1

I am new to politics-related questions, then please be kind if I am not asking a good question here(from your perspective). To get rid of being caught and involved in trouble I cannot not post this question on politics. Thanks in advance.

From a paper From Revolution to Involution: State Capacity, Local Power, and [Un]governability in China I read today, I learned that the central government in China has already lost its power in the 1960s by Mao and the 1970s by Deng, which can be symbolized by the crush in 1989. The ideas in the paper are based on the state-capacity-as-fiscal-extractive-capability theory.

As a Chinese citizen, I can feel a strange situation and trending that everyone is seeking his/her own interests; and equality and certainty just don't exist. Everything is weighed by profits rather than a good environment and sustainable improvement. Everyone wants to make quick money and is indifferent to others' suffering. All these lead to involution in current China and ancient China. No one is guiding the system except numbers of economic growth. It's like living in an anarchy country and history seems to rhyme again.

In ancient China, as mentioned in that paper, especially in Ming and Qing dynasties, the same decentralization inevitably appeared, and then the involution followed and then the regimes collapsed.

The author states that the endless-loop would not happen in democratic systems because of the competition and monitor between parties and because the central government is more capable and then can extract more revenue for its governing.

So, my question is that why democracy didn't appear in China to cure the involution problem? What is the prerequisite for its rise?

10
  • 3
    Can I suggest you narrow your question to why did China not become a democracy? That's a historical question. I'm not especially well-qualified to answer it, but I'll try if I have time. You're from China so I can't promise to tell you anything you don't already know, but it might be useful for someone. – Ne Mo Nov 2 '20 at 14:36
  • 3
    (1) What is "involution" supposed to mean here? (2) Why democracy has not yet emerged might be on topic for History, but we cannot answer if it cannot emerge, as we cannot speculate about the indefinite future. For all we know, it can. – Semaphore Nov 2 '20 at 14:43
  • 1
    @Semaphore From the cited paper, it appears that the term "state involution" (as the OP is using it here) was defined by Prasenjit Duara in his 1987 paper State Involution: A Study of Local Finances in North China, 1911-1935. – sempaiscuba Nov 2 '20 at 15:22
  • 3
    @ZLn - History is about what happened (Mao’s communism), not what could or might have happened (Democracy was not adopted in China). This is clearly within “political philosophy”, if that’s any help. Probably more useful in Politics.SE. – J Asia Nov 2 '20 at 15:31
  • 1
    Asking why things didn't happen is always a hypothetical - by definition - and thus can only be Opinion based and explicitly off topic for this site. – Pieter Geerkens Nov 2 '20 at 16:42