Libmonster ID: U.S.-1531

Edited by V. V. Mikheev, Moscow: Moscow Carnegie Center, 2005. 646 p.

A remarkably bright phenomenon has emerged in the methodologically and conceptually rather dim horizon of modern Russian Genre studies. This impression was confirmed in my mind after I turned the last page of the reviewed monograph, which in its content and pathos is very different from most of what many Russian experts on modern China write and publish. This difference lies in an unambiguous critical attitude not just to "individual shortcomings" in the context of" general successes", as some domestic Sinologists do, but in a consistent systematic criticism of the model of socio-economic and political development of a reforming China at the present stage. Moreover, this criticism comes from the standpoint of economic liberalism and political democracy, which is not at all typical of the Russian Sinological community.

Specialists, and not only that, are well aware that a huge mass of scientific and popular works about modern China, published in the last decade in our country, suffers, to put it mildly, dizziness from "Chinese success". A lot of similar directions lie-

Authors: N. V. Andreeva, G. V. Belokurova, Ya. M. Berger, O. N. Borokh, P. S. Vinokurov, P. B. Kamennov, A.V. Lomanov, V. V. Mikheev, M. A. Potapov, O. V. Pochagina, V. B. Yakubovsky.

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Our Western colleagues, Sinologists, also publish a lot of literature. However, there the "pathos of delight" is balanced by sharp critical speeches, both scientific and journalistic, coming from the lips of not only right - wing and liberal, but often also left-wing movements, outraged by the realities of the corrupt and partocratic regime in Beijing. I will quote, for example, the statement of a great expert on China, American political scientist Lucien Pai: "We should be more careful in assessing the immediate consequences of the actions of Chinese leaders and the results of their inter-factional struggle. One can, however, be more specific about the evolution of modern China. Most likely, it will be a continuation of the story of a society made up of people who have a remarkable ability to adapt to the modern world, but are marked as a curse by a political culture that constantly negates all hopes of sustainable progress. The specific relations between the state and society, which have so far been so successful in preserving China's unity, simultaneously work to make progress unsustainable" (Ruy, 1992, p. 253).

Unfortunately, our situation is different. The authors of this monograph write: "Russia and China look at each other exclusively from the point of view of their own problems. China points to Russia and says: see how not to do it, and Russian experts point to China: see how it is necessary" (p. 640). Behind this "look as you should" is actually much more subconscious than scientific and analytical, for example, a piercing post-communist nostalgia for the times when our society went "the right way" under the leadership of the"steering party". Today's China embodies the" ideal " of unity, a state that is so dear to some in our country, with what seems to be impressive economic achievements, which the USSR failed to achieve. The painful trauma of Russia's loss of "superpower" status is sublimated in outright envy of China, which is supposedly already acquiring this status. A non-Sinologist friend of mine recently told me that, although he had never been to China, he felt warm about the fact that "everything is so good there and the Communist Party is in power."

As for modern Russian genre studies, i.e. the sphere of professional specialists ' activity, the noted irrational trends are generally superimposed on acute methodological insufficiency. It is no secret that in the former USSR, the study of the People's Republic of China, for obvious reasons, was one of the most ideologized areas of international research, perhaps even more ideologized than American or European studies. When the ideology left and the imperative of harsh criticism of Maoism from Stalinist positions disappeared with it, Russian Murov Studies faced an acute shortage of high-quality methodological developments. It is worth paying attention to the very style of many domestic works on modern China. They are very similar to abstract reviews, often readily following in line with official Beijing propaganda. Even the terminology apparatus is appropriate [How China is governed..., 2004]. As for those works of domestic experts who allow themselves to criticize modern China, many do so against the background of the "common achievements" of our eastern neighbor and "strategic partner" or resort to the techniques of a truly Aesopian language (or Chinese party documents?), where to understand what, in fact, the author wants to say and on whose side it can only be used in the context of a situation or previously written works. It is difficult to say what is more important here: an irrational subconscious, a long-term habit of working in the atmosphere of ideologized scientific institutions of the former USSR, or the fear of offending one or another hypostasis of official Beijing. There is, of course, other work to be done, but there are not so many of them [see, for example, The Globalization of the Chinese Economy, 2003].

