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Boris Johnson’s Apparently Bulletproof Political Career, Explained in One Scene From ‘Chariots of Fire’
Today landed-gentrying isn’t all it used to be, so nearly everyone must work, no matter their background. But the negative connotations of ambition, of trying too hard, never went away. After living here for more than a year, one of the biggest differences between American and British culture that we’ve noticed is that in America, ambitious effort is valued in and of itself, whereas here it is seen as preferable to have success without visibly striving to achieve it.
uk  usa  culture  politics  comparison 
13 days ago by aries1988
Against Murderism | Slate Star Codex

If racism is just a description of what consequences something has, then it can’t be used as a causal explanation.

So Definition By Consequences implies that racism can never be pointed to as a cause of anything, that racist policies can often be good, that nobody “is a racist” or “isn’t a racist”, and that sometimes the KKK trying to terrorize black people is less racist than them not trying to do this. Not only have I never heard anyone try to grapple with these implications, I see no sign anyone has ever thought of them. And now that I’ve brought them up, I don’t think anyone will accept them as true, or even worry about the discrepancy.

in our own universe, we recognize that “murderism” is silly: it confuses cause and effect.
Talk about murderism is obviously confused. But it’s the same confusion between the Definition By Consequences versus the Definition By Motive that we saw was a hallmark of racism.

To be clear – I am not saying that racism doesn’t exist, I’m not saying that we should ignore racism, I’m not saying that minorities should never be able to complain about racism. I’m saying that it’s very dangerous to treat “racism” as a causal explanation, that it might not tell you anything useful about the world, and that’s a crappy lever to use if you want to change behavior.

I don’t want civil war. I want this country to survive long enough to be killed by something awesome, like AI or some kind of genetically engineered superplague. Right now I think going out in a neat way, being killed by a product of our own genius and intellectual progress – rather than a product of our pettiness and mutual hatreds – is the best we can hope for. And I think this is attainable! I think that we, as a nation and as a species, can make it happen.
racism  definition  argument  politics 
25 days ago by aries1988
Politically correct cross-dressing in China - Dolled up for the party
Mr Xi, however, has allowed Mr Wang’s style of drag to flourish. That is because it has a long and respected history in traditional Chinese opera, an art form which Mr Xi has been trying to promote. It used to be that female operatic roles, or dan, were always played by men. Such acting requires considerable skill as well as the wearing of elaborate make-up and full-length traditional costume that leaves no skin showing from the neck down.
from:rss  live  female  lgbt  policy  culture  clothing  business  tradition  politics 
28 days ago by aries1988
Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?
In an inversion of the anxieties that might have surrounded a relationship between a female student and a male teacher, Macron’s parents mourned the likelihood that their son wouldn’t have children.

At the terrifyingly prestigious Lycée Henri IV, whose alumni include Sartre, Weil, and Foucault, he was no longer the precocious boy wonder, just a distracted new kid from the provinces who wasn’t great at math. He twice fell short of the scores necessary to enter the illustrious École Normale Supérieure. Instead, he attended Sciences Po, the social-science university, and also got a master’s degree in philosophy.

With a few exceptions, its members were young, affluent white men, who were excited by Macron’s commitment to shaking up a status quo that had been established in the postwar era and hardly updated since.

Of all the lines the candidates slung at each other in the course of the election, the one that remains indelible for me is Macron saying very calmly to Le Pen, who had just confused two French companies, “One makes phones, the other makes turbines.”

Their activity has been particularly robust in France’s “empty diagonal,” a band of low-density settlement that stretches from the Massif Central, in the south, to Lorraine, in the northeast.

By the end of the tour, according to an official count, almost two million people had participated online; more than sixteen thousand grievance books were compiled, twenty-seven thousand letters and e-mails were written, and more than ten thousand meetings were held. Macron spent a total of ninety-two hours on the debate floor. By April, his popularity had rebounded to around thirty per cent, from a low of twenty-three in December—not good, but not nearly as bad as his predecessor’s at the same point in his tenure.

the strategy is to “identify the causes of the populist vote and respond methodically. If we succeed, we will dry it up.” When the input changes, so do the conclusions, but only to the precise degree that they need to.
politics  français  president  interview  2019  france  society  macron  democracy 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
林猛:旧瓶怎装新酒?——评赵鼎新《当前中国最大的潜在危险》|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
politics  left  rightwing 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
1999:大使馆的血、北京的游行,与世纪之交的中国知识分子|深度|端传媒 Initium Media

出生于毛时代后期的一代人,少年时代的文化生活并不丰富,从冷战中社会主义阵营引进的为数不多的译制片,被视作珍宝。游击队电影在1980年代进入中国,因其叙事节奏快、故事复杂,区别于早年引入的社会主义电影的情节扁平、人物刻板,受到热烈欢迎。男孩们在课后扮演《瓦尔特保卫萨拉热窝》(Valter brani Sarajevo)电影中游击队员的角色,想象着像里面的英雄一样牺牲。他们乐此不疲地对接着暗号:“请给我放大一张我表妹的照片!”,“空气在颤抖,仿佛天空在燃烧!”“是啊!暴风雨就要来了”……那些电影塑造了一代人的记忆,让他们对南斯拉夫有着童年乡愁般的亲近感。




以哈贝马斯为代表的“人权派”支持北约对发生在科索沃的种族清洗进行人道主义干涉,而以乔姆斯基( Noam Chomsky)为代表的“主权派”则批判美国为首的利益集团重塑后冷战时代新世界秩序的野心。



politics  left  chinese  2009  history  usa  imperialism  marxism  nationalism  anti-american 
7 weeks ago by aries1988
赵皓阳 大浪淘沙




2019  capitalism  hongkong  manif  politics  youth  critic  anecdote  economy  immobilier  education  feelgood 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency | The New Yorker
Peter Hessler on the death of Mohamed Morsi, the former President of Egypt, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and came to power in the wake of the Arab…

The former President has been described as a martyr, but the term isn’t exactly appropriate. A martyr dies for a larger cause; a victim dies because of larger forces. There’s a tendency for some Americans to view the Muslim Brotherhood as a kind of negative essence of Islam, as if all of the flaws of the organization can be attributed to the faith that its followers espouse. But the group is a product of its history: it was founded during a period of colonial occupation, and then it was shaped by decades of government repression. The issue isn’t just that the institutions of the state were always opposed to the Brothers but that the group itself has internalized the brutality and dysfunction of its environment.

