An extremely insightful book. I have been puzzled by many actions of the players of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) until I have read this book. The central thesis of the book is this: the primary aim of all the important players of the CCP was the survival of the Party, all else are secondary - the people, the nation, morality and so on.
Once one accepts that idea, then many of the actions of the CCP become understandable. Take for instance Xi's drive to weed out corruption. Since taking power, Xi has been issuing statement that it is important for the survival of the party to weed out all corruption. But then a few weeks ago, 2 activists who were calling for the declaration by party members of the assets they own to be made public, arguing this is one way of preventing corruption in high places. But to the dismay of many, these two were arrested. Surely, if Xi was sincere in trying to weed out corruption, those two activists should not be arrested. However, having read the book, their arrests were fully understandable.
First, note that Xi's reason for his weeding out corruption was that if corruption was to continue on its grand scale, that would undermine the survival of the party. He is doing it not out of any sense of justice or morality, it's out of necessity for the survival of the party.
Second, if he takes heed of the activists call for transparency of asset holdings by party members, that would probably show to the Chinese people that everyone in the party, and possibly even he himself or his family, are corrupt! That would undermine the survival of the party.
By arresting the two activists, and keeping the mechanism for the weeding out of corruption within the party itself, that would both assuage the anger of the people regarding corruption as well as allowing those untouched by any scandal to continue their robber baron method of getting rich, at the same time ensuring the survival of the party. The party HAS to survive in order to allow them to continue to make money.
In so far as the people must be kept docile in order to let the party survive, the people would be allowed economic freedom, particularly when economic freedom can let the people make money, which the Party can then parasitize upon.
- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Press; 2 edition (2 October 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141975555
- ISBN-13: 978-0141975559
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)