La Democracia de Raíz en China

Es difícil hacer apreciaciones críticas de la democracia en la China rural: ¿han creado las reformas llevadas a cabo una democracia genuina que represente un avance significativo hacia un gobierno participativo? Si así es, ¿pueden ser implementadas más allá de las aldeas? ¿En dónde queda el gobierno comunista de China? ¿Qué papel tendrán los líderes electos de las aldeas en el futuro?

En 1987 el gobierno chino inició silenciosamente un programa de autogobierno a nivel aldea. Los funcionarios reformistas del Ministerio de Asuntos Civiles pronto introdujeron elecciones locales que permitían a los granjeros rurales elegir a sus líderes locales, reformas originalmente pensadas como un medio para liberalizar la agricultura y estimular el crecimiento económico permitiendo que los aldeanos decidieran libremente lo que iban a producir. Gradualmente, las elecciones locales se diseminaron a casi todas las aldeas y se estableció un simple sistema de controles entre el jefe del comité local y la asamblea local. Los campesinos se descubrieron con el poder de organizarse a sí mismos, criticar a algunas autoridades e incluso destituir a su jefe de aldea.

Sin embargo, la democratización ha sido un fenómeno local limitado al nivel aldea. Como país, China sigue siendo un régimen autoritario y la toma de decisiones está altamente centralizada. A pesar de eso, el surgimiento de la democracia de raíz transformó las estructuras de poder de las aldeas al devolver el poder político a la voluntad del pueblo. Conforme las elecciones locales y el derecho a nominar candidatos libremente se institucionalizan más y más, la estructura centralizada del poder del Partido se verá lentamente erocionada por el creciente deseo que tendrá la gente de disfrutar de la autodeterminación. Fiel a su nombre, la democracia de raíz ha plantado las raíces del cambio futuro.

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