October 03, 2014

Source: Shutterstock

This week, President Obama hosted the new president of India, the hugely popular Hindu Nationalist Narendra Modi, who for a decade was denied admission to the U.S. for failing to halt a Muslim massacre in his home province of Gujarat.

The Arab Spring of 2011 has produced sectarian and civil wars, with Egypt, the largest Arab country, succumbing again to the rule of a soldier and authoritarian nationalist.

For the eighth year, Freedom House has reported a decline in freedom with “modern authoritarianism” a global growth stock.

Hong Kong may tell us which way the wind is blowing in the 21st century. Either the city is going to move toward a democratic future as the protesters demand, or it is going to be clasped more tightly to the bosom of the Motherland and absorbed into China.

And it is hard to be an optimist about the outcome of this struggle.

Consider this: For the Chinese Communists to adopt a U.S.-style Constitution would be suicidal. The people would use free speech to criticize and castigate the regime. They would use a free press to expose its incompetence, injustice and corruption. And they would use free elections to be rid of the regime and party.

Either democracy, or the Communist Party, has no future in China.

For they are irreconcilable, mutually exclusive. Democracy will either kill Communism, or the Chinese Communists will kill democracy.

Whatever happens in the short run in Hong Kong, that climactic battle is coming.


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