The man is not Born Free. From his conception until his death, the man, the created being simply lives a dependent or conditioned existence. The entire mankind without any exceptions are all Slaves irrespective of Race, Ethnicity, Language, Nationality, or Sexual Orientation for all men are born sinners.
The man can either be Slave to God or Slave to Sin. There is no Freedom without the Blessings of Mercy, Grace, and Compassion of the LORD God Creator. I take Pride and Proclaim that I am a Born Slave on Fourth of July.
Frederick Douglass’ descendants recite his famous speech about July 4th. “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
CNN July 4, 2020, 1:51 PM EDT
For the Fourth of July, Frederick Douglass’ descendants read excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
Douglass, an abolitionist who fought for social reform in the 1800s, delivered the speech on July 5, 1852 at an Independence Day celebration, pointing out the hypocrisy in the holiday and in the Founding Fathers’ ideals.
On Saturday, five of Douglass’ descendants — Douglass Washington Morris II, 20, Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15, Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12, Alexa Anne Watson, 19 and Haley Rose Watson, 17 — recited the speech in a short film for NPR.
“The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms,” NPR stated in the description of the film. “In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.”
In his speech, Douglass says: “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”
That section is also read in the 7-minute video by NPR.
It continues, both by Douglass in 1852 and by his descendants in the video, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy.”
After reciting excerpts, his descendants responded to what they’d read.
“This speech was written almost 170 years ago, but this part of it is still extremely relevant, especially with today’s protests,” said Douglass Washington Morris II.
“While the Fourth of July probably does not feel the same to me as it does to others, I wouldn’t say that it has no meaning because it is the time when America as a country became free from another country,” said Alexa Anne Watson. “But I would say it’s not the time in which I gained my freedom.”
Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner closes out the video on an optimistic note, saying: “I think in many ways we are still slaves to the notion that it will never get better, but I think that there is hope and I think that it’s important that we celebrate Black joy and Black life and we remember that change is possible, change is probable and that there’s hope.”
In my analysis, the discussion about India-Tibet-US Relations will always be shaped by Pakistan’s illegal invasion and occupation of Kashmir.
“Nehru’s ill-thought faux pas set a dangerous precedent in history which affects the relationship between India and Tibet as well as other foreign policy decisions.” – ANJALI KANOJIA, RYAN BAIDYA.
As a lifetime member of the military organization called Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22-Vikas Regiment, I do not find any merit in the above view shared by Anjali Kanojia and Ryan Baidya. Even prior to India’s independence, Tibet had the golden opportunity to prepare for War to safeguard its freedom from the threat posed by the Communist takeover of the mainland China. Tibet chose to ignore the offer of assistance extended by the US president Roosevelt while the US invested billions of dollars to prevent the spread of Communism to Asia.
India’s policy was shaped by Tibet’s own policy of ‘Isolationism’. Tibet tried to appease Communist China and agreed to accept the offer of full autonomy rather than full independence. Even now, the Tibetan demand for meaningful autonomy and not freedom is very similar to the Seventeen-Point Plan or Agreement for Peaceful Liberation of Tibet signed on May 23, 1951. Nehru’s decision to sign the ‘Panchsheel’ Agreement of 1954 is consistent with the Tibetan Policy.
I always discuss India-Tibet-US relations in the context of Kashmir. Nehru had the primary responsibility of safeguarding the Republic of India. I cannot discuss the problem of China’s invasion of Tibet without mentioning the problem of Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir with the connivance of the United States and the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Nehru was confronted with the problem of Pakistan’s illegal invasion of Kashmir in 1947 (The First Kashmir War of 1947-48) prior to the problem of Tibet’s invasion by the People’s Liberation Army of Communist China in 1949-50. Kashmir is the core or the central issue that will guide the policy of India in formulating external relations with other nations like the Soviet Union/Russia, the United States, Tibet, and China. India was unwilling to openly condemn Chinese invasion of Tibet for the United States and the United Kingdom are unwilling to openly condemn Pakistan’s illegal invasion of Kashmir.
India in a sense can be considered as a mother, which gave birth to the beautiful culture of Tibet where the same stream of consciousness flows between the two entities
By Anjali Kanojia and Ryan Baidya -June 28, 2020
Tibet holds extreme importance to Indians as it denotes resilience and survival
Tibet has flourished for centuries; it has been a living hub of ancient culture and spirituality, minding its own business, so to speak. Tibet has made vast contributions to the world in terms of spiritual wealth and philosophy. As parts of the Indian subcontinent were being invaded and the Hindu civilization was obliterated by the barbaric attackers, many seekers, gurus and spiritual masters took refuge in the safety and solitude of Tibet, allowing Hindu and Buddhist thought and literature to survive and flourish. Thus, Tibet holds extreme importance to Indians as it denotes resilience and survival.
India & Tibet – Mutual Roots
One usually thinks of the recent history of Buddhism arriving from India to Tibet. However, the harmonious relationship between India and Tibet runs farther and deeper and predates the time of the Gautama Buddha. Tibetan scholar Bu-ston, wrote that the Tibetan race comes from the descendants of the Military General – Rupati – a general from the Kaurava army from the times of the Mahabharata. Tibetan chronicles documents that show Rupati went to Tibet after the Kauravas were defeated by the Pandava army after the epic battle of Mahabharata ended and Rupati was followed by a large number of his consignment into Tibet.
“Tibetans have lost most of their Central Asian possessions to the Chinese and the great Tibetan Empire all but vanished by the 9th century due to Chinese and Mongol invasions.”
India in a sense can be considered as a mother, which gave birth to the beautiful culture of Tibet where the same stream of consciousness flows between the two entities. The roots of Tibet are Indian, and this continued with the advent of Buddhism in Tibet and noble Buddhist thought and philosophy influenced the people and the way of life for the region of Tibet. Two Tibetan kings – Songtsen Gampo and Trisong-Detsen played a vital role in history by introducing Buddhism to their Praja (citizens) in the 7th and 8th centuries. This influence is still practiced and observed in the rituals, art, literature, poetry, and day-to-day lives of the beautiful Tibetan people.
This historic border between India and Tibet was called the Indo-Tibetan border and China (Sino) had no mention in defining that border. Tibetan history shows that Tibetan powerful rulers in the 7th century invaded parts of China, and the annexed Chinese territory was even paying taxes or tribute according to a treaty (Treaty of 821 A.D.) between the Tibetan king Tsenpo and the Chinese Emperor Hwang citing “neighborly contentment,” and “establishing a great era when Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China, and this shall never be changed.” The Chinese forces violated the 821 A.D. bilateral treaty by continuously invading Tibet over the centuries.
Tibetans have lost most of their Central Asian possessions to the Chinese and the great Tibetan Empire all but vanished by the 9th century due to Chinese and Mongol invasions.
