Rob Jacobs reviews Wang Hui’s The End of Revolution: China and Limits of Modernity for the Sri Lanka Guardian:
The End of the Revolution is more than a study of the new China. It is also a captivating study of the effects of global capital on a nation. Many of the situations described by Wang Hui could easily be describing the situation in almost any nation that is part of the neoliberal world of the twenty-first century. In addition, it is a discussion of the meaning of modernity in the world of capitalism and a convincing argument that the world of neoliberal economics is a world whose mechanics thrive best under authoritarian governments. According to Wang Hui, democracy is not a beneficiary of this economic system, but a hindrance that the financial world believes it must undermine to survive. Furthermore, it is Wang’s contention that China is the ultimate laboratory for hypothesis.
What about that protest in Tienanmen Square? Did it represent a true desire for democracy? Wang says yes, it did. However, like so many grassroots popular uprisings around the world, the symbolism of the moment was appropriated by some of the same powers that the original protest opposed for other purposes… This is the nightmare of modernity Mr. Wang boldly questions.
Can the phenomenon Wang calls modernity exist together with democracy? What about political freedom and personal freedoms not defined by the marketplace? It is the opinion of the author and millions of others that they can but will require a fight by those opposed to the domination of the market… The discussions Wang Hui presents are discussions that all of us should be having.
Read the full article here.
Wang Hui is Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the former editor of Dushu, China”s most influential literary journal. He participated in the Tiananmen protest of 1989 and is the author of China’s New Order. He is a contributor to One China, Many Paths.