Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


Well, the news is out: Xi Jinping has become dictator of China for life. He's the new Mao, a totalitarian ogre who will destroy human rights across the world.

Or so would the Western media have it. But that's why you're here reading my blog, of course, because you want a better take. Well this is mine.

What just happened? Well, the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, the de-jure highest power of the land, made by 205 members, has proposed a series of changes to China's constitution. Amongst them are the abolition of term limits for the 主席 President and 副主席 Vicepresident. Previously, since 1982, there was a limit of two consecutive terms for both offices.

What do the president and vice president of China do? The offices have no power. The constitutions, and any other law, give them no power. None at all. They are completely ceremonial.

So what's the point? That's a good question. China has a weird double structure, where the party and state are distinct entities, but have completely mirror structures. For every province, city and county, there is a government, with its governors and mayors and vice governors and vice-mayors. And then there's a Communist Party committee for the same province city or county, with a secretary general. The secretary general calls the shots. The mayor isn't an entirely ceremonial office, but it is completely subservient to the secretary general of the local committee. There has been lots of calls for abolishing this nonsense and just unify the administration, but the system remains in place.

The central government, the 国务院, has a "prime minister", today Li Keqiang. That guy's not ceremonial either, he wields substantial power. But for some reason, Deng Xiaoping in 1982 decided to put a President on top of the prime minister. I guess for diplomatic reasons. Foreigners don't understand how Chinese politics work, not then and not now, so he wanted to make it easier to understand.

There's this funny anecdote about the Second Opium War in 1860, when the British invaded Beijing and burnt the Qing Dynasty's Summer Palace, but didn't occupy the capital and left the Forbidden City alone. The Summer palace was the real place of government, had been for a century. The Forbidden City is narrow and urban and hot and hell, it was built by the previous dynasty. The Summer Palace was a country palace, away from the city, full of nice gardens and European buildings. But it was where the emperor lived, where all decisions were made. The British didn't get it; they thought it was this country garden, so they burnt it, but left the Forbidden City alone so the Chinese government could get to work. He was a gentlemen and wouldn't interfere with that.

So anyway, knowing how Westerners are, he having lived in Paris, Deng Xiaoping made the figure of the President, which has also coincided with the Secretary General of the Central Committee, i.e. the actual boss. So the actual boss and the fake boss have since 1982 always been the same. (ETA: Sorry, I got that wrong. During Hu Yaobang's reign the President was Li Xiannian, a figurehead).

Well, not quite since 1982. Interestingly enough, Deng Xiaoping has never been Secretary General. Nor president. He was "chief advisor" of an "advisory committee" he came up with. The secretary general during Deng's period of rule were Hu Yaobang and later Zhao Ziyang. Both renown liberals; Hu Yaobang is today hated by the nationalist right for ordering minority criminals to be treated lightly; Zhao Ziyang of course famously sided with the protesters at Tiananmen, for which he was sacked and detained. He died in house arrest.

Oh, there's this other piece of power which Deng did actually hold formally. The People's Liberation Army. He was chief of the Central Military Commission, which controls the military. He didn't leave that for Hu Yaobang or Zhao Ziyang. He kept that for himself, apparently forced by the army itself, who was not willing to obey those pesky liberal reformers he had put in charge of the civilian government. In 1989, after Tiananmen, Deng Xiaoping somehow decided to formally retire and give the whole package, the Secretary General of the party, the Presidency and the Secretary of the Military Commission to Jiang Zemin. Jiang took the three posts by stages, and soon controlled all formal levers of power. Deng was still calling most of the shots until his death in 1997, but Jiang had formal, and soon real power over the whole country.

Henceforth the idea that the same man must control the three offices has become an institution in China, which they now call the "trinity", 三位一体. Yes, that's actual Christian vocabulary. I really hate this part of CPC rhetoric, but anyway. In the 1990s Jiang Zemin controlled all levers of power, the real one, i.e. the Secretary General of the party; the fake one, the President, and the military one. The Secretary General has no term limits. It's not in the constitution, of course, that's about the state. The party has its party statutes. And no, no term limits. Same for the military commission. No term limits. So the only term limits are those for the Presidency, which is the fake office. Of course it's prestigious and all; but it has no real power.

This was some weird legal magic that Deng Xiaoping had done there. Jiang Zemin had the three offices now, again, party, state and army. True, fake, true. He kinda liked this idea of having it all. Jiang also spoke some English and loved, loved with a passion to hang out with foreigners and just brag with them on how cool he was. Go check it out, the guy's funny. So anyway, Jiang Zemin could have it all, but only for two terms, 10 years. After that he had to surrender one, but not necessarily all. He could keep the actual offices of power.

