Der Spiegel online is reporting on the brutal treatment received by dissidents in Communist China. Linked by Drudge. The lead paragraph

"China's Communist Party officials are employing brutal methods in dealing with difficult citizens. The most recent victim of what appears to be government-sanctioned brutality was a farmer who suffered a broken cervical vertebra when he was attacked by thugs."

(Okie Gardener) I do not believe the repeated mantra of "economic progress leads to political freedom." For one thing, philosophically I am not a determinist, especially not an economic determinist. For another, it seems to me that a nation can have a strong economy without political freedom--Nazi Germany did very well. I think those who claim that economic development in Communist China will lead to politcal freedom are just trying to absolve themselves of the guilt of making money on the backs of opressed Chinese labor.