“Whether it’s academia, our politics, our economics—people are being compromised.”
In this episode, we sit down with Anders Corr, publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, columnist for The Epoch Times, and author of the book, “The Concentration of Power.” We discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s alleged $275 billion secret deal with Apple in 2016, and growing threats of global tyranny.
Jan Jekielek: Anders Corr, such a pleasure to have you back on American Thought Leaders.
Mr. Corr: Thank you.
Mr. Jekielek: Anders, it’s been a while since we’ve talked and since you talked on camera. You’ve actually become quite a prolific columnist. It’s actually quite amazing. Every day, every couple of days I see a new article. And you wrote a really fascinating column on essentially Apple’s gift to the Chinese regime presumably, to allow it to function within China’s borders and continue functioning. Anyway, tell me a little bit about this reality.
Mr. Corr: Apple apparently had a secret agreement a couple of years ago with the Chinese Communist Party to give them about $275 billion. It seems like that in terms of forced technology transfer, development costs and maybe some other stuff, it wasn’t exactly clear from the reporting, but it’s a significant sum of money. It seems to have been coerced. Right beforehand, China was not allowing certain things to be on the app store. So it does seem like a textbook example of forced technology transfer.
Also before they gave that, to sweeten the negotiations that appeared a few days before they gave that, they put a $1 billion investment into DiDi. That was questionable too. It was the ride hailing app in China that was in direct competition with Uber. And it was at a time when Uber and DiDi were competing for market share in China. So it was an American company stepping in to support a Chinese company that was in competition with an American company.
And you can see how the Chinese Communist Party is using its power to warp the strategic and tactical abilities and approach that American companies take, that American politicians take, that academics take. It’s quite remarkable that the Chinese Communist Party can do this so effectively without more pushback from higher levels of our government, our businessmen, our businesspeople. It’s very concerning.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay. And this of course speaks to exactly the topic of your book. So how is it that China or the Chinese regime has this leverage? That they can do something like this without it even really being known for a number of years?
Mr. Corr: The CCP has an incredible concentration of power really in Beijing. And not only the CCP, but Xi Jinping himself, as “Emperor For Life,” as they say, has more power, arguably than any other single individual on planet earth. And that makes him a very dangerous person, especially given that he is clearly looking for more power, whether it’s personal power over the Chinese people or power over neighboring nations. Not only neighboring nations, but power in deep sea, power in Brussels, London and Paris. He’s affecting and influencing our top leadership globally. And we really need to be concerned about that.
[Narration]: Our team reached out to Apple, but they did not immediately respond.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s go to this question, because you were talking about the concentration of power. So even 10 years ago, probably, I don’t know this for sure, but probably the Chinese Communist Party could not have pulled this off with Apple. Apple was certainly not in China in the way it is, but so maybe this… I’m already answering some of the question, but how did the CCP get this leverage? Chart it out from me over time.
Mr. Corr: Let’s go all the way back to the 1930s and the 1920s. 1921, when the CCP was founded, it was a very small party in China. They were able to grow through bringing in workers, peasants essentially. In the 1930s, they took their first piece of territory. They were supported by Stalin for that. They had the Great March back. They waited out World War II; most of World War II as the nationalists were fighting the Japanese. And then they came in at the end and essentially mopped things up and took over.
Now when they took over China, they had control of one of the biggest raw markets in terms of the number of people that the world has. And the power of that is hard to explain. But even back then in 1949, the British, the Americans, they were all trying to get into this market and to maintain the market share that they had because everyone had business in China already. They knew that to maintain that power or to maintain that market access, they needed the acceptance of the Chinese Communist Party.
So all the way back in the forties, in the fifties, we were actually competing with the British. We were competing with other countries to maintain market share. That has continued over the years. In the seventies, we opened up to China. We were hoping that we would liberalize China through more economic engagement. We should have known that we have been engaging with China economically for years and it did not work to liberalize the CCP. We should have known then.
