Sunday, June 19, 2005
Uprising in Mainland China
I recently read this Washington Post article about a small peasant uprising in the People’s Republic of China, that has resulted in the gov’t backing down and apparently giving in to a lot of the local’s demands. Mao wouldn't have put up with that; he knew how to keep a nation oppressed. Stalin, Hitler, Hussein, Assad… these men also understood the danger to a tyrant of letting even a few people get away with defying the authorities like this. But succeeding generations of dictators get handed their place without learning the brutal business that their predecessors knew first-hand. Like free men who take for granted the liberty that others earned for them, petty tyrants who came to power by keeping their heads down and rising up through the party bureaucracy or family tree may not have the knowledge and ability to do what it takes to keep what they were given. The fact that these rebellious peasants are not only still alive and free, but talking to the media is a very strong indicator to me (and a lot of other people, I'm sure) that the ChiCom leadership is losing the ruthlessness and balls it takes to run an authoritarian state. I had previously thought that it would take another generation or two of Communist Party leaders in mainland China before they got too soft to effectively oppose large scale democratic reforms. Their unwillingness to massacre these brave farmers makes me wonder if I have been too pessimistic about that timetable.