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Olympic/Sport and Politics

245

Posts

  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I go back and forth on this issue a lot. On the one hand, the Olympics for any country is generally seen as a big thing - China is treating it very much as a means by which to show how much they have progressed. On the other hand, it's turning out that they are falling back far too heavily on the staples of communism everywhere - sweep your problems under the rug.

    All cities do that.

    In Los Angeles in 1984 all the homeless mysteriously disappeared over the summer, only to return in the fall. Thousands of suspected gang members were thrown in jail for no apparent reason.

    Atlanta in 1996 arrested a bunch of "homeless" after tearing down giant swaths of low-income housing. Gee, I wonder what tearing down someone's house does in terms of rendering them homeless.

    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    edit: Weren't there a bunch of athletes who came out in support of the protests and boycotts and whatnot? Those guys seem to have a certain set of priorities that differs from what you are suggesting. I'm not sure if these are mythical athletes i'm inventing in my head though. I was able to find an article about German athletes 'considering' it.
    If the athletes themselves wish to boycott, that's completely different. In the end, it is their dream at risk here, and I think they should make the call. If they wish to stay home, that is their decision. I just don't think that decision should be made for them.

    Agree.

    And why are we assuming that the athletes can't find their own form of protest against injustice in the Games themselves?

    blackpower.jpg

    ^ A much more powerful image than if black athletes had boycotted the US Olympic team.

    BubbaT on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    B -- The absence of the USA at the games is unlikely to make a big difference, but all the small things help. What I see as the bigger issue here is that the increased public awareness of China's atrocities is more likely to make China's conduct an election issue in the developed world, such that politicians will be more likely to take an active approach regarding this issue instead of just 'toeing the line'.
    And here I think we come to the point of contention: you and I disagree on a root issue with a boycott. The risk/reward factor.

    *You seem to contend that a boycott is low risk/high reward- it's a little thing that eventually might get China to come around.
    *I contend that a boycott is high risk/low reward- what WE percieve the Games as is irrelevant. CHINA percieves the Games as really fucking huge, and for us to boycott them, I believe, is more likely to cause them to retaliate in a negative fashion than it is to cause them to change their ways in a positive fashion. And even if they did, history has shown that the ultimate effect of an Olympic protest, even if successful, is negligible, with the boycotter often ending up hurting themselves as much as if not more than the people they're protesting. You know that 'black power' salute on the medal stand in Mexico City 1968? That got those two athletes banned from the Olympics while at the same time doing jack shit to help the black cause.

    I disagree with this heavily. The olympic games are a chance for the 'expected' attitude of western nations to be shown to be different than 'business rules all'. China has been able to get away with its deplorable human rights record because nobody really cares enough to do anything about it, and they know it. China knows that western nations care more about cheap good and business with China. Australia, for example, knows that China is a huge market for iron ore, and has some pretty big shipping deals going on with them. China wants trade with other nations, and knows that other nations They want trade with other nations just as much as other nations want trade with China. China is now betting that people don't care enough about the Tibetan crackdown compared to the Olympic games, even though the Olympic games are likely causing this crackdown.

    Considering the 'black power' salute in Mexico City -- did this REALLY do nothing? maybe no new legislation came from it, but it's difficult to quantify the change effected by actions like this. It's easy to point to the 'straw that broke the camels back', like that woman in the states who didn't give up her seat on the bus, but all the straws that led to that final straw are much more difficult to identify.

    Let us also consider that the Tibetan crackdown right now is likely to suppress the possibility of protests in China during the Olympic games themselves. The current crackdown would then be a direct result of the Olympic games, and to support the olympics would be an indirect support of this crackdown, and by further extension to support the suppression and elimination of tibetan culture, and to support the censureship throughout the rest of China as well. I cannot in good conscience support such a cause.

    What I found to be a decent read: Blog click
    A few days ago you had two posts on normblog regarding the idea of boycotting the Beijing Olympics. In the first post you said that you don't favour a boycott, but you haven't given it that much thought, and so you might want to change your mind after considering further arguments. With that in mind, I'd like to offer the following argument to try and get you to change your mind.

    Your main objection to a boycott, as I understand it, is that it unfairly requires athletes to shoulder a heavy burden for China's human rights violations. If a particular country, like Ireland, were to boycott the Games their athletes might miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the Games, and that seems like an unreasonable burden to impose on the Irish athletes. In your exchange with Sean Coleman, it turned out that he was not advocating a nationally-imposed 'top-down' boycott, but rather encouraging individual athletes to make that decision for themselves. Your proposed reason for opposing a nationally-imposed boycott obviously would not apply to such individual decisions of conscience.