The British signed the Lhasa Convention with the Government of Tibet after their expedition and this denotes Tibet’s sovereignty. It should be noted that China is nowhere in the picture and all official business was conducted with the government of Tibet.
Mongolia and Tibet had a formal, bilateral treaty in 1913 where the two nations maintained recognition, and Mongolia had kept an Ambassador in the Tibetan capital – Lhasa. In 1913-1914, the representatives of British India, Tibet, and China met in Shimla and settled the political status of Tibet and defined Tibet’s relations with China. British- ruled India and Tibet signed an Indo-Tibet border treaty establishing the McMahon Line, which mainly defined the eastern Himalayan international borderline at the Shimla Convention. However, the Shimla Convention failed to meet the goals it set out to accomplish.
Nehru’s ill-thought faux pas set a dangerous precedent in history which affects the relationship between India and Tibet as well as other foreign policy decisions.
Neighboring Nepal, in 1949 applied for the United Nations membership and formally stated that the Tibetan nation had independent, diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, India, Burma, the United States of America, and Tibet. This clearly shows Tibet as an independent entity.
The Chinese again invaded Tibet in 1949. India’s foreign office responded to the violation (of 821-treaty) on October 26, 1950, as: “In the context of world events, invasion by Chinese troops of Tibet cannot but be regarded as deplorable and in the considered judgment of the Government of India, not in the interest of China or peace.”
India’s response clearly shows that India did not recognize Tibet as part of China. If India did recognize Tibet as part of China, it would not refer to the violation of the 821 A.D. as an “invasion.”
When India became independent of the British in 1947, the Government of India sent the following note recognizing the Tibetan government: “The Government of India would be glad to have an assurance that it is the intention of the Tibetan government to continue relations on the existing basis until new arrangements are reached that either party may wish to take up. This is the procedure adopted by all other countries with which India has inherited treaty relations from His Majesty’s Government.”
Mao Zedong acknowledged independent Tibet
After the fall of the Manchus in 1911, China offered both Nepal and Tibet to join China, and both the nations refused. China clearly recognized each of these nations as being sovereign entities up to this moment of time. During World War II, Tibet continuously maintained neutrality and did not allow passage of any troops through its territory. Even Mao Zedong acknowledged the independent status of Tibet in the year 1938 when traveling through the Tibet-China border regions and said that “This is our only foreign debt, and someday we must pay — the Tibetans for the provisions we received from them.”
Soon after the failure of the Shimla Convention where China refused to sign the treaty, Mao Zedong declared a liberation plan for Tibet and began claiming that Tibet has always been a part of China. The then Indian Prime Minister – Jawaharlal Nehru for the first time recognized China’s claim over Tibet and signed the Panchsheel Treaty in 1954 acknowledging the same.
Nehru’s ill-thought faux pas set a dangerous precedent in history which affects the relationship between India and Tibet as well as other foreign policy decisions.
On June 23, 2003, while visiting China, in a joint declaration signed by then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, for the first-time recognized Tibet as a part of China. However, soon after the declaration, China repeatedly violated this declaration and Panchsheel accord by substance and spirit. China’s aggression has continued even today with increased vigor and voracity.
India had enough and India has begun to ‘Right’ the ‘Wrong’. In 2014, when Mr. Narendra D. Modi got elected by an unprecedented mandate by the citizens of India, Mr. Modi invited the head of the exiled government of Tibet to his swearing-in ceremony.
“Given the recent issues between India and China over land grabbing, India needs to firm up its policies towards all its neighboring nations, especially Tibet.”
Righting the Wrongs
More than 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of China’s occupation of Tibet. The culture and people have been systemically destroyed and redirected resources that put Tibetans in a terrible position for survival. China indiscriminately diverted water from the multinational rivers which originate in Tibet thereby putting the lives and well-being of billions of people at risk.
India not just from a moral and ethical perspective but from a cultural perspective needs to maintain a protective status towards nations such as Tibet and Nepal and it is in everyone’s mutual interest that their sovereignty remains intact and protected from the neighboring Communist dreams and agendas.
Given the recent issues between India and China over land grabbing, India needs to firm up its policies towards all its neighboring nations, especially Tibet. Nations often declare treaties to be moot, and it is time for India to declare that it will no longer recognize the Panchsheel Treaty of 1954 to be valid. India has no choice but to rescind its reluctant recognition of Tibet as a part of China, and formally re-recognize Tibet as a sovereign nation.
Note: 1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
In my analysis, the United States is awakening to the global threats posed by China’s military expansionism and at the same time the American infatuation with Pakistan is weakening as Pakistan drifts into Extremism. As a result, after seventy years, the United States is giving the support to India in the Ladakh Sector of Kashmir to contain China’s military adventurism. Seventy Years ago, in 1950, China easily occupied the Aksai Chin area of Ladakh Sector taking full advantage of the ambiguous US policy.
From Tibet to Galwan: 70 Years of Sino-India Twisted Ties
(MENAFN – Kashmir Observer) Behind the fresh LAC faceoff is the seven-decade-old fraught history dominated by dragon’s menacing advances and territorial ambitions.
By Swati Joshi
A video of a family throwing their television from their balcony as a sign of protest against China is making rounds on social media. Considering everyone is not so enthusiastic in giving up their well-earned Chinese products, the family has not set an example but it is an act that just tends to become a source of entertainment for many.
The old clichéd ‘Hindi Chini bhai bhai’ slogan apart, the relationship between the two is not very healthy and the continuous face-offs between them have made it sourer.
To understand the relationship between India and China, one has to go back to the time in the late 1940s when both emerging Third World Countries- the newly independent India and the rising communist China were planning to make their presence in the world.
The entire Sino-India border including the western Line of Actual Control (LAC), some disputed section in the middle and the McMahon Line in the east is 4,056 km which traverses through the union territory of Ladakh and four states- Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
First Dispute: Tibet
The first territorial issue faced by India after independence with China involved Tibet.
Tibet lies on the Tibetan plateau on the northern side of the Himalayas between India and China.
However, the two sides did not decide on the demarcation of the Indian-Tibetan border.
In the same year, the two countries signed the Panchsheel Treaty – five principles of peaceful co-existence under the leadership of Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, during the latter’s visit to Delhi.
The five principles of coexistence mentioned in the Treaty included respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
In 1955, Beijing decided to set up a Preparatory Committee for setting up Tibetan Autonomous Region, that marked the end of traditional Tibetan society and the transfer of power to the China Communist Party (CCP) from the theocratic government under the Dalai Lama. This move by China created unrest in Tibet.
