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The Dragon in the Room: Censorship, Rebellion, and [China]

2

Posts

  • LolkenLolken Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2011
    Lolken wrote: »
    Also, the statement "Prosperity always brings increasing freedoms" is scarily naive; just for example, Brazil's greatest economic boom during the last half of the XXth century happened during a dictatorship.
    Of course, they then overthrew that government, implemented democracy, and had their economy collapse, then bounce back better than it was before.


    Overthrew the government? The dictatorship lasted from 64 to 85, with the economic boom ending in 73. It was a negotiated transition, and democracy wasn't fully implemented till 1988. The economy collapsed in 1981, 1986, 1991, 1999 and 2002, stagnating in Every. Single. Year between those crashes. It "bounced back" circa 2006. Seriously, what's the correlation between prosperity and democracy here?

    Lolken on
    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton.

    "Money tends to corrupt, and lots of money corrupts lotsely" - Me.
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Lolken wrote: »
    Lolken wrote: »
    Also, the statement "Prosperity always brings increasing freedoms" is scarily naive; just for example, Brazil's greatest economic boom during the last half of the XXth century happened during a dictatorship.
    Of course, they then overthrew that government, implemented democracy, and had their economy collapse, then bounce back better than it was before.


    Overthrew the government? The dictatorship lasted from 64 to 85, with the economic boom ending in 73. It was a negotiated transition, and democracy wasn't fully implemented till 1988. The economy collapsed in 1981, 1986, 1991, 1999 and 2002, stagnating in Every. Single. Year between those crashes. It "bounced back" circa 2006. Seriously, what's the correlation between prosperity and democracy here?

    Brazil was much better off after the implementation of the Real plan in... '91, I think.

    Salvation122 on
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  • LolkenLolken Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2011
    Lolken wrote: »
    Lolken wrote: »
    Also, the statement "Prosperity always brings increasing freedoms" is scarily naive; just for example, Brazil's greatest economic boom during the last half of the XXth century happened during a dictatorship.
    Of course, they then overthrew that government, implemented democracy, and had their economy collapse, then bounce back better than it was before.


    Overthrew the government? The dictatorship lasted from 64 to 85, with the economic boom ending in 73. It was a negotiated transition, and democracy wasn't fully implemented till 1988. The economy collapsed in 1981, 1986, 1991, 1999 and 2002, stagnating in Every. Single. Year between those crashes. It "bounced back" circa 2006. Seriously, what's the correlation between prosperity and democracy here?

    Brazil was much better off after the implementation of the Real plan in... '91, I think.

    It wasn't in a state of economic collapse, but that's all. The Real plan was implemented in 1994. GDP growth in 95 was 2,62%, 1,10% in 96, 1,72 % in 97 and minus -1,36% in 1998. Stagnation.

    Lolken on
    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton.

    "Money tends to corrupt, and lots of money corrupts lotsely" - Me.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Is anyone else more worried about shit like this:
    - Apr. 2008: MI5 learns that cyber-attacks on bank executives' personal information came from Chinese Army.
    - Jan. 2010: Chinese government hacks US-based G-Mail accounts of dissidents, disabling G-Mail worldwide for several days.
    - Nov. 2010: Pentagon reports that recent spying of as much as 15% of all web traffic was specifically aimed at Western security and financial information, and originated from state-run Chinese security firm.

    That China is up to?

    shryke on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    shryke wrote: »
    Is anyone else more worried about shit like this:
    - Apr. 2008: MI5 learns that cyber-attacks on bank executives' personal information came from Chinese Army.
    - Jan. 2010: Chinese government hacks US-based G-Mail accounts of dissidents, disabling G-Mail worldwide for several days.
    - Nov. 2010: Pentagon reports that recent spying of as much as 15% of all web traffic was specifically aimed at Western security and financial information, and originated from state-run Chinese security firm.

    That China is up to?

    I certainly am.


    The obvious retort in defense is, of course, "Well how much is the US (and the West) doing the same to China?"

    Which is probably not a completely ignorant question, as I'm sure Western powers don't stay on top of things they way they always have by NOT having a bustling espionage agenda. The questions at that point become whether China is really as awful and malicious as they seem, or is the West just that much better at spying subtly?

