Dilemma and grassroots pain!

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Source: New Fashion Meditation (ID: xinchaochensi)

Author: Kafka of Xinhuamen

In the last article, the author discussed and analyzed the social trend of “both necessary and necessary”. This is not to say that any idea of “both necessary and necessary” is wrong. In fact, “both necessary and necessary” is the reality of administrative governance.

Every person’s life, every organization and group are faced with multiple goals and multiple external environmental constraints, so it is very natural to “have both” and “have both”. For example, when discussing the issue of eating, I want to eat both fully and nutritionally, which is understandable; However, what is the problem? It is to set opposite goals, or to “draw blocks” for improvement. Since the spread of the epidemic, we have seen a lot of contradictory statements in the public opinion. Many goals are like not only eating a full meal, but also reducing calorie intake to lose weight, which is impossible.

Back to the grass-roots governance itself, facing the epidemic attack, in fact, it has greatly accelerated the problems faced by the grassroots for many years, and deduced the logical paradoxes faced by the original grass-roots to the limit (this means that many contradictions already exist, but they have not been deduced to such a sharp degree at ordinary times). From this perspective, how to find, mitigate and solve problems under the epidemic situation is conducive to the iterative optimization of our governance system.

Current grassroots level — dual switch of technology governance/mobilization governance

The author’s friend @ Xiayang vagrant on microblog said: “Separating from the masses is the general feature and ultimate destination of street community cadres, which is determined by the nature of work. After the collapse of social order under the leadership of public ownership economy, the social management functions previously undertaken by the work units were largely transferred to the community, but the social relations built by the work units could not be transferred to the community.” Frankly speaking, this is the chronic disease of the current grass-roots structure itself.

It is well known that the economic base determines the superstructure. After the collapse of the unit system, it is impossible to imagine that the community or neighborhood committee can also have a universal “idle Ma Dajie”. Community organizations have changed from the supplement and help of the unit system to the end of the bureaucratic urban governance system. However, in fact, the community is not the first level government, lacking the mobilization ability and administrative authority of the first level government, as well as the elements for exercising legal power.

At ordinary times, it is not obvious that society/government/market occupy their respective positions and complete their respective division of labor and functions. When the COVID-19 comes and needs to integrate resources, the sports governance model appears to provide the grassroots support of human and material resources. However, mobile governance is not a panacea in itself, but a coping strategy.

In 2021, when the author analyzed the reasons why housing prices remained high after several years of governance, he once dissected the essence of sports governance. In fact, it was mobilization+integration, and there was no additional “transformation” of human and material resources. Therefore, when the social governance corresponding to the epidemic prevention and control has entered a long-term process and the epidemic has become normal, it is difficult to maintain the sports based grassroots operation.

Take the inspection and quarantine of the customs under the epidemic situation as an example. Generally speaking, the entry ships will entrust the shipping agency to handle the health and quarantine business on their behalf. In the process of entry and exit of ships, the shipping enterprises first provide materials and information to the shipping agent enterprises, then the shipping agent enterprises declare to the customs, and finally the relevant departments of the grass-roots customs handle the health quarantine business and issue certificates.

Health quarantine can be divided into two types: boarding quarantine and telecommunication quarantine. Boarding quarantine means actually carrying out health quarantine work; Telecommunication quarantine refers to a simplified quarantine method, that is, entry-exit ships apply for health quarantine by means of telecommunication report. Before COVID-19, most of them were telecommunication quarantine, that is, paper report. In order to maintain the authenticity and reliability of telecommunication quarantine, they will carry out spot check boarding quarantine.

The strict supervision system of the customs has shaped the self-regulation of the market. The customs will randomly select ships for inspection through the sampling system. Once there is a problem and the credit assessment is downgraded, this administrative punishment means will almost make the shipping agent enterprises have no business and face livelihood problems. Therefore, before the outbreak of the COVID-19, the inspection and quarantine of the customs entrusted the market with a relatively easy function, and the quarantine work of hundreds of cargo ships per year can be completed by a limited number of people in the quarantine department.

Due to the strong infectivity and long incubation period of COVID-19, it is difficult for ship operators to “work” in their self inspection of ship hygiene. In fact, ship agents do not have professional skills, but are only agencies. During the period when the ship docks, it is inevitable that people will get on and off the ship when loading and unloading cargo. COVID-19 is so “cunning” that it can be assumed that the world’s major trading countries and important ports are active regions of the virus at present, so the crew of seagoing ships have a high risk of infection. This means that the inspection and quarantine model represented by system control of local customs is no longer suitable for epidemic prevention during the COVID-19 epidemic, which leads to more complex customs inspection and quarantine work.

On the one hand, there is no significant difference in boarding quarantine rate and customs clearance efficiency between enterprises with high credit rating in the original customs risk control system and enterprises with low credit rating, which means that the credit rating “exists in name only”. On the other hand, there is a large-scale phenomenon of false declaration of seafarers’ health information in ship agency enterprises, but this “false declaration” is non subjective and cannot be effectively punished severely to contain it.

