What's going on in China!

RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
edited October 14 in Purgatory
There have, not unreasonably, been objections to discussion of other issues in and about China - from the plight of the Uighurs to questions about involuntary organ donations, new horizons in surveillance to the "Belt and Road" initiative - in the Hong Kong thread. Here, therefore, is a new one.

I debated putting this in Hell instead of in Purg, but I've decided to trust that we can all be adults and post only links relevant to the discussion, explain our reasons for posting said links, and eschew personal insults.

On to our discussions...



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Comments

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The Chinese government has been destroying and building over old Uighur burial grounds. The before-and-after photos are pretty shocking.

    I think it's safe to assume that this has something to do with China's demonstrated antipathy toward its Muslim minorities. The photographic evidence of same is pretty overwhelming.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 14
    The Chinese government has, IMO, overreacted to the Uighur issue and responded in a way that is is heavy handed and insensitive. However, at the risk of being called a “PRC apologist”- which apparently encompasses anyone who questions hysterical western propaganda about China- there is a real problem that China has had to deal with, namely the inroads of Salafi ideology among some Uighurs which has mixed toxically with separatist ambitions. The PRC to a large extent brought this problem on themselves by backing the Afghan mujahideen in the 80’s and establishing training camps in Xinjiang. They encouraged Uighurs to make common cause with their Afghan correligionists which helped open the way for Salafism to spread in Xinjiang itself. Meanwhile the Soviets encouraged Uighur separatism and the two tendencies congealed into the current movement. The PRC throughout the 90’s refused to acknowledge the problem as anything more than common criminality; after America’s 9/11 though they took advantage of the prevailing atmosphere to jump on the anti-terror bandwagon. However the Uighur separatist movement was never very strong, enjoying most support in the Kashgar area and even there not exactly popular. Their profile was raised though by various terrorist attacks such as the indiscrimate knife attacks at the Kunming train station in 2014.

    Regarding the burial grounds, a Han acquaintance of mine who grew up in Chongqing mentions how his family burial plots were moved due to government rezoning, and that this happens a lot, and not necessary in the most sensitive way. That doesn’t mean that this is all that’s happening in Xinjiang or that it’s okay.

    The PRC response to the terror attacks, riots, and various other security concerns was eventually to turn Xinjiang into a police state. I’ll say more later but right now I’ll recommend everyone read this article by someone who travelled through Xinjiang last year: https://palladiummag.com/2018/11/29/a-week-in-xinjiangs-absolute-surveillance-state/
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Interesting story. It sounds oppressive (no surprises there), and, as noted, the author and his party didn't even try to check out the re-education centers.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Sir Palomides, I seem to recall you've expressed skepticism about reporting on China in the mainstream western media - is there any particular reason why you think this article is reliable?
  • The author is not a typical Western journalist- not a journalist at all, actually. And he is actually of Russian origin so not really western either. His account is very nuanced and is congruent with my own experiences (I never went to Xinjiang but met a few Uighurs and got to know one somewhat well). It helps too that I heard an interview with the author and he seemed quite unbiased. He didn’t go to Xinjiang to prove any point.
  • @SirPalomides

    Phrases like this
    However, at the risk of being called a “PRC apologist”- which apparently encompasses anyone who questions hysterical western propaganda about China
    do not inspire confidence in their desire to see evenly.
    Chinese communism is repressive. Full stop. Sorting out just how repressive to which groups is not always straight forwards, but the very structure of the government is based on repression. Reporting this is not biased.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 14
    The very structure of all governments is based on repression. That is as true of capitalist governments as communist ones. The repression ongoing in Ecuador is not something you can blame on communism, which is why your preferred right-wing media outlets aren’t saying much about it. Singling out China for this indicates pro-Western bias. I have been called a PRC apologist for things as simple as pointing out the origins of the Falun Gong organ harvesting propaganda campaign. As usual the approach is to smear the messenger rather than address the facts and arguments presented. But by all means, lilbuddha, take up the white man’s burden and explain to us how things really are in China!
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited October 14
    The very structure of all governments is based on repression.
    No. All governments have aspects of control, but that is not the same thing. Many governments engage in repressive tactics at times, but that is also not the same thing.
    One can argue the relative merits of particular governments, but they are not all structured the same.
    Singling out China for this indicates pro-Western bias.
    I am not singling out China. This thread is about China, it is not a lecture on comparative government.
    But by all means, lilbuddha, take up the white man’s burden and explain to us how things really are in China!
    Your posts continue to amuse. They attempt to discredit by insult instead of by reason and that is not a good look, though.
    I'm not qualified to take up the "white man's burden," even should I wish to. And that does not even make sense regardless.
    BTW, lack of bias is neutrality, not automatically rejecting POV to either side of one's own.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Well, that didn't take long. Guess I'll just stick to reading novels by Lisa See when I want to learn about China.
  • All governments are based on one class repressing another. Marx was wrong about a lot of things but he was right about that.
  • All governments are based on one class repressing another. Marx was wrong about a lot of things but he was right about that.
    Not exactly. Democracy is theoretically based on governance for the benefit of the people. In practice, those with power skew the process towards themselves. The difference being that in some forms, like democracy, the people can fight to address that. Chinese communism does not allow for this, hence the repression being a feature of the system, rather than an abuse of it.
    Personally, I favour social democracy as the best compromise.
  • “The people” is an abstraction conjured to smooth over the class character of democratic government. When the majority of wealth and political influence belongs to a tiny minority, there is no “people.”

