Why Do Chinese, Russians, Like Their Governments So Much?
In his 1937 "Great
Contemporaries, Winston Churchill wrote,
"Whatever else may be thought about (Hitler`s) exploits,
they are among the most remarkable in the whole history
of the world."
Churchill was referring not only to Hitler`s
return of the Saar and
reoccupation of the Rhineland—but his economic
achievements. By his fourth year in power, Hitler had
pulled Germany out of the Depression, cut unemployment
from 6 million to 1 million, grown the GNP 37 percent
and increased auto production from 45,000 vehicles a
year to 250,000. City and provincial deficits had
In material terms, Nazi Germany was a startling
And not only Churchill and Lloyd George but others in
Europe and America were marveling at the exploits of the
Third Reich, its fascist ally Italy and Joseph Stalin`s
rapidly industrializing Soviet state. "I have seen
the future, and it works,"
Lincoln Steffens had burbled. Many Western men,
seeing the democracies mired in Depression and moral
malaise, were also seeing the future in Berlin, Moscow,
In Germany, Hitler was winning plebiscites with more
than 90 percent of the vote in what outside observers
said were free elections.
What calls to mind the popularity of the Third Reich
and the awe it inspired abroad—even after the
bloody Roehm purge and the
Nazi murder of
Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss in 1934, and the
anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws—is a poll buried in The
New York Times.
In a survey of 24 countries by Pew Research Center,
the nation that emerged as far and away first on earth
in the satisfaction of its people was
China. No other nation even came close.
"Eighty-six percent of Chinese people surveyed
said they were content with the country`s direction, up
from 48 percent in 2002. … And 82 percent of Chinese
were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52
percent," said the Times. [Economy
Helps Make Chinese The Leaders In Optimism, Survey Finds,
By Brian Knowlton, July 23, 2008]
Yet, China has a regime that punishes dissent,
severely restricts freedom,
persecutes Christians and all faiths that call for
worship of a God higher than the state, brutally
swamps their native lands with Han Chinese to bury their
cultures and threatens Taiwan.
China is also a country where
Maoist ideology has been replaced by a racial
raw nationalism reminiscent of Italy and Germany in
the 1930s. Yet, again, over 80 percent of all Chinese
are content or even happy with the direction of the
country. Two-thirds say the government is doing a good
job in dealing with the issues of greatest concern to
And what nation is it whose people rank as third most
Vladimir Putin`s Russia.
Moscow is today more nationalistic, less democratic
and more confrontational toward the West than it has
been since before the fall of communism. Power is being
consolidated, former Soviet republics are hearing
dictatorial growls from Moscow and a chill reminiscent
of the Cold War is in the air.
Yet, wrote the NYT, "Russians were the
third most satisfied people with their country`s
direction, at 54 percent, despite Western concerns about
Of the largest nations on earth, the two that today
most satisfy the desires of their peoples are the most
High among the reasons, of course, are the annual 10
percent to 12 percent growth China has experienced over
the last decade, and the wealth pouring into Russia for
the oil and natural gas in which that immense country
Still, is this not disturbing? In China and Russia,
the greatest of world powers after the United States,
people seem to value freedom of speech, religion or the
press far less than they do a rising prosperity and
national pride and power. And they seem to have little
moral concern about crushing national minorities.
Contrast, if you will, the contentment of Chinese and
Russians with the dissatisfaction of Americans, only 23
percent of whom told the Pew poll they approved of the
nation`s direction. Only one in five Americans said they
were satisfied with the U.S. economy.
Other polls have found 82 percent of Americans saying
the country is headed in the wrong direction, only 28
percent approving of President Bush`s performance and
only half that saying they approve of the Congress. In
Britain, France and Germany, only three in 10 expressed
satisfaction with the direction of the nation.
Liberal democracy is in a bear market. Is it a
systemic crisis, as well?
Democratic capitalism, it would appear, now has a
great new rival—autocratic capitalism. In Asia, Africa,
the Middle East and Latin America, nations are beginning
to imitate the autocrats of China and Russia, even as
some in the 1930s sought to ape fascist Italy and Nazi
The game is not over yet. We are going into extra
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to VDARE.COM readers;
his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.