Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Beating Death of a Chinese Blogger

I am shaking with anger. Read the shocking news here.

Reading posts on the Chinese internet about the incident, a witness description particularly disturbed me. The mob was a fairly large crowd, and those at the outer rings had to keep jumping up in order to land their fists on Wei Wenhua. Such eagerness for participation in mass violence! This reminds me the Red Guards beating up "class enemies" during the Cultural Revolution. A striking parallel between the two cases is the difficulty in singling out THE culpable, while "the law doesn't rebuke the masses," as a Chinese adage says.

Against my initial suspicions that those city inspectors who took part in the beating might be uneducated street thugs hired for the dirty job, they were actually chosen from a competitive process. In other words, they might otherwise be normal government workers. Then what made them enjoy the beating with such eagerness? Is it the nature of a mass action that gives men the sense of legitimacy in violence?

1 comment:

Avital.gc said...

This is terrible. Very disturbing.