In a nation of splintered institutions, frustrated idealism, and dysfunctional governance, even the highest seat of power can turn into a trap—a caged man shouting, “I am the President of the Republic!”
portrait  president  egypt  revolution  islam  arab  politics  history  prison 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds
For the Chinese, achieving parity with the West is a long-cherished goal, envisaged as a restoration of greatness after the humiliation of Western occupations and the self-inflicted wounds of the Mao era.

In 2015, China’s then Vice-President, Li Yuanchao, invited Liu to Zhongnanhai—an off-limits complex of government accommodation sometimes compared to the Kremlin—to discuss the books and showed Liu his own copies, which were dense with highlights and annotations.

Liu’s fellow sci-fi writers in China call him Da Liu—Big Liu—but he is small, with an unusually round head, which seems too large for his slight, wiry physique. He has the unassuming presence, belying an unflappable intelligence, of an operative posing as an accountant. Rarely making eye contact, he maintains an expression at once detached and preoccupied, as if too impatient for the future to commit his full attention to the present.

his father had turned him on to speculative fiction, giving him a copy of Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” To the young Liu, reading Verne’s book was like walking through a door to another world. “Everything in it was described with such authority and scrupulous attention to detail that I thought it had to be real,” Liu told me.

Although physics furnishes the novels’ premises, it is politics that drives the plots. At every turn, the characters are forced to make brutal calculations in which moral absolutism is pitted against the greater good. In their pursuit of survival, men and women employ Machiavellian game theory and adopt a bleak consequentialism. In Liu’s fictional universe, idealism is fatal and kindness an exorbitant luxury. As one general says in the trilogy, “In a time of war, we can’t afford to be too scrupulous.” Indeed, it is usually when people do not play by the rules of Realpolitik that the most lives are lost.

“What about individual liberty and freedom of governance?” He sighed, as if exhausted by a debate going on in his head. “But that’s not what Chinese people care about. For ordinary folks, it’s the cost of health care, real-estate prices, their children’s education. Not democracy.”

“Here’s the truth: if you were to become the President of China tomorrow, you would find that you had no other choice than to do exactly as he has done.”

It was an opinion entirely consistent with his systems-level view of human societies, just as mine reflected a belief in democracy and individualism as principles to be upheld regardless of outcomes.

When Liu is at his most relaxed, which is usually when he’s looking at, or learning about, something, he sounds almost like a child. There’s an upward lilt to his voice that suggests a kind of naïve wonder—someone happily lost in his own boundless curiosity.
interview  scifi  chinese  politics  today  history  bio  portrait  family 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
郑力轩:战争的昭和、暧昧的平成,曙光初露的令和|深度|端传媒 Initium Media



在雇用上采取长期雇用、不轻易裁员的制度。员工(通常限定在男性)在学校毕业后集体进入企业,到55岁前享受安定雇用的保障。其次,在企业治理上,日本企业主要由终身在同一公司工作的经理人所控制,许多董事会(取缔役会) 成为经理人升迁的一部份,而非欧美式股东利益的代表。也因此,日本企业的决策往往出现以“从业员福祉”而非“股东利润”为核心的运作型态。



analysis  history  japan  epoch  politics  economy  society  policy  comparison 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
专访宪法学者张千帆:宪政文明的暖流会融化中国体制的坚冰|深度|端传媒 Initium Media





interview  opinion  constitution  china  hongkong  game  theory  democracy  today  future  leader  intelligentsia  reform  politics 
april 2019 by aries1988
周濂: 个人自由与大国崛起——从马克斯.韦伯的政治光谱谈起


opinion  book  politics  deutsch  nationalism  liberalism 
april 2019 by aries1988
A Certain Idea of France | Peter Hitchens

Charles de Gaulle’s life would perhaps have been better lived in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, in times when personal courage, mystical imagination, chivalry, and religious fervor were more welcome than they are now. In this world of the United Nations, risk assessment, lawyers, Geneva Conventions, television and superpowers, there is not really enough room for such a man to swing his sword, just as there is no room for old-fashioned great powers in the shadow of superpowers. Had he not been so magnificent, he would have been ridiculous. He looked, more than anything else, like a camel, not least because of the superior expression on his face suggesting that he alone knew the secret One Hundredth Name of God, which camels are supposed to know.

It is a strange fact that the potentially attractive political combination of liberty, domestic socialism, well-armed patriotism, and social conservatism seldom exists in the advanced countries of the West.

François ­Mitterrand, his old rival, undid almost all of de Gaulle’s work. He wholly rejected the general’s belief in an enduring, sovereign France. ­Mitterrand had been decorated by Pétain’s collaborationist Vichy government, and like many intelligent Frenchmen, saw 1940 as a moment of truth that France could not thereafter ignore. It fell to people like him to implement Hector Dexter’s vision of a Europe whose common cultural bond was Coca-Cola, and ­McDonald’s, too.
leader  president  france  français  history  ww2  europe  eu  fail  politics  bio  american  anti 
march 2019 by aries1988




在中国,皇帝就是政治权力、神圣象征和文化真理三合一的,以前史华兹(Benjamin Schwartz)就说中国是“普遍王权”(Universal Kingship),皇权或者国家的权力太大,始终是“普天之下莫非王土”。

qing  talk  opinion  comparison  west  question  king  politics  government  19C  china  book 
february 2019 by aries1988
Two Roads for the New French Right | by Mark Lilla | The New York Review of Books

Unlike her hotheaded grandfather and aunt, Marion is always calm and collected, sounds sincere, and is intellectually inclined.

