My gut feeling is that there will be a day in the future where everything in China is going to boil-over just like any other totalitarian regimes in the past. It could be 20 years from now when Xi dies or some type of student uprising again, or could be from the HK/Taiwan situation.
The behavior of the Chinese government and as they call it "the hand of Beijing" has a self-propelling streisand effect, the more you clamp down, the more it leaks and at some point, it will boil over. Nationalism is tribalism in its glorified, patriotic form. On one hand, we have great men who strive to make the world a better place - journalists, scientists, mathematicians, teachers and community workers and on the other hand we have ugly human tendencies surfacing in a powerful form from politicians.
Every politician should listen to Jiddu Krishnamurthy's UN speech in 1985: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcga8ATBNh0
There rest of the world needs to fearlessly criticize Chinese censorship as it is only going to get worse. If the Chinese government is insecure from opening history books, hell even calling Xi Jingpin a Winnie-the-Pooh; that's not the kind of superpower I wish to see in this world.
If I were playing the odds, I'd put money on democracy failing in the west rather than it rising in China in the next century.
Even if that was the case for now (lets say e.g. reading or education made the masses harder to oppress), this doesn't mean other developments cannot outperform those effects in a different direction. Especially social media is a recent invention that seems to put a lot of power into the hands of very few. So far they don't seem to wield that power to drastically shape politics of our societies. At least not intentionally. But keeping it this way will be hard, since they either do something to prevent headlines like "A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar’s Military" or have them attract the wrong kind of investor. Actually, the latter is probably impossible to avoid long-term, if the US broadcasting industry is something to go by.
The rising political divide in the US is an interesting upcoming case study. I don't see a lot that could revert course, so it will probably end as an anecdote for "less stable". The current US existing for that long is still a remarkable achievement. But we better use the knowledge we gain, since technological progress has made it unacceptable to have our societal systems become unstable every once in a while and needing to be reset violently.
Democracy was also one of the major themes of the May Fourth Movement of 1919. In these decades, China was busy importing Western ideas because they believed that was the key to rejuvenate China.
The Communist Party eventually won power in China, but it was only following the Korean War that all hope was lost that China could transition to a democracy.
Still, the spectre of democracy remains. The Chinese Communist Party still talks about democracy positively sometimes and the Chinese constitution describes China as a democracy. They do this partly by ignoring what democracy means (the constitution also guarantees "freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration"), and partly by redefining what democracy means. It's Western-style democracy that the CCP treats as an unambiguously bad and dangerous idea.
Nowhere in his comment did he say it was. He simply said the situation wold "boil-over"
Also, have you been to Beijing? The smog is so dense that sometimes you don't see 50m ahead ...
The only thing they're doing is trying to build cheaper electric vehicles.
Isn't that what happened in the referenced photo? And the regime murdered the protesters and put in place a draconian censorship system to avoid it happening again.
The value systems in Asia are far different, and people are much more collective where as we are a more individualist society with different thoughts about individual freedom.
I doubt China could have become as strong as it is today without it's long history of authoritarian regimes, and I feel that many in China believe this to be true. The growing dissent may not be a sign of what's to come but may simply be the growing pains of a totalitarian regime moving into the 21st century. I do not agree with Chinese government but I never underestimate it. There are some smart people working to keep over a billion people under control and productive, and I'm sure they will ultimately find a way that keeps them like that, and can be accepted by it's citizens.
In fact, there was a time when our own dictator and his followers used exactly the same argument, saying that "Western Democracy" does not fit Asia's unique culture, and we should instead implement "Korean Style Democracy", i.e., authoritarianism. I view them as traitors of our own country and our own culture.
In fact, one of the core tenets of Confucianism is that the monarch is not an absolute ruler but is bound by moral duty. As a classical Confucian text says: 君者舟也, 庶人者水也, 水則載舟, 水則覆舟.
"The monarch is a boat, and people are the water. Water floats the boat, but water also sinks the boat."
The intuition that western liberal democracy is some sort of inevitable wave is very possibly just an artifact of the US winning WWII.
They are huge, filled with uneducated hungry people. Isn't too remarkable when the government's tactic boils down to "kill dissenters & feed the rest".
