Plato’s Ideal is working in China 2012. By comparing China’s “once-in-a-decade transition of power” practice with other non-democratic elitist succession systems: Plato’s rotational philosopher rulers, the liberal Germanophiles’ open-yet-authoritarian elite theory 1890s-1920s, the British cadet system and rotational governorship of colonial Hong Kong 1950s-70s, this book argues that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been institutionalizing an open-to-all rotational political succession system, which shares some essential common features with Plato’s prototype, in China experimentally since the 1980s. The smooth handover of authority from Hu Jin-tao to Xi jin-ping in 2012 is a milestone of the institutionalization of the system in the 21st century. Accordingly, this system with Chinese characteristics is named as the Helmsman Ruler System in this book. Through the System, the CCP has not only remolded the authoritarian state into an open-yet-authoritarian state, but also succeeded in managing China as a gigantic business conglomerate. With the System, China has coincidentally tri-partitioned its socialist economy, in a way similar to the “autonomous economic administration” proposed by Carl Schmitt (1888-1985, a controversial German theorist) for the Weimar Republic, to train its helmsmen and draw allegiance of the capitalists and business executives to the state in a Hegelian way.
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