中国一党制的正反观 – China’s one-party system in contrast

10几年前,有次我去江浙一带讲学。结伴同行的是北京大学某教授。在结束了宁波市的一次学术讨论后,我们连夜赶往杭州,以便参加第二天上午的一个学术会议。因为他来自政治中心首都,路上闲聊时我问他,国家派了许多官员去美国哈佛大学、新加坡理工大学学习管理,这或许反映上层的心理状态,在维持现政治体制的基础上,学习先进国家的管理经验,把中国治理好。他白了我一眼,只是简单的回答了我一句:你把他们想得太好了!

中国的读书人,大多有点儒家思想。“居庙堂之高则忧其民;处江湖之远则忧其君。”作为接受了现代民主意识的一介书生,对于“君”的理解,就是“国家”。这种忧国忧民意识贯穿我的一生。因此,在看到近30多年来国家进步的同时,也明显的感到存在的许多不尽人意之处。

对我而言,不过是一介江湖之人,忧也好,不忧也好,充其量只是个人的物质精神得失微不足道。而那些在庙堂上执掌权柄的一举一动却与数百数千以至数万上亿的百姓的福祉甚至生死息息相关。

且不说18大以来数十个省部级官员的倒台,即便是从网上报纸上随便这样一扫,这些庙堂上人的所作所为实在令人寒心。

近日,新华社曝出黑龙江海伦市一边申报国家级扶贫重点县,一边建造价超亿元的豪华政府办公楼,引起一片哗然。同时,另外一条新闻也同样撞击着公众敏感的神经,国家级贫困县河南台前县豪华办公大楼扎堆而建,且县领导配有“别墅”宿舍,与之形成鲜明对比的是该县600名学生的学校拥挤不堪,玻璃窗上的窟窿用破木块遮挡,环境脏乱犹如“难民营”。

据《法制晚报》记者统计发现,仅2013年,媒体曝光的贫困县建豪华办公大楼的新闻就至少5起,耗资基本上全过亿。这和贫困县的身份形成强烈的反差,一度引起热议。

黑龙江海伦市、河南新乡市封丘县、安徽利辛县等地也出现类似的情况。

再如现在机构重叠、官员臃肿,几乎已经成了普遍的现象。干部太多,确实是个“老大难”问题。老百姓再勤劳,也养不起这么多官。官满为患的危害不用多说,既浪费经费、影响行政效率,也增加腐败空间。但要专项整治,就需要追问造成这种现象的根源。

表面来看,是因为目前对领导职数,并没有明晰细致的规定。2007年,国务院发布《地方各级人民政府机构设置和编制管理条例》,提出“地方各级人民政府行政机构的领导职数,按照地方各级人民代表大会和地方各级人民政府组织法的有关规定确定”。然而遗憾的是,地方的相关法律中,压根没有“有关规定”。

去年新京报曾做调查,统计了全国250个地级市的副市长数量,发现有些城市情况相近,但有的5名副市长就“够用”,有的却设10名副市长。副职设置的随意性由此可见一斑。既无硬性规定,在“官本位”思想之下,干部数量膨胀也就可以预料,而整治起来也无章可循。是以尽管媒体屡有曝光,人大代表也常有呼吁,问题却始终无解。

有人认为,干部职数扩张的背后,除了权力私欲的扩张之外,也不排除有政府职能的过渡扩张。政府管的太多,权力太大,自然就需要更多的干部。不厘清规约政府职能,去单纯压缩干部数量,不仅难度大,而且可能“搞乱”现实工作,给基层抵制整治提供口实。换句话说,用法律约束政府行为,政府不该管的事都交给市场和社会,干部的权力小了,自然想当的人就少。这板子打在政府的屁股上,却是打错了地方。在中国说到底,任何出现的问题,一切的一切,还是因为党的权力太大。

