Activists of the world, unite – put your heads together, talk to each other and imagine what it would take for the Chinese to successfully revolt against the dictatorship of their one-party government.
Here is what China’s democracy advocates have to work with and struggle against:
1. More than 1 billion citizens, many of them impoverished, all of them oppressed (except for officials and the newly rich) and very few able to imagine how much better things could be;
2. A pervasive security apparatus of enforcers, spies and flunkies organized right down to the level of apartment buildings, and surveillance of every form of communication;
3. A population infuriated by corruption, unfairness and injustice, and frustrated by a lack of any legal rights or means to fix problems;
4. A culture whose greatest strength may be endurance of hardship without complaint, and whose greatest disadvantage may be the same;
5. Fear of speaking up, standing out or taking action;
6. Punishments for speaking up, standing out or taking action that include job loss, blacklisting, beatings, house arrest, imprisonment and execution.
7. Widespread use of mobile phones and computers but extremely limited access to websites outside of China;
8. Very few people who have a good grasp of spoken or written English.
As Chinese leaders celebrate the 90th anniversary of their Communist Party’s founding, let’s reflect on the fact that their subjects – roughly one-fifth of the Earth’s people – have no political or legal rights. What can be done about this? Post your answers in the comments section.