With all the talk of ‘democracy’ vs. ‘authoritarianism’, you’d think that ‘democratic’ citizens like their form of government. But they don’t. According to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, institutions in the US, UK, and occupied territories like S. Korea and Japan are widely distrusted by their citizens. And yet this is the system they’re trying to load into bombs and drop on other people. Meanwhile, an ‘authoritarian’ state like China is actually trusted more. Much more. Perhaps unhappy governments shouldn’t be overthrowing others.
As you can see in the report, 83% of people in China trust their institutions, nearly double the amount of Americans that feel the same about theirs. And yet Americans are constantly fed propaganda that, however, bad their government is, China’s is somehow much worse, and be glad you don’t live there. But the numbers don’t bear this out. It’s all hot air, blown out the back of an aircraft carrier, hellbent on destruction. They point it at the Middle East, they point it at Russia, it always has to point somewhere. Any reason to be scared of somewhere else, while your own life just gets scarier and scarier. The relentless propaganda is like the five-minute-hate of Orwell’s 1984, except somehow more dystopian. It’s 24/7 cable news and social media, telling you to direct your hate over there.
Trump declared war (sanctions are acts of war) on China and Biden is continuing it, and their privatized propaganda follows along. I’m old enough to remember when China was positively advertised in the western media because their elites were making good money there. Now they’re threatened and the same place must be demonized. It’s the same with Ukraine — which was widely covered as corrupt before the war — but which is now democracy’s maiden fair. Just as in 1984, the direction of hate can be turned on a dime, as long as it doesn’t point upwards. At the Empire’s ruling oligarchs, looting both the world and their own countries bare.
Just see the unfavorable views of China via Pew Research, to see how quickly public opinion can be turned.
China didn’t suddenly change during this time. The western media just started talking relentless shit about it, and the populations follow along, honestly helplessly. China became a threat to Americas oligarchs, who wagged the politicians, who wagged the media, and now all the hairs on the dog stand up and at attention to some threat over there. Meanwhile their own owner beats them and feeds them less and less every year.
The same Americans who can be very critical of the Empire one day will still rally around the flag when it comes to hating on China or Muslims or Russia or whoever the subject of the 24/7-hate is that week. They somehow can’t put their head around the fact that this Empire which they know sucks at home also sucks generally, and in every possible direction. People still buy the ‘democracy vs. authoritarianism’ thing like they bought ‘civilization vs. savages’ or ‘Christendom vs barbarism’ or whatever marketing tagline the rich put on the same old colonialism. It’s old whine in new bottles.
The logical thing that people living under governments they don’t like should understand is that other people won’t like them either. But they can’t see this because they’re not thinking of this of their own accord. They’re being thought for. It’s not like 50% of Americans just started researching China out of their own interest. Someone else was interested in showing them this story, and how can they not believe what’s in front of their eyes. It’s important to understand that the media is all advertising, including the news itself. Petty merchants can advertise in between, but the programmes themselves are for advertising Empire.
People in the western media environment (myself included) are told to see people in other countries as not people but as hordes that to either be killed or saved (also by killing, so same thing). What is supposed to save them is the liberal democratic system we live under, which we can somehow forget our deep knowledge of in our even deeper ignorance of other countries. And so the dissonant bell tolls. This unhappy governance you live under should be violently imposed on others.
If you watch the discussion about other countries, it rarely involves people in those countries, but rather ‘experts’, many of them literally paid by the arms dealers. If you understand the power of selection bias, you see that simply deciding to focus, repetitively on certain places has a power all its own. So people from the state release opinions, and state-adjacent institutions release ‘reports’, and suddenly everyone is talking about the same thing, which coincidentally happens to be Empire’s enemies. It’s a very effective system as you can see from the Pew results above, but it’s all deflection. Because at home, people actually hate this thing they’re loading in bombs and empty stomachs and exporting.
The thing is that people living under these governments know that their governments suck. They feel it. In the heart of White Empire, America now, people don’t trust their President, their Congress, or the Supreme Court; so none of the branches of government. They know this, but they still believe that everywhere else is somehow worse, despite not being able to find anywhere else on a map. But if they honestly look at their own countries, they’d see that it’s not the ‘authoritarian’ world on the verge of collapse.
The fact is that the ‘civilized’ West and its vassals are severely polarized (re the report again). China is a much more cohesive society, because the government actually cares about social cohesion. Yet this is the country the Empire wants most fervently to overthrow. And replace it with what. Your shitshow? The public — while living in this system they hate — somehow believes the lie that China is worse. Like Goebbels said, if you’re going to lie, make it a big one. So Americans — fresh of torturing and murdering millions of Muslims — now imagine themselves the saviors of Muslims in China, literally a Venn Diagram of people they hate. It’s such a stupid lie that it’s genius.
The fact is that these are deeply unhappy and traumatized people and they shouldn’t be standing in judgement on anyone else. Even if countries like China weren’t happy, any place that suffers from imperial intervention just ends up much, much, worse (re: Iraq, Libya, I could sadly go on). This is why the UN Charter says don’t mess with or threaten other countries, but the imperial West ignores this all the time, and calls it the ‘rules-based order’, it’s just rule by disorder, and a pox upon the globe.
These liberal democracies trying to ‘free’ everybody are not free nor democratic at all. Being weak representative democracies they have trended, as Aristotle said, towards oligarchy. They are ruled by an oligarchic ruling class starting wars and oligarchic media barons getting the advertising rights. The debt-peons at the heart of Empire are shown their own superiority in the Cable-TV Colosseum while the same oligarchs rob their own treasury for the privilege. It’s all circuses and no bread. But the poor peasants don’t have the information to put these two facts together. They know that something’s wrong because they hate their own governments, but they’re constantly deflected to hate others. I’d say that those in broken glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but what else can these wretched people do? In truth, they shouldn’t be fantasizing about overthrowing other governments. They should be overthrowing their own.