China: the Jasmine revolution, taking off the masks of deception.

26 février 2011,

C’est une première, nous publions en anglais l’article de notre correspondant en Chine Alex Ernouf. Nous considérons en effet que l’Anglais est un instrument incontournable à l’heure actuelle.

Nous poursuivons par ailleurs la vocation du Sauvage commencée en 1973 qui consiste apporter des textes de référence dans le domaine de l’écologie.

Les Sauvages associés

As the news of citizens in the Middle East taking back control over their destinies spreads around the world, the citizens in China take to their computers like bees to pollen to watch and dream. There is electricity in the air about Beijing and Shanghai, as the words: change, freedom, corruption, food, housing, justice buzz about the people’s heads, feeding their imaginations with what their beloved country would be like if they could vote, if they could speak their minds freely, if they didn’t have to live in a world of self-censorship and hypocrisy.

But the government is ready for the challenge, they have prepared countermeasures and strategies to contain what they are calling the « terrorism » of these citizens. They are prepared for anything in the name of their definition of harmony and stability. Yet they do not seem to understand that it’s precisely that which the demonstrators want, but according to non-Party definitions, according to universal definitions.

Harmony through democratic consensus, and stability through freedom and fair government representation. The jail bars in Liu Xiaobo’s prison cell are vibrating with the energy of freedom; and those of Ai Wei Wei; and Chen Guangcheng; and many lawyers; and many school teachers, and many, many others whose names are etched onto prison walls.

In Beijing, in the area of Wangfujing, known to travelers and tourists and Beijingers as the hippest shopping district, a symbol of China’s harnessing of the forces of capitalism, crowds gather. They are huddled together, answering the call to a Jasmine revolution which has been in the past few days circulating over the internet. Of age these brave demonstrators are twenty and sixty, they are male and female, they are unemployed and well-employed, rich poor, weak and strong, they are gathered together in common fear in common hope.

Many Beijing campuses and offices are hubs of murmurings and whispers as the date of Liu 4, which denote the events of Tiananmen in 1989, circulates from ear to mouth, from idea to reality, and from fear to courage. Could this be another moment? The moment is now, or it is never. The momentum is with the protestors, the hundreds and the potential hundreds of millions who are weary and disillusioned and too cynical to believe that a future without the spirit of freedom is a future at all. The Party must go!

There are few Chinese with whom Zhang Wei has spoken who don’t hope for a day when they can go vote, for a day when they don’t arbitrarily get thrown off their land; when they can surf the internet without firewalls, gather in the streets and talk with friends, petition for a redress of government abuses, not worry, and not live in fear of the secret police hovering about like evil spirits come to haunt their lives.

Money doesn’t replace freedom, they say, it doesn’t buy the desire of an entire people for the pride and love and the great spirit of their culture but an authoritarian and despotic regime. For too long, have the citizens repressed their desires for freedom, believing the promises of reform and opening up. How much longer? they ask. For it not everyonewho is rich, but only those who have dipped into the trough of corruption and collaboration. The people of China are not children, they are not slaves, they are not fools. They are now citizens of the world! Zhang Wei understands how important it is to harness the forces of change and direct them responsibly, non-violently, constructively.

Surrounding him are the protestors, he stands on Wangfujing Street and takes in all the arguments and debating answered with arrests by the police; the appeals to reason and balance answered with beatings and threats; symbolic acts of jasmine flowers deposited on the sidewalks answered with blackmail and confiscations of phones. Hope answered with hate, love with fear, inspiration with despair.

Using his VPN proxy service over his computer Zhang Wei reads with interest the recent Twitters of a high ranking government official, who chooses to remains anonymous, but pours the honey rhetoric of freedom and resistance into the ears of all the brave. There are thousands like him in China, millions who leap over the Great China Firewall thanks to Virtual Private Networks. Fang Binxing, the father of the GCF himself has admitted to owning five VPN’s to overcome the wall’s filtering censorship. Does he enjoy pornography so much then?

Or is it that he no longer believes in his own dogma? But he is not the Twitterer. Zhang listens reads the Twitter messages popping up on his screen, he can imagine the writer sitting at his terminal, his face illuminated by hope and love, but hiding, afraid to be recognized, to become a hero, and possibly a martyr.

