Tuesday, September 08, 2009

China: Towards the Rule of Law

"The Rule of Man" (box 1) is stuck in my mind after I read Zhao Ziyang's book, "Prisoner of the State".

Box 1 describes how China is ruled but to a less degree than when Deng was numero uno.

Note the reinforcing loop between Box 1 and Box 2. The Communist Party knows this is what keeps them in power. As no reinforcing loop can go on indefinitely, fairly early on Box 3 (Corruption) has been growing, which is a demoting influence on Box 2.

In this NaviMap we introduce Box 4 - Social Progress.

Because of Box 2 over the last 30 years, we can talk about Box 4 meaningfully today. However the antagonistic relationship between Box 3 and Box 4 has created a "Tug of War" situation over Box 4. This is feeding back to Box 1 as a promote and demote Box 1 influence.

The Chinese correctly believed that nothing can be done to get China out of its poverty and onto a development path without economic progress (box 2). A worsening corruption situation (box 3) must be managed within the latent strength of their ancient culture. Zhao Ziyang believed that pervasive corruption (box 3) would be temporary. Looking beyond, he had felt that the Rule of Man (box 1) is temporary. Eventually it would yield to the Rule of Law.

Rule of Law (box 5) is the destination that the Chinese wants to be at eventually.

Historically they have never succeeded at scoring a permanent victory over corruption. Why should it be different this time? They are hopeful because the days of the emperors and the paramount ruler are over. Now they have to figure out their own version of democracy. They cannot do this quickly. The pace is dictated by Box 3. and Box 2. Social Progress (box 4) is in the centre of this tug of war. The ride we can be sure has been and will continue to be very bumpy.

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