Dalai Lama and others
In 1956, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) annihilated monasteries in Eastern Tibet where local insurgents had taken refuge. This action by China worsened the condition in Tibet and the Dalai Lama pressured Beijing to resolve the condition otherwise he would stay in exile in India.
After negotiations, the Dalai Lama came back to Tibet.
After the Tibetan Uprising in 1959, India had given asylum to the Dalai Lama which did not go well with the Chinese. China considered this move by India as a threat to its rule over Tibet. Even Mao Zedong, the former chairman of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) stated that the uprising in Lhasa was caused by India.
Amidst the Tibet issue between China and India, other border issues also came into light. The western and eastern non-demarcated borders received troops from both sides.
Nehru meets Mao in Beijing, 1954
In 1960 Zhou Enlai suggested that if India gave up its claim over Aksai Chin, China in return would drop its claim on Arunachal Pradesh but Nehru didn’t agree with it saying China had no rule over these areas. India started following ‘Forward Policy’ and sent troops and patrols to the disputed areas.
The Sino-India war which went for a month in both eastern and western fronts resulted in the loss of life and property. It is estimated that 3000 Indian soldiers were killed and approximately 1000 were injured.
1962 Sino-Indian War
Between 1962 and 1969 the relation between India and China was cold. Beijing’s political and military support to Islamabad further worsened the condition.
The relations between India and China further crumbled in June 1967 when two Indian diplomats were expelled from Beijing on alleged charges of ‘espionage activities’.
On October 1 that year, China again fired heavily on Indian troops in Cho La which ended on the same day.
The relationship between India and China was officially re-established in 1979 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then foreign minister of India, visited China.
During his visit, Vajpayee brought the contentious border issues with the Chinese leader who in turn told him not to bring the issue for discussion. Following this many political leaders visited China which started a new era of India-China relations.
According to a research paper by journalist Manoj Joshi, ‘Since the early 1980s, both sides have held multiple rounds of talks to draw up a mutually acceptable LAC and resolve their border dispute. However, even though they have inched towards the goals, they have failed to follow-through.’
India and China had many face-offs but the one at Doklam in 2017 lasted for more than two months.
Doklam lies at the trijunction between India, Bhutan, and China and is surrounded by the Chumbi valley of Tibet, Bhutan’s Ha Valley, and Sikkim.
The Doklam region is claimed by both Bhutan and China and even after efforts from both the countries, the dispute has not been resolved.
The dispute worsened in 2017 when China started constructing a road in the area. Indian troops supported Bhutan and objected to the construction activities by Beijing resulting in a standoff.
PM Modi and President Jinping
Doklam being located close to the Siliguri corridor that connects mainland India with its north-eastern region, is important for India for security reasons.
In recent years, China has been increasing its troops in the Chumbi valley. Since both Indian and Bhutanese troops are at the higher ground around the valley, they are at a much advantageous position, unlike China.
If the Chinese had captured Doklam they would be at a commanding position of Chumbi valley and Siliguri corridor.
The current dispute between India and China along the LAC is one of the worst rows between the two countries post-1962.
At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 in the Galwan valley which became the first casualties in 45 years along the border. Indian troops were accused of crossing the border twice ‘provoking and attacking the Chinese personnel’.
There are reports of Chinese casualties but there is no confirmation from the officials.
LAC Standoff renewed Sino-India tensions
The first confrontation between the Chinese and Indian troops happened around the Pangong lake. The Sirijap range overlooking the lake has many cliffs which are numbered one to eight. India claims the LAC up to Finger 8. Chinese troops come from behind Finger 8 cliffs and can be seen by the Indian side only when the Chinese troops are at Finger 6.
To increase its visibility over the Chinese troops, the Indian side decided to build an observation point at Finger 8 that would help Indian soldiers to intercept Chinese soldiers, as soon they entered the area from Finger 8.
The Chinese PLA objected the construction and put pressure on India to halt the work, due to which a standoff happened between the soldiers of two sides on May 5-6 but it was controlled as both the armies stuck to protocols to resolve the issue.
The second dispute took place over a bridge build by India in the Despang Plains across the Galwan rivulet. PLA was beefed up at patrolling points 14, 15 and 17. The bridge is supposed to give the soldiers access to Daulat Beg Oldie, the last military post south of Karakoram Pass.
The bridge is now functional amid the ongoing tension between the two countries.
The Principles of War-The Strategy of Perseverance:
Perseverance – to ensure the commitment necessary to attain the national strategic end state. As a lifetime soldier of the military organization called the Special Frontier Force also known as Establishment No. 22 and Vikas Regiment, I learned about the military strategy described as Perseverance. India and the world do not need satellite image evidence to know the fact of China’s military occupation of Tibet. Since 1950, India pursued the option of Strategic Perseverance to contain the national security threats posed by China’s illegal conquest of Tibet . India’s security interests will not be fully served by taking military action against the PLA who intruded into Indian territory across the McMahon Line. India’s security demands the total eviction of the military occupier of Tibet. To accomplish the above mentioned objective, India and Tibet are patiently waiting for the right time to launch their offensive operation which may include a global coalition of forces who may launch simultaneous attacks on other fronts apart from the Himalayan Frontier. We need the commitment of other nations. I am hopeful that the military mission will be accomplished as I describe it as “The Battle of Right Against Might” using the phrase coined by Gandhi as his battle plan to oppose the mighty British Empire.
China is on LAC to tell India who the ‘big brother’ is, not to gain territory
“Depending on the diplomatic and military response from India, PLA’s means will be calibrated to achieve China’s military aim.”
By Lieutenant General H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (Retired)
Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command. Post-retirement, he was Member of Armed Forces Tribunal. Views are personal.
The situation along the Line of Actual Control is tactical, but the intent of both sides is strategic, as it should be. The ultimate political aim of any conflict between nations is lasting peace on own terms. However, the issue is relative, as lasting peace in competitive conflict among nations remains a utopia. Military is only the means to achieve this end and always the last resort.
China has precipitated the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh by preemptively securing/threatening previously un-occupied, but patrolled, tactical areas with strategic importance in the Galwan River Valley, Hot Spring-Gogra-Kongka La area and north of Pangong Tso. Having seized the initiative, China has put the onus on India to respond, on which will depend Beijing’s future course of political and military action. China has come prepared for escalation to achieve its strategic aim.
India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are at stake. Militarily, India has contained the Chinese intrusions and poised its forces to deal with the developing situation. Its future course of action, particularly with respect to use of military means, will also depend on the political aim it has defined for itself.
The unfortunate events on the intervening night of 15 and 16 June have forced the adversaries to take fresh stock of the situation. China, the initiator and aggressor of the conflict, has realized that if the ‘fist and club fight’ was so violent and barbarous, what it would be like in an armed conflict/war with India’s Army of today. The stage is set for a military disengagement to tactically separate the rival forces and pave way for the diplomatic negotiations to settle larger strategic issues. If diplomacy fails, military means for either side would be the last resort to achieve political aims.
