… Along with the crackdown on dissent and freedom of speech, as well as an increasingly ideological tone, some observers worry that Chinese politics is now taking a more authoritarian direction of the kind not seen since the days of Chairman Mao. And with the normal political process so opaque and closed, the things we can glimpse on the edges of China’s parliamentary set pieces are sometimes all we have to go on in trying to assess the truth.- BBC
There have been two communication revolutions in the past millennium.
The first unleashed the Gutenberg press that allowed masses of people to read, first the Bible and then other books – and to discover that they had been lied to on many fronts. This led to the Reformation and many other disruptive religious, sociopolitical and economic changes.
The second communication revolution is the one we call the Internet Reformation. It is just as profound as the thought revolution caused by the Gutenberg press and is having an equally significant impact.
Predictably, elites have fought back. They have tried to slow the circulation of information via copyright, just as they have before. Copyright has been vehemently expanded and enforced; wars have been expanded and prosecuted, as well; economic disasters are growing. The idea is to damp down the rate of social change.
Nonetheless, convulsive changes are occurring around the world and in the US where the Tea Party and the 2016’s political season are in the process of destroying the current two party system.
Europe, too, has seen the rise of forces opposed to both the status quo and the EU. A vote on Britain’s potential Brexit, its possible exit from the EU, may soon be mimicked by other countries.
Recently, we came upon a blurb authored by the controversial economic analyst Martin Armstrong. We don’t have any position on Mr. Armstrong’s financial theories or professional difficulties, but he certainly is known for his economic insights.
Here’s an excerpt:
… We are watching a worldwide uprising against government. This is the West’s version of 1989 which took down Communism. We are witnessing opposition to the establishment everywhere from Germany, France, and Britain, to even China … The Chinese version of Donald Trump is Ren Zhiquiang, who has defied the Communist Party Leader President Xi Jinpeng … Things are changing on a global scale.
Armstrong goes on to explain that Ren has received extraordinary support in China for his criticism of the Chinese Party.
Ren is a wealthy, prominent dissident. And though the Chinese authorities recently suspended his popular “micro-blog”, the conversation that Ren helped create has not disappeared along with it.
An article in the Globe and Mail entitled, China’s Crackdown on Free Speech Sparking Growing Dissent further explores the rising dissent in China and lists three examples to begin the article:
A member of China’s top political advisory body calling for free speech. An employee at the state-run Xinhua news service publicly decrying the “massive” suppression of online expression. The granddaughter of a famous Chinese military general openly calling for democracy. A Communist-controlled news site publishing a letter demanding the resignation of President Xi Jinping.
The article goes on to say that President Xi’s ideological tightening “wasn’t supposed to look like this.” In fact, March has seen an unprecedented reaction to Xi’s political and technological crackdown.
Enough is enough. It’s bound to trigger some kind of reaction,” said Bao Pu, a publisher in Hong Kong whose father is a high-ranking Communist official turned political prisoner and dissident after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. “What you see is just the tip of the iceberg of discontent.”
Quite so. People may believe that the extreme discontent we’re seeing in today’s political arenas in the US, Europe and China are simply an aberration. They are not.
It should be very obvious to anyone who looks that the Internet Reformation is gathering strength, undermining the world’s existing institutions and systems.
Conclusion: The Internet has fundamentally changed society by making information more widely available to the population. Being able to more easily express dissent and to join forces with others is posing an increasing threat to the established order. Tomorrow’s world will not look like today’s.