China’s Authoritarian Cyber Crackdown versus America’s Democratic Culture of Complaint

Although I think it is impossible to totally control bullies in any culture, ABC News reports that China’s “government has declared victory in cleaning up what it considers rumors, negativity and unruliness from online discourse, while critics say the moves have suppressed criticism of the government and ruling Communist Party.”

But what if China’s critics are wrong andin this case—are really bullies wearing the clothing of democracy activists attempting to get their troll mojo back on?

After all, bullies exist in China too. China Daily reports: “In China, cyber-bullying is still perceived by many parents and educators as a problem that involves physical contact. However, as cell phones and laptops are becoming common equipment for adolescents, social interactions have increasingly moved from personal contact to virtual contact. Cyber-bullying is spreading faster than expected.”

So here is China’s government claiming they have now tamed the wild west atmosphere of cyber space—something that would be impossible to attempt in the United States because of the 1st Amendment that protects the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference that has led to a “Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America,” as Publisher’s reports, “Euphemism, evasion and propaganda are woven into the fabric of American public discourse, declares Time art critic Hughes.”

In addition, Connie Cass writing for the Associated Press says: “In God we trust, maybe, but not each other. … For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy—trust in the other fellow—has been quietly draining away [as] hackers and viruses and hateful posts eat away at trust.”

What is a civil form of freedom of expression? Democracy says that “The essence of freedom of expression, of course, is not the right to insult the beliefs of others, but rather the freedom to report or convey facts, opinions, philosophies, and worldviews in an effective manner, using both objective and subjective means. Freedom of expression empowers citizens through knowledge, opinion, and the possibility to gain their own voice.”

Is it possible that China’s benevolent authoritarian government working hard to censor “rumors, negativity and unruliness” will prevail while too much freedom of expression in the United States will lead to anarchy and the end of democracy?

The answer to that question might already have been answered by one of America’s Founding Fathers. John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence [and the 2nd President of the United States], who championed the new Constitution in his state precisely because it would not create a democracy. “Democracy never lasts long,” Adams said. “It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.” He insisted: “There was never a democracy that ‘did not commit suicide.'” Source: What the Founding Fathers really thought about democracy


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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2 Responses to China’s Authoritarian Cyber Crackdown versus America’s Democratic Culture of Complaint

  1. mario says:

    There is always a goood side and a not so good side to everything.

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