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Beijing proposes criminalizing “slander” or “libel” against TCM

China has long promoted the sale and use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Now the city of Beijing wants to criminalize criticism of TCM.

I took a break from writing about COVID-19 with my last post, and this post will (sort of) be another departure over the unrelenting blogging about COVID-19 I’ve been doing since March. I say “sort of” because the post will be about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and it is impossible to escape COVID-19 when you discuss TCM. Why do I say that? Just listen to Edzard Ernst, because, for whatever reason, this is an aspect to the quackery being advocated for COVID-19 is how TCM advocates, including acupuncturists and others, have glommed onto the pandemic as an excuse to peddle useless nostroms. I’ve touched on this a bit, but not nearly enough (perhaps in the future), but for now I want to focus on an article that was sent to me yesterday about TCM. It doesn’t really have anything to do with COVID-19, but it sure does reinforce themes that I’ve been writing about for years when it comes to TCM, particularly how the Chinese government has been relentlessly promoting TCM to the world ever since Chairman Mao. It comes from a website that publishes news and commentary about China in the form of a story, Beijing Seeks to Punish TCM Naysayers. The subtitle? “A new draft regulation would hold those who slander or defame traditional Chinese medicine criminally responsible but does not say how these terms would be defined.” Because of course it would. China is an authoritarian regime. Although the proposed regulation is a local one applying to Beijing, it’s not hard to imagine its wider adoption.

The point of the regulation is this:

Beijing is considering handing out punishments to those who damage the reputation of traditional Chinese medicine, according to a new draft regulation issued Friday.

The document, jointly drafted by several local government departments, including the Beijing Municipal Health Commission and Beijing Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, aims to deter individuals and organizations from behaviors that defame or slander TCM in any way.

Those who violate the proposed rules by “picking quarrels, provoking trouble, and disrupting public order” may be subject to punishments by public security organs or even face criminal responsibility. However, the guideline did not say what behaviors might constitute defaming TCM.

The draft regulation — on which the public is invited to submit feedback for one month — also proposes a ban on the false advertising of TCM and its use to harm public interests, while also suggesting requirements about its management.

I’ve written on numerous occasions how the Chinese government promotes TCM, dating back to Chairman Mao. No, seriously, the promotion of TCM to the world dates back to the late 1940s, and the history of TCM has been massively retconned for propaganda purposes. Basically, here’s what happened. After the revolution, there was a shortage of trained medical personnel in China to provide care to Chinese people. So he mobilized “barefoot doctors” (a.k.a. TCM practitioners) to fill the gaps. He also oversaw the creation of a mythology about Chinese folk medicine by retconning the history and science of TCM in order to represent various ancient folk medicines from China based on pseudoscientific, mystical, and/or prescientific beliefs as somehow being co-equal with “Western” or “scientific” medicine through the clever use of language. A whole history was retconned in which the various forms of folk medicines (not medicine) practiced in China magically morphed into a unified whole, renamed “traditional Chinese medicine.” China was remarkably successful in selling TCM to the world.

Let’s recap a bit. Mao actually had a plan to make TCM palatable to the more educated people in China, the people in cities who didn’t necessarily use old Chinese folk medicine, as well as to export it to the world. Mao’s strategy to deal with these criticisms was quite deliberate—and clever. It consisted of two strategies, as reported by Alan Levinovitz, both designed to mythologize TCM as being a scientifically sound and harmonious “whole medical system” (never mind that Mao said that he didn’t use TCM himself) and to provide “evidence” in the form of testimonials that it worked, as Levinovitz relates:

His solution was a two-pronged approach. First, inconsistent texts and idiosyncratic practices had to be standardized. Textbooks were written that portrayed Chinese medicine as a theoretical and practical whole, and they were taught in newly founded academies of so-called “traditional Chinese medicine,” a term that first appeared in English, not Chinese. Needless to say, the academies were anything but traditional, striving valiantly to “scientify” the teachings of classics that often contradicted one another and themselves. Terms such as “holism” (zhengtiguan) and “preventative care” (yufangxing) were used to provide the new system with appealing foundational principles, principles that are now standard fare in arguments about the benefits of alternative medicine.

As I’ve said many times before, this effort to “science-ify” TCM, or, as I now like to call it, to retcon the science, is very much a part of the promotion of TCM and continues this very day. Examples include propaganda published in the media, such as National Geographic, large, glossy advertising sections in real hard core science journals, such as Science and Nature, as well as unrelenting propaganda and even the enactment of laws and regulations (including regulations to lower the scientific bar for TCM use in China) by the Chinese government promoting TCM use. That doesn’t even count the Chinese government’s use of its influence to push the World Health Organization to “integrate” TCM pseudo-diagnoses into the ICD-11 coding system that’s used around the world for classifying and tracking medical diagnoses, leading to its wishy-washy stance on TCM use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of the propaganda for TCM promoted by China also includes the dissemination of spectacular anecdotes to “prove” the efficacy of TCM. The most famous of these was the case of James Reston, a New York Times editor who underwent an emergency appendectomy while visiting China in 1971. Even though the surgeons there used a fairly standard anesthesia technique, described by anesthesiologist Kimball Atwood as sounding like a “standard regional technique, most likely an epidural,” acupuncture was used to treat cramping on second evening after the surgery, which I interpreted as being the evening of postoperative day one. The story is familiar to any general surgeon; about a day and a half after surgery Reston had some cramping, likely due to postoperative ileus that kept the gas from moving through his bowels the way it normally does. It passed after an hour or so. Around that time, the staff at the hospital used acupuncture to treat his discomfort, and the logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (and a bunch of credulous Westerners, eager to believe that some magical mystical “Eastern” wisdom” could do what “Western medicine” could not) did the rest. Most likely what happened is that Reston finally passed gas spontaneously (which is how postoperative ileus nearly always resolves), letting the built-up gas move through and relieving the cramps and bloating. About a day or two after an uncomplicated appendectomy is about right for that.

Punishment by national or local Chinese governments for criticizing TCM is nothing new, either. For example, a couple of years ago, I wrote about the case of Tan Qindong. Tan Qindong is a Chinese physician who got into trouble for going on social media and criticizing the health claims made by the company manufacturing a TCM remedy called Hongmao liquor, a best selling concoction of over 60 kinds of medicinal herbs and animal products that is registered as a nonprescription medicine, a bottle of which costs around $100. At the time, advertisements for the liquor appeared frequently on Chinese TV and in other media and touted it as a treatment for basically anything that ails you, including painful joints, frail kidneys, spleen ailments, stomach problems, anemia, and basically dozens of ailments. It’s popular, too, and was the second best-selling TCM remedy in China in 2016, when sales of Hongmao liquor reached 1.6 billion yuan. It was approved to be sold in licensed TCM shops and by licensed physicians in 1992 and became over-the-counter in 2003.

So what happened to Dr. Tan? As Dr. Tan was boarding an elevator in his apartment building, two men flashed badges at him and arrested him. They were officers sent from Inner Mongolia, where Hongmao Pharmaceuticals is based, who later, they took him to Liangcheng County. There he was jailed, and remained in prison for over 100 days. The pretext was Article 221 of the Chinese criminal code, a provision that criminalizes to fabricating and and spreading claims that seriously damage a business’s reputation. Dr. Tan was imprisoned under harsh condition, described as having to sleep beside a toilet, “crammed with other suspects, with little but steamed buns to eat.” Ultimately, publicity about the case, including in the New York Times, sufficiently embarrassed the Chinese government to the point where Dr. Tan was finally released, and led to negative publicity directed at Hongmao Pharmaceuticals.

