04 May 2011


My apologies to my readers – I missed out on my greetings and well-wishes this past 1 May, which I guess makes me something of a poor socialist. My only excuse must be that I have been busy first with finals, and then with preparations for my internship in Beijing this summer (including the rather logistically-formidable task of obtaining a visa). I’m very excited to be going; the firm I will be working for, PlaNet Finance China, looks like a very decent outfit. I’m very much looking forward to working with them, and also being back in Beijing. As I understand, it is very much a different city now from when I last left it in 2007. (For one thing, the Olympics were a major force in changing the face of Beijing even while I was there; subsequent developments may have demolished a number of the neighbourhoods I visited.)

I have just begun reading (Chinese New Left intellectual) Wang Hui’s English book, The end of the Revolution: China and the limits of modernity. From the brief introduction I have had to the body of Wang Hui’s work thus far, it looks to be an illuminating and insightful read, particularly for this laowai who finds himself continually perplexed by the shifts in political and economic direction which the People’s Republic of China has taken over the past 30 years. Also from the introduction I have a suspicion that he is a kindred spirit of the kinds of thoughtful ‘conservative’ socialists in whose work I have been immersing myself of late; though whereas they come from a very British, very Romantic Tory perspective, Wang Hui appears to be influenced more heavily by the revolutionary literary work of Lu Xun 鲁迅 (not to be confused with the general Lu Xun 陆逊 of Three Kingdoms fame). I believe Wang’s critique of economic development as an ideology allied to neoliberalism, particularly with relation to China’s experiences, will be of particular interest to me given my chosen field of study. I also anticipate reading his points of contact with Confucian thinking.

I’ve received some feedback from several casual readers of my blog (notably my girlfriend Jessie, and my friend Tiffany) that my writing style is – well, more than slightly dense. I’m working on making it more accessible; I’d be very grateful for any suggestions. Please post them here in the comments section or on Facebook.

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