One Good Thing about Old Communism in China
Occasionally, I’ll talk about communism with my students. It doesn’t happen often. For one, I think a lot of them aren’t that interested. It ain’t the 1950’s or 1960’s anymore, and none of my students was alive through the scary part of it. As well, it is not necessarily all that safe to talk about it in public, especially if we are critiquing it. There are unspoken rules about what you can criticize and how far you can go. I remember going out for lunch with a university professor in Mao’s home province (Hunan) where I worked about 6 years ago, and he refused to talk about communism at all, and got very, very nervous and quiet. We changed the subject.
Despite what you see in the news about China’s modernizing, things are still, under the surface, very controlled here. Every high school, college and university has a communist student group on campus, and even my PhD students must take a required course in Marxism during their program, even though they have been taking the exact same course almost every year of their student lives. (How often is too often…?) Many students join the communist student group despite having no passion whatsoever for or connection to the ideals, because it is well known that you’ll create a network, gain ‘face’ and have better career prospects if you do so. And interestingly, over the years, I always have at least a few gung-ho communist students who’ll try to talk about that great man, Mao, in class every chance they get – and they remind me strangely of fundamentalist Christians, Jews or Muslims I’ve encountered who can’t shut the fuck up about their beliefs. Fanatics are fanatics no matter what the flavour of kool-aid. It has been suggested more than once by Chinese I know that there may or may not be spies in my classes – a student placed by the communist groups to ‘keep tabs on things’. Who the hell knows…?
But despite the persistence of communism here in China, capitalism has gained momentum, unfortunately. It is a weird world where they exist side by side. I brought this up to one of my masters students recently, and he said with a laugh, “Well, yeah, we need capitalism to pay for the communism.” I thought that was pretty funny. And true.***
Now, personally, I’m not a big fan. But neither am I a capitalist. I don’t think I can subscribe to any political or economic system that men come up with, to be honest. Whatever the ideals, men will ruin it. Men function on domination and hierarchy and hatred of women. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that communism didn’t work. Men can posit ‘equality’ all they want – but they can’t do without their power struggles and rapey nature. Equality is good, men will tell you, as long as they get what they themselves want. Yeah, remember that British fuck I wrote about earlier (here and here)? He loves China and loves communism. We waxes poetic about how much he loves dictatorship and censorship, and how necessary they are – with a straight face, I might add. But if you poke a little, you’ll get what you’re looking for. As long as HE lives outside the restrictions. How’s that saying go? Dictatorship is great, as long as you’re the dictator… That’s how it rolls with men. They’d never make communism work, and to be honest, I find capitalism a much more honest expression of the male ego. A house of cards built out of delusions and promises of freedom, equal opportunity, and abundance. Yeah, that hasn’t worked for most people, and still they cling…
Anyhow, back to the East. There is an historical site not far from where I work that I’ve visited a few times. It’s a place I’d take any visitor as there is a lot of cool stuff to see and watch: architecture, traditional performances, traditional food, etc. Outside an old (Mao-communist era) film house, there is a write up on the wall about posters. [See the shots I snapped below.] China was really into politically-motivated posters during this time. There were the occasional advertisments of goods and services, despite being much less on offer than now. Quite a bit of the write-up talked about women and the perception of women during this era. And I will say one positive thing about old Communist China. Women weren’t anywhere near as exploited as they are in capitalist times or in places running on capitalism. As you can read in the attached photos below, when women appeared in posters and advertisements, they weren’t sold as sex. They were humans with a new vital role to play in society. They were workers, students, soldiers. Robust, hard-working and energetic. Not whorish objects – things – to be consumed by men. They were clothed like rest of the humans (men) in the posters. Dressed for respect. [I actually like communist fashion, I have to admit. Keyword: comfortable.] They didn’t look helpless. They were role models to be looked up to by men and women alike. I have no doubt that women were still abused by men off-stage. You can’t have a world with men in it where women aren’t abused. Not possible. Men would never go for that in a million years. Dicks must stay hard, right!?! But at least, under Mao, the rape and destruction of women weren’t glorified in public as entertainment and marketing tools, as they are in the putrid West, and sadly, as they are fast becoming in modern China (with the whorification of white women leading the way here – thanks capitalism!!!)
So why the fuck can’t we keep this good part of communism – the publicly accepted, respected, human side of women – and throw out the fanaticism, propaganda, demand to conform, and punishment for intellectualism? Can we not develop a freedom-based system where women are independent, powerful, respected, and separate from male definitions of sexuality? No. Not in my opinion. As long as males are alive, dictatorship of one sort (capitalism, liberalism, etc) or another (communism) will always exist, with women under the male boot.
*** You might be reading and thinking, ‘Those crazy communists.” or “Those crazy Chinese.” But you know, the West is just as fucked up, but in a different way, and in some ways, I prefer the weirdness of capito-communist China. The West is experiencing its own psychotic break from reality with the whole trannie movement. Women are being silenced, censored, no-platformed, erased as biological beings, and literally abused, and even raped and killed, by a tiny, powerful group of dangerous, delusional men who have scared politicians, the media, and the government shitless. How is this any more frightening than the censoring of the Chinese government? At least, the Chinese censor men and women alike. The West hates women with a regressive passion not seen since… when? Decades ago? A century ago? I’m too embarrassed to bring up trans bullshit and identity politics with my Chinese students. They’d laugh their asses off. Seriously.
Posted on April 16, 2016, in Feminism, Male Privilege and tagged China, communism, culture, misogyny, patriarchy, radical feminism, women. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on One Good Thing about Old Communism in China.