Essay Title: 

Uncertain Democracies: Cuba and China

March 19, 2016 | Author: | Posted in globalization, social sciences

Uncertain Democracies : Cuba and China

Democracy , or the power of people , is rather old form of rule . While the word democracy ‘ originated in the Ancient Greece in 5th century BC this form of rule had existed even before this , found in ancient India republics before 6th century BC . However , it was the city-state of Athens in the Ancient Greece that presented this word in the sense which resembles , in some features , the modern vision of democracy . In Athens people had the right to vote , to take the most important decisions influencing the [banner_entry_middle]

political situation of their state . Of course , not all the population could vote – women and children could not vote as well as disabled people . In fact , only one forth or one sixth of the citizens of Athens could vote and participate in a political life of their state However , it was the first form of democracy and it had many aspects in common with today ‘s notion of democracy . For example , all the citizens of Athens , poor or rich , powerful or powerless , had the right to vote they were equal in this right

The democracy , in the form in which it existed in Athens and in the Ancient Greece , was not preserved until our time . Moreover , great changes took place in Europe in 18-19th centuries , in the form of revolutions . The right to vote and to participate in the political life of a state directly is not the main factor characterizing democracy in the modern world . Democracy in the modern sense includes such basic postulates as the basic freedoms : of speech , of expression , of the press , of association et cetera . The democracy in the western world is much more associated with the notion of free market and free trade However , these preconditions are not exactly true for some countries for example for China , where free market and free trade can coexist with the lack of democracy , where there are no basic freedoms (for example the freedom of association – the assembly of Falun Gong in China was violently dispersed by police and banished for practicing in China Cuba which has made some steps toward the free market economy , opening some part of its economy for the US dollars , does allow the internationally recognized organization of the Red Cross to its prisons where political prisoners are kept in big numbers . The rule of Communist Party as the only party in the country is observed both in Cuba and in China . And this excludes another characteristic feature of democracy – pluralism , the possibility of many political parties to take part in the political life of the state

Before we proceed to explain the lack of democracy in Cuba and China , it is necessary to understand what democracy means and why China and Cuba should become democratic . In the twentieth century , democracy has gained such popularity that most world rulers describe their rule as democratic . However , most countries were not democratic , and some even became misused in two ways . First , democracy is expanded into a laundry list that contains almost all kinds of good things . Second , democracy is modified by adding an adjective to the term . Since Western bourgeois democracy is the prototype of modern democracy , modifications are made along two lines . Either rulers characterize their systems not as bourgeois democracies , but as people ‘s democracies ‘ proletarian democracies ‘ or socialist democracies ‘ or they emphasize local characteristics of their system , such as Burmese type of democracy or African type of democracy

What is democracy ? Etymologically , the term means rule by the people Democracy originated in Athens more than 2 ,500 years ago , when Cleisthenes allowed all citizens of Attica to preside over the affairs of the city . Athenian democracy took the form of direct democracy Citizens , which excluded women , slaves , and resident aliens participated directly in making laws . Moreover , regardless of their properties and talents , rulers were selected not by ballot but by lot Not surprisingly , virtually all famous Greek scholars were no fans of democracy , regarding tyranny , oligarchy , and democracy as corrupt forms of government

Democracy includes two forms : popular sovereignty and individual liberty . This defines democracy in terms of political freedom which involves both positive and negative aspects . Positive freedom refers to a situation in which people have the ability to participate in government negative freedom means a situation in which people are free from arbitrary interference from government . Modern democracy adheres to the dual principles of popular sovereignty and individual liberty , but has its own distinctive features . Ideal as the principle of popular sovereignty may be , it is technically impossible to let the people in a nation-state decide everything . As a result , modern democracies are representative , not participatory (or direct . The principle of popular sovereignty in modern times hinges on two major mechanisms : the separation of powers and the competitive election . While the ruled choose their rulers during an election , rulers are mutually checked and balanced before and after the election . In determining the nature of a particular political system , the competitive election is more important than the separation of powers . A division of labor is employed in any government , particularly a modern one

