This post was edited by vincent001 at 2011-12-26 13:27|
Han Han (韩寒)
The Arab Spring is still jolting North Africa and the Middle East, and protestors in Europe and the US are calling for radical change amid economic woes. Meanwhile, the future of the Chinese system is hotly debated both inside and outside the country. Is reform or revolution the way forward? Chinese celebrity writer Han Han published his thinking on these issues in his blog Friday, in the form of questions to himself. The following is excerpted from his piece.
Q: Does growing social unrest imply that China needs a revolution?
A: Frankly speaking, revolution stirs the blood and appears to be the quickest fix to all of our current issues. But this solution doesn't necessarily apply to China.
Revolution is often triggered by an appeal, such as anti-corruption. But this appeal won't last. While "justice" or "freedom" are constantly urged by some journalists and artists, ordinary people on the street don't share the same feeling. If you ask them about freedom, most of them will tell you that they are free. And if you remind them of injustice, you will learn that they'd rather prefer to avoid it since not all of them share unpleasant experiences.
People won't put their support behind someone else's freedom or call for justice. Thus, revolution is not a question of need but a question of possibility. And my answer is it is neither possible nor needed. However, I do agree that China needs bold reforms.Q: Do you mean China doesn't need democracy and freedom at all?
A: Intellectuals often place "democracy" and "freedom" together because their understandings of freedom is often associated with publication, news reporting, culture, speeches, elections and other political activities.
But in reality, this becomes inappropriate when we are referring to the bigger society, as the idea of freedom most ordinary people have is more about freely spitting or freely jaywalking, or breaking the law without any punishment.
I'm not implying that the Chinese are not civilized enough to have democracy or freedom, but the quality of a society does determine the quality of a democratic regime. An organized democratic society emphasizes the rule of law, which in turn takes away some of the "freedoms" Chinese are keen on.