A couple of days ago, the Washington Post reported the latest episode of an ongoing story about ideological control in the Chinese media. This story should be – but is not – familiar to those who are hoping that economic growth in China will translate into political reform. With regrettable regularity, the Chinese Communist Party cracks down on the Chinese news media.
The latest crackdown, which involves a sharp intensification of the Party’s efforts to control journalists – is designed to enforce political conformity in order to protect the Party’s monopoly on power. The enforcement mechanism is Marxist-Leninist ideology.
In the last months of 2013, reporters from all across the country were compelled to attend Marxist ideological training sessions. Meanwhile, Chinese journalism schools are being compelled to host Communist propaganda officials in senior management positions to ensure that the Party line is enforced in journalistic education.
It is not well understood in the West how an ideology can continue to be operational if most people don’t believe in most of its tenets.