Some Suggestions to Democratic Movement

                     by   Ma, Buyin

In recent years the Chinese Democracy Movement has been in great trouble,  partially due
to disadvantageous external environment, while its internal problems were brought into
open.  Many people got very disappointed at DM.  I've heard of these comments: "Those
DM activists are always engaged in internal fight, and they themselves are not democratic.
Letting them administer China , how can they built a democracy?"  "Now they have been
questionable in money matters; once they come into power, can they avoid corruption?"
"Whatever CCP is, it can bring out a sound plan for economic reform; what could DM
bring out except those empty clamor?"  These 3 questions are typical, penetratingly
pointing out some severe shortcomings of DM, to which we should pay enough attention.

The problem of DM "internal fight" needs comprehensive analysis.  DM is not a single
organization but a general designation of many organizations and individual activists.
Although they have the same ultimate goal, it is impossible to pursue absolute unanimity
in their operational tactics.  At least the difference between the reformists and the
revolutionists couldn't be reconciled, and the former can be further divided into those who
only depend on inner force in China and those who also pursue help from the international
community. Under such a circumstance, different factions among DM need reciprocal
understanding and exchanging of ideas, respecting the existence of different opinions,
while dispute is inevitable.  This is kind of "internal fight".  Actually there are often
cliques among a single political party, e.g., the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan has a lot
of factions, which shows that this kind of "internal fight" is normal.  In addition, no man is
without his fault, so DM comrades should have mutual supervision and critique.  "Internal
fight" in this form is necessary.  However, DM "internal fight" in reality has fallen onto
wrong road.  Going too far is as bad as not going enough, but many DM activists often
took a "fighting" stance in mutual supervision and critique.  By this means, they not only
accomplished the very opposite, but also wasted precious energy and ruined DM's
reputation, grieving our friends and gladdening our enemy.  What's more, certain DM
activists are very tyrannical facing different opinions, abusing their power to attack and
suppress others, without any democratic style of work, whereas looking alike CCP
bureaucrats.  This just showed up CCP's shadow deep inside their mind.  Everyone of us
had been living under the CCP regime for many years and got imperceptibly influenced by
CCP's habitual practice which we heard and saw constantly, consequently our methods of
thinking and behaving was ineluctably harmed by it.  It is not fearful to have some
shortcomings; what is fearful is to be ignorant of them.  We must examine our own errors
in time, having the courage to criticize our own past, in order to improve ourselves

Political organizations in western democratic counties have got some effective methods of
operation after hundreds of years of development, which provides shortcut for Chinese
DM.  Many western political activists are concerned with Chinese DM and offer help.
One of the principal goals of the Free China Movement Unity Conference is to learn from
their experiences of success, which are invaluable treasures to make us avoid detour.  It is
believed that we will modestly learn their method of democratic management and
strengthen our attainments in democracy, in order to be worthy of the title of "democratic

Going back to the topic of "internal fight", we should recognize that "internal fight" and
"unity" are not strictly in opposition but in dynamic equilibrium.  Especially when the
system of check and balance of power is not complete, "internal fight" can play as a
mechanism of check and balance to some extent.   The key point is how to play a
constructive "internal fight", in stead of strife and assault.  This brings necessity of a
healthy and positive "internal fight" mechanism (we'd better call it a coordinating and
supervising body), where different opinions inside DM would be handled by coordination
and discussion to achieve common ground while keeping some differences, and focus
everyone's spearhead on CCP, attacking it all-out.  At the same time, DM activists must
accept critique and supervision, including supervision by the media.  Someone might not
be able to stand this kind of ordeal, but we have no other choice.

How to answer the question "Can DM built a democracy"?  On one hand, DM activists
must improve their own qualities; on the other hand, we should develop a detailed plan of
transition to democracy.  Democracy is a comprehensive system, while China has no
heritage of it.  We have to not only start from scratch, but also deal with the challenge of
feudalism tradition.  This further requires us to make sufficient preparation as soon as
possible, which is our historic task as well as the people's expectation.

The second question is on some DM activists' money matter.  That kind of behavior might
be not common, but it seriously ruined DM's overall image and impaired its mass base.
What is the origin of this behavior?  In my opinion, DM's lack of economic transparency
gave rise to corruption.  Economic transparency is the prerequisite of supervision, without
which supervision becomes a tree without roots.  In western democratic countries this
problem also exists.  When raising funds for election, how to prevent politicians from
battening money to their own pocket?  We should put emphasis on learn from their
experience in this respect.  It is high time for us to stop the leak.

As to the plan for economic reform, this is a most concerned issue, because it is closely
related to everyone's benefit.  CCP is obliged to deal with this issue as the ruling party,
and has got some achievement, thus got support from some people.  What about DM?
Were DM not deal with economy until it was pushed into power, the day it lost power
would come soon.  Since we have the courage to challenge CCP, we should require
ourselves with the standard of "quasi-ruling party", making long term plan for every
respect of national welfare and livelihood of the people, especially for economic
development.  As a political force aiming to challenge CCP, DM might as well organize a
shadow cabinet with detailed administrative program, in order to show to public our ability
and determination.

The same time DM is challenging CCP, it is challenging itself.  Facing a powerful enemy,
we have to unite under the flag of democracy.  The Free China Movement Unity
Conference provides us a historic opportunity.  Let CCP tremble, because it fears our
unity most.  Let the suffering Chinese people find their hope, because a new Chinese DM
will represent their future of freedom and happiness.  Unity is strength.  Let any
undemocratic system die!

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