USA CHINA Myth 2:
“Communism is Name Only in China”
“Communism is Name Only in China”
C ommunism is not going away. The Chinese are not going to politicize the army.
The PRC is the People’s Republic of China (the separate government apparatus, the country), the CCP is the Chinese Communist Party by some or CPC which is the Communist Party of China (ultimate power); the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the Party’s Army not the country’s Army, not the state’s army. The party is structured closely to what Lenin designed. Hu Jintao is the current “Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China”. He is General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and President of the state.
The Chinese governance is divided among three entities. The Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese army (PLA, and the state. The primary organs of state power are the National People’s Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. The State Head is the President of China and is currently held by Hu Jintao with his other titles. The President of the State is technically a figurative position with little direct power. Hu Jintao’s power comes from the CPC and PLA.
Unlike other countries where the Army is a balancing force or a direct arm of the state in China the army is the protection of the Party and their “Mandate from Heaven”: the right to exercise power. Unlike others, the Party (CPC) is always on the alert for anyone trying to depoliticize the PLA.
Some say Chinese Communist system is “market Leninism”. Many say the CPC is here to stay, that it is real and that it needs to be reckoned with accordingly at our own peril. Maybe this is true but only in the context of Chinese traditions and history.
Most outside of China do not understand that “Chinese is not a race” or that the “han”, the majority ethnic group, are not pure anything. In fact there is a mixture of many races in the Chinese melting pot that has been added to and stirred by many races over the centuries. China is a vast country geographically, actually fourth largest in the world if you remove Alaska, 90% water, ice and floating tundra, from the USA total square miles. Chinese weather varies greatly by region. In fact, in southern China, many fled to the mountains, as armies moved along the plains and waterways, and to this day maintain a culture dating back for centuries. China has 56 registered ethnicities. China has 7-12 different language groups (depends on who is counting) and no one is sure how many dialects, some say over 600. The language groups cannot communicate with each other except through writing. Thanks to Mao Zedong, who did not speak Mandarin, China, while always literate among the few, become literate as a populace quicker than any country in history from 1949 on. China’s tie that binds is Chinese writing which no one can discover; it just emerged in history thousands of years before Christ. That is why peoples’ literacy was so important. In such a diverse, dissimilar land with a variety of peoples from various races and culture the only order was top down. Unlike America where Daniel Boone, the trapper, cut a swath of land, defeated the Indians and built Boonsboro setting the American example of progress being set and led by one individual, one community of white Christian brothers at a time. Yet, only a few, literate white men had any rights. In China the institutions of Chinese life are extensions of the family tradition and an extension of history. The individual has little consideration. The nail that sticks out is hammered down. The Chinese people expect a top-down control of their social, economic and political life from the leaders that hold the Mandate of Heaven. Westerners with their individual foundation have trouble understanding, accepting, or comprehending China’s group orientation from the family up. Chinese with their group orientation have trouble understanding, accepting or comprehending the western individual family orientation from the family and out to individual freedom. Both oriental and occidental organizations and traditions emanated from the same source, the family; the only natural organization. All others are artificial.
The CPC, PRC, and PLA are the protectors and leaders of Chinese traditions. The people of China expect the CPC, PRC and PLA to exercise their Mandate of Heaven for the benefit of the group. America is not a Democracy, it is a Republic. The Chinese are not an autocracy; they are a People’s Democratic Republic. As stated in their constitution. The Chinese have and American systems are not what they appear to be and talking-heads claim them to be. Voting, that system of fairness where 10% ( horrible failure rate) of the Presidential elections ended up, as John Stuart Mill (that voting disenfranchised the losers), with the majority of Americans in those fair and democratic elections. Democracy does not work any better or any worse than Chinese Communism. Both have their strengths and both have their weaknesses. Hopefully both can learn form each other and better both systems with rationality and benefits for all as we move into the future together.
The Chinese history is of top down control over all from official appointments, education, Confucian now co0llege entrance testing, media, society, business and government. They have thousands of years of doing that with some Emperors delegating power out and others centralizing even more.
Westerners have trouble accepting anything but their way as the right way. Chinese think everyone’s own way is their sovereign way and they have no design to change others.
