«May Fourth Movement», Designer Liang Yulong (梁玉龙), 1976, Landsberger collection, courtesy of International Institute of Social History Photo: chineseposters.net
DIGITAL GUEST LECTURE: Welcome to a new lecture in the “Centenary of the Chinese Communist Party” series this autumn semester: The Noble Vocation, Service, and Subordination: A Century of Party-Intellectual Relations by Timothy Cheek, The University of British Columbia
The relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and China’s educated elites, generally known as intellectuals, has been defined by a contradiction: the Party’s enduring need for their services and the Party’s suspicion that intellectuals cannot be sufficiently loyal to its goals. The Party needs ideologists to tell its story and mobilize popular support, as well as for management and technical skills. Stalin called for “engineers of the soul” and a good number of intellectuals have chosen to serve or to speak for the Party. For some it was service to a new regime, for others it was onoerous subordination, and for yet others it was a noble vocation. This talk reviews some key examples to explain this enduring thought troubled relationship.
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