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Re: <nettime> Eric X. Li: Democracy Is Not the Answer..
flick harrison on Thu, 12 Jul 2012 04:03:52 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Eric X. Li: Democracy Is Not the Answer..

That's a good analysis Dan,

I agree that Chinese society needed, in some way, to recuperate after a crazy period of upheaval? but to be lasting, political solutions need to be participatory and open.  Any "harmony" enforced with bayonets and tanks, i.e. in Tibet, Kashmir, and Xinjiang, should hardly be called such.

And far from being originally Chinese, it's the kind of language any tinpot dictator would use.  The U.S. State Department has always used the word "stability" as code for "supporting our power and privilege."

Our own Conservative government, once the very best of red-baiters, have stifled their anti-commie wing in order to grow trade with China.  Now it's about "opening up" instead of "putting pressure."  This kind of stabilizing / harmonizing alliance between so-called democracies (there is growing evidence our CPC - that's the Conservative Party of Canada - stole the election) and so-called communists puts the lie to your and Li's notion of separate systems.  Is Sinopec a western-style corporation or a chinese-style policy instrument?

These alliances will only exacerbate the problems of pollution and discontent that you described very well.  What Li calls "the wealth gap" is actually the creation (invasion?) of new social classes that will fundamentally re-shape power relations in China, and this will happen behind a dark curtain of corruption and tyranny.
A major problem for me in your response, though, is that "their stated goals" is not how I want to evaluate ruling systems. 
For instance, would we judge the Nazi regime by their stated goal of a thousand-year racially-pure German Reich?  I guess we could judge them a failure, anyway, since they ended up many steps back when it all wrapped up, but it's wrong-headed to go there.

To judge America by their stated goals, I admit, is a little more interesting - "one nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all."  Are these good goals?  Are they being achieved?  Keep in mind, anyone may chime in on the discussion, unlike in China.

But without any kind of free speech or public participation outside the CPC superstructure, we have no idea of the goals and aspirations of the Chinese people, either as individuals or groups.  We know that when they are expressed in little pockets, the state machinery clamps down.

We could, of course, get into the debate as to whether democracy, feminism, human rights, etc, are invasive "western" concepts or if that is just a rhetorical stick to beat down domestic resistance?

* FLICK's WEBSITE: http://www.flickharrison.com 

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