China, in a swift decisive move to echo their totalitarian judgements, has condemned Buddhist monks for believing in and urging others to strive for reincarnation. The government insists that the opportunity to reincarnate is restricted under Chinese governmental law which controls such aspects of daily life such as opposition to popular thought and action as well as questioning approved methodology and ideology.
Now I know this is an extreme example of the lengths the Chinese government goes to in order to control their citizens, but if limiting your citizens' access to Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. and then telling peaceful monks that they can no longer advocate reincarnation as a possibility without it being a government approved "activity," where will it end?
Political pundits like to bash President Obama and his so-called divergence into the territory occupied by the governments of China and Russia; they insinuate our beloved and liberated country will slip into the abyss of theocracy or dictatorship without really understanding the limits to which other governments "tell" their people versus how our government, no matter how liberal, still "listens" to their people.
SOPA had terrible connotations to it, and with that worry came protests, both silent and vocal, and then a nearly unanimous veto of the proposal, all because our citizens stood against something and our government listened. I don't ever think the Chinese government would do that, and I don't think that any "liberal" governmental system, whether in the United States of Europe would ever do this.
I do, however, and this is where we get into the thesis of this post, believe that an extremely conservative or radical governmental entity in the Unites States would be more likely, counter-intuitively to what many GOP party members insist, to regulate for and dictate to their citizens than any liberal party. The GOP has long insisted that any liberal government or movement gone unchecked will lead to socialism, communism and thereby will look like Europe, Russia and, at the extreme, China, right?
Our government seems to be loosening its reigns the more liberal it becomes, which is why I have never subscribed to the argument of the GOP in regards to personal liberties. I write this because whenever a speed bump appears in the road (SOPA, requiring hospitals to offer birth control and/or abortion, ruling for or against a particular religion or ideaology, etc.) there is always a protest which is "heard" or "seen;" this is especially true for those that are broadcast across our television stations, which many assert are STILL controlled by the government!
Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck at a circus and I'm wandering through the mirror funhouse. Beside me are children of varying ages, and together we're looking into these mirrors and seeing the distorted reflections of our own ideologies, reservations and liberties, as well as those discussed in the politics and punditry of this nation. I see us moving slowly back and forth watching the faces contort into new faces of differing colors and genders, or different beliefs and far-reaching goals, and I think about the possibility of such a nation surviving on such a quixotic idea when our foundations rest on a soil that has changed composition since we laid our framework.
Can we all still make the same comparisons and assertions regarding our founding and our future when the variables keep changing? Look into the mirror with me and tell me what you see.