Why would a Communist State tolerate this behavior?

This is interesting question about socialism/communism. I’ve seen several new articles about stubborn Chinese that refuse to move when their home is in the way of a construction site. Here’s three incredible examples.

An entire tall building left intact because of one stubborn woman.
Family refuses to move grave. Buildings built around it.
Another stubborn homeowner that won’t budge. They excavated right next too it.

Lets set aside the totalitarian nature of Red China and consider the tenets of socialism/communism. I’ve included a few quotes (My parents would be so horrified right now. :stuck_out_tongue: ). I’ve often heard of the common good. That society shares assets and everyone contributes to society. Collective Farms are an example.

**So why is China tolerating people that aren’t acquiescing for the common good? **

Interesting enough, most non-communist countries have eminent domain. We’d send in a Swat Team to drag them out and tear down the building. :stuck_out_tongue:

Karl Marx, Private Property and Communism (1844)

Liu Shaoqi, How to be a Good Communist (1939)

Sylvia Pankhurst, Future Society (1923)

Defining Collectivism.

Doesn’t sound like those stubborn people got the commie memo. :wink:

Seriously, why aren’t these peoples selfish actions a direct challenge to China’s form of government?

I imagine that the reason there are so many standouts is that it is a large country: I’d imagine the vast majority of the holdouts are forced through various legal, extralegal, and financial means to remove themselves.

But more importantly, you are aware that there is plenty of private ownership in China? It’s even been officially encouraged for around two decades or perhaps more. Political systems almost never hew exactly to one ideology, nor do they always even attempt to conform to them. But the latter is not the case here: they are no longer trying to move to complete collectivism.

I was just surprised that the government didn’t swat these people like flies. AFAIK China still has their labor camps. Their human rights record is supposedly improved, but it’s still Red China.

I wondered if maybe its something with the traditional Chinese culture? That they wouldn’t force someone from their home for a construction project. Even if theres a conflict in their ideas of collectivism.

It seems like China stopped trying to Communise themselves and started to Sinify communism. As such, they have managed to outlive most other communist nations. Still, it is weird to see an individual stand up to, and beat, such a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut like the Chinese government. I suspect it comes down to local officials not being as ruthless as they theoretically could. Or perhaps these cases are where people stood up against local issues that the national govt didn’t care to be involved with.

You use that word like it’s the end-all, be-all of all interactions in a Communist nation.

It’s not. Just like macho, cowboy individualism isn’t really how we do things in the US. Nor is completely laissez-faire capitalism. Stereotypes aren’t very useful for sussing out why things go the way they do in a modern society.

Otherwise, according to the rest of the world, we’d simply have gun duels (with all those guns that all Americans obviously carry) every time we had a dispute. Stereotypes are ridiculous that way.

Or, a more reasonable story: mansion squatters with the owners sometimes having little recourse. It’s not common, but it happens. Even in our society which theoretically has strong individual property rights and mostly honest law enforcement and judiciary, sometimes these things happen.

This photo makes me laugh. They just built the road around these people. I saw a followup article on this house and it was demolished. But the stubborn guy held out for quite awhile. The articles say these people are offered very good money but just don’t want to move.

Anyhow, that’s why Eminent domain is so important. There are times that a public works project is more important than one stubborn person.

Totalitarian regimes usually have a thaw during their decline, for the same reason you couldn’t hold up a massive sword in the air for 50 years. Corruption sets in, as does easy-goingness, state bureaucrats ensconce themselves rather than wild-eyed ideologues ( or wild-eyed ideologues mellow, saying to themselves ‘I want some of that’ ) and trade unions start fighting back etc… The USSR was still pretty stifling — and exhausted — in the 1960s but it wasn’t the culmination of Lenin’s dreams nor even the lunatic state of the 1930s.

The current China is not a totalitarian regime, but they do have ways of dealing with dissent.

There have been an incredible number of riots and civil unrest in China in the last decade or two over the local governments seizing land. Usually a corrupt mayor or council in cahoots with a developer takes over swaths of land and gives it to the developer in return for donations to their personal pension fund.

How they accomplish this varies, but they find ways to make it “look” legal in case someone complains to the courts or higher up. In other cases the local police pick up the owner and threaten, beat, or otherwise “persuade” him to sell. If they are offered anything, the farmer might get a pittance compared to the true value of the land. Sometimes enough of these episodes result in wholesale riots, police stations attacked and burned, barricades against the police reinforcements. Then, of course, Beijing has to send in reinforcements because nobody has the right to attack police or government.

