Skip to comments.Awaiting China's implosion
Posted on 04/19/2008 5:22:51 AM PDT by Clive
Over a half-century ago as his communist army was brutally devouring an independent Tibet, Mao Zedong, the Chinese leader, recorded a talk with some visitors.
In the monologue Mao habitually delivered to admirers of the Chinese revolution -- for propaganda purposes Mao was viewed as equal if not greater than Lenin by countless acolytes and supporters worldwide -- he spoke about the United States dismissively. He called it an "imperial" power condemned by history to fade away because of opposing the winds of change bringing new nations into independence.
Fifty years later Mao's words ring with bitter irony. He said: "In appearance (the United States) is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger."
In the years preceding the 1949 victory of Chinese communists over their nationalist opponents, the West regularly was informed by those who ventured into China -- most famously, Edgar Snow, an American journalist, whose reporting in Red Star Over China became a huge best seller -- of the immense awakening of an ancient civilization under the leadership of the Chinese communist party with Mao at its helm.
We know today much more about Mao and his revolution. Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao's most recent biographers, have painfully documented how this one individual is responsible for more than 70 million killed through the years he led the Chinese communists. And the killings continue.
It is now over 30 years since Mao died in September 1976 and a whole new generation of Chinese has come of age, yet his portrait hangs prominently over Tiananmen Square in Beijing and his legacy is guarded by the iron rule of his communist successors.
In the list of tyrants, mass-murderers and psychopaths Mao stands apart. Others in comparison -- Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Ayatollah Khomeini and the rest -- are merely horrid and detestable characters.
They lacked the aura of philosopher-statesman that brought so many in the West, including president Richard Nixon and the suave Henry Kissinger during their 1972 trip to China, to praise Mao as the "great helmsman" for his history-making role.
But it is Mao's China and not the United States that is a paper tiger held together by undisguised force of communist police and informers.
Though Tibet was devoured brutally and other ethnic minorities repressed cruelly, such as the Uighur Turks in the Xinjiang province who are mostly Muslims -- I have personally witnessed the situation while travelling through the region -- Mao's successors tremble in fear at the possibility the prison he constructed might dissolve, as did the former Soviet Union.
While some nations debate whether or not to participate in the Beijing Olympics, Mao knew communist China is only as strong as its weakest link. The vast numbers of oppressed people cannot be repressed indefinitely as Tibetans are now reminding Mao's successors and the rest of the world.
Beijing Olympics might well be the grand festival like once the 1936 Berlin Olympics was, and then there follows the even grander fireworks of China imploding when history finally catches up with its communist leaders.
Salim Mansur ping
Communist China will fall apart from the inside due to capitalism.
The old term “nouvea riche” applies here. The China bubble will pop someday just as many mushrooming economies have done in the past.
A paper tiger...with nuclear teeth!
Could be.. but maybe not the way you seem to be suggesting.
"[China's] factory owners are mostly privileged children of party officials 90 per cent of China's billionaires are the children of senior cadres who have a reputation for spending more time in karaoke lounges than boardrooms. They are ill-equipped to act as innovators and entrepreneurs. Experts fear this lack of imagination and flair, combined with the country's widespread corruption and abuse of power, could soon bring about a calamity in the world's fastest-growing economy." The Daily Mail 9 February 2008
If there are reasonably reliable sources to refute the above I'd like to see them. Otherwise, it appears to me that the CCP Central Committee members are major beneficiaries of "capitalism" which, I believe, they call Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
But any "free traders" out there who just had to move production to China because of "government interference" here can be assured that their investments are safe. It will require some government interference, though. But the good kind. The kind "free traders" like.
Washington is warm to a policy of "socialize the risk, privatize the reward." U.S. taxpayers will cover your losses should the Chi-Coms take your property away -- after all you are foreigners, they have your FDI and technology already, and they still have several hundred million citizens to lift out of poverty else there be another revolution.
I think there is no way that China escapes an implosion. There is a 28% surplus of young marriage age men over young marriage age women, due to the population control policies bumping into Chinese traditional preference for male children.
George Gilder has pointed out that young men, when not being kept home and civilized by women, have a tendency to join warrior societies.
“Communist China will fall apart from the inside due to capitalism.”
If present trends continue, AMERICA will fall apart from the inside, because we’ve exported our jobs and factories.
China is on the right track.
We are not.
China is a prisoner to its history, one of the reasons it seems so enigmatic and improbable when viewed by outsiders.
Some of the bare bones highlights of Chinese history.
Before there was China, there was a handful of warring states, none of which could get the upper hand for long. The king of one such state asked his court philosopher, Sun Tzu, a contemporary to Confucius, to come up with a means by which he could conquer his enemies. Sun Tzu wrote his concise essay, “The Art of War”, which outlined military organization and operations.
Thus the king conquered his enemies and China was born. The emperor ordered the standardization of the written (not spoken) language, and a system of weights and measures. Otherwise he established what we would recognize today as a police state that did not survive him. The empire he created lived on, though.
For his part, the philosopher Confucius created the ultimate philosophy for the bureaucrats who would manage China in the future. Based on the idea that the universe was orderly, and should remain the same to keep that order.
Confucianism evolved as one of three philosophies of China, the other two based in Buddhism and Taoism. Each was associated respectively with the upper, middle and lower classes. And though western-style books were never very popular in China, education was standardized with several instructional pamphlets that taught the Chinese ‘way’ to everyone.
