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The Pretended ‘Progressivism’ of Yves Smith’s “Naked Capitalism” Blog

misreading China-policy

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse

On July 27th, Susan Webber, alias “Yves Smith,” headlined “One China Eyepoking Too Far: Biden Signals US Not Backing Down on Pelosi Taiwan Visit as China Promises Military Response”, and she pretended to argue against Biden’s (and the U.S. Democratic Party’s) neoconservatism (or U.S. imperialism). The 200 reader-comments that she allowed to be posted to her article focused on what today’s residents of Taiwan want — (presumably) to become a separate nation, such as the Biden Administration says it doesn’t want to happen but is actually pushing for in every policy-way that it can; or else, to remain a part of China, which is Taiwan’s official status and which even Nixon agreed with China that Taiwan actually is. “Smith”’s let’s-pretend ‘progressivism’ was encouraging her readers to presume (falsely) that if a nation’s region has a majority of residents who want to break away from their larger country, then ‘democracy’ should automatically allow it to happen. For example: if the secessionist U.S. South wanted to break away from the United States as the Confederacy, then it should have been allowed, and Abraham Lincoln therefore did wrong to go to war to prevent it. An argument like that can be made, but it is (and was) a stupid argument. It is as stupid as its opposite: that secession should NEVER be allowed. The reader-commenters to “Smith”’s article seem not even to have noticed that stupidity.

In any case, the reality in regard to Taiwan is quite different than that stupid fantasy-based view of the matter, but Ms. “Smith” (or else her chosen underlings) blocked me from posting there a contrary reader-comment against that stupid argument. Here was the relevant string (including my comment, which comment “Smith” prohibited to be posted):

Yves Smith

July 27, 2022 at 6:28 am

The self-image you report does not seem well supported by facts:

According to governmental statistics, in the early 21st century, 95% to 97% of Taiwan’s population are Han Chinese, while about 2.3% are Taiwanese of Austronesian ethnicity…..

Most Taiwanese speak Mandarin. Around 70% of the people also speak Taiwanese Hokkien and 10% speak Hakka.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Taiwan

This rather reminds me of every Hungarian I have ever met (I am part Hungarian so I am allowed to say this) claiming they are descended from royalty, or at worst their aristo close relatives. This might be technically possible if the noble families were randy enough, but I don’t see any Hungarians on the “top fathers” lists like this one.

Reply

  • Bill Wilson
    July 27, 2022 at 6:51 am

    Please … the majority of those that might be “Han” Chinse came to Taiwan 300 years ago. There is a very real separate Taiwanese identity. The KMT propaganda calling everyone “Chinese” worked until the mid 1980’s when Taiwanese were allowed to visit China where they quickly realized that they had been fed propaganda. The Chinese in China (culture wise) are not the same as “Chinese” in Taiwan.
    Remember the vast majority of Taiwanese people’s ancestors lived under Japanese rule for 50 years, and there are still strong Japanese / Taiwanese links.
    What you are saying is akin to calling all Australians English.
    I’m very surprised to see you not supporting self determination.
    Maybe then the US should be given back to the UK if Boris demands it.
    Reply

    • Eric Zuesse
      July 27, 2022 at 8:42 am

      Wasn’t Japan supposed to have been conquered by America, instead of America conquered by Japan? I know that though FDR was anti-fascist, Truman after 25 July 1945 was pro-fascist, but for America’s Government to be now going to war against China for — what? Japan, or the government that ruled over Taiwan before ‘we’ won that war? — seems to be traitorous against what the America that existed during WW II was, and was fighting for. Truman loved the KMT, but FDR and America before the fascist Truman did not. Pelosi and Biden extend from the fascist Truman; they are enemies of the democratic America that FDR represented. If today’s American fascists want WW III on the side of fascism against the China that was America’s ally during WW II, China will be obliged to give them what they demand, but not in the way that America’s fascists want it to be delivered to them. And this would upset the entire global applecart. For the U.S. regime, the objective would be conquest. But for China, it would instead be survival. China would win, no matter what the cost would be. And Russia might join that war in order to assure it, if needed in order to do so. I don’s see any way that Pelosi’s visiting Taiwan would be good for America, nor for Americans. It would only be fascist treachery. I hope that she would be killed (as a traitor against FDR’s America, and against America’s anti-imperialist Founders) in any such attempt. America has no valid business being in Taiwan. FDR was against all imperialism; Truman was for U.S. imperialism. Pelosi, Biden, Trump, etc., follow in the Truman ideology (which now is called “neoconservatism”), but China will remain firm against it — and should, because they must not allow U.S. imperialism to extend into China. The world has already had more than enough of neoconservatism (Truman’s type of fascist imperialism).
      Reply

Here is a far better-informed take on this important issue than that which was presented by Ms. “Smith”; hers was supported by the majority of reader-comments that she (or her agent) allowed to be posted regarding her article, but my reader-comment is instead consistent with this viewpoint, which was expressed by Xi and amplified and interpreted by Alexander Mercouris:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI55xio3Zzs&t=1550s

