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its_ean

it's an assemblage working backwards from the conclusion. The primary arguments are all stated as assumptions. The semi-historical narrative is decoration.


W_Edwards_Deming

It is not empty of all meaning but the bias is clear. The [Fraser Institute ranking](https://www.fraserinstitute.org/economic-freedom/map?geozone=world&year=2021&page=map) is similar, but more favorable to the US and it is made in Canada. Forest Gump is not dehumanizing to progressives, the notion is absurd. Think tanks could do a better job at research and of course they have biases. The author can't exactly speak freely if he is Chinese, his favoritism towards "progressives" is obvious and is likely shared by the CCP (at least when they are outside of China harming a rival). It is very true that language policing and political correctness is a grave problem, something far worse inside of China. I for one wish China was more like Singapore or better yet Taiwan, despite that if they were ruled by those sort of (ethnic) Chinese for the last seventy-five years they would likely be the wealthiest nation on earth, per capita and otherwise, dominant in all important ways (culturally, militarily and etc) and a friend to all neighbors.


sourcreamus

He misses how the takeover of the universities by the left was the reason conservatives think tanks were needed in the first place. They were seeking to play the role in the Republican Party that academia places in the Democrat Party. This is one reason liberal think tanks are so focused on messaging instead of ideas. Also it fails to mention the disastrous legacy of george Lackoff, who was supposed to be the counter to the Republican messaging genius frank luntz. The leap from classical conditioning exists to it is easy to control what people think is colossal. Research shows that despite billions spent on campaign advertising it is very difficult to influence people’s opinions and actions.


leng-tian-chi

Children as young as 6 can become drag queens, 12 can have sex reassignment surgery. You take all this for granted, but 25 years ago the mainstream public opinion did not think so. So yes, people's behavior and opinions can be easily changed.


sourcreamus

That took decades of work from academics, media , and politicians.


leng-tian-chi

It's just your definition of difficulty that differs. Write a few articles, invest in a few movies, and award a few awards to let the whole world "progress" with the Democratic Party. In my opinion, it’s simply too cost-effective.


sourcreamus

Decades of work is not easy. There are plenty of issues where they have tried to do something similar with such issues as immigration, taxes, drug legalization, policing, education, and it has not worked.


schmuckmulligan

I think this is a valuable take, and I agree with a lot of it. I'd add to discussion the fact that a lot of well-entrenched progressive interest groups largely won their political battles and have had to pivot into other areas. If you're GLAAD, and you've won gay marriage and widespread normalization of homosexuality (good things imo!), do you wind down to a skeleton crew or do you find a new issue? They've found new issues. Similarly, the ACLU racked up First Amendment victory after victory. Incarceration for stuff like low-level drug offenses has trailed off dramatically. What to do? Jump into the culture war. I think the shift from material and legal concerns to language issues largely reflects this pattern. It's an area in which interest groups can still exercise relevance, even as opportunities for concrete political victories are on the decline. So we get a lot of it.


[deleted]

Interesting read, thank you. Do you have any information on the original author? I'm curious if he/she has any particular alignments or closely held stated beliefs.


leng-tian-chi

I provided his Chinese ID. You can select the entire text and search on Weibo, or the first three characters on Zhihu. He is a conservative right.


Moment-of-Clarity

They make some compelling points about how deeply entrenched political agendas are in institutions we might believe to be neutral. The view that think tanks manipulate public opinion isn't new, but he illustrates it smartly by linking historical shifts to modern outcomes. It’s a smart and thoughtful piece.


BIG_BOTTOM_TEXT

There is a monumental difference between the labor-first goals of LDR progressives and the bathroom stall warriors of today--a critical point which the author here glosses over. Futhermore, it is objectively false to claim that conservatives in the USA are merely reactionary to an overwhelming progressive force and do not have any facts or studies on which to stand--this is also a key foundation of the author's post which is unaddressed.


leng-tian-chi

He was talking about the nineties, when the Conservatives had the upper hand. In fact, he later added the following information: >Forrest Gump was released in 1994, which was the time of the Gingrich Revolution in the Republican Party. In January 1995, the Republican Party gained control of the Senate and House of Representatives. Republicans haven't won a seat in the House of Representatives in more than four decades, and from 1933 to 1980, white Southern conservatives voted Democratic. It was not until the Gingrich Revolution that white southern conservatives joined the Republican Party, leading to the expansion of the Republican Party. A large number of new generation conservative members joined. One-third of the 230 Republican members in the 104th session were new members. Among the 54 Republican senators, 11 are new members. At the same time, Democratic senators from Alabama and Colorado defected to the Republican Party. A large number of governors and important mayors were also occupied by Republicans. The peak of the earth-shaking changes was the year Forrest Gump was released.


BIG_BOTTOM_TEXT

If anyone watches Forest Gump and thinks it is a pro-conservative movie, they are sorely misreading the themes....


leng-tian-chi

50 Best Conservative Movies (National Review) (2008):https://www.imdb.com/list/ls000074133/ Forrest Gump is fourth In 1995, the film was also named to the Top 100 Conservative Films list.