Only individuals can want something. Societies can't want something; the Earth can't want something; a company or government can't want something.
It's clear that there are individuals in China who do want tolerance. And it's even clearer that there are government officials who are scared of what individuals might start wanting if exposed to ideas of tolerance and democracy.
I'm going to just skip tolerance here, because it's a complex idea not entirely related.
Let's use Democracy. There are definitely some people in China who want Democracy. There are everywhere. It's not remarkable that some people want it, but the numbers are the important part. If 2% of the people want it, then it's never going to happen. If 40% of the people want it, then it might move that way soon. Thing is, while 2% is a tiny minority, it's still objectively a lot of people. 2% can get you a bunch of activist groups and busy-looking protests and that sort of thing. It's much easier than you might think to look at a 2% movement that you personally agree with and believe that it's a mainstream view, the future of the country, etc, when it actually isn't.
Now that's just an example. Personally, I have no idea what the approval rating of Democratic ideas is in China. Tricky thing about totalitarian countries that practice censorship, it's hard to get an idea of what people really think. I'd like to think that it's a mainstream, growing idea. Clearly the Government is indeed afraid of it enough to go out of their way to censor it. But I worry that we may be fooling ourselves, and it has no real traction.
I would also point out that we don't have entirely clean hands either when it comes to tolerating 2%-size political movements advocating for radical changes to the structure of our government and society. Plenty of examples to pick from, no matter what your political persuasion is. I'm not saying we're as bad as them or anything - they're much, much further down that rabbit hole. I'm just saying that it's much easier than you think to ignore and excuse such abuses when they're against something that you don't like.
Some truths really are self-evident.
TL; DR: Everyone hates their outgroup, and everybody has one, including you and me. Isn't it rather convenient to convince yourself that everyone in your outgroup is intolerant totalitarians, so that you can continue to hate them and justify any kind of tactics against them while also patting yourself on the back at how tolerant you are? (The 'you' there doesn't mean anyone in particular, just a general statement).
Tolerance means not hating your enemies, your outgroup, and is genuinely hard and pretty rare. Everybody likes their friends and allies, and there's nothing particularly special or virtuous about it.
That's a pretty extreme strawman. I disagree with lots of outgroups, and I only call a couple of them totalitarians.
If someone hates all of the outgroup, they are almost certainly hypocritical and lying to themselves about being tolerant.
If someone hates none of the outgroup, we can agree they're virtuous and special, sure.
If someone hates 15% of the outgroup for specific reasons, that's probably okay. It doesn't automatically imply that they are secretly intolerant. Most people that claim to prioritize tolerance are here, and most of them are telling the truth.
And perhaps that statement was an oversimplification, but as I understand it, that's essentially the point of the Paradox of Tolerance. If you had to sum that up in a sentence or two, how else would you do it?
The paradox of tolerance is not particularly difficult to deal with. You prioritize the preservation of as much tolerance as possible. If someone is trying to reduce the levels of tolerance in the world by a large amount, it's important to fight them, even if it means minor short term intolerance. And even then you tolerate them in all other ways.
Chinese people aren't drones. They don't have a hivemind to tell them what is good for them. Sacrifice for the country might be a thing during Mao's period, but I am not seeing it in nowadays' young generation.
On the contrary, I think Chinese people believe less in the collective good. If the problem isn't your own problem, then it is everyone's problem, then it is no one's problem. That is why in so many situations, government becomes that last resort to figure stuff out.
'The mountains are tall, and the emperor is afar', as the old Chinese sayings goes. The ruthless authoritarianism and primitive freedom co-exist in China's case.
There is pressure to conform, but only because not doing so, there will be pain. 'The bird who extends out its head most gets shot first', as they always say.
Confucianism might be what the world, even China itself thinks about itself, how it is ruled upon. But Fajia (Legalism) is what actually gets executed in real life.
In particular, getting there would arguably involve considerable chaos. And so it's not that hard for those in control to play on people's fears about that. After all, Westerners have tried to impose democracy on China before, and it didn't work out very well.
Back in the 60s, China was on track to be North Korea times 10^4 to 10^6. But Kissinger managed to convince Nixon to intervene in a constructive and noninvasive way. That clearly has worked, so what we need is arguably to stay on that track.