China developed the attitude that it was the civilized world and everything outside of it was barbaric, because for a long time, this was true. However, just because they were uncivilized, didn’t mean they weren’t a threat. Regularly, at about 200 year intervals, China would be invaded from the North (note: Tibet), and conquered at tremendous loss of life. This made the Chinese xenophobic and not like people from the North (note: Tibet and Mongolia) very much.
Ironically, once the barbarians had settled in, the incredible cultural inertia of China was such that they would give up their barbarian ways and do things the Chinese ‘way’.
For this and other reasons, the Chinese accept the idea of periodic disaster and destruction. This doesn’t mean they like it, just that it is accepted. In past, they have gone to amazing lengths, from building the great wall, to building the Three Gorges dam, to mitigate these problems.
The Chinese see their ‘way’ as their trump card against their enemies. They want the nations surrounding them to do things the Chinese ‘way’ as well. But other than that, they are usually indifferent to them.
Ironically, the United States also tries to export ‘The American Way’, and so when China meets the US, they both try to infiltrate the culture of the other.
China is still anguished over some of its bloodier conflicts. They are deeply afraid of western and non-traditional religions because of the Taiping Rebellion, perhaps the second bloodiest conflict in human history after World War II, which happened around the time of the US Civil War. This is why they still persecute both Christians and cults like Falun Gong.
The Chinese are also still traumatized by Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Many of their current leaders were persecuted and had family killed. When the Tiananmen square protests began, it scared them half to death, thinking it was the return of the Red Guard, come to destroy the rest of the country and kill them.
Today, ironically, China has become a confederacy of provinces. Their central government’s dictates are to some extent ignored in the provinces. Their military is equally divided, more and more ruled by near hereditary “princes” or warlords.
While there is a strong probability of a major economic catastrophe happening to China in the future, there are too many variables to guess what will happen then, save a good chance that it will be exceptionally violent.
The USSR fell apart, & now Russia is basically a dictatorship, intent on bullying its neighbors. Not much better than the USSR - still a dangerous & unstable country. Does anyone consider Russia to be a bastion of freedom & democracy, or expect such any time soon?
Instant democracy may be no better. Many really bad democracies exist today - Zimbabwe & Haiti come to mind, as does most of the African democracies. Latin American democracies fair little better. Mexico is virtually a criminal state, from el Presidente on down.
I'm not saying the Chicoms shouldn't go. I'm just saying don't expect all or ANY of the changes to be good. Don't expect freedom & the rule of law, the backbones of a successful democracy, to be the result.
All in all, a very thoughtful and perceptive post. Thanks!
(I do have to disagree, however, in that I think the odds for a peaceful economic transition in China are better than even -- especially if the country remains open for a continuing flow of capital investment by ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Nanyang.)
Good summary. I think that most of the product quality and safety scandals spring from the knowledge that another upheaval is coming (they have one every generation or so), and that the best way to survive an upheaval is to be well-connected and to have money. Standards and controls can be ignored in the effort to ensure one’s family’s survival in times of brutal and bloody upheaval.
That 28% will be sent to Africa to help the African Union and the UN maintain the peace.... in return, broad access to Africa’s natural resources.
Yes. And the ruling Chinese oligarchy is the utter quintessence of Marxism.
Marxism requires a brutal, tyrranical regime for its establishment and implementation. The only people capable of this are tyrants, mass-murderers and psychopaths, and these are the very people whom Marxism empowers.
Somebody needs to explain this to the Dalai Lama.
Psychopaths and willing tyrants and mass-murderers, such as Mao, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, and Ayatollah Khomeini--all horrid and detestable characters--always exist in any representative human population. They always have and no doubt always will.
Most of them, most of the time, remain obscure and go unnoticed. However, these are the very characters who emerge as "altruistic" or "patriotic" leaders, especially in times of social crisis and unrest. They are the very ones who profess to be "champions" of "the poor, the disenfranchised, the down trodden". These are the very ones who claim to "care", to be "unselfish", and to "want to give back". But their motives are always self-serving, and they are always dangerous, especially inasmuch as the smart ones have a talent for deception and for inspiring fanatical loyalty.
The Democrat Party is a magnet for such "characters". So is Marxism. This is no coincidence.
Somebody needs to explain all this to the Dalai Lama, who, apparantly, cannot grasp the meaning of Marxism.
That is a reason that I find it amusing that our MSM employees assure us that Beijing is going to toughen up manufacturing standards to keep harmful products off our shelves.
Not capitalism but some state-designed thing that looks a lot like capitalism but isn't.
China is booming.
This belief that “free trade” will somehow conquer Communist China is weird, and really is damaging America’s long-term prospects.
We are de-industrializing our own country. More effectively than a fleet of enemy bombers could.
Would we have sent our jobs, our factories, and our technical capabilities, to the Soviet Union??
For a while now I’ve been thinking that eventually China will have another Boxer rebellion or some other revolt which will lead to the fall of the chi-coms.
Think it will be really very ugly when it happens. Lots of scores to settle against the chi-coms and their informants.
You’re saying that the real reason that the party bosses gunned down the Tiannenming square student protesters was that they thought they were like the Red Guard reborn and that, instead of democracy, they really wanted to unleash terror?
That’s quite an assertion.
I hear the Falun Gong-Taiping/Boxer Rebellion meme on a regular basis. I fail to see the parallels. Those who make the comparison don’t know their own damn history as well as they think. Falun Gong was carefully apolitical (and not even religious) until violent repression made it otherwise.
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