Is the Chinese government evil?

The genius of Machiavelli was that he said the essence of a good ruler was knowing how and when to be evil. Nearly all governments are evil. To survive in politics is to make peace with doing bad things to other people.

The Chinese Communist Party is a survivor. It has left tens of millions of dead people in its wake. We are fortunate that it is not nearly as deadly today as it once was. Nor can we easily imagine another Great Leap Forward today.

What makes the CCP unique is the level to which it protects its own. Cadres do bad things as they rise up. They build larger coalitions with other cadres, conspiracies blocking accountability for the mistakes and misdeeds of their allies. Ordinary people will be ruined if they step in their way. There are no independent courts, media, or civil society to turn to. The internet has changed this a little bit, but not by much.

When you get to the top of pyramid, as Xi Jinping has, you can crush opponents by exposing just how bad they are. Entire networks come crashing down. But then you are now in a position to conspire covering the tracks of those who built the castle. The sins of Mao and Deng are covered.

The Chinese government is no more ‘evil’ than other governments, but the CCP has done many evil things – on a far larger scale than almost any other government. It continues doing evil things because non-accountability and opacity are institutionalized. And there is very little anyone can do to stop it. On a day-to-day level, then, we could say that it does more evil to more than most governments do because it suffers few, if any, consequences.







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