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Real reform or a Chicom-style safety valve?

Reader comment on item: Music and Islamists

Submitted by Dave (United States), Dec 24, 2021 at 21:40

The Chicoms were clever to add a dollop of capitalism to their dreary economy. That eliminated enough poverty and misery to help ensure adequate popular acquiescence to their continued totalitarian control.

I just wonder if the Saudis are undertaking a similar step towards ensuring their rule by allowing some measure of social liberalization, just enough to satisfy the desire of the people for enjoyment and personal freedom to prevent a social explosion or rebellion, but not so much as to bring about a fundamental political transformation.

Of course, the Soviet experience of perestroika shows that these things can get out of hand and actually bring about major change. Of course, only the Saudi rulers know their real aims; the rest of us can only guess. At least things are headed in the right direction.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

There's no doubt that MbS sees change as necessary to remain in power.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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