Simplistic, wishful thinking on China?

InstaPuppy himself links to this post at one of his favorite blogs. I find it simplistic and overly optimistic, and maybe just a bit stupid (or at least ignorant). Let me know if you agree:

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker has an important item out about growing unrest in China. Huge riots are occurring, not just in the remote, impoverished west, but now in the wealthier coastal cities. At issue is corruption and impunity. And with the rise of mass communications and Internet connectivity, Chinese expectations about governance are rising. A billion people are getting sick of all the corruption and oppression they see around them.

The root of the problem is this: the government will not renounce unworkable communism as its philosophy. It says communism is its system but capitalism is its policy. That contradiction leaves the worst bureaucratic and political features of communism in place (you can’t get rid of anyone via ballot box, for one thing), while the growing private sector watches the horror from an increasingly capitalist framework. This is big news. Thomas explains that China’s repression is not a sign of its government’s strength, but its weakness. Read it here.

Well, you’d think from reading this that the CCP is on the verge of collapse as 1 billion outraged peasants participate in “huge riots” across the country. I was just there a few weeks ago, and you have my word of honor as a gentleman, and as no friend to the CCP, that China is hardly on the brink of revolution. In fact, I’d venture a guess that with the majority, satisfaction levels with the government are quite high. I realize there are riots and a lot of misery and a lot of anger at the corrupt plutocrats. But there’s more contentment now than there’s been in years, despite the curbs on freedom.

Now, that doesn’t excuse the CCP’s sins, which are bountiful. But come on — let’s be real. And once again, the Nutty Professor has sent gazillions of his readers to a post that leaves an incorrect impression of China. Pity.

Update: Speaking of idiocy, be sure to check out the American Thinker article he links to! Simplicity and ignorance soar to new and breathtaking heights. Should we be surprised? Here’s the Thinker’s blogroll:

Daniel Pipes
Hugh Hewitt
Little Green Footballs
Professor Bainbridge
Roger L. Simon

Round up the usual suspects….

Now, I believe rebellion at some point might be possible — but certainly not now when coniditions are better than ever. There has to be a major catalyst (and I mean major), like the collapse of the banking system or catastrophic devaluation of the currency. Paranoid and insecure as the leaders are, they’re not going to be overthrown anytime soon.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Of course it’s silly reductionism in an attempt to force issues in to an ideological straitjacket.

Even if the riots were on the verge of toppling the Chinese Central Government, it’d have NADA to do with the Glorious CONservative Cultural Revolution and the glories of “capitalism” and the failures of “communism”.

It’d have nada to do with Furious George and the InstaParrot’s insistence of mapping all protests against governments that aren’t pro-US to some “Freedom on the March” demagoguery.

Honestly if anyone visits any of those blogs and expects anything but demagoguery and world issues violently crammed in to intellectual straitjackets, they can run at the Happy Valley track without being fitted for blinders.

April 13, 2005 @ 6:17 pm | Comment

Speaking as an ex expat myself, I must say, nothing has changed with the ennui-laden crew that knows it all. Been there done that.

I don’t agree with you that nothing’s going on in China. Something significant seems to be happening before your eyes and you may well be missing it. Capitalism may be the big story but somehow, the leftover communism remains, creating ever greater contradictions. The increasingly salient fact is: they cannot coexist in the long run, there will either be one or the other. You may not agree with this, but China’s leadership does. Don’t be blind to what is happening. It’s easy to dismiss the cops beating up a dissident at some funeral, but there will always be a certain number of people who are cognizant of this as trouble. All I can say is: my sources are good.

April 13, 2005 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

No one is discounting the cops beating up a dissident at the funeral of Zhao Ziyang. In fact you can find that story at my blog.

But to suggest that this has something to do with “capitalism” versus “communism” is oversimplification of the worst sort.

Even the Chinese Communist Party in the 80s gave up on trying to fit history neatly in to these ideological straitjackets. It leads to bad analysis of the facts on the ground. And bad analysis leads to bad action. (see Iraq!)

April 13, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

China’s other riots (updated)

Yesterday’s Daily Linklets mentioned a 30,000 person riot near Dongyang with a report by The Guardian. Today the SCMP has a full report on the village of Huaxi where the riots took place. The villagers are proudly displaying their spoils of war: I’ve r…

April 14, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Indeed, this has nothing to do with “capitalism versus communism.” This has to do with corruption, pollution, change, inequality, beaurocracy, and information distortion.

To say this is a great clash of ideologies is to speak from academic naivite.

April 15, 2005 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Richard, your analysis appears sound to me.

Can capitalism thrive under a “communist government”? Hmmm. We’d have to start by asking, What the hell is a communist government, absent a communist economy?

The real question becomes, “Can capitalism thrive under a non-democratic government?” That would seem to be an obvious ‘yes’.

And the next question is, “How long can the CCP maintain a non-democratic government in China?” If they can keep the economy growing while also reducing their domestic problems–pollution, corruption, gap between haves & have-nots–then it seems to me they can ride that tiger for quite a while.

April 17, 2005 @ 12:53 pm | Comment

It’s the age old ploy of sensationalism. I am from South Africa (currently in Ireland )and from what friends here tell me, they thougth SA was up in flames in the 80’s and 90’s. FAR from it.

Unfortunately good news doesn’t sell (YET!).

I have also add great reports about China from ppl who have just returned.


April 19, 2005 @ 5:02 am | Comment

I am a British guy living and working happily in China. The anti China bias of the western media really mkaes me sick. They seem only interested in reporting bad news. Actually China is generally very safe and well managed. I feel freer here tha I did in London and unlike UK the Chinese do not attack other countries at the drop of a hat.

I think the right wing media are trying to stir unrest in China as they are concerned with making sure the US is the worlds policeman. Hence their obsession with magnifying events.

china is not perfect granted but when you consider that it has over 4 times the population of the US the problems are marginal. I lived in Taiwan and I actually feel more comfortable here

I congratulate China on its achievements and hope that they can do things in their own way.

PS I am nobodys lackey. This is my opinion and I live here. Stop stirring things up

May 30, 2006 @ 7:47 pm | Comment

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