Don't call it a spade
State and Church
I say we need a new religion; the Western State doesn’t agree with me. They have their own, thank you.
China has its own too, and doesn’t want a new one. What it wants is to dismantle the old ones. Which is pretty much what the West has been doing. We have freedom of religion. All churches can do what they want as long as they’re progressive. Like the model-T. China finally figured out how that works. And so…
Context is China just passed new regulations about religion (in English here). The new regulations call for all religions in China (the 5 legally recognized) must do more to adapt to society and obey the government. Take proactive measures against extremism. Extremism being of course a relative term.
I want something. You want something. Say you draw a line, at one end it’s what I want, at the other end it’s what you want. If you accommodate to what I want, well you stop being you. If you try to do what you want but not too hard, then you’re a moderate. If you try very hard to do what you want and don’t care about what I want, then you’re an extremist. Quite literally so.
Again, that’s no fallacy. If you try very hard to get what you want and don’t care about what I want, well the logical end is to kill me, then get what you want. And that’s what extremists do. That’s not good, obviously, and China wants to eliminate extremism. They very wisely have chosen to do away with the charade that a country can be multicultural. It can be multiethnic, given that the ethnic groups live separately, and the government has as little popular input as possible. But multiculturalism, of which religious freedom is but a subset makes no sense. The point of having a distinct culture is to set borders to the ingroup and compete with other groups. The very point of culture is to prepare for conflict. You don’t want internal conflict in a state. That’s bad for everyone.
Which is why everyone in the West must be progressive, and everyone in China must be… “sinicized”. Chinese. Not Han, mind you. The official ideology in China is that “China” is this multiethnic utopia, of which the Han are an important, but not unique part. It’s all still quite blood and soil though, compared to the universalist blank slatism of baizuo religion. And of course Progressive infiltration of religion is a fact, but never stated overtly. De jure we have Freedom of Religion. China insists on being honest.