Obscured to the world for many decades, People’s Republic of China [PRC] has been of great interest to many. Here’s some observation I find interesting. I submitted a few comments in there that I realized might appear long but that I felt were really short or lacking for the matter. I decided to collect them back to create a post in here:
I think Communists found themselves a little bit quandary at some crossroads not found in any of their old books. Situations nowhere seen in an inbreed ideological world.
…old Communist revolutionary songs with their high-minded lyrics are taking the country’s public spaces and television screens by storm.
Arts and culture have always been under firm watch and control by Communist states. As the world has known, never have they been used tyrannically by Jiang Qing, Mao’s widow, and her faction for political ends – unparalleled witch hunting and persecution – attacking anything and anyone tagged as bourgeois – in a program called Cultural Revolution.
So, there is a revival of the old days. If it is to go back in time and to stick in there, I think, is equally totally getting lost. It is also futile. The past was all about a struggle against feudal and colonial oppressive rule for the Chinese masses. That struggle found expressions in arts. The situation no longer [exactly] exists today. Something that is now imaginary. More in the side of hollow strings of words to a new generation. Those arts are just history. Present day people tend to buy arts that reflect them or their situation in real-time. Maybe the Beatles’ Hard Days Night might sell better in there, today.
Same Old Books, Same Everything
Same old books, same everything, different perspectives. The old ruled has become the new ruler, the former strugglers have become the present struggled.
Well, maybe the purpose is to try to remind, or should I say tell, the new generation of the masses where they have come from and just ‘be thankful and eat what is there on the table’.
‘…against [ ] oppressive rule, there’s the double edge pointed at some if not the selves. Old art may project different picture or interpretation in the minds of a ruled people – modern forms of oppression perceived by the ruled masses – as different to the interpretation of the new rulers.
Chinese Communist Party [CCP] sees itself as on top of a continuous revolution. Any conflict coming outside of the party are viewed as forces of reaction. But objectivity is, a sure legitimate continuous struggle is only that of the masses who are forever ruled.
Communists see society as something that is class-dictated. State is defined as an instrument of a class [Marxism]. If it is not a dictatorship of the [working class] then it must be a dictatorship of the [owners of the means] and no way escaping that situation. One of the biggest problem is that it goes further to say that state now has the right to dictate the people. So we see why some Lady Gaga songs cannot be played there. They do not want their people to hear them.
No, regulating arts and culture is not stranger in a liberal – democratic society. Comparing societies, one difference is in the degree of regulating them by governments. One social structure is considered tight while the other is considered lax. One takes it upon itself to determine for everyone that Lady Gaga’s song is nonsense, while the other leaves it to everyone to determine if Lady Gaga’s song makes sense or not.
I think PRC is at one crossroad where either they should usher modern liberal democracy in or they must suppress it. CCP may not like it but as Mao himself saw, it is people who make history. [One translation of that is: people made leaders and it is not the leaders who made the people. Leaders are those who fitted people.]
Maoism is much part of present day CCP ideology. Any repudiation of Mao are more on the interpretation or the application of what he had laid.
Communists believe in democracy. They have their idea of that they call “Democratic centralism” [Maoist]. The Western world has its own idea of democracy. I’m sure Chinese masses have their own idea, too. And it is that of the masses that counts, which worries the state.
There would be no conflict of ruler and ruled in the theory of democratic centralism – from the masses to the masses, which is republicanism from certain perspective. That sounds harmonious. But harmony exists only in the book. Fact is, we see conflicts existing between the rulers and the ruled. State happens to be also expropriation. That, itself, is just one of the many conflicts between rulers and ruled. Issues out of that conflict are usually how much in taxes and, more important, how public money is appropriated.
I think now is more in the side of a futile attempt by forces of reaction to freeze the world. When there is conflict of ruler and ruled, it is the consensus of the masses that prevails in the end.
People make history. That is one tenet of Maoism. That is also true in the liberal-democratic world. It’s been history of humanity.
