• @Candelestine
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    05 months ago

    China’s system is opaque. Without allowing independent observation, aka transparency, there is just no point. I’m simply not willing to give them any extra faith. For the third time, suspicion is default. Suspicion exists until evidence to the contrary is provided. This is just a basic safety principle in the modern age and is healthier than faith-based alternatives. I know you didn’t say that, incidentally, I was getting out ahead of a potential criticism before it appeared, saving us the time of having to discuss it. I was not accusing you of saying it, was I?

    I think it’s a very useful definition of imperialism, actually. It captures the new, informational-based methods of attack that have become so common in just the past couple decades. Economic and military (the original) imperialism are simply other methods. I am well aware that some communist thought tries to equate imperialism with global capitalism, making them identical. This is actually less useful imo.

    You don’t think exerting authority over foreign people is functionally a form of imperialism, in basic principle?

    • @[email protected]
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      45 months ago

      China’s system is opaque.

      It’s not a coincidence why it’s opaque (to you).

      Without allowing independent observation, aka transparency, there is just no point.

      Wild if true

      I’m simply not willing to give them any extra faith.

      This aligns with US foreign policy

      I was not accusing you of saying it, was I?

      True, ugh.

      I think it’s a very useful definition of imperialism, actually.

      No, because you rob you make the term imperialism meaningless. Why have “authority” and “imperialism” as words, when they basically define the same thing?

      Also I don’t follow how “Subjecting other to their control” captures “the new, informational-based methods of attack that have become so common in just the past couple decades.”. I believe you’re mixing things up with “hegemony”. Can you please elaborate if you don’t?

      I am well aware that some communist thought tries to equate imperialism with global capitalism, making them identical. This is actually less useful imo.

      It’s not equating imperialism with global capitalism. It’s saying that Imperialism is a stage of capitalism.

      You don’t think exerting authority over foreign people is functionally a form of imperialism, in basic principle?

      Not that’s just a product of imperialism.

      • @Candelestine
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        05 months ago

        Do Chinese citizens have any more insight on the inner workings of their leaders than outside observers? Or are they forced to simply trust them? And yes, I do not think 100% of everything that comes out of our State Dept is automatically a lie. Some things are true, some are false. The default of suspicion applies regardless.

        Imperialism is empire-building. That’s the root word imperial, of-an-empire. It’s authority exerted over other people, foreign lands. Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great both worked on imperial projects, back when it was more commonplace. Hegemony is somewhat similar, though implies the empire is uncontested by other powers. The Mongols had a hegemonic empire. Napoleon, while being imperial, did not have a hegemonic empire, as the British and Russian empires contested and eventually defeated him.

        So, I don’t understand this difference between steps/products of imperialism, and just imperialism. Either you’re empire-building, seeking authority over more and more peoples, or you’re not.

        • @[email protected]
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          45 months ago

          Do Chinese citizens have any more insight on the inner workings of their leaders than outside observers?

          The CPC is the largest political body in the world with ~100M members. Roughly one in 15 Chinese is a member. So yeah I’d say so. For you to get a better understanding I recommend reading: Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners - Roland Boer Also people not only seem to trust, but are also satisfied https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/07/long-term-survey-reveals-chinese-government-satisfaction/

          Imperialism is empire-building. That’s the root word imperial, of-an-empire. It’s authority exerted over other people, foreign lands. Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great both worked on imperial projects, back when it was more commonplace. Hegemony is somewhat similar, though implies the empire is uncontested by other powers. The Mongols had a hegemonic empire. Napoleon, while being imperial, did not have a hegemonic empire, as the British and Russian empires contested and eventually defeated him.

          You’re giving me history examples and not answering my question. I still don’t follow how “Subjecting other to their control” captures “the new, informational-based methods of attack that have become so common in just the past couple decades.”. Can you please elaborate if you don’t?

          Hegemony is somewhat similar, though implies the empire is uncontested by other powers.

          Hegemon is not only the state, but the dominant ideology. So when you say “the new, informational-based methods of attack that” it says to me that you see changes in hegemony aka people having a different ideological framework than the dominant one. And the different ideological framework comes via (foreign) information.

          • @Candelestine
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            05 months ago

            Oh come now, the decisions of a country are made by its leaders, not every single member of its political party. Otherwise that would be true democracy, and unbelievably cumbersome and impractical. Also, I’ll remind you a fifth time, my default in the modern day is suspicion. I simply don’t believe people automatically. This is independent of the things they say and how good they sound. Like, when I’m buying a product, I do not simply believe the user reviews. Instead I try to look for someone providing a little bit of actual evidence of their objectivity. That would earn a higher degree of trust, though still not total faith.