Despite the importance of liberalism for modern democracy , popular sovereignty precedes individual liberty . Popular sovereignty talks about the purpose of government individual liberty comprises the notion of government . The term that means people ‘ has undergone great changes in terms of class , education , gender , race , and age . Besides , individual liberty is historically and culturally specific

In the twentieth century , democracy and two ends of the political spectrum . To put it in terms of ideal types , a government respecting both popular sovereignty and individual liberty is democratic a government violating them is somewhere in between , most systems are neither democratic nor popular sovereignty but violate individual liberty others may violate popular sovereignty but respect individual liberty . Today ‘s Islamic Republic of Iran and eighteenth-century Britain are cited as respective examples of these two types . Throughout human history , not many regimes have ever been with less able to damage people ‘s rights and interests

The United States of America when compared to China or Cuba , presents the example of democratic ‘ democracy towards which China or Cuba should strive . Because now , when we took a closer look at the notion of democracy in the modern world , we are going to analyze the kind of democratic situation and democratic changes that took place in two of the most controversial countries in the world : China and Cuba

To reach conclusions as to the qualitative aspects of Cuban politics in the post-transition era , we will examine aspects of political culture as they relate to the formation and practices of civil society in democracy . From this angle one can interpret some key dimensions of politics in particular settings . Transition to democracy (and its consolidation ) depends on a multiplicity of factors , including elite decisions , institutional arrangements , pacts between competing social actors , a constitution and organizations typical of liberal democracies a favorable moment in world history , supportive international structures , and a measure of good luck . Political and economic factors also impinge on the likelihood of democratic transitions and survival But political and economic factors determine neither transition to democracy nor democratic stability . The impact of the economy on democracy is not automatic , unidirectional , or necessarily predictable According to Mattiace and Camp (1996 , democracy is the product of multiple causes working together . In contexts where the system confronts unresolved foundational issues and consensus is elusive – on such matters as how the political community is defined , who has authority what the rules of the game are – political questions become an affair of the heart , lending themselves less to compromise and pragmatism . As a result , democracy tends to be endangered , particularly in places where institutional democratic norms are weak and personalism is high . This is likely to occur in Cuba after Fidel Castro (as it has before and during the socialist years

Though democracy will be established in Cuba sometime in the future Cuban democracy will not conform to normative models of liberal democracy . Democracy in the way it is in Cuba will be characterized by features of incivility in civil society . The democracy that is most likely to emerge on the island will be far from perfect , will share striking continuities with the past , and will dash the hopes of many who dream of democracy . The cynicism about democracy also has a long genealogy in Cuban intellectual history . As far back as the nineteenth century cultural pessimists on the island have remarked on the frustration that has followed modern projects of independence nationalism , republicanism , and democracy . Democratic aspirations have a long history on the island , as long as the trajectory of their frustration . The notion is not as alien to Cuban soil as many believe (Dealy , 1996

After its independence in 1902 , Cuba experienced periods of elected governments in a competitive party system until the 1952 coup of General Fulgencio Batista . During the years of independence before Batista ‘s takeover , Cuban democracy , far from perfect , did not live up to the expectations of many , including the United States . Frustration with the state of affairs was rampant . The Constitution of 1940 was a response to the derailed national democratic project of the past . The constitution enshrined the desire for democracy of the great majority of Cubans , but it fell prey to overly ambitious promises (and failure to deliver on those promises , corruption , and finally to General Batista ‘s intervention

The restoration of the constitution was the principal initial goal of those fighting against the military dictatorship of General Batista Fidel Castro , then the young leader of the July 26 Movement , pledged to return to an improved democracy and to forge a moral nation after the dictator ‘s ouster . Although once in power the revolutionary leaders did not reinstate the 1940 Constitution , pursuing a Marxist-Leninist course instead , they never eliminated the notion of democracy and morality from their lexicon . Socialism would bring the democracy and the higher moral the Cuban people sought