    The argument I want to press on you is this. The best argument as to why individual athletes ought to boycott the Games also justifies the national Olympic committees of countries imposing a top-down boycott on their own athletes. Here is how I see the argument going:

    (1) There is ample evidence that the Chinese government is cracking down on dissidents in the lead-up to the Games in order to ensure that there will be no unrest or political protests by Chinese citizens when the Games occur. In other words, we know that hosting the Games is leading the Chinese government to engage in serious human rights abuses (detail is provided by Joshua Kurlantzick in this piece for The New Republic).

    (2) We are each under a duty of justice not to participate in, or benefit from, projects or activities that involve violations of other people's rights. I assume this premise is uncontroversial.

    (3) The duty described in (2) is very stringent, and it cannot be ignored on the grounds that doing so would prevent us from achieving something we very much desire to achieve, even if this means we will never get to achieve the thing in question. Here's an example in support of this premise. One of the things I would most like to have done in my life was talk about political philosophy with John Rawls. Suppose, before Rawls died, I were invited to a dinner party where Rawls would be the guest of honour. But also suppose, unbeknownst to Rawls, that the host of this dinner party would be employing slave labour to work in the kitchen. I am under a duty not to go to the party, even if we are certain this represents the one and only chance I will ever have to talk philosophy with Rawls, and even though my non-attendance will not halt the party. If I went to the party I would be participating in, and benefiting from, a gross injustice, and the duty not to do so is more weighty than my desire to take the once in a lifetime opportunity to engage with Rawls.

    Steps (1)-(3) establish, I think, that individual athletes have a stringent duty of justice not to participate in the Beijing Games (though I acknowledge some non-western athletes might be exempt from this duty if, for instance, going to the Games was the only plausible way for them to escape from their own country's dire circumstances).

    I also deny that the athletes should, instead of boycotting, go to the Games and then engage in various forms of protest while there. This suggestion fails for the following reason. If the aim is to publicize the Chinese government's human rights record, this can be achieved either by boycotting the Games, or by going to the Games and engaging in some act of protest. Given the uncertainty regarding how easy it will be to engage in an act of protest once there, there is no reason to suppose going to the Games will be a more effective means of publicizing things, and there is some reason to think it may be less effective. Boycotting the Games, on the other hand, achieves the goal of publicity and also ensures that the boycotter does not participate in, or benefit, from injustice.

    The next part of the argument requires showing that this individual duty of justice entails that national Olympic committees would do nothing wrong (and indeed do a great deal of good) by imposing this boycott from the top down. This part of the argument requires two premises:

    (4) When one person is under a stringent duty of justice to do or forebear from doing X, it can be permissible for some other person to demand that they do or forebear from doing X, and even use some measure of coercion to enforce this demand. Suppose there's a baby drowning in a pond and justice requires me, as the nearest person who can swim, to rescue the baby. I cannot claim that the decision about whether to rescue the baby is a personal matter for me alone to decide - justice demands this action from me. If I seem unwilling to do what justice requires, someone else could permissibly use some force to get me to act. Suppose someone standing next to me (who can't swim) threatens to tear up my ticket to the upcoming Manchester United game if I don't do what justice requires and rescue the baby. This coercive threat seems perfectly permissible to me. I cannot rightfully complain since this person is only using mild force to get me to do what justice requires of me. Even if this was my one and only chance to see United win the European Cup, this does not override the duty of justice I owe to the drowning baby.

    The most obvious way to resist applying (1)-(4) to the case of the Games is by pointing out that a boycott, unlike rescuing the drowning baby, will not necessarily do any good. If I rescue the baby then the baby is saved, end of story. If, on the other hand, only Ireland boycotts the Games, the Games will still go ahead, as will the Chinese government's human rights abuses. So why make the Irish athletes miss out? I don't think this line of reply works. We cannot ignore our duties of justice by appealing to the fact that other people are ignoring their duties.

    Suppose a country, say Germany, has started using a racial minority within its territory as slave labour to produce goods to be sold on the international market. Let's assume that one of the things that justice requires in this case is that all other countries refuse to trade with Germany until it ceases this practice. But there is a collective action problem here - each country might worry that all the other countries will continue to trade with Germany, and then their lone boycott would deprive their citizens of economic benefits and have no (or very little) tangible effect on the German slave labour. This kind of reasoning does not justify any country's refusal to boycott the Germans. An action prohibited by justice (trading with the Germans) cannot be made permissible by pointing out that the unjust behaviour of others would have perpetuated the injustice anyway. If this is right then we can endorse:

    (5) You cannot permissibly join in collectively unjust behaviour on the grounds that you might as well participate in the injustice since it is going to happen anyway.