固然党并没有说要扩张自己的私欲,它也不会说,说的却是相反的话。在去年十八大报告提出,要“严格控制机构编制,减少领导职数,降低行政成本”,但是如果不给全国人大或者地方人大如此权力,没有相关的法律法规,只能是看到问题实在太严重实行政策性的突击整治之后,不久所整肃的问题又死灰复燃。就拿司法改革而言,改来改去,后面仍然是要把一切权力执掌在手中的党的影子却不会改。各地党组织中的政法委员会就是所有司法机构的最后拍板者。最近上海一位教授谢百三吐槽了他的三件官司。第一件是因为2001年发行的国债违约状告当时的财政部长项怀诚,第二件是状告德勤会计事务所搞“台独”,第三件是在2014年状告证监会,违反《公司法》。结果竟然是法院方面答复,这些案件要经过上面同意我们才能受理。政治改革为何步履艰难?还是一党制的权力难以动撼。

中国的一党制的确引起了世界的关注以至疑虑,因为毕竟在全世界200个左右的政治实体中,还在实行这样的体制的国家只有个位数。我们的伟大光荣正确的党似乎也看到了这种不合潮流的异端,于是回到文章开头所言,派人去美国去新加坡学习管理就是想,在保持现有政治体制的前提下,把其它国家的先进管理经验学习过来。

或许也是出于这种考虑,18届3中全会后,中共派出多路代表团,分赴周边及非洲、拉美、欧洲、中亚地区,对全会精神进行深入解读。放映“领导人是怎样练成的”、“中国共产党与你一起在路上”,展示了农民、工人、调酒师、舞蹈家等普通百姓的梦想。马年春节期间,从习近平到李克强,都走访了许多边远农村地区,在考察慰问时强调,要尽心尽责办好群众关心的事,努力使家家户户过上好日子。从党与人民的沟通,从领导人产生的过程向全世界显示,居于“庙堂”的人,不是如封建王朝世袭产生,而是有广泛的社会基础。

这样做是必要的,但是还不够。我觉得更重要的还是从理论到实践都要进一步说明,在中国目前的情况下,为什么可以实行一党制。我说“可以”,没有说“必须”,是因为我认为一党制是一种可以考虑的选择。

还是从“共产党宣言”谈起。

宣言深刻的揭示:“资产阶级在它已经取得了统治的地方把一切封建的、宗法的和田园般的关系都破坏了。它无情地斩断了把人们束缚于天然尊长的形形色色的封建羁绊,它使人和人之间除了赤裸裸的利害关系,除了冷酷无情的“现金交易”,就再也没有任何别的联系了。它把宗教虔诚、骑士热忱、小市民伤感这些情感的神圣发作,淹没在利己主义打算的冰水之中。它把人的尊严变成了交换价值,用一种没有良心的贸易自由代替了无数特许的和自力挣得的自由。总而言之,它用公开的、无耻的、直接的、露骨的剥削代替了由宗教幻想和政治幻想掩盖着的剥削。

“资产阶级抹去了一切向来受人尊崇和令人敬畏的职业的神圣光环。它把医生、律师、教士、诗人和学者变成了它出钱招雇的雇佣劳动者。”

宣言还宣布:“如果说无产阶级在反对资产阶级的斗争中一定要联合为阶级,如果说它通过革命使自己成为统治阶级,并以统治阶级的资格用暴力消灭旧的生产关系,那么它在消灭这种生产关系的同时,也就消灭了阶级对立的存在条件,消灭阶级本身的存在条件,从而消灭了它自己这个阶级的统治。”

说得真好啊!无产阶级的伟大,无产阶级超越资产阶级的了不起之处,就是在于它向资产阶级宣战夺取政权的目的,并不是想取代资产阶级成为另一个用“公开的、无耻的、直接的、露骨的剥削代替了由宗教幻想和政治幻想掩盖着的剥削”的阶级。尽管它声称会“通过革命使自己成为统治阶级”,会“以统治阶级的资格用暴力消灭旧的生产关系”,但是它的根本目的是“消灭阶级对立的存在条件”,从而也“消灭了它自己这个阶级的统治。”

所以,中共应该理直气壮襟怀坦白的告诉全世界,告诉全体公民,共产党存在掌握政权的目的,是为了建立一个合理的生产关系,充分解放生产力,最后达到消灭阶级和与阶级身影相随的政党的目的。