            I would describe it as an influence or informational or perhaps espionage empire. You can have a military empire, where people do as you say or you kill them, yes? You can have an economic empire, where you use economic coercion instead of military. Or, in the modern day, you can control through another form of power–control in the information space. While propaganda is certainly nothing new, it has reached a degree of power we’ve never seen before. Or so I’m arguing, anyway.

            I disagree, I think that muddles what “a hegemon” is. An idea, not being a conscious thing, cannot be a hegemon. Only a human or group of humans can be. There’s nothing wrong with ideas competing because ideas alone cannot control. What one person realizes, another can too. While the idea can be influential, it cannot truly exert force. So, you could have an information empire, but having a hegemonic information empire is probably impossible without some kind of supernatural mind control. In this new way of looking at imperialism that I’m proposing, anyway. I acknowledge this is new, and traditionally empire was mainly economic and/or military.

            • @[email protected]
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              5 months ago

              Oh come now, the decisions of a country are made by its leaders, not every single member of its political party. Otherwise that would be true democracy, and unbelievably cumbersome and impractical.

              What is democratic centralism?

              I would describe it as an influence or informational or perhaps espionage empire. You can have a military empire, where people do as you say or you kill them, yes? You can have an economic empire, where you use economic coercion instead of military. Or, in the modern day, you can control through another form of power–control in the information space. While propaganda is certainly nothing new, it has reached a degree of power we’ve never seen before. Or so I’m arguing, anyway.

              What you are describing is not imperialism, you’re describing instruments of national power. (Military, Diplomacy, Economy, Information). Which can be used for imperialism

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_power

              As I say there’s more and less useful definitions of imperialism. I prefer Lenins as it’s still very relevant. Even if you might not like him, I’d recommend reading “Imperialism the highest stage of capitalism”. You seem to be intellectual and interested in the topic and will benefit from having read it, even if you don’t plan on adopting it.

              https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/

              Only a human or group of humans can be.

              When I say that hegemony is the dominant ideology’ it can only be held by a group of people. what you’re describing is a change in hegemony. You see informational warfare coming in. In some sense even our discussion is a symptom of that.

              In this new way of looking at imperialism

              It’s instruments of national power

              • @Candelestine
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                15 months ago

                That would be the process by which you select your leaders. Not too different from a democratic republic. It does not mean every single one of them understands the inner thoughts of those leaders, though. It’s a selection process. Does a selection process give you the power to understand their secret minds, or do you simply think they have no secrets?

                Yes, national power is exactly what we’re talking about. Exercising it over a broad area, of people who did not before fall under your control, is empire-building. Or, imperialism. Power + new lands/people = imperialism.

                Hegemony simply refers to degree of competition. If an empire is contested by near-peers, it does not have hegemonic control. This is core to what the word means in the English language.

                I appreciate the sources, but if you as a believer cannot adequately explain these things from them, I’m not sure the sources will be of much benefit.

                • @[email protected]
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                  5 months ago

                  Does a selection process give you the power to understand their secret minds, or do you simply think they have no secrets?

                  Let me ask you your question backtto you. Do any citizens have any more insight on the inner workings of their leaders than outside observers then?

                  In western societies there’s an emphasis on democracy as a process. In China they see democracy when the outcome is in the interest of the majority. Which there undeniably is.

                  Yes, national power is exactly what we’re talking about. Exercising it over a broad area, of people who did not before fall under your control, is empire-building. Or, imperialism. Power + new lands/people = imperialism.

                  No, were talking about imperialism which you conflate with instruments of national powet. Congratulations under your definition everything any nation does is imperialism.

                  Opening a new embassy? Imperialism Creating a state news outlet? Imperialism Economic Relations? Imperialism

                  Not useful in terms of analysis.

                  • @Candelestine
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                    15 months ago

                    No, which is why I have a default position of suspicion towards the words of my own officials. Because they’re people, just like me, no better, no worse. They can make mistakes, exercise poor judgement, change their minds, etc etc.

                    Not just national power, but expanding national power over people who were not part of your nation. The word is in its roots, people can redefine it into whatever they want, but it still has that historical root. I think this loyalty towards its historical meaning is more valuable than any redefining it for other purposes.