So let's ... um ... have a revolution?

Yesterday, the call went out on Twitter for China to have it's own "Jasmine Revolution" -- named for the movement that toppled the government of Tunisia and ignited the Middle East.  The problem?  Well, no one showed up to protest.

Well, a activists showed up.  And someone threw flowers in front of a McDonalds in Beijing.  But from the reports I have seen, the protestors were far outnumbered by police and journalists, as well as a few other onlookers.  And since all of the coordination (or lack thereof), apparantly there were very few Chinese who even knew what was going on.

Now, if I may give my opinion on this, it seems that this revolution was executed by someone who is really naïve about how these things work.  Yes, online social networking figured prominently in the revolution in Egypt (Tunisia I haven't read as much about) -- at least until the Internet was shut down.  But there were a lot of other economic and political forces at play.  High food prices and unemployment, as well as good organization among the protesters, led to the protests and their successes.

China has economic problems, but for the most part it is doing well.  And as for the organizing, the fact that the "revolution" was started on services that are typically blocked in China didn't help.  Granted, domestic sites are heavily censored, but they are also where the people are.  Ultimately, I think text-massages, combined with some face-to-face organizing, would be more effective.

In any case, it takes a lot to start a revolution.  In my opinion, the conditions in China are not quite right.

Some good articles on the subject:

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703498804576156203874160350.html

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/world/asia/21china.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1298232033-KI/D+pHHs+QI0lsfyWl5lQ

China Geeks: http://chinageeks.org/2011/02/the-revolution-that-wasnt/

Al Jazeera Blogs: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/asia/2011/02/20/call-me-if-theres-revolution

Financial Times: http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/02/21/china%E2%80%99s-jasmine-revolution/