Tibet - modern and gay

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Sat Jul 4 07:56:35 PDT 1998

> I think there are two different questions here:
> The first is, does Tibet have the right to self-determination and when it
> was a theocratic state did it have that right vis-a-vis its
> supposedly more progressive neighbor China? Would it have had that right
vis-a-vis its supposedly more progressive neighbor India had that nation chosen to invade it?
> I think the answer is unreservedly "yes." . . .

You're the first one to answer this question, which I believe I was the first one to put forward as a challenge to the less critical advocates of nationalism among us. All I got was a canned statement from the PRC and included disclaimer.

Which points up the shortcoming of appeals for self-determination or democracy in general. Such appeals are often not motivated by the explicit principle but by a confidence that such a change would result in some progressive policy change. We are less interested in people being "free" then in their being free to do what we want them to do. (Another factor, I think, in nationalist suspicion of their would-be supporters in the non-nationalist left.)

It is not hypocritical to advocate some kind of democratic 'process' change at the same time as other 'outcome' changes, but it seems, at minimum, grossly inconsistent to withhold support for democracy/self-determination/etc. when the conditions for outcomes are not regarded as propitious. This follows especially for well- defined, oppressed national groups, such as Tibet.


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