Communist China can’t plug the leaks in the Great Firewall fast enough

posted at 5:01 pm on November 20, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I saw this story earlier today, and I know the horror of it is going to be on my mind as we all take some time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for over the coming all-American holiday — because one of the very highest items on my gratitude-list is not having been born into the crushing, wretched misery that always accompanies institutionalized communism.

From the WSJ:

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday said it had confirmed the identities of five children, ranging in age from nine to 13, who were found dead on Friday inside a trash bin in the southwestern province of Guizhou. The children, all male and all surnamed Tao, died of carbon monoxide poisoning after lighting a fire inside the bin and climbing inside to take shelter after temperatures fell to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, Xinhua said citing local police.

The news has consumed Chinese Internet users, hovering near the top of the trending topics list on Sina Corp.’s popular Weibo microblogging service and leading Chinese search engine Baidu’s list of most-searched stories.

… In this case, the impact of appears to have been amplified by similarities between what happened to the brothers and the Hans Christian Anderson short story “The Little Match Girl.” [It was] once included in Chinese primary school text books as an example of the difficulties faced by the poor in capitalist countries.

“When I was little, the study topic for ‘The Little Match Girl’ was: Understand the horrible tragedy of the little match-selling girl’s death on the streets on New Year’s Eve and how it reveals the darkness of capitalist society,” wrote one Sina Weibo user. “Vicious capitalist society! That’s how we were educated.”

Wrote another microblogger: “I thought the little match girl was something that only happened in capitalist societies. Why this sense of superiority about our system?” …

“People are singing the praises of the 18th Party Congress, using resplendent language to describe the brilliance of the Party Congress and the nation, but they omit those suffering children,” wrote one anguished Sina Weibo user. “It’s not limited to those five who froze to death on the side of the road. Others are hidden from view!”

As ever, communism is not about the equal sharing of life’s blessings and burdens — it’s about convincing everybody else of that delusion while preserving the power and privilege of the plutocracy. If you really want to see what wealth disparity looks like, head on over to communist China, where hundreds of millions of what are basically peasants live under inescapable conditions of horrendous poverty. In wealthier areas, citizens are spoonfed a steady diet of state-sponsored propaganda via education and the media, the Internet is kept under strict controls by state authorities, and the widespread instances of material drudgery and egregious human-rights abuses are kept out of sight, out of mind.

But that’s the exquisitely glorious thing about this dawning age of information: You can’t kill an idea, and it’s a task that’s made infinitely harder when knowledge and communication with the outside world are increasingly available. The Chinese government has worked awfully long and hard to convince its citizens that communism is the best and only morally legitimate way of life, but despite their vigilant efforts, the light has been slowly and surely creeping in.

I actually harbor a lot of optimism for China’s eventual future; China wants to become a true economic superpower, which necessitates economic and ergo political freedom. Their sheer numbers and impressive bureaucracy will never compensate for the entrepreneurship and innovation inherent in the United States’ (mostly) freedom-driven economy.  Communism never has and will not ever work in the long term, and no matter how much life support you give it to delay the inevitable, it’s eventually going to tumble… the tragedy being the amount of hardship and suffering that untold numbers will have to go through before it finally does fall.

It’s getting more and more difficult for the Chinese regime to keep up the charade — and boy, do they ever know it.


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But I thought our ‘elites’ envied the Chinese government. They sure are working hard to implement top down control on us.

chemman on November 20, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Give the people all the information they need to expose the fallacy of communism, and make educated decisions for themselves.

Ain’t the internet grand? It’s communism’s kryptonite.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Ain’t the internet grand? It’s communism’s kryptonite.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Yeah….communism is damn near wiped out here in the US.

BobMbx on November 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM

because one of the very highest items on my gratitude-list is not having been born into the crushing, wretched misery that always accompanies institutionalized communism.

You’d better learn to love it quickly.

You can’t kill an idea,

Sure you can. The media and the educational system have been killing the idea of the United States of America for decades. It IS dead to half our population already, and won’t exist in anything but underground cells in another decade.

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Yeah….communism is damn near wiped out here in the US.

BobMbx on November 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Except the chinese are forced into communism and we just have to deal with the fools who willingly march down that aisle.

And yes, the internet is kryptonite to the MSM and their communist agenda. They are becoming more and more irrelevant as we speak.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

If you really want to see what wealth disparity looks like, head on over to communist China socialist AmeriKa, where hundreds of millions of what are basically peasants moochers live under inescapable conditions of horrendous poverty. In wealthier areas, citizens are spoonfed a steady diet of state-sponsored propaganda via education and the media, the Internet is kept under strict controls by state authorities (and the senate now), and the widespread instances of material drudgery and egregious human-rights abuses are kept out of sight, out of mind.

