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"Your arguments are totally irrelevant.|
In Africa you’re talking about the exploitation of one race by another.
In China you’re talking about the internal affairs of a single country."
The pre-1980's National Party, just like today's Chinese Communist Party, claimed not to be an exploitative force at all. The National Party often pointed out to foreigners and other liberals who demanded that Pretoria give South Africans a real say in the government the fact that South African blacks were far richer than black citizens of neighbouring black-run countries. The argument was basically "Would you rather South Africa became a kak-pile like Zim where the kaffirs don't even have enough food and are murdering each other in their thousands? No? Well then shut the f&ck up and let us get on with our job. Maybe in a few decades or centuries the kaffirs will be civilized enough to be given the vote, but not now! Finished and klaar. If we introduced a republic today, all the kaffirs would start squabbling amongst themselves, just as they are already (just look at all the bombings the ANC and PAC are carrying out against each other and against civilians). SA would fracture and would look something like Liberia. Is that what you want? This isn't Europe...this is Africa and any government here isn't going to be perfect, we're just doing our best to keep civilization alive in this part of the world, leave us alone, we know what we're doing."
In mainland China the argument is the same: appeals for democracy in China are swifltly dismissed "Would you rather China was a democratic but impoverished crapheap like India or the Phillipines? No? Then shut up and let us get on with our job. Maybe in a few decades or centuries Chinese will be sophisticated enough to vote in multi-party elections, but not now! If we introduced a republic today, all the pro-democracy activists would start squabbling amongst themselves, just as the did in T.A.M.G.C. back in '89. China would fracture and we'd be back to the warlord period. Is that what you want?"
I'm not at all saying that there isn't any case to be made against democracy - of course there is. South Africa since 1994 is now falling on the HDI, AIDS-ridden, suffering from massive emigration, there is much more crime than before, even in the townships, and the Nats may have been right in their prediction that SA will go the way of Zim. I do find it interesting, though, that so many on this board refuse to see the parallels that exist between the CCPs arguments for refusing to introduce liberal democracy and those of other governments, including South Africa. At least be honest about it. If you think democracy is particularly unsuitable for China, you are of course implying that there is something about the Chinese people which makes it unsuitable for them. There's no getting out of it.
Personally, I think people have the right to make their decision for themselves, even when they do screw up. In the case of China, I see no reason why they would - the Taiwanese democratic experience as well as the limited democracies of Singapore and HK have been a complete success. I think Chinese are among the most practical and sensible people in the world for the most part - why not give them the vote?
Maybe northwest, Chairman and the rest of the crew do have their own genuine and convincing reasons for believing that Chinese people are in some way deficient and cannot be trusted to make responsible political decisions. I'd be interested in hearing them!
[ Last edited by irishinuk at 2007-3-22 12:20 PM ]