So what did he do? He was quite smart. He was Secretary General from right after Tiananmen, in 1989. But he delayed access to the Presidency until 1993. So he could hold onto the three offices until 2003, 14 years of actual power. And that's exactly what he did. He could have found some toady, some Medvedev, and give him the presidency. But he didn't do that; he chose Hu Jintao, a boring but competent guy, and put him as successor. In 1998 he was made Vice-president. Then in 2002 gave him first the office of Secretary General, then the presidency in 2003. And in 2005 (he was in no hurry), he gave him the military command.

Hu Jintao was no match for Jiang though, and it's widely acknowledged that Jiang Zemin till call the shots during Hu Jintao's time in power. But then another 10 years passed. Jiang Zemin was getting old, very old. He's 91 now. And people were getting fed up with his rule. The idea that Hu Jintao could play some game and hold onto power was just not in the cards. He wasn't that kind of guy. Hu Jintao followed Jiang Zemin's precedent, and in 2008 put his successor as Vice-president. That's Xi Jinping.

Now you'd read a lot about who Xi Jinping is, whose faction he belongs to, how he got the post, etc. Most of what you read is probably complete crap. He was often called a "princeling", a member of a faction made up of the children of old high-ranking politicians from the 60s and 70s. That's not important. What's important is what he's been doing since he took office. In 2012 he took the office of Secretary General, then immediately the military commission. Hu Jintao wasn't allowed to play there for a few years as Jiang Zemin had done. He surrendered it immediately. That gave signs that Xi Jinping was the real deal. Then in 2013 he took the presidency.

Since then Xi Jinping has unleashed a massive crackdown on both Jiang Zemin's and Hu Jintao's protégés. And he's also jailed a big bunch of those princelings he was supposedly the leader of. Most famously Bo Xilai, who was this handsome, well-spoken guy who tried to outmanouver him out of sheer charisma and a very smart practice of making sure his friends were making a lot of money. Well, Mr. Bo is now in jail. Apparently writing daily (!) letters protesting about his outrageous treatment.

Besides cracking down on corruption, which he has undoubtedly done, Xi has also done a lot to tighten up the country. Most foreign journos would have you think that Xi is undoing the liberal legacy of his predecessors. But that's fake news. Xi Jinping didn't start internet censorship. He perfected it. Xi Jinping didn't start the crackdown against restless minorities (there's only two, Tibetans and Uyghurs). Hu Jintao started that as Governor of Tibet. Yes, that guy. Xi Jinping is only building on that legacy. China hasn't had a liberal in government since Zhao Ziyang in 1989. What China had were timid leaders of few words, who outwardly seemed to accept the superiority of Western democracy. They then cracked down on human rights and whatever, but without talking about it. Very subtly and with the lights off. Western politicians liked that; it meant that the Chinese Communist Party wasn't quite confident of its rule, and after a few time all the contradictions between rhetoric and reality would explode, giving USG and the Cathedral an opening into a market of 1.3 billion potential bioleninists.

That completely changed with Xi Jinping. He has completely changed the internal and external rhetoric of China. Now China has its own system of rule, which is different from Western democracy, and that's a good thing. China does not believe in separation of powers, in freedom of speech. And human rights, well yeah, but China interprets that as for example, having low crime rates, area in which China can claim wide superiority over the West. Xi Jinping is also making bold claims for (maritime) territory and influence. It is taking no shit, and giving plenty.

It should be no surprise that this drives Western politicians crazy. China is now fairly rich, it's buying property and high-tech companies across the world. China has made Southeast Asia it's diplomatic backyard, made a strong relationship with Russia against the US. It's practically vassalized South Korea, and eaten up so much of Taiwan economy that it's independence-minded government is limited to approving gaymarriage and bringing Muslim immigrants in order to beg for some Western sympathy.

All while internally the party's rule is tighter than ever. The standard narrative of Western democracy is that a developing economy creates a middle class, who then agitates for political rights. That may or may not be an accurate representation of the European experience, the revolutions of 1848 and all that. But it most certainly doesn't apply today. Today we have the internet. The internet creates monopolies by network effects. And governments just can't help themselves from merging with these monopolies. In the West, Google, Twitter, Facebook, are all arms of the cathedral. They censor, control and gather data for it. In China, Baidu, WeChat, Alibaba, are all arms of the Communist Party. The only difference is that in China, they are formally so.

And so Xi Jinping has now decided to do away with the term limits for President. Changing the constitution isn't unprecedented. The 1982 constitution has been ammended 4 times already. Some changes were quite big. Recognizing private property, for instance. The changes this time though have a very obvious theme: controlling the damn party. Enforcing discipline. They say Xi Jinping is obsessed with Gorbachov and the fall of the Soviet Union. On why the CPSU dissolved itself. It won't happen on his watch. He has created a new State Supervision Agency, a state-level agency, answering not to the government, but to the central committee, only to investigate illegal activity by public officials. That's a very, very old Chinese tradition, but let's leave it at that. The rationale is clear: all civil servants in the country must behave, obey orders, and stop trying to push for more power for themselves. It won't happen.

