FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Let’s Give Three Cheers for Those “Western Ears” 

Yesterday, I happened to catch a radio report by NPR’s Julie McCarthy on the latest round of protests in Hong Kong. While listening, I could not help but see the similarities between what is going on in that corner of Asia and what has been going on in the streets of Catalonia during the last month…. but with two important exceptions.

A) The Catalan protesters have been far less violent than the Hong Kong protesters have apparently become.

B) No one from major media that I know of has made a plea, as McCarthy clearly does at the end of her report, for the more powerful party (in her case the Beijing government, in Catalonia the Spanish central government) to sit down and negotiate with the protestors.

Clearly, what’s “good for the goose” in the realm of an official enemy like China is not “good for the gander” in a NATO ally like Spain.

McCarthy gives away the Orientalist logic of the US mainstream media complex she works within toward the end of report when she refers to the counsel the Chinese government recently received from a panel of some 400 outside experts:

They (the Chinese government officials) were being told that you’ve got to dialogue. And, in fact, you had some of them saying what you really need to do first of is meet the demands. Meet the demands. …which include an inquiry into the police and direct elections. But to Western ears, that may make a lot of sense. To ears in Beijing that involves great concessions. And if Xi Jinping is more concerned about control than amity, and in saving Hong Kong, he doesn’t grant them those concessions. It’s a difficult way for them to think. They lose a lot of face in the middle of all that. So hands off Hong Kong means a little less of that rejuvenation of the motherland that Xi Jinping is trumpeting.

Thank god for the existence of those “WESTERN EARS”, they are no doubt saying in Madrid.

Thanks to the concept of “western ears” (as well eyes) that Julie and so many members of her profession explicitly or implicitly believe in, we now know that  things like refusing to dialogue with, or grant concessions to, internal democratic movements while simultaneously loosing police brutality against them is a strictly “Eastern“ problem.

As is the concern about ”losing face” to a democratic movement that calls attention to the authoritarian underpinnings of your state. Or having a predilection among certain national elites—who by the way would never remotely entertain the idea of advice from outsider experts—toward “control” over “amity” when dealing with the defense of the “motherland” or the fatherland (patria).

What a relief to know this that when it comes to such unfortunate matters, what goes on in China, stays in China …and never affects “our” community of civilized nations.

More articles by:

Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released  A Citizen’s Democracy in Authoritarian Times: An American View on the Catalan Drive for Independence  (University of Valencia Press, 2018).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
February 25, 2020
Michael Hudson
The Democrats’ Quandary: In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give
Paul Street
The “Liberal” Media’s Propaganda War on Bernie Sanders
Sheldon Richman
The Non-Intervention Principle
Nicholas Levis
The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0
John Feffer
Cleaning Up Trump’s Global Mess
David Swanson
How Are We Going to Pay for Saving Trillions of Dollars?
Ralph Nader
Three Major News Stories That Need To Be Exposed
John Eskow
What Will You Do If the Democrats Steal It from Sanders?
Dean Baker
What If Buttigieg Said That He Doesn’t Accept the “Fashionable” View That Climate Change is a Problem?
Jack Rasmus
The Nevada Caucus and the Desperation of Democrat Elites
Howard Lisnoff
The Powerful Are Going After Jane Fonda Again
Binoy Kampmark
Viral Losses: Australian Universities, Coronavirus and Greed
John W. Whitehead
Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn Schools into Prisons
Marshall Sahlins
David Brooks, Public Intellectual
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail