China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

G. Mutual Perceptions: Chinese and Western

Why is it that Westerners and Chinese alike tend to regard the perception of themselves by the other as skewed and distorted, while at the same time insisting that their own picture of the other is essentially accurate? Western attempts to explain the supposed inability of the Chinese to perceive us the way we "really are" tend to fall back on the notion of culture, as in Lucian W. Pye's claim about China's America watchers (some of whom he calls "certifiable crackpots" prone to "weird fantasies") that "their culture blocks real understanding of the culture of those who are for them still only 'foreigners'."1 Chinese writers, on their part, prefer to point at class-determined ideology as the key reason for our supposed inability to understand them. So, for example, Chen Boda, in an editorial he wrote for the People's Daily at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, insisted that Western "China experts" (Zhongguo tong) "will forever remain incapable of producing timely and accurate assessments of the events occurring in China" because their "wild flights of fancy (husi luanxiang) run counter to the development of history."2

The three texts included in this section are meant to illustrate--40 the extent that it is possible--the degree to which mutual perceptions were skewed during the Cultural Revolution. Pye and Chen are equally wrong in suggesting that it's only the "other" that has such a distorted picture of "us," while "we"--be it by virtue of our superior political science or thanks to our mastery of Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought--are somehow able to perceive and understand "them" with essential accuracy. Because, even though the fantastic element in the diatribe against "reactionary, decadent, and vicious . . . imperialist cul-

____________________
1
Lucian W. Pye, review of David Shambaugh, Beautiful Imperialist: China Perceives America, 1972-1990, in The China Quarterly, No. 129, March 1992, pp. 229-31.
2
Hengsao yiqie niugui sheshen (Sweep Away All Monsters and Freaks), People's Daily, 1 June 1966.

-267-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 406

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.