My frequent complaint is that the (overwhelming) majority of the U.S. electorate knows practically nothing about the “People’s Republic” of China.
There are films about China produced by Chinese dissidents, but such films are not shown in the United States for fear they might spoil those amicable Sino-U.S. relations, established by Bill Clinton, George Bush, and their helpmates and supporters.
However, I had heard that on Aug. 26, starting at 7 p.m., Ted Koppel would be showing his four-part series documentary on China on the Investigation Discovery Channel.
Koppel is not a youngster from a parochial village. He is 68 years old. But it is not clear what he and his documentary meant to communicate. It takes only five seconds to tell the valuable fact that women in China make from $1 to $2 a day. This fact had been mentioned by the U.S. media before.
Koppel’s German-Jewish family came to the United States in 1953, when he was 13, and he was likely to know something about totalitarian societies like Hitler’s or at least about living on $1 to $2 a day!
According to The Washington Post (Dec. 26, 2002), in 1993, Koppel and his wife paid $2.7 million for 16 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Potomac, Md. Then he and his wife filed a law suit, the purpose of which was to hold the neighbors to an agreement to limit the size of the houses in the neighborhood, i.e., to “cut the neighbors down to size.”
As I watched his “documentary,” I wondered if Koppel had come from the moon, where the difference between $2 a day, to stay alive, and $2.7 million, to “cut the neighbors down to size,” is just playful. Any 68-year-old American could appear instead of Koppel in the film without any detriment to the information of the “documentary.”
The documentary is entitled the “People’s Republic of Capitalism.” But surely capitalism flourished in Nazi Germany. Indeed, Nazism had originated due to the financial contributions from German capitalists. Surely this is connected with the mass extermination of Jews and the flight of Koppel’s German-Jewish family from Germany “due to the rise of Nazism,” or more factually, due to the beginning of the secret systematic “industrial” mass extermination of Jews in Germany in 1941.
At the beginning of the film, the screen shows Mao with a wonderfully kind smile on his face. I have a collection of film documentaries about Mao. Nowhere does he have such a wonderful smile as in Koppel’s film. Independent historians present Mao as “the Chinese Hitler,” and their factual evidence is staggering.
Nor does Koppel’s play on the word “capitalism” help. Lenin permitted private enterprise in 1922. Why? Because that seemed to him to be useful for his totalitarian power. Stalin forbade private enterprise in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Why? To intensify the development of his military power. Hitler never forbade private enterprise. Does this mean that his regime was more “progressive” or humane than Stalin’s?
Koppel mentions “tens of thousands of protest demonstrations a year” in China. The fact had been mentioned before, and even the figure of “about 100,000 uprisings a year” had been cited. But how do the dictators of China handle the participants in those protest demonstrations? Not a hint in Koppel’s giant documentary!
Koppel presents “a street” in Chongqing, a city in China, as cheerful as he might have presented a street of an American city. Many (cheerful) girls, many (colorful) flowers. But what is going on inside those buildings all around?
The photograph in a washingtonpost.com review (July 8, 2008) presents Koppel and a coal miner in China wearing similar hard caps. How touching! Two buddies under capitalism! Only the pay is somewhat different. Of course! Americans like Koppel sell the United States to China under the camouflage of intellectual freedom, while the Chinese coal miners sell Chinese coal.
Stalin’s, Hitler’s, or Mao’s persecutions had a bit or at least an attempt at, rationality. Those persecuted were proclaimed to be hostile to the regime (“the greatest and most promising in the history of mankind”). Thus, a Russian German emigrated to Germany after 1917 and persuaded Hitler that Jews hate all gentiles organically, nationally, psychologically. (See “Race and Race History and Other Essays” by Alfred Rosenberg. English translation copyright circa 1970.)
In the 21st century, the dictatorship of China put forward a new cause for persecution: the heinous crime of “Falun Gong practitioners,” punishable by torture to death. It has been a fact that those engaged in the Falun Gong physical exercises were persecuted ruthlessly by the dictatorship of China after 2000, while before these exercises had been promoted by the dictatorship!
The dictatorship of China is a single ruthless machine of 1.3 billion human organisms. Of course, there are protesters among them. They are tracked down and treated as the worst criminals. Ted Koppel does not show this in his documentary because he may thus lose his television earnings or perhaps his life as well during his creative sojourn in China. His modus vivendi is to be not servile but generally optimistic and friendly, without revealing any “secrets” about China divulged by Chinese dissident periodicals like The Epoch Times. Of course, ahead is the great Sino-American friendship — the United States and the People’s Republic of Capitalism both have capitalism, the rest being a matter of detail.
Koppel’s discretion and general friendliness to Chinese (no, not Nazi!) capitalism are well rewarded. Apart from the documentary’s texts as such, the Investigation Discovery Channel shows its usual commercials, which have nothing to do with China, but which may sell well to American consumers.
What might have happened to him if he were critical of Chinese dictatorship? He might have been killed by the Chinese (capitalist!) secret service.
That’s it! The human machine of China acts as a single mechanism, with exceptions destroyed as soon as possible. The West acts as so many separate human beings, some of whom derive profit from the conformity.
The presidential candidates for 2008 have been silent about China, and President Bush is said to embrace the Olympic Games in Beijing. The U.S. media are evidently satisfied with television presentations about nothing — in the spirit of Ted Koppel.
Who, then, is there to defend the West — its personal freedom, acquired with such difficulty over the corpses of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Mao?
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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