Firstly my apologies to firecat69 for even mentioning Surfcrest. I can think of no reason for having done so other than over-imbibing at an early stage of the evening. Again, apologies!
As I have said before, firecat69 and I will never agree on China. Our views are almost diametrically opposed. I see it from having lived on the doorstep of mainland China for 19 years and then in what became part of China for a further 4 during which time I had been making regular visits to the major cities. Thereafter I ran a small company in China for a further 16 years. During all that time I have visited these and many more cities on well over 50 occasions, including Beijing just before and again just after June 1989. I have met a wide variety of Chinese from government Ministers to those pretty near the bottom of the food chain. And just incidentally one of my good friends in Shanghai produced China's first full frontal gay movie "Lan Yu" - even though such a film was, and I imagine still is, against official policy. There are far more freedoms in China than firecat69 suggests!
Firecat69's view is an ingrained American perspective (understandable if one makes little attempt to view the country from a broad historical perspective). Sadly much of that view is skewed by propaganda - and an obvious (and again understandable) view that China has screwed the USA big time. Wasn't it Trump who said that had been America's fault??
Apart from sweeping generalisations, I do take issue with these comments -
firecat69 wrote:After using force the rulers of China realized quite smartly they could not afford to have a Billion + people remaining in extreme poverty and hope to continue in power.
So they smartly changed the Economic Model and began to use their large population to both build and staff factories . 16 hour days and 7 days a week for meager salaries ( better then what they had) allowed them to trick the US and other western Democracies into moving factories and importing Billions in goods.
That is just totally untrue - totally! The Cultural Revolution ended in 1975. It had utterly destroyed the country's economy, its education system as well as much of the very fabric of Chinese society. The country was a total basket case. By 1975 it had endured well over a century and a half of disintegration from within and outright war. Chinese wanted stability and an end to the disastrous policies of Mao which had ended up killing tens of millions. Deng fought his way back to power in the late 1970s determined to change everything and implement reforms, both economic and political. To that end, in 1980 he appointed two key reformers to the posts of Party General Secretary, Hu Yaobang, and Prime Minister, Zhao Ziyang. Both were to play roles in the 1989 protests even though just beforehand both had been stripped of power and Hu had died. The old guard had won that round.
By then, though, the new economic model was under way - and had been well under way since 1979. The suggestion that the economic model changed after Tiananmen Square is thus totally wrong. Although a member of the old guard himself, Deng usually sided with his younger colleagues in terms of reform, although most reforms were thwarted by the much larger contingent of Maoist/Marxists.
As for the suggestion that Chinese people had to work "16 hours a day, 7 days a week", that is pure fiction. It is utter nonsense. Yes, the Chinese certainly worked hard, if only because under the new economic model which had started ten years earlier vast numbers were able to become much richer than they had ever dreamed before. At that time this was not on the back of exports. It was a result of the complete abandonment of the state collective farm system, a return to individual farming and the abolition of the state price control mechanisms. Tens of millions in the countryside were the first to benefit.
Back to Iran -
firecat69 wrote:It is really not fair to compare Iran and China because Iran made nothing but mistakes after the Revolution and plunged millions into poverty and have gone backwards in their economy in many respects.
Here we agree. But here I believe we also have to take into account the effects of the disastrous Iraq invasion in 1980 which did not end till 1988. I am in little doubt that that not only hardened the regime's resolve in terms of its theocratic aims, it also mobilised Iranians to give even more support to the mullahs. There's often nothing like a long and ghastly war to get people on the side of the government.
Perhaps with Iran we also have to look further back. Iran was actually a democratic society in the early 1950s. Unfortunately for the country, outside intervention killed that off. Having put together a coalition of parties, Mohammed Mosaddegh won the 1951 elections in the country's Parliament. Part of the coalition agenda was the nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil company. Both Eisenhower and Churchill objected and decided Mosaddegh had to go. In 1953, as proved by documents released in 2013, the CIA made the first of what were to prove many successful interventions to remove a democratically elected leader in a foreign country. In his book "All the Shah's Men. An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror", Stephen Kinzer claims this CIA action left a "haunting and terrible legacy."
I do not believe we can judge present day actions without looking back at the historical circumstances that brought them into effect. In that respect, the USA, Britain and other western powers have on too many occasions interfered to solve what they perceived as a short term problem - a problem for them - but left a far larger problem that would "haunt" them in the longer term.