Sunday, November 4, 2007

The 1936 Berlin Olympics Redux: Or When In China Do As the Chinese Tell You to Do

Those of us who still find it incredible that the Olympics were once held in Berlin with Hitler as host and the whole world in attendance now have proof (as if proof were needed) that the world is still myopic when it comes to evil and can only appreciate it in its real dimensions when it is too late to do anything about it. What difference is there between holding the Olympics in China in 2008 and holding them in Berlin in 1936? Morally there is no difference. If we parse evil, however, there is a great difference: In 1936 Hitler had not yet embarked on his campaign of extermination nor yet provoked World War II. An objective observer could have seen what was coming, and many in fact did; but most of the world was still in denial about Hitler in 1936. Denial then meant refusing to take Hitler at his word, because he was nothing if not candid about his plans. In China's case, however, the evil is completely consummated. Holding the Olympics there next year is more closely analogous to holding them in Berlin in 1944, not 1936. And yet the whole world is now preparing to do precisely that with great enthusiasm and no moral scrupples. Not one nation has refused to participate in protest and no one has even attempted to organize a boycott.

Many presume that capitalism has mitigated the worst excesses in China, when, in fact, it has only perpetuated them and solidified the Communist system of repression, as no doubt the introduction of the free-market into Cuba would extend the shelf life of Castroism indefinitely while not altering its basic ingredients.

If anyone requires proof that the Red Chinese are still the Red Chinese, they should follow closely the preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The organizers have just published a list of "prohibited objects" in the Olympic Village where the athletes will be staying. Yes, of course, video cameras have been prohibited: they sell them to us but won't allow them to be used in their "controlled environment." But that is not the worst. Bibles are also on the list of prohibited items and the athletes themselves are forbidden from wearing any religious insignia including crosses at the Olympic Village. No word yet whether they will be prohibited from praying or holding religious services there, though for Christians the latter would be difficult to do in the absence of Bibles and crosses. Difficult but not impossible: the 15 Catholic bishops and religious imprisoned by China still manage to say mass in their cells.

Is this what the Olympic spirit has devolved into — Peace and unity through enforced atheism? Well, China is still a Communist state and one can hardly expect it to cease to be a Communist state for the duration of the Olympics. Yet that is precisely what the International Olympic Committee thought would happen if it awarded the games to Beijing. Guess what? China outlawed extraterritoriality a long time ago. When in Red China, you must do as the Red Chinese tell you to do whether "white devil" or no.


Ms. Calabaza said...

Excellent point. First time I've read this point of view anywhere. We just don't seem to learn from history; do we?

Vana said...

I'm sure the Olympic Village will be bugged, this is just unbelievable, to be told what you will be able to do, even to free men and women, the Olympic commity needs to step in and tell the Chinese where to go, thanks Manuel, for telling us about this horrible state of affairs.

joep said...

Brilliant post, MaT.