Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei was recently interviewed on PBS by Margaret Hoover in an apparent attempt to bash Donald Trump. One clip of the half-hour-long interview shows Hoover reading an excerpt from Weiwei’s book called “1000 Years Of Joys and Sorrows”. The excerpt compared Trump’s late-night tweets to Mao Zedong’s direct messages to his followers. The Chinese activist says the point of the messages from both men was to galvanize their followers. Margaret Hoover asks if this connection makes Donald Trump an authoritarian. Ai Weiwei’s response is probably not what PBS anticipated when they booked him for the interview.
Ai Weiwei essentially told Margaret Hoover that a man cannot be a dictator without a support system. So to throw Donald Trump into the category of a dictator simply does not make sense. The fact that PBS would even bring a person on-air to ask the question immediately disproves the notion. In a truly authoritarian regime, such anti-establishment behavior would simply not be tolerated. Gulags existed for this very reason. Political dissidents and intellectuals were often the first ones done away with. Their existence was an existential threat to any such authoritarian regime.
Donald Trump was opposed by every major institution in the United States and around the world. There were even factions of the Republican party that tried to oust him before he was even elected. This does not coincide with authoritarianism in any way, form, or fashion. The phrase “authoritarian” is lobbed at Trump and Trump supporters as a method of trying to control through shame and guilt. The United States does, however, have a system in place that could support an authoritarian regime. This sort of regime would mirror that of World War 2 era Germany, the USSR, and even Maoist China.
Vladimir Putin recently issued a warning against “wokeness” in the United States. This sort of disease is manifesting itself in ways that appear to be new but are, in fact, actually very old. The practice of creating new words out of a sense of political correctness happened back in 1920s Russia. The purpose of the “newspeak” was to convince everyone to think and behave in a new, more progressive way. This is no different than what’s happening right now. Basic core tenets of logic and understanding like simple biology are being thrown out of the window. Such wanton disregard for reality will spell doom for not only the United States but also the rest of the world.
1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei – an assault on the censors | Autobiography and memoir | The Guardian
Ai Weiwei: In Many Ways, The United States Is Already An Authoritarian State | Video | RealClearPolitics
Ai Weiwei on writing his family history in new memoir: “I kind of feel I can disappear anytime” – CBS News
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