I wrote over the weekend about new Chinese President Xi Jinping’s letting loose with his hitherto understated enthusiasm for reviving Maoist principals and initiating an ideological purge of his communist party — instead of, you know, installing a more transparent regime and a more equitable society and whatever else he may have insincerely mentioned in the run-up to his leadership.
The Chinese government is all about walking the line between making a show of dealing with their rampant corruption and abuse of their cozy plutocracy whilst maintaining that there’s nothing inherently bad about their system itself. Indeed, not only is their system not a bad one, it’s the most glorious and morally righteous governing system with which mankind has ever been gifted — and maintaining a lie of that caliber means squashing out any pesky notions of democratic indulgence among the masses. The NYT reports:
Communist Party cadres have filled meeting halls around China to hear a somber, secretive warning issued by senior leaders. Power could escape their grip, they have been told, unless the party eradicates seven subversive currents coursing through Chinese society
These seven perils were enumerated in a memo, referred to as Document No. 9, that bears the unmistakable imprimatur of Xi Jinping, China’s new top leader. The first was “Western constitutional democracy”; others included promoting “universal values” of human rights, Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation, ardently pro-market “neo-liberalism,” and “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.
Even as Mr. Xi has sought to prepare some reforms to expose China’s economy to stronger market forces, he has undertaken a “mass line” campaign to enforce party authority that goes beyond the party’s periodic calls for discipline. The internal warnings to cadres show that Mr. Xi’s confident public face has been accompanied by fears that the party is vulnerable to an economic slowdown, public anger about corruption and challenges from liberals impatient for political change.
The document was never meant to be made public, of course, but since it was issued last spring, there’s been an especial upswing in the vociferous denunciations of constitutionalism and other such dangerous ideas, and warnings of opponents that “have stirred up trouble about disclosing officials’ assets, using the Internet to fight corruption, media controls and other sensitive topics, to provoke discontent with the party and government.” Which, really, is to be expected. Communism doesn’t just work naturally, after all; it takes careful planning, deliberate freedom-crushing, and conscientious brainwashing to keep it going.