Thursday, 10 April 2008
Free Tibet: from feudalism as well as Chinese tyranny
Apropos of this post, in which I shared my conflicted feelings about the Tibetan issue: I see Butterflies and Wheels links to this article, which dispels some of the myths about Tibet as a peace-loving Shangri La prior to the Chinese takeover. Much of what the article has to say about the feudalism, superstition and cruelty that flourished in this supposed Buddhist paradise is undoubtedly accurate. The only drawback is that the piece is written by Michael Parenti, a notorious Milosevic apologist with an apparent nostalgia for Stalinism, who characteristically lets the Chinese regime off extremely lightly. Surely it's possible to be critical of Tibet's feudalist past without lending moral support to the totalitarian cultural vandalism wrought by Beijing? Conversely, calling for self-determination for Tibet is not the same as endorsing a return to religious authoritarianism.