政党或组织存在的意义,无非是为了更彻底地解放生产力,以及为解放了的生产力,建立最健康的,并能促进该生产力发展的生产关系。生产力的发展是为了更高效地实现人民生活水平的提高。如果中国共产党能够充分地为解放社会生产力而努力,或引导生产力向着社会进步及市场需要的方向发展,并为之组织和建立更行之有效的生产关系,就一定能顺应历史发展和所赋予的使命,受到人民的拥戴。因此,一个国家实行一党制或多党制,除了其历史和生存环境等因素,还应该以这些政党所设定的使命和宗旨为评判的根据。

在现在的条件下,马上就实行中国的多党制,社会将陷入可怕的混乱之中是个极大概率的悲剧。只要能够胜任解放生产力发展之使命,能够为大众生活质量提高而努力,不管是哪种社会体制下产生的,也不管是一党制还是民主选举下多党制轮流执政的政党,都会受到人们的拥护。

实行多党制的目的,是为了监督执政党的权力,监督观察执政党是否能在解放生产力方面发挥积极作用,是否能建立与生产力相适应的生产关系。如果不是出于这种动机,这种目的,而是为了某些利益集团或个人的好恶进行政治斗争,其结果是双方都不能真正为推动生产力的发展提供正向合力,而是阻碍生产力的发展。如埃及、利比亚以至乌克兰等等从一党制转向多党制所发生的混乱,前车可鉴。这样的多党制,不要也罢。

因此,对于中国的现状,我认为倒不是一党制还是多党制的问题,而是在一党制情况下生产关系没有能够健康建立的问题。例如,中国的央企问题。央企集中了国家的垄断赢利行业,央企的巨大财富是几十年人民血汗积累而成。2012年,央企亏损近400亿。不健康的生产关系导致生产力的下降。

再如中国的股市。中国的GDP10多年来增长速度位于世界第一,平均10%左右。然而中国的股市指数10年来却是一点没有上涨。财富哪里去了?股市造就了上千个亿万富翁,掠夺了几千万散户的用血汗换来的财富。

再如在庙堂之中,掌握权柄者基本都是近亲繁殖的后代。他们的父辈,为中华人民共和国的建立,流过汗,流过血,从政权的建立角度而言,国家应该给予他们应有的待遇和回报。但是他们的子女没有这样的权力。如果给予这样的特权,就不是共和国而是封建帝国。从生产关系而言,封建主义社会还不如资本主义。

试问在这种生产关系之下,生产力还能够得到发展吗?表面看,创造的财富增加,但是贫富不均日益明显,少数人穷奢极欲,多数人没有得到合法劳动应得的价值回报,随之而来的是精神世界的畸变,社会不仅没有发展而实际陷入了倒退的泥淖。

1949年后的中国,前30年在阶级斗争的污泥浊水下,几乎每个中国人都过得战战兢兢,即便是毛泽东,也在他自己发动领导的文化大革命中毁掉了建国的威望。后30多年,在白猫黑猫的实用主义理论下,全国成了拜金主义的大课堂。没有纯洁的信仰,没有高尚的理想,绝大多数中国人都堕落成只有物质需求只有肉欲享受而没有精神追求的低层次者。过去的已经过去,逝者如斯夫。在未来的日子里,应该以价值观和文化发展为导向,建成一个物质和精神、文化相对平衡的文明社会。对于中国共产党而言,只有把中国的事情做好,让每一个中国人切身体会到国家的公平公正,让人权民权得到充分的尊重,各民族人民在大家庭里享受大中华的传统文明,找到在文化上的共同点,平等相处,才能够得到人民的支持和拥护。如果中国共产党能够拨乱反正,走在为中国人民谋幸福的康庄大道上,广大人民会接受这样的一党制体制。

Ten years ago, I went to a district in Zhejiang to lecture. Accompanying me was a professor from Beijing University who was in the same field of expertise. On the same night after finishing an academic discussion in Ningbo City, we hurried over to Hangzhou in order to attend an academic conference the following day. Since he came from the political centre that is the capital, whilst chatting on our journey I suggested that our country sending many officials to Harvard and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore perhaps reflects the mentality of the authorities: On the basis of maintaining the existing political system, China may be better governed using the management experience gained from studying advanced countries. He shot me a supercilious look, and said simply: “You think too highly of them!”

