Skip to comments.Police raid activist dinner party in China
Posted on 05/13/2014 11:44:35 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Chinese police broke up a dinner party attended by activists in the eastern city of Hangzhou Tuesday night and detained a dozen people, according to an activist who attended the dinner.
Activist and blogger Wang Wusi said he and another 10 people were released after spending about two hours in police custody. He said police held Wen Kejian until Wednesday morning, when he was released although without his cell phone or computer. Wen is a signatory of Charter 08, a document calling for democracy and the end of one-party rule in China.
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Just more victims of the new ‘soft tyranny’ now being employed by the Chinese, Russian and Iranian regimes (among others). Instead of prohibiting freedom of movement, freedom of choice and freedom of expression, instead harass, censor and inhibit what cannot be controlled, and only those who oppose you.
Control what can be controlled with a variety of ‘independent’ fronts, (TV, Radio, Newspapers) and use them to ostracize and marginalize your opponents. Because most of the population won’t read online news or seek alternative sources of information (uncontrollable media), most will support the regime until they themselves are affected.
In such a regime, you’re free to travel, express yourself or to choose what to do. So long as you’re not opposing the regime. Then you will be persecuted, repeatedly detained, slandered, travel and protest applications put under indefinite review and followed into your home by strange men at night. Maybe you’ll end up shot dead by ‘gangsters’, or tragically killed in a car crash.
But not imprisoned. After all, that would violate the citizen’s rights and freedoms, and no representative government would ever do that to their people. You can’t be charged for opposing the regime, and there’s no charge for expressing yourself, so you’re free, and don’t you forget it. But you’re to be charged with tax evasion, and buried under legal bills instead.
And so a regime successfully maintains a facade of liberty for those who accept the regime, and increasingly turns life into a living hell for those who choose to oppose them. Not only that, but the myriad media outlets controlled by the regime slowly persuades the majority to perceive the opposition as foreign agents, troublemakers and naive activists. In this way, autocratic fictions have become truths for the majority.
Your description is accurate but I would change “most will support the regime” to “most will ignore the regime” or “most will accept the regime as something that can’t be changed”.
Also, there is plenty of reading online news in China. Some sites are blocked, like youtube and facebook to name two, but many are not, including this one. As a matter of fact, in the cities I traveled in recently (including some fairly rural places in the Southwest) wifi service in bars, restaurants and even barber shops was ubiquitous and the connection speeds all the way back to the US were amazing.
I think the point of this article (and your post) is that the Chinese have learned that a lot of easing up is perfectly consistent with an iron-fisted one-party full-authoritarian (I hesitate to say totalitarian since that does imply micromanaging daily life) state.
I also believe that their new formula of targeted oppression was developed against the Falun Gong. I always thought that the Falun Gong posed zero threat to the regime (most Chinese think they are silly) but that the authorities used the Falun Gong as a convenient target to practice their new style of highly-efficient and modern authoritarianism.
Where the Internet and alternative media is mostly accessible, but the general effectiveness of the regime is such that most have come to support it. I know that in China too it is not too difficult to use a VPS to get around the Firewall either, not that the Firewall is particularly effective. But it's just inaccessible enough to change public opinion.
And despite the Internet Age, China only has 600 million users out of 1.35 billion. (A mind-boggling number, but still less than half) And only half of Russians use the Internet. How many deliberately go online to find non-state news, and find it? Or rather, they just wanted to go onto the Chinese and Russian equivalents of Facebook, Youtube and cat websites. These people mostly get their news from the regime's media.
A big reason I think why the Politburo in China is generally disliked and ignored, and Putins Kremlin is significantly more popular is that the Communist Party of China has become the antithesis of what it was supposed to be. They are a fallen Communist Party that preaches Marxism but indulges in capitalism and worships the rich.
They stand for nothing. Nothing except perhaps nationalism, where theyve had some limited success sabre rattling over some uninhabitable islands with Japan and Vietnam. But the very existence of the Communist Party of China as it is now, is a self-affirming hypocrisy at every level.
Putin on the other hand, has had the benefit of a clean slate to revive the engines of Russian nationalism, make himself the driver, and more credibly put himself forth as the pious Orthodox Christian, defender of Russian and Western values, and traditional nationalist who only wants the best for Mother Russia. With an effective propaganda campaign he has elevated himself with a coherent set of principles, and with more bureaucratic but cunning methods he has had success in marginalizing his opposition.
Your post #5 is excellent. Very insightful.
I had lunch in NY the other day with a Beijing guy and we talked about the extremely high levels of corruption in the Chinese system and about the most recent step to crack down (always doomed to failure without democracy) which is denying promotions and department-head jobs to “naked officials”, meaning officials who are alone in China while all their family members have moved abroad (usually US).