Xu Zhiyong: New Citizens’ Movement

Vocal dissident and rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong published a blog post translated New Citizens Movement on May 29th. In it, he discussed the nature of “the New Citizen” and the necessity in China of a movement based on those principles to crack authoritarianism and corruption. The controversial essay, which led to his overnight secret detention, is translated at Seeing Red in China:

Today, China still has not been able to leave behind authoritarianism, power monopolies, rampant corruption, the wealth disparity, violent housing demolitions, education imbalance, and the black hole of social security … the root of these weighty social problems is autocracy; the Chinese nation needs to move with the historic tide of great civic movements, moving from bottom to top, from political and social to cultural, from the awakening of individual citizens to the revitalization of the entire Chinese civilization.

[…] The goal of the New Citizens’ Movement is a free China ruled by democracy and law, a just and happy civil society with “freedom, righteousness, love” as the new national spirit.

The core of the New Citizen’s Movement is “the citizen.” This is an individual concept as well as a political and social concept. The citizen is not a subject; the citizen is an independent and free entity, and he or she obeys the communal contract and legal process. He or she does not have to kneel down to any given person. The citizen is not a layman — the citizen is the master of the country. The ruler’s power must come from election by the entire citizenry, bidding farewell to the barbaric logic of the “barrel of the gun regime.” Citizens are neither docile nor a mob; citizens are happy to share in the order of justice and the responsibility to have integrity, magnanimity, moderation, and rationality.

Read more about Xu Zhiyong via CDT.


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