Entering the vacuous performance zone

Xi Jinping’s ‘important speech’, delivered to four people at a rail station and containing nothing new, has been the subject of study sessions for hundreds of Hong Kong public-sector employees. Initium’s (paywalled/Chinese) analysis calls the sessions…

…”political learning” – a kind of leader worship, party-state political culture and ritual, and a method of ideological governance…

Patricia Thornton’s synopsis here. One point is that, even if participants are cynical about it, the exercise still establishes compliance – a Leninist ‘the medium is the message’.

Schoolchildren are also included

“All young people must grasp the important concepts [in the speech] so that they understand their goals and dreams in life must be closely related to the future of the country,” [Education Secretary Christine Choi] said.

Yet what was that we just said about cynical participants?

Meanwhile, several lawmakers cast doubt over the effectiveness of mainland study tours on promoting national education.

Subcommittee chairwoman Priscilla Leung said the mainland tours aren’t as good as those offered in other countries.

“In fact, many students have come back from these visits [saying] they don’t believe in what they saw, [they claimed] everything was staged,” she said.

Damn kids. (Who pointed out that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes? It wasn’t a civil servant.) Meanwhile, patriots are urging schools to teach more about the ‘contribution of war heroes to the struggle against Japan’, and HKU is making (on-line, self-learning, non-credit) National Security classes compulsory.

Seems we are entering the everyone-knows-it’s-futile performance zone. Keep an eye out for posters promoting Xi Jinping Thought alongside the ‘Don’t feed wild boars’ and ‘Look after your old folks’ teeth’ ads everywhere.

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6 Responses to Entering the vacuous performance zone

  1. Low Profile says:

    If children want to learn about the “contribution of war heroes to the struggle against Japan”, I recommend a visit to Stanley Military Cemetery. Oh sorry, wrong war heroes…

  2. Ho Ma Fan says:

    Absolutely spot on, Low Profile. Followed by a trip to Osborn Barracks in East Kowloon.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Keep an eye out for posters promoting Xi Jinping Thought alongside the ‘Don’t feed wild boars’ and ‘Look after your old folks’ teeth’ ads everywhere.”

    So when do the tours of HK start for people originally wanting to see North Korea but not really willing to pay a premium for that micro managed shit?

  4. justsayin says:

    Surely they’ll rectify those war heroes in Stanley as the next item of business.

  5. Unfounded Wrong Heroes says:

    @Low Profile
    The Patriots urging schools to teach more about the ‘contribution of war heroes to the struggle against Japan’ should probably learn about the subject before they try to use it as a propaganda victory, because even if you keep the history strictly to mainland Chinese protagonists, the majority of the war heroes struggling against Japan were also the entirely wrong type of war heroes — the Kuomintang not CCP — and they (well, the ones who weren’t killed by the communists for being the wrong sort of war heroes) ended up in Taiwan running a different dictatorship, that eventually became a democracy that is currently somewhat frowned upon by Beijing.

    If you want to promote Chinese patriotism under the CCP, it’s just best to avoid history altogether: historically speaking, with all the megadeaths from purges, famines, repression and infighting, the CCP hasn’t done itself any favours at all.

  6. Probably says:

    Meanwhile, patriots are urging schools to teach more about the ‘contribution of war heroes to the struggle against Japan’,…………

    Well, that won’t be anyone from the CCP then as they declined to fight the Japanese for fear it would leave them exposed against the KMT forces.

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