The Three Mis-Represents

It is two years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) unveiled its new ideological credo, called the "Three Represents." What good fortune it is that China's most sacred, encompassing, and powerful doctrine built around the triumvirate of "the interests of the majority of the people" "advanced culture," and "advanced productive forces" found one political party to be its representative! Good fortune, that is, for the CCP, not for China and its people.

The "Three Represents" has several official versions, each including the words "always," "China," and "represent." Their meaning is clear. On the other hand, "majority of the people," "advanced culture," and "advanced productive forces," as well as some other phrases that dominate the doctrine, are vague, perhaps deliberately so.

Common sense suggests that the "majority of the people," whom the CCP is supposed to "represent," should include workers. But the CCP long ago abandoned the workers. How many lost their jobs last month? How many were forced to take early retirement? How many mining accidents were there? How many workers' protests? Who jailed their organizers? The "Representative of the Three Represents" refuse to say. Workers who protest and strike are "rioting." Whoever reports such events is "anti-revolutionary."

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.