Saturday, November 07, 2020

Conflict with Jesus (6) Autocratic or Democratic

The Chinese people have a much greater tolerance for autocratic power than people in the West. President Xi is seen as an evil person by many western commentators but is well respected in China. This difference in views is the result of a different historical experience.

Chinese look back to the long period when they were ruled by the Qing and Ming dynasties as the greatest time in their history. When the Ming dynasty finally collapsed at the beginning of the twentieth century and democracy was introduced following invasion by the West, the outcome was fifty years of violent and destructive civil war that continued through the Japanese invasion. This bad experience has caused the people to fear democracy.

Fifty years of civil war and economic disruption only came to an end in 1949 after the triumph of the communist party, but actually continued for another 15 years during the Cultural Revolution when revolutionary powers were released again. Consequentially, the Chinese have an intense fear of civil insurrection, and want a government that will keep order and allow economic development. Confucian thought is still influential and supportive of centralised power to keep disorder under control.

Ironically, the United States people are beginning to tear themselves apart with political and social disruption, despite the belief that they have a superior form of government. Consequently, the Chinese have no aspirations to adopt the American style of government, especially one that is controlled by powerful billionaires to protect their interests. They see American efforts to support democratic movements in their nation as another attempt to invade their country and weaken Chinese society and its economy by encouraging internal struggles.

China has many serious faults and deep problems, as does the United States. None of them will be resolved by war, particularly a war betweem these two superpowers.

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