There was a time an awful guy, who worked for a local government, told me that the civil servants are elites, and also the party (hereafter party only refers to the CCP) members. He only worked there for several months, I was so surprised that a complex of superiority generated in him in such a short duration, so that he would think that the civil servants he met with are distinct from the general people. He was quite proud, and I would have been quite angry, but didn’t. Actually, I could read from his face that ordinary people are rubbish and to be a civil servant is the only way out to be superior to others.
I dislike CCP rather than the civil servants. The focus of argument between us wasn't whether the servants are elites. Although he insisted that the servants and party members are elites, but he couldn't explain why so many elites would make stupid mistakes, such as corruption, which is the No.1 headache of the system. I reminded him that it was always elite ruling along the Chinese history, in all dynasty no matter ruled by Han Chinese or foreign races (now called minority). Why there always a dynasty replaced by another and revolved. Take the Qing dynasty for example, which is most prosperous kingdom for ever. Qing dynasty which lasted almost 300 years, was one of the longest dynasties in Chinese history. But it fell into decline when it entered into the late stage, I think no one will deny that the ruling clique gathered a bunch of elites, such as Li Hongzhang who is rich in Chinese traditional theories on ruling and national wealth management, but when we mention him, he is remembered as a representative who signed humiliated treaties with western countries and the person who sold Taiwan to Japan. Zheng Guofan who was one of the people influenced the progress of Chinese the most, is another good example. Although he could defeat the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and his letters to his family members are taken by the Chinese after him as the textbook for family education. But both of them were unable to save Qing dynasty, finally overthrown by KMT, which in turns was overthrown by the CCP. Actually, when a bureaucratic system has developed to an incurable degree, without any motivation to make progress and reform, the system would act as the shied to protect the estate of vested interests, so the elites will try to become the vested interests to maximize their interests. Serious corruption occurred, the officials only allocated the positions in government for their relatives so that efficiency was lowered down and the people complained, in turns the ruling estate would try to suffocate the voices from the people and blind them in order to maintain the status, no matter what means used. The tension between general people and the government became greater and greater; and the only final result was that either the social movement was crackdown or the older system was discarded and a new one was established. Why Qing dynasty would have lost their control, the most important reason is that, the system was so complex with many defects that everyone could exploit the advantage to make fortune and interests for him, and then became decay within itself. This kind of ruling is only despotism of talents, which is so old that no longer suitable for Chinese society. Every Chinese must learn from our history to prevent this history from happening again. However, the People's Republic has followed the old track of Qing dynasty. Despotism, corruption, large gap between rich and poor, trampling on human rights, etc. are such similar to those occurred in that dynasty. Except that, the ruling party untimely insists on one party ruling and unwisely makes it as the enemy of democracy, which will give anyone a reason or excuse to challenge itself, like an ostrich buries its head in the sand but exposes its ass outside as an apparent target to be attacked. Because anti-freedom, anti-democracy is obviously beyond the universal value and moral principle, anyone can use liberality as the weapon against it. They use the reason that western democracy is inapplicable in China to refuse democracy reform. The Empress Cixi and hot-tempered warlord Yuan Shikai also said that and repeated by CCP more than millions of times. The history is impartial to Cixi's empire and Yuan Shikai's restored dynasty; both of them were overthrown by the people. Therefore, I have said that the CCP will repeat the history again if no political reforms. Currently, almost all the nations surrounding China are implementing democratic system, including two small poor countries Nepal and Bhutan. I cheer that we have been surrounded by democracies except North Korea, the east hell. And how do you predict this nation, will it become the next democracy?
