It has been a few years since Sangeetha started her Chinese Privilege gig, creating a meme that has managed to make significant headway into the ideological space of the English-educated and speaking crowd in Singapore.
While Sangeetha apparently hasn’t been able to make much money off her original subscription model of SJWism for her Singaporean Chinese Privilege blog, which apparently had only two subscribers after an extended run, she has moved out into farming Chinese Privilege by hawking it in educational institutions as well as shaking down guilty Chinese Allies for money or bashing whatever non-Southern Indian group that has earned her ire. The demands for money, resources and power can get quite comedic at times, and they make for good popcorn time material.
Whatever you may think of Sangeetha and her histrionics, you cannot deny that she has managed to create something that is expected to be around for quite a while which will be an issue that every Red Pill social insurgent will eventually have to tackle.
There are excellent takedowns of Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege out there, and they provide deep analysis and deconstruction, showing why as a social theory to describe and approach race relations in Singapore it is not only highly suspect, but also dangerous for the social fabric of Singapore. These are works you should verse yourself in to better understand the issue.
But while I do think these works are great takedowns of Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege, I do feel they lack something fundamental that has limited that effectiveness in changing opinions on the matter.
They are logical.
Yep that’s the problem, they are too logical.
The Chinese Privilege gig sells well to the progressive leftist crowd in Singapore not because it is a well-constructed thesis but because it is designed to push as many emotional buttons as possible among minorities and English-speaking Chinese Progressives in Singapore. As a work of manipulating emotions and recruiting minorities and liberals it has proven to be quite useful.
Logical takedowns of Sangeetha miss the manipulative nature of her ideology out entirely to focus on the rational merit of argument she is making, forgetting that Chinese Privilege sells not based on logic, but by provoking emotion.
While Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege may take the appearance of an academic exercise, it is just that, a facade.
Remember the whole Chinese Privilege meme is not meant to be logically consistent, but just appear plausibly enough so in order to stoke minority anger.
To understand how to best combat the damaging effects of Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege narrative on the social fabric of Singapore one needs to understand that nature of how it persuades, provokes and spreads its influence. Logical takedowns generally neglect this, and end up serving merely as textbook answers that lack persuasive power.
So with that, Talon shall look at the foundations of Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege memes in terms of how it is structured to persuade and manipulate.
Chinese Privilege has proven to be quite effective in manipulating people because it works on multiple levels. Let’s look at them now:
1) Manipulating Emotions- Casual Irritations as Systemic Racism
Understanding the meme of Chinese Privilege as one that generally spreads via an appeal to emotion becomes useful when you look beyond the academic writings that Sangeetha puts out to examine the secondary material in her inflammatory anti-Chinese hysterics on social media. These serve as an informal “real-world” expression of her ideology.
While these hysterics serve an to stoke emotions among her social circle in support of her social theories, and also provide us social insurgents some insight into her psyche, it is important to note that the “academic” side of Chinese Privilege gives justifications for Sangeetha acting in ways that could be quite reasonably considered racist.
For the people who have been harbouring large grudges against the Chinese majority in Singapore for various reasons, an academic justification allowing them to act out in is incredibly attractive. This is why a fair bit of people are willing to ignore the inconsistencies and sheer fabrications of fact even when they are glaringly obvious.
Sangeetha has managed to successfully up-sell latent casual racism in Singapore as systemic, exaggerating the actions of an insensitive minority of the Chinese as an institutional issue. On top of that, she has also redefined any inconvenience that minorities often face by virtue of being different from the rest as an issue of overt racism and discrimination, as opposed to finding alternative plausible explanations for that.
Remember under Chinese Privilege, any bad feels from the minority in regards to the majority is a result of Chinese racism.
Now casual racism is latent in all populations due to individual dispositions. This is unfortunate but it is another thing to claim it’s a systemic issue (ie. The system is actively out to get you.)
It is simple math in action. Even if all the races in Singapore had similar levels of casual racism, a member of the minority is simply way more likely to run into an idiot from the majority by virtue of the sheer numbers of them around. This does not mean that the majority as a group is out to get you, but that you are more likely to run into an idiot from it.
Sangeetha spins this statistical reality and distorts it to convince minorities that the Chinese as a class (if they aren’t self-identified allies on her bandwagon) are out to get them, and it works because most people can’t understand proportional representation.