We really should have known in 1989 at the Tiananmen Square Massacre, that things weren’t working. Our strategy of engagement of China simply did not work to liberalize the country politically. Finally, in about 2008 when we had our recession, I think China really decided, or the leadership in China decided, that it was time to take a more forward presence. They could argue that we were weak, that capitalism was weak, that democracy was weak. You really saw a change, especially with Xi Jinping coming in around 2012, you really saw a change to a much more aggressive approach.
Biding time was a thing of the past at that point and China moved forward, Xi Jinping moved forward to expand on his power and start claiming that democracy, capitalism, market approaches to economics, were a thing of the past.
That is now where we are. And as China’s economic growth has skyrocketed, their military power is skyrocketing. And at this point they’re building more Navy ships than we are annually. And they’re building hypersonics, they’re building drones, artificial intelligence. In some areas, supercomputing they’re actually ahead of the United States in terms of their technological capabilities. So, it’s an incredibly dangerous time. And I feel like we haven’t, as a nation, really woken up to the threat that the CCP in Beijing provides for us as a nation.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s remarkable to see, to chart the rise of the Chinese regime and the power that it holds today. To me, this was fueled by the U.S. economy, from everything I understand. The level at which, for example, Apple is dependent on the Chinese regime itself and to be in its good graces, that is remarkable as the world’s largest, or close to being the world’s largest company, bigger than most bigger economy than most countries. Yet essentially subservient.
Mr. Corr: I think so. It’s subservient because it has to have access to that market. Beijing acts as a gatekeeper to that massive quantity of 1.4 billion people that Apple wants to access. They want those people to buy phones. They want those people to provide inexpensive labor, which is getting more expensive, but they want the polysilicon that they can get from the Xinjiang region of China. China is a massive economy. It’s something like 20 percent of the world’s economy or something at this point.
So that’s a lot of power for Xi jinping to have, whereas the U.S. president doesn’t have that kind of power. We, as an open system, as a market economy, we prefer freedom. We prefer to allow our corporations and our people to engage freely with people on the outside. But because we have so much freedom in a sense, our government doesn’t have quite as much power as Xi Jinping has, when he can decide to turn off or turn on the App Store for Apple. So they have quite a bit of power that Apple needs.
Mr. Jekielek: They also have the other side, right? You spoke to a little bit, the supply chain, some of the source components, some of the source minerals. But also, they produce those phones there. If the regime decided to look badly at Apple suddenly, what would happen to Apple sales globally? It would crater, wouldn’t it? It’s astounding when you think about that.
Mr. Corr: And it’s not only that 275 billion. China can ask Tim Cook to have influence on our government back in DC, which is free for Tim Cook. Tim Cook can come and he can talk to Trump, he can talk to Biden, and he can say, “Listen, we need a peaceful relationship with China. I don’t want you to make too big a deal about human rights abuse in China, because that might hurt my business. If it hurts my business, it hurts my shareholders and it’s bad for you.”
So it’s the influence that Beijing has over American politics through our corporations, is actually quite similar to the influence that Beijing has in other countries. Whether it’s Uganda or the Philippines, they wield quite a bit of power through being able to turn on and turn off imports and exports from between China and all other countries in the world. And they use it in a way that we don’t. And that gives them this tremendous power.
Mr. Jekielek: You also started speaking to this that also there’s maybe the most disturbing power, which is the ability to have us subvert our values, or I guess, not prioritize their values so highly as maybe we should.
Mr. Corr: Absolutely. We have our values, whether it’s democracy, human rights, freedom of speech. And we also have our greed. Sometimes we put our greed ahead of our values as Americans. And you can see that quite frequently, whether it’s Ray Dalio or Schwarzman or many of the billionaires who are doing business in China. And specifically, they say quite right outright that they can’t look at the human rights issues. They can’t look at the governance issues. They’re not experts in this. They leave that to government.
And actually that is the cue for government to step in and say, “Okay, well, it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that American companies are doing the right thing, globally, that other companies globally, Europeans, the EU, Germany, France, Britain these countries need to make sure and coordinate their approach and their strategy to China so that they make sure that our corporations are not selling out democracy when they’re doing business in China.”