    If it's the former, it raises some serious questions as to why we continue to allow so much of our economy and resources be dependant on Chinese accomodation and policy. There's already enough reason to suspect China's economic boom is little more than returns on economies of scale with a little (or a lot) of clever accountancy and currency valuation.

    As always with developing nations (which despite their clout, is basically what China still is), the catch is choosing between widening our trade gap (which expands their middle class and discourages civil restriction), or turning our economy more insular to protect against an entity that may be acting maliciously against us (and thus stemming whatever gains were being made).

    Atomika on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I would guess that the Chinese probably know exactly what we're doing, they're just less inclined to tell the populace about it.

    Fencingsax on
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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I would guess that the Chinese probably know exactly what we're doing, they're just less inclined to tell the populace about it.

    It's actually really hard to gauge the competency of the Chinese government.

    Atomika on
  • An-DAn-D Content Editor RaleighRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've been teaching in China for coming up on a year now. Up in the north-east part, at a fairly poor/average university. I got about 300 students I'm responsible for - ranging from freshmen to graduates.

    Some things:

    - Most of my students have access to youtube through some medium or another. And wikipedia. When I first came to China, I was worried about my proxy being found out and being sent to Chinese prison or something. One of my classes asked me if I had a facebook/use youtube, and I responded with: "Oh, I can't get in on facebook/use youtube in China. The internet won't let me." Half the class started babbling about how I should use a proxy. The fact that the great Firewall exists does not mean there are not significant holes in it.

    - You can find pictures of Tienanmen Square without a proxy.

    - My students are pretty aware of the news. Egypt, Libya, protestprotestprotest. I am teaching at a lower income university. My students are definitely what I would call 'average.'

    - Even with what my students know about the rest of the world, they really do love their country and all that that entails. They don't like somethings like corruption or rising food prices, but they don't have a lot of bad things to say about the government.

    - You really don't notice the government oppression. The police and soldiers that walk the street are pretty friendly (and not just to me). I think I've only seen a small handful of 'authority' that seemed to be mean to people. There was a riot in the area near me - 100+ random Chinese citizens vs one cop that was abusing his power.

    - You do notice the corruption. It is literally everywhere. I could probably skip a line at Wal-Mart if I slipped one of the assistant people a couple Mao dollars.



    I read an interesting article when the Jasmine revolution thing was going on (I can't find it right now) but it basically said that the odds of a revolution happen in China are very low basically because of the One-Child policy.

    It is Chinese culture that the child supports the parents/grandparents when they are older. If the youth ( 20-30 year olds - 1st generation to probably not have any brothers or sisters) do try to start something against the government, and the movement is violently squashed, than they have left their family with no way to support themselves once they retire (and probably brought a good amount of shame to the family name). Family is really important to the Chinese, and there would be no way they would anti-government movements over it (unless the government really was doing something utterly horrible)

    An-D on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kime wrote: »
    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.
    Hiiiighly suspect

    Improvolone on
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    An-D wrote: »
    I read an interesting article when the Jasmine revolution thing was going on (I can't find it right now) but it basically said that the odds of a revolution happen in China are very low basically because of the One-Child policy.

    It is Chinese culture that the child supports the parents/grandparents when they are older. If the youth ( 20-30 year olds - 1st generation to probably not have any brothers or sisters) do try to start something against the government, and the movement is violently squashed, than they have left their family with no way to support themselves once they retire (and probably brought a good amount of shame to the family name). Family is really important to the Chinese, and there would be no way they would anti-government movements over it (unless the government really was doing something utterly horrible)

    I do think there will be a revolution, just not a violent one. Probably a significant upheaval within the party that might see a sudden openness regarding other parties and speech.

    Quid on
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    nor do I think their hold on power is "illegitimate."

    You don't think strengthening their fascist one-party system by keeping the public in the dark and criminalizing dissent is an illegitimate form of government?

    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.

    And that doesn't set off great big klaxons with seizuriffic flashing strobes on? How much of voice do those parties have in he Standing Commitee? What about actual opposition parties like the Democracy Party of China, for whom not being allowed to participate in elections was the least of the problems inflicted by the [strike]CPC[/strike] Chinese government?

