Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Liu Xiaobo and Human Dignity

The blanket media coverage of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liu Xiaobo for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” has failed to showcase his ideas.

When he was tried last year for “inciting subversion of state power”, the prosecution cited passages from six essays Liu had published online between 2005 and 2007. Here, in the form of question and answer, MercatorNet presents key ideas from these essays. As you read his scathing and eloquent critique, it’s easy to understand why a sclerotic authoritarian regime wants to keep him out of the public eye. He is an impressive defender of human dignity.

These essays and Mr Liu’s trial documents can be found on the website of Human Rights in China, a New York-based lobby group.

What can one person do?

Regardless of how great the freedom-denying power of a regime and its institutions is, every individual should still fight to the best of his/her ability to live as a free person, that is, make every effort to live an honest life with dignity. In any society ruled by dictatorship, when those who pursue freedom publically disclose it and practice what they preach, as long as they manage to be fearless in the small details of everyday life, what they say and do in everyday life will become the fundamental force that will topple the system of enslavement.

If you believe that you possess a basic human conscience and if you heed its call, then display it and let it shine in the sunlight of public opinion, let the people see it and, especially, let the dictators see it. ~ Changing the Regime by Changing Society, 2006

Why do the Chinese people accept the leadership of the Communist Party?

I do not deny that within the CPC clique currently in power, there could be high-ranking officials who treat the people well and possess an awareness of modern politics, such as Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. When they were in office, they did make quite a few good policy decisions and took risks to advance political reform. But even when this was the case, people had to wait for their rights and benefits as if they were charities bestowed from above, not to mention that such good officials could not survive for long under the CPC system.

Read it all here.

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