The authors of the reviewed monograph, obviously aware of a certain dissonance of their book with the key, so to speak, of the "big orchestra", willingly or unwittingly could not resist the need to play it safe a little. The motivation for this, to be honest, is not very clear to me. In the abstract to their work, they note: "The monograph is written in the spirit of 'constructive and benevolent criticism'". For some reason, they put the last phrase in quotation marks. It is quite clear what constructive criticism is. What is benevolent criticism in the context of this monograph is less clear. Friendly to whom? To the Chinese Communist Party? A careful reading of the book itself, frankly, does not leave such an impression. To China in general? But what is China in general? In addition, constructive criticism does not have to be exclusively benevolent. Let me remind you in this regard of the assessments of Soviet society and the political system that were once made by Western experts

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specialists-representatives of the" totalitarian school " in Sovietology. The harsh attitude towards the USSR and the moral condemnation of the CPSU regime did not prevent (and probably helped) these people, who were mistaken in details, from describing the supporting structures of the Soviet system and the logic of its development in general (Heron and Hoffmann, 1993).

The authors of this monograph hypothetically assume that in the future it is quite possible for the PRC to develop under the leadership of the CPC in the direction of gradual pluralization of the political regime and its democratic legitimation, while simultaneously changing the model of economic growth and preserving the country's territorial unity. The authors propose to support such a China and such a CCP. It is in the hypothetical assumption of the possibility of such a development, as it seems to me, that the essence of the authors ' benevolence in their attitude to modern China lies.

Having provided the necessary methodological explanations of the terminology used, that is, what should be understood as threats, challenges and risks for modern China, the authors proceed to a holistic and detailed analysis of the situation, which covers both external and internal economic, political, military, social, cultural, environmental, and moral aspects. This is done vividly, consistently, and convincingly.

I did not set myself the task of presenting a monograph in chapters or problems. The book is so interesting and fascinating in its own way that it makes sense to refer the reader directly to the author's text. I would like to express a number of personal considerations on some of the key issues of the domestic political development of modern China raised in the monograph. The first of these questions is the legitimacy of the government and the CCP's modernizing and reformist potentials. I will allow myself to start with a somewhat distant, but, I think, quite appropriate analogy. In the summer of 1968, 20 years before the beginning of perestroika in the USSR, on the pages of the leading Sovietological magazine "Problems of Communism" 3. Brzezinski made a confident forecast: "The CPSU has become a brake on the development of the USSR, in particular economic growth. The result is stagnation" [Problems of Communism, 1968, p. 48]. Brzezinski went on to point out that stagnation is not so much in the development of society as in the development of the party. He drew attention to the fact that society is developing faster than the political system that controls it, and the Soviet elite is not able to follow the path of democratic reform. The main reason for this is the lack of leaders. According to Brzezinski, the USSR of that time needed a deep internal restructuring of the economic, political and social sphere in order to adequately solve the problems of technical and economic development. From the height of our current knowledge, this conclusion may seem almost self-evident. The dead ends of large-scale non-market import-substituting industrialization, coupled with the political degeneration of the authorities, had a well-known ending in our country. I should note, however, that at that time Brzezinski's conclusion did not look so reasonable at all and caused controversy in the Sovietological environment. In addition, Brzezinski made a factual error in his forecast. The leader eventually emerged-Mikhail Gorbachev. However, in the face of the inertia of the system, he was powerless.

The authors of this monograph repeatedly return to the question of the legitimacy and constructive potential of the modern Chinese Communist partocracy. Although they do not have a definite answer. Undoubtedly, from the point of view of economic dynamics, the situation in modern China is strikingly different from the former USSR. Here, largely due to the relatively limited scale of socialist industrialization during the years of reforms, it was possible to find and stimulate factors and zones of economic growth. The authors of the monograph at the very beginning note: "Today there is no direct internal threat to the power of the Chinese Communist Party. Political stability is based on rapid economic growth and the maintenance of social stability" (p. 24). However, the growing need to change the growth model and the negative impact of the legacy of partial social industrialization - the public sector and the banking system-make us talk about possible political and institutional stagnation against the background of high, but structurally and qualitatively problematic economic dynamics.

