What this is Posted on July 4, 2012 by Just a blog to share interesting ideas and events among the Shanghai Rationalist group.
What can “Chinese intellectual” possibly mean?
In the West, an intellectual is a member of the class of public thinkers, of the media, of think tanks, or of academe, all of which presuppose a free exchange of ideas whose ultimate goal is the shaping of government policy.
Now imagine a society where policy is set by a small elite who not only shun the free exchange of ideas but actively suppress it, where academe is the lapdog of the state, think tanks don’t exist, where the media are the arms of the state and the public thinker is in constant peril of arrest. You have imagined China.
If someone thinks that there is a Chinese intelligentsia, I’d be very glad to know what meaning they assign to it.