Monday, December 12, 2005

Massacre in China 

[Update: While on the topic of dismissing the gradually less relevant realists, check out the Condi Editorial from today's WaPo. While her focus is Iraq, not China, she makes several interesting points, the most important being that the concept of stability and status quo is not acceptable in a post 9/11 world, and in fact the spread of democracy is working. It's no stretch to apply the same thought process to China, where the hunger for democracy is no less vicious.]

"We are not allowed to buy food outside the village. They asked the nearby villagers not to sell us goods," the woman said. "The government did not give us proper compensation for using our land to build the development zone and plants. Now they come and shoot us. I don't know what to say."

Despite what the left would have you think, the woman quoted above is not in Iraq. She's in China. In a stunning display of how little has changed since 1989, Chinese police opened fire on villagers protesting the seizure of their land. None of the media outlets have a lot of information yet, and the casualty count ranges from 2 to 20. Fox News reports that protests have been on the rise in this region of China, due to rampant corruption, the recent land seizures and "a yawning wealth gap."

Not only do events like this highlight the growing unrest in China, they also seem to weaken realist theories that indicate a coming US-Chinese conflict. It is difficult to imagine that China will be able to maintain the economic gains of its delicate, "pseudo-capitalist" society, so long as it continues to trample human rights and deny the freedoms necessary to a functioning free-market system. Lew Rockwell, a man I don't often agree with, has an excellent article on why much of Africa is stuck in a cycle of poverty, and among the obvious factors he notes many of the countries lack any "rule of law, private property rights, and independent judiciary and limited government." Sound familiar? Well, it should. China has one of the worst records on human rights (here from human rights watch, and here for 2008 Olympic "watch"), the government controls the media and the market, and the fact that the protests involved land seizure should say enough in itself. It will soon become apparent that China cannot reap the benefits of a free society without succumbing to the desire for true human freedom that such societies unfailingly breed. The US will not go to war with China any time soon, especially if today was any indicator. China will go to war with itself.

Perhaps the only positive side to today's tragedy is that the Communist media chokehold failed utterly in containing news. The Great Firewall of China is a valiant effort, but the free flow of information made possible by the internet, and the blogosphere in particular, has once again failed to be slowed. Hopefully international outrage at what transpired will help fuel democratic movements in China. If you ask me, or this guy, they're long overdue.

Woah! I'm in the future!
HAHA, the date thing? Yea, it gets worse. I thought it was the 14th, so not only did I date the post the 14th, but I called one of my friends and wished her happy birthday... three days early.
Guess you needed the vacation. Whereas me, I'm going stir crazy. Need to get back to school...
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