Mr. Jekielek: That doesn’t look very promising to me right now, Anders, from where I sit.
Mr. Corr: We’re certainly not doing enough. The SEC is not doing enough, for example, in enforcing Chinese companies that list in the United States to provide the same level of data that American companies have to provide. This gives the Chinese companies an advantage. They can do things that American companies can’t do. And it puts our shareholders, our investors, and investors globally at huge risk because they’re putting money, they’re dumping money into companies that aren’t required to disclose all the facts that they should be disclosing.
Mr. Jekielek: We know of multiple examples of pretty massive fraud because of this lack of disclosure, which of course, the Chinese communist party leverages all the time. I want to talk a little bit about this just briefly, about the moral equivalency we heard from Mr. Dalio. Talking about human rights in China, we have our own human rights problems here in the U.S. What do you think about that?
Mr. Corr: They just don’t compare. You can’t compare a triple genocide in China of the Uighurs, Tibetans, and Falun Gong, to what’s going on in the United States. Of course, every country can be better than it is. Every democracy can have a better human rights record. But to compare the two is a total whitewash of China and a slander on the United States. It’s absolutely wrong to say that.
Mr. Jekielek: Do you think that people that say such things, because there are many people that do, do they believe that?
Mr. Corr: Maybe he thinks he’s going to get a better deal for his investments in China. I think that as a billionaire doing business in China, if you prove to China that you are on the Chinese Communist Party side, whether it’s by saying the right things about China, not saying the wrong things about Taiwan, donating $275 billion in a secret agreement to tech transfers to China, if you prove that, maybe they give you a better deal.
Maybe they give you a better deal in a short term that maximizes your short-term revenues, increases your bonus as a CEO, but sells out shareholders down the road. It’s a very dangerous position to put your shareholders into because they don’t really know why you’re giving that 275 billion if it’s a secret agreement.
Mr. Jekielek: I found reading your book, frankly, a bit disturbing. You postulate a whole expansive theory of how power accumulates in societies over time. It’s absolutely fascinating to me. The really disturbing part is that you argue that the process really only goes in one direction; towards increased accumulation of power and the logical conclusion of that of course is the single global government hegemon, I think, as you describe in the book. And that your expectation on the current course is that that will be the very illiberal Chinese communist regime. And of course, it’s not pleasant to read such things, knowing the realities that you just mentioned.
Mr. Corr: Right. It certainly could be the CCP that comes out on top at the end of history. Fukuyama said that in the nineties, he believed we had achieved the end of history. It was democratic, it was liberal, small L. And then later he said, when that was clearly not the case when the rise of Xi Jinping, the rise of Putin in a dictatorial manner made that clear that it wasn’t the case.
He said, “Oh, maybe we haven’t reached the end of history. Maybe we have an illiberal end of history.” So, I take that a bit further. I say, I think that the end of history is likely to be illiberal. I discuss some of the causal mechanisms that get us there and I liken it to ratchet. It tends to go in one direction. It tends to go towards the concentration of power, and it tends to…
So, on a geographic level, the first way that I noticed it was geographically. Over history, thousands of years ago, tribes and clans would aggregate into larger units. Kingdoms would aggregate into states. States became empires and really big alliance systems, like NATO or the Warsaw Pact in the Old Soviet Union. So, these are growing aggregations of power and there’s a centralization of power that happens in the process over these thousands of years. But that’s not the only way that power concentrates.
We also see that over time, the state through its improving technologies, its ability to surveil people more effectively, are able to control our individual lives in increasingly powerful ways; in ways that on one hand, as we discussed, security is improved. We’re less likely to get mugged when I’m walking down the street. But at the same time we lose our privacy. That’s just one example.
But in general, there is this concentration of power, and you really see it in China with the growth of geographical power of Beijing. From the second century, when you had the BC, when you had the war states period in China to today, you had a process, an aggregation of power in Beijing as a centralized state, but that state is now expanding its influence and power on a global level.
The Chinese communist party as Rush Doshi has written in his book, “The Long Game,” has a goal of global hegemony. It has a goal of controlling the entire planet. This is an accepted truth now in academia. It’s Oxford University Press. Rush Doshi works for Biden now in the administration. So this is already accepted.
