For 26 years, the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily was a thorn in Beijing’s side. This week, the paper closed for good. What its death means for Hong Kong — and for us all.
This is truly what matters. In the 1980s I lived in Yugoslavia and experienced extensive travel behind the "Iron Curtain" as a child when my family smuggled Bibles into communist countries. Today, people, especially young people, due to indoctrination, can be dismissive of free speech as a small thing because they don't understand what it means for it to be gone. I will never forget the tears of joy on people's faces when they received the Bibles. In the 1990s I started a creative writing program for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles to give a voice to the voiceless, most of whom were facing life sentences. My own voice in turn was silenced and I was told due to my white privilege I had no right to create such a program since I was only doing it just to assuage my white guilt, and in the process was causing more harm than good. The cancel.sulture came for me with a vengeance. And on and on it goes. Every voice that stands up against oppression is important and when they are silenced another light goes out. I recently started writing on Substack to tell these stories without censorship and am glad I found this writing home.
It’s important that we direct our anger squarely @ the CCP and not the Chines People. The CCP is perhaps the most dangerous threat on Planet Earth. Socialism has never worked and there are many failed states to prove this. But Socialism with Chines Characteristics is much different. Because of the economic might that the CCP has amassed, it is far more dangerous than any of the socialist states of the past. It’s use of economic espionage is perverse and dangerous. For example, the Belt & Road initiative had China funding a port in Sri Lanka, so when the port could not pay its debt, China took over control of the port. This is repeated all over the globe. In a academia - the CCP has created Confucius Institutes which fund research that is hidden from stakeholders and limits academic freedom. Rinse / repeat. Thanks for highlighting this subject Bari. Because it is very profitable for the corporate media empire to remain silent about the CCP, this topic is off the grid.
Bari you need to check out Vivek Ramaswamy. A successful capitalist with “FU money” who is willing to speak up. To expend some of his reputation capital. He has a book coming out in August that explains the marriage of convenience between the Woke left and corporate America. It’s all a three card Monty game of distraction. Big corps get a pass on their genuine issues from Enviromental, to social (slave labor in the third world Apppe, Nike) as long as they are making statements about diversity, donating $ to BLM. He describes Wokeism as the new Catholic Church with the head of the world bank as it’s Pope, and the CEO of Black Rock and Al Gore are its archbishops. You will love this guy’s personal story.
Great write up on him in WSJ.
Thank you Bari for publishing this! Many of us are only vaguely aware of the Apple Daily saga, although we may be more aware of the CCP acts in HK. We in the U.S. might be well-advised to learn about the CCP and its tactics. An excerpt in your piece jumped out at me: "the national security law passed last year, which effectively criminalized criticism of the Chinese Communist Party." How many parallels might there be to the domestic terrorism law being considered by the Biden administration. The descriptions of who is a domestic terrorist (in these proposed laws) looks like a broad brush that includes groups/individuals that are critical of the status quo government (I.e., criticism is permitted only within certain established parameters) . Perhaps I am voicing an extreme concern here, but I think the concern is justified. I know Glenn Greenwald has also been writing about similar concerns....and he is mostly (and sadly) laughed at. We take way too much for granted in the U.S.
"It was China that lied to the world about the nature of Covid-19." While the USA lied to the world about hydrochloroquine, the origination, and the efficacy of masks.
"It was China that disappeared scientists who tried to blow the whistle early on." While Facebook, Google, and the networks disappeared American scientists that would not follow faulty or plain wrong science.
We were told, once upon a time, that opening up trade with China would result in China adopting Western values. Instead, the opposite happened. We have an American superstar son of slaves making millions of dollars merchandising products of slave labor. Our media, before China rapprochement, investigated corruption. Now, they often work to cancel corruption. No talk about the meth-head son of the Big Guy and his business deals. Our scientists fund bio-weapons work in Wuhan and then work with Big Tech to censor anybody on to them.
I'll give the Apple Daily this. They outlasted Rosanne Barr by three years.
Thank you for this, Bari. This was especially good to read after your interview with the reprehensible Mark Cuban, that groveling, blood money-hoarding, garbage human being.
