Saturday, May 25, 2013

One Giant Party-Caused Disaster

Chinese social network sites that help individuals react faster than the government in reacting to natural disasters are unnerving to Chinese Communist Party authorities.

After all, mobilizing people for natural disasters provides practice for mobilizing people for political disasters:

The original Dictator’s Dilemma refers to an authoritarian government’s competing interest in using information communication technology by expanding access to said technology while seeking to control the democratizing influences of this technology. In contrast, the “Dictator’s Disaster Lemma” refers to a repressive regime confronted with effectively networked humanitarian response at the grassroots level, which improves collective action and activism in political contexts as well. But said regime cannot prevent people from helping each other during natural disasters as this could backfire against the regime.

Certainly, the Chinese leadership can be pleased with how their troops can react to peacetime natural disaster. Moving fast and exercising command and control for an unexpected mission is good training for wartime missions, obviously.

The problem for Peking is that effective popular response to natural disasters is good training for policital missions, too. But how does China prevent that help/practice without looking evil?