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The national educational radio network and the University of Chicago present China today a series of five programs devoted to exploring the significance of events in communist China and the interaction between the Chinese People's Republic and the United States of America. The talks in this series were recorded during a year long study of China held by the University of Chicago Center for Policy Study in 1966 and 1967. On today's program you will hear the first of three lectures by tongues of professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago Mr. those topic is revolution integration and political crisis in communist China. Today's lecture is titled The political community that the totalitarian regime in China emerged as a reaction against the political the disintegration in China during the early part of the 20th century. This
response followed the failure of the nationalists to build up a unify polity and an integrated polity. Soon enough to withstand the disruptive effect of this and I know Japanese war. One of the most remarkable achievement of the Chinese Communists up to nine hundred fifty nine. Whilst their ability to maintain the unity of the party and an adequate degree of political integration. And yet they have been conned to our mounting difficulties in adjusting the integrative measures to the trend toward function no differentiation specialization professionalism and some among of routine isolation which walked her in all stable modern and industrializing societies.
The achievement of a degree of integration enabled the regime to survive and to recover from the extraordinary crisis of three consecutive years of agricultural failure and the ever escalating dispute with the Soviet Union which would have brought down most other governments. But the intensified attack on the intellectuals since November 1964 at the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the recent purges made it clear that setbacks in both domestic and foreign policies had activated to conflict ng open in groups which integrative measures of the regime had failed to harmonize and harness. For the struggle of power between these two groups sent up precisely
Iran to issue off the extent to which the thought of mullahs adoun should be integrated. Myth of the political community and should shape closer race and guide activities in various fears of social life it raised the very question of how well the ideology and the pattern of integrative measures which have been developed in the revolutionary period in relatively bent wood base areas treated the current situation and emerged in trends. Sooty problem is integration and the breakdown of the integrative measures under a situation of crisis.
Analytically speaking political integration has three different aspects. Integration among the elites. Integration between the elite and the masses and integration of a political community. Logically in historically one takes precedence over the other India order mention with all integration among the elite. Integration between the elite and the masses is difficult to achieve without the integration between the elite and the messes. There cannot be an integrated political community. In this integrated political community such as China Indy 19 from 19
11 to 1945 1049 the process of political integration begins historically with the integration of the elite or a contra elite and ends with a really integrated political community through the integration between the elite and the masses. But to the degree that integration is achieved the reintegrated political community furnishes a general framework within which the elite and their messages find their places. Thus a study of the process of integration must start with the elite. But a study of a system of integrative measure can start with the political community which is the subject of our discussion
this afternoon. Thanks. The political community presupposes a set of basic principles governing soso in political life. The collapse of the traditional order in China left in its wake a highly integrated society. It produced a 2:2 response in the form of a totalitarian movement and regime with a tutu ideology which contain an all inclusive criticism of the existing society and justified toto change and reconstruction in a totalitarian system. The off issue ideology backed directly by the coercive power of the state contains the basic principles governing socio political. And it is the
functional equivalent to agreement on fundamentals or consensus in democratic and traditional societies. Do you two functions in a political community. Usual functions of ideology in a political community. In the case of communist China for many reasons I say no I show select only three of them for discussion. The first in contrast to the bush of Aix. The Chinese communists come to PO-R after a protracted political military struggle within China. This thought of MO It will all of practical actions and policy decisions undertaken in the past. It consists mainly
of the rationale behind these undertakings and the justification and rationalization of them. It is Dick could have a creation of the revolutionary experience of the Chinese Communist Party it guided the revolutionary struggle from defeat to victory it gained its legitimacy say in a pew by its proven effectiveness in the pass through the law to try a nice Communist Party from 1927 to 1949 was a Communist Party without a pullet Tarion bays instead of so-so origin. The Chinese communists Strasse the Sept ins of Marxist Leninist Maoist ideology and the criteria of a common is. Ideological indoctrination