Tactical military situation
In the Galwan Valley, post the 15-16 June incident, there seems to be no presence left of China’s People’s Liberation Army or the PLA, as is distinct from the heights to the north and south. One does not know the exact details of what was agreed to after the first round of Corps Commander-level talks on 6 June, or what has since been modified during the second round on 22 June. At what distance from the LAC are the troops of both the countries going to remain deployed is not known. In mountains or high-altitude areas, the battle is for the control of the heights. Valley is used for logistics and movement of vehicles, but has to be defended to avoid being cut off. Thus, what has happened in the Valley so far is a sideshow. If the PLA is not holding the heights to the north and south, then we should be holding them. Without control of the heights, the Valley cannot be defended.
In the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area, the situation remains unchanged. We cannot patrol up to Kongka La, and the area between Kongka La and Gogra Post seems to be under the control of the PLA.
The situation North of Pangong Tso is in the open domain due to satellite images available on OSINT platforms. The area between Finger 4 and Finger 8 (5.6 km as the crow flies and 8 km when measured along the banks of Pangong Tso) is still firmly under PLA’s control. Military infrastructure and defences have been constructed on ridges going north, along Fingers 4, 5 and 6, up to 5 km. Thus, approximately 40 sq km of our area where we patrolled effectively prior to April is now under PLA control.
Elsewhere, all along the LAC, India and China have mobilised and carried out precautionary deployment to cater to any escalation.
It is beyond my comprehension as to why we are still in denial about the situation. If the assessment of OSINT is wrong, then there is a simple solution to counter claims of PLA incursions—take the press to these spots in helicopters and show them the reality.
Chinese actions are strategic in intent and tactical in execution, and aim to create an embarrassing situation for India, daring it to respond. Depending on the diplomatic and military response from India, PLA’s military means will be calibrated to achieve China’s military aim.
Political aim of China
China is very sensitive to any threat to Aksai Chin, which it gradually occupied in 1950s, and other areas to its west and south that it captured in the 1962 war with India to gain strategic depth. India’s fast-developing border infrastructure in eastern Ladakh does exactly that, howsoever remote the possibility may seem to be at this juncture. Gaining additional territory is not China’s aim per se.
China perceives that by threatening to recapture Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan, India is posing a threat to its prestigious economic project — the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor or the CPEC. Indirectly, China desires a similar relationship between India and Pakistan as was prevailing with itself since 1990s. That is, relative peace on border and focus on economic relations.
India’s asylum to Dalai Lama in 1959 and the perceived training of Tibetan ‘rebels’ in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was a major factor that led to the 1962 war. The presence of the Dalai Lama in India, the Tibetan government in exile and 10,000 to 15,000 Tibetan soldiers trained as special forces is considered by China to be the most serious potential threat to its sovereignty. India is seen as the principal instigator of the Tibetan struggle for freedom.
China also perceives that India is colluding with the US and its allies to undermine its strategic interests in the international arena, in general, and South China Sea and Indo-Pacific, in particular.
The political aim or idealistic strategic wish list of China would be on the following lines:
To maintain the ‘status quo’ with respect to border infrastructure along the LAC on its own terms — to forestall any threat, howsoever remote, to Aksai Chin and NH 219.
To prevent any threat developing to the CPEC by brokering a peace deal between India and Pakistan.
Coax India to join Belt and Road Initiative, in general, and CPEC, in particular.
Coax India to refrain from colluding with the US and its allies to undermine China’s strategic interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea.
In a nutshell, China wants India to play the role of a cooperative junior partner and not that of a competitor, both regionally and globally. To what extent it can achieve the aims highlighted above will depend on its diplomatic skills and how it uses its military to enforce its will. If its broad political aim is achieved, then it will restore status quo ante April 2020, and agree to demarcate the LAC, subject to final boundary settlement.
India’s political aim
The broad contours of India’s political aims should be as follows:
Retain its sovereignty and territorial integrity and strategic independence as an equal competitor to China,both regionally and globally.
Restore status quo ante April 2020 with respect to the LAC and ensure its demarcation.
Retain freedom to develop border infrastructure as it deems fit.
Retain its claim over PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan under occupation of Pakistan, and Aksai Chin and other areas seized by China since 1950.
Continue to highlight the illegality of the CPEC, since it passes through territory that rightfully belongs to India.
Ideally, a military setback for China in a limited conflict enables India to achieve its political aim in its entirety. However, the differential in comprehensive national power, particularly in economic and military domains, is in favor of China. We have the military capability to calibrate our response to stalemate China, but a setback will set us behind by decades.
The challenge before the Narendra Modi government is to skillfully manage its diplomacy and military means to achieve its political aims.
India’s management of the current crisis
India is facing a strategic dilemma. I have no quarrel with the narrative— ‘nothing has happened on the LAC, no territory has been lost’—except that the government shouldn’t itself start believing this narrative as it also serves the Chinese narrative.
A seasoned political leader once told me that politicians have one major weakness—they repeat a lie so many times to shape public perception that after a point in time they themselves start believing in that lie.
One presumes that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and the National Security Council (NSC) have formally met and a national security strategy in consultation with the Chief of Defence Staff has been formulated to handle the situation. But, doubts assail me when I hear—“armed forces have been given full freedom of action”. Armed forces are given a formal political directive based on the decision made in the CCS and NSC to achieve the political aims and not a rhetoric one liner.
The Cold War in Asia can be traced to the threat posed by the spread of Communism from Europe to Asia during the concluding years of World War II. To contain the threat of the Communist Expansionism, the US fought wars in Korea and Vietnam. The Cold War Mentality is alive as Korea, and Vietnam are not the real adversary. It is not surprising to note that the US would place a few clamps on the Propaganda Machinery of Communist Party of China.
China vows to respond after US targets more state media outlets
By Hadas Gold and Eric Cheung, CNN
Updated 7:58 AM ET, Tue June 23, 2020
London (CNN Business)China has vowed to make a “necessary and legitimate” response after the US government designated four more Chinese state media outlets as “foreign diplomatic missions.”On Monday, the Trump administration announced that it would treat China Central Television (CCTV), China News Service, the People’s Daily and the Global Times as arms of the Chinese government, arguing that they are under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.The designation means the outlets must now submit to the rules that cover diplomatic missions, such as providing detailed information about their employees— whether Chinese or not — and notifying the US government about any real estate transactions.Five Chinese outlets —Xinhua, CCTV subsidiary China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily and People’s Daily parent Hai Tian Development USA — were given the same label in February. At a regular briefing on Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized the United States for its “political suppression of Chinese media” and argued it would undermine their reporting.
