October 31, 11
Lecture 7—Democracy with Chinese Characteristics
Laws past are unconstitutional—not majority consent of people (only 50%) voting.
Counterargument: parties become obsessed with majority—essentially become the same.
Start essay this week.
Democracies are far from perfect—argue this—compare it with communism and fascism.
Democracies have the ability to change—adapt.
China in the Modern Era
End of the Qing Dynasty
o Ends at the beginning of the 20 century
o Opium war of 1842—China vs. British—British and been exporting Opium to China—many
became addicted and it became a social scourge of South China. China are pissed, start a
war and get destroyed
o 1895—War with Japan. Defeated by another Asian country. The Japanese in the treaty
gained Taiwan and concessions in China and they had to payback the Japanese (military
o Defeat of the idea of the Chinese Nation.
o Psychological fragility causes instability—creates Modern China
o China had a population crisis—extremely rapid. Qing Dynasty—population was 80 million.
o 1850—500 million.
o Dependent on its export economy
Other communities were beginning to Challenge China in its economic export growth
China was a backwards country—very poor.
o 3) Nationalist Revolution
Manchurian dynasty—the rulers were not the Han, they were an outside power.
Chance to stand up to its outside powers
o Led by Son Yit Sien
o Emperor overthrown , doesn’t leave his position until 1912.
o China became a modern country; a republic.
o Son Yiat-Sen became the president.
“Three Principles of the People”
Make China modern so it could fight the British, be disgraced when defeated by
another Asian country.
o Nation—China would be a nation that is self-reliant and can protect itself
o Democracy—create the political institutions that would allow the institutions of democracy
to flourish. 2
o Welfare—Democratic republic—china could feed its people. Could defend for the welfare of
the Chinese people.
Wanted a modern democratic, republic
Despite the promise of the axiom moral of Lincoln—Modern China is not democratic.
o Shanghai skyline
o June 4, 1989—Tiananmen Square Protest—students protested for democracy, Military was
sent in and killed people.
o Modern China is NOT democratic.
Not Communist, not Fascist but Chinese
Not a polyarchy either
Institutionalized uncertainty—losers today can win tomorrow—this doesn’t happen in China.
o There are no other alternatives to the CCP being the dominant party in China.
o Poor human rights record.
China doesn’t have meaningful elections—Choose between A, B, C of the same party
Freedoms are severely suppressed—You can protest, but limits—you can say what you want, but
there are limits. (15:00)
Censorship is rampant—China suppresses outside information.
Second largest economy in the world
Turning theory on its head
o How can a country be modern if not a democracy?
(I) A Democratic Revolution
High tide of Maoist Socialism (1949-56)
o Chinese Communist party had won the Civil War—could have moved towards democracy.
o When Mao founded the PRC
o Three principles:
Socialism—break the old, feudal ways. Break capitalism and feudal ways of economic
Chinese Revolutionary Spirit—We Won! We beat the Amercian-backed Republicsan
Anti-Foreign Nationalism: foreigners have done nothing good for China—Britain
fucked us with Opium. Japs kicked our ass and WE PAY THEM. Lincoln idea—what
did that bring us? Chaos.
Foreigners did nothing for China—China must be self-reliant.
Modern China in Mao socialism was anchored in self-reliance.
Under Mao, China could realize its true potential.
o 1956—Mini Leap Forward
Economic model of development that was nationalist, socialist and bring upon self-
“more, faster better and economically”
First twelve year plan—targets of what China would produce in twelve years
Mao thought that agricultural production would increase 200% 3
China collectivized its land—reflected belief of “The Energy of the Masses.”
In the first years, agricultural production increased
100 Flowers Movement (1956)
o He believed he could do no wrong—cocky. People were no longer starving.
o Mao said: you can criticize the party—didn’t believe anyone could or would criticize him.
o Let 100 flowers bloom, let 100 thoughts condemn.
o Thought people would get excited—what happened was that people took him seriously and
criticized him. This is great, but now we need more political freedom as China develops
o People wanted democracy.
o Mao: this is an attack on Socialism & Mao
All actions and words that are against Socialism are an attack on Socialism and Mao
Anti-rightist Campaign (1957)
o Critics were labeled as anti-revolutionary, purged and they lost everything. (29:00)
o Leaders were kicked out of the party.
Great Leap Forward (1958-1962)
o Communism—people would work, live eat together. Life would be communized.
o Private property & space was to be eliminated.
o Society was organized into Work brigades
o Steel furnaces—everyone would work together, en