On the other hand, isolating South Africa arguably did hasten the end of Apartheid. And if China undertakes full-on genocide against the Uyghurs, that may be the only moral path. But orders of magnitude more dangerous. And when we add global climate change to the mix, it'll be insane.
I suppose that you could claim Germany or Japan as long-term successes. But the costs were immense.
I did not read anything of the sort in that response. It stated that respondent disagreed with your conclusion and explained why. Are you conflating a difference of opinion with suppression of free expression? That does not seem a healthy attitude to have.
Are the actions of the current Chinese dictatorship praised or at least scene as normal by Koreans, Japanese, or Taiwanese?
The culture of repression, and a hair trigger to stamp out any unfavorable comment on a regime is a sign of bad governance. Where will it end? Ten years ago, it was safe to criticize the actions of the regime, so long as you accepted that the government as a whole legitimate. Now you can no longer criticize the top-level, as its just one man. Will this trickle down till no one can speak ill of the government at all, lest they be seen as speaking ill of its dictator?
That could be because they just don't want to talk about it. Or because they are mostly from rich families and so they really don't care. Or only kids from loyal families are allowed to go to school overseas.
I have also heard, but have not been able to verify, that any Chinese student who studies abroad must become a member of the Communist Party.
Not true. Being a Chinese student who studied in the US in the past, I never joined, or was asked to join the Communist Party. In fact, the majority of Chinese students in the US that I know are not Communist Party members. A passport (and a valid visa) is all you need to go abroad.
Censorship in America is vast and pernicious. It takes many forms: taboos, shunning, algorithms, downvotes, shadowbans, no-platforming, heckling, harassment, must-show news segments, advertiser demands, textbook authoring committees, etc.
There are ongoing movements on US college campuses and ongoing development in US tech companies that will undo every bit of progress that was fought for in the free speech movement.
This very thread shows a video on an American site being removed because of Chinese complaints.
I am not trying to detract from the importance of Chinese censorship by muddying the waters. This is not whataboutism. We are standing on a sinking ship ourselves, and if we don't start fixing the damage to our own freedoms, we will sink right along with the rest of the world. We must solve our own problems if we are to have any hope of helping others with theirs.
I am a college professor and I think student opposition to freedom of speech is way way way overblown.
This is in fact the critical difference between totalitarian society and free society.
I can't imagine how someone would organize protests under real totalitarian control, when every step is recorded and you can't hide. They will be arrested pretty soon. So 21-century will allow totalitarian regimes to thrive, unless they are not friends with closer supercountry, in that case of course they will be overthrown and replaced with loyal ones.
I think the 1989 incident was such an event. It almost boiled over. But what happened is that regime learned from its mistakes and it learned to control its temperature better i.e. introduced market economy.
They've sort of made this pact with the people "you don't ask us about what happened in 1989, but in exchange you get to participate in world's capitalist economy".
Another sad realization could be that capitalism and democracy don't really have to coexist. It seemed for a while that democracy would follow after enough prosperity and market economy took over. But it hasn't happened in China. And we might be surprised that capitalism might even work better under a totalitarian regime.
Update: while the video linked by the article has been removed, here it is:
It's terrible when a government takes away your voice. But it's so much worse when people do it voluntarily to avoid the consequences.
(in this case, of course Leica is a business that doesn't want to lose a market with billions of people, but still... Leicas have been used for a hundred years to expose this type of nonsense, and now they're doing this...)
From Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
If you don't have your own IPFS node, you can watch it through any of the public gateways like this:
> The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. -John Gilmore
> ... When undergraduate students at Peking University, which was at the center of the incident, were shown copies of the iconic photograph [of Tank Man] 16 years afterwards, they were "genuinely mystified." One of the students said that the image was "artwork." It is noted in the documentary Frontline: The Tank Man that he whispered to the student next to him "89," which led the interviewer to surmise that the student may have concealed his knowledge of the event.
The fact that Leica, a foreign company, is now apologizing about the ad (and has deleted it from their YouTube account) shows just how effective the Chinese government has become at their trade. From the article:
> “Leica Camera AG must, therefore, distance itself from the content shown in the video and regrets any misunderstandings or false conclusions that may have been drawn,” Emily Anderson, a spokesperson for Leica, told SCMP.
searching "膜蛤" on baidu.com yields zero results.
