Remember those old maps with “there be dragons” drawings over unknown and uncharted territories? All the beliefs that “elsewhere” is full of danger, people that are like us, but not really. Those make-belief places where giants roam the land and trolls live under the bridges?
To the modern, educated, informed person all those old stories are laughable. Everybody knows that there are no dragons, no fairies, no trolls under the bridge (but there are tolls to cross the bridge), no lands full of wonder…
That same modern, educated, informed person laughs off conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, moon landing, you name it. Our experiences with our fellow men tell us that the more people there need to be involved in order to keep a terrible secret, the larger the likelihood that someone is going to talk for fortune, fame, or just plain old disillusion - and the conspiracy falls apart like a Russian-made car. The grander the plan, the grander the undertaking, the bigger the chance someone is going to break ranks.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise that those same modern, educated, informed persons are all too willing to believe that there can be a country of 1.3 billion people that is not only firmly controlled from the monolithic central position, but that any deviation from the central message is impossible. The belief is that everything that happens, regardless of the scale, is planned and approved, or if not approved then at least condoned, tacitly ignored by the all seeing, all knowing central command.
This belief in the Leviathan is inconsistent with the belief, held by those same people, that the Leviathan isn’t all that powerful because its hold on people is weakening, that the dissent is growing, social unrest and regime change are possible in just a few years, etc. But no mind, when it comes to China the impossible, inconsistent, and contradictory is freely and happily believed by large numbers of people.
Amazing how little we have really progressed from the times when mapmakers drew dragons and other mythical creatures on the globe to represent uncharted and unknown territories. Everything that wasn’t exactly like home was full of beasts, savages, and untold horrors.
There be dragons …