Posted by: apal1528 | 03/12/2011

Could it Happen in China?

With all that’s going on in Libya and the Middle East I’ve started asking myself what everyone has been asking: Could it happen in China?

Fortunately for my new found interest in Twitter, an old friend from China tweeted this article from the Wall Street Journal by Francis Fukuyama. It’s quite lengthy but actually offers some brilliant insight.

Fukuyama concludes that China is in no imminent danger of social uprising because of a few factors that set it distinctly apart from the Middle East. One of the most fascinating points that Fukuyama makes is that, “authoritarianism in China is of a far higher quality than in the Middle East”. When there is social unrest and discontent, the Party will actually take action to make changes and not simply repress such feelings. In this way, the government has actually made the middle class quite content. Though the huge Chinese middle class would seem to be a perfect breeding ground for revolution, the Party has been so successful at repressing dissenting thought that a majority of Chinese, Fukuyama says, already believe that China acts as a democracy.

Though this is unsettling it raises a ton of questions… the most obvious is if China can do it, can’t others? Also, is this necessarily bad? Isn’t perception the key? America has problems, China has problems, but it seems like China is getting a lot done. If the authoritarian/totalitarian regime the Chinese makes people’s lives better why do we have such a problem with it?


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