It’s a process I think that we have to look at and a historical trend that we have to look at that requires a very active approach to make sure that we don’t get there. And we’re not doing that today. And that’s part of why I wrote the book; it’s because we need to take a more active approach and defending the liberties that we have now and defending the sovereignties that we have, the national sovereignties that we have, from aggregation into these really powerful supernational units that do endanger them in the long term.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s interesting talking about these supernational units. There’s a whole bunch of them that exists out there right now. Of course, there’s the UN, which many people are actually describing as being heavily co-opted by China. There’s certainly, that definitely has huge control over a number of the agencies. And we saw during the pandemic of influence on the WHO for example, a very pivotal UN body. So that’s one thing.
Then we have places like hyper concentrations of wealth, like at Davos, the world economic forum. There’s another power center. Some people who say that this is the most powerful power center of all. I don’t know if that’s sure or not. Certainly, it’s a discussion of whether it’s in Beijing or not. For you, it might be obvious. I don’t know. I don’t know if it is to everybody. But yes. There’s potentially vying for different, massive concentrations of power and wealth that will vie with each other for supremacy. Was that what you see?
Mr. Corr: Absolutely. There’s definitely a competition between these supernational entities. So, for example, in the Cold War, you had NATO going up against the Warsaw Pact. And you needed a strong NATO to be able to defend democracy in Europe, in the United States, and really the rest of the world from the Soviet Empire and the growth of the Soviet Empire. So, the supernational entities aren’t always bad. Sometimes when they’re developed by democracies for the protection of democracies, they’re actually quite important.
But at the same time, they are still an aggregation of power and they are part of the process of aggregation of power over time. And there is the risk; there’s always the risk that they will be taken over by some illiberal unit at some point in the future. And we have seen in history, adverse regime changes from democracies to dictatorships. For example, Mussolini or Hitler, where you had a democratic structure beneath that was taken advantage of by an autocrat, by someone who was totalitarian minded.
Mr. Jekielek: Or Chavez, for a more recent example. I even think that today there’s a lot of people that don’t realize how quickly and how dramatically Venezuela transformed from an affluent free democratic country to the Maduro Diet, as it’s called, state now.
Mr. Corr: Right. Nicaragua, recently. The revolution in Nicaragua that turned it communist, but now more recently, they’ve just gone over to Beijing’s camp. They’re going to recognize Beijing instead of Taiwan. So this is happening country after country. Taiwan is losing all of its allies because Beijing’s economic power is becoming so powerful that they’re able to influence capital city after capital city to remove any diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.
Mr. Jekielek: Someone might be reading the “Concentration of Power” and think to themselves, “Well, Anders, this is a foregone conclusion. It’s just going to ratchet up to this global hegemon and there’s nothing we can do.” I actually think you make a pretty convincing case about the trajectory.
Mr. Corr: Well, I think that there is a trajectory and I think there are institutions that we can put in place to try to preserve the diversity, the disaggregation of power that we have now. So for example, the U.S. Constitution, the division of powers between the three branches of government is very important in terms of maintaining our democracy. Maintaining our freedoms. Ensuring that nobody becomes an “Emperor for Life,” like Xi Jinping.
Sunset clauses in laws where sometimes we decide it’s an emergency, we have to give more power to the president to deal with this emergency. We do that, but we include in that law sunset clause, so that in three years the president automatically loses that power. Those things are very important. They’re part of the institutional fabric that maintains our freedoms indefinitely into the future. The U.S. constitution, absolutely one of the most important documents to maintain freedom, to ensure that power in the United States doesn’t continue to ratchet up into some kind of king. We were very, very cognizant of the danger at that time of the aggregation of power.
Mr. Jekielek: In America right now, there’s people deeply concerned that those checks and balances are under assault for precisely the reason we’ve been talking about, because there’s always that interest. Is it human nature? What is it that drives this, this concentration of power that you describe?
