Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Propagandizing the foreigners

Lindsay Tobias Arado teaches near Chicago. She posted this wonderful example of self-explanation coming out of China. Check it out. Do you think it works?

Bizarre, campy song explains China's 13th 5-year plan
After China's state-run news agency Xinhua posted the music video online overnight, it’s gone viral. A quick listen to the lyrics makes Communist centralized economic planning seem cheery…

“I think for the last few years, the Chinese government has tried to master the language of the meme culture of the Internet and new media," said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei, a firm that tracks Chinese media and the Internet, "and they’ve perhaps done it more successfully in the Chinese Internet. But this is one of the more interesting examples of them trying to do it in English to a foreign audience.”

Besides being, quite possibly, the catchiest song ever sung about centralized planning, it also aims to educate. It harkens back to the 1980s "Schoolhouse Rock" songs from ABC, except here, it’s teaching foreigners about the challenges of governing the world’s second-largest economy…

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