« As a Party member I can’t take it. I can’t sit and watch as the world changes and we are to remain stagnant. Our spirits kept moribund with lies and disinformation. We should be more organized…we should keep demonstrating until the Party understands we’re serious, until they get used to us demonstrating, until they become weary of us demonstrating, until we have put them to sleep with our demonstrating – and then rise in one big overpowering wave. »

Zhang Wei is sitting on the edge of his seat, ready to leap headlong into the words, the twitter « voice » continues, « we don’t want violence, we want reason, we don’t want to destroy our country, just abolish the hypocrisy and lies of this government. Why don’t we Party members act first and lead the way forward, why do we sacrifice ourselves for a lie, what is a dictatorship, and a travesty of our potential happiness. In China there has been no progress in either human rights, justice, civil rights, or corruption – we can only make money. We are the laughing stock of the world who admire us but feel sorry at the same time. We should earn the admiration without the pity, its time to change the baby’s water. I myself have lost faith in our purpose, in our Party. It’s time for change. »

Zhang Wei weighs the arguments and the meaning. And thinks of a problem. There are those government officials who understand the moment is ripe to act. Some speak out in the name of the weary conscience of the Chinese people, who have worked themselves down to the bone, and lived for too long in the illusion of China’s great economic miracle. For them it has not been a miracle, but a nightmare from which they want to wake up. Yet these government officials remain anonymous. Why?

Zhang Wei knows the moment to act is now, he knows the government is busy blocking the internet, busy spreading lies about the demonstrators, busy weaving its new web of deception and trickery. But how, he wonders, can he act, what will be the deciding moment, and does he have the courage to bring about this change. He is one, but all the Zhang Wei’s of China ponder this thought. And by change what kind of change? Surely peaceful and balanced.

Can this happen though? As Zhang reads the twitter feeds, he criticizes the official for remaining anonymous. Apparently he wants change, and encourages change, calling for officials to make the first move, but they don’t move; instead they expect me, and the hundreds, and the thousands, and the millions of me’s to take to the streets and overthrow our current fates and create the destinies we desire so much.

At the same time the official calls for peace, for non-violence, and yet he’s not willing to lead, because he’s afraid, he remains anonymous, he hides, like a coward. Doesn’t he understand though that if the millions pour into the streets then there will be rivers of blood and mountains of bodies, as the armies also flood the streets? That without his leadership there cannot be a peaceful change, and his anonymity will have on its irresponsible and cowardly conscience the deaths of noble souls.

Yes the time for leadership is now, but not anonymous. Yes the time for organization is now, but who’s to lead? Who’s to bell the cat? Me? Him? Who?

Zhang screams suddenly, unable to contain his anger, his confusion, his fear. To save China from chaos you have to take off the masks, to save China from itself you have to stop the absurdity and the nonsense. But will the leadership do more than remain anonymous? Zhang fears that not. Will the people eventually have to take matters into their hands? Zhang fears that yes!

As the news of citizens in the Middle East taking back control over their destinies spreads around the world, the citizens in China take to their computers like bees to pollen to watch and dream. There is electricity in the air about Beijing and Shanghai, as the words: change, freedom, corruption, food, housing, justice buzz about the people’s heads, feeding their imaginations with what their beloved country would be like if they could vote, if they could speak their minds freely, if they didn’t have to live in a world of self-censorship and hypocrisy.

But the government is ready for the challenge, they have prepared countermeasures and strategies to contain what they are calling the « terrorism » of these citizens. They are prepared for anything in the name of their definition of harmony and stability. Yet they do not seem to understand that it’s precisely that which the demonstrators want, but according to non-Party definitions, according to universal definitions.

Harmony through democratic consensus, and stability through freedom and fair government representation. The jail bars in Liu Xiaobo’s prison cell are vibrating with the energy of freedom; and those of Ai Wei Wei; and Chen Guangcheng; and many lawyers; and many school teachers, and many, many others whose names are etched onto prison walls.

In Beijing, in the area of Wangfujing, known to travelers and tourists and Beijingers as the hippest shopping district, a symbol of China’s harnessing of the forces of capitalism, crowds gather. They are huddled together, answering the call to a Jasmine revolution which has been in the past few days circulating over the internet. Of age these brave demonstrators are twenty and sixty, they are male and female, they are unemployed and well-employed, rich poor, weak and strong, they are gathered together in common fear in common hope.

Many Beijing campuses and offices are hubs of murmurings and whispers as the date of Liu 4, which denote the events of Tiananmen in 1989, circulates from ear to mouth, from idea to reality, and from fear to courage. Could this be another moment? The moment is now, or it is never. The momentum is with the protestors, the hundreds and the potential hundreds of millions who are weary and disillusioned and too cynical to believe that a future without the spirit of freedom is a future at all. The Party must go!

There are few Chinese with whom Zhang Wei has spoken who don’t hope for a day when they can go vote, for a day when they don’t arbitrarily get thrown off their land; when they can surf the internet without firewalls, gather in the streets and talk with friends, petition for a redress of government abuses, not worry, and not live in fear of the secret police hovering about like evil spirits come to haunt their lives.

