Coming Up Like A Flower
March 26, 2012 10:37 AM   Subscribe

" Thus in today’s China one confronts the paradox of a communist regime that is at ideological loggerheads with left-leaning intellectuals, but which finds pro-Western, liberal intellectuals on the whole quite congenial." Richard Wolin is Dreaming In Chinese...
posted by artof.mulata (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
And introducing Professor Richard Wolin!
posted by artof.mulata at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2012

Your pull quote doesn't exist in your link. I was looking for it because I was hoping for some examples of liberal intellectuals who are congenial to authoritarianism.
posted by DU at 10:47 AM on March 26, 2012

Whoops, I found it now. WTF, F3?
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on March 26, 2012

An interesting post on similar themes from earlier this month:

A Pictorial Guide to China’s Politics: Left v. Right
posted by XMLicious at 11:00 AM on March 26, 2012

Re: the pullquote: Sure, but it's a paradox only if one is stuck with the old categories (Left = Commie; Right = Economic Liberalization; CCP=Maoist China).

Times change and so do categories.

Ahh. A few paragraphs later:
The lecture goes smoothly. I conclude by praising the French left for having politically evolved: for having ultimately abandoned their pro-Chinese ideological blinders and transformed themselves into civil society and human rights activists. Thus, in one of the ironies of French intellectual politics, it was former Maoists and China-sympathizers who, during the mid-1970s, as a way of atoning for their earlier political credulity, would catalyze the incipient antitotalitarian movement. Paradoxically, many ex-Maoists also metamorphosed into the leading proponents of the so-called “new social movements”: feminism, ecology, immigrant rights, and homosexual liberation.
Still, "Intellectuals of the Book Review, reframe. You've got nothing to lose but your chains."
posted by notyou at 11:14 AM on March 26, 2012

Interesting article, thanks for posting!
posted by KokuRyu at 11:15 AM on March 26, 2012

Wolin was a history prof at Reed College when I was an undergrad there. He was in fact the first Reed prof I laid eyes on as I was going up the stairs in Eliot Hall to fetch my registration materials. He looked really professor-y, to my working-class eyes.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2012

Reading the piece though, I wondered if the only people who cared about such distinctions were academics.

As I recall, the same paradox manifested itself after the fall of the Berlin Wall, where former East Bloc countries embraced capitalism and the free market.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2012

China is communist in the same way that Fox is news. It's only a paradox for people that gullibly accept self-assigned labels
posted by crayz at 11:48 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

I had been planning to do a post on the recent dismissal of Bo Xilai and the final speech of Premier Wen, but haven't had the time, and also some of the best articles Ive seen have been from the subscription-only Financial Times. My own feeling is that its a bit hard to map Chinese politics into a neat left-right dichotomy, especially one that is consistent over time. Of course, that goes for a lot of other places as well, but in China it's particularly confused.
posted by moorooka at 12:37 PM on March 26, 2012

And on further scrolling, turns out there's a Bo Xilai post on the blue today!
posted by moorooka at 12:41 PM on March 26, 2012

I remember reading that La Chinoise was one of Godard's most popular films in the United States. Does anybody know if that's true?
posted by jonp72 at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2012

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