Watched Mao's last dancer yesterday night, found it quite entertaining.
Something interesting I noticed was how prosperous 1981 USA was vs 1981 China and what a big impact the discrepancy between what Lee was taught in school and the reality on the ground must have been for him. Also the US was miles and miles ahead of China at that stage and China really posed very little threat to them (again at that stage), military wise or economically. Almost all the would be needed to convert peasants to freedom was to show them the enormous gap between slave labour under communism and life under a relatively free system. Unfortunately the US now represents China more than it did in 1981 and China represents the US more than in 1981.
So as the system deteriorates due to constant constriction from bureaucrats, I think it is possible for the remaining pockets of freedom to progress so far beyond the majority of the system in terms of economic influence and technology that an oppressive system would no longer pose a coercive threat to even a small free society.
As a thought experiment, imagine what a chain of islands with a total population of only 10 million could accomplish under unfettered markets given the starting point of today's technology vs the US if the current course is kept over a 50 year period.
PS I of course assume the small free society is at least left relatively unhindered for the most of the 50 years.