The 2012 documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry captured a Chinese activist whose ability to frustrate his country’s freedom-clamping policies made him a hero.
Ai knows what it feels like to live in an oppressive state, which is why his new op-ed in The Guardian should alarm Americans. The activist recoils at the recent news surrounding America’s domestic eavesdropping policies, comparing the government’s tactics to those he’s lived under in China.
Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation,. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy….
This abuse of state power goes totally against my understanding of what it means to be a civilised society, and it will be shocking for me if American citizens allow this to continue….
Ai cautions those who may feel such surveillance practices are essential to preventing should consider the bigger picture regarding the power of a country over its people.
In the Soviet Union before, in China today, and even in the US, officials always think what they do is necessary, and firmly believe they do what is best for the state and the people. But the lesson that people should learn from history is the need to limit state power.