Right now it would be a war of shaping the mind of that people. In one side, we have seen authorities trying to win that war with arts and culture as instruments. Arts and culture are themselves contested grounds between rulers and ruled. Cyberspace is a new ground added in there.
A Party that is run by first generation revolutionaries like Mao and Deng might be gauged by the books. Today’s leaders in China [its bureaucracy] are born and grown in the time when the CCP has been in control. In short most of them were born sort of privileged elites, born of a different time. I guess, only those who know them and know China today, know what really goes in their mind. Nothing escapes evolution.
If there is indeed a growing revival of revolutionary days fervor within Chinese leadership then I guess another thing is to lean away from late day experiences, say of the Russians. They are gone past a situation when all they need is to refresh and take any start other than their present day situation.
Surely Chinese leaders have been watching the world. While Russia was ahead in socialism, the Chinese appear advanced ideologically and politically getting their cues from the Russians. A part of them apparently would like to apply the brakes to the direction that the Russians took of which present day China has a similar version, too, for one thing.
PRC is a single-party political system. Inner party struggle is normal and natural. They are closed-door matters. That would be to protect the prestige of the only party. When inner party struggle has gone out the door they are at the level of extreme sharp antagonisms, like the Mao-Lin Biao and the Mao-Deng Xiaoping conflicts.
Marxist Communist View of Culture
Culture is regarded not separate and independent of economics and politics. So we see a form of culture. It has behind it some expressions in economics. It will also have forms in politics. They are all viewed inter-related and inter-active. A liberal culture will have a liberal economy and a liberal politics, for example. Or, a liberal economy and politics have a liberal culture. A feudal culture comes with a feudal economy and a feudal politics. You see one, you see all or you can imagine their forms.
Stated another way, economics and politics created and promoted a culture that in return promotes that kind of political economy. Idea cannot be independent of matter.
Concerted efforts to eradicate and or to create a culture have been practiced by communist run states. In the Liberal world they are all let go in some way. What prevails is what it is, of the real world, of the real-time. What prevails is the product of a natural-material world of time.
I think more focus is on economics. It is the hardest of real objects. Art and culture stem from it. So do political ideas.
They are calling for more equal distribution of wealth even at the expense of slower economic growth. They are attacking privileges of any kind.
There’s the factor of economics. Unequal distribution of wealth. I think that would be the problem confronting Chinese bureaucracy and State. In Capitalism, landowner [capitalist] expropriated its workers so he enjoys cars, mansions, revelries, you name it. At the extreme we see individuals who have too much while at the other end we see individuals who are too deprived.
The theory of Socialism is: [owner of the means of production] is eliminated so workers enjoy their fruits. Workers own everything administered for them by the state. Sounds good. But that’s a theory. Russia has failed the theory of socialism. Around seven decades of Communist socialist rule failed to eradicate poverty. It failed to stop decadence like prostitution closely associated to that. At a time when western prostitutes earn a low of $35.00, their Russian counterparts were worth a used Levis jeans @ $20.00 brand new, or a pack of Marlboro cigarettes @ $1.25 a pack.
Reality is: At the surface of it, Socialist state now wants to own the world, go to the moon, own the universe, so to say. All that carried [too far] at the expense of [sacrificing] the workers. OK, Let us tone it down, there are things that are unnecessary but they must posses to survive. In like manner that a woman who does not believe in cosmetics spends a lot for them just so she will fit.
Why would people be attacking privileges of any kind? Privileges are qualities of life enjoyed by some when they should be enjoyed by all. State has failed to deliver quality services to all. At the extreme, masses would rather kill the practices since they cannot have them.
But, I don’t think people anywhere will take forever for a sacrifice. There appear symptoms of discontent. Suppression will only mount the pressure building up. [Lesson from North Africa, perhaps?] In a nation comprised of a billion people, awesome lots can be imagined from all that.