Wednesday, March 14, 2012

China - The syndrome

There is a malady of present day society that permeates the very fabric of humanity. It may not have been obvious in the past but as social mores continue to erode this illness has come to the surface. No more verbal decorum present in day to day politics or even in everyday life for that matter. It's as if we've shed our civil cloaks and resorted to a caveman mentality. "Do as I say not as I do" is the order of they day. We have China that curious and little known society struggling to shed it's ancient past to be a player in the modern world. How truly ironic that their position should be to encourage democracies in other lands while suppressing the least of dissent in their own country. They mention the follies of other nations in a quest for democracy yet over look their own iron grip on Tibet and people so desperate they'd set themselves ablaze to make a graphic point. Their leaders speak of gradual change and it's obvious a country of that size like an oil tanker could not make a quick turn in any direction. And maybe that's the problem. Being the world's largest country it would be impossible to be governed by anything less than in an authoritarian manner. We in the west see the mere window dressing of democracy or more aptly put the results of their new market economy. Their leaders of today and those of the near future can speak of reforms but it would be impossible to institute any major changes to the base structure of the system without tearing the entire country apart or carving it up into new nations. They will also not stand for any dissent for to allow that would result in a loss of control. Not that authoritarianism is a good thing but for them it is a necessary evil.
It will be interesting going forward to see exactly how China evolves as a once forbidden world is allowed to creep into their culture and politics. Are we now seeing the cracks beginning to appear? Never before would one of their leaders even mention a change or shift in ideology yet today we have seen that mention however guarded the statements may have been.


BBC said...

The proper democracy has yet to be built. And any state trying to withdraw to see if they can do it better will get the shit beat out of them.

S.W. Anderson said...

Call me a dreamer, but I think China will at some point have its Prague spring, followed in time by considerable loosening of the totalitarian ties that bind.

I think there are many good, decent, hard-working and very intelligent Chinese. They value hard work, intelligence and education. They will interact more and more with the outside world, and come to see many of the restrictions now imposed as unnecessary and intolerable. If China's leaders of that time are as smart as they need to be, they will loosen the reins and see what happens.

Most likely what will eventually happen is some form of political competitiveness for the first time since the communists gained control. But probably not to the point of violence. If they don't allow the country to develop the kind of two-tier society that blighted Latin American countries for so long — the wealthy, influential few vs. the poor and exploited many — China will maintain its prized stability, have more genuine democracy and continuing prosperity. At least they will if they avoid the temptation to get involved in one war after another.

It disgusts me to have to say the Chinese should study U.S. politics and domestic public policy of the past 35 years for object lessons in what not to do.

The Blog Fodder said...

How truly ironic that their position should be to encourage democracies in other lands while suppressing the least of dissent in their own country.

While America does the exact opposite and continues to rapidly erode democracy at home too.

China is still in many respects an empire ie must be held together by force. They are taking a clue from other empires turned countries and eliminating as much as possible the native peoples (eg Mongolians, Tibetans and Uighurs) and replacing them with Han Chinese.

Any attempt at a rapid change to democracy would result in a Putinesque managed democracy and a 21st century version of the warlordism that created such instability in China in the 20's and 30's.

The people who are actively campaigning for democracy are ready for it, no question, but the vast majority would simply like a government with no corruption and more transparency.

People in the West look at Tienanmen Square as a disaster and it was but if the government had lost control, it would have been a far worse disaster.

Randal Graves said...

Now I'm hungry for some Chinese.