    Democratic governments allow dissent so long as it is not deemed dangerous to the social order. Hence a plethora of tiny anarchist and communist groups in the USA that can be safely smiled upon by authorities because their primary activity consists of glorified book clubs and they will not be leading revolutions any time soon. Things are different though when there is a real movement. Hence the war against the civil rights movement, hence COINTELPRO, hence the assassination or incarceration of the Black Panther leadership. Don’t think for a second it won’t happen again in the event of a real movement threatening the ruling class.

    Repression is potential or kinetic. It is at the moment in its potential stage in the US.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    Is there actually any evidence of significant radicalisation amongst Uighurs?

    Prior to a massive number being forced into "re-education" camps were they really plotting terrorism in China?

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Homeostasis of a very full bowl. That's what's going on. And I don't see that the Chinese government could therefore be doing otherwise in Xinjiang.
  • Blahblah wrote: »
    Is there actually any evidence of significant radicalisation amongst Uighurs?

    Prior to a massive number being forced into "re-education" camps were they really plotting terrorism in China?

    Depends on what you mean by “significant.” But yes there have been terrorist attacks since the 90’s. Some horrible knife attacks and bombings that have left scores dead. I think the last significant reported event was in 2016. The Uighur Türkistan Islamic Party in Syria is aligned with Al Qaeda.

    It does remain a question as to how centrally organized the attacks really are. They don’t seem to enjoy widespread support among Uighurs. The ETIM in China seems more like a very loose network or even just a brand that individuals can attach themselves to for attacks. The threat is real even if the government may exaggerate it.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    You have some links to show this? I'm not disputing that there have been terrorist incidents in China. But have there really been significant incidents *with Uighurs*
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 14
    Sure. For example, the Kunming knife attack in 2014: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1493735/deafening-silence-follows-kunming-railway-station-hacking-attack

    The Aksu mine attack from 2015:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/01/at-least-50-reported-dead-in-september-attack-as-china-celebrates-xinjiang

    Another high profile event was the 2009 Ürümqi riots. This probably did the most to create fear about Xinjiang among Han: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/06/china-riots-uighur-xinjiang

    It was after the riots that the most horrible attacks seemed to happen.

    Prior to that there were many other attacks but a lot smaller. Authorities also tried to keep things under wraps and downplay events that might embarrass them.
  • The PRC also tries to project positive images of Uighurs in the media. It also helps that one of China’s biggest superstars is Dilraba Dilmurat. Some people have circulated claims that Uighurs are being forced to use only Han names- Dilraba Dilmurat is definitely not a Han name.

    Here’s a gorgeous video depicting some traditional Uighur fashions.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    So you are saying the reports of thousands of Uighur people being forced into re-education camps are exaggerated?
  • Where did I say that?
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    So you think the reports are accurate?
  • Honestly I find your question bizarre. What have I said above that would indicate to you that I deny that there are thousands of Uighurs in camps?
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    I'm trying to understand your position. Are the reports of PRC government treatment of a large number of Uighars exaggerated or not?
  • Here’s the question you came out of the blue with:
    Blahblah wrote: »
    So you are saying the reports of thousands of Uighur people being forced into re-education camps are exaggerated?

