Reject Democracy, ‘Freedom of Speech’ and predict the collapse of Western civilisation?..you’re called an extremist….unless you’re Chinese!
Enter Eric X. Li, a successful Chinese Entrepreneur in Shanghai, and political scientist, whose educational history includes both universities in China, and Berkeley USA.
He spoke at the famous TEDx platform and explained how he was once fooled by two systems coming from the West. His first belief, was the belief of a gradual and inevitable progression of humanity towards justice for the poor, under Communism. After he became disillusioned with Communism after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he went to USA and ‘bought in’ to Individualism (Liberalism), where all people in the world would ‘progress’ toward ‘individual freedom’ and establish electoral Democracies.
But Liberal Democracy, according to Eric, has mostly been a failure, and the narrative of Liberalism was that only democracies can be adaptable, eliminate corruption and possess legitimacy – he demonstrated that this belief is simply untrue of Liberal Democracies. Furthermore, China a one-Party state has better achieved these goals – fatally shattering the Liberal Democratic myth.
Eric not only blast Liberal democracy using facts and statistics from its global practice, but also showed how democracy is inefficient, static, lacking popular consultation, and corrupt – with power concentrated mostly in the hands of elites. In virtually most countries democracy has been implemented in, it has proven a unsuccessful form of government.
Eric spoke eloquently, using statistics and data, to show how the Chinese government has been highly adaptable, composed of mostly working class origins, meritocratically oriented and highly consultative with the people – and has achieved the greatest uplifting of the poor into wealth, health and prosperity ever achieved in modern times. However, the same can’t be said for Western countries, where popular dissatisfaction, economic problems and non-flexible government is on the rise.
In the Oxford Union, Eric spoke again, predicting the end of the dominance of Western Civilisation, and the rise of China and other nations. He blast the Western hypocrisy behind ‘free speech’ by exposing the simple fact that all countries and cultures, including Western ones, have taboos, where people are allowed to say somethings, and not allowed to say other things (a lesson many incarcerated Muslims have painfully learned living in the West). Eric then simply declared that Freedom of Speech doesn’t exist, and China merely does the same as any other country around the world – outlaw what is taboo, and legalise what is not.
In both TEDx and Oxford Union (as well as many of his articles), Eric’s main point was this – the West claims that their system is universal and is the only way for all people on earth to achieve success and prosperity. China has proven this narrative wrong.
The lesson that the Chinese system serves, is not to show that the Chinese system should be applied all over the world as an alternative to Liberal Democracy [which Eric says will not work], but rather the message China can teach the world is simply that alternative systems to Democracy are possible and even preferable for most countries and states around the world.
Eric advocates that each nation around the world should implement a system that is based upon their own values, beliefs and worldviews which work for them, not a foreign ‘one size fits all’ system imported from the West.
Although the Chinese system has many problems and issues, Eric’s point about it demonstrating that superior alternatives to Liberal Democracies can and do exist, is a powerful lesson all people around the world should take note of.
However, there is one small lesson I would like to note here. If a Muslim said exactly what Eric says (like many Muslim public speakers do), they would be called ‘extremist’, ‘anti-modern’, ‘backward’ and ‘Islamist’ – yet when an individual from an undisputably powerful, advanced and developed country says exactly the same message, he’s (grudgingly) called ‘thought provoking’.
So dear reader, if anyone calls the campaign for re-establishing the Caliphate (Khilafah), extremism, simply reply that you are merely taking the non-extremist, Eric X Li’s advice. And when the Khilafah ascends successfully to prominence in prosperity, technological advancement, scientific research and enlightened civilisation (Inshallah) – perhaps then they’ll invite ‘Islamists’ to TEDx talks too…
[To see both of Eric’s X Li’s lectures, please see below – highly recommended]
Eric X Li speaking at TEDx
Eric X Li speaking on the failure of Democracy at the Oxford Union
Eric X Li giving a speech at the Oxford Union on a world without the Western order
Eric X Li giving a speech at the Aspen Ideas festival
Categories: Featured, Liberalism & Secular Democracy
Mr Andalusi, which country do you live in? Thank you.
That’s a bit childish. If you do not wish to tell me please just say so.
Someone could say your question is childish. If you have a serious question, then say it. Otherwise watch Eric X Li’s videos 🙂
Actually my question is directly related to your article. I did watch the video and found it interesting, informative, and thought provoking. However, myself, as a Muslim, living in a western democracy, YOUR article and your position is of more interest to me.
Can I put it to you; If you had to choose, and had the choice;
1. Would you live and bring up your family in a Western Democracy, say England? or Would you move to China?
2. If you had family, relatives, or friends from the Middle East, Eastern European, or Asian countries, and were looking to migrate for a better life for themselves and their families, and their options were England, and China; would you advise / encourage / help them to, migrate to England or China?
Thank you and salams.
He belongs to Al-Andulus. It is obvious. There is no point in asking further
One very small thought, is that even the Russians have a de facto system quite different from that of “western liberal democracy”. I would say most of the non-Western world, even though they have adopted some of the culture of the West proper, yet they have not adopted this concept of “liberal democracy” to the extent many would think should be natural for all the world.
I agree with one portion of the last point – Arab, Muslim saying something like Li would be labeled as extremist.
But I want to bring another small thought – there are circa 1,5 billion Muslims on “country Earth” and Muslims are not homogeneous monolith, all aspiring toward one goal of “global Caliphate” ! Most of the Muslims live in south-east Asia, and they are pretty democratic and liberal bunch, not to mention blue eyed-blue hair Balkan Muslims, who were devoted communists for more then 50 years and they are still even more devoted socialists and democratic socialists ! Even Iranians reject absolutism, not to mention that they are constantly on the verge of revolution in last 10-15 years.
Only those Muslims who fell victim to Anglo-American, post World War I (and after fall of Ottomans), imperialism are today completely disorientated and consistently manipulated by West, Western prompted dictatorships and monarchies, as well as all sorts of “liberating” mullahs, who want to bring even more absolutism, and this time religious absolutism !
Because of these circumstances which they couldn’t influence, at this point, beside “Arab Spring”, we have little or no idea what would educated middle class and poor but informed and educated Arabs prefer as system of governing.
Arabs are no fulls, despite what some mullahs, crazy colonels, local kings and parliaments of EU and USA thinks. Even honorable owner of this blog, if only he knew more about history of Arabs, would be less enthusiastic about so called “global Caliphate” or any “caliphate”, because it won’t come, ever. Arabs are among most progressive people in history of civilization, and to expect them to return some 13 hundreds years backward in time is ludicrous.
Every culture has its “ups” and “downs”, “highs” and “lows”, and Arabs living their “low” today, but they won’t go back in search of old “high”, that’s for sure !
The problem is that most of those who would like to go backward, actually don’t know much about their own history, they have no idea , for example, that western democracy and rule of law bears many traits and achievement of Arab civilization, etc. With learning and with every educated child Middle-Eastern Muslims, Arabs, North Africans, will be further from religious absolutism and any kind of “Caliphate”, and you can’t stop education if you are to imagine “prosperous Caliphate”, right !?