Is China really less free than the West?

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Closed
Nov 2014
420
ph
Is China really less free than the West if you consider the social and political Overton windows of both places? Or the list of things that you can or cannot say in public without serious social repercussions such as loss of employment of exclusion from respectible society? I mean you could say things in China that would make you a social pariah and not employable even as a burger flippler in Silicon Valley, such as homosexuality or transexualism is a mental illness, and when you look at it, mainland Chinese society society probably only has a very limited list of things you cannot say, compared to the very long and constantly changing list of things that you cannot say in a respectible circle in say Palo Alto, and is being basically unemployable really a better fate outside of splitting hairs and semanitics than being locked up in jail in China?
 
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Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,648
Westmorland
What a curious post.

China is a one-party, totalitarian and authoritarian state that (like most authoritarian states) fears the people it professes to champion. In keeping with similar regimes elsewhere, China therefore is obliged to have a rather less-than-tolerant attitude to dissent and a rather less-than-enlightened approach to human rights.

An ability to say that homosexuality is a mental illness is not a sign of freedom. It is simply a sign of different and (in the view of many of us - although by no means all of us - in the West) regressive cultural attitudes.
 

HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,540
Lived there for many years, once you get a VPN it didn't feel much different. In fact it's really an eye-opener because the media fed you with impressions that China wouldn't let you do this and that but once you're there you figure out you still CAN do these things, makes you wonder how many other countries the media gave you false impressions of.
 
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HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,540
Disguised NGOs like Freedom House and NED are US government fronts. That's another thing. China's ministry of propaganda is called the ministry of propaganda. United State's ministry of propaganda is called National Endowment for Democracy or Freedom House or a variety of other government funded, probably even government founded NGOs.
 
Nov 2019
15
New Jersey, USA
I visited China, only for 13 days, just as the Hong Kong protests began. CNN was the only western news station available in my hotel room. When CNN began to mention the protests in Hong Kong the television screen went black for several minutes. I did not mind, but this is just an example of how the government attempts to control information. Like HackneyedScribe stated, many people in China use VPNs. It depends on your interpretation of "freedom". I did not feel that my freedom was being restricted when I was in China at all. I have no opinion on the protests in Hong Kong as I believe I am too uninformed to make a wise analysis of the situation.
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,557
China
I visited China, only for 13 days, just as the Hong Kong protests began. CNN was the only western news station available in my hotel room. When CNN began to mention the protests in Hong Kong the television screen went black for several minutes. I did not mind, but this is just an example of how the government attempts to control information. Like HackneyedScribe stated, many people in China use VPNs. It depends on your interpretation of "freedom". I did not feel that my freedom was being restricted when I was in China at all. I have no opinion on the protests in Hong Kong as I believe I am too uninformed to make a wise analysis of the situation.
more likely you do not have a stable internet connection.

CNN is not available in chinese cable/satellite TV channels
 
Oct 2019
26
Near the dogbowl
Is China really less free than the West if you consider the social and political Overton windows of both places? Or the list of things that you can or cannot say in public without serious social repercussions such as loss of employment of exclusion from respectible society? I mean you could say things in China that would make you a social pariah and not employable even as a burger flippler in Silicon Valley, such as homosexuality or transexualism is a mental illness, and when you look at it, mainland Chinese society society probably only has a very limited list of things you cannot say, compared to the very long and constantly changing list of things that you cannot say in a respectible circle in say Palo Alto, and is being basically unemployable really a better fate outside of splitting hairs and semanitics than being locked up in jail in China?
Ask the Uighurs about it, oh wait all the men are in camps.
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,657
San Diego
Is China really less free than the West if you consider the social and political Overton windows of both places? Or the list of things that you can or cannot say in public without serious social repercussions such as loss of employment of exclusion from respectible society? I mean you could say things in China that would make you a social pariah and not employable even as a burger flippler in Silicon Valley, such as homosexuality or transexualism is a mental illness, and when you look at it, mainland Chinese society society probably only has a very limited list of things you cannot say, compared to the very long and constantly changing list of things that you cannot say in a respectible circle in say Palo Alto, and is being basically unemployable really a better fate outside of splitting hairs and semanitics than being locked up in jail in China?
that depends on what you consider 'free'.

Once, while driving a highway near Longhua, I was talking about relative freedoms with my translator- who wanted to move to America for its greater freedom.
I pointed out the car window to the guy driving a motorcycle next to our car- he had a 3 year old toddler perched on the handlebars- no belt- no car seat - no helmet- going 60 mph down the road- and I observed, " in China, that man is free to have his child on his handlebars... but in America, If I did that the government would take away my child.
In China you can smoke a cigarette any place you want to- in America, you can't hardly smoke a cigarette anywhere at all.

In China, you can openly demand bribes to do your job if you are a policeman, businessman, politician, mailman, truck driver.... in America, most folks would get fired for doing so.

Try to have a dissenting political opinion in China. Try being an admitted member of Falun Gong, or heck, a christian church.

In America you are free to believe in a magical daddy in the sky who grants wishes and will give you a forever after-life. In China, the try to root such nonsense out before it spreads like crabgrass.

China is not free in that you are not allowed access to information by a government over which you have NO say at all.

In America- at the very least- the majority CAN choose to throw a bad actor out of government.


And in America, most of the ways in which you are not free were demanded by your fellow americans thru voting. No by some cabal of authoritarian despots keen to keep your beliefs and actions in check.
 
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May 2017
212
Monterrey
"If I say mean things that makes me a social pariah" vs "if I criticize the government I disappear, and so does my family if they ask questions". You really can't tell which one is worse? because in western democratic societies we certainly can tell you which one is worse. We can even tell it to the government.
 
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