“Xi Slams Biden over Taiwan in Tense 2 Hour Call”

29 July 2022

And here is the printed English-language Chinese readout of the 28 July 2022 Biden-Xi phone call that Mr. Mercouris is there interpreting and basing his analysis, of that call, upon:

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/202207/t20220729_10729593.html

“President Xi Jinping Speaks with US President Joe Biden on the Phone”

29 July 2022

And here is the take on that Biden-Xi phone call, by Ms. “Smith,” likewise on July 29th:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/07/xi-and-biden-talk-past-each-other-in-over-2-hour-phone-call.html

“Xi and Biden Talk Past Each Other in Over 2 Hour Phone Call”

This matter involves existential issues for China, whereas increasing U.S. “hegemony” — control over all nations — is what’s involved for America (which has no real business even being in that region, so long as shipping-traffic is unimpeded there, such as is the case). For Biden, it’s pure imperialism — extending that even more. “Smith” ignores the crucial difference: what is actually at stake for each side.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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InnerCynic
InnerCynic
July 30, 2022

The Declaration of Independence was an act of secession. It was a divorce…plain and simple even though not everyone agreed with it…. and to be honest they were lucky to get away with it and not dance on the gallows. Fast forward about seventy-five years and Lincoln tosses that “idea” out of the window and proceeds to kill anyone who supports such a similar notion. Hmmmmm. And isnt what Donetsk and Lughansk doing not the same thing? They’re secedding from one entity, that is to say Ukraine, so as to make their own decision to either stand on their own… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by InnerCynic
norecovery
norecovery
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
July 30, 2022

Russian speaking people in the Donbass were ostracized by the ruling junta after the 2014 coup, forced to become “separatists” by the cruel actions and policies of those “ultra-nationalist” usurpers of a democratically-elected government. That is entirely different from the Taiwanese independence activists that have been funded by Western-backed NGOs and encouraged by US government policies toward violent rejection of Chinese control, much like the Tianamen Square, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang incidents. The US is a major trouble-maker in the world.

Jarno P
Jarno P
Reply to  InnerCynic
July 30, 2022

And Hong Kong is just OK now ?

THAT was big mistake to keep that “rental” agreement of 100 years and give prosperous Western valued Hong Kong to Chinese who ruin it immediately.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  InnerCynic
July 30, 2022

Good observations! As a mathematician, I appreciate someone whose logic exceeds 3rd grade prowess. As for Franklin D. Roosevelt, he was a liar, a warmonger, and a war criminal along with his buddy Winston “Drunken Pig” Churchill and they should both be tried posthumously. Carry on.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
July 30, 2022

If the meddling warmongers Roosevelt and Churchill had minded their own business, the Poles and Germans would have settled and there would have been no WWII. Can you imagine that? No WWII! We are now experiencing deja vu with Russia the target this time around of the meddling neocons in America and the UK, and the meddlers are in a much weaker position. With nukes in the bacground.

Or do you think WWII was an awesome sporting event? Fun and games?

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
July 30, 2022

You like to accuse others of a “Jewish obsession.”
It’s quite clear you have a “Hitler obsession.”
You are seriously deficient in 20th Century History.
Let Paul Craig Roberts help you get a clue.
What would you like to say about the Balfour Declaration?
Or the Treaty of Versailles?
Or haven’t you heard about them? :))))

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  penrose
July 30, 2022

How about gurgling your mouth with some mouthwash, penrose. You are taking your mouth too full, telling everybody about their “history deficiencies”. Penrose wiseguy, just write your own article and hand it in to the Duran, so we all can have a good laugh at you, instead of spamming this board with your asinine comments.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 30, 2022

Don’t want to address the questions, do you? Much easier to call names like a 12 year old on the school playground? Tell me about the Balfour Declaration! When was it and what did it accomplish? That should take only a few short sentences, as Judge Judy might observe. Not a huge intellectual effort. Have a go at it! :)))

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  penrose
July 31, 2022

Jut gurgle with mouthwash instead of spamming the board with your useless nonsense, wiseguy. Write your own articles and publish them, if you know everything better and best – instead of attacking Eric Zuesse with your dumb spam.

Jarno P
Jarno P
July 30, 2022

Susan Webber, alias “Yves Smith,”” – BIRTH SICK TRANS ?!!

Rolling-on-the-Floor-Laughing.gif
Jarno P
Jarno P
July 30, 2022

When Chinese use the electronics-killing ray method to shut down Pelosi’s plane, no one can say “Chinese did it” because no damages in plane and no trails left.

Glaucio Sombra
Glaucio Sombra
July 31, 2022

PELOSI CHIEF OF CAPITOL HILL…

Russia Gains More Ground in Donbass, Ukraine Pushed Back in Kherson, Xi Slams Into Biden over Taiwan in Tense 2 Hour Call

NYT, 80% Russian forces bogged down. Lavrov speaks with Blinken. Fenerbahce football chant. Update 1