Principled Particularism: Moral and Political Aspects of Authority

Andrew G. Walder

in Communist Neo-Traditionalism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780520064706
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520909007 | DOI:
Principled Particularism: Moral and Political Aspects of Authority

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This chapter addresses the features of principled particularism. It discusses the evolution of a Leninist party's relationship with society. It then evaluates the different orientations toward authority. Principled particularism differs from virtuocracy in that it is no longer the conformity to ideals of political virtue itself that is rewarded, but the concrete loyalty of workers to the party branch and shop management. The centrality of biaoxian in evaluations for bonuses, raises, and promotions introduces a marked degree of subjectivity into the process. It is also a crucial determinant of job promotions and desirable transfers. The politicization of rewards in the Chinese factory simply improves the tendency, already ingrained in the structure of communist factory organization, to create a marked personal dependence on leaders.

Keywords: principled particularism; authority; Leninist party; virtuocracy; biaoxian; job promotions; bonuses; raises; Chinese factory

Chapter.  15384 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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