Party Membership Reduced To Résumé Padding?
Rowan Callick predicts in The Wall Street Journal that Xi Jinping “is likely to face a challenge in maintaining the party as a political apparatus with a moral imperative to rule” as the younger generation’s dedication wanes:
Ms. Liu became a precocious young communist in high school. Her parents were both members already, and she was invited to join. She applied by writing an essay. “You have to state your shortcomings,” she says. “One is enough. Usually people will say something modest, like ‘I’m not seriously minded.'”
Members are mostly passive at meetings, she says. When officials read statements by party leaders, “We comment how wise they are. Always very wise. But they are very dull. No real business is conducted.” After Ms. Liu graduated, her father helped her to obtain her first job. “I knew he could do that,” she says. But she didn’t like it: “I read and reread the novel ‘Jane Eyre.’ Like her, I wanted to be myself.”
By now, Ms. Liu’s enthusiasm for the party has waned. “People separate this party involvement out from their understanding of the world,” she says. “Their membership is like an altar with a Buddha on it. It looks good in its place, but for most people it doesn’t penetrate into real life.” [Source]