Era of Socialism has passed, and the world is waiting for Ultra-Sinoism

Analytics | | 28-10-2018, 13:15

Era of Socialism has passed, and the world is waiting for Ultra-SinoismChina seems serious about modernization of its government system on pragmatic level and state’s governing capacity as a whole on philosophical level. It is of great importance for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well to project itself as a governing party instead of a revolutionary one. The CCP has formally merged the “modernization” into its reform agenda. Why did the question of political reforms emerge at the first place? As China rose to become the world's second largest economy in terms of GDP over the past three decades, new problems have appeared in Chinese society, such as a huge wealth gap, endemic corruption, social instability and public distrust of the government. All these problems can only be solved with more and deepened structural reforms. But for modern political reforms, the simple explanation given by academicians is that China wants to make politics compatible with its economic reforms. But my concern is that why China is so vocal about its political reforms? And even after doing all these political and economic reforms, will the West stop its propaganda against Chinese government? 

The interplay between rule of law and political governance, social demands and maintenance of public order, providing good and services and balancing the economic resources all require a strong managerial system which should be powerful and legitimized. In China, the governance system appears to be efficient and legitimate for there is an apparent consensus of populace on the selection of the public representatives. Moreover, China is able to justify its position related to its political system in contrary to Western concerns that Chinese government does what it wants to do. I would say that the Chinese government does what is required to do in Chinese context. China has its own customized system of governance which very well goes hand in hand with the demands of populace. 

Keping Yu, Deputy Director of Compilation and Translation Bureau Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party wrote back in 2014 that the modernization of state governance would require a change in the current relationship between government, market and society. From the Western perspective, during last three decades, we cannot see a change in terms of multiparty competition, general elections and separations of powers between different institutions. But there is a significant improvement in the situation of rule of law, public participation, democratic decision-making, social governance, public services, government accountability, political transparency, administrative efficiency, government approval procedures, decentralization and the development of social organizations. 

According to him, “state governance fails if the government becomes too powerful and also if it becomes too weak. However, the allotment of powers between the government, the market and society in state governance should be expected to vary between different countries and within the same country at different stages when national conditions differ. Today, in China, the CCP and the government play an overwhelming role in the country’s governance.” In short, the best of form of government is which tries to maximize the public interests. State, market and society should harmonize which is essential for the progression of social and political lives. “However, governments have always been without question by far the most powerful segment of society, and no other can be considered their equal. Therefore, in modern state governance, the government, still plays a larger role than market and society. In other words, the key to good governance is good government, and if you want to have good governance you must first have good government.” This position is the exact position of the CCP, the state officials and Chinese academicians that “we are feeling the riverbed while crossing the river.” 

Previously in China, there was no consensus between powerful decision-makers on political reforms which lead to corruption and emergence of different interest groups. According to The Global Times (China), in 2016, President Xi presided over the 25th meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Reform Comprehensively. One line from a statement released after the meeting was very eye-catching: "Reform is a revolution that aims to rectify the system and challenge vested interests. There is no way to do it other than using real swords and spears." The seriousness of the matter can be estimated from the fact that these reforms are no less than a revolution itself. The current reforms which are in process strive to make political system accommodate a smooth transitional process towards economic development while eliminating the class struggle. Socialism is being rethought to make it more pragmatic rather than a conceptual fairytale. The role of mercantile class in the politics and separation of government from business and management is also under consideration. Whereas one of the most important political reforms would be the role of socialist party itself. In addition to that, rule of law, democracy, decentralization of state services, protection of human rights and contextualization of these reforms in the contemporary global demands cannot be neglected. 

In my opinion, through political reforms, China tries to to meet the Western demands by responding in a political jargon which is understandable to them. Rule of law, human rights, democracy and free and fair elections are liberal connotations which are of highly personalized nature to the West. Why does China need to do such reforms? If the purpose is to gain sympathy or to counter the Western propaganda against the Chinese government, then it could be a useless effort. Because China cannot race with liberal philosophies which are being produced on a tremendous rate in Western academia. There are generations after generations of human rights and the West itself is unable to correlate them with its legal progression. Rule of law in the West is static as compared to the dynamic progress of human rights. If China becomes a country where rule of law is ensured, tomorrow the West will introduce a new terminology and start propagating it and will demand China introduce it. It will be very difficult for China to use this methodology of “doing reforms based on Western terms” as a base for its political reforms. Moreover, If Chinese political reforms are said to be liberal, progressive and democratic, then it is also a problem for China. Because it will have to accept liberalism and democracy as a full package. Even if China declares itself completely liberal, the whole Chinese economic and political system will collapse due to unreadiness for it at this point. Liberal China in comparison to liberal West will look depraved to the international community.  

Secondly, China cannot escape from its claims which it had made on behalf of socialism. Socialism is attached to the CCP’s identity. The Chinese refer to socialism as “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” because capitalistic characteristics would go against the Marxist ideology. It would be difficult for any Chinese leader to abandon it. 

So, what should be the nature of Chinese political reforms? What kind of reforms should China introduce which can satisfy its own populace and meet international demands stemming from Western propaganda? In my opinion, China should introduce its own version of political and economic expressions. The Chinese version is already unique, but China should project it to the world with new terminologies. There is no need to be apologetic about it if the West does not consider China to be non-democratic or conservative. China has a capacity to build its own model parallel to the Western political and economic models. One of the greatest examples is the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. World has never seen such a huge investment and economic tactic by any other country which spreads its tentacles on the whole world. Interestingly, this is against the Chinese classic understandings of foreign investment. Never in history, did China take such a giant step of this sort. It also proves that China can come up with its own version of any policy and can implement it. 

China seems to be standing at this point of history where any classic philosophical terminology cannot completely comprehend the Chinese version of political and economic system. China has reached the era of Ultra-Sinoism. China need not to state that it is getting rid of socialism; rather it can claim to revolutionize the old socialism through the new of Ultra-Sinoism. Under the umbrella of this concept, China can conduct its political reforms without justifying it in front of other external powers. Without putting itself in other philosophical or ideological frameworks, China can rather come up with a completely new concept to set an example for others.

In 2015, while studying at American University of Central Asia, I got a chance to meet U.S. Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal and ask her a question: why is the U.S. so aggressively ignoring the feeling of ordinary people of countries with which it deals? According to her, the Americans have demonstrated many times how functional their system is. Therefore, China should also introduce its own system (which it already has) with new, customized terminologies and display to the world that it is functional as well.

If China will stick to old terminologies, then it will never be able to fulfil the demands of these philosophies. China can simply introduce a term such as Ultra-Sinoism as its political reform and demonstrate its functionality. China looks very serious about its political reforms, but it should take full credit of it. The reforms should not come in the sake of satisfying the demands from so-called liberal and progressive philosophies. And it is only possible when the Chinese government will introduce these modern reforms in customized modern terminologies. I strongly believe that the era of socialism, socialism with Chinese characteristics, post-Socialism or Sino-Socialism has passed, and world is waiting for Ultra-Sinoism.  



About the author:

Ammar Younas is currently attached with Tsinghua University School of Law Beijing China where he is specializing in Chinese Law. He also holds degrees in Political Marketing, International and Comparative Politics and Human Rights from Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Lebanon. Ammar is interested in Legal Philosophy, Philosophy of Human Rights, Politics of Religion and Artificial Intelligence. He also works with Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies Pakistan as a Visiting Research Fellow.