The Pretended ‘Progressivism’ Of Yves Smith’s “Naked Capitalism” Blog

On July 27th, Susan Webber, alias “Yves Smith,” headlined “One China Eyepoking Too Far: Biden Signals US Not Backing Down on Pelosi Taiwan Visit as China Promises Military Response”, and she pretended to argue against Biden’s (and the U.S. Democratic Party’s) neoconservatism (or U.S. imperialism). The 200 reader-comments that she allowed to be posted to her article focused on what today’s residents of Taiwan want — (presumably) to become a separate nation, such as the Biden Administration says it doesn’t want to happen but is actually pushing for in every policy-way that it can; or else, to remain a part of China, which is Taiwan’s official status and which even Nixon agreed with China that Taiwan actually is. “Smith”’s let’s-pretend ‘progressivism’ was encouraging her readers to presume (falsely) that if a nation’s region has a majority of residents who want to break away from their larger country, then ‘democracy’ should automatically allow it to happen. For example: if the secessionist U.S. South wanted to break away from the United States as the Confederacy, then it should have been allowed, and Abraham Lincoln therefore did wrong to go to war to prevent it. An argument like that can be made, but it is (and was) a stupid argument. It is as stupid as its opposite: that secession should NEVER be allowed. The reader-commenters to “Smith”’s article seem not even to have noticed that stupidity.

In any case, the reality in regard to Taiwan is quite different than that stupid fantasy-based view of the matter, but Ms. “Smith” (or else her chosen underlings) blocked me from posting there a contrary reader-comment against that stupid argument. Here was the relevant string (including my comment, which comment “Smith” prohibited to be posted):

Yves Smith

July 27, 2022 at 6:28 am

The self-image you report does not seem well supported by facts:

According to governmental statistics, in the early 21st century, 95% to 97% of Taiwan’s population are Han Chinese, while about 2.3% are Taiwanese of Austronesian ethnicity…..

Most Taiwanese speak Mandarin. Around 70% of the people also speak Taiwanese Hokkien and 10% speak Hakka.

Nancy Pelosi
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly plans to travel to Taiwan after visiting Japan

This rather reminds me of every Hungarian I have ever met (I am part Hungarian so I am allowed to say this) claiming they are descended from royalty, or at worst their aristo close relatives. This might be technically possible if the noble families were randy enough, but I don’t see any Hungarians on the “top fathers” lists like this one.


  • Bill Wilson
    July 27, 2022 at 6:51 am

    Please … the majority of those that might be “Han” Chinse came to Taiwan 300 years ago. There is a very real separate Taiwanese identity. The KMT propaganda calling everyone “Chinese” worked until the mid 1980’s when Taiwanese were allowed to visit China where they quickly realized that they had been fed propaganda. The Chinese in China (culture wise) are not the same as “Chinese” in Taiwan.
    Remember the vast majority of Taiwanese people’s ancestors lived under Japanese rule for 50 years, and there are still strong Japanese / Taiwanese links.
    What you are saying is akin to calling all Australians English.
    I’m very surprised to see you not supporting self determination.
    Maybe then the US should be given back to the UK if Boris demands it.

    • Eric Zuesse
      July 27, 2022 at 8:42 am
      Wasn’t Japan supposed to have been conquered by America, instead of America conquered by Japan? I know that though FDR was anti-fascist, Truman after 25 July 1945 was pro-fascist, but for America’s Government to be now going to war against China for — what? Japan, or the government that ruled over Taiwan before ‘we’ won that war? — seems to be traitorous against what the America that existed during WW II was, and was fighting for. Truman loved the KMT, but FDR and America before the fascist Truman did not. Pelosi and Biden extend from the fascist Truman; they are enemies of the democratic America that FDR represented. If today’s American fascists want WW III on the side of fascism against the China that was America’s ally during WW II, China will be obliged to give them what they demand, but not in the way that America’s fascists want it to be delivered to them. And this would upset the entire global applecart. For the U.S. regime, the objective would be conquest. But for China, it would instead be survival. China would win, no matter what the cost would be. And Russia might join that war in order to assure it, if needed in order to do so. I don’s see any way that Pelosi’s visiting Taiwan would be good for America, nor for Americans. It would only be fascist treachery. I hope that she would be killed (as a traitor against FDR’s America, and against America’s anti-imperialist Founders) in any such attempt. America has no valid business being in Taiwan. FDR was against all imperialism; Truman was for U.S. imperialism. Pelosi, Biden, Trump, etc., follow in the Truman ideology (which now is called “neoconservatism”), but China will remain firm against it — and should, because they must not allow U.S. imperialism to extend into China. The world has already had more than enough of neoconservatism (Truman’s type of fascist imperialism).

Here is a far better-informed take on this important issue than that which was presented by Ms. “Smith”; hers was supported by the majority of reader-comments that she (or her agent) allowed to be posted regarding her article, but my reader-comment is instead consistent with this viewpoint, which was expressed by Xi and amplified and interpreted by Alexander Mercouris:

“Xi Slams Biden over Taiwan in Tense 2 Hour Call”

China military drills
China announces military drills in Taiwan Strait

29 July 2022

And here is the printed English-language Chinese readout of the 28 July 2022 Biden-Xi phone call that Mr. Mercouris is there interpreting and basing his analysis, of that call, upon:

“President Xi Jinping Speaks with US President Joe Biden on the Phone”

29 July 2022

And here is the take on that Biden-Xi phone call, by Ms. “Smith,” likewise on July 29th:

“Xi and Biden Talk Past Each Other in Over 2 Hour Phone Call”

This matter involves existential issues for China, whereas increasing U.S. “hegemony” — control over all nations — is what’s involved for America (which has no real business even being in that region, so long as shipping-traffic is unimpeded there, such as is the case). For Biden, it’s pure imperialism — extending that even more. “Smith” ignores the crucial difference: what is actually at stake for each side.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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