    That’s not simply asking my opinion, that’s indicating (“so you’re saying...”) that I already said something to make you infer this was my position, when in fact I said nothing about the camps at all. I don’t find that a respectful way to have a conversation.

    But to indulge your curiosity, yes, I believe that there are indeed thousands of Uighurs in re-education camps.

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    China has bad reputation overall when it comes to Human Rights. It annoys me when we all the arguments are about trade and not human rights.
    They do not need an excuse to treat the Uighur people badly they can just do it and tell the rest of the world to keep their nose out. We need their manufacturing power.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What arguments?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Blahblah wrote: »
    I'm trying to understand your position. Are the reports of PRC government treatment of a large number of Uighars exaggerated or not?

    Have you stopped beating your wife?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    @Ruth is right. That didn't take long.
  • I feel like it's always helpful to read current events within the context of historical events. China is a five thousand year old civilization. That's a lot of karma to unpack.

    Quite frankly I don't think that westerners will ever be able to see China from a Chinese point of view, and I doubt that the Chinese will ever see themselves through the eyes of the West.

    My darling departed daughter lived in China and studied Mandarin in preparation for taking her undergrad degree in physics there. She related to me the fundamental differences she observed in how the Chinese perceive reality and how seeing through Chinese eyes required a partial or complete inversion of some core western beliefs.

    My conclusion from her stories was that there are so many more shades of grey in the Chinese moral landscape, one would have to be born into the culture in order to discern all the gradients.

    Understanding this, I wouldn't even begin to approach the question. In light of the conversation upthread I would be inclined to agree that the use of oppression is pretty much the go-to for all economic and political power wielders.

    AFF




  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    What arguments?

    Watch the BBC business at 5:30 in the morning and you will find out.
  • As someone of Chinese heritage but who’s lived most of my life in the West I wouldn’t agree that there is an unbridgeable gulf of understanding. On the matter of the Uighurs, there are plenty of grounds to fairly criticize the Chinese government’s handling of it, without seeing it as an inscrutable act of malice, as if the PRC rolled out this very expensive and laborious policing, surveillance, and detention system to quench a thirst for repression for its own sake.

    The Chinese government was responding to some very real security concerns, similar concerns to those that led the United States to invade two countries and destablize many others. Whether the Chinese government’s approach is fair, proportionate, or just is worth asking but IMO the initial motive is not an obscure one explicable only through Chinese eyes.
  • As someone of Chinese heritage but who’s lived most of my life in the West I wouldn’t agree that there is an unbridgeable gulf of understanding. On the matter of the Uighurs, there are plenty of grounds to fairly criticize the Chinese government’s handling of it, without seeing it as an inscrutable act of malice, as if the PRC rolled out this very expensive and laborious policing, surveillance, and detention system to quench a thirst for repression for its own sake.

    The Chinese government was responding to some very real security concerns, similar concerns to those that led the United States to invade two countries and destablize many others. Whether the Chinese government’s approach is fair, proportionate, or just is worth asking but IMO the initial motive is not an obscure one explicable only through Chinese eyes.

    I don't think the Chinese gov't handling of the Uighurs is inscrutable at all.

    I think it requires some understanding of the historical context and the cultural norms within which these events take place.

    You have grown up in that culture and understand the west as well. I think you're qualified to render an opinion. I don't think I am. I need a lot more information. I am no longer comfortable with simplified western narratives.

    AFF
  • There are unbiased sources that happen to be located in the west. Finding unbiased sources in China is difficult because news sources are state monitored and dissidents often disappear.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    What arguments?

    Watch the BBC business at 5:30 in the morning and you will find out.

    I've got a life. So they have all the arguments? About trade AND NOT HUMAN RIGHTS, THE BASTARDS! On a business program?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Blahblah wrote: »
    I'm trying to understand your position. Are the reports of PRC government treatment of a large number of Uighars exaggerated or not?

    Have you stopped beating your wife?

    Inappropriate response really. Better would have been I said I didn't want the sherry glasses. No?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Host hat on
    @Martin54 none of your last three or four posts have been a meaningful contribution to the discussion or asked questions in a sensible way. Please stop that kind of posting here.
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    There are unbiased sources that happen to be located in the west. Finding unbiased sources in China is difficult because news sources are state monitored and dissidents often disappear.