See how easy it is, Erika.

Your optimism is fantastic.

May you be right.

Beware, however – Krugman, Friedman, Obama and others have openly expressed a desire to rule in the Chinese style.

Amereica is already AmeriKa.

Soon she will be the USSA.

Nov. 6 was very telling.

The free stupid people opted, volens, to destroy what no other land was ever granted.

I deeply wish to be wrong.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

As ever, communism is not about the equal sharing of life’s blessings and burdens — it’s about convincing everybody else of that delusion while preserving the power and privilege of the plutocracy.

Hmmmm … why does that seem so familiar?

darwin on November 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Sorry, the paragraph abover “See how easy it is, Erika” should have been in quotes.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Thomas Friedman hardest hit.

ugottabekiddingme on November 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Do they make any cheese in China? I’ve never heard of Chinese cheese.

DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Do they make any cheese in China? I’ve never heard of Chinese cheese.
DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to that either, and I have asked several chefs who were born in China.

I’m glad that I’m not the only one with those useless thoughts.

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

That’s what you get for letting the tail wag the dog.

OldEnglish on November 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Cheese.

Bishop on November 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

This is why China is communist, they have forsaken cheese.

Bishop on November 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

And BACON!

(Although I don’t quite understand why we are letting this important discussion get so off topic)

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Do they make any cheese in China? I’ve never heard of Chinese cheese.

DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to that either, and I have asked several chefs who were born in China.

I’m glad that I’m not the only one with those useless thoughts.

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I found this awesome site called Google.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

“Vicious capitalist society! That’s how we were educated.”

Yeah, that’s how the Public Schools and University system educates American kids these days.

A Capitalist and free China is our greatest threat in the future. Americans coveting the goods of their neighbors in the name of “fair share” will be our downfall just as China embraces what we used to be.

That’s OK though, as long as the pop stars still think we’re cool.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM

a buddy travels a lot for Exxon and he once asked us if we wanted him to bring back something from China. He even looked for that Chinese cheese I requested. He did bring back some really strange videos of street dance festivals that had surrounding towns pitted against each other in 10 minute routines that were graded by judges.

DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Thanks NapaCon…from the article:

Imported cheese, like hand-job parlors, can be found in Kunming—both can get kind of pricey, and for what? I have my own hands and Yunnan produces its own cheese, the most common being rubing.

it gets a little better as it describes the product as reminiscent of an Alpine barnyard. Gotta love Google, thanks again.

DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Except the chinese are forced into communism and we just have to deal with the fools who willingly march down that aisle.

And yes, the internet is kryptonite to the MSM and their communist agenda. They are becoming more and more irrelevant as we speak.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Don’t worry, liberals in the US are building great technology and internet companies that create broad transparency and open the floodgates of communication, undermining communist doctrine and authoritarian control of knowledge.

It’s amazing that anyone in the US is stupid enough to equate the same healthcare policy once proposed by the Heritage Foundation and implemented by the GOP in Massachusetts with communism. The carnival bakers are out in force today.

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The cheese topic is way off the subject, but I can’t resist writing this. My understanding is that most Chinese people think of cheese as “rotten milk,” so they won’t eat it.

Hermeticus on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The Chinese are not big on cheese.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18102880

J.S.K. on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

And BACON!

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The goal of socialism is communism.
Vladimir Lenin

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Do they make any cheese in China? I’ve never heard of Chinese cheese.

DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

You don’t have any trouble finding cheese for sale in large cities, although it’s often exclusively high end European brands and less impressive US brands like Kraft.

Generally speaking, the Chinese don’t like cheese and it’s only produced in a few provinces but not at scale to my knowledge.

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Only in America can we be all that we wish to be — by just declaring ourselves to be among the growing number of victims rather than among shrinking pool of oppressors.

The land of the free crybabies. Grow up, you incredible morons!

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 6:04 PM

China Cheese

jake49 on November 20, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Link doesn’t go through.

Dream the dream of Utopian fools, bayam.

Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans’ e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2012 at 6:13 PM

In wealthier areas, citizens are spoonfed a steady diet of state-sponsored propaganda via education and the media, the Internet is kept under strict controls by state authorities, and the widespread instances of material drudgery and egregious human-rights abuses are kept out of sight, out of mind.

Sounds like Obama’s idea of Utopia!!!!

Coming SOON to Amerika!!!!

redguy on November 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM

obligatory China isn’t communist anymore. It’s just totalitarian.

bingsha on November 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Yeah, that’s how the Public Schools and University system educates American kids these days.

A Capitalist and free China is our greatest threat in the future. Americans coveting the goods of their neighbors in the name of “fair share” will be our downfall just as China embraces what we used to be.

That’s OK though, as long as the pop stars still think we’re cool.