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    nor do I think their hold on power is "illegitimate."

    You don't think strengthening their fascist one-party system by keeping the public in the dark and criminalizing dissent is an illegitimate form of government?

    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.

    And that doesn't set off great big klaxons with seizuriffic flashing strobes on? How much of voice do those parties have in he Standing Commitee? What about actual opposition parties like the Democracy Party of China, for whom not being allowed to participate in elections was the least of the problems inflicted by the [strike]CPC[/strike] Chinese government?

    Kime certainly has the inside track, what with being in actual China and all, but I find the amount of handwaving and seeming passive acceptance of so much bold disenfranchisement kind of, well, scary.

    Atomika on
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    nor do I think their hold on power is "illegitimate."

    You don't think strengthening their fascist one-party system by keeping the public in the dark and criminalizing dissent is an illegitimate form of government?

    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.

    And that doesn't set off great big klaxons with seizuriffic flashing strobes on? How much of voice do those parties have in he Standing Commitee? What about actual opposition parties like the Democracy Party of China, for whom not being allowed to participate in elections was the least of the problems inflicted by the [strike]CPC[/strike] Chinese government?

    Kime certainly has the inside track, what with being in actual China and all, but I find the amount of handwaving and seeming passive acceptance of so much bold disenfranchisement kind of, well, scary.

    I mean don't get me wrong; I'll lock up a cub scout in room 101 if I have to, but at least I won't try to claim he was looking forward to it.

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A standard electoral tactic in many authoritarian countries is to divide potential opposition by aggressively co-opting some of it, and aggressively suppressing the rest. So it really is possible - even likely - that a moderately competent government would indeed be permitting what opposition they do allow into government to pretty much have their way on pet topics, in return for their acquiescing to the existing regime.

    Thus you would find, as kime observes, the existence of plausibly legitimate non-CCP politicians and parties in the Chinese Congress who do indeed agree with the decisions of the dominant party on wider issues, whilst still getting their way on a select number of platform issues. That's the quid pro quo. Because this is an authoritarian country, said number of issues may be far smaller than what a democratic minority party might be able to bargain for (as part of a parliamentary coalition, say) - but it is easier to accept authoritarian largesse than to contest the whole system. Or sometimes the selected minorities recognize they might never get their way in a democratic arrangement, perhaps due to being substantially outnumbered by other potential minority parties, so they actively support the regime. This pattern isn't unique to the PRC.

    The Chinese government would certainly want to run such an arrangement, and find itself hampered not by opposition mobilization (which is tiny) but by their own nominal subordinates resisting having powers that they feel should belong in their portfolios be used as bargaining chips. The Chinese Communist Party is massive and is by no means monolithic.

    This is at a national level; at a regional level, my knowledge of the PRC is that the liberal and democratic quality of regional elections can vary considerably.

    ronya on
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  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    A standard electoral tactic in many authoritarian countries is to divide potential opposition by aggressively co-opting some of it, and aggressively suppressing the rest. So it really is possible - even likely - that a moderately competent government would indeed be permitting what opposition they do allow into government to pretty much have their way on pet topics, in return for their acquiescing to the existing regime.

    That is more or less the point; if you suppress any opposition that doesn't do what you want, then you do not, in fact, have an opposition.

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    An-D wrote: »


    I read an interesting article when the Jasmine revolution thing was going on (I can't find it right now) but it basically said that the odds of a revolution happen in China are very low basically because of the One-Child policy.

    It is Chinese culture that the child supports the parents/grandparents when they are older. If the youth ( 20-30 year olds - 1st generation to probably not have any brothers or sisters) do try to start something against the government, and the movement is violently squashed, than they have left their family with no way to support themselves once they retire (and probably brought a good amount of shame to the family name). Family is really important to the Chinese, and there would be no way they would anti-government movements over it (unless the government really was doing something utterly horrible)

    Random side factoid:

    there were several Chinese students killed in the Christchurch earthquake while they were attending an english language school down here.

    Due to the One-Child policy, this has left their parents back home without any support at all. So the chinese Government is asking for additional funds from the Christchurch appeal to try and help make up for that loss.