Mr. Corr: Very simply, I would call it greed. I think avarice greed is driving people to seek ever more power individually. They use the institutions that are out there, the hierarchies that are out there, to expand their own power. They are able to maintain and ensure that the aggregations of power that are there in terms of hierarchies do not break apart because they’re using those hierarchies to incentivize and disincentivize the people within the hierarchies, not to leave the hierarchy in some way, not to revolt and leave.
So that over time leads to an aggregation within the hierarchy—hierarchies then also are in conflict with other hierarchies. They take each other over, that leads to an aggregation of power. And then hierarchies sometimes, because they’re trying to defend themselves from yet other hierarchies, they voluntarily aggregate with each other in order to defend themselves from outside processes. This is often called state building—empire building. There are many ways to aggregate power. There are very few ways to disaggregate.
Mr. Jekielek: One of the really fascinating concepts that you outline in “The Concentration of Power” is this idea of a hierarchy that’s leaderless, so to speak. Maybe it’s not exactly leaderless, but there isn’t one person out there pulling all the strings.
And frankly, even in China, Chairman Xi is accountable to some extent to these giant billionaire families that it’s essentially as we know, a mafia-like system there. So he doesn’t have complete control. But it struck me as something that might resemble the type of leadership structure that’s developing frankly, in the free world. Leaderless concentration power. Tell me about this. This is very, very, very interesting. I’m just starting to think about it, frankly.
Mr. Corr: The idea is that shareholders are supposedly the leaders of corporations; CEOs are the leaders of corporations. But as you said, these top leaders have their own things that they’re following. They’re following their families. Each person is following someone else. So even a U.S. president for example, is following voters. As you said, Xi Jinping is following billionaires and other power holders; military power holders in China. So there’s a leaderless quality to the international system and the hierarchies that make up the international system.
And what’s concerning about it in a way, is that as power aggregates, the leaders become disjointed from any sense of competition with other hierarchies. So they end up being able to do things that are entirely arbitrary—ethically without anchor. So you get leaders that are making decisions based, for example, on aesthetics. In China, it’s disturbing that the Chinese Communist Party is so stuck on not only its political ideology, but its racial ideology. It’s Han Chinese racism really, against Uighurs, against Tibetans. It’s bigotry against other religions. And I say other religions because in a way communism is like a religion.
But it’s bigotry against Falun Gong or Christians or Tibetan religions. It is this totalizing, aesthetic, homogenizing approach to politics and culture. I think there is an arbitrary aesthetic quality to it that’s disturbing. And they’re only able to do that because there’s starting to be no competitors for the Chinese Communist Party within China. But also increasingly outside of China, corporations, other governments are starting to fall into line with what the Chinese Communist Party wants them to do in a way that really should concern us.
We should be resisting more. We should be seeing more evidence of resistance against the CCP that we’re just not seeing. The G7, the world’s wealthiest countries recently met. They couldn’t agree even on a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games, when there’s three genocides going on in China. How is that possible? Japan, Italy, Germany, France; they couldn’t agree to a clear, clear diplomatic boycott.
Mr. Jekielek: So this is what I was saying, Anders, that it doesn’t look very promising from where I sit. It’s this economic part of it. You put it well that greed is obviously a very central element here, but this economic connections which have been created between all the countries that you just mentioned and the Chinese regime and all of its tools of influence and one belt, one road initiative across to entrench some of these debt trap diplomacy in some of the poorer countries. Altogether, it creates a pretty dire picture.
Mr. Corr: It is. It is a dire picture. If we recognize the dire picture, if we see it for what it is and stop ignoring it, I think we might have a chance to stop further aggregation of power. And that’s critical. We might have a chance to stop CCP hegemony globally, but we really have to recognize it. We have to understand it to do something about it.
Mr. Jekielek: What is it in your mind that really needs to be understood to be able to tackle this?
Mr. Corr: Right now, the 10-meter threat is China. China is influencing Russia, it’s influencing North Korea, it’s influencing Iran terrorism. There’s a very strong argument by Teng Biao and Terry Marsh, who’ve written that according to U.S. law, if you really apply U.S. law in a rigorous way, the CCP is a terrorist organization. We have to recognize that. We have to see the CCP for what it is, to really understand that we can’t allow our corporations to just do business with the CCP willy nilly because that will turn them into terrorist organizations.
