• Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Can the West’s democracy survive China’s rise to dominance?

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by haidian, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. haidian

    haidian SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,475
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Ratings:
    +1 / 8,211 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    China
    Can the West’s democracy survive China’s rise to dominance?
    If the West is able to retain its best values in a world where China is predominant, it will help to shape that world for the better, says Martin Jacques

    Jun 14th 2018
    by MARTIN JACQUES
    [​IMG]

    For long the West has thought that history is on its side, that the global future would and should be in its own image. With the end of the cold war and the implosion of the Soviet Union, this conviction became stronger than ever.

    The future was Western; nothing else was imaginable. Of course, already, well before the end of the cold war, in 1978 to be exact, China had started its epic modernisation such that, in the annals of history, 1978 will surely prove to be a far more significant year than 1989. During China’s rise, hubris continued to shape the West’s perception and understanding of China. As the latter modernised it would become increasingly Western, it was supposed: Deng’s reforms marked the beginning of the privatisation and marketisation of the Chinese economy—its political system would in time become Western, otherwise China would inevitably fail.


    “We should not expect or require China to be Western.”

    China’s political system did not turn Western. The state continues to be a very powerful force in the country’s economy. China remains very distinctive from the West—and has gone from strength to strength in the process.

    China never had the long-predicted economic crisis that so many Westerners forecast, nor the great political revolt that was destined to deliver Western-style democracy. Instead economic crisis and political crisis befell the West. The Western financial crisis in 2007-08 was the worst since the early 1930s. By 2015-16 its political consequences were upending Western politics, sounding the death-knell of neo-liberalism, undermining the governing elites and weakening governing institutions.

    The West—both the United States and the European Union—is, in historical terms, in precipitous decline. The developing world, led by China and India, now accounts for just under 60% of global GDP, compared with around 33% in the mid-1970s.

    The great story of the post-war era has been the rise of the developing world, representing around 85% of humanity, and the decline of the old developed world, accounting for around 15% of humanity. The developing world has learnt much from the West but it is not, and will not be, Western.

    China is the classic case in point. It is not even mainly a nation-state. It is, first and foremost, a civilisation-state, a concept that the West has not begun to try and understand. The relationship between state and society is profoundly different from that in the West, and so is its tradition of governance. It was never expansionist in the manner of western Europe and America. China has a very different culture and history to that of the West. We should not expect it or require it to be Western.

    “Do not expect the Chinese to behave in the same aggressive military fashion that Europe did in its days of imperial pomp, or as America still does.”

    The rise of Europe transformed the world. The rise of America did the same, though enjoying strong lines of continuity with Europe. China will likewise transform the world, but probably on a much greater scale than either Europe or America, mainly because it is that much larger. To think otherwise is both unrealistic and ahistorical.

    Western hegemony has left a huge imprint on the world, but it was never destined to last for ever. Hegemons are never eternal. To expect China to become a Western-style country in an American-shaped world was always an illusion. But nor should we expect China to delete that world and replace it with something entirely different.

    That would be the antithesis of the Chinese tradition. China has an essentially hybrid view of the world, yin and yang. Unlike the Western tradition, which majors on singularity, Chinese thinking values plurality. In this, it also differs profoundly from the Soviet tradition, which had a Manichean and monolithic view of the world.

    The Chinese are highly pragmatic. There are many things that they greatly admire, and draw from, in the Western tradition, and will continue to do so. Unlike the West, they do not consider themselves to be a model for anyone else and have therefore not sought to impose themselves on others in the manner of the West. It is noteworthy, for example, how few wars China has fought. That is one reason why, for many centuries, East Asia was far more peaceful than Europe. Do not expect the Chinese to behave in the same aggressive military fashion that Europe did in its days of imperial pomp, or as America still does.

    But equally we should not expect “Western values”, masquerading in this debate as “liberal values”, to survive pristine and unaltered. There are many traditions and many civilisations that inform the world. The West comprises a very small minority of humanity. The future will not be singular in the manner that the West has long believed it should be, but plural and hybrid, no doubt with a strong Chinese flavour.

    The East Asian tradition, China included, for example, is far more communal, collective and familial than the individualism of the West. Do not fear the future: it will be different, in some respects it may be worse, in many others it may be much better. Bear in mind too, that there is not much liberal, and nothing that is democratic, about the American world order, or the European one before, which was in fact much worse. In both cases a small minority of humanity in effect ruled the world. Internationally, the age of the West has been highly authoritarian.

    “The greatest danger is not the rise of China but how the United States will react to China’s rise.”

    The greatest danger is not the rise of China but how the United States will react to China’s rise and its own consequent loss of primacy.
    The rise of illiberalism in America is not an accident. It coincides with the dawning recognition of American decline and a desperate desire to prevent it. It should be remembered that the heyday of Western democracy corresponded with the zenith of Western hegemony. But can the West’s democracy survive the decline of Western global dominance? If the West is able to retain and renew its best values, in a world in which it enjoys a much diminished role and China is predominant, such a world will be the better for it.

    https://www.economist.com/open-futu...ts-democracy-survive-chinas-rise-to-dominance
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  2. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

    Messages:
    5,631
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Ratings:
    +5 / 5,542 / -0
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    The question as to what is the "best" form of government has been with us as long as there has been writing (see Plato). History teaches that human nature seems to favor authoritarianism over "democracies". So China's system of dictatorship by a "Party" elite may well come to dominate in the "West" within the next century, because of human nature (especially the 7 deadly sins of greed, sloth, envy, pride, lust, gluttony and wrath). Fortunately, at 73 years old, the results of the "rise" of China's dictatorial system will not be my problem.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. nang2

    nang2 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    3,159
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Ratings:
    +3 / 3,484 / -1
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    United States
    only those who don't know where the strength of democracy lies ask such a question.
     
