We’ll get back to technology and money next week, I promise.
The 2022 Winter Olympics, hosted by China
, should not be attended by countries that are committed to democracy, free expression, or liberalism more generally.
That does not mean, however, that the United States and other countries have to follow suit. And it is not enough that the United States execute some thread-the-needle diplomatic compromise
that gives the current administration convenient cover that it did something,
while actually doing nothing.
There can be no bed-sharing with whole-cloth autocratic regimes that are increasingly bound up in historical myth
, sexism, racism, and the centralization of control replete with a strong narrative of national ascendance. Fascism, in other words.
This is not an accomplishment that we should fete, nor is it is something that we should mark with anything less than scorn.
Xi’s rule in China is increasingly demanding of both the Chinese people, and every country within reach, be it diplomatic, geographic, or economic.
The Communist Party’s goals are not small; control of the South China Sea, economic hegemony through Asia and into Europe, not to mention an incredibly long-term project to economically colonize Africa
Domestically China demands control of how its people learn, communicate, execute business, and congregate. Supreme control rests in the Party’s hands – Xi’s hands – leaving no room for individual thought inside of the country.
There is precisely no reason to support the Chinese government. To give it any credibility is to tacitly endorse its goals.
Which is why the recent decision by women’s tennis to boycott the country was so very important
. The decision showed that it is possible to not play by China’s rules. You simply don’t have to do business there if your morals – which is to say that you think self-determination, free speech, and democracy are worth fighting for – are in opposition to what the CCP is busy constructing.
I do not think that the centrally-planned, high-control method governance that China is pursuing will come out atop the global order long-term. But it wields power today and that’s something that we can combat by declining to participate in its attempts at self-sanitation through the hosting of feel-good international events.
Would it be a gut-punch for American athletes to not get to participate in the upcoming Olympics? Yes. But the other option is to let the Chinese Communist Party leverage the Winter sporting competition as an international and domestic PR coup. That must be greater anathema to our conscience than simply losing a shot at a few medals.
Recall that the United States is both a wealthy nation, and one that has rather a lot of sports stadiums. We could host our own games, in protest, if we weren’t so shockingly afraid of our own shadow.
But let’s not get bogged down in national despair, and the shrinking of our goals as a collective. Let us stay focused on the Chinese government’s larger project to ethnically cleanse, to steal
, to bully, and to chip away at self-rule both inside its borders and outside.
We should not show up – at a very minimum – to its party.