Dictators have gotten smart, to keep pace with changes in technology. Old-school oppressors like Mao, Pol Pot or Idi Amin could keep their atrocities relatively secret. That’s not possible today. If a dictator tried to orchestrate a mass killing and keep it secret, he’d likely fail. It would end up on YouTube.
So today’s cleverest dictators have evolved. They allow a certain amount of dissent, as an escape valve.
Contrary to what you’d think, it turns out criticisms of the state are not more likely to get censored. Even vitriolic criticisms are allowed. Instead, THE FOCUS IS ON STOPPING MASS MOBILIZATION.
Dictators are making measured concessions.
The new model is to allow a controlled space for free commerce, for open education, even for dissent.
It is said that some 500 protests take place every day across China. But anything that could lead to something larger or more organized is instantly censored and clamped down on.
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