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China's Leftists and Rightists

12 January 2013
 

Like many truly independent thinkers in China, Li Beifang, the editor of an influential magazine named Southern Wind (南风窗), has gone through a hard intellectual journey from the Right to the Left in his search for a feasible way to help the nation escape the circle and resurrect again. Below is a note he posted on his weibo a couple of days ago:

李北方: 翻出一篇2003年春天写的“我为什么支持伊拉克战争”的旧文,回头看看十年前的我自己,那浓郁的公知腔调啊。但那时的表述,也比现在的公知厚实些,也潜藏了突破出来的可能。今天的左翼,基本是从右的阶段过来的,所以我们玩cosplay扮右派说话,完全没问题,但右派就不行,因为他们屁都不懂.

I dug out an old article that I wrote in the spring of 2003 titled "Why I Support the Iraqi War". It's embarrassing to see I used to have that kind of "public intellectual" attitude. The majority of today's Left leaning intellectuals have experienced a similar spiritual transformation from the Right to the Left, which is why we Left wingers can mimic the tune of Rightists for we know exactly what their mindset is but they can't pretend to be us because they are unable to comprehend our conceptions.

Following are some typical online comments on Li's note:

郭松民 [a veteran leading Left wing intellectual in China - Multipletext]: 很多人有相似的历程。我的“蓝色时期”(即全盘接受自由主义话语)特别漫长,从80年代一直延续到新世纪,我甚至还获得过南舟的大奖。待到张维迎提出特赦论,我才如梦方醒,意识到中国沿着这条论走下去,不仅谈不上公平也将剥夺大多数人的自由,从03年起又开始逐渐回归红色.

My "blue period" (the time to follow the "liberal") [this term in China actually refers to the Liberal with Chinese characteristics, i.e. the Far Right, intellectually aligned neither with the Conservative Right nor Liberal Left but the ruling power in the Wall Street and Washington - Multipletext] was rather lengthy, from the 80s to the turn of the new century. When economist Zhang [one of the most notorious Wall Street collaborators in China] proposed not to pursue some government officials' corruption crimes, I realised that by following the current reform route, there will be no justice and freedom for the majority of people in China, hence I returned to the red path since 2003.

hihooray:我是07年即将毕业的时候左转的,汶川地震更加奠定了俺是左派,双喜事件后转变为毛派,开始骂星空!

My Left-turn began in 2007 when I was about to graduate from the college. A year late, Sichuan earthquake occurred, what happened during that time helped me complete the transformation, while Chongqing incident taken place last year finanlly made me a follower of Chairman Mao and a detractor of Premier Wen!

逍遥的小尧:我就是这样转变的,本硕时候是右右,那些危言耸听的右派书籍看的津津有味,到博士的时候就发现问题多多,再到国外转一圈发现被骗了。。以前在父母面前狂说毛的不是(尽管他们不爱听),现在也不得不服毛的思想了。现在已不同几十年前,国民没那么好被忽悠.

When I was on my Master's, I was obsessed with the alarmist publications of the Extreme Right-wing. When I progressed to my PhD, I realised there are too many holes in their claims. When I went overseas touring the world, it became clear to me that I was conned ... I used to denounce Mao in front of my parents (despite they didn't want to listen), but now I am myself a believer of Chairman Mao. Time is quite different and people in China are not as easy to be fooled as they used to be nowadays.

2012日出-或跃在渊:我是世界观将将有公知化趋势的时候,就上了微博,然后生生地扭成了毛派。

At the time when I almost became a "public intellectual", I started to use weibo which abruptly turned me into a Chairman Mao's follower.

阮景东:很多左都是从右过来的,我19岁的时候也受美国之音的影响,这说明左派已经走过了那个阶段,而右边的人还在原地踏步.

I was a follower of the VOA when 19, which means the Left wingers have grown up while the Rightists fail to progress intellectually.

苏武牧羊在天边:在岐途上走过的人会变成更坚定的左翼。在西媒蛊惑煽动下,脑残青年争取民猪柿油的那些事,我当年一件也没少干。但很快就意识到,他们的真正目的是搞乱中国使之成为一盘散沙,永远不会让你真的自由富强。所谓帝国主义亡我之心不死,忘记这点就傻子一个。

If you once went to wrong path of the Right, you become a firm Leftist. I did all those pathetic things when I was brain washed by the Western media. But I realised very quickly that their true purpose is to stire chaos in China and to turn Chinese people into a plate of sands, so that their world dominance will never be challenged. Any Chinese who cannot see this simple fact is intellectually retarded.