As the article notes, this isn’t the only criticism of TCM:

In recent years, several scandals have raised public concerns over TCM. Last July, a children’s hospital in the eastern Jiangxi province suspended one of its traditional treatments, sanfutie, after dozens of children complained of side effects such as blisters, itchiness, and burns. And in April 2018, medical professionals questioned law enforcement after a doctor was arrested on suspicion of defaming a brand of herbal liquor that was criticized by drug authorities for false advertising.

This brings us back to the new proposed Chinese regulations (original here in Chinese). Google Translate does a pretty good job of converting parts of the draft to English, and the text of the regulations early in the document gives away the game:

The city vigorously develops the cause of traditional Chinese medicine, inherits the essence, keeps innovation, observes the development law of traditional Chinese medicine, establishes a management system that conforms to the characteristics of traditional Chinese medicine, maintains and promotes the characteristics and advantages of traditional Chinese medicine, promotes the construction of healthy Beijing, and improves the health of the people.

This city implements the policy of equal emphasis on Chinese and Western medicine, supports mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual complementation, and coordinated development of Chinese and Western medicine, draws on modern science and technology, and promotes the innovation of traditional Chinese medicine theory and practice.

Yes, it’s all about promoting and protecting TCM. It’s also hilarious. If you read the whole Google Translate version of the document (those who speak Chinese can chime in on how accurate the translation is), you’ll see a whole lot of verbiage about “standardizing” TCM and the education of TCM practitioners, which never ceases to amuse me given that TCM is a prescientific system of medicine based on, more than anything else, many old folk medicine traditions and Taoism, hence all the emphasis on “balancing” things like hot and cold, dry and wet, etc., which to me highly resembles traditional “Western” medicine and its emphasis on disease being caused by an imbalance in the four humors. Really, you can’t “slander” something like this.

Anyway, Article 54 is where the action is with regards to the “slander” of TCM, though:

Anyone who violates the provisions of Article 36, Paragraph 2 of these Regulations, defames and defames traditional Chinese medicine, seeks to provoke trouble, disrupts public order, and constitutes a violation of public security management shall be punished by the public security organ according to law; it constitutes a crime , The criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

And, according to Article 36:

The promotion of Chinese medicine culture publicity and knowledge popularization activities shall abide by relevant state regulations and conform to the cultural connotation and development laws of Chinese medicine. No organization or individual may make false or exaggerated propaganda on Chinese medicine; they may not use the name of Chinese medicine to gain illegitimate benefits or harm public interests; they may not defame or slander Chinese medicine in any way or behavior.

Broadcasting, television, newspapers, the Internet, and other media to carry out the promotion of Chinese medicine knowledge should be engaged by Chinese medicine professional and technical personnel to introduce disease prevention, control, treatment and health care and other scientific knowledge as the main content, not to introduce health, health knowledge, etc. Disguised advertisements for traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

Clever. Note how Beijing basically includes language outlawing making “exaggerated propaganda” on TCM or “using the name” of TCM to “gain illegitimate benefits or harm public interests,” making it sound as though that this is about public health and preventing the proponents and manufacturers of TCM products from making false claims, but then turning around and criminalizing “defamation” or “slander” of TCM (whatever that means). One wonders if Beijing would consider it “defamation” or “slander” if someone were to suggest that it’s possible that the TCM trade in animal parts had something to do with the jump of SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic or were to harshly criticize the extreme cruelty to animals and the depopulation of endangered species done in the service of making TCM nostrums. Or, more likely, what if someone were to point out that there’s no evidence that anything in TCM can prevent or treat COVID-19, despite this:

It would potentially lead to the criminal prosecution of people who criticise traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or “cause trouble or disturb public order” by breaching the law.

The move comes amid a broader campaign by China to promote TCM at home and abroad. In March state media said TCM therapies had been playing a “critical role” in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19, and some were sent to other nations as part of China’s international aid.

China’s president Xi Jinping is a fervent supporter of TCM as a pillar of industry, and its potential to grow and develop.

Whatever the outcome, it’s become very clear that Chinese governments, including the national government and local governments like those of Beijing and Inner Mongolia, are very much committed to promoting the TCM industry, both in China and worldwide, as well as to protecting it from even legitimate criticism, as Inner Mongolia did when its police arrested Tan Qindong and Beijing is trying to do now by proposing criminalizing criticism of TCM. After all, China already has a history of viewing scientifically valid criticism of TCM as “slander” or “libel.” Worse, now that President Donald Trump has made the incredibly disastrous decision to withdraw the US from the WHO, China’s power to use the WHO to promote TCM to the world is now basically unchecked. The legitimization of the mystical pseudoscience that is TCM continues apace and will likely accelerate.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

61 replies on “Beijing proposes criminalizing “slander” or “libel” against TCM”

The fact that the US has so strong a protection for free speech and prohibits sternly government interference in these matters, even compared to other democratic countries (not to mention China…) is something I’ll never be able to praise enough…

It should be noted, to China’s credit, though, that while they do prevent free speech in most conceivable ways, they nevertheless have developed and are developing so-called NGOs, or more precisely GONGOs (Government Organised Non Governmental Organisations) to create an atmosphere where criticism can flourish as much as it is conceivable in a dictatorship (because it is one to a very large extent). From what I gleaned, authorities do encourage criticism, because they really do need it.

But behind closed doors.

Not really acceptable from a perspective such as mine. But whether or not they’ll manage to streamline criticism to good use in a context of rampant censorship is also an interesting exercise in itself, which we will also have to judge on its merits in the long run.

A bit more concerned about the death penalty over there than I am concerned by TCM, though… The US even looks good and truly enlightened with respect to the death penalty compared to them…

What happens within China is (mostly…) their business. The influence they wield in international organisation, such as pushing TCM at the WHO, is an entirely different matter…

create an atmosphere where criticism can flourish as much as it is conceivable in a dictatorship (because it is one to a very large extent).

I’m not arguing with the actual sentiment, so this might be bordering on pedantry, but it seems not to exactly be a dictatorship. I mean, it’s not really just the man at the top who’s running things; it’s the party in general. The same sort of thing happened in the USSR after Stalin; he was definitely a dictator, but it was moreso just the system and machine that had been put into place that kept the general repression going. I’m trying to think of a word for it; my brain is still a little behind… autocracy is basically along the lines of dictatorship. But you catch my drift.

Like, Xi Jinping is definitely no Mao.

Xi Jinping is like the cholesterol free Mao that turned out to be a whole lot worse in the end.

Gosh. I can’t believe it’s not butter. Trans fat, shmans fat; yada yada.

If anybody can be worse than Mao, they haven’t come along yet. (Well, you could definitely argue Pol Pot, but in terms of mass destruction and body count, I would say Mao wins.) Personally I don’t think even Stalin is in the same league, and that’s really saying something.

Well, I mean, obviously there’s Hitler, but that’s kind of a different ball of wax. Mass genocide, which is a unique evil. But if we’re talking body count, Mao definitely takes the cake. Not to mention the psychological terrorism and abuse, among other things.