    I think that (1)-(5) establish that there would be nothing wrong with national Olympic committees imposing top-down boycotts on their athletes, indeed I think they ought to do this. The duty the athletes are under not to participate in these Games is not like the much weaker moral duty I am under to call my mother on her birthday, or to help my friend with a ride in my car when he asks. Those duties are not stringent demands of justice, they belong to a lesser moral category. The duties of this lesser category really are up to individuals to fulfil or not according to their own conscience - no one else has the right to make them fulfil these duties.

    But duties of justice are different - we have to fulfil these duties, and we cannot rightfully complain when others make us fulfil them. The duty the athletes are under not to participate in an Olympic games whose build-up involves gross and systematic rights violations by the Chinese government is this kind of stringent duty, and so it is more than just a matter for the individual conscience of the athletes. It is, of course, tragic and deeply unfair that a particular generation of athletes should miss the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, but in our non-ideal world, sometimes justice will require serious sacrifices. At any rate, the sacrifices made by the athletes pale in significance compared with the rights violations that have occurred, and will continue to occur, to Chinese citizens in the build-up to the Games.

    That's my two bits – have I persuaded you?

    Serpent on
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think it's great because Beijing won the Olympics, beating out Toronto. Now the IOC can learn the error of their ways.

    The IOC doesn't give a shit about the host country's policies or popularity. However I am glad that Toronto got beat out because now Chicago has a good chance to win the 2016 games.

    Perhaps they should?

    saint2e on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    B -- The absence of the USA at the games is unlikely to make a big difference, but all the small things help. What I see as the bigger issue here is that the increased public awareness of China's atrocities is more likely to make China's conduct an election issue in the developed world, such that politicians will be more likely to take an active approach regarding this issue instead of just 'toeing the line'.
    And here I think we come to the point of contention: you and I disagree on a root issue with a boycott. The risk/reward factor.

    *You seem to contend that a boycott is low risk/high reward- it's a little thing that eventually might get China to come around.
    *I contend that a boycott is high risk/low reward- what WE percieve the Games as is irrelevant. CHINA percieves the Games as really fucking huge, and for us to boycott them, I believe, is more likely to cause them to retaliate in a negative fashion than it is to cause them to change their ways in a positive fashion. And even if they did, history has shown that the ultimate effect of an Olympic protest, even if successful, is negligible, with the boycotter often ending up hurting themselves as much as if not more than the people they're protesting. You know that 'black power' salute on the medal stand in Mexico City 1968? That got those two athletes banned from the Olympics while at the same time doing jack shit to help the black cause.

    I disagree with this heavily. The olympic games are a chance for the 'expected' attitude of western nations to be shown to be different than 'business rules all'. China has been able to get away with its deplorable human rights record because nobody really cares enough to do anything about it, and they know it. China knows that western nations care more about cheap good and business with China. Australia, for example, knows that China is a huge market for iron ore, and has some pretty big shipping deals going on with them. China wants trade with other nations, and knows that other nations They want trade with other nations just as much as other nations want trade with China. China is now betting that people don't care enough about the Tibetan crackdown compared to the Olympic games, even though the Olympic games are likely causing this crackdown.

    No, the people chucking rocks and setting things on fire caused the crackdown. If it was just the monks meeting en masse for the 40th year they wouldn't have sent in the tanks. There also wouldn't have been a footnote in any of the news agencies. Maybe a few of the wires.
    Considering the 'black power' salute in Mexico City -- did this REALLY do nothing? maybe no new legislation came from it, but it's difficult to quantify the change effected by actions like this. It's easy to point to the 'straw that broke the camels back', like that woman in the states who didn't give up her seat on the bus, but all the straws that led to that final straw are much more difficult to identify.

    Whose arguing against things like the salute? I'm arguing against stupid shit that hurts your movement more than it helps it. You know, like trying to extinguish the flame in Paris and having no overt meaning ascribed to it other than not liking firey sticks. Do you honestly not see how the two are separate? How activists can actually and actively harm their cause by being morons as opposed to helping it by drawing attention in non-moronic ways?

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    saint2e wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think it's great because Beijing won the Olympics, beating out Toronto. Now the IOC can learn the error of their ways.

    The IOC doesn't give a shit about the host country's policies or popularity. However I am glad that Toronto got beat out because now Chicago has a good chance to win the 2016 games.

    Perhaps they should?

    It would be nice.

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.

