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The debate about what Tom Friedman said or wanted to say about one party autocracy in China

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China
Image via Wikipedia

One thing about the Internet in China stands out more and more. And that is the evident transparency of quite a bit of ongoing debate about China, what Western journalists say about it and the CW emanating from the usual suspects in the US punditaucracy. It’s illuminating to consider this discussion about Tom Friedman’s contrasting of one party democracy in the US and its drawbacks VS. one party autocracy in China and its advantages, political and otherwise.

Of course one must never forget that however many times Tom Friedman visits China, he usually gets the limo to boardroom experience which doesn’t jibe very authentically with the ugly realities of ordinary life in China for the 700 million+ who live in relative poverty or even grim dis-enheartening brutish and nasty poverty.

Here’s an excerpt that leaves a taste of the discussion:

So why does stating something that is obvious attract so much American resentment and accusations of communist betrayal? Aside from the fact that it brings in pageviews, it’s — at least partially — due to the fact that some Americans and Westerners can be every bit as biased and insecure as the Chinese they ridicule. The mere suggestion by Friedman that there is something enviable about China, regardless of what it is explicitly limited to, brings out genuine disbelief and shock as people demand: “Yeah, but how dare you! What about…”

This is bias and insecurity. Unintelligent but for the shrill clicks it earns.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/24 at 11:11

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