Originally published in High Peaks Pure Earth, October 23, 2012
Reposted in TPR with permission
Wang Lixiong divides the CCP into “Faction N” and “Faction N+1”, this is a never seen before analysis. Compared to other ways of assigning new positions, this one really reflects the essence of this process within the CCP – they are all “N”, with the difference between them being a single “1”, a difference which is like that in the sequence of changing the dealer in a card game. So this is why Wang Lixiong combines both factions under the name “N Sequence”.
The factions in the “N Sequence” do not differ in terms of their ideology, poitical vision, their concepts of political power, and not even in terms of their tactics, they just take turns complying with the rules of power: when the curtain falls, you have performed your part and I take the stage. There need not be any competition between them, they don’t need to search for differences, so they also don’t need to innovate and they also don’t give society any choice to pick between different factions. These kind of factions will never undergo transformation, they will only try to prevent any transformation from happening. Bo Xilai’s fall was due to the fact that he fostered changes that were beyond the framework of the “N Sequence”.
As to the question of whether the CCP has already completely implemented the system that “each generation appoints their successor”, Wang Lixiong believes that we still need to wait for the final test, which is to see whether at the 18th or, at the latest, the 19th People’s Congress, it will be Hu Jintao who appoints his successor.
Wang Lixiong believes that an autocratic power, in order to transfer the power from an individual to a group, to change the authority in the hands of a single dictator into a power machinery, the “N Sequence” of “each generation appointing their successor” is the most stable system. The fact that the CCP, after June 4, 1989, managed to maintain over 20 years of stability and unprecedented unity, reinforces and verifies this point. The Bo Xilai incident did not have any major effect on this stability either, this again successfully put this theory to the test. The experiences of autocratic regimes falling apart due to inner struggles during times of power changes has led bureaucrats to stand in unity and regard this kind of system as a life saving potion, which has been cultivated with the utmost care and attention, making sure that whoever is in power does not tamper with it.
Today, the CCP has already transformed from a revolutionary party into a power corporation that is no longer attempting to use class struggle as a means to establish a paradise for the labouring masses, but that has, by means of “opening up reforms”, established its own paradise; everything it does has only one goal, which is the consolidation of its own power and the satisfaction of its own needs. How will this kind of power corporation ever give up autocracy? Today’s regime has by no means given up the cruel methods of the revolutionary party but because of some pragmatic calculations of gains and losses, now there exist some additional considerations. As soon as the gains are greater than the expenses, however, they won’t hesitate at all. During the Mao era, when ideology was challenged, people were killed, under today’s regime, when power is challenged, they will definitely not be soft-hearted either.
When the authority had not been mechanized yet, power was in the hands of the leader, there still existed the possibility of breaking through it. Of course, those times were dangerous, like Hitler’s war or Mao’s Cultural Revolution, but progress was possible, as the examples of Jiang Jingguo’s repeal of the party ban or Gorbachev’s political transformations demonstrate. A power struggle created room for the splitting up of the power group, it could well lead to a fascist coup d’état but it could maybe in the process of seeking support from the masses, also lead to democracy. However, after the mechanization of power, the leaders are no longer in charge, they are merely the spokespersons, representing the benefits of the power corporation. “Within the Chinese Communist Party, political reform is dead”, these words hit the nail on the head.
Considering this analysis by Wang Lixiong, for the solution of the problems in Tibet, one cannot count on the CCP. Regardless of which leader is taking over, even if he is a little bit different, he is still largely the same.