The majority of Chinese scholars have a slightly Confucian way of thinking. In the phrase, “The officials in the palace worry about the people; the officials outside the palace worry about their king,” the word “king” is understood to mean “country” for a typical scholar who has an awareness of modern democracy. I have been aware of this mutual worrying throughout my life. Therefore, in the past 30 years or so in which the country has made progress, I can clearly feel that many failings exist.

For an ordinary person like myself, to worry or not worry at best has a negligible effect on one’s material and spiritual gains. However, each and every move of those wielding power from the ‘palace’ is closely related to the well-being and even life and death of countless people.

Let’s leave aside the overthrowing of numerous provincial level officials since the 18th Communist Party of China’s National Congress, as even if this was done in a similar fashion to a casual perusal of online newspapers, the actions of those in the ‘palace’ is still chilling.

Recently, there was uproar when the Xinhua News Agency exposed Hailun City of Heilongjiang as reporting that it required national level poverty alleviation for its province at the same time it was constructing luxury government buildings costing over a hundred million Yuan. Meanwhile, another piece of news that hit the nerve of the population in a similar fashion was state-level poverty stricken Taiqian county in Henan building luxury offices as well as providing its head with a ‘villa’ as living quarters. This was in stark contrast to the filthy ‘refugee camp’ that was the overcrowded school of the county’s 600 students, which had split wooden planks over it’s windows to cover the holes.

According to statistics from the “Legal Evening News”, in 2013 alone, there were at least five media reports of poverty stricken counties building luxury office buildings. On the whole, over 100 million Yuan was spent on each. This is completely contradictory to the impoverished status of these counties, and has led to heated debates.

Hailun in Heilongjiang, Fengqiu County in Xinxiang of Henan, Lixin county in Anhui and other places have all encountered similar situations.

Another issue is that the existence of agencies with similar functions being overstaffed with officials has virtually already become a common phenomenon. This problem of excess cadres is indeed a ‘hard nut to crack’. No matter how industrious the people are, they can’t afford this many officials. The most notable harm caused by an excessive population of officials is that since funds are wasted, there is impact on administrative efficiency, and in addition the opportunity for corruption is increased. If this is to be rectified, the root causes of such a phenomenon must be investigated.

On the surface, this is because at present there are no clear and specific regulations regarding leadership positions. In 2007, the PRC State Council issued “regulations for the set up and establishment of all levels of local government agencies”, which mentioned, “Leadership positions of all levels of local government agencies are to be in accordance with the general assembly of the people’s local representatives and related official regulations of local government constitutional laws”. Unfortunately however, there simply aren’t any ‘related regulations’ in the correlating local laws.

Last year, Beijing News conducted a survey in which they counted the number of deputy mayors throughout the nation’s 250 prefecture-level cities. It was found that despite some of these cities being in almost identical situations, some felt that having five deputy mayors was “enough”, whereas others had appointed ten deputy mayors. The arbitrary appointment of deputies is one small item in a big scheme. Since there are no hard and fast rules, it could be anticipated that under the ‘official position’, the number of cadres would increase. Additionally, there is no legislation against this. Therefore, although the media often exposes this, and delegates at the National People’s Congress often make appeals, the problem is never solved.

Besides an increase in the selfish desire for power, some think that the reason for the expansion in the number of cadres must also include the excessive expansion of the role of government. If government authority and control is too much, then naturally this will increase the need for cadres. Since the terms doesn’t clarify the role of government, it’s very difficult to simply reign in the number of cadres. Also, by doing this, it may ‘mess up’ genuine work, and thus a pretext to fundamentally reject any remediation is provided. By using the law to restrict government behaviour and handing over the things they shouldn’t control to the market and society, the power of cadres will be diminished and consequently those wanting such positions will also reduce. However, the government is the wrong place to direct such ideas to. When all is said and done, any problems that arise in China, all in all, are due to the excessive power of the Party.

