Leaders in western nations seem to think they can rebuke other nations’ leaders as though they are recalcitrant children. Their presuming to judge is arrogant, to begin with. Human rights abuses abound in the United States of America and Australia, to give two examples. Even if our slates were clean, it is counter-productive to wag a finger at a strong-minded leader who probably thinks his behaviour is justified.
Xi Jin Ping believes he is justified in making China the greatest nation on the earth by whatever means are at his disposal, just as United States’ Presidents for many years have felt justified in wielding their military and economic might to make the United States the greatest nation on the earth, and Biden, I am sure, still thinks it is quite alright to try to squash the might of China by whatever means are at his disposal.
Western leaders might argue that it is how wielding power is done that is at issue. They should take a closer look at their own societies. More than half the people in Australian jails, for instance, should not be there. More than half are either rmentally retarded, mentally ill, are victims of circumstance, or are addicted to substance abuse. The huge ratio of indigenous youth who are incarcerated in Australia tells its own story. As for the mentally ill, instead of jailing them, or even more stringently incarcerating them in psychiatric institutions to protect society, we should be attacking the ills of society which cause their disturbance.
Xi Jin Ping expects his people to speak, think and act as one. That is an understandable wish when compared to the raucous voices of deafening minorities in modern democratic nations which seem to believe that democracy means rule by the strident whingeing minorities.
It is time governments in the west stopped taking heed of media and social media rantings, and concentrated on the voice of the ballot box. Things have improved a little in the Australian media recently, but for a long time Australian media treated politics like a horse race, laying bets every week as to who would be first past the post. They denigrated the value of politics and politicians.
Xi Jin Ping’s clamp-down on Chinese media is highly likely to seem to him to be a strong point when compared to western press which does not recognize that with freedom comes responsibility to uphold those structures which uphold freedom. If the media is irresponsible even I would say that some suppression is called for.
I am reflecting on getting western leaders to walk in the shoes of those they criticize, like Xi and Putin. Stern lectures and rebuke and name-calling –viz, ‘thug’ – do not encourage a strong-minded leader to ‘behave’ as one would wish. In fact, they probably have the opposite effect.
Example is the best way by which leaders of western nations can persuade other nations to virtuous rule. They must straighten up and fly right. They must stop listening to a million different and often mindless voices , and concentrate on the platform on which they were elected. They were elected to govern for a certain term and with the distant future at stake. They should rule for that term and for the future, and let the next election take care of itself.
They should think of the needs of their people…….think of freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of expression – some of them freedoms which are slowly being eroded by a whingeing minority. We are many, but we in Australia need also to be a united ONE ; we all need the shared values of justice, freedom and dignity. We do not attain them by comparing and criticizing and judging others, either other individuals or other nations. If each one of us tries to set the best example (s)he can of living the values (s)he believes in, while respecting differences, we will be a better, more unified nation in a better, more unified world.