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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Apr 29, 2022

I: Xi’s Rise To Power
II: Censorship
III: Anti-Corruption And Centralization
IV: Miscellaneous


I. Rise To Power


Erusian on Xi’s rise:

> “Why did Xi succeed at gathering power, where others didn’t?”

Communist leaderships choose their leaders for ideological reasons. You're reducing it to cynical power politics. But this isn't how the the Soviet premier got or the Chinese paramount leader gets selected. They're selected for being good Communists, effectively for outstanding achievements in Communism, combined with pragmatic political considerations. Xi didn't subvert the system. Like Deng Xiaopeng before him he rode a wave, of which he was an intellectual proponent, that it was time for a strong leader to fundamentally reform the government. The fact Xi centralized power was not a surprise. It was what his mandate was. He wrote theoretical papers that basically boil down to, "We need to end term limits and have a strong, central leader for Marxist-Leninist reasons." And then he did that. The key moment was not his removal of term limits but the adoption of his Marxist theories into the formal ideology of the CCP.