An email I wrote to a Russian in Russia on my thoughts on media/information sovereignty

I feel some of its content is worth sharing more widely. So I’m copy pasting it here with some modifications.

I’m kind of disappointed that Ron Unz blocked my comment in Chinese on his article http://www.unz.com/runz/averting-world-conflict-with-china/. I made a few more today, suggesting someone on there to email me and others to join a potential WeChat group (but there’s a chance they’ll get blocked too). I’ve attached screenshots.

I also don’t like this clause

Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter

There are some particular people on the site I’d like to talk more in private, like AnonFromTN and Vidi. I’ve exchanged a fair bit with the former already on that site publicly, who is a Russian immigrant biologist. Do you have his contact information?

There is also that Unz Review is really high latency (aka very slow). It was in the US too. After all, images plus hundreds of comments have to be loaded all at once. I actually prefer not to turn on my VPN while in China. Chinese sites hosted in China load slower if I use that (even when I use its Hong Kong configuration) and turning on/off is an annoyance. Sadly, if I want to listen to some Soviet songs, I basically have to go on YouTube. Even Yandex video results are almost all YouTube. Now that is something that Russia didn’t do right, not making their own large video site (tell me if there is one).

In that Chinese comment of mine, in reply to a guy almost certainly Chinese who is very pro Chinese communist according to his comments (text below along with screenshot in case you want to copy paste to an online translator), I wrote that even though Unz Review is contrarian towards American mainstream, it’s still an American media, in English, and that if he likes the Chinese communists so much, he would do much better to support some Chinese companies, maybe work for one, than comment in English on a fringe media site political viewpoints few English readers really want to hear.

I increasingly realize how much power these media companies have due to their control of dissemination of information. America obviously wants to bring the world into their media monoculture, with Google/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter and also English as the de facto international language. Their possession/control of all that user data as well as the media platform in itself gives them tremendous leverage. China has done remarkably well at resisting that, much better than Russia has.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Chinese being a very different language is quite an advantage for the Chinese. Makes the Chinese population much harder to culturally conquer, a perfect political shield. Unlike Russia which is kind of halfway between East and West culturally closer to West so it’s far less immune to the Western toxin. I find myself so much happier without Google without Facebook, within the Chinese internet bubble. Search including for technical I can get from Baidu and instant messaging I get from Weixin. Life is good interacting in person with only Chinese in Chinese and online with the occasional non-Chinese like you who I actually enjoy talking with. I don’t have to give a fuck about what an American or Indian or Jew thinks unlike in the US.

I’m encouraging people of the right background in the Anglo world dissatisfied with it to detach from it instead of arguing/fighting within an Anglo system controlled by the other people. That is the best way to show contempt and exert leverage. Those Russians could transfer the time and energy spent reading and commenting on Unz Review to doing things which directly support Russia (like, read and comment on RT instead, which is actually controlled by Russia). Arguing on somebody else’s media in their language on their turf against them is but a losing game.

你是中国人吧?怎么说呢,有大陆人也觉得中共利用了日本军队消耗国民党的力量,当然也有人觉得这被夸张了。其实,多争论这个没啥意义,若那么爱共产党,可以直接支持一下中国的企业,比如用一些中国的互联网和电子产品,能的话为中国公司工作,比用英文宣传共产党多厉害要强多了,我个人就将这个选择实现了,做了个小榜样。脱离而置之不理才是藐视他人最好的方式。
同时,可以找到与你道相同的或可能相同的人针对性的影响组织,少浪费时间与不认同你的人。Unz Review是逆于美国主流的地方,所以能找到一些支持中国的人不过它依然是个英文的美国媒体,真正的中国人也很少会在这上面评论。稍微看了你的评论历史,对你稍有好奇,欢迎发我邮件gmachine1729 at foxmail.com,然后可以加个微信多认识一下,把你介绍到更多与你道相同的人。
你藐视国民党是不是也藐视韩国啊,如孔庆东一样,他写的一首讽刺韩国的诗实在太妙了。
独立韩秋。汉江北去,孔子挠头。看红男绿女,招摇过市;肥猫瘦狗,潇洒同流。渴饮酱汤,饥餐泡菜,欲涮火锅不自由。勒裤带,问姜葱大蒜,谁主沉浮?
招来百侣同游,正说道苦行岁月愁。叹无业妇人,风华正茂;有闲老者,诟骂方遒。半壁河山,断碣文字,亦敢扬眉傲五洲。曾记否,在上甘岭下,万骨成丘!