    /random

    i return you to your thread now...

    lonelyahava on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    A standard electoral tactic in many authoritarian countries is to divide potential opposition by aggressively co-opting some of it, and aggressively suppressing the rest. So it really is possible - even likely - that a moderately competent government would indeed be permitting what opposition they do allow into government to pretty much have their way on pet topics, in return for their acquiescing to the existing regime.

    That is more or less the point; if you suppress any opposition that doesn't do what you want, then you do not, in fact, have an opposition.

    Well, yes, hence "potential" opposition. The usefulness (to the government) of transforming potential opposers into co-opted only-quietly-grumbling representatives is more or less my point.

    Elections serve two purposes - they transform a messy bunch of electoral rules into a legitimate expression of the people's will, and they serve as a material barometer of discontent. Here it's pretty much wholly the latter purpose. By our democratic sensibilities, we reject such an election as illegitimate because there is not, in fact, any opposition. But the CCP clearly feels able to derive moral legitimacy from sources that are not free and fair national elections conducted under an atmosphere of reasonably unrestricted political expression.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    Ross I feel ya. I'd love to knock this off around the world, but America's people aren't up for such action, we'd have to be comfortable with being at war for decades, and our population gets mad when we launch airstrikes against Libya. It would be great if we could enforce rights globally, but anything short of military action is useless, and military action requires america to really commit to action.

    Well, I don't think America's people are up for suicide, because that's what war with China would entail. Conventional or nukes.

    Nuclear yes, Conventional? Well the US would bleed itself dry financially trying to lift a finger and China has no way to strike across the ocean so, that's more or less a stalemate there, disregarding the impossibility of it all given how awful it would be for the US to fight its primary creditor and how bad it would be for that creditor to be at war with someone who owes it so much money.

    I bet we'll get into some kind of penis measuring contest in a proxy engagement at some point, but nothing serious

    override367 on
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Oh China. It doesn't like me previewing this post, hopefully all the quoting code is correct....
    kime wrote: »
    kime wrote: »
    nor do I think their hold on power is "illegitimate."

    You don't think strengthening their fascist one-party system by keeping the public in the dark and criminalizing dissent is an illegitimate form of government?

    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.

    And that doesn't set off great big klaxons with seizuriffic flashing strobes on? How much of voice do those parties have in he Standing Commitee? What about actual opposition parties like the Democracy Party of China, for whom not being allowed to participate in elections was the least of the problems inflicted by the [strike]CPC[/strike] Chinese government?

    Kime certainly has the inside track, what with being in actual China and all, but I find the amount of handwaving and seeming passive acceptance of so much bold disenfranchisement kind of, well, scary.

    My last line there was supposed to convey a bit... dry humor? in that what I said kind of clearly shows that the other parties are a farce. And yeah, it is a problem, ideally China would be more politically open and such. The existence of other parties does, however, make the future potentially more pleasant. The parties may be spineless now, but perhaps in the future there will be a gradual transition to a more multi-partied system since some basics are already present.

    But yes, it probably should scare you. Not that I'm saying something that makes me sound passive or hand-wavy, but that it's the actual attitude in general.

    ronya wrote: »
    The Chinese government would certainly want to run such an arrangement, and find itself hampered not by opposition mobilization (which is tiny) but by their own nominal subordinates resisting having powers that they feel should belong in their portfolios be used as bargaining chips. The Chinese Communist Party is massive and is by no means monolithic.

    That's something else to keep in mind. A few decades ago, under Mao and (to a lesser extent) Deng, the party did what the head said. To do otherwise made you a target to be purged, and then all that was left was those that agreed.

    Now, however, that incredibly strong central authority figure is gone. Not only that, but the CCP isn't really eager for something like that to happen. Authoritarian the government may be, but dictatorship it is not, nor does anyone want that. After all, a dictatorship like Mao's means that people within the government and party are in danger, they won't willingly choose that.

    So that's another potential path that China may take to become more democratic in the future. Dissenting views within the CCP create separate "sub-parties" that are all CCP members, but perform a similar purpose of competition that we think of as a multi-party system has.

    ronya wrote: »
    A standard electoral tactic in many authoritarian countries is to divide potential opposition by aggressively co-opting some of it, and aggressively suppressing the rest. So it really is possible - even likely - that a moderately competent government would indeed be permitting what opposition they do allow into government to pretty much have their way on pet topics, in return for their acquiescing to the existing regime.

