We have a Value

By Usman Umer | Gwadar Pro Dec 27, 2021

A recently published report by the Hoover Institution provides interesting insights to American hypocrisy, jealousy, propaganda and hegemonic tendencies.

Jeffrey Stoff and Glenn Tiffert have presented a case study of Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation (CASIA) and made some recommendations to revise research collaborations with China. The report spins concepts and facts against China. We would like to highlight a few examples.

The report emphasizes democracy, human rights and ethical research values in quite an interesting way. First of all the report blames that China is an authoritarian nation. This label makes the impression that authoritarianism is something of the past, incompatible with modern values, harmful to the humanity and practiced only in oriental nations particularly in China.

While expounding this blame, the authors forget the reality in the western world particularly in the United States. It can be argued that authoritarianism is not a bad practice at all. But a cursory look at the western polities will reveal that authoritarianism is practiced in various forms.

USA imposes authoritarianism through the state organizations, state departments, and state policies through a host of international organizations such as International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

America has played and is still playing a role in disrupting the democratic process in Pakistan. It has favored marshal laws and dictatorships. IMF is imposing inhuman and unethical restrictions and regulations on Pakistan. How do the Americans forget their democratic authoritarianism, liberal authoritarianism all the while blaming other nations?

The report recommends that “research institutions and governments should revise existing concepts of research integrity to ensure consistency with democratic values…”. In other words, the democratic values are universal and supreme and all the nations must conform to these values. Is this not a disguised form of imperialism and authoritarianism? Is this a democratic practice to force all others to practice democratically? Why should other nations hold the democratic values? And above all, what are these democratic values? Values are derived from the indigenous worldviews and social contexts. All nations and cultures have their own values. No other nation has tried to force their values on the West. Consistency of research practices with democratic values is a hoax. There is no reason whatsoever to abandon research in authoritarian contexts. The recommendation then mentions the consideration of “political context”. In fact, this consideration goes against the initial claim of upholding democratic values. The authors assume that only viable political context is the American political context. If political context should be considered in the research activities then there is no reason to blame China or other so-called authoritarian regimes that are conducting research in their own social and political contexts.

Another research recommendation is that “federal agencies should deny or remove funding for research projects that involve collaboration with entities, based in authoritarian nations, which support mass surveillance and human rights abuses”. This crucial recommendation is the concrete form of American authoritarianism and hegemony. The underlying suggestion is that the research collaboration with China based organizations should be severed. In other words, no other nations, that refuse to follow American values, are allowed to conduct and share scientific research. Scientific research must be conducted on American principles to promote American values. This is a worse form of research imperialism and a narrow view of knowledge. In an important way, this suggestion is a threat to China and a claim that China is not able to conduct research without American collaboration. This unethical emphasis on ethics indicate that in future America will use its own authoritarian political influence to block the publication of research papers in standard research journals. It is possible that in the next step all the research grants to the Chinese researchers are cancelled.

The words of “mass surveillance and human rights abuses” do not seem good voiced from the American authors. Authors cunningly ignore the reality that almost all of the research conducted in America falls a prey of this charge. From neuroscience to social engineering and to communication technology, surveillance of own and other people is the essential part of the research projects. The authors boast of ethics in research with a wondrous innocence and forget that American institutions and agencies are maintaining robust surveillance of Pakistanis, not to talk about the American nation. There are many reports in the Pakistani Urdu newspapers that American agencies have informed and identified the Pakistanis who were doing suspicious activities. A recent news report stated that a Pakistani young boy was arrested by the police. The American officials informed about the location and said that he had a pistol. Later on, it was found that the boy was playing with a toy pistol. Is this not a mass surveillance?

Americans do not feel any guilt in the human rights violations committed by their state and military. America is No. One violator of human rights. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Honduras, Cuba, Vietnam, Chile and Paraguay, to name a few, all are living examples of American crimes. Human rights are nothing but a tool of imperialism and American expansionism. America aims to control the human population through the means of human rights. Human rights are not shared and common rights and they do not express essence of humanity. These rights are the American conception of human. We have other conceptions. Human rights are American rights. The report clearly states that such entities as CASIA may be indifferent or hostile to US values. There remains no doubt now that US values are taken-for-granted, universal, prime and supreme. Imposition of US values on other nations is the outright authoritarianism, vandalism and explicit hostility and indifference to other cultural and political contexts. The report reflects a mentality that American wants to be a permanent leader and commander of the world and the archangel of the exploitative capitalist system. In the past, US invented communism as an ideological enemy. Then, Islam was constructed as the greatest danger to the world in the recent decades. Now, American propagandists are constructing China as a threat to the rest of the world, presumably the American world. Now it is time for the eastern world to retaliate US hegemony with the oriental values. It must be shown that we are not without values. We have our own values and we love our values.

(Usman Umer is the writer. His views don't necessarily represent those of Gwadar Pro.)

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