Talking Back to Power: China's 'Haves' Stir the 'Have Nots' to Violence
James A. Donald
jamesd at echeque.com
Sat Jan 1 18:26:09 PST 2005
The title of this post is misleading: The protest is anti
government, and pro property rights.
> [...] "People can see how corrupt the government is while they
> barely have enough to eat," said Mr. Yu, reflecting on the
> uprising that made him an instant proletarian hero
If he was a "proletarian" hero, he would say "the capitalists".
Instead he said "the government".
> Last month, as many as 100,000 farmers in Sichuan Province,
> frustrated by months of fruitless appeals against a dam
> project that claimed their land, took matters into their own
> hands. [...]
Gee. They took the defense of their own property rights into their
> "I work like this so that my daughter and son can dress
> better than I do, so don't look down on me,"
They are rioting for economic mobility, not for a classless society,
but for a society where classes are not hereditary.
> "I heard him say those exact words," said Wen Jiabao,
> another porter who says he witnessed the confrontation. "It
> proves that it's better to be rich than poor, but that being
> an official is even better than being rich."
The bad guys are not the rich, but those who obtain wealth through
> Cai Shizhong, a taxi driver, was angered when the
> authorities created a company to control taxi licenses,
> which he says cost him thousands of dollars but brought no
The bad deeds of the bad guys are economic regulation
> Peng Daosheng's home was flooded by the rising reservoir of
> the Three Gorges Dam. He was supposed to receive $4,000 in
> compensation as well as a new home. But his new apartment is
> smaller and less well located, and the cash never arrived.
The bad deeds of the bad guys are violation of property rights
without fair compensation.
> Li Jian, 22, took part in the plunder. A young peasant, he
> had found a city job as a short-order cook. But he longed to
> study computers, said his father, Li Wanfa. The family
> bought an old computer keyboard so the young man could learn
> "He wanted to go to high school but the school said his
> cultural level was not high enough," Mr. Li said. "They said
> a country boy like him should be a cook."
Again, the call for social mobility, equality of opportunity, not
> They did not attack any of the restaurants or department
> stores along the government square, focusing their wrath on
> symbols of official power.
A riot against the state, not against the rich.
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