Why is western democracy not the real democracy?老外告诉你,为什么西方的民主不是真正的民主

今天在美国知乎“Quora”网站看到一个叫Boubacar Dembele的外国人(Teesside University提赛德大学毕业,现居住在英格兰瑞丁市Reading City)通过实例详细对比分析了中西方民主政治的差异,并在制度层面认为中国的社会主义民主政治制度要比西方所谓的民主政治制度更为优越更为超前,英文全文如下:

Why is China not seen as a democracy (by lots of westerners)? One reason is that you don't have direct election in China. You have“nested election loops”where the local people elect the local reps, then the local reps elect the next level provincial reps, then the provincial reps elect their congressional reps, then the congressional reps elect the managing team a.k.a. the Politburo. The top one gets to be the President, and the second vote-getter gets to be the Prime Minister, and the third and forth vote-getters get to be Cabinet members. So if you mirror it to the US system, it'll be like this:

The local people elect their local reps;

The local reps in a state get together to elect the state reps;

The state reps get together to elect the House of Representatives;

The House of Representatives get together to elect the Managing Team. In this election, it’ll be like Trump gets to be the President, Hillary gets to be the Vice President and Secretary of State, Bernie Sanders will be a Cabinet Minister. The other 3 or 4 Cabinet positions will be chaired by people who were voted in during the Obama presidency, because the election is staggered so that only half of the leadership positions change during each election cycle. And Trump can’t fire Hillary or Sanders or any Obama people, because they are all voted in on their own strength, so everybody has to work together, which means that you can’t use “scorched earth” campaign tactics ever, the way Trump deals with Hillary, because even if you defeat Hillary, she’s going to be your right-hand woman as the second-highest vote-getter. Well have fun having your mortal enemy as your second-in-command and try to get anything done! And by law, all Cabinet decisions must be “by overwhelming consensus”, which is basically 7:0 or 6:1 agreement by the whole Cabinet. So Mr. Trump can’t do sh*t unless he can persuade Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the Obama people. Seriously, is there any chance that this structure will work for Mr. Trump?

But that’s not the most important reason. The most important reason that China is not viewed as a “democracy” is because China views voting as just one of the management tools, to be used when appropriate. Not the ultimate tool under any circumstances. And it’s understood that the system is, and will always be, on trial, needing constant improvement, and the top echelon WILL INTERVENE FORCEFULLY if things go totally out of wack.

A lot of uninformed people have the mistaken belief that CCP can’t do populism, which is why it fears popular election. That’s bullshit. CCP was born out of student mass movement, gets its core strength from the poor masses, holding 100% loyalty among the rural population, and when it chooses to, does populism better than anybody on earth. Only the Vatican, at its height, may have been a match for the CCP. Let me just give you one example - the CCP in the 50’s and 60’s got the 10 million Muslims in China to voluntarily swore off religion, and started raising pigs in the mosques, all by popular movement, without firing a single shot. Starting by picking a couple of bad mullahs who abused funds and messed with girls, showcase their immorality and greediness, make the victims front and center of the collective consciousness, snowball into a popular movement, start yelling “freedom from the yoke of religion”, easy as pie. The CCP relied on popular movements to turn the biggest opium den in the world into a drug-free society within 3 years, built grass root healthcare and education system, and they can tell the people “we need you to go to this god-forsaken place. You’ll live there, die there, and your children will probably die there too. We need a couple lifetimes of dedication to turn this place into a modern nation.” and millions of people would volunteer to go. Just like that. Nowadays the European political establishment can’t even deal with child marriage and FGM, and they think the CCP can’t win on populism? Ha! When you get your own Muslim population to voluntarily denounced their mullahs, and raising pigs in mosques, you can debate with the CCP on who can do populism better. Anybody with real political ambition within CCP will volunteer to go work in the poorest villages for at least 5 years, cut his teeth and learn his trade craft on becoming a popular leader with the vast poor masses first. They can all do it.