The Communist Party of China has close to 90 million members. That's bigger than the population of Germany. Coordinating and organizing 90 million people is no easy feat. Making sure they all obey order is borderline impossible. Civil servants in China have developed every way you can imagine to ignore the law and use their power to enrich themselves. The amount of money that civil servants in China have embezzled is in the trillions. And plenty have now families abroad, and many now kinda like liberal values. Everybody in China hates these people. Everybody in China has been scammed or cheated of victimized by some asshole politician. Well, if Xi Jinping wants to re-establish the legitimacy of the Communist party, and his personal rule, it is quite easy to see what his rhetoric is: People, I will protect you from evil politicians. I will jail them and get them out, and replace them with good people. That he has been doing, or he says he has been doing, and most people are quite content with it. The re-disciplining of the party has required cult-levels of ideological repression. The party media openly talks about the need for party members to have "faith". It's unseemly, but that's how large organizations work. Or isn't Facebook a cult? Have you seen Zuck talk?

Now, those local embezzlers are not happy. And those more or less honest business people who have fallen as collateral damage of the investigations are very much not happy about it. And everyone who just got used to liberal values, talking politics, and all that, are scared as fuck by internet controls and media censorship and talk of "faith in the party". All these people have endured 5 years of Xi Jinping, and probably were thinking they only have wait 5 more years until Xi's term limits come in. Then they could keep on embezzling money to buy Vancouver real-estate. Or go on gay-parties with drugs bought from Nigerians in Sanlitun. Well, tough luck. Xi Jinping is not going anywhere. That's the message of the constitutional change.

People should have figured that out when talk started to come of "Xi Jinping thought" going into the party statutes and the constitution. Xi Jinping thought doesn't mean anything. It's just a badge. A badge that says: as long as Xi Jinping is alive, his "thought" is one of the guiding ideologies of the country. So even if he's not Secretary General, any potential successor must follow his orders. His thought is in the constitution! Go ask the guy about what he thinks.

But it also happens that Xi Jinping is a formalist. He doesn't believe in tricks. He wants everybody to know that he's in charge, that he will be in charge as long as necessary, until he makes the Communist Party a disciplined organization without political machinations. No liberals will take power on his watch. China will not fall while he's there.

This may or may not be scary by itself; but it has nothing to do with being "a new Mao". Mao was not a dictator until 1966. And in order to become one he had to unleash the Cultural Revolution, where he physically killed every single enemy he had, and physically tortured about 90% of the party leadership. Mao did that precisely because he was not secure in his power. After 1959 he was removed from power due to, well, causing the starvation of tens of millions of people with the Great Leap Forward. He thought he would be purged and disgraced; and so he threw everything he had against the party. And he won. That's what Mao did. Xi Jinping is in a completely different situation. He has comfortable complete power over all the country, and in an orderly and formal way. He has nothing to fear.

As many of us now, it is not from secure power that bad government happens. It is due to insecure power, which leads the powerful to mess with society in order to secure it. That is what the Chinese historical tradition calls 乱, "disorder". Mao's time was a disorderly time. Xi Jinping's time, you may like, or not like, but it is most certainly orderly.

Now, a lot of people in China are kinda freaking out. Mostly liberal-ish college grads. If only because having a president for life does cut off some potential avenues for upward status mobility. And people hate that, of course, people want more status, more every day. If Xi is smart, he'll open up the economy a bit, so that status-maximizers can put their energies in making money and not in selling their country to USG's bioleninist outreach department. We'll see.


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  • Excellent post. Woke up to three wechat messages today from mainland friends sounding scared about this. Anglo propaganda truly is mind-blowingly effective, it amazes me how Chinese can't seem to remember Lee Kuan Yew and Chiang Kai Shek were not space aliens or the fact that the 650 years before Mao had emperors galore but never a disaster comparable to the Cultural Revolution or Great Leap Forward.

    • Or the so-called land reform which probably wiped out half the top couple percent in IQ distribution.

    • The Great American Novel is the history it writes about itself. Greeks had philosophy. Romans had engineering. Americans have propaganda. Their style of lying will echo grandly through the centuries.

      • Don't forget the Grand Masters of Propaganda. The British. The Americans got it from there. Come to think about it though. I think the British were better. Still are. The Americans in my opinion are just bright understudies of the British. Bright, but understudies nevertheless. This twitter feed by an Irish Gentleman illustrates this point way better than I ever could Somebody tried to do the same with the Americans and ran out of material real fast. The Americans looks quite comical and Amateurish in their crimes when compared to the Brits All in all, Gotta trust the Irish to make the Brits look bad. God Bless them.

          • you think the Americans are better? Now the Americans are good, no doubt. They are second best and that is nothing to sneeze at. But somehow when coming up against the Brits, they seem to fall noticeably short. Now I might be suffering from a hangover of Colonial British rule, being Indian and all that. But Still .....................

