What is the “Chinese Dream”?

The short answer is that it is the new slogan that new Premier Xi Jinping (who hung out in Iowa as a youth) has come up with. The longer answer is that it is basically a knock-off of the “American Dream” used here in the States, but minus the folksiness and with the added predictability of being engineered from the top down to harness a buoyant nationalism in the post-socialist state.

From Lily Kuo, writing in Quartz:

 Xi used the word “dream” at least 23 times in his speech to accept the post of president. Xi spoke of the need to “build a strong, democratic, civilized, and harmonious modern socialist country and to attain the Chinese Dream of the great renaissance of the Chinese nation” […]

In Xi’s estimation, the Chinese Dream isn’t meant to be a collection of individuals’ hopes and aspirations. Instead, the dreams of Chinese citizens are to be shaped to fit the government’s vision, rather than the other way around. To that end, the Chinese government has tasked “educators” with uniting “the Chinese dream [with] the dreams of youth and students, to grow up and become useful members of society,” according to the People’s Daily […]

Elusive expressions like Jiang Zemin’s “three represents” (which refers to the three pillars of the party—military, culture and public interest) and Mao Zedong’s “destruction of the four olds” (which connotes the destruction of pre-communist Chinese values) catalogue important transitions in China and form part of each leader’s legacy […]

There is more, and it is very interesting indeed, including the “Seven Don’t Mentions”:

constitutionalism, democracy, civil society, neoliberalism and Western media bias.

Don’t ask me why there are only five! When you read it, do try to remember my short essay on the future of Chinese nationalism. I also think it is pertinent to note that even our scandal-wracked President has not, and does not, procure paternalistic slogans the way the Communist Party in China does. In fact, the American people haven’t dealt with these kinds of slogans since the fascistic Roosevelt administration and his “new deal.” This is not to say that I think Obama is anything more than a thug in a nice suit, but only that our liberal democratic foundations are stronger than we sometimes realize (thanks largely to the same free press that Obama has been trying to intimidate lately).

As an added bonus, here is a collection of our short notes about the fact that fascism and communism are just two strands of the same vile idea: paternalism.