What if the sky falls tomorrow, ask the man from Ji, and he was always worried. I thought we learn that lesson during the warring state, to not use IF to justify inaction.
Yes, indeed, that man from Ji seems to pop up all over the place still today, worrying about whether future democracy might bring a worse future. It's good to remember him and his fate.
the emergence of a Chinese military strongman, is still preferable in comparison with the continuous rule by the Communist party[/b].
What I want to see is the emergence of an independent line of authority in China to oversee the smooth transformation to a democratic system from a dictatorial [or authroritative - since there is no Communist strongman who is qualified to be called a dictator] system. I just don't know how the so-called Democracy [should be termed Democratic -adjective versus noun] Party had done any army work as they claimed that they had. The neutrality of the PLA is the only way to guarantee the territorial integrity of China in transformation. And, hopefully the army line is not entangled with the transnational business interests and the Wall Street money interests.
-Just some of my thoughts today to share with you. Unlike our Russian friend Yizheng, I am for the emergence of a strongman like Putin in China, with of course the precondition that the Chinese 'Putin' would first disband the CCP, similar to a deal between Sun Yat-sen and Yuan Shi-kai in 1911-2 - to have the Manchu Qing emperor abdicate. I would appeal to the so-called Democracy Party to exert more efforts to seeking out such a Chinese 'Putin' should China be so unlucky to fail to produce a Chinese Gorbachev or a Chinese Yeltsin.
I can understand the arguments for saying that the emergence of a strongman is preferable to ongoing rule by CCP. Of course, strongmen are of all different kinds. I certainly do not wish on China one like Putin. If China were to have a strongman oversee a sort of transition period from CCP rule to something hopefully more democratic, I would wish for China someone more like Ataturk, say, a military strongman who actually left the country with much more solid foundations.
The problem with strongmen is that they either build their popularity and support on myths, like putin, or they tend to get rather too in love with their jobs and overstay their time, and neglect to prepare the way forward for the time when they have to depart the stage. Mubarak in Egypt was a case in point. He was not at all an entirely negative figure, but he stayed on too long. Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan has just been reelected president, and one could say he has genuine support from many in Kazakhstan. He is far from ideal, and there are problems in Kazakhstan, but overall he has achieved some quite good results too, and Kazakhstan today is doing better than anywhere else in Central Asia economically, at any rate. But he is old now, and there is nothing being done to let a new generation of politicians start to emerge from a broader section of society. This creates a huge risk of unstable power transition, because of a system built around one person, and thus easily unbalanced if that person is suddenly removed from the equation (by death, uprising etc). So, a good strongman has to also prepare his succession, and ideally, would use his power to prepare the way to a more democratic and broader base of political competition etc following his departure.
Putin rides on the myth that he held together a Russia about to fall apart, and that he raised Russia from its knees and made it more prosperous. He also uses the myth that the 1990s here was just all chaos, theft and banditry, while now we have stability. Let me just say that people have terribly short memories. And I'd say too that Putin has certainly done a lot to prepare the way for even more chaos, and as for the theft, corruption, murders and so on, they've never stopped.
But then, I've never actually seen Putin in the category of strongman. To me he is a rather weak and chance figure, a good manipulator, and has become the symbol of what is really just a whole huge clan of disparate people united by their great interest in stuffing their own pockets full while they can. I certainly don't wish this on China. If China were to enter a period of rule under a military strongman, I would really hope that this would make China stronger and set its system on a course towards a more democratic foundation with genuine broad support, and not undermine the country's very foundations, as what Russia has unfortunately ended up with.
As for the possibility of something happening, and people getting to a point where they are fed up enough, I certainly think the potential is there from what I have seen in the PRC. Often these things come not when expected, and are set off by something seemingly small. I think the underlying potential is there, it just remains to be seen what will light the fuse.