Xi Jinping's speech at Davos boiled down to: The world has no choice but to do business with China, and if you want to do business with China, you need to stop criticizing our tyranny and questioning our lies about the

Xi's address to the World Economic Forum will serve as well as any other moment for historians to mark the beginning of the Authoritarian Era. He said nothing new, but he restated the narratives and demands of Chinese fascism from a post-pandemic position of aggressive strength.
For the first time, Xi spoke to a world that is beginning to accept the tenets of authoritarianism, thanks to the incredible political and economic damage from China's coronavirus. China's ideals have become as viral as Covid-19.
Thanks to the pandemic, the political elites of the world now universally see their citizens as dangerous mobs that must be tightly controlled for their own good. Most of them always thought that way, but now they can say it openly and act aggressively on their prejudices.
Xi clearly stated that China will not be contained, censured, or judged for its actions. He denounced Western ideals of human rights as "arrogance" and imperialism. After Covid and Biden's inauguration, he sees no nation with the strength or will to thwart China's ambitions.
But the more sinister undercurrent of Xi's speech was that Western nations are foolish to cling to their antiquated notions of human rights, including capitalism and political freedom. Chinese fascism is the logical alternative. The pandemic "proved" it.
Xi was asserting - not unreasonably - that fascism is the key to aggressively promoting national interests while thriving in the age of so-called "globalism." Only a fascist government can get away with spouting globalist cant while acting as ruthless nationalists.
In one passage of his speech, Xi - the absolute dictator-for-life of the world's most dangerous and aggressive power - denounced "bullying"... and then he filled the airspace around Taiwan with nuclear-capable bombers. It's breathtakingly shameless.
The point Xi made is that he, a fascist dictator, can burble garbage about climate change to globalist elites at their "world economic forum" while littering the Third World with dirty coal plants. He can threaten to attack his neighbors while cooing about "multilateralism."
But "free" nations can't do those things. Their governments get torn to shreds by domestic political opponents, activists, and politicized media both at home and abroad if they try - in other words, the obstacles authoritarian leaders don't have to worry about.
Xi's Davos address was a victory lap for authoritarianism as the heavyweight champion ideology of the globalist era, and he was speaking to an appreciative audience. After Covid, authoritarianism is THE hot product on the social, political, and economic marketplaces.
And now that he speaks from a position of unchallenged strength, Xi wants to force the world to compromise its principles by accepting Chinese oppression. There may be a few theatrical grumbles, but no more tariffs or sanctions. No more disagreements in PRINCIPLE.
What remaining nation or leader has both the strength and confidence to argue with the principles of Chinese fascism? If you're banning free speech, nationalizing your economy, and criminalizing political dissent, you're already walking Xi's path. He's just further ahead. /end

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Watch the entire discussion if you have the time to do so. But if not, please make sure to watch Edhem Eldem summarizing ~150 years of democracy in Turkey in 6 minutes (starting on 57'). And if you can't watch it, fear not; I've transcribed it for you (as public service). Thread:

"Let me start by saying that I am a historian, I see dead people. But more seriously, I am constantly torn between the temptation to see patterns developing over time, and the fear of hasty generalizations and anachronistic comparisons. 1/n

"Nevertheless, the present situation forces me to explore the possible historical dimensions of the problem we're facing today. 2/n

"(...)I intend to go further back in time and widen the angle in order to focus on the confusion I  believe exists between the notions of 'state', 'government', and 'public institutions' in Turkey. 3/n

"In the summer of 1876, that's a historical quote, as Midhat Pasa was trying to draft a constitution, Edhem Pasa wrote to Saffet Pasa, and I quote in Turkish, 'Bize Konstitusyon degil enstitusyon lazim' ('It is not a constitution we need but institutions'). 4/n
In 2016,Turkey arrested Abdulkadir Yapcan, a prominent Uighur political activist living in the country since 2001 and initiated his extradition. In 2017, Turkey and China signed an agreement allowing extradition even if the purported offense is only illegal in 1of the 2️⃣countries

Since early 2019, Turkey has arrested hundreds of Uighurs and sent them to deportation centers. And Erdogan’s remarks have turned diplomatically bland, just like any Uighur-related coverage in newspapers controlled by Erdogan and his supporters.

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Great article from @AsheSchow. I lived thru the 'Satanic Panic' of the 1980's/early 1990's asking myself "Has eveyrbody lost their GODDAMN MINDS?!"

The 3 big things that made the 1980's/early 1990's surreal for me.

1) Satanic Panic - satanism in the day cares ahhhh!

2) "Repressed memory" syndrome

3) Facilitated Communication [FC]

All 3 led to massive abuse.

"Therapists" -and I use the term to describe these quacks loosely - would hypnotize people & convince they they were 'reliving' past memories of Mom & Dad killing babies in Satanic rituals in the basement while they were growing up.

Other 'therapists' would badger kids until they invented stories about watching alligators eat babies dropped into a lake from a hot air balloon. Kids would deny anything happened for hours until the therapist 'broke through' and 'found' the 'truth'.

FC was a movement that started with the claim severely handicapped individuals were able to 'type' legible sentences & communicate if a 'helper' guided their hands over a keyboard.
First thread of the year because I have time during MCO. As requested, a thread on the gods and spirits of Malay folk religion. Some are indigenous, some are of Indian origin, some have Islamic

Before I begin, it might be worth explaining the Malay conception of the spirit world. At its deepest level, Malay religious belief is animist. All living beings and even certain objects are said to have a soul. Natural phenomena are either controlled by or personified as spirits

Although these beings had to be respected, not all of them were powerful enough to be considered gods. Offerings would be made to the spirits that had greater influence on human life. Spells and incantations would invoke their

Two known examples of such elemental spirits that had god-like status are Raja Angin (king of the wind) and Mambang Tali Arus (spirit of river currents). There were undoubtedly many more which have been lost to time

Contact with ancient India brought the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism to SEA. What we now call Hinduism similarly developed in India out of native animism and the more formal Vedic tradition. This can be seen in the multitude of sacred animals and location-specific Hindu gods