In China, Toad King Warship (膜蛤文化) is very popular in some people, espcially young ones. There are tones of memes and internet jokes around that and obviously nobody gets into trouble because of it.
I don't know why your interviewer told you he was afraid. A wild guess is that he was one of those young people who loves Toad King Warship, and your ice frog reminded him of it. But it's hard to explain it to a foreigner (or he find it inappropriate to mention in an interview. it's a sub-culture anyway). So he just say he cannot say about it. As you further asked for reason, he gives you the answer you have in mind, by acting as victim of surveillance state (another culture thing).
Take your interpretation for example, am I mistaken to conclude that you believe all who post that frog are both misogynist and racist, or did I guess wrong? If so, could you clarify?
It's interesting how on the internet those in positions of power get described as the real victims.
The closest person I was referring to is the player in the "Chinese esports team" that dx87 was talking about. Or possibly a hypothetical white player on who could have been put in a similar situation by an interviewer. I guess they have a little bit of power due to their position on a top team, but I don't consider that to be much power. I don't consider them victims either, just humans who have their own set of goals and fears, that I can try to analyze.
This is as asinine as getting someone to say “bomb” at airport security.
The company is not very relevant for actual "working" photographers today (I use one, but tellingly photography isn't a real job for me), but it once was and at the time they stood up to their own homegrown totalitarian regime by helping jews escape Germany disguised as transferring employees.
Voigtlander is a brandname used by Cosina.
>Schools are shaming students with low app scores. Government offices are holding study sessions and forcing workers who fall behind to write reports criticizing themselves. Private companies, hoping to curry favor with party officials, are ranking employees based on their use of the app and awarding top performers the title of “star learner.”
>Many employers now require workers to submit daily screenshots documenting how many points they have earned.
How long until we see weaker nations require the same of their own people? Participating in the firewall, etc?
Also, I was told by the one who actually use the app that many of the quiz questions in the app are just about general scientific/cultural knowledge and stuff; only a small percentage involves current events (censored or not) or politics. I find that pointless, but again NY Times chose to cherry-pick the content here to paint a more horrifying picture.
It's intentionally or unintentionally (I don't know which) incomplete or cherry-picked coverage like this that makes me not trust Western coverage of China, Russia, or any other "enemy" nation at all.
The article does say there are >100M users of the app, and according to Wikipedia, CCP has ~100M members, so the numbers appear in line.
More detailed anecdata: the aforementioned acquaintance who use the app is employed at a Chinese university, and according to him they do have an institution-wide rank (among employees; students not included); party members are ranked, but non-party members are not (because they're not required to "study", as I already pointed out). He even told me he's ranked at around 30% at the moment, lol.
There are official confirmations
They also officially admit they can:
Throttle your internet speed
Ban your kids from some schools
Banning you from certain jobs
Taking your pets away
I think that predicting possible restricting ability to buy food is not “unfounded speculation” but rather pointing out something that can literally be one step away. If you help someone with a low social credit score who has been restricted, your score also lowers. The AI can track where you’ve been and who you helped. Uyghur markets are gone. Their freedom of movement has been restricted as they are in the re-education centers for years.
Are you really taking issue with the suggestion that food can be next, how much hyperbole is it given the scale of what happened in 2018 and 2019 thus far alone?
"Extreme claim not based in fact, stated as fact"
[link, implied to support the claim but doesn't]
When you do this, some percentage of people are going to take what you're saying at face value and believe that this is actual policy, especially since you seem to have provided a source (even though clicking on that source reveals it to be a paper thin cnet article that provides no support for what you're saying).
Frustratingly, you're doing it again here - you say "purchases for mobility and communication are restricted by social credit scores", and then you provide two links - one for cellphones and one for trains - that just say you need to use IDs to sign up for mobile plans and to buy train tickets in China, describing policies that existed long prior to social credit scores and have nothing to do with social credit scores. Those are also policies that exist in a lot of other countries, the first link you provide even says this in the first sentence:
"...joining many European and Asian countries in curbing the anonymous use of mobile technology."
