A new Mao Zedong is emerging in China, and that bodes ill for the Chinese people, China itself and, most certainly, for the rest of the world. The authoritarian leadership of Mao Zedong, popularly known as Mao Tse-tung, from 1949 to 1976, was a disaster for the country and the people in almost all ways, certainly economically, and certainly in terms of any sort of political or personal freedoms. It was not even “Party Rule”, it was Mao Zedong rule, and it took China a long time to recover from his totally autocratic regime.
Why, you may well ask, is this important, except in an historical sense? It’s important as an example of what to expect if a current, or future, ruler goes down that same path of developing a personality cult that overrides the people, the state and all relationships with the outside world.
President Xi Jinping is heading down that route.
China now has eighteen (18) “Xi-thought Research Centers”. They individually focus on a particular topic, such as education, politics, culture, science religion, diplomacy or national security. They are all dedicated to “The Thoughts of Xi Jinping”.
Officially adopted by the Chinese Communist Party at its 2017 congress, the movement is called “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era”. The research centers dedicated to this concept began to appear soon after that adoption.
The ideas/thoughts are vague. One might postulate that this is deliberate so they defy definition. They are therefore ubiquitous. The only definitive message in all of them is that the State must/will control everything. That is the beginning of the slippery slope towards Xi Jinping must/will control everything.
I have said in previous blogs that once political regimes become personality-based, rather than state-based, they become far more dangerous because individuals have a predictable lifespan, which gradually constricts the timeframe of their ambitions. I have put Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in this category. However, the emergence of “The Thoughts of Xi Jinping” now pushes China in a direction, and timetable, that we should regard with horror and fear. An international impotent Chinese regime under Mao Zedong was one thing. A military and economic world power under Xi Jinping is a totally different animal.
This week, announcements concerning the distribution of new school textbooks to all Chinese children, particularly the young, has highlighted this frightening trend even more.
Textbooks for the very young have to be simple in order to reach young intellects, so the messages have to be clear. That makes their focus and propaganda far easier to understand and interpret.
The Chinese Government has made no concessions to outside opinion in these textbooks. It is their stated goal to “comprehensively introduce Mr. Xi’s views on economics, politics, the rule of law, science and technology, culture, education, ethnic policies, religion, national defense, ecological civilization, party-building and diplomacy, among other subjects.” One could very easily imagine that world domination by China is also in there, somewhere. Stated concisely, Mr. Xi is to be seen as the undisputed authority on everything.
“Mr. Xi wants the young to study diligently, to take regular exercise and to listen to their teachers talk about 5,000 years of glorious Chinese culture. Mr. Xi is the establishment: the supreme incarnation (interesting word – my comment!) of party authority. The party’s legitimacy, in turn, rests on its claims to un-rivalled competence and success. It is not for ordinary citizens to second-guess or debate what Mr. Xi personally believes. Like children heeding a teacher or elder, it is their role to obey.”
If that last paragraph doesn’t scare the hell out of the rest of the world, it should.
WHY DO WE NOT PERCEIVE CHINA AS A MAJOR THREAT TO OUR CONCEPT OF CIVILIZATION, AND SHOULD WE?
LET’S START A FORUM OF COMMENTS AND ACTION WHILE WE STILL CAN.
YOUR COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG WOULD BE A GOOD START. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING THEM, AND SHARING THEM.