fuser wrote:I can't seem to follow Potemkin's reasoning. So is China doomed to autocracy because there hasn't been any historical political alternative?
Nobody can say for sure... From my own experience with mainland Chinese (Living here for 4 years and try to chat up on politics with basically everyone), their mentality is very, very different from the liberal world. Potemkin's post explained much of the phenomenon. Some examples:
- They value stability above all else, and will easily sacrifice freedom of one self or others. For example, most of them think it's acceptable for secret service to arrest and detain anyone without trial, inside or outside china. e.g. the booksellers in Hong Kong with UK passport abducted in Thailand.
- Most have very far fetched imagination of how the liberal world runs (Utopia or stronghold of evil), thus either for or against, they aren't really talking about real liberalism / democracy, thus they don't really have the ability to link these concepts to reality.
- Most attributes all the world's negative attitudes against China as "we are not yet strong enough" or "everything about China is crap"
- Most have difficulty understanding a systematic approach to "rule of law" (Among many other concepts), even if they say they want it
- Most believe governments have a duty to enforce social/moral values. They also enjoy mob justice very much.
- Some don't put much difference between the police and the army, and they only do two things: national defense and internal suppression. Public security is supposed to be managed by semi-professionals and the people themselves. (Yet to interview more people about this one)
- Many are quite family oriented and will obey nearly every command from family elders on major life choices, even though it usually turn out to be very horrible decisions. (Prevalent outside 1st tier cities)
- To be honest, I think they only recognize two political systems: centralized/heavy handed vs decentralized/easy going. But the monarchic roots don't change so much.
...among many other differences I once thought unthinkable.
It has been shaped by a long autocratic tradition, but in turn also shapes the government. It's a deep rooted culture - from the lens of the liberal (Myself for example) - very, very backward. Some just call it "collectivism" but I don't think the term can even remotely describe the difference.