By Tom Bannister
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is Marx’s most famous saying. Now, the needs and ability of a prominent Marxist theoretician have cost him his job after accusations of improper social and economic relations (multiple lovers and bribery) proved impossible to quell.
Yi Junqing, an important academic who headed an influential Communist Party research institute in Beijing, was initially accused by one of his post-doctoral students, Chang Yan. Chang’s accusations first appeared a few weeks ago when a document appeared online that claimed to be a long (more than 200 pages!) account of her affair with Yi.
According to Chang’s claims she had become the academic’s lover in order to advance her career. She had also bribed him with 60,000 yuan. Their affair lasted for most of 2012 but when she found out that he had other lovers, and that he wasn’t going to help her secure a permanent job, she went public.
Although Miss Chang later retracted some of her claims and admitted much of the online accounts claims were false, the story spread. The research institute that Yi headed – the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau – has very close links with prominent government officials and is often used by the Party to assist in the formulation of key policy. Chang’s accusations were later censored but rumours continued to follow Yi, and Xinhua reported on Thursday that the academic had been fired due to ‘lifestyle issues’.