In a speech on Thursday, Xi Jinping told his fellow Chinese communists that they are representatives of a democratic nation.
It’s a familiar trope by Xi that he leads a democracy with Chinese characteristics — a trope ostensibly proven by the inane North Korea-style clapping that marked Xi’s arrival on Thursday.
Calling on delegates to the National People’s Congress to act as “checks and balances on [higher-level executive] power,” Xi pretended he can be restrained and that he is not, in fact, what he is, which is to say, the new Mao Zedong . In what the South China Morning Post notes was a riposte at U.S. efforts to align democracies in support of democratic international order, Xi observed that democracy is “the right of all peoples,” not the “patent” of one nation.
This is true, of course. Democracy is the inalienable right of all peoples everywhere.
What Xi leaves out, however, is that democracy does have a patent on its true nature. Claiming to be a democrat and being a democrat are not the same thing. Democracy requires the right of people to elect their own governments and set their own laws. It requires the right of the people to be served by their leadership or to remove that leadership in its failure.
No such rights are given to the Chinese people. Where they pursue even the most basic democratic rights such as voting, they are subjugated with force . Where they embrace cultural values that the party dislikes, they are purged into slave labor . Where they make consumer choices the apparatchiks dislike, those choices are removed . When they make jokes about Xi, they disappear . When they are too successful, they are trampled .
Xi sees no evil.
Instead, he sees China’s “whole process democracy” as “a great creation in the political history of the human race.”
This mixture of Orwellian “whole process” language and soaring rhetoric reflects the ultimate truth of contemporary China: first, the quite obvious truth that China is not actually a democracy; second, the Communist Party’s paranoid need to remind itself that it is very special. This paranoia flows from the party’s recognition that where its citizens pursue actual democracy, the all-knowing party doesn’t do so well.
Sorry, Xi, you might be the ruler of China. You might be immensely powerful. But Xi, you’re no democrat.
If that day ever comes, you’re going to have a problem.
More dWeb.News Opinions: https://dweb.news/category/dweb-news/section-w-words-from-webster-opinions/
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