        • I'm going to start a twitter account called "Crimes of India", and trust me, I'll have no shortage of material...

          • Do it! Please. Knock yourself out! I can't wait. Send us all a nice message when you have it up and running.

          • BTW, here is a thought. Considering that @crimesofbrits is run by an Irish Nationalist, an IRA Sympathizer no less, how about running a twitter account called "Crimes of Ireland"? 5 Million Irishmen can give Britain a migraine followed by Alzheimer, while 1 Billion Hindus can at best give Britain yet another Blowjob followed by an orgasm, as per instruction from their St. Gandhi. So it seems you have your task cut out for you. And don't even get me started on Rotherham and Telford. I'd say You Brits really have a lot more important things to concern yourself with.

  • >If Xi is smart, he’ll open up the economy a bit, so that status-maximizers can put their energies in making money and not in selling their country to USG’s bioleninist outreach department. Hm. One of the properties of secure, formal power is to act as a font of honor. That is, be the one who sets up status ladders, who hands out status at least on the top levels, and in turn his picks hand out status on the lower levels. Economic freedom, status through getting rich has always been a problem for central power. Ideally for them, state-given status should be higher than richness status. Yet we saw it not working, say, in Europe around the early modern era, when businessmen no longer considered it a great honor if a dirt poor noble knight deigns to marry their daughter. Money status began to eclipse state given status. In this sense, a middle class agitating for political rights narrative is correct. More accurately, people having status and power from independent money and property agitate for more getting more status and power and a share in the government. Corruption is actually helping the state control of status. Via embezzling, state officials can be rich, and businessmen have to beg them to take their bribe to give a stamp on something. Cracking down on corruption means relatively poor public servants and comparatively their state-given status suffers relatively to that of rich businessmen. A more open economy leads to more Jack Ma (Alibaba) type billionaires. With independent status from their money. I don't really see other ways to keep status firmly controlled by the state than to either control the economy to the levels that seriously holds it back, basically not allow anyone to get too rich, or find a way for state officials to become really rich.

    • "Economic freedom, status through getting rich has always been a problem for central power." "I don’t really see other ways to keep status firmly controlled by the state than to either control the economy to the levels that seriously holds it back, basically not allow anyone to get too rich, or find a way for state officials to become really rich." Do you think it is possible that a version of England's practice of giving titles and honors to rich and successful could work? The Chinese Communist Party has been allowing capitalists to join the Party for a couple of years apparently. A neocameralist system, for instance, could reward status by offering stock. But yes, your point seems accurate overall.

    • I get what you mean, and you have a good point. But he doesn't need to open the economy *that* much. Just enough that people have some avenue of status improvement with a better ROI than virtue signaling. The Chinese government has long had a strategy of let the Hundred Flowers Bloom, and when a company has a dominant position in an industry, nationalize it, close down the industry and open up a different one. All mature industries are dominated by state-owned enterprises. The Internet was new so it was left for private enterprise, but now that Internet monopolies are mature, they are nationalizing them piece by piece. It works the same in Japan or Korea, although the legal fiction is different. Nobody gets to be a billionaire in Japan. The highest status is to be a big fish at Mitsubishi or Samsung, with at most a 200k/year salary. But you get bragging rights, enough for people to feel happy about their position without feeling a need of engaging in virtue signaling and agitating against the permanent government. Japan of course overdid this method, and didn't open up enough new industries for upstarts to innovate. China, as of now, and Korea too, have played this better.

      • Isn't Korea's economy dominated by the chaebol, the family run conglomerates that is the same word as zaibatsu, which dominated the pre-WW2 Japanese economy? Japan's economy today is dominated by keiretsu rather than zaibatsu.

          • Right, and isn't one of them the guy? He may be a billionaire, but he's considered less respectable than some lowly ministry of finance bureaucrat, right?

          • Far more than two in that list...

            • The Nitori guys is a billionaire? No kidding. Ok, ok, I exaggerated, but the Japanese economy does not make it easy to produce billionaires. I stand by my point.

  • Thank for this fantastic post. "So what’s the point? That’s a good question. China has a weird double structure, where the party and state are distinct entities, but have completely mirror structures." It would be good to hear your thoughts on this structure? Does it help or hinder? So glad you brought up Jiang Zemin. Western reports claim that Xi and Jiang are heads of competing factions. Is this true? What is the nature of this competition? Is it ideological or is about power and status? "He has created a new State Supervision Agency, a state-level agency, answering not to the government, but to the central committee, only to investigate illegal activity by public officials. That’s a very, very old Chinese tradition, but let’s leave it at that. " Could you say more about this tradition at some point? "As many of us now, it is not from secure power that bad government happens. It is due to insecure power, which leads the powerful to mess with society in order to secure it. That is what the Chinese historical tradition calls 乱, “disorder”. Mao’s time was a disorderly time. Xi Jinping’s time, you may like, or not like, but it is most certainly orderly." Agreed. How many people disagree with this though? Nick Land apparently thinks the CCR was an "uprising" against the government. In your experience, do Chinese and Western people take the CCR to result from Mao's insecurity or from popular uprising? Again, great post.

