Branko Milanovic se je lepo poigral s knjigo Cabestana, francoskega wannabe Fukuyame, ki se je čutil poklicanega povedati širnemu svetu svojo blodnjo o potrebnosti izvoza superiorne zahodnjaške demokracije v Kitajsko. Huh, kakšni nevarni tepci poučujejo na univerzah in pisarijo knjige.
Ideologically, Cabestan is fully aligned with the trend of thought that was dominant in the 1990s and the early 2000s and which regards the attainment of liberal democracy as the ultimate telos of all societies, the West as the agent that would ensure that all countries do get to their rightful destination, and “liberal interventionism”, political or military (as the case may be) as the tool to achieve it. Cabestan displays, like many adherents of this view, a remarkable blindness to the fact that what they self-servingly consider to be only an interference in other countries’ affairs in order to help them democratize, may often appear to the others as a naked stab for domination.
In his last chapter, Cabestan indeed comes very close to suggesting that West’s policies should aim at dismemberment of China under the guise of giving full democratic rights to different “oppressed minorities”. He does not stop to realize that if such is the objective of Western “democratizing” policies, they are very unlikely to appeal to the Chinese liberal middle class that Cabestan views as the key constituency that would bring democracy about. He similarly fails even to mention a number of debacles and setbacks that such approach has suffered in the past twenty years (Iraq, reversed democracies in Russia and Turkey, end to the Arab Spring, Libyan chaos) much less to acknowledge its implicit cultural arrogance.
I am totally unconvinced that all societies have to evolve to the telos of liberal democracy, but leaving this aside I am also unconvinced by Cabestan’s belief in CCP’s stability. A more astute observer might have avoided to speak of the Party-state as it were a single individual with determined and clear objectives. When we view the Party-state in such a light, it is indeed strong enough to fight all possible challengers. But paying perhaps more attention to Eastern Europe and the USSR would have convinced Cabestan that the Party often contains within itself different ideologies and also different personalities who in order to come to power might espouse the ideologies that, otherwise, they would never support. Cabestan might have noticed that towards the end of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR, the CPs contained a large segment of social-democrats, but also pragmatists, nationalists and sheer opportunists. Thus rejecting the role of potential personality conflicts (as that between Bo Xilai and Xi Jinping) as driven by individual interests and not by ideology is wrong: personal conflicts often find in “ideologization” their justification and a way to conceal the raw ambition that frequently underlies them.
Vir: Branko Milanovic