The scab and the wound beneath — the western left and China

The scab and the wound beneath — the western left and China, by Victor Davis Hanson.

Mao Zedong, arguably the most lethal mass murderer of the twentieth century — perhaps a greater killer than Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot combined — held an attraction for the New Left of the 1960s. His cherubic smile, worker’s cap, peasant dress, cool aphorisms, and hatred of running-dog capitalists once captivated student protestors. Even Barack Obama’s acting White House communications director, Anita Dunn, in 2009 still swooned that Mao was one of her two favorite political “philosophers” …

Beijing is guilty of interning roughly one million Muslim Uighurs, all but wiping out the culture of Tibet, destroying vestigial democracy in Hong Kong, and forging a new Silk Road imperialism in Africa and Asia. This is to say nothing of their systematic patent and copyright infringement, pollution, and currency manipulation. And yet liberals have been hesitant to fault China for these legal injustices and civil rights violations. …

After the virus, what then?

[China] has lied about the birth, origins, spread, and infectiousness of covid-19; sent over one million of its citizens into U.S. airports after Beijing knew that the virus was communicable; had countless more circumvent U.S. restrictions; falsely declared that the U.S. military created the virus; threatened to cut off shipments of medical supplies produced in China by U.S.–Chinese joint ventures; and caused several thousand American deaths while causing trillions of dollars’ worth of economic damage.

Perhaps Americans will come to their senses when the virus subsides. They might not tolerate a country that harvests human organs, sells bats and live scorpions in wet markets for medicinal purposes, and controls Iowa’s supply of ventilators, California’s N95 particle masks, or Detroit’s ampicillin. If, in the past, the profit-minded multimillionaire stars of the NBA seemed deluded in their loud appreciation of the Chinese communist government — and more so by their equally loud disdain for their own elected president — in the future such appeasement will seem not just naïve, but perhaps even repugnant or near-treasonous. …

The media and the Chinese want the virus to bring Trump down:

In America and the world at large, the media has reported on the spread of the virus in terms of Trump’s own reaction to it. …

For a cynic, the subtext of the entire reportage, here and abroad, was that the more America might become terrified of a Spanish flu–style wipe-out, the longer the shutdown was required, the more the economy sank into recession, and the more it was unlikely to recover its lost robustness before the November election, and thus the more likely the coronavirus would at last appear as the coup de grace where all other blows to Trump had failed. …

Indeed, in the present crisis, China is now praised for its supposedly more successful reactions to the very virus that it spawned than the remedies of the Trump administration. We are learning that the Left accepts and finds politically useful the ridiculously constructed data issued by the Chinese communist government. That fact is known to Beijing, which in turn might explain why it keeps promulgating outright lies about virus fatalities that are embarrassing to all but the American Left.

hat-tip Charles