    The harsh reality of the situation is the majority of people in the western world are not directly exposed to the deplorable reality of Tibet, Chinese censorship, or dieing rooms in orphanges, and seeing this stuff on TV or reading about it in a newspaper or arguing about it on an internet forum isn't going to make us care a whole ton, but seeing it and living it and experiencing it would. Now maybe all the athletes would care more about their dream than these type of grievances even if they saw it, but I really doubt it.

    Ideally, we would be able to expose all Olympic participants to the realities of human rights violations of the Chinese government so they could make an informed decision regarding their boycott. The likelihood of the Chinese government to allow this is nil, and the likelihood of western governments shelling out the cash to allow it is also pretty much nil. I see enforcing a boycott of the games just fine, as I have the expectation that most athletes would willingly go along with such a boycott if they could make an informed decision.

    Serpent on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    saint2e wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think it's great because Beijing won the Olympics, beating out Toronto. Now the IOC can learn the error of their ways.

    The IOC doesn't give a shit about the host country's policies or popularity. However I am glad that Toronto got beat out because now Chicago has a good chance to win the 2016 games.

    Perhaps they should?
    Perhaps that goes against everything the IOC professes to be based on.
    Considering the 'black power' salute in Mexico City -- did this REALLY do nothing? maybe no new legislation came from it, but it's difficult to quantify the change effected by actions like this. It's easy to point to the 'straw that broke the camels back', like that woman in the states who didn't give up her seat on the bus, but all the straws that led to that final straw are much more difficult to identify.
    The final straw for that particular cause was MLK Jr.'s assassination, which had already happened earlier that year.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.

    The harsh reality of the situation is the majority of people in the western world are not directly exposed to the deplorable reality of Tibet, Chinese censorship, or dieing rooms in orphanges, and seeing this stuff on TV or reading about it in a newspaper or arguing about it on an internet forum isn't going to make us care a whole ton, but seeing it and living it and experiencing it would.

    What TV, Radio, or Print exposure to these horrific conditions are being created as a result of dousing the Olympic Flame with water? Any links from reputable and well read media outlets would suffice.

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Whose arguing against things like the salute? I'm arguing against stupid shit that hurts your movement more than it helps it. You know, like trying to extinguish the flame in Paris and having no overt meaning ascribed to it other than not liking firey sticks. Do you honestly not see how the two are separate? How activists can actually and actively harm their cause by being morons as opposed to helping it by drawing attention in non-moronic ways?

    I think the flames travelling from city to city is a pretty big symbol of the games. The olympic games are in general a pretty big symbol. The dousing of the flames is pretty symbolic as well. I don't consider a protest which resulted in the dousing of the flames 'moronic', I would consider it effective.

    I don't disagree that there is some pretty moronic protesting at times, but I don't see this as harming the cause specifically because of what the cause is. This isn't a specific race sticking up for that race in a way which could be considered inappropriate, and thereby bringing harm to the cause for that race. If people view these protests as inappropriate, it still draws attention to Tibet, and doesn't bring illwill on Tibet because Tibet is not involved in the protests. It does make some people think the protesters themselves might be idiots or misguided, though.

    Serpent on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.

    The harsh reality of the situation is the majority of people in the western world are not directly exposed to the deplorable reality of Tibet, Chinese censorship, or dieing rooms in orphanges, and seeing this stuff on TV or reading about it in a newspaper or arguing about it on an internet forum isn't going to make us care a whole ton, but seeing it and living it and experiencing it would.

    What TV, Radio, or Print exposure to these horrific conditions are being created as a result of dousing the Olympic Flame with water? Any links from reputable and well read media outlets would suffice.

    I think you misunderstood my post. I never referenced that these conditions were now being advertised. I was referencing the general lack of effect of any type of article regarding the developing world over the last 30 odd years. For example, the 'hungry african child' infomercial. They are ineffective in general. Compare that to being directly exposed to these conditions.

    Serpent on
  • Cucco LeaderCucco Leader Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I was torn for a bit but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a waste. Boycotts don't work with one time events. Okay, we boycott. Nobody goes and China is angry. So what? One time damage. They will most likely still be jerks. Maybe even more so.

    But it doesn't hurt them long term. That's how boycotts win.

    Cucco Leader on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I was torn for a bit but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a waste. Boycotts don't work with one time events. Okay, we boycott. Nobody goes and China is angry. So what? One time damage. They will most likely still be jerks. Maybe even more so.

    But it doesn't hurt them long term. That's how boycotts win.

    The concept is that this will raise awareness among the voting bodies of developed nations, and it is possible the politicians may choose to make China's human rights a larger part of their platform. The end result is that it could possibly effect change at the political level.

    That's pretty much how all protests work.