    Leaving aside the question of whether it is actually possible or meaningful for human beings, individually or collectively, to be consistently unbiased, Amnesty International does not fit the bill.

    Chinese people are not brainwashed drones and are as capable of independent thought as anyone else and routinely bypass censorship to access information. Personal conversations typically reveal frank criticisms of the government. On more public fora such as Weibo a common tactic is to sarcastically repeat government slogans in juxtaposition to awkward publicly available information. But people do also make straightforward public criticisms. The worst that usually happens is your post is deleted or your account suspended.

    If someone in the government gets really nervous the police might invite you for “tea”, usually a brief interrogation/ reprimand to make sure you’re not dangerous. Sometimes you might actually get a mandated, government paid vacation if there’s a risk of you disrupting an event or raising trouble with high profile visitors.

    In my experience people in Beijing generally have a healthy skepticism to government propaganda and are much better informed about goings-on in the West than most Westerners are about China. One exception was a friend of mine who was highly nationalistic and easily riled up by anti-Japanese propaganda. All his friends made fun of him. We were in an elevator once and someone pointed out that the elevator was built by a Japanese company- “Why don’t you take the stairs?”

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    That is great and I understand that. It is however the acts of the government that concern people. We know they are not afraid to take drastic action. Their priority is the Party not the people who they claim to be speaking for.
  • A note about Uighur Islam, starting with an anecdote- when I lived in Beijing I knew a Uighur girl. She was a white collar worker though Uighurs in the city are stereotypically restauranteurs, cabbies, or kebab stand owners. She was proudly Muslim but did not cover her hair or wear any peculiar dress. She drank plenty of beer and went to clubs with us, though she fasted for Ramadan and avoided pork (not an easy thing if you're hanging out with heathens in Beijing). Older Uighurs may wear more traditional garb- there is a cap, for instance, that both men and women wear which is similar to caps worn by some Kazakhs, Tajiks, and other central Asians. There is a variety of regional traditional dress (see the video I linked above) but nothing quite like the hijab or the niqab- these latter articles are rarely worn by Uighurs and when they are it is often an indicator of modern Salafi or Deobandi influence (Deobandis are India's homegrown version of Salafism, which has some influence in central Asia, most notably the Taliban).

    The form of Sunni Islam that spread the most among Uighurs and other Turkic groups was based on a somewhat liberal interpretation of the Hanafi school. This included, notably, an interpretation of the alcohol ban as pertaining only to grape-based spirits or even only wine (in Turkey they still drink their grape-based raki). This left room for other spirits like kumis (fermented mare's milk, commonly drunk by Mongols and central Asian steppe peoples), beer, etc., a fact noted with some dismay by medieval Arab travelers in central Asia. Sufism was also intertwined with normal religious practice- nowadays a lot of people talk about Sufism as if it's a sect of its own, when actually it is just a part of everyday orthodox Islam for large numbers of Muslims.

    This kind of Islam is denigrated as inauthentic, corrupt, or even idolatrous by Salafis. Since the 80's Salafi influence has been manifest in Xinjiang, with Saudi funding construction of mosques and some Uighurs adopting more puritanical standards.

    In the recent Xinjiang lockdown the central government issued guidelines on combatting "extremism" but much interpretation has been up to local officials who often have a crude understanding of Islam or Uighur culture. This has included an inherent suspicion of anything written in Arabic, men growing bears, women wearing hijab. Some names have been banned, such as Seypidin (from Arabic Sayf al-Din, "Sword of the Faith") due to suspected jihadist connotations. Mosques have been closed or demolished on the pretext that they might have been built with Saudi money. There has also been an attempt to play up traditional Uighur Islam as a contrast to imported Salafi practices, but this has to some extent played into Salafi narratives that this traditional Islam is inauthentic.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    There are unbiased sources that happen to be located in the west. Finding unbiased sources in China is difficult because news sources are state monitored and dissidents often disappear.

    Like I said. I am uncomfortable with simplified western narratives.

    AFF

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    There are unbiased sources that happen to be located in the west. Finding unbiased sources in China is difficult because news sources are state monitored and dissidents often disappear.

