Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Comment At China Policy Institute Article By "Yu Keping".

Here. The comment is currently awaiting moderation, but not being a regular commenter at the China Policy Institute blog, I have no idea whether it will make it through or not.


This article is essentially a statement of faith in a seemingly unexamined and unclear premise: that "democracy" is the "only" solution to achieving peaceful long term political organization.

As is so often the case, a rough proxy for the underlying assumption appears to be something like "If we could just change the political organization in China, then everything will be OK." The article is written as if forms of political organization do not themselves have antecedent causes in the culture and psychology of the population.

If there is a strength to democracy, it perhaps lies in the confrontational aspect of opposing views, disagreement, evidence, contrary evidence, examination, debate, the giving and taking of offence and the open dissemination of all of the above. That is not quite the same thing as earnest pronouncements of faith to a circle of PC followers.

With that said, two questions may be suggested...

1) Perhaps the Chinese would be better off simply with less governance rather than the sanctified western version of governance? It is often remarkable what people can achieve when left to their own devices, which is itself a strong indication of the limits of our knowledge.

2) Given the monstrous growth of sometimes arbitrary political power in the U.S., U.K. and other western countries under democratic conditions, how much more rapid and terrifying might the growth of such political power become in China under democratic conditions?

Perhaps the ostensible concern, "disorder", should be questioned more closely before it is dismissed as a nightmare. Perhaps "disorder" has positive aspects in addition to negative ones, and what a-priori reason is there to think the latter would necessarily outweigh the former?


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