Also, at least in my personal experience, you need an ID to buy a train ticket in the US as well. Also your source for that is a comment in a trip advisor thread about needing an ID to buy bus tickets, not train tickets, and consists entirely of people speculating and things they've heard second hand - a truly horrible source if ever I've seen one, and not in support of what you're saying even if it was a good source.
Without going through it, as I think it's pretty clear at this point that you're being very sloppy with your sources, that business insider article doesn't say what you're saying it says either.
Even looking past the many false claims here completely unsupported by the links you're providing, you can't just list a few things you don't like that seem "unfree" to you and then say you think that predicting keeping people that don't use an app regularly enough from buying food is a reasonable prediction. Or rather, go ahead and say it if you want but please just make it clear that it's your prediction rather than a fact like you did above, and be careful that the links you provide as supporting sources actually relate to what you're saying.
And please, please, please, be careful with how you summarize linked content - the way you do it here and appear to be doing it in your previous post is so inaccurate and so mixed with your own predictions and fears that I'm giving you a lot of benefit of the doubt by saying it's "sloppy" rather than "intentionally deceptive".
We’re talking about a country that has extrajudicial detention facilities to detain for years and re-educate huge numbers of people who committed no crime, based not on due process but on their religion alone, including Falun Gong and Uyghurs and probably some underground Churches and Buddhists. They probably already have the food-based control I’m talking about. I mean, the trajectory and overton window is REALLY worrying. What I said is coming to be within that window.
Reminds me of this: https://vimeo.com/44078865
Thats just spooky close to the "It doesn't look like anything to me" from Westworld. How long until they really don't see the man and the tank at all?
Joining Mercedes Benz in that particular hall of shame:
> There was a widespread conviction that it is impossible to withstand temptation of any kind, that none of us could be trusted or even be expected to betrustworthy when the chips are down, that to be tempted and to be forced are almost the same, whereas in the words of Mary McCarthy, who first spotted this fallacy: "If somebody points a gun at you and says,'Kill your friend or I will kill you,' he is tempting you, that is all." And while a temptation where one's life is at stake may be a legal excuse for a crime, it certainly is not a moral justification.
> It is fortunate and wise that no law exists for sins of omission and no human court is called up onto sit in judgment over them. But it is equally fortunate that there exists still one institution in society in which it is well-nigh impossible to evade issues of personal responsibility, where all justifications of a nonspecific, abstract nature - from the Zeitgeist down to the Oedipus complex - break down, where not systems or trends or original sin are judged, but men of flesh and blood like you and me, whose deeds are of course still human deeds but who appear before a tribunal because they have broken some law whose maintenance we regard as essential for the integrity of our common humanity. Legal and moral issues are by no means the same, but they have a certain affinity with each other because they both presuppose the power of judgment.
> What mattered in our early, nontheoretical education in morality was never the conduct of the true culprit of whom even then no one in his right mind could expect other than the worst. Thus we were outraged, but not morally disturbed, by the bestial behavior of the stormtroopers in the concentration camps and the torture cellars of the secret police, and it would have been strange indeed to grow morally indignant over the speeches of the Nazi big wigs inpower, whose opinions had been common knowledge for years. [..] The moral issue arose only with the phenomenon of "coordination," that is, not with fear-inspired hypocrisy, but with this very early eagerness not to miss the train of History, with this, as it were, honest overnight change of opinion that befell a great majority of public figures in all walks of life and all ramifications of culture, accompanied, as it was, by an incredible ease with which life long friendships were broken and discarded. In brief, what disturbed us was the behavior not of our enemies but of our friends, who had done nothing to bring this situation about. They were not responsible for the Nazis, they were only impressed by the Nazi success and unable to pit their own judgment against the verdict of History, as they read it. Without taking into account the almost universal breakdown, not of personal responsibility, but of personal judgment in the early stages of the Nazi regime, it is impossible to understand what actually happened.
-- Hannah Arendt, "Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship"
You can't claim to be a democracy and do these things by definition yet not only are 'democracies' doing these things openly but we have people who seem less outraged by what's happening in their own 'democratic' backyards and more outraged by what a totalitarian country is doing.
