Daily Productive Sharing 1015 - China's Hope

China’s hope, at present, lies in the fact that more and more people have broken free from blind faith in the leadership.

Daily Productive Sharing 1015 - China's Hope
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Where is the hope for China? This piece was written by Fang Lizhi in Feb 2nd, 1989, and translated by Perry Link. 35 years passed by, and China is still circling in place, or even regressing:

  1. China’s hope lies in the fact that more and more people have broken free from blind faith in the leadership.
  2. The standard of comparison for measuring the success or failure of a society should be this: Has the distance between it and the most advanced societies of the world increased or decreased?
  3. The facts clearly show that, among other countries and regions1 that began with similar cultural backgrounds, and at starting points comparable to China’s, nearly all have now joined or are about to join the ranks of the developed.
  4. We must recognize that China’s overpopulation was due to Mao’s policy in the 1950s to oppose birth control as a “bourgeois Malthusian doctrine” and encourage rapid population growth.
  5. The new emphasis on economics in domestic policy and the cessation of “exporting revolution” in foreign policy are both important examples of progress.
  6. Chinese education, which for years suffered the ravages of Mao Zedong’s anti-intellectual, anticultural political principles, has left China with a population in which the proportion of illiterates remains about what it was forty years ago.
  7. When it comes to one of the major causes of instability in Chinese society today—the continuing state of civil war with Taiwan—this supreme principle somehow ceases to apply.
  8. Yet it is precisely because democracy is generated from below that—despite the many frustrations and disappointments in our present situation—I still view our future with hope.

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中国的希望在哪?这是方励之于1989年2月2日发表的文章,由林培瑞翻译。35年过去了,似乎还在原地转圈,甚至还有些退步:

  1. China’s hope lies in the fact that more and more people have broken free from blind faith in the leadership.
  2. The standard of comparison for measuring the success or failure of a society should be this: Has the distance between it and the most advanced societies of the world increased or decreased?
  3. The facts clearly show that, among other countries and regions1 that began with similar cultural backgrounds, and at starting points comparable to China’s, nearly all have now joined or are about to join the ranks of the developed.
  4. We must recognize that China’s overpopulation was due to Mao’s policy in the 1950s to oppose birth control as a “bourgeois Malthusian doctrine” and encourage rapid population growth.
  5. The new emphasis on economics in domestic policy and the cessation of “exporting revolution” in foreign policy are both important examples of progress.
  6. Chinese education, which for years suffered the ravages of Mao Zedong’s anti-intellectual, anticultural political principles, has left China with a population in which the proportion of illiterates remains about what it was forty years ago.
  7. When it comes to one of the major causes of instability in Chinese society today—the continuing state of civil war with Taiwan—this supreme principle somehow ceases to apply.
  8. Yet it is precisely because democracy is generated from below that—despite the many frustrations and disappointments in our present situation—I still view our future with hope.

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China's Despair and China's Hope

Excerpt

Today, a look at the “new” China makes one feel that the naive sincerity of those years has been trifled with, the people’s enthusiasm betrayed.
But the standard of comparison for measuring the success or failure of a society should be this: Has the distance between it and the most advanced societies of the world increased or decreased?
The facts clearly show that, among other countries and regions1 that began with similar cultural backgrounds, and at starting points comparable to China’s, nearly all have now joined or are about to join the ranks of the developed.
First, we must recognize that China’s overpopulation is itself one of the “political achievements” of the Maoist years. It was Mao’s policy in the 1950s to oppose birth control as a “bourgeois Malthusian doctrine” and encourage rapid population growth.
Are we to believe that any overpopulated society necessarily generates such struggles and persecutions? Such a view is plainly illogical.
Logic allows only one conclusion: that the disappointments of the past forty years must be attributed to the social system itself.
The new emphasis on economics in domestic policy and the cessation of “exporting revolution” in foreign policy are both important examples of progress.
These four principles, in actual content, are hardly distinguishable from Mao’s own “Six Political Standards.” And the latter were the basic political principles that underlay thirty years of “class struggle.”
Chinese education, which for years suffered the ravages of Mao Zedong’s anti-intellectual, anticultural political principles, has left China with a population in which the proportion of illiterates remains about what it was forty years ago.
But when it comes to one of the major causes of instability in Chinese society today—the continuing state of civil war with Taiwan—this supreme principle somehow ceases to apply.
Democracy is no longer just a slogan; it has come to exert a pressure of its own. The purpose of this pressure is to oblige the authorities, gradually and through non-violent means, to accept changes toward political democracy and a free economy.
China differs in that its system of dictatorship is unable to accept a free economy entirely. This is because socialist dictatorship is closely bound to a system of “public ownership” (in fact official ownership), and its ideology is fundamentally antithetical to the kind of private property rights that a free economy requires.
Our minimum conclusion must be this: that there is no rational basis for a belief that this kind of dictatorship can overcome the corruption that it has itself bred; and that, based on this problem alone, we need a more effective role for public opinion and a more independent judiciary. This means, in effect, more democracy.
China’s hope, at present, lies in the fact that more and more people have broken free from blind faith in the leadership.
Yet it is precisely because democracy is generated from below that—despite the many frustrations and disappointments in our present situation—I still view our future with hope.