    • Competition in China is purely about power and status. There's a thing ideological veneer, but the Chinese aren't very good at faking piousness. It's all about turf. China has had special government departments for prosecuting misbehaving officials since the very beginning of the empire. They were only answerable to the emperor. China never had not could conceive of an independent judiciary, so this was the way of having some outside control on the bureaucracy. Of course it didn't work very well; but it's not like it works very well today either. If Nick Land things the CCR was bottom-up he is wrong. Everybody who knows his history knows it was a factional purge by Mao against the bulk of the communist party. It did feed on some popular discontent and sheer demographic pressure of too much young people around with too little to do; but they didn't organize themselves.

  • When I first heard of this my first thought was that this was a way to avoid the problem of a lame duck presidency. But I wondered how they were going to deal with setting a dangerous precedent, this was before reading your post and understanding that the president is only a ceremonial role, amazingly this wasn't clarified in the MSM. But still, I wonder how they will deal with this dangerous precedent. I remember an older article of yours that said that order was good in China (or in modern China? Don't remember) when power was shared among wise men, and bad when it was too centralized (Mao as an administrator) so the Politburo set up term limits and an orderly succession. I was thinking that perhaps they could avoid the dangerous precedent by formally allowing unlimited presidency term, but informally continuing to enforce limits (which may be longer or shorter than the formal limits). This I also drew from one of your other articles I think, where you said the Chinese like to have strict rules, but not enforce them. This forces businessmen to break the rules, but they won't get cracked down unless they do something really bad or the party wants to change direction. This method gives the party latitude, which might avoid the lame duck presidency problem and the tyrant problem. What are your thoughts?

    • Selective enforcement is indeed an old trick; but it doesn't apply to the top offices. The problem China had is that retirement of the president just doesn't happen. Deng Xiaoping didn't stop ruling. Jiang Zemin didn't stop ruling. It was all fake. Power was so distributed it was getting hard to get anything done, and the massive, massive degree of capital flight was doing serious damage to the economy. Xi Jinping didn't amass power by himself; a big chunk of the party wants him to have power and crush factionalism. Did I write China was more orderly when power was more distributed? That doesn't sound like me. I don't pretend to know what's going on in the Politburo sessions; but I think the abolition of term limits is a way of stopping opposing factions from digging up fortresses on the expectation that after a fixed amount of time they can grab power again. Short-termism is dead in China, for good or bad.

      • It does seem like the party is behind Xi, but I wonder why. China is doing better than ever before. I don't believe in the liberal narrative that China is on the cusp of collapsing. But it does seem the party has some urgency and is worried so they're all getting behind Xi. Is it that this is the last initiatives of the old guard so they want to get as much positive momentum as they can while they're still around so some young and dumb future leader who has only known prosperity can't fuck it up too much? I'm also very puzzled why China is not biding their time and hiding their strength. It has been working so well over the past few decades. Or perhaps it's just the MSM putting more attention on China's actions or it's needed to continue to build up internal cohesion because people are fed up with corruption in recent years as you said. I probably remembered it wrong. It might have been the exact opposite now that I think about it: China is orderly when all the wise men agree on something, and disorderly when there are factions (obviously). That makes sense. Get with the program. Short term ism is always bad. I've never seen a younger Xi before. He seems to be in the mould of LKY, willing to devote his whole life to the nation (instead of get rich or something despite the capability) and a fighter. No wonder he is obsessed with Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union. I'm sure the party is making a wise choice in giving him the power.

        • He sounds really smart in that video. Really smart. Compare with the previous one, with Hu Jintao laughing like a retarded toady. Toady he was, retarded he wasn't; but compared with Alpha Jinping he sorely lacks in gravitas.

  • "People, I will protect you from evil politicians. I will jail them and get them out, and replace them with good people. " How do you say "Drain the Swamp!" in Chinese?

    • 苍蝇老虎一起打 "hit both flies and tigers". Flies being local petty corrupt officials, tigers being big fish corrupt politicians in the cities.

    • I'd be all for Trump founding an Anti-Corruption Bureau (or, more likely, tearing down and rebuilding the FBI for this purpose) answerable only to the Executive. Of course, then we'd have the tricky problem of keeping Trumpalikes in office so such a weapon doesn't fall into the hands of the enemy.

      • It's called a "second special counsel," like Hannity and Lindsey Graham want. (Stopped clocks). I hear Ken Starr is available.

  • I've mentioned this in Mr. Karlin's blog, but I think that if things continue the way they are, it'll eventually transition to "data-driven" in a way that reduces human participation in governance. Xi is possibly the only world leader off the top of my head who seems to actually be aware of what is AI, instead of using it as a catchphrase.

