We are partners in our own demise: ex-president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Too much information, too much contradiction and too much confusion. In this era, how do we even think about where democracy stands in the world? The former president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, in a speech in honour of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, offers a clear-eyed assessment of the state of democracy today in competition with Russia, China  and other autocracies. He notes how there once was moral clarity about where the West stood in relations to these countries. Not so now: one of the fallouts of 30 years of globalisation, the internet and free trade is this great blurring, which sees Western economies, governments and businesses accept the ill-gotten wealth of strongmen. Ilves poses the question: are we “un-indicted co-conspirators” in our demise? He asks in terms of money. But I think a similar case can be made in terms of information and ideas.

You can hear Ilves’ full speech here – starting at 9.33

Text of the speech here.

Media analyst Vasily Gatov’s analysis of the Kremlin’s information war (2015) 

China needles Australia on social media

China has lashed Australia on Twitter

A lower level Chinese Communist Party spokesman is helping to distort a discussion about Australian news on global social media. What has the CCP learned about antagonizing democracies from their post-revolutionary friends linked to the Kremlin?  

GOP: ‘China, China, China!’

The Republican 2020 ‘attack China’ strategy

Contained below, the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s 2020 strategy document urging candidates to make China a campaign issue.

This previous post surveys some of the propaganda network aimed at Americans around the issue of China in the 2020 election.

Here is a commissioned strategy document.

Sample question:

Q: Isn’t this Trump’s fault?
Note – don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China. (Emphasis mine).

Clearly, this is playing with fire, especially as the death toll mounts in the US from coronavirus.