“It also further exposed the hypocrisy of the so-called freedom of press and speech boasted by the US,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the ministry said at a press conference. “We strongly urge the US to abandon the Cold War mentality, ideological prejudice, and immediately stop and correct this practice that does harm to both sides.”The US move and China’s threatened response is the latest sign of growing tension between China and the United States over the coronavirus pandemic, trade, and Hong Kong, with media outlets in both countries getting caught in the middle. Chinese state TV breached UK media rules over Hong Kong protests.
Since the US move on Chinese media in February, China has expelled journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The US government also announced last month that Chinese journalists working for non-American outlets would be limited to 90-day working visas.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, originated June 19, 1865 to recognize the day the remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy were made aware of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years prior. This occurred in Texas—the most remote of the Confederate states—when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay and read federal orders declaring that all enslaved people were free. Once a mostly regional observance, Juneteenth has in recent decades become a much broader celebration of African American freedom. This year in particular, it’s seen as a way to express support for the African American and Black community during a time of widespread protests against systemic racism and police brutality.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A SLAVE DRIVER:
This article is updated in response to “The Notice of Slavery Award,” Date. August 16, 2014, sent by Social Security Administration(SSA), Great Lakes Program Service Center-Harold Washington Social Security Center that approved the Claim for Old Age (66-Years and more) Retirement Income Benefits at a monthly rate of $1347.80. After duly approving the Retirement Income Benefit, SSA without any regard for the US Labor Laws, has informed that the Department cannot and will not pay the Retirement Benefit in view of the applicant’s Alien Status. The Decision given by SSA will force the Senior Alien to continue his labor to earn hourly wages to simply maintain his marginal existence until death intervenes.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Subba Rao Rebbapragada, B.A., LL.B.,(b. October 13, 1893 – d. May 26, 1948). He served as a Government Prosecutor at the District Sessions Court, Rajahmundry, East Godavari District, Madras Presidency, the Province of the British Empire in India, as a loyal subject of the British Crown. India existed under foreign rule during much of its long history and won its independence on August 15, 1947, just about 73 years ago. Indians are very tolerant of slavery and servitude imposed by their foreign masters. India has its own traditional laws and it established secular laws under the influence of its British Rule.
The moral influence of Christianity has provoked man to rebel against the evil, and corrupt practice of slavery and involuntary servitude. Slavery was commonly practiced in the world of Bible times. Slavery existed in various parts of the world for thousands of years and it took the full intellectual force of Christian Faith to ban it from the globe. The New Testament Book of Galatians, Chapter 3, verses 26-28: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The New Testament Books of Bible moved away from the concepts shared by The Books of The Old Testament, and preach that man has to make a moral choice between Spirit and Sin. If man chooses Spirit, he submits to the Will of LORD God and lives his life as God’s slave. If man chooses Sin, he succumbs to a life of vice, and corruption. Christianity teaches that men are created equal if they share a common faith in Jesus Christ and it provides an opportunity to man not to choose Slavery, Involuntary Servitude, and Forced Labor imposed by another man, social institutions, and national entities. Hence, man has a natural right to oppose the practice of Slavery, Involuntary Servitude, or Forced labor even if the secular Laws created by man may condone or overlook such practices. The United States adopted its ‘Declaration of Independence’ on July 04, 1776 while announcing its separation from Great Britain and it had boldly announced:”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
While Americans are aware of man’s natural rights, they continued the practice of Slavery until the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ issued by President Abraham Lincoln in September 1862 which came into effect on January 01, 1863 freeing the slaves in all territory still at War with the Union. It appears that Americans have entirely forgotten the lessons they learned from fighting a bitter, bloody Civil War to end the practice of Slavery in the Union. Americans have resurrected the practice of Slavery, Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor by enacting secular laws that violate the Principle of Equality of Protection under Law. Such practices are enforced using the force, and machinery of its legal institutions, governmental agencies and departments that they have created to serve their subjects who lost their discerning ability to know right from wrong.
THE INSTITUTIONALIZED PRACTICE OF SLAVERY, INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, AND FORCED LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES:
The term ‘Slave Driver’ describes a person who oversees and directs the work of slaves. The United States is using its Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Internal Revenue Service, and Department of Homeland Security to enforce the practice of slavery and involuntary servitude in its territory while people labor on the US soil to support their natural rights to a Life of simple, human existence without accumulating personal wealth, and without aspiring for positions of power and public recognition. The term servant describes a person employed to perform services, a person who earns wage by providing hourly labor. Serf is any person who is oppressed or without freedom. Bondage involves subjection of a person to some force, compulsion, or influence that takes away freedom. The term slavery refers to hard work, toil, labor like that done by slaves, drudgery or servitude as practiced by societal institutions or by employers sanctioned by the State. It is clearly documented beyond any doubt that billions of dollars deducted from the paychecks issued to alien workers flow to the Social Security Administration(SSA) every year. These public funds will be used by the United States to pay retirees and Medicare beneficiaries while the alien workers have no legal right to claim the benefits to which they had fully contributed under the provisions of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act(FICA). In this context, it must be understood, that labor consumes the short hours, the short days, the short weeks, the short years of human life. The characteristic of all labor is that it consumes some part of human life. All humans are subject to the natural condition called aging. The Labor Law is a body of law applied to such matters as employment, remuneration, and conditions of work. In its most comprehensive sense it includes old age and disability. Old age is a natural condition that contributes to the disability associated with the aging process that forces man to seek retirement from work.
The United States Department of Labor was established in 1913 to administer and enforce statutes that promote the welfare, improve the working conditions of all laborers or workforce. Social Security is a public program that provides for economic security and welfare and it is operated by the Social Security Administration(SSA) that was established in 1946. It provides some cash payment to defray income loss due to old age. The US Social Security Act of 1935 established retirement insurance. The health insurance plan called Medicare was added in 1965 and it is administered by the Health Care Financing Administration that was established in 1977 as a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. While the US Labor Law explicitly prohibits the practice of discrimination at workplace, it allowed the separation of workers into two distinct categories; 1. The domestic, or native workers who are entitled to claim the benefits of retirement insurance, and health insurance to which they make contributions through payroll deductions, and 2. The alien or non-immigrant workers who pay into the System and contribute towards the benefits provided by retirement insurance and health insurance but are legally disqualified to apply for the benefits to which they have already paid.