Assessing the effectiveness of the anti-crisis programs of the Chinese leadership, the authors emphasize: "China's sustainable development, which is less exposed to risks and threats, can only be achieved through fundamental modernization of political, social and economic institutions and structures. Only a legitimate government can ensure the implementation of such modernization. This, in turn, implies overcoming, most likely-

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However, the main crisis that is currently developing is the crisis of public confidence in the corrupt government... Without this, the effectiveness of anti-crisis programs is doomed to remain very low" (p. 597). Elsewhere, the authors return to the same idea, but express it even more pointedly: "In a divided Chinese society, social and political forces can hardly mature that can give the modernization processes a stable and long-term character. The ruling elite has a special role to play in creating the necessary prerequisites for this. Today is the time of the last choice, when it is determined whether it is ready and able in principle to cope with this most important task, whether this task is feasible for it, or whether the process of alienating its interests from the interests of the main part of society has gone so far that the point of return has been passed, and the socio-economic process, a systemic crisis and stagnation, or even worse, a social explosion" (p. 320).

The monograph as a whole leaves this question unanswered. Scientific and analytical caution in assessments is undoubtedly a positive trait. Still, I would venture to be more specific. My personal feeling, which is partly based on the results of research, and partly, I will not hide, on an intuitive perception of modern Chinese realities, is that the point of return that the authors of the book write about emotionally is most likely already passed. Perhaps it was passed in the summer of 1989, when the party mercilessly and thoughtlessly drowned the student movement in blood, in which it saw only a rebellious challenge to stability, but overlooked the constructive component-the requirement to create independent student organizations in the country's universities. The authors of the monograph note: "The problem is probably not so much in replacing the CCP, but in creating other mechanisms parallel to the party's monopoly to overcome crises, mechanisms that more closely reflect the current realities of a stronger economically and politically diversified Chinese society" (p. 616). The possibility of creating such a mechanism was just catastrophically missed in 1989., although at that time there were quite serious prerequisites for this.

The second-much more hypothetical-opportunity to engage in a broad dialogue with society existed, perhaps, in the initial period of Zhu Rongji's premiership, when his intentions in the field of economic reforms were compared almost to the "new deal" of F. D. Roosevelt and both in China and abroad were perceived with genuine enthusiasm. However, Zhu, despite his "determination and honesty", which was widely disseminated by the media, remained quite faithful to the tradition of the Chinese party-democratic cohort "not to take out the trash from the hut", not to lead to the weakening of the hierarchical world order of the quasi-totalitarian system, and as a result, he was defeated in his basic reform plans. Due not only to the party's ideology and centralist discipline, but also to the traditional Confucian social culture and mentality, which emphasize the need for individual dependence on the group and cultivate the fear of the collapse of the world order hierarchy, the emergence of leaders like, say, Boris Yeltsin is extremely difficult in China. Without idealizing the first president of Russia in any way, I would like to note that in times of acute crises of party-democratic regimes, leaders of such a plan are quite capable of playing a positive structuring role. The Chinese political mentality, however, tends to treat such figures rather negatively. For the Chinese perception, in principle, the personality of a moralist reformer who seeks to overcome the vices of the system without going beyond it is much more acceptable. If these attempts fail, such a political figure is declared a model of virtue and glorified. At the same time, the system itself may well already lie in ruins and be subjected to scathing criticism.

In this regard, the former General Secretary of the CCP Central Committee, Zhao Ziyang, was very characteristic of throwing his head around. During the 1989 crisis, he was torn between the inability to openly oppose the Central Committee and a sincere desire to support the democratic demands of students. This is Chinese political drama - a moral tragedy without a constructive ending. This line of behavior of the main players in the system undoubtedly contributes to its stability to a certain extent, but in the end it cultivates a reduced ability to constructive reflection and fear of initiative, often reaching the elementary inability and unwillingness to comprehend the real problem. Here is what L. Pai wrote about the Chinese political system: "The central authorities issue their "absolute" orders, and local authorities demonstrate their obedience, even if they quietly continue to do what they see fit. Higher-level administrations are hesitant to check in good faith how much they can do.

