• @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.

                • @[email protected]
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                  25 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.

                  That is not dialectical thought. While I agree that individual politicians could change their mind, it’s not how nation states operate. Nations have interests. The individual decision making of a politician stays in bounds of the interest, otherwise they get replaced. You seem to see history as an aglomeration of decisions of individuals aka great man. I don’t subscribe to great man theory/your ideology.

                  Not just national power, but expanding national power over people who were not part of your nation.

                  Any state uses it’s instruments of power to expand their influence and follow their interests. When they open embassy in another country why are they doing it? When their state media is broadcastingy why are they doing it? When they curb other state media l, why are they doing it? Recognizing another region? It’s to expand their interests and influence…

                  It seem to me that you’re a no nations no borders type?

                  • @Candelestine
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                    05 months ago

                    Correct, I am not really approaching this in a dialectical way, I do not fervently ascribe to any specific ideology. I try to take all potential influences into account. Similarly, this does not mean human history is driven by “great men” or somesuch, only that individual decisions do have an influence on events, and should be taken into account.

                    I do wish things could exist in such a simple way, where states operated in such a clear-cut manner, but that’s just too oversimplified. The world is just messier than that, and individual egos cannot be completely separated from people’s choices.

                    Sure, states in the abstract do pursue their own interests, though there’s a great many very small states that see their interests differently from how larger bodies tend to. This is potentially distinct from the exercise of power though, and is not necessarily imperialism. To qualify as imperialism in a way that fits empires throughout history, I think you need two things: scope and expansion. An embassy, while a means of national power, is not really focused on expansion, but diplomacy. An embassy can be a simple defensive precaution. State media can be, depending on what message it is broadcasting. If it broadcasts a warmongering message, it could easily be imperial in nature. If it’s just reporting local news, not so imperial. Curbing other state media is just about stability.

                    Nations exist, borders exist. Whether they should or not is more up to those individual peoples that live there, and how they want to set up their societies.