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Abstract

China’s political system has long been perceived as a controversial one and as somewhat perplexing to Westerners. In an attempt to understand the stability and success of the system, I evaluate the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) post-Mao society by comparing it to the “just society” described in Plato’s Republic. Plato’s philosophy is an appropriate standard against which the Chinese system can be assessed, because Plato does not believe in democracy and thus does not entertain its “advantages.” What’s more, the Republic is classified as a utopia, meaning a place in which the state of things is perfect. As a result, Plato’s society is not affected by certain situational complications that would need to be considered, and would likely cloud the clarity of my argument, should I have chosen to use the political system of an existing country as my benchmark. In this paper, I will ultimately conclude that the Chinese political system satisfies enough of Plato’s criteria for a “just society” to be deemed an effective regime. In closing, I will offer my own opinion as to whether or not Plato’s model can truly offer a useful lens through which one may better understand the Chinese political system.

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