No Political Machine

This post is a response to a politically conservative American, who also sounds like a Christian fundamentalist. He made an ignorant comment about China in an on-line discussion at LinkedIn.  He said that China’s government was a corrupt, political machine.

My response follows.

You do not know what you are talking about when it comes to China. Prove that the central government in China is a corrupt, political machine. Throwing out blanket statements that stereotype serves no purpose but to rile ignorant people (and America has plenty of those) who are too lazy to learn.

China's central government in debate

The government in China has seventy million voting members in one political party, and it is far from a machine.  Take all of America’s political factions and shove them in one political party and you do not have a machine—what you have are different points of view that often do not agree. Chinese cities and provinces are controlled by different political factions just like the blue and red political map that we see on TV/Internet during national elections in the United States. If the Maoists return to power, God help the capitalists in China like GM, Ford, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, etc.

Corruption exists in China just as it does in America, but there are also honest, hard working, moral people in China’s government. But the market economy coupled with good old-fashioned capitalist greed is difficult to control. Does America’s government control greed in America?

Contrary to popular, public “opinion” in America, the Chinese central government does not control every aspect of life in China. The Chinese people are very independent and when the government isn’t watching, most people do what they want to do in their personal lives and in business even if what they are doing is against the law.

Most of the power in China is decentralized as it has been for millennia.  The provinces and major cities do what they want even when the central government in Beijing wants something different.

If you want to understand the role of China’s government start by reading this piece:  China shifts gears with smaller defense increase. And remember, anything published in the Western media may not get the story right but there is something to learn here. China’s central government must respond to the needs of most people—not to individuals but to families and communities. If unrest spreads, the government could fall.

There’s an old Western saying, “The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.” 

If a national-political machine exists, it is the American Republican Party. Where is my evidence for making such a bold claim?  Since President Obama moved into the White House, the Republican Party has voted as if they were one person directed by one brain.

It may also help to read Deng Xiaoping’s 20/20 Vision  to understand what happened after Mao died.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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