socio-political values

socio-political values
China’s transition from a Stalinist to a ‘socialist market economy’ has greatly impacted the Chinese socio-political values. Since the 1980s, China has been seized by a series of crazes: from ‘knowledge’, ‘diploma’, ‘college’ and ‘going abroad’, to ‘doing business’, ‘purchasing stocks’, ‘investing in real properties’ and ‘maximizing income sources’.
The transition is marked by the coexistence of mixed values. The dominant traditional values of patriarchy, egalitarianism and contempt for profitmaking are declining. Western values are making inroads: 44.2 per cent of a survey sample chose Bill Gates as their hero while only 13 per cent picked Paul Kortchagine, a USSR Communist model popular among elder Chinese. Law is increasingly important in everyday life. Cases of litigation have risen exponentially.
Hatred for wealth is replaced by envy. The Leninist idea of ‘All individuals are only gear wheels in a great mechanics’ is yielding to that of self-realization through talent. Belief in money’s omnipotence is pervasive, so much so that corruption runs rampant despite risks of harsh punishment. Consumers are often victimized by profiteers. While emphasis on love improves the quality of marriage, divorce, extramarital affairs and prostitution are also on the rise.
Meanwhile, new socio-political values are stemming from the economic reform, characterized by Deng Xiaoping’s maxim: ‘Any cat, black or white, that catches mice is good.’ When asked whether they preferred socialism or capitalism, 52 per cent of the samples surveyed did not care. Even the CCP begins to represent the Chinese interests across the board instead of a few segments.
See also: consumerism; morality; reform (ideological justifications); ‘socialist spiritual civilization’; xiahai

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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