blue bits. red rocks.


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It’s important to remember that China is a dictatorship. It’s almost always been a dictatorship. It also has a long history of extreme insularity and xenophobia. Culture matters when thinking about China’s future

Radical mass movements often begin by appealing respectfully to authority for minimal reforms. The students, gathering in Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu, asked that the Chinese constitution, with its guarantees of rule of law and freedom of speech, be respected. Radicalization within the movement happened in the midst of the demonstrations. Once a movement educates itself about structures of power, and once those in state authority display their indifference to the tepid demands of the demonstrators, a movement becomes bolder and wiser. The Tiananmen Square occupation, begun as a spontaneous reaction to a death, swiftly evolved into a revolt. Chris Hedges

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A nonviolent movement that disrupts the machinery of state and speaks a truth a state hopes to suppress has the force to terrify authority and create deep fissures within the power structure. The ruling elites in China, we now know from leaked internal documents and the work of a handful of historians, believed the protests had the potential to dislodge them from power. Monolithic power, as we saw in China, is often a mirage. Chris Hedges

Chinese and Western scholars have written extensively about the causes, directions and details of some of the brutalities of the Cultural Revolution, and now estimate that at least 100 million people were persecuted in some way: arbitrary arrests, brutal confrontations, beatings, torture, outright murder, serious injuries, forced suicides, denied medical treatment after beatings, houses looted, forced banishment to remote rural provinces. Top officials were not spared. A half dozen of them committed suicide in the opening overtures of the Cultural Revolution. Deng Xiao Ping’s son, Pufang, was thrown out of a window during a “struggle” session and left paralyzed for life. Facing the Truth in China

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