Fitzgerald famously wrote, “The rich are different from you or I.” To which I’ll add: so is the Third World.
As I watched my neighbor put her dog’s poop in a single-use plastic baggy, I thought about split pants in China.
When my wife and I got off the plane, 18 years ago, to adopt our first daughter, we were taken aback by the split pants. Split pants are (or at least were, back then) pants the children wear that are open in the crotch area. That allows them to urinate or defecate unobstructed, onto the street or wherever they may be. The theory is that eventually they will learn to “aim it at the toilet” or something to that effect.
Either way, I distinctly remember my brand new Nike slip-ons (probably made not far from where I was standing) sloshing into a mix of urine and who knows what else, and continuing to do so for the next three weeks.
As I started feeling the cough coming on, I remember one of the women in our group saying, at one of the airports (as she too, stepped into urine) “The people in this country probably have built up antibodies inside them our bodies have never even thought about.”
I replayed that line in my head for the next three weeks, as I descended into night sweats, fevers and a cough like I’ve never experienced.
Over the next several days and weeks, we would experience the amazing culture of China, in several different cities. But some things stood out to this germophobic American. I watched a man hock up something from his chest and spit it on the floor, right next to us, in a restaurant. No oysters for me, thanks. I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.
We visited a Hutong (inner city – where the locals live) and saw raw chickens, skinned and bleeding, just laying on the floor, waiting to be thrown on a restaurant grill…for public consumption. No FDA or USDA or food inspectors or “codes” to comply with, here. But why? This is the last purely communist country on earth. You’d think there would be red tape everywhere. What was happening here?
When I lived on East Broadway, right off of Canal Street cheek-by-jowl with Chinatown proper, I well remember walking through the area astonished and disgusted by the routine early-AM spectacle of Chinese restaurant personnel dumping great piles of raw, peeled shrimp onto the filthy sewer grates betwixt sidewalk and street, hosing them down briefly, scooping them up, and then hauling the “cleaned” shellfish back into the kitchen to be cooked and served. There was a similar scandal right here in Charlotte back in the mid-80s involving a now-defunct but once quite well-regarded and established Chinese joint caught using a similar process, with the kitchen floor-drain in place of sewer grates.
So after having to rush his young child to an equally revolting Chinese hospital, it dawned on the writer of the above excerpt that the problem he’s talking about isn’t so much a matter of Turd-World “backwardness” or even ethnicity. No, this is all due to something far more insidious and difficult to fix:
I was witnessing the kind of maximum, almost brutal efficiency a society must develop when the state is the master and the individual is merely a subject. Why would a Communist country not have an effective FDA? Because who are you going to complain to if you get tainted food? The government? They don’t answer to you. The press? They are owned by the government. And again, they don’t answer to you.
So what if you don’t like the conditions in the hospital? Where else are you going to go? This hospital is the last (and only) stop. You can’t opt for another place and then just pay out of your own pocket. The government has capped financial upward mobility. There is now “income equality.” And that means nobody has the means to buy their way into a different (or better) situation. And even if you could, one doesn’t exist. The state provides it all. You’re stuck.
That’s the whole idea; you’re much easier to control that way, see. To rule.
He goes on to address the issues in some depth, concluding thusly:
As for me, I’ve seen what happens when the choices are taken away. And what happens ends up being a place where new viruses can spread too easily, to too many people, and aren’t contained quickly enough.
There’s been plenty of discussion concerning the difficulty of getting any reliable numbers or other information on the COVID-19 outbreak from ChiCom officialdom, which is usually attributed to the deceptive and secretive traits common to all Commie dictatorships. Okay, fair enough. But consider this as well: how likely is it that the Chinese government itself has all the facts in hand?
My guess is, not at all.
See, Communist dictatorships one and all basically run on lies. Lies are a Commie shitrapy’s bread and butter, its lifeblood, the fuel that keeps the machine struggling and staggering feebly along. Deception is by no means disseminated exclusively from the top down, only by government officials, to placate the workers. It is also disseminated from the bottom up. The factory worker responds to his immediate supervisor’s weekly query about productivity; the worker avoids punishment for failing to meet the quota handed down to from On High by exaggerating his output. His supervisor reports the bogus numbers on up the line to his own superiors, maybe inflating them a bit more so as to score a few points of his own. This process of fudging, distortion, and deceit works its way to the bureau chiefs, the directorate heads, and right on up to the top of the pyramid.
And that’s how you wind up with those cheerful state-media “journalists” enthusiastically reporting the GREAT NEWS of record-setting crop yields, glowing economic numbers, astonishing advances in science and technology, total military invincibility, and universal happiness, optimism, and patriotic fervor amongst the Proles—not a word of it true, or even close to true. It’s not so much that the government is lying; it’s that EVERYDAMNEDBODY is lying, to everybody else, and all for the same reason. Under Communism, so much bogus information gets passed around, purely as a matter of self-presevervation, that NOBODY knows what’s really going on. And there’s no way for anybody to find out.
Reality can be harsh sometimes. It can be tough to get your head around, to confront honestly, to accept gracefully. But only in Marxist hellholes is it literally hazardous to your health.
Systemic dishonesty is a bastard stepchild of rigid top-down control, a congenital defect both unavoidable and incurable. How could it be otherwise? The core of Communism itself is dishonesty (or delusion, if one wants to be overly charitable); could any Communist system ever be free of it?
Anyways, it’s a damned excellent piece, of which you should read the all.