Sunday, August 10, 2008

McCommunism, totalitarianism, and the Beijing Olympics

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics may have been greeted with awe and wonder by many -- and may herald the future of China as a global superpower -- but, like the Games themselves, they were a reflection of the sort of controlled-market totalitarianism that China represents.

I objected to China getting the Olympics -- and Beijing beat my hometown of Toronto, no less -- but, then, I'm not sure what else one could have expected from the corruption-ridden IOC.

The Olympics provide China with a global platform and serve to legitimize China's totalitarian regime. Everything looks good, so far, but at what cost? Remember, China may already be a superpower in the global market, and it may have embraced certain aspects of capitalism in rising to the top, but it is still totalitarian, deeply oppressive. There is still absolute control, or the aspiration to absolute control. People still disappear -- or are disappeared. Indigenous minorites are persecuted, crushed. Think what China has done to Tibet. Think what it does to groups like Falun Gong. Think of China's support for the regime in Khartoum, or, that is, think of China's enabling of the genocide in Darfur.

And we are amazed by the totalitarian pageantry of the opening ceremonies? Please.

For more, make sure to watch this clip from The Real News Network. It's an interview with Naomi Klein -- I have had my differences with her in the past, but, here, she's right on -- on how "[t]he security, central planning, surveillance state is an ideal cocoon for global capitalism." It's an excellent response to the Beijing Olympics and what they represent.

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