THE US CODE CHAPTER 77, TITLE 18, Section 1581, 1584 and 1589:
The United States has enacted legislation that specifically prohibit slavery, involuntary servitude or forced labor. These provisions are contained in Chapter 77 of Title 18. Section 1581 prohibits using force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion to compel a person to work against his/her will. Section 1584 makes it unlawful to hold a person in a condition of slavery, that is a condition of compulsory service or labor against his/her will by use of actual force, threats of force, or threats of legal coercion. Section 1584 specifically prohibits compelling a person to work against his/her will by creating a “climate of fear” through the use of force, the threat of force, or the threat of legal coercion(i.e. if you don’t work, I’ll call the Immigration Officials”) which is sufficient to compel service against a person’s will. Section 1589 broadens the definition of the kinds of coercion that might result in forced labor and it includes by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal process.
“THE COMMON LAW IS THE WILL OF MANKIND ISSUING FROM THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE”:
The US Department of Justice wants to uphold the principles of natural law and it has boldly proclaimed its motto: “The Common Law is the will of Mankind issuing from the Life of the People.” It is indeed very pleasing to read that US wants to abide by the Principles of Natural Law that are enshrined in the Supreme Law of the nation called ‘The Constitution of the United States of America’ which gives the hope of equal protection, or equality of protection to all human beings who reside in its territory where the Law is the Sovereign principle governing the lives of people. I am asking my readers to tell me as to why the US Department of Health and Human Services declines to offer the benefits of retirement insurance and health care insurance to alien/non-immigrant workers aged 66-years or more who have fully paid their contributions to seek the eligibility established for receiving these benefits. The alien/non-immigrant workers aged 66-years or more are legally coerced by the State to continue to labor or work against their will. If such persons apply for their retirement insurance and health care insurance benefits, the State may use is its inherent power and remove those individuals from its territory and send them empty-handed and compel them to lead a life of forced labor as they have no access to old age retirement. For this reason, I have named United States as a ‘SLAVE DRIVER’ and if I am wrong, kindly spare a few minutes of your time and tell me the reason to suggest that I could be wrong.
I would like to invite my readers to share their view and correct me if I am wrong in expressing my concerns about Slavery, Forced Labor, and Involuntary Servitude.
R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., Personal Numbers:MS-8466/MR-03277K. Rank:Lieutenant/Captain/Major. Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984). Designation:Medical Officer. Unit:Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972). Organization: Special Frontier Force.
In my analysis, ‘The Cold War in Asia’ represents the dangers of the spread of Communism to the mainland China. The United States armed intervention in the Korean Peninsula did not prevent the Communist takeover of Tibet in 1950. The United States must recognize the real Enemy and must evict the Military Occupier of Tibet to secure Peace, Freedom, Democracy, and Justice in South Asia.
India-China clash: Diplomats ‘strongly protest’ over border clashes
BBC June 17, 2020, 2:52 PM UTC
The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers have exchanged protests over clashes in a disputed Himalayan border area which led to the deaths of at least 20 Indian troops.
India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said China tried to erect a structure inside Indian territory, while China’s Wang Yi said Indian troops attacked first.
But in a phone call both men promised not to escalate the situation.
It was the first deadly clash at the disputed border for at least 45 years.
Soldiers reportedly brawled with sticks and bats but no shots were fired.
China has not released casualty figures. Unconfirmed reports in Indian media say at least 40 Chinese soldiers died. Some Indian soldiers are still believed to be missing.
Earlier Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian deaths “will not be in vain” and that India would be “proud that our soldiers died fighting the Chinese” in the clash in the Ladakh region on Monday.
Addressing the confrontation for the first time in a televised address on Wednesday, he said: “India wants peace but when provoked, India is capable of giving a fitting reply, be it any kind of situation.”
What did the two diplomats say?
An Indian government statement following the phone conversation said that Chinese troops had tried to put up a structure on the Indian side of the de facto border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in the strategically important Galwan Valley.
It described this as “premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties” and urged China to “take corrective steps”.
The statement concluded that neither side would take action to escalate matters.
Meanwhile a Chinese statement quoted Mr Wang as saying: “China again expresses strong protest to India and demands the Indian side launches a thorough investigation… and stop all provocative actions to ensure the same things do not happen again.”
“Both sides should resolve the dispute through dialogue, and keep the border safe and tranquil,” he added.
The fighting occurred in the precipitous, rocky terrain of the Galwan Valley.
Indian media say soldiers engaged in direct hand-to-hand combat, with some “beaten to death”. During the fight, one newspaper reported, others fell or were pushed into a river.
The Indian army initially said a colonel and two soldiers had died. It later said that “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty” had died from their injuries, taking the “total that were killed in action to 20”.
“I understand that some [further] Indian soldiers went missing. The Indian side is still working to release them from Chinese custody,” defence analyst Ajai Shukla told the BBC.
Indian forces appear to have been massively outnumbered by Chinese troops.
A senior Indian military official told the BBC there were 55 Indians versus 300 Chinese, who he described as “the Death Squad”.
“They hit our boys on the head with metal batons wrapped in barbed wire. Our boys fought with bare hands,” the officer, who did not want to be named, said.
The clash has provoked protests in India, with people burning Chinese flags.
China has not confirmed how many of its personnel died or were injured. The BBC’s Robin Brant in Beijing says that China has never given contemporaneous confirmation on military deaths outside of peacekeeping duties.
Our correspondent adds that on this occasion China’s propagandists may not want to fan nationalist flames at home by making much of any loss, or admit to a significant and demoralizing loss.
This is not the first time the two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought without conventional firearms on the border. India and China have a history of face-offs and overlapping territorial claims along the more than 3,440km (2,100 mile), poorly drawn LAC separating the two sides.
India shows restraint
Analysis by Geeta Pandey, BBC News, Delhi
The first comments from the Indian government on the violent standoff on the Chinese border came nearly 24 hours after the news broke on Tuesday.
And Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues – the defence minister and the home minister – have chosen their words carefully.
Usually boastful and given to grandstanding, Mr Modi and his ministers have displayed utmost restraint in their public messages this time, mostly sticking to mourning the loss of soldiers.
The prime minister did say: “India wants peace but, if instigated, it is capable of giving a befitting reply.” But this is seen as aimed more at his political rivals and supporters domestically, rather than as a warning to Beijing.
How tense is the area?
The LAC is poorly demarcated. The presence of rivers, lakes and snowcaps means the line can shift. The soldiers either side – representing two of the world’s largest armies – come face-to-face at many points.
Border patrols have often bumped into each other, resulting in occasional scuffles.
The last firing on the border happened in 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in a remote pass in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. The clash was variously described by former diplomats as an ambush and an accident.
But no bullets have been fired since.
At the root of this is a 1996 bilateral agreement that says “neither side shall open fire… conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometres of the Line of Actual Control”.
But there have been tense confrontations along the border in recent weeks. In May Indian and Chinese soldiers exchanged physical blows on the border at Pangong Lake, also in Ladakh, and in the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim hundreds of miles to the east.
