Why don't more Chinese people oppose the Chinese government?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/04/great-stroll-forward.html


I’ve got a better question: Why don’t more Americans oppose the American government?


Why is that a better question? Is it not worthwhile to think about China and the Chinese people on their own terms to try and better understand a global superpower that will shape the coming century, or must the world revolve around the United States in every capacity?


This finally made me understand why Chinese people are so conservative, even the ones abroad and their descendants.


58% is too low for you? That sort of number is unthinkable in China. Not because things are so great (in fact, income inequality is higher now than before the Communist revolution), but because there are massive propaganda and media controls. And don’t try to be cute and say “well, we have that in the USA.” That’s only cute for anyone who has limited knowledge of the US or China. What little there is here is shamefully ineffective if the stats are to be believed.


Human beings are (regrettably) able to internalize the concept of “breaking eggs to make the omelet” - as long as they get to eat the omelet.


You make good points; perhaps it’s not a better question. One thing that occurs to me though is that the US has this long history of people claiming it is the “best” and “a bastion of freedom,” when clearly we’ve gotten to the point where we’re little better than China (and have been since the beginning for POC). Oligopolies controlling government policy, massive economic inequality, political corruption, police killing people for no reason, concentration camps (with fewer inmates – unless you want to count privately run prisons that treat prisoners like shit), so-called democratic elections that are rigged, etc., etc.


I mean, your own post does sort of demonstrate the phenomenon I was talking about.

Here’s an interesting way to think about China

But what’s really interesting is talking about the US!

Ok, but maybe it’s worth thinking about China for a moment

Agreed, which is why I’m going to raise the following six points about the US


My brother spent 6 years in China teaching English, and he looooves him some China. According to him, it has been well established that the Dalai Lama and the Free Tibet movement were CIA stooges. The Uighur situation has been misreported by Western media, and the Uighurs started it by sending crazed Islamists to Chinese cities where they hacked people to death at crowded train stations. Anyone who wants to be involved in politics can join the Communist Party and work their way up the ranks, learning as they go. The CCP has a plan to eliminate poverty, with case workers assigned to every person in poverty. The CCP represents consensus, which is a core Chinese value, and as such, is able to accomplish things that we in the US cannot imagine because of our fractured politics. He really believes that the time of the US has passed, and that the Chinese system is far superior.


Well, he is right about that. China used to be the world’s superpower, and they could be once again.


deedub’s question was about “opposition” not “dissatisfaction”, unless mine eyes deceive me.

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The key is to imprison dissenters faster than more dissenters can appear, thus the illusion that there is very little dissent. “Out of sight, out of mind.”

If China can’t keep it’s economy stable there will be a lot more dissent in the future, and the way they’ve abandoned a lot of communist dogma for market-driven prosperity I can’t help but think they will learn this lesson sooner rather than later.


That, and the fact that 5 of the 10 most deadly wars in all of human history were Chinese civil wars.


I’m now going on 9 years spending 1/4 of my time in China. Your comment is flat out ignorant. Oh, we have problems. But saying we’re little better than China is pretty silly.

Voting, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, right of association, right to remain silent, right to remain secure in person and property, and freedom of religion off the top of my head. Those don’t even exist there.

Healthcare, retirement, working conditions, environment protections, food and safety protections, etc. Wanna compare notes?

Surveillance? You might be able to claim Google of Facebook suck down as much information. But you have to option to use different services that don’t. By law, every service in China must monitor and record communications.

I give China and it’s government a lot of credit for vastly improving the country. They deserve to be proud. But China and USA are still vastly different when it comes to freedoms. Their system might be working for them and they are free to keep it. But don’t mistake it for any sort of equivalence.

Heck, Boing Boing wouldn’t be allowed to exist, the editors arrested, and many of the people posting would see some sort of repercussions.


Simple: we Americans don’t want to admit the truth to ourselves. What truth? The one that holds a glistening mirror up to our collective faces and shows us that our freedom has been a fantasy from the get go. Opposing our government means we all have to take a long, hard look into that there image and start to deal with seriously deep issues.


So? You want to play semantics? Where did I claim 58% opposition? My question was if 58% was too low.

Now you could have said something about how dissatisfaction and opposition are not the same, which is an actual point of discussion. But you didn’t.

You say “kind of bargain”, I say “social contract”!


Milgram experiments highlight this fact. Human beings are easily governed and submit to authority figures. It’s part of our fallible/gullible/finite/trusting/compartmentalized mental nature.