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Oct 11 · Last update 12 days ago.

Why is the Chinese government cracking down on education & entertainment?

In recent months the Chinese government have staged entertainment, education and cultural crackdowns, the Chinese authorities have put restrictions in place for e-commerce, social media, private education, artists, celebrities and even on reality television. The justifications for these restrictions have been varied, from stopping show business from 'polluting' society, to trying to relieve educational pressure, to curbing video game addiction. However whether these issues can just be quashed with an iron fist approach remains to be seen. But is this series of restrictions on freedoms really about shaping society or actually about cultural influence and power? Are Beijing solving societal issues or is this a further decent into authoritarianism? Why are the Chinese government cracking down on education and entertainment?
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A return to socialism
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Increasingly authoritarianism
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Cynical self-preservation
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It is logical
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A return to socialism

These crackdowns are all evidence that China’s experiment with free markets and increased economic freedom is coming to an abrupt end, as a country with a communist government, China will inevitably periodically crackdown and regulate industries that are not in the public interest. On some fronts the individualistic model of social mobility combined with economic prosperity has just generated extreme societal pressures in China. The gaokao is one of the toughest educational hurdles globally, causing rampant burnout and even mental health problems, which increasingly come contrasted against diminishing upward mobility in recent years. While people are increasingly turning to celebrity and the online world to escape such pressures, the government seems to be skittish about the prestige they are set to lose if they can no longer sustain the improving standard of living Chinese people have become accustomed to.

A plethora of societal pressures arguably could be eased by tamping down new individualistic free market mechanisms and forcing a more tradition, Confucian or socialist outlook on society, by this measure these decisions may seem warranted. In a post-2008 world the Chinese Communist Party are clear that the market economy is no panacea, and they have witnessed how the United States had to utilise state mechanisms to stop the shock collapsing the global financial system. It is no surprised then that socialism has come back in vogue in China then, like the Belt and Road Initiative the country's government is trying to crave out their own way and avoid the pitfalls of the international community, but whether they can do this, and indeed if they can do with through socialism, remains to be seen.

mronline.org/2021/08/28/analysis-xis-leftward-shift-to-a-socialist-china-is-for-real bbc.com/news/business-58579831 archyde.com/china-watch-why-xi-jinping-is-leading-china-to-return-to-socialism-bbc-news msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-culture-crackdown-a-sign-of-profound-political-change-commentary/ar-AANUNFx wsj.com/articles/chinas-xi-eyes-return-to-communist-party-roots-amid-private-sector-crackdown-11629289611

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D H
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
https://mronline.org/2021/08/28/analysis-xis-leftward-shift-to-a-socialist-china-is-for-real/ https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58579831 https://www.archyde.com/china-watch-why-xi-jinping-is-leading-china-to-return-to-socialism-bbc-news/ https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-culture-crackdown-a-sign-of-profound-political-change-commentary/ar-AANUNFx https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-xi-eyes-return-to-communist-party-roots-amid-private-sector-crackdown-11629289611

Increasingly authoritarianism

What we are seeing in China is an example of absolute power corrupting absolutely, this is a further consolidation of power in the country, the march of paranoia-driven authoritarianism removing personal freedoms that could one day lead to rival power centres in the country. China is explaining this rising authoritarianism as a return to communism and the government's cracking down on the monetary power of public figures and large companies supports this, but the limits set to entertainment, video games and education make clear Xi Jinping's attempts to cement his control over the country. This is likely to have a negative effect on the world's second largest economy and is sure to leave Chinese people under more economic, as well as cultural, pressure.

This vast set of new regulations have prompted fears of a return to tight social control of pre-reform days, causing some to call this the "great leap backwards" or compare it to a "second Cultural Revolution" as ripples of economic uncertainty are effecting Chinese businesses that struggle to navigate the increasingly restrictive business environment. With the stroke of a pen the Chinese authorities have completely written off the $100bn private education industry in the country, decimating the from of coming generations to better themselves economically in their lifetime. As these ripples spread the real price of this style of authoritarianism will become clearer, this style of leadership is not compatible with a modern economy and we could be looking at the beginning of the end of Chinese growth and prosperity.

theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/10/chinas-cultural-crackdown-few-areas-untouched-as-xi-reshapes-society?CMP=twt_a-culture_b-gdnculture foreignpolicy.com/2021/09/24/china-great-power-united-states

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D H
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
What we are seeing in China is an example of absolute power corrupting absolutely, this is a further consolidation of power in the country, the march of paranoia-driven authoritarianism removing personal freedoms that could one day lead to rival power centres in the country. China is explaining this rising authoritarianism as a return to communism and the government's cracking down on the monetary power of public figures and large companies supports this, but the limits set to entertainment, video games and education make clear Xi Jinping's attempts to cement his control over the country. This is likely to have a negative effect on the world's second largest economy and is sure to leave Chinese people under more economic, as well as cultural, pressure.