Mao was the consummate popular leader. He could move people like no other. We see today how the US Senate muzzled Senator Elizabeth Warren for reading an unflattering letter about Senator Jeff Session. So lame. Do you know what Mao did when he faced a situation ten times worse? In 1962, Mao faced the expanded People’s Congress, with 7000 congressional members denouncing his economic policies, virtually alone. The entire CCP was against him. OK, Great. He didn’t muzzle anybody. He did the opposite. He apologized for his mistakes, while reaffirming the consensus goal of modernizing China. He moved to invite more people, to extend the floor hours, so that everybody who wanted to speak up got to speak up. He moved to extend the meeting for two more days just to hear all the criticisms, acting humble and sincere. He played the crowd like a harp, and at the end of the day, people left with “even if he’s wrong, I’d rather work with him than any other people.” Just like that. (Then you take a look at Senator Jeff Sessions - why can’t he do that, like inviting people to talk, apologizing for past mistakes, appearing sincere in his desire to serve the people, dampen the hostility, and turn around to become a flawed but popular hero? The political circus in the US is in fact an exceedingly gentle greenhouse for the pampered aristocrats, which is why some dude can afford to act like a scaredy bunny baring his big bunny teeth at the crowd to look fierce.)

After Mao, the CCP is constantly on guard against populism. They know, from their own bloody experience, that you can get people to cheer for the wrong things and vote in the wrong people, easily. You can point to a random minority and say, I’ll screw them for you, and get enthusiastic support from the majority, easily. Been there. Done that. Bad for the country. Won’t do it again. Populism is the nuclear option that you keep in your pocket and never ever use it, unless China is invaded or something.

So then, what about gaining popular support through democracy? Well ever since the 90’s, the technocrats of China have gone on a massive journey of experimentation, mixed with a massive dose of tragi-comedy, mostly consists of Beijing furiously twirling its thumbs and mumbling “this generation of people are not up to the mark”, until 2008. Doubts set in after the 2008 financial crisis, and then Trump showed up, and they don’t know what to think.

You see, democracy was sold as “clusterf*ck goes in, wisdom and leadership comes out”. Being nerdy technocrats, the Chinese started a massive social experiment on localized direct election at the town and village level in the 90’s. Because everything must be tried and tested, and only hard data are meaningful to the technocrats. Weekly reports, twenty million data-points, followed by a mad race to apply bandages everywhere.

The dominant clan/family almost always get elected, and the minority ended up being screwed. OK. We’ve got Yugoslavia. Furiously twirling its thumbs. Then Beijing decreed that there must be a minority, a woman, a science/technology person, a non-CCP representative in the leadership team, even if they can’t get the votes!

The mayor candidate pays $50 bucks for each vote, then when he wins the election, he sells public property to replenish his own coffer. OK. We’ve got the Russian oligarchs. Furiously twirling its thumbs. Arrest the guy and send him to jail for 5 year, then after the guy was released, he pays $100 bucks for each vote and gets elected again! Then he sells more public property for cash in his own pocket! Even more furiously twirling its thumbs. Then Beijing decreed “we can’t have one guy with so much power. From now on, you need to have the local mayor, the CCP-appointed party secretary from outside, the local people’s congress, and the political consultative committee making decisions together. Four teams. And all city finances must be public, online.”

The successful mayor ended up passing his position to his son. OK. We’ve got North Korea and Singapore. Furiously twirling its thumbs. This is aristocracy in the making, and there’s nothing we can do about it! Unless we can break the chain through anti-corruption charges.

The moneyed cabal stays in power and buying off politicians. OK. We’ve got South Korea and America. It’s like the beef stays the beef, and you just change from rosemary beef to garlic butter beef. Furiously twirling its thumbs. OK, we’ll send in the anti-corruption team and investigate the hell out of them. Throw 90% of them in jail on bribery charges, and appoint fresh blood into the leadership position. Beijing decreed that from now one, private meetings with elected officials are per se illegal and per se corruption. All meetings must take place in the office in public!

The elected mayor colluded with everybody in the village to turn the place into an illegal drug den, and everybody got rich from their illegal activities. OK. We’ve got Afghanistan. Send in 5,000 armed police in the middle of the night and arrest everybody. Execute a dozen ringleaders and appoint outsiders to run the village. Beijing decreed that all towns will have unplanned, unannounced on-site review by various Central Government agencies roughly once every 3 years.