Usually, these riots end very badly for the unlucky greedy politician unless he is extraordinarily connected. Greed is one thing, provoking riots too much reminds the Politburo of Tien Amen, they don’t want anything to get out of hand. Keep in mind, their favourite method of demonstrating the truth, justice and righteousness of the Chinese Way is a bullet to the back of the head in front of a stadium full of cheering fans.


…and so on.
For example, when I went to China a few years ago, I wanted to walk the Great Wall in a relatively unspoiled part. The “Heavenly Ladder” at Simitai was an often praised location. However, when I was there, the section of the wall was “closed for repairs”, no tourists allowed. One comment suggested this was because some local politicians and a developer wanted to build a resort and golf course beside the wall. However, thanks to the civil unrest and protests around the country, they could not just “take” the land. They did the next best thing - they stopped the flow of tourist dollars that made the land worth a premium, in ho9pes the owners would sell.

So why did the old Chinese guy live on the expressway? ( http://blogs.shawconnect.ca/breaktime/chinese-house-now-stuck-in-the-middle-of-a-highway/ ) The local authorities knew if they tried to evict her and it caused real problems, they would be shot in front of a stadium full of people. Obviously, nobody on city council had an uncle in the politburo. Same reason for the one remaining building in the OP.

Thank you md2000. I thought maybe the circumstances in China made the situation more complicated then it normally would be.

I was with you until that bit of hyperbole. FYI (bolding and paragraph spacing mine):

Yes, sorry, in this story for example the 15 executees were simply paraded around in the stadium before being taken elsewhere to be killed.

There was a story also about 4 foreign drug traffickers (also guilty of mass murder) executed live on TV. the Chinese have no qualms executing people who seriously violate the basic laws of society, and where some crimes cause serious unrest, it is no surprise that they make sure the public clamoring for justice see some satisfaction. The former railway minister, for example, is from what I’ve read, under a “suspended death sentence” over bribery charges following that serious train crash.

(A blog, so not sure how reliable this is…)

Indeed. If the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions are any example, after thirty to thirty-five years of “kill the counter-revolutionary saboteurs!” the survivors get tired of the endless purges, and the system transforms into a bureaucracy in which unless you openly challenge the official ideology the state will usually leave you alone.

We can all learn so much from each other.

It seems as though China has more or less reverted back to its traditional form of government - a massive, non-ideological, neo-Confucian bureaucracy. And as in every massive bureaucracy, things fall through the cracks.

Exactly, bureaucracy gone amok. Plus, overlapping authorities might have something to do with it, local vs regional vs national.

It has been argued that bureaucracy is the most stable form of government.
It is self-sustaining and can withstand changes in the political environment, even when such changes are as profound as the transition from a monarchy to a republic.
It has been a part of almost every form of governance that we have formulated.
From Sumeria to Sandy Springs, Georgia, the bureaucrat is always there.

So, as Alessan said, China has become a “massive, non-ideological, neo-Confucian bureaucracy” and it appears to be at least meta-stable. I am not sure that anyone who grew up watching the rise of Communist China would have predicted what actually happened anymore than they would have predicted the virtually bloodless fall of the Soviet Union. Life is strange.

Actually, “proper” collectivist societies do hold individual rights above all else, much like in Hollywood. Refusing to budge doesn’t make you an enemy of the state.

The trick in a bureaucracy is to get your grievances noticed by people in high places.

The difference is the Chinese have managed some of the trick of transforming a communist society into a capitalist one in fact. However, they are still calling it “Communist” even though the most vibrant part of the economy is capitalist, with a dash of crony kleptocracy.

The trouble is, in a capitalist society, people must feel relatively sure their possessions are subject not arbitrary seizure; else they hide their money in a mattress instead of a stock market or enterprise.

The danger is that like many autocratic capitalist societies, Chinese will allow the government a certain level of control in return for a share of the growing wealth. The Chinese government must be mindful of the lesson learned the hard way by governments like the Shah of Iran… When the growth stops, when people are no longer riding the gravy train to prosperity, that is when serious unrest against authoritarian measures begins.

In each of the last few years, the economists have predicted the slowdown is coming. The Chinese government is trying to satisfy the people’s demand for more openness and fairness, and less corruption, while not relinquishing any of the control it has now. Good luck!