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StChris

What happened in China in....(short documentary series covering modern Chinese history, with English subs)

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Jim

It doesn't matter really that the social movement of 1989 is misunderstood or misinterpreted elsewhere if you're actually interested in modern history or China, nor how poor liberal historiography and media representations usually are.The whole build up - the growing discontent with some of the outcomes of reform and the outbreak of protest across the country - and indeed the decision to use the military to suppress the movement are watersheds in recent Chinese history and also symptomatic of a whole host of political, social and economic changes that were making themselves apparent then. It was the key event of its year and if you unpick it you begin to understand the wider context of the whole preceding decade and more. 

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StChris
7 hours ago, vellocet said:

Literally nobody said that.  You are making an absurd absolute argument. It's a variant of a strawman argument. An absurd absolute is a restatement of the other person's reasonable position as an absurd absolute. For example, if your point is there is high crime in Detroit, the absurd absolute would be your debate opponent saying something such as "So, you're saying every person in Detroit is a criminal." When someone incorrectly restates your opinion to you like this, you are seeing cognitive dissonance. 

 

Okay, I'll bite: what else happened in China in 1989?  I bet nobody else can name a single event.  Of course someone will do a search and find something, because someone is wrong on the internet.  It strengthens rather than detracts from my position that Westerners obsess over the 6/4 incident because that's all they think of when 1989 is mentioned.  Heck, look at the Wikipedia page for 1989 in China: there isn't much else there!

 

If the 1989 episode was 15 minutes long and you were in charge of the editing, how much of that time would you devote to the protests and subsequent "incident"?

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vellocet
On 11/10/2020 at 1:07 AM, StChris said:

If the 1989 episode was 15 minutes long and you were in charge of the editing, how much of that time would you devote to the protests and subsequent "incident"?

I don't know, because the 6/4 incident has completely drowned out all other coverage of anything else that might have happened that year.  This was due to CNN's nonstop coverage and subsequent mythologizing of the event in CNN's history of itself. How many times did they broadcast the coverage of themselves in promotional videos?  Back when we had TV, people watched a ton of CNN. 

 

I notice nobody has taken me up on mentioning what else happened in 1989, because you can't.  Which was my entire point.  Westerners obsess over it to the exclusion of all else.  

 

Heck, what happened in December 2001?  It was a far more devastating watershed event, and unlike the 6/4 incident this had a direct effect on the western world, one we're still reeling from.  It caused far more deaths than any tank.  See what I mean?  Nobody can even mention it, because the 6/4 incident crowds out everything else.  

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Demonic_Duck
On 11/9/2020 at 9:10 AM, vellocet said:

Literally nobody said that.  You are making an absurd absolute argument. It's a variant of a strawman argument. An absurd absolute is a restatement of the other person's reasonable position as an absurd absolute. For example, if your point is there is high crime in Detroit, the absurd absolute would be your debate opponent saying something such as "So, you're saying every person in Detroit is a criminal." When someone incorrectly restates your opinion to you like this, you are seeing cognitive dissonance. 

 

I've never heard it called "absurd absolute", but it seems like this is just a renaming of "reductio ad absurdum", a well-established rhetorical technique? It's not really a logical fallacy, unless the other person is claiming that your position is exactly the same as the extreme version. It's intended to draw out parallels between your more moderate position and the extreme variant. You can respond by explaining why the two positions aren't equivalent, but simply stating the other person is suffering from "cognitive dissonance" is no argument at all.

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timseb
5 hours ago, vellocet said:

It caused far more deaths than any tank.

 

By this logic the history books should be less about the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and more about the Pulse Night Club shooting.

 

5 hours ago, vellocet said:

Back when we had TV, people watched a ton of CNN. 

 

And in my country there were only three TV channels at that time. And guess what? Still everyone remembers it. But hey, let's blame CNN. Them bastards. Who do they think they are?

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vellocet
10 hours ago, Demonic_Duck said:

It's not really a logical fallacy,

I never claimed it was a logical fallacy.  You see how people keep adding something I never said, then criticizing what I didn't say?  This is because the central premise can't be refuted.  If you could refute it, you would.  What else happened in China in 1989?  Nobody in the western world, including everyone here, knows.

