The Limits of Authoritarian Government
Alright, I recognize that China (the PRC) has an authoritarian government and that there isn’t much (Western style) freedom there for individuals. I also recognize that the PRC is unlikely to cede much power to any of its citizens that it doesn’t have to — instead it will seek to grow the powers of its government to whatever size it can get away with. But aren’t there some limitations on the scope of the power of an authoritarian government that even common sense would demand and dictate? Heck, I mean aren’t there some powers that just aren’t possible for a government? What if the government outlawed the existence of the number 2? Could you can exile two-ness from China? Of course not; you could stop people from talking about two things, but there’d still be two things there thumbing its numerical nose at you.
This story is one of those silly attempts by the PRC to increase the power of its government to silly, no — comical, proportions.
Alright, someone please tell me how this is possible. How in the world can the PRC decide that the living Buddha is not allowed to reincarnate without permission (assuming, of course, that the living Buddha is Buddha and can actually do this sort of thing)? How in the world would they enforce this? How would they know that it happened without permission? And what penalties would apply to the spirit who decide to throw legal caution to the wind and move on to the next life without filling out the proper governmental forms?
In many ways, the PRC looks like a bad, incompetent (not to mention highly insensitive) government to foreigners. But don’t stupid things like this really just serve to make the PRC look like an incoherent laughing stock (maybe even a cartoon?) in the eyes of its own people?