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The Two Paths Before Us: Freedom or China

Standing before the US Presidential Election I feel that the Western world has two paths before it: socialism, and freedom. This is a personal issue for me, since I find myself as a de facto refugee in the UK. My family and I used every means to get me to this country. The West is turning into the country from which I have fled. If we choose to go down this route, the future will not be as bright as the left expects.

A conflict between socialism and liberty is in motion. It is sad to witness the history repeating itself once again. Having looked into books on 20th century history in my free time, it is not the most politically inspiring period to look into. Not only were there two World Wars, but also numerous atrocities committed by totalitarian regimes: in China under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under Khmer Rouge, Communist Cuba, the list goes on and on.

The common theme in these atrocities is that these regimes adopt a similar principle: their anointed leaders are firmly in charge. There is definitely some truth in the claim that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This corrupting power is universal, applying to both the political left and right.

However, in the present day, I don’t think that the biggest threat we face is a far right totalitarianism, but rather a left wing one. Of course, there are elements of far right in politics today, but they are small and have minimal influence. On the other hand, socialism and the hard-left have become the core of the mainstream left.

As someone from China, I am particularly scared when people in the West vote for bigger and bigger governments. What happens when the state gets increasingly involved in your personal life? Just how far can the envelope be pushed? When the state is powerful enough to directly interfere in your life and control what you can and cannot own, is it implausible that it will ultimately strip away your freedom?

There are two defining types of human intuition in the world: the desire for freedom, and the desire for safety, to be taken care of. The former is rather simple to explain, as Thatcher said ‘When people are free to choose, they choose freedom.’ But I don’t think it is always true. People are now surrendering their liberty in favour of submission to the state. This has become apparent in this Chinese Communist Party Virus crisis (yes, I call the coronavirus the CCP Virus, because it is the party’s fault). People are now choosing safety over liberty.

It would seem that the latter principle has become prevalent in the west. People now want the government to solve all their problems.

Some people believe that, without a large and powerful state, citizens will become overly individualistic and stop caring about eachother. These critics often misrepresent Thatcher’s famous quote that ‘there is no such thing as society’. What this quote actually stresses is the need for people to take greater personal responsibility rather than relying on others or the government.

Thatcher is correct. We, individuals, should take more responsibility for ourselves, while also caring for others. I don’t believe humans are moral saints removed from society, nor demons who only care about ourselves.

In nations emphasising the ideals of individual responsibility and small government, the risk of a descent into a big government hell is significantly reduced. The reason is simple, these governments simply have no power to control people’s lives. Even more so in societies in which citizens are armed.

After looking through the history books, I have shifted to the libertarian side, even though I am a social conservative. I would choose to allow people to be free to do things I don’t agree with, rather than let the government send people to gulags, and be convicted for thought crimes.

Of course, the left will not buy into the historical precedence argument. They will deny that these former socialist regimes were actually socialist, choosing instead to repeat history. Imagine if the same principle were applied to people describing Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan as not being true fascism, proclaiming that a true fascism has yet to be implemented.

Second, the CCP Virus has warned the West about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I have to make it loud and clear, the issue lies in the Party, not China, nor the Chinese people. The Chinese people suffered under the CCP long even before the CCP Virus outbreak. The CCP is not a tame giant as the western world once believed, nor will it ever be so.

While it indeed lifted millions of people out of poverty, this achievement will never outweigh the atrocities it has committed. Simply, the right to life, liberty, and property are from god, not the government. This party has committed atrocities, not just historically, with the Cultural Revolution, Great Leap Forward, or other events under Mao — even today it commits crimes comparable to under Nazi Germany. 

The CCP is a party of internal oppression, external aggression, and, now, it is the party of genocide. The comparison of the CCP with the Nazi party is not unwarrented, it’s revisionism knows no bounds. It has even gone so far as to attempt to re-write the Holy Bible. I don’t think it is that controversial to call the CCP the 21 century Nazi Party.

The West ignored the warning signs in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Western nations have, most likely, missed their chance to stifle the CCP. Back then, China was not an effective nuclear power, but now, it is much more powerful than before.

This opinion will be controversial: the West should have waged war against the CCP in the 90s after this massacre. In hindsight, it would have been the most humanitarian thing to do. No one voted for the CCP, and its tyrannical regime. There is no chance that the Chinese people can overthrow the CCP by themselves. Private possession of firearms is not permitted. The Party has the monopoly of using force. Nor is there any democratic process, meaning the Chinese people cannot vote out the CCP.

Considering these factors, I don’t believe that foreign interference would have been unjustified. Especially when the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and property are, and were, being violated by an oppressive regime.

In the West, people must wake up to this reality. We should stop believing Huaspy (what I call Huawei) is a simple private company, and that TikTok, WeChat, and other Chinese apps will not pass-on data to the CCP. They are not like Apple, or Samsung which are privately owned and largely free from government interference.

It is naive to believe that a private company can operate under the CCP without kowtowing to its ideology and policies. Just like you couldn’t run a business in Nazi Germany without agreeing with Nazi policies and ideology.

Regardless of its domestic policy, China is using its economic strength to influence other countries. It forces American airlines to remove Taiwan from their websites , asked Activision to remove all mentions about Tiananmen Massacre from its Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War trailer, and influences academic freedom in western universities.

Through our relationship of convenience with China, our institutions have been tainted by an authoritarian campaign from the CCP. The West is surrendering its sovereignty, casting aside liberty, in the pursuit of comfort. This must stop if we want the free world to remain free. The CCP is not a tame giant, it is a fearsome lion. We must prevent ourselves from sleepwalking to its waiting jaws. 

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