POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Hundred Flowers Campaign, New Culture Movement, Sun Yat-Sen

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Published on 5 Dec 2012
Oct 29 Lecture
Democracy With Chinese Characteristics
October 29th 2012
-One of the greatest virtues of democracy is its flexibility, has the capacity to
accommodate many challenges that the other regimes are affected by
-China is the most significant hold out
-China is a viable and seen as an attractive alternative (8% annual economic
-An attractive model against the backdrop of the liberal political economic program
(ex US, slow and steady decline)
-Prospects of Democracy in China: it’s just not going to happen, why would they
choose a democratic path when its showing a decline of success economically
-“…The people’s wishes for and needs for democracy and freedom are irresistible.”
-Premier Wen Jia-Bao, interview with CNN September 23, 2012 (censored in
China of course)
-China is undergoing a leadership change (not an election) but within the
communist party (CCP deciding its next generation of leaders)
-Discussion about the prospects of political reform and the next 10 years of
economic growth
-We’ve seen a rise in collective protests occurring in China
-What are the prospects for democracy in China?
-We hear about political reform and in some sense some kind of appeal of
China in the Modern Era
-End off the Qing Dynasty
-English trading companies were trading opium through China causing major
addictions and the loss of economic productivity
-They fought a war against the English but were sadly defeated and had to give up a
lot of land to British control (Hong Kong) and pay back the English the cost that it
took them to fight the war
-China later fought the Japanese (1894-95), they lost that war too, Taiwan was given
to Japan
-Huge defeat for Chinese pride, humiliation which sets the stage for the end of the
Qing Dynasty
-Population growth with sluggish economic growth giving people pourer living
conditions also contributed
-Economic crises (Rise of other nations and industrialization of everyone around
them) while China was economically backward
-Humiliation, population crises and economic crises all led to the fall of the Dynasty
-Run by foreign barbarians
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-Republican Revolution
-Overthrow of the emperor
Sun Yat-Sen “Three principles of the people” (the nationalist party)
-To rebuild a unified China from the revolution (what does it mean to be Chinese)
-3 principles:
-The nation, the most important principle
-Democracy, no longer going to be about emperor worship, a nation where
people were equal
Welfare, the nation was to care for its other citizens and had a responsibility
to care for them
Non-Democratic Modern China
-Turned the theory on its head
-A modern china that is not democratic
-Showing great economic growth
-Political system in China is constantly changing
-Its been said that its not like western democracy but a democracy with Chinese
-Not what Robert Dahl described as polyarchy
-Not a system that shows virtues of institution uncertainty
-Absence of meaningful elections
-Relatively fewer freedoms in terms of press and assembly
-We in the west assume that as societies modernize they become democratic (which
was expected of China although we haven’t seen this)
-China has in fact experienced some challenges and that the idea of democracy was
possible in China
1. A Democratic Revolution?
-Socialism: to break the bonds of feudalism, Chinese system still followed feudalistic
-The Basis was to be build upon the Chinese peoples revolutionary spirit
-Anti-Foreign nationalism, foreign powers did nothing for the Chinese power
-Finally China would stand up and be a strong and independent nation
-High tide of Maoist socialism (1949-56)
(Their idea: we will develop war faster and better)
-12 year plan: in 12 years agricultural production would improve but 185%
-We see a mini leap forward, people would work together, harness the energy of the
peasants, we saw an increase in output
-100 Flowers Movement (1956)
-Let 100 flowers bloom, 100 thoughts contend, opening up the system to allow the
masses criticize the party (he expected people to say things were great, he really
believed it would invigorate the party, but people took this pretty seriously and
started saying it’s true things are getting better but there is a thing called liberal
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