It can be said that any entry ship has the risk of carrying COVID-19. Based on this, it means that almost all countries and regions have become the focus of attention. However, such work requirements are beyond the competence of the grassroots customs (department level/deputy department level), and there are only a few people in the relevant business departments. Finally, the grassroots customs have to mobilize manpower for a special battle.

However, the long-term rock burning of the epidemic has made a large number of grassroots customs staff in the cycle of “prevention and control special shift – isolation – daily work – prevention and control special shift”. At the same time, such as the people’s police of prisons and public security organs, as well as the staff of medical and health institutions, the community and street level staff, are also in this kind of consumption for a long time. If they do not get a normal rest for a long time, the machine will also go wrong. Besides, the grass-roots staff, which is the reason why the grass-roots work efficiency has plummeted since this year.

This has led to a sharp decline in the strength and effectiveness of prevention and control since this year. Typical cases include internal infection in some prisons and hospital infection (hospital infection is also related to the blind command of superiors and public opinion). I think many readers can feel that the seriousness of nucleic acid testing in many areas has decreased significantly since this year. After all, no matter how good a policy is, it needs people to implement it. The staff are not machines.

There may be some key political netizens who mention the issue of democracy at the grassroots level and what is called “effective supervision”. In fact, for links with capillary and professional characteristics such as nucleic acid detection, external supervision is far less effective than improving conditions and incentives. The more professional background and detailed grass-roots background, the more difficult it is to effectively improve through simple supervision.

Recently, such as Liu, the community secretary of Zhengzhou, his comments are almost absurd, but there is no denying that the epidemic really makes grass-roots staff “tired of coping”. For the grass-roots level, the epidemic situation is not much in general, but everyone and every vehicle should be carefully checked one by one. The inspection should not be negligent or they will be held accountable. The same is true for community prevention and control personnel, who are on call full-time and do not know when to respond. After the response, they must respond quickly, but the response is unpredictable. This long time, low intensity, no predictable standby response mechanism consumes people’s spirit. The trench warfare during World War I eventually became such a pattern, not to mention the situation of “wage cuts” and even “wage arrears” in some places.

Scholars who studied ancient history in the Ming and Qing Dynasties once said that the royal power did not descend to counties. However, the governance requirements of the new era, especially dynamic zeroing, are to do precise social governance “from the king to the people”. The field of COVID-19 governance has become a direct perception of the “royal power” of ordinary people in their daily life. This field is the competition and game between individual rights and state power. Individuals rely on the protection of the state but also fear the harm after the power transformation. In the eyes of many middle classes, they have paid a “huge price” and their political consequences are attributed to the abstract “state”.

Many small composition writers, “lay flat/open” logicians, are trying to “earn their own rights” without changing the overall social situation. This is a “tragedy of commons” in the new era and new situation.

Since the release of the 20 articles, the author’s circle of friends and WeChat group chat have generally produced the situation of “breaking the big defense”. Needless to say, those who advocate strengthening prevention and control (in fact, many people also hope that the abstract “country” can help them bear the cost of epidemic prevention). The logic of many “lying down” people to break the defense is “how can you suddenly abandon your son like this” and “why not change the time to open up”. In fact, it is completely expected that a group of “selfless, unrepentant, and family building industry” vanguard will complete all the hard and dangerous work for them, This brings us back to the old topic of “rice grows on the shelf”, which we have been criticizing.

After all, the command system and administrative efficiency generated by the mobilization mechanism are short-term behaviors, the result of political appeal and political mobilization, and a positive buff. When the time is extended to operate according to the mobilization mode, the underlying social structure and economic foundation must be supported. The “mobilization economy” that some key political articles think is actually an empty talk. The essence of the mobilization economy is wartime communism.

The Theory of Legality of Power and Responsibility and the Reality of Difficulty in Law Enforcement

If the mismatch between mobilized governance needs and grassroots governance resources is one aspect of the problem, then responsibility over power is another dilemma of grassroots governance.

In the Deep Logic of “One size fits all”, the author once mentioned that many local grassroots faced the practical problems of the higher authorities “shifting responsibility down and taking power up”, such as environmental governance. Some districts and counties pushed the rectification of the results of environmental inspection and supervision down to the local streets. However, from the perspective of statutory authority and responsibility, the streets simply did not have the power to enforce the law according to law. Therefore, once the streets were “tough”, it would be illegal. Compared with citizens, The enterprise is more rational and powerful, and the administrative organ is unwilling to take such risks to execute the superior order. This is a microcosm of the “selective law enforcement” that exists universally in the market economy.

Similar situations are actually consistent. In the book “The Sound of a Small Town”, the author of the book has described in detail the process of the township tax authorities collecting agricultural taxes and “three issues and five unification”. In the face of some “nail households” of taxes, the tax authorities had to choose “bypass” to avoid. This is also a daily phenomenon in fact in grass-roots governance, that is, selective enforcement and law enforcement in the face of the bottom. However, the communication of COVID-19 is “equal treatment”. It does not pay attention to human feelings and science. In the face of some “difficult to speak” groups, grass-roots governance can be difficult.