This lacks credibility and seems more like a way to score political points than out of any genuine concern for democracy or human rights.
While they may live in another country, they still deserve all of the rights and liberties that all human beings deserve.
The Chinese government should be criticized when they do things that infringe on the natural human rights of the Chinese people... just as any other person or government should also be criticized.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China [...] the Chinese people of all nationalities will continue [...] to turn China into a socialist country that is prosperous, powerful, democratic and culturally advanced.
Of course the literal text of the constitution is completely ignored in practice, but criticizing that doesn't automatically lack credibility.
In the West, we see democracy as a means of limiting the excesses of power. As Karl Popper noted, 'democracy' is not so much the answer to the question "who should rule?", as to the question "how do we prevent bad rulers ruling absolutely?". When 'democracy' is taken to imply the first answer, it is seen as the grounds of total legitimacy for the ruler. It is simply a substitute for the divine right of kings. In the second case, the ruler seen as having limited legitimacy, subject to the rule of law, of criticism, even ridicule, and of lawful challenge from other potential rulers.
When totalitarian states called themselves 'Democratic People's Republics' they were not so much lying as using the term 'democracy' in the first sense above. They were signaling that their governments had a legitimate claim to absolute power on the grounds that they were the expression of Rousseau's 'general will'. Those who clashed with the state were not seen as rebels against the ruler, but as 'enemies of the people'.
But now with deepfakes and other video editing, it wouldn't be that crazy for an average person in China to simply not believe the video was real if their government universally denies it.
I find when I speak in Mandarin, and in a nonjudgmental manner, they all know about it.
Of course they all say the protest started due to labor reform issues and not because of democracy.
It's all about plausible deniability. Funnily enough, that's exactly why censorship doesn't actually work - these things are precisely what people would say if they knew about the picture and its significance, but wanted to make an outer impression that they don't. I think it's quite possible that the Chinese nationalists "protesting" Leica's shameful, anti-Chinese campaign are playing a very similar game, even while clearly hinting that they do respect the government's authority. These things are not what they seem to be, there's a lot of subtlety involved.
What? You have a source on this? Last I checked, people were jumping out of buildings to commit suicide so the gov put nets around the bottom. Things may have gotten better, but they are far from the ideal anyone wants to live in. I think the "apathy" you're referring to is actually "resignation" to the fact that they feel they can't do anything about the problem. Their country is dying off, and all they can do is watch. Miserably sad. :..(
Personal economic issues aren’t always caused by politics.
I mean, what percentage of US students would recognize the Tuskegee experiments continued until 1972? I've had many people straight up tell me that is a lie, or a 'conspiracy theory'. In fact, I think this post will get down voted, despite asking a perfectly valid question and having concrete factual examples.
Not saying it isn't appalling that Leica is apologizing. Thought it makes sense from a business perspective.
I'm just curious to know what is more effective: the soft censorship of the west created by unwritten social norms or the hard censorship of the east?
Literally everyone who has ever had to take a medical or scientific ethics course knows this, since the IRB process was born specifically from this horrific abuse of science.
I'm guessing most high schools cover it in US History and/or World History, also, as mine did.
My post was just a question as to the overall percentage. Not whether there were any Americans who knew about the experiments.
Apparently asking questions and being inquisitive is bad now.
Society is a complex system. The west has soft censorship via control systems.
If you can't see any now, that is fine. But we can deduct they exist from logic.
Here's an example:
We can recognize the old ones. US newspapers and schools had effective censorship of, for example, the struggle of gay people in the US. The struggle was there, but it wasn't talked about. No matter the mechanisms to achieve this, it is effective soft censoring. While this doesn't exist anymore, it would be unreasonable to think we don't have similar blind sides now (I see plenty, but... that is neither here nor there, I'm going off logic)
One day, maybe, this cowardly behavior will end.
Like, every other page contains an embedded Winnie the Pooh image, or an insert describing the 1989 incident. Would Chinese agents be afraid to have such materials in their possession?
That would be pointless, since it's only forbidden in public discourse. People in trusted positions are able to access subversive information if needed, and anyone hacking foreign organizations for the state are probably in that group.
This article might be enlightening about the situation: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/business/china-internet-c...