    Serpent on
  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    TheRealBadger on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    If people view these protests as inappropriate, it still draws attention to Tibet

    [Citation Needed]

    People chanting Free Tibet on the news clip won't make anyone more aware of the reasons for desiring a fully autonomous region anymoreso than hearing chants for an independent Quebec make people give a shit about the reasoning etc. The unrest in Tibet will do that as it requires more background and it did so. This is basically going to be 'protestors who dislike China's human rights abuses/who support the liberation of Tibet, a Chinese occupied territor, prevent torch relay in Paris' followed by mentioning the inevitable condemnations by officials in ___ or talking about the prior scuffles in London and how it's giving China bad PR.

    People who don't know what's going on in China won't know more about what's going on in China. Politicians aren't going to do anything aside from make terse statements and then go ahead with what they were already planning. Sarkozy may well use this as an announcement for his intention to boycott his own attendance in a few days (which was coming soon anyhow) and that's about it.

    moniker on
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  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.
    So this comes down to a case of "you'll thank me later"? If I was an athlete, I would think that the better way to protest, if I were inclined to do so, would be to go and beat whoever's in front of me, including any Chinese athletes. That's if I chose to intertwine the Games with geopolitics, which I go out of my way not to do. The underlying wish here is that nations set aside politics for two weeks and cheer on 'guys running in circles really fast', and I'm inclined to respect that wish.

    When we're deciding cities, okay, maybe there's some room to maneuver as far as politics. But once the city's settled upon, as far as I'm concerned, that's that. Live with it, for better or worse. You had your chance to keep it from happening when your country's IOC representative, or in some cases represenatives, was or were actually voting on the cities seven years prior. Could have picked Toronto, could have picked Paris, could have picked Osaka, could have finally given in and given it to Istanbul. Didn't. Beijing got majority support on the second ballot.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Serpent on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.
    So this comes down to a case of "you'll thank me later"? If I was an athlete, I would think that the better way to protest, if I were inclined to do so, would be to go and beat whoever's in front of me, including any Chinese athletes. That's if I chose to intertwine the Games with geopolitics, which I go out of my way not to do. The underlying wish here is that nations set aside politics for two weeks and cheer on 'guys running in circles really fast', and I'm inclined to respect that wish.

    When we're deciding cities, okay, maybe there's some room to maneuver as far as politics. But once the city's settled upon, as far as I'm concerned, that's that. Live with it, for better or worse. You had your chance to keep it from happening when your country's IOC representative, or in some cases represenatives, was or were actually voting on the cities seven years prior. Could have picked Toronto, could have picked Paris, could have picked Osaka, could have finally given in and given it to Istanbul. Didn't. Beijing got majority support on the second ballot.

    What singular aspect of the Olympics is not at all political?

    moniker on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Expecting the silent treatment to work on a country is even sillier.

    Also, Carter's boycott did nothing to speed up the collapse of the Soviet Union. So...yeah.

    moniker on
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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with enforcing boycotts on athletes because I firmly believe that if athletes were face to face with the type of abuses that occur in China that they would choose to boycott it themselves.
    So this comes down to a case of "you'll thank me later"? If I was an athlete, I would think that the better way to protest, if I were inclined to do so, would be to go and beat whoever's in front of me, including any Chinese athletes. That's if I chose to intertwine the Games with geopolitics, which I go out of my way not to do. The underlying wish here is that nations set aside politics for two weeks and cheer on 'guys running in circles really fast', and I'm inclined to respect that wish.

    When we're deciding cities, okay, maybe there's some room to maneuver as far as politics. But once the city's settled upon, as far as I'm concerned, that's that. Live with it, for better or worse. You had your chance to keep it from happening when your country's IOC representative, or in some cases represenatives, was or were actually voting on the cities seven years prior. Could have picked Toronto, could have picked Paris, could have picked Osaka, could have finally given in and given it to Istanbul. Didn't. Beijing got majority support on the second ballot.

    I don't see the effect that beating China at the games has to do with anything. It doesn't prove one nation is better than another in anyway whatsoever. China isn't coming out and saying the Chinese are a 'superior race' ala the Aryan race back in 1936. Winning medals at the Olympics wouldn't be making any type of statement other than 'do what you want, and we'll play sports with ya anyways'.

    I'm not inclined to respect the wish that I turn a blind eye to human rights violations, ever. There is a certain line that shouldn't be crossed for sports, and human rights violations is one of them for me. I'm sure there's a level where you wouldn't turn a blind eye as well.

    In addition, the underlying wish that nations set aside politics is great, but when setting aside those politics result in the tacit approval of human rights violations, that isn't really setting aside politics at all.

    Serpent on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Expecting the silent treatment to work on a country is even sillier.

