Commie Chic in China
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 10.07.05 | 10:35 PM ET
PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer is airing a seven-part series on the rise of China as an economic power, and Friday’s installment was terrific: an exploration of the cult of Mao that lives on in the country today. “How does the totalitarian communist icon fit with the capitalist wealth-fest that the People’s Republic of China has become?” correspondent Paul Solman asked. Looking for answers, he visited The Red Capital Club, a Beijing restaurant that recreates a 1950s Communist Party hangout, complete with a party limo parked in front.
According to the report, young Chinese now stroll around with “serve the people” bags once popular during the Cultural Revolution. Explains Laurence Brahm, who runs The Red Capital Club: “[T]hey’re looking for kind of a psychology, an ideology in an era when western materialism seems to have flooded China, and seems to be threatening their own cultural roots.”