Taking a recent incident in Guangzhou as an example, if the incident is out of the context of COVID-19’s prevention and control, there is a high probability that the management personnel will choose to appease the situation and let the two women go, but it is precisely because of the need to prevent and control the epidemic, especially because a large number of migrant workers live in urban villages. They are not only the social fringe people of the first tier cities, but also the modern fringe people. The existence of such labels as “difficult to manage”, “poor quality” and “disobedience to command” will naturally make the epidemic prevention “volunteers” mobilized here cautious and more strict in obeying the rules.

In the hot debate of microblog and WeChat, the focus of this event is often upgraded to the issue of “human dignity”, and extended to the specific so-called “legal” debate, that is, whether epidemic prevention can take coercive actions against citizens.

It should be said that this logic is reasonable in legal theory. However, according to the Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases and the Emergency Regulations for Public Health Emergencies, people’s governments at or above the county level can declare their administrative areas partially or completely epidemic areas and take emergency measures. Therefore, in fact, it is completely legal to take coercive measures against the woman, the “administrative counterpart”, and the point of dispute is whether the “volunteer” has the right to implement.

In fact, due to the contraction of law enforcement authority, law enforcement agencies in China have a lot of work done by law enforcement agents even in daily life, such as temporary urban management team members, auxiliary police, etc. In society, this situation is not only clear to the public sector itself, but also to many administrative counterparts, as can be seen in the comments on short video platforms such as Yishuo and Yikuai, “The security guard has no right to enforce the law, and he can’t do anything to you.” “The security guard is just the reason why he is XX” has long been a common comment.

Therefore, this situation is an extreme deduction of daily situations. In the author’s wild circle of friends, a man has repeated “selective law enforcement, universal violation” on a daily basis (the violation he refers to probably means that the specific executors are illegal). In fact, this situation of marginalized people and “imperfect law enforcers” aggravates the one size fits all choice. Because one size fits all is essentially an operation of transferring burdens from the public sector to the private sector.

That is to say, in the daily administrative process, because the administrative counterpart is generally weak and “has constant property”, the public sector (and its staff) is often in a strong position, and the public sector and staff can transfer their work costs to the private sector to focus on managing resources. On the one hand, it is necessary to deal with nail households; on the other hand, even without nail households, governance resources are also insufficient.

In the face of the constant burning of the COVID-19, even though the political system of the Republic has a super mobilization ability and was once said to be an “unlimited responsibility government”, it is still necessary to recognize that his ability has boundaries and resources have upper limits. It is difficult for him to maintain a high level of “both necessary and necessary” in the current situation. Editor in chief Hu said that “it is very difficult to have both”, but it casts the expectation of ordinary people for a normal day “, which belongs to the typical illusion of front-line post-modern urbanites divorced from reality.

To solve this problem, we should refer to the tax collection. Before the Golden Tax Project was launched, the taxation of the tax authorities was “focusing on the large and letting go of the small”, “giving up the false and giving up the real”, that is, the administrative act of taxation needs costs, and economic considerations should be taken into account. Therefore, priority should be given to large enterprises, real enterprises, and those above the designated size, and it is easy to find out and deal with them, while it is difficult to find out the virtual economy and small-scale market entities, so it is better to give up. When there is a clear clue, it will be traced back. We see that the reason why many stars evade taxes is the inertia that this situation continues.

However, the popularity of big data has fundamentally improved the operating efficiency of the tax department, and the transparency of logistics and capital flow has made tax evasion extremely difficult. With the launch of Phase I/Phase II/Phase III/Phase IV of the Golden Tax Project, the theoretical taxation rules have become increasingly enforceable.

The same is true for the governance side at the grass-roots level. In fact, the health code and place code have very deep technical potential, including the associated smart door magnetic, the uniqueness of personal communication trip card confirmation, etc., which can be further optimized to confirm the sensitivity of governance.

On the other hand, it is necessary to break through some restrictions in terms of rules and boxes. The “volunteers” mobilized under emergency measures should be given some rights in writing, which is not only the protection of the volunteer group, but also the restriction. The power that volunteers can exercise is vague, as in the case of Haizhu, Guangzhou. When the volunteer was said to be “willing to accept any treatment from the organization”, many grass-roots workers were extremely cold; There are also cases of abuse of grass-roots control over epidemic prevention, such as a volunteer in some places dumping all the rice not purchased from his channel into the trash can. After all, most of the volunteers mobilized by grass-roots epidemic prevention centers are Party members and league members, cadres and workers of administrative and public institutions and state-owned enterprises, and should not be assumed to be “rabble” lacking basic political training.

Of course, these are only technical and implementation aspects. Fundamentally speaking, even after the seemingly reduced difficulty (20 points later), the management and control pressure faced by the grass-roots level is still increasing, and there is still a lack of a clear end schedule. Such a social governance project is still an amazing social project that is unimaginable in most parts of the world, and requires high-level organizations. Only by further mobilizing the theory of the whole society can it work well and continuously. This must form the joint force of the government, society, the masses and the market.

The last time, after the founding of New China, the whole Chinese people united to fight against the United States and aid Korea. At that time, the social structure was flat, simple and homogeneous, which is different from today’s complex and diverse social levels. First of all, we should face up to the continuation of the epidemic and the pain points at the grass-roots level.

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