Rewriting Chinese history

The word from China this week is that the new school year is starting with a revised History textbook. Never say it couldn’t happen here (because it has).
Don’t miss the video in the comments Xi Jinping in Panic Mode
After  Mao died there was a dispute in the party over the Cultural Revolution and the legacy of Mao. Was the Cultural Revolution a terrible mistake like the Great Leap Forward or something else. Eventually Deng announced that it was a damaging mistake.
 
A few years ago, without public discussion or announcement, it seems that the school texts were revised to describe the Cultural Revolution in a neutral or favourable light as Mao’s attempt to find a solution to the problem of China.
 
This week my wife accessed some Chinese news on WhatsApp. There was a photo of a page in the history text that the children have been buying for the new school year that starts this week. The text indicated that the Cultural Revolution was a serious mistake. Again no official statement or public discussion.
 
Just now Amy went back to the source to check the details she found that the item is not available. 

Fancy that!

On the topic of revising history texts, Karl Popper suggested that historians should write history that is relevant to their times, not to falsify the records but to find what can be learned from the past that helps us to understand and deal with the present.

We can interpret the history of power politics from the point of view of our fight for the open society, for a rule of reason, for justice, freedom, equality, and for the control of international crime. Although history has no ends, we can impose these ends of ours upon it; and although history has no meaning, we can give it a meaning.

The proliferation of narratives and points of view is not an invitation to relativism because all interpretations have to stand up to criticism and historians need to be conscious of their own point of view, to be willing to reconsider it, and to avoid as much as possible giving in to unconscious bias in the selection and interpretation of facts. Of course the selection of evidence is just that, selective, but the point is to use the evidence in a critical and not an uncritical manner. As a public document, the historical narrative will have to stand up to criticism from other people who may not be charitably inclined towards the views of the author. Desirable features of the story in addition to its capacity to stand up to criticism will include its fertility, its ability to prompt fresh ideas and elucidate new sources of information, also its topical interest and the way it illuminates the problems of the day.

Liberty Quote – Strictly, libertarianism is only a philosophy of government. It does not offer a vision of the good or moral life. A libertarian can, in theory, hold any social belief they like. All they have to do is oppose the government forcing those beliefs on others  — Chris Berg

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28 Responses to Rewriting Chinese history

  1. Infidel Tiger King

    You think that’s crazy, you should see the revised history we teach Australian kids.

  2. nb

    Why am I reminded of the Australian national history curriculum? Oh I know. Because it is just as revisionist as any other good communist history.

  3. cuckoo

    Almost the only thing I know about history is that Viking culture fully supported gay marriage, gender transition, transvestism and was full of cis-women warriors who were the equal of any man on the battle field.

    And that Queen Elizabeth I had several persons of colour at the highest levels of her government.

  4. cuckoo

    In other news, Uncle Bruce Pascoe (B.Ed) is now a professor of indigenous agriculture at the once-prestigious University of Melbourne. This is like making Erich Von Daniken a professor of archaeology.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

    We’re seeing the same thing in the US with the 1619 project, and also here with Dark Emu. Orwell wrote this because he knew that there is a strong leftist political drive to control the narrative and bury their past failings. Very hard to sell socialism to ordinary people otherwise.

  6. nb

    cuckoo, #3578239: ‘Pascoe (B.Ed) is now a professor of indigenous agriculture’
    I only hope Victoria adopts Professor Pascoe’s agricultural recommendations so that we can save the planet. The plenitude resulting from this Indigenous Technology was such that it could support 1000 people in a 10,000 (100 x 100) square kilometer area in the vicinity of Port Phillip.

  7. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Again no official statement or public discussion.

    communists excel at gaslighting the population. mind you the chinese accept it all like sheep

  8. nb

    Chinese history must not be distorted!
    A timely post by Jennifer Zeng on her channel ‘Inconvenient Truths by Jennifer Zeng’.
    Five “Absolutely Not Allowed”. The Five Things The CCP Fears Most:

  9. H B Bear

    Hmmm Professor Pascoe and Professor Mark Kenny would be excellent appointments to the School of Wrongology. Should be a few Vice Chancellors looking for a new gig shortly as unis do next years budget.

  10. stackja

    Red China false history.
    I am shocked!

