A dangerous tendency

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

 “A dangerous tendency has shown itself of late among many of our personnel – an unwillingness to share the joys and hardships of the masses, a concern for personal fame and gain. This is very bad. One way of overcoming it is to simplify our organisations in the course of our campaign to increase production and practice to increase economy and to transfer cadres to lower levels so that a considerable number will return to productive work.” [Mr Mao On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (1957)]

 

The joys of the masses - fat rats

Despite years of diligently battling contradictions, this particular dangerous tendency is not abating. Per capita annual income in China is about US$2,425 but “According to the Hurun Report, as cited by Bloomberg, the 70 richest delegates in China’s National People’s Congress have a combined net worth of 565.8 billion yuan or $89.8 billion. That’s more than 10 times the combined net worths of all the members of US Congress, the Supreme Court and the President. (Their collective riches are only $7.5 billion.) What’s more, China’s politicians are getting richer more rapidly. Last year, their combined wealth grew by $11.5 billion, or about 15%.”

The Wall Street Journal of 28th February, 2012 further ponders “whether this skyrocketing ‘princeling’ wealth will touch off social unrest or real protests. Many Western China watchers point out that as long as the overall economy keep growing and generating jobs, China won’t erupt in class warfare. What’s more, government officials are currently making a huge show of cracking down on corruption, and they maintain tight control over communications and the media.

Yet China seems to support an old adage: In the U.S. people get rich to get into politics. In other countries, they get into politics to get rich.”

It would seem that on that score, Australia has more in common with China than with America. Unfortunately, our politicians could not follow Mao’s directive “to return to productive work”, since they have never done any.

About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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2 Responses to A dangerous tendency

  1. Globo says:

    But China is slowing down and will erupt in class warfare.

  2. Dirk says:

    Perhaps our trade union officials and Labor politicians should try some productive work. But then – what would be the point of their efforts? They become what they are because they despise work.

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