Wednesday, December 3, 2008

China might see a repeat of "cultural revolution"

The Tuesday Dec. 2 the Wall Street Journal ran a detailed story about “reverse migration” in China from the cities back to the countryside, by Shai Oster, “China Fears Restive Migrants as Jobs Disappear in Cities,” link here.

The story reports protests in China and the government, known for repressing free speech as on the Internet, is sometimes willing or even eager to make concessions. But another complication is that many peasant lands have been taken over by corporate interests without adequate compensation for peasants, who know must deal with returning workers from the cities. But these workers sometimes worked for very low wages for exports anyway.

This sounds like a little bit of the reprise of the “cultural revolution” of Mao of the 1960s. Maybe now it is a “free market cultural revolution” or a “Peoples capitalist republic cultural revolution.” China’s ideas of meritocracy and family loyalty are hitting hard.

Agricultural practices in southern China, where people live close to livestock and especially poultry, are of concern to world public health officials, as these practices breed species jumps in viruses like avian influenza.

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