Money doesn’t replace freedom, they say, it doesn’t buy the desire of an entire people for the pride and love and the great spirit of their culture but an authoritarian and despotic regime. For too long, have the citizens repressed their desires for freedom, believing the promises of reform and opening up. How much longer? they ask. For it not everyone who is rich, but only those who have dipped into the trough of corruption and collaboration. The people of China are not children, they are not slaves, they are not fools. They are now citizens of the world!

Zhang Wei understands how important it is to harness the forces of change and direct them responsibly, non-violently, constructively. Surrounding him are the protestors, he stands on Wangfujing Street and takes in all the arguments and debating answered with arrests by the police; the appeals to reason and balance answered with beatings and threats; symbolic acts of jasmine flowers deposited on the sidewalks answered with blackmail and confiscations of phones. Hope answered with hate, love with fear, inspiration with despair.

Using his VPN proxy service over his computer Zhang Wei reads with interest the recent Twitters of a high ranking government official, who chooses to remains anonymous, but pours the honey rhetoric of freedom and resistance into the ears of all the brave. There are thousands like him in China, millions who leap over the Great China Firewall thanks to Virtual Private Networks. Fang Binxing, the father of the GCF himself has admitted to owning five VPN’s to overcome the wall’s filtering censorship. Does he enjoy pornography so much then? Or is it that he no longer believes in his own dogma? But he is not the Twitterer. Zhang listens reads the Twitter messages popping up on his screen, he can imagine the writer sitting at his terminal, his face illuminated by hope and love, but hiding, afraid to be recognized, to become a hero, and possibly a martyr.

« As a Party member I can’t take it. I can’t sit and watch as the world changes and we are to remain stagnant. Our spirits kept moribund with lies and disinformation. We should be more organized…we should keep demonstrating until the Party understands we’re serious, until they get used to us demonstrating, until they become weary of us demonstrating, until we have put them to sleep with our demonstrating – and then rise in one big overpowering wave. »

Zhang Wei is sitting on the edge of his seat, ready to leap headlong into the words, the twitter « voice » continues, « we don’t want violence, we want reason, we don’t want to destroy our country, just abolish the hypocrisy and lies of this government. Why don’t we Party members act first and lead the way forward, why do we sacrifice ourselves for a lie, what is a dictatorship, and a travesty of our potential happiness. In China there has been no progress in either human rights, justice, civil rights, or corruption – we can only make money. We are the laughing stock of the world who admire us but feel sorry at the same time. We should earn the admiration without the pity, its time to change the baby’s water. I myself have lost faith in our purpose, in our Party. It’s time for change. »

Zhang Wei weighs the arguments and the meaning. And thinks of a problem. There are those government officials who understand the moment is ripe to act. Some speak out in the name of the weary conscience of the Chinese people, who have worked themselves down to the bone, and lived for too long in the illusion of China’s great economic miracle. For them it has not been a miracle, but a nightmare from which they want to wake up. Yet these government officials remain anonymous. Why?

Zhang Wei knows the moment to act is now, he knows the government is busy blocking the internet, busy spreading lies about the demonstrators, busy weaving its new web of deception and trickery. But how, he wonders, can he act, what will be the deciding moment, and does he have the courage to bring about this change. He is one, but all the Zhang Wei’s of China ponder this thought. And by change what kind of change? Surely peaceful and balanced.

Can this happen though? As Zhang reads the twitter feeds, he criticizes the official for remaining anonymous. Apparently he wants change, and encourages change, calling for officials to make the first move, but they don’t move; instead they expect me, and the hundreds, and the thousands, and the millions of me’s to take to the streets and overthrow our current fates and create the destinies we desire so much.

At the same time the official calls for peace, for non-violence, and yet he’s not willing to lead, because he’s afraid, he remains anonymous, he hides, like a coward. Doesn’t he understand though that if the millions pour into the streets then there will be rivers of blood and mountains of bodies, as the armies also flood the streets? That without his leadership there cannot be a peaceful change, and his anonymity will have on its irresponsible and cowardly conscience the deaths of noble souls.

Yes the time for leadership is now, but not anonymous. Yes the time for organization is now, but who’s to lead? Who’s to bell the cat? Me? Him? Who? Zhang screams suddenly, unable to contain his anger, his confusion, his fear.

To save China from chaos you have to take off the masks, to save China from itself you have to stop the absurdity and the nonsense. But will the leadership do more than remain anonymous? Zhang fears that not. Will the people eventually have to take matters into their hands? Zhang fears that yes!

On consultera avec intérêt cette analyse américaine  de l’état déplorable de l’environnement et de l’écologie en Chine:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/world/asia/01beijing.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Findex.jsonp