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Jim
1 hour ago, vellocet said:

What else happened in China in 1989?  Nobody in the western world, including everyone here, knows.

Nothing of even comparable significance or that didn't come to be seen through its lens, especially if you consider the death of Hu Yaobang as part of the whole upheaval, which it did become, just as almost all central government decisions in the latter part of the year were taken in light of the events, including the accession of Jiang Zemin or Deng's resignation from the Military Commission.  The earlier riots in Lhasa while unsurprisingly having a nationalist colour were also driven by the same factors that provoked the social movement in China proper. The visit of Gorbachev fed into it too, "whither the socialist nation" style.

I just tried sticking 1989 in Baidu to see what came up, and I note the first result is also a lengthy article on the "政治风波" (this one), perhaps you could get on to them and tell them they're mistaken in the prominence they give it. This entire back and forth began when you claimed Western media obsess about June 4 in their coverage of 1989; while they might offer a fairly shallow interpretation of the events, they're not wrong to make it the central event of that year, are they?

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vellocet
1 hour ago, Jim said:

This entire back and forth began when you claimed Western media obsess about June 4 in their coverage of 1989;

Actually, the argument was that westerners obsess over the 6/4 incident in their views of China, and that this was due to media obsession.  I then challenged anyone (without searching, which was obviously done) to name a single other event in 1989, citing Wikipedia.  Crushing populist uprisings happens all the time in all sorts of countries, it's just that this one was particularly well-covered.  Who in the western world ever heard of the 228 incident?  A Chinese government slaughtered demonstrators without provocation, far more than in that other incident on the mainland.  The only difference was the lack of western media overcoverage.  

 

I think I've made my point, and I'm unsubscribing from this thread.

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roddy

I'm yet to see much evidence of this obsession. Criticism today is much more likely to be about Xinjiang, Hong Kong, suppression, trade. currency, blah blah blah. Which makes sense, because even if you do want to see these as just handy sticks to beat China with, they're more immediate, more relevant sticks. Even the most fevered China-hater will see the advantage.

 

All that's happened here is that someone (forgive me, I forget who started the topic) asked, not unreasonably, "Hmmm, I wonder what this year-by-year show will do for 1989."

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Jim

There's been a discussion on here about City of Sadness so you're wrong about the White Terror too. It's not true that that's a larger slaughter than any on the mainland though, when the army suppressed the Red Guard movements far more died. There's more ways to view history than tedious whataboutery.

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StChris
2 hours ago, roddy said:

All that's happened here is that someone (forgive me, I forget who started the topic) asked, not unreasonably, "Hmmm, I wonder what this year-by-year show will do for 1989."

 

Yep, that was me in the OP. I never imagined that it would be a controversial question, let alone one having people dragging CNN into it. The question was innocent enough. It's interesting to see what can and can't be said in China these days. For me this series looks like being a good litmus test - how much freedom do independent media channels have (or think they have)? However much @vellocet thinks it is just an "obsession" among westerners, or how "blase" ordinary Chinese are towards it, even he couldn't deny that it would be odd for the 1989 episode to exclude it completely (or even just contain a brief mention of 政治风波). A country sending in the troops (and tanks in this case) to kill its own citizens on mass tends to be a big news story wherever and whenever it occurs, even in the absence of CNN. Hell, the Peterloo Massacre is still remembered and commented on in Britain today, despite happening over 200 years ago now and (resulting in the deaths of only a fraction of the people who died in Beijing 1989):

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/16/the-peterloo-massacre-what-was-it-and-what-did-it-mean

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/peterloo-200-years-on-manchester-16729620

 

I can see these possibilities for the 1989 episode:

1. It doesn't get made at all

2. It doesn't mention that thing that Westerners/CNN "obsess" about (or only in the most perfunctory way)

3. They produce two versions, one which covers it for youtube, and one that doesn't for bilbili (or maybe just not release it at all on bilibili)

4. It covers the incident fully and releases it on both inside and outside the Great Firewall.

 

As I said in the OP, I've been a fan of this channel for a while for their movie reviews, and was happy to find that they were producing this modern history series too. I'm looking forward to watching the episodes for 1983/84/85 etc, but it will be extra interesting to see how they handle 1989.

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