The similarities that I see between Benedict XVI and Hu Jintao mostly revolve around their dealing with the aftereffects of serious mismanagement of their Church and country. Hu said Mao's theory of class struggle was an erroneous theory, and that Marxism must be adapted to the culture of China. [These comments, by themselves, represent a real break with Chinese communism over the past 60 years!] In contrast, Benedict XVI is dealing with the error of Modernism. However, both men are aware they could lose command by going too fast in overcoming past errors. Another similarity is that both rely, more than recent past leadership, on the strong historical foundations of their organizations--China's history for Hu, and the Church's tradition by Benedict XVI.
Both leaders have shown in the past they are capable of dealing effectively with rebellious elements to maintain the security of their respective organizations. Both clearly point out problems caused by recent leaders, yet still acknowledge and even praise those former leaders--probably so as not to lose the historical credibility upon which their own authority stands.
Here are some of Jintao's words that caught my attention:
- Continue and expand China's opening-up program
- "Socialism with Chinese characteristics..." [Seeming to imply that the prior understanding of socialism was not reflective of China. Yet, take this with a grain of salt because he continued to reference Marxism and Leninism.]
- "expand people's democracy and ensure that the people are the masters of the country" [the word 'democracy' was used 60 times during the speech, often with illustrations.]
- insure the "rule of law" [used quite a few times, including "In principle, public hearings must be held for the formulation of laws, regulations and policies that bear closely on the interests of the public." Also apparently refers to governmental checks and balances.]
- "... improve institutions of democracy, diversify its forms and expand its channels to guarantee people's rights to information and participation." [Does this refer to internet access?]
- "Power must be exercised in the sunshine to ensure that it is exercised correctly." [That would be a definite change, but can it happen in a communist government?]
- "As an important part of China's overall reform, political restructuring must be constantly deepened along with economic and social development to adapt to the growing enthusiasm of the people for participation in political affairs." [This also may refer to an improved governmental system of checks and balances.]
SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM still seems to be the greatest error as China's market economy expands under a revised Marxist socialism. Premier Hu Jintao promised a lot of bread to the Chinese people on October 15, 2007 in his 5-year report to the Communist Party of China. Bread to the people, as Nero promised to the Romans!
As background, Hu always emphasizes his list of "Eight Honors and Disgraces."
Love the country, do it no harm;As can be seen above, only one word needs to be changed to make it a reasonable list of natural virtues. Perhaps Hu can someday redefine science as the "Word of God" just has he seems to have redefined Marxist socialism.
Serve the people, never betray them;
Follow science [the Word of GOD!], discard superstition;
Be diligent, not indolent;
Be united, help each other, make no gains at other's expense;
Be honest and trustworthy, do not sacrifice ethics for profit;
Be disciplined and law-abiding, not chaotic and lawless;
Live plainly, work hard, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.