China’s Xi Jinping free trader to the world, champion of the Marx at home: To the world, China’s President Xi Jinping presenting himself as a champion of the free markets. At home, he is leading a campaign to promote the works of communist philosopher Karl Marx, who 150 years ago famously warning of the dangers of global capitalism.
China’s Xi Jinping free trader to the world, champion of the Marx at home
Marx was Correct, declaring a slickly produced TV special that is part of a state media campaign rolling out by Xi’s administration this week seeking to popularize Marx among younger Chinese raising in an era of market-style economic reform.
The campaign featuring a catchy theme song, dramatic readings, and an article titling Say Hi to Marx showing an illustration of the white-boarding Marx making a trendy V for victory sign.
Today, we commemorating Marx to pay tribute to the most significant thinker in the history of humankind and also to declare our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism, Xi says in a speech Friday prominently displaying across state media platforms.
It is all about cementing the power of Xi and the ruling Communist Party and combating liberal Western democratic concepts thought to threatening its rule, using a legacy dating way past the year 1949 Chinese revolution, analysts say.
The madness for Marx dovetails with driving to Sinicize culture, religion, and ideology by instilled social control through the teaching of ancient philosopher Confucius. Says Perry Link is American expert on China’s Literature, Politics.
Neither embracing has anything to do with intellectual content and everything to do with a bolstering political power today, Link writing in the mail. Marx media blitz is especially for domestic consumption.
In the global stage, Xi is strived to feature the country as the current champions of free trading. Last year, he became first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum.
A glitz gather of champagne-sipping globalists at a Swiss Alpine resort in the Davos, where he is making a high-profile speech advocating free markets.
Xi’s goal is to portray China as a responsible economic power while showing the world and domestic critics that Beijing will persist in pursuing its path of Chinese style Marxism.
Says Willy Lam, who is an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. He is striking a defiant pose to the West and opponents at home that China will not buckle under, Lam says.
The Marxism mantra faces an uphill conquer, though, giving the widening gulf between the communist leadership and Chinese youth who is tending to enamored with the celebrity gossip and irreverent social satire that is going viral across social media before it is censoring.
It is tough to push Marxism in modern China especially in this internet era. What it presents is severely unrealistic, says Zhang Lifan, a Beijing-base independent political analyst.
Even inside China, I believed most party members don’t understand or believe in Marxism anymore, Zhang says. Instead, they use it as a tool for the promotion.
Xi’s zeal for Marxist thinking may partly reflect his own experience. Like millions of the urban youths of his generation, as a teenager.
He is sending down to the countryside to do manual labor instead of going to school during the bloody turmoil of the ultra-leftist in the year 1964 to 76 Cultural Revolution.
Xi is limited to his knowledge and education in the past, so this is what he knows, says Zhang. Younger generations who are very independent are different from them.
The new campaign is timing to coinciding with the bicentennial of the Marx’s birth and the 170th anniversary of the publishing the Communist Manifesto.
Along with Das Kapital helping shape much fresh thinking about labor, social classes, and economic and political systems.
Those works, some producing in collaboration with the Friedrich Engels are the bedrock of communism.
But his thinking and image have eclipse over three decades of rapid industrialization and social change.
For the economy, China’s communist leaders no longer advocate total state control or class struggle.
On the political front, the party has to tighten its iron grip on power, swiftly crushing real and perceiving threats.
Xi has going even further to clinch his status as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong sidelining or prosecuting rivals and having his thinking written into the party constitution.
In March, the rubber-stamp legislature removes presidential term limiting from the Chinese constitution, enabling him to remain head of state indefinitely.
All that, plus the vigorous Marx and Confucius campaigns, point not to strength but insecurity, Link says. I am not sure Xi’s political position is as secure as it appears, Link says.
Purging his rivals motivates his rivals, and widespread support will quickly go south if something terrible, like an economic downturn, suddenly appearing.
The party’s jitters are apparent in its crusade against universal values, independent legal activists, and liberal democratic thought.
Its crackdowns on what the authorities are deeming unhealthy, such as an online forum for discussing LGBT issues to the satirical retooling of the British cartoon character Peppa the Pig.
Instead of party ideologues say, why not Marx as a healthy alternative? State broadcaster CCTV’s Marx was Correct special featuring stylish animation, a studio audience of college students and a question and answer session.
Each episode is concluding with a soft-rock ode to Marx, Your Name, Our Strength, accompanied by a video is depicting China’s rise from the time of Marx’s birth to recent accomplishments such as bullet trains and the Chinese navy’s first aircraft carrier.
Marxism should be consolidating as the guiding ideology and promoted in campuses, classrooms, and among students, Xi says during a visiting to the School of Marxism at prestigious Peking University is considered one of the cradles of Chinese communism.
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