@ JP

“I mean, it’s not really just the man at the top who’s running things; it’s the party in general.”

I do not see much of a difference, but I admittedly have a low bar when qualifying a regime as a “dictatorship”. But China’s a bit too red on this map to my taste. And the public execution methodology and statistics — or lack thereof — is also a bit rough on the edges.

It took awhile to realize that low levels of HDL were quite detrimental.

If anybody can be worse than Mao, they haven’t come along yet.

But, they have. It is him. It is Xi JInping. It is not realized ‘in the end’ yet; give it time.

The tech he is weilding, the surveillance, the crackdown on any kind of rights, services, or even travel over failure to ‘score’ high enough on the Xi Jinping Thought app and spreading his influence across Africa, South America, and the entire Belt and Road initiative as well as dominating influence over WHO and the UN , aided by Trump’s impotence and butt buddy status, ensures it.

but in terms of mass destruction and body count, I would say Mao wins

Get back to me on that when Xi’s policies and influence push that number into the billions.

Nixion went to China to learn how to control a billion people. He, and all his partners, came away with the knowledge that “you can’t; you just have to soft kill them.” (and, take their organs when it benifits our benifactors)

When these nostrums inevitably fail, they can blame the victim for bad spirits and not taking the medications as directed. I thought I had persuaded my sister and a cousin that acupuncture was witchcraft, listening to programs on PBS and on-line about uplifting my spirits was useless. Now Ty Bollinger-types will claim all sorts of historical basis for crap they sell and my “In” box will start to fill again…

Thankfully, the U.S., while generally a haven for harassing lawsuits, is not that congenial a place for woo practitioners who are enraged by criticism. Some of the most notorious recent cases have occurred outside the United States. Britt Marie Hermes was unsuccessfully targeted by a U.S.-based naturopath in a lawsuit filed in Germany, while Simon Singh had to battle the British Chiropractic Association.

It’s difficult if not impossible to imagine the U.S. criminalizing opposition to health quackery. A state where influential woo backers in the legislature get such a law passed is a less remote possibility.

I imagine that Trump is looking at China with envy right about now. Instead of throwing a tantrum, he could pass a law making it illegal to make fun of or point out his general disagreeableness.

TCM is a stupid. Yea, I know that they ‘say’ that rhinoceros horn is not part of the protocal but I saw some under Poo Bear Xi Jinping’s bed. It is just hair and some birdshit, people of the east. Yea, you Xi. With your little tiny hands and Trump adulations — We know what ya’ll got up to. And, frankly, I’ve seen better porn in K-Pop ticktock uploads.

Come and get me, Xi. I’m sure my presnident will protect me from your edicts (not really).

@ TIm

If TCM involved just herbs, I could care less if adults choose it over scientific medicine; but, yep, it sickens me that they kill rhinoceros for their horns which are just keratin, same as our fingernails and they keep bears in small cages to extract bile from their livers, etc.

I have had an interest in nutrition since 1970 after reading Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit. (Adele Davis may not have always had it right, but she was way ahead of her time; e.g. talked about the danger of hydrogenation back then).
TCM always seemed to me to be voodoo. Thank you for providing the damning back story.

I am distraught today, about a seemingly unrelated matter.

Yesterday this is a group text a friend sent to us, as we are concerned about her son:
Jim & I spoke to our son John who is an MTA police officer. Every day this past week that he goes to work he gets deployed to a different area of NYC. He said police are vastly outnumbered and are set up to fail. He said he hasn’t seen any peaceful protesters, only people breaking and looting. When they are arrested they are freed a few hours later and are back on the street the next night. There’s not enough room in the jails anyway. He said every night has gotten worse. The NYPD police are all working 12 hours on, 12 off and can’t keep this up. They would welcome national guard or even military troops.
Me: Wow.
I do think it was a little better last night…
he was off last night, right? When does he have to go in again?
Answer- He didn’t work last night but my nephew did at Penn Station and he said he didn’t understand the news. Last night was worse than the night before. He said he can’t believe what he’s seeing… it’s like watching a movie.

Checked the news this morning, on various outlets. Mayhem everywhere, especially NYC.
All CNN et. al. can talk about is Trump. No mention of all the shootings, beatings, death and destruction going on; just this: Peaceful Protests Swept Across the US.

America is being lied to.
Propaganda works. Just look at China.

Orac, I assume by this promotion of sanity, you are foregoing any future plans to visit Beijing. Thank you for your sacrifice.

–No mention of all the shootings, beatings, death and destruction going on…–

Ummm, maybe it’s the shootings, beatings and deaths that sparked this?

The coverage I’ve seen and read has been balanced and in no way the “Peaceful Protests Swept
across the US” that you disingenuously claim. Now who’s propagandizing?

I don’t mean to minimize the flash point of it all, and I apologize for that.
When George Floyd was murdered, everyone I knew was completely distraught and angry. We were still reeling over the Aubury story. Our government has failed us. Some have said it is mainly on the local level, where the police contracts, for example, are negotiated.
The unions protect their own; which is their downfall.
It is past time to have a conversation about police brutality. My God, Chauvin had 17 complaints filed against him!
All we get is talk.
But.
The righteously angry protest has been hijacked by leftist anarchists and Antifa (mostly white). It is well organized; bricks conveniently piled up, bats etc hidden, to encourage maximum trouble. This has nothing to do with George Floyd, and it is terrible that the peaceful protestors are being drowned out in many places by the violence.
The death of George Floyd is heartbreaking to me personally, I consider him a brother. I want to know what I can do to make real change, and welcome any suggestions. I am not interested in blaming Trump. He had done more for black people than the last, idk, 5 administrations? Lowest unemployment, meaningful jail reform. He is not a good communicator, and had a huge ego, I readily admit. But he loves our country and knows how to solve problems. He was motivated to run for President because of our horrible China trade policies. (They would like nothing better than for him to lose).
So many people brutalized and murdered during these riots, many of them black. Not to mention all the small businesses destroyed, many of them black owned. Not even sure if insurance covers their losses. Another heartbreaking situation on top of all the rest.
I just rechecked CNN and MSNBC before I posted this. I stand by my original post, as far as their biased coverage.

The righteously angry protest has been hijacked by leftist anarchists and Antifa (mostly white).

Prove it, Karen.
It’s like antivaxers; Rioters and breakers come in all political shades.

WTF does this have to do with TCM? If you want to give Drumpf a hummer, go do it somewhere else.

Motivated by horrible China trade policies?

I can see this without also hearing “They don’t like it up ’em!”.

A simpering Karen called Sheila,
Moral antipode to Mandela,
..Channels her inner Anakin
..To tout hydoxychloroquine,
Leans fa over antifa, tra-la!

The subtitle “Electric Boogaloo”, originally a reference to a funk-oriented dance style of the same name, has entered the popular culture lexicon as a snowclone pejorative nickname to denote an archetypical sequel.

