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This is a fascinating discussion that I have just posted on my own blog, generating much interest. It is a wonderful case study in the power of making your points quietly but firmly in discussion. Thanks.
Is this the Chinese strong state that you suggest that we have nothing to worry from, Frank?
China revokes visa of gold medalist, Darfur activist Cheek
I don’t fault you for wanting to remain constructively engaged with China, Frank. But that’s hardly the same thing as rationalizing their strong-state totalitarian rule. We want them more free, not more authoritarian. We want the West more free, too, when we are not rationalizing our own authoritarian impulses.
And pretending that illiberalism is liberalism is hardly the stuff of a strong liberal democrat. Liberalism means more freedom and liberal democracy means more respect for self-government and self-determination. Everything else is playing games with power, which noone has any stake in rationalizing for anyone else.
If you want to give away Kosovo for better relations with Russias, Kosovars have no interest, whatsoever, in granting your priorities and taking your betrayal of their interests seriously, at all. The same goes for Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in China. And if you believe that sacrafices American power or more powerful democratic countries, I imagine all of those people will duly give a flying flip what you think about their autonomy. As it should be.
If America had asked Britian permission for whether it could have its freedom, the first liberal democratic country in the world would not have been possible.
Americans and liberal democrats are wise to remember that.