China’s Whole-process People’s Democracy

2021-11-25 17:32FengYanli
当代世界英文版 2021年4期

FengYanli

Peoples democracy as the inherent attribute and fundamental requirement of socialism serves as the lifeline promoting the development of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the readiness to “develop the whole-process peoples democracy” at the grand gathering celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). As a summary of the successful exploration by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC on the way to democratic politics and an important theoretical achievement of socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics, the whole-process peoples democracy highlights the new development and breakthrough of the Chinese democratic politics in the new era, and is the Chinese wisdom of democratic political civilization of mankind. History has proven that peoples democracy is the right democracy suitable for both the Chinese people and the reality of Chinas development, and only the whole-process peoples democracy is the democracy that can most widely safeguard the fundamental interests of the people.

Whole-Process Peoples Democracy: CPCs Successful Exploration on the Way to Democratic Politics

Based on the outstanding practice of the entire Chinese people, socialism is bound to take the road of peoples democracy. As Karl Marx once pointed out, in democracy, no link has a significance different from its own; in fact, each link is only that of the whole people. The CPC, founded and developed among the Chinese people, “has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese people; it stands with them through thick and thin and shares a common fate with them. The Party has no special interests of its own—it has never represented any individual interest group, power group, or privileged stratum.” This determines that the CPC will inevitably choose peoples democracy in its exploration of democratic system and model.

The whole-process peoples democracy is a socialist democracy led by the CPC as well as a democracy that truly belongs to the people themselves. The centenary history of the CPC is one about leading and uniting the Chinese people to constantly explore and improve the democratic system suitable for Chinas realities in the process of revolution, construction and development. After the October Revolution, Marxism-Leninism was introduced into China and brought a new democratic thought to the Chinese people. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have been united in exploring a new form of state and a path of democratic politics path suitable for Chinas realities and representing the Chinese peoples own interests in the arduous revolutionary struggle. The Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee made a strategic decision to shift the focus of the work of the whole Party and the whole country to socialist modernization, which laid a solid economic foundation for the building of socialist democratic politics and allowed the rapid development of the peoples democracy in the right direction. In the great practice of reform and opening up, the Party has attached great importance to the building of socialist democratic politics, always adhered to safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people as the fundamental starting point and foothold of the construction of democratic politics, and continuously promoted the construction of socialist democratic politics on the basis of adhering to the coordinated integration of the Partys leadership, the people being the masters of the country and the rule of law. Since the CPCs 18th National Congress, the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has attached great importance to the construction of democratic politics and built the whole-process peoples democracy in the process of constantly improving democratic system, enriching democratic forms and unblocking democratic channels, which has opened up a new era of socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics. History has provided enough evidence that the whole-process peoples democracy created by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC through their own practices is a democracy model that best meets the needs of Chinas development and the interests of the Chinese people.

With its distinguished theoretical wisdom and practical ability, the CPC has jumped out of the imprisonment of the western democracy model and successfully set around and surpassed the inherent defects of the western democracy model. The world is undergoing great changes unseen in a century with both domestic and international situation in profound changes. In particular, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the process of economic globalization and the world political situation. Western countries led by the United States have displayed many problems in economic, political, social and other aspects.

On the one hand, the United States and many western countries are faced with frequent social problems, prominent ethnic conflicts, sustained sluggish economic development, and further widened gap between rich and poor. In particular, when facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and some western countries lack a sense of responsibility to ensure the fulfillment of the basic living rights of the people.

On the other hand, the United States and some western countries wantonly export the western democracy model to developing countries, trying to shape it as the so-called “universal values” of global democratic politics. In fact, the western “universal values” have brought apparent and countless human rights disasters to Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. At present, the inherent defects of the western democracy model are becoming increasingly prominent, and its hypocritical essence has come out in the wash.

Under the guidance of Marxist theory on democracy, the CPC by standing on Chinas realities of revolution and development has cast off the limitation of the western democracy and opened up a path of democracy that truly belongs to the Chinese people. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out in his keynote address at the CPC and World Political Parties Summit,“democracy is also the right of all peoples, rather than an exclusive privilege of the few. There are multiple ways and means to realize democracy, instead of a single stereotype. The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others.” The whole-process peoples democracy is the theoretical and practical innovation of the CPC in leading and uniting the Chinese people to search for the democratic politics. To continuously adhere to, develop and improve the whole-process people's democracy, we must adhere to the strong leadership of the CPC.

Idea of People-Centered Development: Core Concept of Developing Whole-Process Peoples Democracy

According to General Secretary Xi Jinping, the CPC will put in practice the idea of people-centered development and develop whole-process peoples democracy. Based on the people, the whole-process peoples democracy will eventually return to the people. The whole-process peoples democracy serves as an important measure to ensure that the people are the true masters of the country. It not only ensures that the people exercise their legal rights, but also enables the implementation of peoples democracy in the whole process of consultation, decision-making, management and supervision. The whole-process peoples democracy represents the fundamental interests of all the Chinese people and is therefore an important political guarantee for them to achieve their own interests. The development of whole-process peoples democracy is the adherence to and practice of the idea of people-centered development, which is of great significance to fully stimulate the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of all the people in managing and developing the country.

The whole-process peoples democracy is a new form of democracy that enables all the people to participate in the development of socialist democratic politics and belongs to the people. General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that, “the most extensive and profound foundation for the comprehensive rule of law is the people; we must adhere to serving and relying on the people; the people's interests, wishes, rights and well-being shall be safeguarded, fulfilled and improved in all fields and the whole process of ruling of law in an all-round way.” Under the leadership of the CPC, from winning the victory of the new democratic revolution, to founding of the China, and then to developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, the people have always been the main force and played a core motive role, putting in practice the values of the whole-process peoples democracy. It is fair to say that it is the Chinese people who have created and developed the socialist democratic politics with Chinese characteristics.

