Is_Political Design Is Necessary

发布时间:2020-03-26 来源: 美文摘抄 点击:

  Right now many tongues are wagging about how China should pursue its political reform in a tangible and effective way that its citizens and outside observers can feel. The topic is so tantalizing that even my 88-year-old mother, who is getting weaker and unfamiliar with current state affairs, asked me to tell her something about China’s politics when I visited her recently. Living in a southern city, she surely thought that her son, a journalist working in China’s nerve center, Beijing, must have been fed with a load of political information.
  Apparently, many ordinary Chinese appear impervious to the political weather. China’s economic takeoff in the past three decades has resulted in a charged-up economy and turned the country into a colossal construction site where almost everybody is full of beans in pursuing prosperity. The economy has been the shibboleth of this populous nation and all noneconomic factors, including politics, culture, ethnicity, religion and ideology, seem to be deflated and their history-making saliency is becoming obscure.
  However, if you get deeper into people’s mental world, you will find here and there that cases point to the fact that people’s political fervor, as you can see elsewhere, is still there. The evidence is that politics has stood out as a key discourse during my recent get-togethers with different types of people--businessmen, professors, doctors, workers, farmers, retirees and local officials. After all, people are political creatures. They can’t live without gossip about politicians, state affairs or political japes.
  The major reason why political reform becomes a frequent subject is that people believe a new amelioration may provide a viable weapon with which they can efficiently tackle such problems as the pandemic of corruption, big income gap between urban and rural citizens, legal absence, slow democratic process, declining social morals, as well as the deficiency in citizenship.
  We are not looking for a fix for those problems. We are, fundamentally speaking, trying to forge a new political structure that must meet the universal benchmarks, such as supervision of power by the people, and must basically be suited to China’s conditions.
  To avoid the repetition of the offhand and perfunctory rectifications or overhauls that were not uncommon in the economic field, which have squandered lots of money and depleted resources, China’s political reform must be deliberately formulated and reasonably arranged beforehand. In other words, a political design is necessary before the country takes actions in this regard. The design will deal with the future political layout, legal system, democratic operation, elective mechanism and government management. Any underprepared moves in the country’s political life might invite disastrous outcomes.
  There is evident bewilderment about what to do to revamp our political arrangement, which no one thinks is impeccable. The seemingly best way to cure bewilderment, which is less negative than the blind certitude that is no longer a major impediment to political progress, is to introduce a political design.
  The design is necessary because it suggests that politics should be treated as a branch of social sciences, a form of governing art, instead of power trickery and maneuvering, as people often view it. A modern state should have a strong and robust market economy and a scientific political structure that serves the economy. Shifty Machiavellianism should give way to honest statecraft, while the so-called dirty business, another nickname for politics, ought to be metamorphosed into a transparent and decent profession.
  As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, China boasts a splendid heritage in almost every field, including politics, of which governing wisdom is a key ingredient. For example, the great thinker Mencius said 2,300 years ago that “in a state, the people are the most important” while “the ruler is of slight importance.” However, no dynasties had ever seen people exercise their right to govern the country. Plebiscites--whether they were regional or national, monthly or yearly--never occurred on this land. During most of the past two centuries, as modern politics took shape in some industrial countries, Chinese political scenarios were permeated with truculent jockeying in the imperial palace, conspiracies and purges in official circles, as well as countless civil wars and longtime anarchy. People were not just far from the power that theoretically belongs to them but also far from the modern awareness of politics.
  To some extent China is not a politically mature nation, and the Chinese ancestors’ “political DNA” failed to breed a social amenity that lends itself to nurturing a modern governing system. So, a comprehensive blueprint is necessary, which should be mapped out based on the country’s reality and experiences from abroad. It will help Western political expertise and Chinese creation coalesce into a new structure that is neither a paradigm nor a chimera.
  For decades we have been plied and belabored by various political salesmen purporting to prove that what was workable elsewhere will perfectly agree with the Chinese soil. China has reiterated that it won’t clone a given Western pattern to meet its demand. For China’s ruling party, it is as unwise to blindly transplant a governance template or follow a political progenitor from the West as to handle Chinese issues from a text straight out of Marxist and Leninist handbooks.
  The Chinese are pragmatic, flexible and generally open-minded anyway. They are likely to accept those positive suggestions from overseas intellectuals that are useful to China’s reform as the country’s elites are now believed to be hammering away at an outline for the country’s governing panorama decades later. Foreign political scientists, veteran statesmen and legalists may and should play a palpable role here.
  While politics is a business that affects all of us, it is always the representatives of the people who are obligated to set the state tune, draw political roadmaps and explain administrative affairs to the governed. They have a duty to expound to the world why sometimes masterly inactivity is better than an imprudent political activity; why China can hardly succeed in its political rectification without learning from others; and why the country’s current political system is not a bête noir to others.
  It is indeed a brutal task to devise a scheme when there is no ready-made mode--at home and around the globe alike--to follow. It’s much tougher to carry out the program in a culture that for centuries has fallen down on offering a fertile land for modern politics. That’s China’s next silent revolution, which requires patience and can’t afford to miss good opportunities.

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