publication is permitted.

  15. Bats are definitely a candidate, but we don’t know where the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus came from. It may have come directly from a bat. It may have gone from bats to another animal to humans. Or bats may not have been involved. We don’t know. We don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 jumped to humans at the Wuhan market or it jumped somewhere else and was present at the market because it’s a market with people from the countryside going there, yelling in people faces for an extended period of time, and then leaving. To pretend we know what happened and then take actions on these pretend ideas is very silly.

  16. John, China isn’t ruled by one man and to say so shows ignorance of how communist parties work. It’s a real sign that you’ve fallen for anti-chinese propaganda, as obviously has Hugo.

  17. US incompetence and systemic failure reaches its apex in Trump but the base of stupidity, incompetence and truth-denial is very broad in the USA; probably accounting for up to 2/3rds of all Americans. I’m beginning to wonder if the USA can survive this or if it is commencing its process of disintegration and collapse. The USA’s response so far has to be characterized as early stage systemic failure. Burgeoning systemic failure can lead only to complete collapse.

    I see no signs yet that Americans, its people and “leaders” as opposed to its few sensible scientific experts), have the least idea of what to do. Capitalist exploitation and selfish individualism are too deeply ingrained in their national psyche. I don’t think they can change, even to save themselves.

    The collapse of the USA will do nobody any good. The USA will “upset the board” rather than accept losing. I don’t think I need to spell out what that means.

  18. Faustusnotes, can I call on your expertise? I heard Hitler was a Corporal, so I naturally assumed Nazi Germany consisted of Hitler and about 80 million Privates, but perhaps you can let me know if Germany was ruled by one person with Hitler deciding the thickness of wall in concrete bunkers and what should go in the recycling, or was there some sort of hierarchy and he didn’t actually rule on his own?

  19. Faustus again:

    John, China isn’t ruled by one man and to say so shows ignorance of how communist parties work.

    If I may paraphrase your central missionary position: Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao and Dear Leader Kim Jong-il were not dictators because they headed up Communist parties and you should listen to me because I know so much about dimensional analysis and anyone who doesn’t see this is an anti-Communist poopy head who should spend more time rote learning each English language edition of the Chinese Global Times just like I do.

  20. The Phillipines and Saudi Arabia are ruled by an autocrats but they have done well with Covid-19, only 7 deaths per million.

  21. Turkey is also ruled by an autocrat. They are at 44 deaths per million, half the rate of un-autocratic Germany.

    Think of a 2 by 2 table. The rows are marked high deaths and low deaths. The columns are marked autocrat and non-autocrat. Go to worldometers.info for your data. You’ll find cases to put in each of the four cells in the table.

  22. Every thing written here is complete bullshit because it is based on complete bullshit.
    Everthing that is actually KNOWN about the Coronavirus crisis is written on the Sandpit thread.
    Brendon Taylor made an important contribution by linking a video that has a Caimbridge “expert”.
    The reason that the video from Brendon is important is not because it is true. It is probably false.
    That it is from CGTN is very important and very telling. This video proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Chinese Government has agents, either willing or duped, in the highest levels of the virology “community” of the west.
    The idea that an impartial investigation can be done on how this crisis started is just pure fantasy,
    Even if it were a non political job there could never be agreement on who the top experts in the field were. And even if there was a conscenus on who these people were I am shocked that people who are at least lay economists would believe that people who claim themselves to be experts and are recognized as experts in their fields are right even have the time. Does anyone really believe that there is no political aspect to how the Nobel Prizes are distributed.
    Then look at the bulllshit written about Vietnam. If the desease is real the Vietnamese either do not know what is going on inside their country or they are just flat out lying about the state of their country as it pertains to the Corona Virus. OR the desease is nothing more than a mass psycological operation.
    Look early in this crisis the desease managed to make it down to Da Nang UNDECTED NO LESS and infect crew members of a US aircraft carrier. Should anyone who is really a true republican citizen be expected to believe that with a start like that the Vietnamese really have achieved the results that they claim?!. Furthermore the idea that any set of policies at all could give us the different outcomes in different countries that are being reported is ABSURD. The world is clearly empty of sociologists. Of course the problem may not be the fault of the desease. The problem could be simply the fault about those REPORTING about the desease.
    But if that were the case it prove international coordination in painting a false picture about the nature of the desease.
    Everyone here is a least a lay economst. Have we not witnessed the complete corruption of the science of economics, and the corruption of its slo called experts, which has been apparent over the past FIVE decades at least?
    Why should it be so hard to believe then that the Virologist communtiy has been corrupted?? Why are virologists inherently more moral than economists? That goes on then brings us back to the point about ivestigations. Any investigations will depend on the perpitraitors of the crime to investigate the crime.
    What will happen under such circumstances. Humaity will be given many different versions of how this crisis started, all of them bullshit.
    This point is SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT. Why? Because it means that it is totally pointless to give advice to a government on what the government should do about the coronavirus becaus absolutely nothing is known about this crisis other than it was PLANNED. Everything that anyone thinks they know about this crisis, with the exception of those who planned it, is knowledge based upon lies.
    The known infection rates are lies, the unknown infection rates are lies, the death rates are lies, the mass graves even are lies. The mass graves thing is a old classical psycological opperations trick that goes back to antiquity. But even though the mass graves thing is a lie the desease could be real. But the thing is because the reporting about it has been obviously so false no one outside of the consipirators knows enough about it to give any advice.

