Norms, Values and Cynical Games with Party Ideology

  • Børge Bakken Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS)


The Chinese Communist Party is based on an ideology that was once fundamentally linked to social norms and values. The original charisma of the party and its leaders seems to have gone in the direction predicted by Max Weber: that charisma cannot stand the test of everyday routines; it will eventually be rationalized and bureaucratized. The party's slogan of 'three representations' seems to reach out to the 'new social strata,' allowing entry to those who 'became rich first,' namely the entrepreneurs. At the same time, the party struggles to redefine the Marxist paradigm of exploitation in a situation where workers increasingly live under conditions akin to those in England at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Sweeping changes are being implemented but without any modification to the verbal baggage of socialist propaganda.

Author Biography

Børge Bakken, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS)
Børge Bakken, Cand.mag,, DPhil (Oslo) Fellow jointly in the Division of Pacific and Asian History and in the Contemporary China Centre