Literally, a meme. Same ‘ol same ‘ol, That 1984 sequel was mostly the same footage with a different sound track.

r/justneckbeardthings

There is always an uproar over the latest police atrocity and then it goes away and maybe a few bad cops get punished after five years or so. Then it starts all over again. And when people protest about police violence the “solution” seems to be even more police violence, and it’s really bad this time. Police throwing bicycles at protesters. Police pulling down someone’s mask to pepper spray her face. A woman kneeling with her hands up gets knocked to the ground from behind by a cop. A photojournalist shot in the eye with a pepper ball and blinded (Nice one, officer). Clearly identified press gassed, pepper balled, violently arrested. College students dragged from their car and tasered for nothing. Police emerging from their line to arrest a man for doing nothing more than shouting at them. And then we get Tom Cotton(mouth) demanding the army be sent in. The troops who were on standby to go into DC reportedly being issued bayonets. The fake President threatening protesters, mainly black with “ominous weapons” and “vicious dogs”.
I don’t approve of looting, arson, or attacking police, but stores getting looted kind of pales in comparison with four hundred and one years of anti-black oppression, constituting a larger theft, a harsher degree of violence, a greater cruelty than most of my fellow Caucasians (Well, I’m anyway sort of a Caucasian.) can ever imagine or ever put up with.
Fifty years ago the Koerner Commission reported on and recommended solutions to the plight of African Americans. The problems they highlighted are still with us, resolved very little, and the solutions they recommended are mostly yet to be implemented in any serious way.
Someone once said “Experience is the fool’s best teacher.” I guess the fools haven’t been doing their homework.
I can’t say we’re living in unprecedented times, but I can say we’re living in un-Presidented times. Well, at least we’re not China. Yet.

–No mention of all the shootings, beatings, death and destruction going on…–

I would nastily point out that right now, it seems that US cops are the common factor in most of such events.

The first 15 min of the first Men in Black movie should be mandatory viewing in police academies in all civilized countries. I’m talking about the scene where Will Smith, in his character of a police officer, arrests on the spot his “federal” colleague for murdering an informant.

We could also mention people like umbrella man. Opportunistic chaos seeders who have nothing to do with the protests. Throw them in jail, no issue here.
But the cops should arrest these types of guys in the first place. Instead, they beat and/or arrest journalists, or shield-slam disabled elderly men to the ground. Much easier.

Full disclosure – I am from a French suburb which was one of the firsts to get into riots and flaming cars in the 90’s. I fully get how it’s not fun to be right in the middle of a bunch of rampaging rioters. Especially if the car they burn is yours.

And no, I didn’t participate in these French riots – but if French cops were in the habits of murdering people, and not facing charges for it, maybe I should reconsider it
Come back in one week or two, we happen to have a few cases of French police brutality under review right now.

Cops are supposed to be the good guys, damn it.

@ Athaic

As long as, in France, police is considered a national prerogative and not a local one under the authority of a very local elected official (i.e. not the “préfet”), nothing will ever change.

To be the good guys, they have to be accountable by local representatives.

If I have a disagreement with my neighbour because he doesn’t shut the gate properly, I shouldn’t have to appeal to the UN Security Council to get it solved.

Same thing with the police. To make them accountable, you need to have short loops between local citizens and local elected officials. As soon as you live in a country where You Have To Beg Daddy Jupiter (Jupiter is Macron’s self-chosen nickname) for anything to be done, you’re screwed: the IGPN will get in the loop and nothing will be done.

And whenever you’ll criticise the police, they’ll start whining that, really, you’re a mean mean mean bad person not to be apologetic of them for all their dedication. Emotional whataboutism: their dedication is none of my concern; the way they do their job is.

Broken By Design.

“Antifa” is not involved in the rioting — even the FBI says that. Of course, there is no organization by that name anyway, that part is simply right-wing BS. Sheila, stop spreading disinformation and falsehoods.

@ dean

““Antifa” is not involved in the rioting — even the FBI says that.”

I’d like sources. As far as I know, antifa in my country make it a point of honour of being in every social movement they can.

“Of course, there is no organization by that name anyway, that part is simply right-wing BS.”

M’kay… They do have a website in my country, though. They have a website, but they do not exist…

“Sheila, stop spreading disinformation and falsehoods.”

Whether rioting is legitimate or not is a separate issue from that of claiming antifa doesn’t exist. Oh.. sorry… that they’re not an “organisation”.

What’s an “organisation” by the way?

Cops are supposed to be the good guys, damn it.

RLY? I mean, the police force in the U.S. began first to catch runaway slaves, and then took on the additional function of union busting. They’ve been power-hungry thug lackeys since day one.

I can only figure that anybody who imagines they must be “good guys” has led a pretty sheltered life and hasn’t had much to do with police other than traffic stops; plenty of people feel nothing but fear with regard to the police, or anger. Cops cause more chaos and destruction a lot of places than any kind of “good.”

(Personally I’ve only been threatened with police violence, as a result of minor nuisance behavior during a manic episode, but I have some stories of incredible stupidity and harassment, like the time one of them arrived here banging on the door demanding somebody who doesn’t live here and acting like I was a criminal hiding somebody. It took a long time to explain the address situation to him, and then when the guy he was looking for failed to answer the door (imagine that!), he went and disturbed everybody in the vicinity. Late at night. Finally got the guy (filed back a restraining order) and came back and told me about it; had left his car in the driveway with the super bright lights shining in the window the whole time. (Was home alone and trying to work.) Klickitat County’s best and brightest.)

@F68.10:

No, antifa is not an organization. That there’s a single group with a website doesn’t mean there’s a single group called “anitfa” that’s an organization. People have various groups and communication methods, they get together for actions, etc., but that doesn’t mean there’s some giant organization that’s somehow behind everything. Like, there’s Rosa Negra in Portland, which there are also other groups, and you’ll get people from the IWW, etc., and people who aren’t associated with any particular group but who have a long history of anti-fascist work. People do tend to know each other within a city/community, it’s kind of a networking thing.

I’m pretty familiar with anit-fascist work on multiple levels; honestly, the bulk of it isn’t even in the streets, it’s trying to counter fascist organizing, stop recruitment, all kinds of other things that don’t involve boots on the ground. When most people think of “anitfa” (which just means anti-fascist), what they’re really thinking of is “Black Bloc,” which is actually just a tactical method of staying anonymous in a protest/crowd by everybody wearing black and covering their faces while in a group together. (Like, you don’t want to be seen be fascists, and you probably don’t want to seen by the police either, but for various reasons; the PPD, for instance, is provably in bed with fascist groups like the Proud Boys.)

@ Narad

Thanks.

@ JP

Very glad to see your back. You went silent for quite a while, so I was mildly worried.

“RLY? I mean, the police force in the U.S. began first to catch runaway slaves, and then took on the additional function of union busting.”

Yep. But they do what they’re told to. Would be very worrying if they did just what they felt like doing.

“They’ve been power-hungry thug lackeys since day one.”

Hmmmh… not precisely… though they do grow a sense of impunity over time.

“I can only figure that anybody who imagines they must be “good guys” has led a pretty sheltered life and hasn’t had much to do with police other than traffic stops; plenty of people feel nothing but fear with regard to the police, or anger. Cops cause more chaos and destruction a lot of places than any kind of “good.””

It’s just that it’s hardly conceivable to have a situation where they do not exist.

“Personally I’ve only been threatened with police violence, as a result of minor nuisance behavior during a manic episode, but I have some stories of incredible stupidity and harassment, like the time one of them arrived here banging on the door demanding somebody who doesn’t live here and acting like I was a criminal hiding somebody.”

