Tonight we remember those who died in the Sichuan earthquake this year as well as those who died in the Tiananmen Square bloodshed 19 years ago. 19 years ago the students protested against corruption; they demanded openness and democracy. This year many people probably died in the earthquake unnecessarily because of shoddy construction linked to corruption.
Many say that a wise and benevolent dictatorial government is preferred because it is more efficient. Unfortunately we human beings can also be unwise and selfish, and can cause serious damage with un-restrained power. Democracy is inefficient. But so far we have not been able to invent a better way to control corrupt or mad dictators.