    Also, Carter's boycott did nothing to speed up the collapse of the Soviet Union. So...yeah.

    I've stated in multiple posts that I see these protests and possible boycotts as spreading awareness among the voting public of western nations, which may influence voting platforms of politician, which could ... aww fug it, i'll just copy and paste.
    me wrote:
    The concept is that this will raise awareness among the voting bodies of developed nations, and it is possible the politicians may choose to make China's human rights a larger part of their platform. The end result is that it could possibly effect change at the political level.

    That's pretty much how all protests work.

    It's very naive to expect China to just go 'oh shite we should clean up'. It's very reasonable to expect the publicity from this to maybe change a few peoples opinions... maybe a few newspaper editors, maybe a politician, or maybe even just a voting janitor.

    Serpent on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    I'm not inclined to respect the wish that I turn a blind eye to human rights violations, ever.

    I'm not seeing this request...

    moniker on
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  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »

    In addition, the underlying wish that nations set aside politics is great, but when setting aside those politics result in the tacit approval of human rights violations, that isn't really setting aside politics at all.

    Uh could you explain this?

    Medopine on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Expecting the silent treatment to work on a country is even sillier.

    Also, Carter's boycott did nothing to speed up the collapse of the Soviet Union. So...yeah.

    I've stated in multiple posts that I see these protests and possible boycotts as spreading awareness among the voting public of western nations, which may influence voting platforms of politician, which could ... aww fug it, i'll just copy and paste.
    me wrote:
    The concept is that this will raise awareness among the voting bodies of developed nations, and it is possible the politicians may choose to make China's human rights a larger part of their platform. The end result is that it could possibly effect change at the political level.

    That's pretty much how all protests work.

    It's very naive to expect China to just go 'oh shite we should clean up'. It's very reasonable to expect the publicity from this to maybe change a few peoples opinions... maybe a few newspaper editors, maybe a politician, or maybe even just a voting janitor.
    moniker wrote: »
    [Citation Needed]

    Quoting yourself is fun.

    moniker on
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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Expecting the silent treatment to work on a country is even sillier.

    Also, Carter's boycott did nothing to speed up the collapse of the Soviet Union. So...yeah.

    I've stated in multiple posts that I see these protests and possible boycotts as spreading awareness among the voting public of western nations, which may influence voting platforms of politician, which could ... aww fug it, i'll just copy and paste.
    me wrote:
    The concept is that this will raise awareness among the voting bodies of developed nations, and it is possible the politicians may choose to make China's human rights a larger part of their platform. The end result is that it could possibly effect change at the political level.

    That's pretty much how all protests work.

    It's very naive to expect China to just go 'oh shite we should clean up'. It's very reasonable to expect the publicity from this to maybe change a few peoples opinions... maybe a few newspaper editors, maybe a politician, or maybe even just a voting janitor.
    moniker wrote: »
    [Citation Needed]

    Quoting yourself is fun.

    I don't understand how my own supposition needs a citation?

    Serpent on
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    I think the most effective protest in Olympic history was in Berlin 1936. We didn't boycott. We went straight into the lion's den, in front of Hitler, who was using the Games basically to promote the Aryan race, and then here's this black guy, Jesse Owens, that beats him and takes all his medals. It didn't stop him by any means, but it helped get the message across, with irrefutable proof, that this 'master race' thing was a total crock of shit. On an equal playing field, the Master Race lost repeatedly to a Black Guy who's just a second-class citizen in his own country. That's how you do it. If the US, or anyone else, has a beef with China, here's a venue to prove, in one way or another, that you are demonstrably better than they are. Take advantage of it.

    Img212017987.jpg

    Germany, 1936.
    Pictured with Jesse Owens is Lutz Long, a blond, blue-eyed German who befriended Owens during the Games. Long gave Owens advice which helped Owens defeat Long in the long jump, and was the first to congratulate Owens after Owens set the record.

    BTW - a couple months before he died, Owens asked Jimmy Carter not to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

    BubbaT on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Serpent wrote: »
    Serpent, do you make room for any kind of midground? Wouldn't it be possible to use the Olympics as a forum for publicity without a full-on boycott?

    Yah, I do, but I see THAT as pretty meaningless. I'm pretty sure there have been previous Olympic events where more 'mild' protests and political statements occured, but I see that as similiar to when Canada has an economic meeting with China and the Canadian politician says "we don't like your human rights. Now let's talk business". Now THAT is a meaningless protest.

    Telling someone you don't like what they're doing, but not actually doing anything about it, is kinda silly.

    Expecting the silent treatment to work on a country is even sillier.

    Also, Carter's boycott did nothing to speed up the collapse of the Soviet Union. So...yeah.