Yeah, well I’ve gotten used to them breaking my door multiple times just to make the point that God’s authority pales in comparison to doctors’ and to make the point that it’s likely good for my mental health to burry me under tons of healthcare bills. You image how I much I love them. Vivid memories of the time I went to file a complaint at the police station (with evidence) for medical records tampering. Rather brutal.

“People do tend to know each other within a city/community, it’s kind of a networking thing.”

Yep. That fits the bill of my definition of an “organisation”. Thank you for clarifying. I indeed do not expect antifa people to have bylaws…

“I’m pretty familiar with anti-fascist work on multiple levels; honestly, the bulk of it isn’t even in the streets, it’s trying to counter fascist organizing, stop recruitment, all kinds of other things that don’t involve boots on the ground. When most people think of “anitfa” (which just means anti-fascist), what they’re really thinking of is “Black Bloc,” which is actually just a tactical method of staying anonymous in a protest/crowd by everybody wearing black and covering their faces while in a group together.”

I’m pretty much aware of all that. Still have a problem with quite some number of documented behaviors I’ve seen from antifa circles. The most problematic ones being beating up journalists (I know that antifa circles say that they are not journalists for various rather long-winded reasons…). The most personally annoying ones, at least from french antifa I’ve interacted with, was their tendency to twist every word of my non-endorsement of planned economies into allegations of holocaust denial by playing the nazi card everywhere they could. Feels like a cult to me with little tolerance for freedom of speech. With a bit more tolerance for freedom of conscience, but not enough to my taste. For instance, to be a bit more specific, I have little tolerance for french antifa policies against Jean Bricmont.

And, no, I do not believe the KKK is cool.

@F68.10

Very glad to see your back. You went silent for quite a while, so I was mildly worried.

Thanks. I did drop by and leave a comment, but I think it might have gotten lost in things. I had a pretty rough winter (multiple things, kind of unbelievable, plus some genuine weird stuff), and it took quite a while to recoup. Plus it was kind of all Covid here for quite a while, and I can’t handle too much of that stuff beyond recommendations and basic news. Like, social media, people posting about family members dying and stuff, I can’t handle it. I’ve been kind of emotionally raw, I guess.

I imagine the police in France must be quite a bit different from the police here, with a different history. Certainly the history of race in France is very different, and the economic situation is different. Although I imagine the situation for Roma vis-a-vis the police is pretty horrific.

I can imagine lots of situations without police, but it takes imagination. Honestly, though, what do the police really do for the most part? They show up after the fact and take down notes and usually don’t do anything. I mean, you go and report a rape and nothing happens. Enormous backlog of rape cases in this country; I’ve actually had friends who’ve reported rape to the police and been mistreated by them right to their faces.

As far as antifa go, I’m pretty surprised at your statement that they get mad at you for not supporting planned economies or whatever. Most of the people I know involved in anti-fascism are anarchist or more towards the libertarian (in the original sense of the word) side of socialism. I suppose there are probably some left-coms and Marxists, idk. It’s actually not a particularly ideological movement, it’s a practical kind of thing.

I’ve heard of one incident involving a journalist during the Charlottesville Nazi rally, and I have opinions, but I’m not going to go into it right now. Actually I think I’m going to go for a walk; I’m doing better health-wise and it’s nice out and I think the exercise would be good for me on multiple levels. And I mean, it’s the middle of nowhere. (Very pretty out here.) There’s a trail that runs parallel to the highway…

@F168.10

Yep. That fits the bill of my definition of an “organisation”.

Then you should really consult the dictionary or something; that’s not what an organization is. They’re not organized. The fact that anti-fascists in a city generally tend to know each other doesn’t make them an organization.

Greenpeace is an organization. PETA is an organization. There is no such organization as Antifa. You can’t pin it down or define as some kind of single “organization.” It doesn’t even make sense.

Are you an anti-fascist? Do you sometimes cooperate in some capacity with other anti-fascists to combat fascism? Cool. You’re antifa.

@ JP

“Thanks.”

You’re welcome.

“I imagine the police in France must be quite a bit different from the police here, with a different history.”

It likely is. They have a track record of being a far right hotbed and they’re pretty much engrossed by their status as civil servants; but it’s also nonetheless true that they are having a hard time and that suicides in their ranks is at an unacceptable level. So your mileage may vary…

“Certainly the history of race in France is very different, and the economic situation is different. Although I imagine the situation for Roma vis-a-vis the police is pretty horrific.”

It’s indeed not quite the same. The French seem weirdly unaware that they had a colonial history and tend to be race blind. In a good way and a bad way. In a good way, because aside from racists, you’ll rarely hear or see your racial status thrown at your face. Your nationality or residency status, that’s another story… See here for the point of view of a black american woman in France. French people may and do have private thoughts on the topic of race, but the notion of citizenship tops any consideration of race, at least publicly. Which is a good thing. The corollary is that the moment you bring up your colour / race in a conversation or in politics, you tend to get rhetorically stonewalled rather sternly. And the bad thing is that it implies a huge taboo on anything racial that evades any serious discussion. Affirmative action? Will never happen around here.

“Honestly, though, what do the police really do for the most part?”

The British police tend to do their job rather properly. And Interpol is also quite a useful institution. Do not believe we could do without the latter. And I also believe the US lives in paranoia of crime compared to other countries, so, a bit hard for me to judge…

“As far as antifa go, I’m pretty surprised at your statement that they get mad at you for not supporting planned economies or whatever. Most of the people I know involved in anti-fascism are anarchist or more towards the libertarian (in the original sense of the word) side of socialism. I suppose there are probably some left-coms and Marxists, idk. It’s actually not a particularly ideological movement, it’s a practical kind of thing.”

I know the distinction. But you have to remember that marxists were very influential in french politics after WW2 because they were a major component of the resistance fighters. So the French State, already very centralised by nature, was rebuilt by a weird alliance between De Gaulle and the communists. So while communism is pretty much discredited nowadays, the cultural impact does remain. Which means that if you take the random antifa, he’ll tell you he’s an anarchist; ask him to refine his definition, he’ll tend to say he’s an anticapitalist and will be offended if you call him a marxist. Keep scratching, and he’ll start to sound an awful lot like a marxist and will more or less be unaware of it. I believe it’s a subliminal kind of intergenerational cultural transmission issue among our local lefties.

“I’ve heard of one incident involving a journalist during the Charlottesville Nazi rally, and I have opinions, but I’m not going to go into it right now. Actually I think I’m going to go for a walk.”

Have a nice walk.

But just as another example, here’s a cancelled talk of a philosopher who also is the wife of.a former prime minister. While I have my share of issues with Sylviane Agacinski — aside from deploring the sad state of affairs in contemporary french philosophy — I believe it’s utterly unreasonable to deplatform her, and I’m having a really hard time with antifa positions on such issues. As I know gender issues tend to be of interest to you, this example might be more illuminating as to my stance on the topic.

@F168.10

(Funny aside, your ‘nym kept making me think of some kind of American type of pickup truck for a while at first.)

Which means that if you take the random antifa, he’ll tell you he’s an anarchist; ask him to refine his definition, he’ll tend to say he’s an anticapitalist and will be offended if you call him a marxist. Keep scratching, and he’ll start to sound an awful lot like a marxist and will more or less be unaware of it.

