Friday, August 19, 2011

Bo Xilai : red revolution China necessary to counter excessive capitalism, plutocracy and inequality

How do analysts reconcile the fact that Bo Xilai and his family who were victims of Mao's purges during the Cultural Revolution has now become a fan of borrowing from Maoist ideas for good governance.

They don't and simply assume that communism is in the blood of Chinese leaders. Indeed, many articles published in the English language media has created more confusion than offered answers to understanding this fast rising next generation leader.

Bo Xilai and other leaders who had survived the Cultural Revolution know well that Maoist tactics are effective in mobilising people to do what is morally right to override the poorly developed and corrupt ridden legal system and mafia controls. Of course when misused for personal power enhancement and glorification, it had caused social upheavals, personal suffering and immense economic damage to the nation.

Perhaps it is timely to reintroduce some elements of desirable socialist traits into the highly successful albeit skewed economy. When the ills of capitalism are creeping in causing wide disparity in the social and economic (between the rich and poor and coastal and provincial areas), socialist campaigns are necessary to steer a balance and fairness.

China has learned from painful history lessons that excessive indulgence in one model and the neglect people welfare would bring about the downfall of the country rapidly.

Of course, no one is naive not to recognise that the communist party leaders have an interest to continue exerting power. There is no doubt that the communist party is not ready to give up power and let the people run amok. That is wishful thinking of scholars who wish the Chinese people ill.  Look at it positively, in fact stronger central control would effectively get rid of deviant and corrupt provincial officials. Hence there is a growing assymetry between what is good for the country, government and people.

This is a great contrast to the campaigns organised by the American Tea Party which had been manipulated by Republicans to pursue their selfish agenda and protected vested interests of the rich at the expense of the poor and working class who could not appreciate the need for belt-tightening and tax policies to serve their long term good.  

Bo defended the red culture campaign, saying, “We aim to encourage people’s spirits.”

Bo said his campaign has four aspects — reading Chinese and foreign classics, including the theories of Mao and other Marxist leaders; telling popular stories; circulating inspiring mottos (such as, “Serve the people with a full heart!”); and group-singing of revolutionary anthems. “We should spread these things more,” Bo said.

Many here, including Communist Party adherents, agree that this revival of revolutionary fervor is needed to instill a new sense of pride and common purpose, adding that they feared China’s decades-long rush to get rich has eroded the country’s moral bearings and created an ethos of unchecked materialism.

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