  23. Hugo, you made my point for me. The ability to control a pandemic, and its impacts, depend on many things. It’s not at all obvious that, on average, whether countries are ruled by autocrats makes much difference, though you can always point to particular cases where an autocrat has made things worse (the US being the most obvious example).

  24. It’s highly doubtful that COVID-19 statistics from different countries are comparable. That’s the first mistake everyone in the above argument is making. Sampling methods, testing methods, tests per capita for every nation are different. Then there’s the reliability or otherwise of given tests, the training of the testers and so on. Finally, we get to the governments and authorities and their commitment to attempting to derive and communicate true national statistics or their commitment to falsifying statistics.

    A few overall conclusions are possible. The COVID-19 pandemic is bad over most of the world. Few countries appear to have handled it well; a mere handful in fact. The ones that have handled it well (so far) did hard, early lock-downs. Even among these, the siren-call temptation to re-open is already being hearkened to and their R0 is already climbing back over 1, including Australia. If this “elite group” continue to re-open their economies, their situation will rapidly turn into a mess just like most of the rest of the world.

    Economies simply cannot be re-opened safely this year and maybe not next year. The answer is to keep the non-essential economy locked down indefinitely. By definition, we do not need non-essentials. In terms of climate change and limits to growth we need to shut down the non-essential economy permanently anyway. Let us make a virtue of necessity and call this the lock-down to save the biosphere. It’s not Earth Day. I’s Earth Year or Earth Decade. At the same time, a different income system (UBI and JG) is needed to keep people going.

    If someone told you (with incontrovertible evidence) that you had to lock down for a decade to save the biosphere from collapse and the human race from extinction, could you do it? Or would you have to run out for a beer?

  25. “Economies simply cannot be re-opened safely this year and maybe not next year. The answer is to keep the non-essential economy locked down indefinitely. By definition, we do not need non-essentials. In terms of climate change and limits to growth we need to shut down the non-essential economy permanently anyway.”

    Do you realise how insane this actually is? Do you really think a return to a medieval subsistence economy is the answer to …….. anything?

    Or is something like the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 30s. Even they had non essentials.

  26. “Do you realise how insane this actually is?”

    HiT, you’re fairly new around here, so you don’t know the answer to your question. The answer is, no, he doesn’t.

  27. History in Time,
    Actually Yes exactly like the Sovieet Union in the 20s and 30s for at least a decade if not 15 years.
    Do you realize how insane NOT to do that actually is?
    Not to do that is so insane that to murder people who are opposed to it is completely rational.
    Do you realize that the situation that we are in is so insane that to murder people who propose that we go back to 1920s Russia is perfectly rational as well?
    We humans have reached this saad state of afairs becuase of the decades inaction of the current world leaders, especially the world’s western leaders.
    Even worse if we lock down the economy for 15 years our measures at this point will probably not save us anyways. We will need to do take drastic action AND get really really lucky to survive.
    That it is why it is perfectly sane for those opposed to a lock down to murder those who support one.
    The world is not big enough for both groups.
    BUUUUT the Buttbreaths that lead the western world aare not justified in waging wars of aggression in these comming dark times just to stave off their own collapses a little bit longer. That is why the people who have been leading us need to be burned to death, not for their incompetent handling of the climate crisis, which was an unprecedented challenge, but because they have waged wars of agression for decades. Burning them needs to be done to set an example. Of course I am not sure that burning them to death can be done. Most people do not want to go back to living like the people of the Soviet Union in the 1920s. It will be difficult to burn people who have so much mass support. The sheeple do not want to live like the Soviets in the 1920s and they do not give a shit if wars of aggression are waged in their name.
    Holding the leaders of the global axis of evil to account for their behavior will be a tough nut to crack.

