What’s going wrong in China, do you think?
A state doesn’t crack down on its population for no reason. It doesn’t tighten the screws on freedom of speech, or ramp up police powers, or intervene in private business — not even in Communist countries — for no reason.
That shit takes resources. Costs money.
But it’s happening in China right now.
Do you think a quiet revolution is underway?
Do you think the population is stirring?
Following my forensic examination of the tangping paradox, I’d say the fomenting of social and cultural rebellion is happening in the flaccid bellies of disillusioned and demoralised millenials.
They’re not gonna take it!
NO! They ain’t gonna … uh, nup can’t do it, hate that song.
Anyway, if the State is obviously lying to you and you become wise to it, then the only thing the State can do is offer a bigger carrot or wield a bigger stick. Predictably, China has gone all big-stick and no-carrot.
The Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th birthday in July, and believes the next hundred years will be dubbed The China Century. President Xi Jinping declared at Davos this year that history is moving forward.
What he left unsaid was that he is writing it.
But assumptions just make asses out of you and Xi. China can’t count it’s chickens just yet, because it will take three battles to win this war. Defeating America economically (won) and militarily (soon) will seem child’s play compared to their toughest fight: defeating American popular culture.
Emperor Xi knows this, so we’re seeing are the opening salvos of a culture war.
Film censorship to “prevent or suppress any act or activity endangering national security”; new national security laws in Hong Kong; stopping Jack Ma from taking his business public; arresting Canadian pop idol Kris Wu on rape allegations; billionaire actor Zhao Wei memory-holed because she’s too popular.
All designed to send one message: “a warning to indulged Chinese entertainment idols and the industry that money and resources would never be a license to ensure that you can do whatever you want“.
Because muzzling celebrities muzzles the population? Because money and resources aren’t what the Chinese Communit Party use to do whatever they want?
Crazy, right? I mean, who writes this infantile shit:
“For some time now, artists’ moral failures and legal violations, the cultivation of younger idols, and chaotic fandoms, have attracted widespread attention in society,” state broadcaster CCTV said on Tuesday.
I find it hard to believe that Emperor Xi thinks he can erase Western cultural hegemony by supplanting this
— and people will just bow their heads obediently and chant “You’re too good for us, Emperor Xi!”
Way too much porny manhua has passed under the virtual bridge for that. There are at least 600 million Chinese internet users who are going to find a way to see, hear and say what they want despite the Emperor’s big stick.
Which brings us back to the carrot.
Maybe Xi’s commie bro Putin needs to sit him down, belt him down the road a little, and show him how soft power can win the West, one baby panda at a time.