    I've stated in multiple posts that I see these protests and possible boycotts as spreading awareness among the voting public of western nations, which may influence voting platforms of politician, which could ... aww fug it, i'll just copy and paste.
    me wrote:
    The concept is that this will raise awareness among the voting bodies of developed nations, and it is possible the politicians may choose to make China's human rights a larger part of their platform. The end result is that it could possibly effect change at the political level.

    That's pretty much how all protests work.

    It's very naive to expect China to just go 'oh shite we should clean up'. It's very reasonable to expect the publicity from this to maybe change a few peoples opinions... maybe a few newspaper editors, maybe a politician, or maybe even just a voting janitor.
    moniker wrote: »
    [Citation Needed]

    Quoting yourself is fun.

    I don't understand how my own supposition needs a citation?

    Chanting 'Free Tibet' is not going to make people more informed on why Tibet should be autonomous. Somewhat detailed news articles, interviews, coverage, &c. on the issue will. This is only succeeding in your justification if it actually brings that detailed coverage about. Is it doing so, or is it just giving people who hate hippies one more reason to do so?

    Cite your sources.

    moniker on
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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »

    Chanting 'Free Tibet' is not going to make people more informed on why Tibet should be autonomous. Somewhat detailed news articles, interviews, coverage, &c. on the issue will. This is only succeeding in your justification if it actually brings that detailed coverage about. Is it doing so, or is it just giving people who hate hippies one more reason to do so?

    Cite your sources.

    Ahh I see. I don't go to the news, interviews, or coverage for information on why Tibet should be autonomous. I try to go to more reputable sources myself -- that is how I form my opinions.

    On the other hand, people DO talk about current events within their social circle. At work, at the pub, on an internet forum (like we are doing now). The amount of actual information in the news regarding this issue is unimportant in my mind, what is important is that it is a current event and people talk about current events (as proven by this exact discussion). The idea isn't to teach people that Tibet should be free, the idea is to get a dialogue going and to get people interested.

    edit: That is, I don't see the purpose of the news is to inform people of the details of Tibet, i see the purpose of the news to inform people of current events. Tibet and China being a major current event will promote discussion and dialogue among portions of the voting bodies of western nations. This dialogue may result in some people going 'damn hippies' for sure, and it may result in others learning more about Tibet and maybe thinking it's a bigger issue than they thought before.

    Serpent on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Serpent wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »

    Chanting 'Free Tibet' is not going to make people more informed on why Tibet should be autonomous. Somewhat detailed news articles, interviews, coverage, &c. on the issue will. This is only succeeding in your justification if it actually brings that detailed coverage about. Is it doing so, or is it just giving people who hate hippies one more reason to do so?

    Cite your sources.

    Ahh I see. I don't go to the news, interviews, or coverage for information on why Tibet should be autonomous. I try to go to more reputable sources myself -- that is how I form my opinions.

    That's nice, I thought we were talking about the people who don't know shit about what's going on in China et. al. though. Nevermind then, this is definitely going to put a fire in the belly of all the people who already know where they stand on an issue and why. Too bad that doesn't broaden the support base.
    On the other hand, people DO talk about current events within their social circle. At work, at the pub, on an internet forum (like we are doing now). The amount of actual information in the news regarding this issue is unimportant in my mind, what is important is that it is a current event and people talk about current events (as proven by this exact discussion). The idea isn't to teach people that Tibet should be free, the idea is to get a dialogue going and to get people interested.

    I accept your apology. Glad to see that you realize this stupidity isn't going to get people to recognize the horrible human rights abuses that occur in China or the justifications for a free and autonomous Tibet.

    moniker on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    All the protests do bring the issue into the public light. Alot of people are getting more information about the shit China gets up to because of these protests. Is that a bad thing?

    A boycott, on the other hand, is pointless and stupid. Just TALKING about the boycott accomplishes as much as a boycott ever would.

    shryke on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    All the protests do bring the issue into the public light. Alot of people are getting more information about the shit China gets up to because of these protests. Is that a bad thing?

    I'm saying that they aren't getting more information about China's crap. The articles I've seen have talked about the relay, the London relay, the police, and that the protestors have Tibetan flags and chanted 'free tibet (with purchase)' No or very little exposition on the circumstances surrounding Tibet and absolutely none on the broader human rights issues, censorship, uninhabitable environmental conditions etc.

    moniker on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    All the protests do bring the issue into the public light. Alot of people are getting more information about the shit China gets up to because of these protests. Is that a bad thing?