Daemonocracy on November 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

On the other hand, there may be somewhere to escape to!

Night Owl on November 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

About the time China disintegrates we will be taking “TheLast Exit to Utopia”.

DumboTheAvenger on November 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

The carnival bakers are out in force today.

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Maybe the Hostess bakers can get some pointers.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

If you really want to see what wealth disparity looks like, head on over to communist China, where hundreds of millions of what are basically peasants live under inescapable conditions of horrendous poverty.

You’ve been to China recently then Erika? Where did you visit?

DarkCurrent on November 20, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Maybe the Hostess bakers can get some pointers.
NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Mediation failed

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323713104578131502378821868.html

LegendHasIt on November 20, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Just wait til they hear some of that crazy Beatles music!

Buck Turgidson on November 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM

we have to be thankful for over the coming all-American holiday — because one of the very highest items on my gratitude-list is not having been born into the crushing, wretched misery that always accompanies institutionalized communism.

The way things are heading, your kids will be.

OCare was a massive milestone indicating the shape of things to come for future generations.

CorporatePiggy on November 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Except the chinese are forced into communism and we just have to deal with the fools who willingly march down that aisle.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Yup.

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”
~Ayn Rand

yubley on November 20, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Here’s the story about the death of the 5 runaway boys in Guizhou. It’s not clear to me why this was used as an example of a leaking Fire Wall when it was widely reported in the press here. Is it because some of the 530 million+ internet users in China commented about it on weibo?

DarkCurrent on November 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

yubley on November 20, 2012 at 8:22 PM

She certainly nailed that point.

I do really wish we weren’t living out her most famous novel though.

When I bought it a couple decades ago it was clearly labelled NON FICTION.

CorporatePiggy on November 20, 2012 at 8:49 PM

The carnival bakers are out in force today.

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

…barkers…

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 9:00 PM

obligatory China isn’t communist anymore. It’s just totalitarian.

bingsha on November 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Red China never was communist…but was always totalitarian.

The false promises of communism – backed up by the iron fist of totalitarianism – kept/keep the peasants in line.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Just wait til they hear some of that crazy Beatles music!

Buck Turgidson on November 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Damn long-haired foreigners! Just don’t know what kids are comin’ to these days.

/:)

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Red China never was communist…but was always totalitarian.

The false promises of communism – backed up by the iron fist of totalitarianism – kept/keep the peasants in line.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM

bayam would thrive there except, wait, they don’t give a sh!t about the environment. But don’t worry, she’ll get a protest in before her head rolls down Tienanmen Square.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 9:08 PM

. The carnival bakers brayer is are out in force today.—>

bayam on November 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Red China never was communist…but was always totalitarian.

The false promises of communism – backed up by the iron fist of totalitarianism – kept/keep the peasants in line.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Many post modernist agree, no, depend on this excuse for yet another failure the Communist ideology. You see, they just didn’t do it right.

DumboTheAvenger on November 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Spread the wealth around! I’ll bet Presidentin’ would be a lot easier there./

I’m afraid it’s coming a lot sooner than we think here. But we’ll have Obamaphones and O Care.

ghostwalker1 on November 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I recently returned from China–a fascinating visit to a fascinating place.

China becomes more westernized with each passing moment. The young Chinese are indistinguishable from young westerners (except the Chinese are probably more stylish) and appear to lead quite similar lives. The government has mandated that English be taught in all schools so in the near future, the young will all be English speakers. And since there are something like 56 dialects and most Chinese speak only their own, they will communicate with each other in English as well as it will be their common language. One expects most of the dialects to eventually disappear.

The building going on in the big cities (and, boy, are they big) is nothing short of amazing. High rise condo after condo as far as the eye can see. The individual living space is small, no space for ovens, bathtubs or clothes dryers (laundry is hung on bamboo poles that stretch out from their windows–reminds me of Brooklyn when I was a kid) and they often use their small balconies as an extra closet. Buildings under nine stories are not permitted elevators (imagine an eighth-floor walk-up), so, of course, all new construction is higher. The cities are bursting at the seams, but they keep packing them in. They build things fast in China, but the building codes are haphazard and the finished products often defective. I would guess that a major earthquake in, say, Beijing would kill millions.

The Chinese revere their children as you would expect people would in a country where the government’s official policy for a second pregnancy is abortion. If you choose to have that second child, you first will be fined 30,000 yuan and then will have to pay all the child’s expenses (education, health care, etc) out of your own pocket (farmers are permitted a second child if the first is female; if the second is also female, they’re SOL). They love it when westerners make a fuss over their children which we did freqently because the kids are just so darn cute. You just want to grab them and tell them “do you know how lucky you are to have made it out of the womb alive”! Once a couple has its child, everything they do from then on will be to the benefit of that child. Perhaps for that reason, young Chinese are putting off marriage until they’re older which is driving their parents nuts. The parents get together in parks to show each other pictures and assess the worthiness of each other’s offspring.

