The thing about living in a free country is that even if your nation owes China $1.2 trillion, one can criticize the government for being so deeply in debt to a nation with the world’s worst human rights record, and still not be placed under “house arrest.”
Under our form of government, we ca
n wonder aloud, or in print, if there won’t be (or should be) some type of karmic retribution for doing business with such a morally bankrupt moneylender.
Saturday was the 22nd anniversary of the massacre of pro-democracy protestors in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. It was marked in the usual way: China arresting those who might talk about it or observe it; dissidents and activists gathering elsewhere, this year even sending the United Nations a letter asking for an investigation into the 1989 “crackdown” that left hundreds and possibly thousands of protestors dead.
Meanwhile, a news story that reflects China’s ongoing experiment in communist consumerism-capitalism was reported last week. It seems a 17-year-old boy sold one of his kidneys ($3,393 in U.S. currency) so he could buy an iPad 2.
It’s safe to say his dire need for a tablet device wasn’t driven by a desire to utilize the latest technology to rally his fellow citizens to revolution.
China is increasingly a country of haves and have nots. Such a deal. All the oppression of communism and consumerism combined, without the benefits.
China is the place where a 17-year-old boy can go online and find dozens of buyers and sellers for a kidney in the thriving human-organ black market, but won’t be able to locate a single report on Tinanamen Square or anything else newsworthy or historically accurate. Trading organs online is a common practice, The UK Telegraph reported, despite repeated attempts by China’s government to stamp it out. (It’s hard to believe that a government with such skill in internet censorship wouldn’t be able to shutdown those organ websites. Unfortunately, the black market is too central to the economy.)
In an October column, “Chinese seek The Dream, without the freedom part,” Washington Post columnist David Ignatius described how the “haves” in China are content to preserve the status quo, rather than demand more freedom to go along with their new-found consumerism. Young people are enthralled with pop culture, not politics. People are willing to accept less freedom and openness for more economic stability, Ignatius wrote.
It’s not the government but the poor, rural Chinese have-nots that strike fear in those enjoying the economic boom. Hmmm, angry, hungry Chinese peasants. Maybe history that is censored is determined to repeat itself.