Tuesday, March 15, 2011

China's Gradual Revolution

In my recent post on the question "Is China Ready for Democracy?" apparently I left the impression that I was touting American-style democracy for China. That's the result of a lack of explicitness on my part. I wrote that people will continue to want greater "freedom and a greater voice in the disposition of their lives" and I predicted that they (in China and elsewhere) would continue to press for "democracy or at least a less oppressive state system."

I did not intend to suggest that American-style democracy is what Chinese people should work toward as an ideal. Hell, look how perverted American-style democracy has become in our own country. Look how we can't wait to throw it away and replace it with reality tv and voting for products rather than people. Would I recommend this to the Chinese?

But, China's circumstances and history are very different from those that enabled democracy in the US. China and other countries that are currently struggling with their own systems will come to greater freedom in their own ways, in ways that are possible in their own circumstances. I'm into "I want it now" like other impatient Americans, but I know we must expect that the process in many places will be very gradual (on this, let me recommend Guobin Yang's March 14 NYT op-ed piece http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/opinion/14Yang.html) and that there will be setbacks.

The Internet is both a blessing and curse but, now, let a thousand wi-fi access points bloom every day!