In countries as diverse as France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Italy, efforts are underway to develop a coherent ideology that would mobilize Europeans angry about immigration, economic dislocation, the European Union, and social liberalization, and then use that ideology to govern.

a new legal status, dubbed a pacte civil de solidarité (civil solidarity pact, or PACS), for long-term couples who required legal protections regarding inheritance and other end-of-life issues but did not want to get married.

While it’s true that fewer and fewer French people baptize their children and attend mass, nearly two thirds still identify as Catholic, and roughly 40 percent of those declare themselves to be practicing, whatever that means. More importantly, as a Pew study found last year, those French who do identify as Catholic—especially those who attend Mass regularly—are significantly more right-wing in their political views than those who do not.

The National Front is nearly as secular and even less ideologically coherent, having served more as a refuge for history’s detritus—Vichy collaborators, resentful pieds noirs driven out of Algeria, Joan of Arc romantics, Jew- and Muslim-haters, skinheads—than as a party with a positive program for France’s future. A mayor once close to it now aptly calls it the Dien Bien Phu right.

They share two convictions: that a robust conservatism is the only coherent alternative to what they call the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of our time, and that resources for such a conservatism can be found on both sides of the traditional left–right divide. More surprising still, they are all fans of Bernie Sanders.

Three months later her Institute of Social, Economic, and Political Sciences (ISSEP) opened in Lyon, with the aim, Marion said, of displacing the culture that dominates our nomadic, globalized, deracinated liberal system. It is basically a business school but will supposedly offer great books courses in philosophy, literature, history, and rhetoric, as well as practical ones on management and political and cultural combat.
reportage  politics  interview  france  conservatism  culture  ideology  conflict  globalization  crisis  morality  family  value  debate  instapaper_favs 
december 2018 by aries1988
British Political Chaos, Explained for Chrissy Teigen (and for Americans in General)
This is not to say that polarization is good, but the non-polarization of this issue, and the composition of party politics, has paralyzed both parties on the matter. And both parties are internally fractured on what to do, making it even harder for either to act.

When you talk to people here, whether they support Brexit or oppose it, they tend to evince a decidedly un-British optimism about what leaving the European Union will mean. Often, it seems to begin with the assumption that Britain is still a great power, that the world needs Britain more than Britain needs the world.
uk  politics  usa  democracy  crisis  2018 
december 2018 by aries1988
宮崎市定:亚洲对欧洲近代化的贡献 | 海交史




asia  europe  confucianism  china  history  world  politics 
december 2018 by aries1988
Why Are Americans Still Uncomfortable with Atheism?

Lack of belief in God is still too often taken to mean the absence of any other meaningful moral beliefs, and that has made atheists an easy minority to revile. This is especially true in America, where an insistence on the idea that we are a Christian nation has tied patriotism to religiosity, leading to such strange paroxysms as the one produced by President Trump at last year’s Values Voter Summit: “In America, we don’t worship government—we worship God.”

the national prejudice against them long predates Daniel Seeger and his draft board. It has its roots both in the intellectual history of the country and in a persistent anti-intellectual impulse: the widespread failure to consider what it is that unbelievers actually believe.

From John Locke they inherited the idea that atheists cannot be good citizens and should not be brought into the social contract; in “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” Locke had written, “Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God.”

Two centuries after the Founders wrote a godless constitution, the federal government got religion: between 1953 and 1957, a prayer breakfast appeared on the White House calendar, a prayer room opened in the Capitol, “In God We Trust” was added to all currency, and “under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes, the courts concluded, these “under God”s and “In God We Trust”s are innocuous; they belong to the realm of patriotism, not prayer.

Much of the animosity and opprobrium directed at nonbelievers in America comes from the suspicion that those who do not believe in God could not possibly believe in anything else, moral or otherwise.

Unlike the linguist—and new atheist—Steven Pinker, Gray regards the idea that the world is getting better as self-evidently silly. “The cumulative increase of knowledge in science has no parallel in ethics or politics,” he points out. Religions are still thriving, as are wars between them, and secular regimes have wrought as much, if not more, havoc under the auspices of Jacobinism, Bolshevism, Nazism, and Maoism.
religion  law  usa  american  mentality  politics  atheism 
october 2018 by aries1988
Waking Up with Sam Harris: #133 — Globalism on the Brink
Legitimate grievances with immigration
Impact of automation
Universal basic income, solution?

It's one thing for the Chinese to steal our intellectual property, it's another for them to steal our strategy."
civic  nationalism  technology  crisis  transformation  society  politics  trump  2018  globalism  explained  cosmopolitanism  podcast 
october 2018 by aries1988
驱逐难民、鼓吹脱欧、崇尚强力、热爱中国——我和瑞典“超极右”九零后聊了聊|深度|端传媒 Initium Media



sweden  politics  interview  youth 
october 2018 by aries1988
Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today | The New Yorker

interpretation of his work made after his death by people like Karl Kautsky, who was his chief German-language exponent; Georgi Plekhanov, his chief Russian exponent; and, most influentially, Engels. It was thanks mainly to those writers that people started to refer to Marxism as “scientific socialism,” a phrase that sums up what was most frightening about twentieth-century Communism: the idea that human beings can be reëngineered in accordance with a theory that presents itself as a law of history. The word the twentieth century coined for that was totalitarianism.
politics  book  revolution  ideology  uk  19C  leader  communism  economy  capitalism  utopia 
october 2018 by aries1988
In Defense of Empire - The Atlantic
From Rome’s widespread offer of citizenship to its subject peoples, to France’s offer of a measure of equality to fluent Francophone Africans, to Britain’s arrangement of truces among the Yemeni tribes, to the epic array of agricultural and educational services provided by the Europeans throughout their tropical domains—Britain’s Indian Civil Service stands out—imperialism and enlightenment (albeit self-interested) have often been inextricable.

