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Helmsman Ruler

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Plato’s Ideal is working in China 2012. By comparing China’s “once-in-a-decade transition of power” practice with other nondemocratic elitist succession systems, this book argues that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been institutionalizing an open-to-all rotational political succession system that shares some essential common features with Plato’s prototype in China experimentally since the 1980s. The smooth handover of authority from Hu Jin-tao to Xi jin-ping in 2012 is a milestone of the institutionalization of the system in the twenty-first century. Accordingly, this system with Chinese characteristics is called the Helmsman Ruler System in this book. The CCP has not only remolded the authoritarian state into an open-yet-authoritarian state, but also succeeded in managing China as a gigantic business conglomerate. China has coincidentally tri-partitioned its socialist economy in a way similar to the “autonomous economic administration” proposed by Carl Schmitt (1888-1985, a controversial German theorist) for the Weimar Republic.