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View Diary: China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution – The Origins of Ultra-Left Ultra-Violence (pt. 1) (113 comments)

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  •  I wouldn't call it totalitarian (7+ / 0-)

    I worked with mid level Chinese bureaucrats on an environmental project in the mid to late 1990s. On my first day there, at my first meeting my jaw was hanging open at the level of criticism I was hearing. The level of critical discourse in China is higher than in the US.

    The difference is that in China there are red lines you cannot cross. But before those red lines there is a free fire zone.

    I don't pretend to understand China, but I would just say that whatever you think you've learned about the country from the western media is wrong.

    It's hard to describe. It's its own thing -- a completely unique economic and political system that is not capitalist, not communist and not totalitarian -- but also not completely free,

    •  I cringe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dustin Mineau, KJG52

      when I hear democrats talk about how efficient the Chinese bureaucracy is.

      My point is still right - there has been no opening of the archives because the same party is still in power.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:13:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure what you mean (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Lefty, glorificus

        I didn't argue that China's bureaucracy was "efficient" and I'm not saying it's a democracy.

        But "totalitarian" has a very specific definition and it doesn't fit China today. I would agree it's authoritarian, and in economic matters also exactly what the government says it is, which is a socialist market economy, with comprehensive economic planning, public ownership of all land and the "commanding heights" of the economy, and a vast array of cooperatives.

        Politically it's much more open than is portrayed in the West.  In evaluating one party states, we need to look at how much democracy there is within that one party. I remember reading a NY Times article about Tanzania when it was a one party state and how more members of parliament were tossed out of office through intra-party elections than in the US Congress.

        But as I said above in terms of speech, there are red lines you cannot cross.

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