That, I submit, would be a policy direction that internalizes both the drawbacks and the benefits of imperialism, not as it has been conventionally thought of, but as it has actually been practiced throughout history.
usa  today  world  empire  opinion  politics  order 
october 2018 by aries1988
Decorum is an unfashionable word but it has a radical core | Aeon Ideas
Cicero gives us the best sense of decorum’s richness. He did more than anyone in ancient Rome to develop the concept, and it sits at the heart of his ethical and rhetorical theory. Cicero defined decorum not as an inflexible code of conduct, but as the fit between an action and a moment, or between words and a rhetorical situation. To speak decorously is to say precisely what the moment demands.

Asking whether words have decorum is another way of asking what this circumstance and this audience call for.

Arguing over Trump’s decorum, or lack thereof, is about asking who counts – who is included in, and excluded from, ‘the sense of the community’ to which decorum appeals.
speech  politics  today  trump  audience  communication  latin  roman 
september 2018 by aries1988
Yuval Noah Harari on Why Technology Favors Tyranny - The Atlantic

- In 2018 the common person feels increasingly irrelevant.
By 2050, a useless class might emerge, the result not only of a shortage of jobs or a lack of relevant education but also of insufficient mental stamina to continue learning new skills.

- whatever liberal democracy’s philosophical appeal, it has gained strength in no small part thanks to a practical advantage: The decentralized approach to decision making that is characteristic of liberalism—in both politics and economics.
In the late 20th century, democracies usually outperformed dictatorships, because they were far better at processing information.
Democracy distributes the power to process information and make decisions among many people and institutions, whereas dictatorship concentrates information and power in one place.
- If you disregard all privacy concerns and concentrate all the information relating to a billion people in one database, you’ll wind up with much better algorithms than if you respect individual privacy and have in your database only partial information on a million people.

- What will happen to this view of life as we rely on AI to make ever more decisions for us?
once we begin to count on AI to decide what to study, where to work, and whom to date or even marry, human life will cease to be a drama of decision making, and our conception of life will need to change. Democratic elections and free markets might cease to make sense. So might most religions and works of art.
If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world.

- For starters, we need to place a much higher priority on understanding how the human mind works—particularly how our own wisdom and compassion can be cultivated.
- More practically, and more immediately, if we want to prevent the concentration of all wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, we must regulate the ownership of data.
advice  future  crisis  ai  society  politics  people  life  work  mentality  human  democracy  dictatorship  competition  liberalism 
september 2018 by aries1988
Xi Sets China on a Collision Course With History - The New York Times
Known as “modernization theory,” it says that once citizens reach a certain level of wealth, they will demand things like public accountability, free expression and a role in government. Authoritarian states, unable to meet these demands, either transition to democracy or collapse amid unrest.

So China is instead promoting “ideology and collective social values” that equate the government with Chinese culture, according to research by the China scholar Heike Holbig and Mr. Gilley. Patriotic songs and school textbooks have proliferated. So have mentions of “Xi Jinping Thought,” now an official ideology.
today  china  2018  xi  politics  state  people 
september 2018 by aries1988
How Charles de Gaulle Rescued France
His life shows that right-wing politics needn’t bend toward absolutism, Adam Gopnik writes.
president  français  politics  history  france  bio  book  review 
august 2018 by aries1988
The End of ‘Civilisation’
The new program is best understood as a kind of delayed rebuttal, sometimes quite explicit, to Clark and his view of history.

An example of his method was a book the gallery published called 100 Details from Pictures in the National Gallery. Clark wanted to draw the attention of untutored viewers to specific elements in each work and place them alongside similar details from other works, with the aim of building up knowledge and interest piece by piece, element by element.

There was no stinting on travel either. By the time they were through Clark and crew had visited 118 museums and 117 other locations in 11 countries.

It was television of an intensified kind, meant to seduce a mass audience.

An act or piece of art that is life-enhancing—that allows us to have life, and to have it more abundantly—is civilized; one that isn’t isn’t.

The Greco-Roman ideal, he says, was “without doubt the most extraordinary creation in the whole of history.” It was nearly lost with the sacking of Rome—by barbarians, did he mention?—in the 5th century and then barely survived the advance of Islam in the 8th. It lay dormant, tended by monks, until the millennium, when it began to manifest itself in a variety of ways in Europe.
civ  art  politics  debate  west  documentary  2018  1969  bbc  uk 
august 2018 by aries1988
What Can We Learn from Utopians of the Past?
Adam Gopnik writes about four nineteenth-century authors who offered blueprints for a better world—but their progressive visions had a dark side.

The sensible lesson one might draw from this is that the human condition is one in which the distribution of bad and good is forever in flux, and so any blueprint of perfection is doomed to failure.

Robertson assumes that if we can just add to the utopian visions of 1918 the progressive pieties of 2018—if we reform their gender essentialism and their implicit hierarchism and several other nasty isms—then we will at last arrive at the right utopia. This gives his book something of the exhausted cheerfulness of a father on a nine-hour car trip. “We’re almost there!” he keeps saying, as the kids in the back seat fret, and peer at license plates.

