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New Left Review I/201, September-October 1993


Lin Chun

China Today: ‘Money Dissolves the Commune’

Before I returned to China last year I was working on an essay entitled (borrowing and combining Raymond Williams and Juliet Mitchell) ‘Culture: The Longest Revolution’, explaining how difficult it would be to get rid of our dominant cultural heritage of patriarchy, and more specifically, what I called Chinese patriarchal socialism. To my great surprise, I found from this visit how wrong I was, if not about the entire patriarchal establishment, then at least about its socialist form which combined totalitarian repression and protection, and in which we used to take for granted our dependence on the authorities or the ‘state’, as it appeared in Chinese everyday language. [1] I am grateful to Professor Robert Cohen for his kind suggestions and corrections, and also for his hard questions and disagreement.

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