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Today on The Daily DeX: China’s rebel elders versus its authoritarian youth.
+“Generation Amnesia: why China’s youth don’t talk about Tiananmen” | South China Morning Post
“In the three decades since the “June 4 incident”, surveillance cameras have sprouted from almost every pole and security teams keep constant watch on the square. Where elderly people once flew kites, special forces officers now stand guard.
A great change has also taken place among the young, opening up a generation gap in awareness and interest in the crackdown. For some, the youthful liberalism of the parents has given way to pragmatism or nationalism among the children. For others, the personal price of discussion is still too high.”
→Everything Mao is new again. The driving force of the Cultural Revolution was Mao Zedong’s ability to turn the young against the old. Children betrayed their parents. Students paraded teachers in dunce caps. China teetered on the brink of social collapse. Though Mao’s cult of personality has passed into history, its traces persist within systems of Orwellian control. To downplay the importance of 1989’s Tiananmen Square protests, the state apparatus weaponizes forgetting in order to once again pit younger, more socially engineered generations against once militant Baby Boomers. As bonds of shared national and cultural memory erode, the purpose of China’s new culture war is revealed as the erasure of history, which authoritarian states must constantly do to maintain control.
Image Source: Wikimedia