Liberalism is a perpetual program of reform, intended to alleviate the cruelty we see around us. The result will be not a utopia but merely another society, with its own unanticipated defects to correct, though with some of the worst injustices—tearing the limbs from people or keeping them as perpetual chattel or depriving half the population of the right to speak to their own future—gone, we hope for good. That is as close as liberalism gets to a utopia: a future society that is flawed, like our own, but less cruel as time goes on.

We remake interior lives to make exterior improvements, because the real current of social change lies inside minds and therefore inside people’s actual existence. We always want to get past the room we’re in in order to break out and change the universe. The lesson that life tends to teach is that change begins at home, and that we can’t escape rooms on our way to worlds. The world is made of rooms.
utopia  writer  book  society  politics  sex  marriage  love  philosophy  19C  liberalism 
august 2018 by aries1988
A critique of Eric X. Li’s “A tale of two political systems” | TED Blog
Apart from the political pressures that tend to channel answers in a particular direction, another problem is that Chinese respondents sometimes view taking a survey as similar to taking an exam.

Li has not provided a coherent and logical argument for his positions on democracy. I suspect, although I do not have any direct evidence, that there is a simple modus operandi — endorsing reforms the CCP has endorsed and opposing reforms that CCP has opposed. This is fine as far as posturing goes but it is not a principled argument of anything.
debate  politics  china  party  democracy  autocracy 
july 2018 by aries1988
惑星之歌 | Pussy Riot:那群冲进球场的俄罗斯年轻人 – 中国数字时代

worldcup  2018  russia  football  manifestation  dissident  politics  world  tv 
july 2018 by aries1988
Looking Through the Eyes of China’s Surveillance State - The New York Times
Many critics call China’s surveillance ambitions Orwellian, and they are. But for China today, the world imagined by Franz Kafka offers a closer vision: bureaucratic, unknowable and ruled by uncertainty as much as fear.
opinion  china  today  politics  state 
july 2018 by aries1988
Ballasting the US-China Relationship - John Pomfret & Paul Pickowicz | China 21
Historian Paul Pickowicz interviews acclaimed author John Pomfret about patterns in the long history of US-China relations, and how it informs the controversies in the current moment of Sino-American relations ranging from the impact of Chinese students on US universities, Xi Jinping’s end to presidential term limits, and trade and business relations.
podcast  book  usa  china  history  today  politics  leader  people 
april 2018 by aries1988
A Beijing Bookstore Where George Washington Is on the Shelves
The All Sages Bookstore, run by a onetime Tiananmen Square protester, has survived both the capital’s ferocious property market and the censorship of the Xi Jinping era.
beijing  reportage  bookstore  book  love  politics  story 
march 2018 by aries1988
Understanding China’s Rise Under Xi Jinping -- By The Honourable Kevin Rudd
the territorial expanse of the Chinese Empire virtually doubled, occupying some 10 per cent of the world’s land area, 30 percent of the world’s population, and 32 percent of the world’s economy.
Nonetheless, for those who are professionally charged with interpreting China’s future, as you are in this great military academy, it means that we must also take time to understand China’s past. To understand how China perceives the world around it. And to understand how it now perceives its own national destiny in the turbulent world of the 21st century.

# Xi’s Political Authority

there is the personality of Xi Jinping himself as a source of political authority. For those who have met him and had conversations with him, he has a strong intellect, a deep sense of his country’s and the world’s history, and a deeply defined worldview of where he wants to lead his country. Xi Jinping is no accidental president. It’s as if he has been planning for this all his life.

# Xi Jinping’s View of the Party

The Communist Party would continue, therefore, as an unapologetically Leninist party for the future.

China’s historical greatness, across its dynastic histories, lay in a strong, authoritarian hierarchical Confucian state.

# Seven Core Priorities

China’s emerging worldview, in my own estimation, is best understood as a set of seven concentric circles.

## The Party

## National Unity

From Beijing’s perspective, Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan represent a core set of security interests. Each within itself represents a confluence of external and internal security factors.

## The Economy and Environmental Sustainability

Indeed, the systematic treatment of the environment as simply an “economic externality” to the Chinese development process led to wholesale environmental destruction. China is now paying the price.

## China’s Neighbouring States - Securing China’s Continental Periphery across Eurasia

Historically, they’ve been the avenue through which China’s national security has been threatened, resulting in successive foreign invasions.
The failure of the Great Wall of China to provide security from foreign invasion is a classic case in point.

## China’s Maritime Periphery - East Asia and the West Pacific

Xi Jinping has made plain he does not see China’s role as simply replicating the current US-led liberal international order for the future.
China has consistently said that this was an order created by the Western, victorious, and by-and-large colonial powers after the Second World War.
australia  origin  history  usa  world  china  future  sinology  politics  diplomacy  analysis  xi  thinking 
march 2018 by aries1988
The Interpreter: How to tell if your president is a "strongman"
The country is run by a vast bureaucracy, divided among powerful institutions. Any individual official fits within a system of hierarchies and factions. The whole thing operates on norms that are authoritarian but at least consistent.
Mr. Xi is changing this system. He’s centralizing more authority for himself than a modern Chinese leader is supposed to have. He’s defying norms, like presidential term limits. He’s purging some officials who belong to opposing political factions. He’s borrowing some pages from the strongman playbook.
But! Mr. Xi is doing all of this within the existing political system. The Chinese state is still deeply institutionalized. He’s not changing that. He is of the system.
Personalist leaders tend to smash the system. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela treated much of the government as something to conquer or destroy. So did Mr. Putin.
china  2018  today  politics  comparison  russia  leader 
march 2018 by aries1988
Millennials Are Screwed - The Huffington Post
There are millions of Scotts in the modern economy. “A lot of workers were just 18 at the wrong time,” says William Spriggs, an economics professor at Howard University and an assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Labor in the Obama administration. “Employers didn’t say, ‘Oops, we missed a generation. In 2008 we weren’t hiring graduates, let’s hire all the people we passed over.’ No, they hired the class of 2012.”
today  youth  housing  millennials  politics  usa  numbers  statistics  workforce 
february 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
东方专制主义 - 维基百科,自由的百科全书

concept  oriental  civ  politics 
january 2018 by aries1988
West grows wary of China’s influence game

“The party under Xi [Jinping] believes it is engaged in a ‘huayu zhanzheng’ — a ‘discourse war’ — with the west, which it thinks enjoys media hegemony and must be challenged,” says David Shambaugh, director of the China policy programme at George Washington University.

