5.5.3. The CCP exaggerates the threat of the West to keep in power (中共夸大了西方要继续掌权的威胁)

However, the CCP greatly exaggerates how evil the West is, because making your people constantly afraid is a classic strategy used by dictators to stay in power.

Or in fable form:

Once upon a time, there was a farmer with a farm.

One day, the animals on the farm started feeling a bit trapped, and started bumping against the fence to get out.

The farmer, however, was smart, and told the animals:

Careful! There is a wolf outside! If you go out, you will be eaten by the wolf!

The animals, were not that smart, and listened to the farmer, they were afraid!

From time to time, one of the animals would disappear (and without their knowledge, reappear on the farmer’s dinner table).

But the farmer kept giving the animals delicious food without them making any effort, so they decided to believe the farmer’s explanation that animal had escaped and been eaten by the wolf.

Maybe, there was actually a wolf outside. But if they had escaped, only some of the animals would have been eaten by that wolf.

But by staying on the farm, all the animals were, sooner or later, eaten one by one.

TODO source.

This theme is also highlighted in many well known works/events.

North Korea for example, China’s good and trusty friend, is just a caricatural level of this, since it manages to be more a dictatorship than even China itself!

In fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel (1984, 乔治·奥威尔 一九八四, 1949) is undoubtedly the most prominent example, in which the Party constantly switches from being at war with one country to the other in a never ending perpetual war (exactly like North Korea vs South Korea, or China vs Taiwan (Republic of China, 台湾, 中華民國)).

One of the best related quotes comes in Part Two, Chapter 9 when Winston reads Emmanuel Goldstein’s subversive text, one of the chapters contains (emphasis by Ciro):

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This—​although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense—​is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.

This is also the first line of the party slogan, which perfectly resonates with the CCP:


or in Part One, Chapter 3:

Since about that time, war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war. For several months during his childhood there had been confused street fighting in London itself, some of which he remembered vividly. But to trace out the history of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any given moment, would have been utterly impossible, since no written record, and no spoken word, ever made mention of any other alignment than the existing one. At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.

Another amazing quote that comes to mind is from the 1982 BBC TV adaptation of John Le Carre’s spy novel "Smiley’s People". In it, master British spy codenamed Smiley manages to coerce the head of the KGB spies, codename "Karla" to defect to the West by threatening to publicize illegal acts Karla committed for the benefit of the health mentally troubled daughter, and which would likely lead to his execution. In a letter he writes to Karla, he says, likely copied verbatim from the novel:

And I am not going to make any claims about the moral superiority of the West. I’m sure you can see through our values, just as I can see through yours in the East. You and I have spent our lives looking for the weaknesses in each other’s systems. I’m sure each of us experienced innumerable technical satisfactions in our wretched cold war. But now your own side is going to shoot you, for nothing. For misdemeanors you have not committed, because of a power struggle within your own kind, because of someone’s suspicions or sheer incompetence.

https://youtu.be/74Mw3N6WxG0?t=174 Cant Get You Out of My Head S01E05 Part Five The Lordly Ones also (2021, BBC) mentions that a huge propaganda machinery was created to spread the fake news that Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 (六四事件) was an evil western plot.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcoBv6ibh8M The excessive fear of external country theme is also mentioned in https://youtube.com/watch?v=TcoBv6ibh8M V for Vendetta (2005) "What you think will happen" scene., where a viral outbreak is used by governments to increase their power over the people.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n59ugeOA4mA A random dude re-enacts the scene from Smiley’s People