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their orders are obeyed, as such a check can reveal their own impotence and shake their claim to absolute power. The lower-level administration is careful enough to completely ignore problematic orders, executing trouble-free ones with extraordinary zeal... The special relationship between the state and society in China allows its leaders to revel in their apparent greatness, bureaucrats to engage in their factional struggles, while the Chinese people are forced to seek comfort and security in personal informal connections and groupings that can protect people from political storms "[Ruye, 1992, p. 237, 255].

The authors of the monograph write extensively and interestingly about the relationship between the tandem of new leaders Hu Jintao - Wen Jiabao and the group of "people of Jiang Zemin". It is noted, in particular, that " unlike the former ideological disputes of the Chinese power elite, the current debate no longer calls into question the market orientation of reforms. Reformers Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's disputes with the "people of Jiang" are devoid of deep political background, and pragmatic interests come first... Increased attention to the problem of resource allocation in the course of implementing the policy of "macroeconomic regulation" gives grounds to talk about the rivalry of interested groups within the power elite" (p.63).

The fact that we are talking about a struggle for the realization of pragmatic interests is beyond doubt. I will turn again to L. Pai: "... the internal relations that form factions (in the Chinese leadership - M. K.) are rarely motivated by the need to implement a particular political line. Factions are more capable of bureaucratic obstruction than of initiating or implementing a declared political course, and in general they are rather vague and vague on policy issues, except for those that relate to pragmatic considerations of career advancement and maximizing power "[Rue, 1992, p. 207,208], for".. power is perceived as the least diffuse and most predictable factor in public life "(Rue, 1981, p. 127). This has always been the case in Chinese politics. However, it seems to me that the underlying political background should also not be discounted. It is undoubtedly present, and the aggravation of the crisis situation in the government and in society objectively contributes to an increase in its share. The same applies to the mood among the intelligentsia. Commenting on the views of the Chinese analyst Kang Xiaoguang, the authors of the monograph note: "Contradictions can also arise in the relations of the authorities with the intellectual elite. In contrast to the period of the 1980s, when "metaphysical" "isms" (market or planned economy, totalitarian or democratic politics) were discussed among the intelligentsia, in the 1990s it was not the same as in the 1990s. participants in the discussions were less likely to raise abstract topics, including issues of democracy, turning to specific problems of reform... If the problems become more acute, people will have doubts about the effectiveness of the existing system, projects of a new system will be put forward, and a new round of disputes about "isms" will begin " (pp. 532-533).

It seems to me that a new round of disputes about "isms" is absolutely inevitable due to the fact that, firstly, the problems do tend to escalate; secondly, the previous act of ideological and theoretical dispute within the Chinese intelligentsia and within the Chinese government, as well as between them, ended, to put it mildly, not quite naturally in this way. The topic was by no means exhausted when it became a victim of political repression after 1989, paranoid fear of chaos after the collapse of the CPSU and the collapse of the USSR, which engulfed both the elite of the PRC and a large part of society. The economic boom of the 1990s also played an undeniable role, making it possible, in the words of He Qinlian, a well-known critic of the socio-political problems of modern China, "... to pursue a policy of 'buying' and attracting intellectuals ... with the help of various material incentives, thanks to which the vast majority of the intellectual elite was included in the system" (p. 88). I would venture to say that in the specific conditions of modern China, this is more bad than good. The inclusion of a significant part of the intellectual elite "in the system" significantly reduces the potential for creating "parallel mechanisms for overcoming crises", which the authors of the monograph write about the need for. The point is that this system is precisely based on the CCP's monopoly of power, which the party will never voluntarily give up and which, by its very nature, does not involve any "parallel mechanisms". The intellectual elite, for all its possible secret democratic dreams, is held hostage to the fear of the destruction of a truly world-building, but thoroughly corrupt party hierarchy.

