The world economic crisis created in America is having knock-on effects around the world. As people in the west stop spending the demand for manufactured goods from China is slowing down putting millions of migrant factory workers out of work. While the government does its best to keep the lid on free speech which might insight civil unrest the people still find other forms of expression to vent their feelings and resist censorship (known locally as “harmonization“) through the use of allegory, puns and seemingly innocent comics or videos.
The following comics appeared in my inbox today humorously depicting the everyday impact of the economic crisis and how people have reacted in China (which some friends helped me translate). Each should be read from top to bottom – left and right are separate comics:
The economy aside, while this example is fairly tame, an interesting point raised here asks…
Will the Chinese people rise above cyber-vigilantism and use the Internet to build a just and fair society governed by accountable leaders? Or will the majority be be happy to wield their new-found powers of online speech in random fashion? … It’s hard to know whether people beyond the elite intelligentsia will pay attention to such concerns.
Considering the mass appeal and reach of the internet I’d like to say yes but knowing the Chinese’s lacklustre interest in politics it’s difficult to see it happening on a mass scale soon. The Chinese government may be beginning to warm up to the idea of online debate but you can be sure it won’t be democratic in any sense of the true meaning.
More comics after the break…
With thanks to Kitty and Rebecca for the translations.