A documentary about the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. A lot has changed since then and one can’t help but wonder if prosperity leads more easily to freedom than protest.
The dynamics that define prosperity are different for China than the freedoms gained over centuries of trial and error in the West. It’s not fair to compare the two directly but in principle a large portion of China is marginlized. It’s a three or four tier society at least and from what I can see that isn’t going to change any time soon. I think the trouble the West needs to grapple with is giving freedoms to people who don’t necessarily understand what those freedoms provide. I’m almost sure a lot of people shouldn’t be allowed to vote without passing a basic democracy exam. We give out driving licences under greater scrutiny than the ability to vote. I could go on but its a fascinating question that I can only suggest is answered by living on in peoples minds a lot more importantly than wealth creation.
You said a mouthful Dave. I’m a huge fan of Tank Man – his courage is inspiring–but it does beg the question that you posed. However, you could easily argue that the incredible steel-hardened resolve characterized by the protests, by Tank Man and his colleagues, represented a gauntlet that China’s elite was unwilling to test again, and thus we have had the incredible changes in China…
Where there was one Tank Man, there was likely ten thousand more waiting in the wings and the Chinese government knew that.
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