There is an anther question. Are the civil servants elites, even the party members? It's undeniable that most of the civil servants or party members are well educated. However, the system only opens the door to those people who take Marxism theories for granted, or obsessed with Communism, or have illusion on Communist Party, etc. Therefore, nearly all of the civil servants should have one kind of thoughts. This kind of people who show foolish loyalty to the party are always seen as brainwashed by outside world. Actually, I'm always astonished by them because of that they can't even tolerate someone who talks democracy and freedom in front of them; the reason is not that they are one track minded but greatly influenced by educational system. Maybe they are the products result from shortage of information. They can't get access to the information and unwilling to receive the information from outside world. They think what they see and do is always right and reasonable, other people don't have the rights to criticize. Intensive communism education which begins from kindergarten to life long have make them unable to receive the concepts of liberty and democracy, on the other hand, the government make them blind and deaf by information control. Communist Party would like to mislead them to connect chaos which may happen in democratic election process with democracy. The mouthpiece of the party CCTV has acted as the tool to smear democracy of Taiwan, forcefully regarding democracy as equal to chaos. After this time Presidency election in Taiwan, the CCP couldn't blame any more because Taiwanese have been rational and democracy has become mature. Quite a lot of people in this continent cheered for that event, I could even feel that the huge monster trembled all night long in front of the triumph of democracy. Never overlook the insidious CCP. It couldn't find any problem on democracy, but they could use the incident of Tibetan riot as the shield by demonstrating why there needed harsh hands on Tibet. The CCP still has powerful ability to take the advantages of ignorant people, six decades ago the scoundrel Mao Zedong manipulated the illiterate peasants to undermine the fragile base of this country, making the generation of my father CCP got the destiny of driving cows and locked themselves on the farmlands; today their sons also used the people who don't know the real face of it to defense democracy and human rights. Take the unrest in Tibet as an example. After the incident, the anti-cnn.com was quickly established and flames of nationalism also flared up. It seemed millions of people condemned the western media only to show the so called patriotism, but few people would have considered what was responsibility of the government and the influences of information control. Do we really know the Tibetan and their life? Most Han Chinese don't. However, they criticized the "false reports" of western media as if they really knew the truths and understand Tibetans. Ironically, they couldn't mistakes of western media but tolerate trampling on human rights. Finally, they reached a consensus that the western media must take responsible for unrest in east Tibet. The western media can lead a despotism country to a democracy, but they must learn lessons from that information battle with CCP -- no winning records. It's pity for the people who love liberty and democracy in the world.
For the civil servants, from the aspect of some positions of their job, I think there is no difficulty to deal with the job so that everyone can fulfill the job provided that he/her is normal human. I saw many civil servants who have nothing to do, other than just arrive at the working place on time, read the newspaper and drink tea in office and leave the office on time. The job is suit for those people who want idle or stable life rather than in competing environment, such as in business companies. Various reports about how uncorrupted the government officials and what the achievements they have made can be seen on all kinds of media, but I saw above 95% of officials are greedy and incompetent. The authenticity of state own media is always doubted; there is a saying "don't be too CCTV", meaning a person must not be such hypocritical like CCTV, the mouthpiece of Communist Party, which always tell lies. There is also an anther saying: nothing is true but only the right 7 o'clock timekeeping on the program of Xinwen Lianbo (News Broadcast). So when it says an official is uncorrupted, don't believe it. Despite nearly all of Chinese media have lost the basic news moral, I recommend you to read Southern Weekend (南方周末). Nankai alumni, great historian Ray Huang once said in 1587: A Year of No Significance: for the people born in poor family, to become an official in the governmental organization is a shortcut to be rich (note: back translation, needs confirmation). It's well said in The Dictatorship of Talent: "But you decide to enter government service, which is less risky and gives you chances to get rich (under the table) and serve the nation". Instead of that the officials always allege they will serve the people, they actually think the political prospect will bring them fortune, even though they know maybe one day they will also sentenced like Chen Liangyu, the former secretary of CCP in Shanghai, they will like to have a try. This tide is in accordance with description of capitalist on profits of Marxism theory. The profit margin sometimes can be higher than thousands of 100%, so it can explain why there are so many people striving for the selection test of civil servants. It's quite a gorgeous scenery like an army trying to pass a single-wood bridge, but only those people whose relatives work in the government can get the stepping stone to the top of power in district, even in the nationwide. But ordinary people themselves seldom had a chance. In some extent, the governmental system can be compared to a man got Parkinson’s disease which makes him endless tremble if trembling of his body is initialed. In our empire, the taxpayers had to tighten their belt to dozens of millions of civil servants. If someone can offer convenience to his relative, why cant others. So when more and more their relatives and friends participate into the system only make the efficiency lower, and finally paralyze.
