Alternate Worlds

This is the third time I’ve written this…keep losing it somehow:

Still reading Red China Blues.

Very few people left the West to go China in the first few decades of Communism there. Very few. At one point, there were maybe two dozen Westerners in China (or at least in the Beijing area.)  Among those two dozen was one of the USA’s top nuclear physicists from Los Alamo. She had held the bomb that blew up Hiroshima in her hands.

The Red Chinese put her to work at a dairy farm.

A dairy farm.

Not building the bomb for others, not working in a lab. A dairy farm.

For which I thank God!

A bit different from the way the US handled Einstein and the other scientists who fled Germany.

Apparently, the young woman thought that the scientists would have some control over how the technology they were building was used (like in a science fiction story where it’s the scientist who has the superweapons, I guess.) When the thing she helped create killed so many people, she freaked.

I’m very glad I don’t live in the alternate world where they made a different choice.

The author was also in the Beijing Hotel, overlooking Tiananmen Square (The Square of Heavenly Peace) the day the soldiers finally cracked down on the students. I had had no idea how universal the support of the people of China was for the protesting students. In the two months leading up to the final showdown, Grannies had lay down in front of tanks. People had filled the streets blocking the way for soldiers. Amazing things.

Considering that 1989 was the same year that the Berlin Wall came down, it is interesting to think about what might have happened if the officials in charge had responded to the requests for more democracy.

Had they, Communism in China and the Soviet Union would have come apart at basically the same time.

Kind of would have liked to live in that world.