Adopting double standards
THE Chinese leaders are very bad Marxists. Marxism is based on the premise that history is on the march and its direction is forward.
The march forward cannot be stopped, but purposive action can and should accelerate progress. The role of the Communist Party, as Marxists see it, is precisely to give history that extra push forward.
Accordingly the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is forever revising the Chinese constitution in order both to define and stimulate economic and political evolution.
Memories will be fresh of the latest round of amendments to the constitution only last month. So far, so consistent. What is inconsistent, and wholly un-Marxist, is to deny to others the possibility of accelerated change when the conditions are ripe for it. The ''others' are first and foremost the people of Hongkong.
Everyone recognises the speed with which Hongkong has transformed itself in the space of a very few years. Its present level of sophistication depends on brains.
I am quite confident that in Hongkong educational levels, the general knowledge and common-sense of the population at large are fully on a par with those of Western democracies.
True Marxists would be the first to recognise this transformation and work towards realigning the political superstructure with the underlying reality. That is, they would allow much faster acceleration of democracy in Hongkong than Governor Patten's proposals envisage (remember Hongkong is fixed in the capitalist-democratic mode, according to the ''one country, two systems'' theory).
The CCP on the contrary is doing its very best to decelerate this historical process. That is why I say they are bad Marxists. They apply one standard to themselves, another to Hongkong.
For reasons of their own, numerous Hongkong politicians associate themselves with the CCP on this issue. Very well, but let them be blunt about it. Let those who put themselves up for election declare to the electorate that they think they are too immature to be given more than token democracy.
Alternatively let them declare that is not their belief, but they side with the CCP, right or wrong.
D. E. POLLARD New Territories