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The Party That Failed

Author: Cai Xia

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place:  January-February 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Report    

Word Count: 6800

Link:https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2020-12-04/chinese-communist-party-failed#author-info

Keywords:  China, Marx, Mao, Xi Jinping

Brief:

The article is a history of the Chinese  post-revolutionary era. In this article, the author summarizes the events of the post-1928 civil war and the peasant revolution led by Mao Zedong. All that the author could see in that period is the bright future of socialism. The author gained a more complex understanding of Communist thought after joining the People’s Liberation Army in 1969, but all the events that followed made the writer raise many questions about the curve of the revolution. In June 1989, the government launched a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds. On a personal level, she was horrified that the People’s Liberation Army was shooting college students. When Jiang Zemin came to power, he sought to stimulate private enterprise and bring China into the World Trade Organization. But these policies contradicted the long-established Communist Party of China’s theories of granting a planned economy and national self-sufficiency. Since neither Marx, nor Mao, nor Ding could solve these contradictions, Jiang felt compelled to come up with something new. He called them “Three Represents”, with “requirements for the development of advanced productive forces, cultural progress, and the interests of the majority.” The 2004 amendments to the Constitution of China also stipulated that the government protects human rights and private property. But this raised within the author questions about Marx’s view that a Communist system should abolish private property. Ding wanted to “let a portion of the population get rich first” to motivate people and stimulate productivity. How does this fit into Marx’s promise that Communism would provide everyone according to their needs? But the writer remained loyal to the Communist Party of China, despite all her doubts. When Xi Jinping took power in 2012, the writer became full of hope for China after being halfway through a decades-long process of struggling with China’s official ideology. China will begin to implement democracy within the party, which in the long term will lead to constitutional democracy. China will have a parliament, even a true opposition party. She was worried that the Chinese Communist Party might violently resist such a move. But it was nothing, but the extremely repressive version of Marxism promoted by the Chinese Communist Party that owed more to Stalin than to Marx himself.

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant 

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