Mightygoobi, from what you have stated and demonstrated in this forum I would have to say that china is no longer a communist country. It seems that China is in the midst of a social and political revolution that is throwing off the shackles of Marxism. It is doing so in a fashion that is reducing the overt destructiveness that in the past has faced most nations when they redirect their national energies from one political ideology to another.
I think you are right on this Spacepony - that China is going through its own social / political revolution. A couple of side points to add to your comment.
First, Communism itself is a relatively recent ideology for China. We have a history going back 5000 years. Communism came into play only 80 years ago. Sometimes I get the feeling there is a sense that China has been Communist forever.
Secondly, China's concept of Communism has been in a state of constant evolution - which often makes it hard for me to understand what it really means. The unsound policies of the 'Great Leap Forward' in 1958-1960, the 'intellectual golden age' of 1960-1966, the tragedy of the cultural revolution from 1966-1976, the open door policies of Deng Xiaoping and now this 'WTO / free markets and capitalism' period are all under the banner of 'Communism'. And that's all been in 50 years. That's a very short time to have a lot change. Added to this is the various emotions and special meaning that 'Communism' has to people outside China - I often find it difficult to discuss when the parties in the conversation mean different things by the same word. Do appreciate your insights.
General Etrius said:
I read in an article that China's government is ordering the construction of street cameras to watch people and make sure they aren't saying anything bad about the government. I think China's government is shifting back to its old ways.
If you have a link to the article General Etrius, I'd be grateful to have a look at that article. I like to read about what English media says about China.
It's true there is a big push to install cameras on our Beijing streets right now. I understand its for traffic monitoring - our traffic is enormously bad. I don't know if that's what the article is referring to. I am hoping they put MORE cameras to stop our taxi drivers being ridiculous all the time.
I suppose it could be argued that installing cameras is a way to watch people and make sure they aren't saying bad things about the government. If that's true, I'd be annoyed - is there a reference as to where these cameras are being installed? I'd hope my tax dollars are being spent on something other than installing highly sophisticated microphone equipped audio visual cameras in my office just to listen to my boring rants. I would hope that things like earthquake rescue take a bit of priority over observing me for political dissent.
"The Genie" is out of the bottle, abd there's no chance of getting it back in again - even if they wanted to, which I dont believe they do.
I think this is right Zydor - things are in motion now for a set of changes that are not going to be easily stopped. From one perspective, that's all good e.g. more liberal society, greater expressions of freedom, more political dialogue etc. Furthemore, people are slowly being pulled out of poverty, education is increasing, discussion with overseas groups is ever more.
Just adding the other view which is sometimes made here - all these new liberalism come at a cost which some people are unhappy about.
I've made the comment earlier about the older generation quering whether all these new 'freedoms' are actually good when compared to what they've lost. There is also a massive spike in divorce rates, an increase in crime, drugs, prostitution, infidelity, sexual disease, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism. Although there is less poverty overall, there is also a much greater wealth disparity between rich and poor than ever before. The new form of government offers minimal to no welfare. I agree that not all of this is directly because of the increasingly liberalism - and I suspect there is some coincidence.
One of the challenges we as a country must face is how to embrace the 'good' of the new form of society whilst doing our best to minimise the 'bad'. I don't have any simple answers for that.
To Spacepony's and Zydor's point about what sort of person wants to be in government - I have given strong thought about being in government here because I want a more directly affect the way things happen (hopefully I'm closer to a visionaries than a cess pit). Two reasons against it for now - one, the pay for public work is much much lower than private work and for purely selfish personal reasons, I want to stay private for now. Maybe when I'm more financially secure... Two, wouldn't it be weird if I posted on stardock 'defending' china... AND REALLY WAS A COMMUNIST PARTY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL??? I wouldn't have much credible about not being a propaganda agent then
But Falun Dafa isn't really dissenting, nor is it a religion, its a buddhist/Daoist, cultivation practice that focuses on removing attachments and being a better person. All China has to do to get Falun Dafa practitioners to be quiet is to stop horribly brutalizing them, but as you said the Chinese government is paranoid and won't be happy till all Falun Dafa practitioners are swept under the rug, expecially in the rundown up to the Olympics.
The Chinese government also removes and sells organs from live Falun Dafa practitioners in China. This is frowned upon by much of the international community. There were more Falun Dafa practitioners in China in 1999 when Jiang Zemin was in power than were Chinese Communist party members. Jiang Zemin got jealous and decided he would use the country's police force to detain, torture and brutalize people who believe in compassion and non-violence than fight crime.
Do you knwo what the Falun Gong people in Canada says after what happened to the sichuan earthquake, they publicly stated that such natural disaster is a punishment for the communits communist government. Such statement just makes the chinese people hates them even more, especially ones that goes abroad to study. Let's just put it this way, amongst chinese in china, Falun Gongs are the most annoying bunch.
Here's my thoughts on Falun Gong. I'm sure Elias and Maxsw01 are likely to know more than I so welcome your thoughts.
There is a part of Falun Gong that is purely a "buddhist/Daoist cultivation practice that focuses on removing attachments and being a better person". From what I've observed, it's a little bit of yoga and meditation mixed together. This is purely harmless and probably a lot of fun and enlightenment.
To your point Maxsw01, I understand that you are saying the Communist Party was worried that more people were practicing Falun Gong than were registered members of the Party, so we should kill Falun Gong? With respect, there are many groups with members more than the Communist Party - what is the special thing about Falun Gong? From owners of cars, to practitioners of karate, to internet users who play a certain MMPORG that is popular in China. So why is Falun Gong the special treatment? It is very unclear to me.
I am guessing there is also a group of people using the Falun Gong name, that practices the 'yoga' (I'm sorry Maxsw01, I don't know how else to call it), but is also very active with 'other stuff'.
I don't pretend to know what the other stuff is - and I'm guessing at least part of it is to criticise the Chinese government. There's nothing automatic wrong with that. What is illogic to me is that plenty of people criticise the Chinese government - in and outside of China. So again, what is the special thing about Falun Gong that automatically targets it for special treatment? (note that if the sole 'other stuff' is, we criticise the chinese government, then it's obviously extremely difficult to justify "brutalizing and torture and organ harvesting" that you say)
Then there are reports of a group that cheers the earthquake for killing lots of Communists and hopes that we can have another earthquake soon to kill more. This group wrote an open letter to the Chinese people saying that the earthquake also is vengeance for attacking Tibet and taking the torch to Mt. Everest. Of course, that provokes a strong reaction in me. And makes me very against Falun Gong - even though I don't know more information.
But perhaps a more important query is - if I was going to condemn China or provoke with a comment about the earthquake, why would I do so through a group that promotes the meditation and practice of being a better person? And why would the group allow the use of its name in such a way? Surely, it opposes being dragged into politics? Even if I was a member of the group and I wanted to make a comment about how good the earthquake was because it killed lots of Communists - why would I link my comment to that group and not, for example, my gym club, my golf club or my yoga club? Something here is not correct to me.
My over simple thinking is that it's not the Falun Gong 'yoga' that is the problem, it's the 'other stuff'. I don't pretend to know what the 'other stuff' is. It's an issue that there is too much illogic for me and no clear picture.