    That is more or less the point; if you suppress any opposition that doesn't do what you want, then you do not, in fact, have an opposition.

    Not all that much, no. But you can be heard speaking things the party may not approve of, there's just a line you can't cross (saying too much too loudly that condemns the party, organizing anti-party rallies, etc). Ideally there wouldn't be a line, but no one thinks China is in an ideal state now.

    ATIRage wrote: »
    Ross I feel ya. I'd love to knock this off around the world, but America's people aren't up for such action, we'd have to be comfortable with being at war for decades, and our population gets mad when we launch airstrikes against Libya. It would be great if we could enforce rights globally, but anything short of military action is useless, and military action requires america to really commit to action.

    Well, I don't think America's people are up for suicide, because that's what war with China would entail. Conventional or nukes.

    Nuclear yes, Conventional? Well the US would bleed itself dry financially trying to lift a finger and China has no way to strike across the ocean so, that's more or less a stalemate there.

    I bet we'll get into some kind of penis measuring contest in a proxy engagement at some point, but nothing serious

    The problem with that is that if the Chinese people get ruffled if they don't think the government is demonstrating they are "big" enough. The CCP could get nervous if enough people in enough places tell them to do more. Nationalism is great, but it's easy to turn targets (i.e. to the party). The CCP knows that, and they'd probably be very inclined not to let that happen. Enough to make, what will be in the long-term, stupid choices.

    Perhaps. Can't tell exactly what they'd do, but that's the thing that scares me the most. Not that the government will declare war out of their evil Communist hearts, or strangle the people to death by bleeding them dry of everything (although the corruption could escalate that direction), but the scariest thing is that some international matter of Chinese pride will come up that will have the citizens shouting for a response. The government may not be democratic (by anyone besides their own standards), but it sure listens if enough people speak up.



    Edit: To sum up why I don't think there will be a rebellion anytime soon: people's lives in China have been getting better and better. There have been a few bumps, but it has had a noticeable, substantial positive trend. Economically, personally, life now is better than it has been in China for over 150 years. You aren't going to revolt with that kind of background. At least, not for a while until the history fades more.

    kime on
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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    kime wrote: »
    In all fairness, there are many legitimate political parties in China. They even have a voice in government. They just all, you know, happen to agree with the decisions the Communist party is making.
    Hiiiighly suspect
    This type of setup is pretty common in more sophisticated dictatorships. Cuba has a bunch of "independent" political parties, too. They're really nothing more than sock puppets for the Communist party.

    Modern Man on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    China's much bigger than Cuba - realistically, it needs some pressure release valves built into the system, even if it's controlled-release-only. There is no dictatorship so well-managed that it can detect gathering dissent without letting it express itself in some way, and China's bureaucracy has the problem of poor upward information flow in a particularly bad way.

    It is probably correct to view these parties as, essentially, organs of the prevailing regime. But perhaps not as sock-puppets. They're there to allow particularly strong feelings of dissent to influence policy without compromising the wider system that grants the regime control over policy.

    ronya on
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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    In my opinion what we are likely to see in the future is a US and Europe who fall ever more under the control of corporations by proxy in that they contribute too much to elections and news cycles to be considered not in charge and a China where corporations are effectively directly in charge. This of course is the 'worst case'.

    China nowadays isn't really communist, it is attempting to be a benevolent dictatorship. Now, such a mode of government does work it just requires continued growth and a lack of corruption above a certain critical level. The question is how much corruption is present, and how long can growth be sustained. If the answer to the corruption number is 'not much' and the growth question is 'a long time' I feel it's more likely that China will be bailing out the US and Europe when we rise up against excessive corporate power.

    Things could go in any number of ways. China does make numerous awful decisions, but it also makes some very good ones.

    tbloxham on
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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So, China threw a temper-tantrum after seeing the US State Department's annual ranking of countries with terrible human rights records.
    "Stop the domineering behavior of exploiting human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, . . . The United States ignores its own severe human rights problems, ardently promoting its so-called 'human rights diplomacy."

