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Mao, term limits, China, Xi Jinping, censorship, Mao Zedong

Dictatorship with the Usual Characteristics

“Argh, we’re going to become North Korea,” a dejected Chinese citizen wrote on his country’s social media site, Weibo. His comment, later removed by China’s “safe space” police, responded to the Communist Party’s announcement that it would soon remove term limits on President Xi Jinping. While neighboring North Korea has

encryption, freedom, Chen Sho Uli, China, Chinese, Orwell, repression

No Joking Matter

He thought he was just horsing around. Using the popular app WeChat, a Chinese construction worker supervisor Chen Sho Uli made a gossipy joke about government officials while chatting in a chat group. But being too casual about what you say — and where — can be dangerous in China.

New York Times, apologist, China, Soviet Union, communism, Walter Duranty

Not So Bad, Communism?

First the good news. The New York Times has repudiated Walter Duranty’s 1930s-era “journalism” for whitewashing — “underestimating” — the murderousness of Soviet Communism. So that’s done, right? Whatever its failings today, the paper will certainly no longer allow writers to use its august pages to discount blatant systematic evil.

North Korea, Kim Jong Un, Saddam Hussein, Stalin, China

Kim Jong Un-civilized

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea isn’t. That is, it isn’t democratic and it is not “the people’s” in any republican sense. But it does exist . . . as the world’s most totalitarian dictatorship. A tyranny that would make the Pharaohs, Caesars, and Grand Poobahs of the ancient

socialism, communism, China, Red Guard, Cultural Revolution, individual rights, Common Sense, meme

Socialism’s Idealistic Youth

When the protection of individual rights is replaced with vague and pious appeals to the “collective good”… things can get very ugly, very quickly. The Cultural Revolution, was a social-political movement that took place in the People’s Republic of China from 1966 until 1976. Its stated goal was to purge all remnants of capitalism and traditional

China Credit System, Sesame, China, Credit Rating, Common Sense

Discreditable Credit

Capitalism can be rigged a hundred different ways, apparently. China’s is run by its Communist Party, and even current innovations bear the stamp of the Party. Take “social credit.” Not the quaint decentralist economic reform movement that was a minor deal in politics on the West Coast of the U.S.

Paris, climate change, global warming, natural gas, fracking, Common Sense, illustration

Climate Changelings

Worried that the world is going to sacrifice progress for the mess of pottage that is “global climate change”? Don’t. Years ago, economists specializing in game theory recognized that the governments of the world would be extremely unlikely to agree to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The incentives are all wrong

one child policy, china, family planning, communist, five year plan

One, Two or Free?

The vast majority of Chinese people are celebrating. Last week, the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party decreed that it will cease enforcing the one-child-only policy this coming March — after 35 years — as part of its 13th Five Year Plan. Just speaking for myself, infanticide, coerced

NIMBY

Rare Earth Reserve

There are many places on this planet I would hardly dare visit, much less seek to live near. One of those places is remote Baotou, in Inner Mongolia, a boom region where much of our planet’s rare earth industry is located. It becomes obvious as you read Tim Maughan’s BBC

How to Occupy Hong Kong

The fight for freedom doesn’t stop at the border. Hong Kongers, we are with you. Your protest against continued tyranny by mainland China is a just cause. The Communist Party of China may no longer be in Marx’s pocket, but its members remain greedy and dictatorial and oppressive. Leung, the

Copper Tubes in Alabama

You’ve gotta be somewhere, so you might as well choose where that somewhere is in a non-random fashion. That seems to be the rule. One consequences of this is that we now have local government officials and functionaries jet-setting the world promoting their towns, counties, cities . . . their

Too Much Truth

Both what to report and when to report it can be legitimately debated in an editorial room. But not whether to accept demands to conceal “unflattering” truth for the sake of being allowed to report at all. That’s the “dilemma” some news organizations face when they wish to report from

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