Xi Jinping and The Rule-By-One Framework
There is a lot of breaking news as of late. In the past, this kind of news was relatively rare. I remember when I started this website in 2016, there was only about a major event every month or so. We’re being bogged down now with constant mind-bending news. Everything is changing.
There are so many breaking news stories that truly incredible stories are getting minimal attention, just due to the sheer quantity of breaking news.
Things are ramping up. Take that for whatever you will.
One example is the news out of China.
Few sites are even reporting on what just happened there, not to mention how impactful it was. There are just so many events that ones like this fall to the wayside in the onslaught of news.
But it’s important. So I’ll showcase the event here (click that link for an interesting analysis of the new CCP administration shuffling).
Afterwards, read on (This one is from Breitbart, so prepare to ignore the annoying hyperbole):
Chinese Communist Party Finalizes Politburo Stuffed with Xi Jinping ‘Minions’
Dictator Xi Jinping officially secured his expected third term as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and chairman of its Central Military Commission on Sunday.
Xi enters these unprecedented additional years of power with a Politburo stuffed full of his loyal “minions,” as former student protest leader Wang Dan put it to Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Sunday.
“It’s obvious looking at the line-up that Xi will also want a fourth term. He has made no arrangement whatsoever for a successor. There won’t even be a fourth term: he’s going to do this until he dies,” Wang predicted.
As RFA noted, Xi himself came to power in 2012 as the designated successor to Communist leader Hu Jintao. Hu was in the audience for Xi’s coronation as dictator-for-life over the weekend — until a couple of goons manhandled the 79-year-old Hu and dragged him out of the chamber for no apparent reason. Hu’s name was then sandblasted off Chinese social media by Xi’s vast army of censors.
Having thus made the clearest statement of absolute supremacy over his predecessors that did not involve lodging a bullet in someone’s forehead, Xi proceeded to stuff the 25-member Politburo and its almighty seven-member Standing Committee with lieutenants who have presumably been stripped of all illusions about becoming Xi’s heir apparent.
Li Qiang, the Shanghai Communist Party chief who once seemed like he might become the fall guy for Shanghai’s disastrous coronavirus lockdown last summer, was instead promoted to become Xi’s Number Two man and appears likely to be named premier to replace the aged-out Li Keqiang.
Political analyst Chen Daoyin told RFA Li’s ascension was a way for Xi to double down on his coronavirus lockdown policies, sending a clear signal that Li did nothing wrong when two months of horror were inflicted on Shanghai. The promotion of Li is a way for Xi to signal that “zero Covid” policies are here to stay, and criticism of them will not be entertained.
Specifically of interest was Hu’s removal as a display of power:
Former Chinese president Hu Jintao was unexpectedly escorted out from the Communist party meet on Saturday, just a day before Xi Jinping is expected to be given an unprecedented third term making him the most powerful leader of China.
The moment, which was an aberration for the weeklong event known for being highly choreographed, showed the increasing power of Xi Jinping.
Hu Jintao, 79, appeared confused, almost reluctant to leave as two men approached him and tried to physically hoist him out of his chair. Hu Jintao, who was sitting next to Xi Jinping, was then eventually escorted out of the hall at the party’s closing session.
But a report said that following his exit from the key meeting, China’s censors quickly swung into action. Any search results for “Hu Jintao” on the Twitter-like Weibo platform appearing to be heavily censored, Telegraph reported.
If you want to watch Hu be removed from the committee meeting, click here.
Xi became the “one” in the rule-by-one framework over the weekend at the communist party congress. One man took absolute control of China, yet few are discussing this major shift. China may have been trending that way for a while now, but this is still major news.
In this single event over the weekend, we witness:
- A public communist purge of the prior politburo leader.
- A Stalin-style censorship of the prior politburo leader.
- A complete consolidation of power under Xi, breaking the two-term precedent set since Mao.
- A reshuffling of all major CCP positions along with a new incentive structure for top CCP leaders, now favoring loyalty to Xi above all else.
This is big news. This will permanently shift Chinese actions. It is no longer the CCP we have to contemplate when considering geopolitical actions by China, but now Xi Jinping specifically.
It is also unlikely that Xi will ever step down now.
The final stage has thus been reached regarding anacyclosis. A single man has secured absolute centralization.
One could argue that Mao had it, but either way that would also fall under my theory of the political cycle:
This [new diagram] demonstrates the exact same sentiments as this article, but with the inclusion of the rare rule by one -> rule by few exception. Read that article first if you have not.
This is referred to as the “rule by one” exception. It is rare for a rule by one to return to a rule by few, but it is not impossible. The rule by one, because of its absolute centralization status, is not linear.
Rule by one is the stage with the most flexibility because of its absolute centralization. The exact point of absolute centralization presents a break in the cycle. There are numerous examples of a rule by one -> rule by few. The rule by one can go to either the rule by few or the rule by many. This is because the absolute centralization point can be broken up into its component pieces or fully decentralized at the whims of the absolutist, who holds all of the power to do either. Or, if he is weak, he can be taken over by the few or the mob in the same examples Polybius gives. So a rule by one is a unique spot on anacyclosis, being the only point that does not follow a linear path.
But the rule by many will always degrade into a rule by few and the rule by few will always degrade into a rule by one.
This realization means that a rule by few -> rule by one -> rule by few internal cycle could occur within anacyclosis. It is rare, however, as usually the rule by many breaks through at some point relatively soon. The public is usually involved and forces the hand of the absolutist.
The rest of my prior article addresses where the CCP will eventually end up since it is still a rule-by-one.
But for now, what is interesting is the process. China went from Mao (absolute rule-by-one) -> CCP (rule-by-few or non-absolute rule-by-one) -> Winnie The Pooh (absolute rule-by-one).
This is a perfect example of the “rule-by-one exception” that I wrote about. Because of the unique position of the rule-by-one as an absolutely centralized framework, it can move in any direction. It is truly fascinating how it works compared to the others (rule-by-few, rule-by-many, rule-by-none), which all appear linear.
The takeaway from this is that China is now absolutely centralized under Xi. Our analysis must take this into consideration when we address their moves in the future. It will not follow the same path as the old CCP used to.
Additionally, we should takeaway the fragility (but also the uniqueness) of rule-by-one systems. They can change in any direction at any moment given the “one”, but they are also the only framework that is not bound by strict linear cycles.
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