It's been sixty years since China went under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The upcoming gala for celebration however does not appear it is going to be an all-happy but rather all-worrying event full of tension and anxieties, as if some enemies are coming. It is said that, gathered in Beijing alone, there are 1.2 million armed police and security guards forming a network of agents with one person from another only steps away, in addition to the plain-clothed patrols in between. It really doesn't feel like a celebration but rather a rerun of the Lugou Bridge event of 1937 (which signified the beginning of the eight year Sino-Japan war during the World War II). The scene simply doesn't look right.
Is it that the officials in charge of the preparation for the event have lost their minds? Not really. They have to do it that way. The resentment and resistance in Chinese society has in recent years been rising in number and intensity, and has been further heightened by the violence in the repressed ethnic minorities. Even within the CCP, members have become alienated from each other, dreaming differently in the same bed, as an old Chinese saying puts it. In short, the CCP foundation is shaking and thus come the tension and anxieties.
I went to a conference just recently on the theme "CCP: Sixty Years of Robbing China". The term "Robbing China" fits very well into the situation. I would divide the "robbing" into three stages, each different from the other two but all having one common theme: policy manipulations attempting to establish the CCP's ruling legitimacy, but with, inevitably, every stage along the way failing quickly.
The first robbing started in the 1940's or even earlier. Mao Zedong in fact knew the will of the people back then and thus tailored his policies with people's needs, showing slogans aiming to win the country over from the Kuomintang. The urban capitalists and middle-class business owners back then hoped for a clean ruling system and protection of their businesses. Mao pretended to be democratic, with anti-imperialist talks in the context of protection of Chinese businesses. Therefore, the democratic parties back then, based among urban capitalists and intellectuals, sided with the CCP.
The agrarian issues in China centered on land ownership inequality. Each and every dynasty in Chinese history started with some degree of equalization in this regard. Dynasty overthrow was brought about by armed struggle, resulting naturally in the forefront issue being the people's recognition of the replacing dynasty, i.e., the legitimacy thereof. Land ownership equalization was a simple and effective means for gaining such recognition. After crushing regional dignitaries closely linked to the overthrown dynasty, it became a necessity to establish a new class of dignitaries that would recognize and support the new so that a new social hierarchy could be established.
Mao and the CCP did not follow the Soviet's model to grab power. Instead, they succeeded by following the traditional Chinese model, which fitted naturally into China's characteristics as a peasant dominated country. If they had kept their promises by establishing a system that would have protected Chinese industries and businesses with a market economy tailored to landowners' interests, it would have been hard to argue that they robbed the country and lied to the people. But that would have been to say that they were not Communists.
Admittedly, Mao and his Communist colleagues were idealists with a goal of establishing a new style Communist society. Therefore, as soon as the CCP stabilized in a few years after 1949 by wiping out the remaining enemies associated with the previous rulers, they broke their promises by taking away the lands of the farmers and the properties of urban capitalists in two infamous campaigns: Agrarian Collectivization and Public-Private Merging of Urban Businesses.
The process of the CCP accomplishing, in the mid-late 1950's, their taking away of public properties was a process of breaking political promises and a process of robbing the country. By doing so, they lost their governing legitimacy and the society was not suited with the new social structure. This brought troubles for the CCP. While the old promises went up in the air, the new promises of constructing a supposedly all-happy Communist state also failed because of the Great Famine of late 1950's to early 1960's. Mao and the CCP however did not acknowledge that their ideals were wrong. Much to the contrary, they blamed all the failures on the "backwardness of traditional Chinese culture". Thus the Cultural Revolution, supported by the whole Party, came to play in this context.
The goal of the Cultural Revolution was firstly to assign the failures of the CCP revolution to traditional Chinese culture, and second to start a more complete Communist reform to prove the CCP's ruling legitimacy and to show that the Party did not lie but rather was trying to take the society to a better state.
The betrayal of Lin Biao, a long time comrade and personal friend of Mao, signified a total failure of Mao's idealism. In late 1970's, it was not only the CCP system but also the whole country that was pushed into an all-around crisis, in political, economic as well as cultural arenas. Viewing from a different angle, said all-around social crisis created faith and trust crises, as a reflection of legitimacy crisis.
