[Wikipedia-l] Re: Chinese Wikipedia

Craig Franklin craig at halo-17.net
Sun Sep 26 10:52:41 UTC 2004

Scríobh Jens Ropers:

> Sorry to say it, but I consider that cultural defeatism.

Really?  If Hu Jintao calls elections, and releases the thousands of Falun
Gong practitioners languishing in PRC jails, then maybe we can start talking
about his "achievements".  Until then, the PRC is just another communist
dictatorship backed by the military, and not the sort of people that those
of us enjoying living in liberal democratic countries should be defending.
And like all dictatorships, the PRC has correctly recognised the free flow
of information across the Internet as a threat to their dominance.  Now, the
people of China can access information from beyond the country, from beyond
state-controlled media outlets, and make up their own minds as to whether
they like living under undemocratic communist rule, or whether they want
something else.  I presume that there's some metaphorical pant-wetting going
on in the upper reaches of Chinese Communist Party over the sort of
information coming in through the Internet.

Now, Wikipedia isn't going to cause the masses in China to rise up against
the Party, and start their own democracy.  But, enough little streams of
information like Wikipedia could be enough to erode the foundation of the
more oppressive elements of the government, and allow the Chinese people to
change their country to somewhere where they can freely speak their mind,
where they can freely practice their religion, and have an equal say in who
their leaders are.  I think we owe it to the Chinese people, to at least
help to give them that choice (and hey, if in a free election, they choose
the Communist party - then all the more power to them).  Which is why we
shouldn't give a hoot what the PRC government thinks is "acceptable" in
terms of the content on :zh.

> II.  How much do you know about the Chinese government?
> Are you aware that many, many Chinese "ordinary Joes" are government
> officials?

I'm an Australian government official - but does that change anything?  My
government still does some dreadful things - and the fact that lots of us
work for it is irrelevant.  Power is concentrated in the hands of a
privileged few in the Chinese government - the influence of these "everyday
Chinese Joes" that you speak of, who are members of the Party, is absolutely

Here are some links that you may enjoy, on the very people that you are


> III.
> You may want to make it clear that you were referring to Ireland (you
> were, right?) as regards "sitting on your island".

I was referring to the Isle of Man, actually (although I do love Ireland,
and I'm active on :ga).  And again, I have nothing against the Chinese
people, race, or whatever - my animosity is towards those senior members of
the Chinese Communist Party who deny the Chinese people the basic freedoms
that I enjoy every day.  I also take extreme offence to the implication that
because I'm white, I'm somehow responsible for the colonial adventures of
certain European countries, despite the fact that my ancestry doesn't come
from any of those countries, and despite the fact that we got conquered as
well.  Mr Sheng stating that "Only the whites would go all around the world
robbing and killing." is as ludicrous and offensive as someone saying "Every
Asian person is responsible for the current human rights disaster in
mainland China".

In any case, Erik Moeller is quite correct when he says that this is not the
place to conduct this discussion.  If you, or anyone else on the list, cares
to discuss this further, I suggest that we find somewhere else to do it, and
let everyone else on this list get on with their business.  This will be my
last word on the matter on this list.

- Craig Franklin

Craig Franklin
PO Box 764
Ashgrove, Q, 4060
http://www.halo-17.net - Australia's Favourite Source of Indie Music, Art,
and Culture.

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