Greetings to all!
This post comes at the end of extensive research and thought, both specifically for this post and for unrelated schoolwork. Since China is one of the last few officially communist countries left, I have always wanted to do a piece on my thoughts surrounding how China has been able to maintain its system. In order to do so, I had to look in to some things, while juggling around quite a bit of other work.
Moving on, pretty much everyone knows that China is a communistic country. It has been ever since Mao Zedong succeeded against the nationalist Kuomintang fighters back in the Chinese Civil War of 1949. But much has changed since Mao died in 1978, and nothing of it has been within his vision. Mao was very attached to revolutionary spirit, and had strong belief in the power of the agrarian peasantry. Deng Xiaoping was not concerned as much when it came to preserving Mao’s beliefs. Market based reforms became the goal of the day, and by now China has replaced many countries to become one of the top economic leaders of the world today. But I believe that China has lost sight of one of the main goals of communism, in that social issues come before economic issues. China has neglected a need for participatory government, and has trumped forces that would sway Chinese policy in the correct direction (http://abcnews.go.com/International/chinas-mystery-bo-xilai-rise-fall-chinas-political/story?id=16163613#.T5CP-LMV2uk). The article linked there concerns a relatively small recent event in China where Bo Xilai was ousted from all political posts and taken from any place he could have influence. But this removal of one politician means much more than the simple murder of a British man in China.
Bo was close to China’s “new left”, a political force comprised of fresh-faced activists in the country calling for a return to the fervent social ideals of years gone by. The movement has been targeted by China’s current system, which sees the new left as a threat to stability in the world’s most populous nation. The reasoning for this is clear, as long as you have a grasp of history. During the 1960s, China experienced the Cultural Revolution (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/cultural_revolution.htm), with mixed results. The goal of the movement was to purge China of those threatening the communist order, essentially all those that were a new form of the bourgeoisie. Mao wished to reassert his leadership and ideals. In part, his goals were realized. Poor leaders of the communist party along with all others who posed a risk to China’s new communist government were removed from power or taken away from their positions of strength and wealth. At the same time, the movement became dangerously overzealous. People who were simply good at their respective jobs were removed, and multiple institutions like universities were forced to shut down due to the instability created by student-formed Red Guards. While Mao succeeded to bring his strength to the foray and to quash anyone preventing progress in China, he also hampered the fragile ties of his country and caused significant economic damage in the process. When Mao died and the market communists began to take power, they agreed that nothing of this sort would ever happen again.
The one significant time when voices would rise against the new communist order would be in 1989, in the center of Chinese politics. This would become a moment the world would come to abhor. The Chinese pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square of Beijing symbolized more than some want for a democratic system in a country that wouldn’t benefit from one (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/news/international/countriesandterritories/china/tiananmen-square/index.html). For me, they symbolize the last major time the Chinese populists made an attempt to change the social order against those that wanted to maintain the status quo in the face of corruption and ignorance of the needs of the proletariat. The photograph in the article above has become famous, known as the “tank man.” Western governments at the time saw it through a simple light: a helpless man, calling only for his freedom, being trampled by the communist tanks. And while the frame with which I view that photo is different, I believe a similar message applies. China has become a country where, despite the system being one where society comes first, has placed economic prowess at the forefront of issues. As such, China’s power structure is damaging both itself and the Chinese people. Tiananmen Square became the Chinese opposition’s last stand, where if success didn’t come then death and misery would surely follow. And it did. From that point on, China was silent as those in power played with the Chinese market and made the country powerful in the face of Western democracies. And while success of communistic economic policy despite predictions in the other direction certainly makes me happy, it does not represent the main goals of communism. Communism presents not only an alternative economic model to capitalism, but also an alternative social model in which the rights and needs of every individual is addressed, instead of simply being blocked out by a majority opinion similar to the way we run things here in the U.S. By ending public opposition or any sense of change, China now lacks in succeeding the main goal of communism.
And now, China’s opposition finally has an opening to make its voice heard. With the ouster of Bo Xilai, the true communistic principles of China’s foundation have an opportunity to take center stage and to return China onto the right path. While China may be able to shut down websites to try to silence the new left, there are far more ways for the people to gather and resist the power structure of China today. In order for the right changes to be made, the first absolutely necessary step is to defeat the Gang of Nine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politburo_of_the_Communist_Party_of_China), the standing members of China’s politburo. Currently, the gang is composed of Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, and Zhou Yongkang. These nine leaders have full power not only over China’s general public but they also have strong sway in the secretive Communist party. Because of the way China’s powers are divided in the branches of government, these men are essentially infallible and rooted into strength. This gives them full choice when it comes to leading the country, even when they perform against the true interests of China. Now that the new left has been stirred, these men can be ruptured from their positions. The Gang of Nine can simply be removed, or in a best case scenario the power of the Gang of Nine could be decreased, allowing for a more representative government where the powers are divided. However, none of this can happen unless the opposition becomes. So now, I call on any and all Chinese readers here to rise against those that would put the economy before you. End what Jintao and Jiabao call communism, and institute a pure system which works towards the benefit of the citizens first, and the country second. If this is done, China can be made into a better communist country that represents a dream which Marx could never have imagined.
That is all for this week, and I hope everyone has enjoyed my analysis. If you have questions or comments of any kind, you can post them here. My Facebook and Twitter are also open, along with my Google+ and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, and I am signing off.