He estimates China spends between $10bn and $12bn a year on a wide range of “soft power” efforts — from traditional lobbying and public relations campaigns to more clandestine forms of influence-building.

“The Chinese Communist party is seeking to suppress dissent among its diaspora in countries around the world,” says Rory Medcalf, head of the national security college at Australian National University. “It uses a tapestry of methods to achieve its goals: political donations, control of Chinese language media, mobilising community and student groups; and engaging in coercive activities that involve CCP proxies and even consular officials.”

Defenders of these initiatives say Beijing merely wants to “tell China’s story well” and is acting no differently from western countries. The US government supports organisations that fund pro-democracy groups around the world, while Washington-based think-tanks have international affiliates that promote an American world view.

“The Communist party’s United Front work is very different from western efforts to exert influence — there is a degree of long-term planning and central co-ordination between public and nominally private enterprises that democracies can’t even imagine,”
china  today  politics  debate  strategy  world  competition  democracy 
december 2017 by aries1988












japan  china  history  war  qing  19C  theory  civ  politics  state  comparison 
december 2017 by aries1988
L’éolien français manque de souffle

L’énergie éolienne ne fournit aujourd’hui que 4 % de l’électricité française. Lourdeurs administratives et efficacité des recours expliquent cette piètre performance. Le gouvernement tente cependant d’encourager l’essor d’une filière industrielle.

La loi de transition énergétique, votée en 2015, fixe ainsi un objectif d’au moins 22 000 mégawatts (MW) de capacité installée en éolien terrestre à l’horizon 2023, contre 12 000 MW aujourd’hui. Concrètement, pour atteindre cet objectif, il faudra ajouter plus de 4 000 éoliennes aux 6 500 existantes. Mais pour atteindre l’autre objectif de la loi, celui de réduire à 50 % la part du nucléaire dans la production d’électricité, il faudra aller bien plus loin.

« On nous fait poser des Nokia 3310 alors que l’iPhone est déjà disponible, résume un industriel du secteur. Auparavant, on avait quatre mâts de 1 MW chacun, alors qu’aujourd’hui on peut avoir un mât qui produit 4 MW. Mais on ne peut pas les installer puisqu’ils n’existaient pas au moment du dépôt du projet. »

« La complexité joue en faveur de l’Europe. Une éolienne, c’est plus compliqué à fabriquer et surtout à exporter qu’un panneau solaire. »

Grâce à ces modifications, le SER estime que le temps moyen de développement d’un projet d’éolien terrestre en France pourrait descendre à cinq ans – contre sept à dix ans aujourd’hui

Certains y voient même la possibilité de créer une filière industrielle française, après plusieurs faux départs. Siemens Gamesa a ainsi une usine d’éoliennes offshore qui pourrait être prête pour 2019 au Havre (Seine-Maritime), et défend une adaptation du port afin de pouvoir accueillir les gigantesques navires nécessaires à l’installation des éoliennes en mer. General Electric attend également de pouvoir faire fonctionner à plein régime ses usines de Montoir-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique) et de Cherbourg (Manche)… une fois que les projets lancés en 2011 seront confirmés.
eolien  numbers  france  français  industry  project  politics  today  china 
december 2017 by aries1988





opinion  china  politics  state  party  history  1990s  economy  future 
december 2017 by aries1988
Hans Rosling, physician and statistician, 1948-2017

Rosling, who has died aged 68, was the closest thing statisticians had to a rock star. His most famous talk, 2006’s The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen, has been watched online more than 11m times. Its ambitious scope and sweeping narrative epitomised Rosling’s ability to rise above the ebb and flow of current affairs and see generational trends.

It led him to conclude that on most measures of human progress — the impact of climate change being a notable exception — most countries were improving rapidly.

Public perceptions had not kept up with the pace of economic and demographic development and much of the media was hobbled by its adherence to false balance, he said. The world is discussed in terms of feelings and ideologies rather than as an area of knowledge, he once told the Financial Times.
leader  statistics  communication  science  world  data  debate  politics  ideology  optimism  explained  population 
december 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter Friday, December 1, 2017: The Problem With Political Quarantines
In some countries, including France and Germany, mainstream political parties practice so-called “cordon sanitaire” politics, in which they agree to work together to keep far-right politicians in a sort of political quarantine. They won’t allow the far right into political coalitions, or work with it on joint legislation.
opinion  idea  politics  election  democracy  deutschland  france  europe  2017 
december 2017 by aries1988
Where Millennials Come From

Millennials, according to recent headlines, are killing hotels, department stores, chain restaurants, the car industry, the diamond industry, the napkin industry, homeownership, marriage, doorbells, motorcycles, fabric softener, hotel-loyalty programs, casinos, Goldman Sachs, serendipity, and the McDonald’s McWrap.

Parents overemphasized self-esteem and happiness, while kids took their cues from an era of diversity initiatives, decentralized authority, online avatars, and reality TV. As a result, millennials have become irresponsible and fundamentally maladjusted. They believe that every job will be fulfilling and then can’t even find a boring one. They must lower their expectations and dim their glittering self-images in order to become functional adults.

the notion of disruptive self-interest

a homeowner with negative equity: in possession of an asset that is worth much less than what she owes.

