USA CHINA Myth 1: The Party Controls All
USA CHINA Myth 1: The Party Controls All
The People’s Republic of China (PRC), “the Party”, rules under a “Mandate of Heaven”. Understanding that in Chinese terms and cultural history is not easy. Basically it means rulers rule as long as they keep their contract with heaven to be good rulers. Like the knights in medieval England with another’s colors on their helmet. Two fought, plaintiff and defense, and the winner had God on their side. This was the seminal history of our legal system to settle problems of individual rights among diverse individuals; blind justice Asian histories are often not fathomed by Americans anymore than Asians fathom our history as neither appears logical in their present form. The “Mandate of Heaven” can be lost by bad rulers. Political change can take place with winners having the Mandate and losers not having the “Mandate of Heaven“. In the 1970s Deng Xiaoping realized that all could not be controlled. The Party has removed themselves from most aspects of personal lives. Previously individual lives as recently as the 1960s were micro-monitored and controlled to the individual level with “red guards” or “granny guards”. Today, except in cases where it is dissidents or those contrary to the Party (CPC) philosophy or for political expedience, most citizens enjoy considerable personal freedom and rights. The economic front has changed to from a Lenin based top-down control and 5-year plans to a communist society with room for capitalism, just in time inventory, cost control, budgeting and more accurate financial reporting while allowing more personal economic freedoms to the individuals and allowing them to venture forth and take the risks of the entrepreneur. In spite of the recent appearance of personal freedoms (primarily since the early 1990s) and economic capitalism within China since the 1970s but accelerated in the 1990’s anyone would be foolish to think that the Lenin top-down foundation of the CPC national philosophy of communism and the Mao Zedong mobilization and respect for the peasants and farmers has waned. Both are still primary forces that influence CPC decisions for the group. China is a group democracy willing to accept that for any decision some good and innocent get hurt and some bad and guilty benefit (black cat – white cat). Of paramount importance is the net benefit to the overall group. They should be better off from any decision, direction or policy; the group of 1.3 billion. In America focus is on the individual and zero tolerance for any innocent or good being a victim. This seems to impede the realization of benefits and timely actions or implementation of many expedient opportunities; democracy is cumbersome
China is a land of many very free people whose lives are getting better every year, every decade since 1970. They are not unhappy generally. Many westerners feel more personal freedom in China than they have in the United States where personal freedom is lost to government regulations, controls, taxes, a legal system biased to the individual; not the group. But, Americans need to be aware that they are in a top-down, communist controlled country where decisions are for the group first , not the individual. The Chinese eschew the individual and have done so for thousands of years. Americans and other westerners benefit more than others on the matter of personal freedom in China and feel freer because they are foreigners. The Chinese have always treated guests and visitors (foreigners) with more kindness, tolerance and consideration than foreigners have treated the Chinese in China or their own western country in the last 2-centuries. Westerners often experience less personal freedom at home than many Chinese feel today due to the burdens of government intrusion, inept regulations, leaders and executives without a “Mandate of Heaven”. In America it appears, with a widening income gap, such, like many of the Chinese, are more interested in their personal coffers and imposing their values and beliefs on others than the group well-being of their constituents, general populace, subordinates or guests and visitors.
The Chinese have a top-down society and have had so for thousands of years. The westerner’s’ history is based on the individual. The lack of understanding of the underlying philosophy and concepts of a top-down society based on the group with thousands of years of history results in different ways of thinking, different opinions of common sense and different logical conclusions between the parties. This appears to be one the major contributors to misunderstanding between cultures.