I can’t really speak to France, but anarchists are anti-capitalist if they’re coherent at all. I mean, there are “””anarcho”””-capitalists, but they’re not anarchists, they’re a joke. Capitalism is one of the most brutally oppressive forces on the planet, and anarchists being against all forms of domination and oppressive they (full disclosure, we) must by definition be against it. Trade and markets aren’t ruled out, but capitalism qua capitalism certainly is.

Not a Marxist here, but I think that Marx is more of a bogeyman than he should be, honestly. Basically he wrote critiques of capitalism, and he had a few good points. I think he was horribly naive about the “withering away of the state” among other things, but things like the labor theory of value are worth thinking about.

Not to mention that communism isn’t even just Marxism; it was a pretty common socialist idea/word/philosophy/whatever at the time, and there were lots of different ideas about it and types of communism. Centrally planned economies themselves don’t even really have much to do with Marxism or communism; they’re an artifact of 20th century “””communist””” regimes.

Marxism-Leninism, and it’s bastard children, however, can absolutely get fcked. I’ll never forgive Lenin for burying the Russian revolution.

@ JP

Do not feel overly comfortable replying on this thread, as it’s rather off-topic, but hey, here goes:

“I can’t really speak to France, but anarchists are anti-capitalist if they’re coherent at all. I mean, there are “””anarcho”””-capitalists, but they’re not anarchists, they’re a joke.”

I believe anarcho-capitalists are a US phenomenon. Haven’t met much if any in my corner of the world. Though there are pro-capitalism people who do stress the importance of personal freedoms as well as oppose quite a lot of nonsense and what is called “oppression” (I know it exists, I just do not like the term: I feel it is too simplistic).

“Capitalism is one of the most brutally oppressive forces on the planet, and anarchists being against all forms of domination and oppressive they (full disclosure, we) must by definition be against it.”

I understand that point of view. But I personally cannot deny it also drives society upwards, though it very obviously could be improved if we found the means to.

“Trade and markets aren’t ruled out, but capitalism qua capitalism certainly is.”

I do not know a local leftie who doesn’t loathe markets. To me, they’re merely a lesser evil: doing away with markets logically leads to planned or controlled economies in a form of another, and I simply do not believe planning or controlling economies is within the cognitive abilities of anyone willing to do job. Markets seem unavoidable to me, which absolutely do not mean they should be lawless. Even though I’ve dealt with them professionally, I’m not in favor of wild financial “innovation”. And I believe the analogy with wild medical “innovation” would be an appropriate one. As to “capitalism”, I have a definitional problem here since I do not know what it precisely means to you. To me, it could be defined as an ideology where benefits are redirected towards investment rather than consumption. And I believe it’s overall a good thing, though I’ve witnessed people being dogmatic on the topic on both sides of the divide. To me, it should be an empirical question, but I do not believe people are willing to have rational discussions in public on that specific topic. But I suspect you have a different definition of capitalism.

“Not a Marxist here, but I think that Marx is more of a bogeyman than he should be, honestly. Basically he wrote critiques of capitalism, and he had a few good points. I think he was horribly naive about the “withering away of the state” among other things, but things like the labor theory of value are worth thinking about.”

Well, I do defend Marx as a person and a thinker. Did so more than once. But the ideology may be criticised on many many points. My favourite criticism of Marx, a perhaps too epistemological one, is The Poverty of Historicism. Never found a local leftie willing to engage with its arguments.

“Not to mention that communism isn’t even just Marxism; it was a pretty common socialist idea/word/philosophy/whatever at the time, and there were lots of different ideas about it and types of communism.”

I know that. That movement of ideas did not come out of nowhere: hard to remain religious in the rowdy industrial era when your local pastor/imam/cleric/whatever explains to you that being rich is a sign of being blessed by God and being poor is… fill in the blanks… Rejection of religion played a huge part in the ascent of socialist ideas: something else had to be invented; it was a necessity.

“Centrally planned economies themselves don’t even really have much to do with Marxism or communism; they’re an artifact of 20th century “””communist””” regimes.”

I tend to disagree: if you do away with markets, there aren’t much technical options on the table rather than planned economies. And if one expects workers to control companies, there are then two options: either workers play the game of markets, like Mondragon, which is not a cakewalk when you do not have an upper-class educated minion at your disposal; either you do away with markets…

“Marxism-Leninism, and it’s bastard children, however, can absolutely get fcked. I’ll never forgive Lenin for burying the Russian revolution.”

You’re referring to the Mensheviks?

@F68.10:

Having been around since 2013 or so, off-topic has generally been tolerated as long as it isn’t up towards the top of the comments, as I recall.

You just keep referring to “when I talk to local lefties, they all keep saying this.” I can’t vouch for local lefties and I can’t argue with local lefties and I can’t actually know that what local lefties supposedly say is what they say, so that’s kind of frustrating. It’s all just hearsay.

As far as markets that aren’t capitalism, there are definitely ideas floating around out there. Check out anarcho-mutualism, go poke around the C4SS (Center for a Stateless Society), there’s lots of other stuff. Personally I consider myself an anarchist without adjectives; I don’t see why, in a hypothetical future society, there couldn’t exist anarcho-commies and mutualists and various different stripes of folks interacting and doing their own thing, multiple different ways of doing things. I mean, if it’s anarchism, it kind of has to be that way. (There’s also the example of Rojava, if you want to look at a real life example of an alternative economy and also something close to a type of anarchism, basically something kind of along the lines of democratic confederalism.)

There are also egoists and insurrectionists and illegalists and post-leftists and transhumanists and on and on. Personally I find it worthwhile to engage with different ideas and schools of thought and learn from them. But I really truly don’t see how you could have a centrally planned economy without a state. It’s nonsense.

The cancelled speech thing didn’t mention antifa anywhere that I could see; it mentioned some student groups. It basically seems like a version of the moral panic in the U.S. about how “free speech is being killed in the campuses!!!”, which, especially at this point, has definitely proved to be much ado about nothing.

You’re referring to the Mensheviks?

??????

You mean in terms of the b*astard children of Marxism-Leninism? No, I mean things like Maoism (which in fact is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) and Hoxhaism and so on. They’re all just descendants and branches. Actually, they pretty much all arose out of squabbles over so-and-so being “revisionist.” (See the Sino-Soviet split.)

@ JP

“You just keep referring to “when I talk to local lefties, they all keep saying this.” I can’t vouch for local lefties and I can’t argue with local lefties and I can’t actually know that what local lefties supposedly say is what they say, so that’s kind of frustrating. It’s all just hearsay.”

Yeah. Well if I had talked in the abstract, I could always be “accused” of not talking about specific well-delineated points. Moreover, I also talk about “local” lefties because I really do suspect that the situation is different from the US on quite a number of points. There are indeed many things where I feel the french left of the left is rather insular, worldwide. For instance, I’ve been outraged at the way Bernard Friot hijacked in the media the idea of basic income to replace it by “salaire à vie”. The article above claims they are different. In the mainstream media, Friot deliberately blurred the distinction. And I do not believe this is a small distinction: what he proposes is to my eyes to make the “salaire à vie” depend on your submission to goals set out by the state or “workers” as he calls it. Basic income does not do that… Moreover, it’s, again and again, worker-worship and callousness against the lumpenproletariat who will not “submit” to “goals” set out by the “State” or “workers” to get more money. And they shouldn’t submit in such a way. How come we have a redistributive state in France and people are still living in the street? Because we redistribute money to workers. Not to outcasts… That mentality makes me puke. And I see it way too often to my taste among “local” lefties. Might be different in the US. Do you see now why I talk about “local” lefties?

