To remain in power the Chinese government must not only use the threat of punishment, it must also control what its citizens think and believe. In a battle of ideas the authoritarian regime would likely lose against the ideals of liberty, natural rights, and democracy. Knowing this, the regime has resorted to cordoning itself off from the ocean of ideas that flow freely outside its borders.
But as Peter Zarrow points out, “Because the entire family of notions associated with democracy, liberty, and rights has become Chinese, they are ineradicable. Indeed, the very categories of ‘Western values’ and ‘universal values’ are incoherent in our thoroughly globalized world. Furthermore, since the 1980s, Chinese have gotten used to freedoms that include the choice of where to live and what job to take, much less whom to marry—a particular focus of New Youth concern—and attempts to barricade off a sacred party-state from the realm of personal freedoms will require ever greater resources.” A problem that will only get worse. Let’s hope their eventual frustrated attempts to retain power will not require significant bloodshed!
Read Zarrow’s entire essay here: History News Network | Why Xi Jinping’s Campaign to Suppress Western Ideas Is Bound to Fail