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You must think I am such a brazen ass from the title. Except, I am not. I have a lot of sympathy for the poor folk in the Chinese village. Some of what perplexes me includes:
1. I have spoken to many people from China. They all seem to have this weird, controverted line of thought that the complete lack of even strands of democracy is totally "cool". This is in a very small (very, very small compared to China) way, similar to my experiences talking to my friends and neighbors back home in India.
Having been sold on the Kool-Aid of Democracy, I find it quite hard to believe it is possible for a state to not be a democracy and think for the common good of it's people.
I know, I know Singapore has this "Democracy that the Government enforces" - weird, but it is such a microcosm of a heavily progressive society where at least a member of your family is directly or indirectly in Government that it works.
However, when you take China, where protesting affords you a visit to a mental institution, it is not surprising that environmental battles would meet with no victories.
I mean come on, President Bush almost got away with all of our Clean Air Regulations in a supposedly, highly vigilant and proactive society...
2. Why would a country's Government, for whom pride and a public face of ascendance is such a priority, not bother to do anything about it's amazingly dismal environmental and health record?
Mind you, this village is all but a sampling, and we already know about baby food, Heparin, Lead, and the Olympics, the Earth Quake response ( and no, no one is forgetting Katrina. One sad Government failure at a time)....so much just piles up.
In the wake of all this, the lack of even rudiments of a revolution is just flabbergasting!
3. Why does China strongly believe that a positive attitude towards environmental and health concerns would necessarily be a bad thing for it's economy? This is a stupid concept sold solely on shall we say, people grouped with the letter "R" as the first of a word?
Why does everybody have to be sold on it?
I mean, imagine. The economy has slowed down. China is seeing fewer orders. Instead of simply pumping random shards of cash, which has proven highly effective anyway, why can't they jump into modernization?
Wouldn't that re-hash their economy, self-image and dignity without all the contortions, distortions, laughably transparent deceptions and so on?
Why is it that the entire human society is divided into little pockets called "nations" and "economies" - each one of which seem to be missing the blindingly obvious?
4. You know what is the worst part? I have not met a single person from China who would find it hard to understand the urgency or the obviousness of this problem!
And mind you, what is happening in China, is happening in India - and I just don't know what to say. It is probably not at the same level or is poorly reported.
So democracy or communism is not the answer, and I have the sobering feeling that I am leaving this post with fewer answers and more questions....
Do any of you have some answers for me?