Cynical self-preservation

Despite claims to the contrary the Chinese government's crackdown is more about cynical self preservation rather than cultural preservation. What Xi Jinping is doing is looking at the economic state of China, with a series of high-growth free market autonomous zones generating so many billionaires its easy to speculate what is around the corner for these huge populous areas of China, a movement of economic power away from the government. Looking to America for an example of where this leads; when a country gets an extra thousand billionaires some of them are bound to become difficult politically and start attempting to monetarily influencing politics and buying or "lobbying" politicians.

This could all be described as a return to socialism or rising authoritarianism, but in actuality it is China’s ruling class not wanting to emulate the rampantly corrupt madness that the so called “free world” has descended into in the last few decades. In other countries where this is the case eye-watering inequality, massive pointless vanity projects, are what follows and while nothing can be done about climate change, legislation is undermined, China are reacting to this very likely future and using their “communist” leanings as a reason to do so… The Chinese government is forecasting their likely political future and cracking down on them under the guise of them being cultural ills, they are attempting to reign in these potential problems before they become distinct problems, this is cynical self-preservation.

youtube.com/watch?v=KsLTfNSoHGA nbcnews.com/news/world/china-created-more-billionaires-u-s-now-it-cracking-down-n1278438 theamericanconservative.com/articles/xi-jinpings-great-leap-backward sinoinsider.com/2018/02/why-xi-jinping-removed-chinas-presidential-term-limit

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D H
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
Despite claims to the contrary the Chinese government's crackdown is more about cynical self preservation rather than cultural preservation. What Xi Jinping is doing is looking at the economic state of China, with a series of high-growth free market autonomous zones generating so many billionaires its easy to speculate what is around the corner for these huge populous areas of China, a movement of economic power away from the government. Looking to America for an example of where this leads; when a country gets an extra thousand billionaires some of them are bound to become difficult politically and start attempting to monetarily influencing politics and buying or "lobbying" politicians.

It is logical

What is being described as a cultural crackdown in China is actually a set of logical policy decisions to tackle a number of discrete problems. China are using markets to allocate goods more efficiently, but the Chinese government has clearly begun to ask itself as they are experiencing such rapid growth in inequality, are we allocating goods efficiently if we end up with levels of inequality to rival the United States? China have been using markets and justified them with unprecedented growth, but with growth slowing and inequality rising we are likely to see more regulation and restrictions of these markets in what remains a socialist country, even if in name only.

The Chinese government are looking at who is responsible for the rising unrealistic aspirational lifestyles that are driving inequality. Actors, social media influencers, reality TV stars, and even the unrealistic pressures of the gaokao and educational system are stressing society and driving inequality, it is therefore logical to crackdown on these things if seen from that frame of mind… This is essentially China asking itself what they are using markets for. Is it an ideological basis for society as is the case in the US? Or are they tools to allocate goods efficiently that occasionally need bypassing if they are leading to unintended results, this is a logical step away from growth and towards minimising inequality.

archyde.com/the-international-reasons-for-chinas-return-to-socialism-c-view-shi-yongqing-am730 nbcnews.com/news/world/china-created-more-billionaires-u-s-now-it-cracking-down-n1278438

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D H
Oct 17
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DH edited this paragraph
The Chinese government are looking at who is responsible for the rising unrealistic aspirational lifestyles that are driving inequality. Actors, social media influencers, reality TV stars, and even the unrealistic pressures of the gaokao and educational system are stressing society and driving inequality, it is therefore logical to crackdown on these things if seen from that frame of mind… This is essentially China asking itself what they are using markets for. Is it an ideological basis for society as is the case in the US? Or are they tools to allocate goods efficiently that occasionally need bypassing if they are leading to unintended results, this is a logical step away from growth and towards minimising inequality.
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