Submitted by Bodhi Bronson
Despite being a nominally communist country, China is not very left-wing. Their cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, are more capitalist, business-friendly, and money-obsessed than New York or London. Their popular media largely lacks profanity, pornography, and degenerate behavior of the sort that is promoted and celebrated in Western media, preferring instead to glorify and romanticize their national history. Their culture is in many ways deeply conservative, with their strong emphasis on the family as the primary unit of society (the widespread practice of abortion notwithstanding), and their stubborn clinging to un-modern ideas like “male” and “female.” It is for these reasons and others that pro-Chinese forces on Twitter have recently found themselves to be victims of the same kind of censorship and deplatforming that is usually reserved for the nationalist right.
There is at least one way in which China is exactly the same as American leftist SJWs: both utterly lack a sense of humor. This was made clear again recently when the Chinese government banned South Park in response to an episode critical of China. True to form, and much to their credit, the creators of South Park responded to the ban with a mock apology that further poked fun at the situation, mentioning the supposed similarity of Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. Apparently, this is a sensitive point with the Chinese leadership.
What isn’t a sensitive point with the Chinese leadership? They’re constantly complaining about various statements and actions “hurting the Chinese people’s feelings,” as though the entire nation were one big inner child in need of a safe space and a hug. In point of fact, Chinese culture is not big on hugs, even for parents hugging their children, and I suspect that the emotional crippling that results from this partially explains their later hypersensitivity to criticism and other neuroses. Where is a disciple of Wilhelm Reich to give us The Mass Psychology of Socialism-With-Chinese-Characteristics?
As non-Chinese expats living in mainland China will tell you, there is in many ways greater freedom in China than there is in America or Europe. Unlike France, China doesn’t care if you share videos critical of the Rothschilds and their banking cartels. In fact, they have a series of best-selling books criticizing those same banksters and their new world order. China doesn’t care if you happen to think that only 5,999,999 died at Auschwitz. As long as you keep your mouth shut about a handful of “sensitive topics” such as what totally-never-happened at Tiananmen Square, you can pretty much say and do as you please.
For all their admirable qualities — their unity and cohesion as a people, their remarkable economic growth in the last thirty years, and their current (though only partial) resistance to globohomo cultural imperialism — the Chinese always end up looking foolish on the world stage simply because they can’t take a fucking joke.
If China really wants to be numero uno by 2049, then they need to seriously up their game in memetic warfare. Right now, all they know how to do is play defense: a meme they don’t like appears, so they censor it and ban it. That’s like some weird pacifist kung fu style that only blocks and never attacks. Pence and Pompeo attack China over their treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang, and the Chinese don’t even bother to point out the obvious fact that their accusers have destabilized the entire Middle East and slaughtered millions of Muslims over the last several decades. The Chinese may have invented soft power in the martial arts (Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing Yi, Ba Gua) but when it comes to the soft power of information war, they seem to be at a loss. A broader criticism is that all of the state created media propaganda is weak.
If someone tells you that you look like a certain cartoon character and you respond by banning that cartoon character and any mention of that cartoon character, what have you done except to display your deep insecurity for all to see? It’s like the teacher telling the class to please not make fun of the fat kid — if they weren’t teasing him already, they sure as hell will be now. Even an amateur knows that the thing to do in this situation is to own it. You’ve gotta flip the script, like Sensei Lawrence says to that hairlip kid in Cobra Kai. Imagine if Xi Jinping dressed up as Winnie the Pooh for a kids’ Halloween event. What if he showed up somewhere with a big jar of honey, just casually and confidently eating the occasional spoonful as he went about other business. “Yeah ok, I’m Pooh bear. And did I mention that I’m Emperor for Life”? There goes any power behind that particular “insult.”
That will never happen, because it’s the most un-Chinese thing he could possibly do. Even if the rest of the world would like and respect him for it and his global popularity ratings would soar, the Chinese themselves would be dumbfounded and think he’d gone mad, and there would probably be an internal coup to “restore stability” and replace him with another stone face.
In this way, the match up between Xi and Trump could not be more disparate — the über serious dictator-for-life who can’t take a joke, and the clown world God-Emperor who largely is a joke. Personally, I hope that they really are friendly with each other, because they each have something to learn from the other. Xi could teach Trump how to really drain the swamp, and Trump could teach Xi the ancient and venerable art of twitter-fu and how to formulate “linguistic kill shots.”
Alas, that won’t happen either. Therefore, China will remain stuck in what Curtis Yarvin recently called “two stroke regime” mode, freaking out about every perceived slight and not knowing how to respond except with censorship and force, and America will remain a vermin and parasite-infested swamp that doesn’t have a real border or a real government or a real national identity. At least our Commander in Chief is really witty.