  11. Robbo

    No surprises here. Once upon a time the Chinese Government believed in honesty and truth (it was a long time ago I admit) but I can remember doing business with the Chinese in the 1970s and sealing the deal with a handshake. I have been to China many times and always found them to be open, honest and friendly. Everyone was keen to ensure that foreigners left with a good impression and it was clear that the Chinese people and its government were anxious that the rest of the world trusted them.
    How things have changed. We now confront a China that is angry, hostile, untrustworthy and mendacious being run by a bunch of disgraceful aggressive thugs in tailor made Chairman Mao suits. Nobody can believe a single word they utter or write and it is amazing that they do not seem to realise that they are destroying their reputation around the world in every nation other than those they control through their infamous Belt and Road deals. It will be a very long time before China regains any sort of credibility.

  12. Boambee John

    infamous Belt and Road deals. It will be a very long time before China regains any sort of credibility.

    Strange that the usual “anti-colonial” agitators seem to see nothing wrong with the grotesque neo-colonialism of Belt and Road.

  13. Arky

    Strictly, libertarianism is only a philosophy of government. It does not offer a vision of the good or moral life.

    ..
    No shit.

  14. Arky

    was clear that the Chinese people and its government were anxious that the rest of the world trusted them.

    ..
    Suckers!

  15. jupes

    In other news, Uncle Bruce Pascoe (B.Ed) is now a professor of indigenous agriculture at the once-prestigious University of Melbourne.

    Is this a real position? That is, does he conduct courses on the subject?

    Because if he did, say what you like about him, but he would have to be an olympic-standard bullshit artist to be able to bang on for months about a 100% false premise. Gold medal standard!

  16. The BigBlueCat

    Well, we know they deny the Tiananmen Square massacre even though we saw it live on TV here. Once I asked a Chinese national about it – they refused to accept it happened and said it was a US lie.

    So I’m not surprised about school books in China …

  17. Terry

    ‘Strange that the usual “anti-colonial” agitators seem to see nothing wrong with the grotesque neo-colonialism of Belt and Road.’

    The agitators simply do not care about these “causes” other than in their utility as a cudgel against their ideological foes – Liberty, Private Property, Capitalism, The West, et al.

    They do not care about Colonial Powers nor the colonised.
    They do not care about slaves nor slavery.
    They do not care about “Black Lives”, nor any other lives for that matter, other than their own. This is the ideology responsible for more than 100 million dead last century, ffs.
    They do not care about women, gays, lesbians, trans, or any other letters of the alphaqwerty.

    These “groups” are merely weapons; cannon fodder to be thrown against the enemy, to facilitate their pursuit of absolute power.

    This is why highlighting their hypocrisy in these (and in all) matters is largely ineffective. Consistency is not their intention. Total destruction of their political adversary is.

    The “Right” (individualists) has struggled to muster any meaningful defence against this kind of asymmetric warfare from the “Left” (collectivists).

    We’re going to need to learn fast(er). Political solutions are diminishing and if they dry up, the only options become those of the violent kind – not a happy place at all.

  18. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    In other news, Uncle Bruce Pascoe (B.Ed) is now a professor of indigenous agriculture at the once-prestigious University of Melbourne.

    Is this a real position? That is, does he conduct courses on the subject?

    Seriously, jupes, yes it is a real position.

  19. Des Deskperson

    ‘Is this a real position? That is, does he conduct courses on the subject?’

    According to Melbourne University, Pascoe is ‘Melbourne Enterprise Professor’:

    https://provost.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1838266/Melbourne-Enterprise-Professors-and-Fellows-Guidelines-March-2016.pdf.

    “Alongside and distinct from traditional academic appointments, Enterprise appointment titles are a mechanism to enable the University to recruit industry leaders and experts who can enrich and offer valuable contributions to the University’s teaching….Professorial-level Enterprise appointments are highly distinguished positions”

    “In order to be appointed to the position of ‘Melbourne Enterprise Professor’ or ‘Honorary Melbourne Enterprise Professor’, individuals must:
    • Have an eminent and sustained record of peak level leadership, entrepreneurship and influence;
    • Be widely recognised for their outstanding achievements in industry, business, professions and/or
    government; and
    • Demonstrate specialist expertise and a highly developed industry/business knowledge base that
    matches in breadth and depth what is expected of all professors of the University.”

    It’s the equivalent of a full academic professorship in terms of pay scale. It can be full-time, part-time, continuing, fixed-term and honorary.

