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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

WHAT IS FREEDOM? #303

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Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON

The West is governed by variations of OMOV – One Man One Vote. China is governed by the Dictatorship of the Party. Is the First – Freedom and is the Second – Oppression? These are key questions as the world’s population wrestles with the challenge of which way to turn? Are China’s Politics the way forward? Or is Western Politics the way forward?

At first sight, a government that has in place a structure of laws + conventions that provides individuals with protection against the encroachment of state power seems to succeed. But how do you measure Victory and Defeat? If the key number one issue is the right of the individual to be able to speak out on any issue – subject to sedition and stirring violence on the streets – then the West wins.  If the key number one issue is the right of the individual to enjoy safety, prosperity and a rising standard of living – then China wins.

Let me focus on a topical question – Covid 19 + ask if freedom from death is a relevant consideration? You will be familiar with the numbers – in the US/UK deaths from Covid 19 are 730,000. In China, the figure is less than 5,000. All deaths are to be mourned – genuinely and deeply. But the number of deaths becomes a question of freedom, protection + government ability.

But even this is not the whole story – a relevant consideration but not the only question. There are many weaknesses within the Western democratic system – instability created by the two-party system + the cycle of elections; corruption at the heart of government; media manipulation of political issues. China, too, has weaknesses; Who controls the Party? Who resolves key differences between the Party and the People? In China, could a Gina Miller have gone to Court to prevent the Party from closing down the politics of the country?

Tomorrow – Political Rights or Individual Fulfilment?

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