Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ideology gone wild..................

     Mao's last great program was the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s, where ideological purity rather than competence became the rationale for promotion at state-owned (which is to say substantially all) Chinese industry.  Colleges and universities were closed, while teenagers were released from school and dispatched to attack the Four Olds:  Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.  (While touring a cave in Hangzhou filled with Buddhist carvings, I noticed that the figures near the ground level had all had their faces smashed off, while the figures higher up the walls were intact.  When I asked our guide about this, she said simply, "The high school students did not bring a ladder that day.")

-Clay Shirky,  Little Rice:  Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream

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