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(The New York Times)   In case the last few decades of economic progress made you forget, China is still a totalitarian state   (latitude.blogs.nytimes.com ) divider line
    More: Stupid, totalitarian state  
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1574 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Nov 2012 at 5:10 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2012-11-14 03:48:38 PM  
www.marxists.org
//biatches don't know about my communism
///works when it's done right
 
2012-11-14 05:12:21 PM  
Shhhh. Those Communist oppressors are swelling my 401K. I love me some Chinese cheese.
 
2012-11-14 05:12:37 PM  
AKA Mitt Romney's Wet Dream.
 
2012-11-14 05:13:44 PM  
The party has reason to feel nervous. Public anger is growing over the ever-widening wealth gap, pollution and rampant corruption.

Sounds like the OWS protests.
 
2012-11-14 05:14:58 PM  

cretinbob:
///works when it's done right


So doing communism right is making the economic transition, but stopping halfway to go for a military junta/despotism instead of the planned democratic government transition and following that up by reversing the economic transition back to 1800s British Capitalism with the Junta as the Burgeoise/property owners and everyone else their de facto slaves?

I guess to its credit that _is_ the most stable way to do it. That's really all that can be said for it, though.
 
2012-11-14 05:16:44 PM  

Jim_Callahan: cretinbob:
///works when it's done right

So doing communism right is making the economic transition, but stopping halfway to go for a military junta/despotism instead of the planned democratic government transition and following that up by reversing the economic transition back to 1800s British Capitalism with the Junta as the Burgeoise/property owners and everyone else their de facto slaves?

I guess to its credit that _is_ the most stable way to do it. That's really all that can be said for it, though.


I think this is the dictatorship of the proletariat gone nuts. Classic theory poorly applied.
 
2012-11-14 05:18:20 PM  
It will get worst before it gets better.
 
2012-11-14 05:18:38 PM  
China has been a totalitarian state since 250 BC when Emperor Xi Huangdi started the whole mess. Call me when they're NOT a totalitarian state.
 
2012-11-14 05:21:50 PM  

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Shhhh. Those Communist oppressors are swelling my 401K. I love me some Chinese cheese.


It's aged several days on the boat trip over here, plus it has little shards of cadmium for added sharpness.
 
2012-11-14 05:23:16 PM  

Gyrfalcon: China has been a totalitarian state since 250 BC when Emperor Xi Huangdi started the whole mess. Call me when they're NOT a totalitarian state.


I would be happy to, but your phone number isn't in your profile.
 
2012-11-14 05:30:30 PM  
But do they still go pee pee in your coke?
 
2012-11-14 05:34:45 PM  

Gyrfalcon: China has been a totalitarian state since 250 BC when Emperor Xi Huangdi started the whole mess. Call me when they're NOT a totalitarian state.


Does the puppet Emperor of Manchukuo count?
 
2012-11-14 05:41:09 PM  
I was there as a tourist for a couple weeks last summer. Besides an overpriced visa and being followed by the worse (I assume) undercover agent in history at the summer palace, I didn't feel much of the police state.
 
2012-11-14 05:43:01 PM  
A violent, grinding-a-country-to-a-halt revolution in China would be devastating for the world economy. Times would be tough here in the US; for our debt would be ours and our white trash would have nowhere to buy their crap.
 
2012-11-14 05:48:05 PM  

Epoch_Zero: A violent, grinding-a-country-to-a-halt revolution in China would be devastating for the world economy. Times would be tough here in the US; for our debt would be ours and our white trash would have nowhere to buy their crap.


Probably be the best thing that could happen to us if it lasted longer than 6 months.
 
2012-11-14 05:52:07 PM  
Uh...No.

China is not a totalitarian state, it is an authoritian state. They tried the whole totalitarian thing with Mao, and it didn't turn out so well.

I'm not saying it's a bastion of freedom, but there are things in China that you simply don't find in a totalitarian system:

1- Term limits. China is undergoing a leadership transition, which happens every ten years. In a totalitarian regime, this only happens upon the death of the leader (See the Soviet Union, Maoist China, North Korea, Nazi Germany etc."

2 - Unrest - lots of it. China has a ton of internal strife, totaltalitarian regimes don't. They simply kill all the malcontents and everybody else shuts up.