In the 1990s , confronted with an unparalleled economic and political crisis , the regime has had to wrestle once again with issues associated with democratic governance (that is , pluralism , participation , and human rights ) as a way to muster popular support and to respond to dissidents and critics . Under the banner of human rights , groups of activists on the island have urged the government to take steps toward liberal democracy by observing civil liberties and holding multiparty elections Within the state and the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC , reformers have advocated greater political and economic liberalization . Outside Cuba governments and international organizations have echoed the call for a transition to democracy , in an attempt to sway the Cuban leaders . The historical moment seems to favor those , inside and outside Cuba , who advocate democracy the end of the twentieth century appears propitious for democratic transitions , particularly in Latin America and in socialist regimes

Authoritarian and to provide important material and nonmaterial benefits to their populations (not that democracies always fare better . Moreover international norms on human rights undermined the bases of non-democratic governance . Democracy and social movements worldwide challenged authoritarianism . A new generation of leaders , including those in the former Soviet Union , unfurled the banners of transparency and accountability , key components of good democratic practice . Cuba has not been immune to developments outside its bs . The breakup of the socialist camp had not only economic repercussions but dramatic political ones as well . The Cuban government has had to begrudgingly adopt economic measures that gingerly , and not so gingerly at times move toward a mixed economy . The economic shock and the consequent decline in the state ‘s ability to deliver goods led to a loss of social control of the street as ordinary Cubans resorted to a host of informal mechanisms , usually illegal , to make ends meet . At the same time dissident groups proliferated and the youth became increasingly discontented with the regime ‘s performance

On the other side of the Florida Strait , the United States touted democracy as the goal of its policy toward the island and passed laws proclaiming such (Whether the means chosen are adequate is doubtful Though opposing economic isolation , Canada , Europe , and Latin America have tried unsuccessfully to promote democracy through softer tactics (that is , through dialogue with the government and through engagement rather than disengagement . Regardless of differences in means , the goal of the international community vis-a-vis Cuba is the same : democracy Several factors , however , indicate that the normative presumptions of advocates of democracy both inside and outside the nation stand on shaky ground

In the Republican years ( 1902-1958 , Cuba ‘s public sphere met one of the criteria -multiplicity of associations – of democracy . Seldom did one find the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of democracy concurrently . Democracy (as well as political and economic society ) was identified with corruption , gangsterism , opportunism , and personalism The 1940 constitutional convention – in spite of infighting and personal attacks hurled among some of its leaders – was an exception to the general run of civil society when it successfully gathered representatives of all the important political and social currents on the island and managed to make a consensus . With the advent of the Revolution of 1959 a process unfolded of homogenizing the organizations of democracy and subjugating them to newly created revolutionary umbrella organizations . Individuals and groups who resisted were silenced through repression , exile , or imprisonment . The majority embraced the new regime for emotional , moral , and economic reasons

Democracy , which had contributed to the struggle against Batista , was relatively quickly subsumed by mass politics in the institution of the new state . In the process much of what was supposed to be democratic in democracy was lost . Not only was democracy in Cuba during the 1959-1961 period unable to steer the course of the Revolution toward the liberal democracy of the 1940s but , in practice , it helped the revolutionary leadership consolidate unity and conformity by silencing nonconformists The example of the closing of Catholic churches in these years reveals the inability of civic organizations and norms to protect the rights of citizens in the face of mass support for the leader and his /their cause In the 1990s the state orchestrated public acts of shunning nonconformists became emblematic of the uncivil dimension of Cuban society

As Mansbridge (1990 ) thinks , in Cuba democracy will emerge , slowly and with great difficulty , from two principal sources : from the state (its bureaucracy , affiliated organizations , and policies ) and from the informal practices of individuals in their everyday lives (the black market , cultural reaffirmation of subgroups and networks . There is a domestic society in Cuba , largely informal and outside state boundaries (although informality is also prevalent within state bureaucracies . But there is hardly democracy (despite the presence of several independent organizations on the island . Both sources of democracy formation , the state and informal politics , present serious problems for civility in public fife . Given the qualities of state structures and policies , on the one hand , and of informal behavior , on the other , instead of democracy what might reemerge in Cuba is an undemocratic society

