The United States and China discussed human rights at a round of high-level talks. One might be surprised that the meeting did not so much focus on the egregious atrocities that have gone on under this Communist tyranny from the time of its founding to this very day. Rather, Obama administration officials allowed America to be berated on issues such as homelessness and the new Arizona immigration law.
Before America as a nation takes this criticism seriously, perhaps we should consider what the law entails and how this compares with what goes on in Red China.
The Arizona law will permit police to ascertain an individual’s identity and thus legality after initial contact. Essentially, this isn’t anything that isn’t already authorized by law and is perhaps an even better guarantor of individual liberty and dignity than what is already permitted.
In a number of decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that police could compel an individual to identify themselves even when it had not been established that the law had even been violated or that there was probable cause indicating such. Interestingly, there were no riotous mobs in the streets when it was thought these kinds of identity checks were only going to be aimed at actual Americans.
Even if scores of those with no legal standing in the United States are removed from the streets of Arizona as a result of the new law, they will still fair considerably better than those taken into custody in dictatorships. In Iran, several American coed tourists straying over the Islamic Republic’s border with Iraq were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
And unlike illegals here, those there are not fawned over with lavish government handouts with their bureaucratic benefactors hoping the outsiders will recast the entire society in a foreign image.
It could be properly argued that the American students deserved some kind of punishment for violating another country’s sovereign borders. What likely cannot be argued against is that the accommodations they languished in made Camp Gitmo look like a swanky New York City hotel. Guards there are not going out of their way to provide American delicacies or to treat our holy books and founding documents with a nauseating degree of deference.
In China, one house church pastor sentenced to prison was allowed to languish and suffer without access to his diabetic medicine. And it could be argued that he can be considered one of the lucky ones. It has been claimed that organs are regularly harvested from dissident Tibetans and Christians.
If Red China had the illegal alien problem plaguing the United States, do you honestly believe authorities there would do little than look over the papers of these transnational vagrants, whisper sweet nothings in their ears, and release them on their recognizance which many have very little of to begin with given their connections to the drug trade, human smuggling, and assorted gangs. And given the propensity of a certain atrocity to occur throughout Chinese history (be it during the Great Cultural Revolution or in rumors a few years back regarding what was being done to fetuses), if a wife in China told her husband that they would be having a little Mexican later that evening that wouldn’t mean he should expect to have a taco or burrito for dinner.
Many infringements upon human rights stem from an improper understanding of the relationship between social institutions such as government and the individual. In America, the extremes of these have been minimized in part due to the assumption that the individual possesses worth of his own created in the image of God. The individual is not owned by the state.
As an officially atheistic socialist country, the Chinese Communist Party and state see themselves as the highest authority with these determining that it is not so much the individual that counts but rather the group as a whole. After all, if we are simply nothing more than animated primordial ooze as the Darwinian insists and upon which Marxist-Leninism rests, it is kind of hard to get worked up over one person when there are over a billion more walking around easily capable of taking the place of a defective cog in the machine of state.
Since in the Communist system you are less an individual, the more the system provides of those things deemed to be necessities by the overseers (under whom fewer things end up being defined as necessities than in a free market economy) in such command societies such commodities extended only so that the goals mapped out for you by the COMMUNITY might be achieved. In a constitutional republican system, it is believed that the individual is best suited to determine for themselves which needs and desires should take priority for oneself and one’s family. Granted, the system is not perfect, but it is far preferable and more in line with what God intended for humanity.
Thus, that is no doubt why China would rank homelessness as a human rights violation while not batting an eye at putting a bullet in the back of the head of a House Church pastor so that his kidneys might remain undamaged for organ harvesting. In America, those who love liberty must first inquire as to why the individual is homeless before formulating an appropriate policy response.
Though it is not politically correct to mention it these days and even if they represent only a fraction of those without a domicile, frankly there are those that simply refuse to do that which is necessary to maintain a residence or they engage in behaviors that cause their homes to be lost. Of those that went into vapors when Glenn Beck critiqued the subject, tell me where is the social justice to take from those working and scrimping in order to hoe their own path to give it to those living irresponsibly and demanding a standard of living far above a subsistence level with a few basic comforts that they are not willing to exert the labor necessary to acquire?
One might feel sorry for the children of such deadbeats and somehow provide enough for the children to get by without hardly a single bread crumb going to such pathetic excuses for parents. It is preferable that such outreach come from the private sector free to point out the deficiencies of individual character and the blunt steps necessary to correct the situation. Often in these times where we must constantly walk around on eggshells for fear of offending some self-enlightened leftist do-gooder with a law degree or a bullhorn and definitely too much time on their hands, government is unable to articulate those steps necessary for complete restoration.
And while we are at it, perhaps something needs to be said about and to these women that fall for scumbag men. If you find the boozing and carousing attractive when you are young only to have it morph into not knowing how you are going to feed the five kids because he’s blowing the milk money on beer and backhanded you across the face because you dared ask where he was the night before, other than for tossing his rear in jail, don’t expect much pity and especially don’t expect some behaved guy you wouldn’t give the time of day to 15 years ago to take you in as if he has some obligation to provide for another man’s progeny.
One of contemporary liberalism’s most glaring intellectual deficiencies is that it assumes that the remainder of the world, when you come down to it, lives no differently than the people of the United States. Before we pull out the sackcloth and ashes to belittle ourselves embarrassingly on the world stage, let’s at least make sure we don’t waste the effort on autocrats, thieves, cutthroats, and homicidal mass murderers.
by Frederick Meekins