Happy Tiananmen massacre day. As the American media wax self-righteous about 6/4, they continue to laud the free market reforms that have steadily expanded across China. But the violence committed that night 15 years ago pales next to the violence these reforms have spread to the vast majority of the population, forcing peasants to the urban slums and sweatshops in search of income, destroying the social protections once provided to state factory workers, spreading corruption at every level of the party, crushing attempts to unionize, transforming the ruling class from one of bureaucrats to one of capitalists (but usually the same people). This is the trading of one authoritarianism for another, one exploitation for another. The only difference is that the top 5-10 percent is far richer under this model, and capable of far more consumption. Capitalist ideologues applaud as the sustainability of the global economy recedes ever further. Pundits can tell themselves fairy tales about how the ever-virtuous middle class will bring bourgeois democracy to China, but China's future (and with it everyone else's) is far darker.

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