    The average base salary for a full time professor at Melbourne Uni is a bit over $190,000 pa.

  20. Professor Fred Lenin

    Melbourne uni has lost all credibility I wouldnt send a person of colour there these days . The east coast of the USAwas first discovered by Africans from Zimbzabwe 2,000 years ago , the west coast by Australian aboriginals in bark seagoing canoes 45,000 years ago,true ,its in the aboriginal archives Pommy Pascoe from Cornwall discovered in the Blue Mountains ,hidden from the white genocideists by his ancestor .
    True ! True ! dinks !

  21. jupes

    “In order to be appointed to the position of ‘Melbourne Enterprise Professor’ or ‘Honorary Melbourne Enterprise Professor’, individuals must:
    • Have an eminent and sustained record of peak level leadership, entrepreneurship and influence;
    • Be widely recognised for their outstanding achievements in industry, business, professions and/or
    government; and
    • Demonstrate specialist expertise and a highly developed industry/business knowledge base that
    matches in breadth and depth what is expected of all professors of the University.”

    It’s the equivalent of a full academic professorship in terms of pay scale. It can be full-time, part-time, continuing, fixed-term and honorary.

    Thanks Des and others.

    But does anyone know whether he actually teaches a unit / course / degree on “Aboriginal agriculture”? Because that would be one very interesting unit. Not because of the subject matter, but because I would like to watch someone bullshit for hours on end, day in and day out. It would be extremely difficult to maintain I would have thought.

  22. Gammage is the go to book, but I think it’s garbage.

    https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/history/The-Biggest-Estate-on-Earth-Bill-Gammage-9781743311325

    If the premise of the book was correct, there would have been billions of Aborigines;

    We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.

    Hmmmmmmmmm………………….

  23. Des Deskperson

    ‘But does anyone know whether he actually teaches a unit / course / degree on “Aboriginal agriculture”?’

    Jupes, it’s all a bit shrouded in the academic equivalent of managobabble. According to the MU media release:

    https://fvas.unimelb.edu.au/news-and-events/news/bruce-pascoe-appointed-enterprise-professor-in-indigenous-agriculture

    Pascoe wants to “ be in a position where I could be closer to potential research students…We’re identifying areas all the time where we need some research done.”

    So there is no evidence that he will do any formal teaching. I guess he will sort of ‘mentor’ and advise, wandering around among researchers dispensing slabs of his unique Indigenous wisdom, a sort of ’eminence noir’. Anyway, its the symbolism of his appointment that’s the key factor here. Maybe he won’t need to do anything much at all.

  24. jupes

    Thanks Des.

    It is absolutely disgusting that the uni allow Pascoe to get away with spruiking bullshit knowing he can’t teach any of it. Where are the Aboriginal farming tools for example? They must know it’s bollocks but corruptly help him spread it, thus making their students dumber.

    Just fucking disgraceful.

  25. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    . Where are the Aboriginal farming tools for example?

    Pascoe claims that Aborigines lived in villages of up to a thousand people, with domesticated animals in pens, and that they tilled more ground then Australian farmers do today. Where’s any of the archeological evidence of this?

  26. Pascoe’s male forebears sat around laughing and resting while the women did all the work … Yams anyone ….. The Original Misogynists … Leftard are the dumbest people !

  27. NuThink

    IIRC there is a Polish saying “The future is certain, it is the past that keeps changing”.

  28. NuThink

    A few years ago I saw an interview with a Russian about how the WW2 history was being rewritten which was completely eliminating any information about the help the Soviets got from the West during WW2.
    ie Information about the Murmansk ARCTIC convoys were being dropped from history, nor were the DC3 Dakota as the basis for the LI-2 being mentioned.
    http://www.dc3history.org/russianli2.html

    In 1935, the State Commission of the USSR under the guidance of aircraft designer A.N.Tupolev purchased in the U.S. the Douglas DC-2 aircraft. After extensive testing, it was decided to purchase a license for its production back in the USSR.

    In the summer of 1935 a special commission from the USSR arrived at the Boeing Aircraft Corp plant and after much discussion and evaluation chose the more advanced Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

    On July 17, 1935 an agreement was signed with Douglas in the amount of 340,000 rubles for a period of years. The contract stated that the USSR was not only buying a license to build the aircraft, but Soviet engineers would be trained at the factory As part of this agreement, in 1937-1938 the USSR purchased another 18 DC-3s’.

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