By Caleb T. Maupin
Four years ago, the Summer Olympics were held in China. The U.S. media, from right-wing Fox News to the liberal pundits of MSNBC, had a great deal to say about the host nation. Claims were made about China’s air quality due to pollution. Tibetan separatists assaulted a woman in a wheel chair while snatching the Olympic torch in Paris. The anti-China and anti-communist attacks and rhetoric seemed endless. The China bashers were given a multimillion-dollar megaphone, before millions of viewers, to call for the U.S. to boycott the Olympics and paint the Chinese government as the face of evil.
This year, however, the Olympics were held in London, and the tone of the press was quite different.
But here are some facts to consider about these two countries.
No corner of the globe has been untouched by the lust for wealth and profits of the British Empire, the British capitalists, or the plundering monarchs who preceded them. Their human rights violations have gone on for centuries.
Let us not forget the infamous “Opium War,” when Britain declared war against China for refusing to accept the importation of narcotics.
British settlers throughout Africa colonized, exploited and killed millions of people, indisputably. It was Britain that once colonized Zimbabwe, calling it “Rhodesia” after a brutal imperialist thug named Cecil Rhodes. The revolution led by Robert Mugabe kicked the British out, and they have not forgiven Zimbabwe, especially as it redistributes stolen land back to the people.
It was against Britain that the people of India fought for independence, only to face brutal repression. It was Britain that issued the Balfour Declaration, allowing the earliest settlements on Palestinian land, and paving the way for decades of Zionist terror, war and apartheid against the Palestinian people.
British troops currently occupy the North of Ireland, with a record of torture and murder there that is miles long.
British bombs recently tore apart Libya, as they helped lead a NATO crusade for oil. Britain has killed thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan.
British workers, youth face austerity
Conditions inside Britain itself are not so great either. The British government is imposing austerity. Public sector workers in Britain are being rapidly laid off.
College students are facing privatization and fee hikes, and being arrested when they protest these attacks. British youth are taking to the streets and fighting the police. Like many youth throughout the world, they face a future without hope inside a dying capitalist economy.
Fascist thugs like the English Defense League are terrorizing the immigrant communities. The open fascists of the British National Party represent the country in the European Parliament.
If a government’s real or alleged crimes are grounds for a boycott, Britain fits these criteria perfectly.
But such information hasn’t appeared in the Olympic coverage. The editorial pages and pundits of cable news have remained silent about Britain’s ugly history as a founding pioneer of racist colonialism and capitalist imperialism.
The banks and corporations that plunder the world have no problem with Britain. Many of their giant banks are even headquartered in London. The British government, from the right-wing racist Tories to the “socialists” in the Labour Party, are not merely their friends, but their hired stooges as they sit atop a world empire.
China’s story is quite different
In 1949, China had a revolution. The brutal autocrat Chiang Kai-Shek, who was adored by the British and U.S. ruling classes, was driven out. Mao Zedong announced, “The Chinese people have stood up!” The drug addiction which Britain reinforced with the Opium War was nearly wiped out in the following decades. The signs in China’s parks that said, “No Dogs or Chinese Allowed,” were removed. Women emerged with unbound feet.
Today, instead of trading with Britain, the old exploiter and colonizer, many African countries are happy to do business with the People’s Republic of China.
China’s history, as celebrated in its opening ceremonies four years ago, contains truths that are quite threatening to the banks and corporations. They show that the capitalist world order of profits and misery is not the only option. A quarter of humanity opted out of bondage with a people’s revolution in 1949, and they are better off as a result.
In the opinion of the ruling elite, Britain, with its unemployment, colonialism and racism, sets a much better example for the global 99% to follow. The last thing the global 1% who rule Britain, the U.S., and most of the world want us to hear, are the words Mao Zedong once said to the people of China: “It is right to rebel!”