Then a whole provincial congress engaged in vote-buying. OK. We’ve got the Philippines and Latin America! Beijing was furious, fired everybody even remotely implicated, put the whole province under receivership, and publicly made the provincial head an example of “how good people are corrupted by power and entitlement”. All 80 million party members were made to go home, re-read the party rule book, and write self-criticism report. Yikes!

This was when Beijing looked longingly across the pond, and wondered why is it that a red light in China is a suggestion to check if the police is around, and in other part of the globe, people actually treat it as a stop signal? Why is democracy in your hand is “garbage in, leadership out” (you say), and in my hand it’s “garbage in, garbage out”? Why is it that we get the sneakiest, craftiest, most unruly, driving-a-truck-through-a needle-hole SOBs, one and a half billion of them, and you get the several million polite, obedient, compliant, rule-following people in your country? Are the Nordic people, in fact, Martians?

And let’s not even start with people voting for celebrities with a pretty face and dumb as a cabbage! But you see, this is the thing with China: when you start with 1.4 billion people as the base, and take a scientific approach toward data collection, you’ll see that things ranging from Sweden to Moldova, from Mr. Willy Brandt to Mr. Donald Trump, are all statistical certainties. Not accidents, but statistical certainty. The good and the bad. Other countries just don’t have the enormous population coupled with the massive, centralized data collection to capture these statistical certainties. It’s not like “we the special people will only have Sweden and we will never have Moldova”. It’s not possible to have 1.4 billion Swedes, but even the worst of them - are still your people, your family, your responsibility. So what are you going to do?

And then the 2008 financial crisis happened. With the average people losing 40% of their savings overnight, and there was no rebellion! People weren’t even calling for blood! And no banker or government official went to jail! And then the 2016 election, with vote-buying, doling out public offices to private donors, being caught in significant lies, massive mixing of money and politics, and then Trump, and there is no rebellion and nobody goes to jail! Oh I see. Your democracy is also, eh… hmm, garbage in, garbage out. It’s not that our people are crafty and unruly. It’s that your people are genuinely uneducated (a.k.a. d*mb suckers), politically. That’s why when you get sucker-punched by your elected officials, you just say, OK, that’s how democracy works. Must follow the rules and choose between the plague and cholera. Hurray! But when our people get sucker-punched by their elected officials, they run to Beijing, write public letters with their own blood, block the streets, and demand the government to appoint a super-qualified OUTSIDER to run the town! Either that. or it’s war! Blood and pitchforks! Well f*ck! So now all elected officials have a 1-year trial period, to prove that he can be fair and competent on the job. If he fails, he can be dismissed at any time, because the Chinese people pointed out that it’s not reasonable to expect the people to shoulder the downside just because they cast a vote! Nobody has seen how the guy works, so how can you ask the people to suck it up when it’s not working? If it’s not working for the people, to hell with the rules!

So when Xi came on-board, he started shifting the message, from applying systemic bandages to the election process, to renewed emphasis on honesty, dedication, and personal sacrifice. Any man-made system is subject to man-made scheming, and for democracy to work, you really need a vast pool of good people to begin with, and a population that is HIGHLY EDUCATED in both scientific knowledge and civic duties. Again and again it’s been proven that the voting public are not capable of throwing out the really bad candidates in a 100% reliable, repeatable fashion, under the current circumstance, so you have to make sure, in some way, that even the weak candidates are not too bad. All government officials were put through a wringer and have their entire families’ assets/connections gone through with a fine comb. See, I’m at least offering you a pool of reasonably competent, honest, and hardworking people for you to choose from. It’s a work in process without a finish line. You just have to keep trying to get the best people to work for the country. And Beijing has a very pragmatic attitude about this: it works where it works, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try to fix it, and we will get peace and prosperity by hook or crook!

美国政治经济研究所主席Paul Craig Roberts在其个人博客也对西方民主发起抨击提出质疑,他与于2012年2月14日发表文章《Is Western Democracy Real or a Facade?》,在文章中他指出西方的民主是金钱控制下的民主,“民主”是有钱人的保护伞,然而有钱人并不相信“民主”。

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