was an absolute necessity. And the guarantee of the self identity of the party. And this is to first reason why you thought of well placed such a important road and why this little red book is such an important symbol in spite of the fact that the Americans consider them. Consider the quotation cited used and banality. Second in the traditional political order in China an explicit system of official ideology in the form of Confucianism play an important role in legitimizing the regime in humanizing the autocratic rule in determining the content of education and in defining the proper rules governing human relationships. The rejection of the specific
content. Of Confucianism created a moral and intellectual void while the breakdown of age old political institutions produced a long period of a long period of chaos. They're trying nice were confronted with noble situations which seemed unstructured and in company hands about two of their own at a time when institutionalized guides for behavior and thought were weak or absent. It is during times like these that men urgently need what Cliff What good's call quote maps of problematic social reality and templates of group friends board the reorganization of so-so and psychological processes
and quote Marxism Leninism and the thought of model constituted constituted such a map and brew print. The continual emphasis by the Chinese Communists on ideological unity may very well have been a reaction against the Moro and intellectual chaos which characterized a period of political disintegration. It may also have been may also have represented the persistence of a cultural pattern. Third the Chinese Communists have undertaken to modernize and industrialize their country under under more difficult material conditions but with greater successes then any other underdeveloped nation after World War 2. In overcoming this
difficulty and achieving success they have relied on mobilise sation of the human resources in China on the creation of new Suso and psychological commitments on a transformation of the EDID to use habits and customs of the people in these endeavors. Indoctrination has played a principal role. In emphasizing ideological transform Asian the Chinese Communists have hit upon a strategic or limiting factor in so-so change. There is the moral basis of the society. And so much 4D so much for the explanations for the importance of ideology. But what is does the political community. Like
the political community in China is how to break together by the elite through a structure of political institutions and mass organizations and on the basis on under from deviation of a single faith. These government two institutions and mass organizations like transmission bells which the elite uses to mobilise control and integrate the people. But to a Great to a greater extent then than in the Soviet Union. And this is the important point. They trying to ease Communist Party has created these divisions and organizations in its own image. There are structures in principles of organization parallel closely. Those of the party. With such
modification aesthete their specific functions. For example the principle of democratic centralism originally used in the party is supposed to govern all state organs and mass organizations. The method of criticism and so criticism first developed within the party is now extended to all the factories cooperative. This was a quotation from how in one thousand fifty seven when there were still cooperative. Business establishments schools government offices public bodies. In a word all the six million of Chinese people. This small group in which some 5 to 20 people meet frequently for various purposes follow much the same procedures
and have to same post structure as the party small groups. But the US grew and after patterns of authority which you speak keyed to political stability is fairly close. So long as the polity remain united and this is an important qualification so long as the polity remain united this corrode parallelism in structures and organizational and operational principles facilitated the party's control over the formal government system the Government Oh it is government bureaucracy bureaucracy the army and all secondary organizations and groups and there are many reasons why this was so. Which I need not go into. But the fact that it was possible for the party to create or
reshape the governmental institutions and the mass organizations in its own image can ultimately be explained by the fact by the weakness and the instability of be secondary associations and government institutions. During the Republican period that these institutions and associations were developed in d vacuum after the collapse of the traditional order. The Chinese Communist victory into civil war. Together with their lack of strength tradition and stability on the part of these non communist organizations and institutions gave the CCP a plank check removed to remove them. Political development in China can be understood as a process
in which a small group of men accepted a modern ideology at that did it to Chinese conditions perfected a system of organizations and developed a set of practices and then extended this pattern of ideology organization and practices to the whole nation. During the Revolutionary period the party cost due to a small political community tied together by ideological organizational and personal bombs. This small and tightly neat political community existed in a disorganized society and it attempted to create a really integrated political community in its own image.
