China's Intellectuals Aim for Social Justice

Expert Name: 
Time Period: 
Winners and Losers
Video Info
Video URL:
Video Still: 
Homepage Thumbnail: 
Homepage Rollover: 
Video Thumbnail: 

it's very hard to win enough public support to really have a revolutionary change of the system.

Home Page
Show Quote on Homepage: 
Flagged As Main Period Video: 
Video Transcript: 
<p>We did an interesting comparison among intellectual opinion, business leader opinion and general public opinion. Among general public opinion, the big difference is between the young generation -- the single-kid [post-one child policy] generation -- the older generation, and the middle-aged generation. The interesting thing is that the intellectual opinion is further from the public opinion. For example, for the intellectual opinion, there is more negative attitude towards the government, much less trust for officials, and more criticism of policy. Many times, they want a kind of Westernized democracy. But the general public opinion is relatively more pro-government. Even with their criticism or the dissatisfaction with government performance, what they really want is for the government to improve their work. So, it's kind of a suggestion, or a requirement within the acceptance of the system itself, at first. The business group's overall feeling toward the system and toward the environment is, compared to the intellectual opinion, close to [that of] the general public. And, for example, when we talk about social stability, the intellectuals are very suspect of what kind of social stability we have. If we don't have freedom of speech, if we don't have human rights, social stability, itself, is not good. We should revise social stability at first, then we should build a new social order. So, that's basically saying that if the current social order is not just, we should revise it first. So then, we will achieve a high-quality, fair, just social order. That's not social stability, but social justice. So, that's a typical intellectual opinion. But it seems that, so far, the general public and business leaders don't want that kind of revision. In that sense, they are closer to the official standpoint. Many people say the Communist Party would easily form a partnership with the capitalists, whether in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or, also, in China. If the business group achieves success and they have sizeable assets, they really fear social disorder. They want to keep society stable. So, in that sense, the rich would easily develop an alignment with the government. But, the general public, the old and middle-aged, still have the historical experience of the Cultural Revolution, so that's why they don't want that. The younger generation is not really scared of that [revolution], but they don't care. What they really care [about] is &quot;my life quality.&quot; So, it's more like an individual oriented philosophy. So, if we put these two together, it's very hard to win enough public support to really have a revolutionary change of the system. We don't have that of social foundation, especially from the point of view of public sentiment.</p>
Not Mapped

Victor Yuan talks about the difference in governmental opinion between the general public, business leaders, and intellectual leaders. He also talks about how this dynamic affects social stability.