  • Very interesting post. So far as comparisons to the USSR are legitimate, Xi Jinping strikes me as an Andropov like figure. With the advantage of being younger, healthier, smarter, and having a far more vigorous economy, being more immune to Western cultural subversion, and as Daniel Chieh points out, having the prospect of technocratic AI on the horizon.

  • Just can't help admiring China. JUST.CAN'T.HELP.IT. Grudging admiration. I'd rather not admire them. I'd rather admire someone else. But if wishes were horses ........

    • Core of the rakshasic mleccha-ideology is the AIT. Supposedly the Aryans were blond and blue-eyed. But the mleccha cannot give any proof. The mleccha do not have sufficient knowledge of Sanskrit to know what they are talking about. Contact Yernaz Ramautarsing in the Netherlands and Koenraad Elst in Belgium.

      • Um...... Sure...... Whatever you say. But I'm scratching my head. What exactly does your comment have to do with mine?

  • You seems to know a lot about Chinese history and politics and you respond to comments. So let me ask you something, what do you think about this double leadership structure of China that is directly borrowed from USSR where you have the normal official and the political commissar officials? For example, a city have a Mayor but it also have a deputy party secretary who are technically same level of power, at the governor level there is the Governor but there is also the party chief who seems to have more power. This literally goes for every level in Chinese government. I feel like this is some sort of double government that feels redundant, but it does look like they party man have more power than the governing man What is the purpose of this? If the purpose is to ensure the effective control from the party, but then why bother? Isn't the local governor are also part of CCP member? its not like they are not part of the same organization. Or Is this for some kinda of double supervision from both side to make sure no one gains absolute power? I know traditionally for the Chinese bureaucracy the top officials are usually appointed by the imperial government and those guys often get send around to different posts at the emperor's will, and the local officials are mostly from local... which is very similar to today's structure. And I think this is pretty unique for China. But what do you think about this double government structure? Whats the real purpose? is this an improvement? or just more left over thing from old communist era?

  • I presume you'd agree with Eamonn Fingleton that the American attitude of the last 30 years, as their factories closed and their trade deficits ballooned, is both foolish and dangerous.

    "Two bets are on the table. One has been placed by the Washington establishment, the other by the Chinese Communist Party. Analyzing China’s prospects in terms of fashionable globalist ideology, Washington is betting that a rich China will be a free one. The theory is that the only way China can continue to grow is by embracing Western democracy and capitalism. Moreover, the very process of China’s enrichment is supposedly undermining the Beijing government’s authoritarianism. More wealth means more freedom means more wealth. Here is how President George W Bush put it: “As China reforms its economy, its leaders are finding that once the door to freedom is opened even a crack, it cannot be closed. As the people of China grow in prosperity, their demands for political freedom will grow as well.” Similar optimism pours forth from the American press. The Wall Street Journal commented, “Sooner or later China’s economic progress will create the internal conditions for a more democratic regime that will be more stable, and less of a potential global rival.” Abroad too the Washington view is increasingly prevalent. After visiting Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair cited the rise of a Chinese middle class and the spread of the Internet as factors that had produced “an unstoppable momentum … towards greater political freedom [and] progress on human rights.” The Washington view has become so widely accepted that almost no one has noticed that there is second bet on the table–that of the Chinese leadership. It has been placed on a disturbingly different outcome: that a future China can be both rich and authoritarian."

    • Why exactly would a hypothetical democratic China not be a potential global rival? If Chinese people had a vote they would have invaded Japan already.

      • Because a democratic China would immediately collapse or be ultra-pozzed like Taiwan or a Shanghai nightclub? Hard to do anything but fold when your TFR is 1.1.

      • "If Chinese people had a vote they would have invaded Japan already." But when Bush and Blair talk about democracy and human rights they don't think about a government that does what its people want, like that of Poland or Hungary (that's 'populist' i.e. bad) - they mean a society where the politicians are owned by the party donors, and what's important is what's being pushed by media and opaquely-funded pressure groups. Today that means open borders and transgender bathrooms. I admit China seems a long way from that, but so did the UK sixty years ago. I see the Economist has actually run up the white flag this morning and now agrees with what Fingleton was saying ten years ago. "How the West got China wrong. It bet that China would head towards democracy and the market economy. The gamble has failed"

    • Seems pretty negative for the End of History pozzing of the world, I agree. Not so negative for humanity.

    • Every race and every country get as much freedom as they can bear, and as kuch of an illusion of freedom as their average ego requires.

