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Olympic activism


Gorgon

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Do you think it's foolish to even try to maintain a distinction between a sports event and the political aspect of a word event with more eyeballs than any other. What would be your views on Olympic competitors using the venue to raise awareness of human rights issues in China.

 

Whats more important, seeing who can throw a spear or ball the furthest or civil rights. Where is the line drawn, will the editors

cut away, should they cut away ?

 

Discuss.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080407/ap_on_...u/olympic_torch

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Olympics...ck_Power_salute

 

And on a darker note :

 

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/summer-olym...h-massacre.html

Edited by Gorgon

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greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I think it's great to use the Olympics to raise awareness about human rights issues in China. I think it's ridiculous to attack people carrying the torch and threaten to boycott an event that athletes around the world train hard for. There is a difference between trying to get China to change their policies and backing them into a corner. You can't force them to change.

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I tend to think that the important thing here is how such activism is regarded by the Chinese, not how it is regarded by everyone else concerned with human rights. We shouldn't be doing activism just to make ourselves feel good after all.

 

I think we can safely assume that the Chinese media across the board will characterize any protest as either violent, as in the scuffle for the torch, or simply anti Chinese, the latter will work every time regardless of circumstance.

 

So, any protest in order to be successful would have to be brilliant in conception and appeal and less militant than Ghandi.

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greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I have always thought that the Olympics, World Cup, "insert international sporting event here" should be above politics. Boycotting the Olympics or its ceremonies will not change a single thing about China as far as human rights go. There are other arenas with stick and carrot methods for influencing policy in foreign governments. The Olympics are supposed to be about what the people of the world have in common, not the differences in the governments of the world. Sadly, as Carter and Breshev demonstrated, that is not usually the case.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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If it's alright to use the Olympics to champion the greatness of Nike and AT&T why is it wrong to use it to talk about something that really matters. Perhaps bland commercialism is a safe place from which violence is unlikely to originate, but...

 

Terrorism and activism are scorned because they don't play by the rules of modern societies. They steal attention and aren't founded in capitalism and consumerism. They didn't pay for their air time. Well I think it's well worth the effort trying to steal the terrorists' weapon and use it in defense of liberty.

 

The only real weapon we have against China is trade, but no one is mad enough to threaten China with trade sanctions, after all we are all interconnected in one world economy. What is left then, if you want the kind of attention and air time that only conglomerates can buy.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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If it's alright to use the Olympics to champion the greatness of Nike and AT&T why is it wrong to use it to talk about something that really matters. Perhaps bland commercialism is a safe place from which violence is unlikely to originate, but...

 

Terrorism and activism are scorned because they don't play by the rules of modern societies. They steal attention and aren't founded in capitalism and consumerism. They didn't pay for their air time. Well I think it's well worth the effort trying to steal the terrorists' weapon and use it in defense of liberty.

 

The only real weapon we have against China is trade, but no one is mad enough to threaten China with trade sanctions, after all we are all interconnected in one world economy. What is left then, if you want the kind of attention and air time that only conglomerates can buy.

 

I'm not really sure how it works but I don't think the Olympic comittee sells advertising. I know the national teams do, the networks covering events do, etc but I do not think the Olympics themselves is a capitalist enterprise. I may be wrong. Disrupting the Olympics will change nothing and as we saw in 1980 and 1984 boycotting will change nothing and cause a PR backfire for the boycotting nation. As for what you can do about China? Nothing. A nation can go to war, or stop trade, or offer better trade cultural exchange terms etc to another nation. But one nation cannot force another to do anything. And aside from carrying a sign in front of the Chinese embassy there is absolutely nothing an individual can do to influence policy in another country except check the label of eveything you by and don't buy it if it was made in China.

 

I don't like the fact that Dennmark places a 15% surcharge on Tuborg Beer exports. I have to pay $9.99 for a 6-pack. Elephant Beer is nearly as bad. But there is nothing I can do about it but pay, or don't.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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Trade is a powerful political tool, but anyone who really thinks that it'll earn the West future friends in China is deluded. The Chinese government can easily turn any Western sanction and/or embargo into ethnic-nationalism. Even if they are eventually forced out of power as a consequence, the result won't be a democratic China favorable to Western interests - that is, not unless the Chinese have no sense of pride whatsoever.

