It is peculiar – maybe there’s a better word – to characterize the silence in some left and communist circles when it comes to the centralization of power and decision making in the hands of the top layers of the CP of China and its leader. If the struggle for democracy is pivotal to the transition of capitalism to socialism, why isn’t it equally pivotal to its consolidation and maturation? Shouldn’t the gravediggers of capitalism be the principal builders and design makers of a new socialist society? To be sure, parties of the left, I would think, would play an essential role in assisting and guiding this complicated process – a process that is mass in character and should turn on the deepening of democracy. But they shouldn’t substitute for it.

Which brings me back to China. From a distance it appears that the political centralization of the decision making process on the part of the CPC is the norm, taking the place of broad scale democratic participation across society at the conceptual and practical level of building socialism. And yet, for some on the left and the communist movement that isn’t something that is of concern to them. It should be if they have learned anything from the past.