'Confucius meets Marx': Xi's propaganda TV show
Hunan Television, a popular TV channel, broadcasts a prime time show in which variety meets Communist Party ideology. The aim of the programme is to show that Marxism is compatible with traditional Chinese culture. A new last-ditch effort by the leadership to reinforce the ideology among the youth; but on the web there is also mockery of the initiative.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - The ideology of the Chinese Communist Party permeates a variety television show, broadcast in recent days in prime time in a time slot with a large following. And the title is already a program in itself: “When Confucius meets Marx”.
The objective of the Beijing authorities, who strongly supported its implementation, is to explain that Marxism, the founding theory of the party leading the country, is "compatible" with traditional Chinese culture and the thousand-year history of its people .
Hunan Television, one of China's most popular channels for its highly successful entertainment programs, has launched a series featuring five total episodes lasting 30 minutes each, starting in mid-October.
The TV show imagines a meeting between Karl Marx and Confucius, with the ensuing dialogue between the two and set in the Yuelu Academy, one of the most prestigious in the country and an ancient learning center of Confucianism, founded about a thousand years ago .
The episodes aim to demonstrate, through close conversation, that Marxism can adapt well to traditional Chinese culture and that, even in the future, it will continue to grow and permeate the cultural background of the Chinese nation.
Among the ideal aims of the television show there is also that of finding the common points between Marxism and Confucianism, to support the thesis that both theories are coherent and that the thought of the current leader Xi Jinping is the result of a "sinicized Marxism ”.
For example, the show contrasted the “Great Unity,” a Confucian utopian vision, with the communism proposed by Marx. In this show, Marx even goes so far as to state that “in reality I myself was Chinese for a long time.”
Chinese authorities are exploring a new way to instill the ideology of communism in the minds of young people. Hence also the presence, as guests, of some university students who joined the conversation between the two leaders of the past and asked some questions during the broadcast.
However, the preaching of ideology is not the only element that characterizes the series. The variety show also interweaves several performances and interludes, including traditional music, cartoon and rap performances.
There is also a technological element, with the extensive use of artificial intelligence to make historical scenes and characters more vivid. Naturally, all forms of entertainment are at the service of the doctrine of Marxism, in particular the most recent evolution of "thought" advocated by President Xi Jinping.
Since the current leader came to power he has developed and spread different types of "thoughts", which embrace various aspects of society. His intervention on culture is the most recent part of the evolution of thought itself: the publication dates back to 8 October last, which was followed closely by the broadcast of the first episode of the variety show the following day.
The official party newspaper, the People's Daily, also covered the show in its pages stating that it aims to interpret and make Xi Jinping's thoughts on culture accessible to the general public. For the “pro-state” media it is an evolving and open system, without providing any details and content of the thought itself.
Ironically, during the Cultural Revolution ancient Chinese philosophy, including Confucianism, was considered "feudal waste" to be eradicated and under Mao's rule Confucius' tomb and temples were destroyed by the Red Guards.
Although he is considered an ardent follower of Mao, President Xi takes a different approach and expects to stimulate patriotism by also reviving the characteristic elements of traditional culture.
While the official media boasts of this show that directly connects Confucius and Marx, the broadcast has sparked much mockery and fueled online satire among internet users. One example among many emerges from a comment in which we read that "when the problem of legitimacy emerges, various types of absurd arguments are unleashed".
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