“As far as markets that aren’t capitalism, there are definitely ideas floating around out there. Check out anarcho-mutualism.”

Just did. Seems it’s like what’s known around here as proudhonism. Proudhon was an important thinker, and the pride of Besançon. Nonetheless, according to Wikipedia: “According to mutualist theory, when a worker sells the product of their labor, they ought to receive money, goods, or services in exchange that are equal in economic value, embodying “the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility””. This precisely means that financial speculation would be outlawed. Now, there are problems with speculation (I’ve been a financial risk manager in the hedge fund industry in 2008, so I did see a few things first or second hand…). But when I hear that kind of talk, I always ask: what about insurances? They do need to “speculate”. Same thing for commodity markets. One may not like Glencore, but nonetheless, one cannot simply wish financial speculation on commodity markets away. I feel that what’s proudhonism enacts as an economic philosophy: it looks at economy from the eyes of a disempowered worker, which by itself is fine, but does not look at economy from the eyes of someone trying to imagine a system where risks are properly insured, from car accidents to social protection to droughts to the fragility of supply chains. Not saying capitalism is doing a fine job about it. Just saying that proudhonism doesn’t even seem to think about it.

“I mean, if it’s anarchism, it kind of has to be that way.”

Sure. Just waiting for explanations as to how nationwide decisions or global economic decisions will be taken care of in this context, and how it would be better than now.

“(There’s also the example of Rojava, if you want to look at a real life example of an alternative economy and also something close to a type of anarchism, basically something kind of along the lines of democratic confederalism.)”

I’ve been cheering up for Rojava with kurdish exiles in Switzerland throughout the nonsense of the last years. I have no problem with that. Just do not believe they’ll be able to do without markets down the road if they get their independence; and Iraqi Kurdistan with all its flaws will act as a fine benchmark for civil liberties if Rojava turns out too stalinist. Not too worried about Rojava being commie. More worried about it not coming into existence or semi-existence in the medium term.

“But I really truly don’t see how you could have a centrally planned economy without a state. It’s nonsense.”

Well, then “local” lefties are not anarchists no matter what they claim. If it’s nonsense, it’s what that implies. Which is not much of a surprise to me: I’ve been finding them intellectually inconsistent on this topic for quite some time.

“The cancelled speech thing didn’t mention antifa anywhere that I could see; it mentioned some student groups.”

More explicit?

“It basically seems like a version of the moral panic in the U.S. about how “free speech is being killed in the campuses!!!”, which, especially at this point, has definitely proved to be much ado about nothing.”

Well, I’m very much worried about that. I do not believe that it’s as insignificant as you portray it to be.

@ JP

The outlet I referenced on Bricmot clearly has ugly undertones, which is to be expected when you dabble in this area of politics. Nonetheless, it does reference “Antifa”, whatever that is, and I’m quite positive I could find more references with less nasty undertones.

I’m personally a bit sick of observing the extent of the nonsense on these topics…

@F68.10:

depend on your submission to goals set out by the state or “workers” as he calls it. Basic income does not do that… Moreover, it’s, again and again, worker-worship and callousness against the lumpenproletariat who will not “submit” to “goals” set out by the “State” or “workers” to get more money. And they shouldn’t submit in such a way. How come we have a redistributive state in France and people are still living in the street? Because we redistribute money to workers. Not to outcasts… That mentality makes me puke.

Actually, I hate this attitude as well, and you do see it in lefties all over. One of my biggest beefs with Marx is his attitude towards the “lumpenproletariat.” I mean, in order to glorify “workers,” for one thing, first you have to glorify “work” for work’s sake, essentially, which, first of all, is just going to get you fetishizing production again and ending up with five year plans, and second of all, there’s nothing particularly ennobling about putting widgets in machines all day or mining for materials or whatever the hell some leftists glorify as “work” that “workers” do. The whole point, imo, is for people to have decent and fulfilling lives, and that’s not a path to it.

Definitely tends to be more of an ML thing, although you’ll see it in other places. Often it’s almost unconscious. It’s something you kind of have to talk about with people to even get them to recognize is there. But the people who are stuck doing sh!tty jobs, which includes way more than guys in hardhats, do obviously need consideration. But glorifying sh!tty work doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I also worry about Rojava disappearing. I’m not as pessimistic as to consider it a forgone conclusion, but it wouldn’t be surprising. It doesn’t help that Trump has totally betrayed the Kurds, which is unforgivable. As far as how things would work out if it does, idk, I would say watch and see how they work things out, maybe not make assumptions based on the current economic systems in Western Europe.

Re: nationwide decisions or global economic decisions in an anarchist context, that’s kind of missing the point. But it’s not like the globe is suddenly going to become anarchist anyway. The scale that a person can imagine at this point is more along the size of Rojava or Chiapas or, historically, Catalonia or the Ukrainian Free Territory. You’re not going to have some extremely detailed economic plan laid out beforehand, and you’re definitely probably not going to be thinking about insurance and hedge funds. The larger problem of things like capitalism creating a world where 8 men own half of the world’s wealth while a huge number of people are starving or working in sweatshops, or doing mind-numbing labor, is the main concern. That and state oppression, which also serves the interest of capital.

And nobody imagines that there can be a perfect utopia, it’s something to always aim at.

Re: no police: keep an eye on Minneapolis. Looks like they’re going for it.

And the whole “no free speech on campus thing”: it’s been shouted about in the states for ages now, and it doesn’t seem to have become some kind of totalitarian problem on universities. There was some pushback against alt-right figures speaking on campuses in the wake of Charlottesville, mainly, and people like Jordan Peterson latched onto it and made it into a conservative freak-out and a cash cow. Well, then there are the conservative gravy-train editorial-writing grifters at the NYT who love to complain about coddled millennials or whatever, which is just absolutely hilarious.

Okay, that was a [email protected] thing.

@F68.10:

BTW, I hope you aren’t taking any of this personally. I’m not, it’s fun. I haven’t had a discussion like this in quite a while; I feel more like myself. And it’s probably more worthwhile than lefty infighting, which is something we’re really good at. (Which is why the “hivemind” notion is so hilarious; get three lefties in a room and you’ll get five different opinions. It’s both a virtue and an Achilles heel.)

The “coddled” milennials thing is hilarious on multiple levels, one of them being that (traditionally-aged) college students haven’t been milennials for quite a while; some of us are 40. Also, you know, growing up in a state of permanent war, being hit with three major recessions and a pandemic before the age of 40, etc., etc., it’s just pretty funny, the “coddled” idea. Some really bizarre Boomer projection going on there.

@ JP

“BTW, I hope you aren’t taking any of this personally.”

Absolutely not. It’s the kind of discussion I’ve never managed to have with my “local” lefties, and it’s also not the kind of discussion you have when you’re wearing a tie and meeting investors. Weirdly enough…

In fact, these kind of discussions should have occurred a long time ago when the question of accepting socialists in the Mont-Pèlerin Society was raised and subsequently ruled out. It’s awfully difficult to have them for a variety of reasons that are more or less ridiculous, and I’ve always lamented that. But unfortunately, this would take more than a while, and I believe we should not pollute the comment section more than that. If you want to continue the discussion, let’s do it sporadically in future comments and other posts. Sporadically… to avoid being off-topic too much. Deal?

@ JP and F68.10, thank you very much for your learned discourse! (Seriously.)
That was refreshingly educational, interesting, and impassioned without being … shouty.

You are both a treasure, thank you.

Yeah, sure, deal. Sorry I peaced out; fell into a really rough patch mental health wise. Intrusive obsessive dark ruminations and impulses, etc. Massive amounts of emotional pain, which, idk, I think is actually better than the “dead inside” type of depression I had for ages for a while, although when it stretches on for so long it starts to feel almost unbearable.

Doing my best to tell myself they’re just thoughts and all that.

I guess on upshot is that apparently I’m on the bipolar brutal depression phase diet. Food just doesn’t have appeal lately, although, uh, drink does.

And thanks, Justatech!

@ JP

“Yeah, sure, deal.”

OK. Deal.

“Doing my best to tell myself they’re just thoughts and all that.”

For me, it wasn’t “just thoughts”. But the refusal to play by the rules of the medical game which I “felt” where somewhat endlessly stacked against me. Brought me to where you described, and I’m still not out of it given the seriously extended period of time I “felt” entrapped. There’s no remedy for memory.

“I guess on upshot is that apparently I’m on the bipolar brutal depression phase diet. Food just doesn’t have appeal lately, although, uh, drink does.”

I do not like drinking. But at that time, I believed that it was wise to knock me senseless rather than knock other people more than senseless. Getting regularly wasted was therefore the wisest choice I made in my life. Still do not like drinking, though.

Glad to see you back.

What I mean by “telling myself they’re just thoughts” is that I know that your brain makes thoughts (well, you feel stuff as well, that’s also a thing.) But they come and go, they’re not permanent. Depression lies. And you don’t have to act on things.

I’ve never had violent urges in my life, although I’ve had some violent fantasies before, about rapists mainly. (Have had it happen to me, was numb to it for a long time, had feeling come back at some point. Just mental fantasies, idk, stuff comes up in your head.)

Drinking is kind of an escape. It’s a sh!tty coping mechanism, but it’s kind of a coping mechanism. It does at least feel different. If I’m listening to the right music, I can actually get in a better mood. And it’s nice to sit out on the back deck. Listening to, like, Elliott Smith or something can be kind of nice, sort of, it’s, like mood congruent or something sometimes, and it’s good music. Crying and getting stuff out can be good. But you can get too much of it. Idk, change it to AC/DC or something else.

I know it’s contraindicated. But, you know, c’est la vie. I come and go with it, it’ll get dialed back, although I’m not getting falling down drunk or anything.

While I agree that free speech, the ability to criticize should always come first, I should point out that in the US, when it comes to CAM, we do the opposite, no regulation as long as they don’t make “false claims.” The FDA can’t require clinical trials or any data, can’t even visit production facilities to check for contamination. In fact, CAM stands alone as opposed to FDA regulations for medicine and medical devices and other agencies and laws for food safety and other consumer products. So, while I agree with ORAC, I think we need to focus more on problems at home, including regulations for CAM. However, at the same time protesting the killing of rhinoceros, the caging and torture of bears, etc.

That is scary.
I never thought about who made my hip prosthesis, until afterwards. I don’t think they are highly regulated either, just did a quick search and can’t seem to find out.
Thank God I have no problems, but I have heard of a few bad prostheses.
I personally would want to know a little more about it beforehand if I had to do it again.

We had family friends who had been medical missionaries in parts of China for two generations, until “asked to leave” sometime in the 60s, if I remember correctly. Several spoke and read at least two or three of the major languages. I remember some disgust on their part with the English translation of “The Barefoot Doctor’s Manual” that come out and was somewhat of a rage in the 1970s. They said this translation left out a lot of the conventional current practices about health and seemed more focused on the herbs, acupuncture, etc., which was part of the manual for when the better, effective methods were unavailable.

Reston had some cramping, likely due to postoperative ileus that kept the gas from moving through his bowels the way it normally does. It passed after an hour or so. Around that time, the staff at the hospital used acupuncture to treat his discomfort, and the logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy… did the rest

Ohh, but in this condition the needle could have actually done something:

Abomasal bloat most often affects lambs…The vet can insert a needle into the last compartment of the lamb’s stomach for gas relief.

https://animals.mom.me/how-to-help-sheep-that-have-bloat-7787907.html

What works for sheep should work for sheeple.

{Levinovitz spelled yufag’n’Xing wrong.}

http://images.teinteresa.es/increible/Obama-Jinping-Winnie-Pooh-Tigger_TINIMA20130612_1126_1.jpg

I speak Mandarin and I’m a nurse, not a doctor. The opening statement is just standard licensing fluff about licensing and standardisation of TCM. It’s bad in that it’s regulating quackery, but the language itself about developing it is standard for saying I want to regulate and standardize stuff, akin to that for massage licensing. Yes, that includes section 3 TCM will work with modern Western medical techniques. It’s bad in that it’s elevates quackery but sigh… Kinda standard there.

What gets really hinky is starting from section 5. The city will promote TCM for tourism purposes as well as economic and health reason, and directs telecommunications to promote TCM for this purpose. Can we say government propaganda mouthpiece?

And this is just article 1 folks!!!

Article 2 says TCM practioniers can use modern technology . So… X-rays in the hand of quack doctors…

Skipping to section 54 because God a lot of legalse about promoting and coordinating TCM use

Section 54 refers to those who violate section 36, which states that organisations which holds promotional or educational events cannot exaggerate, falsely abuse TCM for profit that’s injurious to the public health and that practioniers cannot act in a manner that will defame and hurt TCM.

Not a lawyer, but it will seem that there’s a mistranslation going on here Orac, as the rule is about punishing TCM practioniers who act in a manner like Roger Young.

It’s looks more like a get out of jail card, where oh, TCM guy says can treat diabetes, he not following our association rules. Even though TCM explicitly does say it can “support” diabetes care, so if you lose a foot because acupuncture to diabetic foot, it’s not TCM fault, it’s that rogue practioniers who didn’t practise to our standard fault.

But heavily repeat, NOT A LAWYER.

OT
Sheila mentioned upthread how bloodthirsty antifa supersoldiers are busy setting fire to the US from coast to coast.

Some US people are ready to see anarchists, antifa and other commies everywhere (have you recently checked under your bed, Sheila?).
As part of this obsession, a current rumor disseminated here and there is about busses full of armed antifa goons about to arrive in some small city in the countryside.
Do I need to mention that theses busses have so far failed to materialize? Maybe they have tried to find a shortcut and ran into a flying saucer.
OTOH, visiting people have been harassed and threatened by the inhabitants of these small cities, because of that.

Among the rumor spreaders, maybe even as one of the spreaders of reference, there is an old item of Respectful Insolence. None other than the deranged Health Ranger.
Well, well, well. Small world, isn’t it?

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