header image
 

primary source

http://www.cuijian.com/ENGLISH/Pages/main_interface.html

Cui Jian’s own website, which displays all the albums he has created with the lyrics translated in English.

Barme

Quote: “As a result, they are enmeshed in a complex of relationships that range from the purely propagandistic-ideological to the corporate-promotional.”

Comment: It is interesting how the Chinese Communist Party has taken advantage of the increase in advertising in the Chinese culture.  The “avant-garde” style has evolved the party’s commercial appearance since the 1980s.  The use of “corporate advertising” seems to just focus on gaining the culture’s support for political purposes only.  Barme discusses that the party has most of the power to promote what the right beliefs the Chinese people should follow on national and cultural traditions.

Question: Does the Chinese Communist Party really achieve most of their goals in defining the basic “group morality and ethics, consensus, coherence, and community” towards the Chinese society?

Streetlife China

Quote: “Where the badges of the Cultural Revolution wed the urge to remember Mao to the theme of revolutionary transformation of self and class struggle, the theme park ties Mao to a different fetish: the urge to consume.”

Comment: The Chinese government is employing consumption towards society by use of a park demonstrating the history of the Cultural Revolution.  By doing this, it is attempting to further the progress of the Revolution by neglecting to portray the images of struggle and hardship so many families were inflicted by during this tumultuous time period.  The alleged US$6 million volume that is the Mao Zedong Memorial Park is simply another effort by the Chinese government to control and influence the beliefs of the Chinese people.

Question: By building this theme park, would Mao not realize that the charging of his people would further afflict them with hardship and turmoil?

Rising China

Quote: “Since their [China and India] economic organization is quite compatible and their strengths have sufficient complementarity, it might not be impossible task for Asia’s two successful developmental states to mobilize their impressive resources in key areas that contribute not only to solidifying the two economies’ sustained growth but also to creating ‘a joint economic infrastructure’ that would lead to long term commonality in economic-geopolitical interest between two societies.”

Comment: Borocz argues that if China and India really united, they could create an enormous power range on the economic global system if shifted correctly.  Working with the same educational, cultural, research, and person to person exchanges are a few ways that could help join the two countries together.  Originally, China and India economic joint goes back to the fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth century.  The two Asian countries weren’t nearly as close to success as the Western European countries until the 1900s.  Borocz also argues that Russia could potential collaborate with China and India, since its “geopolitical identity has always had an Asian component.”  This could form a powerful economic growth for Asia.  There are many economic obstacles though, that have to be cleared before this collaboration can really reach attainable growth.

Question: Would this “joint economic infrastructure” option help many other countries into a possible economic growth?

Big Suppliers in Greater China Blog

Quote: “More speculatively, if the current trends continue, the giant contractors may come to challenge the power of all but the biggest buyers they serve.”

Comment: Appelbaum argues that in the last decade two trends have emerged in China’s industry.  One is the increase in giant retailers and the second is the increase in large factory contractors who serve the retailers.  These smaller businesses may grow and one day compete against the bigger businesses that they once served for.  Appelbaum uses Wal-Mart as an example of giant factories that are global suppliers who developed unexpectedly into success.

Question: In chapter four, what does Appelbaum mean by, if the trends continue they will affect the governance structure of global supply chains?  Would it have a negative or positive impact on the Chinese government?

Rethinking the Chinese Development Miracle Blog

Quote: “David Harvey points to the ‘uneven geographical development of neoliberalism’ and the complex ways in which political forces, historical traditions, and existing institutionally occurred.”

Comment: China’s development into the mid 1990s started to pull away from the belief of neoliberalism.  The central party state has grown stronger in its managerial and fiscal capacity.  The state has created a “cadre responsibility system,” which would fix the monitoring and evaluation of local leaders.  The state has the option now to show selective capacity on certain leaders they want to watch.  For fiscal capacity, China developed a “tax sharing scheme” (TSS), which would help fix the central imbalance of economic matters.  TSS has shifted the fiscal power from the local provinces to the central government, which now means the provinces rely on the state for revenue.

Question: Did most people agree with the gradually shift from following neoliberalism to having the state control the main economic powers in China?

Nation Form Blog

Quote: “The dominant bourgeoisie and the bourgeois social formations formed one another in reciprocally in a ‘process without a subject’, by restructuring the state in the national form and by modifying the status of all the other classes.  This explains the simultaneous genesis of nationalism and cosmopolitanism.”

Question: How does this explain the simultaneous of nationalism and cosmopolitanism?

Comment: In “The Nationalization of Society” section, Balibar argues that there are consequences for analyzing the nation as a historical form.  Balibar states that society has to stop linear developmental schemas. What does the author mean by this?

Memory Reading

Quote: “Despite its seeming disinterest in offering historical testimony, In the Heat of the Sun provides a concise history of PRC cinema and demonstrates the power of films to reconfigure the past.”

In this chapter, Braester argues that in Chinese cinema, memory is used as a form of mythmaking.  The fiction in films is added due to the “failure of memory.”  Braester discusses that the film In the Heat of the Sun, shows how much power the film industry has in displaying the Chinese past.  In the Heat of the Sun, the narrator tells his experience of what he remembers from the Cultural Revolution, but does not explain what historically is going on during this time period. Braester argues that In the Heat of the Sun was a film that portrayed more of a fantasy life than reality of the Cultural Revolution. We tend to remember the happier and more successful memories than the bad.  For the Cultural Revolution memories, people only remember the successful rallies and how they were taking a stand for what their generation believed in.

We hear and read about how many films portray fictional historic events in the cinema industry; wouldn’t it just be best for society to not see these films?

Image

“The Happy Life Chairman Mao gave us, 1954”

This propaganda poster displays the perfect Chinese family under Chairman Mao’s control. The mother is serving dinner to the family who are pictured as happy and loving. This poster reminds me of similar American propaganda posters used during World War II.  The American propaganda posters also displayed American families as a happy and united group.  This Chinese poster also shows to the audience that families should believe in Mao and should display his picture in the family home.  The father actually is pointing to the Mao painting on the wall. The picture even uses the chubby baby theme that was displayed in other propaganda pictures.

Cultural Revolution Readings

“This book about posters of China’s Cultural Revolution is an introduction to new ways of looking at a particular visual form that was central to the political culture of the time.”

Does studying the posters from the Cultural Revolution in China give adequate thought to the beliefs of both sides of the conflict, or does it simply show the amount of control Mao had over public art of the time?

Introducing Posters of China’s Cultural Revolution presented a very unique method of analyzing people’s thoughts and beliefs during the Cultural Revolution in China.  While analyzing posters of the time period would be interesting, I am not convinced it provides any accurate information about how people felt about the conflict.  Mao clearly held tight control over the posters created at the time, and analyzing the posters to get a glimpse into how people felt about the conflict would produce very one sided results.