Artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who was detained by Chinese officials in 2011 and harassed by the government, is sounding the alarm about the United States, claiming some of the current conditions in America might already constitute those of an “authoritarian state.”
“Certainly, the United States, with today’s condition, you can easily have an authoritarian,” Weiwei said during a recent appearance on “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.” “In many ways, you are already in the authoritarian state. You just don’t know it.”
When Hoover asked him to expound upon this claim, Weiwei mentioned “political correctness” as an example he believes shows the similarity between contemporary American culture and China’s Cultural Revolution.
“Many of the things happen today in U.S. that can be compared to the Cultural Revolution in China,” he said. “Like people trying to be unified in certain political correctness. That is very dangerous.”
Watch this exchange:
“Certainly the United States, with today’s condition, you can easily have an authoritarian,” says artist and activist Ai Weiwei — @aiww — who challenged China and became a political prisoner.— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) November 12, 2021
“In many ways, you are already in the authoritarian state. You just don’t know it.” pic.twitter.com/TODgkHaolp
Weiwei also discussed technology in the modern era as it relates to the political correctness discussion, and said people have access to a great deal of information they can’t totally understand.
“We know so much more than we really understand,” he said. “The information become jammed.”
He decried the resulting divisions that have unfolded.
Watch the full episode:
Weiwei made these comments about America after speaking about the increases in Chinese censorship unfolding abroad. The Chinese dissident also discussed his belief the U.S. has a responsibility to demand that China respect human rights.
“Morally and practically, if West are not demanding the very basic values such as human rights, freedom of speech, then the West won’t be totally corrupted before China got away,” he said.
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