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I read of widespread worker and peasant revolts in Eastern China over the past five years on (leftist, Mandarin-speaker) blogs before the Western MSM took notice.

The PLA was used to crush the people's uprising in 1989 all across the country (this is not commonly known, the revolt then did not consist of TV-cameraed Beijing students on Tiennanmen Square only).

As an internationalist, I take expressions like "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" as PR hogwash to cloud over the abandonment of real Marxist ideals. (I contend BTW that rejecting internationalism was crucial in the initial split-off of Social Democrats from Marxist socialism, and a similar rejection by Lenin sealed the fate of the Soviet Union.)

In my view, the PRC central government considers social stability a power issue, exploitation of migrant workers is OK as long as discontent doesn't concentrate in a major region. Ths what it does is less programmes for social equality rather than regional equality.

After these critical notes, I submit it may be that, as it often happens in top-down hierarchical systems, the majority may believe that the central government is all good for them, and blame local officials for problems (not recognising this is a systemic problem, and strikers and uprisers against a bad local official who appeal to the central government are in for a rude surprise when armed forces are sent in in support of that official). The example that sruck most in me comes from a source you may term MSM, National Geographic: Northeast of Bejing, a local official embezzled the funds for the big tree-planting project, by sending people to dig the holes but not buying any trees. The author seemed to expect anti-regime feelings, but the locals told him about it all in the explicit hope that he'll relay it into the ears of the top in Beijing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 01:54:15 PM EST
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I contend BTW that rejecting internationalism was crucial in the initial split-off of Social Democrats from Marxist socialism, and a similar rejection by Lenin sealed the fate of the Soviet Union

I'd really like it if you developed this thought into a longer post.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:31:43 PM EST
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Heh... I'm supposed to do that about since I wrote this... I shall, eventually :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 03:40:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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