It sounds extreme, but the reality is that we have an organization that is truly like a mafia organization or a terrorist organization. They’re involved in the UN. They’re paying off presidents around the world. They’re influencing people at very, very high levels. Hunter Biden got a three-karat diamond from people linked to this. We have to realize there is a problem and we need to take action to exclude terrorists, to exclude mafia people, to exclude the CCP from our highest decision makers. We have not done that as a nation and definitely in other countries, they’re even worse off.
Mr. Jekielek: So to the viewers right now, because I know my viewers somewhat, and frankly myself, I’m thinking who is going to do this? Because a lot of the people who you might expect normally would are playing ball or at least to some extent. People have multiple motivations, but as you’ve been outlining, the CCP has created a lot of leverage over all sorts of people and sorts of myriadic ways. It’s been its project for decades. I think you make a compelling argument, but who’s actually going to do this?
Mr. Corr: The citizens. Citizens have to demand that corruption in Washington DC and Brussels, in London… and sometimes it’s legalized corruption; those avenues of influence must be shut off. We cannot allow the children of our presidents to go do business in China and get at three-karat diamonds from CCP linked individuals. Jon Carey’s son was in business with Hunter Biden related to China. It creates a massive conflict of interest that we just can’t allow as citizens. We cannot delegate leadership to people who have a conflict of interest on the China issue.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes, but that leaves almost no one at this point.
Mr. Corr: We need new laws. We need stronger laws. We need to enforce existing laws. Some laws aren’t even enforced for years. The Foreign Agent Registration Act was not enforced. They had no investigators to actually find out who was actually breaking the law. It’s full of loopholes. It needs to be revised and revoted and strengthened. But that won’t happen until regular American citizens get out onto the streets and start protesting against corruption that is happening, whether it’s academia, our politics, our economics. People are being compromised. The Harvard Chemist!
Mr. Jekielek: As we speak, the trial has just begun or should have begun, of Charles Lieber, one of the world leading experts in nanotechnology. Basically, the indictment says that he was taking something like $50,000 a month from the Chinese Communist Party, and had an off-the-books lab that was created in China that he oversaw. He’s being tried for not disclosing these things.
There’re even some people today, and I was reading an article about this just before we sat down, that are wondering whether that was actually problematic. Is that really a problem? Why not have these good cooperative relationships? This is what someone was writing in an ostensibly respectable publication. So, I agree with many of the things you’re saying. It doesn’t make one filled with confidence and hope necessarily that this is actually going to be resolved.
Mr. Corr: Yes. There is a pessimistic tinge to the book. The last chapter talks about protecting our diversity, protecting the disaggregation of power. Actually, capitalism is part of that. We have many people who have their own property. When people own a company or they own a home, they have an independence from the massive hierarchies in society that you would never get in China.
So these small forms of independence that we have are critically important to the maintenance of freedom, to the maintenance of religious freedom, to the freedom of property, to the Second Amendment. All these things are a disaggregation of power that are being chipped away over time and will continue to be chipped away if we don’t take a more serious approach to this. And we have to hold our leaders accountable.
Part of the problem too is partisanship. We tend to stick to one party. We start to think that party’s going to be perfect, and we start to not be critical of that party when it also, in certain ways, is compromised. All our political parties are beholden to billionaires, large corporations that are doing business in China. And all of those corporations and billionaires are putting pressure on our elected leaders of both parties to go easy on China’s human rights abuse, to go easy when China claims to own the whole South China Sea, when China says openly, they’re planning to invade Taiwan.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s really interesting that you say this because looking at what’s happened in most liberal democracies, not all, there’s some really stark exceptions, is a massive aggregation of power as a result of COVID policy or CCP Virus Policy actually, as we call it at The Epoch Times. That’s unmistakable—unquestionable.
