Everyone can be taken. And any honest person should admit that when the moment happens.
Like a lot of people, I believed that the Communist Party’s grip on China was solid. I thought that not only based on the big picture, but anecdotal accounts and personal conversations. Chinese Christians would tell me that Communist atrocities had happened to their grandparents, but they still supported the regime for nationalistic reasons. The lack of any meaningful opposition beyond a handful of eccentric dissidents seemed to confirm that. Between its social credit system, secret police and growing prosperity, the Communist Party had defeated the threat posed by Tiananmen Square and ruled securely.
The protests taking place in China show that the myth of Communist hegemony, the one that the regime itself had likely come to believe, was not true. Or if it was true, it fell apart with Zero COVID.
It can be hard to say how a protest movement takes off. But it’s undeniable that one exists.
The scenes from China show that there is a spectrum of opposition from anger over financial fraud and Zero COVID to traditional calls for democracy and an end to Communist rule. I don’t believe that they will succeed, but the regime has been rattled badly. Zero COVID was to show that people would jump through any hoop and instead it showed that there is a sizable undercurrent of public anger and despite a generation of indoctrination and total media and social media censorship, outrage lurks below the surface.
And given the right trigger and momentum, people will gather in the streets and call for the fall of the regime.
So much about Communist China, from its economy to its technology, is a myth. These lies are meant to fool both the Chinese and the rest of the world. The Communist regime built a carefully constructed myth that claimed that the future belonged to it.
That myth, like most forms of Marxist determinism, just ran into reality.
Communist China, solidifying its grip on Hong Kong and plotting against Taiwan, building a worldwide trade network, doesn’t look nearly as solid as it did a week ago.