I just received this from a friend who is in Shanghai at the moment:
Hi Kez, Reading of Mike’s experience** in Shanghai during the CR and being here now brought a wry smile to my face. Mao can now only be seen at the trash/back street markets. All reference to the revolution (ie 1949 – 1970′s) has been wiped. This is particularly noticeable in any formal presentation – museums/histories of Shanghai’s development etc – of Shanghai’s progress from village/city/ from the distant past through the 19th and 20th centuries. The revisionists are not just wiping the CR and Mao, but the revolution itself. The myth being created is one of gradual continuity from the past (poverty, albeit very harmonious poverty, where people live without stuff, to now where stuff is becoming available in ever increasing amounts and where harmony makes even more sense) through to the future. There is something of Tory conservatism to it; Mao is being replaced by Burke. Will be back in a week – Sunday I think so I’ll fill youse in then.
I did a quick google for stuff about New Year in Shanghai, and found that there’s a place called The Mao Club. The blurb for the New Year party there reads as follows:
The biggest countdown party lands at Club Mao Friday Dec 31st 2010 on the
one day where Mao will be packed in the early hours!!Sexy mash up hip
hop/Electro by DJ Razor, and House by DJ Liam who is specially flying in
all the way from Australia.
Full 10 quality drinks deal from 10pm til 2:30am! 2 floors full and banging! Countdown with us hard style and
usher in 2011 December 31st 10pm only …@ MAO
(I don’t think Mao would have had any problems with a bit of ”sexy mash up hip hop” ! )
It’s not surprising that the authorities are working so hard to push the “harmony theme” and delete the whole idea of revolution from the historical record, but it contradicts reality. In 1949, Mao said “the Chinese people have stood up”, and they had! I can’t see the Chinese people forgetting that. They’re now undergoing a tumultuous and painful transition toward modernity, under an authoritarian, oppressive “communist party”, nothing harmonious about it.
It’s often thought that The Left is all about harmony – more so, nowadays. But even in the past, I think that many on the Left had the idea that “once we had socialism” there would no longer be any fierce struggle – or that the struggle would be limited to a struggle with nature, rather than struggle between people/different social forces. Bogdanov proposed something like that in his science fiction novel “Red Star – the first Bolshevik Utopia” ( first published in 1908) .
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