Spiked online editor Brendan O'Neill is on a road trip to Tibet. In a new dispatch, he explores the serious disconnect between the popular western image of Tibet as a place of peace, stillness, and spirituality, and the reality he sees on the ground on Lhasa. It`s interesting throughout, but I especially liked this bit at the end:
What connects the old imperialists with the new Tibetophiles is their desire to have Tibet as a ‘buffer state’ – only where the imperialists wanted to use Tibet to protect their material interests against China and Russia, the new lot want to use it to protect their emotional interests, to preserve an idea of innocent, childlike humanity so far uncorrupted by modernity.
Both sides have indulged in borderline racist fantasies that are all about themselves rather than reality.