‘Seven sins’ emerge from flawed Western political systems: Global Times editorial
Published: Apr 17, 2021 12:57 AM
Degradation in the Western system Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Degradation in the Western system Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

 Western political systems are getting increasingly rigid, inefficient, and are declining. They are in urgent need of profound systematic reform. No one wants to challenge them, but they need to challenge themselves. 

It isn’t necessary for a political scholar to dig up relevant theories here. All of us can see what is happening in the West – there are many problems, which their systems can hardly cope with. Social development in the West has stagnated. Political division often disrupts normal order. This is a comprehensive crisis.

First, it is clear that the internal development impetus in the West has been declining. This is not because their level of economic and social development has reached its peak. There are still quite a few poor people in the West, especially in the US. Nevertheless, the nature of profit-seeking capital has severely confined the country in terms of investing resources in economic activities that promote benefit for the entire society. As a result, Western societies lost their goal. 

Second, Western-style democracy has, to some extent, led to political disorder. Confrontation among various forces keeps causing grave social cleavage that hinders the normal functioning of society. Many countries have been witnessing prominent problems for a long time without the capability to come up with a solution. Puzzles have been left unresolved time and again. For example, some infrastructure in Western countries such as the US is outdated, but no real action has been taken for their renewal. 

Third, Western systems have tolerated extremism and absolutism in many cases, encouraging people to find scapegoats. The competitiveness of Western countries is declining, and the main reason lies within themselves. However, they come to the absurd conclusion that China “has stolen their lunch.” The US has suffered a serious defeat in the fight against COVID-19, and it blames China for framing it up. It is even more shocking that such an anti-scientific, anti-common sense mentality can spread to US policies. 

Fourth, it is hard to reform Western systems. Some have tried but failed. A sense of fear and powerlessness toward reform has been shaped. The current administration may adjust policies in one way, but the next may abolish it and reinvent the wheel. Rulers in the US and other Western countries have put their own parties’ private interests far above the common interests of society. As a result, no long-term coherent policy can be made, and resources are systematically wasted. 

Fifth, Western countries are arrogant and lack self-introspection. The political polarization among Western political parties has led to their hesitation to seek truth from facts. Their understanding of democracy, freedom, and human rights is getting more and more extreme. They are keen on self-righteousness and brutal denial of explorations of governance outside the West. Their learning spirit has dried up and their self-affirmation has turned into extreme narcissism.

Sixth, represented by the US, Western systems are becoming barbaric, disregarding international laws and rules, turning their back on convincing people through virtue, and worshipping hard strength only. They have stepped up interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs and showing double standards, and have threatened world peace. In recent years, wars across the globe have basically all been launched by the US and the West. 

Seventh, the essence of Western-style democracy is constantly being squeezed. Many grassroots people are living a miserable life with no ability to defend their rights. Meanwhile, the democratic labels of their countries have actually protected and covered up quite a few evils. The rules are formulated by the upper strata of society. On the surface, public opinion is open, but ordinary people have no real right to speak, and their rights are constantly being scorned.

These can be regarded as the “seven sins” of the Western political systems in real life. They must reform and change their systems from being capital-centered to people-centered.