Dangerous Benevolence

Private activism threatens the state by creating alternative centers of power within society, but it also threatens to undermine the notion of state omni-competence, this idea that only the government (and by extension, the Party) has what it takes to lead the way forward for China. This omni-competence is what separates the current leadership, so they would have us believe, from their dynastic predecessors, and it is a key pillar in the current government’s legitimizing bargain.

Should things break, if systems go awry, the government alone takes the initiative to fix the problem, or, if that fails, to try and make the problem go away as quickly as possible using the winning strategy known as “Let’s bury the train.”