China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to implement a plan to use ultra-modern information technologies to manage the centralized economy and intensify citizens’ monitoring by adopting “digital leninism” to strengthen authoritarianism, writes The Wall Street Journal.
From Communist Soviet leader Iosif Stalin to Chinese Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, all adherents of centralized economic planning faced the same problem: the system did not work. In the context of debates on giving a decisive role to financial markets, Xi Jinping, the current president of China, believes that the system should ultimately be driven by the state.
“After receiving a status similar to that of Mao Zedong, the current Beijing leader aspires to use megadates and artificial intelligence to correct past planning errors and to manage China’s economy in detail while retaining control over citizens. Information technology is far from undermining the Chinese authoritarian model, and even reinforces it”, commented columnist Andrew Browne in an article published in The Wall Street Journal under the title “China is using <digital leninism> to manage the economy and monitor citizens / Xi Jinping leads China towards a megadate dictatorship.”
German political theorist Sebastian Heilmann introduced the term “digital leninism” to describe the program developed by Xi Jinping in order to ensure the survival of the Chinese Communist Party. The political formation calls the mission a “top-level reform” for the transition to a new level of growth through the use of advanced technologies such as robotics, three-dimensional printing systems and driverless vehicles.