“Ideology by numerology”, that seems to be the prevailing wisdom guiding the giant party machine in Beijing. After “One China” and “Three Represents”, we now have “Eight dos and don’ts”, courtesy of Chinese President Hu Jintao. It is the centerpiece to his “Socialist concept of honor and disgrace”. Sure, it might not sound like a zinger, but eight is greater than three and way bigger than one. What it lacks in pizzazz, it more than makes up for in quantity. We know you’re at the edges of your seats, so without further ado, here is the full list:
Love, do not harm the motherland.
Serve, don’t disserve the people.
Uphold science; don’t be ignorant and unenlightened.
Work hard; don’t be lazy and hate work.
Be united and help each other; don’t gain benefits at the expense of others.
Be honest and trustworthy, not profit-mongering at the expense of your values.
Be disciplined and law-abiding instead of chaotic and lawless.
Know plain living and hard struggle, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.
The decidedly austere tone hasn’t gone unnoticed here at Shanghaiist. Is this nation on the verge of another Cultural Revolution? Unlikely. This latest presidential pronouncement came during the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Addressing the wealth gap, between coastal cities and inland provinces, between the rich and the poor, between party officials and ordinary citizens, was a priority issue. That’s all we heard — again and again.
Many see corruption as the root cause of these runaway disparities. With that in mind, this list of dos and don’ts may well be Beijing’s first step in dealing with this problem, a sign of much stricter measures to come for the unrepenting few (or many). Although, this wouldn’t be the first time Beijing has played the morality card to quell civil discontent. Previous attempts, such as President Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” were followed by little action. How things will play out this time, remains to be seen.
On a much lighter note, we’ve been told that President Hu’s pearls of wisdom will be coming out on posters, available at a Xinhua bookstore near you. Shanghaiist will be first in line to get one, and it’ll adorn our wall right next to posters of Murphy’s Law, Beer around the World, and John Belushi (circa Animal House). We trust you’ll do the same.
Photos from University of Hawaii and learner.org.