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.