China “Disappears” Interpol President, World Yawns
Last week, I wrote about the peculiar story of Interpol president Meng Hongwei, a high ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party, who had suddenly disappeared after sending not-so-cryptic messages to his wife indicating he was in danger. As suspected, he is being detained in China, and the communists have indicated only that he is “under the monitoring and investigation” of China’s new “anti-corruption unit,” i.e., an increasingly aggressive iteration of the morality police and orthodoxy tribunal that all progressive regimes need and love.
A quick Google search indicates that there has been no update on this story for ten days. The head of the prominent international law enforcement organization that is designed to facilitate coordination among global police agencies was arrested (i.e., kidnapped) in his home country and removed from his post without explanation or charges, and hasn’t been seen or heard from since — and the world is yawning. Why? Because no one wants to touch China, i.e., no one wants to face the uncomfortable truth staring us in the face.
The communist state that played Krugman capitalists for a couple of decades to get their infrastructure and power structure in order — as per doctrinaire Marxist theory — is now, as planned, tightening its grip on public control and private behavior at breakneck speed, and at hitherto impossible levels of comprehensiveness and efficiency, thanks to technological progress. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the nominal leader of the nominal free world, plays “tough dealmaker” while praising Xi Jinping — a man with designs on becoming a more powerful dictator than Mao Zedong — as a friend and a great leader.
China’s direct assault on any pretense of conforming to international norms of justice, in the name of solidifying Communist Party orthodoxy in China, reminds us of the lesson the world never learned — or chose to ignore — during the Soviet and Maoist eras, namely the essential impossibility and self-destructiveness of allowing communist dictatorships to participate on the world stage as “sovereign nations” in good standing.
As Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian had the courage to mildly suggest at The Atlantic:
Meng’s detention shows that under Beijing’s increasingly confident global authoritarianism, China’s participation in and even its leadership of international institutions will be openly subordinate to the diktat of the Communist Party. This stands in stark contrast to the preceding eras under previous Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, when China paid lip service to following international law and to becoming a conforming member of the current international system.
That is the unnecessarily tepid and polite way of saying that communist tyrants will participate in global affairs only in ways that in no way curtail their goal of enhancing the power and range of communist tyranny. They play friendly because they want to plant communist party members in leading positions in international organizations, for the purpose of expanding Chinese communist influence, and for no other purpose. When, therefore, a chosen Party plant is judged to be working too independently, or in any way challenging the authority and aims of the Party as embodied by President Xi, then that plant, his international organization, and ordinary diplomatic protocols, will be sacrificed to the exertion of Party authority.
In other words, in this example, China was not really “participating in” Interpol. They were operating above Interpol — using Interpol for their own nefarious purposes — and will ignore and trump the authority of that organization for their own ends without hesitation or consultation. The head of the international police force will be “disappeared” without notice, at the whim of the Party, and no one will even be told where he is, or why, until the Chinese government is good and ready to tell them. As of today, they do not feel like telling anyone yet, so his absence stands as just another warning signal to the Chinese people, and an alarm bell for the rest of the (apparently deaf) world: No one is above immediate and unceremonious arrest, detention, and punishment without charges or trial.
If the Party decides to find a plausible and non-political charge to lay against Meng later, that is their prerogative, but it is inessential. The important thing is the message: It doesn’t matter who you are, or how powerful we have allowed you to feel; you live and function for the Party. Your very survival depends on our judgment of the moment, and we are constrained by no imperatives to justify our judgment, or to explain it to anyone.
This is progressive justice. This, in fact, is the dream of all progressives, if we (and they) are honest: complete social control, aimed at enforcing perfect orthodoxy — with orthodoxy being an infinitely malleable concept defined at the convenience of the leadership at any given moment. Westerners inclined to mock or decry the hypocrisy of progressives in their own countries, such as in the recent case of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the Democratic claims that all accusers of sexual assault must be believed without evidence — if and only if the accused is a political target of progressives — have missed the point. For progressives, there is no hypocrisy, because there is no stable notion of truth, nor of justice.
There is only “the cause,” and the cause is progressivism itself, the cause is a subdued populace, the cause is material and mental control of all men, and absolute power maintained through a cynical combination of palliation, fear, and guilt.
(See my series Progressivism 101 here in Limbo.)