According to Eric X. Li, Superior Government Means…

Oh look, an angering op/ed post about the superiority of China’s political system. It fails to account for people like myself who believe in inalienable human rights without having any faith in a higher power. The author may have a few intriguing points, but ultimately just sounds like a crazy person to me.

I’m pretty sure he said it’s okay for government to curtail individual rights severely (the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests were, according to this man, better than the alternative – so killing hundreds or possibly thousands of innocent civilians is better than…what, exactly?) if it’s in the best economic interests of a country. The United States has its flaws, but at least our government is based on the consent of the governed.

And yes, many Americans do have somewhat of a blind faith in human rights, but not every American does. Many Americans, myself included, view human rights as a very good “end” to aim for, not just because we’re told it is, but because living in a world where we are free to speak our minds without living in fear of the repercussions is a beautiful thing. A government free to curtail human rights is not a government for, by and of the people, and there is no guarantee that such a government has intentions that are best for the people. My government is not my father or my parent, allowed to ignore or suppress what I say because I’m too naive to know better, and I don’t believe people need a government that functions in that manner, although this author apparently does.

I’d rather live in a free state in decline than live in China, where political dissenters disappear and people can  be held in jail without being charged. Where the infrastructure is so fraught with issues that children die in their schools because of earthquakes. And where corruption is so rampant that schools aren’t even built to proper safety standards.

China’s political system is only superior to the United States’ system if superior means more likely to kill or imprison innocent civilians for speaking their minds.


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