A Mencken Moment

For some, it’s democratic process that matters. The outcome … maybe not so much.

British MP: “The biggest problem with China is that the government doesn’t even trust their own people to vote them in. China badly needs to become a democracy.”

Noob: “But if you think the Chinese government has so much control, according to Pew surveys, 87% of China’s people approve of the direction their government is taking the country. And that fraction has exceeded 80% for a decade now.”

Same British MP: “Yeah, well, that just shows 87% of China’s people are fools. They have absolutely no clue.”

So, let me get this straight: You reckon a billion Chinese are idiots. And you figure China’s biggest problem is that these billion people don’t get to directly choose their nation’s leader.

1926-Democracy-is-a-pathetic-belief-in-the-collective-wisdom-of-individual-ignorance-H.L.Mencken

PS It’s of course reasonable and right to be suspicious of such 2015.11-Pew-Global-Attitudes-China-US-DQdata, in general. But on the specific point regarding pressure to support the government, the China approval rating in these Pew surveys did go as low as 48% in 2002. So it’s not impossible for the survey to produce considerable variation.

PPS I might have been generous when I said “For some, it’s democratic process that matters”.