By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where important meetings are held.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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Greetings everybody. You may have seen in the mainstream media around the world that China just finished its huge Two Sessions of legislative and executive meetings. Thousands of representatives from all three branches of government, from all levels, including civil society organizations like NGOs, unions and institutes, gather for a yearlong-prepared, intense five days of consultation, collaboration and confirmation.
I watched how all this works firsthand for 16 years, living and working with the Chinese people. I could really feel the sense of purpose and optimism among my colleagues and contacts for their country’s future.
If you really want to understand why and how the Chinese are running away with the 21st century, or for that matter, why they have been successfully far and above the rest of the world for the last 5,000 years, then you really ought to read The China Trilogy books that I wrote, especially the last two, China Rising-Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations and BIG Red Book on China (see below or https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/06/30/praise-for-the-china-trilogy-the-votes-are-in-it-r-o-c-k-s-what-are-you-waiting-for/). You will be glad you did.
The reason that China is so successful historically and currently is for three major reasons.
First, The Chinese people trust their leaders to do the right thing and China’s leaders trust their citizens to also do the right thing. This is a game changer for effective governance, economic growth and societal progress.
Point number two: this is because Chinese society and governance are founded on ethics, not morals. It all goes back to the Confucist-Daoist–Buddhist Golden Rule of,
Doing unto others what you would want them to do to you.
In Chinese it is often rephrased as,
Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do to you.
This builds mutual trust between the people, their leaders and governments from the get-go.
In the West, society and governance are based on morals: your morals and my morals are great, as long as we agree with each other. However, if our morals are different, and there are endless numbers and permutations of them, that’s where the problem starts: your “right” and my “wrong” can be diametrically opposed, in perfect agreement or everything else in between. This helps cultivate in Western civilization fear and distrust between the people and their leaders, instead of trust:
What are they doing? Are they acting the way I think is right?
For 3,000 years Westerners have rightfully feared their governments and leaders, because it has been mostly dreadful for the 99%, whereas the leaders and governments fear their people, because the citizens rightly despise the 1%. Thus, western governance often ends up being based on top-down power, control and force.
Chinese leaders have always been exhorted to take care of the masses first and foremost. Thus, their governance is bottom-up, from the people’s concerns. Western governments almost always take care of their oligarchic elites first and the 99% get the breadcrumbs leftover. Chinese leaders avoid war, conquest and expansionism at all costs. Westerner leaders use them endlessly for the 1%’s gain.
For millennia, if a Chinese government or leader – be they local, regional or national – is incompetent, corrupt or war-happy, and the people have had enough, then they pick up their real and metaphorical bamboo spears to storm the headquarters/palace, demanding a change. This is real people power and it has happened nonstop throughout Sino-history. This was and is still called the leader/government losing the Heavenly Mandate, and it is true citizen democracy.
In the West, this happens much less frequently and when it does, the people get a few table scraps to go with their crumbs for a bit, with the same elite kakocrats (the worst members of society) staying in power, to keep aristocratic rule in place. A good example of this is the West after World War II. The 99% got some real improvements and a better lot in life, but starting in the 1980s, it was time for Western trillionaire dictators to start clawing it all back, which they are doing with relish and abandon.
The third reason why China is so much more successful is that Baba Beijing (the leadership) makes long-term plans, with visionary, spelled out, benchmarkable goals. If you don’t have numbers and targets to shoot for, how can you lead, inspire, progress and improve the lives of the people?
While this has always been true in China, it really became an official institution after 1949, with the people’s communist-socialist liberation. That was when Baba Bejing adopted the Soviet Five–Year Plan. This is mapping out an overarching vision and then, after millions of manhours of discussion, debate and research at the local, then regional and national levels, formulate a budgeted plan at every level of the economy, society and government.
Then after implementation, continually reassess, research, tweak the successes and stop or change the failures during the first year. Meet a year later to report and make changes for continuous improvement, which is what just happened in Beijing.
Start Year Two, repeat, then Years Three, Four and Five, ditto and then have a huge gathering of reassessment and recalibration for the next Five-Year Plan. In fact, Baba Beijing is now doing a rolling ten-year plan, for even longer–term development and more rapid success to improve the lives and wealth of their 99%.
What do we get in the West? Mostly tawdry public spectacles and endless soap operas of leaders, politicians, parties, lobbies and businesses. They fight like strutting cocks and behind closed doors in a pit of greed, spoils, corruption, power, control and propaganda, never hesitating to use the imperial toolbox against each other: bribery, blackmail, extortion and assassination. Endless wars, false flags and planned crises keep the people fearful, distracted and divided, while they get increasingly cowered and fleeced.
Some of the kakocrats win some of the time, as musical chairs change in a nonstop, grandstanding, mendacious media melodrama of the absurd. The elites reap increasing power and wealth, while the 99% suffer the consequences.
Again, to really understand why the Chinese nation has been and will continue to race past Eurangloland (NATO/EU/Five Eyes/Israel) into the 22nd century, read China Rising and BIG Red Book on China. 44 Days Backpacking in China is great too, but it is more of a social and cultural look.
Don’t have or want to spend the money? Ask you public library, school or place of worship to get them for everyone’s benefit.
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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