  28. Just to repeat, just in case my message has not gotten through.
    Not to go back to living like the Soviets in the 1920s for 15 years is even more insane.

  29. Pr Q said:

    China is the only autocracy that has had a serious pandemic and controlled it. Xi has told lies and suppressed info, just like all the other autocrats, but at least he hasn’t denied the severity of the problem and actively undermined measures to control it. Lots of democracies have achieved the same outcome at lower cost, but the article mentions only Taiwan by name.

    It seems that liberals of all parties can only agree on one thing: Xi Man Bad. To admit otherwise would be to countenance dangerous crime think about the overall good performance of the PRC’s unique blend of Confucian technocracy in managing catastrophic risk.

    So the liberal media-academia complex has shifted into overdrive to blame “China” or “autocracy” for mismanaging the pandemic. Whilst quietly downplaying the dysfunctional aspects of Western democracy, in its degenerate post-modern liberal form.

    Think I’m being hard on liberals? To see how low they have fallen one has to look no further than the two major organs of Establishment liberalism: New York Times Will the Largest Quarantine in History Just Make Things Worse? and Washington Post Unprecedented Chinese quarantine could backfire, experts say. Both of them, right off the bat, cast serious doubt on the PRCs quarantine efforts.

    Of course for face-palming PC dumbness it would be hard to beat WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who declared in March:

    Stigma, to be honest, is more dangerous than the virus itself. Let’s really underline that. Stigma is the most dangerous enemy.

    That reminds me of Norm McDonald bit ridiculing the suggestion that the worst thing about Bill Crosby’s (“America’s favourite Dad”) serial date-raping was “the hypocrisy”:

    I’m pretty sure that’s not the worst. The worst would be the raping–way at the top. Then the drugging. Then the scheming. Hypocrisy might not make it until about the fourth page.

    That this post modern liberal nonsense is given a respectful hearing at the highest level is diagnostic of why democracy is stumbling.

    Then they had the cheek to blame China for not reacting fast enough or incurring extravagant costs! For starters, the autocratic PRC v democratic RoW is not an apples-to-apples comparison. China is poorer and its cities more densely populated than comparable countries.

    It massively understates the case to say, in the passive voice, that “China had a serious pandemic”. A bit like saying “Hiroshima had a serious bomb raid”. Wuhan was ground zero of the worst pandemic in a century, making it much harder to contol at “lower cost”. Everyone else had the benefit of adequate warning time and China’s hard-won knowledge.

    The covid 19 scoreboard is not reassuring to knee-jerk liberals. Most glaring omission: the blessedly democratic EU seems to be the dog that didnt bark. Europe has suffered a massive covid fatality rate of over 330 persons per million, more than 1/3 worse than the “autocratic” (actually anarchic) US with a fatality rate of 244 ppm. With sainted Sweden, at 316 ppm, about to plunge off the “herd immunity” deep end. And its all very well to talk about “democratic” Taiwan, but wadddabout “autocratic” Vietnam (0 ppm) or the unspeakably autocratic Hungary with only 41 ppm? China’s score: 3 ppm.

    So to say Xi was “the least incompetent autocrat” in managing the crisis is a painful contortion of language, contrived to avoid drawing inconvenient ideological conclusions. A bit like saying that Jack Nicklaus was “the least incompetent golfer” in the final round of the 1986 Masters. Yes, he chalked up two bogies. But I seem to recall him carding a 65 to beat a leader board crowded with champions, after everyone had written him off. Thats clutch golf. Xi and the CCP may have made a misstep or two early on, but he now looks like a clutch leader.

