Reluctant Capitalists

The New York Times reports that China Passes Japan as Second-Largest Economy, but China’s leaders could care less. They have other concerns like the changing moral climate.

The Economist reported in Party poopers (August 14, page 32), that China’s rulers are not happy with the “vulgar, cheap and kitsch culture” that has appeared in much of urban China.

I wrote about this in China’s Sexual Revolution where many urban Chinese are acting as if they are from Europe or America where the morals have been in decline for decades.

The tone of the piece in The Economist is critical and mentions the 1980s alluding to the Tiananmen Square incident that the Western media misrepresented as a democracy movement led by students.

I doubt if there will be the kind of crack down seen in the 1980s. In fact, for more than two thousand years, the Chinese have seen themselves as more civilized than the rest of the world. The “vulgar, cheap and kitsch” culture appearing in China doesn’t fit.

China’s leaders, who are from a more conservative generation, are expressing their distaste for what is happening. They also realize that in 2012, another generation is taking over and this is their last chance to at least appear as if they are doing something.

When Deng Xiaoping announced, “Getting Rich is Glorious”, China’s leader may not have realized that the “vulgar, cheap, and kitsch” comes with the territory.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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