Our research aims to discover peculiarities of ideology in China. It’s going to highlight integrating values, legitimating the government’s policies and continued authority. The study is a review of articles by David Lynch, Gordon White and Feng Chen. From the recent past years up to this point of time, China has been taking part in extensive economic globalization activities like facilitating free trade policy. China’s new economic openness has resulted to remarkable growth trends. It has been practicing its “go out policy” by participating in the international market competitions.
Observers have also noted some major changes in the Chinese media in coping up with globalization. With China’s entry to the World Trade Organization, structural reforms have taken place and more and more researchers have focused their interest on the interaction between Chinese media particularly television and the world at large. Currently, China is still in a whirl and sways with various ideologies such as a waning communist ideology, an increasing conservatism, as well as liberalism.
Various ideological trends such as globalism, nationalism, individualism and pragmatism are likewise alive and under further exploration especially by Chinese youths. The pursuit of the leftists who adhere to the theory of socialism, elect to preserve the fundamental purity of the socialist economy and state authority. Meanwhile, reformists have argued that China should rather enrich its market economy and the rights to property. Besides, reformists want to recognize private entrepreneurship to join the Party. There exists some few numbers of youths having true belief in communism.
Most of them, however, want membership to the Party as a stepping ladder in gaining their individual objectives. In some of the researches, David Lynch (2000 (Lynch, 1999, p173) has focused his objects on what expectations the intellectual and political elites expect leading to same changes in China for the years ahead. The objects include linked issues on some domestic and political affairs, the power capability of China as a nation, how the party state would defend its national identity as well as its cultural heritage and integrity in the face of the raging and deepening effects of globalization.
Besides, Lynch assesses on how China aligns its new development and technology in directing its society’s future. With the continued transformation of the media including print, TV, the Internet, the entry of some foreign TV programming and the likes now depends mostly on the supply and demand and the behavior of the controlling party. The improvements of local or domestic contents have rivalled foreign counterparts.
Lynch also assessed the trends in censorship and found some possible means by which media could possibly find ways of overcoming or avoiding rules, laws, problems, or difficulty to government restrictions of imported as well as local media contents. Briefly, Lynch tries to arrive at a point when the communist government’s hold on China’s domestic affairs would become loose due to the use of new technology. “Dilemmas of ‘Thought Work’ in Fin-de-Siecle China” reports that in May 1997 was established special organ of the Party Central Committee – Central Guidance Committee on Spiritual Civilization Construction.
This fact indicates the seriousness of intentions in pursuing the spiritual civilization line. “Thought work” refers to Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to transmit socialist ideology and to control ideas of the masses so that they will comply to the demands of the national development plan. In his article Lynch argued that the government’s efforts to build a socialist spiritual civilization in China failed. He concluded that government’s attempts to limit access to global media and control political discourse turn out to be ineffective.
Lynch reports the Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s estimate that as many as 620,000 Chinese had access to the internet in 1997, with a rise to 4 million expected by 2000 (Lynch, 1999, p. 193). The propaganda state is indeed crumbling. The author reports that Chinese children play cops and robbers who require the cops to inform the robbers of their rights before taking them into detention, as they have seen in American movies (Lynch, 1999). Other political writers like Feng Chen and Gordon White agree that China’s Chinese Communist Party is capable of adapting itself to the changing political climate.
Moreover, China’s leaders could strengthen its position like having political legitimacy by re-inventing itself and continue some evolutionary tuning to reinforce the CCP’s legitimacy. Nevertheless, evolutionary refining is a hit and miss system that nobody can guaranty its success. Gordon White primarily focused on the politically engaged society in China. According to White politically-engaged society proved to be a durable theme in Chinese politics. Riding the Tiger concludes that society’s political engagement with the state will shape future of the state. For example,
There may be a form of Chinese ‘Brezhnevism’ to see out the millennium as the current leadership tries to stay in power. If this is indeed the case, then the political contradictions and trends which I have identified will intensify and make it more likely that the transition, when it comes, will be sudden, radical and possibly violent. (White, 1993, p. 255) Even if the market becomes predominant through radical reform and even if it takes a capitalist form, which is very probable, there is a continuing need for a new form of developmental state to tackle…social and economic problems [such as market failure and its consequences for the poor].
In the short term, moreover, the role of the state is even more crucial because of the need to break through the ‘hard policy constraint’ and manage the transition from a planned to a market economy. This is a process…which is fraught with instability and tensions arising from the opposition of vested interests, threats to economic security, inflation and growing inequality. A strong state is needed to provide the political order and direction necessary to underpin this transition and regulate an emergent market economy in a huge and increasingly complex country. (White, 1993, pp.
