Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Money does not Change Dictatorships

Here is an article by Thaddeus McCotter and John J. Tkacik called The China Delusion. It helpfully exposes the fact that as the authoritarian regime in China has grown in economic power from freeing up state control over commerce, it has cracked down even more on any other type of freedom. Their assessment: "By every objective standard, China’s freedoms of expression, press, assembly, religion, labor organization, were greater in April 1989 and have declined precipitously since." But so many leaders in politics and industry around the world keep trying to say that with economic growth will certainly come human rights and freedom. This same fallacy served to sooth the consciences of IOC members awarding the Olympics to Beijing. But the Olympics have only served to give the regime legitimacy and spur the regime to further restrictions of freedom.

Following is a letter Joel Linton wrote to the National Review with a similar analysis.

(RE: Illiberal Education - August 8, 2008)

Dear NR,

Many people speak hopefully that the Chinese government is no longer "narrowly ideological" based on its observable turn away from communism to capitalism. They think they see fundamental change, but the Chinese government has barely changed at all.

One must look back beyond 20th Century communism: China may be "Communist in name only" but it is imperialist in all but name. The party regime has simply taken the position of the single emperor; the basic structure and expectation of rule from over 2000 years of Chinese history remains below the surface. One merely need look at some of the movies coming out of modern "capitalist" China to feel its pulse. In the movie, "Hero," the hero (played by Jet Li) lets himself be killed rather than kill the emperor because he comes to realize the emperor's right to rule "all under heaven."

From this mad "center of the world" kingdom (中國) perspective, it is only right and fitting that China take the world stage as the great empire which must either annex other surrounding barbarian nations, or at least exact tribute from them. Chinese imperialism that faced crises of the Opium Wars and European Colonialism adapted to the modern world via a syncretistic embrace of Leninism, thereby looking after its own survival and national greatness. Only to the world's peril do foreign nations wistfully project their own way of reasoning onto the Chinese actions. Look how many treated Hitler during his "peaceful rise." The world must take care lest Beijing 2008 be but a reprise of Berlin 1936.

- Joel Linton
Taipei, Taiwan