posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 08:54 PM
It only took two responses for this thread to get the traditional, "Well, communism is good in theory, if only people weren't corrupt"
response, and only six responses before it suddenly veered into USA bashing.
Let's try to get this back on topic, mmkay?
The idea here is that e-commerce and computerized records of financial transactions is going to help to curb the corruption of Chinese government
officials. Is this valid? I'm not sure.
The corruption of the Chinese government is not a direct result of communism. Chinese government has been overtly corrupt for what? 3,000 years or
so? It's simply the way the system works. People climb to positions of power specifically so that they can enjoy the benefits of those positions,
and those benefits come largely from the payments that have to be made to them from virtually everybody underneath them for virtually everything they
might want to do.
Actually, that's the way that all governments work, to a greater or lesser extent. It's simply more surreptitious in other governments. For
instance, in the US, the payments that are made to politicians are in the form of campaign contributions, trips, business opportunities, stock tips
and the like. They generally aren't direct, simply because the US government has cultivated a facade of actually representing the will of the
people, rather than accumulating and selling power. The Chinese government, on the other hand, has always and straightforwardly been about
accumulating and selling power.
So is that selling of power going to end because it's now easier to trace the path of money paid to government officials? I seriously doubt it.
It's far more likely that those officials will simply alter the process so that it's closer to that used in the west-- the money will be paid
indirectly rather than directly, but it will still be paid, and for the same reason.
It should make for some interesting times though. As I already mentioned, China has a long-standing tradition of overt corruption, so moving it
underground might be a bit of an adjustment for them. But of course, China also has a long-standing tradition of official dishonesty that is never
publicly questioned, and that should certainly aid them in moving into a more western style system, wherein the corruption of government is covert
rather than overt.
All in all, I doubt that this will have any great impact. It's not for nothing that the Chinese invented an entire school of thought (Confucianism)
that deals almost exclusively with the proper way for people to interact with their superiors. The power of Chinese officialdom is so firmly
entrenched that any changes in the world around them at most only means that they have to slightly modify the way in which they do things. Through
their long tradition of endemic yet ignored corruption, dishonesty and servile obedience, the powers-that-be in China have created a system wherein,
for all intents and purposes, they cannot be challenged or even questioned successfully. They will survive...