The hard truth about the expanded neoliberal world order
Epilogue: Two phone calls
When news of the massacre and the spilling of young Chinese blood on the streets around Tiananmen Square on June Fourth 1989 reached Sweden, a nineteen-year old made two phone calls. The ﬁrst was to the switchboard of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He asked to speak to someone at the Asia desk. After being put through, a civil serv- ant in the Asia unit picked up the receiver and said: “Hello?” “What are you going to do about the massacre in Beijing?” “What do you mean ‘do’? What do you think we should do?” the civil servant asked. “Well”, the nineteen-year old answered tentatively. “Maybe protest. Make a formal protest to the Chinese government or something.” “That’s how you feel?” the voice said. “I see. But, you know, there’s nothing we can do.” “But there must be something you can do?” “No, nothing.” “Oh, okay”, the caller replied. Feeling sheepish and embarrassed, he hung up. The second call was to the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm. “Hello?” “Yes, hello. I am calling to protest against the killings in Beijing.” “Yes?” “Isn’t it horrible, terrible? These people killed were just students. They were unarmed, right? “Yes, I know.” The female official replied in a voice choked with tears, and then began sobbing. And she didn’t stop. After a while, the young man hung up, surprised and even more embarrassed. 330 I was nineteen years old and had just graduated from high school. Ever since I made these two calls I...
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