Did it not happen? Was it a western plot? Student riots?
Banning the word Leica seems to be implicitly admitting that it did happen, and that the Chinese government did something wrong, so I'm guessing the official story isn't the generally accepted story?
This makes me wonder if discussions of reparations for slavery have fueled a similar fire in the United States. In my mind, criticism of past wrongs would lead to resentment by those criticized. I'm not in any way saying that discussing past harms has caused a resurgence of these issues, but I do wonder if there is some relationship.
We need information to make decisions. One side providing all the info leads to biased thoughts. It's exactly what's happening here in the US. People pick their news source (CNN, FOX, etc) and gradually become polarized to think one way.
The lesson here is: Learn about the counter argument. You should find it isn't as crazy as people tell you.
Most people are able to live normal lives where the government doesn't really have a massive influence. Even if it does, it's usually in terms of infrastructure development (transportation, housing, etc.), which can be done much more rapidly than in, say, the US (look at high-speed rail deployment in China over the past decade or so).
Plus, what's the alternative? China would be trading their fast-paced economic expansion and massive infrastructure investments (necessary to keep pace with the expanding number of people in China) for more... freedom?
And I think that's really the key here. The Chinese government is NOT incompetent and they're able to more than adequately provide for their citizens' needs. So, who would WANT a revolution?
Staying silent, or defending their tantrums, is what allows the Chinese to make it impossible for Macs sold in China to display Taiwan's national flag, to justify Mariott firing an employee for liking a tweet thanking the company for listing certain countries on their website, to force Leica to remove their ad and issue an apology over nothing, etc.
In response, Chinese people mostly make fun of us for believing in things like women's rights and such. Not really sure wide discussion of Tank Man is having any sort of positive effect.
Political turmoil in 1989:
"In the late 1980s, a wave of bourgeois liberalization was launched in the society. Liberalists promoted bourgeois democracy and freedom, carried out anti-Party and anti-socialist activities. Under this influence, in early April 1989, young students from some colleges and universities in Beijing carried out various forms of activities in response to real problems in the society. On April 15, the former General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Yaobang passed away. The masses and young students held various forms of mourning activities. However, very few liberals used this opportunity to engage in anti-party and anti-socialist activities. Under their instigation, students from some universities in the capital and local areas flocked to the streets to hold demonstrations. Some unscrupulous elements in Xi'an and Changsha took the opportunity to fight, smash, rob, and burn. The student movement quickly developed into social unrest. On April 26, the People’s Daily published an editorial entitled “There must be a clear-cut against social unrest”, pointing out that this was a planned conspiracy. The essence of this movement was to fundamentally negate the party’s leadership and deny the socialist system.The editorial called on everyone to take urgent action and take resolute and effective measures to stop the unrest. However, the situation has not improved. On the evening of May 19, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China decided to impose martial law in parts of the capital, but a few rioters incited some people to confront the martial law forces. At the same time, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places have also experienced serious incidents such as thugs hitting party and government organs and damaging transportation facilities. In this regard, the Party Central Committee, the State Council, and the Central Military Commission took decisive measures to calm the riots. This political storm has destroyed China’s normal social order, disrupted the normal economic construction process, and caused great losses to the party, the country and the people. The victory over social unrest and counter-revolutionary riots has consolidated the achievements of our country's socialist position and the decade of reform and opening up, and has also provided useful lessons for the party and the people."
Ads do really seem increasingly likely to transport some political/ideological content. Is this happening the customer's explicit request, or are agencies and/or their individual creatives surreptiously hitching a political/ideological ride at their customer's risk and expense?
I see no way to have a cohesive, official censorship apparatus with centralized control, unless the method employed simply involves cutting cables. That would be pretty unambiguous.
> I see no way to have a cohesive, official censorship apparatus with centralized control, unless the method employed simply involves cutting cables. That would be pretty unambiguous.
Social control and censorship is far more effective than governmental censorship. Being "excommunicated" or ostracized from your social group is enough to prohibit many people from making political expressions (or otherwise).
For a dumb but illustrative example, think about how your posting habits on social media might change if your relatives were receiving those posts.
The best part is that it allows the government to indirectly encourage practices and behavior that would likely receive criticism in the global community if done directly.