    There is no evidence that Xi Jinping told “lies and supressed information” about the pandemic. Quite the opposite, he was on the case from nearly the get-go, declared a “Peoples War” on the virus, otganizing the biggest and most successful quarantine effort in human history. Even our own ABC, with a puzzled frown, acknowledges this:

    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech over the weekend has indicated he was aware of the coronavirus outbreak in early January, nearly two weeks before he spoke about it publicly,..In the speech, Mr Xi said he gave instructions on fighting the virus on January 7 and ordered the shutdown, that began on January 23, of dozens of cities at the epicentre of the outbreak.

    It was lower ranking Chinese officials at the Wuhan municipal and Hubei provincial scale of government who stuffed up. The article goes onto report:

    In apparent response, the Communist Party’s top officials in Hubei and Wuhan were dismissed and replaced last week.

    No one blames Scot Morrison for the stupid errors of the NSW health department in allowing the Ruby Princess to dock. So it is a bit rich to blame Xi for the failures of lower level officials, particularly after he made them accountable.

    And it is not very helpful to describe Xi as an “autocract”. To be sure, he is “ruler for life”. But he rules by consultative committee, not personal diktat. I must admit that I had my doubts when Xi abandoned some of Dengs institutional reforms, of which I am a long time, ardent fan.

    But Xi’s competence in managing the pandemic suggests that cutting out cover-your-ass bureaucrats, provincial loose cannons and corrupt Red Princelings from the decision making loop might have some merit in crisis management. Xi’s China is now “Confucianism with a human face”, which takes alot of the Big Brother sting out of the apparatus of technocracy (AI, GPU and IoT-driven social credit, facial recognition and contact tracing apps).

    More generally, Western liberals have a crude and simplistic binary classification of political sysytems: autocracy-or-democracy. It was good enough for government work during the 20th century when rallying the troops to deal with Fuherer/Commissar totalitarianism. But it has little predictive utility in analysing the evolution of post-Mao China.

    We can see this in the perennial recurrence of the zombie “collapse of China” theory, which even Pr Q likes to entertain. This is motivated reasoning and confirmation bias, not science. Liberals already have a shaky grip on the reality of the 21st century. Maybe its time they engaged in some “self-criticism and re-education”?

  30. It’s not practicable in a society with smartphones everwhere to hide a pandemic, as the CCP found out. If Vietnam had a large number of cases and deaths today, this would be known. They may be lying about zero deaths rather than a handful, but what would be the point? Vietnamese paranoia about Chinese imperialism is on the other hand very longstanding and justified. It’s a safe bet that the national security faction in Hanoi are on the side of the environmentalists pushing renewable energy against the coal guys, and slowly winning. Fossil fuels have to be imported and can easily be blocked by the PLN.

  31. Historyintime and Smith9,

    Do you realize how insane it is to destroy the climate and environment to consume non-essentials? Obviously not.

    To suggest that removing non-essentials takes us back to a medieval subsistence economy is itself absurd. Do you understand the difference between essentials and on-essentials in the modern context? Again, obviously not. Here’s a primer for you.

    Essentials

    Health Care/ Public Health / Human Services
    Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders
    Food and Agriculture
    Energy
    Water and Wastewater
    Transportation and Logistics
    Public Works
    Communications and Information Technology (to a point)
    Other Community-Based Essential Functions and Government Operations
    Critical Manufacturing
    Supply Chains
    Essential Retail and Wholesaling
    Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial Maintenance
    Manufacturing and Production
    Construction
    Resources
    Environmental Services
    Utilities and Community Services
    Communications Industries
    Research
    Justice Sector
    Business Regulators and Inspectors.

    I am not suggesting closing any of these down though some could be streamlined and have their footprints reduced quite significantly.

    Here’s a list of non-essential services, industries and products:

    At least half of all military spending,
    Tourism,
    Non-essential travel in general,
    Pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars,
    Professional sport,
    Florists and flower culture (inedible, useless, toxins used to grow them),
    Knick-knack shops,
    Much hairdressing and cosmetics,
    Fashion clothing (as opposed to functional clothing);
    Alcohol,
    Gambling,
    Many private cars and private car journeys outside of work commutes.

    It is these very foolish and wasteful activities which generate most of the risk associated with the COVID-19 crisis and which also generate up to 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. These activities should be shut down indefinitely as I say. Unless of course you want to destroy the biosphere, push climate change, accelerate the sixth mass extinction, collapse civilization and send humans extinct.