3 - Leadership by consensus. Although Hu, the outgoing president was in charge, he still had to deal with the central committee - which is sort of a tangle of factions and alliances. Although he had a great deal of power, it wasn't absolute.
 
2012-11-14 05:52:35 PM  

Lunchlady: Epoch_Zero: A violent, grinding-a-country-to-a-halt revolution in China would be devastating for the world economy. Times would be tough here in the US; for our debt would be ours and our white trash would have nowhere to buy their crap.

Probably be the best thing that could happen to us if it lasted longer than 6 months.


Eh, Future Combat is one of the best continent bonuses out there; I'd sooner lose Europe.
 
2012-11-14 05:54:46 PM  

Lunchlady: Epoch_Zero: A violent, grinding-a-country-to-a-halt revolution in China would be devastating for the world economy. Times would be tough here in the US; for our debt would be ours and our white trash would have nowhere to buy their crap.

Probably be the best thing that could happen to us if it lasted longer than 6 months.


Nah, the corporations would simply hire mercenaries to protect them from the starving masses. You think they would resort to the embarrassing act of hiring a bunch of Americans at more than $1/day to make the trinkets we must have? Bull. Cheaper to hire personal armies to protect themselves from the lowly poor people, unable to buy American.
 
2012-11-14 05:55:26 PM  

Jim_Callahan: So doing communism right is making the economic transition, but stopping halfway to go for a military junta/despotism instead of the planned democratic government transition and following that up by reversing the economic transition back to 1800s British Capitalism with the Junta as the Burgeoise/property owners and everyone else their de facto slaves?


I was going to write a big missive about the misapplication of terms like "communism" "capitalism" "free market" "freedom" "democracy" "economics" and "totalitarianism", but this says it better. You saved me about 35 minutes of [SomeoneIsWrong-XKCD.jpg] feverish typing. Thanks.
 
2012-11-14 06:00:33 PM  
As sad as it may be, to maintain a functioning government in an emerging economy you pretty much been to run the shiat like an iron fist. I don't know how successful a western style democracy would be managing the needs of billions of people.

Imagine a Chinese equivalent of the tea party emerging.. A green tea party if you will.

/keep government out of my health scare!
 
2012-11-14 06:01:27 PM  
Been = have
 
2012-11-14 06:01:50 PM  
But... Is Generalissimo Francisco Franco still dead?.
 
2012-11-14 06:01:58 PM  
Yes, but they make such good STUFF!
 
2012-11-14 06:02:50 PM  
Does anyone else think 'The Fall of Bo Xilai' sounds like the beginning of a pretty interesting war movie?
 
2012-11-14 06:08:27 PM  

Gotfire: As sad as it may be, to maintain a functioning government in an emerging economy you pretty much been to run the shiat like an iron fist. I don't know how successful a western style democracy would be managing the needs of billions of people.

Imagine a Chinese equivalent of the tea party emerging.. A green tea party if you will.

/keep government out of my health scare!


India, which is economically about the same as China and has about the same population, is not perfect, but it basically functions and is a democracy.
 
2012-11-14 06:09:35 PM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: I was there as a tourist for a couple weeks last summer. Besides an overpriced visa and being followed by the worse (I assume) undercover agent in history at the summer palace, I didn't feel much of the police state.


Undercover agent? I wouldn't mind hearing more about that.
 
2012-11-14 06:23:24 PM  
The Chinese seem to like KFC, gambling, and Buicks. They will be okay in a decade or three.
 
2012-11-14 07:04:19 PM  
Nothing a military crackdown and a few thousand "dissapearances" can't fix.
 
2012-11-14 07:23:01 PM  
Their economic model is the devil, and we owe them trillions of dollars. So...how's our economic model doing?
 
2012-11-14 08:52:35 PM  

lj1330: Their economic model is the devil, and we owe them trillions of dollars. So...how's our economic model doing?


You can flip that around and say, they still have massive poverty issues in their own country. What are they doing putting a trillion dollars into US debt?
 
2012-11-14 10:11:11 PM  

kevinfra: Uh...No.

China is not a totalitarian state, it is an authoritian state. They tried the whole totalitarian thing with Mao, and it didn't turn out so well.