China is an enemy unlike any we’ve faced in the past, because unlike Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, our own free markets and government have deep ties to the CCP, providing legitimacy to the atrocities they commit.
They are deeply imbedded into our technology and economy, making most of what we use, and in turn they use our social media platforms like Twitter and our academic institutions to make sure we as a people are continually distracted by things that don’t matter. This gives them cover as they continue to murder and violate human rights with the express permission of the Mark Cubans and Zuckerbergs and Harvard’s and New York Times of the world, not to mention our political parties and presidential administrations.
Jimmy Lai is a hero to the free world! Human beings want freedom, but so few fight for it until it turns into war. As I sit here this morning reading the news from many different outlets and preparing to attend church, I must reflect and give thanks for my freedom to do so and the freedoms my children and grandchildren enjoy. We must never reach the point of having to fight for our freedoms physically. Instead, at least to some degree, we must emulate Jimmy Lai and stop our current path toward totalitarianism. Thank you, Bari, for leading us in that direction!
Be very aware of the forces behind tyranny. It isn't only the mafia that rules China. Biden threatens to use nukes and F-15s against people such as you who believe that our Constitution is worth fighting and dying for.
If the Pretender President were more well read, intelligent and clear thinking, he'd understand that such weapons are no match for an armed and vengeful populace who are willing to die for liberty.
And Google/Youtube censors Bret Weinstein, PhD, for talking science about covid
The problem is that progressives truly believe that the Chi Com management model is swell. Progressives do not believe in liberty or free speech. They believe in a large, coercive government that muzzles free speech and silences its proponents. Let's stop beating around the bush. China is an implacable enemy of American liberty. Progressives are in league with China. And worms such as James and Cena are simply cowards who sold their souls for 30 pieces of silver. If you don't understand the nature of the enemy you will just be another victim. Time is short.
I'm turning 83 in August, and what I fear is I will outlive democracy. Great column Bari.
Harvesting organs from political prisoners
I’ll stop now—The US democrat socialists get aroused.
I travelled the world for my career.
I am also an amateur student of history. Both traveling in time and around the world bring you close to culture that is very different from home. Both are expansive experiences.
There is a strange mental jujitsu move in the western enlightenment philosophy. The philosophy holds 2 core beliefs. 1) All people are equal. The blank slate. 2) Our civilization and culture is superior because we believe in equality. The conclusion of these 2 beliefs is a confidence that if we taught other people our culture, if they knew what we knew, they would see the world like us.
This was central to our approach to China for decades. Once they learned about democracy and free market economics they will become like us. But......we were wrong.
The error is these 2 core beliefs are not universally true. Other cultures have different core beliefs. And these cultures tend to think theirs is a superior culture too.
It is much more prudent to have our eyes open and not be self deceptive. Thanks for brining light into this darkness.
This is a horrifying assault on the free press. Unfortunately it's not just the CCP eradicating democracy, the U.S. is well on its way.
Thanks, Bari, for bringing needed attention to the sad fate of Apple Daily. I'm a lifelong non-party independent, but I've often wondered why progressives who espouse human rights and decry police abuses give China a complete pass on the treatment of its Uyghers. Then I wonder why progressives who value indigenous cultures, languages and traditional ways of life looked the other way as China ran roughshod over Tibet over the last several decades. Today progressives decry the "disenfranchisement" of voters (horrors - you might need an ID to vote, like in Europe) but merely shrug when asked about the totalitarian coup in Hong Kong, with the forced closure of Apple Daily being a major chapter. My parting question is for those who are concerned about climate change, which is a lot of people: Since China is far and away the world's biggest polluter, where is the outrage? Global warming is, ah, global, and tinkering with bike lanes while China opens 45 coal plants in a year makes a mockery of my pious climate activist friends' sincerity. China is, by all measures, the anti-ESG, but I don't remember seeing protestors outside the Chinese embassy in Washington. I don't see "Don't Buy China" campaigns. Can someone explain how progressives reconcile this to me?
Very sad indeed. Hopefully we can keep our press relatively free here in the US. I suppose a reading of this article begs the question as to whether China is influencing our (US) current decisions to self-censor due to woke reasons?