    Leaving aside the question of whether it is actually possible or meaningful for human beings, individually or collectively, to be consistently unbiased, Amnesty International does not fit the bill.
    That is an opinion piece, not a real refutation.
    AI is not perfect by any means. They are purported to have a western bias,* but it is interesting to note that a large source of criticism of them comes from conservative America. It is also amusing that Israel is also a critic of them, despite AI's pro-Israel lapses in reportage of Israel's human rights failures.
    AI's record might be a bit mixed, but the failures seem to bounce left and right, indicating the probability that the biases are pockets rather than systemic.

    *They are also purported to have an anti-western bias, so...
    Chinese people are not brainwashed drones and are as capable of independent thought as anyone else and routinely bypass censorship to access information.
    I'd argue that nearly every human is at least a bit brainwashed, but I agree that the Chinese are no more so than average.
    Personal conversations typically reveal frank criticisms of the government. On more public fora such as Weibo a common tactic is to sarcastically repeat government slogans in juxtaposition to awkward publicly available information. But people do also make straightforward public criticisms. The worst that usually happens is your post is deleted or your account suspended.
    How many government critical articles in Chinese newspapers have you read? They happen, but when they do, there are consequences. What you describe is communication in spite of repression, not because of the lack of it.
    In my experience people in Beijing generally have a healthy skepticism to government propaganda and are much better informed about goings-on in the West than most Westerners are about China.
    That is a variable thing. American's are blissfully ignorant of anything outside of their borders. When you wander outside of the US, the general level of information rises. For instance, the average Brit has more awareness of the world than the average American, but less than the average South African. It is a hierarchy based on perceived need to know. The more one is aware of how the world affects them, the more they are likely to pay attention.
    But all that is an aside; knowing what is happening is different to being able to have an effect on it. ANd that is the problem in China.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    <snip>Leaving aside the question of whether it is actually possible or meaningful for human beings, individually or collectively, to be consistently unbiased, Amnesty International does not fit the bill.<snip>

    As I knew nothing about Camilo E. Mejía and was unable to find out anything about the website you linked to, or about America Latina en movimiento, I have read both the open letter and the Amnesty report.

    The report only appears (as far as I can tell) to cite one of the media organisations Camilo E. Mejía refers to (La Prensa), and that only to a limited extent. It largely appears to depend on personal interviews and photographic evidence.

    I don’t have the resources to investigate the reliability of the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteurs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences, the Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres, the Centro de Información y Servicios de Asesoría en Salud, or the Permanent Human Rights Commission which are the non-governmental organisations referred to in the report or their sources of funding. On the other hand, from reading the report, their information appears to be mainly supplemental to Amnesty’s own investigations and analysis.

    Like any human organisation, Amnesty can get things wrong. To my mind, however, the link you have posted neither demonstrates that they have got things wrong in the case of Nicaragua, nor that they suffer from any systemic or systematic bias.

    Since anyone who criticises the government of Nicaragua gets labelled as ‘anti-government’ you end up with a circular situation where any criticism of official action gets a person labelled as anti-government. So by definition there can be no criticism from organisations that could continue to be described as pro-government.

    The question is not are they pro- or anti-government, but is what they say true?

    At the moment, for me, given both the detail and nature of the Amnesty report, their reputation for taking up human rights causes against governments of very different stripes, and the nature of the critique to which you have linked, I would still go with Amnesty.
  • I won't press the issue with AI as that could take us way off topic.
    How many government critical articles in Chinese newspapers have you read? They happen, but when they do, there are consequences.

    That's a pretty tricky question. A lot depends on the medium, the topic, and the place/ local politics where the article is printed. On a national level, there are some topics where it is usually safe to criticize the government- these include corruption, environmental policy, and efforts to address poverty and inequality. While raising these issues can annoy individuals they can generally be framed as loyal disagreements within the framework of shared social goals.

    Journalists working for state media organizations have been known to push back against censorship. A famous case was the Southern Weekly newspaper which is technically an appendage of the Guangdong Communist Party but was known for a pretty independent stance. They kept pushing boundaries and eventually annoyed the government enough to invite a very heavy-handed intervention. The journalists protested, went on strike, put angry messages on Weibo (which were deleted), etc. There were protesters, even some celebrities speaking in support. In the end the censors won but the journalists and their supporters didn't get whisked away to secret detention centers or anything.

