January 29, 2012
The company we keep
There is a certain type of person who likes to criticize the arrogance of "the West" or "us" or "the U.S." in always lecturing China and being unwilling to consider what the lecturer might learn from China. (I've always found this line of argument annoying because it insists that when I open my mouth, I must be speaking for some larger collectivity instead of just myself, and then believes me adequately refuted if some weakness in the collectivity's case can be shown.) I see that at least in the realm of solitary confinement of prisoners, the United States, and in particular the Commonwealth of Virginia, has confounded these critics by going China one better.