• Title: Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution: From Utopianism to Hedonism
  • Author: Jiwei Ci
  • ISBN: 9780804723732
  • Page: 231
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution From Utopianism to Hedonism Behind the profound social and economic changes now taking place in China is a complex history of communism s invention and loss of meaning This history from to the present has been extensively
    Behind the profound social and economic changes now taking place in China is a complex history of communism s invention and loss of meaning This history, from 1949 to the present, has been extensively studied by scholars using the methods of history and political science Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution makes an innovative departure from these studies through a seriesBehind the profound social and economic changes now taking place in China is a complex history of communism s invention and loss of meaning This history, from 1949 to the present, has been extensively studied by scholars using the methods of history and political science Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution makes an innovative departure from these studies through a series of reflections on the history of communist China as a history of consciousness.It focuses on important aspects of the Chinese experience such as memory and amnesia, energy and meaning, and the center and periphery mentality that are amenable to a philosophical and psychological approach than to an empirical one.The author goes beyond the concept of utopianism that is customarily applied to the Chinese communist experience by viewing this epoch in terms of the movement from utopianism to nihilism to hedonism He traces the path of Chinese communism from the early belief that denial and hard work combined with Marxism and Maoism would create a utopia of material and spiritual abundance to the disappointment of this belief and the ensuing search for individual pleasure and prosperity.In this progression, which the author describes as the unfolding of the hedonistic potential of utopianism, Marxism became China s road to capitalism and consumerism.The book consists of essays that approach the trajectory of utopianism nihilism hedonism from six different viewpoints the impact of Marxism on China s relationship to itself and to the West, the manipulation of language and cultural memory, the effects of founding morality on a revolutionary teleology, the tension between the ascetic and the hedonistic aspects of utopianism, the paralysis of the will resulting from continual mobilizations and failures, and the relationship of past, present, and future as mirrored in constantly shifting beliefs.

    One Reply to “Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution: From Utopianism to Hedonism”

    1. This is a very engaging analysis of recent Chinese history. Chinese communism lends itself readily to the philosophical approach in this book, probably more so than any other country's recent history would, and Jiwei Ci does a masterful job. This book will impart on the reader a deep understanding of recent major historical events in China, even with little to no previous knowledge of them. My only gripe is that the author spends a little too much time (in my opinion) waxing on very generically [...]

    2. The title ain't too fetching, but this is one beautiful book. There's history in it, but it's really a philosophical book with Nietzschean overtones and a calm, even-tempered manner, though moral passion is just under the surface. If you're at all interested in China, consider reading this. A beautiful book.

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