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Post-Tiananmen contradictions. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. “Asian” model. Market economics Stability Authoritarian one-party rule. The Chinese model. Encourage business Stifle political initiative “socialist market economy” Corporatism Market replaces plan

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post tiananmen contradictions

Post-Tiananmen contradictions

Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

asian model
“Asian” model
  • Market economics
  • Stability
  • Authoritarian one-party rule
the chinese model
The Chinese model
  • Encourage business
  • Stifle political initiative
  • “socialist market economy”
    • Corporatism
    • Market replaces plan
    • Business publicly owned
    • Developing private sector
  • State vs. private sector
  • Officials vs. masses (rulers vs. ruled)
  • City vs. countryside
  • Floating population vs. urban middle class
  • Rich vs. poor
  • Taiwan: independence vs. reunification
  • Still “Communist” Party; still rhetorical continuity with liberatory project of the revolution
  • Shunkouliu (slippery jingles) as form of folk satire, de-legitimization (Link and Zhou: 108)
  • Household registration loosened
  • Floating population: 100 million
  • Urbanization:
    • Approx. 40% urban now
    • Urban social problems:
      • Beggars
      • Crime
      • Prostitution
migrant labor

Migrant labor

Gao village

gao village migration causes
Gao village migration: causes
  • Pricing policy, local levies  economic distress
  • Population growth  surplus labor
  • Ecological pressure
  • 30% migrated by 1995
gao village migration effects
Gao village migration: effects
  • Peasant economy (“self-sufficiency”) eroding (commodification)
  • “virtually all the young people…have gone.”
  • Exploitation and mistreatment in the city
  • But wages sent home help the village
gao on the new market economy
Gao on the new market economy
  • Township enterprises really established during commune era
  • “local state corporatism (p. 203-4; see also Potter & Potter)
  • Uneven development
    • coastal areas first
    • “pull” factor for migration
advertising images

Advertising images




  • Some religious practices okay again; Confucianism encouraged (Meisner: 526)
  • Ancestor worship also okay again, but migrant youth losing interest
nationalism as civic religion yang guobin
Nationalism as civic religion (Yang Guobin)
  • Meisner sees “Chinese characteristics” as nationalism replacing socialism as emphasis; Deng: “The purpose of socialism is to make the country rich and strong.” (525)
  • Yang Guobin sees political movements as replacement of ideologies (religion) with nationalistic “civic religion”:
    • Decline of Confucianism > May 4 movement
    • Dissatisfaction with CCP, modernization > Tiananmen
a quasi religious movement the mao craze of the 90s
A quasi-religious movement: the Mao Craze of the ’90s
  • Among students
    • Spread from Beijing after Tiananmen, spread to “tertiary” universities
    • Both pro- and anti- Mao factions
  • Folk-religion aspect
    • Mao Zedong like Zhao Gong (Kitchen God)
    • Buttons, statues like St. Christopher medals
religion based movements falun gong
Religion-based movements: Falun Gong
religion based movements falun gong17
Religion-based movements: Falun Gong
  • Beliefs:
    • Buddhism: wheel of life, suffering, self-cultivation
    • New age
      • Science fiction but anti-science
      • Evil forces: aliens caused human problems
    • Apocalyptic
    • Messianic
    • “a latent critique of emergent capitalist relations” (Shue)
    • Daoism: Qigong practice (exercise/meditation)
religion based movements falun gong18
Religion-based movements: Falun Gong
  • Social base:
    • Intelligentsia, esp. computer sci. & physics
    • Strong in Northeast
      • State sector
      • Army officers
      • Laid off workers
      • Government officials
      • Party core?
    • Overseas
religion based movements falun gong19
Religion-based movements: Falun Gong
  • Causes:
    • Post-Cultural Revolution cynicism
    • Cultural nationalism (Shue)
    • Spiritual hunger
    • Qigong revival
    • Mutual aid society (also found in Christian Home Church movement)
religion based movements falun gong20
Religion-based movements: Falun Gong
  • Why the party/state repressive reaction?
    • Challenge to its “moral hegemony” (Shue)
    • Challenge to organizational hegemony (corporatism)
    • Fear of another Boxer Rebellion
    • Fear of the “power of the weak”