The institutional history of the Cuban state casts a dark shadow on the prospects for democracy . During the past three decades state agencies or the top leaders have tended to close spaces when attempts are made to open them . The trajectory of the intellectuals is illustrative . Artists and scholars have tried to carve a sphere of autonomy within the system but time after time the attempt has been frustrated as periods of relative openness are followed by closure . Diverse opinions (ranging from the correct interpretation of Marxism to the benefits of the free farmers ‘ market ) have been repeatedly silenced , at least temporarily The institutionalization of incivility took a turn for the worse coordinated by the government and once again since the late 1980s against dissidents

In Cuba , the politicization of the masses since 1959 has given way to depoliticization as Cubans have become increasingly disillusioned with collective participation . Depoliticization has been coupled with a retreat to the personal , away from the public . As individuals grow disenchanted with the political life they will seek other spheres in which to invest time and energy and through which they can construct their own sense of self and meaning . The process leads to apolitical and antipolitical attitudes manifested in a retreat from politics , which contradicts the traditional image of the participatory citizen in democracy

As positive as this development may be for Cubans tired of the demands of mass mobilization and politics in general , it is an auspicious beginning for democracy . A retreat to the personal gives greater room to elites , who might become less representative and accountable . It also does not empower citizens in the public domain , although their choice to not participate is understandable and , after all , a choice . Democracy and civil society are not only descriptive concepts but normative projects as well . Political cultural factors (not to mention structural ones ) will tend to conspire against liberal democratic norms . A transition from one regime to another is unlikely to usher in a transformation in the way Cubans relate to politics . Although change is possible , desirable , and likely at some level , its magnitude and direction does not warrant the conclusion that it will contribute to civic attitudes and behavior conducive to democracy to the extent that people inside and outside the country desire and expect . This does not mean that democracy in practice and in theory will not play a significant role in Cuban politics and in the transition to democracy On the contrary , it will be the handmaiden , if not the midwife , of democratic transition , but down the line , it is likely to challenge the ideal mental map of many who expect democracy in the post-transition period . Incivility will likely raise its head once again in the new context

Chinese democratization is of immense importance , both practically and theoretically . Although it is only one country , China represents between one-fifth and one-fourth of the world ‘s population . Due to the undemocratic systems in twentieth-century China , millions suffered from political persecution and died unnatural deaths . For example , more than twenty million starved to death in the famine of 1959-61 . As late as 1989 , hundreds of unarmed civilians were mowed down in the capital city of Beijing . Democracy may not work miracles , but it can avoid such tragedies . The twists and turns of Chinese democratization in the twentieth century pose an intellectual challenge . Interestingly enough all the constitutions in China after the Revolution of 1911 have acknowledged the people as a democratic sovereign no leaders in China have tried to oppress democratic ideals and China has almost exhausted all forms of political systems . But of these regimes can pass for a democracy (Fincher , 1981

The 1911 Revolution ended a long-standing dynastic system and created Asia ‘s first republic . The new republic was designed to be democratic but soon deteriorated into a dictatorship under Yuan Shih-kai ‘s rule His political ambition culminated in his failed attempt to create a new dynasty . The power vacuum left by his death in 1916 was filled by numerous warlords . During the period of warlordism , anarchy prevailed in China . After he unified China in 1927 , Chiang Kai-shek delayed the establishment of a democratic system . His regime was very much patrimonial , and even flirted with fascism for a while . After Mao Zedong led the Communists to victory in 1949 , he established a socialist state and later turned it into a reign , China moved from were granted more freedom , but denied a democratic system

China ‘s failure to achieve democracy is also puzzling against the international background . A democratic wave has swept throughout the world , but it has barely made a dent in the Chinese political system Confucian tradition , economic backwardness , a huge population , a vast territory , and a socialist system are said to work against Chinese democratization . But a glance at China ‘s neighbors suggests that these factors are not insurmountable obstacles . Confucianism has exercised influence on Japan and South Korea , but has not prevented them from becoming democratic . Taiwan has not only preserved Chinese traditions better than mainland China has in many ways , but also established the first genuine democracy in Chinese history . Poverty and over-population have haunted India no less than China , but democracy has taken root in India since its independence in 1947 . Russia boasted the world ‘s largest territory and was the first socialist state , but joined the democratic world in the early 1990s

