Wei Jingsheng: China and Vietnam, economic giants on the brink of change or collapse
Los Angeles (AsiaNews) - Wei Jingsheng, the "father of democracy" in China, strongly attacks those who think that we can achieve economic development without human rights. And, in a speech at a symposium on human rights and democracy development in China and Vietnam, traces an interesting parallel between the two nations. Dominated by a single party regime, they are both in full swing of development, but the absence of conflicting voices brings them inexorably towards a social revolution. At the same time, the capitalist world, which has tried to absorb both in the production chain, closing its eyes to human rights violations, finds itself in the present economic crisis. Here is the full text of the intervention, delivered in Los Angeles last week.
To learn about the democratic future of China and Vietnam, we need to make an analysis of both countries, as well as to understand the international environment of both of them. Then we could learn both favourable and disadvantaged conditions for us, thus to guide our actions.
The current social characteristic for both Vietnam and China is that although both countries have transformed into bureaucratic monopoly capitalist states, they are somehow different from Russia and Eastern Europe. The biggest difference is that they are still under the Communist Party's one-party dictatorship. Without competition in a multi-party system, both countries lack the more relaxed environment for speech and publications that both Russia and East Europe have. In Vietnam and China, it is very hard for the opposition to survive inside the country, and the opposition overseas has much more difficulty to participate in the politics inside. Thus, it produces a big predicament for us.
The special agencies of the Communist Party have become very effective. With the disjunction of inside and outside, it plants their agents, misguides our directions, sows dissension, and even leads the opposition into its traps. This makes a transformation or revolution facilitated by a united opposition that is well organized and well planned very difficult. At the current stage, the main form of opposition is by the people on their own with their decentralized action against the tyranny and economic ultra-exploitation. The public media are the main tool to mobilize the people. Traditional secretive organizations could only have small-scale operations. The overall mobilization of the people could only depend on mass communication tools. This is why the Chinese Communist regime pays great attention to block the information of both news media and the Internet.
On the other side, due to the lack of basic human rights, the exploitation and suppression by the combined effort from the government officials and business become ever more stark, thus resulting in even stronger opposition. So the transformation forces of countries such as China, Vietnam and North Korea are mainly from the middle and lower classes. The ways of transformation are not just limited to peaceful ones. Violent opposition often becomes the main force that impels societies to change. Also due to the intimate connection of government officials and business, the government has lost its judging position over business disputes. The internal fights within the governments have become even more violent than at any other times and circumstances. The surfacing of the criminal underworld and personal military have become a new routine in assisting political struggle, thus making the society even less stable and more complicated.
In the past a few decades, the international environment has been very unfavourable to the opposition forces of countries such as China and Vietnam. The "China Model" invented by Deng XiaoPing was able to buy out the Western capitalists in the way of sharing the cheap labour, thus indirectly controlling the politics and academics of the West. It was able to force the mainstream society of the West to surrender themselves to the interests of the Communist Party and give up their value systems. This has resulted in the West continuing its economic blood transfusion to the Communist countries and taking tolerant and appeasement policies toward the new style bureaucratic capitalists of the Communist Parties. During the 16 years of US President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, this policy of appeasement reached its peak. The relationship between the Western democracy and Asian dictatorship transformed from confrontation, to tolerance, to open cooperation. The overseas opposition forces of China and Vietnam became thorns in the eyes of the politicians of these democratic countries. Using the words of a well-known American scholar on the left: "these anti-Communist pro-democracy activists do not meet the main ideology stream of America".
However, now the situation is changing. Although the appeasement policy still occupies the mainstream, the west economy is in recession due to its blood transfusion to the Communist countries over more than one decade. The so-called "free market economy" theory lost its battle against the not free market economy. While the business people of both West and East made super profits, the wage and salary earners did not get the benefit of the economic development. Instead of expansion, the market shrank, which is the root cause of the global economic recession. Thus, the Western countries started to realize this historic mistake and naturally will take measures to correct it. They should give up their appeasement policies with the Communist government, and restart a new confrontation and competition. They should start their confrontation from market protection first.
This change is the exterior condition that may force the new bureaucratic capitalist system of the Communist Party to reform, or to collapse. The overseas opposition has a main task beyond continuously using the media for positive mobilization of democracy and freedom. This new task, in cooperation with a market protection policy by the democratic countries, will be opposing the nationalism that will be mobilized by the Communist Party naturally. By borrowing the power from the international society, we could push for the reforms of the redistribution system, or political revolution in our own countries. This trade battle will not benefit the bureaucratic capitalism; yet will only be beneficial to the waged and salary workers and private capital of our countries, which is the best measure to push for democratic revolution and to avoid the disordered insurrection.
Finally, let me make it clear, under an environment without basic free speech and free media, yet with a matured economic system of bureaucratic capitalism, the so called "colour revolution of peace, rational and non-violence" could be only a trick of deceive; to the best is a good fantasy that cannot be realized.