A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

10 August 2007

One Year To Go

How are you this fine morning?

I've been up since three. It's now five. This has gone on for four nights now. It's mostly related to allergies, I think. But I've also been dealing with five nights of lucid dreams in the past week. I haven't dreamed lucidly more than about once every nine months for at least five years. More on this later.

Right now I'm thinking about Tibet and China. From the blog:
This is what the Chinese government gets for trying to sell the world a lie. They want the Olympic spotlight and they want to improve their global image without actually doing anything to change their authoritarian ways. Simply window dressing the capital at this time is not enough.

And from the comments:
Comment from bookishboy
Time: August 8, 2007, 4:49 pm

“This is what the Chinese government gets for trying to sell the world a lie.”

Um, am I missing something? They apparently “get” all of Tibet. And in exchange they have to put up with an annoying banner, hung on one of their national monuments for the scant hour it takes the authorities to remove it.

Why do I get the feeling that China would be OK with that?
Myself, I'm not thrilled by any of it. I feel about China the way I feel about gravity: it's there, and you can't avoid dealing with it. This isn't some tin-pot dictatorship like Libya (oops--am I allowed to say that now they're on the side of the angels in "The War Against Terror"?). Around an eighth of the world's population lives there, and the fact that the billions of Chinese citizens haven't broken into open revolt suggests that in fact things aren't that miserable there, as a whole, for the average Chan-in-the-street.

But to send the Olympics there was a stupid mistake at best. It gives the beknighted hole legitimacy. It says "We accept this totalitarianism lite regime and all its works." Which would include the occupation of Tibet, the threatning stance against Taiwan ... and the myriad abuses of its own citizens. Of course, the IOC has never been above a good bribe. Wonder what China's new legitimacy cost the Party?

So I'm glad to see activists kicking off the 365-Days-of-Grotesque-Moral-Compromise.

Of course, China got the $#!7ty end of both communism (The "cultural revolution" and the "great leap forward") and capitalism (the loss of the security of inept state planning in return for restricted participation in a corrupt and shadowy "free market").

I believe, though, that as its citizens explore the limits of their new-found freedoms, sheer population pressure will drive China into more modernization and reform. And the thing about internal revolutions is that imperial powers lose their colonial states while their attention is directed inward. Make no mistake, Tibet will be free. And China will eventually fall to some form of democracy. It'll take a few more generations, but it's hard to see how they can avoid it.

And unfortunately, as the Bush experience with North Korea and Iran proves, simply not talking to them does no good. It just means the resentment festers.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Tell me: D'you think we'd be boycotting the Olympics in 2008 if Tibet had oil? Or if China had a population of 200,000?


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