By Wu Gang, Wang Xiaobo
The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, issued a research report during a press conference on Monday, raising ten questions on American democracy from ten angles, including the American system in practice, national governance, social circumstances, human rights, and freedom situation, and international influence, while telling the truths about American democracy by citing vast amounts of facts, data, and opinions of various institutions, personages, and experts in the world.
The report titled “Ten Questions for American Democracy” has been published in five languages, i.e., Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, with its Chinese edition consisting of 23,000 characters.
Representatives from the embassies of more than 30 countries in China, nearly 20 foreign media outlets in Beijing, and journalists from more than 40 domestic media organizations participated in the press conference, also serving as a seminar on the report.
Chinese and foreign attendees at the conference all believe that the U.S. should face its democracy issues, listen to the real voices of other countries, correct its wrongdoings both at home and abroad, and actually start to seek benefits for people in the U.S. and the entire world.
As the COVID-19 epidemic is running riot across the world and the global economic recovery remains sluggish, countries are faced with considerable challenges in development.
When humanity needs solidarity the most, the U.S. government, however, still demarcates ideological boundaries and causes divisions around the world, arousing the indignation of many countries.
“Democracy is a right of all people, not a monopoly of several countries. It is absurd for any government to declare its monopoly on the definition or model of ‘democracy’,” says the report.
In recent years, American democracy has gradually metamorphosed. Domestically, it has become a tool for a few politicians to seek personal gains, violating human rights and tearing society apart; internationally, it has become a front and excuse for the U.S. to maintain hegemony, interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and undermine the international order, according to the report.
Democracy means that people are masters of the country, says the report, pointing out that in today’s America, “minority over the majority,” “power serves the capital,” and “people’s will is difficult to truly realize” are the unfortunate realities.
The report cited the conclusion of a report from Princeton University and Northwest University based on an analysis of nearly 1,800 American policies: ordinary people and groups representing the interests of the masses in the U.S. have little independent political influence; however, economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have a strong ability to control policies.
Western capitalist countries judge democracy simply by whether it has a parliamentary system and the so-called “separation of powers” system; such an approach that focuses on form rather than results can easily be proven wrong, said John Ross, former director of Economic and Business Policy for the Mayor of London.
Ross believes that in the discussion of democracy, the focus should be placed on the practical results, that is, the improvement of the quality of life of the people because democracy is about people living a happier and more dignified life.
By the end of 2020, more than 50 million Americans were food insecure, which was nearly 50 percent higher than that of 2019; according to the data of the Federal Reserve, as of the second quarter of 2021, the top 1 percent of Americans had about $43.27 trillion in wealth, 14.3 times that of the bottom 50 percent of Americans ($3.03 trillion); the U.S. accounts for only 4 percent of the world’s population, and yet 35 percent of firearm suicides worldwide.
Based on comprehensive data analysis, the report concluded that the U.S., despite its democratic shortcomings, is engaged in “democratic diplomacy,” dumping its claimed democratic model, irrespective of the needs of various countries, disregarding the society of each country, disdaining the principles of each country, and not supporting the goals of each country, which fully reflects the fallacy of the premise, framework, principle, and purpose of its “democratic diplomacy.”
Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, noted that more and more people in the world no longer approve of American democracy.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that 57 percent of respondents from outside the U.S. said that the American democracy “used to be a good example but has not been in recent years”; and that another 23 percent said the U.S. had never been a good model of democracy in other countries.
American democracy has caused social disorder, deepened people’s suffering at home, created disasters and turmoil, and undermined international order abroad, over which the international community has expressed great concern.
The U.S. is a veritable “refugee maker” in the world today, making at least 37 million people destitute and homeless by the wars it has launched since the September 11 attacks, according to the report of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.
“Democracy is a common value of all humanity. There is no universal democratic model in the world. Democracy is a rich and diversified path independently chosen by all countries, rather than a single routine forced to be imposed upon others,” stresses the report.