 

I think that most people in the West agree that the "ideal" is a democratic, capitalist China with modern living standards receptive to Western values (ie a bigger Japan), but no one, frankly, knows how to get there. I have the feeling that current confrontational policies will sooner land us into a new Cold War than a democratic China, and that even if we were to emerge victorious from this war, the prospects favor a divided China in the throes of systematic instability ala The Middle-East more than it does a democratic China that's "seen the error of its ways." Maybe that's what the real political leaders are banking on, but it's certainly not, I think, what most of the people championing Free Tibet want. Pity that the world doesn't work the way they want it to. But is that really that much of a surprise?

 

The current backlash against China is, after all, the result of failed liberal-humanist "wishful thinking" with regards to the effects of capitalist penetration - ie people assumed, rather naively, that just by opening up the country to Western investment China is suddenly going to become just like the West. You think that error is obvious, but it's precisely what some very smart people thought was going to happen when they tried to justify their business interests there. I mean, they're not totally wrong - certainly China is becoming more like the West everyday, but the idea that the PRC will implode because the country is becoming plutocratic is ridiculous. There, I used that word - plutocracy. Guess what, that's where China is heading, and it's also where the world is heading: rule by the rich. The corporate. The business-political elite.

 

For the Chinese, it's more of a return to the old days than the coming of the new. For certainly, the Chinese are no strangers to plutocracy. In fact, you might argue that their entire history is based upon it, or at least the resistance to it - you know, the whole Communism deal that Mao started? It didn't take root because half the world is dumb. It took root because half the world has had to deal with exploitive property owners (also called "landlords") who lived lavish lives while most of the population starved on the streets. There's even a saying for it in Chinese that roughly translates to something like: "humans feasting on pork in the house, crows feasting on [human] bones on the streets; that's the difference between rich and poor." Maybe you can see why Communism, and not capitalism, was more appealing to the Chinese (before it turned out to be a failure).

 

Anyways, people have a right to protest and I certainly don't think that putting some pressure on the Chinese government is a bad thing. But honestly, people need to learn to pick their fights, and chanting "Free Tibet" and "stop the genocide" right after a major riot that led to dozens of Han Chinese being effectively murdered by roaming Tibetan youth gangs is not the smartest way of undermining the Chinese policy. Neither is trying to douse the Olympics torch with a fire extinguisher as a demonstration of how fanatical you are. That's more like giving the Chinese government an easy target to pin the blame ("see? It's not our fault! These people are crazy!") on than anything else.

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I would like to know exactly how you would substantiate what happened in the recent riots in Tibet, and who was killed by who. Also, does a general movement towards active engagement stop being justified because of violence in the street.

 

Street riots work on a chaos theory of their own, any demonstration can turn violent and things spin out of control.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I think the sports themselves should remain untouched. The athletes should not suffer because of politics. But I also think that this is a great venue for each nations leaders to show their stance on several difficult issues. The opening ceremonies is where such activities should take place, but so far it seems that no nation is brave enough to go through with their plans. A boycott isn't a good solution, raising awareness and showing support is.

 

Small countries like Norway (who almost decided to boycott the ceremonies but chickened out in the last minute) and Sweden (who chickened out before the discussion even took place..) can't do much against an economic super-power like China. They can cause us much more harm than we can cause them any good, so to speak. But bigger nations (Russia, USA) or the EU could together come up with a plan that puts pressure on China.

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There's really too much to list, but I think the videos floating online demonstrate the best proof of what happened. You can also assume that a fair bit of repression happened on the Chinese part off-video, to account for the propaganda factor. That innocent people on both sides were killed is no longer in dispute, though, so my point holds - "Free Tibet" activists are doing themselves no favors by picking this particular event as a rallying cry. There are plenty of peaceful protests and police repressions that they could've picked, but saying that the violent suppression of a violent riot is equivalent to genocide or evil police brutality just doesn't cut it. It's like cheering for the LA riots, or, for that matter, Jeremiah Wright - both might represent underlying social grievances, but they are sensitive and controversial enough issues that proponents of the cause would be wise to adopt a balanced stance towards them to avoid the extremist label.

