Saturday, November 03, 2007

Socialist Labor

I'm about one-third of the way through Kang Zhengguo's wonderful autobiography, Confessions: An Innocent Life in Communist China.

In 1965, the author was serving as a "resettled worker" at the Jian'an Materials Plant of Xi'an, a brick making facility, after having been thrown out college for political crimes:
I never fell for the phony pep talks we got from the leadership of the brickyard . . .. If labor was so glorious, why did they give all the dirty work to us, the dregs of society, instead of doing it themselves?

Incredibly, the author now teaches Chinese language and literature at Yale. I am awestruck.

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