    But I waste my time. You don’t realize how insane your addictions to biosphere destroying activities are.

  32. Kind of off point but kind of on point since we are talking about competence and incontence.
    This compairison deals with the shoot of two seperate airliners. One in 1988 and one in 2017.
    In the first case a US naval warship was operating half a world a way from its own country in the territorial waters of another country when that country was not at war with ANYONE. The US shot down a large slow civilian airliner that was traveling in a commercial air corridor. But for the past 30 years the US has branded the Iranian regime as the terrorists that I should be worried about.
    In the case of the shoot down of the Malaysian Airliner about 30 years later the people responsible for the mistake were in the own country fighting under actual wartime conditions. Evidence from seconds after the shoot down indicates that those responsible clearly thought that they had shot down a military aircraft. They had no motive what so ever to waste a SAM to shoot down an aircraft of nation that had no dog in the fight.
    Yet the western press tries to make hay out of this tragic accident every chance that they get.
    I do not know if he is still alive but i would set the fire myself to burn the 1988 captain of the Vincennes alive if I had the chance. And I would also execute any crewmen who said that their Captain is a heroo because he was concerned with protecting “our” lives. Those fuck heads on the ship were Confederates not Americans. Confederate means counterfit. The members of the Mexican Drug cartels have way way more honor than those that served on the Vinceness. Those crew members can only reedem themselves by proving that they totally repuiate their past behavior by taking great risks to bring the US Criminal Consipacy to a halt.

  33. I did not know that Ikonclast was up so early. I hope that he is enjoying his coffee or tea right now to give me a moment to write this, or right this I mean.
    Resturants Bars and Pubs. At the moment they waist quite a bit of food. They have to become more efficient. But people have to eat. Why is making your own food rather than having a pro make your food for you any more harmful to the enviroment?
    Why are professional athletes any more harmful to the enviroment than those that would stage a Harry Mulisch play in front of an Audiance?
    Of course travel to the stadium by car is very bad. But that is a different subject. But I guess yes it does make sense to put a halt to travelng to the stadiums unless it can be done with clear clean energy.
    Gambling. Damn it is stupid. But there are different storks for different dorks. Why create a new prohibition when gambling is so easy to partake in? But it has to be nationalized. And if those who currently own the casinos do not like their buyout proposals they should be murdered, perhaps slowly to set an example. And making a carbon free way to get to the casinos has to be a high priority. Or perhaps bring the casinos to the people. That might make more sense. In the US for example the military recruitug offices can be returned to the Native Americans and they can use them for what ever they want including small micro casinos.

  34. Ikonoclast of course, now that he’s older, has realized a bunch of economic activity he/she enjoyed in his/her youth but no longer needs is non-essential, and so somewhat inconveniently for the rest of us we have to give up things that ikonoclast always took for granted and no longer needs. What a coincidence! Also these things are things that a large part of the world is only now growing rich enough to afford, but even though ikonoclast has been able to enjoy them for years, sadly those black and yellow people will have to go without. For everyone’s good!

    This is the essence of environmental justice, and ikonoclast, you really need to read up on it.

    It’s amazing how where China is concerned you guys are so willing to ignore or straight up deny basic facts. It is now clear that that the virus was circulating outside China for months, before other countries detected their first cases, and China was way ahead of other nations in identifying this global threat. But still somehow china lied amirite?

    I don’t think I’m going to bother arguing about the rest of the “issues” presented here with regards to the rabid fantasies of China that are presented here. I’m not going to waste my time with comparisons of Xi to Hitler, or with trying to tackle the NY Times version of China that lives in your imagination. It’s not hard to find the truth if you look, and you guys have the internet, fingers and brains. Just remember you’re not really left wing if you believe American christian conservatives’ regime-change lies, or support fascist opposition to decolonization in Asia.

  35. To sum up, according to Faustus, the Tibetans, Uyghurs, Taiwanese are lesser beings who must submit to the rule of Xi Jinping’s China. I suppose Faustus would also like the inferior Vietnamese, Filipinos and Malaysians to allow China to annex the South China Sea and to continue ramming and sinking fishing boats in that area. Faustus knows this is left wing because he can do dimensional analysis and he reads the Chinese Global Times every day.

