Martin Jacques

This is weird:

The question is not whether Tibet should be independent but the extent of the autonomy that it is allowed. Tibet has been firmly ensconced as part of the Chinese empire since the Qing dynasty\’s military intervention in Tibet in the early 18th century.

The British conquered Mallorca in the 18 th century: should the discussion be only how much autonomy it should have? The Union between England and Wales and Scotland happened at the beginning of the 18th century: should the discussion be only about how much autonomy Scotland might have? The British were in control of large parts of India in the 18 th century: should Calcutta only be allowed to discuss how much autonomy they have?

Or is there something different about slitty eyed Johnny Foreigner conquering an Empire and lily-white Anglos doing so?

The result is that China has little conception of difference. The Chinese think of themselves as one race. Their historical experience is one of slow and steady assimilation and absorption, with population settlement often a crucial instrument in pacification. In this light, the Han Chinese migration to Tibet and Xinjiang province in northwest China is nothing new: on the contrary it has been an age-old characteristic of Chinese expansion (a large majority of those who now live in Mongolia and Manchuria, for instance, are Han).

Ethnic and cultural genocide is fine as long as it\’s not Anglos doing it to Amerinds, Aborigines or Maori?

We\’re really well into double standards territory here, aren\’t we?

15 comments on “Martin Jacques

  1. He doesn’t even get it right (quite apart from the nauseating double standards). Tibet was not really part of China in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – see negotiations with Younghusband and that rather unpleasant expedition of his. By the way, does that not make Tibet British? Perhaps, we could discuss the extent of its autonomy within Britain.

  2. Jacques is a Marxist, isn’t he? Of course he won’t slag off any regime that nominally labels itself as communist. Perhaps he’s a member of the Rothschild dynasty.

  3. Just take a quick look on his Guardiansta profile; the man was editor of Living Marxism from 1977 to 1991.

    Just another atrocity denier like his pals Claire Fox, Mick Hume and Brendan whathisface.

    When they talk, some inbuilt mechanism in me tunes me out – I think it’s like a safety trip to preserve my sanity.

    I’m no fan of his Holiness (should they replace Totalitarianism with a Theocracy?) but the Chinese brutality and the lack of Western Government outrage is disgraceful.

  4. Jacques had nothing to do with Living Marxism, he was editor of Marxism Today, published by the old Communist Party in its dying days, as it was wavering between Stalinism and “Eurocommunism”. The Living Marxism crowd have their own record of nonsense and lies, true, but Jacques’s nonsense and lies are in a (slightly) different tradition – the tradition of looking around the world for a utopia that you can admire from a safe distance, and prefer to western democracy. He started out with Russia, moved on to Cuba and Vietnam, and now he’s stuck on China. If he was younger it would be Venezuela or Bolivia, and if he was madder it would be North Korea or even Laos, but it’s the same old song that Uncle Joe taught. Trots at least pay lip service to diversity and decentralisation, while Stalinists like Jacques think that uniformity and “efficiency”, on as vast a scale as possible, are Good Things. Either way, poor old Marx, who wanted to abolish the state and liberate the workers from *all* bosses, public or private – and would have been among the first to be shot by Lenin’s regime – must be spinning away like crazy up in Highgate.

  5. Errm, Marx wanted to abolish the state eventually. In the first place it was going to have to be stronger to install the workers’ paradise. Never moved from that bit to the next on.

  6. Well, the trouble with Marx is that while some of his writings emphasise the “withering away” of the state, others emphasise, as you say, the role of the state in the transition to the “higher stage”, and, as he was an incredibly untidy and inconsistent writer, who left a lot unfinished, it’s hard to be sure what he meant half the time. My point wasn’t so much to extol or revive Marx, who’s pretty much dead and buried, as to have a go at contemporary “Marxists”, who are even more incoherent than he was and don’t even have his (mostly) good intentions.

  7. It always cracks me up when Marxists try to distance themselves from mass-murdering regimes that made so much of how they loved the old beardo. Seriously, the withering away stuff was never going to happen; Marx’s fundamental dishonesty as a writer on that score was one of the things that put me off him right from the start.

  8. Lenin said, “The essence of Communism is hatred”. Dead right.
    The only organization based on love is The Roman Catholic Church. When England abandoned that, God begain His abandonment of England, leaving the nation so helpless it is only able to point out the insane inconsistencies to be found among the hating community without being able to do anything about them. There is a brand new approach to that very old Church on catholicfundamentalism.com
    England had better start getting back to the faith that protected us for a thousand years, or its next generation will be close to the last.

  9. Well this is sticking to the point.
    Still ot is probable that China can do whatever it wants because it is big , very big.
    Ad to that the fact that the USA has other things on its mind and all the rest is chatter.

  10. “should the discussion be only about how much autonomy Scotland might have?” As a resident here, I favour discussion about how much autonomy England might have.

  11. “It always cracks me up when…” …ignorant saloon bar bores believe they understand political philosophy, despite never having studied it or read the texts they’re talking about.

  12. I stand corrected on that one. A little over-zealous I think! They ARE all atrocity deniers though – everyone, to a man.

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