Beast of the Month - November 1997
Jiang Zemin, Totalitarian Chinese President
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
When historians review the 20th Century (that is, provided we don't obliterate ourselves before they get the chance), one of the favorite practices will be declaring which country was the worst mass murderer of the era. Of course, there is good old Nazi Germany, which, in terms of efficiency and quantity, may pound for pound be the best there is. Then there is the Soviet Union, which in seven decades managed to enslave and subjugate all of Eastern Europe and other colonies in a repressive regime - the leaders of which still run Russia, incidentally. And naturally, there is the home team favorite USA, and our Pentagon and CIA, which has perfected the exportation of genocide and mass murder to an art form.
When all is said and done, though, The People's Republic of China may very well come out the victor. And arguably it should. With over one billion people in its borders, this "people's republic" has had more opportunities over the last 50 years to kill more people than any other government has ever had the opportunity to before. Naturally, China wasn't about to let a good opportunity go to waste.
This fact is very much in display, due to a pair of films out right now: one, Red Corner, starring Buddhist actor and Tibetan activist Richard Gere, and the Brad Pitt vehicle Seven Years In Tibet. Both films have received mainly negative reviews and poor box office totals, but they are merely a warm-up for the big one: Kundun, a film about the Dalai Lama, written by ET screenwriter Melissa Matheson (she's Harrison Ford's wife) and directed by Martin Scorsese, the director of such masterpieces as Mean Streets, The Last Temptation of Christ, Good Fellas, Raging Bull, and John Hinckley's favorite film Taxi Driver. Scorsese is regarded by many as the greatest living film director, and this one appears to be an event film, a very inconvenient fact for the Chinese.
There were many inconvenient facts on display as China's new President, Jiang Zemin, toured the country and schmoozed with Bill Clinton, among others. And certainly, because of the high profile our korporate media gave to atrocities during our "anti-communism" days of the cold war, the mouthpieces couldn't completely ignore the wicked history of China's evil empire. But all in all, the message was, "Gosh, China sure seems to be trying to improve in it's record of human rights, and, well, they do have a huge market."
But, showing a brashness that would make Mao proud, Jiang, now the figurehead leader of more people than anyone else alive, while admitting that his totalitarian government may have made "a mistake" when it brutally suppressed the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations (which he also referred to as a "political disturbance" that had "seriously disrupted social stability and jeopardized state security"), managed to state that "human rights are a relative term."
Let us look at what Jiang says is relative, shall we?
- Religious freedom and national sovereignty in Tibet. The story that grabs the most headlines of course, thanks in part to the long backing of the Dalai Lama by the CIA. (John John's George Magazine made a big story about revealing the CIA-Dalai Lama connection in it's gushing 50th anniversary bash for the same CIA that murdered his father, pretending it discovered the story that long was considered old news at Kenn Thomas' Steamshovel Press.) Of course, rest assured that, had the CIA actually got the Dalai Lama in power, they soon would've knocked him off and replaced him with a fascist drug dealer. No matter, the treatment of Tibetans ranks right up there with the worst of state crimes of the 20th century. But not all violations of rights are in Tibet. No, there is also:
- Suppression of political dissent in Mainland China. Another one that gets the headlines, much thanks to the Tiananmen Square massacre, which pretty much laid bare that the "new communism" favored by Deng and Jiang still knew that power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Of course, still left unmentioned is the huge numbers of individuals that are toiling in Chinese prisons over political thought crimes. Which, of course, leads us to:
- Slave prison labor in manufacturing. Made In China often means this, the Chinese government profiteering off the forced labor of dissidents and other undesirables. Sometimes the use of the prison population becomes even more ghoulish, namely:
- Harvesting of human organs for money. A story that long has been rumored was recently broken by the ABC network. Long dismissed as silly lurid rumors, China is heavily involved in the underground market for bodily organs, apparently slaying the undesirables for their parts and cash. Clearly, such an operation could not be pulled off in a police state such as China without the approval of those running the country (a statement as valid for the American participants in the market.) This may be the most scandalous behavior of all, behavior so atrocious that all appearance of any humanity is lost.
And that's just the highlights, but it gives a good picture of what is going on in China. "Relatively" speaking, we are talking about a society whose rulers show absolute contempt for its people.
Perhaps the United States isn't one to wag its finger at China, considering our own hypocrisy and contempt for human rights. No worry: Clinton certainly isn't wagging his finger too hard, perhaps partly due to dubious funds he has received in complex deals that stink the stench of illegal fundraising. The money trail is convoluted, but along with Indonesia, another Asian autocracy, China appears to be heavily involved in the laundering scheme.
Of course, even without such blackmail, it's obvious to see why Clinton and others are so silent on condemning China: it is, after all, the world's largest market, and sometime in the 21st century may become the world's largest economy. When Mao was in charge, communism meant centralized planning of industry that led to mass famines; under Jiang, it is a mere slogan thrown out while the dictatorship class collaborates with multi-national corporations to exploit the masses. No wonder one of the biggest promoters of business in China is Henry Kissinger, a man with a notorious history of promoting despots of all stripes to the business elite. Recently, he was hired on by Michael Eisner and Disney to promote the studio to China. Disney, not so incidentally, is the studio behind Scorsese's Kundun, and the Kissinger deal appears to be an attempt to apologize for backing a film that so clearly shows China for what it is. So much for Hollywood outrage.
Expect less and less criticism in China in the future, and more and more of gushing promotion that the korporate media began spewing out in their usual fawning style while Zemin chummed it up with the American elite. Yes, China is a big boondoggle, and no reason to upset business with silly talk about relative terms like human rights. Besides, much of what China is doing is what people like Kissinger have long been trying to implement in the USA. Hell, in the past year, our good friends at Wackenhut (the biggest for-profit prison contractor and noted CIA front) have been heavily promoting prison labor for profit. Which leads to the question: is China really an international outlaw with its behavior, or a laboratory for Western elitist wet dreams of a Brave New World Order?
Yes, China proves how labels such as "communism" and "capitalism" don't mean anything in the real world: their leaders, from Jiang on down, are mere thugs who will use any label and any excuse to empower themselves at the expense of others. And Jiang and his cohorts will no doubt continue to do business as usual no matter what name they come up for it. And for this, The Konformist recognizes Jiang and co. for the beasts that they are.
In any case, we salute you, Jiang Zemin, as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Jiang!!!
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