 

My understanding is that the Chinese government has been successful in rallying both domestic and international support among people of Chinese descent in condemning the riots. Part of this has to do with the far-from-objective portrayal of the events proliferated by Western media.

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My understanding is that the Chinese government has been successful in rallying both domestic and international support among people of Chinese descent in condemning the riots. Part of this has to do with the far-from-objective portrayal of the events proliferated by Western media.

Native chinese don't see Western media.

But in china WIKI have been banned by government.

Poor bronzepoem. One of these days they'll catch us talking about this and this site too will be banned.

 

Shut up you guys, you're making it worse!

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My understanding is that the Chinese government has been successful in rallying both domestic and international support among people of Chinese descent in condemning the riots. Part of this has to do with the far-from-objective portrayal of the events proliferated by Western media.

Native chinese don't see Western media.

 

But immigrant Chinese do, and they're the ones protesting against Western media...

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It's a rather successfully applied bogus 'us or them' terminology. Chinese immigrant communities across the world are among the more insular.

 

Anyway it's understandable why people would object to violence and destruction of property. The official language and position is to regard Tibet as a quaint province and blame recurring problems on a few bad apples. They don't seem keen to realise that a distinctly Tibetan culture remains that is still not at all compatible with their idea of how it should be. Thats how it is with displaced and discriminated cultures and peoples, their self identity only grows stronger with adversity.

 

Remember China is a country that still idolizes Mao, who brow beat the entire country into one way of thinking, or else.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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If by "brow beat" you mean "starved", har har. In recent years a younger generation distanced from the Cultural Revolution has come of age, but Mao's nationalist streak lives on, which is why China is not going to let go of Tibet under any circumstance (and why saber-rattling against Taiwan will continue far into the future). It's theirs. Still, a program of "patriotic education" is currently underway in Tibet, and residents are being forced to affirm allegiance with China and denounce the Dalai Lama. Probably won't work, but you can never be sure. People probably thought the Tiannemen Square protesters wouldn't be crushed, but boy, were they. Don't underestimate the power the Chinese government is ready and willing to bring to bear against dissent.

 

As for the Olympics, well, they've made exceptions for South Africa under Apartheid, as they should have, so I don't see why they can't take positions. They obviously won't, but there are reasons why they could.

Edited by Pop
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My understanding is that the Chinese government has been successful in rallying both domestic and international support among people of Chinese descent in condemning the riots. Part of this has to do with the far-from-objective portrayal of the events proliferated by Western media.

Native chinese don't see Western media.

 

But immigrant Chinese do, and they're the ones protesting against Western media...

 

They are? For every one in Australia that dislike "Western media", I find 3 who identify with it.

 

I guess they are immigrants for a reason, no? Looks like 3 out of 4 such Chinese realise this.

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One out of four is still a fairly significant number, especially considering that it's the immigrant population, for the same reasons you stated. But then, 98% of statistics are just made up on the spot anyways so I guess there's no point in debating it.

 

I don't think I'm wrong to say, however, that this particular incident has rallied Chinese public opinion against Western media and perhaps even the West in general. This is not Tiananmen Square, that's for sure.

Edited by Azarkon

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Did Chinese public opinion really need rallying against the West? I never got the impression that the West was much admired in China, for good and for bad reasons.

 

So far the torch relay has been an exercise in the Chinese government trying to export its values to the West - notably the blue-tracksuited thugs (Seb Coe's choice of words, not mine) and their aggressive behaviour. It's bad enough to see British police behave like this - and they do from time to time - but to see agents of a foreign power doing so (and apparently given license to do so by the British government) stinks.

 

A grotesque charade

 

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If it's alright to use the Olympics to champion the greatness of Nike and AT&T why is it wrong to use it to talk about something that really matters. Perhaps bland commercialism is a safe place from which violence is unlikely to originate, but...

