Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will the Facebook Revolution Spread to China? Probably Not

Will the Facebook revolution spread to China? My guess, probably not.

1. What you are seeing in the Middle East is a reaction not a response, to a reaction. Kings were overthrown by military dictators and the people suffered not just a civil rights oppression but also an economic oppression.

2. In China, there was a technology revolution fueled by the Chinese government to move China into the 21st century with a great leap.

3. In the Middle East, there was an equality of suffering with the exception of a few "friends of the dictators".

4. In China, the old axiom (New by Chinese standards) "When the tide comes in, all the ships in the harbour rise,” is being played out in large numbers. Yes, there may be pockets of poverty. However, they are in a manner of speaking diffuse. Also, not "connected".

5. This brings us to: There is a techno-class. In the same way the intelligentsia was self-removed from the class-contretemps of Europe's social revolution over a century ago, the tech people are focused too fiercely on technology. "If then: go to."

6. There appear to be "tribal or religious" disconnects among the different tribal and religious segments of Middle Eastern society. In China, the Chinese people are Chinese. Full Stop.

7. There is a great deal of anti-American and anti-western sentiments in the Middle East. While there may be Chinese people who like and Chinese people who may not like some or many westerners, there is not a history of exploitation. In addition, China has the means, the methods, and the will to compete on the global stage, in the global arena, playing the same game everyone else plays. For the lack of a better term, I shall call it, Economics.

The West has a rather remarkable view of the Middle East. We preach democracy, we promote democracy, we aid and abet democracy, and we work well with those countries that are and have been democracies. In the Middle East, democracy seems to be a new thing. They will have democracy. They will vote. They will elect representatives and leaders. Then what? That is the conundrum for the US.

What happens when they vote not to establish alliances with the west? They are free to choose. With that freedom comes the freedom to choose not to be our friends. That is a possibility we are not prepared to accept.

With China, we do business. China does business with us. We've never done business with the people of the Middle East. We've done business to the people of the Middle East.

Let's move quickly to mend some fences.



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