Shanghai, Starvation, and Madness

Shanghai, Starvation, and Madness. By Aaron Sarin.

Starvation will push and pull human psychology in unusual directions — it is one of the few things that can overcome fear of the authorities. When famine came to China 400 years ago, it made Chinese peasants receptive to the preachers of class war. When the government failed to provide crucial supplies, the people rose up in rebellion. They pillaged the ancestral tombs of the incumbent Ming dynasty, fought their way to Beijing, and sacked the city (which was quickly deserted by imperial forces, who were also starving). The dynasty was overthrown, its last emperor left swinging from a tree above the Forbidden City.

A government that fails to feed the people has lost all legitimacy. There may be no famine in modern China, but the Communist Party’s ill-conceived “Zero COVID” policy is raising ghosts from the nation’s long history. In the abundant 21st century, we are seeing remarkable video footage of crowds confronting police outside their compound, screaming: “We are starving!” Scores of residents shriek and roar into the Shanghai night from their apartment blocks as if experiencing the onset of mass psychosis: …

Some unfortunate citizens have allegedly been sealed or padlocked into their homes. Many went without food or vital medicines for days on end, and a few resorted to growing vegetables inside their flats. Others stormed and looted a supermarket. Meanwhile, food sat rotting in bags at the city’s outskirts, after delivery drivers arrived and found no one available to receive their goods. …

Robot dogs patrolled the empty streets warning everyone to stay inside. One video showed citizens opening their flat window to sing as a form of protest, only to find themselves confronted by a hovering drone. “Control your desire for freedom,” it told them. …

Until recently, most citizens appear to have supported the country’s multiple lockdowns, and occasional online dissenters have been widely vilified. But hunger will change people’s minds like nothing else could.

Is it just politics?

At this stage, the policy has become entangled with Xi’s credibility, which is why he has been unwilling to let it go. He may have no choice in the end. Mao’s catastrophic Great Leap Forward was abandoned in 1961, leaving the Chairman’s authority severely undermined. Perhaps we are about to see something similar. …

Or does the Chinese Government know something that we don’t? After all, covid came out of a Chinese bioweapons lab.

We know that there is a sequence from HIV in the spike, and the spike is in the vaccines. There are rumors that that HIV sequence, or something else in covid, nukes our immune systems in the longer term, perhaps leaving us vulnerable to cancer and who knows what else. There is circumstantial evidence to support this, such as the all-cause mortality figures.

The Chinese are acting as if covid is airborne AIDS.

Meanwhile, what do the Chinese people — not their government — think?

On April 13th, a statement to the effect that the US has the world’s worst human rights record began trending on Weibo (the Party, of course, chooses what is trending and what is not). But netizens started using the hashtag to mock the government for the Shanghai crisis (sample post: “China is the most human rights deprived and authoritarian country in the world”). For a few hours, censors appeared to be sleeping on the job, and Weibo rapidly became host to a torrent of criticism and derision. As one commenter noted, “This is the true voice of the people. Let’s commemorate tonight.” Around 4am the Internet police got out of bed and proceeded to delete everything.

We’d been given a glimpse, however, of the China that simmers beneath the surface. Not the dull entity the Party invokes in its official statements — the mindless, homogenous “nation” whose “feelings” are perpetually hurt by this or that international slight — but the real Chinese people. They are an altogether more cynical, unpredictable, and spirited prospect, and in many ways the natural enemy of the Communist Party.