I guess I’m supposed to be impressed, but I’m not.
The chicoms have landed a probe on the dark side of the moon, now commonly called the far side. This is a first, primarily because nobody, astronomers included, give a fig about the dark side, which is as inconsequential and yawn-inspiring as the side facing us.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 3, 2019
This has nothing to do with science or charting the unknown.
It’s a showboat rolled out by the totalitarians in Beijing for the express purpose of demonstrating to the West they are besting the technological advancements of the United States, never mind the Americans can’t put anything substantial in space without help from Russia. If the chicoms—who are in fact not communist at all (as Marx understood it)—can land a rover with a light and camera on the dismal side of the moon, they can certainly put a nuke in the courtyard at the Pentagon.
Naturally, the result will be a new arms race. China’s overhyped feat of landing a Tonka toy on the ho hum side of the moon will be exploited by the military-industrial complex, an updated repeat of what happened after the Soviet Union managed to put in orbit a chunk of metal called Sputnik. Americans went crazy with fear, worried the evil Soviets would soon have the capacity to orbit nukes and drop them at will on cities across the fruited plain. This nonsense was pushed by the establishment media, at the time heavily influenced by the CIA.
A couple decades later, we learned that the Soviets were far behind the US in missile technology and had but a handful of nukes. Scary stories published in the New York Times and the Washington Post at the time about Soviet superiority were what we would today call fake news.
China is not exploring new worlds. It’s showing the Americans it can defend itself, the same as a sane person would defend himself against a rabid dog.
This is not to say the chicoms are heroic or admirable.
Forget about a vastly expensive radio-controlled toy bumping and grinding across the dusty surface of a lightless and lifeless satellite. The chicoms are mimicking dated NASA technology.
Where they really excel—beyond stealing American can-do technology and patents—is building a total surveillance police state.