This post was quite popular and triggered a massive search of the archives, for some reason: thirty thousand pages views (not unique visits): that often means newcomers attracted by a post check out the blog’s history.
My point was very simple (and with some relief I think a lot of Chinese would agree, after their own fashion): we can speak about communism, but this requires endorsing its history and exemplars, which is a millstone around our necks. So we speak of a New Communism. The price to be paid requires starting over with a new definition, canon, and distancing oneself from the history. The reality has to be faced. The current left is going nowhere, and is stuck hoping someday their position on Lenin (and Stalin in the background) will appeal to the public once again. I doubt it. The ideas of the Second Internationale took off like a rocket because they were fresh, and untried. That legacy now is a dead weight. But I can see the problem: anyone who utters a peep of innovative criticism is finished in the ‘left club’ system.
Anyway, the Chinese are tired of Stalinist capitalism, I think, and a ‘new communism’ might make sense in that context.
Btw, what’s the source of sweet and sour cooking? Easy. Once a two-headed Chinese chef, one always smiling, one always frowning, had to cook the Emperor’s dinner. In desperation they worked out a compromise, sweet and sour.
This has political implications for our time.