It’s like, when you want to go wash the dishes, and then someone nags you to wash them and “explains” the importance of keeping things clean.
Almost every interaction with Westerners about the government isn’t because they genuinely care about Chinese people, but rather to feel superior, like they are saving the “Chinese” from themselves.
That’s what it feels like and why many Chinese don’t like talking about it.
Unless of course pandering to Westerners can make them money. Then there are some that will gleefully act the part.
The West will surely only get to hear all the "sorry sorry sorrys" when it's too late.
Unless the many of us who believe that modern democracies ARE better are wrong, in which case China can continue taking IP, threatening foreign companies and claiming oceans while the rest of the world waits for it all to go tits up.
Though, it’s not quite likely your Chinese friends/colleagues will ever talk with you about that unless you guys are super close.
I agree pretty much what you said. But I am in the motherland.
And to elaborate more on what you said.
There are lots patriotic people and vice versa, and the patriotic voices are often heard on the net. You won't hear much the other side because it's censored.
I was once on the side of making hard change. i.e overthrow the Gov. But the more I stay here and saw what have gone through in other countries, the more am I inclined to the side of soft change.
With 1.4 billion people, a hard change will be devastating to everyone and the rest of the world. It's just too easy to wonder why the Chinese haven't stood up to the Gov and not thinking about the consequences, esp You won't be the one doing it. And most of the Chinese are living a good life here and it's just too much to risk for.
I think the Gov has to screw up big time to stir up the hard change and I don't like to see it happen.
It's not that surprising, Youtube is blocked in PRC
Sometimes the process is quite rapid, sometimes it drags on. It all depends how long you can keep the elite prosperous and happy and how long you can maintain economic growth.
While a common-enough failure mode, this is by no means universal. Many successful monarchies began as the equivalent of dictatorships, and then opened up further and further over time.
And then there's the Roman Empire, which started as a dictatorship (in the literal sense to which all other uses are metaphorical allusions) and went the other direction.
Spain for example wasn't a democracy until the 20th century and the first attempt at democracy failed miserably and only the second succeeded after the monarchy backed dictator died and the king didn't follow the late dictator's legacy as planned.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War ended with the execution of the Monarch, a brief military dictatorship, and established the principle that the Monarch cannot rule without the consent of Parliament.
Not exactly the French revolution, but hardly a smooth transition either.
Louis the 14th of France was one of the first Western kings to have something like dictatorial control of a country rather than being quite dependent on the nobles formally under him (as those nobles were in turn dependent on their vassals).
You've both made a good point and refuted the absolutist position at the same time. In general, if monarchs change and the borders, the laws, and the identities of the people remain the same, then it's really a continuation of the same regime. Really, "it depends."
That said, China's unwillingness to mention Tien Ah Min expresses the point that nation has to adopt a "no apologies, don't talk about this and we'd definitely do this again" position because the state ultimately deals in absolutes. This situation indeed implies a certain fragility.
Edit: Just for clarification, I certainly hope a framework of democracy and freedom of speech prevail but I am still clear quite a few Western interests have entirely selfish reasons for wanting this (and the Western model indeed has its flaws).
edited to add video title to second link
It'd be better for who if they just apologized and stopped violating human rights? The people in charge?
People are self-interested.
Yeah, it was just a protest.
Is this an actual sentiment that Chinese citizens have?
And no, I'm not even sure many people know that Leica collaborates with Huawei.
Chinese articles get flagged/removed from the frontpage all the time as well, and you'll see articles critical of the US and other governments/countries on the frontpage every day. There's no greater conspiracy, the only difference is that almost all Chinese articles mention USA, whereas almost no US/European articles mention China..
Mueller report vs copyright filters - this was on for a while.
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
So even that take doesn't make much sense.
As for Mueller, the report itself is off topic here on the grounds of (a) would they cover it on TV news? yes (see https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html), and (b) there is no intellectual curiosity left in any such discussions. But articles tangential to it have continued to appear and not been moderated. (Example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19704347.)
Because it's easier to finger wag at the bad Chinese government than to have an honest discussion about the dysfunctional (and increasingly authoritarian) aspects of our own governments.