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Thread: Pew - Continuing Decline Of Christianity In America

  1. Top | #31
    Contributor PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    'Mao Zedong Thought' certainly had its origins during his lifetime. It came to prominence during 'the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,' wherein Mao organized a mass movement to eliminate the moderate leadership that took over China following the failure of Mao's 'Great Leap Forward.' Ideologically, it was also a split from the Soviet Union, where Khruschev was similarly leading a more pragmatic movement to repair the excesses of Stalinism, which I would contend was a real thing, not so much an ideology, but a form of government based on the Marxism-Leninist thought. It seems vain to draw a line between ideology and policy when discussing these things, as one grows out of the other, and in turn influences the first.
    Sure, but I would repeat that Mao Zedong Thought is not Maoism. It's silly (and kind of endemic of the Marxist left, honestly) that there are such distinctions to be made, but they are real. Also, Khrushchev lied about everything he said regarding Stalin, a fact which almost all historians simultaneously acknowledge and then summarily ignore. The reason to oppose the Stalinist label is exactly what you said: there's already a perfectly good one that describes his philosophy, and also describes those of the people who inspired him and he inspired, and it's Marxism-Leninism.

    The 'Cultural Revolution' was characterized by young activists attacking both traditional Chinese culture, as well as moderate communism. This was the era of the 'Little Red Book,' a collection of Mao's sayings, and the 'big character posters' which were extremely large posters which were slogans or quotations from Mao which were hung from schools, factories, and government buildings at the time. It ran officially from 1966 to 1971, and unofficially until just after Mao's death in 1976.

    After Mao's death, the leadership of Deng Xiaopeng largely removed the trappings of Mao Zedong Thought from public life, though Deng never denounced Mao as Khruzchev did to Stalin. The Chinese people seemed happy to divest themselves from Mao, and return to their traditional culture. Nowadays, Pragmatic technocracy, what I call 'bland totalitarianism' and traditional chinese culture are far more influential in daily life in China than 'Mao Zedong Thought,' which essentially died with him.
    MZT has been replaced by "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics" in China, and its proponents take a critical but appreciative stance on Mao and Stalin, who they say did about 70% right and 30% wrong. But the guiding philosophy in China is still Marxism-Leninism at its core, in ways that are obvious to anyone who knows what that theory is and what it says about building the productive forces of society to a point where socialism can be sustained on a large scale.

  2. Top | #32
    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    And I think it is silly to draw a distinction between 'Maoism' and the actual philosophy the man propounded. Though i suppose it is all the rage among communists to misinterpret and twist everyone's philosophy to suit their purpose: "Je ne suis pas un Marxist."

    That is not what China is like today. It's kind of absurd to characterize creating an ultra-rich, exploitative capitalist class, with attendant economic growth to 'building productive forces to a point where socialism can be sustained on a large scale.' What, do you think that one of these days, the powers that be in China will say 'ok, that's enough, the productive forces are sufficient now,' and then seize the assets of the wealthy and ship them off to reeducation, and enact 'socialism on a large scale?' That would be unique and unprecedented. I have no idea where you are getting your rosy picture of China in the 21st century.

    The Chinese policy today is all about increasing the power of the state, with the cooperation of the rich and to hell with the poor. The guiding ideal, if you want to call it that, is to return China to the place of prominence in the world that it has historically occupied. That means strengthening the state, both in respect to other countries, but mostly internally, by imposing order and repressing the people. The government is increasingly co-opting the the very traditional Chinese culture that Maoists tried to suppress in order to instill a nationalistic ethos to China's resurgence. Chinese Television and movies are full of traditional stories. You'll see very little socialistic thought at all in Chinese culture today.

  3. Top | #33
    Contributor PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    And I think it is silly to draw a distinction between 'Maoism' and the actual philosophy the man propounded. Though i suppose it is all the rage among communists to misinterpret and twist everyone's philosophy to suit their purpose: "Je ne suis pas un Marxist."

    That is not what China is like today. It's kind of absurd to characterize creating an ultra-rich, exploitative capitalist class, with attendant economic growth to 'building productive forces to a point where socialism can be sustained on a large scale.' What, do you think that one of these days, the powers that be in China will say 'ok, that's enough, the productive forces are sufficient now,' and then seize the assets of the wealthy and ship them off to reeducation, and enact 'socialism on a large scale?' That would be unique and unprecedented. I have no idea where you are getting your rosy picture of China in the 21st century.
    Mostly from Chinese people and Americans living in China, like Ian Goodrum.

    The Chinese policy today is all about increasing the power of the state, with the cooperation of the rich and to hell with the poor. The guiding ideal, if you want to call it that, is to return China to the place of prominence in the world that it has historically occupied. That means strengthening the state, both in respect to other countries, but mostly internally, by imposing order and repressing the people. The government is increasingly co-opting the the very traditional Chinese culture that Maoists tried to suppress in order to instill a nationalistic ethos to China's resurgence. Chinese Television and movies are full of traditional stories. You'll see very little socialistic thought at all in Chinese culture today.
    That's all laughably false from top to bottom, especially under Xi Jinping. I won't derail this thread, but you're basically parroting Red Scare / Yellow Peril propaganda.

  4. Top | #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Even FOX news covered the shrinking number of American Christians.

    It is growing in Africa and South America. A prime recruiting ground, larger populations of undereducated superstitious poor people.

    Thank goodness, I was worried there might be a discussion of religious demographics without any racism connected to it!
    What was racist about that?
    I think Poli is just trying to confirm the decline with the quality of his posts.

  5. Top | #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Even FOX news covered the shrinking number of American Christians.

    It is growing in Africa and South America. A prime recruiting ground, larger populations of undereducated superstitious poor people.
    Ironically, people from those countries are exactly the ones American christians are trying to keep out.

  6. Top | #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post

    Ironically, people from those countries are exactly the ones American christians are trying to keep out.
    Ya, but even though they're Christians, they're not ... hmm ... what's a polite way to say that it's because they're not white without sounding racist by overtly stating that you don't want them because they're not white? That's their reason.

  7. Top | #37
    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    Xi Jinping, who abolished the short lived and rather interesting practice of rotating leadership positions, essentially making himself dictator-for-life.
    Life in China is sure great under Comrade Xi! So long as you aren't a Muslim.

    There's one version which is pro China, and one that is anti-China, but in China, only one is allowed!

  8. Top | #38
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    Hey folks. Lets get back on topic. It’s not China’s economic ideology.

  9. Top | #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post

    Ironically, people from those countries are exactly the ones American christians are trying to keep out.
    Ya, but even though they're Christians, they're not ... hmm ... what's a polite way to say that it's because they're not white without sounding racist by overtly stating that you don't want them because they're not white? That's their reason.
    "Not 'real' christians"?

    It's also amusing that many of the christian churches in Africa make some USA conservative churches look almost "liberal", as the Methodists learned the hard way.

  10. Top | #40
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    The kids I raised are in their 30s today. Within my extended family for that generation, the kids that are religious are three out of nine. And by that I mean that they got married in a church and actually say they believe in a god. Their parishes are not the kind of parishes I grew up in, they are these christian non denominational mega parishes where everyone seems to be their same age, except for the kids. Their parents go elsewhere or not at all.

    Many of those kids got married outside churches or not at all, so based on that small sample the PEW numbers are right. Christianity is in decline over just one generation and there is no end in sight.

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