I can tell you a story about how a son of peasant climes up the tower of power and what elite has done. I was born in a poor town in landlocked area of Fujian province, where the mayor and head of local CCP committee like wine, money and beautiful women. It's quite difficult for a son of peasant to possess governmental power. In general, if someone has the chance to get a good education, the first thing he/she must do is to get rid of poverty through technical skills or knowledge rather than serve the government. The reason is simple, i.e. we don't have relatives in the government. But there was a guy successfully done this. His home is only miles away from mine. Every year when I come back to my hometown, his stories must be repeated so many times that I feel bored. I still remember that almost ten years ago when I was a high school student, one day a huge piece of red paper with black characters was pasted on the wall which along the main passage of the school. It was a letter of acknowledgements could be seen when everyone went past the wall. He said he must express appreciations to his former teachers and leaders of the school, without them he couldn't have made such achievements. Later, this guy became the hot topic among the students and teachers. Meanwhile, rumors spread; someone said he have entered the central government, while others said his girl friend was one of daughters of Hu Jintao. But most people accepted that he met the vice-president of his university who was his fellow-townsman. The guy is smart, can quickly learn what the vice president wanted, if the air conditioner in vice-president's home was broken, he would buy him a new one, and ……Shortly, this guy could fulfill any need of the vice-president. The vice-president also knew what he had done as the returns. He made the guy won the president of the student association in that school and recommended to the leaders of that province. With the powerful support, he then became the vice-president of National Student Association and entered the central committee of Chinese Communist Youth League smoothly; at that year, he was no more than 26 years old. Since then, all the fathers told their children that after they enter the university, they must be smart enough like him. I never saw this guy. Every time when became back to hometown, the municipal government would assign someone to pick him up in Xiamen airport. Now he is a high official, distinct from our grassroots.
I tell this story is to tell you two truths. First, for many people, the road to government is paved with money. We can't see the secret transaction behind the scene. Second, hierarchy is still the central value to the Chinese elites and China is still a bureaucrat society. In the story told above, the guy is undeniable a talent, because he could enter an elite university. But after he became elite, you would never see a modest countryside boy walking on the narrow street of the small town with fellow-townsman as before. Now he has moved into a big house and drives the car which symbolizes his status wherever he goes. Maybe he doesn't want to be such well treated by the officials in the municipal government when he comes back, but the society is obsessed with formalism, the official must do this and he can't deny it. It's a dual dilemma, if the officials don't pick him up in Xiamen airport with Audi, it seems they don't respect their superior; if the guy denies, it seem he is hypocritical so that offends the official. Relation is of No.1 importance in Chinese society. Can you image when President Hu Jintao comes back to his hometown in Anhui province, how the officials spend the taxpayers' money to curry favor with the man on the top of power?
There is huge divide between elites and the general people, which seriously threatens the stability of society. The elites are too proud to have a look onto the people. Their heads always face up. China is the largest continent that doesn't realize democracy in the world. The communism elites have hindered the social development of China. In fact, though the CCP is a giant and powerful, but it doesn't earn good reputation. I once heard a civil servant said reason he served the government, "everyone hates the CCP and I also can't agree with what the party has done, but it pay me the salary without delay, it's enough". In addition, in the team of CCP, there is a great proportion of people basically lack of ideas of equality, liberty and democracy.
Ok, I finally realize that the CCP is the king of mean. Don't show off your talent in front of me, elites. Please show your respect to the ordinary people.