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Pictured above: A cute cartoon t-shirt I bought in China, depicting President Xi Jinping, encouraging the citizens to, “Roll up your shirtsleeves and get to work”. In the West, George W. Bush told the people to, “Go shopping and Go to Disneyland”, after 9/11. This is a wonderful example of how Chinese leaders talk to their citizens like adults, while their Western counterparts treat their people like children.
Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
Comment by Karl North on Substack, 23.12.15
Jeff, you are constantly repeating Chinese govt statements as truth. You know better than to repeat US govt statements or US (captured) mass media as truth, so you should know better than to do it with China. Any statements from any govt should be suspect as propaganda until you have hard evidence otherwise. Hence, regarding the Vandenbosch piece (https://seektruthfromfacts.org/guess-submissions/how-the-chinese-work-communist-party-of-china-in-brief-with-a-detailed-flow-chart-of-chinas-governance-system/), a flow chart of a formal structure is not an authentic picture of how things really work in a society. As any reputable political economist knows.
Once you learn this and apply it across the board, you could become a good analyst and source of info about China, because you are a smart guy. Study and become a good political economist, which means expert in analyzing the real structure of power relations and its real flow chart. Start with Karl Marx. Then study how political economists like Michael Parenti and Michael Hudson analyze the political economy of the US Empire.
BTW, I am not necessarily anti-China, but clearly China has powerful capitalist factions, the claim that China is “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is at best a hypothesis of a society in constant flux.
Hi Karl, thank you for your nice comment on Substack. It is very well-reasoned and thoughtful.
It’s difficult for Westerners to understand Chinese governance, because the systems are like night and day. The difference is that in the West, governance is aristocratic, autocratic, oligarchic, and top down, the rulers telling the masses and the people what to do. Also in the West, it is based on religious morals. My morals are superior to your morals.
Whereas, in China it is based on ethics. And there’s only one rule in China and that is the Golden Rule,
Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself.
For thousands of years, the Chinese leadership have trusted the people and the people have trusted the leaders, the governments. And that is not true in the West, where the governments distrust the people and the people distrust the government. China is very Confucian. There’s accountability in China. There is little to no accountability in the West, especially recently, since the 1980s for sure. And so, it’s not even comparing apples and oranges. It is completely alien to the Western concept, as far as the Chinese government is concerned. Whether they tell the truth or not, as long as it betters the citizens’ lives, increases social harmony and economic prosperity – all I care about is results, as do the Chinese people.
In fact, I just did a tweet today on Twitter that showed the dissatisfaction that Western citizens have with their governments. Approval ratings from 9-39%. Then, in a Western survey, not a Chinese one, the World Values Survey, 95% of the Chinese are happy with their government. That is the highest in the world. I think there was another one, Abu Dhabi or Dubai that was also about as high.
Thus, you really have to think differently. The Chinese government talks to their citizens like adults and Western governments talk to their citizens like children. Therefore, I’m not saying that everything that the Chinese government says is true, but all I can see are the results when I go there and travel there and talk to the people and how much better their quality of life is and their opportunities and their hopes for the future are compared to the declining West.
You mentioned Michael Parenti. I love Michael Parenti. I love Michael Hudson too. In fact, I’ve communicated with both of them. I’ve read Karl Marx. They’re all excellent. At the same time, I’m looking at the practical results of Chinese governance and how Chinese leaders have communicated with their citizens for 5,000 years, and vice-versa. If a government is not doing its job, that being maintaining peace, economic prosperity, social harmony, et cetera, there’s a four-character saying in Chinese, Raise poles and start a rebellion (揭竿而起 = jiegan’erqi）. Everybody will just storm the palace/government office and demand that there be a change in leadership. That’s real people’s democracy and it has happened thousands of times at all levels of Chinese governance over the millennia.
When was the last time a Western government was run out of office? Well, it was the French revolution that I can think of, and that only lasted for 24 years, because all of the monarchies in Europe, a coalition of aristocratic military destroying what was essentially a socialist revolution at that time.
I can tell you this: in 200 AD, China was the biggest country in Asia, and the Roman Empire was the largest one in the Western hemisphere. The Chinese had nine times as much land and six times as many people, even though they both had similar resources. Humans are an asset. They are a resource. And the fact that the Chinese had six times as many citizens and nine times as much land tells you a lot about their ethical governance. Also, Rome ran on slavery and expansionism/resource theft. Without slavery and resource theft, it couldn’t survive, which is one of the reasons it collapsed. They just could not harvest enough slaves and resources from their territorial expansion.
By the Middle Ages, 1100s-1200s, China had 50% of the world’s GDP, 50% of the world’s population, and 80% of the world’s metropolitan citizens, people living in cities. This kind of development continued, even up until the Western Opium Wars, starting in 1839. In the 15th-18th centuries, India started to come on real strong. China and India in the early 1800s, each had about 25% of the world’s GDP. Of course, they were both destroyed by Western colonialism and imperialism in the 19th-20th centuries. England, then the United States came to the fore to steal all those productive forces.
That’s basically it. I understand Westerners are very distrusting of governments in general, very distrusting of their leadership. And they should be, because for 3,000 years, Western governance has almost always been autocratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, elitist and corrupt to the core. The ones who try to make life better for the 99% get assassinated. Therefore, where you live, you should be suspicious. The Chinese are not suspicious. And they accept what their government does for them, as long as they maintain peace, social harmony and economic prosperity – bring home the bacon, as we like to say in English.
As far as the validity of China’s communism-socialism, here is an interview that discusses this topic,
Thank you for your time and great comment.
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