Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Chinese premier takes on politics 2.0

with 4 comments

From the back pages of yesterday’s Washington Post:  Chinese premier Wen Jiabao participated in a first-ever online discussion last Saturday, responding to 150,000 questions both from within China and abroad. The Post article goes into recent transparency measures undertaken by the Chinese government, but doesn’t note Wen’s mention of a move for asset declaration by public officials (nor Wen’s comment that he’s been reading Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. 

This seems, in many ways, part and parcel of a delicate year for the CCP – the long, hot (and recessionary) summer coming will feature political anniversaries from Tiananmen Square (twenty years) to the banning of the Falun Gong (ten years) to the revolutionary success of the CCP (sixty years).

Still, one wonders where all of this new media exposure for politicians, worldwide, is leading. Exposure can come from a window, or from a flasher. The former is about transparency. The latter is about power, and a subtle sort of violence. I think we’ve seen examples of both, and it’s an open question as to which will predominate.

Written by Mark

March 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. I like your clear reasoning, but need further explanation on flasher. What sort of flasher are you talking about? This doesn’t have anything to do with long over-coats, does it?
    Actually I am an idiot and would appreciate a clarification and further discussion.


    March 6, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    • Long overcoats…exactly what I was talking about, although it was admittedly a poor choice of metaphor. Please forgive – just getting over the flu .


      March 7, 2009 at 9:48 am

  2. So it is not just about transparency, but what is “behind” the transparency. The force is in what the nation-state wants you to see, or not.

    What you see creates a force, in the flasher case a negative force for sure.

    So Wen Jiabao is showing us exactly what he wants his nation to see, he is the flasher, nice.

    Transparency is not always what we need, it is all about the image, as I feared.


    March 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  3. I’d agree that transparency has multiple dimensions, not all good.


    March 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

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