    It also cited the United States' refusal to ratify a number of international human rights pacts, and listed poverty, hunger and homelessness as stains on the country's rights record.

    "The United States is the world's worst country for violent crimes," said the report. "Citizens' lives, property and personal safety do not receive the protection they should."

    "Racial discrimination is deeply rooted in the United States, permeating every aspect of social life," it said.


    Basically, the international diplomacy version of the Weak Analogy Fallacy.

    Atomika on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So, China threw a temper-tantrum after seeing the US State Department's annual ranking of countries with terrible human rights records.
    "Stop the domineering behavior of exploiting human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, . . . The United States ignores its own severe human rights problems, ardently promoting its so-called 'human rights diplomacy."

    It also cited the United States' refusal to ratify a number of international human rights pacts, and listed poverty, hunger and homelessness as stains on the country's rights record.

    "The United States is the world's worst country for violent crimes," said the report. "Citizens' lives, property and personal safety do not receive the protection they should."

    "Racial discrimination is deeply rooted in the United States, permeating every aspect of social life," it said.


    Basically, the international diplomacy version of the Weak Analogy Fallacy.

    Eh, they kind of have a point, but it's the incarceration shit that's the real problem. Which China clearly doesn't want to talk about.

    Fencingsax on
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  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Eh, they kind of have a point, but it's the incarceration shit that's the real problem. Which China clearly doesn't want to talk about.

    Oh, I know there's a little bit of the ol' "he who is without sin . . ." going on, but come the fuck on, China.

    "How dare you call us out for our brutal oppression/black-bagging/terrorizing of dissidents! Look at your racial income disparities!"

    It just sounds like something a crazy person would say. "How can you vilify me for murdering someone when you're the one wearing white after Labor Day!?"

    Atomika on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I agree, but it's also hard to disagree with China's point. Sure it doesn't make what they do any better, but the social situation in the US with our GDP is a goddamn joke.

    I'm surprised everyone isn't pointing and laughing at us 24/7, probably because they're worried we're going to elect another George W and do a dart-at-a-spinning-globe invasion

    override367 on
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Yeah, but this is nothing new. China likes to do this after the US's annual report. The irony here is that their sources tend to be almost entirely from various domestic US news reports criticizing the government... something that wouldn't really fly in China itself.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Eh, they kind of have a point, but it's the incarceration shit that's the real problem. Which China clearly doesn't want to talk about.

    Oh, I know there's a little bit of the ol' "he who is without sin . . ." going on, but come the fuck on, China.

    "How dare you call us out for our brutal oppression/black-bagging/terrorizing of dissidents! Look at your racial income disparities!"

    It just sounds like something a crazy person would say. "How can you vilify me for murdering someone when you're the one wearing white after Labor Day!?"

    totally not new

    ronya on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Eh, they kind of have a point, but it's the incarceration shit that's the real problem. Which China clearly doesn't want to talk about.

    Oh, I know there's a little bit of the ol' "he who is without sin . . ." going on, but come the fuck on, China.

    "How dare you call us out for our brutal oppression/black-bagging/terrorizing of dissidents! Look at your racial income disparities!"

    It just sounds like something a crazy person would say. "How can you vilify me for murdering someone when you're the one wearing white after Labor Day!?"

    totally not new

    Not at all new. And, to be fair, actually true--blacks were being lynched in the United States at the height of the propaganda phrases' use (1946 to about 1965, though it had still much declined since the earlier decades), which was of note because American public statements to the Soviet Union in particular did tend to...over exaggerate...the degree to which racial equality had been achieved in the United States. This was building off the state-sanctioned criticisms of Germany during the Second World War (as though there was now racial discrimination in Germany before 1941, when the issue came to light...).

    Black American celebrities touring the Soviet Union, for example, were told not to answer any questions concerning the situation of Black-White relations in the United States, basically, "don't take the bait."--this was normal practice after Paul Robeson back in the 1930s. No doubt the Soviets were doing the same thing, telling their athletes and musicians not to answer the same questions they were always asked when they toured the United States.

