In a simply dreadful column* in The Financial Times, Daniel Bell and Eric Li – two shameless apologists for China’s Communist Party dictatorship – attempt to justify the unjustifiable. They make out a case why China’s 1.4 billion subjects should remain under the repression of a small winning coalition of self-seeking autocrats.
The gist of their argument is as follows:
1. Democracy conveys voting rights only on adults within national borders. Thus, non-voters located outside the national borders and future generations are excluded from the calculus of consent.
2. Voters should vote for the common good. But they tend to vote according to self-interest, when able to identify that interest correctly.
3. Many voters lack economic competence. Democracies require no competence test in order to vote.
4. Democracies do not elect leaders on the basis of merit.
5. China’s Communist Party has perfected a process whereby leaders are chosen on the basis of superior competence and virtue. Potential leadership cadres must undergo a grueling process of talent selection. They attend the best universities, compete for admission to the Party, work as bureaucrats at various levels within a one-party system, and are hand-picked by those who have served within the top echelon of the ruling coalition.
I find it difficult to comprehend why even a pinko-left newspaper like The Financial Times would publish such sycophantic drivel. I must presume that none of the newspaper’s senior editors have ever felt the autocratic lash of the Standing Committee of Nine.
Have the editors of this news-rag never heard ofsuch names as Bo Xilai, Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, or Wen Jiabao? As they swig down their after-dinner port and chortle about the deficiencies of democracy, are they totally unaware of the billions of dollars stolen from their subjects and syphoned out of China by these corrupt autocrats? Do these portly editors mistakenly confuse such Chinese dwarfs with Alexander, Hercules, Hector, and Lysander and such great names as these?.
Would you trust such a newspaper to sell you a second-hand car?
* Daniel Bell and Eric Li, ‘In defence of the Chinese way of picking leaders’, Financial Times, November 12, 2012