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January 20, 2009

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mahathir_fan

Roland Soong makes a very good observation.

I will add also what Trotsky once said: "Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen."

Note: the Communist Party isn't against Democracy or free elections, it is only against multi party elections like those in the USA. Besides, the USA is not a democracy. Most of the founding fathers considered democracy to be mob rule. Americans do not have the constitutional right to vote, they do indirectly through the electoral college and it is not a right provided for by the constitution.

There's actually a good reason to avoid multiparty elections. When parties compete, they are more easily bought over by the bourgeois class. But without any competition, it is harder for the bourgeois class to buy the Communist party. The party could afford to be idealistic. If the Communist party betrays its socialistic ideals, the proletariat class will overthrow it through revolution. That is the check on its power. Besides, we are not denying the proletariats democracy. Any individual can still run for election as an independent.

On the US system, Noam Chomsky calls the US political parties, 2 factions of the same party - the Business party. Both have been bought over by the businesses. They don't serve the people. The case example is in the recent financial bail out, overwhemingly opposed by the American Public, the House even voted against it due to mounting public pressure, but the Senate (whose main job according to James Madison is to protect the minority opulent against the majority) passed it.

There is of course many challenges for the CPC. Marx predicted:

Peasant class->Capitalism->Socialism -> Communism

China skipped the "capitalism" phase and went straight to Socialism for several decades. Now it sees itself backpedalling back to stage 2: Capitalism because it didn't have the wealth generated in the capitalism stage to sustain socialism.

Capitalism will inevitably give rise to a class society. This new class will demand more political voice. These are the people behind charter 08. If the proletariats give in now, you run the risk of making China like the USA. A class society with little hope of embracing socialism.

Or should the Chinese resist this change. Instead focus on building wealth through capitalism and later when it could afford it, re-embrace socialism and maybe Communism.

Therefore, I think the most important thing in China policy making right now is how to raise its wage levels to boost a strong domestic demand for its own products and not be too dependent on its export.

If you are still a skeptic, then I urge you and your readers to read Charter 08 again. No where in the document is it written in Charter 08 the words "Socialism" or "Marxism". Charter 08 is most certainly an attempt to derail China's socialistic goals and transform it into that like the US, a bourgeois ruling class controlling over a slave working class who is shackled by debts, dumb down by consumerism and blinded by religion.

daniel

Democracy will happen in China, we can be pretty confident on that.

When will it happen, have no idea.
Looking at the grip of the PCC onto the policial life in China, I cannot see any progress in a near future. Netherveless, the society becoming more and more open, the chinese people being more and more aware of foreign culture and politics (see how they watched with passion the US presidential and how well Obama's book sell in china) we can tell that the democracy question (at least elections at national level) will rise more and more, even within PCC.

Many of my friends predict a total collapse before becoming a democracy and I believe that is what charter08 calls for : read the frontal attack against PCC in the foreword, not just a call for democracy.

Like it or not, PCC, despite all the tragedies, earned legitimacy with the rise or return of China's might.

My prediction is that China will eventuelly end as a democracy but I'm pretty sure charter08 will have very little or no impact on that.

Twofish

> Thomas Jefferson in 1776, when he wrote > the Declaration of Independence did he
> know how to build the road? He had no
> idea. He simply said that all men are
> created equal, we need to throw off the
> shackles of occupation, we need freedom
> of speech, and that citizens have the
> right to form their own government.
> At the time nobody had any idea how to
> make it happen.

This is false. At the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, the colonies had been at war for over a year, and several efforts at resolving differences had failed. General Washington already had armies in the field, and he had a pretty clear strategy for defeating the British.

> One thing Charter 08 has going for it is
> that it sets out a clear set of goals.
> Other than getting rich and having a
> strong country respected by the world, the
> CCP has not drawn up a clear alternative
> narrative for what China's future should
> look like.....

Personally, I think that works *against* Charter 08. The more detailed your vision of the future, the more likely it is that someone will find something objectionable with it. The more vague and abstract your goals, the more likely it is that you will get the support of different groups that really have very different views of how the world should be.

Leo

"The more vague and abstract your goals, the more likely it is that you will get the support of different groups that really have very different views of how the world should be."

Twofish, it is a good argument for someone who wants to sell something but don't want to be held responsible for it.

kajgoiatjg

It basically means that China's so called public intellectuals are indeed very public, but lack intellects. All they can do is to be a copycat, without any real understanding of the scholarship on political economy.

save the fashion industry

The charter is a bit like Michelle Obama's dress at the inauguration---not good, but who dares to say so? How dare you criticize the wife of a black president? How dare you criticize a document that buzzes with words like freedom and democracy?

Ji Village News

"It basically means that China's so called public intellectuals are indeed very public, but lack intellects. All they can do is to be a copycat, without any real understanding of the scholarship on political economy."

That's exactly what I think about the authors of the "Charter". I mean, close to 20 years have passed since 1989, with events around the world that provided so many hard lessons that China and many other countries could learn from, and then you come up with material that's suited for a college debating competition on an American campus?

CNN fan

理想主义者,如同1949年的中国大多数知识分子一样,是相信制度的改变能给中国带来翻天覆地的变化的。结果是,中国后来真的很“翻天覆地”。于我而言,制度当然能解决很多问题,但不能解决所有问题。例如,如果我们的宪法和法律完全贯彻的话,那也可以尽善或尽美了。

我曾经悲观的认为,即使中国发生制度变革,也不会有任何改变,穷的仍穷,富的还富,甚至更糟。这样的说法当然比较过激,但教育、环境、贫困等等这些问题当然不会因为制度的变革而一夜发生质变。

Translation by the CNNfan community:

Idealists, as in 1949 the majority of intellectuals in China, it is believed that change in the system can bring about earth-shaking changes in China. The result is that China was really very "earth-shaking." To me, the system can solve many problems of course, but not solve all problems. For example, if we fully implement the Constitution and laws, it can also do good or make beautiful.

I have a pessimistic view that even if the system changes have taken place in China, nor is there any change, the poor are still poor, the rich are still rich, and even worse. This comparison is of course extreme, but education, the environment, poverty, etc. These issues will certainly not change the system, that qualitative change, in one night."

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