Of course, the Party hasn’t said or will say that it wants to expand its own selfish desires. What it has said is the opposite. The report from the 18th Communist Party of China’s National Congress mentioned the desire to “strictly control the establishment of agencies, decrease the number of leadership positions, and reduce administrative costs.” However, if this power is not given to the National People’s Congress or local people’s congresses, then without relevant laws and regulations, the problem will just get so serious that legislation will be rushed in to remedy it, and before long the problem will once more rise from the ashes. Judicial reforms have seen amendment after amendment, but behind them all is the never changing desire of the Party to wield all power. Local political committees of the Party’s organisations have the final say over all Judiciaries. Recently, Professor Xie Baisan of Shanghai ridiculed three lawsuits. The first was in 2001, when the then finance minister Xiang Huaicheng was taken to court following the announcement of the country’s national debt which was in violation of protocol. The second was the suing of Deloitte’s accountancy office for working for the ‘Taiwan independence movement’. The third was the suing of the China Securities Regulatory Commission in 2014 for violating the ‘Companies Act’. What’s surprising is that although these are cases that were handled in a court of law, they had to have the consent of the higher authorities before they could be accepted as cases. Why do political reforms falter? This is the power of a one-party system that is hard to shake.

China’s one party system has certainly attracted the attention of the whole world as well as raising a few doubts. Perhaps this is because out of the 200 or so political entities that are out there, the number of those that are still implementing this kind of system is just a single digit. Our great, glorious and proper party seems to see this out-of-line wave of heresy, and then, going back to the beginning of the article, send people to America and Singapore to study management with the intention of maintaining the existing political system by bringing back the advanced management experience of other countries.

Perhaps with this in mind, in the spirit of the 18th Third Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP decided to dispatch multiple delegations to the Pacific Rim, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Central Asia The screenings of “How Leaders are Cultivated”, “The CCP With You on the Road” show the dreams of ordinary citizens like farmers, labourers, bartenders and dancers. During the recent Spring Festival marking the Year of the Horse, many remote rural areas were visited by various people from Xi Jinping to Li Keqiang. During their inspections they stressed that they would do their utmost to deal with the concerns of the masses, and strive to make each and every one have a good life. The communication between the Party and the people, and the process of producing leaders shows that those that reside in the “palace” are not the successors of a feudal dynasty, but rather have a broad social base.

This is necessary, but not sufficient. I think it’s more important to explain further how the theory will be put into practice, and why there can be a one-party system in China’s current situation. I said ‘can’, and not ‘must’ since I feel that a one party system is a choice worth considering.

One had better discuss the ‘Communist Manifesto’.

The manifesto had the profound revelation that: “After gaining control of a place, the bourgeoisie destroy all relationships between the land and feudal and patriarchal clan systems. They mercilessly break all kinds of feudal ties that bind a person with their natural superiors. Apart from the bare interests and callous ‘cash payments’, they remove all other connections between people. They drown the piety of religion, the ardour of chivalry and the emotions of the people in the ice-cold water of intended egoism. They place a value on people’s dignity, and without any form of conscience trade freedom for the freedom of countless concessions and earning by one’s own strength. In short, they use open, shameless, direct and barefaced exploitation to replace exploitation disguised by religious and political fantasy.

“The bourgeoisie erase everything has always been revered as well as the sacred aura of professions that make people revere. They turn doctors, lawyers, clergymen, poets and scholars into hired and paid workers.”

The manifesto also declares: “If it is said the proletariat in the struggle against the bourgeoisie certainly want to integrate into one class, if it is said that by revolution they become the ruling class and then use this authority to violently eradicate old socio-economic relations, then at the same time the conditions for class struggles to exist are eradicated, thus eliminating classes themselves and thereby its own supremacy as a class.”

Well said! The might of the proletariat, apart from surpassing that of the bourgeoisie by some considerable degree, lies in its purpose of declaring war on the bourgeoisie and seizing political power. It certainly doesn’t want to replace the bourgeoisie with another class that uses “open, shameless, direct and barefaced exploitation to replace exploitation disguised by religious and political fantasy.” Although it claims it will “by revolution become the ruling class,” and will “use this authority to violently eradicate old socio-economic relations,” its fundamental purpose is to “eradicate the conditions for class struggles to exist,” thus “eliminating classes themselves and thereby its own supremacy as a class.”

Therefore, the Chinese Communist Party should have the courage of their convictions and openly tell all citizens of the world that the purpose of communist parties grasping political power is to establish reasonable socio-economic relations, to sufficiently liberate productive forces and finally achieve the aims of eradicating classes and political parties that go hand in hand with them.

