China vs. Western Liberal Ideals

By default we assume that the world shares our Western views on equal protection and human rights.  They don’t — and it’s not because the world is evil, but because the idea of equal protection will always be inherently threatening to those in power who extract value from those they have power over.
Promotion of Western constitutional democracy is an attempt to negate the party’s leadership,” Cheng Xinping, a deputy head of propaganda for Hengyang, a city in Hunan, told a gathering of mining industry officials. Human rights advocates, he continued, want “ultimately to form a force for political confrontation.
Exactly.  This is why it’s amazing that such ideas of universal human rights (to life, liberty, property) ever evolved in the first place.  They can only do so under violent opposition from those in command.  This fear of losing value is why:
  • Officials in Alabama during the civil rights movements didn’t want to give up good seats on the bus, good slots in schools, and equal protection to African Americans.  
  • Plantation owners in the South did not want to give up their cotton and tobacco producing slaves.
  • Great Britain did not want to give up the 13 American Colonies which could provide ample sources of tax revenue.
These ideals are unique and fragile.  They need the strong support of principled men and women like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington — and brave Chinese citizens on the same quest.
A few other observations on the article:

These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.

NEWS FLASH: The Chinese are human too and think and feel just like we do. They predictably fear the perils of a loss of value by the political class.  Chinese politicians appreciate value just like all other politicians.

The confrontation at the newspaper and campaign demanding that officials disclose their wealth alarmed leaders and helped galvanize them into issuing Document No. 9, said Professor Xiao, the historian. Indeed, senior central propaganda officials met to discuss the newspaper protest, among other issues, and called it a plot to subvert the party, according to a speech on a party Web site of Lianyungang, a port city in eastern China.”

When did the full government backlash hit? When people were trying to put a number on the amount of value that the government leaders controlled.  “Whoa, hold that right there! You people at the bottom can be subject to the accountability of market forces, but don’t try to treat us the same way. That is intolerable.  Never forget that we are not equal.  We are your superiors.”