Millennials, in other words, have adjusted too well to the world they grew up in; their perfect synchronization with economic and cultural disruption has been mistaken for the source of the disruption itself.
millennials  politics  habit  generation  work  cliche  young  crisis  economy 
november 2017 by aries1988
Stalin’s Lengthening Shadow

The authoritarian streak, excused by nationalism. The accusations of anti-state activities against the opposition. The constant references to conservative cultural values — Roman Catholic in Poland, Orthodox in Russia — and enrollment of religious leaders in the political fight. The difficulty in accepting pluralism. The appetite to control the media and civil society.
poland  urss  russia  europe  crisis  value  politics 
november 2017 by aries1988
How Europe's far right fell in love with Australia's immigration policy
Conjuring an imaginary “queue” was a clever way to conflate two different sorts of refugees in the mind of the public: those who manage to reach UN camps and patiently wait for years to be resettled, and those who flee their homelands and attempt to claim asylum upon arrival in Australia. But there is no such queue, because countries are not obliged to take in refugees assigned for resettlement by the UN; if they do, it is purely good will. Signatories to the UN refugee convention are, however, obliged to assess the claims of asylum seekers reaching their shores. Australia is a society obsessed with rules and fairness, and the queue-jumping argument resonates perfectly with a population primed to think in terms of orderly regulations, most of whom have never faced state-sponsored violence or war crimes.

More than 51,000 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by sea between 2009 and 2013.

The EU has earmarked around $2bn in the past two years to address the drivers of migration.

Libya offers a worrying picture of what the future might hold if politicians like Espersen and Le Pen get their way, or if these sorts of outsourced solutions come to be seen as palatable by mainstream parties.

The EU has declared it a goal to “significantly reduce migratory flows by enabling the Libyan coast guard to ‘rescue’ a higher number of migrants and bring them back to Libya before they reach EU ships or EU territory”,

if the Australian model is adopted more fully in Europe, then there will be no hope for legitimate refugees to claim asylum through legal channels, and more of them will seek illegal paths to Europe.

The far right’s goal is to make European social benefits the exclusive property of native-born citizens, a hard-earned jackpot to be protected from the grasping hands of supposedly undeserving new arrivals.

“We are encumbered throughout ex-Christian Europe by the phenomenon of compassion,” he tells me, hinting at the logical endpoint of the policies his ideas have unleashed. “Compassion is fabulous … but it is obvious that without the use of force, we will never stop the invasion.”
far-right  australia  reportage  refugee  2010s  crisis  europe  politics  today 
november 2017 by aries1988
Russia’s World Cup: a Putin own goal?
The thousands of visiting journalists (surely the largest foreign press contingent ever to spend a month in Russia) are likely to pump out the negative coverage that Russians call zloradstvo (evil-revelling). 

Doping wins Olympic medals but probably wouldn’t help much in skill-based, tactical football.
russia  image  world  politics  people 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人──胡清心:异议者的修炼,是坚持跟内心黑暗打仗|深度|端传媒 Initium Media

self  learn  politics  thinking  china  story  family  1989/6/4 
november 2017 by aries1988
专访王柯:极端的民族主义,一定是与世界为敌|深度|端传媒 Initium Media





opinion  research  politics  history  china  chinese  japan  nation  state  religion  ethnic  crisis  bio 
november 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation Caceroladas
A community banging its pots and pans together as a democratic showing of discontent.
espagna  people  street  politics  demonstration  tool 
november 2017 by aries1988
Panda politics: the hard truth about China’s cuddliest diplomat

Far more money, time and effort has been spent on saving the giant panda from extinction than on any other animal. As such, it is considered a touchstone species — if humans can’t rescue such an icon with all of this exertion, then what hope is there for less charismatic fauna?

“For China, pandas are the equivalent of the British royal family,” Nye tells the FT. “Like the royals, they are a terrific asset because you can put them on display. You trot them around the world and they add an enormous amount to the country’s soft power.”

In fact, the first recorded example of panda diplomacy dates back much further to 685 AD, when Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang dynasty presented a pair of live bears to neighbouring Japan.

Australia, France and Canada all received pandas after agreeing to sell nuclear technology and uranium to China. Scotland accepted a pair of pandas in 2011 as part of an agreement to share offshore drilling technology and supply salmon to China, while the Dutch loan this year came as the Netherlands agreed to supply advanced healthcare services.

Chinese and western experts all agree there is no scientific reason for producing so many animals in captivity if they cannot be released in the wild. But after struggling for so many years to produce even a few surviving cubs, the machinery of panda production is now almost unstoppable, thanks to financial incentives and rivalry between competing agencies.
zoo  chinese  politics  diplomacy  animal  reportage  analysis  numbers  economy 
november 2017 by aries1988
The challenge of Xi Jinping’s Leninist autocracy

Will this combination of Leninist politics with market economics go on working as China develops? The answer must be: we do not know. A positive response could be that this system not only fits with Chinese traditions, but the bureaucrats are also exceptionally capable. The system has worked spectacularly so far. Yet there are also negative responses. One is that the party is always above the law. That makes power ultimately lawless. Another is that the corruption Mr Xi has been attacking is inherent in a systems lacking checks from below. Another is that, in the long run, this reality will sap economic dynamism. Yet another is that as the economy and the level of education advances, the desire for a say in politics will become overwhelming. In the long run, the rule of one man over the party and that of one party over China will not stand.

Second and far more important, the west (fragile as it is today) has to recognise — and learn from — the fact that management of its economy and politics has been unsatisfactory for years, if not decades. The west let its financial system run aground in a huge financial crisis. It has persistently under-invested in its future. In important cases, notably the US, it has allowed a yawning gulf to emerge between economic winners and the losers. Not least, it has let lies and hatred consume its politics.

