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Soft Totalitarianism in China

Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and author of more than a dozen books on Japanese and Chinese politics, including Japan: Who Governs? (Norton Simon, 1995).

La Jolla - China is ostensibly ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, the world's largest political party, but which no longer has any legitimacy or moral acceptability in the eyes of the Chinese people. Although the party came to power in 1949 as the leader of the biggest and most complex revolution among all the historical cases, it squandered its great popularity first in rural China because of the famine that followed the Great Leap Forward, then among hard-core Communist revolutionaries themselves because of the Cultural Revolution (Mao's revenge against the part after he lost control of it in the wake of the Great Leap Forward), and finally among the urban intellectuals and burgeoning middle class because of the repression at Tiananmen in 1989 and the collapse of communism in Europe later that same year.

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