I'm not saying it's a bastion of freedom, but there are things in China that you simply don't find in a totalitarian system:

1- Term limits. China is undergoing a leadership transition, which happens every ten years. In a totalitarian regime, this only happens upon the death of the leader (See the Soviet Union, Maoist China, North Korea, Nazi Germany etc."


IMO, the term limits exist at the leisure of the Politburo. It's a check placed on themselves by themselves, because they don't want to relive the chaos that reigned after Mao's death.


2 - Unrest - lots of it. China has a ton of internal strife, totaltalitarian regimes don't. They simply kill all the malcontents and everybody else shuts up.

If that's true, then China has never been a totalitarian state. China's had its share of internal strife even under Mao -- during the Cultural Revolution, various factions of the Red Guards openly feuded against each other, and had to be put down violently by the PLA. And wouldn't Tiananmen qualify as an expression of internal strife?


3 - Leadership by consensus. Although Hu, the outgoing president was in charge, he still had to deal with the central committee - which is sort of a tangle of factions and alliances. Although he had a great deal of power, it wasn't absolute.

Perhaps. But Hu Jintao still has more power than, let's say, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He is undoubtedly the most powerful man in China, and although the Chinese aren't as big on the cult of personality as they used to be, he is still going to have his pet theories on economic development enshrined into the official ideology of the Party.

In any case, my point is, all the classical elements of totalitarianism are still there, and described in the article. Single-party dominance? Check. Pervasive secret police, supplemented by a network of neighborhood informers? Restriction of movement in public spaces? Check. Micromanagement of private citizens in their homes and businesses? Check. The only thing that has changed is that the Party is a little more lenient about exercising those powers, but every time they do find an opportunity to use them, they're going to be reminded how great it feels to have them, and be less likely to give them up.

/subby
 
2012-11-14 11:18:20 PM  

Tremolo: Undercover agent? I wouldn't mind hearing more about that.


well, I assumed he was. I was at the summer palace and noticed he was following me. I was on a path that led around the lake so kinds just blew it off.

But no matter if sped up or slowed down he did as well. I stopped and he stopped to pretend to take pictures. I walked faster he followed, I took a side path so did he...very strange.

Acting like he wasn't interested in me at all. I've traveled enough to know when a local is interested.

But overall, he really wasn't very good. He should have noticed I was on to him. He was pretty obvious.

Not that I was up to anything, just a backpacker seeing the sites.

/CSB?
 
2012-11-15 12:11:21 AM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: I was there as a tourist for a couple weeks last summer. Besides an overpriced visa and being followed by the worse (I assume) undercover agent in history at the summer palace, I didn't feel much of the police state.


As long as you stay away from Tibet, they are pretty easy going on foreigners. The people are pretty brainwashed into believing a lot of the governments propaganda and as long as the economy keeps growing and things are good they have no reason to really question it. Life is better than it was for their parents and they can easily see the difference. Those who stir the pot too much are silenced and generally most people won't voice to much opposition to the government out of fear and apathy.

The biggest fear I have about the country is their intense nationalism. If things go south with the economy the government will likely try to direct the anger outside, blaming foreign oppresion for the countries woes. 1.2 billion Chinese(with an excess of males due to the 1 child policy) pissed off at the rest of the world is no laughing matter.
 
2012-11-15 09:48:38 AM  

Farnn: Spanky_McFarksalot: I was there as a tourist for a couple weeks last summer. Besides an overpriced visa and being followed by the worse (I assume) undercover agent in history at the summer palace, I didn't feel much of the police state.

As long as you stay away from Tibet, they are pretty easy going on foreigners. The people are pretty brainwashed into believing a lot of the governments propaganda and as long as the economy keeps growing and things are good they have no reason to really question it. Life is better than it was for their parents and they can easily see the difference. Those who stir the pot too much are silenced and generally most people won't voice to much opposition to the government out of fear and apathy.

The biggest fear I have about the country is their intense nationalism. If things go south with the economy the government will likely try to direct the anger outside, blaming foreign oppresion for the countries woes. 1.2 billion Chinese(with an excess of males due to the 1 child policy) pissed off at the rest of the world is no laughing matter.


Don't forget. The Boxer rebellion started because the people thought the church steeples were disturbing the feng shui gods.
 
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