Not just China though is it. Quite a few violent coups have occurred lately. I wonder what the results of the US election will do for places like oil rich Venezuela. …

"Emperor Zhou's disposition was sharp, his discernment was keen, and his physical strength excelled that of other people. He fought ferocious animals with his bare hands. He considered everyone beneath him. He was fond of wine, licentious in pleasure and doted on women…

"He ordered his Music Master to compose new licentious music and depraved songs. By a pool filled with wine, through meat hanging like a forest, he made naked men and women chase one another and engage in drinking long into the night."

The emperor had critics turned into mincemeat, and nobles who were not up for the party roasted alive.

Zhou was a good illustration of a theory Sima Qian had about dynastic change, as Frances Wood, curator of the Chinese collection at the British Museum, explains.

"He introduced the idea… that dynasties begin with the very virtuous and noble founder, and then they continue through a series of rulers until they come to a bad last ruler, and he is so morally depraved that he is overthrown."

We scorn the USA's illegal wire-tapping and yet are positive it happens here in Britain, though no news of such a thing has ever been published.

Apparently the list of voters in Venezuela, along with the people for whom they voted is electronically recorded for those in power to act on.

I suppose it is better than the alternative of killing all the educated people after a governmental coup. Just starve out the ones you consider problematic. I wonder if Argentina and Chile are learning from this.

I wonder what counts as depravity these days. Serbian atrocities in Bosnia obviously. But how about Israel torturing Palestine?
How about Black Ops and Guantanamo?

I suppose it is all down to just how much you allow to become public and how much just slips past you. What you do and how much you like it and just how much you don't care what others think.

And then you end up with a castrato government like Britain is enjoying at the moment.


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