‘Petty-Bourgeois Individualism’



By Mr. Curmudgeon:

They say they just want to protect the masses – all 500 million of them. The People’s Daily – the official organ of China’s totalitarian government – announced that the country’s Internet users will be required to give their real names and addresses to government-sanctioned Internet providers before they are allowed access to the China-Wide-Web. Chinese citizens are denied admittance to the “World-Wide” version.

“The draft decision says authorities will protect digital information that could be used to determine the identity of a user or that concerns a user’s privacy,” said the People’s Daily. In other words, “If you know who you are, your masters will too … very soon.”

The reason for all the consumer “protection” is China’s Internet – controlled though it may be – provides a platform for anonymous bloggers and micro-bloggers to post stories detailing corruption among China’s Communist Party leaders.

“Their intention is very clear,” said influential Chinese writer Murong Xuecum, “It is to take back that bit of space for public opinion, that freedom of speech hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users have strived for,” the Associated Press reports.

“Inner-Party criticism is a weapon for strengthening the Party organization and increasing its fighting capacity,” Chinese fearless leader Mao Tse Tung once wrote, “However, criticism is not always of this character, and sometimes turns into personal attack. As a result, it damages the Party organization … This is a manifestation of petty-bourgeois individualism.”

Have you noticed that big-government leaders the world over are waging war on “petty-bourgeois individualism”?

“You didn’t build that,” said President Obama to America’s entrepreneurs, “Somebody else made that happen.” There is no room for petty-bourgeois individualists in lands with teaming masses. Curiously, the only individuals that seem to stand out in lands with compliant, faceless masses are the strong men who rule them. And criticism of these ruling, individualist demigods won’t be tolerated.

China’s ruling oligarchs aren’t interested in the “freedom of speech hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users have strived for.” Power for the ruling few, not individual liberty, is the supreme object.

However, the communist government’s tightened control of the Internet may be more than an effort to censor public criticism. It’s more likely over fear that political opposition may use social networking to organize. And then, of course, there are guns.

“Guns are now fashionable in paintings and movies, while Chinese-language Web sites and glossy magazines cater to gun buffs,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Erosion in China’s gun controls reflects the Communist Party’s slow retreat from most people’s daily lives … The main source of guns appears to be lax control of gun factories and theft from arsenals. China is one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers – for the export market and for its security forces. Older guns are left from past wars and a time when hunting was common. The police have also busted workshops that forge guns and bullets by hand inside China.”

You see, it is the tendency of petty-bourgeois individualists to breathe free. The Constitution of the United States enshrined the right to free speech by adding gun ownership as a not-so-veiled threat to authorities who would seek to curtail petty-bourgeois individual rights.

China’s oligarchs are justifiably frightened that, as Chairman Mao once said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”