Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself—And That’s (Usually) Enough

My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.

—Franz Kafka

While tens of millions of brave souls challenge China’s Orwellian state each year, they represent but a medium-size drop of dissidence in a 1.4 billion population bucket. In fact, like those cowed journalists who succumb to self-censorship, the overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens assiduously toe the Party line.

Some Chinese citizens embrace civil obedience simply because the economic times have been good to them. However, the far bigger element in China’s docility equation is the raw stench of a gut-wrenching, sweat-stained fear. This fear begins with the total absence of nearly every freedom guaranteed ...

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