At that time, the whole Chinese society was looking for a way out. The public came back on topics that had been banned from discussion in the Cultural Revolution, including moral protocols, prosperities, democracy and rule of law, which quickly became the leading concerns of the people. Indeed, the society was looking for a new path and a new model. In this context, a coupe supported by most Chinese happened, leading to the arrest and jailing of Mao's wife and loyalists. The people cheered for this, hoping it would be a sign of fundamental changes. However, Hua Guofeng, the CCP chief back then, disappointed the people. He continued on the Mao path without Mao, drawing wide criticisms and complaints. This led to the first democratic movement after the CCP came to power - The Democratic Wall Movement.
Deng Xiaoping timely sensed the political opportunity. He championed the slogans that met the will of the people back then and quickly defeated Hua and his faction, resulting in Deng's coming to paramount power. He promised to establish a democratic system and started economic reforms. The fact that Deng had been labeled by Mao as a "capitalist power grabber" made people believe that his economic reform would root out Communism.
Deng was well known in and out the Party for his political cruelty with no credit. He did not bother to follow Mao's model of gradual changes. The first thing he did after coming to power was to destroy the democratic forces that helped position him at the top. After taking down the Democracy Wall, he spent the whole 1980's going after the democrats in the Party and out. He started the so-called Anti Spiritual Pollution campaign and used it to turn down people's demands for democracy and freedom, which was paralleled with his Yan Da (Harsh Sentencing) measures to override the newly established legal system. This trend, running totally against the will of the people, eventually evolved into an armed crackdown on the student movement demanding democracy and anti-corruption measures.
After breaking the political promises they made prior to their gaining the ultimate power, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin made another promise, which could be characterized as political autocracy with economic development. Most people, with despaired illusions, now could only hope for wealth with no political freedom. It is true that the Chinese economy went on a fast track after the 1990's, but it is also true that corruption went on a faster track, with sophisticated means of market monopoly. In fact, fast economic development benefited only a small population while the majority was still suffering. This model of unbalanced economic growth with an underdeveloped domestic market plus over-dependence on foreign markets has obviously come to its end. Deng Xiaoping's promise of a capitalist path was also proven to be a lie. It was in fact nothing but a move for the powerful to pocket public wealth, and a move of robbing the country in a much larger scale, more directly and greedily than Mao ever did.
This total dual-failure in theory and practice triggered people into extreme resentment and further into resistance of various degrees, ranging from moderate to violent. Jiang Zemin's bribery strategy, binding the so-called trio-elites, at best bought out a majority of the intellectuals. As an old Chinese saying puts it, one can't bribe all, and so Jiang failed in buying out the vast majority of the people. After all, the nature of a state capitalist system is that the capitalists are to rule directly. Their bottom line is to guarantee a maximum of exploitation and not to share the benefits of economic growth with the society at large. This made it inevitable that Deng's policy would come to an end.
In order to untie the dead knot, the Hu Jingtao clique is currently formatting a new way of robbing the country, for a third round. They realized, after years of experimentation, that the North Korean or Cuban path would lead to nowhere; therefore they must work with the current state of Chinese capitalism. Then, is it going to be good enough to follow Hitler's extreme nationalism? Years of practice and experimentation showed that it certainly could rally certain factions of the people, but only those factions at all. They must create a strong domestic enemy, as Hitler did, in order to place fear and horror over the majority, forcing them to rally around the hooligan government.
Therefore, the people of Tibet and Xinjiang have been evilly portrayed. The hatred leading towards these peoples has almost reached the same level of Hitler times against the Jewish. A worrying proportion of the kind and patriotic Chinese people have been fooled without knowing it, and many have become advocates and warriors of a Neo-Nazism.
When the people are gradually forgetting about their past miseries and becoming Nazi forefronts, they are not only going to victimize themselves but also going to bring disasters to others. This stage of robbing China will likely be way more dangerous than previous stages under Mao, Deng and Jiang. The Chinese who have sense and sensibility should and must stand up against Hu Jintao's Neo-Nazi plot and prevent bigger disasters from occurring.