Although the Communists may claim that what exists in countries where they are in power is popular democracy, for those with common sense, it is either totalitarianism or autocracy.
The right to disagree, express one’s opinions and criticize is a primary implication of democracy. When a single party led by a strongman rules suppressing all its opponents without giving any opportunity to even raise a voice of dissent, it is anything but democracy. In China, which is the most populated country in the world, single party rule continued under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung post-Communist Revolution that took place in 1949. Until Mao’s death, no other leader had the chance to either lead the party or rule the country. However, Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping had been careful in avoiding centralization of power in the hands of a single individual. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao came to power only twice. There were also attempts to implement the idea of combined leadership.
Reports now coming from Beijing show that the current Chinese President Xi Jinping, holding the most powerful position in the country, has decided to continue in office for life. The Chinese Communist Party has already given the green signal for the decision that he need not step down from power when his second term ends in 2023. The party has also proposed to introduce the decision as a provision in the Constitution by amending it. While Xi’s name had found a place in the party’s Constitution, his principles became Constitutional text and all this became part of school syllabus too. Xi suppressed all those who were likely to raise a voice of dissent. He justifies his actions by citing that he lifted China to the position of world’s second largest economic power. He also claims to have adopted stringent measures to curb corruption in the country. But according to the estimates by ‘Transparency International’ which ranks countries by their level of corruption, China still ranks 77. Alongside, there are many Chinese industrialists as well, in the listed tycoons of the world. And China is also at the forefront of implementing neo-liberal policies, integral to global capitalism. One cannot lose sight of the fact that the country’s growth and progress encompasses all these features. Put in another way, China has achieved progress and development in line with capitalistic criteria by abundantly diluting the fundamental theories of Marxism. The fact that Xi Jinping has been able to strongly and effectively lead this change is the justification given by the party he leads, for allowing him to stay in power as President for life.
By the same token, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-Un also will have to be recognized by the Marxist world as a strong Communist head of state, especially when he keeps challenging American imperialism led by Donald Trump. But even if both of these take their respective countries to the top of the world economically and militarily, the fact will remain that all of it was achieved by rejecting humanitarianism and democracy. This philosophy about development and economic progress will run counter to the basic principle that man does not live by bread alone. Although China upholds claims about proletarian dictatorship, there is no freedom in China for strikes or such protests. For that very reason, exploitation of labour persists there. In Xinjiang province of China where the Muslim minority dominates, right to faith is denied to such an extent that Muslims do not have the freedom to use Islamic symbols, to fast during Ramadan, or even to give Muslim names. Of course, no wise person would hold the view that democracy consists in freedom for everyone to do anything. Any liberty will have limits and boundaries; and social good and growth will take precedence over individual liberties. But that said, it will not be justified to install a head of state and party leader as equal to god attributing infallibility to him and offering total surrender.