    Which is not to say that prosecutions don't happen. A difficulty for the government is that, on paper, the PRC is supposed to allow freedom of speech, so prosecuting troublemakers usually involves arbitrarily invoking a technicality or building some bogus corruption case. This of course is a milder version of an old Stalinist trick. If the offenders have friends in the Party- as the Southern Weekly editors did, the authorities have to be careful and selective about who they go after.
    What you describe is communication in spite of repression, not because of the lack of it

    My point isn't that there is a lack of repression, or that the censorship isn't harmful, or that any of this is laudable or conducive to healthy social discourse. It's only that people have ways of working around it, to varying extents. They aren't docile. The government quietly or not-so-quietly censoring citizens, and citizens quietly or not-so-quietly pushing the boundaries, is the ongoing tug of war in China. Above all the government needs to ensure that people feel that life is generally improving, for them to continue tolerating its considerable shortcomings.
    But all that is an aside; knowing what is happening is different to being able to have an effect on it. ANd that is the problem in China.

    I'm not aware of any major state where ordinary people have a significant effect on the direction of national policy through legal means. Yes, theoretically, such means are there, but the concentration of wealth, media outlets, and political access in a few hands almost ensures the reinforcement of a limited range of acceptable ideas and the difficulty of organizing for other principles. It is of course very nice to be able to openly discuss ideas without dodging censorship, but it doesn't translate into power. That is part of the genius of the modern, wealthy democracies.
  • (I'm enjoying reading here and learning something, but I have nothing to contribute. I just thought I'd add a note of appreciation.)
  • Civil Rights happened in the UK and US because people spoke out. Yes, three was pushback from the government along the way, but the protections on speech helped things change.
    Whilst the wealthy do push for their own agenda, it is relative comfort or the lower classes that allow the few to control the many.
    Bread and circuses, rather than covert control. In other words, we have the power but seldom exercise it.
    It is sad that people do not take more initiative in their governance, but the possibility is there. Not so in China.
  • The power of the US civil rights movement was in their willingness to organize illegal acts in the face of police repression. Of course even legal acts of assembly invited violent response from the state. But if their activity was restricted to speech and press it would have gone nowhere. And moreover they were acting a context where the “right” of states to enslave human beings had been suppressed in the country’s bloodiest war.

    Theoretically, yes, the many could peacefully exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights to overturn the social order. History suggests that the ruling class is willing to suspend democratic mechanisms in such situations. What they have done in Chile, Congo, Honduras, or Iran they can do here.
  • So, in the US, there are civil rights museums in America, how many Tiananmen Square museums are there in China?
    There is no ruling class in America. There is no longer a ruling class in the UK.
    There are people who have power that push legislation in their favour. At times, it mightn't seem like much of a difference, but there is a difference.
    Want to complain about the real problems with modern democracies? I'm right there with you. Putting it into inaccurate framework, not so much.
    There is a real problem in how we let ourselves be governed and things need to change. China's answer is not the answer because the possibility for change is almost non-existent.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    So, in the US, there are civil rights museums in America, how many Tiananmen Square museums are there in China?

    The civil rights movement (sort of) won. The Tiananmen protests did not.
    There is no ruling class in America. There is no longer a ruling class in the UK.
    There are people who have power that push legislation in their favour. At times, it mightn't seem like much of a difference, but there is a difference.

    That reminds me of the Soviet joke: “Under capitalism, man oppresses man. Under communism it’s the reverse.”

    Again if they, the powerful rich people who run the government but are totally not a ruling class, are willing to suspend democracy in other countries to protect their interests, they will do it here as well. Democracy is a good compromise in a stable, comfortable society but the underlying relations are determined by force.
    China's answer is not the answer because the possibility for change is almost non-existent.

    In the past 30 years over half a billion people have risen out of poverty in China. That is one of many very substantial changes that have not been mirrored in Western democracy. This does not obviate the very serious deficiencies of the Chinese government and I would never say PRC has the answer. But it does answer some things that other governments don’t.

  • In the past 30 years over half a billion people have risen out of poverty in China. That is one of many very substantial changes that have not been mirrored in Western democracy. This does not obviate the very serious deficiencies of the Chinese government and I would never say PRC has the answer. But it does answer some things that other governments don’t.
    Well, not really. The rise is because so many were in poverty to begin with. And it serves the elite in China to foster a class that can buy the goods they make. Much like Henry Ford.
    When that growth sputters, there will be problems.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Well, not really. The rise is because so many were in poverty to begin with.

    There are plenty of places in the world where people have remained in poverty. This is a somewhat strange line to take.
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