The meaning of the existence of political parties or institutions is simply to liberate productive forces even further, as well as to establish the most healthy socio-economic relationships possible, which can in turn promote the development of said productive forces. The purpose of this is to increase the quality of life of the citizens more efficiently. If the CCP can work sufficiently hard to liberate productive forces, or guide these productive forces towards improving society and pushing it in a direction that it needs, then by means of this organisation the increase in the effectiveness of socio-economic relations will certainly be in accordance with historical developments and the task at hand, thus receiving the support of the people. Therefore, a country with either a one or multi-party system, ignoring historical and environmental factors, should still take the missions and objectives its political parties have set themselves as a basis for evaluating them.

Under current circumstances, suddenly implementing a multi-party system in China would most likely result in the tragedy of society plunging into a dreadful chaos. Only if a party is up to the task of liberating its productive forces and strives to increase the quality of life for its citizens, regardless of what social system it arose from, whether it’s the only party or one from many that was democratically voted for by its citizens, will it be embraced by the people.

The purpose of implementing a multi-party system is to control the authority of the party in power, to observe whether the elected party can display a positive effect in liberating its productive force and monitor whether it can establish socio-economic relations that are fitting to production. If the motivation or purpose do not lie in these aims, but rather to engage in political battles for certain interest groups or for selfish means, the result is that no one acts as a positive force that promotes productivity, and instead hinders it’s development. We can learn a lesson from all the chaos that has arose in countries such as Egypt, Libya or even Ukraine, which moved from having a one party system to a democracy. Not wanting such a system is understandable.

Therefore, with regards to the current state of affairs in China, I consider that the issue is not whether a single or multi-party system is in place, but rather that under the current one party system socio-economic relations are not healthy. For example, there is issue with China’s nationalised corporations. These combine Chinese businesses that have profitable monopolies. Their vast wealth comes from the accumulation of several decades of blood and sweat from the people. In 2012, nationalised corporations made a loss of 40 billion Yuan. Unhealthy socio-economic relations have caused a decline in productivity.

Another example is China’s stock market. For over ten years, China’s GDP growth has stood as the highest in the world, averaging around 10%. However, over the previous decade, China’s stock market hasn’t budged an inch. Where has all the wealth gone? The stock market has created thousands of billionaires, plundering the hard-earned wealth of tens of millions of small investors.

A further example is that those who wield power are basically of the same blood. Their parents generation shed sweat and tears to establish the People’s Republic of China. With this in mind, it’s the state’s duty to give them proper treatment and return. However, their children do not have such authority. If they were given such a privilege, China wouldn’t be a republic, but rather a feudal empire. From the standpoint of socio-economic relations, feudalism is not as good as capitalism.

How can productivity increase under such socio-economic relations? On the surface, although created wealth has increased, wealth inequality is becoming increasingly evident. A few can indulge in a life of luxury, but the majority are not lawfully or adequately compensated for their labour. Subsequently there is a distortion in the collective subconscious, and not only does society not develop, but it also regresses.

In the first 30 years after 1949, China was wallowing in the dregs of a class struggle. Whilst almost all Chinese were living in fear and trepidation, along came Mao Zedong. Under his own initiation and leadership of the Cultural Revolution, the prestige of his PRC was destroyed. In the following 30 years, under the clear cut theory of pragmatism, the entire nation became a huge classroom in which money was worshipped. There were no honest convictions and no lofty ideals. The vast majority of the Chinese population fell from grace, becoming low-lifes that only had a desire for material things and sensual pleasures, and lacked any spiritual pursuit. What’s done is done, and time moves on. In the future, there should be an emphasis on developing values and culture to establish a civilised society whose culture is relatively well balanced between the material and spiritual. As for the Communist Party of China, as long as it handles its affairs well, makes all Chinese personally feel their nation is fair and just, fully respects human rights and civil liberties, allows the people to live as one big family enjoying traditional Chinese civilisation, finds the cultural common ground and promotes equality will it be able to win over the favour and support of the people. If the CPC can bring order out of chaos, walk the broad and open road leading to the happiness of the Chinese people, then the majority of people would accept such a one-party system.

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September 24, 2014 at 9:32 am

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