      • The concept of freedom ie the plant divorced from its roots is monotheism & you're being taken for a ride।।

  • Daniel Chieh took a white woman as his only wife, O Lalit he has no place to speak: All along the platform, blue-turbaned Sikhs sat cross-legged, their curved kirpans across their knees, patiently waiting for the next arriving Special. When he is ready, he will come।। Spandrell: Thoughts on this? Claims Machine Politics drive Sullah migration & A small heretical sect of jews is responsible for leftism. Will withhols my views until others comment।।

    • I also don't dislike Christians at all. I think that Christianity, in its effort to save souls and esteem of self-sacrifice, has not only given the world great beauty through works of art and architecture but has inspired countless souls to acts of self-sacrifice great and small(even Voltaire, anti-clerical as he was, praised the social work of nuns); in many ways, I think much greatness of the Western civilization would have been impossible without the influence of Christianity. And frankly, what would the world now be without the flowering of Western European civilization? In sooth, would there even be modern science without the yearning for divinity? Indeed, for when Carl Linnaeus categorized the "beasts of God," what motivated him to such an act? Not wealth nor fame, but as as he wrote : "Creationis telluris est gloria Dei ex opere Naturae per Hominem solum" or in English: "The Earth's creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone." In both the sublime and the substantial, I think that we have much to thank to the existence of Christianity and its adherents, yea, even to this day.

      • It's pretty gay to claim Chinese elite hood & be converted by a white woman।। Sikhs walk around in Turban Beard Osama style & have no trouble with Slavic or Hellenic chicks, generally the most desirable (k won't forget Perso Afghans) So what's the point of your gayness? Eh, your own ppl can handle it. Cina bros, please get him in the name of the Glorious Hua ancestors।।

      • Daniel Chieh, the Pagans believe that whatever is beautiful about Christianity is really digested Greco-Roman thought. The sort of Christianity that was prevalent in Rome at the time of Constantine was more akin to Modern Day Islam than modern Day Christianity. The movie Agora demonstrates faithfully, in our opinion, what Christianity in the Roman Empire was really like. How can I be so confident of it's authenticity? Because that is exactly how Christians In India are observed to Behave. The sort of Christianity and Christians one sees in India are completely different from the way it is practiced in the west. And it appears to me that Christians do things one way when they are in the minority and another way when they are in the majority. Very similar to another death cult from the sands of arabia that is now swallowing the west. We see right here in India, where we see Christians appropriating Hindu practices and converting illiterate tribals using these practices and claiming that these practices (Yogasanas, Anapana meditation, Pranayama which is Indian Qi Gong) actually originate with Jesus. Ever heard of Christian Yoga? We see Christian missionaries dressing in Saffron Garb to fool gullible people as if they were the originators of the concept of renunciation and it's symbology. We see Christian churches using Hindu motifs again to fool people. We also see Christias appropriating Hindu philosophical concepts and then claiming that these came to India via apostles such as St. Thomas. We see Christians start with converting the fools, the criminals and then claim that they offer succor to the oppressed. No wonder modern progressivism looks so much like Christianity to a Pagan. And to some one who is familiar with the writings on the Ancient Romans regarding Christians, it seems so much like deja Vu. It appears that the Christians have not changed their tactics in 2000 years. Why change something that works is what one Cynic observed. Christianity is doubtlessly powerful as it digested so many pagan faiths as it will doubtless digest Hinduism in the Future. But to claim it is beautiful is going a step too far. You may claim superiority for Christianity due to it's ability to dominate, but it is too much to stomach a claim of beauty or divinity. It's also why the Right Wing Hindus admire the Japanese. They are the only Pagans to successfully counter Christianity by demonstrating it's essential Chicanery, a task in which the Hindus are failing and failing miserably.

    • Aryaavart, considering that most Asian-White couples are White Man and Asian woman, and considering that White Men are considered more masculine than Asian men, don't you think Daniel Chieh actually underscores his badass credentials by marrying a white woman? In fact this increases my respect for him. It is the same when I see a Hindu/Sikh/Buddhist man with a Muslim woman. Because the traffic is usually in the other direction, the Hindu/Sikh/Buddhist man has to be pretty much of a badass that he got himself a Muslim wife. So it is not correct for you to think in this manner about Daniel Chieh. And talking to him, he always seemed to be a reasonable person. The guy who really gets my goat with his lies is the fellow who calls himself Duke of Qin.

      • A man's worth should be judged by his accomplishment,not by his relationship to a woman. To make women such an accomplishment is a form of pedestalization that I would discourage(and kinda creepy). At any rate, my reference to Christianity was in the fairly pedestrian awareness of the rather impressive results of the faith: the Sistine Chapel, Notre-Dame Cathedral, or movements such as the First Crusade(which really was such a logistical mess and yet held together long enough to somehow, wildly, accomplish its main objective). One, too, could argue that the results of the First Crusade also brought back a lot of previously lost Greco-Roman knowledge, and I believe, arguably the basics of what would become the scientific theory, to which we owe our entire modern existence. And beyond that, really, one could hardly look at the record of someone like David Livingstone and not feel the immensity of faith that spurred him to greatness. Now, insofar as it is "culturally appropriating" local customs to claim for itself and its subversive influence in society as the Romans called it of a "religion of women and slaves," there is probably truth in that too. I still would like to do more research on it before I come to any conclusion - but I think at the end of the day, to reject something totally just because it also has nasty side effects is a mistake. Death is a side-effect...well..the inevitable result of life, but we do not reject life itself as having much beauty.

