Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A539-W313

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A539-W313


Release Date: April 17, 2010



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part VII) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题: 《中国的出路》之七 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Way Out for China, Part VII

-- Wei Jingsheng



When we are talking about forceful revolution, some people cannot help to ask: is it the same approach as that of the Chinese Communist Party and Mao Zedong?  In recent years, the main reason for being against a forceful revolution by the people is exactly this reason.  Then I cannot help to ask back: Is the American's revolutionary war for independence the same approach as Mao Zedong?  The American War of Independence created the first modern day democratic republic.  Yet, why did the two revolutions in China in the name of democracy create only dictatorial autocracy?  Obviously, there are huge differences in between.


The first difference is a difference in fundamental theory.  The American Revolutionary War was in opposition to the repression and exploitation of the colonizing suzerainty, not the Kingdom of England itself.  This is similar with minor differences to the target of the Chinese people's revolts in the past two thousand years.  The targets of the Chinese style revolts were to change the dynasty.  Specifically, to change the emperor and reform the system so the people have better lives.  However, it did not take many years for the situation to go back to where it was, or even worse.


For the past two thousand years, Chinese people have exhausted their minds for systematic reform.  The ancient degree of bureaucratic rigor surpassed that of modern day Western systems, as well as modern day Communist systems.  The Chinese Communist Party has "reformed" for 30 years now, yet it still cannot reach levels that existed in ancient China, except that its corruption and monopolization of power has way surpassed the older time.  This example illustrates that the problem is not due to whether the system is tight or not.  To "perfect" the system is only a pretext to stall the people.  As a matter of fact, two thousand years ago people of the Han Dynasty already discovered a rule that when a system was too rigorous, then there would be too many governmental officials, which would be unfavorable for the common people.  This rule is summarized as: "Having too many officials will harass the people".  This effect was also well described by British writer and scholar Cyril Northcote Parkinson in his "Parkinson's Law".


So how did the Westerners walk away from this weird circle?  That is because of a different theory in establishing political power.  From the beginning of the American Revolution, there was preparation in ideological theory to build a governmental system that was democratic by the people instead of democratic by the aristocrats, not to mention a system of autocracy.


Superficially, the American democracy evolved from the British-style democratic system ruled by the aristocrats.  Yet, in essence, it already had a root difference from that British democracy.  That is, its source of power is not endowed by the aristocrats or inherited, but by the people periodically.  It is directly from the people.  The country is no more the private property of the kings and nobles, but a public property of the people in the country.  From the ideology, people do not have the concept that the government is a private property; instead, the political power and the government are thought to be the public property of all the people.  The president replaces the king, the congressional members replace the aristocrats, and the governmental officials are just employed by the country.  The limited power that these officials hold are endowed and approved by the people.


Some friends would engender doubt: is not this what the Chinese Communists said?  But why is it that both the Kuomintang Nationalist Party and the Communist Party all so claimed, yet are totally different in reality?  Not only in China, but also in many other places in the world that followed the example in succession after the democratic system revealed its superiority.  However, the majority of them were unsuccessful, which included Germany, Japan and Italy before World War II.  Reform and democracy were soon switched to a new form of autocratic system.  This kind of system kept the constitution and democratic process such as elections, yet practiced a new form of autocracy which we the Chinese call "hanging the lamb's head to sell dog meat".  China and the other Communist countries were in the same situation as well.


Why would it be so?  How did they bypass the constitution and the election system to make an autocracy in reality?  Why could not the constitution and elections guarantee the existence of a democratic system?


The history of China and that of many other countries in the past one hundred years exactly proves that the constitution and elections are not the guarantee of a democratic system.  A constitution can be easily shelved, and be violated by laws, regulations and interpretations.  Elections can be manipulated.  People can be easily cheated and suppressed.  After observing America's democratic existence and process of development, I realized that there are two most root guarantees of a democratic system.  The first is the people's concept of a government.  The second is the rules for the internal politics.


Going back in time to observe the reasons for failure of the democratic reforms in Germany and Japan, as well as other unsuccessful democratic reforms, and how the former USSR and China proceeded from democratic revolution into a Communist autocracy, we can discover the common characteristics of all the democratic reforms reduced to autocracies.  That was to use the people's old ideology of admitting legitimate power to the kings, and to enhance the idea of privatizing the government by ideological propaganda.  Some is the fault of the people, who simply want to be taken care of without responsibility.


The American society more than two hundred years ago was at a time when the concept of ruling power gradually declined, while a sense of freedom and human rights was strong.  Meanwhile, there were not political groups propagating the idea of privatizing the government.  Having an ocean between the colonies and the seat of power was not inconsequential.  In comparing the various ideologies spreading in America two hundred years ago with the theory of the Chinese Communist Party's one party dictatorship, we can discover the important influence that ideologies do for the direction of the social development.  This is the fundamentally important and decisive influence.


When most people in the society still recognize the legitimacy of ruling power by the kings or similarly the ruling power of one-party dictatorship, a ruling power in a different face will appear.  Simple elections could not guarantee democracy.  From the earliest ruling power, to the modern time Communists and Fascists, they all maintain their dictatorship via "elections".  Only when the majority of people do not approve this kind of dictatorship, then there is the possibility for a true democracy to be established.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on April 9, 2010.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A539-W313

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A539-W313


Release Date: April 17, 2010



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part VII) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题: 《中国的出路》之七 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生




































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