 

Terrorism and activism are scorned because they don't play by the rules of modern societies. They steal attention and aren't founded in capitalism and consumerism. They didn't pay for their air time. Well I think it's well worth the effort trying to steal the terrorists' weapon and use it in defense of liberty.

 

The only real weapon we have against China is trade, but no one is mad enough to threaten China with trade sanctions, after all we are all interconnected in one world economy. What is left then, if you want the kind of attention and air time that only conglomerates can buy.

 

I'm glad I read the backposts before posting. This just about covers my view.

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We've used trade sanctions against China for human rights violations before. It was the only thing keeping Cambodia out of abject poverty for awhile, since they picked up the business.

 

Anyway, the olympic torch was extinguished at least three times in Paris due to protest.

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Trade sanctions were placed in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square, which was far worse, repression wise, than Tibet. I've heard Chinese sources tell me that the CCP was -this- close to implementing democratic reforms if the Beijing crackdown didn't work, which is understandable given that a good portion of the military and political elite were sympathetic (in fact, the government had to bring in troops from afar because the PLA divisions near Beijing refused to suppress the demonstrations).

 

The sanctions didn't do much though, from what I could tell, and were lifted soon after. So, yeah, I don't expect anything to occur over Tibet. The CCP's hold is stronger than it was around the time of Tiananmen, and they've got most of the country behind them, presently.

 

The thing to understand, if you're a proponent of democracy in China, is that the West's image in the eyes of the Chinese intelligentsia matter tremendously. Tiananmen nearly cracked the CCP because it had significant support both within the party and among the social elite of the time. Now, most of that elite either belong to the CCP or are in support of it, and part of that has to do with general disillusionment with the West in recent years (particularly after the Iraq War). Turning this into a "us vs. them" situation, as the West is currently doing vis-a-vis Tibet, will simply ensure that the CCP never lose power.

Edited by Azarkon

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I have always thought that the Olympics, World Cup, "insert international sporting event here" should be above politics. Boycotting the Olympics or its ceremonies will not change a single thing about China as far as human rights go. There are other arenas with stick and carrot methods for influencing policy in foreign governments. The Olympics are supposed to be about what the people of the world have in common, not the differences in the governments of the world. Sadly, as Carter and Breshev demonstrated, that is not usually the case.

 

This about covers my view. Don't use the Olympics for boycott.

 

The only real weapon we have against China is trade, but no one is mad enough to threaten China with trade sanctions, after all we are all interconnected in one world economy. What is left then, if you want the kind of attention and air time that only conglomerates can buy.

 

Monopolies are not to be looked forward to. They're not good for us common peasants. :sad: The U.S. pretty much has monolpoly in China with almost all the damned goods get we buy being from them.

 

That innocent people on both sides were killed is no longer in dispute,

 

Stop Tibet Boycott Killings!! *walkerguy is shot*

 

My understanding is that the Chinese government has been successful in rallying both domestic and international support among people of Chinese descent in condemning the riots. Part of this has to do with the far-from-objective portrayal of the events proliferated by Western media.

Native chinese don't see Western media.

 

But immigrant Chinese do, and they're the ones protesting against Western media...

 

They are? For every one in Australia that dislike "Western media", I find 3 who identify with it.

 

I guess they are immigrants for a reason, no? Looks like 3 out of 4 such Chinese realise this.

 

I thought Australia was "Western".

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Only way for China to change is to boycott China, in total. In trade, in the Olympics, and force their hand to change. Diplomacy with the carrot has failed.

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Monopolies are not to be looked forward to. They're not good for us common peasants. :sad: The U.S. pretty much has monolpoly in China with almost all the damned goods get we buy being from them.

 

 

The US is hardly alone in buying from China. They are the number on manufacturing county in the world. However, I did my part last week! I was ordering RF components for work and opted to buy from a German company over a Chinese one. So I did my part!

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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The truth is if you don't like China, don't buy their stuff. It can be done and if you get enough people doing it with you it will make a difference over time. If a majority American consumers decided not to buy anything made in China believe me, it will get attention. It may seem impossible but it has happened before.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

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