After the Wang Lijun “Accident”: How the Horse Broke itself in

Huanqiu Shibao explains how the horse (i. e. the Chinese public) rode itself through the circus arena*), during the downfall of Chongqing’s former party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙来):

There was a lot of comment and discussion after the Chongqing matter. That is normal, because the issue was worth a lot of attention. At the same time, the Wang Lijun “accident” and the debate soon after were both natural.

重庆事发后,中国社会议论很多。这很正常,因为事情值得这样的关注度。与此同时,这些议论与王立军刚“出事”不久的那些议论差不多,大体处于自然状态。

Watching the rumors moving up, the entire society was in fact waiting for the party’s central committee’s increasingly authoritative voice.  Popular feeling in China is stable, everyone is awaiting the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, with expectations of success, and the expectations concerning China’s future have not changed.

看上去传言纷纷,实际上全社会都在等待党中央的进一步权威声音。中国社会的人心是稳定的,大家对十八大开好开成功的期待,对中国未来一些年的期待都没有改变。

China’s rapid development is like a living body’s development, and there may always be some particulars we haven’t been familiar with. Handling of them and adaptation to them takes time, and also calmness. In a country as big as China, our successions of adjustments and thoughts haven’t generally been stupid, but have always promoted social progress.

中国的快速发展就像机体的成长,总会有我们不熟悉的新细节。处理和适应它需要时间,也需要坦然。以中国这么大的国家来看,我们的一次次调整和思考,大多都不是笨拙的,它们总是推动了社会的进步。

In China’s society of numerous and complicated voices, trust in the party’s central committee has become reason for society in its entirety. This is an important line of China’s social cohesion, and it one of the fundamental reasons as to why China, ever since the beginning of reform and opening, has become diverse, but not scattered. Even though the ubiquitous arguments also touched this question, “trusting the party’s central committee” is undoubtedly China’s society’s strongest ideological and political reality.

相信党中央,这成了中国社会在声音纷杂时的整体理性。这是中国社会凝聚力的重要质量线,也是中国改革开放以来多元而不散乱的根源之一。尽管无处不在的争论也涉及了这里,但“相信党中央”,无疑是中国社会最强大的思想和政治现实。

Some people believe that “trust in the CCP” is some kind of indoctrination, and actually unnecessary. This kind of thought is a natural product of China’s ideological superstructure within China’s political system, and actually formed itself as early as among the first ranks of China’s revolutionaries. And it is also a gradually growing result of the successes the CCP’s rule has brought about.

一些人认为,“相信党中央”是一种灌输,其实不见得。它是中国政治体制自然的思想和意识形态派生,是远在新中国成立前革命队伍里就已形成的一贯感受。它也是中共执政的成就逐渐收获带来的。

The Chinese Communist Party correctly guides the Chinese nation towards its great rejuvenation; the nation’s general direction is correct, and Chinese society’s recognition of this is correspondingly high. To trust the central committee on major issues and to unite around the central committee has become China’s real choice to implement major policies smoothly, and actually the result of Chinese society’s constant pursuit of stable development.

中共正带领中华民族走向复兴,国家的大方向是正确的,中国社会对这些判断的认同度相当高。在重大问题上相信党中央,团结在党中央周围,这是中国把重大决策顺利转变成行动的现实选择,这实际上也是中国社会不断追求稳定发展的结果。

There is no contradiction between emancipation of mind and trust in the party’s central committee. It is exactly for the diversity, for having several options, that we truly discover that trusting the party’s central committee, implementing the party’s road map, is more reliable than any other method other people may teach us, and more able to create the conditions that make the country and the individual develop.

相信党中央和解放思想不矛盾,没有思想的解放,相信党中央就是盲从。正是因为我们有了多元化,有了其他选项,我们才真正发现,相信党中央,执行党的路线,比任何别人教我们的方法都更可靠,更能为保障国家和个人的发展创造条件。

To maintain the party’s central committee’s position doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t need to compare them with the specific popular feelings and demands. In fact, the rich and varied changes in Chinese society are constantly influencing the party’s central committee’s working methods and rhythm. Interaction between the central committee and Chinese society is becoming the essence.

处在党中央的地位上,不意味着不需要与民间快速变化的具体心态和诉求做对照。其实中国社会丰富多彩的变化,对党中央的工作方式和节奏不断产生影响。中央和中国社会的互动越来越触动实质。

We believe that the party’s central committee will further step up the development of its work, centering on the public’s political concerns. We also hope that the formation of some conclusions can become faster. The sooner the authoritative voice is raised, the more clarity and peace of mind there will be within the public. Sometimes, the importance of speed has been greater than speed itself.

我们相信党中央目前正加紧围绕公众的政治关切开展工作。我们也希望一些结论的形成能更快些。权威声音来得越快,社会就越清晰,公众也越踏实。在一些时候,速度的意义远远超过速度本身。

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is the first one held under the rapid informational development of the internet, and the [generational] change in leadership is even more the first one to happen “in broad daylight”.  In this regard, Chinese society doesn’t have any experience, and the degree to which this may create difficulties isn’t very clear either. Under these circumstances, caution is essential. But this caution is completely different from caution in the past.

十八大是第一次在互联网信息高度发达下举行的党代会,中国的换届更是第一次真正来到舆论的“大庭广众”之下。整个中国社会都没有这方面的经验,轻重的拿捏谁也不太清楚。这种情况下,谨慎是必要的。但这种谨慎同过去的谨慎是截然不同的。

China’s active improvement needs a relaxed environment, and it needs to transform the publics’ concerns into trust and understanding of the processes [which are going on].

中国的积极向好需要宽松的环境,需要公众把对于一点的关注同时转化为对过程的信任和理解。

____________

Note

*) I think its causes are of a moral order. The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. I found it painful to listen to you, Innokentii, when you told us how you were re-educated and became mature in jail. It was like listening to a circus horse describing how it broke itself in.

Dr. Zhivago, interpreting his heart ailment.

A short note re comments on the Huanqiu Shibao article: many of them seem to disagree with it – there are currently 1470 comments (and some actually include references to the Soviet Union, even if not to Pasternak’s Zhivago). Others refer to the critics as traitors (汉奸, hànjiān).

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