March 01, 2012
Maintaining stability, we’re told, is more important than anything else. Our government likes to stress the rule of law, but when stability needs to be maintained, the law goes out the window. Now that human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng and his family have been confined to house arrest in their home village, many people have attempted to visit them and express their support. But as soon as they get anywhere near his home, they are waylaid by toughs who beat them up and steal their wallets...- The Arab Spring and the Chinese Autumn
Sometimes stability maintenance reaches truly comic levels. When the Jasmine Revolution roiled North Africa this spring, the traditional ballad "Jasmine Flower" was banned in China. A friend of mine who had used the song in a just-completed TV program was told to remove it, and a substitute song about peonies got the thumbs down, too. In the end, he learned that no song involving flowers of any description would be permitted.