Monday, October 12, 2009

Democratic Socialism, China and the West

With the monopolitical cultures in the UK and elsewhere in the West being increasingly exposed as, at best, "democracies" that were perhaps suited to a bygone era, we would do well to get a little bit upset at the patronizing tone that accompanies western media reporting on China. For instance, the 'Guardian' on 20th May 2009, reported that the Chinese reformist, Zhao Ziyang, who was forced out of office in 1989, wrote in his memoirs that China needed a western-style democracy. Certainly, China needs more transparency, more empowerment of its citizens, more accountability, but, a "western style democracy"?

No, while the signatories of "Charter 08" (Língbā Xiànzhāng) are right in their assertion that China has to "recognize universal values, assimilate into the mainstream civilization, and build a democratic political system", it is not necessarily to the western model that the country should look for guidance. Certainly, not at a time in history when those "democracies", having destroyed their own manufacturing bases, rely on fictitious capital to stay afloat while they look to cheap products from China and other developing countries to keep their populations fetishes satisfied. It would now appear that the most important thing big business in the West manufactures is consent, while the monopolitical cultures which represent those business interests pretend to export their "values" to the Euphrates and Hindukush.

Of course, none of this is to ignore the fact that there are certain traditions, freedoms and experiences in the West which China can look to for guidance. However, it has to be pointed out that, those freedoms and experiences are failing us at the moment. Indeed, they are being increasingly curtailed, as a sophisticated "big brother" culls the masses in the so-called "western democracies" by hammering them with a "newspeak" that is not too dissimilar to the gobbledegook "harmonious society" jargon that Beijing spouts out. Furthermore, while big business pursues its eternal "orwellian wars" under the guise of exporting democracy, the Communist Party of China propagates the "Chinese way to Socialism" but in fact jumps on the capitalist bandwagon.

Nevertheless, history does not stand still and although China still subdues any sort of alternative power structure, dissent is becoming increasingly possible and with this dissent alternatives can ultimately flourish. For this to happen the Chinese will have to grasp those freedoms that we in the West are neglecting and if they do so, and if we in the West start to fight back against the monopolitical cultures that we find ourselves in, we might, indeed, reach that freedom that Rosa Luxembourg spoke of, namely, "die freiheit des anders denkenden" (the freedom of those who think differently).

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