  36. Hugo, Faustus didn’t actually say that. When someone hands you a 50 foot spool of strong jute weave, there’s no need to go hanging them with imaginary rope.

  37. @Quiggin – thank you for replying. I was disappointed to hear the Chinese diplomat giving airtime to the idea that Covid-19 originated in the US. But that is not the same thing as saying “Xi lied”. It’s wrong to attribute that particular diplomat’s actions to Xi Jinping. In fact, China’s ambassador to the US later disassociated China from the idea that Covid-19 originated in the US.

    Also, if I recall the sequence correctly, it was US officials that first alleged that the Chinese created Covid-19; prompting the unwise counterattack from the Chinese diplomat. As far as I can tell, none of the senior diplomats in China have pushed the line that Covid-19 originated in the US; whereas the US Secretary of State continues even now to push the line that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan.

    It’s also fair to say that the Chinese diplomat did not actually lie; from the CNN article you cited, he was simply asking a question; whereas the US State Secretary actually claimed that he had intelligence to the effect that the virus originated in a China lab. That claim has not been substantiated, and it appears there is no such intelligence at all. So if there is barefaced lying, it is surely only the US State Secretary that has engaged in it. (I wonder if his background in the CIA has pre-disposed him to telling lies as an instrument of US foreign policy?)

    In any event, it seems wrong accuse Xi Jinping himself of lying. Are there any other details that led you to make this claim?

  38. Wow I just read that collapse of China article from JQ and it is quite shocking. So many mistakes! Written in 2011! Well, 9 years later China has faced a major fascist uprising in its most global city and a huge pandemic, and is still around. I would be interested to see what John thinks of the imminent possibility of collapse now?

    Also I would be interested in whether John is reassessing his idea that Zhao Lijian’s accusation about the Wuhan games was ridiculous, now that we know the virus was circulating in Paris in mid-November. Out of interest, how far back do cases have to be discovered, and in how many cases, before you entertain the possibility that it didn’t start in China? Remember, HIV was identified in gay men in the USA, but originated in heterosexual people in Africa. New viruses are identified in people with common characteristics that make them traceable (same sexual behavior, same market use), not necessarily in the place where they start. What does it mean for your theory of autocratic everything if it does turn out that this virus originated outside China? Will you then accept that the “last competent autocrat” saved the world from a deadly and fast-spreading virus by identifying it before it could consume us all? Or will you just move on to the next reason China is terrible?

  39. faustusnotes,

    You are reading what you want to read, not what J.Q. wrote. His article was warning people to not expect “markets” to produce “democracy” and also that existent or nascent hegemonic powers are not always as hegemonic as they appear. BTW, your “China can do no wrong” narrative is absurd as the “USA can do no wrong” narrative. Superpowers follow realpolitik and machtpolitik. Power corrupts.

  40. Faustusnotes,
    There is validity in what Ikonoclast is saying about the need to kill not only capitalism but even industrialism. Yes people who are living in the developing world are going to have to learn that they will never have what we in the west had for a lifetime. Period. If they do not learn that they are counterrevolutionaries and must suffer the consequences of being a counterrevolutionary.
    There is a catch however. The people of developing countries do not have to give up their dreams until the people of the west give up their’s first. The people of the west have to change fast. But they started down the path they have taken before they realized the consequences of going down that path. That lack of understanding is a mitigating circumstance in the defence of their failure to do what has needed to be done.
    Furthermore as a lay psycologist I recognize and you should too that it is painful to give things up that you have been used to. On the other hand moving up the economic ladder is pleasent as it removes a burden that a person had been bearing. But it should not be forgotten that carrying that burden was survivable. After all the people carrying those burdens are still here, for the most part. As a lay psycologist I can say with some confidence that being poor has both a physical and psycological aspect. When everyone is poor then beng poor is much more psycologically bearable.
    Smith 9, I think that it was you that said on another thread something along the lines that you will continue with your consumer lifestyle but pay the appropriate costs to do so. That is clearly a poiicy of bankruptcy. The costs of continuing a lifestyle of consurmerism are infinite. If the biosphere collopases because people do not want to live with the renewable resources that the biosphere provides the costs of not living small can never be repaid to those who died as a result of that choice. Even if you divide infinite by 7 billion you still have a very large number. Is it unreasonable to say that the conintued existance of our spieces is priceless? Ironically I can also say with a straight face it i also not unreasonable to say that the conintued existence of our spieces is worthless. This dichotomy can be morally navigated by bringing our spiecies to an end through a low birth rate. I probably should have written that this dichotomy could have been………. But now it is to late to change what has been written. hahahahahahhahahahahhahahaha (that is the evil laughter of a man that has been corrupted by to much power.)