While the study of the history of China teaches us the long-tradition of top-down social management by a single controlling entity associated with success and peace for the group. The present tells another story. This other story is about the continuing expansion of individual rights of ownership and life in China since the 1970s and accelerated in the 1990s that helped lead China to the modern age. Chinese increases in personal rights, legalism, personal freedoms and private ownership it is hard to criticize. The “beneficent leadership” of the CPC and their protection by the PLA is providing social stability, advancements on all fronts, resources for addressing truly cataclysmic natural disasters and maintaining order among such a diverse group, for more diverse than in the USA, of 1.34 billion people. One must respect the Chinese people’s accomplishments amidst great adversity since the 1970’s; a mere 30-years ago. It is truly amazing and a testament to the Chinese culture and history that they have raised themselves to the internal and and external global position with their society in an unprecedented short time, mere decades. They have a long way to go, but so do Americans and others.
While Mercantilism fell to “Naked Greed” unleashed by Adam Smith in 1776 that resulted in the collapse Karl Marx predicted 100-years ago in the melt-down of western financial systems 2007 and that may be continuing, at least for small business for years to come. How many westerners know that Hu Jintao, Chinas current leader, reads Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments repeatedly as one of his favorite reads. Had the amoral carrion of Goldman-Sachs and their ilk or the know-it-alls at AIG tread the same the workers and small businesses of America may not have to have faced the recent and continuing economic collapse?
It might be prudent for capitalist, socialist and communist alike to recognize the power of urbanization and the re-birth of city-states; megalopolis. . Currently there are over 50% of Americans living in urban environments: the first time in our country’s history. Both China and America were built on agrarian (land) and industrial (top down) platforms that were capital and asset based. The Small business foundation, the breeding ground for the jobs of the future so necessary to a vibrant economy, has not been either capital or land based. Small business is person based. The melt down benefitted large corporations and politicians paid for with monies from the backs and equity of the middle class Americans, workers and small business owners. For them the melt down continues for the most part. However, if one scans the horizon, they might see all central power being diminished as megalopolis that house the people, individuals and groups, and control the water, sewers, and energy for the densely populated city grows in stature and clout. We may be on a journey to revisit the city states of both the Chinese and the western history. In the mean time we may not see the Democrats, Republicans or CPC with their PLA leaving any time soon.
America is a socialist country if you look at government owned or controlled industries, social security, health care, regulations and government employment. China is a capitalistic country as can be seen by their market plays and developing economy. The Americans stem from individualism of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Chinese communist system stems from the historical family and with Lenin (top down) layered on the Chinese history (top down) based on the “Mandate of Heaven”; contract with an ephemeral power, the umbrella sky for good.
The Chinese Communist and Peoples Liberation Army are not going away. The US Defense Department, the Republicans, the Democrats and the socialism of health care in America are not going to go away. We at Makemi think the future is a synthesis of the two systems led by small business in the USA and China.
Globally Chinese are now the buyers. Americans need buyers. Americans are the consumers and privately, often individually, or marital community owned small business needs to sell to those consumers. This current imbalance and common needs of both Chinese and American small businesses is likely to be a vibrant way for the next couple of decades at least. American small businesses need buyers of their services, technology and products in China. Chinese small businesses need technology, product and partners in America. Both sides can sling arrow at each other trying to defend their own messes at home. But, privately small businesses in both countries are under an onslaught of regulations, lack of credit and corporate subsidized competition. They both need transactions, access to larger markets and business activity. China and America are likely small business partners for the future based on their shared challenges and shared needs.
Makemi is the unique organization working to build bridges between American small businesses and small, successful, privately owned Chinese companies (averaging 30-employees) that cannot expand in China because of subsidized corporate and state owned competition. Chinese and American small businesses of the same size are suffering under the same conditions. There can be a synergy between to the two to their mutual benefit. The barriers of language, culture and customs are great. Makemi is building pathways for that synergy one American-Chinese small business relationship at a time. Makemi frequently visits China to be on the ground with small business owners. Makemi is also frequently and has been on the ground with American small business owners.
Makemi thinks it is not about them but it is about us. Makemi is trying to answer the call of “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Makemi is dedicated to investing in people and helping people in America and China one small business (person or family) at a time.