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It would be extremely interesting to see how the differences between the factions of the Chinese leadership on the pragmatic issues of resource redistribution relate to the underlying political background. I don't really believe that there is no such correlation at all, as the authors of the monograph try to convince the reader (p.63). It cannot but exist, even if the participants in the confrontation themselves are not always fully aware of its existence. In other words, it inevitably manifests itself in the direction, logic and nature of the actions of players in the Chinese political arena. And the authors of the monograph finally admit this, in fact, when they write about the crisis of market ideology that has come, in their opinion, in China: "The essence of the problem is the emergence of the antithesis of the ideological mainstream, built on the fusion of economic liberalism and political authoritarianism. Contrary to common journalistic cliches about "communist conservatives" (Jiang) and "liberal reformers" (Hu-Wen), this hybrid mainstream is supported by the Jiang group, those ideologues, party and business elites who have most benefited from market reforms and high growth rates. The bearer of this kind of antithesis is "moderate market people" who, within the framework of the same market ideology, focus not on "enrichment", but on "fair redistribution of national wealth", not on high, but on moderate rates of economic growth, not on purely market mechanisms for solving social problems, but on preserving in this sphere the ability of the state to develop its economic potential. in the sphere of the great role of the state and budget expenditures" (pp. 606-607).

From my point of view, this crisis of market ideology is deeper and more difficult to solve. The fact is that the objectively required change in the model of economic growth has come to rest - and for quite some time now - in the political and economic matrix of the system: the public sector, banks, and the CCP's institutionalized monopoly on power. "Moderate marketers", especially in some form of alliance with the "new left", are too closely connected with this essentially unreformable matrix and their "moderation" objectively inhibits the change of the growth model, in fact only contributing to the gradual aggravation of existing structural problems. They are not able to solve them radically, and they are not able to dismiss them either.

As for the" liberal mainstream "or" Jiang people"who have received the greatest political and economic benefits from market reforms, this mainstream can only be called liberal with a very large advance. It also grew up on the basis of corrupt development within the framework of a" two-track model", which assumes the simultaneous coexistence of poorly affected public sector reforms and political power with dynamically growing new sectors. It is possible, however, that representatives of this camp are less likely to associate their fate with the old economy and (perhaps, but not necessarily)with the old economy. with the old policy, they are potentially more dynamic in this sense. At the same time, the full-scale activation of this dynamism poses obvious threats to China's stability and territorial integrity and is unlikely to be deliberately allowed by moderates. And the "people of Jiang" themselves are unlikely to dare in the current conditions and due to the noted traditional features of the political process in China to openly challenge the "moderate" tandem of fourth-generation leaders.

The recommendation of the authors of the monograph to the international community in the event of a crisis in China to support the tandem of" moderates " in the person of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao (p.618) seems quite reasonable, but only from the point of view of the political and economic situation that we have today. It is very difficult to say how the situation will develop in the future. From my point of view, in the foreseeable future, it is most likely that we will witness not very successful efforts by the politically dominant "moderates" to deepen reforms aimed at changing the model of economic growth with the overall accumulation of crisis potential. The resulting structural crisis, which indeed may well occur as a result of the overlapping of various destabilizing factors, is likely to be spasmodic in nature and will certainly be fraught with implosion (internal destructurization) of the entire system. Major crises in China, whether during the imperial or republican periods, have always been like this. The seemingly mighty despotisms of old China were crumbling like houses of cards. The Kuomintang regime in the mid-1940s. quite unexpectedly, many of his Chinese and foreign contemporaries suffered exactly the same fate. In this regard, I will quote another quote from L. Pai: "In China, new organizations and movements can arise on powerful tides of enthusiasm, since the highest point of inspiration for the Chinese is located somewhere at the beginning of phenomena and processes. Erosion can be extremely gradual and long-lasting, but the end is usually very fast, and when it's over, the soil will be destroyed. -

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no more sentimental memories remain. Many structures and organizations suddenly turn out to be empty shells, while once they seemed to be full of importance and significance" [Rue, 1992, p. 166].

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank the authors and editors of the peer-reviewed monograph for their intellectual pleasure in reading it and strongly recommend that readers - both specialists and anyone interested in China-refer to this good book.

list of literature

Globalization of the Chinese Economy, Moscow, 2003.

How China is governed. Evolution of the power structures of China in the late XX-early X1 century. Moscow, 2004. Fleron F., Hoffmann E. (ed.) Post-Soviet Studies and Political Science. Methodology and Empirical Theory in Sovietology. Boulder, 1993.

Problems of Communism. 1968. N 3.

Pye L. The Dynamics of Chinese Politics. Cambridge (Mass.), 1981.

Pye L. The Spirit of Chinese Politics. Cambridge (Mass.), 1992.


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