  41. Faustus:

    Well, 9 years later China has faced a major fascist uprising in its most global city and a huge pandemic, and is still around. I would be interested to see what John thinks of the imminent possibility of collapse now?

    When the Chinese Communist Party grinds the organ, Faustus claps the cymbals and dances. There was no “major fascist uprising” in Hong Kong. Millions of Hong Kong citizens protested because they want the same freedoms and rights the musical monkey enjoys in the democratic world he so keenly despises. The fascists are the Chinese Communist Party that, inter alia, has a history of abducting Hong Kong citizens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causeway_Bay_Books_disappearances

  42. Wow Hugo, just today there was photo of a HK protester holding up a sign calling a politician a Faggot, tweeted approvingly by the HK protesters’ own propaganda organ. They set a guy on fire last year, killed an old man with stones, beat young Chinese women with iron bars, and ran around with posters calling mainland Chinese locusts. Not fascist at all, right?

    You did know about these things, right …? You were aware of the racist violence in the antiElab movement, right…? You aren’t just reciting Mike Pompeo’s propaganda without thinking, right…?

  43. China is paying the triads to bash and intimidate pro-democracy elements in Hong Kong. Apparently hired goons is standard CCP practice on mainland China:

    Researchers say thugs-for-hire have been a particularly significant phenomenon in mainland China, where local governments rely on criminals “to expedite their projects and extract formal consent from communities”.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49071502

    Examples abound, such as this:

    The church had faced “repeated persecution” by the Chinese government, said ChinaAid. Hundreds of police and hired thugs smashed the building and seized Bibles in an earlier crackdown in 2009 that ended with the arrest of church leaders.

    Those church leaders were given prison sentences of up to seven years for charges of illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order, according to state media.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-christianity-religion-crackdown-megachurch-chinaaid-golden-lampstand-church-linfen-communist-a8156031.html?utm_source=reddit.com&jwsource=twi

  44. Hugo, does this mean you did not know about the racist violence – and murders – perpetrated by the antiElab demonstrators? Or do you know but think it is irrelevant that the “freedom” demonstrators you support are murdering people in the streets on the basis of their race?

  45. The Chinese Communist Party has murdered, tortured, enslaved and put in concentration camps many millions of people. The Chinese Communist Party uses thugs both in Hong Kong and mainland China to terrorise ordinary people in submission. The fact that 0.01% of Hong Kong freedom fighters have behaved badly doesn’t condemn the rest or invalidate their project. It is clear from your own ramblings that you are running a typically racist Karen project to put down non-white people who step out of line: https://faustusnotes.com/2019/11/18/what-is-the-left-wing-vision-for-an-independent-hong-kong/

  46. I like to say there are 3 key challenges for our generation: addressing climate change, ending the refugee crisis and fostering sustainable & inclusive growth. All 3 challenges require the world to work together. It’s too easy to focus on the matters that divide us, and lose sight of the responsibility we owe to future generations to work together to make the world a better place.

    One thing I am sure is that working together requires us to engage in reasoned discussion; and it’s almost impossible to do so if we continue to hold on to a “Us vs Them” mindframe and labeling “Them” as liars.

    We can’t even start to engage when one side already labels the other as a liar with so little justification. Westerners with such a long history of labeling indigenous peoples, Africans, Asians, etc as “Them” ought to be more careful they don’t repeat the mistake.

  47. Hugo, The Chinese Communist Party has been far to merciful. I am psycologically prepared to murder 100s of millions of people and put billions in to camps. Being rather frail I am only physically prepared to murder hundreds of thousands personally.
    The world is not big enough for those who want to go back to business as usual and those who want to make a serious effort to avoid extinction due to climate change. I am prepared to define who is serious and who is just pretending to be serious.
    I would do so knowing that my efforts would probably be in vain anyways. Furthermore if I failed I would not have any regrets. I would simply think that humanity was better off that it went to extinction trying to avoid extinction due to climate change.

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