India has accused China of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh’s Galwan Valley and says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,700 sq miles) of its territory. Several rounds of talks in the last three decades have failed to resolve the boundary disputes.
There are several reasons why tensions are rising again now – but competing strategic goals lie at the root.
The two countries have devoted extensive money and manpower to building roads, bridges, rail links and air fields along the disputed border.
Both India and China see each other’s construction efforts as calculated moves to gain a tactical advantage, and tensions often flare up when either announces a major project.
June 14 is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777. Our nation’s first official flag had 13 stars and 13 red and white stripes to represent the original 13 colonies that broke from British rule. The stars were arranged on a blue background to represent a ‘new constellation.’ In 1795, two more stars and two stripes were added to reflect the entry of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. Then in 1818, Congress passed a plan to go back to 13 stripes and add only stars for new states. The current version of the flag has been in effect since 1960, after Hawaii became a state the prior year. The flags we’re looking at here are flying in New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 110 is the official statute on Flag Day; however, it is at the president’s discretion to officially proclaim the observation.
The red and white and starry blue is freedom’s shield and hope. —John Philip Sousa
Proclamation on Flag Day and National Flag Week, 2020
Issued on: June 12, 2020
On Flag Day and throughout National Flag Week, we pay tribute to the American flag, the most recognizable symbol of the principles for which our Republic stands. For more than 200 years, the Stars and Stripes has represented liberty, justice, and the rule of law. Recently, as our Nation has come together to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, our flag has been a reminder of the courage, tenacity, and loyalty that define the indomitable American spirit.
Our great flag causes us to reflect humbly on the immeasurable price that has been paid to keep it “so gallantly streaming.” Throughout our Nation’s history, proud patriots have nobly answered the call of duty when our country needed them most. The Star Spangled Banner serves as an everlasting remembrance of the sacrifices heroes of every generation have made in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our flag ensures that we never forget the incredible sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made to defend our liberty and way of life.
This year, Old Glory has waved over millions of brave Americans fighting the invisible enemy, often at risk to their personal health and wellbeing. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare professionals have treated and cared for those sickened by the virus, and countless American patriots have provided critical goods and services to their fellow citizens in these uncertain times. These dedicated individuals have risen to the challenge, meeting the virus on the frontlines with the same conviction and unwavering determination that has empowered our Nation to overcome previous trials. Just as we prevailed in those struggles, we will emerge victorious against this new enemy and again raise our flag in triumph.
The American flag represents the unity of our country and its people. No matter what may divide us, Old Glory should be revered and cherished, as a symbol of all that makes America the greatest country in the world. As we honor our beautiful flag on this day and throughout this week, let us vow never to forget the tremendous sacrifices made by patriots from generation to generation to ensure that the red, white, and blue continues to fly high and free. Today, and every day, I am proud to join my fellow Americans in standing tall and saluting our great American flag.
To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by joint resolution approved August 3, 1949, as amended (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as “Flag Day” and requested that the President issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the flag of the United States on all Federal Government buildings. The Congress requested, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966, as amended (80 Stat. 194), that the President issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as “National Flag Week” and calling on all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2020, as Flag Day, and the week starting June 14, 2020, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during this week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag. I encourage the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
In my analysis, President Clinton’s Economic Policy to formulate a Balanced Budget is not consistent with LORD God Creator’s Economic Plan for the man in his golden years of his life. The issue is not that of Austere Spending or Deficit Spending Plans of the US Federal Government. God’s Plan clearly demands that the dignity of the man must be upheld in his Old Age when the man needs rest from daily labor to support his mortal existence.
Americans will give attention to my words after they fail to resolve the Economic Crisis through either Liberal or Conservative Spending Plans to revive the National Economy.
Columnist covering foreign affairs, geopolitics and history. Education: Yale University, BA, honors in history and ethnicity, race and migration. Ishaan Tharoor is a columnist on the foreign desk of The Washington Post, where he authors the Today’s World View newsletter and column.
The economist who could save the world
Who’s afraid of big spending now?
Across western democracies, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has compelled governments of various stripes to unleash fiscal stimulus on their battered societies. Even before the virus paralyzed much of the global economy, public attitudes toward austerity had long soured, with parties across the political spectrum increasingly embracing more active social spending and eschewing platforms that touted cuts.In “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes,” journalist Zachary Carter vividly explores the career of the early 20th-century economist whose prescriptions for economic crises linger with us. As The Washington Post’s review of the book puts it, governments are “still in thrall” to Keynes in myriad ways, but especially when faced with the troubles of our present. Carter, a reporter at HuffPost, spoke to Today’s WorldView about Keynes and his legacy. Below is an edited version of our chat.
What do we mean when we talk about “Keynesianism?”
Most of us encounter a version of Keynesianism in Econ 101 courses, where we learn that Keynes was the guy who counseled governments to spend big during recessions to help bring the government out of the doldrums. But Keynes himself never wanted to be remembered as a deficit therapist. He was a social thinker who was concerned with the great problems of his day: war and economic depression. And I think he would be very troubled by the idea that government spending on anything at all became the hallmark of his legacy in the economics profession. Although, he was not a modest man, and I think he would have taken some comfort in knowing that Democrats and Republicans alike have adopted policy strategies named after him.
Are there ways in which he viewed social goods and the responsibilities of lawmakers that would challenge the mainstream norms of our present, especially in America?
Very much so. Keynes was deeply afraid of social upheaval and revolution, but his social values were essentially radical. He was a gay man who lived with a community of pacifist artists and writers, who was very comfortable living against the grain of the social norms of his time. But I think he would be perplexed by what we deem to be political battles in the United States. He thought economic policy was the central political battleground for social justice, and the way economics has become technocratized and hived off from mainstream politics as an arena for specialists would have both excited and frightened him. He would be terrified by the idea that central political questions about equality and inequality have become the terrain of experts who essentially rule in favor of inequality, regardless of which political party is in charge. Keynes viewed inequality as a very dangerous thing — it’s something that preoccupied him when he wrote “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” and “The General Theory” — his two masterpieces.
For all the impact he’s had on economic policy thinking, he faced repeated political disappointments through much of his career.
I think there are very few people who have cultivated such monumental political legacies who had such pathetic political careers. Keynes lost essentially every public policy battle he waged between 1917 and 1941. All of his economic thought was developed in an attempt to prevent another calamity like World War I, and he obviously failed in that project. But that failure forced him to be increasingly ambitious with his thinking. If he had been able to persuade governments at Paris in 1919, for instance, to cancel international debts, we might never have seen “The General Theory.”
The conventional understanding now places Keynes, a champion of stimulus, against Milton Friedman, who came after him and is seen as a champion of austerity. Is that a useful binary?
