Category Archives for "Politics"
Much like the American West, a people are being destroyed by a dominant, more populous and aggressive culture.
The Economist writes a briefing on the effects of modernization and China’s administrative methods on Tibetan culture. Social transformation sometimes welcome, often resented.
The Dalai Lama accuses China’s government of “cultural genocide”, a fear echoed by a tour guide in Qinghai, one of five provinces across which most of the country’s 6m Tibetans are scattered “We know what happened to the Jews,” he says. “We are fighting for our existence.”
Less commonly told is the despair felt by many young Tibetans who feel shut out of China’s boom. They are victims of Tibet’s remote and forbidding topography as well as of racial prejudice and the Chinese Communist party’s anti-separatist zeal. They often cannot migrate to coastal factories, and few factories will come to them.
Even fluent Mandarin speakers rarely find jobs outside their region.
Chinese and foreigners alike have long romanticized Tibet’s high-altitude vastness, Buddhist culture and simple nomadic economy, seeing in it a place of peace and tranquility. The reality for Tibetan’s is different.
China’s campaign to eradicate support for the Dalai Lhama and ensure no further uprisings, has broken whatever peace they had. Even nursery school’s often teach in Mandarin Chinese. A singer who tried to protect the language was imprisoned for three years. Educated Tibetan’s are co-opted into Han government positions. Tibet’s economic wealth flows to Han migrants and Tibetan society falls under strict Han control.
See also: Free Tibet a charity that promotes the rights of Tibetan’s.
Tibet: Cultural Genocide. Your comments are welcome below.
It's human nature to be pessimistic, but this can have political consequences.
Johan Norberg argues that people often think things are worse than they are. Bad things are more newsworthy and memorable. Nature blessed us with an ability to recall negative events easier than positive ones, and “40 million Planes Landed Safely Last Year” does not make a good headline.
Despite the bloody headlines, the world is far safer than it used to be. The homicide rate in hunter-gatherer societies was about 500 times what it is in Europe today. Globally, wars are smaller and less frequent than they were a generation ago.
The only type of violence that is growing more common is terrorism, and people wildly overestimate how much of it there is. The average European is ten times more likely to die by falling down stairs than to be killed by a terrorist.
Evidence that the past was more brutal than the present can be gleaned not only from data but also from cultural clues. For example, one study in Britain found children’s nursery rhymes are 11 times more violent than television programmes aired before 9pm.
Male blue-collar workers have seen no improvement in their earnings for several years. Technology could continue to destroy many low-skilled jobs. And nature is being thinned dramatically. Global Warming is a worry, too. Green technology is advancing and farming is becoming more efficient. Perhaps human ingenuity will triumph.
By Johan Norberg.
Oneworld; 246 pages; $24.99 and £16.99.
Progress. Your comments welcome below.
A legacy of Obama’s humble view of America’s interests and influence may be a more leaderless global order.
The Economist writes an Essay on Barack Obama, covering his childhood, tenure, achievement, struggles and plans for the future. From being a skinny kid growing up in Hawaii, through to his time in office. Bold ideas either unimplemented or about to be undone, a mix of diplomatic bravery and timidity, and the mixed results of his character and skin-color on US race relations.
From the start of his Presidency, Mr Obama worried that he could not bear the weight of expectation he had inspired. On the night of his first victory he spoke of “unyielding hope” in “a place where all things are possible.”
Yet for all his achievements, his intellect and his grace, his eight years in office imply that even the most powerful leader in the world—a leader of rare talents, anointed with a nation’s dreams—can seem powerless to direct it.
From the ruins of Syria to the barricades in Congress and America’s oldest wounds, sometimes nothing has been the best he could do. Sometimes it was all he could do. The possibilities seem shrunken.
After its collision with history, so might hope itself.
Democratic leaders often leak political power as they govern, even as their efficiency improves. In Obama’s case, Republican election victories and a wide partisan divide meant that this process was rapid and costly. America’s finances have been patched rather than mended, immigration remains unreformed and despite several massacres gun laws have not been tightened. Notwithstanding the closure order signed on his second day in the job, Guantanamo Bay remains in operation.