GLOBAL TIMES – By Thomas Hon Wing Polin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/11 21:13:39
Having failed to stem the expansion of Chinese political and economic influence worldwide, the Western imperium will doubtless focus its stop-China efforts in the years ahead on its favorite hobby-horse: democracy. The West’s secularism and democracy also serve as an invaluable beachhead for the empire to destabilize and even regime-change those non-Western governments it doesn’t like.
The process works as follows. First, it is “established” through Western mainstream media and agents on the ground that democracy is desired by the people of the targeted country. And that, of course, is self-evidently a good thing. Next, the imperium’s member governments condemn the targeted “regime” for denying democracy and call in unison for support to the fighters for democracy. Material and political aid follows. Mainstream media amplify the tensions. If things go smoothly, regime change occurs. Otherwise, a nice color revolution is brewing. Successful regime change leads to the automatic induction of a second- or third-class member into the democracy empire.
As with other targets, the West’s propaganda line of attack against China will be: Since democracy is self-evidently the best governance system known to man, all right-thinking people hanker after it. Those that don’t are, at best, sub-human. To make progress, they need to adopt the superior democratic system. Throughout, the empire speaks as though it has a monopoly on democracy.
But it doesn’t. Take the case of China. The Chinese term for “democracy” is minzhu – which literally means “the people are in charge.” That of course is the essence of democracy.
Western-style liberal democracy is but one form of democracy. It neither puts the people in charge, nor their interests uppermost. It is at the bottom an oligarchy that serves the interests of a tiny minority at the expense of the vast majority.
By contrast, socialism with Chinese characteristics attempts to serve the interests of the vast bulk of the population. Chinese leaders are constantly on their toes due to the fear of losing their governing legitimacy by deviating from that “democratic” objective.
Nor does the West have any exclusive claim to democratic ideas. In the 4th century BC, shortly after Socrates and around the time of Plato and Aristotle, Mencius was advocating the people’s right to remove their leaders if the latter weren’t doing their jobs properly. The notion, advanced by Confucianism’s premier philosopher after Confucius himself, was radical. It later developed into the Mandate of Heaven – the core concept of traditional Chinese governance.
For China’s leaders, including today’s, forfeiting the contemporary equivalent of the Mandate of Heaven would be a far greater disaster – for the entire nation – than losing any election. That’s why Chinese rulers are compelled to be more serious about serving their masses than their revolving-door counterparts in the West.
The governance system of today’s China – call it “centralized meritocracy” – is still a work in progress, evolving along with the country. It contains flaws that need to be tackled and ironed out. But in the fundamental sense of putting the people’s interests first, China is already more democratic than the West.
While liberal democracy remains the reflexively preferred political ideology in the West, growing numbers of non-Westerners are questioning its value. Indeed, many believe it to be ineffective, a sham and even a tool for control.
Samples of such views:
To its devotees, democracy is a religion. That it’s the best governance system for all peoples, at all times, cannot be questioned.
Democracy is the greatest, most insidious hoax perpetrated by the West against the non-West.
Democracy is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Western imperium for perpetual world domination.
Democracy is a competition to see who can fool most of the people, most of the time.
Democracy is voodoo that instantly turns the brains of otherwise intelligent people into mush.
Democracies may actually apply democracy at home. Abroad, they practice hegemony, neocolonialism and dictatorship.
So when you next hear someone selling democracy as the best system of governance, keep the above issues in mind.
The author is a former senior editor at the international newsweekly Asiaweek (English) and founding editor of Yazhou Zhoukan (Chinese). firstname.lastname@example.org