We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Sunday, June 24, 2018
If the Chinese don’t believe in democracy, do they believe in meritocracy?
My life experience and education, both formal and informal, has shaped my belief that all cultures are shaped by the interests of ruling classes, or at least this is true since the history of ruling classes began roughly when humans began settling in permanent communities. Because the culture in China is much older than those in the Western capitalist countries, much has been lost to explain why Chinese culture is different from the West. Perhaps this can be partially explained by China's self-imposed isolation from the West. I believe that Daverman's insights about contemporary Chinese culture are valid based on what I do know about contemporary China from reading articles and books and viewing Chinese films.
Somehow social ethics became deeply rooted in Chinese culture and present a formidable bulwark against sociopathic tendencies among their people. Hopefully, this bulwark will endure. Therefore, the question in the title of this article comes from a fake Western ideological perspective which holds that elections automatically equal democracy.