The reason historians can say that history repeats itself it because it does. The same foolishness which brought down the Soviet Union is eating away at the concrete blocks under girding China, a government which relies on control for submission rather than organized public input. Adding up the expense of imprisonment, police, watchdogs, critics, jailers, spies, censors, and various thought police is a huge cost. For every person snooping into the world of someone else merely shows us one person unable to produce a widget or a pound of noodles. The person being watched, supervised and controlled is one less person able to learn, produce, create or manage anything worthwhile.
Every paid snoop is NOT doing something – like cleaning up the water supply, producing crops or repairing machines. Farmers love to grow things; free up some policemen and you could have a local cannery; you could purchase a tractor for shared use throughout the little fields of Mr. Xu, Mr. Wong, Mr. Yu, and TaiTai Liu.
National wealth is measured by GNP- Gross National Product, which is the sum of all the man hours worked. Ten guys watching a blind activist night and day is not work. Now that Chen Guangcheng is in New York, 10 guys can now get a job and do some real work. In free societies people have work to do, not spying on one another. Authorities identify public threats, like terrorists who want to blow up train stations; they leave issues of speech to others. China’s snoops are only protecting the fat-cats running the Communist Party. The more control exercised over the public the more money, power and corruption accrues to the leadership; that nation becomes top heavy with evil and eventually collapses.
Look around. What happened to the Soviets? Bosnia? Nazi Germany? The Qing Dynasty? Cuba has languished for 60 years. Venezuela is unstable. Much of Africa is largely unworkable. Most Muslim nations are in turmoil; Syria and Iran are both about to go down.
If you want progress and stability at the same time, look at what Canada, Israel, England, and the US have done? Set up fair law enforcement, create a leadership which answers ultimately to a voting public, and let people do what their talents and interests call them to do. Put the thieves and pimps in jail. Folks, it’s not complicated.
The Soviets exhausted themselves paying for ever increasing armaments not noticing that the people were dying of disinterest and social malaise, lack of goods, food, services, health care and adequate education. No one can eat a gun; a spy is nothing more than a paid busybody. These guys should be embarrassed to do this job.
This communist dictatorship was imported from Eastern Europe and is not really suited for China. The Chinese are too nice for this, and why they tolerate it, I do not know.