    While I think the Chinese analogy is, in fact, false because of Chinese policies, I also think that America's apparently long-term practice of currently incarcerating 5% of the entire black male population at any given time (US Bureau of Justice Statistics) is not like wearing white after Labor Day. It's more like incarcerated 5% of all black men in the country at any given time...i.e. fucked up and disturbing, in part because it's probably under reported and frequently not considered of consequence.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Bismuth OS Fully Operational 2019-07-12 - KeystoneRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Eh, they kind of have a point, but it's the incarceration shit that's the real problem. Which China clearly doesn't want to talk about.

    Oh, I know there's a little bit of the ol' "he who is without sin . . ." going on, but come the fuck on, China.

    "How dare you call us out for our brutal oppression/black-bagging/terrorizing of dissidents! Look at your racial income disparities!"

    It just sounds like something a crazy person would say. "How can you vilify me for murdering someone when you're the one wearing white after Labor Day!?"

    It's more like "How dare you vilify me for being a murderer when you got charged with Manslaughter last year?". America really isn't the best human rights judge for a lot of reasons other than racial income disparities. I'll just mention the prison system, the erosion of the middle class and the fact that the US didn't ratify multiple international human rights pacts such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    So yeah, America really isn't the best judge in this case, but I don't think there is a "best judge" for that.

    21stCentury on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Well, there are countries where--again, to bring up the same tired example--5% of a particular segment of society isn't in prison at any given time.

    For income disparity, there are any number of nations, with governments more or less heavy-handed than that in Washington--that have lower income inequality. Of course, income inequality is just one aspect of the equation (one the United States, for its part, does not consider particularly important in the equation).

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So yeah, America really isn't the best judge in this case, but I don't think there is a "best judge" for that.

    No, probably not.

    China, however, seems eerily out of touch with the rest of the world in a way not too dissimilar than what we've seen in Middle Eastern dictatorships or North Korea. You have to have some real blinders on to make statements like that on the world stage.

    Atomika on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I don't think they're out of touch, they just want everyone to shut up about how they prioritize economic growth above everything else.

    Fencingsax on
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  • 21stCentury21stCentury Bismuth OS Fully Operational 2019-07-12 - KeystoneRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So yeah, America really isn't the best judge in this case, but I don't think there is a "best judge" for that.

    No, probably not.

    China, however, seems eerily out of touch with the rest of the world in a way not too dissimilar than what we've seen in Middle Eastern dictatorships or North Korea. You have to have some real blinders on to make statements like that on the world stage.

    I didn't read the report that ranks countries by human rights, but I'm confident that America also downplays its own failings there. Everyone has blinders on when it comes to their own country. It's always easier to point flaws in other countries than in your own. It's normal, that's why I say no one country can be a "best judge". There's a lot of problems happening in Canada, and to be frank, I couldn't really point a lot of them out.

    21stCentury on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So yeah, America really isn't the best judge in this case, but I don't think there is a "best judge" for that.

    No, probably not.

    China, however, seems eerily out of touch with the rest of the world in a way not too dissimilar than what we've seen in Middle Eastern dictatorships or North Korea. You have to have some real blinders on to make statements like that on the world stage.

    I didn't read the report that ranks countries by human rights, but I'm confident that America also downplays its own failings there. Everyone has blinders on when it comes to their own country. It's always easier to point flaws in other countries than in your own. It's normal, that's why I say no one country can be a "best judge". There's a lot of problems happening in Canada, and to be frank, I couldn't really point a lot of them out.

    There's quite a substantial difference in the context of human rights between "sending people to jail for decades for something that would be considered a mild exercise of 1st Amendment rights" and "racial/socioeconomic disparities in income and criminal justice."

    I don't see how relativism gets us anywhere.

    Atomika on
  • 21stCentury21stCentury Bismuth OS Fully Operational 2019-07-12 - KeystoneRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    There's quite a substantial difference in the context of human rights between "sending people to jail for decades for something that would be considered a mild exercise of 1st Amendment rights" and "racial/socioeconomic disparities in income and criminal justice."

    I don't see how relativism gets us anywhere.

    I agree... But you're still forgetting a lot of issues with human rights that are linked to the judicial system. I'm talking about people being forced to work for absurdly low sums and sometimes being sued for saving money. I could go on and on about how the American prison system shows some startling disrespect for human rights.

    You'd have a point if the only blemish on America was that "some black men don't make as much money as most white men", but it's a lot worse than that.