Dominant views and paradigms have always influenced China studies . Most scholars in the first half of the twentieth century thought that only some advanced Western countries were capable of maintaining a democratic system . China was not expected to be democratic in the first place Since the late 1950s , modernization theory has argued that economic development would give rise to political democracy in non-Western developing countries . Without identifying with liberal democracy communist countries including China were often left out in the study of democratization . The democratic victory in some East Asian countries China ‘s 1989 mass protests , and the collapse of communism in Europe called attention to Chinese democratization . If democracy was believed to be too good for non-Western countries , it is now regarded as so good as to be applicable in all times and places . Such a moralistic and universalistic view of democracy may jeopardize a historical understanding of the realistic and specific process of democratization The study of the democratization process in China takes on both practical and theoretical importance . But the nature of the process itself , conventional wisdom and prevalent social science methodologies contribute to the insufficient attention to the subject . The extensive studies on China make it possible and desirable to systematically study the entire process of democratization in China

Traditional revolutions in China might have replaced one dynasty with another , but basically kept previous political , social , and economic systems intact . Socialist revolution aims at changing the whole societal structure . The establishment of Communist China initiated the stage of the new democracy ‘ During this period , capitalism was supposed to be regulated , but not destroyed . The political system was supposed to be the people ‘s democratic dictatorship , as distinct from the dictatorship of the proletariat . Restraint from a transition to socialism was due to the Communists ‘ belief that China ‘s economic backwardness constituted an obstacle to socialist transformation . Despite its completion of the socialist transformation in the economic realm before 1957 , Beijing did not proclaim to be a dictatorship of the proletariat until the 1975 constitution . Although the differences between the two political systems were mainly semantic , the Mao era did witness the increase of state power

While Mao eliminated many internal and external obstacles to a strong state , his demand for democracy . After all , a weak state needs to be strengthened first , and a strong state needs to be democratized

For Deng political democratization was of much less importance than economic progress . However , close relations between these two processes determined that he had an important role to play in the process of democratization . Deng ‘s preference for economic development over political democracy might disappoint democrats , but was understandable If there had been a choice , most Chinese would have made a similar decision . It does not take Lenin or Marx to comprehend why a loaf of bread is better for a hungry person than a piece of ballot- . People in poverty or who remembered poverty very well care more for survival than for anything else . Even if the standards of living are higher than subsistence level , it sometimes takes one or two generations to change their preferences . What was of the same importance was that Deng ‘s good-bye to democracy . After all , people have tendency to survive a repressive regime until it is getting too much for them

According to Nathan (1997 , Deng was not an economist . He admitted that as a layman , he approached economics from a political perspective , but knew very little about its details and implementation . This , however provides little reason to underestimate his contribution to economic reform . The transformation from planned to market economy is less an economic matter than a political one , especially in its early phases The Chinese might cherish the hope of getting rich , but it was Deng who permitted , encouraged , and even pushed them to swim in the exciting and dangerous torrent of a market economy

The process of democratization in China was not indigenous , but rather had foreign origin . After China failed to meet the foreign challenge many Chinese elites came to view democracy as the best political system to pursue national wealth and power . But no foreign countries imposed or bestowed democracy on China . Democratic ideas were rare . Few doctrines advocated the election of rulers or defended human rights unequivocally The traditional Chinese system did not lack political wisdom , nor did it reach the level of to exercise technology precluded its possibility in China . Chinese authoritarianism was paternalistic at best and despotic at worst . When tyrants became intolerable , the Chinese rose in rebellion . Chinese history witnessed the rise and fall of dynasties , but not the emergence of democracy

Maoist China achieved unprecedented unification and independence in modern times , but poverty and tyranny permeated the nation . Any sensible leader would have attempted economic development and political liberalization . Deng did not embrace liberal democracy nor focus on political reform . But he did well in breaking with Mao ‘s and in rationalizing the bureaucracy . His economic reform enriched the largest number of people in human history , but had a mixed impact on the democratization process . On the one hand , it unleashed forces against the state and created a legitimacy crisis . On the other hand , he decreased people ‘s desire for democracy . After his suppression of the 1989 mass protests , he deepened and widened economic reform Neo-authoritarianism , which put economic development before political democratization , has prevailed in China ever since

