Young Master Smeet

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  • in reply to: Chinese Tensions #219004
    Young Master Smeet

    Just because Western rivals are making propaganda out of atrocity, doesn’t mean atrocities aren’t being committed:

    “In 2014, just over 200,000 IUDs were inserted in Xinjiang. By 2018, that figure had increased more than sixty percent to nearly 330,000 IUDs, with this rise taking place at a time when everywhere else in China, Han women were getting the devices removed.41 In 2018, eighty percent of all IUD insertions in China were performed in Xinjiang despite the region accounting for just 1.8 percent of China’s population.42

    “According to its own budget documents, the Xinjiang government invested tens of millions of dollars into a birth control surgery programme from 2016 onwards, including the provision of community cash incentives for women to get sterilized.43 This has led to sterilization rates rising seven-fold in Xinjiang between 2016 and 2018, to more than 60,000 procedures; again, this occurred precisely when sterilizations are at a record low in other regions of China.44 While the rate of sterilization nationally continued to gently fall from forty to around thirty five women per 100,000, in Xinjiang it increased sharply from thirty to around 245 women per 100,000.45 The city of Khotän in the Uyghur-dominant southwest budgeted for 14,872 sterilizations in 2019, accounting for more than thirty four per cent of all married women of childbearing age.”

    (Finley, again).

    It does seem to be an uneven application of the child bearing policies of China.

    I think there are two issues: firstly, the raw numbers of humans affected (a by-product of this colonial endeavour happening under a greater world population than, say, the genocides in Australia), and secondly, the planned and deliberate character (again, most previous genocides have tended to be sotto voce, unofficial, and, usually, ad hoc).

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218993
    Young Master Smeet

    I believe in some of the re-education centres they are being made to speak mandarin, so there does seem to be an element of cultural suppression. The PRC says this is to help integrate them into the economy and get proper jobs: which I believe was one of the ways Welsh was deprecated. I think the difference is the Chinese State is doing this consciously and systematically.

    Forced sterilisation does seem to be beyond the normal oppressive scale, the PRC shouldn’t get plaudits for stopping short of murder.

    in reply to: Billionaire taxes #218981
    Young Master Smeet

    Farmer Gate’s

    “The billionaire couple, in less than a decade, have accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, more than the entire acreage of New York City. The farmland was purchased through a constellation of companies that all link back to the couple’s investment group, Cascade Investments, based in Kirkland, Washington.”

    Bill Gates is the biggest farmland landowner in America, apparently.

    “70,000 acres in north Louisiana, where their farmland grows soybeans, corn, cotton and rice, to 20,000 acres in Nebraska, where farmers grow soybeans. They bought and later sold an additional 6,000 acres in Georgia, NBC News found. In Washington, the Gateses own more than 14,000 acres of farmland that includes potato fields so massive that they are visible from space and some of which are processed into french fries for McDonald’s. And in Florida, farmers grow carrots on their property. These land holdings are separate from their previous investments in companies that support large-scale farming like Monsanto and the tractor manufacturer John Deere.”

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218980
    Young Master Smeet

    I think that links back to the problems with the idea of genocide itself: it is about destroying a people as a people, so acts like forced sterilisation, forced adoption, etc. are genocidal, especially as they tend to the elimination of the Uighurs as Uighers. The aim does seem to be that they will lose any cultural, linguistic identity at the end of this.

    Part of the problem is that the bar is set by the Holocaust, as the most extreme version of genocide (or the Rwanda case).

    It does seem China is going beyond oppression into a form of elimination, even if, it seems, they need the labour of the Uighers as well.

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218949
    Young Master Smeet

    This is a useful backgrounder on the situation in Xianjing.

    Why Scholars and Activists Increasingly Fear a Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang

    “In addition, an important foreign policy angle potentially explains why China has chosen this moment to impose a “security state” in Xinjiang and suppress the Uyghurs. In 2013, the PRC government adopted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure development strategy which aims to invest in nearly seventy countries and international organizations and promote a China-led Eurasian integration. As the grand strategy within Xi Jinping’s “China Dream,” it seeks to balance against American primacy while securing the northwest frontier: as the key gateway to Xi’s vision, stability within the territory of Xinjiang is considered paramount.”

    What is happening in Xianjing is settler colonialism, full bored and conscious on the part of the Chinese authorities, seeking to build a demographic majority in a border region: “At each turn, the Chinese authorities appear to have grossly over-reacted to the perceived Uyghur threat, coming finally in 2014 to view the group as dangerous, unco-optable and uncontainable – a circumstance not unknown in colonial and quasi-colonial borderlands managed by an insecure state.”

    “Viewed through this lens, the situation begins to resemble a colonial genocide, where the perpetrator targets the indigenous peoples on the frontier because of their growing resistance to the former’s predatory behaviour.”

    ““It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide. These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.””

    The aim may not be to absolutely wipe out the Uighurs, but to reduce them to a demographic rump and shore up China’s Western border.

    “Kazmi’s point about the US being itself imperialist and more interested in maintaining its position as global hegemon, supported by its UK partner in the “special relationship,” is well made. In the US, the Left has been similarly slow to react to the Xinjiang crisis owing to its reticence toward the idea of finding common ground with Trump-era Republicans.132 But in June 2020, something happened that provoked a shift: following publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where It Happened, it emerged that Trump had secretly encouraged Xi to continue constructing internment camps to detain Uyghurs. This revelation, argues investigative journalist Casey Michel, has opened up “an opportunity for the left to move into the moral vacuum Trump has created – and that [Joe] Biden, and Democrats more broadly, are suddenly moving to fill.””

    It’s clear that meaningfully PRC is committing democide/genocide.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #218279
    Young Master Smeet

    Alan, Hear, hear. It’s been tough, a lot of people have sided with the rocket launches. It’s taken some quiet ‘No war but the class war’ phraseology. Hamas’ rockets are rational, they cost $500 compared to $40K for Iron Dome rockets, but likewise Israel struck at the homes and property of richer Palestinians. The pass and fell of mighty powers.

    in reply to: SPEW and elections #218191
    Young Master Smeet

    They’ve actually done something quite clever with TUSC: basically, it’s just a franchise/brand, and anyone can stand as a TUSC candidate, as long as they agree with the platform approved by the steering committee, so they don’t need a network of branches or a top down bureaucracy.

    Of course, this is classic front work, so, while they ostensibly aren’t in complete control of the situation, in practice they control all the co-ordinating levers. But it does point to a slightly different way of doing politics (though, I suspect, this is more like how US political parties operate, individuals and groups campaign under the brand umbrella, as compared to the European mass membership party model).

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #218094
    Young Master Smeet

    I always thought the right of return was the bargaining chip they would cash in for a final deal.

    ISTR the Russian immigrants were far from unproblematic.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #218062
    Young Master Smeet

    “Is the interview using data more up to date?”

    Yes, it brings the article up to date: the interview was this year.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217997
    Young Master Smeet

    Yes, I managed to get a proper listen this morning, and it is heartening to hear a class analysis, which gets drowned out in so much of the noise about Israel/Palestine as abstract/total entities. I think the only thing missing was discussion of the Israeli Jewish working class’ conditions, because it’s not a bed of roses for them neither.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217986
    Young Master Smeet

    Oh, I left off:
    1: During the cold war pan-Arabism was a thing,
    2: Arab states gave a lot of money to some UK left-wing organisations.
    3: Soviet policy.

    These will have lingering effects among the older leftwing circles.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217985
    Young Master Smeet

    Alan, I’ve often wondered that, and some right-wing attack dogs use that point to claim anti-semitism motivates the interest. I think though:
    1: Muslim solidarity.
    2: The view that Israel is a colonial settler state.
    3: The geostrategic interests of the British and American ruling class.
    4: Anti-Zionist Jews in the Labour movement[*]
    5: The direct relationship between Israel and Western Powers means that activists here and in the US have a chance of actually effecting change.
    6: The historical involvement of Britain and the US.

    Are the basic reasons for prominence. For good or ill.

    [*] Many years ago I was at a Labour party meeting where members identifying as Jewish viciously tore lumps out of each other over Israel. Essentially a family row, and I think part of the issue is that some Labour members feel they were entitled to join in in the same vein.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217982
    Young Master Smeet

    Not finished listening yet, but this podcast and the original essay it’s based on is interesting:

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217936
    Young Master Smeet

    I think the Austro-Marxist are supposed to have looked into similar questions. I’ve not found the direct material before, but this seems to be a key work by Otto Bauer

    Austria is to be transformed into a democratic federative state of
    2. In place of the historical crown lands, nationally defined self-governing
    bodies are to be constituted whose legislation and administration is
    attended to by national chambers elected on the basis of universal,
    equal, and direct suffrage.
    3. All the self-governing territories of one and the same nation are together to constitute a nationally uniform association, that attends to
    its national affairs with complete autonomy.
    4. The national minorities within each self-governing territory are to be
    constituted as corporations under public law, which, with complete
    autonomy, provide for the education system of the national minority
    and which grant legal assistance to the members of their people in
    their dealings with the authorities and the courts

    And this statement:

    But at the same time, socialist society will also implement the international division of labor; it will thus also link the independent national polity to
    numerous international administrative communities that will ultimately become organs of the community of international law constituted as a corporation. It will thus gradually integrate the national polities as autonomous
    members into a great international polity of a new type. The unification of all
    of civilized humanity in the common task of mastering nature and the division of humanity into autonomous national polities that enjoy their own
    national cultural wealth and that consciously control the development of their
    national culture is the ultimate goal of the international Social Democratic

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #217934
    Young Master Smeet

    Paul Rogers has a good account of the situation

    Israel is the most powerful state in the Middle East. Its military forces may not match the likes of Egypt or Turkey in numbers, but the might of its training, equipment, technologies and nuclear weapons make it unassailable. Given its long-developed capabilities in public order control, such a position should also apply to its control of radical dissent within its own borders, as well as in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


    On the surface, Israel still appears secure but for all its military power, this is far from true. It may seem impregnable but remains fundamentally insecure. Perhaps the current conflict will ease, possibly due to late pressure from Biden, but whether or not it does, the one key event of recent weeks is the incursion of the Israeli forces into al-Aqsa Mosque. That will have a far deeper and more longer-lasting effect than associates of Netanyahu realise.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,655 total)