Great leap forward (into absurdity)
May 28, 2008
I love getting my National Geographic Magazine every month but sometimes I wonder. The latest issue is devoted entirely to China. In this story, Gilded Age, Gilded Cage, I almost vomited when I read this:
Freedom is not always liberating for people who grew up in a stable socialist society; sometimes it feels more like a never ending struggle not to fall behind. A study has shown that 45 percent of Chinese urban residents are at health risk due to stress, with the highest rates among high school students
“Stable socialist society”? Really. Millions of people dying from famine and political violence can be compared to the “health risk due to stress”. Nice.
NatGeo is not alone in longing for the good ol’ days. This college professor, in his letter to the editor, also has a hard-on for Mao:
Today more and more Chinese working-class people look back at the Cultural Revolution years with fond memories. Despite some shortcomings of the Cultural Revolution, China was a socialist society that was overcoming inequality with full employment, free medical care and free education for its citizens.
Yeah. If only they had worked out those shortcomings…