Historical sequences set limitations on Chinese democratization , but its success and failure finally hinged on Chinese preferences and power relations among different social forces . Human preferences are diverse but not equally intensive . More often than not , what determines the intensity of a preference is the utility of the desideratum . Democracy has not been a necessity , but a luxury , to the Chinese . Regardless of their social status or ideological persuasion , modern Chinese share the same undemocratic traditions , suffer under a problematic republicanism are concerned about satisfying their basic human needs , and cherish the same aspiration to national wealth and power . All these place the Chinese view of democracy in a straitjacket

Specifically , the attitude of the Chinese toward democracy is determined by poverty , weakness , and population . Since the Chinese have been groaning under the yoke of poverty , they cherish economic prosperity more than anything else . Beijing ‘s emphasis on the rights to livelihood and to development are not merely justifications for dictatorship Poverty not only diverts people ‘s attention from democracy , but highlights the need for a strong state

Authoritarian rule may not be just , but it may bring and stability , which are necessary to the survival and development of any society . China ‘s precarious position in the world system created the Chinese demand for a strong state . Since the Opium War , China has faced the danger of being dismembered and even colonized . The Japanese invasion confirmed that long-standing fear . Even after Mao unified China , two hostile superpowers successively threatened its existence Adversity necessitates a strong state . The exigencies of wars resulted in socialism in Russia , East Europe , and China . The hardship of the interwar period brought fascism to Italy , Germany , and Japan . The Great Depression ‘ in the United States gave birth to the New Deal Foreign challenges , domestic disturbances , and the modernization process put a strong state before individual freedom and human rights

Separately and together , all these factors compromised the Chinese preference for democracy . Owing to similar Chinese views of democracy power relations among different social forces most importantly determine the fate of democracy . The process of democratization in China depends on the interaction among three major groups : ruling elites , opposition elites , and ordinary people . Like any rulers , Chinese leaders would not give up their power voluntarily . In any society , power is both an absolute scarce resource and an effective and legitimate instrument to redistribute resources . Economic backwardness makes a political career more profitable and attractive

While ruling elites lack the intention of being democratic , ordinary people lack both intentions and capabilities . They need democracy , but do not necessarily want or demand it . For elitist theorists , the masses apathy and elites ‘ greed for power are embedded in human nature . The masses tend to tolerate injustice and lack passion for voting . According to a survey conducted in 1987 , 26 percent of peasants , 21 percent of workers , and 11 percent of intellectuals did not think that China needed democracy at that time . In addition , 33 percent of peasants , 27 percent of workers , and 13 percent of intellectuals would follow their leaders opinions amid different views (Min Qi , 1989 ) The result supports the argument that the lower class demonstrates more authoritarian tendencies than the upper class . Equally important , rulers tend to have the upper hand over the ruled in a power struggle

Western countries are eager to introduce democracy to China , but reluctant to export hightech . By contrast , China is eager to import hightech , but hesitant to introduce democracy . This contrast confirms the importance of hightech , but questions the value of democracy . If democracy and hightech are of equal and obvious use , the Chinese certainly lack judgment . But if such a large proportion of the world population is not enthusiastic about democracy , we are compelled to examine the limitations of democracy as a human ideal , as a means to other objectives , and as an alternative to traditional systems

To recapitulate , democracy as a human ideal requires a delicate balance between liberty and equality and has not fully lived up to our expectations . Democracy is not the most effective mechanism to pursue national goals , especially in a short period . Modern democratic systems are alien to traditional society , and the democratization process has been telescoped into a short period . All of these factors create problems for democratization . The world system is favorable to the process of democratization in China . At the beginning of the second millennium , China faces the most favorable international environment in its modern history . China draws its unprecedented sense of security from national unity , nuclear power status , and permanent membership in the UN Security Council . Great powers have not only abandoned colonialism and imperialism , but have pressured Beijing to democratize itself . China ‘s close relations with the outside world not only broaden the Chinese intellectual horizon , but also strengthen socioeconomic forces conducive to democracy . After the success of democratization in East Asian countries , the Chinese became more willing and able to follow their path