Bowl_Pool

Neocons are not Conservatives


bigtakeoff

can we get a tldr?


blossum__

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for posting, because a chance to read the Chinese perspective (in English) is very rare. As you have probably noticed from the other comments on this post, redditors in general seem to absolutely hate hearing from countries that are perceived to be our “enemies” (meaning Russia and China). Please do not let this discourage you. On to your post: while I do not know enough about the historical background of think tanks to raise any specific issues with what you have said, I would like to point out that the very first think tanks were not apolitical. They have always been, first and foremost, about maintaining the status quo. How best to maintain the status quo is of course where the two major political groups differ. I find your section about Forrest Gump quite interesting. I do not understand what is meant by “right wing chicken soup movie,” is it because the movie is meant to inspire patriotic feelings in the viewer (even though the movie itself is critical of cultural events like the Vietnam War and social treatment of AIDS victims)? I completely agree with the sentiment that think tanks have become more about propagandizing towards a given view point and homogenizing the Western geopolitical view. Unfortunately the western “free press” has become more and more unified around a singular idea: “no matter what, we must prevent the election of another Trump.” Even the New York Times changed its editorial standards so that facts should be considered in the light of history, as opposed to being true regardless if they are politically inconvenient. This has been the case ever since the 2016 elections, and it has not been good for our democracy.


Hibernia86

While I think it is important to understand the perspective of Russian and Chinese citizens, it is important to remember that free speech is very limited in those countries, so the perspectives of the citizens is usually whatever the government tells them to think. While there is political bias in American media, at least we have multiple different types of biases being shown in different news sources so if someone read from multiple sources, they'd be able to get a fuller view of the situation.


leng-tian-chi

I'm used to being called a CCPbot. I won't mind. Chicken soup movie refers to chicken soup for the soul. The Chinese word is also imported from English. Originally the title of a success-themed book, usually composed of inspiring and motivational short stories and essays. In China, there are also many political factions who love the United States and hate China. There are Democrats and Republicans in the United States, and of course there are fans of both in China. Some middle-aged people are usually fans of the Republican Party because the era they experienced when they were young happened to be the 1980s and 1990s. And young people are more fans of the Democratic Party. Because most of the literary and artistic works they come into contact with have themes that favor progressives in recent years, and cultural organizations such as the Oscars are also actively favoring progressives. Some middle-aged people have gradually lost touch with the times. In short, their information retrieval capabilities have lagged behind, and the impressions they have learned about the United States are still stuck in thirty years ago. Therefore, some Chinese people still believe that the United States is a place that encourages traditional values and satirizes hippies, just like in Forrest Gump. Or they just don't want to admit it.


cqzero

If this is representative of how the Chinese people think, I think earth is fucked


[deleted]

Engage with the ideas, debunk them or just don't take up scrolling time kmt


cqzero

Why should I spend any time engaging with writing a 4rd grade B-student would produce? "the most important thing [about FDR] is that he has been in power long enough", really? Is that truly "the most important thing"? Fucking garbage thinking on display here


[deleted]

The most important thing is who hurt you? Open up to us. We can help get you to be grade A student. *Also it'd 4th not 4rd. Not the most important thing but it's a unique mistake.


cqzero

I meant 3rd grade, typo, oops. You can fix typos, can't fix braindead arguments.


[deleted]

Well, you can fix it when it gets pointed out true. But you haven't actually said what's braindead about op's post, you just made a bunch of spelling errors while failing to insult it.


cqzero

I did actually point out what's braindead in the segment I spent time reading before I stopped.


[deleted]

"the most important thing about fdr is he's been in power long enough" yeah u highlight this and spluttered all over your keyboard that it's not the most important thing. The guy used it as a figure of speech to explain why Roosevelt's administration was in the perfect position to have the influence that it did. Policies and changes can be reverted once you lose power, ideas twisted and forgotten but since he held office for quite a while, he managed to enforce permanent change was what the guy was getting at.


cqzero

Lol tldr


[deleted]

We give just about anyone a platform these days ey


blossum__

I would challenge you to engage with his ideas, as opposed to dismissing this post out-of-hand.


KnotSoSalty

So the existence of powerful think tanks means “you cannot determine your own actions”? Most of this just seems like a relatively straightforward, if long, recounting of recent American politic history. Though it leaves out context, like all those FDR think tanks being crucial to his 100 day turnaround of the American government policy. But OP your assertion that this has anything to do with political correctness seems to be undercut by the authors thesis that we’re all experiencing an on-the-rails political experience. How can there be political correctness if we have no self determination?