There are millions of automobiles on the road, but you must look far and wide to find a “junker.” That’s because the government has made buying a used car as expensive as buying a new one. I have no idea what they do with their older cars. The roads are choked with traffic. In Beijing now, you must enter a lottery to buy a car and only a few million are permitted annually. If you don’t like Chinese food, don’t go because it’s pretty much all they eat and it’s mostly vegetarian (some western dishes are available in large hotels especially at breakfast). In recent years, the government has let in McDonalds, KFC (China is now its biggest market) and Pizza Hut and the Chinese love all three. KFC, in fact, is a favorite venue for wedding receptions–imagine that.

China’s got problems out the ying-yang and one of its biggest is the pollution. The air is horrible, the smog so thick the sun is seldom seen. The Yangtze River is filthy. I know developing nations don’t concern themselves with such niceties as air and water quality (and just as in Mexico, don’t drink the water unless you can trust it nor eat uncooked vegetables), but if they don’t get a handle on the pollution soon, they will be past the point of no return if they haven’t already reached it. Probably half our party had respiratory problems by the end of our stay.

The Chinese–the young and middle aged at least–revere their military, despise the government, hate the police and spit on Mao’s memory. Demonstrations are no longer permitted on Tiananmen Square (you have to go through a security check to enter the square and it’s heavily policed by the military), but the government can not rein in the hearts and minds of the people. They have seen the future and intend to embrace it. At this juncture, very little English is spoken on the mainland so we had to communicate with the locals mainly through facial expression and gestures, but the people were warm and welcoming and I liked them very much. They certainly deserve a better government (but, alas, so don’t we all). I highly recommend visiting, but unless you venture out into the provinces, don’t expect to find the old China. It’s gone.

SukieTawdry on November 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM

Do they make any cheese in China? I’ve never heard of Chinese cheese.
DanMan on November 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Google “rubing cheese” (without the quotes)

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2012 at 1:32 AM

(I sincerely hope this doesn’t end up being a triple post. Links removed and waited an hour to see if the earlier versions showed up…)

I highly recommend visiting, but unless you venture out into the provinces, don’t expect to find the old China. It’s gone.

SukieTawdry on November 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM

Some great observations of both the good and the bad. However you’ve perhaps misunderstood a few things.

And since there are something like 56 dialects and most Chinese speak only their own, they will communicate with each other in English as well as it will be their common language. One expects most of the dialects to eventually disappear.

I think you are confusing the number of dialects with the number of ethnic groups. 56 is the number of officially recognized ethnic groups in China. While there are a variety of dialects, only about 10 have more than 2 million speakers. Furthermore, Chinese children have been educated in Standard Chinese (Putonghua, or what foreigners typically call ‘Mandarin’) for decades. The vast majority of people under 50 speak it fluently, often in addition to a regional dialect. For example, my wife is a native Wu speaker. She also speaks Standard Chinese fluently, as does even her elderly mother who lives with us. It’s how MIL and I communicate. In fact Standard Chinese has more native speakers than any other language on earth, so English is certainly not going to replace Chinese in China.

The individual living space is small, no space for ovens, bathtubs or clothes dryers (laundry is hung on bamboo poles that stretch out from their windows–reminds me of Brooklyn when I was a kid) and they often use their small balconies as an extra closet.

This varies. Many apartment buildings constructed in the last 10 years or so feature an enclosed balcony where laundry can be dried, often by hanging as you say, but many Chinese are now buying dryers as well. Most have bathtubs, though ovens may be less common since baking isn’t a big part of Chinese cooking. The amount of living space depends on how much money a person has and where they live. In the suburbs and rural areas single-family homes are also available, some of them basic, some of them in very luxurious developments.

If you don’t like Chinese food, don’t go because it’s pretty much all they eat and it’s mostly vegetarian (some western dishes are available in large hotels especially at breakfast).

This is not true at all in any city of significant size. Western and other international cuisines are widely available.

DarkCurrent on November 21, 2012 at 1:39 AM

And yes, the internet is kryptonite to the MSM and their communist agenda. They are becoming more and more irrelevant as we speak.

NapaConservative on November 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Not fast enough.

dogsoldier on November 21, 2012 at 7:18 AM

SukieTawdry, you might enjoy this video.

Which cities/areas of China did you visit?

DarkCurrent on November 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

At this point I wonder which country is more Communist, us or China.

Axion on November 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

At this point I wonder which country is more Communist, us or China.

Axion on November 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

If you mean which actually practices more socialism, the answer is the US.

DarkCurrent on November 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM