Freedom’s Evolution

May 11, 2010

A debate took place on Left of the Right, not by Devin Barber, the Blog’s host, but between me and another person who called him or herself Timothy. This person made comments calling me an asshole and a propaganda spewing scumbag among other insults, because he disagreed with my opinions regarding China even though I supported most or all of my opinions with facts. You may read the entire debate by clicking on the above link to see an example of Timothy’s conservative beliefs.

One of my last responses was a comparison between America and China and the trail to freedom that both counties have followed and are still traveling. What follows is a slightly edited version.

In 1781, the American War for Independence from the British Empire ended, but there was still slavery in the Southern States.

American Revolution

In 1861 to 1865, (eight-four years after America’s revolution) America divided and fought a bloody Civil War that ended slavery. More than six hundred thousand Americans died in that conflict. 

However, women still could not own property or vote. Women were considered chattel.  The women’s rights movement started in 1848. In 1920 (seventy-two years later), the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution granted women the vote.

American history is full of facts about how people of color were discriminated against and were second-class citizens until the Civil Rights Movement between 1955 to 1968.  It took one-hundred-and-three years after the end of slavery to end discrimination against people of color—at least legally.

_________________

The bloody and painful evolutionary trail to freedom in China started in 1913 when warlords ended Imperial rule.  Eventually a dictatorship replaced the warlords.  The Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek was a dictatorship under martial law even in Taiwan until the 1980s when the first election was held there.

Another step back was World War II with the Japanese invading China that cost about 30 million Chinese their lives. That ended in 1945, followed by the revolution between the Communists and Kuomintang dictatorship.  Soon after Mao won that revolution in 1949 and took over China to become China’s modern emperor for twenty-seven years, he declared that women were equal to men.  Then there was the Great Leap Forward, which was more like two leaps back followed by the Cultural Revolution that cost another thirty-seven million Chinese their lives.

Chinese Revolution

After Mao died in 1976, the Communist Government under Deng Xiaoping’s guidance rewrote their constitution, repudiated Marxist, Maoist revolutionary doctrine and opened China to the world launching a market economy, which is on steroids today.

Since that new start, amendments have been added to the Chinese Constitution. Read it carefully and you will see that freedom of speech in China is limited by a constitution that is taught in the schools and in the factories. Although some Chinese dissidents have been arrested for speaking and jailed with other criminals, 98.8% of the population remains free and appears to have no problem obeying that law.

America’s journey to become a nation where ALL citizens are protected by the Bill of Rights took one-hundred-and-eight-seven years from 1781 to 1968.

China, after Mao, has had only thirty-four years to evolve.  Who knows where China will be in another century and a half. Timothy sees the glass half-empty. Since I watch China, I’ve seen the small steps that China has been taking, and I see the cup half-full and improving with time. I hope I’m right, because Timothy seems to believe that China is evil and will invade the United States in a few decades. What do you think?

____________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China

Advertisements