The hard truth about the expanded neoliberal world order
Tiananmen Redux The Hard Truth about the Expanded Neoliberal World Order This book contends that the massacre of civilians in Beijing on June Fourth 1989 was a pivotal rupture in both Chinese and world history. If not for that day, Chi- na’s socioeconomic, political and cultural landscape would not have undergone the kind of dramatic transformation that has made China rich but unequal, open but hyper-nationalist, moralistic but immoral and unhappy. Through the lens of global history the book revisits the drama of Tiananmen and demonstrates how it unfolded, ended, and ultimately how that ending – in a consensus of forget- ting – came to shape the world of the 21st century. It offers a theorization on the inclusion of China into global capitalism and argues that the planetary project of neoliberalism has been prolonged by China’s market reforms. This has resulted in an ongoing convergence of economic and authoritarian political practices that transcend otherwise contrasting political systems. With China’s growing global influence, the late leader Deng Xiaoping’s statement that “development is a hard truth” increasingly conveys the logic of our contemporary world. Why does it matter that the Communist Party of China has largely succeeded, inside China, in erasing memory of the spectacular massacre of unarmed protesters on June 3-4, 1989? Observers have noted a two-fold iniquity—first the deed, then its erasure—but here Johan Lagerkvist adds a third answer to the question of why the mayhem mattered: it was an historical turning point. The China we see today—with...
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