Power narratives and lessons from the Chinese cultural revolution : paradoxical backdrop to market liberalization and law reform

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw, wealth and power in China
Subtitle of host publicationcommercial law reforms in context
EditorsJohn Garrick
Place of PublicationMilton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge
Pages89-106
ISBN (Electronic)9780203840924
ISBN (Print)9780415587495
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameRoutledge contemporary China series
Volume58

Abstract

China celebrated the 60th birthday of the People’s Republic in October 2009. At the heart of the celebration were reminders from the CPC leadership: of the leaders whose greatness lay in being visionaries for the nation; of the people’s solidarity which transformed a country; of the achieved economic prosperity that has propelled China into a global force, and of the need to continue trusting China’s leaders for the advancement of their homeland. These reminders, encased in ‘power narratives’, relate history from the perspective of today’s CPC. This chapter examines the validity of these power narratives and their influence on China’s contemporary reform agenda, and specifically to review the lessons that may be taken from China’s history and the Cultural Revolution years. Examining the lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) has not been an easy task. Many have asked me why I want to rake over the ashes of those tragic years. What is the point of stirring old ghosts that may be better left at peace? How will looking at those years help when China has become more prosperous and an apparent economic miracle has taken place since the policy of reform and opening up was introduced? Why should I re-open wounds that may not yet be fully healed? The point is, of course, that much in history repeats itself; and a never-ending challenge is to accept the lessons of history so as to avoid past mistakes. As Marx once noted:
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.

Citation Format(s)

Power narratives and lessons from the Chinese cultural revolution : paradoxical backdrop to market liberalization and law reform. / Chan, Andrew.

Law, wealth and power in China: commercial law reforms in context. ed. / John Garrick. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge, 2011. p. 89-106 (Routledge contemporary China series; Vol. 58).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review