Subversive Strategies in Contemporary Chinese Art (Philosophy of History and Culture)

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Questions on what constitutes equilibrium and the sources of its creation are living and inescapable. By projecting and analyzing numerous images, I will attempt to share some of the current concerns and expectations that artists in Beijing express through their artworks. Artists often address issues regarding cultural direction and options: they contribute to equilibrium and community by realizing, making real, and preserving our contacts with some ground that persists amid the flux.

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As material traditions vanish by bulldozer, come-to-be be by crane, and pass-away in consumer fashions, Chinese artists, living in the gap between histories, may hint at places of self-embodiment that render equilibrium, agency and social harmony possible. David A. For this reason, Chinese people cannot completely understand the Western style of thinking that has produced subject and object, master and slave. In the past, we understood this philosophy of mastery as modern science that destroyed religious superstition and established the central importance of man, and that produced the opposition between subject and object that followed the objectification of the world through a scientific epistemology.

For this reason, the modern Western philosophy of mastery is also seen as the philosophy of epistemology. This philosophy has an intimate link to Western political life. The sprouts of the Western philosophy of mastery are found in ancient Greek philosophy. Political life in ancient Greece was built on the foundation of a master-slave relationship institutionalised in the slave system. For this reason, in Western thought, master, free man, citizen, person and subject in fact all pointed to the same idea.

Hobbes, Hegel and Nietzsche, and Marx all understood the struggle for master status as the driving force behind historical development and progress. But only those sovereign persons who have recognised one another in the struggle can become equal subjects in international law and enter the club of international society. This was the beginning of the Westphalian system. From that point forward, regardless of whether it was the Congress of Vienna or the Paris Peace Conference, the Yalta Conference of the G8 Summit, all were products of this philosophy of mastery.

Order was the result of the subject dominating the object, internal order was the result of class domination, and international order the result of the domination of power. On the day that Marxism entered China it brought with it a new notion of the philosophy of mastery. This was the idea that the working class and the laboring masses were agents in a historical mission.

Politically, however, the question became whether the agency of the Chinese revolution was dependent on Western ideas of the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie, or instead if China would seek independent liberation at the hands of the working class and the laboring masses. After the founding of the CCP, the Marxist philosophy of mastery would be intimately linked to the historical construction of the Chinese people as political agent.

This basically dispensed with the Chinese capitalist elite which since late Qing times had displayed a dependent nature manifested in weakness and compromise in the face of the West, and with an uncompromising, independent posture of a master, the working class and the laboring masses appeared on the world political stage, challenging the Western path to modernity and the world order this modernity had shaped. The Spirit of Struggle: from the philosophy of subjectivity to the theory of contradiction.

This spirit of struggle is undoubtedly an expression of the master personality. The description and comparison of the two encourage the members of the CCP not to forget their original intention, and to fight for the great revival of the Chinese nation with the spirit and character of a master who struggles. Struggle is the spirit and character that the people and laboring masses must possess if they are to act as masters of history and it was precisely the masses that bequeathed to the CCP its great capacity to act. The CCP does not represent globe-trotting capitalists or detached intellectuals but is consistently grounded in the great land of China, representing the Chinese people who are living and thriving in this great land, and particularly the basic laboring masses that make up the majority of the population.

By way of contrast, leaders who run roughshod over Party organisation or Party organisations who are out of touch with the masses wind up producing dictators and corruption. This is precisely the essence of Chinese traditional philosophy. The world is driven by contradictory movements to produce developments and changes which in turn drive struggle and innovation. Marxism and Chinese traditional culture have a high degree of internal consistency on this point, which precisely constitutes the deep philosophical roots of the Sinification of Marxism. In fact, the mutual absorption of Marxism and Chinese culture began with the process of the first Sinification of Marxism.

In this sense, we can say that the theory of practice is higher than the theory of contradiction, because contradiction can only be judged from the perspective of practice. In the case of contradictions among the people, struggle is not the most important thing; persuasion and education are the most important tools. For this reason, in CCP theory, the accent is not on contradiction and struggle, but rather on how to grasp the nature of the contradiction from the perspective of practice.

Whether it could begin from practice, and by seeking truth from facts, correctly analyse and judge the political and social contradictions of each period, and on that basis propose correct measures and policies, became the test of the political wisdom of the CCP.

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The reason that measures and policies are perceived as the lifeblood of the Party is that they determine if the Party has the wisdom to assess correctly the principal contradictions among the many complicated contradictions in actual social life, if it can clearly recognise the important aspect of the contradictions and hence truly grasp the pulse of the movement of history. Since the founding of New China, every CCP National Congress has issued a political judgement of the principal contradictions that the Party faced in its political life, and the success or failure of Party undertakings has been largely decided by whether they were able to render a scientifically correct judgement of social and political contradictions from the perspective of practice, and if they could then propose proper policies and measures.

And the reason that Reform and Opening succeeded was because the Party Center restored the principle of seeking truth from facts and recalibrated its judgement of the principal contradictions, thereby establishing its basic direction and policies around economic construction as the central consideration. Trying to adopt the Western model gave rise to a new political discourse led by economics and legal studies, characterised by advocacy of government neutrality and depoliticisation.

One might say that over the past thirty years, Chinese academics and thinkers have gradually forgotten the theory of contradiction, the theory of struggle and the theory of practice. While Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought appear as nouns in mainstream discourse, in practice they do not function as philosophical methods by which we understand, grasp, and solve problems, which has led to Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought becoming empty expressions without vivid meaning in practice. They will even attempt to seize the highest power of the Party and state and change the nature of the Party.