The most important factor that facilitates democracy is economic development . Democracy can not be built on the quicksand of a foreign ideology , but should be based on the solid rock of economic development China is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world , and its economy probably will continue to expand in the foreseeable future . The growing economy will bring higher living standards , a higher level of education , and a more complicated socioeconomic structure in its wake Under these circumstances , more people will demand more freedom and democracy . In fact , both a civil society and a middle class have been emerging in China

In judging political systems in other countries , people may commit two fallacies . One is to use their own current standards to judge others The other is to use the deficiencies of a particular system to deny its nature . Both fallacies lie in their lack of clear-cut definitions Democratic ideals may be too lofty for the real world , but basic requirements of democracy should be simple and clear . A democratic system requires general elections at the national level , the separation of powers , the rule of law , and the protection of basic human rights Different traditions and realities make it both necessary and possible to form new political variations . Even Chinese societies in the world are diverse . Hong Kong is strong on freedom , but weak on democracy Singapore is strong on the rule of law , but weak on freedom . Taiwan is strong on democracy , but weak on the rule of law . A true democrat should respect other people ‘s values and style , embrace a heterogeneous world and deplore the prospect that China would merely copy other political systems

As this examined the issues of democracy in Cuba and in China , the conclusion about the state of democratization of these two countries is that both of them are going a curvy path towards democracy . This path is approaching its end – the old leaders or communist rulers die like dinosaurs and their regime dies with them . The free market relations prevail and they tend to have democracy at their basis . While Cuba and China may prefer to stay out of this process , the modern world will constantly remind that they need democracy for normal functioning . The political and economic issues are closely intertwined and the process of democratization is the only outcome . However , we must not forget that China is not the USSR . China used the USSR example but refused to follow it when it thought not to meet its own requirements . The same with Cuba These two countries are unique in their attitude towards democracy Democracy has its own way in these countries and this way is much different from the way of democracy in the western world . The United States democracy is not welcome in many parts of the world , and China (Cuba ) is not an exception . These two countries are proud to be different from western way of life , even if their democratization is at stake . China will look for a new way of being independent from the West and the recent visit of Vladimir Putin to Beijing with talks about building a pipeline from Russia to China , may serve as the example of such tendency . Therefore , the path towards democracy may be long and difficult for China and Cuba

Works Cited

Dealy , G . C (1996 . Two cultures and political behavior in Latin America . In R . A . Camp (ed , Democracy in Latin America : Patterns and Cycles (pp . 49-66 . Wilmington , Del : Scholarly Resources

Fincher , J . H (1981 . Chinese Democracy : The Self-Government Movement in Local , Provincial and National Politics , 1905-1914 . New York : St Martin ‘s Press

Jones , A .H .M (1957 . Athenian Democracy . Oxford : Blackwell

Mansbridge , J . J (1990 . Beyond Self-Interest . Chicago : University of Chicago Press

Mattiace , S Camp R . A (1996 . Democracy and development : An overview In R . A . Camp (ed ) Democracy in Latin America : Patterns and Cycles (pp .3-19 . Wilmington , Del : Scholarly Resources

Min Qi (1989 . Zhongguo zhengzhi wenhua [Chinese Political Culture] Kunming : Yunnan Renmin , pp . 179 , 190

Nathan , A . J (1997 ) China ‘s Transition . New York : Columbia University Press

Perry , E . J Fuller E . V (1991 ) China ‘s Long March to Democracy World Policy Journal , 8 , 663-685

Valdes , N (1992 . Cuban political culture : Between betrayal and death In S . Halebsky J . M . Kirk (eds , Cuba in Transition : Crisis and Transformation (pp . 207-228 . Boulder : Westview Press


PAGE 1 … [banner_entry_footer]

Comments Off on Uncertain Democracies: Cuba and China


This author has published 9190 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

Comments are closed.