>In fairness to China, the place has experienced enormous
democratization since 1979. Yes, the one-party state still exists, but civil society is
>flourishing, there's a vast mass media, quite open
dissent and debate in the digital commons, etc. It's not even in the same universe as North
Hey, I am well aware of and would not deny much of what you have written here. Free-wheeling internet discussion and social media use have
facilitated lots of mass organizing and protests against land grabs, labor abuses, polluting factories, party corruption, and so on. These protests get
results, which is more than can be said about what puny collective action occurs here. But it's not the full story. And by this I am NOT bemoaning
the lack of sufficient liberal democratic progress because I don't have any illusions about liberal democracy. (At the same time I would not scoff at
liberal democratic achievements either.) Rather, I am suggesting that there are some institutional domains in China that were MORE democratic
before the Dengist period began. I don't think one has to be a naive, starry-eyed Maoist to recognize that between 1949 and 1978 there were some
partial and temporary successes in popular democracy launched in China. Yes, these experiments were compromised and manipulated, but the story
of democratization in China is not an entirely unilinear one.
My last post on this topic; I cannot afford to get drawn into it further.