Insanity: a global contagion

Hong Kong is China’s richest, most advanced, most economically vibrant part. When Britain agreed to return it in 1997, the deal was “one country, two systems.” China pledged to respect Hong Kong’s liberalism, rule of law, and move toward free elections there. The Chinese regime lied. Making clear by now they’ll never allow democracy anywhere.

They’ve shanghaied Hong Kong political targets back to China for intimidation and torture. More recently, they’ve proposed to legalize such extradition. Hong Kong erupted in massive protests. The extradition bill was shelved (for now). But meantime the regime further antagonized the population by meeting the protests with excessive violence. Even deployed gangs of goons to brutalize people. In response, the civil disobedience is ramping up.

A sane Chinese regime would strive to defuse this through dialog with its critics — encompassing most of Hong Kong’s population — making some concessions to mollify them. Instead the regime simply threatens more violence.

This will end badly. Likely China will send its army into Hong Kong, imposing martial law. Another Tienanmen bloodbath. Destroying the jewel of the nation. The regime acts like it was appointed by Heaven to rule in perpetuity, no matter what. That actually was the traditional Chinese theory of rulership. It has no place in the 21st century. It’s insane.

* * *

I’ve written of how India’s Hindu-nationalist Modi regime is trying to make its large Muslim minority into second-class citizens — or even non-citizens. Insanity, given the long bloody history of communal violence.

Kashmir is India’s lone Muslim-majority state. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have quarreled over it; in effect they’ve split it, amid chronic violence. But India’s half has always had its own local government, and elections, like the rest of the country. But now the Modi regime proposes to revoke that and rule Kashmir from the center. To what end? This will surely enrage the population and make Kashmir an even more contentious and violent trouble spot; while poisoning relations with India’s Muslim neighbors (notably Pakistan). Utterly insane.

* * *

Great Britain, in 2016, voted to leave the European Union (“Brexit”), by a narrow 52% margin. That “will of the people” has been sanctified by Brexiteers as holy writ — never mind that it was based on massive lies and disinformation (Russia had a hand). Brexiteers intone “will of the people” yet refuse to consult them further, ruling out a second referendum, even to vote on the actual Brexit deal — or lack thereof.

The deal negotiated with the EU — belying all Brexiteer promises — was clearly worse than continuing membership. But clearly better than leaving with no deal, which would be economic catastrophe. Brexiteers insist that’s a price worth paying. They’re even willing to see the country literally destroyed, as Brexit could well propel Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the union.

So they’ve made Boris Johnson prime minister. An irresponsible goofball windbag at a moment of gravest crisis. He vows Brexit will happen at the new deadline of October 31, deal or no deal, “do or die.” (Trump cheers him on.) Johnson says the odds against a no-deal Brexit are “a million to one,” yet has no clue how to get a deal that can pass his own red lines — and Parliament, which has thrice rejected the only deal possible.

The sticking point is to avoid a “hard border” with customs formalities between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, both of which hate the idea. The EU’s deal solves this by keeping Britain in its customs union. (The EU won’t screw Ireland, a member.) Brexit fanatics refuse to accept this. If Johnson caves on it, they’ll immolate him.

Their Conservative party — like our GOP — has gone off the deep end. So has the opposition Labour party, with 1940s hard left Stalinism.

Parliament (having no Conservative majority) has meantime also voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Johnson could get around this by suspending Parliament. Unconstitutional you say? Actually, Britain has no written constitution. This thing is driving the country into very dark waters.

What’s that word again? Insane.

* * *

And what of America? Electing a deranged moral creep, ignoramus, criminal con man, pathological liar, Russian tool, and hate-monger, trashing every ideal America ever stood for. And 40% still support him! While no matter how many mass shootings we have, we still cannot ban military style weapons whose only function is to kill a lot of people fast.

What’s that word again?

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6 Responses to “Insanity: a global contagion”

  1. Joseph T. Sermarini Says:

    “So has the opposition Labour party, with 1940s hard left Stalinism.” Really? I am not following it at all but I find that extremely difficult to believe. Perhaps the right wing propaganda machine managed to get even you, just a little bit?

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    Well, maybe you SHOULD follow it. What I wrote is basically true.

  3. Joe Sermarini Says:

    Stalinism: totalitarianism, centralization of the economy, purges, state violence to forcibly purge society of the bourgeoisie? Really? I know enough to know that the idea that any mainstream party in Britain is going Stalinist is absurd. Stalinism is not going to be tolerated even by the most socialist of Brits. The Communist Party of Britain is not Stalinist and they only manage to have about 800 members. If you believe Labor has gone Stalinist, the right wing propaganda machine DOES have you fooled.

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    I’m referring to the Labour Party leadership’s economic ideas. The Economist magazine has called them Stalinist.

  5. Lee Says:

    Most socialist policies that survive to today’s political landscape are those that fall into the “reasonable people disagree” category, despite that they were once supported by an evil empire.

    Rather than using value-laden summary descriptions, let’s examine each (Medicare for all, Social Security for all, etc.) on its individual merits and build consensus around a practical, ethical path forward.

    An idea isn’t responsible for the people who believe in it.” — Don Marquis

  6. Lee Says:

    Call these instances insane if you must, but considerable portions of our world population are supporting them. To me that indicates that there are legitimate grievances that are not being addressed and these “insane” solutions are being supported because they are better than the status quo of being ignored. If we can’t articulate and implement better approaches, I fear that we are doomed to more of these “insane” solutions.

    Thank you for your ongoing blogging. Your posts are part of the sane way forward.

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