Mao’s Basilisk

By Eric Crampton 26/02/2015


Bill Kaye-Blake writes:

When I spent a semester studying in Beijing, I met an old man in Tian An Men square who insisted on showing me his identity card. He pointed out that it said he had joined the revolution in 1951 (yes, the identity cards had a field for ‘when you joined the revolution’). I later talked to a Chinese friend about the encounter. She said that 1951 was nothing. Her father’s card said that he had joined in 1948 — before the revolution was successful. As a result, he got an extra stipend.

Roko perhaps wasn’t as innovative as you might have thought.

Bill’s disclaimer:

it is a 25-year-old memory of an intercultural and bilingual exchange. No express or implied warranty blah blah blah” 


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