Re: Revolutionary


Wow, justice and freedom from nagging high-maintenance old people. Those Chinese farmers are smart.

The "send in the outsiders to beat them" tactic seems diabolically clever, but it sure doesn't work very well. I've been told that in Iran, the government has resorted to paying people from Arab countries to put down some protests. Nothing tells you your cause is just like the fact that you have to look hard to find someone to beat you for it.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 8:03 AM
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I've ignorantly wondered what was up with China in the past. It seems awfully internally peaceful for such an oppressive government -- I hadn't heard much about rebellion since Tianamen Square, and that was pretty mild. But all sorts of stuff could have been going on in China and I wouldn't have noticed.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 8:58 AM
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I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about what the chances are for an internal revolution in China, and what the U.S. response would/should be. Remember, there was this Thomas Barnett article that Yglesias and Pratlike basically shat on as U.S. Navy propaganda that assumed a war with China was inevitable. But none of their responses (that I noticed) dealt with the chances of a really violent internal Chinese conflict, and I, knowing nothing about internal Chinese politics, was unable to get much past the point of wondering about it.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 9:19 AM
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In the spirit of precision, that was a Robert Kaplan article (cover story in the Atlantic monthly). Barnett responded to it here, and Praktike simply reprints that response. I read the article at the beach, before the eye-rolling response, and I think Barnett is pretty offbase and sounds like he's teetering on the edge of hysteria ("Ooh, that Kaplan! He's mad, I tell you, mad!").

Of course both nations' military planners are wargaming against one another, of course they are doing it in the Pacific theater, and of course China-US economic/military ambitions are going to bump against one another over the coming century. The article looks at how each side's wargaming is currently playing out. From there, Barnett assigns the article the status of Navy PACOM propaganda trying to push us into war with China.

One of the main points of the article was that both sides are trying to figure out how to avoid an actual war, which would be easy to begin and nearly impossible to end. Kaplan also talks about the US needing to accept the fact of a Chinese sphere of influence and that the war is almost certainly a cold war, not an actual armor one. I mean, really, does anybody doubt that US-China relations are likely to be the IR issue that dominates the 21st century?

Anyhow, the article is plenty interesting as it was intended: a look at the US military's grand strategic vision at it's evolving. Whether or not you agree with that vision, it's a sufficiently important topic on its own.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 12:51 PM
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"at it's evolving" = "as it's evolving"

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 12:53 PM
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The "send in the outsiders to beat them" tactic seems diabolically clever, but it sure doesn't work very well.

It certainly worked at Tiananmen. Unless you're talking about the long view (but then that's a bet which might pay out, but one does never know).

Posted by: Mitch Mills | Link to this comment | 06-13-05 10:43 PM
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Lizardbreath: I flashed on your comment immediately about the peculiar internal peacefulness of mainland China. It IS peculiar. 2 weeks travel there last year (nothing, I know), but mentally armed with Paul Theroux's travel writing and Ha Jin's novels convinces me two things coincide: massive, isloating lack of internal communication and energy-sapping local bureaucracy (that makes the DMV seem adorably helpful). It seems impossible to overstate how comparatively docile these keep "the people". And - the new revisionist biography of Mao notwithstanding - trying to get a fix on contemporary attitudes to Mao was unbelievably slippery - like one was committing the most obnoxious faux pas even mentioning him..and don't get me started on the socially conservative, highly manipulative legacy of Confucius. I don't want to be flamed for tourist soundbites but I did start to get a glimmer of understanding about that weird passivity...

Posted by: Jody Tresidder | Link to this comment | 06-14-05 8:12 AM
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People who read this blog have been to China? Astonishing!

Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06-14-05 8:51 AM
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About the possibility of internal unrest in China... my impression is that this is mainly about economic and social issues (better pay, access to medical care, education), rather than political issues (democracy, freedom of speech). Although we in the US tend to focus on the political issues, I think many Chinese would be happy with any government that met their material needs and treated them fairly... they don't seem that eager to have democracy for its own sake.

Disclaimer: I've visited China a couple of times, but I don't know the society that well, and I've never been to the rural areas.

Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 06-14-05 8:22 PM
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know play black-jack Shit living up in this tenement eating stale M&Ms.

Posted by: Dean Shannon | Link to this comment | 01-25-06 1:10 AM
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