Nobody cares about freeing Tibet anymore

For those old enough, cast your minds back to when Tibet was a hot-button topic among the truly "Progressive" members of society.  Remember all those "Free Tibet" bumper stickers?  You may still see them, but it's usually worn and peeling now on an older vehicle.  Back in those halcyon days, this was the veritable battle cry of what were to be called the "woke" ten, even five years ago, but now you rarely hear of it.  Why is that?

The ultimate reason for why Tibet stopped being the cause du jour and was shuffled off into the mists of time as less important, if not wholly unimportant, is one thing: nationalism. You see, with the recent revival of nationalist sentiment in so much of the West, the idea of promoting Tibetan national interests over that of the Chinese becomes, as the Progressives so commonly put it, problematic.  How could a good, social justice–oriented Progressive be for something as decidedly distasteful and bigoted as nationalism?  Yet here they were, promoting a form of nationalism for the Tibetan people.  How could they square this circle?  They couldn't.  It had to be eliminated, albeit in a manner all too typical of now passé causes, in as quietly and discreetly a manner as possible.  Pretend they never stood for such bourgeois — standard, almost Stalinesque revisionists history, a perfunctory airbrushing away of what once was and replacing it with a much more aggressive form of internationalists globalism that proclaims from the rooftops that "diversity is our strength" and holds fast to the proposition that multiculturalism is completely beneficial to every (Western) country that embraces it.  (Thankfully, Tibet isn't Western, so no need to talk about it and how the Chinese are colonizing it with their own people!)

Another factor that dovetails with this terribly problematic issue is the Dalai Lama.  He too was once part of the great "Free Tibet" narrative.  What a great spiritual leader he was then, taking a stand for his people and bringing words of wisdom to all of us to learn from.  Except there was a growing problem: not only was the original Progressive narrative on Tibet fading due to the complications related to nationalism, but the Dalai Lama was proving to be a bit too much of a nationalist — and not just for Tibet!  His vexatious statements on how Europe should be for Europeans and that migrants from outside should return home did not align with his previously hallowed position as the wise man giving us eternal truths.  Axioms that Progressives once recited by heart or printed on a t-shirt were now compromised by the reality that their venerated Eastern mystical spiritual leader was clearly little better than some evil, bigoted "white supremacist" or some similar villainous depiction.

How does one square such contradictions? By re-employing those same Stalinesque techniques or simply engaging in damage control by downplaying what was said and sweeping everything under the carpet, hoping as few people noticed what he said as possible.

By such creative sleights of hand and, perhaps, some sophistry in revising the entire history of their once championed narrative, we now have Progressives pretending Tibet is an inconsequential topic, one that would be in bad taste to bring up in mixed company.  The reframing of the narrative complete, we now can continue with the previously promoted globalist position: leaving Tibet a forgotten, virtual non-entity by those who so often speak of empathy, justice, and the downtrodden.  Meanwhile, nationalism is scorned for all as some form of fascism that should be denounced and defeated by any means necessary.  Tibet's nationalism has been successfully eliminated from the conversation.

For those old enough, cast your minds back to when Tibet was a hot-button topic among the truly "Progressive" members of society.  Remember all those "Free Tibet" bumper stickers?  You may still see them, but it's usually worn and peeling now on an older vehicle.  Back in those halcyon days, this was the veritable battle cry of what were to be called the "woke" ten, even five years ago, but now you rarely hear of it.  Why is that?

The ultimate reason for why Tibet stopped being the cause du jour and was shuffled off into the mists of time as less important, if not wholly unimportant, is one thing: nationalism. You see, with the recent revival of nationalist sentiment in so much of the West, the idea of promoting Tibetan national interests over that of the Chinese becomes, as the Progressives so commonly put it, problematic.  How could a good, social justice–oriented Progressive be for something as decidedly distasteful and bigoted as nationalism?  Yet here they were, promoting a form of nationalism for the Tibetan people.  How could they square this circle?  They couldn't.  It had to be eliminated, albeit in a manner all too typical of now passé causes, in as quietly and discreetly a manner as possible.  Pretend they never stood for such bourgeois — standard, almost Stalinesque revisionists history, a perfunctory airbrushing away of what once was and replacing it with a much more aggressive form of internationalists globalism that proclaims from the rooftops that "diversity is our strength" and holds fast to the proposition that multiculturalism is completely beneficial to every (Western) country that embraces it.  (Thankfully, Tibet isn't Western, so no need to talk about it and how the Chinese are colonizing it with their own people!)

Another factor that dovetails with this terribly problematic issue is the Dalai Lama.  He too was once part of the great "Free Tibet" narrative.  What a great spiritual leader he was then, taking a stand for his people and bringing words of wisdom to all of us to learn from.  Except there was a growing problem: not only was the original Progressive narrative on Tibet fading due to the complications related to nationalism, but the Dalai Lama was proving to be a bit too much of a nationalist — and not just for Tibet!  His vexatious statements on how Europe should be for Europeans and that migrants from outside should return home did not align with his previously hallowed position as the wise man giving us eternal truths.  Axioms that Progressives once recited by heart or printed on a t-shirt were now compromised by the reality that their venerated Eastern mystical spiritual leader was clearly little better than some evil, bigoted "white supremacist" or some similar villainous depiction.

How does one square such contradictions? By re-employing those same Stalinesque techniques or simply engaging in damage control by downplaying what was said and sweeping everything under the carpet, hoping as few people noticed what he said as possible.

By such creative sleights of hand and, perhaps, some sophistry in revising the entire history of their once championed narrative, we now have Progressives pretending Tibet is an inconsequential topic, one that would be in bad taste to bring up in mixed company.  The reframing of the narrative complete, we now can continue with the previously promoted globalist position: leaving Tibet a forgotten, virtual non-entity by those who so often speak of empathy, justice, and the downtrodden.  Meanwhile, nationalism is scorned for all as some form of fascism that should be denounced and defeated by any means necessary.  Tibet's nationalism has been successfully eliminated from the conversation.