cult and paste

be careful where you clique

the candyland doctrine, china and short-term memories

Governing China is like holding a mad wolf by the ears. A foaming, mad wolf with rabies. if you try to let go, you get munched. the only hope is to hold tight. This is the mainstay of post-mao modernization in china. smile for the cameras, and whip everyone into nationalistic submission either by hook or crook. How else do you expect to rule a mass of 1.6 billion people?!

In Tibet, the Lamas have a history of ruling the country as they pleased, not necessarily for the greater good- before the reds came charging up the foothills, burning and a killing, the monks were the supreme local repressors and they got to hold the squeezebox…. now that power has crossed cultural and ethnic lines, its a much bigger deal. i.e…. only i’m aloud to beat my kids.

That is not to say Tibet hasn’t suffered at the hands of the Communist nitwits in the present and past, they have… but so has China. Don’t forget that somewhere between 18 and 25 million people either starved to death or ate each other during the famines surrounding the Cult-ural Revolution. This goes without saying anything about the present… the rest of the world has propped up the Chinese government with plenty of “make us crap and we’ll pay you later” trade policies

As for the Tibet issue, let’s get real. Tibet has always been intermittently subject to foreigners- not only of the Chinese variety- the notion that things were once EDENesque there is a real gloss.

The problem with the present Chinese rule is the EGOMANIA-  (i.e. we’re the best at everything, we’re older than dirt, we pay lip-service to the west but really we rock so much harder.) this creates the racist, xenophobic tendencies that lead to squashing insurrections and hot flashes of violence in temples scenes. Every big country has a tendency to slip into this mentality- America, Russia… but the Chinese variety is a bit dangerous because they feel like they have so much to prove. Look at the way they went ahead with the whole Three gorges, gorgeous Hydroelectric dam-n debacle just because the forebearers willed it to be. Even the World Bank said it was a bad idea- moving all those people, locking up the fish. There’s a line of rationality that isn’t trickling down correctly.

I do take my shoe off  for the Central Committee, It’s no easy task ruling Bladerunner China- On the outside, you got hot head neighbors like North Korea, The Russian Mob, and touchy Taiwan. On the inside you got disgruntled workers, a disproportionate number of frustrated single males, a lot of poor people watching a select few get rich…. It makes sense that most of the Committee are a bunch of Scientists and engineers…. , much of the time it’s the middle men, the local representatives that are to blame for much of the shoddy policy.

As for Tibet, they need neither the Dalai Lama nor the People’s Central Committee breathing down their neck…. They need someone to come in, and say…. we’re going to show you why your way of life is important, attractive and needs to be preserved- and here’s how you can sustain it in the midst of globalization- let’s build some schools, let’s rebuild the libraries, let’s build some high altitude laboratories, let’s farm what we can and create attractive, low impact tourism.

In short they need Norway. China has turned the rooftop of the world into a second rate Disneyville with a shoddy power grid and a lot of crap markets. Of course they paid for it all, and they had to push a lot of people and culture out of the way to do it. now they want what’s coming.

Yet, whenever people get all high and mighty about Tibet and the Dalai, I think about the time he fled Tibet in 1959. He was met with a Mercedes Benz at the border because he was an asset to some big, important countries…. what a thorn he’ll be (thought They). and what a loveable thorn he is.

All nostalgia and romanticism aside. From a geopolitical point of view, If the central committee relents on its grip of Tibet, Xinjiang province (uighurville) will slip next, then Outer Mongolia, then…. then all the rich provinces around the big cities will start to think, “say- we’re not paying big taxes so the money can go to the poor interior…” and they’ll create their own states to set up better deals for their regions…..

THIS is why the country is selling nationalism so hard. This is why the Olympics were so integral to the master plan. It’s the only way to keep everyone together. Minority or not- China claims over 50 distinct minorites- i’d still like to see the PCR diagnostics.


3 comments on “the candyland doctrine, china and short-term memories

  1. Tay
    April 19, 2009

    Nathan, since my experience of the Tibet-China situation was mostly formed looking North from Nepal once-upon-a-time by the Tibetan exiles I knew, you can imagine that my perspective is somewhat different about the impact of the chinese occupation. Nostalgia, perhaps, but perhaps the most heart-breaking stores, for me, were about the wholesale burning of the monastery libraries in an effort to wipe out the culture. I mean, really, do you think the repression of the theocracy was comparable to the Chinese occupation?

    But as I said, my opinions on this were mostly formed by Tibetan exiles and their Western friends (including journalist Tom Laird). Laird has written some very interesting books on the subject, including some new stuff about the CIA operation to train, equip, and support the Tibetan resistance. He argues that the operation had some success, but was simply too little too late the shift the balance of the war much. Needless to say, the brave Tibetan men that volunteered for this mission were pretty disappointed when their handlers stopped answering the other end of the radio or airdropping supplies.

    Laird also argues that much of the crisis would have been avoided except that the CIA had promised that the U.S. would go to war on behalf of Tibet. Obviously, the U.S. miss-played the situation and a war resulted. Oops.

    Anyway, Laird is a very cool guy. One of the rare westerners given citizenship in Nepal.


  2. NAK
    April 20, 2009

    you’re absolutely right about wholesale destruction and ethnic “shampoo and conditioning”. The book burning and murders happened/happen. no downplay of that

    what i am getting at is that it’s a much more complicated mess than it often plays out as, especially on the radio or at a lollapalooza “educational” session. these are not issues isolated to tibet or even the middle kingdom. surreptitious operations, like the ones alluded to, have only compounded problems.

    I’m completely disheartened with the modern remodeling of the cities and people- needless to say there’s much bigger forces at play, and the issue continues to be handled like a large poker chip on the table. The solution is not to simply replace the new guard with the old guard. The new guard blows and the old guard was pretty rough around the edges. It doesn’t matter now though- Pandora’s box has been opened wide- globalization and all its fizzy drinks have rolled in- you can’t go back to letting the natural state evolve on it’s own. what’s needed now is healing and a thoughtful remodeling that sustains the good of the past to draw on in the present and future.

  3. Tay
    April 21, 2009

    A couple of years ago a documentary filmed illegally in Tibet was released that really challenged the expat community to face the reality that even if China withdrew tomorrow, Tibet wouldn’t even be close to the same as it was before the occupation. As you say, the fizz is out on that soda… -t

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