    21stCentury on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    There's quite a substantial difference in the context of human rights between "sending people to jail for decades for something that would be considered a mild exercise of 1st Amendment rights" and "racial/socioeconomic disparities in income and criminal justice."

    I don't see how relativism gets us anywhere.

    I agree... But you're still forgetting a lot of issues with human rights that are linked to the judicial system. I'm talking about people being forced to work for absurdly low sums and sometimes being sued for saving money. I could go on and on about how the American prison system shows some startling disrespect for human rights.

    You'd have a point if the only blemish on America was that "some black men don't make as much money as most white men", but it's a lot worse than that.

    If we're describing the issues in China as "sending people to jail for decades for something that would be considered a mild exercise of 1st Amendment rights", then we'll need to come right out and acknowledge that the issues in the United States don't get to be called "racial/socieconomic disparities in income and criminal justice" anymore than China's get to be called "disparities in speech protection based on political affiliations".

    Not much to do if we're just using the sort of language that would be spouted by the CPC's press statements anyway. Call it what it is--"sending people to jail for decades for not being white in the enforcement of certain laws".

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • kimekime Queen of Blades Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    One thing to consider, too, is that it's not like the First Amendment is ironclad even in the US. There are many exceptions to it, things you aren't allowed to say (for example, shouting "bomb!" in a crowded airport would probably get you in trouble, or sharing state secrets, etc. etc. you can think of your own). Lots of times if what you are saying could negatively affect people's lives or national security, there may be restrictions on that in the US. That's not even considering other countries, "Western Democracies" that have different standards for "freedom of speech."

    So don't start assuming that the US and other Western democracies have full freedom of speech. We don't, for good reason.

    In China, they have the same idea, but applied more strictly. If you want to talk about China and the authoritarian-ness of it, you need to understand different viewpoints besides just a classic American view. Speaking out against the government or party could cause a loss of control of the state. When the state loses control, chaos ensues. When disorder breaks out, people's lives are threatened (both their standard of living and actual lives).

    Therefore, by restricting the freedom of speech, the CCP is protecting the great majority of their people.

    And, honestly, if you were to look at Chinese culture and history, that's not exactly a negative thing. In American society, we were created because we threw off the shackles of an oppressive government (or at least we like to say that). i.e. too much control was the problem. If you look at our literature and stories, it's always the bad guy tries to take over the world and have all the power. In American cultural thought, we fear someone gaining too much control over us and abusing it.

    In China, it's not the same. Looking at the long Chinese history, the times when people's lives have suffered the most have been when the government was weak, and it couldn't keep control and protect the people. In Chinese history, the problem is more often not abuse of too much power, but of the chaos and suffering that resulted from the government having too little.

    That's important to understand, that little bit of how our cultures are different. Because you can't look at China with American eyes and understand it. Otherwise you will think that revolution is coming soon, but... it's not.



    So I think I rambled a bit (the curse of multitasking), but hopefully some points got across. And yeah, I generalized, there are exceptions to everything, but the main ideas are sound.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    kime wrote: »
    sharing state secrets

    Nope, that is still protected even though they are trying really hard.
    Lots of times if what you are saying could negatively affect people's lives or national security, there may be restrictions on that in the US.

    There are the fire in a crowded room examples... actual incitement to violence... and that's it.
    That's not even considering other countries, "Western Democracies" that have different standards for "freedom of speech."

    All of which suck because of that.
    [snip]

    blah blah China has to be an evil prick because of their culture man

    relativist bulllshit

    etc etc

    No. An explanation is not a justification.

    HamHamJ on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Invoking the spectre of societal breakdown and violence if authoritarianism is relaxed makes more sense in some places than others... I can understand when it is invoked in, say, Southeast Asia, or South Asia, where explosive racial pogroms are still living memory and very much lurking under the surface (not just riots, mind you, but pogroms - as in, a mob marches into your neighborhood, smashes down your door, and drags you out into the street to be beaten up and/or killed and/or raped, while the local police either stand by or actively help them).

    Modern China, though... well, there've been Beijing Springs twice already since the Cultural Revolution, and the violence that ensued was mostly in the government response to it, not the liberalization itself.

    ronya on
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