To top this off, Sangeetha moves to reframe things that are due to simple demographic math in play as an example of deliberate systemic discrimination. The economies of scale that the Chinese can employ by virtue of being more numerous, such as being able to use Mandarin as a lingua franca for non-English speakers in employment are now redefined as racism. Advertisements targeted at the biggest demographic market is sold as discrimination against minorities (because targeted marketing ignoring is racist). So on so forth.
All unfortunate minor irritations (microaggressions) that minorities face are reframed as an example of a massive Chinese hegemonic conspiracy to disenfranchise minorities under the meme of Chinese Privilege.
It does not matter that there are alternative explanations that are more inane and don’t need to bring up accusations of racism, why? Because these explanations do not provide emotional relief in giving a bogeyman to bash.
A great part of the manipulative power Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege meme comes from the ability to continually redefine all minor irritations that minorities face as racism. While such “everything annoying is racism” sentiments are not new Sangeetha has managed to present an easily understood, applicable and seemingly academic method of codifying and concentrating such feelings under the banner of “Chinese Privilege”.
Know that the logic often does not matter, what matters is the emotional payoff an aggrieved person can get from putting a “Chinese Privilege!” stamp on anything about the Chinese that causes unhappy feelings.
2) Appealing to Rabbit Psychology
Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege is also structured to appeal specifically the psychologies of the Rabbit people. If you don’t know what Rabbit means you can refer to the post with the grand summary on Wolves and Rabbits.
The core of Rabbit psychology is anti-competitive, seeking to eliminate all inequality of outcomes no matter the reason. Rabbits value models are also intrinsic, deeply focused on inherent rights, identities and status entitlements without the corresponding extrinsic justifications for such.
As such, claims that Singaporean Chinese are stealing resources and status from that should be rightfully accorded to minorities in Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege meme are deeply convincing to the Rabbit people that tend to populate the progressive demographic in Singapore.
Not that it does not matter if one can point out other more plausible reasons why there are different outcomes between the Chinese majority and the rest, Rabbit people are cognitively predisposed towards believing the narrative of a hegemonic racist Chinese conspiracy to oppress the rest because that is the quickest way to make the loudest noise and greatest push for resource redistribution.
In short, the radical claims of Sangeetha are specifically designed to best provoke Rabbit instincts among local progressives. This provocation is powerful enough progressives are compelled to move along with it, with the less-rabbity of those who attempt be the moderate voices largely ignored or even attacked outright.
Sangeetha has also hedged her bets well by setting up a local version of the progressive stack and making a hard sell for it in the opening arguments for her Chinese Privilege gig several years back, conveniently placing herself, an overweight, dark-skinned southern Indian woman sorely at the bottom of the stack in order to claim the right as progressive moral arbiter over everyone else. This has allowed her relatively free reign to control and redefine a great deal of discourse on race in progressive circles although there is some indication that she might be overreaching of late and alienating segments of her ilk higher up her stack.
To sum it up, Chinese Privilege has been rather convincing to anyone of a progressive disposition due to it being able to appeal well to various aspects of Rabbit psychology. This has allowed Chinese Privilege as a meme to entrench itself deeply within liberal circles in Singapore, of which uprooting it will probably require monumental effort from moderates.
Interestingly, the specific construction of Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege in order to appeal to Rabbit people can be seen via the contrast of reactions in minority individuals who have more Wolf dispositions- they tend to be less welcoming of Sangeetha’s assertions, and sometimes even outrightly hostile. The Wolf people rightfully reject all this race-baiting as nonsense, even when it promises them a moral high horse.
3) Memetic Hijack of Western Progressive Memes
On a technical level there is nothing terribly original about Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege- it’s original presentation was chunks of writings on White Privilege by Western Progressives taken wholesale with the racial terms swapped to turn White to Chinese, completely ignoring the differing cultural and historical contexts that exist.
Criticisms of Chinese Privilege as being plagiarised and shoehorned to fit a local perspective miss the point. Sangeetha doesn’t need Chinese Privilege to be original or even appropriate for application here as a cultural theory- all she needs is something that will catch the attention of local liberals already using all the buzzwords and rhetoric they are familiar with.
This outright appropriation of White Privilege serves several purposes: being a cookie-cutter term-swapped social theory Chinese Privilege can piggyback on established memes within the headspace of local progressives already set up by the White Privilege narrative, giving the same feel of authenticity and credibility White Privilege already has.
