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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

China Moves From Communism to Military Dictatorship?

While it's hard to see the difference between communism and military dictatorship is, at least in communism, civilians can pretend to be in charge of the society's welfare and pretend to be working towards that non-existent utopia using military as a baton to whack citizens who don't subscribe to communism - those that are anti-nationals because they are not red enough. Whereas a military dictatorship has little ideological underpinnings - it is dictatorship just to brutalize the society's citizens year after year, while enriching the generals, and promising it's own brand of democracy, in the perpetual, next year.

In both system, citizens are brutalized and freedoms are curtailed. But who controls the brutality under communism vs military dictatorship is different.

China Confidential hypothesis (via China Digital Times) that China may have moved from the former to the latter.

But times--and opinions--change. China's provocative anti-satellite test in January and comprehensive military expansion--the likes of which the world has not seen since the re-arming of Germany in the 1930s--has led a small number of intelligence experts to question the conventional view of Chinese elite politics. For the first time, analysts are seriously entertaining the notion that China may actually be a military dictatorship posing as a party-ruled, authoritarian (formerly totalitarian) state.

According to this intriguing theory, the People's Liberation Army allows the party to manage domestic and foreign affairs--up to a point. Should domestic unrest or dangerously democratic tendencies ever get out of hand, analysts speculate, the PLA would intervene--under party cover. In other words, the party has allegedly become the tool of the military, and real power on the Chinese mainland (in contrast with democratic Taiwan) comes from the barrel of the PLA gun, which is no longer controlled by party leaders. [CDT]