Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 469, May 25, 2008

"In China the people are replacing the government"

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The Cloud of Dust Raised by the Sichuan Earthquake...
has a silver lining

The Kaptain's Log
by Kaptain Kanada, aka Manuel Miles

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

An earthquake, despite the horror of its destructive force, is an interesting phenomenon. It reveals much which was previously hidden, such as the internal structure of various buildings, bridges, and highways. The recent Sichuan earthquake has shaken up more than mere physical infrastructure, however.

In nation states like China, Canada and the USA, the mainstream media mouthpieces always assert that the benign State is there to look after the needs of the broad masses of the sheeple, especially the most "needy". The serfs are admonished not to worry, for the omniscient nanny state knows—even foresees—their every need.

Then something like a hurricane or an earthquake happens, and the best the State can do is to send in the military, which is a force designed to help none but the ruling oligarchy. Military forces are best at doing that which they are designed to do: shooting people and destroying their homes and means of making a living. Such "expertise" is at best superfluous in the aftermath of natural disasters. Mind you, that didn't stop the US military from wreaking havoc on the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Now we read that thousands of Chinese troops are milling about in the earthquake zone near Chengdu. Some of them will be willing and even able to do a little good but, as pointed out above, none will have been trained for it. The usual military bureaucracy does not exactly expedite emergency responses, either.

As we learn of allegations that the Chinese State's various regulations concerning the construction of earthquake resistant structures may have been bypassed by corrupt government officials (now there's a shock), another and much more surprising bit of news has emerged: the Chinese people have begun to take responsibility for themselves!

For all of Chairman Mao's preaching about "self-reliance", he only meant that in a nationalist sense; the Communist parties of the world fear nothing so much as self-organised people. Such folk demonstrate both the inefficiency and the incompetence of the State in disaster relief as in all other functions of society.

And it's happening even now, that demonstration: the Chinese people, rich and poor alike, have been spontaneously organising themselves to provide food, water and shelter to quake victims! The Globe and Mail newspaper in its 17 May edition reported on this phenomenon. Luxury car club members have been loading their Mercedes Benzes and SUVs with food, water and medicine and driving the cargo hundreds of miles to personally distribute it in the disaster area. A retired soldier and his friends pitched in $4,000 (which is a lot of money in China!) to buy relief supplies and rent a truck to deliver them. "Some have even rented bulldozers, cranes and excavators," the report goes on to say. There are too many such miniature aid societies to count, apparently, and their convoys are actually causing traffic congestion on the roads to the 'quake zone! Legions of people have been queuing to give their blood; many have been turned away when the blood banks were filled to capacity.

The Globe report refers to "a grassroots volunteer movement on a massive scale" by "volunteers [who] have come from all over China". This is worthy of note. So, too, is an obvious fact which has somehow escaped mention by the idiots of the mainstream media: this humanitarianism is a direct result of the free market capitalism which is sweeping China. The above-mentioned luxury car club owners are not Party members, either.

Something is happening here, and the socialistas of the world won't like it. The great Chinese earthquake of 2008 has exposed the statist lies about free market capitalism, and it has revealed how the entrepreneurial spirit liberates people to help one another. How sad that the victims of Hurricane Katrina had only their enemy, the State, to rely on. In China the people are replacing the government, and they know that they can do so because of the faith in individual enterprise which the free market reforms has engendered.

It's all kind of reminiscent of a certain recent online fund-raising drive for a certain US libertarian candidate for president, isn't it?

In China, new hope has arisen for an era of...

...Peace and Liberty.

Manuel Miles is a Libertarian Christian and an inveterate iconoclast. He challenges authorities, experts and conventional "wisdom". He is a writer and itinerant pedagogue from Edmonton, Canada whose professed ambition is " trample everyone's sensitivities, regardless of their race, creed, colour, political persuasion, or what-have-you." His few friends describe him as "a nasty bit of baggage," and they are understating the case.


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