The Nazi Inspiring China's Communists
Comment of the Day

November 30 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

The Nazi Inspiring China's Communists

This article from The Atlantic may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Jiang is also widely credited with authoring the 2014 Chinese-government white paper that gives Beijing “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong. In a nod to Schmitt, the paper claims that the preservation of sovereignty—of “one country”—must take precedence over civil liberties—of “two systems.” Using Schmitt’s rationale, he raises the stakes of inaction in Hong Kong insurmountably high: No longer a liberal transgression, the security law becomes an existential

Chen and Jiang are “the most concrete expression thus far of [China’s] post-1990s turn to Schmittian ideas,” Ryan Mitchell, a law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in a paper in July. They are the vanguard of the statist movement, which supplies the rationale for the authoritarian impulses of China’s leaders. And though it is unclear precisely how powerful they are in the upper echelons of the party, these statists share the same outlook as their paramount leader. “Xi Jinping’s big project is on reinventing and revitalizing state capacity,” Jude Blanchette, China chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me. “He is a statist.”

Why has a Nazi thinker garnered such a lively reception in China? To some degree, it is a matter of convenience. “Schmitt serves certain purposes that Marxism should have done, but can no longer do,” Haig Patapan, a politics professor at Griffith University in Australia who has written on Schmitt’s reception in China, told me. Schmitt gives pro-Beijing scholars an opportunity to anchor the party’s legitimacy on more primal forces—nationalism and external enemies—rather than the timeworn notion of class struggle.

Eoin Treacy's view

It has been apparent for years that China is increasingly adopting a fascist doctrine of state supremacy. In just the same way that Nazi Germany was a rule by law society, China is emulating that progression.

Lebensraum in the South China Sea, ethnic cleansing in the Xinjiang, tolerance of private enterprise only in so far as it serves the state are well understood. More recently, the Chinese equivalent of Volksgemeinschaft (Peoples Community) which focused on breaking down class divides in service to national purpose has been championed in Xi’s common prosperity.

The 1929 stock market crash was a pivotal event that allowed the Nazi Party to take greater control. The Chinese Communist Party is already in control and is instead taking inspiration from the past.

The success of the economy over the last forty years has papered over a lot of cracks in the political system. It remains imperative that the government manage the slowdown in the property market in a responsible manner. The stress of a crisis is when the stricture of an authoritarian regime is suddenly felt by the population.

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