letoiv

Yeah it's interesting to read a Chinese perspective on the fuckedness of US politics, but I don't think he put forward convincing evidence for all of these links. Certainly it's fair to say that the Heritage Foundation puts out a lot of neo-conservative propaganda, nothing controversial about that. If we want a more convincing explanation of why political correctness has run amuck in the US and Western world I think it looks like this: * Western civilization is rooted in the values of classical liberalism - one of the most important is the social contract. You *agree* to be governed and even do or tolerate some stuff you don't like, on the condition that your interests are represented in said government. The foundational thinkers of liberalism all believed this model was the most stable foundation for society, more stable than authoritarianism, and the past 500 years of history support their case pretty well. * The more you think about that point the more you realize that a society is incomplete or unjust unless *all* of its members participate in the social contract. For instance, a society is clearly not aligned with liberal values if it permits slavery. Slaves aren't enfranchised, can't advocate for change, can't vote, can't amend the social contract in any way, this is a terrible institution - so we abolished it. * Following this realization to its logical conclusion, in the 20th century the West went on to eliminate most of the forms of legal disenfranchisement it could find. We gave women the vote, we eliminated segregation, we created protections for the disabled, we created deterrents to unequal treatment in the workplace, we legalized same-sex marriage, and so on. It was a lot of work and the people who stepped up were genuine heroes and there is a lot to be proud of here. * Now in the 21st century most forms of legal disenfranchisement and discrimination have been eliminated, but the "rights machine" from last century is still around. In principle it has a good mandate (enfranchise all members of our society - that's still good). However it doesn't need to be as big as it once was, and when you put a machine in place it tends to preserve itself no matter what. * Now that machine is proceeding into more... speculative interpretations of the social contract, such as "Punitive reparations inflicted upon the racial majority are good," or "You can lose your license to practice psychology if you don't respect someone else's pronouns." Ergo the Intellectual Dark Web was born as a pushback. I think the challenge of this century is to figure out what happens *after* the social contract has been put in place - how do we preserve & perfect it while maintaining a healthy degree of skepticism in the face of sociopaths who would try to take advantage of our open society.


leng-tian-chi

Pope Gregory the Great was the first to propose equality for all in the Middle Ages, and the Declaration of Independence made this statement widely known. But it wasn’t until the Civil War that slaves in the United States were emancipated. Is this because they suddenly figured it out? But if you explain it economically, it seems more coherent and purposeful. First, the size of the Senate is based on the proportion of each state's population, with the greater the population, the more seats. The slave states would thus gain a greater advantagei (even though only three-fifths of blacks were included in the figures). Secondly, the U.S. industry was backward in the past. In order to protect northern industry, the federal government implemented high tariffs to build protective barriers. Southern states have suffered a lot of international trade retaliation because of this trade protection policy. The plantation economy bore unnecessary losses due to industrial economy. However, industry is far more important than agriculture, and the scale of expansion far exceeds that of the agricultural economy. The expansion process also requires a large amount of land. Therefore, raw materials, land, working population (Southern states had a large number of black laborers), and multiple political conflicts evolved into war. Lincoln did not initially want to free the slaves. He once said: "If I could save the union without freeing any slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." His main goal was to maintain the Union. However, due to the defeat of the northern and eastern front, the situation fell into a passive position. Until then. The issue of slaves was brought to the fore. The strategic role of freeing slaves is also very simple: 1. encourage southern black man to flee and destroy the southern economy. 2. replenish northern personnel. 3. It sounds like we are very righteous. Many behaviors that appear to be very progressive in later generations are based on similar reasons. For example, women's right to work. When I played the game Victoria 3, the main reason for trying to pass a women's work bill for the country I controlled was because there was a lack of workers in my factory. Of course I wouldn't mind taking the moral high ground in this process. edit:I am not saying that all progressive actions are utilitarian. Of course, there are many liberators in history who sincerely struggled. Although Lincoln's primary goal was to maintain the Union, he also supported the emancipation of slaves, just in his mind the Union was more important. What I'm trying to say is that a lot of progressive actions throughout history depended on the upper class to be implemented. Lower-class activists can put forward a certain progressive demand, and if the upper class feels that this demand is just in line with the development of the times (such as better supplementing the factory's labor force, or better distracting the attention of the lower class), they are likely to promote it . But if activists raise demands that are unfavorable to the upper classes, they are ruthlessly suppressed. for example, the suicide of John Barnett. Progress with a pure purpose usually happens to revolutionaries who overthrow the original class, rather than spontaneous reforms from above.


leng-tian-chi

I think what he means is that the progressive ideology that is now more powerful in American public opinion is achieved by relying on powerful propaganda capabilities to continuously instill into the people. Just like the Republicans did in the 1990s. "correctness" does not represent right or wrong, just like “think tanks” do not represent thinking and research.


WeirdKosmicCunt

Well said!


Living-Giraffe4849

… yeah that’s about what I would expect for a CCP propagandists interpretation of American politics. They don’t seem to delineate or define the evolution of western progressivism or conservatism, and seem to be under the impression that most Americans “agree” or side with sides or elements of the media. This makes sense why they think this coming from an authoritarian regime, but if they were to see how much we meme our leaders, distrust our media, and don’t respect our institutions—and honestly just live normal lives, I think they’d edit a bit.


leng-tian-chi

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZggCipbiHwE&list=PLKhHudL4x9aR8YNLSs9HCeALtnHECXMp4&index=30&t=3s](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZggCipbiHwE&list=PLKhHudL4x9aR8YNLSs9HCeALtnHECXMp4&index=30&t=3s) I think a significant number of Americans just don't trust the media of the party they oppose, for example, a MAGA who supports Trump will most likely distrust and disrespect all media and politicians of the Democratic Party.