    I'm saying that they aren't getting more information about China's crap. The articles I've seen have talked about the relay, the London relay, the police, and that the protestors have Tibetan flags and chanted 'free tibet (with purchase)' No or very little exposition on the circumstances surrounding Tibet and absolutely none on the broader human rights issues, censorship, uninhabitable environmental conditions etc.

    It raises at least some awareness. There's gotta be a bunch of people who read this and wonder "What are they protesting about?" and suddenly, more people know.

    shryke on
  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    TheRealBadger on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    shryke on
  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    I thought we were looking to raise awareness rather than directly getting China to change its ways. I would think that if you had an entire Olympic team kitted out like this (or multiple countries even) then that would lead to a great deal of publicity around the issues. The media in the home countries would have a grand old time

    TheRealBadger on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    I thought we were looking to raise awareness rather than directly getting China to change its ways. I would think that if you had an entire Olympic team kitted out like this (or multiple countries even) then that would lead to a great deal of publicity around the issues. The media in the home countries would have a grand old time

    No, I meant it'd be too easy for the general public to ignore the arm bands. China is gonna ignore anything we do. The reason the protests are any good is because they actually get the publics attention. Arm Bands or shit like that are easily overlooked and ignored.

    shryke on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    I thought we were looking to raise awareness rather than directly getting China to change its ways. I would think that if you had an entire Olympic team kitted out like this (or multiple countries even) then that would lead to a great deal of publicity around the issues. The media in the home countries would have a grand old time

    No, I meant it'd be too easy for the general public to ignore the arm bands. China is gonna ignore anything we do. The reason the protests are any good is because they actually get the publics attention. Arm Bands or shit like that are easily overlooked and ignored.

    Actually I'd say that omnipresent armbands at the various events and medalling ceremonies over the course of the games would be more likely to get attention than the protests. These are flashes in the pan that'll be out of the news in 2 cycles. Less than that if something important happens. People constantly seeing it would at least get as much 'the black armband represents support for a free Tibet' mention as the news coverage of the protests.

    moniker on
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  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    I thought we were looking to raise awareness rather than directly getting China to change its ways. I would think that if you had an entire Olympic team kitted out like this (or multiple countries even) then that would lead to a great deal of publicity around the issues. The media in the home countries would have a grand old time

    No, I meant it'd be too easy for the general public to ignore the arm bands. China is gonna ignore anything we do. The reason the protests are any good is because they actually get the publics attention. Arm Bands or shit like that are easily overlooked and ignored.

    I actually think I agree with you. I'm just trying to make the case for avoiding a boycott (as I really don't think it would accomplish much) while still making a statement of protest. I was thinking that every little thing might count.

    TheRealBadger on
  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Okay, so the object is to get attention more than getting China to change directly.

    Look around. Attention is being gotten in spades now, and nobody is boycotting a damn thing. I've seen Olympic protest stories in the media pretty much ever since the torch got lit in Olympia. I've already seen more protests in the opening few days of this relay than I've seen in any previous relay period. You let the relay play out like this and you'll have all the attention you want.

    Gosling on
    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    Okay, so the object is to get attention more than getting China to change directly.

    Look around. Attention is being gotten in spades now, and nobody is boycotting a damn thing. I've seen Olympic protest stories in the media pretty much ever since the torch got lit in Olympia. I've already seen more protests in the opening few days of this relay than I've seen in any previous relay period. You let the relay play out like this and you'll have all the attention you want.

    Is someone actually arguing for a boycott?

    I mean, I gave my opinion last page:
    A boycott, on the other hand, is pointless and stupid. Just TALKING about the boycott accomplishes as much as a boycott ever would.

    shryke on
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    What if multiple countries turned up with a visible protest, say, sporting black armbands or something to protest against human rights abuses? Surely that satisfies the need to protest, the spark required to inspire more in-depth reporting, and sends a message to China, while still allowing the athletes to compete. If all you're looking to achieve from the boycott is more publicity on the issues at hand then what would be wrong with this approach?

    I think something like that is too easy to ignore.

    I thought we were looking to raise awareness rather than directly getting China to change its ways. I would think that if you had an entire Olympic team kitted out like this (or multiple countries even) then that would lead to a great deal of publicity around the issues. The media in the home countries would have a grand old time

    No, I meant it'd be too easy for the general public to ignore the arm bands. China is gonna ignore anything we do. The reason the protests are any good is because they actually get the publics attention. Arm Bands or shit like that are easily overlooked and ignored.

    erm, remember when mr armstrong was raising awareness about the whole testicular cancer thing and how it turned out to be jsut about the most successful marketing campaign since like air jordans? Yeah, if they play it right, something like this could turn out the same way. People like wearable statements

    dlinfiniti on
    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
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