On the political English language

I recall how like four or five years ago, somebody told me that the Ministry of Education of China made English optional on the gaokao. I wonder what exactly was the rationale behind it. That was saying how English will not end up all that useful for most Chinese high school students (remember that those who immigrate to the US are a very small percentage, and that reading technical literature in English isn’t all that hard for smart people in STEM), and that time would be better spent learning more physics and chemistry as well as other non-language skills as far as economic productivity goes. This explanation certainly makes sense. China functions just fine doing everything in its own language, one notoriously difficult and complex in the eyes of outsiders. There is also that too much English might lead to more connection to America than is beneficial. On this note, I can think of how India’s English may have actually hurt it; because of it, the economy there naturally ended up depending too much on English services as opposed to actual industrial production, from which real economic power derives. Moreover, India’s English has greatly hindered her from developing a domestic internet industry, in contrast to China.

More generally, too much English inevitably leads to political brainwash. I’ve more sensitive now to how the English language, its content, style, and words in particular, has been shaped and accumulated over the years to transmit a form of political thinking and narrative in sync with the interests of the Anglo world. Politically, the English news media can be well characterized as relatively uniformly a fusion of fake left and right wing. There is remarkable consistency in how certain countries and political concepts are portrayed and explained in the English language media and education. Learning Chinese reading brought me to realize that the English narrative on China is actually quite a fake, falsified, and politically bastardized one, but most Chinese raised in America have not, sadly. There are also all kind of overused political buzzwords vague and meaningless. Freedom, democracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, communism, etc. Nobody in China will in Chinese say, “China is a communist country.” They will instead say “China is a socialist country.” The word “communist” in English has obviously a negative connotation. Many Americans might call me a “commie,” and I simply could not give a damn. Most Chinese without exposure to this shit would go, “what the heck?” In Chinese, Marxism (马克思主义) is this political ideology, used in party rhetoric in a certain fashion. I never had any exposure to those politics classes in China where you actually learned about Marxism-Leninism, but I can be almost 100% sure that what they say of Marxism is completely different from this “cultural Marxism” in English, a political buzz term that I learned of recently, which is basically a pejorative for political correctness and multiculturalism.

I notice that I write on this blog about political matters in a way unusual in English, which is surely influenced to some degree by what I have read about such matters in the Chinese language. I must say that in the Chinese language, it is much easier politically to speak in a direct, straightforward, factually analytical manner on many matters than in English, again a product of manufacturing of various forms of political correctness in English by powerful interest groups over an extended period of time. Politically, I do see that in English, there is a strong tendency to talk around the root of problems than to analyze them in an honest manner. In other words, use of the English language has been well moulded for the purpose of fooling people.

Of course, English is the de facto international language. With that, people all over the world tend to see much more of the Anglo viewpoints. With that, people in the United States and other English speaking countries receive generally very politically biased information on a regular basis without awareness of it. Yes, there are certain points of views readily and commonly expressed in Chinese that would be very awkward to do in English, and also the other way round. So those who learn English as a second language in the formal way for academic purposes often communicate with it in a linguistic style and with word choice alien or at least unusual for the native American English speaker. And these people, as they are selected for both linguistic exposure and intelligence, tend to be those smart and learned enough to cross the often very artificially manufactured linguistic political boundaries.

I’m not sure how much the language itself shapes the political thinking through its most natural usage versus that the political forces slowly evolve the use of language to a tool for its own propaganda. I’ll say that from what I’ve seen, English is very good for fooling people by presenting a crude, superficial, distorted version of the picture. It’s good for a certain type of empty, disingenuous but glib talk that seems sufficiently effective at convincing and inspiring people with limited exposure outside the American and English language cultural and political context. It’s very good at painting a simplistically black and white, good vs evil picture of the world. It’s pretty shitty for what I would regard as genuinely powerful political and artistic expression of a more refined nature. As well as for political and historical realism, but maybe because the mass media propagandists have done their job just too well.

Oh right, I realize in English the word “propaganda” is very pejorative. In Chinese, there is no such word for “propaganda.” The closest word for it in Chinese is 宣传, which simply means “publicity,” and is more or less neutral, maybe even slightly positive. So culturally unaware Chinese made a fool of themselves by translating 中宣部 to “Propaganda Department of China,” though it seems they’ve changed that by now. Oh, there are ton of political buzzwords and slogans in Chinese too, but they’re, at least to me, far more humorous, tasteful, and powerful than what the English language can offer. I won’t go into example of that here, since this is supposed to be about the political English (not Chinese) language.