First of all, I know that my point will shock a lot of people, in my university and somewhere else. I don’t pretend to know everything and that my ideas have to be considered as an incontestable truth (if it was the case, I wouldn’t be a student…), but rather as “my truth”, my convictions, my ideals and my values. I’ll explain what I think about this very controversial subject which is authoritarianism in general and more particularly in China.
Since the beginning of the Week, from March 10th, the situation in Tibet is very turbulent. On March 13th 2008, more than 500 monks in the Tibet did a demonstration in Lhasa against the Chinese occupation and the arrests of several other monks the days before. It illustrates the anger and the reject of the Tibetan towards the Chinese, which abuse they power in this “autonomous region”, and also in other areas. Indeed, China invaded and annexed the Tibet in 1951 after having “liberated” the country. In order to liberate Tibet, they killed around 100 000 Tibetan, repressed protestations, tortured the opponents of the regime including the former political elite led by the Dalai Lama and forced them to exile. Nowadays, the Tibet is ruled by an illegitimate government, under the power of China which pretends that the population of Tibet sincerely agrees with the power of China. So, for all these reasons, we can’t stand for the actions of the Chinese governments, the former one, and the current one.
Yesterday, I talked with some of my Chinese classmates which argued that we could legitimate the behavior of the Chinese government towards the Tibetan population since they provide of their economical help and that they just can’t be independent because they don’t have the means to be so. Honestly, I’m shocked by such an awful speech! Firstly, the Tibetans are not able to choose or not the economical help from China. The reason is that China exploits the Tibetan resources and invests in this country, since there are a lot of resources to exploit... So, the first assertion is false. Secondly, asserting that Tibet doesn’t deserve to rule itself is indefensible. How a people can choose unilaterally the future of another one? This was the mistake of France and England towards their former colonial empire. Moreover, a country such as Kosovo which declared its independence a few weeks ago, but which is quite unstable and poor doesn’t deserve its independence even though the People wants sincerely and deeply the independence? This is an arrogant and imperialist point of view. This allows me to assert that China can hardly be considered as a democracy and a country which respect the human rights. Besides, the policy to “sinicize” Tibet in order to legitimate the speech saying that the majority of the people there agree with the government of China is also indefensible. Of course, the situation in China and in Tibet has been improved since the death of Mao Zedong, but it is not enough. The way is long until the respectability of the most populated country and the most dynamic country of the world!
However, China is not the only country which doesn’t respect the human rights and which is not democratic. Indeed, a lot of political regimes such as Myanmar, North Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Libya, Saudi Arabia, EAU, Zimbabwe etc. don’t recognize the sovereignty of the people, don’t respect the freedom of speech and the Human Rights and don’t promote the “critical spirit” which is opposed to the indoctrination which submits the people. This kind of regimes would deserve to disappear and being renovated. My point doesn’t consist on judging the people of the countries I quoted above. Of course not! I really don’t assert that some people and regimes are superiors than others. I don’t think that the Western worlds hold the truth (The United States and the failure of their politics in Iraq is a proof) and neither do I. Nevertheless, I am really convinced that there are some values we can’t compromise with. What I will say is my personal point, you may not agree with me and I would prefer that you don’t.
I sincerely believe that there are some Universal Values that every government has to respect. The main value I think every political regime has to respect is the willingness to reach the happiness of the people, to enable it to choose its own happiness, not the happiness of the political elite or the one the political elite wants the people to consider as happiness. This is possible if we give to the people the sovereignty because it has to decide who has the legitimacy to rule it, if we give it the democracy in order to allow it to sincerely choose between the different alternatives and views of societies, if we respect the Human Rights because the rulers have not to abuse their power and if we offer a good education, what is the most important value, since a well-educated people will be able to choose sincerely and efficiently a way of society, will protect its right with more strength and won’t be easily corrupted. In a word, Education will avoid itself the risk of dictatorship since the people will be informed of the risks of a non democratic regime. If we want to put an end to authoritarianism all over the world, to avoid all the tragedies provoked in the dictatorial countries I talked about just above, it would be a good idea to spread the values I argue to be universal. This is the aim we all have to reach, and maybe to overtake since as Churchill said “Democracy is the worst political regime, if we except the other ones”. So, it would be a good evolution to overtake the less worst regime to reach the best one.
In order to talk about the first topic of my article, I would like to quote the editorial of Le Monde on March 16th, “they [the Chinese] have to understand that a power is strong only if its minorities want to join it voluntarily and not in a forced way”. In Conclusion, I side with the Tibetan revolt and the revolts of every people against a power they don’t accept.