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The Perfect DictatorshipChina in the 21st Century$
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Stein Ringen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208937

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208937.001.0001

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What They Say

What They Say

(p.45) Chapter 2 What They Say
The Perfect Dictatorship

Stein Ringen

Hong Kong University Press

Much of what the post-Mao leaders have said and done suggest an end of ideology, and that is a plausible hypothesis. However, the party-state is a structure that craves ideology. The state has its justification from the party, but the party needs its own justification and has nowhere else to turn for it than from the realm of ideas. The party demands obedience, but if that is to make sense, it must be working for a purpose that legitimises its claim on obedience. Since the party-state claims much—an absolute right to lead and an absolute duty on others to follow—it would seem to need a purpose that is grand and imposing. Along the continuum from the death of ideology to the revival of ideology, three hypotheses present themselves, which the author calls ‘the triviality hypothesis’, ‘the welfare hypothesis’, and ‘the power hypothesis’.

Keywords:   Political Science, China, Elite politics, Welfare State, Xi Jinping, Deng Xiaoping, Comparative politics, Socialist market economy, Corruption, Party state

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