郭松民: 在80年代,左翼从知识界消失了一段时间。今天的左翼,是80年代统一的自由主义阵营瓦解的结果,因此他们对自由主义的理论、话语都非常熟悉。中国的现实决定了一个知识分子,如果他真诚爱国并且真正关注中国问题的解决的话,那他最后一定会成为一个左翼

During the 80s the Left camp virtually disappeared from China's intellectual scene. Today's Left wingers are the ones defected from the Right camp, which is why we are very familiar with the theories and language of the Right faction. Under today's special circumstance any intellectual who truly concerns about China's situation will inevitably become a Leftist.

沧海化云:真正心系普罗众生的知识分子,在现在中国几乎都是先是右派普世派开始,但随着了解国情的增加,注定要成为新左派。

Chinese intellectuals who care about the people almost all began his journey from the Right, but when he knows more about China's reality, he will unavoidably move to the Neo-Left.

谢祖国微博:“今天的左翼,基本是从右的阶段过来的”,同感,因为宣传机器掌握在右派手中,所以我们都无可避免的经历过误导,但现实教育让我们找到了正确的方向。

That's true. Today's Leftists are yesterday's Rightists. We were misled by the propaganda machines that is controlled by the extreme Right. But we find the right direction by observing the real life.

北京冠图: 也tmd邪门了,房地产大亨都是普屎滴.

Just look at those property developers, who are almost all "universal value" holders [i.e. the extreme Rightists, like Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier-wanna-be Li Keqiang and his mentor Li Yining]

阳光下的普洱茶:那时候的右右还是忧国忧民的右右,现在的完全是利益集团的代言人和走狗.

The Rightists of the old days were the ones who cared about the people and the nation, but today's Rightists are mere the hatchet men and running dogs of the interest groups.

宁死不退孙元良:公知的咕噜话偶10年前就说烂了!就是不知道为什么还能坑骗那么多人,呵呵~

Those so-called "public intellectuals" are spinning the same old yeans for a decade, and I don't understand why some people would still be tricked.

破色虚空: 其实受右派蛊惑的青年朋友,往往都是些心怀热血但涉世不深,一心报国又缺乏一定的思考思辨能力。这样的人更容易被经过裁剪的所谓"真相"蒙蔽, 也只有残酷的斗争和血淋淋的现实才能教育和唤醒他们!

Those who believe the propaganda of the Far Right often are quite young. They want to help the nation but know very little of the real situation with limited intellectual capacity. Only when they see the blood they will wake up to the reality.

张宏良:稍微年长的年轻人大多都有这种经历,好在90后不会再有类似经历了,失业和高价房本身就为他们注射了政治疫苗,特别是当他们看到房地产大亨成为普世价值先锋时,就不可避免地会加入到反对精英阶级的大潮中来。

The good thing is the brutal reality of today's China with high housing price and high unemployment figure serves as a political vaccination to the young generation born after the 90s. Especially when they see the property tycoons are the vanguards of the "universal values", they will join the anti-elite force right away.

加勒比爸爸海盗都是从思想右倾过来的。但是从右到左有个基础:就这些人都追求真理,从不夹带肮脏自私的私货。

There is a pre-condition for people to be able to switch from the Right to the Left: they must be sincerely searching for truth and they must not be selfish pigs with a dirty mind.

bill天山看雪:没错,我们都是从右过来的。如果上网时间长了,还是右,要么是智商低要么是装逼公知.

True. We all came from the Right camp. If one lingers online for quite a while yet still remains a Rightist, there is only two possibilities: either he is intellectually challenged or he wants to pretend to be a "public intellectual".

googly的微博:现实中国发展的过程,决定了现在还是公知的人一定有汉奸倾向。

In today's China, if someone still wants to be a "public intellectual", he is highly prone to become the collaborator of the foreign powers.

幸福人生俞金龙:基本同意,现在的右几乎是汉奸同义词.

Quite so. In today's Chinese society, the Rightists are often the collaborators.

 
 
RELATED:

Chinese New Year's Couplet

Chinese New Year is looming, and many Chinese start to compose new couplets to replace the old one. If you also consider to decorate your residence with this highly-cultured and time-honoured custom like a classic Chinese would do, we recommend you the following one created by a Chinese cyber resident:

熙来不来,五个重庆、共富十二条,民生民意成追忆。虽身陷囹圄,罪莫须有,万民伞竹帛悬芳;

家宝非宝,一代蟊贼、鲸吞二七亿,民脂民膏送外敌。纵贼横庙堂,富甲天下,千夫指青史留名。

横批:温故知新


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