October 09, 2003
Modernisation

Natalie Solent writes:

You can always spot an arrogant ruling power by the way it hates old buildings. From eighteenth century earls forcibly ejecting whole villages so as not to spoil their classical gardens to twentieth century slum clearances that cleared social cohesion along with the slum, there is nothing a power-freak likes better than replacing a muddle with a slab. China is busily smashing the Uighur quarter of the city of Kashgar. The ghost of Nicolae Ceausescu is cheering them on. Unlike his, this is one "modernisation plan" that is unlikely to be cut short by an uprising against the moderniser.

And I think that "There is nothing a power-freak likes better than replacing a muddle with a slab" should forthwith be posted at Samizdata as a slogan of the day. Done.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:50 PM
Category: Architecture