Fatherly advice: Eight success principles for being an official
Nine years ago, the director of Jiangsu Provincial Department of Construction, Xu Qiyao (徐其耀), was arrested for taking bribes of over 20 million yuan. He also distinguished himself among other corrupted officials by having extramarital affairs with 146 women, including a mother and her daughter. Recently, a letter to his son, allegedly found in his diary during the investigation, is circulating on the internet. In that letter, he demonstrated his theoretic superiority in the application of “thick face, black heart.”
Here is a translation for your enlightenment.
I received your letter. I am really proud of your achievement in the university. Keep it up!
As you have chosen to join politics, you must bear in mind the following advice:
1. Don’t seek truth, and don’t search for the essence of things.
Leave these tasks to intellectuals. The credo you have to firmly keep in mind: “as long as it is advantageous to oneself, it is correct.” If you have difficulty to grasp this, then follow this simplified principle: “whatever the higher-ups promoting is correct.”
2. Not only you have to be a liar, but also you have to be a virtuoso liar.
You should build a habit of telling lies. No, actually you should treat it as a mission with the goal that you are able to believe your own lies. Prostitution and politicians are very similar professions. The difference is that being an official is to sell one’s mouth. Remember, your mouth does not belong to you anymore once you become an official. You have to say according to what you need, not what you think.
3. Get diplomas, but not knowledge, which is detrimental to your career.
With knowledge you will be able to think independently, and independent thinking is the death knell in politics. Do not be fooled that there are so many officials with master’s, or even doctoral degrees. Some people immediately enter the public service after earning their degrees. It is apparent that the true purpose of their education is not to study, but to use it as a stepping stone. They are frauds. Remember, a real doctor and an official is not truly compatible.
4, What is the purpose of becoming an official? To gain interests.
You have to work tirelessly to grab all the interests you can get. It is called corruption by some people. You must be clear that gaining interests is not “a” purpose, but “the” purpose for being an official. Your boss promote you because you can serve his interests. Your subordinates obey you because you can bring interests to them. Your colleagues and friends take care of you because you can exchange interests with them. You may forfeit your own interests, but you are useless unless others can benefit from you. Remember, once you lose focus on gaining interests, you are just one step away from failure.
5. Conduct yourself before conduct business.
Please don’t get confused and think I want you to be a mensch. What I mean is to conduct yourself in networking (guanxi). To conduct business, or to get things done, is not really important. Weave a comprehensive network and make yourself a node of this network. You see, nowadays when we say somebody is capable, we actually mean he is capable of networking. LOL. And if someone thinks otherwise and concentrates his energy on getting things done, I will be dumbfounded if his life is not miserable.
6. Our society is always a peasants’ society in essence no matter what has transpired on the outside.
Whoever caters the interests of peasants will be successful. Regardless of the appearance of the people around us, deep down, they are peasants. Peasants are characterized by their short-sightedness and the thirst for immediate benefits. Therefore, you have to do things in ways that share the characteristics of peasants, to pursue short-term benefits and to be short-sighted. If you have a long term vision, you will isolate yourself and the consequence is obvious. Learn some medieval practices, such as the ritual of pledging brotherhood.
7. Currying favor is a form of high art.
Don’t mistake blandishment simply as shameless. There are a lot of women who degrade themselves but few of them get rich or find their sugar daddies by doing so. Most of them are stuck as low-paying sexual workers. To apply the same underlying principle, a sycophant has to be a master at pleasing his most important client, his boss. In a society without the rule of law, the only way to go “up” is via the appreciation from your superiors. All other factors are peripheral. You must be cognizant of this.
8. All the laws and regulations, policies and protocols should not be strictly observed; or more precisely, they should be implemented flexibly.
The makers of laws and regulations, policies and protocols are intent to control others, not themselves. What you have to know is, however, the rules cannot be randomly breached. You have to know when to adhere them firmly, when to violate them secretly and who can violate them. Gauge carefully, or you’ll be in trouble.
These are the principles of being an official. Think carefully now, if you can do all of these, your will have a smooth sailing career. Not up to the task? It’s high time to switch to another profession.
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