Twofish's Blog

December 30, 2006

The trouble with revolutionary thinking

Filed under: academia, china — twofish @ 4:21 pm

It follows a pattern

1) Reform is good!!!! Conservatives are bad!!!!!
2) Yaahhhh!!!! We won the revolution. Things will be perfect!!!!
3) Wait!!!! Things aren’t perfect, what’s wrong!!!!
4) There must be *enemies of the people* and *secret agents* among us which are destroying the perfect situation.
5) Well lets go find and destroy them!!!!

This happened with Mao. This happened with Stalin. I saw this happen with the overseas democracy supporters in Tiananmen. It ends with secret police, cultural revolutions, and people killing each other. It gets worse because once you have a cultural revolution, things get even worse, which causes more effort to find enemies.

The basic problem is the assumption that the problem is because of “bad people” when in fact the problems are much more complex. If you replace the “bad people” with the “good people” then things won’t improve. Look at China, 1911 revolution happened, Qing was gone, and it took another 70 years before China had any sort of real economic growth. I don’t blame Sun Yat-Sen for waiting to overthrow the Qing. I know things from history that he didn’t.

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