To me, as I was reading, I was thinking, “Man, that ratchet really got a big swing up during this time.” You were talking about the small businesses decimated at many, many levels. What are your thoughts about this? I think Sweden would be an exception. There are some U.S. states that are an exception. But I don’t know if too many other places that are, frankly, an exception to this.
Mr. Corr: Yes, we got locked down, we accepted it. You know, it’s definitely part of this aggregation of power by the state. In the past, we’ve had pandemics and you did not have this level of individual control by the state. This is new.
Mr. Jekielek: Is this another way that the CCP has influenced us?
Mr. Corr: Well, the virus certainly started in China and the CCP was pushing very, very draconian lockdown measures as the proper response. And I think actually the most draconian measures are there in China.
Mr. Jekielek: Oh no, unquestionably. But look at the great results they got. Only something like 4,000 dead. It’s incredible. I don’t want to be glib about this, but of course I hope most people don’t believe those numbers.
We have seen, as we’ve just discussed, this aggregation of power in all ways. It’s been, I think, transparent to most people that maybe didn’t think about such things very much, but it’s been very obvious, and it’s been in many areas of society. It’s been in many countries, at many levels. This last chapter in your book is about how to disaggregate. Tell me about how this can actually happen. Of course, you said the citizens, but what are the citizens going to do here?
Mr. Corr: The preservation, I think, of our freedoms that we still have, because I think a lot of freedoms are gone already, but what we still have has to be preserved. There’s no one that will do this other than the citizens, because everyone high up in the hierarchy tends to be compromised in one way or the other.
Most recently, social media clamped down on the defunding of alternate voices—The Epoch Times is one of them. NTD, China Uncensored, all of these critical voices of China, which is what I watch, are being defunded. How can you operate? How can you get your message out if you’ve got absolutely nothing to spend?
I was on a show recently that was defunded by YouTube. They didn’t have any money for a cameraman. So, one of the presenters had to move back and forth and fix the camera. And then the result of course, is something that doesn’t look quite as professional as Bloomberg or quite as professional as CNN. So there’s this bias that’s being introduced in the media. That is absolutely part of this concentration of power.
If you go against the narrative, if you go against the CCP, which is where all the power is aggregating, you’re defunded. You’re delegitimized.
Mr. Jekielek: You already suggested the answer. So you go to the citizens, that’s what we’ve done at The Epoch Times, of course, and we’re so grateful for the many citizens who buy subscriptions or support us in other ways. It’s the only way it works. So that’s interesting that you say that.
Mr. Corr: Yes, Trump is starting his own social media, which is absolutely the right thing to do. If Twitter removes you and your millions of followers, how wrong is that? How wrong is that? Especially to a sitting president. It’s unprecedented that a big corporation like that would, and something that’s supposed to be a democratization of information. The internet was supposed to be a democratization of information where we could all have a voice. And those voices that were popular would rise up. That’s what happened with Trump. And then the corporation comes down and knocks him down. So, we’ll see. We’ll see if Trump is successful in his new social media outfit, we have hope. If he’s not successful, it’s trouble.
Mr. Jekielek: We have hope because you feel it’s going to be a democratizing force, basically. A disaggregating force.
Mr. Corr: It’s a disaggregating force. You’re taking power from Twitter, from Facebook, the biggest corporations, the biggest social media corporations that are trying to influence and control and channel the way we think about the world, in a way that’s entirely unnatural because they’re removing dissident voices. And if those dissident voices are able to create their own media platforms in the same way that Epoch Times or NTD, or all of these different platforms are doing, if they’re able to be successful and survive and grow, then I think we have hope.
Mr. Jekielek: So really, your call to action is everyone needs to get busy. Really, that’s what you’re saying.
Mr. Corr: People need to get busy fighting for freedom, defending the freedoms they have. Don’t ever let a single freedom go. Don’t give an inch of territory to the CCP or any other dictator or autocrat.
Mr. Jekielek: Anders, thanks for writing “The Concentration of Power.” I think it’s a very important book. I’m looking forward to seeing the next columns coming out, obviously this week, given what I’ve seen before. Such a pleasure to have you on again.
Mr. Corr: Thank you.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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