Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chinese "Princelings"

The natural consequence of any government is an aristocracy. In this case, the Chinese have formed a new aristocracy.
The offspring of party leaders, often called "princelings," are becoming more conspicuous, through both their expanding business interests and their evident appetite for luxury, at a time when public anger is rising over reports of official corruption and abuse of power.

State-controlled media portray China's leaders as living by the austere Communist values they publicly espouse. But as scions of the political aristocracy carve out lucrative roles in business and embrace the trappings of wealth, their increasingly high profile is raising uncomfortable questions for a party that justifies its monopoly on power by pointing to its origins as a movement of workers and peasants.

Their visibility has particular resonance as the country approaches a once-a-decade leadership change next year, when several older princelings are expected to take the Communist Party's top positions. That prospect has led some in Chinese business and political circles to wonder whether the party will be dominated for the next decade by a group of elite families who already control large chunks of the world's second-biggest economy and wield considerable influence in the military.
Socialism concentrates power in a ruling elite. Power brings perks--including the control of wealth (it needn't be the elite's own wealth, it only matters that he or she controls it). As noted in this article:

 The state owns all urban land and strategic industries, as well as banks, which dole out loans overwhelmingly to state-run companies. The big spoils thus go to political insiders who can leverage personal connections and family prestige to secure resources, and then mobilize the same networks to protect them.

It is only natural that a ruling elite will want to make sure that their children retain the perks that they (the elite) have obtained. Any concentration of government power will ultimately result in a ruling class.

So why is this relevant to the subject of this blog? Because resentment is a powerful force for social upheaval. And right now, China seems to be producing a lot of resentment.

No comments:

Post a Comment