On the contrary, the essence of the western-style democracy adopted by western countries led by the United States is in fact an “elite democracy” and a “money democracy” arbitrarily manipulated by capitals. In western capitalist countries, the ordinary people who account for the vast majority of the population are no longer the main body of democracy. The western-style democracy covers up the capital operation behind it under the guise of electoral democracy. In western capitalist countries, the ordinary people who account for the vast majority of the population are no longer the main body of democracy. The western-style democracy covers up the capital operation under the guise of electoral democracy. In fact, major capital groups resort to form of donation to support the chosen agents who better safeguard their interests in the election. After being elected, the agents will reward their supporters according to the contribution. Thus, the state power no longer belongs to the people, instead it is controlled by capital groups. In 2010 and 2014, the U.S. federal court ruled to cancel the ban on direct contributions to candidates by groups and the upper limit of individual contributions, so that capital can more wantonly interfere with and replace democracy. Apparently the western democracy manipulated by capital and money is fraudulent and hypocritical that are difficult to abolish. The western-style election system is only a matter of form. The capital elites in western countries turn the people into voters by manipulating capitals, and the power to manage the country is gradually concentrated in the hands of large capital groups. Election has become a tool for them to obtain benefits.

Chinas whole-process peoples democracy is conducive to converging social consensus widely, ensuring that all the people fully express their political will and safeguarding the fundamental interests of the people essentially. General Secretary Xi once said, “This country is its people; the people are the country. As we have fought to establish and consolidate our leadership over the country, we have in fact been fighting to earn and keep the peoples support. The Party has in the people its roots, its lifeblood and its source of strength.” In the past one hundred years since its founding, the CPC has always put ensuring the peoples wellbeing in the first place in saving the country by revolution, governing and rejuvenating the country and developing a powerful country. Since the Partys 18th National Congress, the main social contradictions in China have shifted, and the peoples longing for a better life in political area is mainly reflected in the pursuit of a sense of democratic participation, fulfillment and achievement. The whole-process peoples democracy actively responded to and highly met the peoples new needs for peoples democracy, and accurately focused on the true meaning of peoples democracy, which means that “things can be settled through discussion, and peoples things should be discussed by people”. Therefore, the essential difference between the whole-process peoples democracy and western-style democracy is that the former aims to safeguard the fundamental interests of all the people, while the latter aims to safeguard the interests of a very small number of large capital groups and capitalists.

Whole-Process Peoples Democracy: a Democracy Constantly Developing and Improving Itself

Democracy as a basic component of the political development and social governance symbolizes a countrys political background. The whole-process peoples democracy is a mechanism that embodies the peoples will, protects the peoples rights and interests as well as stimulates the peoples creativity. It is a model of democratic politics created and selected by the Chinese people in social practice. Along with that, the CPC has been contributing theoretical wisdom and practical contents for the realization of whole-process peoples democracy.

General Secretary Xi once pointed out: “No two political systems are entirely the same, and a political system cannot be judged in abstraction without regard for its social and political context, its history, and its cultural traditions. No one political system should be regarded as the only choice; and we should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries.” The whole-process peoples democracy is a model of democratic politics based on the political and cultural tradition of the Chinese nation and Chinas specific reality, with profound historical heritage and mass foundation. During the CPCs exploration in the past century and new Chinas development over more than 70 years, the whole-process peoples democracy has continuously displayed its strong political vitality and influence. Meanwhile, the CPC has actively undertaken the historical mission of fulfilling the new needs and requirements of the peoples democracy in keeping with the times.

General Secretary Xi stresses that, “Socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is a new and good thing. Of course, this does not mean that Chinas political system is perfect and does not need to be developed and improved.” Any democratic political system, once stagnating and no longer developing, will be knocked out by history and the people. At the beginning of its establishment, the western democratic system was advanced compared with the feudal system and had played a positive role in the development of human society. However, with the development of capitalism, the western democracy had gradually become a tool for capital competition, and thus developed rather slowly and eventually showed its intrinsic disadvantages. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the drastic changes in Eastern Europe, earth shaking changes have taken place in international politics, and the world socialist movement has fallen into a low tide. As a result, western countries regarded western democracy as the “sole solution” of the democratic system of human society. Francis Fukuyama, a well-known American scholar once claimed that “it was hard to imagine a fundamentally better world than ours, or a future that was not based on democracy and capitalism.” However, todays world development situation has proven that human history does not end in the western-style democracy. On the contrary, this democracy continues to decline and stagnate. Even Fukuyama has to admit that “what really gets worse is American capitalism”; on the contrary, “China is rising and will continue to rise. China is bound to change the world in one way or another”.

In contrast, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have made continuous progress towards the overall goal of building a socialist country ruled by law, promoted the continuous development of socialist democracy and the rule of law with Chinese characteristics, modernized the national governance system and governance capacity, and constantly burst out the vitality of the whole-process people's democracy. All these have provided a solid guarantee of democracy and rule of law for achieving the goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects. In particular, since the CPCs 18th National Congress, the whole-process peoples democracy has displayed a prominent efficiency. When faced with major emergency crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, China socialist democratic politics has played a much stronger institutional advantage over western democracy in social governance and in the cohesion of peoples minds and efforts. All in all, with a lasting vitality in its continuous development and improvement, the whole-process peoples democracy will provide inexhaustible institutional vitality to building a great modern socialist country in all respect as well as the Chinese dream of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Feng Yanli is Deputy Director and Professor of ?Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Editor-in-Chief of the World Philosophy, and Specially Appointed Professor of the Research Institute for 21st-Century Marxism of Nankai University.