Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is Beijing’s Authoritarian Capitalism Face of the Future?

Ishita Dey

Slavoj Zivek in the Article ‘Who are the good guys?” in International Herald Tribune ( May 31-1 June 2008 ) reflects on the relations between China and Tibet. As China gears up for the Olympic Games 2008 the traditional torch relay in various parts of the world was subject to much protest because of the various human rights violation in Tibet by the People’s Republic of China. While the protesters against the Beijing Olympics feel that one world can have many dreams as opposed to “one world one dream” but Zivek raises a question about what definition of Tibetan dream are the protesters manufacturing. While much has been said and written about the plight of the Tibetans and we have raised our voices against the atrocities in Tibet; we cannot ignore certain facts that we need to ponder on as Zivek (ibid) points out. Some of the questions he raises are: Firstly, the history between China acting as the “protective overlord” to Tibet goes back as long as the “anti communist Kuomintang” who also “insisted on Chinese Sovereignty over Tibet”. Secondly, since the early 1950s there has been systematic and substantial involvement in stirring up anti-Chinese troubles in Tibet. Thirdly, the recent TV footages of angry Tibetan protesters burning, looting and killing Chinese immigrants and their stores should be treated on the same lines as we measure other violent protests. The protest movement is no more peaceful protest. Thirdly, we need to acknowledge that the Chinese have invested heavily in the region. Some parts of Tibet are better off than China’s own underdeveloped Western rural provinces. Lastly over the last years there has been a change in the Chinese strategy towards Tibet. “The Chinese rely more on ethnic and economic colonization, rapidly transforming Lhasa into a Chinese capitalist Wild West with karaoke bars and Disney like Buddhist theme park’ for Western tourists. Besides all these aspects; the brutal image of the Chinese soldiers and policemen terrorizing has another tale yet to be told. These images speak of a much more American style effective socioeconomic transformation that has gone beyond mcdonaldisation. Mcdonaldisation was one way to create an image of the global world. And post Den Xiaoping China has learnt the lesson and employing so that the Tibetans will be reduced to the status of Native Americans in the United States. Does this inherently imply that political democracy is the natural political accompaniment of capitalism?

To read the full article click on the link in the news section ->

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