238-9) As Gordon White has observed in Riding the Tiger, an attempt to establish a political system that can serve as an alternative to both capitalist economics and liberal politics has not appeared to be possible in China: “Marxist-Leninist socialism has been incapable of reforming itself and that ‘market socialism’ rather than saving its bacon, cooks its goose” (White, 1993, p. 12). White was writing at the start of the 1990s. Civil society-like forms emerged in China in the 1990s. That process the result collapse of the state structure, as it was in Soviet Union.
But for the time being the Party-state still remains in command. As it was noted in Riding the Tiger, “to the extent the economic reforms were the spearhead of an attempt to resuscitate the political fortunes of Chinese state socialism, they can be judged to be a dismal failure”(White, 1993, p. 233). By the millennium China was certainly the most successful of the socialist states in adjusting to capitalism. Yet at the same time socialism remains in place in China and power is monopolized by the Communist Party.
White denoted this combination as “market Stalinism” (White, 1993, p. 256). White suggests that the increasing prevalence of the elements of a civil society does not point toward an evolution into more liberal regime with market-oriented economy and multiparty political system. The author also noted that in Chinese society there are some groups that didn’t make benefits from the reforms. These would include state officials and state workers, women and the unemployed and floating populations:
Fear of threats to status, power or income; disappointment because the reforms were delivering less than they had promised; disgruntlement arising from the “red-eye disease”; concerns that gains already achieved were in danger of erosion (through inflation and leadership mismanagement); contrarily, impatience at a deceleration of the reforms and anxiety at an acceleration. (White, 1993, p. 217) Some observers have concluded that the efforts of the Central Party in building some thought works on socialism in China has been not effective. Moreover, they gravitate to some extent.
Formerly, China firmly opposed globalization as it disrupts some global institutions. Today, China is one of the firm advocates of liberalization and globalization, opening its trading system to the world. Slowly but surely, the Chinese system has now been updating itself on the rule of law, adapting many foreign laws to transform its civilization. China’s success through globalization, which happened in a short time, has indeed uplifted the standards of living of many workers. With such economic success arising from the impact of globalization, China has learned some stressful and painful lessons adjusting itself.
Some of the effects include the decline of state employment from 110 million in 1995 to 66 million in March 2005, the lost of 25 million jobs in the manufacturing establishments, and the consolidation of some 125 car companies to just six firms. Its recent economic growth has revived and revved up the economy of Japan and kept safe its neighboring countries from recession, which otherwise could have led to a risky global downturn. With the prevailing trend of globalization, the process has deeply influenced the study habits, culture, and consumption styles of the youth (ACYF).
They now believe that English is a basic skill and reference for one to acquire a degree. As more and more Chinese youths go out to study abroad, more and more of them have returned home, which benefits their culture. The youths now could avail some entertainments made in the USA, Europe, and elsewhere via television, films, videos, and the internet. Even internet games or serial TV programs from Japan or Korea have become the favorite of young students. Young people now in China are learning more the facts of life, society, and world affairs through the said media.
When educators, scholars, officials, and artists speak of culture, this includes both the physical and non-physical aspects. The physical or material aspects include sites, landscapes, monuments, buildings, and like objects whereas non-physical aspects include music dance, language, poetry, and the like, which have been associated with China’s social practices. The non-physical culture is China’s living heritage is passed from one generation to the other. In reality, one should accept the fact that culture cannot be easily isolated from the influence or effects of globalization (UICIFD).
To conclude the work we should note that ideology is still alive in China. The Chinese communist regime didn’t decline its ideological absolutism. The Communist Party alone that possesses the universal truth and represents the fundamental interest of the people (Guo, 1995, p. 84). In fact, “Mao Zedong thought” or “Deng Xiaoping theory” was adapted by the post-Mao party leadership in accordance with the changes of the China’s specific conditions. But this modification does not suggest discarding the fundamental principles and norms, but renovation within the same basic framework of development of Marxism.
But post-Mao regime has cautiously modified some of Mao’s doctrines through the official interpretation of the sacred text (Guo, 1995, p. 84-85). As Feng Chen asserted, agricultural decollectivization in China was not an equivalent of “privatization,” but only the transformation of the rural economy into “a new type of collective economy, characterized by combining public ownership of the land with totally individualized operations of production” (Feng Chen, 1998, p. 82). To the post- Mao leadership, such an arrangement is defined as the “separation of land ownership rights and land use rights” (Feng Chen, 1998, p. 88).
Land in China remains under public ownership. Reference List White, G. (1993). Riding the Tiger: The Politics of Economic Reform in Post-Mao China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press; London: Macmillan. Lynch, D. (1999). Dilemmas of ‘Thought Work’ in Fin-de-Siecle China. China Quarterly, 157. Guo, S. (1995). Totalitarianism: An Outdated Paradigm for Post-Mao China? Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, 14 (2). Chen, F. (1998). Rebuilding the Party’s Normative Authority: China’s Socialist Spiritual Civilization Campaign. Problems of Post-Communism, 45 (6).