Sunday, March 26, 2006

the peasants are revolting

One of the fears of the Chinese Communist Party is rural unrest. They understand well the risk revolting peasants can pose to a Chinese regime, haven ridden into power themselves on the backs of the rural poor. This type of development is one reason for current dissatisfaction among Chinese farmers -- land taken away from them and sold to developers to build houses they can never hope to afford, or used to sell Hondas they can never hope to buy or even ride in... The farmers can't do anything about it, either -- farm land is one of the last vestiges of Communism in China and is owned by a collective, not by the people who work the fields. The government isn't doing anything to help them when they're kicked off the farm, and they can't even legally move to the big city to get a job without permission.

China's cities have changed remarkably over the past fifteen years, but there are still a billion people there wallowing in freakish misery.