Well I should like to bring out certain features certain other features of this political system into a context of a discussion off the question of continuity and change which constantly recur in our writing and discussion about China. That is to say to what extent the press and. Political system can be understood in terms of. Trade ition in terms of Chinese political tradition. Now we have probably all agreed that the political system which emerged out of the period of disintegration is basically different in nature from the traditional one. And yet traditions cannot and need not be quickly and completely discarded and some of them may turn out upon
close examination to be parallel to the modern patterns and therefore make the letter a SEPTA book to the people adopting the modern way of life. The successes of the modernizes all innovators in building a stable modern political community that can be fostered by the parallel between the modern institutions and traditional patterns and sometimes even by the culture screws of these traditions to support the modern system as seen in this light the contemporary question of tradition versus modernity which occupies the mind of social scientists emerges as the perennial question of continuity and change in historical development.
Here's a preliminary guide for discussing the problem of tradition versus modernity or continuity and change in China or elsewhere. A serious distinction can be made. First there is the distinction between hold and pot. No doubt the political system taken as a whole has basically changed its nature. The Marxist Leninist Maoist totalitarian regime is fundamentally different from the confusion or authoritarian government of the Pass the Fulmar to the present one. The present system is characterized by two to a mobilization and active process of participation of the populace in an attempt to effect rep it soon so change and by
two to political control which penetrates to dig grass roots in contrasts the traditional system was characterized by the dominate domination of an elite over a passive population. But certain parts of the tri any political tradition has persisted. Because to talk to a system has changed some of the surviving traditional elements occupy different positions have different meaning and entail different consequences. In the new system for example. That entitled bureaucrat ism. There was a persistent strand in Presson rebellions which play out time and again in Chinese history. This was an element indeed quote people's
culture and code which Mao not only seeks consciously to preserve but also to elevate him to a central position in the political system. It is no antibiotic critism is now a constant feature of India theory and practice of the Maoist ruling elite. It is used by the top leaders to breach to care between the Qadri and the masses to bring the party and the people together and to control the card raised by pressures exerted by the masses. And this is very clear in the present cultural revolution Mao uses the messes to attack and destroy the party organization. Another example of personal cultivation as another example is personal
cultivation. Which parallels the Chinese Communist practice of self-criticism. But again so criticism has a different position in the political system and has different meaning and consequences. Second the traditional and modern traditional anti-communist political systems and some of their components are similar to each other in form in form but basically different from each other in content. In both the traditional author a Tarion systems ideology has a per research influence. The ruling class is a well defined group. Any single bureaucratized organization plays a dominant role in society. All of these have not changed in
form but traditional ideology with its concept of harmony with this notion of reciprocal relationship between those occupying superior and inferior positions with the postulation of non action by government as one of its strengths had during various periods of time. The function of civilizing harmonizing humanizing and restraining absolute imperial power while leaders could be used potentially for that purpose. In contrast Chinese communist ideology with its ethics of conflict its doctrine of dictatorship off deployed tarea and its cool for an interrupted revolution has the consequences of maximizing the use of the power of the state
in vastly expanding the functions of government. The parallelism of a structural forms probably facilitated deceptions of the totalitarian system and partly accounted for the Chinese Communist capacity to make it work. Why are the environmental changes necessitated to replace man of one system by another. And third one must make the distinction between the goals because of a political community and a method of achieving these goals. Most if not all were to goes almost by the Chinese Communists modern ones. But to try any socio political tradition has conditioned their choice of methods or means. For example the modern goal of industrialization is to be
achieved through government to effort rather than private enterprises. This choice of mien is Polly conditioned by the long tradition of the domination of the society by a political elite and the lack of a tradition of truly free enterprise and to prices on any large scale. Going full this distinction between values and style. I did read your values as well XD but the Chinese Communists such as progress equality between men and women. But political activism totally modern. But the style of leadership is traditional. For example the communist Qadri in exercising leadership among the masses would use the traditional style of cashew conversations hot to hot talk and intimate person to
China today
The political community, part one
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters
University of Chicago
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This program presents the first part of a lecture by Tang Tsou titled "The Political Community."
A series focused on current events in China, as well as the interactions between the governments of China and the United States.
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: University of Chicago
Speaker: Tsou, Tang, 1918-1999
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.13-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:12
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Chicago: “China today; The political community, part one,” 1967-08-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “China today; The political community, part one.” 1967-08-14. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: China today; The political community, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from