It was a worthwhile read and Lousia Lim’s book ‘The People’s Republic of Amnesia’, which was mentioned in the blog’s previous post, has now been given the required dose of cognitive processing. The mention towards the end of the book of George Orwell’s quote on controlling the past to control the future and controlling the present to control the past is certainly pertinent.
It is, however, a futile undertaking on their part, because the kleptocrats in the middle kingdom are, as they have always been, a part of the problem, rather than the problem itself and, while their asset striping and their putting public wealth into private pockets has allowed those who see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, and who have the guanxi, to live the “good” life, the very economic model they slaughtered their own citizens for at Tiananmen, and elsewhere in 1989 will come back to haunt them.
When it comes to Orwellian newspeak Deng Xiao Ping’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics” takes the biscuit and the freak that uninterrupted economic growth is has already spawned a new generation of protesters in the form of environmental activists. Moreover, this is not some nascent movement and, while air and water pollution are a long way behind corruption as the Chinese people’s major cause of concern, the disgusting heavens above China and the country’s polluted rivers are viewed as being linked to an equally disgusting kleptocracy that has bought into the capitalist dream.
As Lousia Lim points out, there is ample evidence to suggest that China turned its back on socialism and democracy in 1989 and social cohesion, which can no longer look to communist ideals, is now achieved through jingoism and xenophobia. Nevertheless, it is a deja vu story and we really have been there before. However, the scale of growth in China is such that the coming catastrophe could lead to the total annihilation of mankind and that is another very real reason why the revolution in 1989, which was ultimately betrayed and then forgotten, is important to all of us.