This is why the output of local progressives on Chinese and White privilege often appear indistinguishable, in their heads it is literally the same meme, just with different skin colours.
The power of this transposing effect was so much that several minorities I observed who drank Sangeetha’s cool aid started equating their situation in Singapore as equivalent to that of African Americans!
Far from being a weakness, the shameless plagiarisation of White Privilege in Chinese a Privilege is a rhetoric strength, a memetic hijack that has paid dividends for local race-baiters.
Remember, an argument does not need to be valid to be convincing, it can take on the guise of other accepted arguments in an act of rhetorical mimicry to slip in and set root.
4) Meeting Regressive Idealogical Demand
One also needs to examine and understand local idealogical market forces to understand how Chinese Privilege has obtained it’s manipulative power.
For a long time liberalism in Singapore has been largely tied to opposition politics with parties such as the SDP being the flag bearer for the further left of the spectrum. While civil society did exist and was ideologically leftist and probably more so, the bulk of minds in the populace on the left was occupied by local opposition politics.
Then came the the stunning opposition victories of 2011 which built up support for opposition politics to a frothing fever pitch (as a matter of fact opposition supporters often behaved in a manner similar to SJWs), with local liberals confident that GE 2015 would be another stunning success.
Then came the crushing defeats they routed and discredited the opposition as the ground swung to the PAP in 2015, a trend that has not let up in a series of losing streaks and misfortunes for local political parties.
This was however a boon for local Progressives as there was now a power vacuum in local leftism since the collapse of the political opposition. Where your idealistic young uni undergrads may once have seen opposition political activism in the years of 2011-2015 as an outlet to their inflated-self perception of revolutionary righteousness, the post 2015 environment only has SJWism for them to sign up for.
This has consequently led to a swell in the ranks of progressives in Singapore. This sets up a buyers market for any progressive idea that can be successfully localised- after all it’s more payoff to SJWing on stuff here as opposed to posting about social issues in America.
This demand for local progressive memes is a natural market for Sangeetha’s Chinese Privilege narrative and its various permutations. While basically repurposed White Privilege, Sangeetha has managed to hawk a meme that appears localised enough for local regressive to latch onto and propagate.
Conclusion and Initial Insurgent Strategy
Chinese Privilege as a meme has proven to be effective in infiltrating and entrenching itself in the idealogical landscape of Singapore. While currently generally restricted to the English-educated and speaking liberal demographic one expects that barring the takeover of another more attractive progressive ideology it is expected to progress.
Chinese Privilege as a meme finds it’s success and appeal not because it is a valid work of academic social commentary, by manipulating several key centers of gravity in the idealogical battlefield to becoming rather convincing, they are:
1) Manipulating the emotions of aggrieved minorities by providing a plausible and codified belief system to concentrate, amplify and direct the negativity.
2) Manipulating the Rabbit psychology of liberals by structuring the rhetoric within Chinese Privilege to trigger instinctive Rabbit anti-competitiveness and aversion to differential outcomes, biasing such individuals towards be ideology.
3) Appropriating accepted memes such as White Privilege to take advantage of meme hijack in order to expedite acceptance of Chinese Privilege in the headspace of Progressives.
4) Meeting pent-up market demand for localised ideologies among local Progressives looking for a justification to conduct local activism.
These 4 main factors are why Chinese Privilege by Sangeetha as been relatively successful as a local progressive meme, which is at this point largely self-sustaining without much action on its originator.
Many traditional attempts to address Chinese Privilege are conducted on logical validity of the ideas themselves instead of understanding these 4 factors, and hence they fall short of even starting to dent it’s memetic appeal.
Red Pill social insurgents operating outside traditional paradigms of discourse need to realise that Chinese Privilege as a meme can only be defeated if these 4 centers of gravity are addressed. Fortunately as Red Pills, you are in possession of powerful knowledge that allows you to do just that. Talon will be addressing those in other posts on the matter.
You need to realise that the ultimate endgame of Chinese Privilege is not the elimination of racism from Singaporean society but rather the amplification of fault lines within the social fabric of Singapore. As a meme that finds its sustenance for existence by finding and defining racism in everything it will never stop until it’s acolytes are completely offended by everything, no matter how innocuous, with the races further from common ground as they have ever been.
We only need to look to America to see how badly this can turn out and mark my worlds that this is the outcome if the destructive meme of Chinese Privilege is allowed to run unchecked.