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« Beatles song inspired by drugs: ‘Let It Be’ | Main | Iran Freedom Caravans to greet Ahmadinejad at United Nations »

September 14, 2009


jj mollo

The PRC remains ominous, whereas Russia, a militarily much more powerful and technologically much more advanced country, has become more of an irritant than a fear. Why is that?

The PRC has adopted most of the beneficial aspects of market capitalism without relinquishing its control, by means of force and propaganda, over a growth-focused and nationalistic population. The thought police are still in charge while the country physically grows strong, building infrastructure and arms. It is apparent that the PRC does not intend to introduce democratic measures and that it will wield its economic influence toward expansionist objectives. Above all it gains ground by strategic intimidation, by pressing relentlessly against companies that wish to do business, by pressing relentlessly against US efforts to observe their military activities, by converting every effort to inform Chinese citizens into a difficult test of wills. The unbending will of the Central Committee, reinforced by the Chinese historical sense of their own greatness, is pitted against the half-hearted disunited efforts of the Free World. The moral self-questioning aspect of the West is missing in China.

Perhaps there is a "red ceiling" beyond the systemic faults of state communism itself. The Chinese have largely shed themselves of those limitations. Perhaps, though, authoritarianism itself will act as viscous oil, dragging subtly on the engine parts, imposing an upper limit on efficiency and performance. Will the elite of China eventually be forced again, as in the time of Zheng He, to make a choice between relinquishing control and stagnation? If not, we are doomed to an eternal Cold War with a likely superpower, a power like Stalin's Soviet Union, unhampered by conscience.

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