  4. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    16,270
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Ratings:
    +25 / 11,989 / -4
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    I don't hear of many countries wanting to follow China's model.

    There may be some in Africa which do...but they aren't Democracies.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. rambro

    rambro FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,630
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Ratings:
    +0 / 2,688 / -0
    Country:
    Malaysia
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Don't hear them wanting to forcefully impose their will on others either.

    West should learn from china and quit forcing their will and ideology on others.

    If u r happy with democracy aka demagogue then by all means.

    There is a reason why Socrates the father of democracy was so against democracy itself and most documentaries don't talk about it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  6. LASER

    LASER BANNED

    Messages:
    1,621
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2018
    Ratings:
    +0 / 931 / -13
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    Because even they don't know what exactly they are. Is it communist, socialist or is it Capitalist? I think most of the Chinese haven't read Das Kapital, the book is banned? I don't know... China has a unique system which cannot be implemented outside China. I guess the Chinese know it.

    Democracy does have it's negative sides, but it works for the most part. Communism/Authoritarian, not so much.
     
  7. fitpOsitive

    fitpOsitive SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,792
    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Ratings:
    +12 / 4,433 / -1
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Well, the bigger question is: Will west be surviving here own created situation? (Even if there is no any external factor). Low number of marriages, low birth rates, increasing obese population, increasing luxury of life, increasing lust for non-materialistic things, and above all, destruction of basic human social fabric unit(aka Family).
     
  8. Jlaw

    Jlaw BANNED

    Messages:
    9,756
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Ratings:
    +1 / 20,994 / -24
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    Canada
    What is that strength?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. rambro

    rambro FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,630
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Ratings:
    +0 / 2,688 / -0
    Country:
    Malaysia
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Not that they dont know, they are just more adaptive to not stick to the outdated principles as time changes so do needs. Absorb what works, discard that which doesnt

    They don't impose their wishes on others nor do they care to meddle in your internal affairs unlike the west, history has proven it, before the europeans sailed over (Portuguese, British, Dutch), the chinese were already here and they did not conquer Malaya/Malaysia they came traded and left some stayed and intermarried with the locals who are now known as Peranakan

    However the same can't be said with the arrival of the europeans who came to conquer through deceit and enforce their ways and plundered. Indians surely need no lecture about europeans.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. haidian

    haidian SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,475
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Ratings:
    +1 / 8,211 / -0
    Country:
    China
    Location:
    China
    You can't say it for sure, they are just different forms of government.Western form of democracy only appeared a couple of hunderd years which is a very short time in the whole human history, you can't say that this one works for the most part and others don't.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  11. HariPrasad

    HariPrasad BANNED

    Messages:
    14,081
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Ratings:
    +3 / 12,156 / -23
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    A similar question was asked when USSR was on its peak. However totalitarian rogue nations are destined to fail. So wait for some time and then this question shall become irrelevaant.
     
  12. Mista

    Mista FULL MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,966
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
    Ratings:
    +3 / 2,012 / -0
    Country:
    Singapore
    Location:
    Singapore
    A country's political system have to suit the people's culture, thinking, values and habits of the time.

    China's authoritarian model wouldn't work in today's West. The Western culture is largely liberal and argumentative, and any harsh clampdown on non-extremist dissidents would ensure riots in the streets.

    Likewise, liberal democracy wouldn't work in today's China. But I do think that China will or will have to get less authoritarian and more consultative as education level rises and society matures with greater diversity of thoughts.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. faithfulguy

    faithfulguy ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,806
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Ratings:
    +2 / 12,566 / -3
    Country:
    Taiwan, Province Of China
    Location:
    United States
    This question is too early. China has not risen. It’s still in process. Also, it has no intention of becoming a superpower. It’s focusing on economic development.

    This question should be reserve for a new Supa Powa around 2012
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. LASER

    LASER BANNED

    Messages:
    1,621
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2018
    Ratings:
    +0 / 931 / -13
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    No, democracy appeared before Christ. Although voting rights were limited to men. While communism is a western concept appeared recently. I call it a utopian philosophy. It's never going to work in its abstract form. And as the history goes it's dying a slow death. Mind you, no country in the world are adopting communism, be it developing or developed.

    Check if it works, most countries have some form of democracy only some ME and some African, South American countries were authoritarian regimes exist. Even most of them don't follow communism.

    Everyone loves Chinese development especially in the developing world, but none of them want the Chinese form of government. So please don't throw such threads were some jobless westerner writes a kiss a$$ story about the beauty of communism in China. It is nothing short of a joke when you yourself call the People's Republic, in reality, it's a shame to the real Republics. You can read the definition of a republic on the internet where the sun shines (I mean use VPN).

    Outdated you say, there isn't much difference with the Soviets. They followed exactly the same principle, but with better technology, but unlike China, USSR was not culturally unified like the case of China. If India had communism, it'll soon break apart because culture changes when going from one state to another.

    Are you saying the Chinese didn't interfere in politics, maybe you need to read some news. There have been enough examples where Chinese interfering in elections. Or in decision making bodies for favors. Involved in bribing, corruption. So please don't sell me, non-interference policy of the Chinese.

    The Chinese you are talking about are the Buddhists, or Tao/Confucian Chinese. But they are not the topic here right, the Communist Chinese never invaded Malaysia, because there was the British. I think they were there in the late 50 to 60's. Correct me if I'm wrong. Hong Kong was spared of the cultural revolution and Chinese invasion. Wonder why?
     
  15. Nan Yang

    Nan Yang SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Ratings:
    +0 / 5,696 / -1
    Country:
    Malaysia
    Location:
    Malaysia
    But you have multi-party democracy in Taiwan.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4