I think we lose track of the fact that Friedman and Keynes had different social visions. They weren’t just arguing across the generations about which policies would best create the same desired result. They were arguing about what kind of world they wanted to live in. And the mathematicization of economics in the 20th century really obscures this deeper ideological conflict, often by design. Keynes wanted everyone to live in the Bloomsbury of 1913, having their hair cut by Virginia Woolf while drinking champagne and debating post-impressionism with Lytton Strachey. Friedman wanted to preserve these activities as the exclusive domain of the wealthy. Why be rich if you can’t live a better life than the masses? To which Keynes would counter: Who cares about the masses when you are drinking champagne with Virginia Woolf?
So literal champagne socialism?
Given the pandemic and the kind of spending many governments are mustering now, are we entering a new age of Keynesianism?
In a narrow sense, we’ve always been living in a Keynesian world. Even Republicans spend big to save the economy. But since 2008 and particularly today, it’s obvious that there is no market economy absent political support for economic activity, and recovery will require profound, long-term guidance from today’s great powers. But Keynes would not see the crisis as a matter of dollars and cents or imbalanced equations. He’d look to climate change, inequality and the escalating tensions between the United States and China as pressing social problems in need of immediate attention. And so he’d craft rescue packages that attempted to kill multiple birds with one stone: bring the economy to prosperity, of course, but establish a foundation for international harmony.Keynes never stopped believing in the potential for people to create a better world, even as the world in his own lifetime descended deeper and deeper into chaos and dysfunction. There was no problem he believed democracies were incapable of overcoming. People criticized him for being naive, but I don’t think democracies can afford to break that faith in the future.
The Unknown Soldier of America revisits past on the 31st Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre.
On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the 31st Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Unknown Soldier of America revisits the past; the takeover of mainland China by Communism in 1949.
Today, the Unknown Soldier of America regrets Tibet’s decision to pursue the policy of Isolationism while confronting the grave threat posed by Communist takeover of mainland China. In 1943, Tibet had the opportunity to establish formal diplomatic relationships with United States and other countries of Free World to prevent the spread of Communism to the nations of Asia. Tibet had the opportunity to prepare for War in 1943 and avoided the loss of Freedom in 1950.
Tibet’s unwillingness to openly resist Communism in 1943 is a crucial factor contributing to the loss of Human Rights in mainland China.
FILE – A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Boulevard in Tiananmen Square, June 5, 1989.
The United States has added its voice to international calls for China’s communist-led government to give a full public accounting of those who were killed, detained or went missing during the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
In a bold statement from Washington to mark the 29th anniversary of a bloody crackdown that left hundreds — some say thousands — dead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Chinese authorities to release “those who have been jailed for striving to keep the memory of Tiananmen Square alive; and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families.”
University students place flowers on the “Pillar of Shame” statue, a memorial for those injured and killed in the Tiananmen crackdown, at the University of Hong Kong, June 4, 2018.
To this day, open discussion of the topic remains forbidden in China and the families of those who lost loved ones continue to face oppression. Chinese authorities have labeled the protests a counter-revolutionary rebellion and repeatedly argued that a clear conclusion of the events was reached long ago.
In an annual statement on the tragedy, the group Tiananmen Mothers urged President Xi Jinping in an open letter to “re-evaluate the June 4th massacre” and called for an end to their harassment.
“Each year when we would commemorate our loved ones, we are all monitored, put under surveillance, or forced to travel” to places outside of China’s capital, the letter said. The advocacy group Human Rights in China released the open letter from the Tiananmen Mothers ahead of the anniversary.
“No one from the successive governments over the past 29 years has ever asked after us, and not one word of apology has been spoken from anyone, as if the massacre that shocked the world never happened,” the letter said.
FILE – A woman reacts during a candlelight vigil to mark the 28th anniversary of the crackdown of the pro-democracy movement at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2017.
In his statement, Pompeo also said that on the anniversary “we remember the tragic loss of innocent lives,” adding that as Liu Xiaobo wrote in his 2010 Nobel Peace Prize speech, “the ghosts of June 4th have not yet been laid to rest.”
FILE – Liu Xia, wife of deceased Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo and other relatives attend his sea burial off the coast of Dalian, China, in this photo released by Shenyang Municipal Information Office July 15, 2017.
Liu was unable to receive his Nobel prize in person in 2010 and died in custody last year. The dissident writer played an influential role in the Tiananmen protests and was serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion of state power when he passed.
At a regular press briefing on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had lodged “stern representations” with the United States over the statement on Tiananmen.
“The United States year in, year out issues statements making ‘gratuitous criticism’ of China and interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Hua said. “The U.S. Secretary of State has absolutely no qualifications to demand the Chinese government do anything,” she added.
In a statement on Twitter, which is blocked in China like many websites, Hu Xijin, the editor of the party-backed Global Times, called the statement a “meaningless stunt.”
In another post he said: “what wasn’t achieved through a movement that year will be even more impossible to be realized by holding whiny commemorations today.”
Commemorations for Tiananmen are being held across the globe to mark the anniversary and tens of thousands are expected to gather in Hong Kong, the only place in China such large-scale public rallies to mark the incident can be held.
A man wipes the face of a statue of the Goddess of Democracy at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park Monday, June 4, 2018.
Exiled Tiananmen student protest leader Wu’Er Kaixi welcomed the statement from Pompeo.
However, he added that over the past 29 years western democracies appeasement of China has nurtured the regime into an imminent threat to freedom and democracy.
“The world bears a responsibility to urge China, to press on the Chinese regime to admit their wrongdoing, to restore the facts and then to console the dead,” he said. “And ultimately to answer the demands of the protesters 29 years ago and put China on the right track to freedom and democracy.”
Wu’er Kaixi fled China after the crackdown and now resides in Taiwan where he is the founder of Friends of Liu Xiaobo. The group recently joined hands with several other non-profit organizations and plans to unveil a sculpture in July — on the anniversary of his death — to commemorate the late Nobel laureate. The sculpture will be located near Taiwan’s iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper.
In Taiwan, the self-ruled democracy that China claims is a part of its territory, political leaders from both sides of the isle have also urged China’s communist leaders to face the past.
On Facebook, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen noted that it was only by facing up to its history that Taiwan has been able to move beyond the tragedies of the past.
“If authorities in Beijing can face up to the June 4th incident and acknowledge that at its roots it was a state atrocity, the unfortunate history of June 4th could become a cornerstone for China to move toward freedom and democracy,” Tsai said.
Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, a member of the opposition Nationalist Party or KMT, who saw close ties with China while in office, also urged Beijing to face up to history and help heal families’ wounds.
“Only by doing this can the Chinese communists bridge the psychological gap between the people on both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait and be seen by the world as a real great power,” Ma said.