China will face the danger of repeating the collapse of the former Soviet Union. After taking up the post of General Secretary, Xi Jinping posed a question that caused deep reflection on the part of the entire Party: when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dissolved, why was there no real man among the twenty thousand members to protest the event? The loss of a philosophical weapon necessarily leads to the loss of the spirit of struggle, and the loss of ideals and beliefs necessarily leads to the loss of the spirit of mastery. Not only did they temper their courageous struggles and innovative spirit in the context of the revolutionary movement, but also in the course of the rustification movement cultivated a deep sense of empathy from having lived among and shared the hardships of the people, ultimately producing a generation of political elites grounded in the great land of China.

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This generation has become the guiding force propelling China into the new era. This means that the Chinese Communist Party has once again grasped the philosophical weapon of dialectical materialism, understanding the world through the worldview and methodology of the theory of contradiction and the theory of practice. Once again having done this, the fighting character will necessarily return yet again to the construction of the political thought of the CCP, becoming the political soul of the CCP. In other words, the nature of the struggle of the CCP derives from a philosophical consciousness of Marxism-Leninism.

The philosophy of struggle in the philosophy of mastery and the philosophy of contradiction and practice are organically integrated. That there are contradictions means that conflict and struggle exist, and that struggle must engage real problems in practice, which in turn resolves the existing contradiction and propels practice forward.


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If our Party is to unite and lead the people to effectively respond to major challenges, withstand major risks, overcome major obstacles, and address major conflicts, it must undertake a great struggle with many new contemporary features. All thinking and behavior in the vein of pleasure-seeking, inaction and sloth, and problem-avoidance are unacceptable. We can say that after more than seventy years of effort, China has accomplished the historical great leap from the Mao Zedong era, to the Deng Xiaoping era, to the Xi Jinping era.

New social contradictions propel China into a new era, and a new era obviously needs a new thought to solve the problems it confronts. For this reason, when Xi Jinping once again proposes the theory of contradiction and the philosophy of struggle, he is absolutely not suggesting some simplistic return to the Mao Zedong era.

Instead he has taken the Chinese socialism created by Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping to a higher historical stage. The Sinification of Marxism: The new Party-state system and the construction of core values. The grand blueprint of the Xi Jinping era unfolds through history.

In the narrative tradition in which classics and history are undivided, a philosophical thought system is contained in the historical narrative. The process of the Sinification of Marxism has always been the process of merging Marxism with Chinese traditional culture, a process that began in the Mao Zedong era.

If there are differences between Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the new Xi Jinping era and Mao Zedong Thought or Deng Xiaoping Theory, this is first because the primary social contradictions encountered are not the same, and the questions to be resolved in terms of thought and theory are also different.

In the first Sinification of Marxism, what was to be resolved was how to carry out a proletarian revolution in a half-feudal, half-colonial society, which is why Mao Zedong Thought is basically a set of theories concerning revolution and nation-building. It was primarily a theory of economic construction.

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We can see this as the third Sinification of Marxism. Because the Russian revolution depended on the success of the cities, in the former Soviet regime, the Party leadership strongly relied on a heavily top-down system of control. After the establishment of New China, the process of the search for a Chinese path to modernity consistently faced the question of how to manage the relationship between the Party and the state.

The report to the Thirteenth National Party Congress took this a step further, proposing a reformist thinking, based on the division between Party and state, producing a political system with democratic politics. Following the introduction of the rule of law, a latent tension appeared between it and Party leadership.

We might say that the market economy base of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, constructed since the institution of Reform and Opening, has become disconnected from the superstructure of the state-led Party in some areas. The system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era must resolve this problem, by constructing a superstructure that matches the market economy of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. It was in the precise context of this problem, a solution for which long had been sought without success in either theory or practice, that Xi Jinping, at the Third Plenum of the Eighteenth Party Congress, proposed the theory of the modernization of the state governance system and governance capacity.

One might say that the core of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the new system for comprehensive Party leadership of the state on the theoretical and institutional level that it proposes. This new system must necessarily signify the organic blending of Party leadership as emphasized by Marxism and the political tradition of traditional Chinese culture. The establishment of a state supervisory system is undoubtedly an important organisational aspect of the modernisation of Chinese traditional political culture.

The state superstructure includes not only the political and legal system, but also culture and ideology. All governmental systems need the support of corresponding core values, thus becoming a political education system in which politics and culture are mutually reinforcing. The Western capitalist system is supported by the core values of liberalism, which upholds the liberal democratic system, thus constituting the core of Western civilisation.

The core values supporting the new party-state system must necessarily be the core values of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since Reform and Opening, the market economy and social divisions have given rise to many different value systems, and it would appear that China has entered an era of pluralistic values. The report of the Eighteenth Party Congress listed, one after the other, the core values of Chinese traditional culture, the core values of the socialism of the Mao Zedong era, and the core values of Western liberalism, brought in through reform and opening, producing a sprawling value system.

In the absence of coherent core values, values pluralism can lead not only to political confusion, but can also bring about a conflict between values and social interests. The report of the Nineteenth Congress does not repeat the formula for core values employed by the Eighteenth, meaning that the construction of core values that are more coherent and better able to represent Socialism with Chinese Characteristics will become an important mission in the wake of the Nineteenth Congress.

Mute Speech proposes a new framework for thinking about the history of art and literature. This essay is an interdisciplinary study of what is cognitively going on when we interpret, represent, or evaluate cultural entities, including works of art.

The Philosophy and Art of Wang Guangyi

The role of interpretation in experience and in cultural objects is elucidated from a cognitive point of view. The book relies on theories of action, perception, possible worlds, possibility and necessity, intentionality, cognition, and brain research. It contains a number of examples confirming what is said in its theoretical parts. Joining theories and concrete examples yields new explanatory insights into some much-discussed aesthetic problems related to interpretation. One observation is that cognitive theories can be used to dissolve the disagreement about two philosophical traditions, analytic and continental.