Zhang Wen: “The Freedom to Come and Go is Normal”

This is a post by Zhang Wen regarding problems of Party membership.

Translation

World media outlets converged their reports on 11 CCP spokespeople that came together on June 30th. Public opinion was key here, since this after all does represent the 89th anniversary of the creation of the Chinese Communist Party. After [more than] 60 years in power, the Party has come out and is subjecting itself to the supervision of the outside.

What we need to make clear before all this is that these Communist Party organizations don’t even make their telephone numbers public. Even if the media and the public wanted to ask a question or lodge a complain, they wouldn’t know where to start.

But I’m even more interested in is Deng Shengming, spokesperson for the Central Organization Department, responding to a CNN reporter:

CNN: How many Chinese Communist Party members really join the Party purely out of faith? How is the CCP dealing with the crisis of faith [in the Party]?

Deng Shengming: 99% of Party members are all from front lines of production, work and management: all are ordinary workers. They join the party because they support its platforms, have faith it its theories, identify with its purpose, and strive for modernization along with the Party.

Deng stated frankly that there exist Party members whose “motivations for entering the Party are not upright and proper.” There needs to be “a mechanism we can use to expel and deal with unqualified people in the Party.”

Deng Shengming touched on a sensitive topic: a mechanism for expelling Party members. It is well-known that, in general, foreign political parties freely allow members to come and go….

Of course, the CCP has always had ways of dealing with scum that violate Party discipline and the law of the land: first, a warning from inside the Party. Second, a serious warning from inside the Party. Third, a black mark from the Party. Fourth, a very big black mark from the Party. Fifth, probation. Finally, expulsion from the Party.

However, there are currently no measures used to punish “unacceptable Party members”, those who’s reasons for entering the Party aren’t pure, don’t have faith in Communism, and don’t, in fact, plan on serving the people. This is to say nothing of any mechanism to expel such people from the Party.

From this we can infer that quite a few of the nearly 78 million Party members are simply muddling along, not serious about their roles. It’s time to clean up this group of deadweights (or worse, corrupt Party members). They are a hidden weakness of the Party.

In addition to expelling these poor Party members, allowing those members who, for whatever reason, want to voluntarily leave the Party is the next step that needs to be considered.

In short, a healthy, open and confidence political party should have a broad and expansive heart, and should allow its members to undergo certain processes which allow them to freely come and go. A political party that forcefully limits the freedom of its members is not a normal political party.

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0 thoughts on “Zhang Wen: “The Freedom to Come and Go is Normal””

  1. But how are people treated when they are finally expelled from the party for their 5th infraction? Socially speaking is being expelled from the Party like an Armish person who leaves the faith is shunned by their community. Not being insulting just asking

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  2. I don’t think it matters if the average Party member believes in communism – he or she should simply obey the Party rules (in addition to national laws, of course), pay the monthly dues (a few percent of income, I believe), and just generally not be a dick. True motivation should only become a factor in the higher levels of the Party, and even then, not their belief in the Marxist-Leninist ideals itself, but rather, only the will and ability to serve the people should suffice. The CCP has been a pragmatic organization for a long time – it’s probably best it stayed that way.

    As for the lower levels, a mechanism for the common citizen (or Party member, there’s more of them than the entire population of Canada) to monitor appointed officials and to oust them if required would more than satisfy the Party’s need for maintaining stability within the country.

    But why would the Party want to make sure the higher-ups are truly willing to serve the citizens? Well, if the Party would like to stay in power and not have all of its members brutally slaughtered in a bloody civil war, then it’s probably best for them to look out for the interests of the common citizens. The central government’s known this a long time ago, but corrupt local governments usually aren’t capable of carrying out their policies properly.

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  3. @ chaji
    The problem I see with the somewhat common assumption that upper level Party members are somehow less corrupt than local officials is that upper level party officials all started somewhere low. If a system selects for corruption, then upper level officials will be corrupt as well (they just have the power to cover it up more easily).

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  4. quite a few of the nearly 78 million Party members are simply muddling along, not serious about their roles.

    Yup. But then no serious adult human being could be. Even the most committed party member can see that giving speeches to other adults about studying Lei Feng is a fool’s errand, yet many have to do exactly this.

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  5. @ Chris Hearne

    The upper levels of the Party are held directly responsible for what happens in the entire country, because regardless of their influences at the local level, the central government serves as the figurehead of the entire government. As a result, they have a vested interest in not screwing the country over, because they’re the ones running it. I’m not saying they’re not corrupt at all, of course. All I’m saying is, they’ll be more selective about the method and level of corruption – they are probably willing to take some bribes here and there, but they certainly wouldn’t be engaging in behaviors that threaten the balance of the entire game, because that’s equivalent to undermining the stability of the country their run.

    And that’s not mentioning the cut-throat competition between government officials – given the number of people with similarly large amounts of power, any traces of corruption exposed at the national level could be used as a political tool to remove a rival from power. So unless someone somehow gathers so much power than he could single-handedly defeat all who oppose him (hasn’t happened since Deng, the Chinese system is current set up so this can’t happen), or the entire central government, including 中纪委, is filled with people who have identical interests and methodologies (impossible due to human nature), corruption at the central government will never reach an unmanageable level, unlike at the local governments.

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