It must create more inclusive and dynamic economies, revitalise its politics and re-establish anew the fragile balance between the national and the global, the democratic and the technocratic that is essential to the health of sophisticated democracies. Autocracy is the age-old human norm. It must not have the last word.
world  china  politics  economy  challenge  government  comparison 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Islamic World Doesn't Need a Reformation - The Atlantic

There is simply is no “Muslim Pope,” or a central organization like the Catholic hierarchy, whose suffocating authority needs to be broken. Quite the contrary, the Muslim world—at least the Sunni Muslim world, which constitutes its overwhelming majority—has no central authority at all, especially since the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 by Republican Turkey. The ensuing chaos in itself seems be a part of “the problem.”

The contemporary Muslim world needs not a Martin Luther but a John Locke, whose arguments for freedom of conscience and religious toleration planted the seeds of liberalism. In particular, the more religion-friendly British Enlightenment, rather than the French one, can serve as a constructive model.

Islam, as a legalist religion, has more commonalities with Judaism than with Christianity.

in a reality where the state is already deeply involved in religion, its steps toward moderation and liberalization should be welcome. It’s also worth remembering that the success of the Enlightenment in Europe was partly thanks to the era of “Enlightened despots,” the monarchs who preserved their power even as they realized crucial legal, social, and educational reforms.
from:rss  religion  islam  opinion  enlightenment  future  comparison  christianity  history  politics 
november 2017 by aries1988
殊途不同归——加泰罗尼亚与苏格兰的独立之路 - FT中文网



comparison  espagna  scotland  independence  politics  referendum  numbers 
november 2017 by aries1988
方可成:「小粉紅」,一個「張冠李戴」的標籤|端傳媒 Initium Media
chinese  vocabulary  politics  internet 
november 2017 by aries1988
La « nouvelle ère » Xi, un défi pour le modèle occidental
Enfin, seul maître à bord, Xi promet à son 1,4 milliard de compatriotes un « développement en deux étapes » : d’ici à 2035, la Chine aura achevé sa modernisation, notamment en termes d’innovation et, en 2049, année du centenaire de la fondation de la République populaire, elle aura atteint le statut de leader planétaire, défendue par une armée « de premier rang mondial ».

Il lui manque toujours la reconnaissance d’un prix Nobel, les scandales de fraude sont encore trop nombreux et l’argent ne peut pas tout. Mais la taille compte. Avec 730 millions de personnes connectées, un usage du téléphone mobile plus avancé que celui des pays occidentaux et infiniment moins de barrières éthiques, la Chine aborde la bataille de l’intelligence artificielle avec de gros atouts.

Si « l’ère » est nouvelle, cependant, le modèle de la concentration des pouvoirs dans les mains d’un seul homme et de son parti, lui, est familier. Cela s’appelle une dictature. Son succès serait, pour le coup, une authentique innovation.
chronique  china  2017  future  politics  innovation  technology  comparison  ai 
october 2017 by aries1988
China Refuses to Admit It Has a Rape Problem. I Would Know. – Foreign Policy
With China’s opening also came first a trickle, and then a flood, of foreign popular culture. Japanese fashion, Hong Kong magazines, and Hollywood films exposed a mass Chinese audience to ideas of young love, romantic choice, and sexual freedom. When a slightly censored version of The Bridges of Madison County, a movie that portrayed a passionate extramarital affair, opened in Beijing in 1996, it sold 1.3 million tickets on its first weekend there.

In the show’s 10 seasons, the six main characters had a combined total of 85 sexual partners who appeared on screen. The sitcom — and by association, American culture and the entire West writ large — came to embody the sexual freedoms that had revolutionized the Chinese bedroom.
politics  feminism  story  china  american  sex  crime  21C 
october 2017 by aries1988
En direct : vos questions sur l’avenir de la Chine de Xi Jinping
Les observateurs de la politique chinoise se disent qu’il est l’homme d’une certaine rupture. Avec cette reconduction, va-t-il remodeler la direction du parti ou rester pour un troisième mandat, confortant son statut de dirigeant chinois le plus puissant depuis quarante ans ? François Bougon, chef de service adjoint au service International du Monde et auteur du livre Dans la tête de Xi Jinping, fait le point avec nous et répond à toutes vos questions en direct sur Facebook.
video  question  ama  china  chinese  politics  communism  explained  debate  2017 
october 2017 by aries1988
從明星學者到三朝帝師,晉級中共權力巔峰的王滬寧是誰?|端傳媒 Initium Media
politics  china  2017 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Thoughts of Chairman Xi - BBC News
“Tell China’s story well,” he urges people with Chinese roots, wherever they are in the world. He insists that they should “identify with China’s interests” whether or not they are Chinese nationals.

Beijing’s embassies encourage the growing Chinese student bodies on campuses in the West to silence competing narratives.

Under Xi Jinping, dwelling on inconvenient facts of history or insulting revolutionary heroes and martyrs is now a punishable offence called “historical nihilism”.

He wants his citizens to identify with “the motherland, the Chinese nation or race, Chinese culture, and the Chinese socialist road”. He calls these the “four identifications” and has distilled them into two key slogans - the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the Chinese dream.

Richard Nixon had argued: “Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbours.”

When the door to the West inched open a decade later, some princelings of Xi’s generation took the opportunity to leave.
portrait  mao  2017  china  politics  leader  photo  story 
october 2017 by aries1988
How Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Whiteness Power - The New York Times
Though free speech is constitutionally protected in America, there is always more lurking in the country’s psyche than can be safely, or politely, expressed. The laws around speech are broad, but the norms are narrower, and the norms govern much of what is actually said. Those norms are changing right now, for better and for worse.
race  politics  debate  opinion  society  expression 
october 2017 by aries1988
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