        • These achievements of Christianity in architecture you talk about, they are nothing special in the sense that all civilisations have achievements such as these. The Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Indians, Assyrians, Chinese. Besides all these achievements came after the renaissance which again was essentially the diluting of Christian theology. I still maintain that a lot of this beauty comes from the what Christianity digested of Ancient Greece and Rome. You may also want to read what the Japanese thinkers such as Aizawa thought about Christianity. Regarding your reaction and perhaps spandrell’s as well, to my comments on man’s accomplishment or relationship vis-a-via women, strikes me as Puritanism. Whether you may like it or not, you are judged at least partly on your relationships to women. And indeed you do the same to others. Indeed other men will judge you based on the women you attract. To deny this and to call it creepy is not too different from the cathedral denying differences between men and women and between races and cultures and calling any such differentiation racism or sexism or all manner of other such terms. Note, heartiste articulates what trump voters think as in trump being alpha because of his ability to attract beautiful women significantly younger to himself. This is just how it is. It is observable.

          • Don't have time to address the point about Christianity beyond that I think that evangelical religions have a specific and unique provoking an outward-seeking attitude which has been helpful in promoting interaction and as noted previously, science. But in regards to women, its pretty simple and hardly puritan. If you allow something to determine your status, you're giving it power. If you allow women to determine your status, then you're giving women power to judge and indeed the notion of being "attractive" in that sense is remarkably passive(a position traditionally assumed by women, who seek to draw attention). Women are quite nice and can be a lot of fun, one would hope that a man has decent taste in selecting non-ugly women, but at the end of the day, bitches be bitches. At one point I was juggling three plates, and it was quite fun to get there, but also made me realize that it was a lot of time spent on something that was essentially pointless(I wasn't generating heirs with all of them, tragically). A man that gets validation from women selecting him puts his esteem in the hands of hormonal, irrational creatures and that's a terrible idea. If you're successful and project effectiveness and strength, women will be drawn to you. But the important thing, then, is to be capable and all that jazz, women are just an artifact, a side-effect of the former.

        • This person can say it much better than I can. Yang Guaxian seems to be your own countryman. He seems to have gotten Christianity exactly right

            • I can see why you support the Chinese. They seem to be the only civilized force which can stand up to Islam. They are possibly the last hope for civilization.

                • There are several who will agree with me, for instance the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Plenty of Chinese Stooges in India. Now, I've been sending links to articles about the Chinese demolishing Xtian Churches and Forcing Muslims to submit via such delightful means as banning beards, forcing muslim owned shops to stay open for Ramadan and sell alcohol, promoting glamorous Muslim women, listen to hour long lectures regarding "Without the CCP, there is no new china", at the local mosques, some of the more thoughtful Indians are grudgingly and wistfully beginning to accept this conclusion. India-China comparisons are a Joke when it comes to Civilizational Assabiya. Hindus are not even in the game. I mean the evidence is overwhelming and it hits you on the face and it is everywhere. Sigh!

  • Xi Jinping has done a lot to damage the Jiang fiefs in the CCP, but his 領導核心 power is very brittle, mainly because he’s destroyed the system by which Chinese elites pretend to be communist so they can make money. Right now with the trade war on, internal (within the CCP) dissent is mounting. Xi can’t even hold a Fourth Plenum for the 19th Central Committee. I think he’s at a “use it or lose it” point in his power where’s he’s going to have to do something drastic to the ruling structure to weather/subside the Trump administration’s onslaught, or be ousted and have China return to corrupt “collective leadership.” My guess is that with too much dead wood in the CCP officialdom, and with the Party structure itself encouraging corruption and inefficiency, Xi is going to have his own “bombard the headquarters” moment, place himself and his immediate supporters outside the CCP, and kill off the functionaries after blaming them for China’s economic problems. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he torn down Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to justify his campaign, and just left Xi Jinping Thought to glorify Chinese nationalism.

      • Nothing crazy about it. Political struggle is upstream of everything in Chinese leadership. The corrupt vested interests from the previous era remain deeply entrenched. Xi isn't the all-powerful dictator that he is often portrayed as being, and neither does he enjoy "comfortable complete power over all the country." The anti-corruption campaign has definitely kicked up a huge amount of resentment and institutional resistance. There are many indications of this but China doesn't have transparent political process so you're not going to see disgruntled officials voicing their opinions about how much they hate the leader and want him replaced. But they do hate him, they aren't loyal to this hick from Shaanxi who's in office only because Jiang and Hu couldn't agree on a better guy in 2012.

        • That's what the cult of personality is for. They can't just change him now and not have the whole party lose massive collective face. Whatever the personal intrigues at the top, there's no constituency for the party leaving power.

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