politics / Uncategorized

Importing a Scientific Outlook on Development — and Good Governance

Hey months of reading esoteric stuff finally pays off!

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is no longer the revolutionary party of Mao in the 1950s. It is now the Party in power. Since the reform and opening up period after Deng Xiaoping took effect, the once dogmatic Party has been more creative and pragmatic to solving its multi-faceted problems. As the party in power, the CPC has had to learn the ropes of governing more than a billion people with greater economic mobility, tremendous technological knowledge and the world’s second largest-economy and learn fast in the process. Yet learn fast they did.

Since the turn of the new century China and its Party leaders have had to revise the core tenets of Maoism while retaining the political legitimacy of its One-Party state. Yes, it is politically repressive and totalitarian. But it is also undeniable that the CPC has provided something far more important to its peoples than mere political freedoms. The Party has more importantly provided substantial economic returns to their constituents.In less than 40 years. They have made the Chinese richer in so short a time.

Today China’s leadership is spending trillions of dollars in massive infrastructure projects that have helped it become the world’s leader in renewable energy, mass transit and mass production.Under the CPC’s leadership and governance, the country has managed to increase per capita income and now have more billionaires than its former British colonizer. Urban-based innovations such as Bus Rapid Transits, tall bike lanes, high-speed rail and others have shown the CPC’s capacity to adapt and implement programs far better than the much-vaunted infrastructure programs the Marcos dictatorship ever could. Conversely the CPC is now seeking to reverse the disastrous consequences of putting the economy before the environment, runaway inequality and making Chinese people less like assholes. They have not achieved these great successes just slacking off or being dependent on the invisible hand of the free market.

So, how did the Party at the helm of the disastrous Cultural Revolution lead a nation into the quickest economic boom in history?

The answer isn’t that easy to explain. It was and arguably still is a result of multitude of factors. Chinese work ethics, high savings and business minded-ness, economic liberalization, a well-educated work force, stealing other nation’s technologies and so many other factors explain why China is such a rich nation today. The one thing that glues all this together however is good governance. In the book Why Nations Fail, the one important take-away is that institutions and governance matter most in wealth-creation. The book explains why China is more prosperous than India, despite freeing more segments of its economy to foreign and local investments. Now how does China “reproduce” the conditions of its hierarchical governance apparatus and maintain its “governing capacity”, as Louisse Althusser would wonder? The answer: a superior curriculum.

The foremost ‘ideological weapon’ (yes they call it that) for Chinese Communists in the 21st century is the “Scientific Outlook on Development”. The Outlook is a well-synthesized compilation of domestic and foreign development experiences. Merging Maoist dialectical analysis with the development literature found in the World Bank, Harvard Business schools and other mainstream think tanks, the CPC has managed to merge theoretical and practical knowledge into a truly awesome screed handling everything from ecological degradation, the middle income trap, corruption and most other pressing topics of the day. Since the ascension of Xi Jinping, thousands of Party schools located across the country are busy disseminating this program along with other courses found in conventional MBA programs in the US (example: Harvard MBA case studies and accounting).

Indeed the curriculum offered by China’s many Party schools far supersede those offered under the government’s government educational institutions such as the Development Academy of the Philippines (Dap), the National Defense College, and UP NCPAG (I haven’t actually seen any of them but reading up on China’s educational manuals it’s pretty obvious they do). To say that China’s ideological work only offers apologetics to dictatorship is grossly ignorant of the CPC’s higher level of governance. It denies the prospect of the Philippines political class acquiring a more scientific way of handling and correcting problems and achieving a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development to serve the interests of the overwhelming majority of Filipinos.

Quite unpatriotic.

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