Patterico's Pontifications


Constitutional Vanguard: A Survivor of the Chinese Cultural Revolution Falls Victim to the Cancel Cultural Revolution

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:39 pm

Today’s entry is a depressing story about a Chinese composer and college professor who managed to survive the Chinese Cultural Revolution only to get caught up in American cancel culture — or, as I call it, the Cancel Cultural Revolution. His offense? Showing his class Laurence Olivier playing Othello. It was denounced as blackface and the professor denounced as racist.

In the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the people were told that they must adhere to a particular set of beliefs, which emphasized the newly elevated nature of a formerly oppressed group. Meanwhile, the citizenry was told to despise all members of the former ruling class—including many who were hardly elites, but who could be argued to have some distant relative who might tenuously be labeled elite in some way. The belief system was in many ways bizarre and at odds with common sense, but that didn’t matter. The citizens were told to believe it, or else. Children were told to report to the authorities any adults failing to conform. Suspected offenders were hauled before secret tribunals and harangued until they were forced to confess to offenses that in many cases they had not committed. They were told that the confessions would save them from ruin, but in most cases the confessions actually cemented their removal from society. The atmosphere in the air was thick and oppressive—filled with the paranoia of those who never know when their own time will come.

Does any of that sound . . . familiar?

The whole episode is disgraceful.

Read about it here.

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